Baseball On My Brain

I did steroids. So now what?
February 5, 2008, 11:46 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

I was reading some scouting reports today and came across several guys who had received suspensions for using performance enhancers.

What bothered me was that their suspensions were listed fairly matter-of-factly; that is, the same way an injury was listed or any other potential characteristic issue.

“Struggled with hamstring issues in first two seasons, some wonder if it will reoccur under the stress of longer seasons and tougher competition.”

“Known for late nights…coaches don’t think he appreciates what he has been blessed with.”

“Suspended for 50 games last year after using performance enhancing substances.”

As I read all these reports, the question “so now what?” kept coming up.

Most of these reports were “Top 10 Organizational Prospect” documents — basically who teams are looking strongly at in their own system and what their pluses and minuses are, as well as how well they might fare in a perfect-world scenario.

My question though — how is a steroid suspension seen by the people who evaluate talent? Does it matter? Does it rank higher or lower than chronic injury or inability to get to bed on time?

I know that as a society we believe in second – and often times third, fourth, fifth, etc… — chances for our celebrities. Short of first-degree murder, we are generally willing to agree to punish someone and let them have another swing at life. I generally agree with that – in baseball just as much as in life.

But when you stop and think about it – is that really the best way to go? In the marathon that is the race to become a big leaguer, steroids and other PEDs seem like a shortcut. Once you’ve taken that shortcut, how do you go back? Do you send a guy who tests positive while in double-A all the way back down to rookie ball and tell him to start over? I doubt it. So would the chance of a 50-game suspension be worth hitting the turbo button to supercharge your career and possibly advance up a level or two?

[I know that taking steroids don’t result in an instant change in performance – so forgive me if I make it seem that way. Sometimes you just have to illustrate the point.]

The question I think we’ll all be asking as more light is shed on the steroid era is just that…so now what? Collectively and individually we’ll have to answer that question as it relates to our views on players – past, present and future.


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