Steroids and Baseball MAG

By Collins Uttermann, Woonsocket, RI

Imagine having a great baseball career available to you if wanted it. What if it was as easy as getting an injection? That dream is a reality, courtesy of steroids. As long as you have money and time to work out, you can be a great baseball player, all because of science. Imagine it – the money, the fame, the attention, anything and everything you could ever want. Is it right? I don’t think so. But people do it.

Steroids have many medical benefits. They help asthmatics, they shorten recovery time, and they help you get jacked. I don’t mean a few more pounds of muscle, I mean going from 200 pounds to 230 pounds of pure, powerful muscle. Whom do you think a baseball team will pick? The decent player with a good work ethic, or the bigger, faster, stronger player on steroids? You wouldn’t think twice. If you had to, then let the facts convince you ­otherwise.

Look at Adrián Beltré. Before 2004 he had never hit more than 20 home runs or driven in more than 80 runs in his career, nor had he hit over .450 (which represents the total number of bases divided by the player’s at-bats – essentially how much power production the player has). So Beltré ­wasn’t a power hitter, until 2004, that is, when he ­became a free agent and had his one shot at big-time money. This was also the last year that the MLB didn’t test for steroids. That year he hit 48 home runs and drove in 121 runs, with a batting average of .629. Beltré signed a five-year, $64 million contract. In 2005, however, MLB started testing for steroids. Beltré went right back to his 20 home runs and 80 RBI, and his slugging percentage dropped 200 points to .432. [Editor’s note: Beltré has never ­admitted to or been positively tested for steroid use.]

Using steroids is wrong, in my opinion, but what ­reasons do players have not to do it? First off, there are appearance-altering side effects. For men, steroid use can cause shrinking of reproductive organs, development of breasts, and ­infertility. In women it can result in masculine traits: facial hair, a lower voice, masculine facial changes, and cessation of the menstrual cycle. For both sexes it can cause cysts, acne, balding, and oily skin and hair. Steroid use can also result in serious health problems like heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and tumors and cysts in the liver and kidneys.

Knowing the side effects of steroids should discourage people from using them, right? Well, consider this: The minimum wage in the major leagues is $316,000, and the average salary is over $3 million, which is 1,797 times the average salary in the capital of the Dominican Republic. Would you be willing to risk the side effects of steroids in order to secure the ­future of your family?

Barry Bonds was a great baseball player before he took steroids, probably Hall of Fame caliber. But ­apparently great wasn’t enough for him. He needed more. He got more, but he paid the price.

The game has been tainted, tampered, and testosteroned to the point of questionable recovery. Science has taken players who are as thin as pancakes and made them as thick as linebackers. I am beginning to look gravely upon the once-glorious game’s future, and I wonder how it is ever going to recover.

For every armor built there is a bullet to pierce it, and steroids have become that bullet. Every time the MLB makes a new steroid policy, someone discovers a loophole. Imagine the greatest game ever, free from steroids and controversy. Why imagine? Perhaps ­because that’s all there is left for us to do.

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This article has 49 comments.

on Dec. 8 2009 at 11:47 pm
ryangallagher BRONZE, Cincinnati, Ohio
4 articles 2 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." -- Albert Einstein

Great! Totally agree, just one thing. Don't forget to specify which stats you're talking about. At first I thought you meant Beltre had a .450 batting average in the third paragraph. Since the last person to even hit .400 was Ted Williams that's obviously a .450 OBP or SLG based on the description you gave.

But all in all it sounds like you really did your research, are passionate and understand what you are talking about. Good job

on Nov. 11 2009 at 1:59 pm
DellsBallas BRONZE, Dell Rapids, South Dakota
4 articles 0 photos 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
If your not first your last.

Steroids has ruined the game of baseball and I dislike the people that have done it. I mean think of how unfair it is fair the people that are fair and don't. Look at Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer, the never get the recognition that Barry Bonds or Alex Rodriguez or Manny Ramerez or David Ortiz get but they play the game the right way and they are truely the people that should get a lot of credit that they dont get.

ponzianif said...
on Oct. 7 2009 at 10:11 pm
I do agree with you on the matter of steroid usage. No one should take them, but many players do. The one sentence you wrote, “Steroid use can also result in serious health problems like heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and tumors and cysts in the liver and kidneys,” is enough to make me think twice about steroids.

However, I strongly disagree with the fact that you said, “As long as you have money and time to work out, you can be a great baseball player, all because of science.” Despite the physical enhancement drugs, there has to be some kind of raw talent in a player. People do not just wake up and decide, “Hey, I’m going to take some steroids and make it into the Major League!” There has to be some skill, some talent, in the player or the steroids are useless.

All in all, this piece was very informative. I know I will not endanger my athletic life with drugs!

dj02 said...
on Aug. 10 2009 at 2:27 pm
ok, .625 batting average has never been done and will never be done. I think you meant to put .625 SLUGGING PERCENTAGE

Old friend said...
on May. 27 2009 at 2:55 pm
Steroids R bad I know a dude who took them and at first it was ok but he changed and after 1year the steriods pushed him to the edge to the point were he could not take it any more And he ended his life. DRUGS R BAD

baseballer said...
on Apr. 2 2009 at 6:59 pm
That was a great article and all u said was true. steroids are doing every sport bad

JD Lucas said...
on Mar. 2 2009 at 6:38 pm
you cant become magicly good at basbeall by taking steroids. all those players that took steroids in the mlb were great before they took them. steroids dont give you a perfect swing or great eye hand coordination. study up before you write like this. thanks

on Feb. 26 2009 at 4:09 pm
i think it so sad how our heroes have be so dumb!!

emily said...
on Feb. 13 2009 at 6:07 pm


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