This summer Ryan Braun was suspended for the use of performance enhancing drugs (PED). The 2012 National League MVP is just another in a long line of ball players accused of trying to do the impossible, make the game of baseball exciting.
But players who use steroids are cheaters! They undermine and corrupt the sanctity of American's purest pastime. This kind of behavior is inexcusable and unbecoming of a professional athlete. It also happens to be the only reason I don't click over to "Bar Rescue" during Sportscenter's Top 10. It's time to re-evaluate America's beloved sport and the way it's played. These players should not be punished; they should be applauded and revered for trying to make baseball watchable.
The sport may have been moderately entertaining in the 1800s when it competed against other American pasttimes like tilling the fields and dying young but now we have actual sports where athletes are required to be in motion and you know, generally do cool, athletic looking things. Surely we can't still be watching questionably out of shape men swing a stick once every couple of minutes. But we do. We still love it. Baseball is that friend who you don't really like, but he's been around forever, and his parents know your parents and they run into each other occasionally at the farmers market and trade stories about you both and so without ever really trying to keep in contact, you know every fucking detail about this kid's life. This is baseball. Too engrained in our personal histories to be told its boring and stupid. Too proud of its lore and statistics to let anyone tell it they don't care. Most likely your grandpa, dad or uncle dragged you to a game when you were little, put a hat on you, made you eat shitty ice cream with a wooden stick and that was it, you were never allowed to speak ill of it again.
In the summer of 1994 I played my first and last season of baseball. Angels in the Outfield and Rookie of the Year had come out recently so naturally I had to find out if I had a missile for an arm. That season I was hit by no less than 14 pitches got severe sunburns in centerfield waiting for fly balls that never came, and ultimately went 0-11 with the Berkeley Frank Lee Jewelers (great jeweler). So yes, I am biased, but I also love sports. I love to play and watch them. I want to love baseball like I love the others, but I can't. The games are long and often uneventful, seasons are like most SNL sketches with promising premises that linger and grow stale and ultimately become unwatchable, players hold our eyes hostage as they chew tobacco, scratch their crotches and rearrange various elbow and shin pads as if what they do is dangerous. Don't even remind me of how the old managers put on saggy uniforms and try to convey secret messages to their team by throwing up gang signs. But only so many people can hit a curveball! Well, there are only so many people who can solve a rubix cube, but you don't see that shit televised 6 months out of the year.
There is a simple solution to all this madness. Rather than getting all fussy every few months when another high-profile player is caught using substances, lets give all the players drugs. I'm not talking about little league deer antler spray either, I want super strains of whatever Arnold was on during the '74 Mr. Universe competition. I want a mutant league of baseball where players check into spring training camp with a head diameter of no less than golden era Barry Bonds. I want home runs hit every other at bat to roust me from my slumber and wipe the drool and flaming hot cheetos from my mouth. We want super fast outfielders that back flip to catch fly balls at the warning track, and hock loogies up to the second deck. We need pitchers who can throw 200 mph fastballs and not get Tommy John surgery, and hitters who look like "The Rock" from Fast 6. America needs managers to take PED's so when they insist on wearing their droopy uniforms only some people laugh. America needs baseball to grow up and get with the times. Students take adderall to study harder and get better grades, adults drink coffee to stay awake and make money, rappers pop molly and sweat to sell more records. Lets face it; drugs are just as engrained in American culture as baseball is. If ballplayers are cool with small balls, then they should be able to play in the bigs however they want.