Should Steroid Users Be in the Baseball HOF?

by npatano


PCI


Providence College Investigates

By Will Murphy ’23

Sports Staff

Yes

The Baseball Hall of Fame recently announced the inductees for 2022, but unfortunately, those who were not chosen to be inducted have been more of a story than those who have been. 

While some of baseball’s biggest stars over the past 20 years had the honor of being inducted, such as former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, others did not hear their names called in their last year eligible to appear on the ballot. 

As it stands, to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, it is required to have at least 75 percent of the votes. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa all had legendary careers playing Major League Baseball. Bonds was in the league from 1986-2007, Clemens played from 1984-2007, and Sosa played in 18 seasons from 1989-2005, but each was unable to reach the 75 percent threshold necessary for induction. 

The reasoning behind many of voters’ exclusion of these stars was steroid use, whether it was proven or alleged. It is not necessarily in the best interest of baseball to keep the players who may or may not have used steroids from making the Baseball Hall of Fame. The stated mission of the Baseball Hall of Fame is to tell the story of baseball to its audience. 

By leaving out stars such as Bonds and Clemens, an important part of baseball’s story is being excluded.  Many players during the steroid era changed the game for the better throughout their remarkable careers which shaped the way baseball is played today. This era was a period of time when it was believed a number of players were using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) from the late 1980s to the late 2000s. Testing for PEDs in the MLB did not begin until 2003. 

It is impossible to accurately tell the story of baseball while leaving out memorable events such as “The Great Home Run Race of 1998” between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire. Although both players are alleged steroid users, Sosa has denied the use of steroids while McGwire has admitted to steroid use.  These players’ home run race in 1998 brought many new fans to baseball. 

Leaving out events and players as monumental as these from the Hall of Fame seriously damages the stated goal: tell baseball’s story. 

Another reason against leaving alleged steroid users out of the Baseball Hall of Fame is poor consistency. It sends the wrong message to allow some rumored steroid users into the Hall of Fame, but holds others out for the sole reason that they were rumored to have used steroids.

 

By Margaret Maloney ’23

Sports Staff

No

There are three reasons why steroid users should not be allowed in the MLB Hall of Fame. One: holding these players accountable upholds morality in that it does not reward those who cheated during their careers. Two: although steroids became relatively common in the MLB, their prevalence in the league should not condone their use. Three: accepting steroid users into the Hall of Fame would marginalize the accomplishments of clean players. 

Current talk surrounding steroid users entering the Hall of Fame has increased lately due to the most recent slate of nominees, including David Ortiz, Barry Bonds, and Roger Clemens. Ortiz received 77.9 percent of the votes and was inducted into Cooperstown, while Bonds (66 percent of the votes) and Clemens (65.2 percent of the votes) failed to be admitted into the Hall of Fame due to their steroid use. This was the last time Bonds and Clemens will be eligible for the ballot. 

 Bonds is arguably one of the greatest players of all time, hitting the most home runs at 762. Due to his use of performance-enhancing drugs, he is not in the MLB Hall of Fame, which is the correct outcome. Although his greatness cannot be overlooked, leaving him out of Cooperstown upholds the ethical standards of the Hall of Fame and maintains the honor for those who played baseball clean throughout their careers. 

Clemens is another baseball great and arguably one of the best pitchers the league has ever seen, owing to his nickname “Rocket.” Like Bonds, he was not inducted into the Hall of Fame due to steroid usage. Again, this outcome maintains baseball’s moral responsibility to only induct those who did not seek to gain an unfair advantage on the diamond. 

The Hall of Fame should be kept as an institution that honors the greatest players in MLB history but also must leave this recognition for those who achieved their success the right way. Ortiz is an example of such a player, being one of the league’s most feared hitters who turned the Boston Red Sox into a World-Series-winning team. He is an essential spokesperson for the franchise and is admired for his contributions on-and-off the field. 

Reflecting upon this most recent Hall of Fame ballot, the voters made the correct decision in ultimately not inducting Bonds and Clemens into Cooperstown.

Men’s Soccer Fall in Sweet Sixteen

by The Cowl Editor


Friar Sports


By Will Murphy ’23

Sports Staff

The Providence College Men’s Soccer team capped off another successful season with their second trip to the Sweet Sixteen in the past three years. 

