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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Baseball’s Juicing Up

    A-Roid! A-Fraud! These are the names that are being bestowed upon Major League Baseball’s highest paid player, Alex Rodriguez.

    Everyone acts shocked that the Yankees superstar, A-Rod, had taken steroids earlier in his career, but frankly, I am not surprised in the least. I think it would be naive to think that only a few major league players are on the “juice.”

    With revelations that the best players, such as Roger Clemens and Mark McGuire, have been using performance enhancing drugs in the past two decades, assuming that others do it too is not a great leap of logic. It seems that if the game’s superstars are juicing, it stands to reason that also the lesser skilled players would be jumping at the opportunity to artificially enhance their game, if only to keep up with the best.

    Of course, I’m not encouraging the use of steroids, they are morally reprehensible, but the fact of the matter is that the players have an incentive to take them with little risk if they get caught. A-Rod is still going to make $25 million next year for playing baseball even though he just admitted to taking banned substances. Mark McGuire is still considered a baseball legend.

    Many people wanted to put an asterisk next to Barry Bonds’ achievement in the record books when he broke the home run record to show that he cheated. Yet people failed to notice that he was not the only one juicing up. If Bonds had been the only one juicing then he would have had an unfair advantage. The same will be said about Alex Rodriguez if he breaks the home run record. The truth of the matter is that the playing field is level. Before steroids, skill on the diamond was the only thing in proving your merit as a ball player.

    Barry Bonds broke the home run record while on the sauce, but I believe that most of the league was also guilty of this. It is impossible to know for sure how many players have taken steroids, since designer drug companies can create new steroids that don’t show up on drug tests With these test resistant drugs and the incentive to use the drugs, I would wager that more players had taken them than not. If all the players are cheating, does anybody really have the upper hand?

    What bothers me most about these steroid scandals is that Congress will inevitably call hearings to investigate the use of steroids in professional baseball. While Congress was investigating Roger Clemens’ apparent use of steroids last year, it was wasting valuable time and resources they could have been using to deal with other, far more important issues. These hearings waste tax payer money and prevent us from finding solutions to the nation’s real problems.

    If Major League Baseball wants to get serious about steroids they need to create the incentive for players not to take them. What is needed is harsh penalties for the use of performance enhancing substances.

    If baseball is to reclaim its purity it is about time that the league create an atmosphere where the use of these substances is discouraged and punished. Only then will professional baseball players again be role models for the youth of America.

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