Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Sox and Steroids

The fun continues in Major League Baseball with the disclosure in an ESPN the Magazine article by Amy Nelson that former Red Sock pitcher Paxton Crawford took steroids while with the club. In the article, which is on newsstands now, Crawford goes into great detail as to the drugs he used, why he used them, how they were administered, and that other players in the Sox clubhouse knew of his drug use and seemed to blow it off. Crawford, and to his credit, did not name names, says there were others on the team who were using performance enhancing drugs. In the article, Crawford says he started using steroids to help his recovery from a back injury. He said when he started using a drug called Winstrol, he saw his fastball jump about four miles an hour in speed and his breaking pitches had a sharper break on them. (Quote at the end of the article)

Teammates of Crawford’s have strongly denied that others were using drugs in the Red Sox clubhouse. In an interview with John Tomase of the Boston Herald, former Red Sock Jeff Frye said, “I would say most of the guys on the team wouldn’t even remember who Paxton Crawford was, that’s how little he was there,” I think Paxton’s a guy that probably saw things a little differently than everyone else.” Former third baseman John Valentin told Tomase, ““He wasn’t with us very long in 2001,” Valentin said. “For him to speculate that the team was doing steroids, how would he even know, per se, if he’s a young player?”

Folks, I have bad news for you…..This whole thing with steroids and performance enhancing drugs is just getting uglier and uglier by the SECOND!!! It was once thought, and being totally uneducated on the subject I thought the same thing, that pitchers would not benefit from the use of steroids and other drugs and man I am wrong. Doctors say that using human growth hormones and steroids helps to aid in recovery time. In an article by Buster Olney in the same issue of ESPN the Magazine, former pitcher and current ESPN analyst Orel Hershiser says, “A 32 year old pitcher using steroids can jump back ten years in time.” Yes, the drugs do help pitchers. Again, according to Crawford, the drugs helped add speed to his fastball and increase the break on his curveballs. Yes, this is a problem that must be solved now, but now isn’t quick enough. These guys are cheating and in many cases, there isn’t a way for them to get caught as there is not a reliable test out there to detect the drugs. Of course, the union will not consent to blood tests, so it is like they are denying there is a problem, or even worse are enabling their players to cheat. This must be stopped. I happen to agree with Keith Olbermann who said baseball needs to shut down the season until they come up with a solution to the issue. These are drugs that will ruin players’ lives through roid rage, and the countless other physical and psychological problems the drugs can cause with long term use. Baseball has a problem with cheating and I want it to stop now.

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