Steroids and why they matter in baseball

I’ve found it rather interesting that in the midst of Barry Bonds’ perjury trial and the news that Manny Ramirez abruptly retired instead of dealing with a 100-game suspension for another positive PED test (his second in three years), that some people have developed a rather nonchalant attitude towards steroids as it pertains to the game of baseball.

Whether it’s on Twitter, Facebook or in sports forums, people continue to utter the statement: “What’s the big deal? It’s only steroids. I like home runs! Steroids make the game more exciting!”

Honestly, I have rationalized at least part of this argument in the past. I couldn’t care less if someone wanted to take steroids – including athletes. Do you know what the yearly average is for deaths caused by steroids? Three. As in: three people. For comparison sake, tobacco kills 5.4 million people per year, which is a shade more than three.

That’s not to say I condone the use of steroids. When the day comes where I have children of my own, I’m going to make sure they understand how dangerous steroid use is. The potential side effects of misusing steroids are well known and if a doctor does not prescribe them, the risk just isn’t worth the reward in my eyes. We’re talking about highly dangerous stuff here, especially for those who don’t know what they’re doing.

But if a groan man wants to sink hundreds of dollars into drugs that will make him bigger, stronger or heal faster, then whatever. It doesn’t affect me and quite frankly, this country is dealing with way more pressing issues at the moment.

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Bonds says he’s proud of McGwire

Barry Bonds says he’s proud of friend Mark McGwire for admitting to his PED use back in January of this year.


“I have a really good friendship with Mark McGwire. I’m proud of him,” the 45-year-old Bonds, back in the Bay Area for a reunion at AT&T Park of the Giants’ 2000 NL West champion team, said when asked what he thought of McGwire’s January admission. “We’ve had a great relationship throughout our entire lives and throughout our career. I’m proud of what he did. I’m happy for him.”

He appeared to be in great shape and said he is down to about 225 pounds from his playing weight of 238.

“I’ve just been working out a lot, that’s all. I work out all the time,” Bonds said. “It’s been in my genes my whole life. I just don’t work out as hard anymore. I don’t lift as heavy weights anymore to be bulky. I don’t know, I’ve got that Hollywood look.”

I’ve got that Hollywood look? Does anyone else need to vomit or am I the only one?

People love to talk about “Manny being Manny” when it comes to the antics of Manny Ramirez, but ManRam has nothing on Bonds. This is a man that will look the media dead in the face and tell them that he’s proud of Mark McGwire for admitting his PED use, as if he shouldn’t have done the same thing long ago. Barry is one of those people that has subscribed to his own lies for so long that he actually believes in them now. It would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

Dealer claims McGwire used to get bigger

Curtis Wenzlaff, a former trainer convicted of dealing steroids and who says he supplied Mark McGwire with performance-enhancing drugs in the late 80s, told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” that Big Mac’s goal was to get “bigger, faster, stronger” from taking roids.

Wenzlaff also delivered the quote of the week when speaking on the subject:

“Will it help you hit a baseball?” Wenzlaff said. “Let me put it to you this way. If Paris Hilton was to take that array, she could run over Dick Butkus.”

When asked for his reaction to McGwire’s claim that he only took steroids to stay healthy enough to play, Wenzlaff said: “I chuckled. If excelling and kicking ass on the field is the end result I guess that’s a healthy, good feeling. But for health, there are other things you can take for health that are anabolic, but it wouldn’t be that type of combination.”

When asked about McGwire’s goal for taking the array of steroids he recommended and provided to McGwire, Wenzlaff said, “As anybody — bigger, faster, stronger.”


See, this is my problem with McGwire. He came “clean,” yet he still lied while doing so. He must honestly think that the general public is incredibly stupid and naïve. I would have had more respect for him if he came out and said:

“I’m ashamed – I took steroids and I want to come clean.”

“Why did you take steroids, Mr. McGwire?”

“Because they gave me big muscles and I wanted to hit as many home runs before my career was finished.”

He’d still be a cheater, but at least people could have respected him more for telling the truth. Now he just looks like a cheater and an idiot for thinking that he could get away with telling everyone he used drugs for health reasons. I’m not suggesting that everyone should buy into what Wenzlaff is saying, but it’s a joke to think that McGwire didn’t use riods to bulk up and smash 550-foot moonshots out of Busch Stadium.

Baseball Superstar Accused of Performance-Enhancing Genie Use

Reason #478 why I love The Onion.

Baseball Superstar Accused of Performance-Enhancing Genie Use

Ortiz represents our immunity towards steroids

Steve Buckley of The Boston Herald thinks that fans will just have to deal with the fact that some of these players may not have known what substances they were actually taking in the past. Since the players might have been in the dark, the fans will never get answers.

In what continues to be a complicated issue in which facts and innuendo collide, creating an awkward, interpretative truth, it comes down to this: Anybody with an interest in baseball, from fans and media to industry employees and the players themselves, is forced, in the end, to make a judgment call about all this.

It’s a little like viewing an abstract painting: What you see, what you feel, may be far different from what the person standing next to you is seeing, feeling.

And so it is with David Ortiz.

But perhaps some Yankees – and some of Big Papi’s teammates – viewed the entire scene from afar, wondering if their name will be the next released.

It’s the world in which the players now live.

It’s the world in which anyone who follows baseball now lives.

I hate all this pussyfooting. If a player took a supplement that “may or may not have contained steroids,” I view the issue in the same light as just doing the real drugs. It’s like finding a paper bag full of money hidden in a bush. You know that money is there under shaky circumstances, but you might take it anyway and walk away with an unexpected payday. Still, it’s not kosher. These players knew they were getting into some risky business when they walked into these “stores” or “doctor’s offices” and are willing to feign ignorance.

Find a picture of David Ortiz from the height of his career. Now look at Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, and Alex Rodriguez from theirs. Now go find a photo of Hank Aaron from any point of his career. Case closed.

If guys like David Ortiz really cared about “keeping it clean,” they would have made sure the substance didn’t contain a steroid. Whatever he was taking, it allowed him to put up bloated numbers that he’ll never again be able to replicate. To me, that’s evidence enough. I hope I’m proven wrong. Then again, like most real baseball fans, I take the last 15 years of the game with a grain of salt.

Hank Aaron never hit over 50 home runs in a season. However, he did hit 755 in his career, but none of them went over 500 ft. into impossible territory. I don’t think too much about the suspicion surrounding Ortiz because I already know the answer. None of those guys were for real.

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