Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Juicing in Baseball; or, My final take on the whole thing

Baseball season begins in just a couple of short months, and lately, all the talk is about steroid use again. Most recently, NY Yankees slugging 3rd baseman Alex Rodriguez is the focus of the media and bloggers. Now, the one nice thing is he's admitting to taking steroids, which is at least a step up from the likes of Rafael Palmerio, Mark McGwire, or Barry Bonds, who have taken different things, but never admit to doing it. Or won't admit to knowing what they took. A-Rod has said he wasn't sure what he was doing was wrong or not allowed, which we all know is a joke. He knew what he was doing, and now is on damage control. He did admit to taking performance enhancing drugs, but not until after Sports Illustrated outed him in an article. Granted, the drug test which his positive result came from was supposed to be anonymous, but he still did it, and after he got his hand caught in the cookie jar, he admits to it.

If you look at him over the years, he doesn't have all the classic signs of steroid use. His body didn't drastically change, Ala Jose Canseco or Barry Bonds. But not all steroids are the same, and while I haven't done a lot of research, I'm pretty sure there are steroids that can help build lean muscle, and what not. But also remember, that the point of steroids isn't to build muscle by taking them, it allows you to work out harder, and recover from your workouts faster to get back to it the next day. Which is why a guy like Roger Clemens could have the insane workout routines they do. And why he's linked to 'roids.

But if you think that Rodriguez is the only one, or that somehow baseball has all but eliminated steroid use in it's younger players, don't kid yourself. If tomorrow I found out Craig Counsell (who is listed at 170lbs, and that's being generous, he's probably closer to 160) was using 'roids, it wouldn't surprise me at all. It's the way it is today, I don't condone it, I would think I could resist using it if I were in that situation, but at the end of the day, these guys are playing a sport for entertainment purposes. I'll still watch, and maybe that makes me a sucker, but that's how it is. Hopefully with increased testing and monitoring, steroid use can be taken out of the game, but until then, I'll just be waiting for opening day.

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