Performance enhancing drugs, the scientific name for ‘roids. Actually, I don’t know if the “scientific name” is accurate but hey, it sounds smart anyways. Ever since this BioGenesis scandal has become news, I, along with the rest of baseball’s millions of fans, have wondered who else is involved other than the Milwaukee Brewers Ryan Braun. It comes as no surprise that Alex Rodriguez’s name is in there. By the time Friday, August 2nd rolls around we’ll know who else is getting jacked up on the PED’s.
My thoughts and opinions on PED’s are not scientifically founded. I’ve done a little research on the subject over the years and what I am about to say are thoughts and conclusions (or opinions rather) that I have developed. With that being said…PED’s are overrated. PED’s are nothing short of a placebo effect. And the players dumb enough to think they need them are…well…either dumb or gullible or both.
I’d like to explain myself. I don’t care how many PED’s you take or how big you are, whether you’re 4’8” and skinny as a rail or 7’9” and looking like a tree trunk, if you don’t have eye and hand coordination you simply just can’t survive in baseball. It’s pretty obvious all the Major Leaguers have great to extraordinary eye and hand coordination or else they never would have made it past high school baseball. Eye and hand coordination is something that has to be developed over time and in my honest opinion, there is no drug out there that will magically grant you eye and hand coordination.
Here’s a little story or two of my childhood days that will hopefully get my point across.
Back in the good ol days when I was a young pup my favorite thing in the whole world was baseball. From the age of 6 I’ve always loved the game. My free time was spent playing backyard baseball with a wooden paddle as a bat and one of those hard plastic balls with a vinyl covering and red stitches colored in. Wasn’t official baseball equipment but when you’re poor, you have to take what you can get. In our case our equipment came from the old 5-10 store. Most people around here refer to it as the Ben Franklin store. But anyways..for hours I would play backyard baseball with my brother and cousins. I could make that little plastic baseball sail and I do mean sail. Fast forward…a couple years and 1000 some odd swings later my family and I moved to another town. The new home was only a five minute walk to the high school football field. A short while later I acquired an actual baseball bat. That bat was so crooked that one would swear it was made from a branch off of a dogwood tree. Seriously, it was straight as a 2×4 on one side and the other side had a seriously defective curve in it. But I didn’t mind. Every day, unless I had homework or bad weather, I would go down to the football field and just toss a baseball up in the air and swing until my arms couldn’t swing anymore. Every day, my eye and hand coordination got better and my wrists got faster and stronger. Before long, I could stand flat footed underneath the goal posts and hit the ball over the goal posts at the other end of the field. According to my rough estimate, that is around 360-375 feet easily. Sorry if that sounds like Uncle Rico’s “throw this football over that mountain” story.
So, that brings me to my point. The average field in Major League Baseball is 330 feet down the lines and about 390-409 feet to straight away center. At ages 16-17, I could pull a ball down the line at a distance of 360-375 feet. That’s actually good enough to be a homerun down the line or to left-left center field. I was able to do this just by swinging and practicing. No PED’s involved. If a kid can do it without PED’s, why can’t a Major Leaguer do it without PED’s? Is it to get more home runs? More hits? I mean, you don’t need to be built as big as Arnold Schwarzenegger to put a ball over the fence. Look at some of the legends of the game like Hank Aaron. Babe Ruth (he was big but it surely wasn’t from PED’s). Joe DiMaggio. Ted Williams. Mickey Mantle. I could go on and on. These guys were of average build and had excellent eye and hand coordination and could yank a ball out of the park in a hurry. As for getting more hits, look at Rod Carew. Pete Rose (questionably). Robin Yount. Ty Cobb. Paul Molitor. All those guys were of average build as well but could sink a nice soft single over the infielders head or drive a triple to the corner. There’s simply nothing that PED’s can accomplish that the human body can’t accomplish naturally.
Somewhere down the road, and for some reason, someone has mislead these “players” and convinced them that they need PED’s to survive in baseball. To get better than his teammate. To get bigger and better contracts. They got better contracts and more money for sure. But they never got better. They aren’t surviving in baseball either. They are losing their fans, losing their teammates respect, losing their self confidence, and doing nothing but throwing away their God given talents. I think MLB is doing the right thing by suspending these cheaters. I mean, the rules are clear: Use of PED’s are prohibited. It doesn’t get any clearer than that. And the players that break these rule? Dumb, gullible, brainwashed idiots for throwing away their life and opportunities that the beautiful game of baseball has granted them.
I’m pretty sure most people that read this (if anyone even reads it) will think I’m an uneducated idiot that knows nothing about health, biology, science, and all that good stuff. Me? Uneducated? That’s a fair assumption considering I only graduated high school but never went to college. But I am smart enough to write and develop my own opinions.