Don’t know about anyone else, but I’m a bit tired of the steroid “scandal.” I don’t know who this is scandalous for….it’s not like I’ve ever talked to anyone who’s surprised..or that professional atheletes with millions of personal dollars at stake would consume a performance enhancement drug.

Oh, wait…did I say millions of personal dollars? Many players have always taken some sort of concoction to keep the edge….they’ve always been well paid (millions or not) and they’re superstars…

I was reading a Bill James book on Sunday when I came across a quote of his…this is paraphrasing, but he was discussing some other baseball “scandal” when he mentioned “Watergate,” the political scandal of the early 70’s. As he said, things become scandals when we raise the bar on ethics….a lot of things are “okay” until they are exposed for the “bad” they do…then we change the rules, and someone is more or less caught in the scandal.

Society is better off as a whole; in the meantime, it’s a shame to demonize those who were doing accepted practices of the time and then told it was wrong.

4 Responses

  1. Steve

    The reason people take it lightly is because they aren’t surprised…and would probably have done the same if it was accepted practice and they would make millions from it.

    Frankly, I don’t think it was nearly as undercover and indiscreet as you may think. Canseco’s book says he bragged to teammates about it and it was discussed on the basepaths.

    Bouton’s book BALL FOUR discusses
    “greenies” at length; no doubt there were concoctions way back when, whether sold by the local medicine man or “team doctor” (kind of like cocaine in early coca-cola?)

    It doesn’t make any of those things right, but it’s foolish to think baseball wasn’t aware. They were more concerned with keeping Pete Rose out of baseball.

  2. Nate

    Steve, maybe we’re in agreement now. I never meant to deny that use of steroids was a poorly kept secret all along. I just didn’t like the suggestion in your original post that if we suspected all along then it’s somehow wrong for us to morally judge them now. I don’t think that follows at all, but maybe that’s not what you meant to say.

  3. Steve

    Personal responsibility is what’s missing in most of society these days; however, I think baseball itself is as wrong as the players for turning a blind eye (accepting, hoping it will go away, or whatever) for all this time.

    It’s not like these are unknown players; they are some of the biggest names in the game.

    Meanwhile, they’ve been cracking down on minor leaguers for quite some time.

    It’s probably more a “tribute” to the MLB players’ union (the strongest union in America) that nothing’s been done to MLB players.

    I think baseball needs to implode and re-organize itself anyway, as it more or less a couple times in the now too-distant past.

    I think this “scandal” is a perfect example of what Bill James meant…it’s okay until the day we’re caught, and then we’ll catch up with contemporary ethics and build a higher bar to surpass.

  4. Steve


    Thanks for bring up one of my favorite all-time movies (Casablanca…other is Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure to go along with the Bond movies) “shocked there is gambling in this casino.”

    What a great movie with such memorable lines; I don’t know that Bugs Bunny would still be a star today without the Casablanca quotes…

    Speaking of Bugs…who can forget the immortal cartoon where he singlehandedly defeats a team of bruisers with his fabulous slo-0-o-w pitch and the umpires count as the hitters were swinging “1-2-3 strikes, yer out; 1-2-3 strikes, yer out…”

    Bugs Bunny had his own cartoon exhibit at the Louisville Slugger Museum this past year…

    Come to think of it…those bruisers were awfuly bulked up, and I think representing hitters from the 50’s>>…what are the chances?