August 22nd, 2010 15:14 EST
Another Black Eye for Major League Baseball
Being partial to the 1970s era of baseball, I can say was an era of the game that we never heard of any illegal substances being used by the players. Players today or should I say a few bad apples that played the game during the 1990s and into 2000 have really given Major League baseball a black eye with the accusations or the admittance of have used illegal PED`S (Performance Enhancing Drugs) during their playing career.
The 1970s era of baseball had some impressive players that have been voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame because they were true ball players and great athletes and did not have to shoot up on drugs to hit record numbers of home runs or mow down hitters at the plate with a fastball that hit speeds in excess of one-hundred miles per hour.
We have heard more news within the past decade about illegal substances being used in baseball. Most of the news is about PED`s. It seems that for some of the players that did use the PED`s and if you have ever heard of the term eventually it will catch up to you " has indeed caught- up to them.
The latest drama of a past player being accused of taking illegal drugs to enhance his performance is the case of Roger Clemens. Clemens to me when I watched him play the game was almost like another Nolan Ryan on the mound. His fastball was like a blazing comet that most hitters had a hard time to even touch with any part of the bat and his breaking ball was like a finely tuned yoyo. The ball had such movement on it when it crossed home plate that it was almost like watching a person perform the fluent, smooth, and quick movements with a yoyo in motion.
Since the news surfaced that he may have used Steroids while playing really disappoints me and is a huge let down. I mean, you watch these guys play and perform like Super Men and while watching them play you think to yourself, If he can do that playing the game, so can I " it motivates you to play the game better and have a role model to look up to not only playing baseball but in life, then you hear your role model cheated by taking illegal performance enhancing drugs to perform like he did is almost like hearing that the fictional super hero character Bat Man was an ex-con.
With all the latest accounts of hearing about players taking PED`s while playing really leaves a bad taste in the fans mouth and a black eye for Major League Baseball. Since the 1919 Black Sox Scandal happened over 80 decades ago when players supposedly threw the 1919 World Series for money, we had not heard of any negativity in baseball until the news of PED`s accusations of certain players in the recent past two decades has come to light in the media. The 1919 Black Sox Scandal was a big black eye for baseball and now the problem in the last couple decades of PED`S in baseball is at the top of the list of bad publicity.
If players need to take PED`s to cheat, then don`t play the game! I also believe that any player that does come up positive on any drug test while playing baseball should be banned for life from the game! And any past player that has been positively found guilty of using PED`s while they played the game should again be banned for life and be banned from ever making it to the Baseball Hall of Fame!
Also, the trainers who give the players the PED`s and inject them with the illegal substances should also share in the legal responsibility and share in prison time for doing so. They are the ones that you would think would know better.
Baseball`s Steroid Policy has changed over the past decade with the more and more accounts of players that have or are admitting to have used Steroids while playing and the policy is finally moving in the right direction for banning players from the game who have been found guilty of using drugs to enhance their performance. The past policy gave players five or six chances to stop using PED`s once they came up positive for doing so, now the newer policy is giving the players just one chance.
We don`t need players who have used or are still using Steroids, HGH`s (Human Growth Hormones), or any type of PED`S to be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame and their name permanently inscribed in the record books or archives of Major League Baseball history as being a record holder or a great ball player. To me, that would be like letting a criminal or drug attic just do whatever they wanted, or putting it a little more harshly, having a nice clean white shirt that now has a big muddy dirt stain on it! There are other past players than just Clemons who have had a brush with the accusation of using illegal drugs while playing.
Some of the more recent players who have been accused of or have admitted to using PED`s during their career and these are just a few of the more recent players we have heard about. Barry Bonds who played for the San Francisco Giants and who broke Babe Ruth`s home run record was accused of taking Steroids while playing. Barry was a lot of kid`s idol and I thought he was just a very talented player who could hit. It was a great moment in baseball history when he broke Babe Ruth`s home run record and as he hit home run after home run in route to breaking the home run record the fans kept count of how many more home runs he needed to break the record. As he finally hit the home run that broke the record and then the home runs after he broke the record fans still kept count. Then, the let down to the fans of hearing he used Steroids while playing. No wonder he could hit so many dingers, he had a little help behind the scenes doing so!
Rafael Palmero was another player who was accused or admitted to using PED`s. Palmero played for the Baltimore Orioles and was a player that you wanted at bat when you were down by a few runs in the bottom of the ninth inning and had the bases loaded. He was another power hitter that could change the momentum of the game with one swing of the bat.
The next player that really surprised me was when Mark McGwire admitted to using Steroids. McGwire was a lot of people`s hero when he played. He also impressed me as being a clean cut and straight forward guy off the field. When he hit a baseball off the barrel of the bat, it was like watching the Space Shuttle blast off. Most of the time the ball hit by him would make another dent in the scoreboard at Busch Stadium or a mark on one of the tiers of one of the many grandstands at any stadium he may be playing in. Now I see why he could hit a ball so far. What a big disappointment for the fans and especially the kids that looked up to McGwire and these types of ball players!
The recent accusation of Roger Clemons using PED`S has once again poured salt in the fans wounds that we the fans have endured in the past with the Steroid accounts of ball players. I am not saying that Clemons is guilty of using Steroids, I really don`t know and it is not my place to form an opinion since I don`t know, I am just saying that from the fans and Major League Baseball`s standpoint on this growing issue that it is sad to find out some of the greats of the game have been accused of or have admitted to using PED`s while playing. I hope Major League baseball continues to enforce and harshly monitor the growing use of PED`s in baseball.
If this issue of players using PED`s in baseball continues, then instead of singing Take Me Out to the Ball Game " during the seventh inning stretch, let`s change the name of the song and sing, Take Me Out to Get My Fix! " Unbelievable! But I am sure that the Roger Goodell and the management of baseball will continue to fix and hopefully eliminate this problem and the fans once again can watch a player put up some unbelievable numbers and not have to ask themselves, Is that player really performing the way he is because of his athletic talent? Or, is it because he is getting a little pick me up help " behind the scenes? " Who knows, let`s just fix the drug problem in baseball and all professional sports and move on to the way the game was once played, with great performances and raw God given athletic talent.