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BALCO Didn't Invent Cheating
by Tony Aubry, BaseballEvolution.com
April 9, 2007

After reading the blog that Scott posted up in our forum, I just had to write something. Over the past few years, steroids have become a big issue in baseball, and Senator George Mitchell has gone on a witch hunt, trying to find dirt on any player who has used to steroids. What many of us don’t understand (perhaps even Mitchell himself doesn't) is that there are probably a lot more witches than people generally think. Guys like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Gary Sheffield, and Jason Giambi have been the main players linked to the scandal, and a lot of fans think that they’re probably the only ones who would do such a horrible thing to baseball. Well, I doubt that. While Baseball is an American pastime, so is cheating.

If guys like Bonds and Giambi used PED’s why wouldn’t we think that anyone else does? How do I know that Alex Rodriguez isn’t sticking needles in his ass, or if Pujols isn’t rubbing the “Cream” on his bulging biceps? (Pujols, by the way, has been on the cover of two of the biggest fitness magazines in the past month). And how come none of us mention Julio Franco, who is damn near 50, and is in better shape than most people who are in their early 20’s? We don’t know the answer to any of those questions, and while I’m not saying that any of those players have used any illegal substances, we can’t assume that they didn’t, just like we can’t assume that Brady Anderson or Luis Gonzalez did. It goes both ways, but unfortunately, fans don’t realize that. I am on the side that thinks more players are using steroids than most people do, and really wouldn’t be surprised if 25% or more of the players today are using steroids, because they simply can. There is no testing for HGH, and until there is, players will be using it just as often as an asthma patient uses albuterol.

Another thing people don’t understand: steroids are just another form of cheating. Kenny Rogers was using pine tar throughout last season. Should his ’06 season by stricken from the record book? Or how about K-Rod? There is some real strong evidence against him, does that mean his 109 career saves go out the window? And since when has cheating become such a horrible thing? Whenever we hear stories from our grandfathers about how Whitey Ford scraped the ball against his belt, we slap our knee, laugh, and say “Oh that Ford, he was a real trickster!” Ford is considered the best Yankee pitcher of all time. Why is it okay to romanticize about Berra sticking blades in his glove or Ford scraping the ball against his belt buckle, but whenever Bonds or Canseco are mentioned, they’re horrible people, and should be nowhere near the hall of fame?

“Well, it’s a whole different level of cheating,” some might say. Well, if you kill someone, whether it’s in the first degree or third, you’re still a murderer. Why don’t we mention that Babe Ruth stuck nails in his bat, or that Nolan Ryan sliced baseballs, and Gaylord Perry wrote a book that described how he cheated, and yet, we don’t acknowledge it? No one questions Ruth’s greatness (nor should they), or whether or not Nolan Ryan was a good pitcher, but since Sammy Sosa corked his bat, and has allegedly used steroids, no one wants to recognize his 588 home runs. Do you honestly think that steroids can be responsible for 500 home runs? I hope not, and to even think they can add 200+ plus homeruns is a stretch as well. Steroids or not, players like Bonds, Giambi, and Sosa are/were damn fine players.


There has also been controversy about whether or not Bonds and McGwire should enter the Hall of Fame. If we based it on performance, then there is no doubt these two players should get in. Most fans wouldn’t want these guys in because they allegedly cheated the game. All I know is that if I had a vote, they’d be on my ballot, and if you don’t want cheaters in the Hall of Fame, then start complaining about Berra, Whitey, Ryan, Ruth, and a boatload of others.




Disagree with something? Got something to add? Wanna bring up something totally new? Tony resides in Queens, New York and can be reached at tony@baseballevolution.com.

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