Over the past year or so, Major League Baseball has been the center of attention for all the wrong reasons. For years baseball prided itself in saying the game is as clean as it ever has been. Now it turns out its leaders were wrong. Steroids, aka “the juice,” are back in baseball, but this time they have taken a different, more dangerous form.
Instead of steroids, the players are taking more complex forms of performance enhancing drugs that are difficult to detect in drug tests. The most recent spike in PEDs has been traced back to Biogenesis Lab in Miami. Players like Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and Melky Cabrera have all been linked to PED use. When people hear performance enhancing drugs, they instantly think the athletes who took them are cheaters and dirt bags.
“They don’t belong in baseball!,” and “Kick them out!,” are some of things people often say. But when you get right down to it, are PEDs really a bad thing? Most people love to watch the players try to break the records. If PEDs can help the athletes achieve those goals and if, as a result, more people watch the sport then why not let the players use them?
Steroids are completely different from the PEDs being used today. If athletes want to assume the risk of using PEDs, however, then what’s the big deal? There are stories every couple of years that leave you questioning a player’s integrity. Of course, not every baseball phenom uses PEDs, but some of the current streaks lead you to think PEDs are behind them.
So, the question comes up again: If the player is willing to take the risk and more people will buy tickets to watch the games, are PED’s really a bad thing for baseball?
Jacob Aaroen lives in Johnson City.