Big scoop in the New York Times yesterday: Manny Ramirez attempted to get an exemption to take a banned drug to boost his testosterone levels! Yes, a guy who tested positive for hCG (and steroids, in 2003, also according to the Times) also attempted to make it legal for him to boost his testosterone levels. Who knew?
There are actually some interesting issues here besides just stupid annoying blogger snark1. In other absolutely unsurprising news, this time old, a bunch of baseball players applied for exemptions to take Adderall for ADD when baseball finally banned amphetamines in 20062. Baseball took heat for this from Congress in 2008.
The idea that politicians (and sports columnists) are suddenly telling professional athletes how to treat their own medical issues is kind of annoying3 but also completely unsurprising. But, of course, people without ADD or with borderline cases that might not require medication are almost certainly taking advantage of the rules in order to take speed.
So a lot of players are skirting the rules, and a handful of players have tested positive and served 50-game suspensions. Are there fewer players taking steroids now than there were before testing? Obviously. But is the game "clean"? No way. Athletes are always going to look for edges, drugs are one of the best ways to improve the level of one's play and drug tests are not that hard to beat.
But, eh. Another player is going to test positive in the future, the sports columnists will act as shocked as ever and, somewhere, a player with a small problem with organization will take Adderall and hit a walkoff homer. A walkoff walk? Eh, that's much less likely. You get a little jittery on the stuff.
1 Ha! Remember that word? Me neither.
2 If baseball players were really smart, they'd use their ADHD exemptions to get a prescription for Desoxyn. Yes, that would be absolutely 100 percent legal methamphetamine. Somebody should tell Walt and Jesse on Breaking Bad. (Cocaine is also a Schedule II drug, but you can't get it prescribed for home use; it's mainly used as a topical analgesic in certain eye and nasal surgery.) Still, would Desoxyn improve your average base stealer to Rickey Henderson levels? Eh, probably not. Ha ha, Rob thought I was going to write about cats all day and instead I'm sharing my weird knowledge about drugs. Eh, how many other baseball writers even know you can get legal meth? Maybe [slanderous accusation removed].
3 Like that jerk who wrote the headline to this post! Ugh, I hate that guy.