Why Congress is involved in steroid use in baseball

It seems strange that “baseball players are testifying to Congress”:http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/13/sports/baseball/13cnd-clemens.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin about steroid use. All other sports handle drug use themselves because not doing it will cause fans, believing steroid use to be cheating, to abandon the sport. Sports, of course, are businesses so fewer fans is fewer customers and fewer customers is less money. Why is baseball any different? Because baseball fans don’t care about players’ steroid use.

It could be that baseball fans are more enlightened than other sports fans and feel that performance-enhancing drugs is just another way to compete fairly. Unlikely because baseball fans are also fans of other sports, sports that don’t tolerate it. The more likely reason is that fans know baseball is so boring that steroid use can only make the game more interesting so they look the other way. So the people who run Major League Baseball (MLB) look the other way too.

Now a bi-partisan committee in Congress needs to be involved because tax-payers, usually against their will, fund a large portion of the baseball stadiums that this dumb game is played in and it risks the tax-payers’ investment in the stadiums. The committee “claims it’s about the kids”:http://oversight.house.gov/investigations.asp?ID=244. Which is right?

If the fans don’t care, baseball stadiums will still be filled so there’s no financial risk to tax-payers. Either Congress thinks that baseball fans really do care and that MLB is wrong or they really do care about steroid use in children.

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