Player Enhancement Drugs

March 9, 2009

Steroids or Player Enhancement Drugs (P.E.D.’s) have held many conversations when talking Major League Baseball. Players targeted in conversation have been Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, and recently Alex Rodriguez. Whether or not there is actual proof that any of those players did use steroids that were illegal in Major League Baseball can, but may not, lose credit for any of their accomplishments obtained in their professional careers. First we need to understand what steroids actually are. Anabolic are actually a synthetic version of a man’s hormone testosterone. Now testosterone is known to boost muscle growth and development. Now when this is supplemented with steroids, it tends to create large muscle mass which helps in reducing body fat and enhancing endurance. It is believed by many people that if you take steroids you can hit the ball farther and longer. This is not necessarily the case. The main thing steroids do during the season is keep a player’s body from breaking down with injuries and keeping their strength maintained. Injuries are a player’s worst nightmare and in fact many players have struggled through season after season with multiple injuries preventing them from performing at their best. So steroids help, but they don’t swing the bat. Many players barely lift weights at all during the season. Lifting is recommended to really get steroids to kick in and maintain their purpose. The steroids do most of their work for the player during the off-season lifting.

Sure there are some good rewards with taking steroids, you get increased muscle mass and endurance. You basically feel invincible which I am sure is great, however the cons outweigh the pros. Many look at Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire’s magical home run season’s as being attributed to steroids. Was it possible that Greg Anderson supplied Barry Bonds with an untrackable steroid during his prime years which was sometimes called “the clear” or “the cream”? The answer is yes. Is it possible that Barry Bonds could have done it on his own? Again the answer is yes. Look back at Roger Maris in 1961 when he hit his magical season with 61 home runs. No one looked back at his statistics from the year before where he hit 39 home runs. Big difference, but no one suspected him of doing steroids. Until the evidence has appeared, we can’t really say what happened. Even so, how can we be so sure unless they admit it. Each year there are people who go to jail for murder and yet didn’t commit the crime. The bottom line is they still have to make solid consistent contact and hit it out of the park. What makes the ball travel so far is bat speed. Bat speed is generated based on how loose your muscles are. If you are tense and you have a tight death grip on the bat, then you will swing the bat slower and not hit it as far. So hitting all these home runs still takes talent.

Side-Effects and cons of using steroids (not just in baseball) are depression, mood swings, rage and health problems such as acne, hair growth or loss, testicular atrophy, liver damage and cancer. Now I would say, those are all things a person would want to stay away from. Depression, mood swings and rage can hurt relationships with other people and can even lead to suicide. Acne, hair issues and testicular atrophy are not the worst side effects, however I can’t see how anyone would want them. The liver damage and cancer speak for themselves. The bottom line is Steroids have a lot more cons than pros, so why do them? Why not show everyone you can do it without cheating. If you have to work harder, then work harder. Do whatever you have to do to get it done. It’s called HEART.