Clints Final Paper

Clint Jacobi
Performance Enhancing Drugs Argumentative Paper
First Draft

Major League Baseball has had a serious problem arise over the last decade. Major League players are resorting to the use of performance enhancing drugs to elevate their level of play and separate themselves from the other players. When fans think of the game of baseball they think of it as America’s past-time. It was a way to have fun and bring families together to enjoy the competition on the field. If fans no longer put faith in the legitimacy of the competition and the records, then baseball takes one step closer to a sport like pro wrestling. The widespread use of steroids in Major League Baseball is making America’s past-time not American. Steroids are taking the strategy out of the game and making fans angry. Steroids should be banned from the game of baseball and allow no second chances to players that test positive for steroids.
This era of baseball has been named the “steroid era.” (Mitchell, 2007) It has been named the steroid era because of the high number of players that are using steroids. Baseball experts and players have estimated that between 60 and 85 percent of baseball players are using steroids, and the players that haven’t used steroids have considered it. (Jenkins, 2004) Also, seven league MVP’s and 31 All-Stars have either admitted to taking steroids or have been caught taking them. On top of these numbers, two of the game’s biggest superstars have been accused of using steroids. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens have both been in court recently due to their steroid use.
Rumors of rampant steroid use have arisen in recent years as home runs have soared and records have been shattered. In a survey done last March, seventy-nine percent of players admitted that steroids played a role in the recent record breaking performances. (Jenkins, 2004) If players can get an edge somewhere, even if it crosses the ethical line, players will do it. (Sheinen, 2002) The fact of the matter is, home-runs are money, and if a player takes steroids he will in turn make more money by hitting more home runs.
In 2007 the San Fransisco Giants visited the Chicago Cubs for a series. Barry Bonds was one home-run shy of Hank Aaron’s record and would most likely break the record during that series. Here is the decision that confronted every roof-dweller, ballhawk and bleacher bum that week: keep a historic home run ball hit by a disliked opposing player, or keep with Wrigley Field tradition and throw it back. The faithful Cub fans said they would throw the ball back in a heartbeat while the fans that were just there to catch souvenirs said they would keep the ball and throw back a different ball. This is how passionate fans are about the steroid issue, they were contemplating throwing back a historic ball for the simple fact that the man hitting the ball is using steroids. (Jenkins, 2007)
Bud Selig, the Commissioner of Baseball, was debating on whether or not to attend the game when Barry Bonds broke the record. When he finally made his decision he said he would be in attendance but would not be in a very celebratory mood. (Watson, 2007) This just proves how powerful of an issue this is. When baseball’s commissioner debates on whether or not to attend a historic game, it really opens the fans eyes. It is really bad for the game when records are being broken by cheaters instead of players that work hard for the skills that they have. (Espn News Crew, 2007)
Along with former players, fans are also getting upset with the widespread use of steroids. Fans don’t want the game to be forever marked as the game of steroids. All over the country at baseball games fans will demonstrate their unmistakable disapproval by booing or boasting signs that put down steroids and steroid users. One fan in Milwaukee showed a sign that had the number 756 circled with a big X through it to demonstrate how disappointed he was that the record was broken by Barry Bonds. (Donovan, 2007)
The steroid problem in Major League Baseball has fans voicing their opinions about the steroid testing policy. A recent poll has found that 91 percent of fans want mandatory drug testing to be implemented into Major League Baseball and 44 percent of fans said they would be upset if there is no change to the current steroid policy. (Gillespie, 2004) Fans want steroids out of baseball completely because of the reputation that steroids are giving the game. Fifty percent of fans believe that baseball is doing a poor job at keeping the sport drug free, and two thirds of fans have negative feelings toward Barry Bonds and other steroid users. For many fans the steroid issue took the joy out of watching Barry Bonds break the home-run record. Sixty One percent of fans believe that Barry Bonds should not be allowed into the Hall of Fame because of his steroid use. William Dobney, a baseball fan has said, “Steroids upset me because you see guys go out there on the field and you don’t know if they’re using God given talent or drug-enhanced strength.” (Associated Press, 2006) Not too long ago, you could look at a Major League Baseball player and see a role model -a charismatic, humble individual who worked hard and came out to play every day. (Gonzalez, 2005) The fan’s perception of a baseball player is rapidly changing because of steroid use.
Steroids are also taking the strategy out of baseball and increasing the amount of runs that teams score in each game. After the 1992 season the average runs scored in a game went from 3.88 to 4.49. The ironic fact about this statistic is that steroid use became really popular in the 1992 season, and thus more runs were scored. Many people find this an abomination. When scoring is high, baseball loses a lot of its charm. .210 hitters who make up for their weak bats with great base-running and alert defense get turfed in favor of fat guys who stand around waiting for a ball they can hit out of the yard. There's no strategy involved in a manager sending a bunch of weightlifters to the plate to draw walks and on to the field to try to avoid torn hamstrings. (Merchman, 2007) Fans get outraged about steroids because it hurts the integrity of the game and because they want to see a more balanced game of baseball. Steroids are to blame for the death of the 100 stolen base man who was ultimately replaced by a home run hitter. Juiced players also take up roster spots that would have gone to other players. But with scouts in awe of home run power in this era they will pour out the money to the juiced players. (Gleason, 2007) Another problem is that even guys who want to play fair are under pressure from cheaters to play foul so that increases the number of players are using steroids. (Sailer, 2004)
Small Ball and stolen bases are very important to the game of baseball. They have been a part of baseball since it was invented and make the game so enjoyable to watch. The strategy of the game is being replaced by muscle. Fans like to watch home runs get hit, but they like to watch good baseball more. At one time a player that could steal 100 bases in a season was very valuable to a team. When you steal a base you put added pressure to the other teams defense. (Current, 2007) Now, however, the 100 stolen base man is being replaced by a player that can hit 50 home runs and get walked every time that he doesn’t hit a home run. The strategy of the game of baseball is what made the game so interesting to fans and the number of fans is going down because baseball is becoming boring. Nobody wants to pay fifty dollars for a ticket just to go watch a home-run derby, that is why they have one at the All-Star game.
Baseball's conventional wisdom holds that anabolic steroids are used by beefy sluggers and avoided by pitchers, who rely on flexibility and long, lean muscles instead of constricting bulk. According to players, managers, coaches and baseball executives, pitchers may be using steroids for several reasons: to increase power in hopes of improving velocity; to maintain strength over a long, grueling season; and to recover more quickly between starts or relief appearances. So, hitters aren’t all to blame for baseball being marked the steroid era. If a player can gain an edge, he is going to take advantage of it. Pitchers want to throw the ball as fast as possible, and steroid will help them do that. That is why they are also resorting to the use of anabolic steroids. As a pitcher gets older his velocity will slowly drop but steroids can help keep his velocity constant or even raise it. (Longman, 2005)
By players taking steroids baseball is becoming not American. Once believed to be a sport of the hard working athlete is becoming the game of the cheater. The authenticity of the record books is becoming questioned, and fans are viewing players in a different way. If this steroid problem isn’t taken care of it will destroy America’s past-time once and for all.

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