Steroids, PEDs and the Hypocrisy of the MLB

Dodgers left fielder Manny Ramirez, who will be noticeably absent until July 3, says doctor's orders are to blame for his failed drug test. So, MLB, what's the problem here?

The real hypocrisy over performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) is the fact that doctors (people with medical degrees) are prescribing them for an ailment, but the MLB's governing bodies (people without medical degrees) are deeming them illegal. The question is what makes a drug legal, and what makes a drug illegal?

What is the difference between PEDs and an anti-biotic? An anti-inflammatory? Or a designer vitamin that helps people produce certain proteins to heal? Medicine is medicine, and PEDs are the same thing as super high-end drugs that promote healing, or cool vitamins that make you bigger.

And please don't come with the danger to the body boloney. Players are allowed to drink at rates that make members of Motely Crue blush (see Wells, David), allowed to roll around on motor cycles, and furthermore, play a game in which 100 mph balls are flying at them. I still haven't mentioned the fact that antibiotics may be just as dangerous as any steroid.

And for the baseball purists out there, this is just a case of different advantages for different eras. You can't say PEDs taint any of Manny's stats because, sure, while Mickey Mantle and Bob Gibson did not have access to them, they also didn't have access to Tommy John surgery, designer vitamins, advanced work-out centers with incredibly high-end regimens, or access to any other technological advances in the past 15 to 20 years.

My point is that MLB (at the behest of the mainstream sports/news media, and mainstream consumers of the game) has arbitrarily disallowed certain "drugs" without sympathy for practical uses or doctor's orders, while, again arbitrarily, has endorsed via silence several other dangerous "medicines" without explaining why or how those decisions are made.

Of course the Manny suspension will get a ton of run, and will probably -- especially on the heels of the A-Rod fiasco -- lead to an overhaul of the system.


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But what it doesn't do is "clean up the game." People like Barry Zito, Jason Schmidt, and Carl Pavano continue to make tens of millions of dollars for bottom-rung play, games are still announced by incompetent sour-pusses like Joe Morgan and Tim McCarver, empty seats often outnumber occupied ones, and they're suspending stars for two months because they obeyed doctor's orders.

Shame on you, Bud Selig.

Matt Glassman is a writer living in Los Angeles and is neither a Dodger fan, nor a Yankee fan. He also likes: Billiards.

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