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Saturday, December 30, 2017

CBS Sports:  Hall of Famer Willie McCovey has some strong thoughts on Barry Bonds’ candidacy

“Guys took things ever since baseball existed. It may not have been steroids, but guys took things like those greenies and stuff so they could play the next day. You’re telling me everybody is clean as a whistle? You played against guys who were doing the same thing he was doing, so what the heck?”

Stretch’s response to Joe Morgan’s broadside.

Srul Itza Posted: December 30, 2017 at 04:40 PM | 60 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: barry bonds, hall of fame, peds

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   1. Chris Fluit Posted: December 30, 2017 at 07:55 PM (#5598930)
Way to go, Willie! I'm glad to see an ex-player speaking up on this side of the issue.
   2. Mefisto Posted: December 30, 2017 at 08:19 PM (#5598933)
I'm not entirely sure Barry would appreciate the implicit assumption that he was using steroids. He's been pretty careful never to admit that.
   3. cardsfanboy Posted: December 30, 2017 at 08:32 PM (#5598936)
Way to go, Willie! I'm glad to see an ex-player speaking up on this side of the issue.


Several of them have spoken on this side of the issue.

Bob Gibson


"I probably would have a tendency to say, 'Let's just try this and see what it does to me.' "

"I'm just glad they didn't have steroids when I was playing. You know, I don't know what I would have done."

"I don't think it's 'OK.' I'm not sanctioning it, but I understand why it happens."

• On whether users should be allowed in the Hall of Fame: "Oh, yeah. I think so."



Mike Schmidt is a bit more hesitant, but still

"I really feel uneasy about linking players of that era to PEDs who may not have been involved, players where there may be suspicion of involvement," Schmidt said. "I think it's totally wrong that that whole generation is being linked to PEDs. If you had a friend that used them you're linked to them. It seems now if you're a Hall of Fame-caliber player that you're going to have a really tough time getting in the Hall of Fame. It's really too bad. It's a problem we have in our sport right now, but time will cure it."



I'm pretty sure the are a few other hofers who have a more nuanced view on this issue than Joe Morgan.
   4. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 30, 2017 at 08:51 PM (#5598941)
Schmidt's gone further than that, saying on television in 2005, "If I had played during that era, I would have taken steroids... We all have these things we deal with in life, and I'm surely not going to sit here and say to you guys, 'I wouldn't have done that.'" A month later, Schmidt said, "I'm not saying I definitely would have [used steroids], but I'm not going to sit here and tell you there's no way. Who knows? I truly can't make the statement, 'I wouldn't have gotten caught up in it.'" He later backtracked a little on that in a book, then subsequently backtracked on the backtrack.

In 2006, Schmidt said about amphetamines: "A couple times in my career I bit on it. There were a few times in my career when I felt I needed help to get in there. I'm a victim, I admit to it. I'm not incriminating myself or players I played with to say we were on amphetamines our entire careers. I just wanted to see what they would do. It was a lack of willpower. You had an impressionable young kid, and someone says, 'Man you want to feel good?' If I had to do it over, I probably wouldn't do it. You can't put a 56-year-old head on a 28-year-old kid."
   5. Rennie's Tenet Posted: December 30, 2017 at 09:37 PM (#5598947)
The "we did greenies" argument has always been and remains a very poor one. There's simply no competent organization that accepts "that's how we did it in the 70s" as justification for current behavior. Indeed, if the players' union wasn't working out the basic issue of player movement in the 70s, it might well have received some pressure from its members to get those drugs out of clubhouses.
   6. Rob_Wood Posted: December 30, 2017 at 09:43 PM (#5598949)
It is important for other voices to be heard in response to (after) Joe Morgan's sanctimonious letter.

If people lend their voice in support for Bonds or Clemens (the clear targets of the Morgan Hall of Fame letter) at this time, so much the better.
   7. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 30, 2017 at 09:46 PM (#5598951)

The "we did greenies" argument has always been and remains a very poor one. There's simply no competent organization that accepts "that's how we did it in the 70s" as justification for current behavior.
Even if what you're saying is true, it's mis-aimed, since we're not talking about current behavior. We're talking about behavior from 10-20 years ago. And we're not talking about whether the behavior is justified; we're talking about whether the sanctimony is justified.

