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P.E.D. Use Not the Real Issue
The Miami clinic is just the latest in the long list of P.E.D. related scandals that the MLB has had to endure in recent years. The odd thing is that each time one of these reports goes public, all other talk of baseball related issues and short comings seem to fall by the wayside. This time it seems to have taken pressure off of the Yankees and Nationals being routed in the playoffs after being heavy favorites going into the post season. If we are going to just put it out there bluntly, an argument could be made that Major League Baseball is using P.E.D. use as a scapegoat for its inability to keep up with the changing game.
Building new ballparks can be expensive, and most cities don’t have the capital available to justify tearing down a perfectly good stadium to put up a new one. The only problem is that the population is increasing in body size with each generation, and with larger frames there is greater potential to generate power. Science has also improved, and new training methods to help build more muscle in less time as well as improve swing dynamics and recovery methods have all added to player’s ability to hit the ball harder and farther.
It is hard for a governing organization to sit down and admit that its players have begun to exceed the level that was previously thought to be the pinnacle of the sport. That is made exponentially harder to admit when they also have to admit that they have no idea how to make the changes necessary to keep the dynamic of the game from changing completely. Now this isn’t to say that by 2015 every hit will be a homerun, but in the next 20 to 30 years the percentage of extra base hits is certain to continue to rise. This is not exclusively directed at players entering the batters box, the level of pitching has also been elevated by the change in human development. So how can the MLB prevent the future of every game have 17 strike outs and 12 homeruns, completely eliminating the need for an infield except for a few plays?
The answer to that question is neither easy nor will it be cheap. It is clear the P.E.D. excuse will not continue to explain the breaking of long standing batting and pitching records going into the future as the MLB begins to enact more stringent standards for banned substance testing. The band aid on a broken arm analogy applies well here, and even though the negative publicly of steroid using players will distract fans and cast doubt on a few players notable carriers, it is nothing compared to the amount of doubt that will be cast on the entire league if they are forced to admit that have no idea how to stop players from excelling to a level that surpasses the confines of the game.