Ever since Jose Canseco opened up Pandora’s Box on performance enhancers in his self-serving book all those years ago, steroids have become synonymous with MLB.
Players like Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Alex Rodriguez, Rafael Palmerio and Barry Bonds, just to name a few, have never been the same after being struck down by the angry syringe of judgment. What am I thinking though? Palmerio didn’t do steroids, period. And to think Palmerio’s lie to congress all the years ago caused the government to be shut down in our present time?
That’s not true of course, but wouldn’t that be an awesome plot for a movie?
Personally I’m not much a fan of steroids or any other performance-enhancing drug. It reminds me of an argument I had with a friend in 2007 over the New England Patriots‘ “Spygate” scandal. I kept making well-thought out point after well-thought out point in defense of the Patriots, but my friend never wavered as he responded every time with “they cheated”.
After awhile, I got sick of arguing with him, but I realized he was right later on. Cheating is cheating, and it can’t be justified no matter what. Baseball players who use steroids are cheaters and hurt the integrity of the game. Should the players continue to get flak for it? Yes and no, because the real blame should be placed on commissioner Bud Selig and his crew of cronies.
People were sour on baseball after the idiotic strike in 1994. Even at the age of 12, I said to my father, “they’re not far away on most of the stuff why not just come to the middle on most things?” “Because they’re greedy morons” , my father said. A settlement was reached eventually and they came to the middle on most things, just like a 12-year old said they should do months ago.
Obviously that strike was bad for business, and the league might not have bounced back had it not been for the home run chase of ’98 with McGwire and Sosa. Of course we all know that steroid use was taking place before the strike in ’94, but can the players really be blamed when Selig always looked the other way and didn’t do squat about it?
Perhaps we should cut the players a little slack. If Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle had access to steroids, you think they wouldn’t have done them? I don’t. Don’t blame the players, blame the people and the system that allowed the “steroid era” to happen.