Baseball and Philosophy: Thinking outside the Batter's Box

By Eric Bronson | Go to book overview

POST-GAME PRESS CONFERENCE
22a Should Steroids
Be Banned?
YES

MICHAEL J. McGRATH

The May 2002 edition of Sports Illustrated revealed one of sports' most poorly kept secrets: baseball players use performance enhancing drugs. The cover of SI prominently featured a quote from former MVP Ken Caminiti, who confessed that regular doses of steroids were as much a part of his training regimen as batting practice: “At first I felt like a cheater. But I looked around, and everybody was doing it.” Of course, it is no secret that baseball players utilize whatever means, both legal and illegal, they can to improve their chances of success. The impact of steroids, however, is much more profound than a Gaylord Perry Vaseline ball or even a Sammy Sosa corked bat.

Baseball is America's pastime, and as such, many Americans scrutinize any issue that questions the integrity of Major League Baseball. For this reason, the issue of ethics in the major leagues is in many ways a microcosm of the moral principles of the United States. When Caminiti and former players Mark McGwire and José Canseco admitted that they had used steroids, their confessions not only were an embarrassment to baseball, but also an affront to the nation. In June of 2003, Major League representatives addressed Congress on the issue of performance enhancing drugs. The concern of the politicians was evident. North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan (D) commented on the topic of steroids: “We've got an issue to face as a country …1

1 http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/news/2002/06/10/congress_steroids_ap.

-313-

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