America’s past time, a game with so many memorable moments, whether it was future Hall of Famers coming home from WWII to play ball again, or women taking the reigns and starting their own baseball league while the men were off at war. There was also Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier, and Mike Piazza hitting a home run for the Mets 10 days after 9/11 to remind us all that, even through great tragedy, we can power through and remain united. Unfortunately, even through these triumphs over war, segregation, and terrorism, baseball still cannot seem to propel itself out of the black hole of P.E.D.s (Performance Enhancing Drugs), or steroids.
Ever since the 80’s, baseball has been trapped in the Steroid Era making sports enthusiasts question the game, the players, and their legitimacy. When I asked my girlfriend, “When you think of a stereotype for baseball, what is the first thing that comes to mind?” Before I can even finish my question, her answer was, “Steroids.” This idea is common amongst my family, friends, and probably many people in this world; the idea that baseball is a tainted sport with players doing whatever they can to perform at a high level and make hundred of millions of dollars. Even when baseball seems to be steering away from P.E.D. talk, a superstar tests positive, or finds himself on a list of names that links him to a known P.E.D. manufacturer. A current example of this would be the Biogenesis scandal, where a health clinic in Florida was supplying baseball stars with new forms of P.E.D.s to boost their abilities. The star at the forefront of this is Alex Rodriguez, who in a recent 60 Minutes episode, was called out by former chief of Biogenesis of America, Anthony Bosch, saying that he was asked by Rodriguez, to “inject” him with steroids, and even had the science down to such detail that players, and Rodriguez, could take P.E.D.s before the game, and it would out of the system by the time the game ended. Though the charges on A-Rod (Alex Rodriguez) are all based on statement by Bosch, the validity of his statements are unknown.
Even though this is all based on finger pointing, and a list of names with A-Rod at the top, the history of steroids in baseball makes it hard not to assume more players are doping. If you look at the details, men in great physical condition are hitting 90+mph fastballs over 400 feet dozens of times a season. The game is six months long, the body wears down and gets tired, the assumption that players need a boost is true and whether they do it illegally is very possible. It is easy to stereotype baseball, there are facts proving the game has been tainted, but that still does not change the fact that people are still fans. In a quote from an old Nike commercial, “Chicks dig the long ball.” This quote could not be any more true; fans want to see home runs, or no-hitters; they want the 500-foot home run, and 100mph fastball, and to do that, most players need a little help.
I, as an avid baseball, and die-hard Angel fan will admit that when I think of baseball, I think of summer, hot dogs, beer, Vin Scully, and steroids. Even though I know there is a possibility that my favorite player may be doping, it still does not deter me from watching the game, and it does not seem to deter other fans either. This is proven because baseball has reached a record $8 billion in revenue in 2013, proving that fans are still watching and want more. I contributed to that $8 billion, and I will contribute to it again next season because the stereotype of steroids in baseball does not scare me away as a fan. I still love to play the game, and I will teach my children how to play the game, and the thought of steroids will not effect me appreciating this sport.
(CBS MLB Revenue)