An Average Joe’s opinion on sports

Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza were elected into Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame today and deservedly so. Griffey was the best player and defined a generation of baseball players from 1990-2000. He was the gold standard for center fielders and 5 tool players. Piazza was the greatest offensive catcher of his generation (at the least) and maybe of all time. But more importantly during one of our countries most difficult times, the tragedy of 9/11, he was one of 2 faces of New York and helped the city rebuild itself.

(Photo Credit: A/P)

But if I had a vote for the Hall of Fame at least 7 others would have also been inducted on my ballot. Tim Raines, Mike Mussina, Lee Smith, Jeff Bagwell, Trevor Hoffman, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds would also join Griffey and Piazza.

I know many would ask why I would allow Bonds and Clemens in the Hall of Fame with their alleged PED use? Well, then commissioner Bud Selig, the owners of EVERY team in Major League Baseball and the writers covering MLB all knew PED use was rapid and did NOTHING but profit from it. It wasn’t until the US Congress threatened to revoke their antitrust exemption that baseball decided enough was enough because it effected their bottom line and bank accounts if that were to happen.

People are acting as if Bonds and Clemens were the only two players using PED’s when in fact the usage of PED’s in MLB was at an all time high during their playing days. I am asking where the moral high ground and outrage was from the same reporters and beat writers (who also profited from those same PED users)? Why the sudden outrage now that PED use is banned from baseball? Now they are voting against players for doing something that was not illegal in MLB at that time because it is now illegal?

(Photo Credit: A/P)

Well, if that is the case, then take out EVERY PLAYER, OWNER AND COMMISSIONER elected in the Hall of Fame prior to integration. They knew damn well that keeping African-Americans and Hispanics out of Major League Baseball was wrong and yet did NOTHING about it. But it was “legal” at that time, so that justifies it? No, and neither does keeping out players who did something that was legal at the time of them playing.

You can’t have it both ways. While Bonds and Clemens were not the most pleasant people to work and deal with, that takes NOTHING away from what they did on the field against other players, many of whom used PED’s.

I am not condoning PED use and feel it almost ruined baseball long term, although it also saved it after the strike. But I won’t be like Major League Baseball and act like it (the Steroid Era) never happened (until the Hall of Fame vote comes up). I would make sure that EVERY PLAYER that has been busted or confessed to PED use that makes the Hall of Fame has written on their bust that they used and were a part of the “Steroid Era” of baseball. So while they are honored for their accomplishments, they are also shamed, forever.

A sad personal note:

My heart hurts. I got word that The Beast 980 (KFWB) in Los Angeles was sold and they will flip formats in Mid-February (2/15/16), leaving some good friends & talented people looking for work and giving L.A. one less sports station to chose from.

I am proud to have been a part of the original group and an privileged to have have worked with the on-air staff of Jeanie Zalasko, Marques Johnson, Jim Rome, Brett Winterble, George Wrighster and my mentor, L.A. Sports icon, and close friend, “The Dean of L.A. Sports” Fred Roggin.

Fred has always been brutally honest with me. He is one of the 4 pillars of L.A. Sports Media’s Mount Rushmore. Fred was (is) always fair, and willing to give me a shot. I am indebted to you Fred and am so blessed to have you in my life to this day. Thank you for everything.

I am honored to have also worked  and became family with Amy Bender, a woman who’s sports knowledge can rival ANY PERSON and I love and respect. Sam Faber, who is a feisty as they come and another L.A. sports icon, “Teddy Ball Game”, Ted Sobel, who I am proud to call my friend and I miss our after (and during) the show sports conversations. I love you Ted.

My producing brothers, Allen Faul, Adam Hawk and my brother from another mother, John Gennaro. I love and cherish you guys. I had so much fun creating, debating and hanging with you guys. You’re all as talented as them come and will be beyond successful.

Steve Delamater, Mike Stark, John Ingles, the men that made the Beast tick. I love you guys. Your creativity, jokes, advice, timing and in Mike’s case, studio, made it easy to produce, work and be on-air. THANK YOU.

Lastly, Joe Safety, who was my closest friend there and a person that I confided in daily. You’re so special and were a god send to me. Thanks for being there for me ALL the time. Finally the person, no genius who brought us all together, Owen Murphy, our P.D.  Sorry about everything big guy, you were the best and gave me a shot. Thank you for that and I hope that you continue to thrive in life.

I regret a few things prior to my leaving The Beast 980 and if I could, I would go back and change things. That group of people is so special to me and I respect EVERY ONE OF THEM knowing how much time we all put in behind the scenes. While Marques, John and I had already left, I hope and wish nothing but the best for my Beast Family.

I love & am praying for everyone at The beast 980.

Joe Arrigo