The Friars began their run in the tournament against their regional rival Marist College at their home field, Chapey Field, on Thursday, Nov. 18. The Friars controlled the game from the start, able to muster more than double of Marist’s shot attempts. In the 40th minute, midfielder Christopher Roman ’22 pushed the Friars ahead with a goal that was assisted by Armaan Wilson ’24 and Gil Santos ’22. 

In the 67th minute, the Friars were afforded some breathing room after Wilson was able to find the back of the net. Gevork Diarbian ’24 was credited with the assist that helped expand the lead to 2-0. 

After making it through the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, the Friars fell to Georgetown University and finished the season with a 12-5-4 mark.
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

From there the Friars were able to maintain their lead the rest of the way, pushing their NCAA Tournament record at home to 7-0. 

That win moved the team on to the second round where they would face last year’s reigning NCAA Tournament Champion, Marshall University, which had been awarded the No. 14 seed in the tournament by the selection committee. That game was played at Hoops Family Field, in Huntington, WV, the home field of the Marshall University Thundering Herd. 

It was a rather evenly matched game, with each team creating opportunities for four shots on goal, with neither team being able to find much separation. 

Marshall’s best scoring opportunity in the first half came when Alexander Adjetey broke free and only had the Friar’s goalkeeper, Lukas Burns ’24, to beat, but Adjetey was unable to capitalize, sailing his shot harmlessly over the goal. 

The Friar’s best chance in the first half came from a corner in the 18th minute after a deflection led to a loose ball landing at the feet of Miguel Candela ’22, who fired a shot from the top of the box that was saved by Marshall’s keeper, Oliver Semmle. 

After a tightly contested first half, the teams headed into halftime in a deadlock at zero. Marshall came out of the break hot, and in the 56th minute, they were able to find separation from the Friars. The goal came on a cross from Milo Yossef after a counterattack, which was finished by Adjetey. 

It appeared as though the Friars were able to pull themselves level in the 74th minute when Brendan McSorley ’24 was able to knock in a deflection, but the goal was waved off as McSorley was flagged for offsides. 

Momentum then began to swing in the direction of the Friars, as they were able to earn four corner kicks in eight minutes after that. 

Finally, in the 85th minute, the Friars were able to break through and level the game at 1-1 on a goal from Candela. 

Candela received a pass from Santos at the top of the box and was able to perfectly place his shot inside the right post. That would be the last scoring opportunity in regulation, and the two squads entered overtime even 1-1. 

Davis Smith ‘22 scored the winning goal in overtime for the Friars over defending champions Marshall University.
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

The first overtime period came and went quietly without many scoring opportunities. Just three minutes into the second overtime period the Friars were able to break free and score the game-winning golden goal. The goal was scored on a diving header from Davis Smith ’22 off a beautiful feed from McSorley. This goal pushed the Friars through to their second Sweet Sixteen in the past three years, where they would face their Big East rival, the third-seeded Georgetown University. 

The Friars played Georgetown University Sunday, Nov. 28, at Georgetown’s home field in Washington, D.C. It was the third meeting of the season for Providence and Georgetown, with the Friars winning 3-0 in the first meeting, but dropping the second meeting 2-1 in overtime of the Big East championship. 

Both teams were held without a shot for the first 32 minutes of action until the 33rd minute when McSorley fired a shot wide left of the net. Shortly after that in the 36th minute, the Hoyas pulled ahead when Dante Polvara collected a loose ball and rifled it into the back of the net. Georgetown’s advantage would remain at one through halftime and into the beginning of the second half. 

In the 53rd minute Georgetown was able to get some breathing room thanks to a goal from Marlon Tabora off of a cross from Stefan Stojanovich. Tabora added two more goals in the 58th and 64th minutes respectively, to expand Georgetown’s lead to four and achieve a hat trick. 

The Friars avoided the shutout thanks to a goal in the 88th minute scored by McSorley. The goal was assisted by Candela and Diarbian. The game finished with a 4-1 score, putting an end to the Friar’s successful postseason campaign that saw them notch an impressive upset win over last year’s defending National Champion, Marshall University.

