Philadelphia Phillies fans will have their say again on Halloween when Alex Rodriguez steps into the batter’s box. As they did in Game 3 against the Dodgers and Manny Ramirez, they will chant “Steroids” in that long, drawn out way that fans have started using in recent years. It started with Barry Bonds, and is now carrying onto the likes of Manny, A-Rod and David Ortiz.
While I, or anyone else for that matter, cannot stop the Phillies fans from chanting it, it does point to the growing hypocrisy amongst fans these days. Lenny Dykstra admitted to his steroid use and even talked to the Commissioner’s office about it after his playing days were over. So they are not above having a player who used performance-enhancing drugs on their roster either. I am willing to bet that every team in Major League Baseball has, at one point or another, had a steroid user on their team. It wasn’t until recently that MLB finally decided to do something about it, and that was only when the federal government stepped in.
The owners and commissioner knew they needed players to use steroids after the Lockout of ’94, so they let them. They did nothing but watch players start hitting more home runs than at any other point in the history of the game. They also saw more people start to come games once the single season home run record of Roger Maris was in jeopardy. The players also knew that they could get away with it and took full advantage of the system. Mediocre players were now cashing in on huge paydays. We, the fans, took advantage of the players ruining their bodies for our entertainment, and the owners for allowing us to watch this debacle for moderate prices. Even when prices did start rising at the ballpark, people still went in droves. The chance of catching and/or seeing a home run was the big draw. It was no longer a question of if you would see a home run, but how many home runs would you see.
All parties involved are to blame for the “Steroids” chant and as fans we have to look in the mirror and realize that we too are to blame. No one is above it. We allowed it to happen, and now we get to try and have some righteous indignation? Don’t think so. We all knew it was happening. Case in point: summer of ’98 media darlings, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. These two users brought people back to baseball, just 4 years removed from a lockout. McGwire had evidently bulked up, and Sosa went from hitting 15 home runs to over 30 every year. Including three years of 60 plus. Even when a reporter found androstenedione in McGwire’s locker and he admitted to taking it, no one cared. No action was taken by anyone, except for those few reporters.
I even remember watching the record chase in 1998 and thinking that McGwire looked really big for a guy of his age. But I knew nothing of what steroids or androstenedione would do to the human body. Had someone explained it to me then, I definitely would have believed that he was on it. It isn’t until now that I can see how foolish and ignorant I was, that we all were.
So Phillies fans, Red Sox fans, Yankees fans, Dodgers fans, and all other fans of baseball teams, shut up. Enough with the “Steroids” chant. I’ve got a new one for you “Miiiiirrrrrooooorrrr”. If you don’t get it, then you’ll be the guy or girl starting the “Steroids” chant.