June 7, 2013

Steroids Just Won't Go Away

By - Keith Smith

If you have ever lived in the South, you've probably had "the crud." It's an upper-respiratory ailment that can linger for weeks, or sometimes even months. Brought on by a combination of horrendous pollen and incredible humidity, you seemingly can't shake the nagging cough and the constant phlegm.

Steroids, it seems, have become baseball's crud. It just won't go away.

Photo from: examiner.com
News broke this week that Major League Baseball has obtained what they were hoping for; cooperation from Anthony Bosch, the founder of the Miami clinic linked to several major leaguers and their alleged steroid use.

It is rumored that MLB will suspend Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, and possibly more than 20 other players for 100 games. That's roughly two-thirds of a season. For some on the list (like A-Rod), that could potentially be a career death sentence.

With a suspension of that length, the New York Yankees would have an opening to go to court and try to break their existing contract with Rodriguez, which calls for him to be paid millions upon millions over the next five years. I don't know about all the other teams involved, but if you are Yankees management, you almost have to be rooting for the suspension, don't you?

And what of Ryan Braun? He was previously suspended, then went to court, used a technicality and had it overturned. He has been almost as vehement in his denials of PED usage as Rafael Palmeiro was. We all know how that turned out.

With the exception of baseball purists like myself, who think that every baseball stat after about 1995 needs to have an asterisk by it, I'm not sure anyone else really cares. I talk to people on a daily basis about sports, and I've seen a big swing the past few years from those saying that steroid users should be thrown out of the game, to a "hey, if everyone is doing it, no one is getting an advantage, so who cares" type of mentality.

If reports that are circulating are accurate, that whole "everyone is doing it" may prove to be correct. Rumors are flying that the 20 or so players being discussed are just the beginning. The tip of the hypodermic, as it were.

There could be in upwards of triple digits in Bosch's little black book of clients. If that is the case, what is the future of Major League Baseball? Where (and when) does it all end? How will they ever get rid of this "crud?"

Want to hear the ironic part? Guess what doctors prescribe when you have the crud for an extended period? A steroid pack.

It never ends.

10 comments:

  1. Why cut off the asterisks at 1995?

    Surely you're not naive enough to think that basballists weren't using substances which these days might be frowned upon or deemed cheating before that date??!

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    1. Jez,

      Not naive, it's based on fact. George Foster (whom I can assure you wasn't on steroids) hit 50+ homers in 1977. It didn't happen again until 1990, when Cecil Fielder did it. The next time it happened was 1995, and since then, there have only been six years where it DIDN'T happen. The other reason it isn't naive is that I played college ball from 1981 to 1984, both with and against former major leaguers (including Palmiero). Juicing wasn't going on then. There might have been the occasional guy who tried it, but it was never the superstar, and the usage want perfected like it is now. Users back then got HUGE, and muscle bound to the point of not having the flexibility to be effective.

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    2. When I meant substances, I was referring (essentially) to everything which is now banned or illegal, amphetamines for example. Would you not think them equally record skewing?

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    3. No, I don't. Amphetamines are a restorative drug, only bringing you back to your level of play from an exhaustive state. Steroids are an enhancement stuff, making you better than you ever were. Not the same.

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    4. But the natural state, the "fair" state should be to be exhausted and therefore to perform at a lower level and maybe even miss games, shouldn't it?

      You might think I'm being flippant or disingenuous, but I'm not - from what I know, the main use of steroids in MLB is for bodily repair and maintenance - so they can play every day and so they recover from injuries better.

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  2. Wayne Dale-JohnsonJune 7, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    The whole issue needs to be dumped. Worrying about what guys are doing to improve their edge shouldn't matter. You anti drug people act like nobody else "cheats." I don't consider it cheating, I consider it taking advantage of what's available to you. Unfortunately there are too many people that disagree with that stance, so baseball is forced to deal with and punish players for doing what has been done with impunity, for over 50 years. Willie Mays took amphetamines, kick him out of the Hall, strike all his records from the books, he's a cheater. It's stupid, and short sighted. I, personally, miss all the home runs that the, so called "steroid" era produced, but unfortunately, the holier than thou's queered that by whining endlessly about drug cheats. Thanks a lot.

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    1. There is a HUGE distance between a restorative drug (amphetamines) and an enhancement drug (steroids). One simply revives you to a normal state to fight the effects of fatigue. Another turns you into something you are not - bigger, stronger, faster. Any comparison of the two is asinine.

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  3. Only reason baseball is still even relevant is BECAUSE of steroids.

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    1. Yes, but that isn't the fault of baseball, it's the fault of society. Baseball has always been the thinking man's sport, but when you consider that the average IQ has dropped almost 15 points in 100 years, it isn't hard to see why it takes a gimmick to get people of today interested.

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  4. Lol @ makin out like amphetamines and steroids are in the same boat. Why don't you try to convince us that apples and oranges are basically the same thing too while you're at it.

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