Scottsdale | In-Person

Have Drugs Changed Baseball Forever?

A Zócalo/Arizona State University Event
Moderated by Bob Nightengale, Major League Baseball Columnist, USA Today

As spitball-throwing Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry once said, “It ain’t cheating if you don’t get caught.” But when it comes to performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), many baseball players, executives, and fans disagree. The once-beloved athletes who broke historic records in the 1990s and early 2000s have been disgraced—prosecuted by the courts, reviled by the media and fans, and dogged by federal investigators. Even if Major League Baseball’s overhauled drug testing policy manages to put an end to the “Steroid Era,” the shadow of PEDs still hangs over the game. Can fans trust that today’s best players aren’t cheating? Or do fans even care? What should Hall of Fame voters make of the records set by bulked-up sluggers? Can Major League Baseball keep drugs out of the game—or is doping a fact of professional sports? Founding U.S. Anti-Doping Agency board member and special assistant to the general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks Barry Axelrod, baseball historian and Retrosheet founder David W. Smith, and Mickey Mantle and Sandy Koufax biographer Jane Leavy visit Zócalo to discuss whether drugs are going to be a footnote to baseball history or an ongoing part of how we understand and talk about the game.

The Clayton on the Park
7343 E. Scottsdale Mall
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Free parking is available in the Civic Center Lot & Garage at 7335 E. 2nd St., just west of N. Wells Fargo Ave.

The Takeaway

Hall of Fame or Hall of Shame?

Baseball’s Steroid Era Is Over. Now We Have to Figure Out Its Legacy.

Major League Baseball’s “Steroid Era” of the 1990s is over, but what should we make of the athletes who played during that time and the records they set? And, how …