Paquin1Brandon PaquinJunior EssayMr. Burch4 June 2012The Effect Steroids had on Baseball in AmericaIn the last ten to twenty years steroids have become an impactful topic in the world ofsports. In the minds of many sport fans baseball has been the fallen victim of steroids. Baseballhas been changed over the last two decades for the worst. Baseball has been the only sport thathas been changed in so many ways due to enhancers. The American past time, baseball has beendisgraced with performance enhancers which caused inhuman numbers, and rigged the recordbooks when users were entered.In the last 1990’s the statistics of the players increased to a super human level. Playerssuch as Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire started hitting well over 60 home runs in the late 90’s.In 1998 Mark McGuire took it to a new level when he broke the single season home run recordat that time. Most if not all of the home run leaders in those years were accused of users from thefans. Hitters weren’t the only players accused in the 1990’s pitchers were also put into question.The most famous pitcher to be put into question was Roger “The Rocket” Clemens. People wereaccusing Clemens because of his body physique and massive arms. Also, Clemens was throwingan over powering fast ball when he was near the end of his career which at that time was unheardof. The use of performance enhancers in the late 1990’s escaladed when it became themillennium.In many of the players’ minds, the steroid users were overshadowing the clean non usingplayers. Rick Helling a right handed pitcher for the Texas Rangers in the early 2000s certainly
Paquin2felt this way. He states “it’s a bigger deal than people think. It’s noticeable enough that it’screating an uneven playing field. What really bothers me is the fact it’s gotten so out of hand thatguys are feeling pressure to do it because they’re falling behind.” (Rick Helling, Buck). Rick’squote about the uneven playing field is 100% correct. Steroids made the non-users get to a pointwhere they had no choice but to use or they would end up cut or sent down. Another player whothought it wasn’t fair to the players who don’t use was Oakland Athletics first baseman JasonGiambi. Giambi states that “guys that work their butts off and they’re hitting home runs, now it’sbecause they’re on steroids. Even injuries a guy gets hurt, oh he’s on steroids, it’s sickening”(Jason Giambi, Mitchell). Giambi’s opinion on how home run hitters were looked at is correct.Steroids caused all fans to believe all players were using.The stats from the users and the stats from the clean players are different in multiple ways.A couple of comparisons that are prove there was drastic differences are Sosa/ Griffey, andMcGuire/McGriff. Sammy Sosa in his prime was hitting well over 50 home runs a year and itwas clear he was different (ESPN.com). Ken Griffey Jr. on the other hand a slick built outfieldernever bulked up like his counterpart Sosa and was legit. Griffey has never been questioned forsteroids he had that swing that was just perfect and wasn’t trying to hit home runs it justhappened (BaseballRefernce.com). The next comparison is McGuire and McGriff. McGuire likeSosa bulked up to an enormous measure and was hitting well over 60 home runs a year(BaseballRefernce.com). McGriff on the other hand an all-star first baseman and soon to be Hallof Famer never hit over 50 home runs and never bulked to the size of Big Mac(BaseballRefernce.com). Baseball to its credit used these enormous ball players to sell tickets,but at same time it gave them negative publicity. The publicity left everyone is question over theplayers and put all sluggers on the chopping block.
