PED’s: “You Still Need To Make Contact”
by: Mario GoLuza
The latest PED story revolves around Cleveland Indian Marlon Byrd. However, although PEDs are frowned upon by major league baseball, which they should be, some players such as Reds pitcher Brandon Finnegan seem to have a different perspective on the issue. After the Reds 8-7 loss in May, Finnegan stated: “I threw great pitches to him and he hit them. You still have to make contact… It’s the same way with Barry Bonds, People got mad at him because he had 700 home runs, but you still have to make contact. I don’t really have much to say about it,” after Byrd contributed two RBIs to the Indians W. The fact that Byrd was later discovered using PEDs during that period didn’t seem to faze Finnegan.
What does this mean for the MLB?
Well, nothing. However, this isn’t the first time a player has spoken up in regards to the “magical potion” we call PEDs. The fact that a player can hit the ball harder and longer as a result of taking substances is an issue BUT “you still have to hit the ball.” If anyone could take PEDs, step up to the plate and hammer homeruns we would have millions of potential PED induced MLB superstars. This obviously isn’t the case. In Byrd’s case (below), he’s the only one that knows his true potential and if he believes that’s not going to cut it and wants to turn to PEDs, let him. Waiting will be a permanent ban (MLB rule after 3 failed PED tests) after serving his current 162 game suspension (longest for second offense in MLB history). Further, the fact that some players use PEDs to advance in the MLB takes the spotlight off the ones who really deserve to have their genuine talent displayed in front of thousands, if not millions.
Here are a few games decided by Byrd:
April 14: two-run homer that solidified a win over the Rays
April 22: tying homer off Verlander resulting in Indians win
May 13: Byrd tested positive and knocked a two-run homer resulting in win
What makes players good enough to make the MLB do it?
The easy and viable answer would be “advantage.” The edge a player benefits from by taking PEDs is necessary according to some players. As the years pass, players are becoming bigger, more aggressive and acquiring skill and knowledge that previous generations didn’t have at their disposal. Combine these factors with the size of today’s salaries and it’s no wonder way some would risk taking the enhancers to benefit from that extra “edge.”
Bottom line, players should not be taking PEDs. If they believe they have to to keep up, they probably should be looking for another job.