Baseball within the recent years has become such a huge sport and has created such a huge fan base for the sport itself. The MLB franchise has created such huge name for itself in a positive and negative way. The many controversial issues that occur within baseball are mainly brought on by the players. One of the major issues that have been more apparent to the eye of the public is doping in baseball for performance enhancement. Doping in baseball has been present from as early as one can remember due to competitions levels rising. “According to Preston and Szymanski (2003), the only rationale against doping that withstands economic scrutiny is that the use of PEDs devalues sport contests and decreases public interest.” This quote opens so many doors for discussion.
Baseball has been and is a great sport where people come together and enjoy the art of the game but when things are altered from its original form people begin to question the integrity of the game itself. In the past using performance enhancement drugs was overshadowed as it was not so common and almost unheard of. Although some thought performance enhancement drugs in baseball was not a thing in fact from 1996-2003 it was known as the steroid area. In 1991 the use of performance enhancement drugs was banned from baseball but it was not until 2003 when Major League Baseball began to test players for use of performance enhancement drugs. “Widespread use by players of such substances unfairly disadvantages the honest athletes who refuse to use them and raises questions about the validity of baseball records.” (Anonymous,2017) This is true on some many levels because how can it be fair for those honest players who are working hard day in and day out to become the best baseball player they can be yet there are these lazy players who would rather take the easy way out and boost their performance without putting any real effort into their craft.
In this era of baseball there was no such thing as one person or group of people to blame but the whole entire organization to blame for as the rules were set in place by them but rather them not enforcing them until it was apparent that honesty was not being used to play this given sport. As well as not taken action immediately there was no set given plan to actually enforce these rules as they were in denial about the usage of steroids. Given that the ban for performance enhancements drugs was set in place but not being enforced players took much advantage of this. Like any other given scenario if someone sets rules but does not back them up with the consequences then of course the individual will continue to commit the offense because they know no consequences will be given. This is a great example of what happened in the baseball era from 1996 to 2003.
During baseball’s prime time there were many players that made the headlines of the news due to their astonishing accomplishments during their careers as players. During the beginning of this era it seemed so great that many records were being broken and even surpassing these old so believed unbreakable records. “Seven-time Cy Young Award winner, eighth on the all-time list with 354 victories, an MVP and All-Star himself and once a lock for the Hall of Fame, Clemens now has another distinction: the biggest name linked by former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell to illegal use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.” (Add citation, forgot to add) Roger Clemens was considered probably the best pitcher of his time but because of his steroid usage his legitimacy for the game was questioned. Along Roger Clemens other players that were found for steroid usage was Eric Gagne, Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi, Troy Glaus, Gary Matthews Jr., Paul Byrd, Jose Guillen, Brian Roberts, Barry Bonds, and Mark McGuire.
During the year 1996 and following years when it was publicized that steroids were being used journalist were trying to side track the issue describing it as health necessities rather than what they were which were steroids. One of the biggest controversial situations was the home run race between Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire. McGwire had hit 20 home runs just at the beginning of the season surpassing Babe Ruth’s pace of homeruns hit. With his home run pace going at this level it was obvious that sooner rather than later he would surpass Babe Ruth’s homerun record in 1927. Both McGwire and Sammy Sosa broke the single season record of most homeruns in a season previously recorded by Roger Maris.
One of the biggest attentions grabbers for baseball during this time was the home run race by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. “Arguably, no single action on a baseball diamond is more symbolic of individualism than the home run” (Michael L.Butterworth, 2007) Having this home run race by arguably the faces of baseball during 1998 was crucial for baseball. These two men were what brought fans to the games and how they became to be so popular because they were seemingly the best.
- Breaks multiple record
- Fans reaction
- MLB consequences
What was done after “steroid era”
- Players impact
- How this era affected baseball views
- Ticket sales
Legal and Ethical Issues
- Rules implemented after era for entire organization