Barry Bonds @ Coors Field, 4/22/06

There has always been a sub-culture of cheating in sports. In NASCAR,it’s almost a religion, the Patriots took it to a new level in football with their taping of signals, and hockey there is actually a piece of goal tending equipment called a cheater bar – it’s sewn onto a goalies glove. I guess this is all in the spirit of if you don’t get caught it’s not cheating but what’s been going on in baseball for decades is different.
I’m not talking about the fairly benign stuff like sandpapering a ball or stealing signs (without the use of video, Bill) and while I don’t condone corking a bat, given the paucity of great pitching I’m not sure why one would need to.

I mean the use of steroids.  It’s disgraceful that everyone is in denial despite warnings from some players themselves 20 or more years ago. What’s happened to this business (which is what pro sports is, kids!) is that its credibility has been undercut.  Do you think people just shrug doping off? Bring up the subject of the East German swimmers or some other programs that had a history of steroid and other performance enhancer abuse.  Most fans totally discount all their records and bemoan that great performances of other athletes that were minimized at the time because the doped up performances were so good.

How did you feel after rooting for McGwire and Sosa that great Summer to find out you were watching artificial performances? Unfortunately, what kind of pressure does all the attention these guys received (not to mention endorsement money) place on their peers to juice themselves?

Barry Bonds is, in my book, a tragic figure in all this. He was a great player on his way to a Hall of Fame career long before he started doping.  Fantastic combination of hitting and fielding abilities.  Now? He’s a joke in my book, as are his “records.”

When businesses allow employees to take shortcuts, it’s the business that’s damaged. Employees come and go but the business remains. As managers, it’s our job to remind the troops that improving performance via artificial means (cooking the books, shady sales deals) does way more harm than good.

What do you think? Has your attitude about baseball changed with yet more doping revelations?

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2 responses to “‘Roids

  1. as a parent of a very athletic 16 year old son who was always one position shy of making the high school team i hope and pray that we layed the foundation and he will always “do the right thing”

  2. Pingback: Baseballbriefs.com

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