Knocking baseball heroes off their pedestals

It wasn’t just Barry Bonds taking steroids. It was also Roger Clemens. And also a host of all-stars, many of whom are still playing: Tejada, Gagne, Lo Duco. So reveals Major League Baseball’s investigation of steroid use, whose report was just released. See this story for the grim details: Steroid Report Names Star Players – washingtonpost.com. The names that were named were hardly comprehensive. If the stars were doing it, you just know the mid-level and low-level players who desperately wanted to be stars were doing it.

Fans don’t like Barry Bonds all that much anyway because of his obnoxious attitude, so they have come down hard on the slugger who smashed so many beloved records. But fans love Roger Clemens! I predict the “everybody was doing it” defense may actually work. Maybe we should just put an asterix by the whole “steroid era” and go from there.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://heresyhunter.blogspot.com Bob Hunter

    Where does it go from here? If the players aren’t severely punished – and they probably won’t – everyone will be using steroids. Then once everyone is equal, some new super-drug will have to come along. I think it’s time for the fans of baseball to speak with their pocketbooks.

  • http://heresyhunter.blogspot.com Bob Hunter

    Where does it go from here? If the players aren’t severely punished – and they probably won’t – everyone will be using steroids. Then once everyone is equal, some new super-drug will have to come along. I think it’s time for the fans of baseball to speak with their pocketbooks.

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  • allen

    Speaking of asterisks, amphetamine was first synthesized in the 1887 and didn’t become a controlled substance until 1959. If athletes are doping themselves nowadays, is there any reason to suppose they weren’t back in the good old days when there was no testing?

  • allen

    Speaking of asterisks, amphetamine was first synthesized in the 1887 and didn’t become a controlled substance until 1959. If athletes are doping themselves nowadays, is there any reason to suppose they weren’t back in the good old days when there was no testing?

  • Matt L

    I’ve never liked Bonds, but I haven’t been as critical of him until he lied to a grand jury. Baseball players have been hinting that this has been a huge problem. Part of the blame really does fall into the hands of the league. Selig was too spineless to begin across the board testing for substance abuse, and I suspect it is because the drugs were good for profits.

    So what is a fan to do? I’m not going to stop watching my Brewers. Sorry to those that want me to “vote with my pocketbook.” MLB is just one of those things I won’t give up watching.

  • Matt L

    I’ve never liked Bonds, but I haven’t been as critical of him until he lied to a grand jury. Baseball players have been hinting that this has been a huge problem. Part of the blame really does fall into the hands of the league. Selig was too spineless to begin across the board testing for substance abuse, and I suspect it is because the drugs were good for profits.

    So what is a fan to do? I’m not going to stop watching my Brewers. Sorry to those that want me to “vote with my pocketbook.” MLB is just one of those things I won’t give up watching.

  • http://chaz-lehmann.livejournal.com Pr. Lehmann

    The difference between Bonds and Clemens is that Bonds is a cheater who lied to a grand jury and is a jerk. Clemens is a cheater who is a nice guy.

    People like nice guys, even when they cheat.

  • http://chaz-lehmann.livejournal.com Pr. Lehmann

    The difference between Bonds and Clemens is that Bonds is a cheater who lied to a grand jury and is a jerk. Clemens is a cheater who is a nice guy.

    People like nice guys, even when they cheat.

  • Ray

    Pr. Lehmann,

    Tell Mike Piazza that Clemens is a nice guy. He may beg to differ with you.

    With my employer, anyone testing positive for illegal drugs is terminated immediately, no excuses, regardless of their position. As long as professional sports keeps giving athletes one more chance, ad infinitum, there will be a problem.

  • Ray

    Pr. Lehmann,

    Tell Mike Piazza that Clemens is a nice guy. He may beg to differ with you.

    With my employer, anyone testing positive for illegal drugs is terminated immediately, no excuses, regardless of their position. As long as professional sports keeps giving athletes one more chance, ad infinitum, there will be a problem.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    On one hand, I think there ought to be monthly testing for all players–no exceptions. On the other, I wonder if the problem would be greatly reduced if cities stopped paying to build the stadiums–which in turn allows even bench-warmers to demand million-dollar salaries.

    Let’s face facts; even at $20/seat, selling two million tickets doesn’t get you anywhere near what you need to cover a couple of guys like Alex Rodriguez. Those salaries, and the culture around them, is driven by the fact that somebody besides the fan is paying the bills.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    On one hand, I think there ought to be monthly testing for all players–no exceptions. On the other, I wonder if the problem would be greatly reduced if cities stopped paying to build the stadiums–which in turn allows even bench-warmers to demand million-dollar salaries.

    Let’s face facts; even at $20/seat, selling two million tickets doesn’t get you anywhere near what you need to cover a couple of guys like Alex Rodriguez. Those salaries, and the culture around them, is driven by the fact that somebody besides the fan is paying the bills.

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