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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Allen Barra: Manny Ramirez: No Chance for the Hall of Fame?

This is an outrage! To call Buster Olney, “the biggest self-righteous prig in the sports media”. Well, I never!

Olney is merely one of numerous sportswriters who have come out against Manny’s admission into Cooperstown.

Before this gets even more out of hand, there’s a couple of points which should be made. First, anything Manny Ramirez used before the 2004 season is not only unproven, it is irrelevant: there were no restrictions on drug use in MLB before then, so nobody has any business passing judgment. By 2003, Manny had played for the big leagues eleven years—ten of them full seasons and one in which he played 91 games—and had clearly established himself as a Hall of Fame-level player with a .320 batting average, 345 home runs, and eight seasons of 107 or more RBIs. He had lead the league in slugging twice, on-base percentage twice, and batting and runs batted in once.

Second, as I never tire of pointing out, there isn’t any real evidence that 90% of the PEDs that are known to exist have any real effect at all on baseball performance. Barry Bonds might be the only ballplayer who can be clearly shown to have gained a substantial boost from the use of PEDs, and he was a virtual laboratory rate for BALCO.

Repoz Posted: April 12, 2011 at 01:25 PM | 99 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, media, steroids

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   1. Dale Sams Posted: April 12, 2011 at 02:03 PM (#3794209)
there were no restrictions on drug use in MLB before then


Except for...the law..but #### that, man.
   2. bobm Posted: April 12, 2011 at 02:22 PM (#3794218)
Barry Bonds might be the only ballplayer who can be clearly shown to have gained a substantial boost from the use of PEDs


Does this jibe with BBTF groupthink? That Bonds actually did get a boost from PEDs, the merits of the perjury case aside?

FTFA:

Here's what former New York Times columnist and current blogger Murray Chass wrote today:

"Thus, on the Hall of Fame plaque he is virtually certain never to have in Cooperstown, it could list his .312 career batting average, his .411 on-base percentage, his .585 slugging percentage, his 1,831 runs batted in, his 555 home runs and his status as the first two-time drug loser at the cost of 150 games."


Chass advocating OBP on a HOF plaque? But isn't that a statistic?
   3. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 12, 2011 at 02:22 PM (#3794219)
Moreover, you play by what the rules allow, not by what they don't specifically prohibit.
   4. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: April 12, 2011 at 02:30 PM (#3794230)
Does this jibe with BBTF groupthink? That Bonds actually did get a boost from PEDs, the merits of the perjury case aside?


I've always downplayed the effects of PEDs on baseball players, but I do remember suggesting, when Barry Bonds had just become BARRY BONDS, that he was the kind of player who might see the strongest results.
   5. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 12, 2011 at 02:32 PM (#3794232)
By 2003, Manny had played for the big leagues eleven years—ten of them full seasons and one in which he played 91 games—and had clearly established himself as a Hall of Fame-level player with a .320 batting average, 345 home runs, and eight seasons of 107 or more RBIs.

Not that it's a big deal, but these number are slightly off according to Baseball Reference. By 2003, Manny had played 11 years, including 9 (not 10) full seasons and 2 partial seasons of 91 and 22 games. He had a .317 (not .320) average, 347 (not 345) home runs, and 8 seasons of 104 (not 107) or more RBIs.
   6. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 12, 2011 at 02:40 PM (#3794243)
Does this jibe with BBTF groupthink? That Bonds actually did get a boost from PEDs, the merits of the perjury case aside?

I don't know about the groupthink, but it jibes with my own views. I don't think that Bonds is the only player who benefitted, though he is the most obvious one.
   7. BDC Posted: April 12, 2011 at 02:45 PM (#3794247)
Bonds used PEDs, got bigger and stronger, and started hitting more home runs. I've never thought it a coincidence that the only two guys to hit 70 HR in a season were both juicers. But it's a matter of scale. I imagine most people around here would find it reasonable to say that Bonds and McGwire, two hellacious hitters playing in an era of small strike zones, more conducive parks, maple bats, some expansion, and what not else, could have hit 65 HR a year anyway, and so maybe they hit 70-73 because of steroids (plus working out like madmen).

The hysteria sets in when the general public imagines PEDs as a kind of Popeye's spinach. And/or when a stray poster here points to a given spike or arc in a career and says, "look, steroids" without considering ten other relevant factors, or sheer variation.
   8. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 12, 2011 at 02:51 PM (#3794253)
Bonds used PEDs, got bigger and stronger, and started hitting more home runs. I've never thought it a coincidence that the only two guys to hit 70 HR in a season were both juicers. But it's a matter of scale. I imagine most people around here would find it reasonable to say that Bonds and McGwire, two hellacious hitters playing in an era of small strike zones, more conducive parks, maple bats, some expansion, and what not else, could have hit 65 HR a year anyway, and so maybe they hit 70-73 because of steroids (plus working out like madmen).

The hysteria sets in when the general public imagines PEDs as a kind of Popeye's spinach. And/or when a stray poster here points to a given spike or arc in a career and says, "look, steroids" without considering ten other relevant factors, or sheer variation.


This.
   9. McCoy Posted: April 12, 2011 at 02:55 PM (#3794259)
Barry Bonds might be the only ballplayer who can be clearly shown to have gained a substantial boost from the use of PEDs, and he was a virtual laboratory rat for BALCO.

Taking the cream and the clear makes one a virtual lab rat? Basically what we know is that Bonds took a masking agent and THG from BALCO. Before that he tested positive for nandrolone and methenolone. At the time the methenolone test was highly flawed and created a lot of false positives while the nandrolone test doesn't actually test for nandrolone. Hell, it is even possible that his positive test for d-amphetamines was a false positive.

I believe it was during his GJ testimony that Bonds claimed that before 1999 his old trainer had him on a stretching regime and that around 1999 he got a new trainer (Anderson I believe) and he switched to a muscle gain regime. Could it have been the PEDS? Yeah, probably it was but it also could have had a lot to do with Barry simply getting his body into peak shape for hitting baseballs over the wall.
   10. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 12, 2011 at 03:04 PM (#3794269)
there were no restrictions on drug use in MLB before then

Except for...the law..but #### that, man.


You mean U.S. law, for some substances, since 1990. Other countries have different laws.

And what's the significance of having MLB ban substances, if "the law" was already speaking to this? Isn't the MLB policy redundant, under your argument?
   11. TomH Posted: April 12, 2011 at 03:11 PM (#3794286)
season with most RBI since WWII: Manny, 1999. One hundred and sixty five.

It's almost stunning that BBWAA who for years worshipped RBI and handed out hardware to undeserving players who happened to drive in teammates (the teammates being often the more deserving award winners who unfortunately only *scored* the runs), that Manny finished tied for 3rd in MVP voting that year; with his teammate (Robbie A), behind the amazing Pedro, and behind the eventual winner, Ivan Rodriguez; writers simply oogled over Texas hitters for a decade it seemed. Rafael Palmeiro somehow received as many first-place MVP votes (4) as Manny.

165 RBI. Nice year.
   12. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 12, 2011 at 03:28 PM (#3794296)
Barry Bonds might be the only ballplayer who can be clearly shown to have gained a substantial boost from the use of PEDs

Does this jibe with BBTF groupthink? That Bonds actually did get a boost from PEDs, the merits of the perjury case aside?


