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Juicing the Game: Drugs, Power, and the Fight for the Soul of Major League Baseball

By Howard Bryant

Juicing the Game is about vastly more than just steroids. It is a pervasive critique of how the sport has changed over the past decade. After baseball was derailed by a bitter strike in 1994, team owners searched for ways to bring fans back into the stadiums. The incredible increase in home runs over the next few seasons offered such a motivation, and Bryant accuses managers and owners of actively ignoring the open secret of steroid use to keep sluggers like McGwire and Canseco in action. Bud Selig, who had the "moral authority" to invoke a stiffer steroids policy waited until he was forced into action by the US government. Bryant also considers how the rules were applied differently to favor hitters over pitchers, and details the intense battle between umpires and league administrators over attempts to reform the shrinking strike zone.

Excerpts

On MLB Owners (page 9-10)

For almost all of organized baseball's 120-year history, the owners' way had been the only way. But by the early 1990s they had lost too much of their power to the players and their union and were determined to reclaim their standing in the game. Despite stretching back to the 1870s, their lineage wasn't tired, it wasn't dusty, and it didn't need a history lesson. To a large extent, the men who ran baseball were direct descendants of the very figures who had built the game in the first place. Players always flouted the rhetoric of "the product on the field," but the names Wrigley, Yawkey, Steinbrenner, and O'Malley were as famous and recognizable as Ruth, Aaron, and Mays. In an era of soulless corporate sponsorship, the most sentimental spot in baseball, Chicago's Wrigley Field, still bore the name of the chewing gum magnate who built the powerhouse Cubs teams of the early 1900s. In 2003, when the Cubs collapsed an inch from the World Series, it wasn't some gray flunky in a three-piece suit from the Tribune Company-the team's high-powered, corporate owner-who ran the team, but Andy MacPhail.

Reviews

"If ever there was a 'must-read' sports book of its time, this is it. Because of the undeniable truths it tells, Bryant's book is essential reading."
--Larry Moffi, The Washington Post Book World

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The List
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Mitchell Report - 47
Admitted - 16
Implicated By Others - 34
MLB Suspensions - 27
Other - 4
Suspended for non-analytical evidence that player violated MLB drug policy.
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