After completing the reading of the book Game of Shadows by the reporters Mark Fainaru -Wade and Lance Williams I found the book to reinforce my suspicions about baseball and steroids as I had believed. Baseball is not a clean game and is infected with steroids and other drugs that are illegal in almost every single sport except for baseball. The book doesn’t just state that Mark McGuire, Barry Bonds, and Jason Giambi used steroids; it demonstrates convincing evidence and proof against the players involved and how they were able to beat the drug testers.
The story follows Internal Revenue Service Agent Jeff Novitzky on his path as he tracked down the BALCO lab and its drug dealings. BALCO was led by Victor Conte who dealt on a high level basis with Greg Anderson who was Barry Bonds’ trainer. More than just detailing the investigation that took place with the BALCO lab and steroids being bought and sold illegally, the book details the personality of Barry Bonds who is much worse than the ordinary fan views Bonds. An arrogant, racist, selfish man who is abusive toward women and thinks he can get away with anything, the Game of Shadows shows just how confident he was and still is of continuing to play baseball despite using steroids.
Moreover, the Game of Shadows details the events of major league baseball and how pathetic Bud Selig was in his investigation of steroids. After hearing that steroids had infiltrated the game, his initial policy was to suspend players using steroids for only 10 games for the first offense. Finally, Congress decided to step in and said that they had enough of baseball’s pathetic efforts to stop steroid use in baseball. After putting much pressure on baseball commissioner Bud Selig, the steroid drug policy was 50 games suspension for 1st time offenses for drug use.
Game of Shadows also shows how easy it was for these players to get away with steroid use. Victor Conte became a genius at perfecting ways of testing blood and urine to make sure those Olympic testers could not detect the “Cream” and the “Clear” that he was giving to athletes. If the Olympic athletes were not being caught cheating, then baseball players sure wouldn’t be caught, especially since testing wasn’t random.
The results of the investigation have still not solved much of anything. While Jason Giami publicly apologized for using steroids, Barry Bonds continues to deny steroid use despite blatant evidence against him. He even committed perjury in a grand jury trial by denying his steroid use and no one has come after him and prosecuted him. Perhaps district attorneys believe that they don’t have enough evidence against Bonds. Baseball still has a major steroid problem and I hope that baseball does something to acknowledge that Barry Bonds took steroids and shouldn’t be the Home Run Record leader and overtake Hank Aaron. Mark McGuire was denied entry into the Hall of Fame on his first ballot but I believe that sooner or later he will get in. I only hope that Barry Bonds is denied admission into the Hall of Fame and justice is brought to him swiftly. The whole manner that baseball has dealt with steroids is an embarrassment to sports in general and I hope that Bud Selig resigns in disgrace so that a commissioner can take over willing to enforce a strict drug policy. There are even baseball players who are adamant about finding the cheaters in baseball and I hope that baseball does something to solve this problem.
The really sad part of the book that isn’t detailed is that the two investigative reporters, who wrote the book, were ordered by a judge to reveal the name of their source that they got much of their information about the athletes and steroid use from. The two reporters refused to reveal their source and the judge held them in contempt of court and ordered them to serve time in jail which they are serving now. The sad and unfortunate crime is that the real crooks of Victor Conte, Greg Anderson and athletes who used steroids like Marion Jones, Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi aren’t serving jail time or very little jail time after their plea bargains while the real heroes, the two reporters who uncovered the who plot, are now in jail. What a sad world we live in.