Editors Note

Time to Rename Another Missouri Structure

Joe Sweeney
Like the short-lived but infamous Paige Arena at Mizzou, the state of Missouri again finds itself on the front line of public scrutiny revolving around unlawful behavior associated with poor sportsmanship.

Before we rush into naming highways and monuments in honor of our alleged sports heroes, perhaps we should do a bit more diligence to ensure they’re deserving of such honors and not “juiced” while in process of earning their fame.

 

One of the few blessings of being a Kansas City Royals fan these last several years is that no one was likely to accuse our players of using steroids.

Indeed, with the worst record in baseball this year, and flirting with the all-time worst record in baseball history, it seems unlikely that our players are even taking vitamins (or batting practice for that matter) much less illegal enhancement drugs.

Then comes the Jason Grimsley scandal. The suddenly retired journeyman pitcher, and a Royal two stops ago, lately received a package of human growth hormones at his Arizona home through the U.S. Mail, a not terribly bright thing to do. In a signed affidavit, he then implicated a rash of other players and trainers whose names are still officially blacked out.

The excised names, however, has led six-degrees-of-separation speculators to impugn the reputation of the best two players on either end of the state, our Mike Sweeney and the Cardinals’ Albert Pujols, the best player in major league baseball and likely the best athlete ever to pass through a Kansas City area high school, namely Fort Osage. There is no reason to believe either is guilty.

The same cannot be said of home run champs Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire. While San Francisco fans cheer on Barry’s pursuit of Hank Aaron’s all time record under the illusion that it matters or will be honored, St. Louis fans continue to drive around Downtown St. Louis on the Mark McGwire Highway under the illusion that it is something other than an embarrassment.

To their credit, America’s baseball fans have made Bonds’ life on the road a living hell. I’m particularly amused at the brutal Philadelphia fans who greeted Bonds with the chant per-jur-eee and signs saying, “Ruth got his on hot dogs and beer.”

Life on the Mark McGwire can also be a living hell, but to be fair, that may be more the fault of MODOT than McGwire.

Both McGwire and Bonds cheated. Their cheating has tainted the game and particularly its bright stars like Pujols. They have made a mess of baseball records and, in so doing, a mess of baseball history. History is the one thing that elevated baseball and made the game worth watching. It unfortunately no longer is—particularly here in KC that has become known arguably as the worst professional franchise in Major League Baseball.

Like the short-lived but infamous Paige Arena at Mizzou, the state of Missouri again finds itself on the front line of public scrutiny revolving around unlawful behavior associated with poor sportsmanship.

It took a Missouri Senate bill to rename a St. Louis highway in Mark McGwire’s honor. It will take another bill to unname it. Before we rush into naming highways and monuments in honor of our alleged sports heroes, perhaps we should do a bit more diligence to ensure they’re deserving of such honors and not “juiced” while in process of earning their fame. Let the unnaming process begin.

 

Regards,

Editor-In-Chief & Publisher

Editorial@IngramsOnLine.com