Ripken saddened by 'black cloud' over baseball

Ripken saddened by 'black cloud' over baseball
August 22, 2013, 8:15 pm
Share This Post

Scott Krinch

The 'steroid era' was at its highest during Cal Ripken Jr.'s storied 21-year career with the Baltimore Orioles.

Soon after the first-ballot Hall of Famer broke Lou Gehrig's record (2,130) for consecutive games played, alleged steroid users Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa chased Roger Maris' home run record. 

In 2005 many top players from the 90's, including Jose Canseco, Rafael Palmeiro, McGwire, and Sosa were summoned to testify in front of Congress on steroid use after the MLB caught light of the BALCO scandal surrounding Barry Bonds. 

[WATCH: Does Ripken have the itch to manage?

Fast-forward eight years and MLB is in the midst of another scandal of widespread PED use. 

2011 MVP Ryan Braun is serving a 65-game suspension, Alex Rodriguez is appealing a 211-game ban and others throughout the league have faced discipline. 

[MORE: Ripken on the impact of his streak

All these instances have put a 'black cloud' over baseball that doesn't sit well with Ripken.

"The black cloud has been floating over baseball for a long time," Ripken told CSN's Chuck Garfien on Thursday's edition of SportsTalk Live. "That can't help but make you feel sad because you love the game and want the game to be thought of in the right way." 

[WATCH: Ripken talks Comiskey memories

With MLB instituting harsher penalties, Ripken Jr. believes it's a step in the right direction. 

"The other side of that is this is really building and there's a momentum within the players that are saying 'hey we want to get rid of this, we want to make sure the game is perceived as clean and we want harsher penalties' so as bad as it feels when you hear the stories, part of you feels that this may be a good thing, Ripken said."

Throughout the years, the number of players with alleged steroid use has grown. 

[MORE: Big Hurt -- A-Rod thinks he's bigger than baseball

Chicago White Sox legend Frank Thomas has vehemently expressed his displeasure with PED users and stated over and over again he played the game the right way.

And in Ripken's mind, the 'Big Hurt' should be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

"Hall of Famer for sure," Ripken said without hesitation. "I mean he was the most feared hitter for a long period of time in the league, I know we didn't want to face him, I know Mike Mussina didn't want to face him, he hit monster numbers off of him. Frank was amazing, big strong guy, power to all fields, hit for a high average and knew the strike zone as well as anybody in the league."