Steroids 2: What are, say, the drawbacks?

Okay, I understand why the normal Joe Jock would consider shooting up with Steroids, Testosterone, HGH and other helps: It improves their game in many ways, from sheer strength to reaction and twitch time to speed. Stronger muscles means harder hits (on bats or players), quicker twitch time means longer time to wait, faster reactions means quicker actions and better mistake correction.

However, I can’t think that Steroids, Testosterone and HGH are ALL positives. Not only that, but I also find it a bit suspicious that whatever drawbacks there are only work in the long-term. Also consider that it makes sense that people would be willing to gamble the (always iffy, even if the iffy part is vanishingly small) future for massive immediate gains, and that sometimes that gain is the difference between starting and being cut (as minor league teams are more focused on developing young talent than winning championships).

So…what’s a drawback of Steroids/HGH/Testosterone?

How abut nerves?

Think of it: You have quicker twitch times and the ability to cover mistakes quicker. While this stuff may make you a better player in the day-to-day world, it could easily lead you astray when the pressure is on. A twitch may be not quite fast enough when you need to be a bit faster, or you twitch when you should hold off. What would normally be a walk turns instead into a ground-out, and what would normally be a ground-out becomes a ball thrown past the first-baseman and a two-base error.

In other words, the pressure times end up being the times when you fall back onto your non-steroided self. Batting averages drop during playoffs, errors start popping up on the field and “superhorses” become suddenly nags.

Nor admittedly football is a different animal in that the parts played are more specific. Blockers generally block, rushers rush the passer/runner, receivers try to catch the ball, QBs job is to insure the football moves forwards towards the goal, and kickers/punters try to boot the ball as far/well as they can. Each part has its place, and rare (and funny sometimes) is when the players have to go outside their space of expertise. That’s why football and Steroids/HGH/Testosterone seem to go better together.

But in a game that requires a more general, more complete skill-set (baseball), it’s possible to see that over-concentration (or cheating) on one set of skills would lead to a diminishment in some way of other aspects.

And that’s why Sosa would go from sleek and quick to rooted in place at the field (while able to pound the ball out of the ballpark). And why Barry Bonds would, towards the end of his career, end up being paraded out only when it was time for him to hit another home run. And why Jose Canseco, with the numbers he ended up producing, would end up playing for seven different teams (and one could argue that he more rode along with World-Series winning teams than was an active part of them).

So maybe this should be the tag line: Steroids: Drug of Chokers?


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