Indeed, if the players' union wasn't working out the basic issue of player movement in the 70s, it might well have received some pressure from its members to get those drugs out of clubhouses.
Or maybe if the union weren't distracted by fighting for free agency, it would have stood up even stronger for mind-your-own-business.
   8. Leroy Kincaid Posted: December 30, 2017 at 10:24 PM (#5598962)
Ted Williams was all hopped up on Moxie.
   9. Batman Posted: December 30, 2017 at 10:35 PM (#5598965)
Joe DiMaggio probably got paid a lot more by a stimulant preparation company than he ever did by the Yankees.
   10. Stevey Posted: December 31, 2017 at 01:15 AM (#5599016)
"I'm just glad they didn't have steroids when I was playing. You know, I don't know what I would have done."


"If I had played during that era, I would have taken steroids... ”


Steroids, and not just greenies, existed during both’s playing career, and its not like they were rare or tough to get. Tom House said “we were doing steroids they wouldn’t give to horses”, in June of 1969, Sports Illustrated’s cover story was PED use in sports, and anabolic steroids were included.

I guess the only conclusion that can be made is Gibson and Schmidt used them.
   11. X-Roid User Posted: December 31, 2017 at 04:16 AM (#5599019)
Tom House said “we were doing steroids they wouldn’t give to horses”, in June of 1969, Sports Illustrated’s cover story was PED use in sports, and anabolic steroids were included.


I've always thought House was full of sh*t and just looking for attention.
   12. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 31, 2017 at 09:47 AM (#5599031)
Or maybe if the union weren't distracted by fighting for free agency, it would have stood up even stronger for mind-your-own-business


We never should have gotten rid of the reserve clause. That’s America for you - you make a perfectly good system and some nosy do-gooder like Marvin Miller or Abraham Lincoln has to go and butt in and ruin everything.
   13. Chris Fluit Posted: December 31, 2017 at 12:48 PM (#5599058)
And we're not talking about whether the behavior is justified; we're talking about whether the sanctimony is justified.

That's the quote of the day.
   14. Traderdave Posted: December 31, 2017 at 12:48 PM (#5599059)
The greenie argument is indeed tiresome. Everyone knows that no drug used by Andy's boyhood idols can be considered performance enhancing.
   15. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 31, 2017 at 01:43 PM (#5599079)
The greenie argument is indeed tiresome. Everyone knows that no drug used by Andy's boyhood idols can be considered performance enhancing.

Must be tough to realize that not enough people outside your Cocoonland are stupid enough to conflate all forms of drugs.

But I'll give some of you credit: At least you've stopped harping on spitballs and lasik surgery.
   16. cardsfanboy Posted: December 31, 2017 at 03:05 PM (#5599090)

Steroids, and not just greenies, existed during both’s playing career, and its not like they were rare or tough to get. Tom House said “we were doing steroids they wouldn’t give to horses”, in June of 1969, Sports Illustrated’s cover story was PED use in sports, and anabolic steroids were included.

I guess the only conclusion that can be made is Gibson and Schmidt used them.


They existed, but weren't widely known in baseball clubhouses, there is a difference. Baseball was the last sport to recognize the advantage of weight training, that is pretty well documented, and of course roids without weight training really doesn't do much. Tom House comments excepted, and his comments probably exaggerated the extent of use in the majors at the time. (maybe not obviously I wasn't there, but from my experience, users of a drug tend to overestimate the number of other users)
   17. cardsfanboy Posted: December 31, 2017 at 03:10 PM (#5599091)
The greenie argument is indeed tiresome. Everyone knows that no drug used by Andy's boyhood idols can be considered performance enhancing.


Weird comment, considering that Andy didn't post anything in this thread before that comment.
   18. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 31, 2017 at 03:27 PM (#5599100)
The greenie argument is indeed tiresome. Everyone knows that no drug used by Andy's boyhood idols can be considered performance enhancing.

