East Texas Baseball Players React To MLB Steroid Scandal - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

3/18/05-Tyler

East Texas Baseball Players React To MLB Steroid Scandal

It's the spirit of the game in it's purest form. Boys practicing and dreaming of one day becoming men of the majors.
"I love baseball it's awesome," said 7th grader Colby Craddock.
Dreams now troubled by scandal.
"I watched the case yesterday," said 12-year-old Carson Fugate, "it gives us a bad example"
Heroes to these young eyes, now defending their titles Boys trying to understand a word becoming more common with sports, steroids.
"I know that they are really unfair to the game," Carson said, "that it just gives them an advantage of hitting more home runs."
"They're bad," said Austin Jackson. "They do things to mess with your body. It's not as good as it used to be because people are just using steroids to get homeruns and stuff."
For college players closer to making their big league dreams a reality, their concern is for the image of the game they love.
"It's a bad situation for everybody seeing their heroes use drugs to try and get an advantage on the game," said Texas College Catcher Robert Tamplin.
"In actuality there are other sports that have been using steroids," said third baseman Ryan Odums, "and they don't have the publicity that baseball has had."
The players said the pressure to perform at a higher level is far greater than most fans think.
"Everybody in baseball is always looking for an edge," Robert said. "There's always pressure to try and do better, there's always some type of drugs involved even if it's something legal everybody's trying to get that little extra edge."
Texas College Head Baseball Coach Steven Knight tries to encourage hard work over a quick fix.
"If they come to me and they ask my opinion I tell them negative," he said. "It's going to hurt you in the long run."
As the start of the regular season rolls around, baseball will be held under the public's microscope. Fans young and old hoping the steroid scandal quickly becomes a thing of the past.

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com

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