I think it's likely that Bonds got a "boost"
I don't think it's been proven, and as fare as "clearly" being shown my pick would be McGwire among hitters...
   13. Chamran Knebter Posted: April 12, 2011 at 03:31 PM (#3794301)
You mean U.S. law, for some substances, since 1990. Other countries have different laws.

And what's the significance of having MLB ban substances, if "the law" was already speaking to this? Isn't the MLB policy redundant, under your argument?


So Ray, can I take this to mean that you'd have no problem with players arranging to have some goons assault and cripple some key opposing players on the eve of the World Series to boost their chances of winning? After all, I don't think MLB has any rule against that.

You'd think it would be intuitively obvious to players that they aren't supposed to commit federal crimes in order to get an edge on their competition. But the evidence suggests that in the case of this particular crime, that wasn't enough. It's perfectly logical under the circumstances for MLB to put in its own policy to reinforce "the law" if the law by itself is not acting as enough of a deterrent.
   14. McCoy Posted: April 12, 2011 at 03:40 PM (#3794310)
Oh goody, a fresh take on the steroid rule/law debate.
   15. cardsfanboy Posted: April 12, 2011 at 03:41 PM (#3794311)
You'd think it would be intuitively obvious to players that they aren't supposed to commit federal crimes in order to get an edge on their competition. But the evidence suggests that in the case of this particular crime, that wasn't enough. It's perfectly logical under the circumstances for MLB to put in its own policy to reinforce "the law" if the law by itself is not acting as enough of a deterrent.


For the hof vote, comitting a federal crime has never stopped anyone from getting in, why should this crime be any different?
   16. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 12, 2011 at 03:41 PM (#3794313)
Barry Bonds might be the only ballplayer who can be clearly shown to have gained a substantial boost from the use of PEDs


Caminiti has to be at the top of the list, given that he's someone who admitted to using PEDs, and spiked up to an MVP award and a 173 OPS+ (70 points above his career mark going into that season) at the age of 33.
   17. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 12, 2011 at 03:43 PM (#3794315)
It's almost stunning that BBWAA who for years worshipped RBI and handed out hardware to undeserving players who happened to drive in teammates (the teammates being often the more deserving award winners who unfortunately only *scored* the runs), that Manny finished tied for 3rd in MVP voting that year; with his teammate (Robbie A), behind the amazing Pedro, and behind the eventual winner, Ivan Rodriguez; writers simply oogled over Texas hitters for a decade it seemed.

I'd say that the I-Rod award in 1999 was more a case of a competing House of Worship for the BBWAA: The love of the all-around player. Rodriguez in 1999 was often cited as the best defensive catcher since Bench, and with a solid Triple Crown line to go along with it (.332 - 35 - 113), his winning it shouldn't be all that surprising or even all that unjustified.
   18. SoSH U at work Posted: April 12, 2011 at 03:47 PM (#3794323)
For the hof vote, comitting a federal crime has never stopped anyone from getting in, why should this crime be any different?


The point wasn't that breaking the law should keep one out of the HoF. It's that the law itself should have been seen as a restriction on their usage. And I've never seen a good argument why that isn't the case.
   19. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 12, 2011 at 03:48 PM (#3794324)
Bonds used PEDs, got bigger and stronger, and started hitting more home runs. I've never thought it a coincidence that the only two guys to hit 70 HR in a season were both juicers.


Bonds hit 73 HR in a league in which the league HR rate was 1.14 per game.

Maris hit 61 HR in a league in which the league HR rate was 0.95 per game. Put Maris into a 1.14 league and he comes closer to 70.

Fielder hit 51 in the 1990 AL, where the league HR rate was 0.79.

Mays hit 52 in the 1965 NL, where the league HR rate was 0.81.

Even McGwire's 70 HR came in a league in which the HR rate was 0.99.

Like with anything else, we need to adjust for context. The HR rate in the league where Bonds hit 73 home runs (1.14) was the second highest of all time in the NL. (The year before, the NL had a 1.16 HR rate. I count four AL home run rates that were higher.) What you had was an all time great player who had already had 3 SLG titles and 1 HR title as a "Clean Player," now playing in one of the most favorable leagues ever for hitting home runs, and (even if one attributes some of it to steroids) had clearly changed his approach at the plate. I don't think the answers are so simple.

(And Sosa approached 70 HR three times. What is the evidence that Sosa was on steroids, other than the home runs?)
   20. cardsfanboy Posted: April 12, 2011 at 03:53 PM (#3794329)
The point wasn't that breaking the law should keep one out of the HoF. It's that the law itself should have been seen as a restriction on their usage. And I've never seen a good argument why that isn't the case.


I've never seen a good argument for allowing greenie poppers, cocainers or wife beaters into the hof while not allowing roiders. It's a personal point of view of course. And of course many of the substances used weren't outlawed at the time they were being used or in the countries that they were being used in. And of course actions which were specifically banned from baseball that might have been also illegal, carry a higher penalty(see Pete Rose) that is equivalent to banning from the hof, so the standard is set, break the law you might get a suspension, break the law and a rule that specifically reiterates the breaking of the law, mlb has a written punishment that can include up to expulsion from baseball and the hof. Heck baseball's policy right now states what the punishment should be for using, how can people justify adding more penalty than the sentence that the person already received.
   21. McCoy Posted: April 12, 2011 at 03:54 PM (#3794330)
It's that the law itself should have been seen as a restriction on their usage. And I've never seen a good argument why that isn't the case.


The law said people shouldn't use illegal drug X and if they do and get caught they face punishment Y. What does that have to do with MLB?
   22. cardsfanboy Posted: April 12, 2011 at 03:56 PM (#3794333)
(And Sosa approached 70 HR three times. What is the evidence that Sosa was on steroids, other than the home runs?)


there is none, but it won't keep people from claiming he was.
   23. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 12, 2011 at 03:59 PM (#3794339)
The point wasn't that breaking the law should keep one out of the HoF. It's that the law itself should have been seen as a restriction on their usage. And I've never seen a good argument why that isn't the case.


So if a player used steroids without breaking any laws (e.g., by going to another country, or getting a prescription, or using something that wasn't scheduled), you would keep him out of the HOF on the grounds that he... what, didn't break the law?
   24. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 12, 2011 at 04:03 PM (#3794345)
(And Sosa approached 70 HR three times. What is the evidence that Sosa was on steroids, other than the home runs?)
There was a leaked report two years ago that Sosa tested positive in 2003, in the "anonymous" first round of testing.
   25. BDC Posted: April 12, 2011 at 04:03 PM (#3794347)
I don't think the answers are so simple

I don't either. I think steroids is a factor among many. It would be unwise to fixate on that factor, and unwise as well to dismiss it completely.
   26. SoSH U at work Posted: April 12, 2011 at 04:05 PM (#3794351)
The law said people shouldn't use illegal drug X and if they do and get caught they face punishment Y. What does that have to do with MLB?


It has to do with how MLB should view such substances, and whether a policy was needed to address them.

Many pro-PED types have argued that there's nothing wrong with PED usage, that it wasn't cheating, that it was available to all.

I believe the illegality of the substances refuted that position. If players had a choice of a) keeping up with their peers, or b) obeying the law, then they weren't given a reasonable choice. Some would say screw it and do a) and others would do b), but both were put in a position they shouldn't have been.

you would keep him out of the HOF on the grounds that he... what, didn't break the law?


