Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling
For the GMs and managers it wasn't about "growing the business", it was about winning games and keeping their jobs. Managers like Tony LaRussa made their reputations and their fortunes and built their Hall of Fame resumes by managing teams that were loaded with steroid users. You can't tell me that Tony LaRussa wasn't aware that his players in Oakland and St. Louis were juicing. Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, Jim Edmonds and the others? If LaRussa's teams had not been using steroids how many games would they have won? How many championships? Would LaRussa still be considered a HOF manager if his teams had not cheated year after year?
Keep in mind, during the biggest part of the steroid era most of the cheating players were concentrated on just a handful of dishonest teams. The Cardinals, Athletics, Rangers and Yankees were chock full of cheaters, the Giants had one big one and so did the Cubs. All those cheating teams flourished during that time while the honest teams suffered. Teams like the Reds had nobody on steroids or comparatively little steroid usage in any case. What if the Reds' management had encouraged or allowed their players to use steroids? Would it have resulted in more wins? Probably so. The honest people got screwed while the cheaters prospered. It wasn't until the tail end of the steroid era that usage became widespread around the league. Too many players saw the cheaters thriving without any consequences, so more and more players gave in to the temptation.
It wasn't just the players who cheated. The managers, general managers, owners, the commissioner's office and the media were all aware of it. They didn't try to stop it. They benefitted from it. They allowed it to continue and even encouraged it by rewarding the cheaters financially. The media and the commissioner's office actively buried the story for a decade. Even now only a few of the players and none of the coaches and executives have taken heat over their cheating. Baseball and the media are still protecting many other dishonest people who participated in the cheating. Punishing Bonds, Clemens, McGwire and Sosa by denying them induction into the Hall of Fame is fine with me, but let's not pretend that is a fitting end to the Steroid Era. Those players are just the fall guys -- they take the blame and all the other guilty parties get off scot free. It is just another way for MLB and the media to pull the wool over our eyes.
All conjecture, and very reliant on conspiracy. My conjecture is that steroid use was widespread, teams that won during the era did so with big payrolls before revenue sharing, perhaps buying the players who gained the most advantage from using PEDs, but still it was more big payroll heyday. Power hitting records were more what PEDs destroyed than competitive balance. Competitive imbalance resulted from no revenue sharing and big market teams spending their way to winning, not PEDs. The Reds didn't win because they didn't have any pitching, not because they had "clean" players.