Weird comment, considering that Andy didn't post anything in this thread before that comment.

New here?
   19. cardsfanboy Posted: December 31, 2017 at 03:30 PM (#5599102)
New here?


It's my first day.
   20. Swoboda is freedom Posted: December 31, 2017 at 05:41 PM (#5599130)
New here?


It's my first day.


If you had taken some greenies or steroids, you would have been here quicker.
   21. cardsfanboy Posted: December 31, 2017 at 05:49 PM (#5599133)
If you had taken some greenies or steroids, you would have been here quicker.


Greenies, sure they provide benefits without any extra effort on your part, they are a miracle pill.... but with Roids, I would have to take them for a few months, work out a ton and hope that I get extra speed from them beyond the fact that I just got done working out a bunch to get extra speed..

One is a miracle drug that creates performance enhancement with no effort, the other requires a lot of work to take advantage of, enough so, that it's actually hard to separate the improvement from working out, and the improvement from better recovery times.
   22. DavidFoss Posted: December 31, 2017 at 08:05 PM (#5599156)
One is a miracle drug that creates performance enhancement with no effort

It is funny watching The Crown on Netflix. The PM Anthony Eden was taking amphetamines (sometimes intravenously) during the Suez Crisis.

I googled to see how much of that was true. Wikipedia says he had a botched gallstone surgery in the early 50s which injured a bile duct and left him prone to complications. Doctors gave him Benzedrine (brand name amphetamine). I can't imagine that would help -- maybe it took away the symptoms? They use it as a painkiller? You could get it over-the-counter until 1959.
   23. Mefisto Posted: December 31, 2017 at 08:37 PM (#5599162)
"In healthy people at oral therapeutic doses, amphetamine has been shown to increase muscle strength, acceleration, athletic performance in anaerobic conditions, and endurance (i.e., it delays the onset of fatigue), while improving reaction time." Cite. They were scheduled by the US in, IIRC, 1965. They were banned by the Olympics in 1967.
   24. ReggieThomasLives Posted: December 31, 2017 at 09:57 PM (#5599174)
Greenies are damn fun, never should have been banned. What’s next, coke?
   25. Morty Causa Posted: January 01, 2018 at 10:25 AM (#5599210)
In deciding anything about PEDs, we should first strive to discern the distinguishing features among the contestants, and not just conflate similarities to confuse in order to have a predetermined end and a shrug and a throwing up of hands, concluding triumphantly that it's hopeless to try to parse difference, that they are all the same. One of the features I would look for and consider is whether to be effective the substance has to be taken, and is taken, as part of a continuing regimen. Just taken irregularly or once in a while for a boost can be discounted. Then we graduate to considering not only what the upside is to using a prescribed substance, but also what the downside with regular use is.

At some point in the investigative process, we should look to see if it works--if it actually increases performance, that is objectively indicated, the way it is claimed to do.
   26. The Duke Posted: January 01, 2018 at 01:09 PM (#5599257)
No one should have to take highly risky drugs to compete. I’m sure getting injections from Jose Canseco in a bathroom stall of god knows what is not how we should want sports run. Mccovey and Gibson, as competitors, are saying. “I may have tried it”. For them it wouldnhave been an option, not a requirement - they were already great. It shouldn’t be the case that everyone who wants to play Major League Baseball has to indulge in these risky practices.

Now greenies simply aren’t the same thing, they seem to have been available to anyone who wanted them, and I have yet to see one player say that players who regularly indulged had a performance advantage.
   27. shoewizard Posted: January 01, 2018 at 02:00 PM (#5599281)
I have yet to see one player say that players who regularly indulged had a performance advantage.


Setting aside whether or not there are examples of players saying they created an advantage, (of course there are players that said that), but this is totally illogical.

If the players did not BELIEVE there was an advantage then why were they so ubiquitous in Major League clubhouses.

   28. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 01, 2018 at 02:42 PM (#5599299)
Just taken irregularly or once in a while for a boost can be discounted.


