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Monday, March 07, 2005

A Neo Cons Look At Steroids

What’s the big deal? Is the issue gaining an unfair competitive advantage over others who are drug free? Or are steroids a serious health risk and moral dilemma that must be resolved? Most sportswriters I have read over the last several months have not attacked or supported this issue of health. If this truly was a health issue, then why not go after steroids based on the effects to a person’s body they cause. Cigarettes are regulated. Alcohol is regulated. Rules exist for other drugs deemed unsafe. But in the case of steroids, most notably the recent unpleasantness in baseball, the issue seems to center on an unfair advantage on the playing field as opposed to the potential health risks of unregulated growth hormones and other banned substances.

What’s silly about this argument is that steroids and steroids alone are being looked at as the sole source of gaining an unfair competitive advantage. Even sillier is that when you isolate steroids as a cause, you dismiss all other factors that allow players to shatter records from year to year: hard work, talent, genetics, technology in equipment, physical training, medical advances related to injuries, nutritional supplementation, etc. If the critics of steroid abuse were really concerned about records being broken by those that ingest and shoot banned substances, then let’s truly make the playing field even. Let’s get back to the early days of baseball when these records were set. Let Giambi, Canseco, Bell, and Bonds play baseball like the great players of the past. Give them bats that weigh as much as small children. Give them shoes and uniforms that hamper speed. Let them eat what they want. Eliminate nutritional supplements. Let them travel by train from city to city. Take away the technology of sports medicine. Once these other ‘factors’ are eliminated, let’s see if the players of today can match and or exceed the feats of the baseball Gods that came before them. Does anyone think that the athletes of today could break the Babe’s record of single season home runs (Roger Maris notwithstanding), or the pitching stats of Cy Young if everything including steroids were eliminated. Does anyone really think the stands of major league stadiums would be filled if records were set at levels of the 1950s and 1960s in the year 2005? Serious doubt must ensue.

I say let’s regulate steroids like we regulate other substances. Set standards of consumption including age restrictions for younger athletes. Monitor steroid use. Punish those that break the rules and lay out punitive measures for repeat offenders and their managers. After all, aren’t those that play sports at a professional level there to entertain and to make the owners of those organizations money in the process?

Juice-up boys of summer and play ball!

Comments:
Not a bad point. The only things is, shouldn't people have a right to determine for themselves if they want to risk their health? If that is the case, then steroid use in baseball should not be regulated passed the point of drug tests for information purposes. In that way, you can use steroids, but all of the fans will know.
 
Good point...I think all sports need a huge dose of coming clean. Call it 'Andro-Amnesty'. Once that happens, we can all get back to focusing on more weighty moral dilemmas.
 
Carlin had it right. Let the players do whatever they want, but add the little things that level the playing field for everyone. Suggestions:
- Landmines in the outfield,
- fire on the basepaths
- the possibility of the exploding ball
- leg irons to neutralize the really speedy players (but they often do that to themselves)
 
Hilarious...thanks for the post. Love the idea about exploding balls. What I would do is give one exploding ball to each team that each can use at any time that the other team does not know about. What about releasing a tiger in the outfield? AA Guns for the infield and if the ball does not get out of the infield, you get to sacrifice the batter. The possibilities are endless.
 
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