Houston Chronicle columnist Richard Justice seems to think that Frank Robinson’s legacy matters, but it doesn’t. There’s no such thing as “the integrity of the record book” when we are talking about fourth place. Justice thinks it’s a travesty that Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire are mentioned in the same sentence as Robinson. Here’s what he says:
Of all the ridiculous things said on television and talk radio, this might be the grand prize winner. They’re not even close to Frank Robinson. He won games, not just with his bat, but with his arm, his legs and his brain.
Umm, Richard, you have derailed. You CANNOT be upset about this, at least not in an article about steroids. According to this logic, you would be just as upset about this even if Sosa and McGwire had accomplished everything naturally, because even then, they would still just be one-dimensional players, not the complete player that your memory tells you Robinson was. No one has ever (to my knowledge) said Mark McGwire was as good a player as Frank Robinson; all they say is that he hit almost as many homers. That is true whether McGwire took steroids or not.
The only two people who matter in this whole Bonds fiasco are Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. They have the left-handed record and the overall record, respectively. So Bonds passed Frank Robinson on the “most home runs by a man whose last name has an ‘o’ as the second letter” list. Big deal.