A-Rod will not be the last…

Last Updated: February 19th, 2009 by Travis Edwards (Bankroll Sports Contributor)

ARodI know it has been an on-going week of steroids and substance abuse talk revolving around one of the biggest names in baseball in New York Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez. I apologize to all those who are reading and are like not another story on A-Rod. I was going to stay away from the topic all together, but figured they are few sides to these steroids stories that many people are unaware of.  Sadly performance enhancers topic seems to headline Major League Baseball every week. While there are many new drug test proposed by the MLB people need to realize the real problems with baseball substance abuse in today’s society. Basically breaking this thing down plain and simple the problem that Major League Baseball is having starts many years before these star athletes ever reach this elite league of superstars. Simply put, if you want to keep the performance enhancing substances out of the big leagues they must start to keep them out of the colleges and high schools.

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This topic may have been hit on briefly by a few people, but nobody really refers to this problem when making the connection to the MLB. Speaking as a high school standout in baseball that later went on to play college baseball I feel it is important to bring the truth to doorstep to all those that do not understand why players would take these substances. High schools are now facing the exact same problems with steroids and substance abuses with sports athletes, especially baseball players. The majority of high school athletes can pass a physical and be cleared to play on most varsity levels. While you may not hear about steroids use in your local home town schools, that does not mean they are not there. As a high school player, I was asked on multiple occasions if I ever wanted to take steroids by teammates that were currently using them. Considering I only weighed 135lbs my entire career in high school I figured they would not help myself enough. However, that did not stop many teammates from using them on a consistent basis. There was an unspoken rule that you accepted to those players that took performance enhancers. The simple rule was that it was not to be talked about, but between teammates. While many may jump to say that this was just one high school and not a large majority. There were plenty of opportunities and summer leagues where players met up with other players from different schools and again there were countless players who were open to admit using steroids and performance enhancers.  While many of these players did this type of behavior in the off-season, some continued all year long.

The reason I am preaching this reality is for people to understand the need for enforcing strong regulations for drug testing in early ages of sports. College athletes are at an all-time high with steroid use and performance enhancing abuse. When I signed on the dotted line on the NCAA transcript back some 5 years ago to confirm that I was subject to any drug test at any time, I understood that agreement. I also understood as I signed that line that the chances of me really ever being tested were slim to none. I believe that is the problem with teams today. There are not enough mandatory drug screenings, and many players can fall through the cracks. While some do make mandatory screenings so many times a year, players are often aware of these drug test long before they happen giving them plenty of time to stay off the substances or at least long enough to past the test. Until, the rules and regulations take a big change you are going to continue to have these issues in the years to come. It is not surprising one bit that Alex Rodriguez one of the biggest names in the sport has used a type of performance enhancing product, because if the truth was to actually come out (which it never will) you would be absolutely shocked at the number of players that have used these types of drugs at some time or another in their career. For MLB athletes, I would expect no less than the 70% range.

I have seen arguments were people have tried to claim that using these steroids make no big impact on baseball or performance on the field. Those people could never be so wrong. I have seen players go to take these drugs and start hitting balls they never could dream of. For people to try and say that it does not affect the game of baseball, are simply in a delusional world. The sad thing steroids really do is they take away from the level of play from some of the greats of the old-age of baseball. Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and Hank Aaron were some of the names that could change the game with a swing of the bat. Today there are many guys that can change the game with a swing of the bat, or the injection of a needle. The stats from the legends of the past mean nothing to the new players juiced on some inhuman type advantage. The all-time greats that revolutionized the game may lose their value to history because their stats will fall to the new rise and new age of this type of play edged by an unfair advantage. Also, even more disappointing is to those players that are not using or have never used these products. Imagine a player breaking out with 60+ homeruns, and breaking RBI records that is doing it the right way. The majority of America will never believe they have not used performance enhancers in today’s game. Unfortunately, the game of baseball has been tarnished even if it is the greatest game in the world. What is even more unfortunate, is that there is no doubt that Alex Rodriguez will not be the last hero to fall victim to performance enhancements.

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Posted in MLB Baseball - Last Updated on Thursday, February 19th, 2009 @ 10:20 pm (EST)
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