Why? The IOC certainly disagrees with this, and has for more than 50 years.

greenies simply aren’t the same thing, they seem to have been available to anyone who wanted them


Whatever else one might want to say to distinguish between stimulants and anabolics, it's pretty damned obvious that BOTH have been available to anyone who wanted them at various points in MLB history.
   29. Sunday silence Posted: January 02, 2018 at 02:49 AM (#5599424)
I have yet to see one player say that players who regularly indulged had a performance advantage.


Because everyone was doing them.

Its clear that amphetamines improve reaction times, or at least allow you to maintain reaction times for longer periods. DOes anyone deny that's an advantage?
   30. Rally Posted: January 02, 2018 at 09:10 AM (#5599439)
Schmidt's gone further than that, saying on television in 2005, "If I had played during that era, I would have taken steroids... We all have these things we deal with in life, and I'm surely not going to sit here and say to you guys, 'I wouldn't have done that.'" A month later, Schmidt said, "I'm not saying I definitely would have [used steroids], but I'm not going to sit here and tell you there's no way. Who knows?


Jose Canseco is certainly not the first MLB player to use steroids. Schmidt's and Canseco's careers overlapped by five seasons.
   31. Moeball Posted: January 02, 2018 at 04:51 PM (#5599795)
The thing that has always fascinated me isn't the morality question, but the scientific question - namely, why Barry Bonds? Lots of guys have taken steroids, but why did they appear to help Bonds so much more than other players? Was it his workout regimen that was particularly suited for the maximum results? His teammates readily admitted that he worked out more than anybody else on the team. Did it really make that much of a difference? And if that was what made such a difference in his performance, then why wasn't everybody copying his workout plan? Instead, the one thing about Bonds everyone around the major leagues copied was the use of maple bats...
   32. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 02, 2018 at 05:42 PM (#5599824)
The thing that has always fascinated me isn't the morality question, but the scientific question - namely, why Barry Bonds? Lots of guys have taken steroids, but why did they appear to help Bonds so much more than other players? Was it his workout regimen that was particularly suited for the maximum results? His teammates readily admitted that he worked out more than anybody else on the team. Did it really make that much of a difference? And if that was what made such a difference in his performance, then why wasn't everybody copying his workout plan? Instead, the one thing about Bonds everyone around the major leagues copied was the use of maple bats...

This has been gone over plenty of times over the years, and there's a pretty a clear consensus that Bonds maximized his steroid advantage more than any other player, both with his training and his swing adjustments. It's clear (to most people, anyway) that steroids helped to jack up his home run totals, but without the coordinated training and the swing adjustments, the difference might well have been relatively negligible. Steroids aren't magic pills (or magic creams or clears) without a magician who knows how to take full advantage of whatever advantages they give him, and there are few if any other batting magicians with Barry Bonds' repertory of talents.
   33. Morty Causa Posted: January 02, 2018 at 08:32 PM (#5599874)
I wonder what the future holds what with the coming advances in gene editing and gene manipulation. What will MLB do when those players that can afford it start tweaking themselves biologically.
   34. cardsfanboy Posted: January 02, 2018 at 08:42 PM (#5599875)

I wonder what the future holds what with the coming advances in gene editing and gene manipulation. What will MLB do when those players that can afford it start tweaking themselves biologically.


Considering that the first advances will probably be in vitro, it's not like these guys are going to have a choice in the tweaks, some parent is going to tweak their own Barry Bonds baby before birth, and we'll have to deal with this 20 years later.
   35. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: January 02, 2018 at 08:43 PM (#5599876)
there are few if any other batting magicians with Barry Bonds' repertory of talents.


