With the coming of the new year comes one of the biggest stories so far in the world of baseball: Mark McGwire admitting to using steroids.
Of course, this was not the world’s most shocking confession as we saw him transform from consistent to monstrous in a matter of a few years.
Regardless of the shock value of McGwire’s admission, it has once again brought up the age-old dilemma of what MLB should do regarding possible Hall of Fame selections of players who used steroids.
But is this really what baseball fans should be dwelling on when it comes to steroids?
As an avid and lifelong fan of the game, I am more concerned about the credibility of the sport rather than who will have a plaque with their name on it in Cooperstown.
Now, do not get me wrong here, I am in no way downplaying the importance of giving some of the greatest players in the history of the game the recognition they deserve, but I think the effect on the quality of the game itself is more important.
Since the first allegations were made, steroids have tarnished Major League Baseball.
Championships have been questioned, players scrutinized, and records picked apart as if no effort had been put into them whatsoever.
It seems that no player or team can accomplish any feat without having their abilities questioned, and that is a serious problem.
How can fans continue to fully enjoy the experience of watching a game with those questions, along with the possibility that any player they look at is using steroids, swirling around?
If you think the problem is bad now, just wait—it will only get worse with time.
The tests given to the players do not detect all performance-enhancing drugs on the market and trust me, players are aware of that and some will do anything to live up to expectations.
Take Alex Rodriguez for example.
When he confessed to the world that he used PED's, he explained that it was a result of the pressure he felt to fulfill the expectations, not only of his fans, but also of the Texas Rangers, whom he had previously played for.
With time, that pressure will only become greater for players, and the possible rise of new PED's would provide more ways to enhance player’s abilities, including more ways to get around testing.
Do the math here—think about all the players who have gotten around the testing in the past and think to the future and the possible amount of players who will get around it with the rise of new drugs.
It is very unsettling if you think about it.
For those who feel I am being a bit rash when I say that steroids have tainted baseball just think of the first thing that comes to mind when you read the following names: A-Rod, Bonds, McGwire and Sosa.
Exactly my point.
Records do not pop up into your head; the word “steroids” does.
My point here is not to take shots at the importance of the Baseball Hall of Fame, but rather to bring up the issue of what steroids has done to the credibility of baseball and what it will continue to do.
The sad truth about steroids is that it will forever overshadow America’s Favorite Pastime, which is much more important than any record will ever be.