A common argument against vilification of baseball's steroid users is that, well, baseball is a sport that idolizes cheating. I mean, you probably won't see it in a newspaper, but it's out there. A-Rod and Manny Ramirez are just following in the footsteps of players who corked bats (stupidly), scuffed the ball, threw spitballs, stole signs, threw at players, used amphetamines, drank during Prohibition, et cetera. Right?
Pfft, says Dodgers third base coach Larry Bowa. In his day, ballplayers knew how to cheat, and kids nowadays just aren't cheating in the time-honored traditions of baseball.
I think when you play a sport at this level and you can get an edge, you take advantage of it," the Los Angeles Dodgers' third base coach said just days after Manny Ramirez became the latest superstar implicated in drug use. "I don't think steroids is what we're talking about to get the edge. People might say that's hypocritical, but those things that we did - whether it was using an emery board or corking a bat, it can't kill you. But this stuff can kill you."
So remember, kids: Before you cheat in a game, make sure to ask steroids expert Dr. Larry Bowa if it's one of the acceptable forms. (And ask him where sucker punching a reporter fits while you're at it.) But please don't listen to Bowa in this regard: Baseball bats are dangerous.