In Total One Hundred Percent, Complete Defense of Steroid Use in Baseball

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It’s World
Series time, and as usual the wimps that run baseball are afraid
to stand up to the government that is harassing baseball’s steroid-using
ballplayers. For now the wimps are just hinting,
but it appears in the cold dead of winter, the wimps are going to
come out and deal with government pressure on steroid use by suspending
and possibly banning some baseball players. Well, I’m not waiting
for the World Series to be over, I want to discuss the use of steroids
in baseball, right now, during the glories of the World Series,
because I believe steroid use in baseball is a great thing.

Now, I am not
what you would call an early adopter of new medicines, medical techniques,
or other health-related products. I have needed corrective lenses
for my near-sightedness for the last 20 years, but it is only in
the last five years that I have tossed my eyeglasses in exchange
for contact lenses. It is not that I didn’t want contacts from the
start. I did. But, I didn’t want to take any chance that on a long-term
basis people who wore contacts would start going blind, or develop
some sort of exotic eye diseases.

Since contacts
had been around for awhile before it became obvious I was nearsighted,
I decided that a wait of another decade and a half would prove to
be a good real-time study for me of how contacts really worked.
Voil, I am happy to report that after detecting no major outbreaks
of new eye diseases or eye blindness by contact wearers, based on
my decade and a half long, worldwide study (My “lab work” in these
studies consisted of reading newspapers for any reported increase
in problems), I now wear contacts.

My current
worldwide study is with regard to cell phones and their impact on
the brain. I use my cell phone sparingly. If someone calls me at
home or at the office on my cell, I call them back on my landline.
I plan this study of mine to last another 15 years. If people don’t
start developing increased brain tumors, or start experiencing a
major slowdown in their thought process, after 15 years, I plan
to crank up my cell phone use big time.

So now as far
as baseball players who use steroids, I don’t know whether to call
these guys nuts or heroes. As you might guess, I sure wouldn’t be
taking this stuff, now. But, I sure am glad they are. You see by
the “tests” baseball players have done so far, it is obvious steroids
do result in muscle growth, and maybe even better reflexes. But,
it is too early to tell, as far as I’m concerned, about long-term
consequences. So I’m thinking, you know when I hit my mid-70′s,
steroids might not be bad stuff to have around. I hear so often,
of the elderly slipping and falling, coming out of the bathtub or
on a slippery sidewalk. Then, I think of the many times I have slipped
and how my reflexes have prevented me from falling. I’m thinking,
a little extra muscle strength in old age, isn’t such a bad idea.
So steroids might be a good long-term study, maybe not my usual
worldwide study, of say 20 years, but maybe a study of top conditioned
athletes, with the best medical care and supervision over a 25-year
period.

Over that period,
it should be pretty easy to determine whether parts of your body
fall off because of steroid use, whether steroid users require more
liver transplants than the norm, whether there is such a thing as
roid rage, or whether male steroid users turn into women. I will,
of course, conduct my usual “lab work” and scour the papers, now
on the internet, for any noticeable problems these athletes experience
over the next 25 years.

So not only
do I cheer Barry Bonds for smacking a towering shot out of a stadium,
when he rounds the bases, I make a mental note: “This stuff really
works.” And then I think to myself, “I sure hope this noble experiment
Barry Bonds is running for me works out.” Suddenly old age seems
a bit less foreboding.

So I think
to myself again, these ballplayers are taking this stuff of their
own free will. They even sneak to take the stuff, when it is banned.
It is a huge experiment on the pluses and minuses of steroids. And
many, many elements of society and the government want to harass
these guys, shame them and possibly throw them in jail. ARE MOST
PEOPLE NUTS?

Ayn Rand was
right when she wrote:

“Thousands
of years ago, the first man discovered how to make fire. He was
probably burned at the stake he had taught his brothers to light.
He was considered an evildoer who had dealt with a demon mankind
dreaded. But thereafter men had fire to keep them warm, to cook
their food, to light their caves. He had left them a gift they
had not conceived and he had lifted darkness off the earth. Centuries
later, the first man invented the wheel. He was probably torn
on the rack he had taught his brothers to build. He was considered
a transgressor who ventured into forbidden territory. But thereafter,
men could travel past any horizon. He had left them a gift they
had not conceived and he had opened the roads of the world.”

We now have
individuals, baseball players and other athletes, who are willing
to become human guinea pigs. At the same time, secretly, the minds
of some great scientists work on various hormone products to literally
improve the human body, and we consider all these people evildoers.
Barry Bonds and other steroid-using athletes are heroes, as are
the scientists who work to develop these concoctions.

Instead of
banning these athletes from the game, we should be grateful. And
we should not only be grateful, but in every baseball program, not
only should a ballplayer’s height and weight and whether he bats
from the left side or the right side be listed, but also what kind
of hormones he is on, if any. This way doctors can test and observe
him out in the open and announcers can discuss such things as Player
X uses hormone Z which seems to give him additional quickness, while
Player Y uses hormone Z2 which seems to give him a power swing up
the middle. No one wants to have liver problems, roid rage and other
problems supposedly associated with steroid use; by allowing full
disclosure, we can get more chemists, doctors and biologists working
on this thing to eliminate potential negative side effects. Let’s
open all this up so that we can understand whether hormone treatments
have the potential to make old age a much more beautiful thing.

Now, of course,
after saying all this, I am sure there will be a few baseball fans
that will argue that steroids are unnatural and not part of the
way Abner Doubleday designed the game? Are they kidding? Since when
was baseball a fixed-in-stone sport? Do we even know how many baseball
players wear “vision enhancing” contact lenses? Mickey Mantle was
known for taking many, many drinks following a game. Should he have
been banned for taking an aspirin the next day before the game?
And what’s with batting helmets? When Abner Doubleday invented the
game there were no helmets. Should we make players step up to the
plate without a helmet and take a beaning to the head “like a man,”
as in Abner Doubleday’s time? And what’s this about catcher’s wearing
cup protectors?

If Abner Doubleday
originalists are serious about going back to the way baseball was
originally played, I’d like to see them call for the immediate banning
of cup protectors. In truth, baseball originalists only hate changes
that have occurred since the day of their birth, everything before
is okay. Time stops for them, not when they die, but when they are
born.

For the courageous,
time begins when they are born and it is a wild journey of untold
adventure and hopefully progress. Progress is not for the men sitting
in rocking chairs, scorning change, it is for the driven, who, if
they are truly great, driven and daring, will often be scorned.

These are the
men, though, that we want at the plate when our team is down by
three runs in the bottom of the ninth with two outs. We know their
daring, drive and greatness can do what few can do. And, likewise,
in life, as in baseball, when the time is getting late and our bodies
are wearing thin, we should know that it is the driven, the daring
who push on in the face of scorn that could ultimately make life
better for us and all generations to come.

Thank you steroid-using baseball players and other steroid-using athletes. I salute
you.

October
29, 2007

Robert
Wallach [send him mail]
is editor and publisher of EconomicsBriefing.com.

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