Why are steroids bad in baseball? Baseball has been a passionate and historical game for America. A lot of memories have been made by the true players of baseball. Many of these players are well known by everyone. Many players like Babe Ruth, who was the home run king for a long time with 714 home runs is well know. Roger Maris was another true player of baseball, who hit 61 home runs in one season and Hank Aaron who broke Babe Ruths old record with 755 home runs. All of these players all had one thing in common; they were honest, hardworking baseball players.
From what history has told us they were known as the “greats” because they used a combination of hard work and God-given talent to excel in their games. So when I say “true player” I mean players who worked hard and did not cheat their way to become what they are known as today. Everyone who is still alive today probably witnessed when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa chased Roger Maris’s 61 home run record or when Roger Clemens achieved his 350th win or when Barry Bonds broke the infamous all-time home run record held by Hank Aaron.
Many of you are aware of these historical achievements and I’m also sure you heard that all of them used steroids while achieving these records. Nowadays whenever you turn on the sports channel, it seems a new story about professional athlete using steroids stirs up. It is starting to become a big problem in sports now, especially baseball. Steroids have been around for decades now. It was Dr. Leopold Ruzicka, a Swiss-Croatian scientist, who invented steroids in the early 1930’s for medical purposes particularly to fight conditions like cancer and AIDS (Seemungal and Wedzicha). After the discovery, Dr.
John Bosley Ziegler,an American Physician later transformed Dr. Ruzicka’s discovery into anabolic steroid Methandrostenolone. Dr. Zieger pioneered the drug to help aid muscle growth to bodybuilders, when he was the physician to the U. S. Weightlifting team. Some say he is to blame for the start of steroid use in sports today (Seemungal and Wedzicha). Even though steroids have been around for many years, athletes did not pay much attention to the drug effects of steroids until the late 1970s when an increasing number of athletes were tested positive for using these substances during the Olympics.
With time, steroid abuse spread much beyond the Olympics in the 1970s and eventually it became a part of baseball by the early mid 1970’s (Taylor). Many years after steroid were introduced to sports, sports leagues were cracking down on the usage of enhanced drugs such as steroids. Major League Baseball was one of the last sports leagues to take action about the drugs. In 2002, the MLB decided to ban anabolic steroids in 2002. The ban required some players to take a drug test. If a player was tested positive, that player would receive treatment but would not be suspended or publicly named (History).
Though at the time, the MLB was not concerned about steroid usage at the time because they thought it was not necessary and not many people had any idea that steroid was in use at the time, until an all-star third baseman admitted to using steroids. Ken Caminti was one of the first players to be part of the steroid usage scandal. After his 15-year career came to an end in 2001, he shocked the sports world by admitting to using steroids during his time in the majors, including his MVP season of 1996. He also estimated roughly that fifty percent of the players in the league were using them also during his use of steroids (Radomski).
Soon after Caminti’s claims, many other baseball players admitted to using steroids. One of the oldest players to admit using the drug was Tom House. He was the only notable baseball player to using steroids dating back to the 1970’s. But the most famous player to admitting to steroid use was home run slugger, Jose Canseco. He admitted to using steroids, in his autobiography book “Juiced”. The book stated he used the drug since the preparations of the 1986 season. It also stated that an estimated 85% of all players in MLB used steroids, and also admitted using them.
The book also stated that numerous other teammates on the Oakland Athletics used steroids including, single season home run record holder, Mark McGwire. But McGwire at the time denied the allegations. Later on, McGwire confessed to using steroids (Canseco). After many baseball players came forth and admitting to the drug use, the MLB had enough and decided to crackdown on steroids and all other performance enhancing drugs. In 2005, the MLB added to their 2002 ban, that all season players would be suspended 10/25/60 games if they were tested positive for their 1st/2nd/3rd time.
They later changed it to where players are suspended 50/100 games for their 1st/2nd positive tests, and receive a lifetime ban for a third positive test (Radomski). Many people, including the players, thought the new suspensions rules were tough. The commissioner of baseball, Bud Selig, did not think the new suspension rules were enough to take upon steroids. The commissioner decided to hire George Mitchell, a former Senate Majority Leader, federal prosecutor and ex-chairman of The Walt Disney Company to investigate into the use of anabolic steroids and that’s when another drug became popular to human growth hormone (Radomski).
The investigation led to the “Mitchell Report” which was a 409-page report. It covered the history of the use of illegal performance-enhancing substances by players. The report also investigated a company known as BALCO, the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative that has been cited as a central source of steroids to athletes in many sports. BALCO was an American based nutritional supplements company run by Victor Conte. BALCO made and marketed steroids. The company was accused of providing many baseball players with the substances which then led to the famous list of 89 MLB players who are alleged to have used steroids or drugs.
