Sunday, January 17, 2010

The year is 2050

The year is 2050 and Johnny is on his way to school. Johnny is an All-American High School baseball player in his senior year. He is lucky enough to have shown some inkling of talent during his little league days and that his family can afford to make his dream of being a ball player come true. He has been put on regime of finely tuned PEDs since the age of twelve. Weight training started at fifteen. All things are legal and safe and have been tested for the past few decades. There are a variety of programs all approved by players unions and Major League Baseball. This is how we get our athletes now. The parents either need to be financially stable or raise enough money to support this endeavor. Either by finding a bank that trusts in the kid's ability and luck, a private investor, or chance their own lively-hoods and mortgage everything to provide for the outrageous costs. But that is just the way it is, it's known and accepted, heck it's even promoted by many corporate companies. After all, we are talking about making a professional athlete. Players making the standard salary will make tens of millions of dollars and can easily pay everything back, if they make it. And if they are actually truly gifted and become a superstar then they are making billions a year and the investors not only make incredible profits but also get to go to the biggest events for years. This is big business and it starts early.

Big League records are being set at a feverish pace, one hardly standing for more than a few years. When the first 100 homer season happened in 2032 people were amazed, but as medicine and science continue to perfect their methods the hundred homer season didn't stand very long and was constantly broken. Fans continue to pack the stadiums to see the next king of the homer. The 180 homer season came in 2043 and people were thrilled and excited. Fights in the stands were common for the next million-dollar souvenir. It's amazing that it has stood for seven years, a record in itself lately. Now, the latest prospect that every one thinks has the potential for a 200 homer season has been called up. He has been going insane through high school, and flying through the minors bashing balls like crazy, all while showing his five tools he can run and gun on a whole new level and hasn't batted below .450 in his life. He made the team this spring training and expectations are high.

One year later and Johnny is now in his rookie season. He has his morning glass of juice made from the chemistry set of Tropicana Pro, which costs a thousand dollars a glass. That juice is just the start of many things that give this young man the ability to unleash his ultimate talent. He eats his genetically engineered banana and heads out for his first major league game. Athletes still work hard but it is more about what their bodies can digest and grow with that makes a superstar rise above the everyday players. All players are on some program and there are no natural players. Some parents have even chosen the best parts of their DNA to create a child, but more times than not they prefer the lure of academic fields, than the thrill of athletics. Will Johnny set the record? Only time will tell, but chances are very favorable for the young lad.

This is just an idea I had to illustrate a point. Given a bit over the top, but it is a story to get a reaction, a discussion, and hopefully get some ideas to the people in charge. Maybe it will help get them motivated to make a decision. I am always flooded by questions when I think of this situation. Which seems to come up more and more often. If PEDs were safe and tested, would there be an outcry like there is today or would it be accepted? My guess is the latter. If it was not harmful, I am sure it would be as accepted as the vitamin, Gatorade and Ritalin. Is it about players cheating? Or is it that they are using something that the Aaron's and Ruth's didn't? I believe this is a big part of it. That said, if the steroid era is just the beginning, then what is to come in the future?

This is what the MLB and other sports better figure out and soon. Do they want all athletes to be on a level playing field from Ruth to Pujols to the future Johnny? Is nobody supposed to enjoy the benefits that come from modern science and medicine? Honestly, it is already too late since most athletes now have some form of surgery that was not present for players of the twenties- allowing them to continue to play longer than in the past. Why is cutting edge surgery not looked at in the same light as taking PEDs? If everyone were open and public with what they took, would it help create a balance? Hope to hear others thoughts and opinions. I would really like MLB to actually make a statement on the future of the sport, instead of pretending it doesn't exist and then just be reactive.


NicoLax24 said...

Very interesting. I'm not sure what my response is quite yet. I'll have to get back to you once I can put my gut reaction aside and think realistically. You pose a toughy

chris OK said...

Look forward to your thoughts