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Major League Baseball - Steroids in Baseball

Essay by   •  October 3, 2011  •  Case Study  •  1,963 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,535 Views

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Major League Baseball is a huge part of American Culture. It has been around generations after generations and for many, it is considered America's past time. The first fully documented game was played on June 4, 1838. Children and adults all around the world are truly passionate about baseball and have grown to love the game. It is played in our back yards, at our neighborhood parks, and in schools across the nation. It is watched on televisions inside millions of houses six months out of the year. There is no argument that baseball is amongst one of the most popular hobbies and sports in America. People are so fond of this sport because of the history and purity of the game. The heroes of this sport are figures of America's past time. Many look up to people like Babe Ruth and Willie Mays like they would to the president of the United States or the Queen of England. It is quite amazing how popular the game has become.

In the 1980's, the sport of baseball took a little unexpected turn. Players and trainers found a loophole that could enhance the athlete's performance. This loophole was called steroids. "The steroids era" refers to a period of time in Major League Baseball when a number of players were believed to have used performance-enhancing drugs, resulting in increased offensive output throughout the game. Unlike other MLB eras, there is no defined start or end time to "the steroids era," though it is generally considered to have run from the late '80s through the late 2000s.

Though steroids have been banned in MLB since 1991, the league did not implement league-wide performance enhancing drug testing until 2003. The lack of testing meant it was unlikely players using performance enhancing drugs would get caught. After years of allegations, a federal investigation into The Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO), which provided supplements to several prominent major leaguers, and later autobiography "Juiced" revealed how widespread performance enhancing drug use had become in baseball. Although some believe "the steroid era" has evaporated, many are also on the contrary. There are two known arguments in this case. One side believes that steroids should still be illegal and not permitted for use in baseball or at all in that matter because of the dangerous side effects they entail and how they ruin the purity of the game. On the other hand, others believe that steroids use should be a personal choice because no one is making you take them. Also if they are legal, anyone can take them, which would save the competition and possibly even make the game more exciting and fun to watch.

Before getting right into the argument, I would like to give you a little background information on steroids so you can fully understand the implications to this terrible problem. "The definition of an anabolic steroid is a synthetic version of the male hormone called testosterone" (Roberts 14). Steroids are used medically to help serious injury or disease and their job is to supplement regular hormone levels. Baseball players and athletes from many other sports use steroids to increase muscle mass while decreasing body fat at the same time. There is no other drug in the market that can physically allow a person to do that. Steroids can be taken in two ways. They are accessible to users by pill form or liquid injection. There have also been many studies that show steroids having many psychological and physical side effects that can be very harmful. Some users have even ended up dying and the cause was proved to be steroids. When people wrongfully use a controlled substance like steroids, it can lead to terrible occurrences. This is why this controversy is so important and has been so difficult to solve.

The main argument that people use for being against steroids is the danger and harm it creates on one's body and they have a very lucrative approach. Doctors have discovered many terrifying side effects of performance enhancing drugs. "Psychological effects range from euphoria and increased motivation to inflated feelings of self-esteem. However, a variety of adverse effects -- including aggression, violence, rapid mood swings, and psychotic episodes can also occur, especially with long-term or high-dose use. These effects are too harmful to allow access of these drugs to people " (Kiesbye 7). In this case, the writer is creating an emotional appeal to his audience. I believe he is trying to scare the readers by stating all of the threatening side effects you could obtain from taking steroids. This is a very successful method to convince an audience. When I read a list of side effects like those, it's quite terrifying and uninviting. Why would I want to take something that could negatively impact my lifestyle in a significant manner? This is at least how I felt after reading about the side effects. It is known throughout society that people tend to be very frightened of risks. There are definitely risk takers out there, but many will hear something like that and never even come close to associating themselves with it. Using scare tactics like stating all of the risks that come with the "steroid package", is a very effective way of appealing to your audience. These are also scientifically proven facts that give their argument credibility and a logical appeal. When something is scientifically proven and factual, it is very difficult to have any rebuttal. Stating your case and following it up with evidence and reasoning is another extremely successful way to argument a controversy.

Another article I read about reasons people are against steroids took it to a whole new level. They discuss the side effects of steroids and how they are wrongfully used but also add that there have been many fatalities from steroids. "Steroids, when prescribed medicinally, are administered in doses as small as one milligram (mg) a day to as much as 400 mgs every three to six weeks. These amounts are small by comparison to those taken



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