I suppose everyone, everywhere has a take on what does, and what does not constitute cheating in the greatest game the world has ever known. I mean, what is cheating, really? Webster defines it as gaining an unfair advantage over an opponent in a nefarious manner, – a bit heavy-handed I say, but in the sports world, and baseball, specifically, it’s an unwritten pass, as long as it is done cleanly and on the down low. So long as the Ump is none the wiser, have at it, son. How cool is that?
So, you might ask? Where do you draw the line? What about the juicers and the steroid era? Was that cool? In a word, no. Was it cheating? Most certainly.
Here’s the difference. Let me break it down for you.
It’s not cheating if you can do it by yourself.
Use a nail file to scuff a ball…, entirely cool. A dollop of pine tar, or a dab of Vaseline on the ball, I don’t see why not. Steal a sign, or two, who wouldn’t? … As long as you can get away with it, hence the cleanly and on the down low.
You see, to me, the cheating that is really cheating, really only begins when it reaches conspiratorial levels. I’m talking multiple parties involved. Like say, when you have to get a team of chemists and laboratories involved to give you that edge, that’s cheating, that’s a no-brainer, but even if its just another dude in the stands signaling the catcher’s signs from center field with a frickin’ laser beam, or other such technological nonsense, that’s cheating. Straight up and simple.
Multiple participants participating in the act, that’s what I’m talking about. More than one. That’s what constitutes cheating. At least, to me.