“Not once in my entire playing career was I ever offered steroids,” insists former big league veteran turned broadcaster Eric Byrnes, “And not once in my younger and wilder club-going days was I ever offered ‘blow’”. Yes, well, his career didn’t quite intersect with Tony Phillips’, but lest anyone think Byrnes would deny PED use cast a large shadow over baseball’s rank and file, he’s taken to his own website to set the record straight.
My first year out of the game, I ran into a borderline HOF caliber player and the issue of steroids came up… He proceeded to tell me that he played his entire career steroid free until he realized his time was coming to an end and he became willing to do anything to hang on… For the final 2 years of his career, he used performance enhancing drugs… He said the main difference that he noticed was how well he could SEE THE BASEBALL! Immediately I thought to myself it was a good thing I didn’t find that out until after I was done playing… Throughout the course of my career there were definitely times that I felt like I would have done ANYTHING to lay off that gosh dang 2-2 slider in the dirt!
As I am now 3 years removed from playing the game and 3 years into a broadcasting career, I hold a much different view… The recent suspensions of 14 players tied to Biogenesis in a lot of ways was the final straw for me… For years, dirty players have been screwing clean players out of opportunities and potential financial prosperities… For whatever reasons the clean players simply have just kept their mouths shut and continued to be OK with getting cheated… Based on the recent comments of many current major leaguers, times are definitely changing, and I encourage more to speak out… There is no greater influence than that of your own peers!
Concerning is the fact that not one of the players suspended because of their link with biogenesis, with the exception of Ryan Braun, ever tested positive for PED’s… Here we are 10 years after the drug testing program was implemented, and obviously guys are still beating the system… Chemists seem to be a least two steps ahead of the testers… Now, new forms of fast acting testosterone that can leave your system within hours, seem to be the recent drug of choice…