Steroids Have Not Killed Pro Baseball: They Have Actually Given It Life-Support

Ryan MichaelSenior Writer IIIFebruary 9, 2009

I'm so tired of hearing everyone on television, on the radio, and around the water cooler whine and complain about how steroids have killed professional baseball. They're talking as if the Alex Rodriguez developments are going to give birth to the dark ages of the sport.

I have news for you, baseball was dying long before steroids became a permanent fixture.

Not dying in the sense that it would cease to exist, baseball has and always will maintain a large enough fan base to keep the sport relevant. With that being said, baseball has long taken a back seat in America to the sport of professional football.

Baseball is no longer America's great national past-time but rather one of many sports that would not even have the popularity it does had it not been one of the first major American-born sports.

Baseball's historic roots have become some of the foundation that still holds it up today. In a way, that brings us to what everyone has been talking about as of late.

How steroids have destroyed pro baseball and how we can no longer even look at the players of today and compare them in a fair way to the players of yesteryear.

That might very well be true but the biggest issue concerning to the relevance of pro baseball does not revolve around the difficulty we now have putting current accolades in historical perspective.

Steroids are said to have tainted the integrity of the sport.

Let me first be straight up and let everyone know that I in no way endorse the use of steroids in baseball or any other sport. I look upon doing so as cheating, an unfair advantage, or whatever phrase you'd chose to use. I'm not trying to advocate it's use in any way shape or form with the point I'm trying to make here.

The fact is that as time went on and the people of America grew more fragmented in what they've chosen to watch, baseball suffered from the threat of no longer becoming relevant like it had in years past.

At this point in time, American families found a plethora of things to do and most of them did not include going to their local ball park. Major League Baseball needed to find a way to keep the sport exciting and put butts in the seats.

They did so to a point, with the introduction of the steroid-era.

As we cheered for men like Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, and Alex Rodriguez to hit more and more home-runs, the players in times of desperation sought an illegal means to do so.

When or where steroids became more common place would be very difficult to determine but the things that was certain was the fan's involvement in wanting to see more and more of the power-hitting.

Barry Bonds was a Hall of Famer long before he ever may have taken steroids. But in such a competitive league, he saw his fellow players take their games to the next level and perhaps turned to a direction he would have never gone otherwise because he wanted to have the same edge that many other players did.

I'm not making excuses for any players nor do I mean to point the finger of accusation at any players in particular, god knows we have our unbiased and impartial media to do that job for me.

All I ask is that before we sit back and act like the revelation of steroids is suddenly going to destroy the fabric of professional baseball, take a look at the factors that helped give birth to this major scandal we're now all forced to deal with.

We all did it people, we all had a say in what we wanted our heroes to become. Look at them now. Take a good long look at the featured picture of Mark McGwire and ask yourself exactly what was the motivation for him and other players to turn to such an extensive means of dishonesty?

Major League Baseball is suffering from the unfortunate events born from baseball's lack of relevance and delivered by the encouragement we all gave our heroes to see them deliver the excitement we all craved.

Directly or indirectly as we stand here today and see what has happened to such a great sport, was it really all worth it?