I’m done being surprised.

And, I’m done being disappointed.

Nearly 15 years ago, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa embarked on their epic home run battle.

The two hit home run after home run and captured fans hearts with their play. Some even say they saved baseball.

Then came steroids, or, to be more specific, the realization of steroids in baseball.

But nobody said anything, so they kept using.

Years later, the manhunt began. Commissioner Bud Selig and his cohorts were going to clean up the game.

Longer suspensions. More penalties. Shame. It all was supposed to work.

Apparently, all it did was make the “doctors” come up with more ways to mask performance enhancing drugs.

I sit next to fellow columnist Jeff Wilson here at the office, and we talk about this all the time.

“Who’s the ‘steroid’ guy who will get into the Hall of Fame first?” is a topic we both agree on. Both answers are Alex Rodriguez.

Now, I should’ve said were in that last sentence.

The news that has been reported in the last week changes this. He’s done, or least he’s done with the Hall.

This past month, the Hall’s voters have spoken. Guys who have their names associated with steroids aren’t getting in. At least not soon.

I thought it’d be different for Rodriguez.

He came out and admitted what he did. He said he wouldn’t use again. He said he hasn’t used since.

And, we all bought it — hook, line and homer.

I read a great piece on PEDs in sports by Grantland/ESPN writer Bill Simmons this past week.

He basically said we can’t be surprised anymore, and that it will be hard look past anybody who does spectacular things on the field.

You know what? He’s right.

Nothing would surprise me anymore.

Dude hits a 500-foot home run. This guy looks a lot bigger than last year. That guy sure is fast.

The question is going to be asked of these three scenarios, and many others.

Sports leagues are trying to get PEDs out their games. I think they’re facing an uphill battle.

If a dude wants to put a needle in his hindquarters to be able to up his production, he’s going to do it.

Professional athletes get paid a lot of money to play. And if you’re great, you get paid a boatload of money.

Look at Melky Cabrera. The former Giants outfielder got busted toward the end of last season. He was shamed, and the Giants didn’t even want him after his suspension was up.

His reward: A multi-million dollar deal from the Blue Jays.

It’s time for leagues to look into expulsion as a deterrent. Even then, I’m not sure it would work.

Sports aren’t going anywhere, but neither are PEDs. It’s up to the leagues to get tough on the players that use them.

TOM ENGLISH is sports copy editor for The Southern Illinoisan. He can be reached at tom.english@thesouthern.com or at 618-529-5454, ext. 5177.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.