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  1. #1
    Unchained
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    By Jim Caple
    ESPN.com


    Baseball was so much easier when the only performance-enhancer we had to worry about was Wheaties.

    Almost every day brings another steroid report. First, Jose Canseco said that 85 percent of major leaguers use steroids (based on his career, identical twin Ozzie must have been among the other 15 percent). Then Ken Caminiti told Sports Illustrated that he used steroids during his 1996 MVP season. Chad Curtis told SI that 40 to 50 percent of major leaguers use them as well.

    None of these revelations are exactly news -- everyone already knew steroid use is rampant in the major leagues, even if it isn't as high as Curtis or Canseco estimate. Every time a player shows up in spring training looking as if he's wearing bowling balls under his sleeves, only the naÔve think his amazing 30-pound muscle gain was due to nothing more than winter arm curls.

    If you wonder why reporters don't come straight out and write this instead of letting players attribute it to (wink,wink) offseason weight lifting, it isn't because we're trying to hide anything. It's just that we can't go around writing a specific player is on steroids without proof -- and with steroids being an illegal drug, players are rather reluctant to admit their use.

    Even without such admissions, however, it is obvious that steroid use has had an enormous effect on baseball in the past decade. Ten or so years ago, players built like Canseco were the exception in baseball. Now there are so many muscles in the game that a major league clubhouse can resemble the Bulgarian women's weight lifting team locker room (only with more goatees). Part of the muscle growth is due to greatly increased weight lifting programs. Part of it is due to improved offseason conditioning. And part of is due to steroids.

    The question is whether anyone really cares enough to do anything.

    Oh, people say they care. Fans say they hate steroid use almost as much as they hate Donald Fehr and Bud Selig. But they also really enjoy watching home runs sail into the upper deck. After all, Mark McGwire used the performance-enhancer androstenedione four years ago when he broke Roger Maris' single-season home run record. Did that stop anyone from cheering him? Sports Illustrated periodically preaches against the evils of steroid use, but the magazine sure seems to glorify a lot of players who have some suspiciously large muscles. And SI isn't the only media outlet in that boat.

    Do the players care? As long as many see steroids as a means to boosting production and salaries, they're going to be reluctant to ban their use.

    Do the owners care? Selig says he strongly favors testing, but with another work stoppage looming and with the owners threatening to gas two or more teams, steroid testing isn't on the back burner, it isn't even in the kitchen.

    It's time to start caring though. If a substance is illegal in the United States, it should be illegal in the major leagues.

    It's time for the Players Association to care about something more than a paycheck. It's time for the union to agree to a steroid ban and a testing program. This isn't about giving away power to the owners, this is about protecting the long-term health of union members.

    Testing won't rid baseball of steroids any more than it rid the Olympics of steroids. But it will discourage steroid use and check its growth. If players worry that they might lose a year's salary due to a suspension, they also will be less likely to risk steroid use to boost their pay.

    The only way to reduce the use of steroids is to reduce the rewards for those using them. As the Ironic Times put it in a headline on its website: "85 Percent of Players on Steroids, The Rest on Waivers.''
    "There's a Japanese term called wabi-sabi, not wasabi, but wabi-sabi. It means an appreciation for the imperfect, the less than precision. The cowboy boots that you never polish because it's bad luck. That is completely wabi-sabi. Van Halen is that." - DLR 2002<br /><br />"Look! I can see their parachutes! They're ok..." - Tenshinhan, DragonBall Z

  2. #2
    Baluchitherium dirtymovies's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Unchained
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    And then the fucker comes out the next week and basically backpedals on his 50% figure. What a loser.
    "There's a Japanese term called wabi-sabi, not wasabi, but wabi-sabi. It means an appreciation for the imperfect, the less than precision. The cowboy boots that you never polish because it's bad luck. That is completely wabi-sabi. Van Halen is that." - DLR 2002<br /><br />"Look! I can see their parachutes! They're ok..." - Tenshinhan, DragonBall Z

  4. #4
    Baluchitherium dirtymovies's Avatar
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    yep

 

 

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