“Rock” Raines and The Good Doctor

Baseball fans are generally a conservative lot, deeply resistant to the idea that the National Game has long been tainted by the presence of drug pushers and dope fiends. Ken Burns’ wildly successful and stupefyingly long PBS series on the game is a testament to the perseverance of the “good ol’ days” nostalgia that Major League Baseball has so carefully maintained. Baseball pundits and journalists struggle to keep the game’s mythologies alive and professional pontificators like George Will and Bob Costas nurture an image of the game as both innocent and heroic. It is the sport of nineteenth-century farm-boys and twentieth-century immigrants, Abner Doubleday and Jackie Robinson. There is no room in this anachronistic narrative for cocaine, anabolic steroids, or LSD. Maybe drinking has a place, but it better come with a good story.

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