Dispatch #6: The gray area

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It seems a bit simplistic to me, though, to suggest that The Steroid Era comprises a stain on the game’s history. It is, to be sure, a reminder that in a collision of faith and capitalism, capitalism almost inevitably triumphs. But labelling it an aberration feels uncomfortably close to laying all the blame at the feet of players, when the truth is that the history of baseball is characterized by efforts to streamline the flow of money toward those in control; rest assured that, during the period in question, all concerned were reaping the windfall of increased gates and greater viewership. Baseball had succeeded in re-entering the zeitgeist just a few short years after the labor stoppage which had alienated a huge number of its paying customers, and it did so thanks to the record number of balls leaving big league yards all over America. Tellingly, even though everybody seemed quite aware of the manner in which performance-enhancing substances were changing the game, nobody seemed terrifically interested in doing anything about it.

“Dispatch #6: The gray area,” for Sinkhole magazine

 

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