Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
But when the report confirmed the rumors, fans let out a groan
Casey, mighty Casey is ingesting human growth hormone.
[with apologies to Ernest Thayer]
To no one's surprise the new Mitchell report on baseball revealed that players are using steroids and human growth hormone as a way to improve performance. Personally, I'm not entirely sure that this is such a big deal, but I'm no expert.
I'm sure that I've attended more than one concert in which the performers have used drugs. I still enjoyed the music. It was entertaining, just like a ball game. Further, every generation of players has looked for an edge, has included cheaters.
But the biggest reason that this might not be such a big deal? I'm convinced that in 50 years, everyone will be using some kind of performance enhancing drug. Who would not take a drug to enhance memory (one I'd take in my old age if it were available and if my mind had begun to fade), and a drug to make the muscles remain flexible and strong? Athletes are probably going to become the early adopters of what will become wide spread - the use of drugs to arrest the effects of aging and to enhance general performance.
Pete Rose got 4,000 hits. It is a very big deal when a player gets 3,000 hits and Rose got more than 4,000. His was an amazing career. But Pete can't be in the Hall of Fame because he bet on the game. (Fiercely competitive, Pete only bet on his team to win - but he bet.) In 2000, the Sycuan Indian Casino became the official sponsor of the San Diego Padres - incorporating their name into the Padres uniforms and marketing. Pete Rose is barred from the Hall of Fame because of his association with gambling. The San Diego Padres now proudly advertise their association with gambling. What seemed renegade in one period becomes the norm in another. This may well be the case with players and drugs.
And finally, it is only a game. But Americans seem to take nothing more seriously.