Sunday, January 16, 2005

On steroids and amphetamines 

Jon Heyman's column today talks about baseball's decision to test more stringently for steroids, while ignoring amphetamines. From his column:

"The trainer, who spoke anonymously, said amphetamines 'are more performance-enhancing than steroids.' He said, 'An average ballplayer on steroids is still an average ballplayer, with a little more power. An average ballplayer on greenies has increased awareness, increased hand-eye coordination and increased energy.'

What's more, the trainer said amphetamines are far more prevalent than steroids, ticking off various greenie options: 'There's 24 hours, eight hours and time release.' The trainer said, 'If 50 percent do steroids, maybe 80 percent do amphetamines.'"

And while the steroid scourge is recent, amphetamines have been around baseball for years...Jim Bouton wrote at length about the issue in Ball Four, which is a diary of his 1969 season...

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