Among those implicated were several well-known players such as Roger Clemens, Jason Giambi, Barry Bonds, Gary Sheffield and many more (Radomski). After the report was released many people started speculating and questioning all the past historical events that took place in baseball, especially all the numerous records broken in the past decade in the steroid era and after all that drama, investigation, cheating, lying and scandals going on with steroids usage in baseball, the big question comes to most people’s mind. Why are steroids so bad in baseball? Steroids have very bad effects on the body.
Even thought they can temporally increase your strength in muscle, they have many side effects to them. Both men and women naturally produce testosterone. But like all hormones, which regulate the body’s most basic functions, throwing one’s testosterone out of balance can have wide ranging consequences and too much abuse of the steroid can lead to death. Ken Caminti’s death was related to the use of steroids. The worse part of steroids is the ethics involved. Using steroids to crank baseballs over the fence, or getting 90 mph fastball, is morally wrong (Steroids: Is Bulking Up Worth the Risk? . The majority of the baseball players now who managed to break the previous records and change history were on the “juice” People are now saying steroids have ruined memories and tainted it all with controversy. Most people in the present day were apart of these baseball memories and witnessed them as they watched with their children and loved ones. They were apart of McGuire and Sammy’s defeat of Maris’ 61 home run record and also part of Barry Bonds breaking Hank Aaron’s all time home run record.
But it seems to everyone, that the previous record holders had been cheated. Because from what history has told us, those record holding players came in a time of hard work and fairness and for someone to break their record by enhancing their strength with drugs is definitely not fair. One thing that makes sense about of what’s fair and what’s not is that if only some players are using performance-enhancing drugs while the rest are not, the former have an unfair advantage, making fair competition impossible.
And sports are defined by fair competition, that’s one of the big reasons people love sports. There is always a clear winner in the end and everyone expects that the winner to have achieved the success in a fair and ethical way. Many people are saying that achieving new records while using steroids, such as Barry Bonds allegedly using steroids while achieving the new all-time home run record, should count, because he was batting against many pitchers who were also on steroids.
Therefore, it all evens out, they say. But we don’t know which pitchers were using steroids and which ones weren’t, making it next to impossible to determine what’s fair. Baseball which is the great American past time, grew to be the greatest sport by its good morality. Major League Baseball is increasingly losing its good reputation, and fans have lost respect for the game because some of the players are now using steroids. There are probably many reasons why baseball players choose to use steroids.
It could be that they are driven into steroid use because of greed, or it could even be that they think all the players around them are using steroids and feel they have no choice but to partake in it as well if they want to successfully compete or they may feel heavy pressure to be the best and win because they may perceive this pressure from society, from the fans or their families and friends, or even from themselves. This was very clear for most recent baseball player, Alex Rodriguez, who admitted to using steroids in 2003.
He stated in an interview with ESPN “I felt an enormous amount of pressure. I felt like I had all the weight of the world on top of me and I needed to perform, and perform at a high level every day (News). ” But even though he used steroids, he still knew that using steroids was wrong by stating “It was very loose. I was young. I was stupid. I was naive. And I wanted to prove to everyone that I was worth being one of the greatest players of all time. I did take a banned substance. And for that, I am very sorry and deeply regretful (News). But no one is buying the remorseful apologies. To most people taking shortcut in life like using steroids is not the American thing to do. In America if you work hard at something, it will surely pay off at the end and baseball is one example of that. If baseball players are using steroids than it is setting a bad example and going against the very ethics that this country is built upon. With all these athletes are injecting steroids in to their body, they are not thinking about anyone else but themselves.
These athletes don’t understand that the youth of this nation looks up to them. Many of these young kids love baseball and if it wasn’t for the love of the game by the youth, perhaps baseball would never have even gotten this big. Bob Lemon, a hall of fame pitcher once said “Baseball was made for kids, and grown-ups only screw it up (Mundy). ” You can’t argue with that because baseball teaches many morals, including hard work, dedication, honesty, and teamwork, but it’s hard to teach these morals to kids when the star players they look up to and worship, are ignoring them.
Baseball players have done an incredibly effective job of putting doubt into the fans’ minds as to whether using performance-enhancing drugs is actually cheating. The excuse when one of them is caught is always that everyone is doing it. It’s the excuse we have heard time and time again. In the fan’s mind, you are cheating when you have an unfair advantage. The players argue that they don’t have an unfair advantage because everyone is doing it. But that’s not true. Baseball players using performance-enhancing drugs are cheating their opponents, the fans and the game.
Baseball has always been a game steeped in history, and one of the greatest things about the sport was comparing current players with the great players of the past, because baseball is a game of numbers. Now those comparisons are almost impossible to make, because of all the doubt and suspicion around the players of this era. Baseball has been long known as America’s pastime, but now it’s could be a dying sport with continued problems with steroids, it will never be the same again.