Juicing in baseball occurs on two levels. First is the newer baseballs with composite rubber compounds that enable the ball to behave stronger. Better flight and response to the bat which results in more home runs. Second, juicing the player with steroids for increase red blood cells that allow more oxygen metabolizing and muscle growth.
For any baseball fan that has a subscription to Scientific American you can appreciate how they bring in subjects that in one aspect are very in line with their thinking. But even the best minds can have trouble putting together the simplest concepts.
In April 2008 issue they go to great lengths to discuss the compound effects of steroid use. Some of these effects are well known and others you may find surprising.
As a young man just entering college I was fortunate enough to be able to have my exercise regime overseen by the then bench press world record holder. Under his watch I put on 30 lbs and took my bench press to doing repetitions with 450lbs and perform the squat with 680lbs. At 5 foot 11 inches it was impressive.
What I learned most from my mentor was that the stories about steroids were true. Within a few years of taking steroids he developed testicular cancer which resulted in the loss of one. He constantly fought roid rages which brought stress to his whole family. In that Gym, even the discussion of steroid use was frowned upon.
Aside from the emotional and physical trauma steroids put on the athlete, the article in Scientific American points out a lesser known truth. In the periods from 1994 through 1996 world class bicyclists were dying in their sleep. These guys are at the top of all sports when it comes to overall cardio conditioning. They ride for hundreds of miles daily at paces the average Joe can only keep up for mere minutes.
Steroids create additional red blood cells. More red blood cells, the more oxygen the bodies circulatory system has available the harder the muscles can work and recover. Every thing gets stronger down the line. Lungs become larger to pass more oxygen and the cycle goes through again.
What was pointed out is that with all these new red blood cells and athletes with superior cardio is that they were having heart attacks in their sleep. You will have to read the article to get all details on how the heart attacks were actually caused. But so far as it to say, cyclists on steroids were now sleeping with heart monitors to wake them up should their heart stop.
While this is all interesting you are wondering what it has to do with baseball. Simple, steroids are a short term gain and long term loss. How short and long the terms are depends on your unique chemistry. But have no doubt, you will pay a price that you never expected.
The current controversy surrounding baseball really should be laid to rest. The lure of steroid use is so great to these top athletes as it can be the difference between a multi year multi million dollar contract or minimum wage work at Home Depot. The solution to stop steroid use in professional athletics is out there. But today, no one has been able to find it.
For athletes who are not paid but want to take their game up a level. Simple, do it without steroids. Performance enhancement through chemistry is no solution. It just may be that you are not a premium athlete. Believe in yourself that your level of play, how ever frustrating it may be to your self image, is okay.
To break it down even farther; steroids without a prescription are contraband and the mere possession of them can get you jail time. If you have convinced yourself that your body chemistry is suitable for steroids then you are a candidate for instant hire at the human gene research center, they do not even know how it all works together.
Steroids are a hurricane. Once introduced into the body you have now idea when or how bad the storm will hit, but be sure, the storm is coming. No one can be prepared for what it will bring.
As athletes mature and move on into other fields were they are successful other than sports, being brought down from a mistake in the past can wreck havoc on all their current successes. Look forward to your life at 40 or 50, do you really want your kids with you in the hospital waiting for cancer surgery. How about having your heart stop on your wedding night.
As a person you are not an island. Many people are connected with your life and are affected by what you do and go through. Be patient with yourself. There are those you may never meet but your live will impact them. So if preserving yourself is not a good enough reason, maybe they are.