Baseball players are shrinking and no one hit 50 bombs in 2003. Is it because of the steroid testing or because the pitching is getting better? After reading Dan Lebatards interview with a University of Wisconsin professor who has been studying the effects and after effects of steroids for years I think I?ll lean towards the pitching is getting better.
There is no doubt in my mind that steroids can make the marginal player a better than marginal player by increasing bat speed, steroids may even prolong a players career after an injury ala Mark McGwire. However, the fact of matter is steroids cannot improve your hand eye coordination or make you sit back on a breaking ball better.
Baseball is a highly skilled game that at its highest levels the difference between being a good player and an average one is literally a fraction of an inch. That fraction of an inch in the connection between the ball and the bat is the line drive the good player hits or the pop up with the bases loaded the average player produces.
To me this is controversy comes down to a couple of things. People not wanting to see Barry Bonds break Hank Aarons record because Bonds is a jerk. Which is ironic considering the racial backlash of people not wanting Aaron to break the record when he was chasing down the Babe. The second thing it comes back to is what really should be the issue. Is using steroids cheating? Steroids are illegal if used without a prescription and are on the list of banned substances in the CBA. So to me yes it is cheating, but we cannot go back to 2001 and test Barry Bonds. I heard Harold Reynolds say the other night that he thought Barry Bonds was to arrogant to do steroids. That made a lot of sense to me, Bonds wants that record for himself and for people to know he did it himself. I think that?s why he is so pissed about the questioning, not because people are questioning his integrity but because they will always think he was chemically enhanced when he chased down Hank Aaron and did not do it himself.