Juiced!

Posted: December 14, 2007

THERE WAS A LOT of talk in the 1990s about so-called "juiced" baseballs. What else could explain the increase in the number and distance of home runs hit since the 1994 Major League Baseball strike?

Turns out, more attention should've been paid to juiced players than juiced baseballs.

Former Sen. George Mitchell's long-awaited report on the use of performance-enhancing drugs is a reality check for wanna-be superstars. The 311-page report details which players reportedly used the drugs and how the drugs were obtained. It also gives recommendations on how to address the problem.

Yes, some of the mighty were felled: Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte among them. But many other players named in Mitchell's report had mediocre talent, like Tim Laker and Mark Carreon. Not only did they come up short career-wise, their names and reputations will be besmirched. (Four former Phils, including fan fave Lenny Dykstra, were also named in the report.) The report has a lesson for youth: There are consequences for those who want to cheat their way to stardom. The Mitchell report won't ruin baseball, but it has shaken its foundation of tradition, which made the game great.*

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