The Major League Baseball season is officially underway.
Spring training has begun and teams are tuning up for the grueling 162 game schedule.
With all the excitement for the season to begin, the media and public are still talking steroids. Specifically, about the news of former single-season homerun record holder Mark McGwire, who admitted to steroid use throughout his career.
As a baseball fan, I am tired of hearing about steroids.
When are we going to forget about steroids and realize the era is a part of baseball history?
While it is unfortunate that most of the 1990s and early 2000s has been tainted by performance enhancing drugs, it is time for the baseball world to move on. It is pointless to try to examine history and pinpoint what players used steroids and which ones didn’t. It turns into a witch hunt and it is unfair to everyone who never used PEDs.
To move away from this era of baseball history, the baseball writers who vote for the Hall of Fame need to put everyone from the era that has a good enough resume into the Hall of Fame. That means McGwire, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens should all be in.
It is nearly impossible for us to judge what players did and did not use steroids. There was no testing system in place to catch these guys and for many of them there is no proof they actually used PEDSs
Regardless of whether they used or not, it is impossible to know how steroids affected players performance. How many homeruns did Bonds and McGwire hit off pitchers who were juicing? Would guys like Bonds, McGwire, and Clemens have been Hall of Famers without steroids? We will never know, so let’s take the numbers for what they are and put these guys in the Hall.
There is now a testing system in place in Major League Baseball, but don’t be fooled. There are still players on every team who are using PEDs.
Dodgers’ outfielder Manny Ramirez was suspended for 50 games early last season after he tested positive for a female fertility drug. The drug is on baseball’s banned substance list because it is also used after someone has finished a cycle of steroid use.
While baseball now tests for steroids, they still don’t test for human growth hormone, or HGH. The theory is that players are taking steroids during the offseason when they aren’t tested and then switching to HGH during the season when the testing process begins.
It’s reasonable to assume Ramirez took steroids during the offseason and then began taking the fertility drug as well as HGH when the season began.
Performance enhancing drugs are still a major part of the sport. Science will always be ahead of testing programs and there will always be another way for players to cheat the system.
It is human nature to try to gain an edge. Players will continue to cheat. With proper testing finally in place, anyone caught now should be punished.
If a player is caught once and if they have a Hall of Fame resume I believe they should still be let in the Hall. However, if any player tests positive more than once, not only should they not be eligible for the Hall of Fame, they should be banned from the game forever.
Obsessing about who is and isn’t using steroids will solve nothing.
Let the testing process try to weed out the players who use and let’s move on from the era of no testing. Continually, focusing on the past will not solve anything and only distract from the upcoming season.
Alex Ross is a freshman sports communication major from Fishers, Indiana. He is the Scout assistant sports editor.
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