As many of us know, right now, Major League Baseball is about to come down on one of the biggest drug scandals in the history of the league. Earlier this week, the league announced that it was seeking to suspend over a dozen players, many of them superstars, for use of a clinic in Miami. Some these players include Melky Cabrera, Alex Rodriguez, and perhaps the player who has the most to lose out of anybody on the list: Ryan Braun, the 2011 National League MVP and the only player to successfully appeal a drug teat. This will ruin Braun if he gets suspended. These players allegedly used a clinic in Miami owned by Anthony Bosch. Bosch is cooperating with league officials but the suspensions will take some time.
This will be bigger than BALCO, the San Francisco Bay area drug scandal back in the early 2000s with Barry Bonds. This will be bigger than the 2003 List, a list that, despite not being released in full to the public, contained over a hundred names of players but not one was suspended. This will even be bigger than the Mitchell Report, the damning list by Former Senator George Mitchell that again alleged dozens of players were using steroids or other performance enhancing drugs. Why will this be so damaging? Because baseball is supposed to be clean. Only now we know, it isn’t. And I’m furious.
What happened Commissioner Selig? What happened to this game? You’ve been in charge of this league for years and were there from the very start of this “Steroid Era.” What’s it gonna take, huh? BALCO wasn’t enough. The Mitchell Report clearly wasn’t enough. Baseball as previous generations is forever gone. And you’ve done nothing to help.
Baseball is one of America’s favorite sports. But it’s been slowly losing its popularity. These drug scandals have a lot to do with that. But not with me. I’ve been a die-hard Red Sox fan for years and it pains me to see the game I love in this situation. Some of you may be saying “Let them use the steroids. Who cares?” Well, I care.
Here’s the deal. Using performance enhancing drugs is not only an extremely poor decision by the players, who by using these drugs are endangering their own lives, disrespecting all of the players who fight tooth and nail to keep their jobs in baseball the fair way, but angers many fans. We are tired of hearing about this. I want this sport clean. When I moved to Maine in 2004, I started school right after the Harvest Break in the County. Everybody and their grandmother talked about only one thing: Red Sox. And what did they do that year, just a few days after I started school? They won their first World Series in 86 years. When I was a child, I didn’t like sports too much. I liked playing with my friends at recess for a little bit but it wasn’t until I got into middle school when I realized what these sports did. The Red Sox won the Series. I learned that baseball mattered here a lot more than it did in California. Same with football and basketball and hockey. These sports were something different. They made friendships. I became hooked. But with every scandal, every suspension, it takes something away from the integrity of the sport. Cheaters have no place in baseball. How am I supposed to support something that can’t even separate the honest players from the liars.
And what about the kids today? What kind of example does it set to the kids of this country when they see their favorite player cheated? It sets a terrible example. But these kids, who want to be baseball players, may endanger their own lives by using steroids themselves. This is a huge deal. But I am so sick and tired of having to see this year after year.
The time has come for baseball. This suspension will hurt everything the league has been doing. Several players are facing 50 game suspensions. Some may be facing even more. Well, that’s not good enough. These professional athletes have been given some spectacular God-given talent. If they can’t respect the game and continue to use these drugs, then ban them. Permanently. Only then, can baseball return to being America’s pastime.