For Love Of The Game & Their Livelihoods

Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images/ Written by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)

Edited by: Tommy Parrill (@DearTommy)


Welcome to the era of performance-enhancing drugs. If you didn't know it was happening, open your eyes.  As soon as we think that they are a thing of the past, they pop back up like a bad weed.  Recently, a list of about 20 Major League Baseball players including Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, Nelson Cruz and Gio Gonzalez was released to the public connecting said players to PED’s and this “clinic” running slime-ball named Tony Bosch.  Personally, I have never believed in steroids or any PED for that matter, but after listening to a great point by one of my favorite radio hosts a few days ago, I can understand where these athletes are coming from.  I may not agree with it and baseball may find it illegal, but for their one shot in the sun, they will do whatever it takes.


Close to 75% of the names on this list are not from the United States and are originally from countries such as Venezuela, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. Now before you call me a racist and think that I'm saying that only foreign baseball players use PED's, it is time for you to shut your mouth and let me explain. There is not much difference between Ryan Braun and Melky Cabrera. They are both guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs; they have both had MVP-type seasons before and are equally talented at the game of baseball. The only thing that separates Braun from Cabrera is that Braun grew up in Mission Hills, California with many opportunities and Cabrera's only way out of the Dominican Republic was the American pastime.


Life in the Dominican or Nicaragua isn't full of opportunities and Starbucks', but more like broken homes and rubble. They view baseball as their way out of a bad situation. To a better world in the big leagues, where the money and their dreams are waiting for them. Once they put in the years and years of hard work and they reach major league ball, it seems they'll do anything to stay there.

While in the big leagues, as good as they may be, there is somebody just as talented and younger always creeping up behind them.  At that moment, panic and paranoia sets in.  These players, of all kinds, have worked their entire life to get to this point and now they have to fight for their job. That is when these baseball players resort to PED’s because they will do whatever it takes to keep the life that they have worked so hard for.  All of that hard work and dedication over the years to get out of a terrible life situation and now they are one injury or one bad season away from losing it all.


Do I blame them for using performance-enhancing drugs, not at all, but the last time I checked, PED’s are illegal.  It would be like myself at my job, seeing a potential replacement. I would get paranoid, but that would make me work that much harder to keep my job.  I wouldn't hire a hit man to kill the guy because like performance-enhancing drugs, that is ILLEGAL.


I completely understand why these aging players use the PED’s to stay at the top of their game and continue to live the lifestyle that they have worked so hard for.  The problem is that I don’t care who you are or where you come from, there is always somebody better than you out there and there is NO NEED to resort to illegal actions to get rid of the problem. I am tired of making excuses for these ballplayers. Performance enhancing drugs are illegal; so don’t use them, easy as that.  And to Major League Baseball, if you want to keep up your strict testing policy, then maybe you should make the consequences more severe.  One strike equates to a 100-game ban and the second strike means a lifetime ban from professional baseball.  Maybe it is time that you make an example of these cheaters and either make PED’s legal or install the 2-strike policy.  It is all up to you Baseball.


To all of those players out there that used performance-enhancing drugs, I understand why you used them, but I don’t agree with it.  Bottom line, be smart with your money and if your hard work and dedication got you this far, why would you cheat to get ahead? It isn't worth it folks.