You do realize that in that very quote of mine you lifted, I specifically said the point wasn't about the Hall of Fame. I support the initial group of PED users/suspected users for the Hall of Fame (like Poz, I need time to weigh Manny's case).
   27. Ron J Posted: April 12, 2011 at 04:07 PM (#3794356)
#9 It's very clear that Bonds made a training decision to trade a broad base of athletic skills for upper body strength. The products Anderson was providing were also used by sprinters and linebackers (ie athletes at various points on the speed/strength chart)
   28. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 12, 2011 at 04:11 PM (#3794360)
   29. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 12, 2011 at 04:13 PM (#3794362)
There was a leaked report two years ago that Sosa tested positive in 2003, in the "anonymous" first round of testing.


Matt, I resubmit my question asking for evidence. I'm well familiar with the linked-to article, which states:

...according to lawyers with knowledge of the drug-testing results from that year.

...The lawyers who had knowledge of Sosa’s inclusion on the 2003 list did not know the substance for which Sosa tested positive. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified as discussing material that is sealed by a court order.


Serious question: Do you call reported statements from anonymous "lawyers" who didn't know the substance and who were violating a court order by speaking "evidence"? Even assuming Schmidt didn't just make it all up?

I do not. I don't know what to do with the report other than to discard it completely. I have no basis with which to evaluate it, and Schmidt provided me with none. He might feel comfortable that it's accurate. But I have no way to tell.
   30. cardsfanboy Posted: April 12, 2011 at 04:14 PM (#3794365)
Many pro-PED types have argued that there's nothing wrong with PED usage, that it wasn't cheating, that it was available to all.


I've never seen that position put out there, I've seen it said that it wasn't cheating because you were improving yourself physically, but never hear anyone reference the second part of your comment "available to all".

As a pro-ped guy, I say it wasn't cheating because MLB didn't care about it happening, and that there are plenty of whispers that teams encouraged it. Now that MLB has banned it and set up a penalty portion of it, I argue that MLB has determined the penalty for the crime and that is the end of the story. (mind you I would love for MLB to create a 'vague' policy in which they basically state that just because a substance isn't on their list of banned items that a substance which produces unnatural results should be considered banned---I'm sure the lawyers would get all over a vague statement like that, but at least the rule should try to acknowledge that they can't test for all the emerging substances out there, but that intent can be determined as part of the crime)
   31. McCoy Posted: April 12, 2011 at 04:14 PM (#3794367)

It has to do with how MLB should view such substances, and whether a policy was needed to address them.


Doesn't pretty much every single company out there have a drug and alcohol policy? Didn't baseball? Yet baseball felt the need to exclude steroids from their drug and alcohol policy. I think that says something.
   32. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 12, 2011 at 04:16 PM (#3794369)
Bonds hit 73 HR in a league in which the league HR rate was 1.14 per game.

Maris hit 61 HR in a league in which the league HR rate was 0.95 per game. Put Maris into a 1.14 league and he comes closer to 70.

Fielder hit 51 in the 1990 AL, where the league HR rate was 0.79.

Mays hit 52 in the 1965 NL, where the league HR rate was 0.81.

Even McGwire's 70 HR came in a league in which the HR rate was 0.99.
This should be done by HR/AB, not HR/G. While context matters, it does not bring any of Mays/Fielder/Maris up to the level of Bonds or McGwire.

These are (non-park adjusted) HR+ numbers. It's (HR/AB) / (lg HR/AB) * 100

451 - McGwire 1998
436 - Bonds 2001
381 - Fielder 1990
370 - Mays 1965
349 - Maris 1961
   33. McCoy Posted: April 12, 2011 at 04:19 PM (#3794374)
Well, if Mays and Maris were doing what they were doing nowadays they would get walked a hell of a lot more. Which would probably drive their HR/AB rate up. Well, that and also if you don't have Mantle batting behind you.
   34. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 12, 2011 at 04:20 PM (#3794376)
Matt, I resubmit my question asking for evidence
Of course it's evidence.

A leaked report is a kind of evidence that Sosa had a positive test. We don't know for sure.

A large percentage of positive tests under this system have been for steroids. If we have some evidence Sosa had a positive test result, we have some evidence he tested positive for steroids. We don't know for sure.

I assume that what you're saying is that the evidence doesn't rise to a level where you're convinced he used steroids. I think that's a non-crazy position on Sosa.

EDIT: We're not working with any really strong evidence with anything here, outside of actual admissions. False positives happen in any test, so even publicly reported results aren't certain. It's a game of probabilities and the leaked report of a positive test certainly, to me, increases the probability that Sosa took steroids.
   35. Kiko Sakata Posted: April 12, 2011 at 04:21 PM (#3794378)
Yet baseball felt the need to exclude steroids from their drug and alcohol policy.


What do you mean by this? My understanding of MLB's pre-2002 drug policy was that it explicitly banned any illegal drugs - which would, then, include steroids - but set up no mechanism for actually testing for drug use.
   36. john_halfz Posted: April 12, 2011 at 04:28 PM (#3794389)
Whether or not the sanctimony about "cheating" is excessive, I don't understand the notion that Ramirez and Bonds are outliers in the sense of being the only players whom PEDs actually benefited. I'd like to see a distribution of probabilities as of 12/31/95 for Brady Anderson hitting 50 HR the following year at age 32.
   37. McCoy Posted: April 12, 2011 at 04:29 PM (#3794390)
What do you mean by this? My understanding of MLB's pre-2002 drug policy was that it explicitly banned any illegal drugs - which would, then, include steroids - but set up no mechanism for actually testing for drug use.

The old CBA that I saw listed very specifically the substances that were banned from baseball and steroids were not on that list. I believe even Fay Vincent in his interview with Maury Brown was saying that steroids were not even on the radar that baseball was more concerned with cocaine than any steroid out there.
   38. McCoy Posted: April 12, 2011 at 04:30 PM (#3794394)
A leaked report is a kind of evidence that Sosa had a positive test. We don't know for sure.

We've plenty of hearsay and conjecture. Those are kinds of evidence.
   39. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 12, 2011 at 04:34 PM (#3794398)
We've plenty of hearsay and conjecture. Those are kinds of evidence.
Of course hearsay is evidence. It's something that leads you to think somewhat differently about whether events happened and in what way those events happened.

If you're talking to your friend, and she says she heard another friend say he got drunk last night and passed out, you are right to think it's probably true that guy got drunk and passed out last night.

There are good reasons why hearsay is not admissible evidence in court under most circumstances, but of course it's evidence in the normal sense.
   40. Kiko Sakata Posted: April 12, 2011 at 04:35 PM (#3794399)
The old CBA that I saw listed very specifically the substances that were banned from baseball and steroids were not on that list. I believe even Fay Vincent in his interview with Maury Brown was saying that steroids were not even on the radar that baseball was more concerned with cocaine than any steroid out there.


This is what the Mitchell Report says on the subject (page 25):

Since 1971, baseball has prohibited the illegal use, possession, or distribution of drugs, including the unauthorized use of prescription drugs. Anabolic steroids have been expressly listed among baseball’s prohibited substances since 1991.
Until it was included in the 2002 Basic Agreement, however, this policy was not agreed to by the Players Association, which therefore retained the ability to challenge discipline decisions by the Commissioner for violations of the policy.
   41. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: April 12, 2011 at 04:38 PM (#3794401)
This should be done by HR/AB, not HR/G. While context matters, it does not bring any of Mays/Fielder/Maris up to the level of Bonds or McGwire.

