Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball are at a major crossroads right now. The sport is teetering on the brink of a lockout and the baseball writers excluded Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens from the Hall of Fame in their last year(s) of eligibility. With so much controversy swirling, what must baseball do to become relevant again?
First and foremost, get rid of the purists. For years, baseball has been plagued by a "purist" viewpoint, stopping the game from getting excited. For example, the designated hitter isn't in both leagues when we're in an age where offense is EVERYTHING. Just look at the likes of the NBA and the NFL. You're seeing the excitement at every angle, which is why both leagues grow exponentially.
There's also the "purist" angle ruining the Hall of Fame. How is it that David Ortiz, who was an alleged PED user, able to get in over Bonds and Clemens? Personally, I think it's that Ortiz is more likable, especially in the eyes of the baseball writers. He had a larger-than-life personality and was passionate about Boston, baseball, and the Red Sox.
This isn't indicting Ortiz, though. It's calling out the baseball writers and their outdated, hypocritical beliefs. They let the Red Sox star get into the Hall of Fame on his first try, yet Bonds and Clemens miss the Hall because of allegations. Granted, the two aren't likable human beings. But baseball should be telling the whole story about each era, including the time period of steroid use.
Until Major League Baseball moves into the 21st century, it'll spiral into irrelevancy. Avoiding such a fate involves ditching the purists that have held the game back for so long. But when will baseball finally take a more progressive approach?