Growing up near Boston, I always heard about the Red Sox. As kids, baseball players were seen as role models. Every little boy I knew wanted to play for the Boston Red Sox. The sport was very personal to so many people in my neighborhood. Many of the mothers and fathers I knew had Red Sox tattoos and never missed a game on television. Now, some people have become disillusioned with America’s game. Here are some reasons why the game of baseball has veered off course.
The Steroid Scandals
Performance enhancing drugs and baseball have become two phrases that often go hand in hand. Major League Baseball has tried its best to combat the negative backlash by scandals caused by players but sadly people are still skeptical when anyone is on track to shatter any records. When I was young, the build up to a player setting any new record was intense. The newspapers would be on the story every day and ticket sales would surge.
Now, people are less enthusiastic for the game because they know that the records might be changed down the road if someone used steroids or other performance enhancing drugs to try to achieve their goals.
The Blood Doping Scandal
Alex Rodriguez has fallen very far due to his blood doping scandal. The cycling world was rocked with a similar strategy with Lance Armstrong. As fans, people often feel betrayed and lied to.when they hear any type of allegations regarding cheating to get ahead in baseball.
Alex Rodriguez was suspended but the scandal hurt the image of all star players. There are harsher punishments for offenders but sadly there are loopholes with testing requirements that often lead to players being able to still break the rules.
The High Salaries Paid to Players
Many Major League Baseball players make millions of dollars per year. The sponsorship dollars and revenue from merchandise have changed the game. It has created a high pressure environment where players are wheeled and dealed all the time. This has caused many fans to not be able to make a connection with players because they are being traded so often.
Many players feel pressured to try to cheat and use drugs especially if they have been injured. Most athletes cannot play past the age of 35, so earning every dollar counts. This has hurt the overall game because people need to believe in the players.
In conclusion, the game of baseball has lost its way but it can still fix the problems. It is time for owners to take more time with their players and help to develop them both athletically and emotionally. This helps to create an environment that fosters honest competition between teams.