So A Rod used anabolic steroids. Specifically, a positive test for methenolone and testosterone from 2003, before baseball started testing seriously, got leaked to Sports Illustrated last week, and yesterday he copped to it, claiming that he used from 2001 – 2003. But, like the rest of the steroid brouhaha, I just can’t bring myself to care. I’m a huge baseball fan; maybe I’m just biased on account of one B. Lamar Bonds. That’s not to say that I’m not glad that baseball is cleaning up its act, and that steroid use hopefully won’t be so rampant in the future – but only for the fact that anabolic steroids are dangerous, especially for young people who look up to professionals as role models. As for the baseball itself, I’ve never been able to convince myself that throwing back some roids could make you a good baseball player, let alone a great one. Did you ever see Bonds play in those years? I was lucky enough to watch a ton of his games, and from my perspective, I can’t imagine that drugs gave him that concentration, or those mechanics, or that eye. Bruce Jenkins from the Chron sums it up nicely:
I happened to feel that my eyes didn’t lie during the Steroid Era, that there is more to greatness than chemical enhancement, that historic feats should be measured in the context of their era.
I mean, Marvin Benard was implicated. Bobby Estella hit a few huge home runs, but “few” is the operative word. Look at the Mitchell Report – players from every position, minors, majors, pitchers, nobodies, somebodies, stars…. Bonds and A Rod are legitimately some of the best players to play baseball, roids or no roids. If no player had ever even seen a steroid, would Bonds and A Rod be going to the Hall of Fame? Hell yes. If every player used? Absolutely. Their images are tarnished (because fans don’t want to see that their stars lacked the willpower to resist), but their accomplishments stand.
I’ll be glad when no more baseballers are using, if only so that we don’t have to hear about it anymore.
Edit: Bonds has only been implicated, and denies having knowingly juiced. Lotta people did, lotta people didn’t. I have no idea whether Bonds did or didn’t, but as I mentioned above, he’s one of the all time greats either way.