Paquin3The advantage performance enhancers have so much of an effect that it made decentplayers into superstars. Steroids enhanced many things for a player’s body. Some examples arerecovery from injury, improves appearance, and triggers a strong response (Martens). Oneplayer who is famous for that is former Athletics Outfielder Jose Canseco. A baseball journalistmade a quote some time ago that sums it all up and that is “Canseco is most conspicuousexample of a player who made himself great with steroids” (Tom Boswell, Buck). Tom Boswellanalyzed Canseco’s career and he’s right Canseco would have never been anything close to thatplayer without steroids. Another person who had an opinion on Canseco was a player doctor andhe said “steroids don’t make someone a good athlete or bad athlete, they make you stronger butthey don’t make you a better athlete” (Player Doctor, Schmidt). This guy had to have been asupplier because clearly they did make players better and no better example that Canseco.McGuire never would have been caught up in steroids if it wasn’t for Canseco, he ruined thegame.Canseco was a big user in his own time but a man who used them to sky rocket into therecord books was Barry Bonds. Barry as of right now is on trial for lying to a grand jury aboutsteroids. The enhancers Bonds was using helped him develop into a homerun hitter that wouldn’tjust clear the fence but clear the building. Bonds’ home run totals went from solid 35-40 homeruns a season to well over 50 per season (Steroidsinbaseball.org) The amazing thing is thatBonds was such a skinny kid in Pittsburgh and all of sudden bulked up so quickly and he thoughthe was clean.The use of performance enhancers by Barry Bonds instantly makes all of hisaccomplishments tainted. Bonds took the title of the home run king in 2001 when he hit 73 homeruns. Ever since then that title has been disgraced because everyone knew he used. Gary
Paquin4Sheffield said in a statement to Congress that Barry Bonds said this to him, “nothing between meand Greg. Barry, pretty much controlled everything. He said trust me do what I do” (GarySheffield, Mitchell). The most disappointing thing happened in 2007 when he bypassed thegreatest home run hitter ever in Hank Aaron. Bonds in a symbolic way slapped Aaron in the facewhen he took that title because he had to cheat to do it. Bonds never would have been the homerun king or even close without the assistance of steroids.Barry Bonds in some people’s minds was the cause for the 2000s to be themostquestioned decade for steroids. He was easily the most famous person to be caught he wasthe home run king of course that’s going to bring publicity. Not only that but unlike older playershe got better and stronger as he got older. Bonds though in 2007 looked like he was certainly offthe enhancers because his body looked deflated and not built. After Bonds 73 home run seasonhis home run total shrunk massively as his career ended. Bonds use of steroids didn’t make him asuperstar he was already that all it did was keep him out of the Hall Of Fame.Baseball since the allegations of the steroid using has added rules and acts to reduce theuse. In the late 80’s Major League Baseball added the Anti- drug abuse act, and the AnabolicSteroid act in hope to stop using. Baseball seemed to being doing good until they caught sluggerMark McGuire in 1998 which caused more acts to be created.After the 2000 season baseball decided to start testing players, not all but some. Majorleague Baseball had been testing some MLB players but they changed it all when they startedtesting minor league baseball players. The tests from the minor league players showed that someyoung talented stars in the making were already using before they even hit the majors. Thisstopped many superstars in the making players to have career shut down due to steroids. They
Paquin5had to stop these players because if they had not then the players would have had a clearadvantage over the rest.Many people had speculated multiple stars had been using steroids and some had beencaught but the story that told all was the Mitchell Report which was released in December of2007 (George Mitchell timeline in baseballs steroid era). There were 129 players named in thatreport about using steroids. Many of the players house hold names such as David Ortiz, andManny Ramirez. The 129 players were broken up into three categories 47 caught, 16 admitted,and 34 implicated. The Mitchell Report told all about the usage of steroids in Major LeagueBaseball. Some other big names caught in Mitchell Report were Jason Giambi, Rafael Palmeiro,Troy Glaus, and David Justice (Fravitz). All these former all-stars along with over 100 morewere revealed to the world as cheaters. Unfortunately some players have been able to beat thesystem and use an unknown substance that can’t be determined what it is. Hopefully at somepoint the cheaters who believe they can beat the system are caught and put to justice as adisgrace to the game.(Mitchell Report, Mitchell).Baseball since the Mitchell Report has been released they have seen players such asBarry Bonds, and Roger Clemens to the Supreme Court justice. Some former players have takentheir lying about steroids to a point of a full investigation that led to a legal matter when they liedto congress. When congress was lied to they focused on two former players in particular RogerClemens and Barry Bonds. Both men have been accused of lying to the congress and now theSupreme Court when they asked if they had used anabolic steroids. (Steroidsinbaseball.org)Barry Bonds was the first to go on trial but he wasn’t alone. His trainer Greg Andersonwas right there with him. Barry Bonds got very lucky because of his name he was able to sneakhis way out of court and not be charged yet. Greg Anderson his former trainer however was not
