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Braden: Top 5 Controversies of Baseball. In this lesson, you’ll learn about the top 5 controversies in baseball. These controversies are big things that baseball world is dealing with right now.
Ann: Some of them are overly complex but we’ll give you the basics. So if you want to research anything on your own, you can.
Braden: Number five in our top five contra versus a baseball is about Barry Bonds.
Ann: Barry Lamar Bonds is one of baseball's all-time greatest players.
Braden: He was an All-Star player 14 times, set the record for total MVP awards (7), and the record for consecutive MVP awards (4).
Ann: He also holds the all-time home run record with 762 home runs and also the single-season record with 73 home runs.
Braden: Now, the controversy rests on whether Barry Bonds should keep those records because of his involvement the BALCO steroids scandal.
Ann: Bonds is highly criticized because in 2007, he was indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice concerning the government investigation of BALCO, a case that was still ongoing as of January 2012.
Braden: However, he hasn’t actually been proven to have been taking steroids.
Ann: So, was Barry Bonds a great player, or did he take great steroids? We’ll see.
Braden: Number four in our top five baseball controversies is about Pete Rose. Pete Rose was an incredible athlete.
Ann: He is the all-time Major League leader in hits (4,256), games played (3,562), at bats (14,053), and—to be expected—outs (10,328).
Braden: So his career was exemplary and he was always a great help to his team. The controversy happened (it is believed) after he retired from baseball and began managing the Cincinnati Reds.
Ann: In August of 1989, three years after he retired as an active player, Rose agreed to permanent ineligibility from baseball because of accusations that he gambled on baseball games.
Braden: For his many records, Pete Rose should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. However, betting on baseball when you're in baseball is against the rules.
Ann: The Baseball Hall of Fame has a ban on anyone that is on the permanently ineligible list. Should a great player be banned from recognition of his talents because of something external to the actual game?
Braden: And there’s ther controversy. Our number three in our top five baseball controversies is about Sammy Sosa. Sammy Sosa is one of the home run hitting heroes of recent years.
Ann: In 1998, he and Mark McGwire raced to break the home run record. A few years later, Sosa's name appeared on a report of athletes that were taking anabolic steroids.
Braden: Anabolic steroids are different from typical steroids. However, they enhance performance in much the same way as traditional steroids. The main point of the controversy is that Sammy Sosa repeatedly denies taking anything.
Ann: He even issued a letter in Congress stating that he had never taken any illegal steroids. The test results show that he has taken the drug, but due to newness of the test, there has been doubt cast on whether or not the test is trustworthy.
Braden: On number two in our top five baseball controversies is about Mark McGwire.
Ann: The story behind the Mark McGwire drug controversy is similar to Sammy Sosa's. However, Mark went about things a bit differently.
Braden: Mark was the first of the two to break the record and, for several years, held the home run record until Barry Bonds broke it (see item 5.)
Ann: That’s right. Mark McGwire's name was on the same report as Sammy Sosa for taking performance enhancing drugs.
Braden: The difference is that Mark was very upfront and practical about things.
Ann: He revealed that he had been taking a particular testosterone pill that was not prohibited in baseball. By being upfront about things, Mark showed his honesty.
Braden: Several years later the MLB added this particular testosterone pill to their list of prohibited drugs.
Ann: The controversy with Mark McGwire is about whether the MLB should be allowed to go back in time and punish players for things that, at the time, were not illegal but are now?
Braden: And our number one in our top five baseball controversies is about shoeless Joe Jackson.
Ann: This one happened a long time ago but it is still hotly discussed today. In 1919, the Chicago White Sox were the easy favorite for the world series against the Cincinnati Reds. Instead, they lost, and badly. So the question is, how could this happen? One year later, the truth was revealed.
Braden: Eight players had rigged the game and been paid $10,000 to lose. They were identified and accused of conspiracy. Remember, that was almost 100 years ago. And in today's dollars that's approximately $120,000 each.
Ann: The White Sox left fielder "Shoeless" Joe Jackson claimed he tried to warn the teams owner about the fix. The owner didn't listen.
Braden: Many baseball fans view this event as the ruining of America's pastime. Besides the controversy and betrayal of the American people, often "Shoeless" Joe Jackson is included in the controversy.
Ann: When Jackson accused them of conspiracy, the other players also accused him and said that he had participated.
Braden: He denied this. However, the accusation stands.
Ann: In his defence, he did play very well during that series.
Braden: I guess we’ll never know. That just about does it for today.
Ann: Thanks for listening!
Braden: Have a great day!