With Ryan Braun returning from a 65-game suspension and Alex Rodriguez sitting out the entire 2014 season, steroids are still seen as a major problem in Major League Baseball.
But there is a very simple strategy to stop the bleeding: Make steroids legal.
That’s right. Baseball should sponsor the use of steroids.
Baseball tried turning a blind eye and then they tried ruling with an iron fist, but neither plan worked, so why not try acceptance?
Everyone loved watching Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa chase the homerun record in 1998. According to an article on TV by the Numbers, a Sept. 23 regular season game featuring McGwire set a Nielsen record for a Wednesday baseball game, which wasn’t broken until 2011.
Just think about the ratings to see the first man to break triple digits in a single season.
Conversely, everyone loathed watching coverage of McGwire and four other baseball stars deny any use of steroids in front of the Congressional House’s reform committee.
With legalization that wouldn’t be a worry anymore.
Steroids aren’t just a tool to hit home runs; they help in recovery as well. HGH or Human Growth Hormone has been observed to help in aiding recovery of joint injuries, according to an article on ESPN.
For sports fans, there is nothing more disappointing than to have a favorite player out for an extended amount of time with an injury. With the use of steroids, recovery time could be significantly reduced.
If that’s not enough, think about the competition level in each game. Sports fans live for the best competing against the best. With steroids, that competition would only be amplified.
If there is any doubt of this, you only need to take a look at what is considered the most famous race ever: the 1988 Olympic 100m final. The race is still talked about and dissected today. ESPN’s 30 for 30 even produced a documentary about it in October 2012. According to the documentary, out of eight runners, only two have never been linked to any performance enhancing drugs.
Yes, steroids come with health concerns but with baseball’s budget behind the already-developed steroid industry, the risks could be minimized.
There will obviously be moral concerns raised about cheating and being role models to children but let’s be honest with ourselves here; if any of us were offered a chance to make $50 million, we would be guzzling a bottle of HGH before the ink on the contract was even dry.
There would also be new opportunities for endorsements. Forget Gatorade, move over Nike, say hello to syringes and personalized anabolic steroids.
But more importantly, we can all be rid of the guessing game as to which stars are or are not on the juice and the endless cycle of news featuring a new player who is being questioned about steroids.
It would also allow Congress to finally stop the interrogation of baseball players Spanish Inquisition-style and have them concentrate on more important matters.