Baseball has always been known as America’s pastime and it has been around formally since the late 1800’s. With anything that has survived for that many years, there are changes in the way the game is played and what is allowed, which is the same with baseball and it’s many eras. The game has progressed from the “dead ball era” to the “live ball era” to the “free agency era” to the “steroid era” and many more in between.
In Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, he talks about three laws of nature. The first law of nature has to do with seeking peace and resorting to war if one cannot find that peace. The second law of nature deals with trusting that others will not get in a person’s way to find peace, so that person will stay out of the others way as well. The third law of nature states that we must not only make promises, but we must keep them, despite the incentive to break them for more power. Throughout all of time with sports and specifically baseball, it is human nature to try and get ahead of the competition, which is what some players have done. From Pete Rose betting on games, in which he could deliberately affect his team’s outcome as a manager to pitchers tainting the ball with spit and pine tar to Sammy Sosa and countless others corking their bats, players have always tried to get their peace through methods of cheating.
The “steroid era” is an excellent example of Hobbes’s thoughts on how people act and how their accordance with the rules affects others. People have thought that since the 1980’s baseball players have been using steroids, but Major League Baseball did not take it into account until the early 2000’s. Baseball players, like every other human being, are always trying to find their peace, which means being successful at the Major League level. The second law of nature is not upheld in multiple ways in baseball because of the competitive nature of sports. There is always someone next to you or below you that is trying to take your spot that way they can find their peace. The lack of this Hobbesian rule in baseball specifically, led to some players breaking the third law of nature, which has to do with keeping promises. Hundreds of players not limited to, but including Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, and Roger Clemens all used steroids and other performance enhancing drugs.
While these players were trying to pursue their peace according to Hobbes’s definition, they were also breaking the promise they made when they signed their contract, which is exactly what Hobbes said not to do; they should resist the temptation. However, due to the success that ensued, it is hard to blame them for doing these illegal drugs. They were putting up ridiculous, video-game-like numbers, breaking records, and leading their teams as superstar players; they had achieved their peace. While they achieved their peace in an illegal way, which I in no way endorse, it is hard to fault them or doing whatever they can in order to find their personal peace according to specific parts of Hobbes’s definition, however in the end, he does not endorse they methods either.