Thu, Aug 15, 2013 10:22 PM
New York Yankees shortstop Alex Rodriguez, along with 12 other
baseball players whom I have surely never heard of and whose names
I can't be bothered to learn, was recently suspended from Major
League Baseball for his association with the rejuvenation clinic
Biogenesis of America, which allegedly sold banned substances. This
can only mean one thing: it is time for me to write another
"important column on PEDs."
It must be done. The people are waiting.
Bud Selig has come down hard this time: Rodriguez's actions will
cause him to miss 211 games - roughly one-third of an MLB season. I
guess everyone is pretty happy about this ruling, because it
justifies America's preexisting, illogical hatred for a guy who is
statistically (read: actually) one of the greatest ballplayers of
all time, but Rodriguez himself is hardly the real issue here. The
real issue is: what does this mean for sportswriters?
Steroids are - as we writers never tire of declaiming - the
scourge of modern sports, in that they not only contaminate the
"purity of the game" but also destroy "historical continuity,"
giving today's athletes an unfair advantage over their 20th-
century counterparts, thus making it more difficult for drunk,
conversationally inept men to fill the empty space in their lives
with long, pointless debates about how today's athletes might stack
up against their dead predecessors.
Fortunately, these long, pointless debates can now be replaced by
long, pointless debates about the issue of steroids in contemporary
Some people suggest that steroids needn't necessarily be viewed as
a "problem." The health risks associated with HGH (or whatever
athletes use now) may not actually be as severe as we assumed; in
fact, they likely pale in comparison to the other health risks
endemic to high-level sports, such as the brain injuries that occur
in pro football (another subject I occasionally must write
important columns about). Moreover, the presence of HGH in modern
athletics makes us feel better about ourselves, giving us reason to
believe that these people who do extraordinary things with their
bodies aren't "actually" that much superior to you and me; they've
just been engineered that way.
Anyway, steroidal athletes have perhaps made the game more fun:
don't we all like to see home runs? Don't we all like to see
athletes perform at the highest level attainable? We accept the
artificial enhancements of Captain America and Wolverine, so why
can't we accept Barry Bonds? Maybe we should just call off all our
drug tests, which don't seem to work most of the time anyhow, and
let athletes do as they will.