It is easy to think that baseball is ruined. From the Alex Rodriguez debacle to Ryan Braun lying to the face of the sports world it is hard to believe that the legacy of America’s favorite pastime is not tarnished. However, “ruined” may not be the correct word. Performance enhancing drugs have changed the lens through which we look at sports.
The business of sports is much to blame. Take Dan Meyer for example. Meyer is a former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher who failed to beat out Antonio Bastardo for a spot in the Phillies bullpen in 2011. When the news hit this past summer that Bastardo would be one of the players suspended by the MLB in the Biogenesis fallout, Meyer took his frustrations to Twitter.
“Hey Antonio Bastardo, remember when we competed for a job in 2011. Thx a lot. #ahole,” Meyer tweeted.
It seems players will do anything to keep a job, earn a contract, or win, even if that means risking suspension or their careers.
The honesty and purity of sports has changed as well. Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis is having an MVP caliber season. Davis has hit 47 home runs and 122 RBIs with still 20 games left to play in the regular season. He is neck and neck with the Tigers’ third baseman Miguel Cabrera for the Triple Crown. Davis hit 33 home runs and 85 RBIs all of last season. I cannot even enjoy the great season Davis is having without second guessing.
Let me take off my journalistic cap for a moment. As a baseball fan, it is bittersweet because we celebrate the home run. Of course we would rather see a 10-9 score with four home runs than a 2-1 ballgame with no home runs. No one wants PEDs in sports, but in the 10-9 game you get up out of your seat for fireworks after home runs. In the 2-1 game you just get out of your seat for a beer.
Maybe we can’t have both honesty and excitement.
Right now, PEDs are more prominent in baseball, but PEDs will soon become like throwing a rock into a pond. You will see the ripple effect into other sports, professional and non-professional.
In regards to injuries, we know that athletes have the highest and most advanced forms of training and rehabbing. But, even that comes into question with the amount of PED use in sports today.
PEDs have changed fans views and the way sports is. With scientific advances it may be impossible to stop PED use in sports completely. Maybe we have to accept it and move forward. It is just a disgrace that one day my kids might have to use PEDs to make the varsity baseball or basketball team.
Julian Mininsohn, a junior journalism major, is sports editor of the Campus Times. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.