Back in the 90’s, my step-dad used to take us to baseball games. At the time, I used to get bored out of my mind watching the game. But now I’m older and wiser haha and I absolutely love the sport. Now, listening to this audiobook has made me realize that the players I watched were probably hopped up on steroids. Which angers me. And the thing is, steroid use was prevalent in so many sports. Not just baseball.

The audiobook I listened to was narrated by Arnie Mazer who has an incredibly engaging voice. I was worried that because the book is informative it would be a bit dull. Thankfully this was not the case. I made an effort to listen to this read whenever I had any downtime. That’s how much this book fascinated me.

Baseball is a business. This is clearly seen in how the San Francisco Giants put up with all of Barry Bonds’ shit. The man was way too much. But because he was cheating, and putting up high stats, the franchise let him do whatever he wanted. And MLB never punished him. In fact, MLB was the only sport to not have any steroids testing done until pretty late. 

But the BALCO scandal wasn’t just centered on baseball. Many olympians and athletes from various sports like track and shot-putting were also caught up in the steroid debacle. The lengths these people went to to boost their game is astounding. And then listening to how they tried to distance themselves from the fallout boils my blood. Own up to what you did!

This was an incredibly shocking read. I had a hazy knowledge of what had occurred. But the details! And BALCO itself. The company that provided the drugs. Wow! This is journalism at its best. Well-researched and well-presented. My mind is still reeling from all of it. 

To think that athletes to this day still continue to cheat and get away with it with nothing but a slap on the wrist. Ugh!! You’re ruining sports!! Stop it!! 

Okay, so if you’re in any way interested in sports I would highly recommend this book! 

Anyway, tonight I’ll quite possibly be one of the few Angelenos rooting against the home team. Who cares. I love the Red Sox! Come on, Boston!!!

2018 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge.

Prompt: a microhistory

Challenge Update: 45/50

8 thoughts on “Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO, and the Steroids Scandal That Rocked Professional Sports by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams

  1. Whew, first of all, that is a long title, it might just be one of the longest book titles I’ve ever seen.

    I don’t think I realised that athletes might take drugs to boost their performance until I watched Shaolin Soccer and then I started to piece it together. What pisses me off is that there are athletes who have worked their butts off to compete and win and they’re being ripped off. Sports is about hard work, fitness and skill – and any drug enhanced performance is anything but natural.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find it strange that these athletes get away with it for so long! It frustrates me. And then to only get a slap on the wrist? Ugh!! Since an early age we’re taught that cheating is wrong. Journalists who have plagiarized have had their careers ruined. If we cheat in school, we get kicked out. But in sports, it’s brushed away. The athletes are still lauded. Why?? This is why everytime I see A-Rod on TV I want to punch him in the face. Because we all know he used steroids, yet they refer to him as one of the best baseball players. When that is obviously a lie.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It serves a terrible lesson to the world tbh, all industries should abide by the principles that are set. I do feel like sometimes in a few industries, mostly celebs, they get away with a lot of stuff and that’s mostly because they’ve been exalted to such a status that they’re almost above acting in accordance to the standards set for them. It is as if the rules do not apply to them. I would be disappointed to see journalists, who are supposed to print accurate information, present A-Rod as one of the best. I guess because of who they are and the power they hold, a lot of people in that industry are wary about speaking up against him or the fact that they might conduct themselves in the same way as well.

        Liked by 1 person

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