Who Will Win the College Football Playoff?

by The Cowl Editor


PCI


Providence College Investigates

Joseph Quirk ’23

Sports Staff

Georgia

Do not be fooled by the outcome of the SEC Conference Championship this past weekend— Georgia is still by far the best team in the country, and it is not even a close race. 

The University of Georgia Bulldogs were 12-0 heading into their conference championship, in which they squared off against the perennial powerhouse University of Alabama Crimson Tide. Bama has had a “rough” season, if you could even call it that. The Tide went 11-1 before clinching a spot into the SEC title game. They escaped close losses to the University of Florida, Louisiana State University, the University of Arkansas, and the University of Auburn, all of whom had lackluster seasons this year, leading many to write the Crimson Tide off. On top of that, Bama has had top recruiting classes and the best coach in college football over the last decade. So why say all this? Because up until this weekend, Georgia was seen as the undisputed best team in the country. 

The Bulldogs have arguably one of the best defenses in college history with great starters (most of whom will be drafted to the NFL) and have not allowed more than 17 points in a game this season. That was until they played Bama and their Heisman trophy candidate quarterback Bryce Young. The game was a simple slip-up that the nation is making out to be worse than it is. 

The facts are that Georgia’s defense is as good as advertised, their offense is certainly nothing to scoff at either, and being undefeated in the toughest division of college football is quite the accomplishment. 

Yes, they slipped up and lost a game. But that game was to one of the juggernauts of college football, who consider 11-1 a “subpar” season. Looking at the bracket, Georgia will likely have a chance at redemption if they can make it to the championship. 

First, they face the University of Michigan. The Wolverines broke through with Jim Harbaugh at the helm. Michigan finally beat Ohio State, catapulting them into the playoffs with their only loss being a close one to another top-ranked team in Michigan State University. While Michigan is a tough opponent, they aren’t unbeatable. 

Michigan’s pass offense has seemed to lack some explosion. Their quarterback is untested, especially against a defense like Georgia. And while Michigan’s defense is solid, Georgia’s offensive line can limit Michigan’s pass rush. With Bama playing the University of Cincinnati in the first round, the first Group of Five conference team to make the playoffs in the committee era, I believe the stage is set for a rematch. And with experience, tape, and a hunger for revenge, there is no reason this historically good Georgia team cannot win it all.

 

Will Murphy ’23

Sports Staff

Michigan

The College Football Playoff has been surrounded by controversy since its inception, but as it stands it allows four of the nation’s best teams to duke it out for the title of National Champion. 

The University of Michigan is primed to make their first appearance in the event with a substantial chance to win. After the Wolverines took care of business against the University of Iowa in the Big Ten Championship, they were awarded a top-two seed in the bracket. 

Michigan has taken strides this year, most recently toppling their fiercest rival, the Ohio State University, something they had not done since 2011. Although that win was impressive, it was only the tip of the iceberg for Michigan’s successes this year. They have beaten four teams nationally ranked in the Top 25, two of which were ranked in the Top 10. 

Their rigorous schedule and playing in a competitive Big Ten conference have adequately prepared them for difficult games on the brightest stages. Michigan’s successes start with its defensive prowess. They have been able to limit nine of their twelve opponents to fewer than 20 points. Michigan is adept at forcing their opponents into turnovers, something that consistently plays a critical role in playoff games. 

Additionally, Michigan has been able to avoid committing an excess of turnovers on offense, allowing them to control the ball and win the field position battle. Michigan’s turnover margin is one of the best in the country, and turnover margin is often a strong indicator of whether a team will find playoff success. 

Another aspect of Michigan’s defense that limits opposing offenses is their pass rush. Senior defensive end Aidan Hutchinson has been all over opposing quarterbacks this year, tallying 14 total sacks, good for third in the nation. 

Michigan’s prowess does not end with their defense either; they have a potent offense that can put up points in a hurry. For example, senior running back Hassan Haskins has been running all over strong defenses in the Big Ten this year. The ability to effectively run the ball allows Michigan to control the tempo of the game and avoid letting the game get away from them. 

If Michigan can continue to do what they do best in the College Football Playoff, they will have a chance to be the first Big Ten team to win it since Ohio State won the event in its first year in 2015.

