Re: this is not a ''flame'' but a legit question 4 grown ups
posted at 7/6/2014 8:45 AM EDT
The interesting thing about asking someone's opinion is that's what you're going to get... their opinion, and it may not be any more right or wrong than someone else's opinion. But here's mine.
We have to remember that the people who post here aren't a cross-section of American baseball fans. We're a little nutso about baseball, and for some of us, the Red Sox. I like to think that most of us take a more purist attitude toward the game than does the general pubic.
(Which, btw, means that IMO MLB made a major mistake when they let the fans decide who's an All-Star and who isn't. The average fan doesn't know enough about baseball to make an informed decision. Heck, *I* don't know enough about it to make an informed and intelligent decision. There aren't enough hours in the day for me to follow every player on every team and live my life too, and I'm a little nutso about baseball!)
I think the average fan goes to the ballpark and picks up their little punchcard (do they still vote that way, or is it all on line now?) and from there on in it's all name recognition for the average fan. As to the online voting, each person can vote a multiple number of times so the fans who are passionate about the players on THEIR team will do their best to stuff the box. Again, leaving the fans in charge of the AS balloting is paramount to the fox guarding the chicken coop.
Now, to respond to your options point - by - point.
A) They don't care about PED's
I think the DO care about PED's - up to the point where it affects the offense, and then they don't care. IMO the average fan abhors even the idea that any player would cheat Major League Baseball and the players they're competing against. They see them as disgusting cheaters who have violated a sacred trust of honesty and fair play. BUT... they sure do like those Home Runs! Up to the point where they're willing to stick their heads in the sand and pretend that PED's don't actually help players all that much. DeNile (sic) ain't just a river in Egypt, as they say.
B) Is it an anti-Boston thing?
You may be talking to a fan from the wrong city to be asking that question. While I DO think there's an anti-AL East faction I don't think it's confined to Boston. IMHO the Yankees are much more disliked than the Red Sox - although the gap between those two and whomever #3 is is enormous. The Y's not only have the poster child for PED abuse they also contracted to pay him an obscene amount of money to do it. What did they think? That he WASN'T using?? Of course not! The Y's picked him up knowing he was using and were willing to turn a blind eye to it - as long as he kept a low profile and kept hitting those Home Runs! Just having ARod associated with the team tarnishes the Yankee image, not only because he's a user but because he's told so many bald-faced lies to whomever he thought would give him a forum to tell them. So I don't think it's an anti-Boston thing although I do think there's a tinge of anti-AL East in it.
C) They think they both used so what the heck
IMO the average fan doesn't think about it that deeply. In this case Baltimore is at-or-near the top of their division, Cruz is having a great year, and Papi isn't getting the publicity he got in previous years so he's "out of sight, out of mind". I don't think the fans look at each position and make a decision based on "user" or "non-user". Their only interest is in making the game more exciting for the fan, and they DO love those Home Runs!
So I don't think there's any great conspiracy or anti-Boston bias going on that's picked Cruz over Papi. In a nutshell, Papi's gotten a lot of exposure and the fans want to see Cruz so they voted for him. As an associated and possibly minor reason for it happening, I also think that the non-Boston fans have gotten a little tired of seeing Papi's face splashed across everything and that Papi has hurt himself by relishing being the face of the Red Sox as much as he has. Call it the Peyton Manning effect. :-)
And not that you asked, but IMO the penalty for being caught isn't nearly severe enough. Were I in charge of MLB a player who's caught ONCE using PED's would receive a one-year suspension without pay and he wouldn't be able to engage in baseball activities of any kind for one calender year from the date of suspension. Peralta (and others) playing in Independent League games while under suspension was an insult to the game of baseball and to the process and IMO tarnished the reputation of the once-fine Tiger franchise. Second offense - gone forever, and forever is a long time!
The moral to my post is: Don't ask me an open ended question unless you've got some time on your hands to read my response.
Having the right to do something doesn't make it the right thing to do.
And I have never posted here under any other names.