30.8.06

Why Im Done Reading About Steroids

Why is it that all of a sudden heavy press is being put on heavy hitters and record breakers? Why does press all of the sudden assault any player that does well in sports? It is because steroids is the only logical explanation for the homerun boom in baseball for the past couple of decades—or is it? Baseball, whether you like it or not, has changed drastically over the past 3-4 decades. For the homerun boom in the past years, I blame Bo Jackson, umpires, pitchers, The MLB, team management, and technology; but I don’t blame steroids. As to the collapse in the credibility of baseball, that falls completely on the press’s shoulders.

The first domino in the long chain of events that led to the evolution of baseball was Bo Jackson. Yes, I’m referring the football and baseball iron man. In the mid 80’s Bo started a trend that would forever change the way baseball played. Up until Jackson, no baseball players ever worked out. In fact, working out was a big no-no. But when players saw Bo Jackson working out in the weight room and then hitting bombs out of the park, it started to catch on, and so came the change of baseball.

Now of course, I can’t pin the start of the entire home run era on just one player, so I’m going to pin it on umpires next. There is indisputable evidence that since the days of Hank Aaron, the strike zone has almost been shrunk to half the size. The umpires leave the pitcher with no room for error. When the pitcher has to put the ball in such a select location, not only does that slow down a pitch, but it also provides for a very easy target to a hitter. And to even further the shrinking of the strike zone, players wear body armor. Ever since the creation of baseball, the pitcher owned the inside of the plate. No matter what hitter, or what pitcher; if they threw on the inside of the plate, they were on the money. Now batters simply have to put on an elbow pad, lean over the plate a bit, and whammy! That forces pitchers to pitch right to the batter’s sweet spot, or end up w/ a ball or walk.

Next up on the wall of blame is pitching. During the 1997 MLB expansion, there obviously came to be more teams, and with more teams came a more spread out array of pitching. Teams could no longer be picky with their pitching roster because there were to many teams to share the great few. Teams ended up desperately pulling pitchers out of the minor league and pitching them whether or not they were ready. The result—well, it’s still orbiting the earth.

The old guys running the MLB actually had a lot to do with the increase in home runs as well. They claim that the balls they used in the 1950’s and 60’s were the same they use today, but why do they even bother to cover up what is such an obvious lie. All you have to do is split open a new ball and an old ball to see that the MLB is administering new balls that are strung much tighter and have a much larger rubbery core, causing them to fly much further.

In the 1980’s there came a huge stadium shift where it seemed like every team in the MLB got a new stadium. These stadiums weren’t regular stadiums though, and in some cases the only reason for new stadiums were to shrink the field. Because the MLB had very loose regulations on field size, teams decided to draw in fans by shrinking the ballpark and allowing for more home runs. In some stadiums, all it took was a good pop fly to end up in the parking lot.

My last complaint is something that was inevitable and will happen in any sport. That is the development of new technology. In this case, I’m talking about bats. Bats now are made of maple and are dipped and coated so many times they may as well be made of metal. That with a combination of a little extra spring in the core of a bat can be a deadly combination. Don’t believe me? Just watch as a broken bat sends a ball straight out of the ballpark. How many times did that happen twenty years ago?

It isn’t just Barry Bonds on the juice that allowed for all of these home runs; and if the press had just kept their noses out of it than maybe baseball would still be one of America’s greatest pastimes. The press threw baseball into the dirt like a finished cigarette, they stomped out an ember that was once a huge flame—the press kicked it when it was down. Now baseball is no longer one of America’s greatest pastimes. No, baseball has turned into one of America’s greatest tragedies, or maybe America’s greatest embarrassment, not because of steroids, not because of shrinking ball fields, or bad pitchers, but because of unnecessary negative and relentless press.

The reason I wrote this article about steroids in baseball was to stress that there really is no need for the press to be covering steroids in football. The monstrous media organizations put America’s utmost supreme sports dynasty to shame; and I have no doubt that they have the ability to do it to football when the media is on the cutting edge of technology and the audience is crying out for blood. Although steroids, in my opinion, has no place in professional sports, the only thing worse than America’s role models being on steroids is the people who look up to these athletes, and work hard to be like these athletes knowing about it. The NFL has a drug testing policy, and it is up to the NFL to keep steroids out of the football—not the press. Sports bind people all over the country, sports are what brings complete strangers together in joy and in sorrow. Why should the press desolate and demoralize this country’s all stars, this country’s heroes.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only have these enhancements ruined baseball, but have also tainted track and field and now cycling has become a joke

12.9.06  

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