Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pic of the Week

A Brewers fan displays his opinion
of the suspended Ryan Braun before
a game at Miller Park.
One aspect of the Biogenesis steroids case — which last week resulted in a 65-fame suspension for Milwaukee star Ryan Braun — that I don't think I've seen mentioned anywhere before is this:

Fifteen years ago, when Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire were pumping up in private and pursuing home run records in public, steroids were a quiet gray area. Technically they were a violation of the rules, but nobody — owners, players, media — was interested in enforcing the rule. Baseball's ethos — from spitballs to cutting the bases — has always held that cheating is fine as long as you don't get caught.

In that environment, nobody should be surprised that performance-enhancing drugs became widespread.

Today, however, is a markedly different environment. There is testing. There is a vocal outcry from the bulk of the players to get the PEDs out of the game.

We have gone, in a generation of players, from an implicit expectation that a player seeking to be better would use to an explicit contempt for users.

It is more understandable to me that a Barry Bonds would use steroids than that Braun would, just because of the time and place for each.

1 comment:

  1. Good point about the historical context, as it were. Another point that I have always thought is overlooked is that both pitchers and hitters took PEDs. Doesn't that negate or balance the supposed positives of taking the drugs? I recently heard Curt Schilling claim that PEDs automatically turned average players into good players and good players into stars. Such an algorithm of doping is just horse-hockey hidden behind cowardly moral posturing.