Thursday, November 03, 2005

lawton suspended

just in case anyone thought that steriods cannot be found in at least half the lockers of the cub clubhouse, not-particularly-powerful recent cub matt lawton was nailed by baseball for boldenone, an injectable anabolic steroid.

steroid use continues to be a rampant fact in baseball -- and not just by guys like sammy sosa or raffy palmeiro. the ability to come back from minor injury and even high levels of repetitive use are a bigger factor, i suspect, than even home runs and big contracts in motivating players to shoot up. as such, it shouldn't be surprising that pitchers like ryan franklin, felix heredia and carlos almanzar have also been pinned. and god help us if they test zambrano -- the only way to survive his reckless overuse is probably directly correlated to his weight gain over the last few years. i remeber seeing him pitch in lansing with corncobdress, when he was rail thin and tossed a few miles-per-hour less than he does now -- i can hardly believe he's the same guy.

with congress -- never a shy bunch when it comes to making rules in front of cameras -- now stepping wholly into the fray, it's difficult to know what baseball's drug policies will be in five years, but they are almost certain to be stricter than they are now.

will that help? it's difficult to say. there will certainly continue to be a great deal of line blurring on the use of supplements, and hefty penalties in combination with an ever-more militant police state (now over 1.5 million jailed, up from 800,000 just 15 years ago) haven't exactly curbed the american drug culture. the incentive of a generous contract will, i suspect, continue to keep steroid use on the map in professional sports for the forseeable future.

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