Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Steroid crap

Seeing as how I stayed home sick again today, I have been watching a lot of ESPN. One thing that has driven me up the wall (only one thing? Well, the biggest thing) is not understanding about steroids. People were expecting all these stars and sluggers to test positive. Instead, we get a bunch of light-hitting utility infielders and a whole slew (slough? sloo? Let's just say a lot) of minor leaguers. So let's run down the list of people most likely to test positive for steroids, and a brief reason why this group is going to:

Marginal players, the kind that would take up the 25th spot on a roster - these players have the most to gain by using steroids. That small boost in playing ability that steroids gives might be enough to keep them up in the major leagues; therefore, the reward can be greater than the risk. Corrollary: star-level players that became stars are more likely to not juice up. The humiliation/loss in ad revenue and popularity would be much more severe from a positive test than a slump or reduced production. They won't lose their jobs, and their contracts are gauranteed.

International players - not because of any language barrier per se, but more because of two factors. 1) Visas are much easier to obtain when in the major leagues than in the minors, and getting up there is more helpful 2) Coming from a country with a lower standard of living and fewer employment opportunities make staying in the US much more attractive. Doing steroids that helps facilitate staying in the country and maintaining the opportunity is more likely to cause a desire to stay.

Catchers and relief pitchers - positions where recovery is important are more likely to get caught, because the short-term effects help with recovery more than being stronger, so they are more likely to use occasionally and just hope they don't get tested after those sporadic usages.

Makes sense right? Those who have the most to gain by not using them are more likely to risk testing positive than those who stand to lose from using. If you are a legitimate major leaguer, you won't risk steroids to be a star major leaguer as readily as if you are taking to make or stay on the team. If you have the choice between playing ineffectively every few appearances, or exposing yourself to positive test for a few days here or there, you are more likely to risk it. So all the flapping mediot heads out there, please take note: you are not going to catch those that have the most to lose by taking steroids, you are going to catch those with the most to gain.


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