—Or at least he would if he were alive to be questioned on the matter. It was recently discovered that a Miami doctor named Anthony Bosch had been distributing Human Growth Hormones to baseball players. The biggest name being Alex Rodriguez–who has had a history of poor decisions– and other players including Nelson Cruz and Gio Gonzalez.
By this point anybody who pays even a little attention to sports is aware of the controversies surrounding the usage of performance enhancing drugs, or PED, such as steroids and HGH, so I will not delve into them. However, I was recently contacted by an ex-baseball player who was eager to explain why PED use actually benefits baseball and why the ban should be lifted.
I present my surprise interview, on why the ban on PEDs should be lifted in baseball, with none other than Babe Ruth’s ghost.
Ruth: Please, call me George. It’s my actual name. [Takes gulp of beer]
Me: Sure. Why shouldn’t PED usage be considered cheating?
Ruth: In short, kid, for the most part, drugs like steroids are used to speed the healing process. If you look at documents like the Mitchell Report, you will find that many of the players experimented with these drugs to aid in recuperation [finishes drink, cracks open new beer]. Back in my day cheating involved dirty play on the field, not no damn healing. That’s why this ban is stupid.
Me: That’s interesting Mr. Ruth. Can you elaborate on what cheating was like back in your time?
Ruth: Kid, before I was even born cheating was happening in baseball. In 1877 players on the first place Louisville Grays helped throw games in the first gambling scandal. I’ve seen Ty Cobb use sharpened spikes on his cleats to make players not want to tag him. I’ve known pitchers who used spit balls and other things to better their pitching before Nels Potter became the first suspended for it shortly before I died. Hell, I even remember a story told to me in my rookie year about this fella John McGraw who used to grab the belts of base runners to interfere with them . And cheating has continued throughout history after I died. Whether it be corked bats or foreign substances that pitchers use on the mound, cheating is all about what players are doing on the field. Not how they recover from injury. [Finishes beer, opens new one.]
Me: Well, then how do you justify players who use PEDs solely for improved play and not healing?
Ruth: More power to them! If it works for them, then they should use it. If you read the Mitchell Report you will find that most of the players are unrecognizable. For many players, steroids and human growth hormones were not beneficial as it has been for players like Barry Bonds, Jose Canseco, and Mark McGwire. Noteworthy baseball player Chuck Knoblauch even admitted that HGH use led to his decline. If steroids and HGH only work well for a small group of players and not others, then one can reasonably conceive that this group of players would have been superior anyway. Plus, steroids use helped restore a craze for baseball as many were drawn to all the home runs produced by Bonds, McGwire, and Sammy Sosa. Remember, kid, baseball is an entertainment business, and steroids brought entertainment for many people.
Me: What about the argument that records being set by steroids users are tainted because it doesn’t prove they were as good as the previous record holder?
Ruth: This argument is based on the ridiculous notion that some of the players of my time can compete with players of this era. Listen, as technology improves, players are going to have access to more methods of improving themselves. Do you think I would be dominant in this era like I was in my time? Of course not! The game is always changing, and players have gotten stronger over the years. The best old school players would get killed trying to play in contemporary league play, in any sport. If steroids are the new way to get stronger and better, then it should be allowed because players are always looking for new ways.
Me: Would you do steroids if they were available when you played?
Ruth: Kid, I’m sure you are aware of my numbers. I didn’t need it. But if I did, I would in a heartbeat.
Me: Thanks Babe.
Me: George, it has been a pleasure.
Steroids are becoming more prominent in sports. Lance Armstrong recently now represents the sad truth that cycling is riddled with it, and it has also recently been reported that a Deer Antler Spray containing banned substances was distributed to members of the 2012 national championship Alabama football team.
So if players are willing to risk their health to better their skills and provide more entertainment, who are we to say they are cheating?
I would like to thank Babe Ruth’s ghost for taking the time for the interview.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Edward Quartin at Edward.email@example.com.
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