“History began on July 4, 1776. Everything before that was a mistake.” —Ron Swanson
Yesterday, Major League Baseball (MLB) announced that star Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Starling Marte will serve an 80-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). Yes, you read that correctly: MLB’s commissioner Robert Manfred is literally punishing a player for injecting himself with a vile of awesome so he could hit 500-foot moonshot home runs. Personally, when your On Fire correspondent watches baseball, he (or she) is not interested in seeing a lanky Kyle Hendricks throw 88 mile per hour pitches and humbly jog off the mound. I want to see hitters light up scoreboards one mammoth home run at a time and showboat their entire trip around the bases. However, Manfred is discouraging this action-figure-esque strength by suspending ballplayers if they try to tap into synthetic-Popeye-spinach.
Last time I checked, baseball is considered the epitome of America, and America is considered the epitome of capitalism. If baseball truly wants to hold true to this comparison, it should arguably start mandating the use of PEDs. If we as a country cut down entire forests just to profit off lumber and industrialize further, who is to say we cannot apply the same principles to baseball? In the same way that increased industrialization leads to profits, home runs lead to more fans, and more fans lead to more money in MLB front offices. Yet Manfred refuses to entertain fans, instead keeping the game polite, one heroic suspension at a time. We are failing as a country by making baseball — dare I say it — Canadian.
Ultimately, the suspension of Marte is another example of professional sports’ pushing to make games as boring as possible. National Football League (NFL) commissioner Roger Goodell thought it would be genius to fine players thousands of dollars for celebrating touchdowns. During a recent National Basketball Association (NBA) game between the Warriors and the Knicks, no music was played so that fans might “appreciate” the sport in its “purest form.” The best adjective to describe this phenomenon: unpatriotic.
When George Washington crossed the Delaware River, I’m certain that he was envisioning an America that included 500-foot home-runs knocking out stadium light towers — not a country priding itself on sacrifice bunts that move a runner into scoring position. If he wanted to play small ball, Washington would’ve bent over to the redcoats. It is our duty as a modern society to fulfill Washington’s probable vision: mandating the use of PEDs in MLB.