Steroids In Baseball: How the Missoula Osprey Educate Players
For every home run swing, or every fast ball strike-out, the conversation often turns to steroids, and with the recent suspensions because of a link to Biogensis, it leaves minor league ball players realizing many of the major leaguers they looked up to have cheated.
"It’s very frustrating, it’s like they have no respect for the game," says Osprey Second Baseman Antonio Alvarez.
For many players in the minor league system today, steroids are something they were aware of as kids, but many aren’t aware of how things like hormones, blood pressure or even liver functioning can be affected when the drugs are abused.
"You know, that’s one thing they don’t quite put two and two together, they see the short term gains, but they don’t see how it will effect them longer down the line," says Diamondback’s trainer Paul Porter.
The Long-Term dangers of anabolic steroids and other PED’s are what many clubs try to teach their players, however it’s hard to deny the short term impact.
"Just a little bit more edge, put something in your body and the ball is going 20 feet further, those guys, you can tell how huge they were," says Alvarez.
For this years Diamondbacks rookie class, their education on MLB’s Banned Substances began quickly.
"We had a couple meetings about that, as soon as we got onto the diamondbacks complex," says Alvarez.
Banned substances can be found in supplements sold at grocery stores and gyms across the country. To make things easier on athletes, they are told only to use products that are certified by NSF for Sport, an application they can download to their PC or smart phone.
"We have a running joke with the team, if we see someone eating a turkey sandwich , we ask them if its NSF approved, and I’ve had a bunch of guys come up to me and ask ‘hey is this stuff okay?’ and that’s when you know what we’re doing is working, because they are thinking about it and making sure what they are doing is right," says Diamondback’s Trainer Sean Light.
While the road to the majors is a difficult one for any young ball player, many of them truly respect baseball, and are confident the integrity of the game still exists.
"Guys that do respect the game, and do care about it, they do it the right way," says Alvarez.
And while doing the right thing may be enough for some players, the training and strength staff hopes the realization of the dangers performance enhancing drug use is enough to keep everyone clean.
"Who wants to die at 60, or even 50, 40, whatever so they can make (money), what’s 30 million when you’re dead?" says Light.