Baseball and Philosophy: Thinking outside the Batter's Box

By Eric Bronson | Go to book overview

POST-GAME PRESS CONFERENCE
22b Should Steroids
Be Banned?
NO

SIMON EASSOM

I'm not going to talk about drugs. Instead, I am going to refer to Performance Enhancing Technologies (PETs) for three reasons. First, the word “drug” has so many connotations-including associations with addiction, illegality, and crime—that the issue of drug-use in sport is obfuscated by an immediate negative attitude towards drug culture. Second, I want to ask whether the use of drug-use in baseball in principle is wrong. Third, pets are nice!

Let's assume for the sake of argument that the chemical substances (stimulants such as ephedrine and steroids such as nandralone) and biological procedures (such as blood doping or gene therapy) used to enhance performance are legal, safe, and freely available (many of the banned substances on the International Olympic Committee's list are all three). Are there any good reasons why they shouldn't be used in a sport such as baseball? In other words, before we get side-tracked by such considerations as to whether or not the acceptance of drug-use in baseball coerces children into harmful or illegal practices, let's consider whether or not there's anything wrong in essence with certain PETs.

In any sport, the rules limit the means by which a participant can achieve the goal of the game. These rules tend to define the sport by establishing its constituent components and setting its procedural standards. Baseball is baseball because it is a game played with a ball, pitched to a player with a bat who, after hit-

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