Baseball should not worry about steroid issue

By on April 6, 2005

With the baseball season just starting, it is time to fully put the steroids issue to bed and explain why the media is the only people who really care about it. The fans who love the game so much know that steroids, in the long run, do not affect a player’s game that much.

For starters, steroids can not help a player’s hand/eye coordination. Steroids cannot have a player catch up to a 99 m.p.h fastball better than he would have. A player cannot rely on steroids to do the hard stuff. Sure, it can help them hit the ball 475 feet. but when the fences are pulled in [like they are], the ball only needs to go 330 feet or so, so the distance factor doesn’t count either because the ball would have gone over the fence for a home run regardless. How far it goes after it clears the fence does not affect records or how we should look at a player.

Steroids also, no matter how stupid this may sound, were not illegal in Major League Baseball. There was nothing in the rules that said steroids are illegal. It was wrong for Commissioner Bud Selig to turn a blind eye to the rampant steroid use, but the fact is, nothing was truly banned in the game so how can we punish players for doing something that they never could have gotten in trouble for? If we were going to judge Hall of Fame players based on what they did wrong during their careers, then the Hall would be pretty empty.

Gaylord Perry scuffed his balls before every pitch to deceive the hitter and that was illegal in the rule book but no one is questioning his Hall of Fame resume. Ty Cobb, one of the top ten players of all time, dug the spikes of his cleats into the opposing fielders when he stole a base trying to intentionally hurt them but no one is saying that he should not be in the Hall. So why is the media so set on making these players into cheaters and bad people when in reality, what they did only hurt themselves more than it hurt other people like Ty Cobb did.

This is all without mention that steroid use in other sports like football and soccer are much more out-of-control than baseball. Football has a tougher steroid policy than baseball but players are still finding ways to cheat the system and that is a sport where steroids can drastically

change the player’s performance on-field. Professional soccer players have been using steroids for years to make them faster and more agile, and that also helps them play their sport better than it would in baseball.

But still, the media and now our government have decided to focus in on baseball to be the scapegoats for the steroid fiasco. But both the media and Congress are not looking at this logically which is that even with the whole steroid “conspiracy” the majority of fans do not care. Stadiums will still sell out, people will still watch on TV, and baseball players will continue to be some of the most widely recognized sports figures in the world.

The fans came back to the game after the strike in 1994 and they will once again stand by their favorite players during this ordeal. There are still plenty of great players whose talents and records have not been questioned. Do not listen to all the media hype saying that people will give up on the game because of steroids. It is America’s past time and even if the allegations are true, it will not be left to die. As James Earl Jones said at the end of Field of Dreams “people will come. People will definitely come.”


About Rob Ettman