Today Mark McGwire, one of the biggest sluggers during the steroid era came clean about past use of performance enhancing drugs. Now as we look back, I think of the people and lasting images of the people this era has affected personally.
Let us remember that using just because most were--doesn't make it right. There was no penalty at the time but growing up, do you think these guys thought of smashing a game winning home run while also chemically enhanced? Or a pitcher blowing away a hitter with a needle injection.
This era has single handedly changed everything I thought about Baseball growing up. While some people like to brush it off and accept this era for what it was, I haven't accepted this and these are some of the reasons why you shouldn't.
The Offspring of Users
Thinking about this brings me images of the children of players like McGwire and Bonds. They allowed there kids to soak in there glory all the while being enhanced and full of deceit. Even Kolby Clemens who sits in the minors, probably garnered his dream of playing from what he thought was natural ability from his dad.
I see the joy in the faces of the these children as there fathers stood atop the sports world and how it was all a fake. As father's they had obligation's to these children. Yeah they did better there lives, but at what cost?
The Young Fans
How can you think of baseball without the youngsters. They imitate and dream to play like the stars. I think of the shame players like Sammy Sosa has given to all the young people in the Dominican Republic who looked upon him like an icon only to see him for the fraud that he is. He has shamed his home nation and Major League Baseball.
Baseball is a game of many players from many nations. The young people who looked up to these stars can only be drawn away from a game so full of question marks and asterisks.
Lack of Integrity
The line where I think the steroid era runs so deep into baseball is the lack of integrity. This includes everyone involved with the game during this time when baseball was so tainted. The non-users especially, they are as much to blame as the rest for their silence.
While players sat back and injected themselves with all sorts of chemicals, their were plenty of players who sat back silent as this disease infected the game. While some players eventually did come forward and spilled the beans, it was too few for the amount of players from the minor to major level.
Just one big player who wasn't juicing could of held a news conference and told the world of these crimes to our beloved game. No one did for whatever reason. That silence hurt the game far more for these silent years.
Now that we seen what this era has done to people in an around the game, let us look at the damage it's done to the game itself. The records stolen and taken away from hard working players. Now held by steroid cheats who didn't have the extra gear without getting an extra boost from a lab.
In this I think of the things players like Roger Maris and Hank Aaron endured during there record runs toward history. Maris was sacrificing his hair in exchange for the game while these guys selfishly sought an already inflated payday to be bigger. I think of how Aaron received death threats because of the color of his skin.
These sacrifices were made by players working hard.They played for the love of a game. A game who past has been shattered by players who didn't even stop at records they new sacred to the game. The selfish image of these players are what I'm left with. It's what you all should think about when speaking of this era.
Finally, I ask not to ignore these deeds because certain players were nice guys. In some ways I guess the nicer guy is all the more deceiving because of it.