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Sorting Through the Steroids Mess

Well it’s nice to be back after a short hiatus, and boy did things ever blow up in the sports world during it. I’d like to thank Alex Rodriguez, Bud Selig, and a whole cast of others for giving me quite the range of items to discuss my thoughts on, and all revolve around one item: steroids.

Alex Rodriguez

First off, I would like to actually say that we should take a moment to reflect and realize that Alex is the very first active ball player to come out and admit to steroid usage. Yes, his stories have not all added up so nicely, but he is the first to say “I did steroids.” A lot of people will point to Jason Giambi and Andy Pettitte, however, both of them never used the word steroids and instead just tip-toed around the issue. 

Now that I’ve established that, boy is A-Rod stupid for knowing that a baseline test was coming and taking a drug with a known cycle period and not cycling off of it. But, I suppose at the time it seemed like there would be no consequences at all since the test was supposed to be a baseline to determine if there would need be testing or not.

What he did was wrong. However, that we villify him is the same reason we villified Barry Bonds. He doesn’t have the most likeable of personalities (although he’s nowhere near Bonds in terms of being unlikeable, either) and he’s that top figure in the game. Due to the ingrained David vs. Goliath story in our society we take to A-Rod as our Goliath because of his personality and contract and status and hope to see him fail.

Do I believe that A-Rod wanted to take steroids for whatever reason? Yes. Do I believe that he didn’t know the effects of primobolan before taking it? Yes. And here’s the funny reason for that. Primobolan does nothing for building bulk. Although that article does mention it having the effects Ripped Fuel was supposed to have and A-Rod admitted that he took Ripped Fuel before ephedra was banned, I truly think that he was just looking for a supplement to help and turned to his cousin for advice.

That brings me to Angel Presinal. Why is this a big deal? ESPN reported that A-Rod trained with him back in 2007. This is not news, folks. We’ve since found out that pretty much every Dominican baseball player is associated with him.

Bud Selig

This brings me to the second item that must be discussed: Bud Selig, international man of stupidity, of All-Star-tied-game fame. He’s the man who signed a contract with Fox that allows for Buck and McCarver to announce. He’s the former car salesman and owner who ran the Brewers into the ground. The list continues on, but more important is that I discuss his variety of reactions after the A-Rod news broke.

First Bud talked about potentially suspending A-Rod. What?!? This makes no sense whatsoever. There is no contractual precedent for banning someone for failing a baseline test that was supposed to remain anonymous.

Then, Bud talked about wiping A-Rod’s numbers from the books. What happened to all of those other steroid users? Their numbers can still count? And really, baseball does not ever have a baseline of numbers that are clean. The game first started with pitchers throwing underhand and it was seen as bad sport to throw overhand. Then there were items like spitballs, scuffing the ball, applying pine tar to bats, to the ball and so on.

Plus, you had a separate Negro Leagues for a while, meaning not all of the top talent was in the league. The mound height has changed numerous times. Bat and ball technology have both changed. The playing fields have gotten smaller. Greenies were used in the 70s and 80s.

Once you start with one player, the public will call for everyone’s numbers to be reviewed. The best thing Bud Selig could’ve done was to point out the strong testing MLB currently has in place and to say that they will continue to aim for the most stringent testing. He could’ve pointed out how the NFL does not receive nearly as much flak nor scrutiny for the physiques of its players, despite defensive linemen growing and getting faster at the same time, for example. But, by suggesting such silly and petty ideas, he has yet again given himself a stage to be criticized on.

Where do we go from here?

Well there’s no going back at this rate and there’s no stopping at the current point. Any smart player is probably on HGH, as it can’t be detected by urine tests currently. We’ve also got a future of something much more intense, and much harder to detect than even HGH: gene doping. Just imagine being able to take the best of Ted Williams’ DNA and splicing it into your own to improve yourself as a baseball player. That may very well be possible within the next 10 years. That’s why I don’t worry about players using these substances. I don’t idolize them. I enjoy watching their performances.

Yes, probably half the league is on some sort of substance. Hitters and pitchers, to help recover from injury or build muscle or to regain lost velocity. These are just players doing whatever they can to be the very best. In some ways, that’s kind of respectable. It just happens to be that it’s in their nature to do it, that’s how many of them rose to their current level of fame. I say sit back and enjoy the game and the sport and know that at least we’ve still got humans playing them and not robots. When that comes, we won’t even get to enjoy the personalities.

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