These are (non-park adjusted) HR+ numbers. It's (HR/AB) / (lg HR/AB) * 100

451 - McGwire 1998
436 - Bonds 2001
381 - Fielder 1990
370 - Mays 1965
349 - Maris 1961


In that case:

Ruth 1927 - 1066
   42. Chamran Knebter Posted: April 12, 2011 at 04:38 PM (#3794402)
The old CBA that I saw listed very specifically the substances that were banned from baseball and steroids were not on that list. I believe even Fay Vincent in his interview with Maury Brown was saying that steroids were not even on the radar that baseball was more concerned with cocaine than any steroid out there.


That says that baseball's drug priorities were screwed up, then. Of course, the drug priorities in the US are just as screwed up, so maybe it's understandable.

I've never seen that position put out there, I've seen it said that it wasn't cheating because you were improving yourself physically, but never hear anyone reference the second part of your comment "available to all".


I've seen a couple people express the idea that they don't believe in government scheduling of drugs and thus would not penalize steroid users on those grounds. I would guess that's what SoSH U was referring to.

As a pro-ped guy, I say it wasn't cheating because MLB didn't care about it happening, and that there are plenty of whispers that teams encouraged it.


Which should be held against MLB as well. As SoSH U mentioned, you had players being placed in the position of having to choose to either break the law or potentially fall behind their peers. The players who did the right thing and refused to break the law were being cheated. Whether or not the cheating was acknowledged, punished, or encouraged doesn't change the fact that it was cheating.

Now that MLB has banned it and set up a penalty portion of it, I argue that MLB has determined the penalty for the crime and that is the end of the story.


I don't see HoF election (or exclusion thereof) as having any relation to the idea of a 'penalty.' I see it as a privilege that has not been earned, not a right that is being violated.
   43. McCoy Posted: April 12, 2011 at 04:40 PM (#3794405)
Anabolic steroids have been expressly listed among baseball’s prohibited substances since 1991.


This I believe has to do with the Fay Vincent memo which again in the Maury Brown interview Fay admitted to being meaningless. He issued this memo after the two sides signed the CBA and Fay had no authority to do this in regards to the players but interestingly enough this memo did make it against the rules for everybody else in baseball except the players, and well, maybe the umps as well. Steroids were so against the rules because of this memo that Bud Selig reissued the memo several years later, again after the CBA was signed.
   44. Chamran Knebter Posted: April 12, 2011 at 04:43 PM (#3794411)
Which is just a fancy way of saying there was no rule against it.


Does baseball have an explicit rule against committing murder during a game? (I now am picturing the scene from the movie Hook in which the catcher shoots the runner trying to steal second base).
   45. McCoy Posted: April 12, 2011 at 04:50 PM (#3794421)
(I now am picturing the scene from the movie Hook in which the catcher shoots the runner trying to steal second base).

I believe that is covered under interference.
   46. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 12, 2011 at 04:50 PM (#3794422)
Of course it's evidence.

A leaked report is a kind of evidence that Sosa had a positive test. We don't know for sure.


You keep saying "leaked report." What "report"? All we have is purported statements from anonymous lawyers who don't even claim to have seen anything:

according to lawyers with knowledge of the drug-testing results from that year.

...The lawyers who had knowledge of Sosa’s inclusion on the 2003 list did not know the substance for which Sosa tested positive. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified as discussing material that is sealed by a court order.


Can we lend any credence to supposed anonymous lawyers who are so unethical that they would leak information under seal? I cannot.
   47. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 12, 2011 at 04:53 PM (#3794427)
Does baseball have an explicit rule against committing murder during a game? (I now am picturing the scene from the movie Hook in which the catcher shoots the runner trying to steal second base).

Don't laugh---IT COULD HAPPEN!! This documentary film gives us the suppressed history:

At the start of spring training, major league baseball manager and owner Pop Clark brings Larry Kelly, a highly promising young pitcher from the Texas league, to his struggling St. Louis Cardinal team. After chasing off two former players who were kicked off the team for gambling, Pop confides in his daughter Frances, the team's secretary, that if the Cardinals fail to win the pennant, he will lose the franchise to greedy business rival Henry Ainsley. That night, Larry is befriended by the wealthy Joseph Karnes, but is advised by veteran sports reporter Jimmie Downey that Karnes is a notorious gambler. After Mickey, the ballboy, discovers two men tampering with the pitchers' mitts, the team physician announces that the mitts had been covered with a serious skin-damaging substance. Slugger Dunk Spencer, who, like Jimmie, is infatuated with Frances, accuses Jimmie of sabotaging the mitts as a means of reducing his competition. Frances, however, dismisses Spencer's claims and forces the two men to bury their hostilities for the sake of the team. Although the Cardinals are given only twenty-to-one odds to win the pennant, they quickly climb to second place behind Larry's pitching and Spencer's hitting. Worried that he will lose one million dollars, Karnes, who bet against the Cardinals, tries to bribe Larry by leaving $10,000 on his hotel pillow. Larry, however, shows Pop and Jimmie the money, and the bribe attempt is made public. Later, a taxi carrying Larry and his hotdog-loving teammate, Truck Hogan, is shot at and crashes. In the accident, Larry suffers a foot injury that forces him out of the game for two weeks. While Larry is recuperating, the Cardinals move into first place and need to win only two out of three games to clinch the pennant. During the first crucial game in Chicago, Spencer is shot and killed by a gunman in the stadium as he is about to score the winning run. Because of his rivalry with Spencer, Jimmie is questioned by the police but is not charged. Just before the second game, pitcher Frank Higgins is called to the telephone and, in spite of tight security overseen by groundskeeper and former Cardinal player Patterson, is strangled in the locker room. After Truck leads the Cardinals to victory, one of his hotdogs is laced with poison, and he dies before identifying the killer to police. Although the police want to cancel the last game with the Cincinnati Reds, Pop insists on playing and slates Larry to pitch. When Frances confesses to Pop that she loves Larry, Pop starts to pull him from the lineup but is persuaded by Jimmie, who wants to trap the murderer, to keep his star in the game. During the game, Larry sees someone in the dugout placing an explosive in his warm-up jacket and hurls his baseball at the saboteur's head. After the explosive is safely detonated, the killer is revealed to be Patterson, whose anger at being hired by Pop as a groundskeeper instead of a coach, drove him to conspire with Ainsley to ruin the Cardinals. The mystery solved, Larry slugs the game-winning hit and embraces Frances, his bride-to-be.
   48. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 12, 2011 at 04:56 PM (#3794431)
As SoSH U mentioned, you had players being placed in the position of having to choose to either break the law or potentially fall behind their peers.


It didn't seem to be a tough choice for the players, any more than college students have the "tough choice" of deciding whether to take a hit from a joint at a party or submit to underage drinking. Just because these things are ILLEGAL OMIGOD does not mean people are the slightest bit apprehensive about doing them.

This entire line of argument is cartoonish.
   49. Dale Sams Posted: April 12, 2011 at 04:57 PM (#3794435)
Does baseball have an explicit rule against committing murder during a game? (I now am picturing the scene from the movie Hook in which the catcher shoots the runner trying to steal second base).


