Unpopular Opinion: Opening The PED Flood Gates – By Cameron Heffernan

We sit on the precipice of one of the biggest PED crackdowns in baseball history. With all the fuss of “Why?” we ask, “Why not?”

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When word broke that Biogenesis desecrated founder, Tony Bosch, was willing to break and give MLB his books of players that bought PEDs as well as provide testimony, the sports world turned upside down. Myself, on the other hand have become fed up with all the hoop-la derived from the “steroids/PED” conversation in baseball – as well as every sport these days – and decided, “who are we to decide what the so-called ‘purity’ of the game is anymore?”

This isn’t the first time MLB has been under scrutiny for PED/steroid use amongst it’s players. There were rumbles in the late ’80s with no real evidence produced, people believed some players like Nolan Ryan had to have been juicing – who at the time was still pitching like he was 20, when he was 40 – and then came the ’90s, when guys like Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, and king-roids himself, Jose Conseco started to turn more into cartoon versions of themselves as opposed to the semi-human form they once inhabited.

Then, in the 2000s, it became more apparent that maybe everyone was dong it, when people like Alex Rodriguez, Jason Giambi and Roger Clemens were the ones testing positive. Aside from Giambi, the other two were perceived as goodie-two-shoes, A-Rod was to be the next Babe Ruth, and Roger Clemens was well past his prime but still performing as if he was still with the Red Sox in the ’80s. Then there was the “Mitchell Report”, congressional hearings featuring Raphael Palmero, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Curt Schilling, all either committing perjury or coming damn close. It was sad to watch men who I grew up idolizing essentially be paraded around and made to admit that they were cheaters. They disgraced the game; took away from it’s purity.

There was a solid 20-25 years of rivers of bullshit gushing out of MLB and it’s players. The public felt wronged, the players looked like assholes and Bud Selig decided enough was enough and somewhere around 2010, started digging the skeletons out of the closet and faced the problem. Selig even seems to have it out for Ryan Braun, who tested positive in 2011 after his MVP season, then beat the suspension on appeal – Braun was one of the first names leaked by MLB when the Bosch story came out on ESPN’s Outside The Lines. MLB and Selig are looking to make Rodriguez’s, Braun’s and Melky Cabrera’s suspensions 100 games, making them second time offenders. If they had a third they would be banned from baseball, Pete Rose style, or Napoleon on his little island after he shit on France.

Is MLB going to actually eradicate all PED/steroid use and any drug use in it’s league?

No, as long as the idea of competition is what fuels sports, people will be looking for shady ways to succeed. Life just isn’t very fair. Look at old pictures of Barry Bonds when he came in the league and when he retired, it’s as if he ate whatever teammates that remained in the locker room after a bad loss. McGwire, Sosa, Clemens, they all looked like they were getting ready to suit-up for the Springfield corporate games.

Here’s where I say enough is enough, it’s the same thing we’ve faced with the “war on drugs” that was started By Nancy Regan and her husbands administration all those years ago. It’s a futile battle, that when you really look at the grand scheme of things, PEDs/steroids aren’t the first thing to attack the “sanctity” of the game as much as you think it is.

Ruth was a womanizer and an alcoholic, Mickey Mantle, DiMaggio, anyone who you thought was a “decent” guy back in the hay-day of baseball, probably wasn’t – supposedly Ty Cobb was a racist – hell most of the players back then were probably raging racists who would have no problem back handing a woman for talking back. I could just sit here and say, “well that’s how it was back then, and blah, blah, blah about times have changed.” Most the players in the ’70s and ’80s were on cocaine too – ask Dwight Gooden – and even before the coke, it was amphetamines and other uppers to keep the “boys of summer” alert and awake – you don’t just amass a 56-game hitting streak on unfiltered cigarettes and scotch, you got to mix a little pick-me-up in there.

So it’s pretty safe to say, that with all that, the sanctity of the game was tarnished a little while ago. Then there’s a case to still be made about how every advertisement that’s put up in ever renovated ball park is stripping away any of the precious “sanctity” left.

I’m not saying I have a problem with renovations. I’m just saying you can’t bitch about a guy wanting to add 20-plus homers to his stats. He’s just trying to put more asses in seats, get revenue and add all the Wi-Fi and giant titantrons your inattentive cell-phone-fixated priority-less man baby ass can ask for.

This gets me to the point I’ve been trying to make all along.

Let them eat cake – Let the stupid millionaires shoot ‘roids in their ass, let them rub themselves down with whatever power-balm some back-alley retro-shaman is selling them. If it adds 20 homers and 60 RBIs to your favorite teams stat-line at the end of the year, and even gives them a boost in wins and the ability to make the playoffs, and extend their season, why would you complain about that? Because you want what’s fair?  You want your team to win on even-keel effort, grit and grime and all that other hooky BS you hear preached buy 80-year-old men who really shouldn’t have any say, in not only awards dictation – BBWAA, I’m looking at you – but anything involving baseball anymore. They’re out of touch, no one wants to see sac-squeezes, we want to see the long ball, we want to see runs batted in, not runners left on base – Dodgers fans, you know what I’m talking about.

I understand that MLB has a legal obligation to these players health and safety. And they don’t want 1000 lawsuits for deformed testicles in 20 years because they allowed players to take steroids and PEDs all willy-nilly. And of course I realize that letting players do this could severely effect their bodies. But hell, they could poop out their intestines lifting weights too, without any PED/’Roid abuse.

All I’m asking is for leagues to let us see these athletes preform above their physical capabilities. I want to see home runs hit 600ft instead of 500ft. I want fastballs at 105 mph, instead of the measly average of 93 mph in MLB right now. I want men that are at such an unattainable physical level that the idea of becoming a professional athlete becomes more of a rarity – then maybe we can have less kids going to college for football and basketball to only drop out when they realize their dream is unattainable, because you’re a 12th man walk-on. And maybe out of that we get a few more doctors, educators and general productive members of society. Instead of a few more kids that will dwell in a minor league system, being severely underpaid with no real option of going anywhere else.

This is America, and last time I checked, we had the freedom to pursue happiness. And if tiny testicles and mutilated scrotums are what these baseball players want in order to hit a few extra homers. Then so be it.

 

 

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