There are many ways to look at the steroid era in baseball. For most, it is an embarrassment — cheating in every sense of the term. Most fans feel like they were cheated for more than a decade. What Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Barry Bonds were able to do is no longer reality. It was all manufactured. Regardless, it made for some entertaining moments.
Those entertaining moments are what someone like Steve Phillips focuses on. In fact, Phillips thinks baseball would be dead right now if not for those few — excuse me, the enormous population — who took up juicing. According to the USA Today via The Big Lead, Phillips said, “Thank god for steroids. It brought the game back from extinction,” during an interview on XM radio.
Keep in mind this is the same guy who said he would trade Stephen Strasburg for Roy Oswalt. But if the affair-having Phillips is right, the game of baseball is in serious danger. With the way MLB has cracked down on testing and tried to put the issue of steroid use to rest over the past couple years, we as fans are led to believe that the days of 55 home runs in a season are over.
Without the astronomical statistics that supposedly brought the game back to life, what will keep it afloat? Will fans take to no-hitters the same way they took to the long ball in the late 90s? Will going to the ballpark and watching a dominant pitching performance have the same effect as watching six home runs fly into the stands? Time will tell.