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A Sports Dark Age
jmg374@cornell.edu
| August 24, 2012

Warning: What I am about to say is sort of blunt, frank, even a little controversial. But here it goes: We are witnessing a dark age in sports.

 

             It just seems that a lot more scandals and controversies surrounding athletes and athletic institutions than there used to be. Maybe it might be the increased use of media and new social media, or it could be the increased ruthlessness of journalism getting a story. No matter what you may think about the media, there seems to be a common theme: performance-enhancing drugs. The rampant use of PEDs has destroyed the credibility of many athletes and many leagues, especially Major League Baseball.

            Take Melky Cabrera, who had a career batting average in the .270s with the New York Yankees, leaves the team for the Royals where he sees his numbers slightly climb when he becomes a regular every-day player for the Royals. Despite Cabrera’s increased production, the San Francisco Giants only sign him to a one-year contract. Seeing this as an opportunity to really showcase his abilities for a better contract during the offseason, Melky decides to juice and, all of a sudden, he leads the league in hits and is the 2012 All-Star Game MVP, giving the National League home field advantage in the World Series. And now, because of his suspended for the rest of the season and most likely won’t get that contract he so desperately wanted. Is that fair now? Absolutely not.

            In my opinion, Major League Baseball’s drug-testing policy is way too lenient. Though suspending players is a deterrent, it doesn’t go far enough. With random testing, a player can cheat for however long and not get caught because of a random test schedule. In addition, the policy’s leniency can motivate players, like Melky Cabrera, to use steroids during contract years and increase their perceived value to get more money.

            Clearly, solving steroid problems from the days of Bonds and Sosa have not been remedied correctly. The MLB must take a much tougher stance on steroids and have tougher testing to protect the integrity of the game. Or else, many people will lose respect for the game that many people, including myself, love. 


Originally Aired: Friday, August 24, 2012. This is a part of the 93-Second Sports Shot series. 93-Second Sports Shots air weekday evenings at 6pm.
Share Your Thoughts
Troy from Ithaca, NY | August 30, 2012, 5:30pm
You said "a player can cheat for however long and not get caught because of a random test schedule." A random test schedule is an oxy moron. How can something that's random, be scheduled. Players are tested with very little warning or notice, so random testing does work. I think the league's policy is fine. I don't feel bad for Melky. He got a 1-year contract originally because he's an average player at best, who would ride the bench on most contending teams or be a 3rd outfielder at best. This is not the Dark Ages. There's more parity in baseball than ever before. Players are actually being tested and getting caught, and the game is more exciting, popular, and profitable than ever. Let's debate this on Sports Roundup this Sunday.
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