I really think is the important thing. By the age of 28, Bonds had already won the MVP 3 times, put up 3 seasons of 9+ WAR and another 2 seasons of around 8 WAR. He was the best player already.
It would've been like Ruth or Williams or Musial getting a boost. It would've been insane if that had happened....and for Barry it was.
   36. Morty Causa Posted: January 03, 2018 at 06:07 AM (#5599923)
More far-reaching effects are at least contemplatable. Not that long ago it was revealed that a young girl had been cured of a form of leukemia through T-cell therapy (and not in the embryo). To steal Daniel Dennett's comment he made when Craig Venter & Co. created life from a synthetic genome and to apply it here, "Welcome to the fast lane, humanity."
   37. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 03, 2018 at 08:00 AM (#5599928)
We don’t know that Bonds ever played without PEDs.
   38. Sunday silence Posted: January 03, 2018 at 08:06 AM (#5599929)
The thing that I always wonder is this:

What if in some other universe, that had baseball just like we had in the 60s and 70s but instead of everyone using amphetamines, only a handful of players used them. And these players turned out to have really great careers; seemingly better than other competitors. And then it was gradually revealed that certain player were using them when they wrote books later. What would we think of amp users later on? Would we still say that it wasnt really a performance enhancer? or that its different than steroids?
   39. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 03, 2018 at 08:32 AM (#5599932)
What if in some other universe, that had baseball just like we had in the 60s and 70s but instead of everyone using amphetamines, only a handful of players used them. And these players turned out to have really great careers; seemingly better than other competitors. And then it was gradually revealed that certain player were using them when they wrote books later. What would we think of amp users later on? Would we still say that it wasnt really a performance enhancer? or that its different than steroids?

And what if the players who in real life took amphetamines, but in your hypothetical world didn't, turned out to have careers that were virtually indistinguishable from the careers they actually had?
   40. Rally Posted: January 03, 2018 at 10:24 AM (#5599975)
The thing that has always fascinated me isn't the morality question, but the scientific question - namely, why Barry Bonds? Lots of guys have taken steroids, but why did they appear to help Bonds so much more than other players?


Some of the changes in Bonds post 1998 have nothing to do with steroids. Bonds became so good at picking up pitcher tells that nobody else noticed, or pitcher patterns that he pretty much knew what was coming. He was a student of the game on just a different level than everyone else. I say this because of anecdotes from other players about Bonds sitting in the dugout and telling those around him what pitch was coming next. His homerun rate jumped, and this also happened with the other steroid guys, but Bonds lowered his strikeout rate at the same time.

He is pretty much unique among the steroid sluggers in doing this, and so ended up with McGwire/Sosa HR totals and Tony Gwynn batting averages at the same time.
   41. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 03, 2018 at 11:06 AM (#5600011)

"Bonds was so great. The only explanation is steroids."
"But nobody else who took steroids showed that kind of effect."
"Well, Bonds must have just been better at it."
   42. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 03, 2018 at 11:11 AM (#5600018)
I say this because of anecdotes from other players about Bonds sitting in the dugout and telling those around him what pitch was coming next.


Greg Maddux did this, too. The problem was, unlike Bonds, Maddux couldn't hit as good as he could see.
   43. RJ in TO Posted: January 03, 2018 at 11:21 AM (#5600025)
I say this because of anecdotes from other players about Bonds sitting in the dugout and telling those around him what pitch was coming next.

Greg Maddux did this, too. The problem was, unlike Bonds, Maddux couldn't hit as good as he could see.


The same story was told of Alfredo Griffin, who wasn't that much better a hitter than Greg Maddux.
   44. Morty Causa Posted: January 03, 2018 at 12:10 PM (#5600084)
It's a two-parter. You have to know what's coming and then hit what's coming. It's kind of like this:

Taking the reservation is just the first part. You have to know how to hold the reservation. That's the most important part.
   45. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 03, 2018 at 12:22 PM (#5600093)
It's a two-parter. You have to know what's coming and then hit what's coming.

During the 2002 playoffs, the narrative I remember from the announcers (probably McCarver) was that good hitters get by on knowledge as they age and lose bat speed. Bonds, due to conditioning and other reasons, had not lost bat speed.
   46. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: January 03, 2018 at 01:10 PM (#5600140)
The thing that has always fascinated me isn't the morality question, but the scientific question - namely, why Barry Bonds? Lots of guys have taken steroids, but why did they appear to help Bonds so much more than other players? Was it his workout regimen that was particularly suited for the maximum results? His teammates readily admitted that he worked out more than anybody else on the team. Did it really make that much of a difference? And if that was what made such a difference in his performance, then why wasn't everybody copying his workout plan? Instead, the one thing about Bonds everyone around the major leagues copied was the use of maple bats...

