Tha Sports Junkies 101

PEDs: The Enemy of the MLB


Why are players still choosing PEDs?

Every player wants to be the best that they can, so a little artificial talent might help.  Dee Gordon just got busted for using performance-enhancing drugs this past Friday.  Gordon says that he “unknowingly” took the Testosterone that was found in his system and now he is serving his 80-game suspension issued by the MLB.  The MLB is now very serious when it comes to testing for banned substances and players are still choosing the risky route to become a better baseball player.  Dee Gordon isn’t even a home run hitter and he batted a tremendous .333 last season, so why would he even think about taking PEDs?

In 2003, the MLB created it’s first steroid policy.  It was reported that in December of that year that 5-7% of the tests done that year were positive for steroids or other PEDs*.  This became a serious problem for the MLB because the number of players who were tested as positive was seemingly high at 103.  I was quite surprised when I viewed the list via Bleacher Report of the players who were caught with PEDs in their system.  Names like Bartolo Colon, Todd Helton, Bobby Abreu, Derrick Lee, Johnny Damon and David Ortiz (and many more) are some that wouldn’t strike me as players known for using enhancements such as Barry Bonds and A-Roid.  However, most of the players on this list are big name players that felt as if they needed a boost in their play.  Everyone always asks why players would be dumb enough to take these banned substances to enhance their performance.  There is only 1 reason to take PEDs in the grand scheme of things, to be a better ball player.  But I don’t know if that is the whole story.  Some players may be stressed out and feel as if they are not producing enough, which could have very well been the case with Dee Gordon.  Gordon (along with Chris Colabello) said he didn’t knowingly take a substance, but he was only batting .266 on the season so maybe he didn’t feel as if he was contributing enough to a Marlins ball club that needed him.

People who casually look at a player and see that they were busted for PEDs automatically call them an idiot for doing it and make him out to be the worst of the worst when it comes to professional sports.  The casual sports fan does not understand the stress of a ball player to do well and to help his club as best as he can.  A-Rod was a hall-of-famer on the decline in his career, so steroids seemed to be the only answer in his mind.  When he was caught, he couldn’t admit the truth of using these drugs to increase his play on the ball field.  He couldn’t admit that he had cheated because he felt sorry that he had ever done them in the first place.  A-Rod also said that he used PEDs when he was on the Rangers due to a “an enormous amount of pressure to perform.”  The stress that an MLB player is under at any given moment is more than we think.

*It should be noted that if a player refused to take the drug test, their test was considered positive.