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First, Class: Elevating the Role of Ethics in Sports

 “Winning is nice if you don’t lose your integrity in the process.” –Arnold Horshak, Welcome Back, Kotter

Forget steroids. Forget asterisks. Forget gambling, sideline taping, dogfighting, DUIs, and firearm possession. While they all are the headlining stars of the dramatic Demise of Sports feature film, they are also eclipsing other infractions that may be technically legal, but are much more cancerous.

The most salacious sins and underhanded offenses occur squarely in the gray area, the insidious trap of loopholes and defendable vices. On the contrary, performance-enhancing substances and criminal misdemeanors stack up neatly in the black and white areas, the right and wrong silos.

New York Mets

Problem Veterans Sinking Randolph- Mets

As the Mets limp home after an awful 2-5 West Coast swing–including a four-game sweep by the lowly Padres–the calls for Willie Randolph’s managerial head will undoubtedly get much louder. Unfortunately, it’s really not his fault. Willie is no Miller Huggins, but he’s a solid game manager who relies heavily on his veterans. And as last September proved, these overpaid “clubhouse leaders” are not to be relied on. You would think that throwing the NL East into the toilet last season would teach them a lesson. It didn’t. Unless Willie Randolph and general manager Omar Minaya make some changes, this last season at Shea Stadium will go down as the worst in Mets history, which is really saying something. The main culprits in a bad group: Billy Wagner, Carlos Beltran, and Carlos Delgado.

MLB General

Baseball in the Big Crab Apple

This season has been a trying one thus far for Gotham’s baseball faithful. With the Mets and Yankees both floundering around the .500 mark the idea of a postseason sans New York has become a very real possibility. And the events of this past week, for the teams on both sides of town, have certainly left a sour taste in the mouths of those taking a bite out of Big Apple baseball.