On performance enhancing drugs in sports…

baseballI guess you all have heard that David Ortiz’s name has turned up on the infamous “secret list”…the same one that has brought down Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, Manny Ramirez, etc.  As a Red Sox fan, of course I was disappointed…but by no means surprised.  It doesn’t take a drug test or an opportunist reporter to recognize the difference in production and the sudden breakdown health wise with Big Papi to know what’s going on.  In this day and age, when someone begins to do “super-human” things in the world of sports, my skeptical antennae get REAL sensitive.  I guess that’s a shame but its part of growing up…innocence lost…all that stuff.

Since I find myself on the road a lot with my job, I tend to listen to a lot of sports talk radio…that is until a steroid story breaks…then it’s time to hit XM Channel 45 (The Spectrum) for some good music and a break from the constant noise of this particular issue.  Here’s my take on it:

  • Baseball has a steroids era…deal with it.  You can talk about it “tainting the game/records/stats/etc.”  However there has always been cheating in baseball.
  • Every team was “enhanced” in some way by this particular drug induced epoch, so I don’t necessarily feel anyone’s titles are tarnished.  Heck, it was a pretty great feat to beat the other ‘roided up teams on their schedules.
  • Please spare me the I-WAS-CLEAN-I-NEVER-TOOK-IT-DON’T-BLAME-ME garbage.  If you were in a major league locker room during this time period, you either took it or you knew people were taking it.  If supposed “clean” players knew it was going on, they should have shouted about the integrity of the game then.   All this whining after the fact rings really hollow.
  • I’m sick of journalists making their careers one name at a time with a list that was supposed to be confidential.  Their “journalistic” integrity looks a lot more like opportunism to me.  (funny how the writer of the story about Ortiz is with the New York Times)
  • Now that some of the names have leaked…ALL the names should be made public.  A few guys should not take the fall for the whole league.
  • As to the Hall of Fame, I don’t really care…to repeat myself, we have a “steroid era” in baseball, and we all know it.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not trying to justify any of this.  I think it’s irresponsible, destructive, and a very poor reflection on the game.  It reinforces my belief that I don’t mind someone admiring an athelete’s athletic exploits on  the field…but there are much better (and safer) role models elsewhere.  The athletes have received WAY TOO MUCH money and WAY TOO MUCH exposure for WAY TOO LONG.

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One thought on “On performance enhancing drugs in sports…

  1. My earliest memory of what I believe to be the beginning of the steroid era was an unknown third baseman for the Mets named Howard Johnson. He was a no-name hitting 5-7 homeruns every year. During his breakout year, he hit about 20 homeruns. I can remember the announcers talking about his superb workout program that changed him into a power hitter. He hit close to 30 homeruns consistently for several years. (And that’s when the homerun champ was hitting 35 homers per year.) Lenny Dykstra also started coming on around that time. Makes me wonder if Steve Garvey’s python forearms were the result of “the juice.”

    I’m with you Mike. It’s an era. The astericks are unnecessary. I also say put Pete Rose in the Hall. You can keep him banned from the game if you want, but he was the total package of a hitter – from watching a pitch all the way into the mitt, or hustling down the line on a ground out or a even a walk. And will anyone ever have over 4000 hits??

    As for Big Papi – the game was never over when he stepped in the batter’s box – steriods or not. I still like the excitement he brings to the late innings of a ballgame.

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