The change in is GB/FB ratio suggests the key factor was that he was 15 years ahead of the curve in making a conscious decision to hit the ball in the air more.
   47. bunyon Posted: January 03, 2018 at 01:22 PM (#5600157)

And what if the players who in real life took amphetamines, but in your hypothetical world didn't, turned out to have careers that were virtually indistinguishable from the careers they actually had?


And what if players who in real life took steroids, but in your hypothetical world didn't, turned out to have careers that were virtually indistinguishable from the careers they actually had?
   48. Rally Posted: January 03, 2018 at 01:28 PM (#5600166)
During the 2002 playoffs, the narrative I remember from the announcers (probably McCarver) was that good hitters get by on knowledge as they age and lose bat speed. Bonds, due to conditioning and other reasons, had not lost bat speed.


I don't know how true that is - how much Bonds lost or how much a hitter typically loses. There aren't any objective data sources on that.

Among the steroid connected power hitters, Bonds is unique in peaking as a hitter at 36-39.

A-Rod 29-31
Sammy 29-33
McGwire 31-36
Raffy 30-34
Manny 27-30 (with an incredible last 2 months of 2008 when he was 36, but he did not establish the same level he had earlier)
Ortiz 29-31 (his final season was as good as his peak, but the previous 2 were not)
Sheffield 26-31
Canseco 23-26
Giambi 29-31

Ortiz is the only guy who was still at his best at 40, but unlike Bonds he was not setting a brand new level for himself.
   49. Sunday silence Posted: January 05, 2018 at 09:33 PM (#5601775)
And what if the players who in real life took amphetamines, but in your hypothetical world didn't, turned out to have careers that were virtually indistinguishable from the careers they actually had?


OK. so what's your pt?
   50. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 05, 2018 at 09:46 PM (#5601780)
"Bonds was so great. The only explanation is steroids."
"But nobody else who took steroids showed that kind of effect."
"Well, Bonds must have just been better at it."


What PEDs did he take, and how did he take them?
   51. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 05, 2018 at 10:28 PM (#5601790)
What if in some other universe, that had baseball just like we had in the 60s and 70s but instead of everyone using amphetamines, only a handful of players used them. And these players turned out to have really great careers; seemingly better than other competitors. And then it was gradually revealed that certain player were using them when they wrote books later. What would we think of amp users later on? Would we still say that it wasnt really a performance enhancer? or that its different than steroids?

And what if the players who in real life took amphetamines, but in your hypothetical world didn't, turned out to have careers that were virtually indistinguishable from the careers they actually had?

OK. so what's your pt?


Maybe just that one pointless and unprovable hypothetical deserves another. We've been over this so many times already that nobody could possibly keep count, not even with jars of magical greenies sitting there by his computer. And after a certain point, it's too Been There Done That a topic to comment on in more than one or two threads a year. Bonds will eventually get in the Hall of Fame, nearly everyone here will either be happy or (by that time) indifferent (raises hand), and by then hopefully all these discussions will simply be footnotes to history.
   52. Sunday silence Posted: January 08, 2018 at 05:47 PM (#5603016)
you're not understanding my pt. or else you're being deliberately obtuse or indifferent. The Point is that greenies seem to be waved away because everyone did them or so it seems. At least that is what I am suggesting. My hypothetical is what if only a select few were using them, would they still be ok or not important? I dont think so, and you have decided you dont care much. At least today is not those one or two times a year.

Which I find intellectually dishonest on your part. You want to weigh in on a discussion and then you refuse to answer pointed hypotheticals. Of course its unproven ITS AN EFFIN HYPOTHETICAL!

