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Baseball Players Shouldn’t Be Afraid of Training Supplements
Steroids are a dark mark on baseball’s legacy. Baseball is by no means the only sport that has been infected with the disease of performance-enhancing drugs. Sprinters tested positive long before baseball players were thought to be using steroids. Since the late 1970s, the locker rooms of professional footballers have been infected with all sorts of performance-enhancing substances. What has hurt baseball the most is how steroids have come to light and how players continue to be exposed as users of performance-enhancing drugs.
Baseball in the mid-90s seemed to be forgotten. After a long and painful labor dispute, much of baseball’s fans were turned off. Attendance and ratings were down, and it looked like baseball might fall to the level of NHL hockey. Still, there is something that has brought fans back in droves. The home run. The most exciting game in baseball. Nothing is more exciting than watching a batter smash a long fly ball that screams over the outfield fence. By the late 1990s, the home run was back and the fans were watching. Legendary home run records were broken, and the ultimate home run mark of 715 held by Hank Aaron and once by Ruth was approached and challenged. The problem is that baseball has come back and is now popular again due to performance enhancing drugs. Baseball, in a way, owes the illegal narcotic for its success.
One of the problems with baseball’s spoiled blood market on steroids is that they send mixed signals to anyone training to be future ballplayers. Baseball has been forced to support anti-steroid campaigns, but it still has a culture encouraging future players to gain a pharmaceutical edge. Future prospects face the tough decision of whether to gain the advantage on steroids or watch their teammates who use them outplay them on the field. The decision is still being made on prospects and high school athletes because baseball refuses to draw a hard line in the sand banning illegal and harmful performance-enhancing drugs. The current policy of three strikes and your withdrawal is laughable at best. There are virtually no long-term repercussions if a player is found using.
What baseball needs to do is support healthy supplements. There are supplements on the market that will help a player add muscle mass and improve their physical condition. Creatine is a great example. Creatine has not been proven to have long term medical side effects. Creatine is a naturally produced substance in your body. It is also not a steroid. Creatine simply helps players lift weights more often, without experiencing such a drastic buildup of lactic acid in their muscles, which causes pain. Many people are hesitant to take supplements fearing that the supplement will be banned and they will be retroactively guilty.
If baseball went out and supported healthy training drugs, like creatine, and guaranteed people they wouldn’t be punished for seeking a legal performance edge; this would then reduce the pressure players feel to not take any supplements or use illegal performance-enhancing drugs. Competitive people play baseball and seek an edge. They shouldn’t be afraid to use legal supplements for working out. If baseball is going to take steroids out of the game, it needs to help young players know exactly what they can take to gain an edge.
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