05-29-2002, 08:02 PM #1
"The juice is on the loose in baseball" - MSNBC
Former major-league star Mark McGwire shattered one of baseball's most revered marks when he hit 65 home runs in 1999, breaking Roger Maris' 38-year-old record of 61 home runs in a single season.
The juice is on the loose in baseball
Steroids rampant, and baseball must do something about it
May 29 — The juice is on the loose in major league baseball. What did you think was going on? They were making better hitters than Babe Ruth these days?
IF YOU’RE A baseball apologist though, at least the numbers are going down. Last week, recently retired Jose Canseco said up to 85 percent of players were using steroids . This week, Ken Caminiti admitted he was a user during his 1996 National League MVP season and estimates at least half of major league players have done the same. Young Chad Curtis claimed he knew players were using but that it was only about 40-50 percent.
So, as you can see and as major league baseball has long tried to claim, what steroid problem? Baseball commissioner Bud Selig probably read those numbers and concluded the problem was cut in half in a week, so who could ask for faster progress than that?
The truth of the matter is, however, that after Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs in 1927 it was 34 years before Roger Maris topped it by one, and he had to play a few extra games to do it. Ruth was fat and strong. Maris was skinny and strong. Neither guy was steroid strong.
It was 35 years before anyone broke Maris’ mark and two guys, two huge guys, named Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, did it in the same season. In the ensuing five years a half dozen guys have hit 60 or more. And you thought all along that only the ball was juiced?
Caminiti confessed to Sports Illustrated this week that, “I’ve made a ton of mistakes but I don’t think using steroids was one of them,” which says a lot about the culture of sports and society today. If it works and it’s cheating who cares? If it works but it can kill you, so what?
Caminiti saw no problem in what he did because using steroids turned him into the National League MVP and a very rich man, two things that might never have happened in a million years had he not been running on high test instead of regular.
That year he batted a career high .326 with 40 home runs and 130 RBI. He was the Ben Johnson of baseball. But he was not alone, as Canseco and it seems everyone in baseball now is willing to admit, everyone except the men who run the game and supposedly are concerned with its welfare.
Even Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Curt Schilling acknowledged that steroid use has become rampant and he admitted that the use of the one has led to “seeing records not just being broken but completely shattered.”
RECORDS SHOULDN’T STAND
Should such records count? Is it legitimate for Ruth to train on hot dogs and beer and Canseco and Caminiti to use performance enhancing drugs rather than relying on their God-given gifts and claim each was playing the same game?
No, which is why such records should not count if it is ever proven that some of them were a result of using steroids, even though baseball has no official ban on them at the moment. If there is no ban on them, you ask, what’s the problem? The problem is the United States government, whose anthem they play before every juiced-up game, has a ban on them. That’s one problem.
The other problem is the one that rightly led to Ben Johnson having to give back his 100-meter Olympic gold medal in 1988 and to his records being expunged from track’s record books. If Johnson had been allowed to test positive for steroid use — so obvious the day he “beat” Carl Lewis with a souped-up engine under his hood — and still keep his medal, it would have accomplished what has been going on in baseball for years.
It would have encouraged the cheaters (who need no encouragement) and punished the people trying to play it straight. As Texas Ranger pitcher Steve Rogers explained it better than I can when he told Sports Illustrated, “Steoids can jump you a level or two. The average player can become a star and the star player can become a superstar. And the superstar? Forget it. he can do things we’ve never seen before.”
That’s why we’re seeing things we’ve never seen before in baseball. We’re not seeing someone hit 63 homers just to get by Maris. We’re seeing guys hit 73 to storm past Maris and just get by McGwire. We’re seeing guys hit three homers one year and 33 the next.
We’re seeing a skinny shortstop or centerfielder go away for an offseason of “workouts” and come back with 20 pounds of muscle packed on his body in slabs that defy description. We’re seeing people cheat.
Immediately after Canseco made his claims, he also said he was going to write a tell-all book. So, baseball’s apologists, many of whom call themselves journalists, dismissed him as a headline seeker who could not deal with the end of his career.
Now Caminiti has come out and admitted the same and some are already pointing out he was a known alcohol and drug abuser, so of course he’d take steroids too, as if that makes any difference.
Barry Bonds, the reigning home run king, denied using steroids himself and added, “Doctors ought to quit worrying about what ballplayers are taking. It’s nobody else’s business. The doctors should spend their time looking for cures for cancer. It takes more than muscles to hit homers.”
True, it takes bat speed, and can you not swing a bat faster if you are stronger? And if you are abnormally stronger can you not swing it faster than normal? Faster, say, than fat, old Babe? Rogers suggested that and Caminiti and Canseco are living proof of it.