BUt its not pointless.
   53. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 08, 2018 at 11:40 PM (#5603140)
you're not understanding my pt. or else you're being deliberately obtuse or indifferent. The Point is that greenies seem to be waved away because everyone did them or so it seems. At least that is what I am suggesting. My hypothetical is what if only a select few were using them, would they still be ok or not important? I dont think so, and you have decided you dont care much. At least today is not those one or two times a year.

Which I find intellectually dishonest on your part. You want to weigh in on a discussion and then you refuse to answer pointed hypotheticals. Of course its unproven ITS AN EFFIN HYPOTHETICAL!

BUt its not pointless.


It's pointless because its premise is so wholly conjectural. Its premise is that greenies are performance enhancing beyond restoring one's natural talents after a good night's sleep. There's absolutely no statistical evidence for that premise unless you add on a second premise, which is that merely getting a player onto the field after a hangover is by definition performance enhancing. I reject the premise that this represents "performance enhancement" in the way that most people would think of it. Performance enhancement doesn't take you from -3 to 0, with 0 being your well rested talent level. Performance enhancement, with the help of a rigorous workout program, can take you from 0 to +3.

OTOH I've said many times that amphetamines may well have helped players accumulate counting stats by helping them suit up in X number of games that they otherwise wouldn't have. It does NOT mean that they performed better than they would have if they'd laid off the drinking. A player who pops a greenie and then goes 0 for 4 hasn't enhanced anything but his GP and AB totals. But if you want to discount Pete Rose's hit record because he took greenies, be my guest.

And all this has nothing to do with whether 4 players or 400 players took amphetamines. I'm fine with banning them because they're bad for one's health in the long run, but otherwise I don't give a #### who used them or for how long. And if all anabolic steroids did were to get players out on the field every day,** then I'd also support banning them only for long range health reasons, and I'd say go ahead and let the Bondses and the McGwires all into the Hall of Fame.

** IOW if they were used like cortisone.

   54. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 08, 2018 at 11:55 PM (#5603146)
Its premise is that greenies are performance enhancing beyond restoring one's natural talents after a good night's sleep.


This is what is commonly referred to as a scientifically proven fact.
   55. Sunday silence Posted: January 09, 2018 at 04:58 AM (#5603176)
It's pointless because its premise is so wholly conjectural.


That's what hypotheticals are, by definition. You cant simply dodge hypotheticals you dont like if they are relevant to the discussion.

thats intellectually dishonest.
   56. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 09, 2018 at 06:28 AM (#5603181)
You can't simply dodge hypotheticals you don't like if they are relevant to the discussion.


But what if you could?
   57. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 09, 2018 at 08:39 AM (#5603203)
Its premise is that greenies are performance enhancing beyond restoring one's natural talents after a good night's sleep.

This is what is commonly referred to as a scientifically proven fact.


Funny how it's never been shown to have any enhancing effect on a baseball diamond beyond what I mentioned above. Let me know when these scientific studies even measure reaction time in a ####### batting cage, let alone in an actual Major League game. Funny how such studies have never even been attempted, but maybe you can arrange for one.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It's pointless because its premise is so wholly conjectural.

That's what hypotheticals are, by definition. You cant simply dodge hypotheticals you dont like if they are relevant to the discussion.

thats intellectually dishonest.


I tried to answer your silly hypothetical, and this is your response. You and Ray are like birds of a feather, calling disagreement with a premise "intellectual dishonesty". All you need now is to say "concession accepted" and he'll let you into his Stonecutters club.

   58. bunyon Posted: January 09, 2018 at 09:33 AM (#5603233)
Funny how it's never been shown to have any enhancing effect on a baseball diamond beyond what I mentioned above. Let me know when these scientific studies even measure reaction time in a ####### batting cage, let alone in an actual Major League game. Funny how such studies have never even been attempted, but maybe you can arrange for one.

Cool, Jolly (almost typed you're real name, apologies if I slip). You were refering to greenies in that quote. Now show me the scientific evidence that steroids are performance enhancing ON A BASEBALL FIELD. If a generic "greenies increase reaction time" isn't enough to make them verboten, then I don't see how a generic "steroids increase muscle mass" is.

