Sports Revelation

What Do Fans Do With the Steroid Era in Baseball?

Congratulations to the 2016 MLB Hall of Fame inductees, Ken Griffey Jr., and Mike Piazza. Ken Griffey Jr. is the first overall number 1 draft pick to get inducted into the Hall of Fame, and has the prettiest swing of all of baseball. He also wasn’t too shabby covering ground in center field.

 

Mike Piazza, was drafted in the 62nd round (which, oh by the way doesn’t exist anymore since the draft only goes 40 rounds deep) as the 1390th pick as a favor to Piazza’s father from Tommy Lasorda. He is the latest pick to ever get inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Piazza is considered by many as the best offensive catcher to ever play the game.

However, Mike Piazza also walks into the Hall of Fame with a grey cloud of PED’s over his head. He is one of the first players inducted into the Hall of Fame with a strong tie to the use of PEDs as he admitted he used androstenedione or “Andro.” Yes, the very same supplement that Mark McGuire famously “planted” in his locker to be seen during an interview, which reporter Steve Wilstein found and reported. In 1997, Andro was considered a PED, and on the banned substance list of the International Olympic Committee, NCAA, and NFL. During this time the MLB lacked a policy on PEDs. Also at this time, a person could walk into GNC and purchase androstenedione.

As fans can we be okay with Piazza using Andro but not McGuire? And if we are happy with Piazza and Biggio being elected into the Hall of Fame, shouldn’t we also be okay with Bagwell, and Bonds? Wait…no, Bonds is a lying, cheating, scumbag! Please strike his name from the last sentence with Bagwell.

As fans, we look back upon baseball players from the steroid era much like we look at politicians. We look past the faults or inflated stats of the players we like, and scream as we point fingers of the obvious cheating going on by the players we despise. That’s called human nature. We naively believe the players we like were clean and worked hard for their success, when evil players like Bonds were straight up cheaters and did not put in any hard work. We don’t want the tiniest thread of doubt to enter our minds that are childhood heroes might have cheated. However, when we don’t bat an eye or even think it’s a tad bit odd when an old Luis Gonzales hits 57 bombs (nearly 30 more then his career high), something is not right. Before 2001, the year Gonzales hit 57 home runs, only 4 other players in the history of Major League baseball had hit 60 or more home runs in a season. That’s 4 players in the history of the game. Think about that for a minute. In comes the 2001 season and not only was Gonzales 3 home runs shy of joining this rare group, but Barry Bonds joined this list. I guess pitching just sucked this year, no? Needless to say Luis found a power surge that year at his ripe old age of 87.

As fans we should urge MLB to come up with a protocol for the players from the steroid era. Maybe MLB should vote and decide what years they consider a player clean. Then the stats from these years would be the only stats that would count. For example, let’s say they deem Barry Bonds was clean up through the 1997 season. His stats only until the end of the 1997 season would count. He still had a grand career with almost 400 home runs, and over 400 stolen bases.

Or, what if Cooperstown contracted Stan Lee to help create the busts for players who are inducted into the Hall of Fame under suspicion of PED’s. He could help the artist render a Hulk-like appearance. Then when young, starry eyed, kids walk into Cooperstown they will see their favorite players for the roid-raging individuals they were with false, inflated stats, and collecting thick pay checks.

The years of the Steroid Era of baseball gave us some of baseball biggest stars. Even baseball cards were changing from simple colored cardboard to glossy, foiled stamped gems. Young kids and fans alike got caught up in the home run race between McGuire, Sosa, and Bonds. The mid 90’s also got the first glimpse of Derek Jeter, who broke onto the scene but felt immediately like a life long, legendary, Yankee. During this time it also seemed natural for a young kid to go by the name “Chipper” and help carry a baseball team on his back, while Ken Caminiti had a season where he played out of his mind to win the MVP. Thanks to the tainted players we now question everything that happens in baseball. How do we as fans look back upon this era?

Enjoy Sports Responsibly

#NoMoreMayPac

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