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Steroids and how they Effect Baseball

Steroids and how they Effect Baseball

Steroids have been a major discussion in the world of baseball. Although many people feel that most MLB players use performance-enhancing drugs, or PEDs, there is a misconception as to what steroids are. Here is a discussion on steroids and how they effect baseball.

What are Steroids?

First of all, steroids is a very broad term. There are different kinds of steroids and people may not realize this. Most people that hear the word “steroids” probably think of PEDs, but these aren’t the only kind of steroids. There are several types of steroids, but the focus will be on Corticosteroids and Anabolic Steroids.

Corticosteroids are used for inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. If there is an allergic or inflammatory response, these types of steroids block the production of substances that trigger these responses. Orally, nasally, injection, or topically are ways in which these drugs can be delivered. Some of the most common drugs of are Cortisone and Prednisone.

People must keep in mind that although Corticosteroids are very beneficial to certain conditions, they can cause serious side effects. Depression, weight gain, stomach irritation, acne and muscle weakness are just a few of them.

Anabolic Steroids

Anabolic steroids are used to boost strength, as well as physical performance. Also, they are used to treat conditions resulting from abnormally low testosterone levels. However, it is because of their effect, that they are often abused by those looking to improve their physical appearance. PEDs are a type of anabolic steroid. These are the types of steroids that would be used in a sport such as baseball.

Those who abuse these steroids the most are male weight lifters in their twenties or thirties. The issue with trying to improve the overall physical appearance is that there are serious health consequences for long-term abuse. Some of the effects are high blood pressure, infertility, increased risk to blood clots, liver tumors or cancer, kidney failure, manic behavior and several other consequences.

There may be another misconception, but it actually has to do with a player’s performance. Yes, they are called PEDs for a reason, but scientists do not believe hand-eye coordination are improved. What is improved is the bat speed.

Another surprise is that baseball, not even football is number 1 in doping. Believe it or not, the most positive results, averaging 3.7 percent, is cycling. Boxing came in second and Badminton was the lowest.

Who Takes Anabolic Steroids?

Several former MLB players and others have come out and said the number of players who use. All came out with different numbers. Former MLB player Jose Canseco has estimated that around 85 percent of MLB players use steroids. Ken Caminiti, another former player, estimated approximately 50 percent.

The numbers are clearly all over the place and the thing is, it is all hearsay. This is based on what someone “thinks” is the number of steroid users. What these numbers really mean is merely guesses, but 50 percent is still a high number. It gets people thinking. Is it possible that these great athletes are doing illegal drugs to perform better?

Canseco, along with former Yankees players Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield, are the most notorious of steroid users. Throughout the history of the steroid era, there have been 26 Yankees players who were implicated in using PEDs, more than any other team.

The Controversy

Here is the thing. If so many players supposedly take PEDs, yet they are illegal, why are more people not being busted? Is it because not enough is being done about it? Does it have to do with the players not being tested enough? If so many are doing it, but it is illegal, there are two ways to handle this. First, either ban it altogether and if caught, the consequence can be banishment from baseball. If that seems too harsh, then make it to where the fines are bigger. How about the player missing out on more games and losing the money that goes with it since they wouldn’t be playing?

The other option is to just let it be and make it legal. With that many people using steroids, let it be legal. No more testing. Let them play.

The other aspect that is mentioned has to do with the Hall of Fame. Everyone has their opinion as to who should be in the HOF and who shouldn’t based on their drug use. The latest has to do with Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez. They were great players, no doubt, but it gets fuzzy once steroids enter the picture.

What Should Happen?

Everyone will have their own opinion as to what should be done about steroid use, consequences and entering the HOF. The point is, there should be one set of standards. If the claims are true that there are so many more players out there using PEDs, do something about it. Either shut the whole operation down or legalize it. That can be decided within the MLB itself, whether it is with the players, owners, managers or MLBPA. Steroids should be checked into at all levels and the options should be weighed as to the final preparations.

Steroids have been around for years and have played a pivotal role in baseball and sports in general. Hopefully, something can be done.


Featured Image Courtesy of Muhaiminul Haque from

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