Or that movie where the guy slides head-first to avoid breaking the cocaine vials in his back pocket...ahh..wait..
   50. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 12, 2011 at 04:58 PM (#3794437)
Whether or not the sanctimony about "cheating" is excessive, I don't understand the notion that Ramirez and Bonds are outliers in the sense of being the only players whom PEDs actually benefited. I'd like to see a distribution of probabilities as of 12/31/95 for Brady Anderson hitting 50 HR the following year at age 32.


"He hit a lot of home runs" is not evidence.

And when Anderson hit 50, the league HR rate was 1.21 per game.
   51. SoSH U at work Posted: April 12, 2011 at 05:02 PM (#3794442)
It didn't seem to be a tough choice for the players, any more than college students have the "tough choice" of deciding whether to take a hit from a joint at a party, or submit to underage drinking. Just because these things are ILLEGAL OMIGOD does not mean people are the slightest bit apprehensive about doing them.


That it didn't act as a deterrent to some subset of players does not mean that some other players weren't deterred by it. Or that even those who did make the choice to use would have preferred, all things being equal, not to make that particular choice. Stunning as this might be to you, not everyone has a libertarian's view on drug laws.

Honestly, I think there are a couple of players right now who wish MLB had addressed the issue earlier, but I'm sure your moral indignation over the draconian drug laws is boosting their spirits.

And I'm pretty sure the more cartoonish post goes to the one which employs all caps to make a point.
   52. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 12, 2011 at 05:04 PM (#3794447)
There are good reasons why hearsay is not admissible evidence in court under most circumstances


But you don't seem to care about any of them.

"Hearsay" doesn't begin to describe this. I'm supposed to lend weight to Michael Schmidt who heard something from "lawyers" who got their "knowledge" from god knows where. Did they get their knowledge from hearing it from someone who heard it from someone who heard it from someone who overheard it from someone who overheard it from someone? How many links in the chain are there? We have no clue. Did they get their knowledge from seeing some list? We have no idea. If they saw some list, was it the correct list? We have no idea. Who were the lawyers? We have no idea. How connected were they to the case? We have no idea. What access did they have? We have no idea. How trustworthy were they? We have no idea, except that they were *dis*honest enough to leak information under seal. What did Sosa allegedly test positive for? We have no idea.

It is beyond ridiculous to attribute any weight to the story.
   53. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 12, 2011 at 05:04 PM (#3794451)
It didn't seem to be a tough choice for the players, any more than college students have the "tough choice" of deciding whether to take a hit from a joint at a party, or submit to underage drinking.
You don't just do a "hit" of steroids. You take a regimen which you maintain throughout the year. Studies have drawn strong links between steroid use and heart disease, as well as to various psychological ailments. There's a real trade-off there that shouldn't be compared to taking a hit from a joint.

(I support steroid testing in baseball for this reason, that it's wrong that players should be forced into a situation where it's better for their career to take dangerous drugs.)
   54. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 12, 2011 at 05:06 PM (#3794456)
But you don't seem to care about any of them.
Of course I care about them. There are standards to which a governmental body given the authority to take life and liberty absolutely must be held, to which it isn't necessary to hold some guy on the internet who has no control over anything. You're being ridiculous.

Here's a question, Ray. Can you name five propositions which you believe are false, but for which you believe there is evidence that they are true? I'm just interested, because you seem to be using the word "evidence" to refer only to things that convince you, when that isn't how I'm using it.
   55. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 12, 2011 at 05:08 PM (#3794462)
Double post.
   56. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 12, 2011 at 05:10 PM (#3794465)
You don't just do a "hit" of steroids. You take a regimen which you maintain throughout the year. Studies have drawn strong links between steroid use and heart disease, as well as to various psychological ailments. There's a real trade-off there that shouldn't be compared to taking a hit from a joint.


And yet, scores of players didn't seem to have much trouble making the "trade-off."
   57. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 12, 2011 at 05:13 PM (#3794468)
Of course I care about them. There are standards to which a governmental body given the authority to take life and liberty absolutely must be held, to which it isn't necessary to hold some guy on the internet who has no control over anything. You're being ridiculous.


The point is that there's a _reason_ for the rule against hearsay. It's not just something they decided would be fun to have at trials.
   58. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 12, 2011 at 05:23 PM (#3794487)
Also, keep in mind what Schmidt is saying here. "I heard it from someone, but I won't tell you who." I'd have to review the rules against hearsay, but I doubt that would be admissible under any exception. I've heard of cases in which the word of an anonymous declarant comes in, but in those cases it came in under the excited utterance exception, which doesn't apply here. (And generally the declarant is only anonymous because the person doesn't *know* who it was, not because the person won't *say* who it was.)
   59. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 12, 2011 at 05:23 PM (#3794488)
The point is that there's a _reason_ for the rule against hearsay. It's not just something they decided would be fun to have at trials.
Let me run by the scenario I sketched for McCoy.

If you're talking to your friend, and she says she heard another friend say he got drunk last night and passed out, you are right to think it's probably true that guy got drunk and passed out last night.

Now, a court system endowed with the power to take life and liberty is rightly limited only to stronger forms of evidence under a highly ritualized process. It's not because it's "fun", it's because there should be limits on governmental behavior that are not necessary for some guy on the internet.
   60. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 12, 2011 at 05:25 PM (#3794490)
And yet, scores of players didn't seem to have much trouble making the "trade-off."
You know what players felt and thought about steroid use? What's your evidence?
   61. McCoy Posted: April 12, 2011 at 05:28 PM (#3794495)
If you're talking to your friend, and she says she heard another friend say he got drunk last night and passed out, you are right to think it's probably true that guy got drunk and passed out last night.

But that isn't what happened here. This isn't a friend of a friend. This is a stranger saying some anonymous person said X but this anonymous person doesn't really have all the details and we have no real idea what they are basing this on.

So it would be like a stranger coming up to you and saying he heard from some other stranger that some guy you know did something the other day. Does that make it probably true that the guy was drunk?
   62. McCoy Posted: April 12, 2011 at 05:28 PM (#3794497)
You know what players felt and thought about steroid use? What's your evidence?

Conjecture and hearsay.
   63. BFFB Posted: April 12, 2011 at 05:30 PM (#3794499)
Like with anything else, we need to adjust for context. The HR rate in the league where Bonds hit 73 home runs (1.14) was the second highest of all time in the NL. (The year before, the NL had a 1.16 HR rate. I count four AL home run rates that were higher.) What you had was an all time great player who had already had 3 SLG titles and 1 HR title as a "Clean Player," now playing in one of the most favorable leagues ever for hitting home runs, and (even if one attributes some of it to steroids) had clearly changed his approach at the plate. I don't think the answers are so simple.


Which came first; the chicken or the egg?
   64. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 12, 2011 at 05:35 PM (#3794505)
So it would be like a stranger coming up to you and saying he heard from some other stranger that some guy you know did something the other day. Does that make it probably true that the guy was drunk?
The first stranger is a reporter, the second stranger is identified by the reporter as having knowledge of the situation. I think there's a good chance the report is true.

Anyway, the point is that we use hearsay evidence to make determinations about reality all the time, and there's nothing particularly wrong with that. That doesn't mean hearsay evidence should generally be used to take away a person's life or liberty, but it means that if some people are talking about some stuff on the internet, "hearsay!" isn't a conversation ender. Hearsay is perfectly reasonable evidence in these situations.

