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John Rocker says steroids made for better baseball 99

Former Atlanta Braves closer John Rocker, an admitted steroid user, is lamenting that they’re now “frowned upon” and longs for the days of 500 foot home runs and 101 mile an hour fast balls.  According to Dayn Perry of CBS Eye on Baseball, Rocker told Cleveland’s 92.3 The Fan radio station:

“Honestly, and this may go against what some people think from an ethical standpoint, I think it was the better game. At the end of the day when people are paying their $80, $120 whatever it may be, to buy their ticket and come watch that game, it’s almost like the circus is in town. They are paid to be entertained. They wanna see some clown throw a fastball 101 mph and some other guy hit it 500 feet. That’s entertainment. You’re paying to be entertained.

Credit: AP/Mark Lennihan

Credit: AP/Mark Lennihan

I like his use of the words “entertainment,” seems like another “sport” of professional wrestling where over-sized (naturally or otherwise) athletes perform unbelievable feats all for the amusement of a testosterone-driven crowd.

Rocker himself was an admitted PED user in 1999 and even claimed (very briefly before he retracted) that “baseball” and “the players association” advised him and several teammates on how to effectively use steroids.

While at the surface, this seems preposterous, there are a faction of fans out there who feel that the users of the 1990’s really did so with a tacit blessing from baseball (no testing, no interest in shutting down) and a perhaps slightly smaller faction that would actually advocate no testing and full usage just to make it all even up.

My argument to all this is the pure sports aspect, most people that plays sports do so as youth, in schools, in evening leagues, or in pick up games.  Nobody would say that using any sort of performance enhancing drug is good for long term health, particularly in youth.  Sports in general is moving in the right direction, but we’re fooling ourselves to think that all sports are eradicated, or will be in the next decade.  Mr. Rocker is a bastion of a bygone era.

– David Whitlock (@lhd_on_sports)

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