No Steroids In Baseball

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In baseball there has always been a steroid issue. In the years since 2005 the problem has expanded. Many more players are now using these drugs to boost their performance. I think that steroids are products that should be absolutely illegal and no player at any time should be able to use them.

Steroids are drugs commonly classified as anabolic, androgenic and corticosteroids. Corticosteroids like cortisone are drugs used to control inflammation, and do not build muscle. Anabolic steroids are used by athletes to bulk up and improve their performance. Anabolic steroids are synthetic hormones that cause the body to produce muscle and prevent muscle breakdown. Some athletes take steroids hoping that it will improve their ability to run faster, hit farther, jump higher, etc. Some people are not aware that anabolic steroids are a form of a drug. In the United States, it is against the law to use these steroids without a prescription.

In many sports the issue of steroids has always been huge. Recently, mainly in baseball many players have been tested for steroids, and many are results are positive. These punishments have been mere warnings and suspensions to the players. The first player to ever admit to using any type of anabolic steroid was Ken Caminiti, he admitted to using steroids after he retired in his 14th season. He said that in his 9th season in the majors was when he was first influenced to take performance-enhancing drugs. He was a 3 time All-Star, won the MVP award in ‘96, got 3 gold gloves and 1 silver slugger award. After he retired in 2001 he finally admitted to using steroids. About three years later on October 10th 2004 Caminiti died due to a drug problem because of the use of steroids and cocaine. Caminiti had said that he made tons of mistakes. One being an alcoholic and the other using cocaine, But he did not say using steroids was a mistake.

After Caminiti’s death many major league players were highly influenced, and stopped using steroids. But there are 30 major leagues teams and each team has 25 players on the active roster, 40 on the regular roster. So if you multiply 30 by 25 then you get 750 baseball players just on the active roster. So even if Caminiti scared a bunch of players there is a bunch of people who still use steroids. Some of the most recent players that have been convicted are giants slugger Barry Bonds, and New York Yankees 1st baseman Jason Giambi.

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Giambi Admitted that he had been infecting himself with steroids in the 2003 season and started about two years ago. He was getting his steroids from Gary Anderson weight trainer for Barry Bonds. The two most frequently used steroids by Giambi were called The Clear and The Cream. Jason’s brother Jeremy also admitted to using steroids in his 2004 season with the Las Vegas 51’s. The brothers admitted to using steroids before meeting Gary Anderson, but they took steroids from him because they saw the success Bonds was having.

The other main case of steroids that I can think of is St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGuire. In 1998 Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa both passed the single season home run record mark, but McGuire came out on top with 70 home runs. Thinking that this would be a number that would last. But then three years later in 2001 Giants slugger Barry Bonds hit 73 home runs just passing Mark Mcguire’s 70th home run mark. The main question is, were these players on steroids at the time? We aren’t sure of it, but I have a feeling that they were. Even if they were they probably will not admit it because they don't want to have their records screwed up. Now Barry Bonds has 703 home runs and is in 3rd place all time behind Babe Ruth (714) and Hank Aaron (755). Mark McGuire finished his MLB career and lies in 6th place all time with 583 home runs. The closest player on the active rosters is Sammy Sosa with 574 home runs, just 9 behind McGuire. Many people ask, will Bonds go down with an asterisk stating that he was using steroids? I guess we will have to find out.

Many Single-A players are using steroids to boost their abilities and try to move themselves up to higher leagues in hopes to make it to the MLB. Tests show that in Single-A teams most steroid users are Latino’s. Of the 47 minor-leaguers that were tested positive for performance enhancing drugs, 24 of them were born in Latin American countries. (San Francisco Chronicle) Many Latino players feel like they have to try harder and do better than the Americans to get looked at by a scout and maybe get a starting spot on their lineup.

The main concern that I come upon is the question, should performance-enhancing drugs be legal? I definitely think that any player shouldn’t be allowed to take performance-enhancing drugs at any time. If any player is using these drugs then all records that they obtain while on the drug should be erased from the record books. This would be a form of cheating. If someone is to actually work their butt off to get in the record books and lose to a cheater then that is not fair at all. If they were to get a record then this just tells players that performance-enhancing drugs are ok to take. This should not be how the league treats these problems.

I think that if at any time you are caught using steroids then 1st warning should be a 2-week suspension. After the two weeks if in your next test you appear to be positive for these drugs then harsher penalties should be taken into consideration. For all of baseball the playing field should be fair, no one at any time should be able to use steroids. I think that players who use steroids aren’t playing baseball for the love of the game, but to simply get money and be a rich snob.

Most of the really famous baseball players tend to be jerks. I feel that you shouldn’t play the game if you don’t really love playing it for the love of the game. If at any time you find yourself playing for money you shouldn’t even play. I know that I would do anything to know that I am good enough to play on a professional team. I wouldn’t care if I got the lowest salary, I would just enjoy being out there on the field. Some baseball players sit in the field and barely give an effort to chase down a fly ball or dive for a grounder. If you look at Barry Bonds then you can understand where I am coming from. Back in his first few years for the Pirates he was a great outfielder and had many stolen bases. He gave his best effort to try and make a play, and was a great team leader. Now in his late years with the Giants he has been very lazy in the field and doesn’t look like he is playing for the love of the game any more. I think that the only reason Bonds hasn’t yet retired is because he wants to get to the top of the home run leader board. If he wasn’t close to the leader boards I bet he would have already quit.

Bibliography:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/si_online/special_report/steroids/
http://www.baseball-reference.com/c/caminke01.shtml
http://www.historicbaseball.com/players/c/caminiti_ken.html
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/12/02/BALCO.TMP
http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/HR_career.shtml
The San Francisco Chronicle, Friday May 6th 2005 sporting green section


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