I see arguments on the internet that due to Hittin' being more of an art than a display of strength that players who used steroids should be allowed in the Hall of Fame. This is taking that argument to an extreme and that statement is not correct. To say that steroids do not improve the performance of a player is not correct by any stretch of that argument.
Mechanics of Hittin'
These are the skills a human needs in order to employ the Art of Hittin' effectively:
1. Hand-eye coordination
2. Bat Speed
The following factors are what determines how far the ball will go:
1. Location on bat the ball makes contact with ("sweet-zone" preferably)
2. Speed of swing (how fast the human swung the bat)
3. Weight of the bat (all results show that heavier is not better)
With math, the factors can be synthesized to find the ideal conditions for hitting (relative to the hitting style of the individual player).
Weight of the bat can be thrown out as being important. The velocity of a batted ball will be increased off of a heavier bat, yet the loss of bat speed seems to be too high a price to pay in return. Every test from articles online seems to show that getting the bat to be lighter is to the advantage of the hitter. That's why "corked" bats have come under scrutiny over the years, it's considered cheating to make a bat super light but it's not considered cheating to use a 60+ ounce bat. Lighter is better, 100%. Being a muscular dude on steroids does not help you at all because swinging heavier bats is not very important overall.
Hand-eye coordination and the location the ball makes contact with on the bat go hand-in-hand. The hitter wants the ball to hit the "sweet-zone" of the barrel for optimum contact. This has nothing to do with muscles and strength but has everything to do with vision and coordination of the self.
So far it's looking like steroids wouldn't help a hitter at all, like people seem to be saying, but let's move on to bat-speed.
Bat Speed is how fast the individual gets the bat through the box. This is really where physics comes into play. As mentioned above, getting a nice light bat to zip through the box lightning fast at an incoming pitch is where you generate the real velocity.
There's a lot of research online but I'm going to be mostly using this source for bat-speed physics: http://www.acs.psu.edu/drussell/bats/batw8.html (to avoid citing like a million sources every five seconds)
Players in the majors these days are clocking bat speeds of over 100 miles per hour. Once a player has the fundamentals of hittin' under his belt (hand-eye, judging the strike zone, patience, etc.) it all boils down to bat speed. Players with fast swings can wait a split-second longer to judge whether it's a pitch they want to hit and when they apply the fast swing unto the ball at the sweet-zone ...the velocity of the ball will be determined mainly by the speed of the swing.
This is where your physique comes into play. Bat Speed is generated by a well-grounded and powerful lower body. You ever see Jeff Bagwell for instance? He kinda looked like he was taking a dump while sitting on a toilet while he batted. He was just focusing the power of his body into his legs to build up a tremendous center of gravity into his oncoming swing. Look at his hands in the clip I linked to ("taking a dump") they are mobile and loose, his hands and arms are meant to swiftly get through the box, all the power is generated from his legs, feet, and stomach.
That being said, do players with muscular builds focused on their lower half, generate faster swings? Yes. The question being brought up here is, would steroids increase bat speed? Yes!
|From twigs to tree trunks. Thanks steroids!|
More leg and lower body mass will generate faster swings. That's a proven fact, steroids without a doubt effects the physical aspects of a human's lower body.
Wait There's More
Humans have a natural cycle. They are born, they grow into adults, they hit their prime-time peaks, then they wither and die. That's life, bro.
In baseball, most players lose their shit at some point, all humans do. When you hit your mid-thirties you naturally lose your physical stature. Your hair starts to turn grey, your body starts feeling like lead, you have trouble getting out of bed after a long day's work. That's normal.
Well, unless you are on steroids. You can counter the effects of aging by juicing yourself up with artificial hormone tonics and anabolic elixirs. Let's look at Bonds' career stats now...
Remember I told you that ALL players decline in ability when they hit their mid-thirties? I guess Barry didn't feel like declining like a regular human. Barry instead felt like pumping so many chemicals into his body to bring him into overdrive and turn his decline years into....oh come on. If anyone on earth believes that chemicals didn't enhance this person's level of play, they are nuts. Who hits their prime-time peak at 36-37-38-39? No one.
Bonds was already a Hall of Famer thanks to his natural peak (when he still looked human at the ages of 27 to 32). When he pumped himself full of hazardous chemicals to get a second prime-peak when he should have been declining is absurd, those stats from 2000 to 2004 are absurd.
Are They really even Bad for You though?
The only thing possible to argue now in favor of steroids is an argument such as...
"So what if they made themselves into over-sized hitting machines. Steroids aren't even that bad for you. Good for them for taking them, I think they are good role models for every aspiring athlete who wants to win at all costs."
I don't agree with that at all. All drugs which alter the physiological balances of your body must be used with caution. Drugs can save lives and cure many ailments, but they are not danger-free...and they are by no means things you should use recreationally or to alter your body.
Here are some side-effects associated with steroid abuse:
1. Horrible acne
2. Reduced sperm production
3. Raisin balls/Raisin dick (your testicles or weiner start to look like dried up raisins)
4. Man breasts (altered hormone levels throw everything out of whack)
5. High blood pressure (your heart goes into overdrive to deal with your body)
6. Liver damage (like any other chemical that goes into your body, the liver has to clean it up)
7. Enlarged prostates (even in teenagers which no one ever thought they'd see)
8. Chicks can start looking and talking like dudes (again hormones go out of whack)
9. Aggression (roid rage, again due to hormones being out of whack)
10. Stunted growth in kids (let your body have it's growth cycle, don't interfere with it)
I was debating whether I wanted to hot-link people to Chyna's sex-tape rather than an interview with her. I chose not to because it's not polite to do. That woman's clit is a DICK! No joke. Her clit has taken all that testosterone and grown into an actual dick.
If you argue that it was a good idea for these guys to take steroids for the good of the game, you're not on the right path. Baseball players were my role models as kids and I feel that they probably play a similar role today. What kind of message is it to send kids that steroids are ok?
I don't know how many kids are messing with steroids, but honestly, you'd much rather have your kids messing with weed and beer than you would want them messing with these chems. Steroids will alter their normal growth patterns, throw their hormones out of whack, and cause a myriad of issues with teens.
I do not believe that anyone confirmed to be a steroid abuser should be in the baseball Hall of Fame.
If you think that steroids does not enhance a hitter's performance...you are incorrect. Steroids enhance a hitter's performance and postpone the natural cycle of aging.
If you think that steroids are good for you and think anyone who wants to should use them, then I do not agree with you at all. There's too many risks involved, and it sends a terrible message to young people. It really is not a good idea for young people (or anyone) to abuse these chemicals.
Steroids is not a miracle drug that makes you all-powerful and immortal...steroid abuse will ultimately catch up to you. The overdrive your putting on your heart to keep up with your roided-up physique will take a good 20 years off of your life. The overall mass of the body and heart problems are correlated. It's a curse more than a blessing to be a huge hunk of meat...your heart will not be able to sustain your body into the ages of 50, 60, and over.
The most important and vital tools in the human body are the brain and the heart...not the biceps and the cavs.