This may be the most talked about subject in baseball over the past few seasons. A lot of people don’t comprehend that the number of drugs that are being tested for under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. Players have a lot of information at their disposal to find out whether or not what they are putting into their bodies is acceptable. There should be no excuses for failing a test and claiming that they thought what they were taking was okay.
Baseball happens to be very severe in their punishments for a positive test and probably will grow those punishments as time goes on. A fifty game suspension without pay for a first offense must be enough, but when you can come out of that suspension and still make millions then something should definitely be changed. Players are searching during the potential pot of gold inside the form of a huge contract and seem more than prepared to take their chances. Certainly this doesn’t apply to all players but there continue to be a percentage that have never seen the risk as a reason to stop. Again, ignorance is not an excuse.
Baseball players are creatures of habit, maybe more than any other sport, and taking this away can affect them mentally and additionally physically. It is widely believed that performance enhancing drugs are as much a mental edge as these are typically a physical advantage. Baseball is a game of focus and attention to detail, anything that helps your focus is an advantage over somebody who is simply using the talents they were given at birth.
Players that are neat and have nothing to hide are growing significantly frustrated with those that choose to cheat. After all, we now have to assume they know these are typically cheating. With each positive test the game is tainted a little more and that causes the game of baseball to move inside the wrong direction. I don’t think there is much doubt that the game is cleaner than it was just a couple of years ago and that can be nothing but positive; however, there is still a lengthy tips to go. The game will never be completely clean, like any segment of the population there will usually be some people that try to take shortcuts. With that said, when the punishments boost the wide range of violators will go down.
Unfortunately there is no one solution that will make this go away. The penalties for a positive test in baseball will become much more severe in the near future. If baseball makes the first positive test a ban for a full calendar year and the second offense a lifetime ban, you will see a colossal drop in positive tests. On top of that, if baseball allowed teams to add a clause that allowed for a contract to be voided after the first test players would definitely think twice before putting a banned substance in their bodies.
There is an extended how to go in this process and fans will need to be patient. I do believe that they game ten years in the future will likely to be much cleaner than it is today, in large part because of increased penalties and player awareness. On the top of this, the culture that has been developed through the years going all of the way all the down to the twelfth grade level will need to change as well; this is certainly going to take time. Baseball is still a great sport and the rich history is definitely worth preserving. I expect each year will be a little cleaner than the previous year until the the wide range of cheaters becomes something close to zero.
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