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Steroids and Baseball: Does It Matter

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Do steroids matter in baseball? Yes and for the following reasons. Cheating has been part of sports from the days of the Olympics so what Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi have admitted is not new. It was wrong in ancient Greece and it is wrong is now.

Call this another example of the “moral value debate.” It is not about sex but about cheating. Steriods are illegal when it comes to using outside the approved labeling and when not supervised by proper medical personnel. It is one thing to enhance your athletic performance by natural means like weight training and hard work outs. It is another thing to put your health at risk to do it with drugs. Not every baseball player uses steriods but many do. Those who don’t are put at a disadvantage by those who do.

For the average baseball player, it is not hard to see why. You can earn millions of dollars to play a kid’s game and become immortalized heroes in the process. So the temptation to cheat is great when you consider the money involved for both owners and players. The key to this debate is that players are giving themselves advantages over those who don’t cheat and that is one of the big issues.

Another reason is that employers do have a right to insist that their employees perform drug free. While many libertarians will insist that no company or organizations have a right to interfere with a employee private life, companies do have a right to ensure that their employees perform at the highest levels. Using drugs do have a negative effect upon many workers efficacy and it does matter to a private corporation if a employer peronal habits effect his or her job. Baseball is no difference. If a juiced up player affect the outcome of a game, it also hurts the intregrity of the game. So baseball has an interest in ensuring that faith of the game is not shaken.

Consider what will happen now when Bonds breaks Ruth record? Bonds will not be honored but his accomplishment will be tainted by many fans. What should have been a celebration will be a remainder of a scandal rotting the core of baseball. With million dollars in salaries handed out to players, baseball does have some right to insist that players show up drug free whether it is no cocaine or no steriods. Most players have no problem with a strict drug policy since such a policy levels the playing field for all players. Call it fairness.

So the bottom line is that sports is suppose to encourage positive characters of hard work and team cooperation. Sports is the one area where meritocracy takes precedences. A player is rewarded based on his accomplishments and reducing the use of steriods means that what athletic skills displayed is based on natural efforts. Cheating has no place in sports as it has no place in other aspect of life. Allow cheating in Sports merely reinforces cheating in other aspect of life. Sports figures are role model and not just to kids. When fans see cheating rewarded in the sport world, they only assume that it should be rewarded in life outside of sports.

Sports athlete have always been held to a higher standard due to their public standing. We know more about Barry Bonds than what we know about our local congressman. So we hold our stars to higher standards. Call it the price of fame. Basketball player Charles Barkley once complained that he should not be a role model for any kids but there are some profession that by their public nature ensure a different standard. A pastor once told me that everyone in his church knew his income and his whereabouts but that is the price of the life that he chose. An athlete is no different. That is why steriods in baseball matters.

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About Tom Donelson

  • I don’t know why these atheletes do this, er, wait, I do … it’s the old “g” word: greed. They should put the same stain as gambling on those who roid up and asterisk the heck out of any record. Maybe there should be two Hall of Fames — the one for the guys with roids and the guys without. No, I’m not really serious on that last statement, but it’s clearly tainting the game. As a paying fan, I’m pissed that baseball hasn’t done a better job at policing this. And to think Bud Sehlig got voted in for another few years as commish … please, this guy blows for baseball.

    This is going to be bring the whole Pete Rose should be in the Hall debate again 🙁

  • bhw

    Maybe there should be two Hall of Fames — the one for the guys with roids and the guys without.

    I think you’re right, TDavid. In reality, we’ll probably all think in terms of the pre-steroid/post-steroid era when it comes to records.

    Will it matter if the steroid enhanced Bonds breaks Ruth’s and Aaron’s records? It will, but now I can’t see people getting all crazy like they did for Aaron when he broke Ruth’s record. There will always be the, “yeah, but….” I mean, it will always be true that Aaron did it with no steroids and Ruth did what he did as a functioning alcoholic.

    How can Bonds really compete with those guys when he needed steroids to help get him there?

  • Good question, bhw.

    Will it matter if the steroid enhanced Bonds breaks Ruth’s and Aaron’s records?

    This is a question which in a sad sort of way opens up for some additional drama for the 2005 season.

    In light of these current disturbing events, I think Bonds might be booed heavily when/if he breaks Ruth’s mark (especially if for some reason he’s in a caustic fan park when he breaks it like say Oakland).

