Friday, December 14, 2007

Steroids in Baseball: "Win at all Costs" [Chris Luttig]

(Chris Luttig is a former minor league pitcher)

Yesterday came the names from the now famous Mitchell Report. Mind you do we really care, we all know there are performance enhancing drugs and supplements in sports. There have been substances induced into the body to give one an advantage since the first recorded instances of sports as well as substances given to other to inhibit there performance. This isn't something new it will always be there no matter the sport, football, bowling, table tennis, hockey, badminton, curling, cycling, baseball, basketball, wrestling, and so on and on all sports. There is one commonality of sports and war. "Win at all costs" do you think our soliders are clean? If you do,pity your ignorance they get more pills to pop then a speed junkie or do most people go on no sleep in a mission 36-48 hrs in combat. Not to mention anything else they can get to make them bigger stronger faster and make the enemy obsolete.

Is anyone going to seriously tell me there are no steroids in Football? We all know they do testing, so does baseball but there are ways around the system, new drugs that arent detectable. There are men in the NFL with bodies that are incomprehensable to bodybuilding without anabolic aid, its a simple fact as well as certain baseball players. Did anyone believe the olympic sprinters have ever been clean, some of those guys and ladies could throttle a NFL player. There have been some I could believe in the last 12 years but hey its the nature of the beast.

So my take on baseball....well steroids and baseball have been friends since the 1960's. Amphetimines have been in baseball since as early as the early 1950's. Its all about having the edge. Minor League baseball players have been offered off season workout packages for years. Did you ever take the time to look at your favorite player when they were on or off the field during the game? Did you ever see one standing still or are they constantly moving clicking there feet together playing with there hat, walking up and down the dugout, shuffling there feet in the infield, playing with there batting gloves between every at bat in a figgetty sequence. Do they always have a bit of an evil stare on them chewing tobacco products to make them even keel, level out the rush a lil bit. Did you ever wonder why there were three different gatorade coolers in the dugout and a water fountain and that one cooler had a black X on the top of the lid. How about the pitcher his body flying wildy towards the plate like he is a man out of control. The stone faced concentraiton of a pitcher trying to finish the no hitter and it seems he has caught his third wind and is looking in at the cathers sign acknowlidging it and starting his wind up as he was in a world all his own not hearing one of the 65,000 cheering fans just a cold sweat slowly dripping from the brow like some gatorade colored sweat.

We all watched as men who hit an average of 15 home runs a year and all of the sudden he was hitting 35-45-50 home runs. You looked the other way and cheers your buddy at the bar celebrating another victory!!! Even the common sports fan lives by the motto " Win at all costs" Is it possible a man hits 53 home runs when his career high is 16, when his contract is coming to an end and free agency is looming? Could he possibly injected testoterone and HGH into his body and sell his soul to the devil to reap financial rewards and security for him and his family? Better question if your boss came in and said you have a big presentation coming up for eveyone to see and if you knock there socks off everyone will want you and pay you upwards of 5 times your salary a year and possibly more, all you have to do is take this pill for 5 months 4 weeks on 2 weeks off 1 week of taking the blue bill and the purple pill and 4 weeks back on again. Hmm 5 minutes a day and i increase my wages 5-7 times of what i make now. So your wife and children could be taken care of for life and all you had to do was give 6 months of your life to a cycle of pills and or injections. Ya well im sure the same percentage or most likely more of the common everyday working man is going to do it. Just like these men have done, they had a window of oppertunity to make enough money to care for there family for a long time, or preserve what little of a career they had left knowing they had nowhere else to go if baseball was over. Once again "Win at all costs"

Will this change how we see baseball, no. Maybe to those who are so called die hard lifers, all they look at is numbers they dont watch the game they dont have favorite teams, they like numbers and whatever you do don't mess up there formula to predict there numbers, to them its called evolution my friends the nature of the beast changes with its surrondings. That is why of mathmaticians haven't solved or predicted correctly everything in the world. Everything evolves, ask Darwin, and im not talking about Danny Darwin the infamous Houston Astros Pitcher. To the rest of the fans, youngster might be disappointed as some adults but just like sensory adaptation after a little bit of time you forget it and carry on as if it wasn't there or never happened, kind of like we have been doing since the 70's.

The Brewers fans will still have the best tailgate parties in baseball they will not stop because one of there players took steroids. Wrigley field will still be the biggest outdoor bar in the united states. Hell im still 11,000 deep on the waiting list to get season tickets do you think the fans are really gonna walk away. There will still be kayakers in the San Fransico Bay waiting for a home run. Some lucky fan will get a chance to catch A-Rods record breaking home run in the new 1 billion dollar Yankee Stadium. Just as 70,000 will be on hand at Yankees stadium next year to watch the final out at the house that Ruth built, most yankees fans wouldn't miss it for the world. The Atlanta Brave chop at Turner field will spark a little flame again this year When Tom Glavine is re-united with John Smoltz as 2/3 of the famed trio that put the Braves on the map, trust me fans will come out to see it. Ichiro continues on a terror to be the quickest ever to 3000 hits and King felix the 21yr old 100mph fireballer continues to amaze fans as they wonder if he is there next Randy Johnson. Baseball is here to stay, it made it through a strike in which there was no World Series, remember Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa made us all turn the Televison back on. We all embraced them as they went for the record it was on the cover of newspapers around the globe, and every sports television broadcast. We all remember the celebration and the hug as McGwire rounded first base.

Now comes the report of steroid use we all knew we all saw the massive size they became but back in 98' we didnt care they were going to break the record! We wanted the record! We got what we asked for, baseball got what it needed a new start a fresh era, better rating more fan interaction, more revenue, better stdiums. Which brings more family entertainment gives the fans a better experience and no body complains they all want more. We all want to see our team in the post season holding up the trophy, ala the Red Sox and maybe someday the Happy go lucky Cubs.

So next time you are at the park or at the gym looking around, stop and really look at what you see is anyone on the up and up, or is everyone trying to be the best albeit they aren't on National Television or making a million dollar salary, they still live by the motto, "Win at all Cost" Its like my father told me years ago, "you have to have the right tools and equipment to be the best at what you do, then there are no excuses." Take that comment for what you will or construe it in any fashion you might if you care to put me into it somewhere. I had my Ride through with the Boys of Summer and what a ride it was. I would never change a thing, I got to do what one in a million high school baseball players gets to do. I lived my dream and it can never be taken away nor can any of the memories whether good, bad or indifferent. Do I have stories that could be told in a report, hmm guess thats for me to know and everbody else to speculate about. Just remember we as fan and the public are no different in what we do everyday. The difference is they have a bigger paycheck and a lot more to lose then we could ever imagine. When we lose our jobs there are other companies to go to to continue on with our skill that pay moderately the same or better. When baseball is gone for these men there is nothing that pays the same nor is there any major skill that provides a job that is near the same. It is there Life, its all most of them know and at times they are to old to learn a new skill. Kinda like the lifetime factory worker when the plant closes and goes to china and he is 43 yrs old and been there since he was 18yrs old, he has nothing to fall back on and it is rough. We are all the same just on a different level.

So in closing "im in it to win it" lived my life that way and im not changing now. Remember the next time your go buy your child the greatest new thing to make him better then the rest or you get him a personal trainer to excel above the rest. Or you find a new product that is going to help them run over the competition you are training them to "Win at all Cost" they are the next generation and will go down the same road its engrained in each and everyone of us who ever played a sport and had a coach or parent passionate about it. Oh yeah and the next time there is a chance to get a raise think about what your going to do to get ahead of the competion to get the raise and promotion, we all sell out at some point.


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