Steroids have been known to be a problem in major league baseball for over 50 years and with time its use and popularity amoung athletes has increased.
The first major league baseball player to admit to taking steroids during his career was 1996 National League MVP Ken Caminiti, who is now deceased.
The issue became more of a concern in 2004 after it was discovered that New York Yankee first baseman Jason Giambi used steroids while teammate Gary Sheffield and San Francisco Giants’ outfielder Barry Bonds had unknowingly taken steroids.
“It is very disappointing to see someone like Barry Bonds be accused of using steroids because of all the records he has broken,” Paul Gibson, a sophomore public relations major, said.
Major League Baseball and the Players Association decided something had to be done. They created a new drug program which includes testing of steroid use year round, and a 10 day suspension without pay for first time offenses as well as having the player’s name reported to the public.
“I believe the new policy for steroid testing is a positive step taken by baseball, hopefully it will restore the truthfulness of the game,” Gibson said.
On March 17, 11 Major League Baseball players, including former ‘Bash Brothers’ Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, as well as Baltimore Oriole outfielder Sammy Sosa were called to testify after Canseco’s book, “Juiced,” named players who had used steroids, one of which was McGwire.
The developing problem is now starting to truly upset fans.
“I think the steroid issue has become a huge problem. I’m disappointed in all the players who have used them whether they have come out and said so or not,” Alexandra Milardo, a spohomore Broadcast Journalism major, said. “Barry Bonds probably angered me the most because he pulled the ‘race card.'”
Not only has the use of steroids among major league baseball players affected the fans but also the dreams of the young baseball players who hope to one day follow in their footsteps.
“Major League Baseball is something that all college players look to achieve. To see that people look at the game as tainted is disappointing, we work hard to be successful and to obtain their status,” Ryan Rizzo, a sophomore, said.
Sophomore Randy Gress said he is not sure that these players are in the wrong for using steroids.
“If taking steroids is what will complete a dream, then I think they should take them. I feel if the teams are doing well and the home runs are being hit, the fans will be happy,” Gress said.
Although some do not seem to be bothered by the recent popularity of steroids among Major League Baseball players, it is evident many are hurt and disappointed and do not see it as fair. To many of the fans, it is not about the winning teams and homerun records, it is about how they are achieved.
If Major League Players continue to use steroids, they may lose their loyal fans. After all, aren’t the fans what the game is all about?