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Think Steroids Have Ruined Baseball? Think Again.

Posted by Matt on October 4, 2007


It is no surprise that many fans around Nation feel that Barry Bonds wrongfully stole sports’ most hallowed record when he hit home run number 756 this season to surpass the epitome of class, Hank Aaron, atop the All-Time list — and fans probably harbor these feelings rightfully so. I can even admit to taking an extremely hard line on the issue of steroids (although I’d stop short of suspending a player not even on a team’s roster such as the NFL did to Tim Couch this week – this is insult to injury for someone whose career was laughable) but has steroids ruined baseball or even grossly affected the game?

I am coming out with a strong ‘no’ to answer that question. Again, I realize I have taken on a strict mentality when dealing with this issue and I still firmly believe a player should be punished if he violates any leagues’ substance-abuse policy. That being said, I don’t feel it has adversely affected the game but if it has, it is certainly not beyond repair.

Parity (or ‘competitive balance’ as Bud Selig calls it) may be at an all-time high. No team won 100 games this year and no team lost 100 games this year. Seven of the eight Playoff participants are different than the participants in the Playoffs just a year ago. Attendance records soared to an All-Time high this year, with over 3.5 million more patrons than the previous high.

And we had one of the most exciting finishes to a season in the National League to ever have been witnessed with an underdog Colorado Rockies squad winning 14-of-15 down the stretch, including a one-game playoff with the San Diego Padres, to eek in to the ‘Big Show’ and rejuvenate the game of baseball in a land dominated by Coors Light and Broncos.

Think steroids have ruined baseball?  Think again.

And truthfully, all of this has all sparked a renewed interest in the game for me and, thanks to Bob Swerski and my cousin, I’ll be pulling for the Cubbies for the entire month of October.

And if you’re still worried about Bonds, his steroid-driven role with the San Francisco Giants lead to last place in the National League West and a divorce filed by the franchise with Barry having never won “The Big One.”

5 Responses to “Think Steroids Have Ruined Baseball? Think Again.”

  1. Just2Cocky said

    If you’re talking about competitive balance Matt, then of course not. There will continue to be pennant races, close finishes, etc. But I think the rest of us take a look at more than just one year’s work in evaluating the state of the game. The constant, neverending, near orgasmic charting of Bonds’ every home run as we counted down to 756 made us look almost DAILY at Bonds’ role in baseball history. Is he a great hitter? Yes. Is the single-season and all-time HR record his? Well, yes and no. There will ALWAYS be a contingent of MLB fans that will be purists and who will harken back to a day and age where the worst thing you had to worry about in terms of competitive advantage was a spitballer, a corked bat and an occasional emery board. But as they say, money ruins everything, and so it has corrupted MLB beyond repair in my opinion. If my team is in the playoffs and making a run, then yeah I’m interested. The World Series? Unless the Yankees are in it, I’m probably interested in that one too. But paying well over $100 for my family to go see a major league game? We’ll be going to minor leagues and/or college games, thanks.

    Much more I could say on this, but suffice it to say, while I see your argument, I think it goes much deeper.

  2. Matt said

    Oh, I realize it goes much deeper…you should search steroids using the search engine for the site on the right and look how much emphasis I put on steroids.

    That being said, more pitchers have tested positive under the random testing than hitters (I believe, no source for that stat at the moment, though) so it hasn’t really “ruined” a whole lot in terms of the game, just more in terms of reputation, unfortunately.

  3. Steven said

    I am not sure that it has totally ruined it, but to me all pro sports are basically a business and little more.

    That is why I am a huge college sport’s fan and care little about any of the pro’s. Even when a team that I pull for (Atlanta Braves, Charlotte Panthers) loses a game, it barely affects me. I ca’t say the same for college where the outcome hurts much deeper for me.

    So has this one incident ruined baseball? No, baseball and all pro sports were ruined long ago. It has just taken MLB a little longer to join the party.

  4. Emerald said

    It is not ruined and is still functioning well, at least to the naked eye. But deep at the roots there is the decay… the decay of moral leadership. With all of the youth that look to athletes as role models, shouldn’t the players be considering what direction they are leading the youth?

  5. SOG knives said

    Interesting ideas… I wonder how the Hollywood media would portray this?

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