Steroids and Other Proud Heritages Of Our National Pass-Time
(Before reading this please note that it's a humor column and is not meant to be taken seriously.)
As you may well know steroids were first introduced in the 1930's and many believe that they were given to troops in WWII to boost testosterone and aggressiveness. What might be more of a surprise is that in 1936, Joe McCarthy hadn't won a world championship in four years.
Looking at his team, he saw and aging Gehrig, Lazzeri was struggling with power, and his pitchers were having trouble coming back from injuries. So he turned to a military buddy and got some experimental steroids to give his team that little boost.
"The Babe had been doing them for years." Whistle blower Jose Canseco contended. Canseco also claims that his grandfather supplied the Babe and Walter Johnson with the early forms of anabolic steroids. Lou Gehrig had to juice up just to get out bed toward the end of his consecutive games streak. So the juiced up Yankees won four World Series championships in a row and six in the next eight years. Joe McCarthy and the great steroid experiment was a success.
Word of this soon got around the league. Soon all the other teams wanted the same "vitamins" that the Yanks were giving to Dimaggio. The Red Sox steroid poster boy was Ted Williams, who claimed he had come up with the perfect steroid regimen in to improve his hand-eye coordination.
This continued until the other teams were fully integrated in steroids. Once every superstar in the league was juiced up, the teams started denying steroid use in the hopes that other teams would think that natural talent was the way to go. Soon throughout baseball, it was unsure who was using and who wasn't until the gigantic steroid booms of 1982.
Cal Ripken burst onto the scene showing an extraordinary knowledge of "sports medicine" and the ability to stay healthy. Following his blue print of success, Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, and Carl Yastremski start using his regimen. Yastremski at this point seemed too old for even steroids to help but, Boggs flourished as did Jim Rice. Other prolific steroid users of the 80's are Cecil Cooper, Lance Parrish, Mike Schmidt, Ozzie Smith, and Don Mattingly.
The steroid glory days of the 80's created problems and the Players Association began complaining about its team not getting good enough steroids or accusing league dealers of cutting and watering down their stuff. Steroid protagonist Don Baylor was quoted saying that he wanted to be able to get the same stuff that those young upstarts the bash brothers were using. This continued into 1993 when Joe Carter was clearly on better steroids than everybody else, and as a result, the league set out to strike the next year.
In 1994, the league agreed that since no one can be sure that they are getting steroids of equal quality that they should stop using them all together. Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro spearheaded this idea, saying that the best way to keep baseball pure was to eliminate steroids all together.
Knowing this, it makes me all the more depressed that there are players out there that would use steroids to get an unfair advantage. Bud Selig to this point has done such a wonderful job, hasn't he? Long live good clean baseball.
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