I must preface this piece: I am no medical doctor. Nor do I have any medical training.
Having said that, given that I am a male approaching that magical age when testosterone (T) begins to run scarce in the body, I have attempted to educate myself on the topic.
Everyone with even a side interest in fantasy baseball knows by now that MLB has detected an unusually high level of testosterone in the "specimen" (and we can stick with that euphamism for the word urine) collected from Ryan Braun. The amount of T was apparently the highest ever recorded by MLB. The collection--and love the word as much as specimen--was collected right after a playoff game last year. And, as we all know, due to a procedural technicality, Braun's suspension was overturned.
Well, let me tell you a few facts about I learned about T as I struggled to understand the chemical.
First of all, it is good for you. Laugh as much as you want, but, without it your bones become brittle. There you go: that should make you stop snickering.
So, there is a legitimate reason for our bodies manufacturing T aside from, well, you know what.
Our bodies--both male and female--also generate T to keep us energized. Without it we become sluggish. In fact one function of physical exercise is to induce our bodies to produce T, which is one reason they say that a bit of exercise is good for your sex life.
We have seen female athletes accused of doping with T when in reality it could have been naturally produced by the respective body order to support a physical effort. And, an unintended consequence, a cliché for social engineering, is the effect of excess T swirling in the body of female athletes when they become pregnant.
Hormones washing the fetus during the first few weeks of formation determine the gender, and a lack of hormonal equilibrium may in turn cause an imbalance between the fetus’s gender and its sexual orientation. And, an excell of T may be one of the underlying causes of this imbalance.
Due to Title IX's support of equality in high school and collegiate sports--encouraging female students to join athletics programs--current and future generations may even experience a rise in female bisexuality due to female fetuses swimming in amniotic sacks with too much T.
In fact, to stretch that, T is exuded from our pores together with sweat, and our saliva is laden with it. This is why we kiss (well, aside from the fact that kissing is fun). But, in the scheme of birds and bees, humans kiss to transfer T because it is known to increase libido in women (don’t you just love mother Nature?) and help keep the species replicating itself, avoiding extinction.
Now, I am not saying that Braun has been kissing his team-mates in and around the dugout (not that there is anything wrong with it). But, Braun may have been licking his sweat off his upper lip and by doing so introducing even more T into his body. But, the point is there are plenty of human situations when our bodies can wind up overloaded with T.
And, to apply to Braun, who is going to have a higher level of T? A guy who spent two weeks prior to the collection at a sea-side resort like a beached whale, or a guy who is going through the playoffs and has just finished playing a game (a rhetorical question, of course).
Bearing all the above in mind, my opinion, there is absolutely no way for MLB to determine that the T found in Braun’s specimen was not naturally produced to counterbalance the mental and physical stress of playing baseball. For the level of T in our bodies shoots up and down like a rollercoaster and is situational.
So, if that aforementioned guy on the beach has been observing a group of bikini clad females playing in the surf (and let’s say that guy was me) and one of the women looses her top, I have learned that while I am straining to help her find her lost top, in that very instant of time the level of T in my body would shoot up sky-high. And, if in that very instant in time MLB shows up to collect my specimen, if I were a baseball player, I would get suspended just like Ryan Braun. Swear. Which really means major league baseball, your timing sucks!
How is this going to help you figure out when to draft Braun? It won’t. For that you ought to read Lord Zola and Zen Master Lawr. From me you get this other good stuff.