Microsoft word - 4-12 steroids group pres timbrosnan.doc

Argument in favor of steroids from the perspective of the MLB vice president My name is Tim Brosnan. I’m the Executive Vice President of Business in the Office of the Commissioner (MLB). I oversee all matters of domestic and international broadcasting for Major League Baseball. Today I come before you to talk about the two loves of my life: business and ethics. Having graduated from Fordham University School of Law, I spent a good deal of my life surrounded by the most honorable, trustworthy, and ethically sound people in the world— lawyers. Every decision I make in my business is intended to serve the greater good. My daily media broadcasts exemplify the sacred American ideal of pure, unadulterated truth. After a hard day’s work of managing America’s favorite pastime, I come home to my three children and my beautiful wife who cooks me ballpark hotdogs every night for dinner. As I speak to you today, I can see by your clothes, your belongings, and your present geographical location that all of you have at least some degree of dedication to America. By a show of hands, how many of you consider yourselves American? By a show of hands, how many of you consider yourselves fans of baseball? By a show of hands, how many of you have invested in baseball in the stock market? You may not realize it now, but all of you are stockholders for our nation’s favorite sport. You invest in baseball every time you go to a baseball game, every time you buy a hat or jersey, every time you pay your cable T.V. bill, every time you buy a newspaper. Baseball is the business to which every American subscribes. Unlike enterprises such as religious and governmental organizations, baseball has no moral imperatives that govern its actions. Baseball’s only purpose is to entertain its ever- expanding patronage. To impress fans, baseball must consistently show the peak of human achievement, and nothing impresses more than power hitters making frequent homeruns. America’s capitalist economy succeeds solely because of businesses such as baseball that competitively seek to satisfy as many customers as possible. Therefore within the discussion of baseball, decisions based on business supersede decisions based on morals. Baseball isn’t the only area of public sphere whose principles have been re-envisioned to accommodate the greater good. Consider a situation in which our government captures an enemy terrorist to save millions of American lives. Consider a corporation outsourcing its products in order to serve desperate, impoverished American families. Consider an American athlete willing to suffer pain on a personal quest to push his physical capacity to the limit, to challenge boundaries of human achievement. The issue of steroids in baseball is just this— the chosen few of our nation’s heroes are willing to suffer minor side effects in order to bring happiness to the greater good, invoking confidence and inspiring the human spirit. The integrity of any game is contingent upon its overall fairness. Baseball is and will always be an equal game for its contestants, because everyone has equal opportunity to take steroids. Everyone hits the same ball with the same bat. The only time this free equality of justice becomes complicated is when certain substances are banned while others are permitted. In one of the most famous moments in baseball history, Kirk Gibson hit a homerun to narrowly win the 1988 World Series while limping across the bases (Lowitt). Intolerant to the pain of the “sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee,” the cortisone treatment he received during the game must have been pretty heavy. Why would such medical treatment of a steroid be permissible yet recreational treatment of a steroid be shunned? Cortisone is a performance enhancer, which is no different than any other performance enhancer available to players. To ensure overall fairness, banning one substance means banning them all. The performance enhancer in question can be more appropriately labeled as a technology. Americans use many technologies every day to accomplish goals more effectively and expand the bounds of human achievement. Where would we be without automobiles, computers, cell phones, plumbing, pencils, electrical circuits, and bottle openers? Another popular performance enhancing technology is coffee. Coffee allows millions of Americans in the workforce to rebel against their own natural limitations of conforming to a circadian cycle. However, the potential side effects of such a powerful technology are horrifying: nausea, rectal or anal ulcers, muscle pains, hypertension, itching, paresthesias, numbness, weakness, and vertigo, to name a few (RX List). Even the computer, a seemingly harmless technology, yields dreadful side effects such as eye sight degradation and spine misalignment when used over an extended time span. There’s no difference between allowing a baseball player to hit a ball farther by handing him steroids and allowing a player to concentrate on the game during a headache by Now that we’ve established how important technology to promote human achievement, let’s see the importance of human achievement for our country. In 2005 Barry Bonds made an annual income of 22 million dollars (Giants). The five least winningest players sitting on the same bench next to Barry made only 300 thousand that year. We can see that baseball patrons come to see the heroes, which is what the business of baseball should provide. Barry Bonds is an admitted steroid user, and because of this his homeruns are still valuable though he is remarkably older than the other players. Though the average age of the team is 32, Barry will be 43 this July. Fans are amazed by such superhuman skill that can only be achieved by using It was the heroes Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire that brought America’s attention back to baseball in the late nineties with their homerun streaks, rescuing the business from a rut of widespread disinterest. Suddenly stockholders like you returned to the stadiums in greater numbers. However, to honor these two players’ contributions to the game, courts subpoenaed McGwire and Sosa for charges of using illegal substances. Our unsympathetic system of governmental ethics can’t comprehend the business ethics of baseball, so as a result McGwire and Sosa might be punished (Clayton). Punishing a player for seeking advantages over another player is like punishing a taxi driver for using the passing lane. It’s a player’s job to get the edge on his opponent; consider for instance a wide receiver wearing special gloves in order to get a Society should not dictate the personal sacrifices a man is willing to make for his job. If a player is willing to take steroids in order to become the next American icon, who are you to stand in his way? Can you imagine an America with no heroes to inspire idealism? I hope I’ve revealed to you the blatant contradictions in values that currently divide our nation. If you care at all about America’s favorite pastime, have the decency to respect these players’ personal rights to their own bodies. Respect these players’ individual choices to use technology, so that humans will always be at the cutting edge of human achievement. MLB. Major League Baseball Executives: Tim Brosnan. 22 March 2005. 11 April 2007 <>. Lowitt, Bruce. Gibson limps off bench, homers. 21 November 1999. 11 April 2007 <>. San Francisco Giants. 2005 San Francisco Giants Statistics and Roster. 10 April 2007. 11 April 2007 <>. RX List. Ergotamine - Caffeine. 1 January 2007. 11 April 2007 <>. Clayton, Mark. Mark McGwire, steroids, and the Hall of Fame. 30 November 2006. 11 April 2007 <>.


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