Steroids Scandal is Hurting the Game of Baseball

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el-vaquero-staff-writer/" class="creditline">EMIN AVAKIAN
El Vaquero Staff Writer

Baseball fans, let me be the one to officially introduce you all to the Post-Steroids era. In this era, every home run will be looked at with suspicion, bulked up players better have VIP status to a gym, and once star players will no longer will be a lock for Cooperstown. Enter if you wish.

The steroid scandal is hurting the game of baseball and it will continue to until something is done about it. A few of the players accused of taking steroids faced tough questions at a Congressional hearing on March 21. Mark McGwire went from baseball hero to baseball clown when he basically admitted to taking steroids. McGwire probably cost himself a ticket to the hall of fame, while raises the question, “Who will be next?”

Commissioner Bud Selig needs to find out which players are dirty and suspend them indefinitely. Not doing so will result in lower ratings on television and a lot of empty seats at the stadiums but more importantly, the integrity of the game will be tarnished.

Fans of the game are not talking about their team’s hitting, or even how good their team is going to be this season. Instead, they are talking about steroids, and wondering what percentage of ball players have taken them.

Sports reporters are not writing about which team has most improved this season, or what team could be the surprise team of the postseason. Instead, the articles are about one word and one word only: steroids.
And it does not stop with the professional game. Steroids are a problem in every level of play, something that a Glendale Vaquero baseball player is well aware of.

“I think the steroids scandal that is going on is very unfortunate,” Vaquero hitter Daniel Lee said.

Barry Bonds, arguably the greatest baseball player ever, is 52 home runs behind Henry Aaron on the all-time home run list. We should be starting the countdown to 755, and starting to celebrate the historic moment, but all we ever hear about Bonds is how much scrutiny he is under.

According to federal grand jury testimony, Bonds admitted that he unknowingly took some kind of performance enhancing substance. On Saturday, Bonds’ ex-girlfriend came out and told the world that Bonds told her he used steroids.

“I don’t know what cheating is,” Bonds said in another press conference on March 1st.

Bonds is not doing anything but hurting his legacy. What he needs to do is prove that everything he achieved in his career is legitimate, and that without a doubt he is one of the greatest players of all time. We don’t need to know how he feels about steroids. We need to know if there were ever steroids in
his body.

What is really a shame is the players who have never cheated to enhance performance are not getting talked about because everybody is so caught up in the scandal. Ken Griffey Jr., who used to be talked about in the same breath as Aaron and Babe Ruth, is attempting a comeback after multiple surgeries to his ankle limited him to 234 games total in the last three seasons. When ranking players based on natural talent, Griffey is in the top three, and we should be cheering him on as he tries to regain superstar status.

“Griffey has never taken steroids, and he has never had off-field problems,” said Skip Bayless on ESPN2’s “Cold Pizza”. “We need to recognize him as one of the few good players left never
to have cheated.”

What the MLB is going through is unlike anything else we have seen in sports. The fact that some of the top players in the game cheated their way to the top is embarassing for America’s past time.