Babe Ruth, Hank Arron, Steroids. All three things, although not linked together, are synonymous with Major League Baseball and it’s long history. Two of them are forces of good but the third is so evil and overpowering that is has put a damper on not just the current era of the sport we’re living in but the entire history of the game.
Outside The Lines dropped a bombshell on Tuesday night when they reported that as many as twenty players may end up getting suspended at the same time due to the testimony of Biogenesis’ Tony Bosch. Massive names like Alex Rodriguez, Nelson Cruz and Ryan Braun are all listed as being potentially guilty of juicing but while their suspensions will hurt their teams, they really scar baseball even more than it already has been.
The question we’re all asking ourselves isn’t a new one, and that’s the most depressing part. Will Major League Baseball ever learn it’s own lesson? We’d like to think yes but Bud Selig and others have pounded any hope of that happening out of our minds with yet another steroids scandal.
It’s sick really, that we have to endure another scandal involving steroids. It shows a blatant rejection of evolution as the old adage of fool me once stopped applying what seems ages ago. It’s hard to determine what is more disgusting: the fact that we have yet another scandal or the fact that we’ve had so many that this one really isn’t shocking or surprising — it’s expected.
How many reports and books do we have to read until baseball gets it? When someone like Jose Canseco is smart enough to stir the pot and change the perception of the sport, you know you have something seriously wrong with your product. Juiced! was a bombshell in that it fully introduced the notion of steroids in baseball into the populous.
But after that he had Senate hearings, more books, The Mitchell Report, more books, Senate hearings again, another report, hundreds of articles and now Biogenesis.
When does it end? When does baseball just get sick of being looked upon so poorly that it throws their hands up and surrenders to common sense?
There are plagues and then there’s baseball’s problem with steroids. People want to keep guys like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and others out of Cooperstown because they juiced, but the sad fact is well over a decade into the known Steroid Era of baseball it’s becoming a part of the game.
No one’s reputation is safe and the notion that searching for steroid users is a witch hunt is long expired. It’s not a witch hunt, finding a guy juicing in baseball is as walking — it just comes naturally now.
We’re getting to the point where guys are doubling up on ruining their reputation, as if they didn’t get enough the first time around. Alex Rodriguez has been fingered once again as has Ryan Braun and Melky Cabrera. It’s abundantly clear that guys are not learning their lessons the first time around and that falls squarely on Major League Baseball.
It’s getting so bad that we’re now retroactively accusing players of doping back in the day. Kirby Puckett’s growth now seems strange as does that of so many other players we once forgot about when it came to using steroids.
Handing out lifetime bans to players seemed once to be a drastic, last case scenario type of solution but it’s something that we all have to seriously consider at this point. Kick a few guys out for good and if that doesn’t work then legalize steroids. Baseball has let this problem lie dormant for so long without doing anything that we’re now onto the fringe extremes of solutions.
And with the state of the game today, even that might not be enough to teach baseball the lesson it’s refusing to learn on it’s own.