Anymore, it seems that any success in baseball is directly correlated to steroids. Stories are coming out about former stars being offered performance enhancers; current stars mysteriously owe dealers large sums of cash. No longer is it a question of if a player has a steroid connection, but it is a matter of when.
Baseball in the 1990s was littered with steroid users. From Sammy Sosa to Mark McGwire; from Rafael Palmeiro to Jose Canseco; from Mike Piazza to Roger Clemons. The players that shaped baseball in that era changed the way that baseball is played. They cheated, though, and will likely never reach the Hall of Fame because of their actions.
Recently, Curt Schilling told reporters that members of the Boston Red Sox offered him steroids in 2008. Though he claims to have never taken the drugs, his name is now part of the controversy, and for some, a level of uncertainty may arise. Is Schilling trying to clear his conscience of past usage?
Brewers’ superstar Ryan Braun tested positive for steroids in the 2011 offseason, but the conviction was overturned when it was discovered that the handling of his drug test sample was mishandled. His name came up recently as part of a list of players that owe money to steroid dealer Anthony Bosch. Braun initially gave a solid alibi, stating that he only used Bosch for consulting purposes. As more evidence has come out, though, it is becoming apparent that Braun may owe money for something other than legal advice.
Other high profile players connected to Bosch include Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez, Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz and Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta. Volumes of other players are tied to Bosch, and other big names are likely to be uncovered.
Major League Baseball must change the way that steroid users are handled. Some might suggest that the penalties be harsher, increasing the length of suspensions or even banning them from baseball for a second or third offense. First time offenders currently receive 50 game suspensions. Obviously, these suspensions are not enough, as players are still using the drugs.
Seeing as steroid use is becoming the norm, would it be feasible for Commissioner Bud Selig and the MLB to change the steroid policy, and actually allow for performance enhancing substances?
Current Mets’ outfielder Marlon Byrd said on Twitter Friday, “I think you have to be an idiot to test positive and I was one of those idiots.” Baseball players no longer care about cheating, they care about getting caught. In order to change this rational, Selig must change the policies that surround steroids and their subsequent punishments.