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Published on January 9, 2008 By terpfan1980 In Baseball

My response to a recent article that raised the question: Who gives a crap about steroids in baseball?

Let me try to hit this one out of the park for you....

Your son/brother/nephew/uncle/father is an up-and-coming ball player.  He is good.  Very good.  Good enough to get interest from professional teams, and get signed to go play in the minor leagues.  He seems like someone that could be headed to the major leagues and the big money, fortune, and fame of same.  But unfortunately for him he can't seem to win the job over the muscle bound jock that holds the job at that level so he toils away in obscurity for 3 - 5 years, never making a decent income, never getting up to the majors, and hating life travelling around in buses and second class transportation and housing.

Now, you might say that he's getting paid to play a game and that even the amount that he gets paid for minor league play isn't that bad.  Maybe, maybe not.  But surely the period that he could make a reasonable income at playing the sport is a small one.  If it doesn't happen, then he'll need other skills and education to fall back on, which we all would hope he got while going to school.  Hopefully he has networked and made connections that will help get him a job when it's all over.

Later you find out that the reason the jock(s) up in the major leagues was(were) able to hold onto the job is that they took steroids.  They kept going several years after they should have been gone, taking the millions that were available to them while keeping the other players that might have taken their job down in the minors.  Ok for them, but sucks for your relative, right?


Lets go a little further, your relative knows that steroids are providing an edge to the guys ahead of them on the rosters, so they decided to get the same edge themselves.  It's their body, what's the harm?

Well, there's harm to cartilage that gets broken down quicker.  There's damage to essential organs.  There's highly agressive behavior that could lead to domestic violence at home or in relationships along the road.  And oh, yeah, it's illegal and against the rules of the sport.  But, never mind all of the harm or potential harm, the potential for a few million dollars in payout is worth it right?


How about your other relatives that see the stars of the game and want to emulate and be those stars.  They see the drug users and ignore the do as I say, not as I do message and decide that if their hero can handle drugs than so can they.  They ignore the health risks, they ignore the behavior risks, and do it anyway.  And if a little helps, surely a little more will help more, right?  Until muscles are literally falling off bone, bone is rubbing bone and doing permanent damage to the body, etc.  Who cares that they might die much earlier, or that their quality of life later is going to suck, it's their decision, right?


Does this help answer why we should 'give a crap' about steroids in sports?

on Jan 10, 2008

Darn it, I knew I'd forget to include the part about wanting to see competitive balance and sportsmanship remain in the sports and caring because cheating is, after all, cheating.

It is important to keep things on a level field for every player.  Letting any one player, or any group of players get an edge because they are cheating and doing performance enhancing drugs (steroids) is wrong.  You could say again that it's just those players or just a few players that are impacted, but there's a ripple effect that runs throughout all of sports and everyone's life that are impacted.

Records that stand for years are broken by cheaters.  Old heroes and stars of the sports are tossed on the scrap heap and forgotten despite being the real record holders, or record holders that didn't cheat to get the results they had obtained.

on Jan 10, 2008
Okay, I see the concern but still don't think this is an issue for congressional hearings.  Isn't this why they have a baseball commissioner?  You put the testing policy in place and punish the offenders.  That's it.  Why does it have to be such a big deal. 
on Jan 10, 2008

Isn't this why they have a baseball commissioner? You put the testing policy in place and punish the offenders. That's it. Why does it have to be such a big deal.

I don't think you are necessarily wrong, except....

The baseball commissioner is the owner's lap dog.  He is a former owner, and when it comes to issues related to the game his interests are so conflicted as to leave him the ineffectual twit that he has appeared to be for far too long.

As an example, when people are hitting homeruns, or pitching better than they should be, thanks to performance enhancing drugs (steroids and such),  the so-called fans attend the games more, cheer more, spend more money buying jerseys and other hero-worship trinkets which helps make more money for the owners, the players, and everyone involved.

If the commissioner were stronger and more effective, he'd have clamped down on performance enhancing drugs a long time ago and not turned a blind eye to the problem while it was making money for the owners and the game in general (and setting a horrible example for our children at the same time).  To give a little credit to the commissioner here, he did try to put in place a stronger drug program and the union fought him on it tooth and nail claiming it invades the privacy of players unnecessarily, and is unnecessary.  It wasn't until after Congress got involved that the players started to cooperate, and it wasn't until they got involved again that the policy was toughened up even more (but still isn't that tough as it doesn't test for things like HGH, the tests aren't as random as they should be, etc.)

Congress is getting involved because they can.  I think you are thinking about the same as many others would there.  Why should they be involved?  In reality they shouldn't be, or shouldn't have to be.  But, they are getting involved because if there isn't the threat of more laws, and tougher laws, the players will keep ignoring the problem, the teams and owners will keep ignoring it, and/or neither side will agree to clean up the mess they have made.

Congress is getting involved with Roger Clemens now because he claims to not have done what there seems to be evidence of his doing.  They'll try to score political points and thump their own chests to say they are helping to fix the problem, but in reality all they have done is waste some time and perhaps even have prevented criminal prosecution of the cheating players because they grant some of these people immunity to come talk to them.

But to confirm again, it is a big deal because of the dangers of steroid abuse and potential dangers of abusing things like HGH (which we still don't know much about at this point).  Letting these players keep setting bad examples just continues to send a message that cheaters won't get caught and that cheating pays.  A horrible message to send to future generations.

on Jan 10, 2008
I am going with Locamama on this one.  They have the rules, some were broken, deal with it.  It is NOT a congressional issue.  Period.
on Jan 10, 2008
I'm with Loca and Dr. Guy (as infrequently as that happens between me and Guy . . .), but more to the point -

Why are we paying people god-awful amounts of money for something as stupid as hitting a freaking ball into a field, while other people run around like little insects trying to catch it and throw it back?

As far as I'm concerned, professional sports is broken because we pay these useless people to play a pointless game for far too much money.
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