Certainly more diligent weight training and attention to diet has had something to do with the increased size of today’s ballplayers. But when 60 home runs becomes an annual event, and more and more outfielders and first basemen look like tight ends and linebackers, you shouldn’t need a weather man to know which way the wind blows.
Does it matter whether usage of a substance that is illegal in the United States unless prescribed by a physician for medical reasons is being used at a level of 25 per cent of professional baseball players or 40 per cent or 50 per cent or 85 per cent?
Does it threaten the integrity of the game? Far more than Pete Rose ever did and all baseball’s apologists want to do to the game’s all-time leading hitter is ban him from a ceremonial place called the Hall of Fame because they think he bet on baseball games even though no one can prove he did and, more importantly, can’t prove he ever manipulated a game’s outcome because of it.
One thing we know for sure though. Ken Caminiti manipulated more than a few games by using a substance that can destroy his heart, liver, endocrine-system and cause elevated cholesterol, strokes, sexual dysfunction and aggressive behavior that can lead to uncontrollable rage. Probably so did Canseco and apparently so have a lot of their contemporaries.
Even the NFL, which has long been in the neanderthal stages of the union movement, agreed to allow steroid testing because it realized the danger it poses to its players. The NBA also prohibits steroids and tests for it. But forward thinking games like baseball and hockey do not.
If you’re on the same page with hockey, you got a problem.
And like it or not, major league baseball has a problem.
Simply put, it’s letting a goodly percentage of its players cheat themselves, their opponents and the game yet such is the culture of sports today that everyone has been looking the other way.
“I’m very worried about this,” Selig said after Caminiti’s remarks and you can bet he is. He’s worried the truth will finally come out and all those marvelous record-breaking performances that saved the sport from itself after the last strike will prove as phony as major league baseball’s bookkeeping.
05-29-2002, 08:25 PM #2
Of course my man Schill would say steroids are out of control. He doesn't want to give up any homeruns. He is notorious for giving up solo shots. Anywho, there is no way that they will agree on a collective bargaining agreement. Hell, half the guys on d backs have physiques that "question" steroid use . They are trying to win. Period. And if they need a little extra hump to jump over the top. . .what the hell?! Why does everyone keep bringing up the past and what "they did"? Live in the present bros. . .living to much in the past is not healthy, and IMO as long they're using and not abusing...I find no problem in athletes supplementing.
05-29-2002, 08:45 PM #3
These guys have had their days. Why now after it is all over do they have to ruin it for the guys in it now? One reason, to put themselves back in the spot light. They are washed up and nobody would care about their pathetic lives otherwise. So they come out now to get a little more time in the spotlight.
At least Cami looked good while he was on. Canseco wasted his money IMO. The fat ass should have pick up some clen along the way.
05-30-2002, 12:12 AM #4
Yellow journalism. The quality of the reporting and hands-down bias are worthy of The Natioanl Enquirer and it's likes.
Pure sensationalism geared towards pacifying the mindless masses that have been fed a stream of BS and are hungry form more.
Crap, written for fat-ass guys to nod their heads in agreement over while they sit belly-up to the bar and act like know-it alls.
Shall I go on?
05-30-2002, 03:28 AM #5
Here's what Schilling can't relate to, a lot of pitchers in MLB really suck today. He's one of the best if not the best, but thanks to expansion a lot of average ball players are making it to the show. A very good friend of mine pitches for the Rockies, he was a catcher in high school! He gave up # 53 or 54 to Big Mac. Plus there are a lot of new parks...smaller parks, more teams, more traveling, longer (distance) road trips, etc. In Babe's day he would face many of the same pitchers over and over again.
IMO anyone that tries to compare eras is completely wasting their time. If the journalists wanted to do real reporting, they'd ask why steroids are illegal in the first place. They'd ask what real studies are available. They'd ask if moderate use could actually be healthy. Why are so many doctors clueless, etc.
06-01-2002, 05:08 PM #6New Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2001
here's the problem...and listen up cause it's a big one. The guys who are usng the steroids seem to have no clue how to use them. I'll bet you anything the men and women on this board have more info and more experience with 'roid use. I for one am not a fan of roid use in baseball but I've known about it for a long time...how could you not know? Some of the guys are beyond bloated...Big Mac, Bonds (and I love the giants) and many more are looking pretty odd. I pray Bonds didn't but I have a feeling he's been taking the plunge. and the reason steroids are illegal in the country is because people don't fucking know how to use them and end up screwing their lives...don't tell me 'roids don't have serious side effects because it's obvious they do...though i do believe these can be minimized easily...I dunno...If you're not good at baseball you're not good a baseball...get over it and don't fuck it up for the rest...just my opinion.
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