Look, there really isn't a lot of data here and everyone has their biases. It seems to me, in a sport, the only place that is hard and solid is the rule book. If the players weren't violating a rule, they're clean. If they are violating a rule, they're not. IMO, that puts greenies AND steroids (and HGH, etc) in the clear (ha!) prior to whatever year MLB banned them. If a guy gets caught now, I'm cool with punishing him. If it was before the ban, greenie or steroid, I think they're fine.

And I disagree that Bonds will make the Hall, at least in most of our lifetimes. If he isn't elected by the writers, the vets won't put him on.
   59. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 09, 2018 at 10:48 AM (#5603278)

You can't simply dodge hypotheticals you don't like if they are relevant to the discussion.
You're new here, aren't you? Andy literally does not understand the concept of hypotheticals. What's really weird is that he himself will pose hypothetical questions, but then when you answer them he'll pooh-pooh your answer on the grounds that you're speculating.
   60. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 09, 2018 at 11:38 AM (#5603339)
Funny how it's never been shown to have any enhancing effect on a baseball diamond beyond what I mentioned above. Let me know when these scientific studies even measure reaction time in a ####### batting cage, let alone in an actual Major League game. Funny how such studies have never even been attempted, but maybe you can arrange for one.

Cool, Jolly (almost typed you're real name, apologies if I slip).


Jolly; Andy; Taxi----all dodges to mask my real identity.

You were refering to greenies in that quote. Now show me the scientific evidence that steroids are performance enhancing ON A BASEBALL FIELD. If a generic "greenies increase reaction time" isn't enough to make them verboten, then I don't see how a generic "steroids increase muscle mass" is.

Look, there really isn't a lot of data here and everyone has their biases. It seems to me, in a sport, the only place that is hard and solid is the rule book. If the players weren't violating a rule, they're clean. If they are violating a rule, they're not. IMO, that puts greenies AND steroids (and HGH, etc) in the clear (ha!) prior to whatever year MLB banned them. If a guy gets caught now, I'm cool with punishing him. If it was before the ban, greenie or steroid, I think they're fine.


I don't have any problem with that POV. Unlike some of those who like to talk about "intellectual dishonesty", I've never once trashed anyone who supported steroid users for the HoF, since IMO the idea of accepting all statistics at face value is perfectly legitimate, whether or not I agree with it.

I also think that the variant you're talking about---whether the player was violating the rule(s) of the time being the critical distinction---is perfectly logical and defensible. But my personal view comes down to these four inherently subjective opinions:

1. Steroids, unlike greenies, have the capacity to raise a player's performance beyond what his God-given talent, normal rest and physical conditioning are capable of delivering. (Again, I don't believe in "magic pills", and any player who shoots up, or rubs on, steroids is not going to find they do much good unless he's willing to put in the time, effort and intelligence to take advantage of their enhancing properties.)

2. Sending known steroid users to the Hall of Fame sends a terrible message. That doesn't mean players who were merely accused. It means players who've either tested positive, confessed, or have been been "convicted"** by evidence that I find credible.

3. I don't give a #### about my "boyhood heroes", and I don't give a #### about the record books. Believe it or not, I am not this man. The idea of asterisks is silly, even if I love the guerrilla theater aspect of the "asterisk ball". My ONLY knock on steroids as it pertains to competition is the effect it has on the level playing field.

4. OTOH I'm also in favor of banning both steroids and amps for health reasons.

And I disagree that Bonds will make the Hall, at least in most of our lifetimes. If he isn't elected by the writers, the vets won't put him on.

At this point I think he'll eventually make it. By that time it won't bother me all that much, since by that time I'm reasonably sure that the message will have been reinforced more than enough times prior to that.

** I use scare quotes here, because Bonds was "only" convicted of obstructing justice in his trial. But that same jury also voted by 11 to 1 to convict him on the charge of perjury, for saying that only his doctor had injected him. That 11-1 vote and the BALCO revelations are good enough for me. The evidence against Clemens wasn't nearly as convincing, which is why he was never convicted of anything.

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