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Mark Lamster

Roid Rage


The baseball world is up-in-arms over the revelations that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroid use a few years ago. My suggestion: move along, folks. For what it's worth, I've always been amused by those outraged over the crimes perpetrated against baseball's record book. This was the subject of a piece I wrote for the LA Times last summer on the history of the Baseball Encyclopedia. The move to strike or otherwise qualify certain marks from that book is, as far as I'm concerned, ridiculous. David Neft, the guiding genius behind the Encyclopedia, agrees. The record book indicates what happened, not what we would have liked to happen. Adding annotations to records is a bad idea. But if you insist, let me suggest my own system:

* = Steroids
! = Amphetamines
$ = Gambling
|| = Cocaine
~ = Alcohol
≤ = Before integration
# = Before expansion
. = Dead ball era
∞ = Wore glasses
† = Religious fanatic
¢ = Lousy tipper
ƒ = Womanizer
¥ = Asian fetish
œ = Funny accent
√ = Ass kisser
∆ = Trianglophobic
X = Total jerk

Posted in: Culture, Media, Sports

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