SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Monday, April 11, 2005

So Maybe Some Players Were Taking Steroids After All

Read this to see what I mean.

And this article as well.

Steroids in the present, steroids in the past.

Hopefully, no steroids in the future.

Until the next un-tested for new thing comes along.

Cynical?

Perhaps, but these are elite performers we're dealing with, and when you approach that elite status you are faced with choices. Some are so naturally good that they don't need any enhancements. Others have so much will and confidence that while they might not possess the talent, they get to the highest plateaus based upon their work ethic. Yet there are others who don't have the confidence or the ability or both, or while they may they also may believe that they are not elite enough, and therefore they'll try something.

Especially if the great age-old tag line is uttered: "Everyone else is doing it."

There are a lot of sayings about the ability of a society to embrace change and how if you don't you might become extinct. Those sayings create a certain fear in all of us that we might be rendered obsolete -- at anything we do.

The question, then, becomes how far will one go to embrace change and to compete. Will he break laws? Rules? Will he do something that could cut his life short by ten years and render his post-competitive life one fraught will physical ailments, rendering a one-time star athlete into an invalid who cannot walk unassisted or get out of bed without pain?

Are players' lives so dull and unfulfilling that they have to resort to that sort of extra activity that might gain them the approval and attention of their contemporaries -- whether it's getting them headlines, more money, better cars, bigger houses? That's not to say, though, that I believe that most baseball players have cheated. I have enough faith in a combination of talent, work ethic and morals to believe that most do not.

But some do.

And that leaves the temptation for the rest.

And that has to compel baseball players to ask themselves how secure they are in doing things the right way.

Secure enough, perhaps, not to make it past the three years as a utility player stage before someone comes along who costs less and has more promise?

Secure enough not to approach the magic numbers that get one automatic consideration into the Hall of Fame?

Secure enough not to try the next new things, banned, perhaps, by law if not by the rules of Major League Baseball?

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