Baseball’s biggest problem

It’s not Barry Bonds, but Neifi Perez, who was suspended 80 games after testing positive for a banned stimulant for the third time this season. Incredible…

Mostly, this is just a funny story, but it should at least give pause to people who claim that banned substances have resulted in muscle-bound super-sluggers regularly clearing the 60 home run mark. As Nate Silver has shown, steroids appear to have most affected average-ish players who stood to gain the most from hitting a few more home runs per year. Barry Bonds would be making eight-figures whether or not he used performance enhancing substances, but Neifi Perez might have never made it to the major leagues, where, I should add, he has earned an astounding $20 million over course of his career.

Does that mean Bonds did not use steroids? Of course it doesn’t; rather, it’s important that we acknowledge that performance enhancing substances such as steroids and amphetamines were pervasive throughout baseball and not just limited to a few high-profile cases. It also means that, like it or not, Bonds’ record-setting numbers might be deserved. He may have been juicing, but if everyone around him was too, Bonds wasn’t getting any sort of an edge.

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