The Norman Transcript


July 31, 2013

Future penalties only way to preserve game’s past



If they’re not playing the game of Hank Aaron and Johnny Bench, of Nolan Ryan and Tom Seaver, of Willie Stargell and Ricky Henderson, of Thurman Munson and Lou Brock, of Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays … if they’re not doing that, the game’s connection to its past is lost.

Already it’s been strained by the expanding noggin and immortal on-base and slugging percentages of Barry Bonds, bullied by the unnaturally strong forearms of Mark McGwire and assaulted by the age-defying effectiveness and sociopathic zeal of Roger Clemens.

Yet, because baseball has gotten it right — and the players union has gotten out of the way — for the last several years, it has recovered in a way that may not be as exciting as the great home run chase of 1998, but that is far more real.

Now, at least, we can give Miguel Cabrera’s triple crown the benefit of the doubt and Chris Davis’ 38 home runs the appropriate amount of wonder.

When I spoke to Cochell and saluted him for being better to the game than I’ve been since the days I covered his team, I didn’t only tell him that I can’t make myself watch it any more.

I also told him it’s still my favorite sport to read about, talk about and listen to on the radio. Because I don’t have to watch it to honor it.

And none of that would be true if baseball had given up on itself and given in to the freak show it had become when McGwire, Clemens and Bonds appeared first to be cheating time when what they were really doing was cheating the game.

So when they throw A-Rod out forever or for the rest of this season and maybe all of the next one, and when they deliver justice to Cruz, Colon and Peralta, it will not be a sad day for the game.

Their misdeeds may be mourned. Not their departures.

The game, its past and present, demands justice.

Clay Horning

Follow me @clayhorning

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Cardinals Red Sox Trade Cardinals land Lackey, shore up rotation

    BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox traded right-hander John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for right-hander Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig before Thursday’s deadline....

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joe Castiglione lends hardwood expertise to new football playoff committee

    Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione serves on the NCAA basketball tournament selection committee and will be the committee chair for the 2015-16 season....

    August 1, 2014

  • Norman football a hotbed for quarterbacks

    While Norman High searches for a new quarterback to take the reins, Norman North is entering the preseason with one of the most talented quarterbacks in the state in Oklahoma State commit John Kolar....

    August 1, 2014

  • Tiger in the hunt after day one at Bridgestone

    AKRON, Ohio — Tiger Woods showed signs of a positive recovery Thursday at the Bridgestone Invitational. Not just from back surgery, but from making bogeys....

    August 1, 2014

  • Coaches rank Sooners No. 3

    The preseason USA Today coaches’ poll was released on Thursday. Oklahoma came in at No. 3....

    August 1, 2014

  • Defensive indefernce in Big-D as injury suffles front seven

    OXNARD, Calif. — Rookie pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence’s broken foot didn’t send the Dallas Cowboys scrambling because they’re already in rebuilding mode with their defensive line....

    August 1, 2014

  • Rams’ go with youth in secondary

    ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Rams secondary doesn’t have veteran leaders, high-dollar talent or big names. Those handling spots on the last line of defense are confident they won’t be a liability....

    August 1, 2014

  • Tigers go all in on Price

    DETROIT — When David Price was finally traded, it was to an unexpected bidder. The Detroit Tigers added another Cy Young Award winner to their star-studded rotation, acquiring Price from Tampa Bay in a blockbuster deal Thursday....

    August 1, 2014

  • Oakland lands Lester, Gomes in exchange for Cespedes

    OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics won the Jon Lester sweepstakes, acquiring the left-hander and outfielder Jonny Gomes from the Boston Red Sox for slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes before Thursday’s trade deadline....

    August 1, 2014

  • Indians trade Justin Masterson to Cardinals

    CLEVELAND — The Indians had little choice but to give up Justin Masterson. The trade doesn’t mean they’re going to surrender the season....

    July 31, 2014