By, Matthew Rich
Over the years Major League Baseball has become stricter with the suspensions handed out to players who are guilty of illegal steroid use. When the issue first arose in 2005 the suspensions for all of the players caught was only 10 games. In today’s era a person found using performance enhancing drugs will face a 50-game penalty for their first offense. This doubles in their second offense which would result in a 100-game suspension, which is more than half of the season. Since 2005 more than 35 players have been suspended. Today players are checked randomly and frequently to determine if they are cheating. It is very hard to get past the system but somehow there are players that still manage to do it. (Steroid)
I believe that steroids are ruining the game. Baseball along with any other sport is supposed to be about raw talent. Most of the guys that make it to the M.L.B did it off of their own ability, so therefore it makes no sense to me for them to have to cheat to succeed. I think the punishment is actually too lenient. I believe the offender’s first punishment should be a 100-game suspension and the second should be a ban from the league forever. If they don’t learn their lesson the first time, they don’t deserve to have the opportunity and gift of making millions to play a sport they love.
Steroids play a big part in the way baseball is played today. Many players slip by the system and take performance enhancing drugs to better their gameplay. This strategy is ruining the game. It is unfair to make yourself better by using these steroids rather than the players who are doing it on their own by lifting weights and practicing. It is not fair for a pitcher who is not taking steroids to have to face a batter who is on the illegal drugs. The advantage definitely goes to the batter.
Over the years there have been many records that have been broken by steroid-using players. Some of the more famous cases were Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds. Both of these players had unbelievable numbers during their steroid years. Mark McGwire set the record for most home runs hit in a season in the 1998 season. McGwire himself admitted to using the illegal drugs in an interview. Barry Bonds was another player who was accused of performance enhancing drugs. On Aug. 7, 2007, Barry Bonds broke Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record by hitting the 756th homerun of his career. Most believe that Hank Aaron was one of the best players of all time and for someone of steroid use such as Bonds to break this record was unacceptable. Although it was never actually proven that Bonds did steroids, there was an enormous amount of evidence piled up against him. I believe that these records should not count because in my mind the players cheated and that is definitely not fair.
Another problem in baseball today is that steroid users are getting more media attention than the actual game itself. Today we focus so much on the Alex Rodriguez case on whether or not he should be suspended for steroids. Instead of that, I believe we should be focusing on the game of baseball and all of the clean players that are trying to make a name for them in today’s very competitive Major League Baseball.
These players are living the dream that many athletes wish they could be fortunate enough to achieve. The players have gotten there on their talent alone and it is a shame that they have to cheat the game to excel. I believe that players such as Bonds and McGwire should be stripped of all of their achievements and banned from baseball for good as well as The Hall of Fame. No one should be rewarded if you have cheated to get there. As amusing as it can be for the fans I believe it is wrong in every way and it needs to be stopped.