Re: Ryan Braun going down?
Baseball has a tremendous number of variables that affect play, and some of these can be somewhat isolated and evaluated by statistics. PEDs are not one of them.
I believe that PEDs were a significant benefit to subset of the players that took them. This subset included:
1) The Injured
2) The Old
3) The Workoholics
PEDs will not allow someone like me to hit a major league fastball. However, they have been scientifically proven to aid in the healing and recovery process. That is uncontroverted scientific fact. It has been shown by the detailed scientific studies used for FDA approval.
As a result, players who took PEDs recovered from injury quicker, were able to stress their bodies more in work-outs, and ultimately were able to extend their careers. Again, this has not been controverted.
It does not matter whether there was a surge in home runs league wide or not for PED use to seriously hurt baseball. Even if Bonds was the only player to have actually benefitted from steroid use, it still was a serious blow to the fans.
Think of it this way... even if there was only one player in MLB that was throwing games because of gambling issues,if we did not know which one, every single game would be suspect.
As I said in another thread, we are ok with cheating in baseball as long as it happens during the game and it is something that the Umps can catch. Cheating that happens off the field in bathrooms or dark alleys? That's the kind that takes away belief in the sport.
BTW, I find it specious for anyone to argue that Bonds' (and Sosa and McGwire) performance was not aided significantly by steroids. I know correlation does not equal causation, but c'mon. If you were in Vegas and you had to bet your life's savings on if the statement "Barry Bonds' baseball performance was aided by taking prohibited substances" was true or false... is there anyone that would seriously pick "false."?