I'd like to see Ray's hearsay evidence that players had no trouble choosing to use steroids.
   65. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 12, 2011 at 05:38 PM (#3794511)
You know what players felt and thought about steroid use? What's your evidence?


The fact that players used steroids.

In contrast, I know what players felt and thought about murder, by the fact that few if any players committed murder.
   66. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 12, 2011 at 05:41 PM (#3794514)
That someone did something is not good evidence they weren't troubled by doing it.

I would bet that the vast majority of murderers were indeed troubled about the murder they committed.
   67. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 12, 2011 at 05:42 PM (#3794518)
I think there's a good chance the report is true.


Do you know what the supposed anonymous lawyers based their facts on? If you do, please share. If you don't, I think we have some idea what your logic skills are.
   68. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 12, 2011 at 05:43 PM (#3794521)
That someone did something is not good evidence they weren't troubled by doing it.


But it is good evidence that they weren't troubled enough not to do it.
   69. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 12, 2011 at 05:43 PM (#3794523)
But it is good evidence that they weren't troubled enough not to do it.
This is a totally different claim than the one you were initially making.
I think we have some idea what your logic skills are.
This conversation is now over. Good-bye.
   70. SoSH U at work Posted: April 12, 2011 at 05:44 PM (#3794524)
The fact that players used steroids.


And those who didn't use. Do you know why they made that choice?
   71. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 12, 2011 at 05:47 PM (#3794531)
I've been ignoring these insults for about an hour. I'm done here. I have better things to do.


It's not an insult; it's a statement of what your logic skills must be if you concluded B from A. You have taken the supposed word of anonymous dishonest lawyers who didn't have all the facts and didn't disclose what they were basing their facts on, and have swallowed it virtually whole.

If you told me you concluded that Obama wasn't born in the US because Donald Trump told you his investigators told him so, I'd draw the same conclusion.
   72. jcnyc Posted: April 12, 2011 at 05:51 PM (#3794540)
The hysteria sets in when the general public imagines PEDs as a kind of Popeye's spinach. And/or when a stray poster here points to a given spike or arc in a career and says, "look, steroids" without considering ten other relevant factors, or sheer variation.


This is exactly how my mother in law thinks. If the Yankees are pounding on the Red Sox she says "they must be taking their steroids today".
   73. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 12, 2011 at 05:58 PM (#3794550)
Now, a court system endowed with the power to take life and liberty is rightly limited only to stronger forms of evidence under a highly ritualized process.

That same prohibition applies in cases in which neither life nor liberty are at issue, including routine civil suits of all kinds for relatively small sums.
   74. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 12, 2011 at 06:07 PM (#3794567)
Like with anything else, we need to adjust for context. The HR rate in the league where Bonds hit 73 home runs (1.14) was the second highest of all time in the NL. (The year before, the NL had a 1.16 HR rate. I count four AL home run rates that were higher.) What you had was an all time great player who had already had 3 SLG titles and 1 HR title as a "Clean Player," now playing in one of the most favorable leagues ever for hitting home runs, and (even if one attributes some of it to steroids) had clearly changed his approach at the plate. I don't think the answers are so simple.

I agree it's not so simple. It's also important to remember that steroid use (by players other than Bonds) was part of the context that likely caused the league-wide HR rates to increase. So you can't just make an era adjustment to home run rates from the 60s to determine what Bonds would have hit if there were no steroids.
   75. JL Posted: April 12, 2011 at 06:09 PM (#3794570)
The first stranger is a reporter, the second stranger is identified by the reporter as having knowledge of the situation. I think there's a good chance the report is true.

Just because he is a reporter does not mean he is also not a stranger. Going to your other point:

The first stranger is a reporter, the second stranger is identified by the reporter as having knowledge of the situation. I think there's a good chance the report is true.

This is absolutely true, but leaves a couple things unsaid. We use hearsay because we have a chance to talk to the person and evaluate what it is they are saying and what the basis for the statement might be. Does our friend lie or exagerate a lot? Do the details makes sense? These, and many other things, come into play when we use hearasy in our decision making process.

The problem with this "report" is that we (or at least I) can't make those determinations with this reporter. I don't know what is motivations might be. I can't ask questions to determine what the motivations of the lawyer might be. Reporters can be played by people with an agenda and I don't have a good feeling, one way or the other, on this report. So while I might rely on hearsay in my own life, I don't always do so.
   76. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 12, 2011 at 06:11 PM (#3794579)
This should be done by HR/AB, not HR/G. While context matters, it does not bring any of Mays/Fielder/Maris up to the level of Bonds or McGwire.


Why not Hr/PA or even HR/(on Contact)?

1961 AL, HR/on Contact= .033
Maris = .117 (3.54+)
Mantle = .134 (4.08)

2001 NL= .042
Bonds = .191 (4.53)
Sosa = .151 (3.59)
   77. SM Posted: April 12, 2011 at 06:25 PM (#3794600)
I've never understood the Brady Anderson argument anyway. If his steroids were so powerful they jumped him from 16 to 50 homers, why on earth would he then stop taking them and drop back to 18 homers?
   78. Dan The Mediocre Posted: April 12, 2011 at 06:30 PM (#3794607)
This should be done by HR/AB, not HR/G. While context matters, it does not bring any of Mays/Fielder/Maris up to the level of Bonds or McGwire.

These are (non-park adjusted) HR+ numbers. It's (HR/AB) / (lg HR/AB) * 100

451 - McGwire 1998
436 - Bonds 2001
381 - Fielder 1990
370 - Mays 1965
349 - Maris 1961


If we change it to HR/PA and factor out pitchers, Bonds drops to 352.
   79. Steve Treder Posted: April 12, 2011 at 06:33 PM (#3794615)
I've never understood the Brady Anderson argument anyway. If his steroids were so powerful they jumped him from 16 to 50 homers, why on earth would he then stop taking them and drop back to 18 homers?

Well, here's what you don't understand.

THINGS THAT ARE CLEAR EVIDENCE OF STEROID USE:

- Spike seasons
- Remarkable consistency over many years
- Injury-proneness
- Remarkable durability over many years
- Late-career improvement
- Early-career decline

Get it now?
   80. bads85 Posted: April 12, 2011 at 06:44 PM (#3794632)
If his steroids were so powerful they jumped him from 16 to 50 homers, why on earth would he then stop taking them and drop back to 18 homers?


Because Saint Cal shamed him into stopping. Ripken said, "Brady, what you are doing is morally wrong. One day, I am going to run a youth league, and I don't want all those little kids using steroids because their nuts will shrink, and I won't get that lucrative protective cup deal. It is all about the children, Brady. Remember that. May their nuts remain fruitful."

Then a chorus of angels began to sing, and Brady never touched steroids again.
   81. base ball chick Posted: April 12, 2011 at 06:45 PM (#3794634)
77. SM Posted: April 12, 2011 at 02:25 PM (#3794600)
I've never understood the Brady Anderson argument anyway. If his steroids were so powerful they jumped him from 16 to 50 homers, why on earth would he then stop taking them and drop back to 18 homers?

