Major League Baseball suffered another black eye just recently when mainstream media reports claimed that another rash of suspensions were on the way due to players who indulged in performance enhancing drugs.
The big names that these reports have thrown around include Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez. While this is nothing new to the sport, at one point, it felt like the league was making progress on cleaning things up. Apparently that is not the case.
With attendance numbers throughout Major League Baseball slowly sinking lower and lower, another major scandal would clearly not do the MLB any favors.
While a seemingly countless number of baseball players have been caught up in performance enhancing drugs, it is the big names that really did damage to the league’s reputation.
If any players should be be credited with helping kill baseball, these guys would certainly fall into that category:
You can cast Canseco as either the hero or the villain in this sad saga of baseball. If his ballooning physique wasn’t enough to tip you off, Canseco admitted to using steroids during his career. The slightly scummy part about Canseco is that once his career was over, he penned a book that chronicled the use of steroids in baseball. He claimed that 85 percent of all Major League Baseball players used performance-enhancing drugs and then proceeded to point the finger by naming names.
Why would the game’s most prolific home run hitter be held out of the Hall of Fame during his first year of eligibility? Perhaps Bonds damaged his career beyond repair by being tied in with a steroid controversy followed by being criminally charged for lying to a grand jury about his involvement. Bonds holds the record for most career home runs (762) and most home runs in a season (73). Still, nobody seems to care much, sticking a big, fat asterisk next to his records.
McGwire has since owned up to taking steroids during his prolific career, but that was basically so he could score a coaching gig in the Major Leagues. After being hauled in front of Congress to repeat the answer “I don’t recall,” like a broken record, McGwire ended up breaking down and admitting to using steroids throughout his career. However, McGwire said it was just for health purposes, and not to improve his performance. Uh…right. McGwire was known for his 1998 season where he socked 70 homers.
Sosa was right alongside McGwire in 1998, both players slugging home runs left and right. He was also alongside McGwire in front of Congress, too, where he adamantly denied using steroids. However, a 2009 report in the New York Times revealed that he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Sosa became only the fifth player to reach 600 career home runs.
Steroids were just one of the extra curricular activities that made Clemens one of the all-time slime balls of the game. While he might not admit to his reliance on performance enhancing drugs, just about everyone else has made the claim for him. He was charged on six counts of lying to Congress, but was found not guilty in the case. So, I guess we’ll go with “innocent until proven guilty” on this one.