FanDuel - WFBC

January 17, 2008

Fear Strikes All: Doug Glanville Explains Why Steroids Hit Baseball: In yesterday's New York Times, nine-season major leaguer Doug Glanville humanizes the debate over performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. "There is a tipping point in a player's career where he goes from chasing the dream to running from a nightmare. At that point, ambition is replaced with anxiety, passion is replaced with survival. It is a downhill run and it spares no one. For me, it started with a pop in 2003, while I was running out a routine ground ball in Texas." This drew interesting responses from author Jeff Angus and the blog Breaking Balls.

posted by rcade to baseball at 10:39 AM - 8 comments

Thanks, that was a great read. I love Doug Glanville like I've loved no other non-Red Sox banjo hitter before.

posted by yerfatma at 12:41 PM on January 17

Very true story. So many think steroids are just something that "allows" Barry Bonds to hit homers in record numbers or Roger Clemens to possibly prolong his Hall of Fame career. In actuality, steroids are more intriguing to the player not many have ever heard of trying to hold on to a short, relatively insignificant career before the next guy comes up and bumps him off the roster. The overwhelming majority of those named in the Mitchell Report were just such players.

posted by dyams at 12:50 PM on January 17

Wow. Very good read.

posted by rocketman at 01:23 PM on January 17

In actuality, steroids are more intriguing to the player not many have ever heard of trying to hold on to a short, relatively insignificant career before the next guy comes up and bumps him off the roster. The overwhelming majority of those named in the Mitchell Report were just such players. Glanville's piece (and your summary here) are reasonable explanations, and they paint a sympathetic portrayal to recently demonized atheletes. But they also serve to highlight the stark contrast between guys trying to make the roster, and the stars. Its easy to say, well of course Gary Bennett took PEDs. He needed to in order to stay on the 40 man. Or, poor Andy Pettite, he felt so guilty about being on the DL, he thought he was letting his team down. We can sympathize with the motivations behind the actions when presented with admissions like this. But when you get to guys who were potential HOF candidates PRIOR to their PED use like Clemens and Bonds, pieces like these can only serve to make fans wonder why. Why would someone so immensely talented and ahead of the field do such a thing? They weren't trying to merely make the roster. Their places with their respective teams were assured. They weren't coming back from injuries during the heat of a season. They weren't trying to angle for a better deal than an average vet salary. Their play on the field commanded that they be the best paid at their positions. It could just be hubris, but that seems a bit too simple an explanation for so complex a web of misdirection. Glanville really gave us some food for thought here.

posted by lilnemo at 02:41 PM on January 17

lilnemo, I agree with you about players (stars) that have already made it and the use of steroids seems unreasonable. In their defense I'd like to point out (in Bonds case) some players see the the records falling to players already on the "juice". The ugly head of jealously creeps into their thinking and consumes them to make irrational and illegal choices. Can I condemn someone for submitting to temptations, when to be quite frank, if in same situation, not make the same mistake. Taking steroids is one thing, but lying or not saying anything to help stop the abuse is quite another topic for different thread. And the one that I absolutely have no sympathy for or will condone.

posted by Nakeman at 03:49 PM on January 17

lilnemo, I have thought of the same thing you have before and I think it was Peter Senge who talks about why re-training programs don't work in shattered industry towns like Flint... it is because people's identity's are wrapped up in their job and to lose that is to lose absolutely everything. I imagine te same is for some ball players as well, HOF career or not. Look at how many pro players slink into retirement clinging on to their career and trying to ride the coattails of their past glory. I think for pro athletes it is worse. The posse, the press, the groupies, even family is there for your because "you are the man" and when you retire, now what? I think NFL players it is easier because careers are shorter and their education is a bit better (compared to baseball and hockey anyways) but for many of them retirement seems to be a boring and sad existence.

posted by jc at 08:48 PM on January 17

Who ever they find taking steriods,they need to take away the record they broke.Steriods got them the record,not the person them self.They also need to check all sports for steriods.

posted by rhecker at 07:57 AM on January 18

Another excellent article!

posted by BoriQa at 11:17 AM on January 20

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