- for goodness sakes, don't you understand how steroids work YET???


he takes steroids, which makes him hit 50 home runs unlike the year before when he didn't use. but because he took steroids, they made his body break down and he lost all that weight and couldn't hit home runs. see giambi the year after they started steroid testing and he got sick from no steroids and his weight dropped by 80 lbs and then he started using them and the next week, why he was back to his roided up self and hitting home runs.

you see once you use steroids you get all these muscles and stay big and pumped only your body breaks down unless you are like barry lamar or mark mcgwire or sammy sosa

- as for trusting mark schmidt because he is a reporter - are you SERIOUS? and un-named sources who said some unscrupulous lawyer said?

you know how williams/fairinuwadu quoted steve hoskins/kim bell/novistki liberally in their book - and we now find out at trial what a lying sack of poopoo hoskins/bell/novitski all are?

just because some hearsay is printed in the paper doesn't make it true.
   82. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 12, 2011 at 06:45 PM (#3794635)
Perhaps Matt sees similarities with the Sosa story and the bogus LA Times story linking Clemens, Pettitte, and other players to the Grimsley affidavit.

Quoting now from the bogus story:

Roger Clemens, one of professional baseball's most durable and successful pitchers, is among six players allegedly linked to performance-enhancing drugs by a former teammate, The Times has learned. The names had been blacked out in an affidavit filed in federal court.

Others whose identities had been concealed include Clemens' fellow Houston Astros pitcher Andy Pettitte and former American League most valuable player Miguel Tejada of the Baltimore Orioles...

A source with authorized access to an unredacted affidavit allowed The Times to see it briefly and read aloud some of what had been blacked out of the public copies. A second source and confidant of Grimsley had previously disclosed player identities and provided additional details about the affidavit. The sources cooperated only on condition of anonymity.

According to the affidavit, Grimsley told investigators that Clemens "used athletic performance-enhancing drugs." He also allegedly said Tejada used anabolic steroids.
The affidavit also alleges that Grimsley told federal agents that former Orioles teammates Tejada, Brian Roberts and Jay Gibbons "took anabolic steroids." Roberts was the American League's all-star second baseman in 2005 when Grimsley was an Oriole.


And the retraction from the LA Times, over a year later:

For The Record

Los Angeles Times Friday, December 21, 2007 Correction

Baseball: A front-page article on Oct. 1, 2006 incorrectly reported that in a search warrant affidavit filed in May 2006 in federal court in Phoenix, an investigator alleged that pitcher Jason Grimsley named former teammates Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Brian Roberts and Jay Gibbons as players linked to performance-enhancing drugs. In the affidavit, which was unsealed Thursday, Grimsley did not name those players. The article also said Grimsley alleged that Miguel Tejada had used steroids. The only mention of Tejada in the affidavit was as part of a conversation with teammates about baseball's ban of amphetamines. The Times regrets the error, and a clarifying story appears on the front page today.


And a comment by the judge:

In a separate two-page order, U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward C. Voss in Phoenix cited the newspaper for "abusive reporting" in its article that linked Clemens to the affidavit.

"At best, the article is an example of irresponsible reporting," Voss wrote. "At worst, the 'facts' reported were simply manufactured. ... Hopefully, any reference to the Times article as authoritative will now cease."


But hey, we had anonymous sources, right? We had a credible reporter. The anonymous sources were "identified by the reporter as having knowledge of the situation." There was a "good chance" the story was true, right?
   83. CrosbyBird Posted: April 12, 2011 at 08:34 PM (#3794777)
I've seen a couple people express the idea that they don't believe in government scheduling of drugs and thus would not penalize steroid users on those grounds. I would guess that's what SoSH U was referring to.

I'm one of those people. MLB can suggest its own restrictive policy, of course, if they collectively bargain with the MLBPA (and I believe that they should, as a health issue).

Which should be held against MLB as well. As SoSH U mentioned, you had players being placed in the position of having to choose to either break the law or potentially fall behind their peers. The players who did the right thing and refused to break the law were being cheated. Whether or not the cheating was acknowledged, punished, or encouraged doesn't change the fact that it was cheating.

You can make a literal argument that accepting the phantom tag or a non-call on a foul that you've committed is cheating, because the result was undeserved and contrary to the rules. I don't think either really count as cheating outside that very literal interpretation because it is understood that this sort of behavior is permissible. I think PEDs are cheating now, because there's an enforced rule against using them, but when the teams and the players were accepting or even endorsing PED use, it was an unstated but implicit modification of the rules.

I don't see HoF election (or exclusion thereof) as having any relation to the idea of a 'penalty.' I see it as a privilege that has not been earned, not a right that is being violated.

I understand that, although historically, players that have performed at a certain level have been understood to have earned that right, and denying specific players that right is indistinguishable from penalizing them. (It may well be a reasonable penalty, depending on your position on PEDs and the HOF in the first place, but then it should be applied logically and consistently.)
   84. CrosbyBird Posted: April 12, 2011 at 08:44 PM (#3794794)
THINGS THAT ARE CLEAR EVIDENCE OF STEROID USE:

You left out a few:
-increased hat size (especially if you grossly exaggerate the increase)
-being substantially bigger in your 30s than your 20s
-denying steroid use when asked
-NOT denying steroid use when asked
   85. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 12, 2011 at 09:23 PM (#3794853)
-denying steroid use when asked


This is my favorite. Except...

- denying it under oath in front of Congress

That has to be it.
   86. valuearbitrageur Posted: April 12, 2011 at 09:40 PM (#3794868)
So if a player used steroids without breaking any laws (e.g., by going to another country, or getting a prescription, or using something that wasn't scheduled), you would keep him out of the HOF on the grounds that he... what, didn't break the law?


People love to make the blanket claim that using steroids was "illegal" or "cheating", while ignoring that the CBA did allow them, and that steroids could have been taken by any number of legal methods.

I guess it's just easier to make wild assertions if you can say them as compactly as possible.
"They cheated by using illegal steriods"
, while not factually true, is a much more powerful statement than

"they would have been cheating if the commissioner had the authority to regulate what they put in their body, but he only did not because of a meany union that fought for players personal privacy and rights, but still they might have broken the law because some steroids were illegal to take in this country without a prescription, and hearsay clearly gives us reason, though not evidence, that some players did not take them in other countries or with prescriptions".
   87. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 12, 2011 at 09:56 PM (#3794881)
I guess it's just easier to make wild assertions if you can say them as compactly as possible.
"They cheated by using illegal steriods"
, while not factually true, is a much more powerful statement than


You forget the quasi-natural law argument some make- that it's cheating because even when steroids were legal players hid their use because they KNEW it was giving them an UNFAIR advantage, and anything that gives you an UNFAIR advantage is cheating. Except amps and spitballs and corked bats and...
   88. Srul Itza Posted: April 12, 2011 at 11:30 PM (#3794960)
the second stranger is identified by the reporter as having knowledge of the situation.


Except that the reporter never explains how he knows they had knowledge of the situation. The only basis for it is apparently that they said they had knowledge of the situation.
   89. cardsfanboy Posted: April 13, 2011 at 12:00 AM (#3795008)
That link/quotes by Ray in post 82 is pretty damning in my eyes for any time in the future I see "unnamed sources" in an article in which the writer has a clear preconceived bias.
   90. Steve Treder Posted: April 13, 2011 at 12:08 AM (#3795025)
That link/quotes by Ray in post 82 is pretty damning in my eyes for any time in the future I see "unnamed sources" in an article in which the writer has a clear preconceived bias.

