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What Do You Do When Everyone Is Cheating?

In their book The Baseball Codes, authors Jason Turbow and Michael Duca share a story from the world of baseball that shows how widely-accepted cheating has become in America's favorite pastime. They write:

[One day in 1987], New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was watching his team play the California Angels on television, and was shocked when the camera zoomed in to show close-ups of what appeared to be a small bandage on the palm of the left hand of Angels pitcher Don Sutton. The Yankees television broadcasters brought it up whenever the pitcher appeared to grind the ball into his palm between pitches. It was, they said, probably why Sutton's pitches possessed such extraordinary movement that day. He was in all likelihood scuffing the baseball.

Outraged, Steinbrenner called the visitors' dugout at Anaheim Stadium and lit into [the Yankees' manager at the time], Lou Piniella. Was he aware, asked the owner, that Sutton was cheating? "Our television announcers are aware of it," yelled Steinbrenner. "I'm sure the Angels are aware of it. You're probably the only guy there who doesn't know it. Now, I want you to go out there and make the umpires check Don Sutton!"

This wasn't exactly breaking news about Sutton. He had been thrown out of a game in 1978 for scuffing. By 1987, he was among the most discussed ball-doctors in the game.

"George," Piniella responded, "do you know who taught him how to cheat?" Steinbrenner confessed that he did not. "The guy who taught Don Sutton everything he knows about cheating is the guy pitching for us tonight," Piniella said. "Do you want me to go out there and get Tommy John thrown out, too?"

So what do we do when it seems like everyone else is cheating? And not just in baseball. Do we we give up and give in, joining the ranks in doing whatever it takes to get ahead? Or do we trust God, take a stand for honesty, and do what's right even if it costs us?

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