– Will Murphy ’23

Sports Staff

 

Who Will Win 2021/22 NBA MVP?

by The Cowl Editor


PCI


Providence College Investigates

Will Murphy ‘23

Sports Staff

Ja Morant

Ja Morant has begun this season with the Memphis Grizzlies scorching hot. Morant appears poised to lead the Grizzlies on a playoff run, thanks to the considerable improvements that have been evident in all aspects of his game. The three-point shot, once a hole in Morant’s game, has developed into an asset. He now makes almost two three-pointers per game on five attempts, shooting around 35 percent. Morant is even more dangerous off the bounce because defenders must respect his jumper. One crucial characteristic of an MVP is their ability to improve the play of their teammates, an area in which Morant excels. He consistently blows by his primary defender and forces the defense to collapse on him in the paint, and his vision allows him to kick the ball out to wide-open shooters at the three-point line. Morant is top ten in assists in the league, something that has been invaluable for a Grizzlies squad with many capable shooters who are comfortable spotting up and awaiting a dime from Morant.

Morant is also fearless when attacking the rim, willing to climb the ladder against rim protectors even when he’s often almost an entire foot shorter. This willingness to slash to the basket leads to countless momentum-swinging dunks that often end up as highlights on SportsCenter’s Top Ten Plays. His scoring has also seen an impressive jump from 19 points per game last year to almost 27 this year, which is good for fifth in the league. What’s more is that he has been able to boost his scoring volume rather efficiently, shooting just a shade under 49 percent from the field, which is extremely impressive for a lead guard tasked with being his team’s primary shot creator.

Morant is also one of the best rebounding guards in the league, bringing down six per game. A point guard’s ability to grab rebounds is an asset for a team, allowing them to push the ball up the court quickly before the defense gets set without needing an outlet pass from a center to a guard. MVPs are not only difference-makers on offense, but impactful defenders. At point guard, he guards the opponent’s elite playmakers. His elite lateral quickness allows him to stay in front of even the shiftiest guards. He also has a knack for timing steals perfectly, in the league’s top 15 in steals per game at just under two. Morant will likely be the best player on the court each game this year, but even in games when he’s not, he will be the most valuable to his team, which is why Morant will take home the 2021-2022 MVP award.

Leo Hainline ’22

Sports Co-Editor

Stephen Curry

Right now, there is no better basketball player in the world than Stephen Curry. The Warriors star has led his team to a league-best 11-2 record without fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson and the team’s raw but talented center James Wiseman. No signs suggest that Curry will slow down this season and he has established himself as the rightful favorite to win the NBA’s 2021-2022 MVP award.

Curry is second in the league in points-per-game average at 28.1, trailing only Kevin Durant, who is providing 6.7 assists, 6.2 rebounds, and 5.2 made 3’s a contest. These statistics are on pace to surpass his 2014-2015 MVP campaign numbers and are similar to his 2015-2016 statistics, a season in which he led the Warriors to a record-breaking 73-9 regular season record while recording 30.1 points, 6.7 assists, and 5.4 rebounds a game. Despite posting similar individual numbers last season, Curry finished third in MVP voting behind winner Nikola Jokic and runner-up Joel Embiid. The main factor preventing Curry from winning his third MVP this past season was the Warriors 39-33 record and failure to make the playoffs. Judging from the first month of the season, this year is a different story for Golden State.

The Warriors have a legitimate chance to grab for the one-seed in the competitive Western Conference, an achievement that would undoubtedly reward Curry with this third MVP trophy. What would make this feat even more remarkable is the fact that without Curry, the Warriors would probably be a sub-50 team. There is no single player who contributes more to his team’s success.

What further helps Curry’s case is that he has already broken NBA records this season. At only 33 years old, he has broken Ray Allen’s record for most three-pointers made in the history of the NBA. Do not be surprised if Curry continues to set and break records this season, adding to his resume and making him the clear choice for NBA MVP. Furthermore, Curry is the type of player who people enjoy watching and adds to the game of basketball. His shooting and general offensive skill is objectively fun to watch, and Curry is one of the most likable athletes in the world. This will only help his case for winning the prestigious award.

Curry’s play this season has been literally the most valuable out of any player in the league. Continued production out of the Warriors’ point guard will seal his position as the award’s frontrunner, and he will walk away from the 2021-2022 season with his third, and likely not final, MVP trophy.