Well, yeah. Whether you have any idea whatsoever of what the biases of the writer might or might not be, any and every "unnamed source" always has to be assessed with a meaningful degree of skepticsm. Not only is there no way of knowing whether the writer is just making sh!t up, even if he/she isn't, the motives/credibility of any source unwilling to be named have to be held in question.
   91. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 13, 2011 at 12:08 AM (#3795027)
That link/quotes by Ray in post 82 is pretty damning in my eyes for any time in the future I see "unnamed sources" in an article in which the writer has a clear preconceived bias.


And note that the only reason we know the story was bogus is because it was a black and white issue once the affidavit was unsealed. In many cases we'll never know, such as may be the case with Sosa and the 2003 list in general. And I for one hope we never learn who tested positive in 2003 (though of course we know some names already).
   92. bads85 Posted: April 13, 2011 at 12:27 AM (#3795065)
Not only is there no way of knowing whether the writer is just making sh!t up, even if he/she isn't, the motives/credibility of any source unwilling to be named have to be held in question.


Right -- the last season of The Wire should have taught everyone this.
   93. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: April 13, 2011 at 12:41 AM (#3795101)
(I now am picturing the scene from the movie Hook in which the catcher shoots the runner trying to steal second base).

I believe that is covered under interference.


No, that would be obstruction.

You forget the quasi-natural law argument some make- that it's cheating because even when steroids were legal players hid their use because they KNEW it was giving them an UNFAIR advantage, and anything that gives you an UNFAIR advantage is cheating.

Yeah, so how do the quasi-natural law folks feel about Randy Velarde's testimony in the Bonds' trial? Didn't sound like too many players were trying to hide too much of anything. Almost sort of like greenies in the '60s.
   94. Ron J Posted: April 13, 2011 at 01:14 AM (#3795184)
Doesn't pretty much every single company out there have a drug and alcohol policy? Didn't baseball? Yet baseball felt the need to exclude steroids from their drug and alcohol policy. I think that says something.


I think this substantially misrepresents the facts. It's pretty clear that as far back as the early 80s MLB wanted to impose a drug testing policy -- and they wanted heavy penalties. And that as part of the program they wanted to include PEDs.

Each of Kuhn, Uberroth and Vincent made policy statements on the matter. Uberroth's being the strongest -- ending a drug policy negotiated with the PA because he wanted Olympic style testing and penalties. (Kuhn did something similar on the penalty side but never addressed the issue of testing). Now it's true that with Uberroth and Kuhn in particular the emphasis was on recreational drugs. But they both do mention PEDs (It's basically -- as long as we can test for them, why not?)

The key though is that they were not interested in bargaining the issue. When they were stopped by arbitrator rulings (as happened twice under Uberroth) saying that all changes to player discipline had to be collectively bargained, they just dropped that particular approach.

What people making statements like yours seem to forget is that if MLB wanted to bump scoring (or just home runs) they didn't need to turn a blind eye to PED use, they just needed to juice the balls (something that there's clear evidence of happening in that period -- though there's nothing to show it was intentional).
   95. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 13, 2011 at 01:20 AM (#3795194)
Yeah, so how do the quasi-natural law folks feel about Randy Velarde's testimony in the Bonds' trial? Didn't sound like too many players were trying to hide too much of anything. Almost sort of like greenies in the '60s.


Yeah, the players were telling each other who their dealers were.

How do people think dealers like Greg Anderson and Kirk Radomski got so many clients, anyway? Because of the incredible Cone of Silence each player was operating under? Word of mouth played a huge part.

Here's a list from Wiki of evidence George Mitchell found with respect to how Radomski got his clients. Note the referrals from player to player -- these same players who supposedly were cheating and trying to conceal their cheating from each other:

* Larry Bigbie claimed that Cust told him he tried steroids and had a source that could procure anything he wanted. Cust declined interview

* Radomski claimed that Franklin purchased Anavar and Deca-Durabolin from him through another Radomski client and then-Mariners teammate, Ron Villone.

* Radomski claimed he sold Deca-Durabolin and testosterone to Hundley on three or four occasions, and the player's contact information was found in his address book. Chris Donnels confirmed that Hundley discussed his use of performance-enhancing drugs with him. Hundley declined interview

* Brian McNamee claimed he obtained human growth hormone from Radomski, which he provided and injected Knoblauch with seven to nine times. Knoblauch paid Radomski through Jason Grimsley and McNamee. Knoblauch declined interview

* Radomski claimed he sold two or three kits of human growth hormone to Justice. Brian McNamee confirmed that Justice admitted to him that he obtained human growth hormone from Radomski.

* Radomski claimed he sold one kit of human growth hormone to Nook Logan in 2005, after a referral from Rondell White.

* Radomski claimed he frequently sold small quantities of testosterone and Winstrol to Miadich from 2002 through 2005, after a referral from Adam Riggs

* Adam Piatt also stated that Santangelo provided Piatt with Radomski's contact information when Piatt asked where he could get performance-enhancing substances.

* During his interview with Mitchell, Adam Piatt claimed that he obtained Deca-Durabolin or testosterone, as well as human growth hormone from Radomski for Tejada. Piatt produced checks from Tejada totalling $6,300. Radomski confirmed the sale to Piatt and claimed that Piatt said the purchases were for Tejada


These were players who knew they were cheating and didn't want to be thought of by their fellow players as cheaters?
   96. Ron J Posted: April 13, 2011 at 01:23 AM (#3795201)
Anabolic steroids have been expressly listed among baseball’s prohibited substances since 1991.


To clarify McCoy's response, Vincent noted that he was aware that this memo didn't apply to players. He didn't have the power to impose this nor the authority to bargain it.

Quoting from his interview with Brown:

I’m sure that what the General Managers are saying is correct that nobody paid too much attention to it because it was aimed at people who probably weren’t big steroid users anyway. I mean the clubhouse man, and the coaches would hardly be taking steroids. But that’s all we could do. We couldn’t do anything with the union because the union wouldn’t even give us a hearing on strengthening the cocaine drug problem laws.
   97. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 13, 2011 at 03:14 PM (#3795565)
Whether or not the sanctimony about "cheating" is excessive, I don't understand the notion that Ramirez and Bonds are outliers in the sense of being the only players whom PEDs actually benefited. I'd like to see a distribution of probabilities as of 12/31/95 for Brady Anderson hitting 50 HR the following year at age 32.
In addition to the problems with the argument identified by others above, you're not asking the right question. The right question is the probability that some player would do that, not that Brady Anderson would.
   98. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 13, 2011 at 03:16 PM (#3795569)
Of course hearsay is evidence. It's something that leads you to think somewhat differently about whether events happened and in what way those events happened.
That can't be the test. Horoscopes cause some people to think differently about whether events happened and in what way those events happened, too. That doesn't make them evidence.
   99. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 13, 2011 at 07:32 PM (#3795828)
That can't be the test. Horoscopes cause some people to think differently about whether events happened and in what way those events happened, too. That doesn't make them evidence.


I once saw a show that the amazing Randi and an "Astrologer" were on, the Astrologer had done "readings" for about twenty audience members, wrote them up and handed them out. After reading them the Astrologer asked the audience members if the reading was accurate, almost all raised their hands, he asked a few more questions, such as whether or not this experience had made them think ore highly of astrology (the majority said yes)

Then Randi got up and asked each audience member to hand their "individual" reading to the person on their left. Pretty soon most of the audience was laughing- everyone had gotten the same canned "individual" reading from the astrologer.

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