Yes this is about steroids. That fluttering you hear is the collective eye roll of all of LL. I want to put it front and center so you don’t have to waste time reading this before you sigh and leave. Wanted to save everyone that trouble.
This isn't exactly timely, but I thought about this a lot last year when Jesus Montero got popped and the whole biogenesis debacle came crashing down. It resurfaces every time a Mariner or a high profile player gets suspended. From the comments here on LL and from talking to other people, it seems that there are generally two heated opinions about players using PEDs and MLBs punishment of offenders.
The first is that taking PEDs is either morally wrong, or ethically wrong in the context of professional sports. PEDs shouldn't be used because IT IS WRONG. This side is backed up by the fact that most major sports leagues seem to agree by attaching penalties to the use of said substances.
The other side is less straight forward, but just as sure that they are correct. It boils down to "who cares". The pitchers are throwing juiced 95 mph balls to Michelin Men squeezed into much too small batting helmets. And since only the lazy and/or stupid get caught, the majority of users aren't ever getting popped. You can’t tell me that biogenesis is the only "anti-aging" clinic in the world. In addition to this, it has been said that the drug tests in the minor leagues are much more likely to catch foreign players because they lack the resources and knowledge to know how to beat the tests.
The point of this is not to try and argue either point. Both sides have been talked about ad nauseam and there are people who could do a much better job of it than I. My point is to highlight something I've never heard talked about. And since the LL community is very intelligent and opinionated I wanted to see what all of you thought about it.
MLB had to implement strict PED testing for fear of becoming professional wrestling. Don’t get me wrong. Pro wrestling can be very entertaining. It makes a lot of money (over $600 million last year). But it is not seen as a sport or a desirable career path. Parents don’t want their kids to be pro wrestles. They do want them to be pro baseball players. MLB was in danger of becoming a joke*.
*actually it already was
[During the 2004 Summer Olympics]
ME: Man, these athletes are amazing.
ME: Too bad there’s not a different Olympics where people were allowed to take steroids. They would be smashing records left and right.
FRIEND: They do. It’s called Major League Baseball.
It’s not about keeping the sport pure or chasing some moralistic goal. It doesn't matter if MLB catches everyone that cheats or if the PEDs even work. The PED testing and punishment is straight survival. They have to take it seriously because the day that parents think that ‘roids are necessary for their child to succeed at baseball is the day of baseball’s funeral.
This is my first attempt at a fanpost. I've been lurking around for a couple of years now, and thought I would try and actually contribute to the community. I’m interested in any thoughts or feedback you have about this. Any criticism would be appreciated as well. Thanks.