    As for Aaron? I’m not so sure he makes it that long. This scandal may wash him up before then. There might be serious fan pressure to suspend some players over this. If Bonds gets any kind of serious suspension handed down (say more than 40 or 50 games) he might give the game — and his chances at breaking his godfather’s record — the middle finger.

    I don’t really think he wants to break Aaron’s record anyway, I think just Ruth he has his eye on. I think he’d be happy being #2 on the list. But the way he’s playing all juiced up, he may play until he’s 50, so who knows what insane records he might set.

    Now, I’m itching to blog about this … think I just might do that really quick.

  • I don’t understand is it just for the money or is their ego that important that they would ruin a childs life. Just like they did to my barry bonds was the greatest to me but now bonds and every one else who does steriods has ruined baseball for ever. Sincerly a girl whose life is ruined

    p.s. Thanks a lot Bonds

  • Josh

    I agree that the use of steriods is cheating. Baseball is America’s sport and back in the day with Hank Arron and Shoeless Joe Jackson the use of steriods was not used in baseball. Steriods should not be used in baseball because it would not be fair to those guys who worked hard back in the day for their home runs and great acheivments so therefore baseball players today should not be able to break those records with the useful help of steriods.

  • branden

    there fucking idots in taking steriods

  • Yeah Baseball has been having a hard enough time making a comeback from the strike started Herheiser years ago. Now this. Very sad indeed.

  • Amber

    I do belive its not right i mean they dont need steriods to look good they need to work out and they will look hot it ruins your body not improve it!!

  • they are so stupid to yake steriods who the hell would do that so dont do idiots it soesnt help u it screws ur body up

  • gator

    I think Barry Mark and Sammy or anyone that has taken taken steriods should be remember as cheats. If they do make to the hall then the plaque under their names should state what they did to break the records. And if they do make the hall then Pete Rose should to

  • although i am only 15 i dtill agree with most people barry bonds is a cheat steroids is the worst thing in the history of baseball to it defeates the hole purpose of the rule no bosy enhancing drugs it leval out the playing field i play ball myself and the reason i play isnt so everyone canb say look at that home run or what a nice play whenever they m,ay happen i play because i love the game it is a true american sport and it angers me that people r trying to ruin it by taking illigal drugs

  • Mark

    For some reason you all seem to believe that McGuire and Bonds invented steroids and were the first use them in baseball. Documented use of steroids goes back to the 1952 Olympics – lots of beefed up Russians. Lyle Alzado, the Oakland Raiders football star whose life was tragically cut short by steroid use, stated that he started taking them in 1969 (he didn’t invent them either). You can believe – if you like – that the baseball sluggers of the 60’s and 70’s were as pure as driven snow but common sense says otherwise. Mark McGuire was not the first to use steroids and should not be chastised because the news media decided suddenly not turn a blind eye to what the players were doing. Steroids are bad but there were a lot of ball players using them when Bonds and McGuire were hitting Nerf balls in their Underoos.

  • 6and7

    Personally, I think that this dealing with performance enhancing substances in baseball is a complete and total waste of time and money (you’d think our justice system would have something better to do). These players get paid millions of dollars (baseball needs a cap)!! They better be doing something to make it worth it. If they’re not willing to risk their lives and earn the money they are paid, then they shouldn’t get more than a hundred thousand a year, tops. I’m almost as sick of baseball talk as I am of Hollywood celebrity talk (more people who are paid millions who don’t deserve it).

  • gangsta

    first of all, you guys can’t spell worth shit. yeah baseball has been tainted by steriods, but if as many guys are taking steriods as reported it really doesnt matter.

  • tierra

    your a fucking dumbass if you take them

  • Jose

    I agree with everyone but TDavid is right it is all about greed.

  • Michael

    I hope that none of your wives or girlfriends get botox or breast implants cause there is no difference. Bottom line I like them slugging the ball. and also see if you can hit a ball at 90 mph. I bet you steroid wouldn’t help

  • Michael Gill

    Baseball is not kid’s game. I’m 18 and trying to get into the draft next year and there is so many things that i have not yet learned about the game. I will never touch steroids in my life because I believe that steroids is rediculous and stupid; for the fact that it IS cheating. Yet everyone do stupid things under alot of pressure. I’m not saying thats an excuse for doing it, but i can see from their standpoint. Still i believe who ever resorts to steroids is weak minded, and to me, is says that i can cheat the sport of baseball.