Steroids: MLB = Bad, NFL = Good (Or So the Media Would Have You Believe)

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Steroids: MLB = Bad, NFL = Good (Or So the Media Would Have You Believe)
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Last night was Monday, July the 13th. We managed to have a night where seven of the best home run hitters in baseball and Brandon Inge got together in an attempt to put on a power display where batting practice pitchers grooved balls at 70—75 MPH and in turn the likes of Pujols, Fielder, Cruz, and Howard deposited them deep into the St. Louis sky.

 

None of these performances was close to those put on in the past by the likes of Abreu, McGwire, or Sosa during the steroid era.

 

Can I ask why baseball is the only sport with a steroid era? Now we can clearly discern that the game had and, some will argue, still has a steroid problem.

 

So the witch-hunt will continue around the steroid issue, but worse for baseball is once a year they come back to the scene of the crime. The day before the mid-summer classic they showcase and event that has a history that is reeking with the smell of so much Deca-Durabolin and Andro.

 

So instead of trying to figure out if it’s Winstrol, HGH, or Primobolan that’s to blame, let's take a giant step backwards and give baseball a bit of a rest.

 

Yeah, I said it: give it a rest already.

 

This is the part where you tell me that they don’t deserve a break and baseball has put itself in this position. Admittedly, I am not able to defend any of that, as you would be 100 percent correct.

 

Cause steroids are BAD!! That’s right they are the devil in sports, they are the single biggest evil facing sports today. Even worse, baseball highlighted and showcased these cheaters, liars, and all-around bad guys, right? I mean, they are quite simply the worst athletes and role models on the planet. I don’t need to explain the vilification of baseball to you.

 

You know the story all too well.

 

Over 100 positive tests, multiple all-stars and dare I say it, there might even be a guy or two in the Hall of Fame, although thus far we cannot prove that.

 

What I can say is that baseball isn’t the only sport with a steroid issue.

 

See, we all remember the Mitchell Report. The one where baseball spent $20 million to have senator George Mitchell basically talk to the trainers from the Mets and Yankees and identify that baseball players were in fact doing steroids.

 

After 20 months, on December 13th, 2007 the senator released his 409-page report that named 89 baseball players. It was released to much fanfare and media coverage. The report drew five conclusions:

 

  1. Major League Baseball's 2002 response to steroid use resulted in players switching from detectable steroids to undetectable human growth hormone.
  2. The use of performance-enhancing substances by players is legally and ethically "wrong."
  3. While players that use illegal substances are responsible for their actions, that responsibility is shared by the entire baseball community for failing to recognize the problem sooner.
  4. An exhaustive investigation attempting to identify every player that has used illegal substances would not be beneficial.
  5. Major League Baseball should adopt the recommendations of the report as a first step in eliminating the use of illegal substances. (Credit: Wikipedia)

For all those reasons, baseball became the whipping boys for steroids in America. Everywhere you turned was a picture of a baseball being jacked up by a syringe full of a toxic goo that looked like it may have come from the Toxic Avengers.

 

So why was it when the San Diego Union Tribune dropped a steroid bombshell that includes Pro Bowlers and Hall of Famers, the issues was it quickly swept under the rug?

 

In their September 21st, 2008 addition Brent Schrotenboer dropped the list the Tribune had compiled.

 

Just so we are clear the performance enhancing drug list in the NFL goes back to 1962 and includes 185 names since then, it includes at least one player from each position (that’s right even kickers were doing it), and at least one player in each season over the past 47 years.

 

Some would argue that baseball's list was full of heavy hitters, including several players that would have gone to the Hall of Fame if not for the cloud of performance enhancing drugs.

 

Don’t worry though, in an attempt to not be left behind, the list of 185 contains 52 Pro Bowl players.

 

Also included on the list are four guys with their busts in Canton, Ohio.

 

When Manny tested positive for a female fertility drug (commonly taken to mask steroid use), and Alex Rodriguez was identified as one of 104 names that tested positive, the entire world pointed the dirty end of the stick back at the MLB once more.

 

Yet these same people stood by Pro Bowlers Shawne Merriman, Todd Steussie, Shaun Rodgers, Todd Sauerbrun, Marcus Stroud, David Boston, Byron Chamberlain, Rodney Harrison, Barrett Robbin, Bill Romanowski, and Dana Stubblefield, as each one of these all-stars tested positive in the NFL long after it introduced testing. By the time these guys tested positive, even baseball had a testing policy in place.

 

So as I hear the likes of Gregg Doyle over at cbssports.com lament the long ball and throw out accusations like, “Eventually, in months or years, someone from this year's group of eight Derby sluggers will land on the wrong list of names. That's damn near a lock,” forgive me if my stomach turns or my blood begins to boil.

 

This after he informed us that his outrage had played out back in February of 2009.

 

"Listen, steroids such as those used by Rodriguez—and by Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens and so many others, allegedly—are wrong," he began. "They're illegal, they're unfair, they're awful.

 

"My outrage is gone, sapped after 21 years of being angry about Ben Johnson and then Marion Jones and the Pittsburgh Steelers and Jose Canseco and Ken Caminiti and Shawne Merriman and Bonds and Clemens and—done."

 

"My outrage is done. You can have yours, and that's good, because athletes and society need the outrage of everyday people to keep them in check. So be outraged. Me, I'm depressed about the steroid scandal. Just not outraged. Not anymore."

 

So instead of being outraged, Doyle simply blasted eight guys, and predicted their guilt with no proof, but hey, who needs proof? This is Major League Baseball; they simply must be guilty, right?

This is the hypocritical nature of our media. That’s right, I said it. MLB gets killed at every turn when steroids are mentioned. Shawne Merriman tested positive and made ESPN’s All Pro Team, and then received six votes by the Associated Press, yeah the AP, for Defensive Player of the Year.

Hopefully the day will come when our press decides to report the facts, instead of speculating in the interest of creating a story.

Come to think of it, considering what they allow to be swept under the rug, there should be plenty of stories to go around.

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