Roid Ambivalence

A RodSo 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.

One of the greatest batters of all time

One of the greatest batters of all time



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.


One thought on “Roid Ambivalence

  1. johnnypavoratti says:

    I tend to agree with you on 90% of this, I’m not going to take down my Bonds/A-Rod posters, but I do have a problem with the fact that most of these guys will come out of this thing unscathed and, furthermore, that this sets an extremely bad example for just about everyone, from fans to younger players to former players. If you get caught doping in the MLB you will get away with with little more then a slap on the wrist and a tarnished image. Would that stop me from using? The fact is they broke the rules, many would say they cheated. If you cheat in the Olympics your medal gets taken away. If you cheat at the collegiate level you get suspended. I think the MLB needs to hold these guys to a higher standard, maybe the highest, & come up with some meaningful concequences for steroid use. What if these guys were using corked bats, or had umpires in their pockets? Using steriods does not make you a great athlete but it does give you an unfair advantage. I too will be happy when its all over but considering that the whole concept of competition/sport lies on the assumption that everyone is playing by the same rules I think that this is a serious issue which deserves some serious consideration.

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