Steroids are a part of baseball. We will all be better off the moment that MLB accepts this. Many see performance-enhancing drugs as something that ruins the game, but this puritan ideology holds the sport back. I do not wish to convince the anti-steroid zealots that their logic is flawed, I simply want to create a blueprint they can use to help fix baseball once they’ve seen the light.
Let everyone do steroids.
Now, I must immediately acknowledge that unsupervised drug use can be bad. The keyword though is unsupervised. If baseball created a safe space for steroid use they could enhance the performance-enhancing drug experience. I’m going to veer away from steroids for the moment but bear with me.
Recently, Carl Hart (a professor at Columbia University and all-around handsome man) opened up about regularly using heroin in his new book, “Drug Use for Grown Ups.” Hart describes his heroin use as something similar to how many consume alcohol — a recreational activity that can be done to relieve stress if done so with purpose and a focus on not letting it impact any other aspects of life.
Now, it is super important to note that heroin is a highly addictive drug that you, reader, should not use. But Hart’s point has less to do with a specific drug and more with our relationship with drugs in the first place. His argument is simple: you can be grown up about drug use. It’s the more eloquent version of your friend telling you to, “be cool.” But, I am cool. I’m so cool that I want to encourage MLB to get cool too.
By embracing Hart’s mindset, they could potentially elevate the sport while offering an honest, yet competitively balanced product. The league could administer the drugs, working with medical professionals to understand the correct dosage for each individual. They could track use to help prevent anyone’s head from outgrowing its batting helmet. Let’s see dudes blast balls into orbit without fear of repercussions. Let’s see what sort of heat a properly juiced pitcher can really get behind a ball. They’ve already juiced the balls and made home runs boring, so why not juice the players as well? Let’s be real with ourselves, and embrace our need for the spectacular.
This would also allow the MLB to get ahead of the inevitable android narrative that the future will bring. Cybernetics will slowly work their way into humans, and judging by the drug-related response of the sport’s old guard, these enhanced beings will be barred from the sport. However, by accepting and encouraging the use of performance-enhancing drugs, they can get that snowball rolling to properly evolve the sport alongside the technological evolution of the human species. We already use lasers to correct eyes, so we’re one step closer to lasers coming from the eyes themselves. I think that’s what androids will do. Who really knows? MLB just needs to prepare.
At this point, I can hear you saying, “yeah, of course, this is all super obvious. But how can we ensure we don’t become even more oversaturated with dingers?”
Since the balls are already enhanced and we’re enhancing the players too, then we must also enhance the field. I have a proposition but I want to preface it with the fact that I spent a long time thinking about the least disruptive way to go about this. You don’t want just any amount of contact to let a ball float out of the park. We want home runs to once again be an actual achievement. We want to return excitement to the beloved dinger.
So after thinking on it for a minute I found the answer: make every ballpark deeper and more narrow. Just stretch it out like an image that is poorly-dragged in Photoshop. By doing so, we can force hitters to smash balls 700+ feet for a home run, but only if they have enough accuracy to keep the balls fair. These stretched ballparks wouldn’t require more fielders to cover more ground. The outfielders could be arranged as a triangle or even a straight line depending on how speedy we can juice those guys. You’d obviously also stretch the entire infield to not give the pitchers or baserunners an unfair advantage. Most importantly for MLB, this gives every stadium extra capacity, making it a revenue play on top of the general rejuvenation that the sport deserves.
Face it, baseball, you need to grow up and just try to be cool. You could get there with some tiny adjustments. You could rebuild your image and be the mom who doesn’t want her kids drinking unless they do it at her house. There’s literally nothing weird about that. Just let your players do steroids and make sure you’re there to support them.