Hank Aaron proves that even awesome people can be wrong sometimes

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I’m a big fan of Hank Aaron, and I’m sure his heart is in the right place with this, but he’s way wrong here:

 The former home run king favors releasing the full list of players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003 . . . “I wish for once and forever that we could come out and say we have 100 and some names, name them all and get it over and let baseball go on,” Aaron said. “I don’t know how they keep leaking out. I just wish that they would name them all and get it over with.”

As I wrote last week, the fact that these names still exist on a list is attributable to a serial violation of the players’ rights, and the act of releasing the names — be it via a leak or by some misguided attempt at attaining closure — is a far worse offense than their taking of PEDs in the first place.

My biggest concern in all of this is that as more and more people ignorantly speak out in favor of releasing the names, those who are breaking the law by leaking will feel more and more comfortable engaging in their illegalities and feel justified in leaking even more (“Hey, Hank Aaron says it’s OK . . .”).

I’m just some dumb lawyer/blogger and no one is going to listen to me, but someone — anyone — in a position of moral authority in baseball needs to educate folks about what “releasing the names” really means, and how the issues it invokes are much bigger than baseball.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Tony La Russa part ways

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The Arizona Diamondbacks just announced that they are parting ways with Tony La Russa at the end of the month.

La Russa served as the club’s “Chief Baseball Officer” from 2015-16. For the last year he was styled “Chief Baseball Analyst.” That’s a nice way to saying that he was pushed aside when the club fired his hand-picked general manager Dave Stewart and brought in Mike Hazen to run the club a year ago. La Russa was stripped of his powers, but was told he could hang around as an advisor. Most didn’t think he’d actually take the club up on that offer, but he did. By all accounts he was a pretty unobtrusive presence around the team this year, offering counsel and insight when asked but not making things awkward the way having the old boss around might do.

I suppose that can only last so long, however. The Dbacks had considerably more success without La Russa in charge in 2017 than they had with him in charge the previous couple of years. At some point you just part ways. That point is now.