The Decline of America’s Pastime

Blog 4

What sport do people consider America’s pastime? What major issue has hindered the respect and love that people have for the game of baseball? The reputation that baseball has had for a century has been hurt by the discovery of performance enhancing drugs in the past couple of decades. Players have taken an unbelievable risk by using this drug both getting caught and health scares. Even though Major League Baseball has done a good job with handling each situation separately, the issue is still rampant throughout the game.

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In the 1980’s, when the Detroit Tigers won their first World Series in many years, my father was apart of their organization. I have grown up hearing stories of the players that he faced and more importantly, the players that were future Hall of Famers. The 80’s were one of the last years that the game was clean. In the early 1990’s all of baseball turned in to a sport that only was measured by how many home runs or RBI’s that were scored. The steroid use during that era was outrageous and many players during that time have had consequences that have affected their lives. As stated in “Leviathan”, “Nature hath made men so equal, in the faculties of body, and mind; as that though there be found one man sometimes manifestly stronger in body, or of quicker mind than another; yet when all is reckoned together, the difference between man, and man, is not so considerable, as that one man can there upon claim to himself any benefit, to which another may not pretend, as well as he. For as to the strength of body, the weakest has strength enough to kill the strongest, either by secret machination, or by confederacy with others, that are in the same danger with himself” (Hobbes 1). This quote fits perfectly into my blog due to the recognition of a single man by each man is equal but some take certain steps to greater their strength, thus causing a separation in equality.The bignamed athletes that took steroids consisted of Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa, and Barry Bonds. Although there are many more players that fell into the temptation of taking steroids, these players had the biggest impact in the game. As mentioned before, these players were unbelievable home run hitters and broke records that will never be broken again. Barry Bonds is the career home run hitter and Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa led multiple categories until Bonds broke them. Without having to really go in depth, steroids obviously helped these men in their sport but have had major consequences.

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The pictures above show the transformation of Bonds from his early years with the Pirates to his later years with the Giants. Many people might say that he matured and lifted weights, although that is very true, he was getting stronger by using steroids, which caused dramatic changes. As you can see, his head has doubled in size, his upper arms and forearms have become massive, his neck is extremely thick, and his overall body mass is outrageous. Steroids are drugs that help an athlete become stronger, faster, heal quicker and plenty more positives that boost their ability to play the game of baseball, but there are downfalls. “A steroid is a type of organic compound that contains a specific arrangement of four cycloalkane rings that are joined to each other” (personal). The fact that steroids are illegal from sports should scare people away from ever using them, but people have to learn the hard way to actually understand that. There are many health risks when taking steroids, there are plenty of major risks and some minor ones. The minor risks consists of prominent breasts, baldness, shrunken testicles, infertility, and impotence. Some major risks are severe acne,increased risk of tendinitis and tendon rupture, liver abnormalities, heart and circulatory problems, aggressive behaviors, rage or violence, infections from drug such as HIV and hepatitis if you are injecting according to the May Clinic. These are only a fraction of the major health risks that athletes take when using steroids.

HPW

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2 thoughts on “The Decline of America’s Pastime

  1. I do agree with your point that athletes taking steroids to enhance their performance is not a good thing. However, i do not think that the downfall of Baseball is due to players consuming steroids and drugs. When athletes hits more home runs in baseball or throw further in javelin for example, it makes the sports more interesting to watch for the spectators. A popularity of a sport is determined by its spectators and fans. Spectators love to watch exciting matches which features good performance by the athletes. As an athlete myself, I strongly disagree with the use of steroids because it defeats the purpose of having a fair game.

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  2. This was a very interesting post and your quote fits in well with the overall them of your blog. I also liked you facts about steroids and the health risks involved that should have scared people off in the first place. With that being said, I don’t think steroids is the only reason for baseball’s decline in popularity. The rise in football is due to its action-packed and violent nature that provides a perfect atmosphere for spectators. Baseball, on the other hand, is slower and seems as if it drags on for hours. Both are great games, but today’s spectators are much less patient than they were in the past. They would rather see constant violent action than a slower game like baseball. While the steroid dilemma definitely contributed to baseball’s somewhat decline, I believe it it just the nature of the game and of today’s fans to be less attracted to America’s Pastime. Overall, very intriguing post.

    -Aaron Simon

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