|An Open Letter to the Non-Steroid Users||| Print |||Send|
Written by Daniel Paulling (Contact & Archive) on December 24, 2007
I am writing this letter to the members of the player’s union who have never used performance-enhancing substances, whether it be anabolic steroids to help build muscle mass or human growth hormone to speed up the process of recovery. It is those innocent members who I hope read this letter. I care very much about each and every one of you.
For years, the less moral among you have been using steroids and creating an unlevel playing field. Barry Bonds has “allegedly” used these steroids to break Hank Aaron’s record for most home runs hit in one career. Roger Clemens has “allegedly” used steroids and human growth hormone to become the otherworldly pitcher he has become. “My rigorous workout” was supplemented with drug use.
But the elite players are not the only ones to use steroids. No names like Alex Sanchez and Adam Piatt have used. Middle-of-the-road players like Paul LoDuca have sought the needle in order to boost their statistics and boost their pay.
All of these players have one thing in common: They’re all cheats who are embarrassing the player’s union. Because of Donald Fehr and the reluctance of the clean players to come forward and demand stronger drug testing -- blood testing with stronger penalties from an independent testing agency -- these guys sullied the name of the players who stayed clean.
It’s only because none of you spoke up, none of you demanded stronger steroid testing, that baseball fans will gauge your performance through a jaded eye. We no longer think of everyone as innocent. There are just some players who may be not guilty. If a guy is truly clean and hits a bunch of home runs, there’s always going to be the critic who steps back and wonders if something is up.
However, there is still a chance for something to be done. The Mitchell Report has given the player’s union a black eye. It has caused every player from the early-to-mid 90’s until the 2007 season to be considered guilty. But while it is fresh in the minds of everyone, you can still do something to prove your innocence.
First, you must round up all the other clean members of the player’s union and approach Fehr about opening up the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Tell him that you want year-round, random drug testing. Not only that, but you want blood testing. And you want everything to be run by an independent, outside agency and with tougher penalties for a positive test.
First offense: That player gets his name released to the public. He must also donate his entire year’s salary to research for finding new steroids. And thirdly, he’s banned from the union.
Second offense: He’s banned from baseball.
One strike and a player forfeits his dignity, his millions of dollars, and the backing of those who consider him their peer. The union washes their hand of his evil activity. Two strikes and that player is out of baseball forever. You may think of that as a little extreme. To me, it seems just right.
A player who uses steroids does not deserve to have his dignity, the money that came as a result of his using illegal and banned substances, or the protection of the majority who do not abuse steroids. A player who continues to use steroids after his first offense has clearly not learned his lesson -- and therefore never will -- and baseball should be rid of him forever.
Clean members of the union: Let’s put the steroid era behind us by making a concerted effort to do so. Any more band-aid fixes just won’t do. We need tough legislation that shows that both sides want the sport cleaned up. And the only way that is going to happen is if the player’s union steps forward and admits they messed up in the past.
This is assuming, at least, that the majority of the players in the union are clean. So, how about it guys? Ready to show the public how you guys really feel about cheating?
Daniel K. Paulling
A loyal fan ready for change