Jumping on the soapbox about PEDs in sports

Jumping on the soapbox about PEDs in sports

A news alert that came across the phone a couple of weeks ago made me nervous and sad.

The alert reported that several Major League Baseball players were about to be suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs.

It is the same sad news that we hear over and over, and it is once again making me hop on my soapbox about the use of PEDs in sports.

Seriously, can we please leave these players alone already?

Like you, I am completely tired of the PED issue in sports. I am just coming at it from a completely different perspective.

I’m tired of guys in suits constantly trying to tear down the athletes we pay good money to cheer for or against.

So what if a player takes a pill or a shot in the butt to help him or her perform better on the field, court or track?

I pay to watch football and baseball on my TV, and it isn’t cheap. But now I can’t watch Miami Marlins star Dee Gordon because he tested positive for a banned substance that he, of course, didn’t know he accidently took?

That is the Dee Gordon is all of 5-foot-11, 170 pounds. Clearly a steroid user.

Also this year, Abraham Almonte of the Cleveland Indians, Daniel Stumpf of the Philadelphia Phillies, Chris Colabello of the Toronto Blue Jays and Josh Ravin of the Los Angeles Dodgers joined Gordon with an 80-game suspension for failing PED tests.

That’s 50 more games than the 30-game suspension Yankees pitcher Aroldis Chapman got for allegedly chocking his and firing eight gunshots in his garage to intimidate her.

Kansas City Royals budding star Raul Mondesi received a 50-game suspension.

Yet, DirecTV hasn’t offered a single rebate or partial refund for the baseball fans who paid full price for the Extra Innings package to watch these guys.

And now we can expect even more suspensions to even further devalue the product millions of fans purchased? That stinks.

The cost for a mom or dad to take just his son or daughter to a Major League Baseball game is absurd. Fenway Park in Boston, which is the most expensive, will cost on average a total of $157 for two people, according to Forbes.

That is if you only buy the tickets.

Add in the hot dogs, sodas, Italian ice, fries in a mini helmet and everything else the kid wants, and you might have to take out a second mortgage to pay for it.

A hotdog in Miami, where you don’t get to watch Gordon play, is $6.25. That makes a $5 shake seem like a steal.

At that price, you certainly don’t want to see entertaining players like Gordon and Mondesi miss the game because things didn’t go their way when a guy in a lab coat showed up at their house, unannounced, at 6 a.m. to collect some urine.

But these guys are cheaters, you say. Well maybe. But if you think even a tenth of the cheaters are getting busted for PEDs, then you are probably headed to a Trump rally.

Let’s look at the word “performance enhancing” for a minute. Steroids aren’t the only thing that might enhance performance.

It could be argued that laser eye surgery and contact lenses are performance enhancing as well. They help the sluggers see the ball better.

Was Greg Maddux cheating when he wore contacts? Well no. But a squinting Maddux might not have been as great on the mound if his eyesight wasn’t enhanced by contacts.

As my brother, a Yankees fan, points out, the legendary surgical procedures on Curt Schilling’s ankle just before Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS and again before Game 2 of the World Series that year certainly enhanced his performance. He wouldn’t have shut down the Yankees and Cardinals without it.

Then there is the “who cares” argument about PEDs.

Really, who cares if players are enhancing their performance a little bit? Since only a fraction of the so-called cheaters get caught, why worry about it in the first place?

Even if MLB and the NFL implemented Olympic-style testing, which they will never do, there will still be countless guys who get away with illegal substances. So why fight it?

Testing for PEDs is so flawed that the NFL recently warned its players to avoid eating meat in Mexico and China because they could potentially consume Clenbuterol, which is banned under the NFL’s performance-enhancing substance policy.

If eating a cheeseburger can cause a false positive test, then the policy cannot be trusted in the first place.

Plus, I want the players on my team at the physical best, and that’s what PEDs help them accomplish. Playing professional sports is hard on the body, and they could use the help to recover.

You ever play adult softball? Well, I did. Even though I felt I was in decent shape from my jogging addiction, I could hardly walk the day after playing one game of softball.

If I had to play the next day, you better believe I would be popping “greenies” like they were candy and getting multiple Roger Clemens B-12 shot in the butt.

But performance-enhancing drugs are bad for the body, you say. They lead to health problems down the road.

Yeah, tell that to a trucker. To make a living, truckers spend most of their lives sitting down, chugging Mountain Dew and eating truck stop burritos. What is the average life expectancy of a truck drive? Maybe 55?

What about the coal miners? If Hilary Clinton fails in her plan to put them out of work, they can’t be expecting to see their 70s.

Commercial fisherman, construction workers, maids and almost every other profession deals with dangers that can make them sick or just flat-out kill them on a daily basis. And that doesn’t count getting on the freeway to go to and from work.

You think for a second they wouldn’t take a steroid shot in the butt if they could instead make millions playing baseball or football?

Of course they would. And so would you.

Most people would probably also give their kids those steroid gummies Alex Rodriguez was using when they are dragging them down the road to compete in the travel baseball tournament for the ninth weekend in a row.

Everybody wants their sluggers and their linebackers to be Hall of Famers while serving as altar boys on the side. That just isn’t going to happen, no matter how much we try to regulate morality.

So, let’s stop this silly PED testing so players can be the best they can be to better our enjoyment of the game.

Then the leagues can take the billions of dollars they spend fighting PED use to subsidize the cost of hotdogs.

— Bill Foley, who could use a good B-12 shot in the butt, writes a column that appears on ButteSports.com on Tuesdays. Email him at foley@buttesports.com. Follow him at twitter.com/Foles74. 2 comments

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  • Fritz Daily
    May 17, 2016, 9:27 am

    You and I usually agree. Not on this one! The "cheaters" should be banned for life the first time tested positive. It’s the only way to clean up the sport of baseball. Rob Johnson didn’t cheat, but he did well and made Butte proud. What if he did take the PED’s, would that have made him better or maybe a $250 million cheater like Alex Rodriquez?
    Keep up the great work on Butte Sports—except for this one.

  • sharon mankins
    May 17, 2016, 10:58 am

    How do you purchase a picture of one of the students from the track meet May 13,2016


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