Steroids Again An Issue For Major League Baseball

Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers is one of those implicated in thre most recent PED news.(Jacquelyn Martin/AP)
Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers is one of those implicated in the most recent PED news. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

On Tuesday evening, news broke that Tony Bosch, late the proprietor of a defunct Florida company called Biogenesis, would testify about the Major League players to whom he provided steroids. Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun are among the most prominent players whose names appear in Bosch's files. Bill Littlefield attempts to place in context this latest episode in baseball's steroid era.

I’ve read that in the storied past some players turned to brandy,

As now their counterparts toss down their throats as if ‘twere candy

The pills prescribed for those with ADD they’ve never had.

This can’t be good , I’d guess, which means it’s more than likely bad.

I’ve heard that in the days when young Pete Rose was setting marks

For hits accumulated, whacking baseballs out of parks,

The hustle that he did it with was not precisely clean;

It came in pills called “greenies,” which I understand were green.

And it’s been said that “greenies” were available to those

Who wished to try the fuel that put the bloom on young Pete Rose.

Available as gum for chewing and tobacco, too,

The greenies got the players up and kept them up, it’s true,

And when the game began on time, and when the game was brisk,

The “greenies” worked, although I guess a rainout was a risk.

For if there was no game to play, the “greenie” buzz would creep

Into the heads of players and they wouldn’t get much sleep.

The Pirates of an era gone but not forgotten yet

Preferred cocaine, it’s said, and some were caught and sadly met

With punishments designed to show that baseball wouldn’t stand

For that which would besmirch its name across this baseball land.

Then came the steroid era, in which home runs numbered many,

And large and muscled fellows swaggered ‘round as big as any

Stoked, body-building paragon in freakish, bulging glory,

And it was hoped throughout the land that we had seen that story

Play out like all the stories of what players sought before…

But now we learn that era has not ended. There is more…

As many as two dozen more, some famous and some not,

Have all been tabbed as cheats by someone from whom these guys got

The steroids they believed would make them wealthier by far,

Than any maharajah, CEO, or movie star.

They had the genes, these fortunates, and all the drive as well

To make the Bigs and make opposing pitchers want to sell

Used cars, or maybe real estate, insurance, bonds or stocks,

For pitching to these hitters, who would often clean their clocks,

Was making pitchers feel that life had handed them the lemons,

Though some, perhaps, made lemonade, like aging Roger Clemens.

But wasn’t all that in the past, and hadn’t baseball rid

Its house of steroid users? Lots of people thought it did,

Until this latest round of accusations dark and grim,

From Tony Bosch in Florida, and now we'll hear from him.

The moral, I suppose, if there's a moral to be had,

Is greed is never-ending, and although that's very sad,

It's somehow even sadder in our days of constant strife,

To learn again that baseball's pretty much the same as life.

This program aired on June 8, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.

Bill Littlefield Host, Only A Game
Bill Littlefield was the host of Only A Game from 1993 until 2018.



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