With the recent developments of the Miami-based Biogenesis clinic that is at the core of a performance-enhancing drug scandal, the baseball world is abuzz over the possibility that some of the game’s most productive players potentially receiving severe penalties including 100-game suspensions.
Clinic-founder Tony Bosch is reportedly in Major League Baseball’s corner now, and the league is hoping to have the evidence they will need to take a stand against those who allegedly purchased and used performance-enhancing drugs despite continued efforts to close the book on what we now know as the Steroid Era.
Major League Baseball wants the madness to finally end, and they are pulling out all the stops in order to make a statement and curtail the use of steroids in an effort to make it a thing of the past.
Some have criticized MLB for being too harsh in their reported tactics to obtain information on those using and more specifically those who purchased steroids from the Biogenesis clinic, however several of baseball’s finest alumni believe that the league is doing what is necessary to stop these drugs from getting to into the systems of players.
I spoke with several baseball greats on the subject of steroids yesterday and many spoke freely about it, the most vocal of which was Hall-of-Famer and baseball legend Tommy Lasorda, who has little patience for those that choose to use PEDs.
“The guys that are taking steroids, they’re cheating; and they shouldn’t be allowed to play,” said Lasorda with a look of disgust.
“We can’t allow players to cheat, you can’t allow that,” said Lasorda. “Baseball doesn’t need those kind of players, and that’s what the commissioner is trying to do. He’s trying to make it a game like it used to be. Everybody came out the same way, everybody built themselves up the same way. Everybody made themselves the same way. And that’s what the commissioner is looking for now.
“I think the commissioner is doing the right thing and is doing the best he can. He wants this game to be clean for everybody that plays it, and he’s been doing a magnificent job since all this first started. And he’ll stay on it until everybody is clean.”
The positive tests have popped up again and again over the past decade. Beloved players have turned into public enemies; legends to frauds. It has been a continuously disappointing and heart-breaking process to see many of the game’s most talented players fall from grace and forever be labeled as a “user”.
The heartbreak of a tainted era once thought to be a golden age of baseball has left a bad taste in the mouths of many fans and those throughout the game. Five-time All-Star and 2001 World Series hero Luis Gonzalez says that everyone as a whole just wants to move forward.
“The fans are tired of hearing about it, the organizations, everybody is and we just want to move on,” said Gonzalez as he crosses his arms and sinks back in his chair. “This is America’s pastime, it’s one of the greatest games ever and we want to move forward from it.”
It seems even current players are tiring of having to hear about it as well, leading many athletes to take strong stances publicly on the use of steroids, as seen earlier this year when David Wright proclaimed ‘if you cheat, I hope you get caught,’.
Longtime Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood had strong words of his own on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in today’s game.
“We’ve been warned of the consequences and if you’re trying something at this point; you’re asking for it,” said Wood.
“They’re trying to make sure that it’s not a possibility,” said Wood, continuing on to talk about MLB’s crackdown on those caught using PEDs. “They’re trying to clean that up and really change the image and I think they’ve done a really good job doing that in the past and if they feel guys are still trying to do that and take advantage of the system and not play by the rules, then we’ve all been forewarned as players. Whatever decision they come up with is to keep the integrity of the sport intact which is the most important thing.”
The coming weeks will be very telling as to how MLB decides to handle this most recent steroids scandal. The road to a clean sport will be long, and very possibly never entirely reached. Steroids will always be around, as will those desperate enough to take the risk to get an edge. However in the end, I believe Wood sums it up better than anyone.
“The game is so much bigger than one player. One or two players, or even a handful don’t make this game what it is,” said Wood. “It’s a game that we all need to respect and keep the integrity of. We at least owe that to the players who played before us.”