For all the flap about steroids that has surrounded baseball for the past few years, I have been surprised few people are complaining about the blatant use of performance-enhancers used in the post-season this year. While we’ve heard a lot about Kenny Rogers’s smudge, the response has been “oh well, that’s part of baseball.” His teammate, Todd Jones, actually defended Rogers by stating he has cheated with pine tar in the past. Of course, it’s not cheating because it’s “accepted”—everybody’s doin’ it. The thing is we have better evidence that Kenny Rogers used pine tar than we do for most of the players the media condemns for using steroids, and there’s no doubt about what the rules say. Rogers should have been tossed and suspended (this is coming from a guy who is rooting hard for Detroit).
Then we have the Scott Rolen “controversy”—not his feud with TLR, but his getting a cortisone shot in his shoulder so that he could play. Cortisone is a steroid, but the kind that is accepted. Why is it accepted? It just is. There is no doubt that it is a PED and that it has potential negative side effects in the long run.
What’s the difference between these actions and using PEDs like HGH or anabolic steroids? “We” have just decided that “we” don’t like it. Pine tar and cortisone get to sit with the cool kids, the others are called out for ridicule.