I just don't care.
I'm a huge baseball fan, and I love MLB. But I just don't care. Does it bother me that A-Rod juiced. Do I wish Manny's news never would have broken. I wish those guys were clean. I really do. But to pretend this era is any worse than any other is absurd.
Imagine you had a job that you could take a handful of pills, or a few injections, and you would, in a matter of weeks, be great at it. It's not banned by your employer, and you really don't know the side effects. Plus, you've been struggling as an entry-level worker for years now. You'd be crazy not to take it. I'm not saying what they did was right, but I'm sick of this holier-than-thou attitude shown by ESPN and the fans.
My roommate and I get into this discussion all the time. I played baseball in HS, so he wonders why I did not juice, if I don't think it was so wrong. My answer is that I wasn't good enough to benefit from it, and didn't need to anway. Sure I would have hit a few more home runs, but baseball is a game of skill moreso than strength, and a .205 hitting left fielder with limited range just wasn't going to cut it, on any level. I had a full academic scholarship to a Big Ten school, so I had my ticket there. I didn't need sports. However, if D-I or D-II schools were looking at me, and that was the only way to get to college, then, damn, it would have been tempting. Now imagine life for the Latino players in the league. Baseball is a way off the island. You don't get to America hitting singles. Add the shady "trainers" and naive players, and it's really hard to blame a lot of these players for juicing.
People like the "historical comparisons" of the game. They say the juiced era is different, tainted. I disagree.
Take a look at Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, etc. They put up those numbers in a league that did not allow blacks to play. I'd rather be a drug abuser than a racist, any day. Imagine MLB today with all white guys. How many home runs would McGwire have hit without facing black or hispanic pitchers?
Let's take a look at the expansion era. 25 teams and enough good pitchers to fill about 15 rotations. Baseball's an easy game when you're facing guys that should never have sniffed the bigs. Maris was not a good ballplayer. He had 3 good years. He's not in the Hall for a reason.
After that, you've got the era of players that only play offense - perfect for fat sluggers...but they only get to play in half the league.
My point is that historical comparison is irrelevant. Sure, you can look at the numbers and make a rough approximation as to who was better, but to judge players based purely on numbers (and I'm an accounting major...so I like numbers) is absurd.
So what do I want done???
I want mandatory testing. Often. With harsh punishments. First positive test - 1 year ban. Second positive test - lifetime ban. What happened to the game was wrong, and although it's no different than any other era, we need to fix it. Baseball integrated, starting with Jackie, and teams eventually developed pitchers. We must atone for our mistakes before this gets out of control.
Just don't blame the players. They're no different than you or me.