The old days of baseball: No performance drug needed

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Headlines are heating up this week with news that Anthony Bosch has pleaded guilty to distributing steroids to major league and high school baseball players.

He is accused of providing them with a performance enhancing drug for a monthly fee, of which major league players paid more in a month than some minimum wage workers earn in a year.

It’s evident that any sport, baseball included, is competitive in nature. It wouldn’t be a sport otherwise.

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However, when players resort to using a performance enhancing substance, could it be considered cheating?

There are various ways to look at this, but they all lead to the answer “yes”.

If every player in the league were using the same substance, then it wouldn’t be cheating. 

But that outlook neglects to acknowledge the dangerous aspect of using a drug, they are detrimental to people’s health. 

But this news has us thinking back to the early days of baseball.

Historic players like Babe Ruth and Willie Mayes are household names today. 

Each one played the sport in its infancy, and set records without the need for a performance enhancing substance.

Instead they used hard work and perseverance to not only become good at the game they loved, but etch their name in history.

The players tied to this recent debacle may be remembered for how they played, but they will mostly be remembered for the controversy that surrounded how they earned any record they may have set. 

Such a memory negates any achievement, and instead should be looked at as an example on what not to do.

So we here at the Picayune Item express this mode of thought. It’s better to earn accolades based on the best possible performance a person can provide without artificial enhancements. The best enhancement is more practice.