Steroid Use in Baseball

Barry Bonds has blasted Turk Wendell for saying that Bonds takes steroids. Steroid use is a hot-button issue in baseball right now, and could be the most devasating thing to happen to baseball since the 1919 World Series fiasco – even more damaging than the 1994 Strike. Fans don’t like wondering about a player. Did he take steroids or not? Are his 30 homers supposed to be 20? Did Aaron Boone ‘roid up and cost the Sox a fair shot at the World Series?
There is a federal investigation against BALCO – a company that could have been providing Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield, and others steroids so they could bulk up and mash the pitchers. Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, Pokey Reese – no one is immune from this wave of suspicion. A recent poll showed that roughly 50% of baseball fans will have less interest in baseball if there is a long, drawn out steroid scandal.
How best to save face? If baseball doesn’t want to be shattered by relevations that will come out at the BALCO trial, they need to take the bull by the horns and bite the bullet. There is no way they can come out smelling roses. How can they come out smelling like dirty roses instead of dead roses?
The only way, I think, is for the Player’s Union and the Commissioner’s Office to show solidarity (at least publicly) on the steroid issue. If the Union realizes that no matter what they do, players will be named, they might be amenable to loudly denouncing the use of steroids and actually doing something about it.
Players should inform the Commissioner’s Office that they are willing to be subjected to one random testing day – one during spring training, one pre-All-Star break, one post-break, and for those that make the playoffs, one during the playoffs. It will not be anonymous. Those that are caught taking steroids are banned in the framework of parameters they will set up. The P.U. will save face with the fans by (appearing?) to being amenable to steroid testing. Perhaps they can squeeze concessions in other areas of the game from the owners, but even if they don’t, it is a move they need to make. Rather than sit back, have names named and steroid testing forced on them, the P.U. has to take the initiative and save baseball that way. We are looking for those that show up thinner. So far we have identified 100% Jason Giambi (who is not fooling anyone).
Take the initiative. Save baseball.