Roger Clemens Fallout: How Ego Exacerbates MLB's Steroid Woes

Brian HegtCorrespondent IMay 4, 2008

As the sport of baseball continues to struggle as a whole with its ongoing steroid issue, one thing has become more and more clear in certain individual cases.

The egos of the large stars that have been convicted in the eyes of society have played a large role in their own demise.

The first example of this is Mark McGuire. When McGuire hit his 70 home runs in 1998, he and Sammy Sosa singlehandedly revitalized the game of baseball after the lull of the 1994 strike.

McGuire knew he had a reputation to uphold, and more importantly a place in history for that reason.

So when McGuire appeared before the U.S. Congress, he had to appear strong. In doing this, and invoking his right to the Fifth Amendment as a United States citizen, McGuire sealed his fate through a tacit admission of guilt.

What many people do not know about the Mark McGuire situation is the way his steroid investigation began.

Late in that prolific 1998 season, one of the St. Louis area reporters took it upon himself to rummage through McGuire's locker, violating the golden rule of clubhouse reporting.

Upon doing this, the reporter found a form of creatine that was later banned first by the International Olympic Committee and still to this day is NOT illegal in Major League Baseball. 

Barry Bonds' story is very similar to that of Mark McGuire, Bonds feels that as the all-time home run leader, he must defend his place in history. However, there seems to be a bit more hard evidence in the case involving BALCO.

Finally, Roger Clemens' story seems to have turned into a frequent front page headline for many national newspapers. What many fans seem to forget is that there is a simple baseball explanation as to why steroids are not advantageous for pitchers.

Anabolic steroids do not directly make a person bigger upon injection. In fact, if someone injects himself with these steroids and does not work out, he will only gain fat, not muscle. Steroids allow muscles to recover faster and enable two workouts in one day. 

Yes, it is certainly possible that Clemens injected himself in his legs to make his leg muscles stronger to push off the rubber, but as shown in Clemens' congressional hearing, his body has not changed drastically other than the natural weight gain that comes with age.

All of this being said, society needs to understand their place in private affairs. Clemens has always been a tremendously hard worker. He feels he has to defend his place in history as one of baseball's greatest pitchers.

He also has to protect his reputation as a hard working athlete, devoted father and loving family man.