Paquin6so lucky because he wasn’t any superstar he had no accomplishments. Bonds on this day is stillfighting in court on whether or not he used anabolic steroids in his baseball career and whetheror not he lied to a grand jury. (Steroidsinbaseball.com)Roger Clemens the other man who is in the court room too much for a former player. Justlike Bonds Clemens was also in that congress meeting with other former players about steroids.He like many others when asked the question if he had used anabolic steroids he simply said no.Unfortunately for Roger Clemens nobody believed him especially his former trainer BrianMcNamee who came forth with multiple syringes and other evidence that led to Clemens beingput on trial. McNamee evidence put Clemens name and reputation on thin ice just as Bondsformer trainer Anderson had done. McNamee though to his credit had more evidence than anyjury could possibly want the only problem is it was very difficult for him to prove the blood andother DNA was from Roger Clemens.The years that Dr. McNamee was Clemens trainer was in the late 1990s as well as theearly 2000s the years Clemens was supposedly using. The fact that McNamee was his trainer in1999 put in question whether or not the DNA was real or not because it had been badly fadedand barely able to be seen or tested. McNamee’s dignity was put into question because they hadto find out whether or he was telling the truth or trying to tamper a legends perfect resume.Major League Baseball since has stayed away from the Clemens trials because it’s just badpublicity for baseball and everyone involved. Just like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens is still ontrial along with his former Doctor Brian McNamee and nothing has been resolved at all evenwith all these hearings and trials. Jeff Pearlman the author of the biography about Roger Clemensusing steroids had an interesting quote about the situation. The quote states that “he was
Paquin7supposed to be the next Nolan Ryan. Clemens the fearless, hard-nosed Texan with a 98 mphfastball, yet shortly after his arrival it was apparent Clemens was superior (Pearlman).The game of baseball has evolved from decade to decade. Baseball’s steroid use hasinflated over the past three decades and it shows. The reason steroids keep increasing is becausechildren see their favorite athletes’ huge and crushing home runs. American kids want to be likethem and be big which causes the steroid path to never end.Baseball’s trouble with steroids have led to a destruction of player’s careers and dignity,disgraced the game, and ruined the history books. Baseball’s problem with steroids is still a bigdeal to this day because players just keep on using and getting away with it. The sad part isbaseball is in a tough bind because they don’t know what else to do about it. Major LeagueBaseball has done everything in their power to fix the problem for the better but as of the year2012 baseball is still the sport tampered with steroids. Baseball’s use of enhancers tainted morethan 100 players and over a decade of statistics (Stevens).
Paquin8Works CitedBuck, Paul. "The Man Who Warned Baseball about Steroids."Time.com. Time Magazine,23 Feb. 2009. Web. 17 May 2012.<http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1881350,00.html>.Canseco, Jose. Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball GotBig. New York: Regan, 2005. Print.Fravitz, Derek. "The Big Names in Baseball Steroid Scandal."Washington Post. TheWashington Post, 10 Feb. 2009. Web. 17 May 2012.<http://voices.washingtonpost.com/washingtonpostinvestigations/2009/02/fact_and_fiction_in_baseballs_steroids.html>.Martens, Mathew P. "Drug Abuse, Sports Encyclopedia of Social Problems."Gale VirtualReference Library.Gale, 2008.Web. May 2012.McCallum, Jack. "The Real Dope."Breaking News, Real-time Scores and Daily Analysisfrom Sports Illustrated Â– SI.com. 2008. Web. 17 May 2012. <http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/>.Mitchell, George. "Baseballs Steroid Era."Â» Info, Lists, Quotes, Timelines, Statistics.2006. Web. 17 May 2012. <http://www.baseballssteroidera.com/>.Pearlman, Jeff. The Rocket That Fell to Earth: Roger Clemens and the Rage for BaseballImmortality. New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2009. Print.Schmidt, Michael. "Inside a World of Easy Steroids."The New York Times. The NewYork Times, 11 Apr. 2009. Web. 17 May 2012.<http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/12/sports/baseball/12steroids.html?pagewanted=all>.Stevens, David. "Baseball, Major League." Sharpe-online. Sharpe. Web. May 2012.
Paquin9Sammy Sosa Stats." Espn.com. Espn.Web.<http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/stats/_/id/2187/sammy-sosa>.Baseball-Reference.com - Major League Baseball Statistics and History."Baseball-Reference.com. Baseball Refernce, 2010.Web. 29 May 2012. <http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/griffke02.shtml>.