Whatever Happened to the ‘Natural’ Days of Baseball?

El Vaquero Staff Writer

Hitting home runs, breaking Olympic records and making big money
are reasons people play sports. Every player strives to be the best
they can be, but why not do it naturally, without the help of some
type artificial supplement. What ever happen to hitting a jumper at
the buzzard after playing 40 minutes, and the only thing that
helped you make the shot was an adrenalin rush.

What ever happened to being able to hit home runs like Babe Ruth
and Ted Williams did, with natural strength and bat speed. The only
supplement Ruth ever picked up was a bottle of whiskey.

After the FDA banned steroids in the late ’80s, many players
have used legal nutritional supplements. But in recent years many
players have come under fire, especially in baseball, for the
alleged use of what most people call “the juice.”

Baseball has come under much pressure from many people around
the sports world for having such a relaxed steroid use policy.
Major League Baseball has a current policy that requires that if
five percent of the players in the league refuse to take a test,
the whole league must be tested. But the testing is an absolute
joke since most guys are not afraid of the testing, since the test
only test for certain steroids. This comes after decades of refusal
from the players union from being tested.

Many MLB players act as if using the juice is not that big of a
deal, yet feel that they are threatened and will not answer
questions with anything pertaining to steroid use. In the last few
years former league Most Valuable Players Jose Conseco and Ken
Caminnitii admitted that they were avid steroid users during their
playing days. They also admitted that over 75 percent of the
players were juicing in some way. Only 75 percent, I think it is

What makes baseball so much better than the other sports, as a
life long baseball fan I cant stand to watch guys that were once
skinny all of a sudden contestants of the Mr. Olympia contest.

In October BALCO labs in Burlingame, was put under much scrutiny
when the FDA announced that it would be looking to see if reports
that they had received that supplement Tetrahydrogestrinone, also
known as THG, was a actually a designer steroid. The FDA received a
syringe from an unidentified coach that contained the substance
during the summer. The coach told the FDA that the substance was
THG and that many players were purchasing it from BALCO.

BALCO has stayed rather quiet during this whole situation trying
to protect some of their clients who use this drug. Some of these
clients are large sports personalities such as Bill Rowmanoski and
Barry Bonds. One client, who happened to be the personal trainer of
Bonds, was Greg Anderson, who trains many pro athletes. In November
it was reported by the San Francisco Chronicle that following a
police raid in Anderson’s home on Sept. 5, illegal steroids were
found in his house.

This continues the investigation of a Federal grand jury that is
trying to find out who is behind this whole mess. BALCO owner
Victor Conte has been accused of making the drug and trying to
disguise it as a supplement, so no one would get caught. Remember,
cheaters eventually get caught.

The NFL just recently pardoned four Raider players after they
tested positive for THG. They were pardoned due to the fact that
the drug had not been outlawed before they were tested. Before the
NFL pardons any more players, they should remember of Lyle

On Dec.5 Bonds had to testify in front of a Grand Jury regarding
the investigating on his trainer.

So far Bonds’ attorney has said that his client is guilty of
nothing and is just cooperating with investigators. That is one of
the biggest crocks that I have ever heard. What all us baseball
fans have been thinking is about to come true, Bonds will
eventually get caught for juicing. In the last 5 years Bonds has
gained over 30 pounds of pure muscle mass. Bonds is hitting home
runs at a record pace and if he stays healthy and keeps on juicing,
he will pass Ruth on the all time home run list, and eventually
break Hank Aaron’s all time home run record. Which I think is a
shame. Hammering Hank and the Bambino were legends and gods at what
they did. All Bonds is, is a home run hitting machine that only
runs on juice.

When Bonds was a Pittsburgh Pirate he could never hit these
homeruns, he was a good hitter, but he was not the hitter he is
today. If Bonds is actually found guilty of steroid use and he does
break that all time mark, an asterisk should be placed next to his
name. This should also include an asterisk next to his name for the
single season mark and returned to its proper owner, Roger

That’s right, Maris. Let’s not forget that the loveable Mark
McGwire is a life long steroid user. A reporter discovered a type
of legal steroid in his locker during his historic 1998 season.

One thing that did happen in the Major Leagues, homeruns were
down. For the first time in seven years, no one had an unbelievable
number of homeruns. Of course they also walked Bonds more than 100

The worst thing is kids across the country are juicing as if it
is a cool thing to do. This includes high school and college
players. Charles Barkeley was right; kids shouldn’t look to
athletes as roll models. I guess instead of being like Mike, kids
now want to juice like Barry.

Paul Simon wrote a song and asked where Joe DiMaggio had gone?
In that song Simon asked what had happened to the men America
looked up, like DiMaggio. Well I am sorry to say that we can longer
look for those men in most sports, especially baseball.