In light of Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda being tossed from the Red Sox game last night for pine tar, and after a text request from a friend, I decided to post a Cheater List. Now. On the subject of pine tar – I get that the baseball pros say pine tar for grip is fine, it’s an accepted part of the game and if something could “barely” be considered cheating, this is it. But. It’s still technically illegal. So all I need is Pineda to be less obvious. The rules still apply to you Pineda and the other team can’t ignore it if it’s smeared on your neck. UPDATE: MLB needs Pineda to be less obvious too – he was just handed a ten game suspension.
That being said, Pineda is the inspiration for the Cheater List, but certainly won’t be making my Cheater List. So here are some infamous cheaters and why they made my list. And by the way… I don’t want anyone to get confused – I don’t need “proof” of these cheaters. I own this place.
1. Alex Rodriguez
Even though I’ll be addressing steroid use in baseball later in this post, I felt A-Fraud deserves his own entry. His cheating has gone past steroids and crossed into slapping the ball out of a glove, yelling “got it!” while running the bases… and even accusations of tipping pitches to the opposite team during lopsided games. Cheating for the other team? Worst cheater ever. And if this list was meant to be ranked, he would have been towards the top anyways.
2. Brad Pitt
How could you do that to Jen? America’s sweetheart? The woman that gave us the “Rachel”? This still upsets me. #teamjen
3. Chad Knaus
This guy was reader submitted (I have a reader! Happy dance). My dear friend Greg, who texted me this list idea, insisted on Chad Knaus making the Cheater List. When he mentioned it, the following inner dialogue took place:
“I have no idea who this guy is. Oh, look at that… Google says he’s the crew chief for Jimmie Johnson. Huh. That place that makes delicious subs has a crew chief? No, wait… That’s Jimmy John’s. Jimmie Johnson is a NASCAR driver. Oh that makes much more sense. I love Jimmy John’s. Turkey Tom please!”
Anyways, according to Wikipedia, this Chad Knaus guy just does not adhere to the rules and is constantly being issued penalties by NASCAR. Not cool dude.
4. Rosie Ruiz
In 1980 Rosie Ruiz “won” the Boston Marathon with the fastest female Boston Marathon time in history. Turns out, she hopped onto the course with a mile left and thus became this list’s Cheater Who Isn’t Even Good at Cheating. An open letter to Rosie: You thought setting records would be the best idea? No one would question that? And when asked why you didn’t seem tired, you said “I got up with a lot of energy this morning.” Uhhh, sure. And then, 20 years later, you still maintain you ran the entire marathon. Even after later being exposed that your qualifying time from the previous year’s New York Marathon was the result of a subway ride. PS: You later went on to be arrested for embezzlement? Just stop. Cheating isn’t your thing.
5. Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, and the rest of Steroid Era Squad
Listen, steroid use exists in every sport. But the United States Congress has only felt the need to get involved with baseball. Steroid use was so rampant and unchecked it took an act of CONGRESS to clean up the game. Of course, the end result is that Mark McGwire should have been on the short list for an Oscar nomination for his Congressional
acting testimony and MLB was forced to institute a stricter drug policy.
6. Irving Blitzer
Irv’s 1972 Gold medals were revoked after it was discovered he put weights in the front of his bobsled to make it run faster. He should have taken his own advice: “A gold medal is a wonderful thing, but if you’re not enough without one, you’ll never be enough with one.”
7. Tiger Woods
At least he only cheated on his wife and doesn’t cheat at golf? But let’s get real here – cheating on his wife has cheated the sport of golf from seeing the greatest golfer ever break records and be awesome. His nerves of steel were shattered by a golf club. Wielded by his wife. There’s a Shakespeare tragedy waiting to be penned somewhere in there.
8. Ryan Braun
Also wins his own separate entry, due to his excessive and ridiculous defense of his own steroid use. While defending himself (and complaining that he even had to defend himself) he looked straight into a camera without batting an eye and questioned the character of the man that took his drug test, suggesting it was somehow tampered with. That man had a good name and a family and Ryan Braun was too busy covering his own cheating to consider anyone but himself.
9. Tonya Harding
10. Tim Donaghy
Being a ref is hard. They have millions of fans’ hopes, dreams and dollars riding on their calls, all while not being paid nearly enough for the fun side benefit of having their lawns torched and receiving death threats. Donaghy intentionally blew calls for two years in order to manipulate point spreads during NBA games. And thus giving credence to every fan that screams “IT WAS THE REFS!”
11. Lance Armstrong
Lance and Ryan Braun must be related. Lance denied doping allegations for years which is understandable – when he did admit to doping he reportedly lost $75 million in one day from loss of sponsorship. That kind of money would cause many people to lie. But the lies and his own steroid use aren’t my real problem with him. The viciousness with which he assaulted fellow riders, teammates, people he worked with – he attacked them all with words and lawsuits – all to support his own deceit. He cost other people their jobs and other riders their careers without showing an ounce of remorse. That’s a severe lack of character.
I have to tell you, Lance almost didn’t make my list. He ended up on it not because he cheated, but who he took down with him while he cheated. I liked Lance. The man inspired millions while raising billions for cancer research. I hate that he cheated and it’s such a shame the biggest loser was LiveStrong.
In addition to Lance squeaking on to my list…there are some that deserve to be on this list… but it still hurts to talk about Marion Jones and Bill Belichick…And since, as mentioned, I own this place… I’ll do what I want.
Who is on your Cheater List? Do you believe in “barely” cheating and that it’s a sliding scale? Or do you prefer living in a black and white world?