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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fanhouse: Bob Gibson: ‘Guys Have Always Been Cheating, Period.’

HELP! McCarver’s buckethead just sprung a nasty leak and all sortsa gooey cerebrospinal fluid is splatter-matting!

During Tuesday night’s All-Star broadcast, I’d be willing to bet almost anything that at some point Tim McCarver will bring up his old battery-mate Bob Gibson as an example of the good ol’ days in baseball, when players didn’t take steroids and there were no pitch counts.

Gibson has certainly been making the rounds with the All-Star Game in St. Louis this year. Tuesday morning he did a spot with ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike, and the inevitable subject of steroids in baseball came up. In an incredibly honest answer, Gibson told the hosts that baseball players have been cheating for years and if it were up to him, he wouldn’t keep known steroid users out of the Hall of Fame. A longer version of his quote is after the jump .

  Guys have always been cheating. Period. It just takes a little different form today. I’m just glad they didn’t have steroids when I was playing. I don’t know what I would have done. It’s very difficult to go out and perform when you know the guy next to you is taking steroids or some kind of drug to make you perform better and not do it yourself, to let this guy get an edge on you.

  [...]

  I don’t know that I really criticize the guys. Whoever the first guy is that started it, that’s the guy I criticize. The rest of the guys just followed suit. I don’t think its OK. I’m not sanctioning it, but I understand why it happens.”

When asked if players known to take performance-enhancing drugs should be in the Hall of Fame, Gibson responded, “Oh yeah, I think so.”

Repoz Posted: July 14, 2009 at 11:24 PM | 110 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cardinals, history, rumors, steroids

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   1. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: July 14, 2009 at 11:59 PM (#3253724)
Bob Gibson was also on Jim Rome and noted that he doesn't know if he would have taken roids if they were available then.

Bob Gibson on a roid rage. Oh no.
   2. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 15, 2009 at 12:05 AM (#3253733)
Bob Gibson on a roid rage. Oh no.

The only living Hall of Famers from the 60's would be American Leaguers, and neither Yaz, Kaline nor the Mick would be among them.
   3. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: July 15, 2009 at 12:08 AM (#3253736)
The only living Hall of Famers from the 60's would be American Leaguers, and neither Yaz, Kaline nor the Mick would be among them.


Mick's not really one of them now.
   4. zonk Posted: July 15, 2009 at 12:09 AM (#3253739)
And Bob Gibson joins Mike Schmidt in the ranks of retired players I now love even more.
   5. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 15, 2009 at 12:10 AM (#3253740)
Holy ####, I just got a mancrush on Bob Gibson.
   6. Danny Posted: July 15, 2009 at 12:13 AM (#3253744)
Vaguely related...

Gammons from 1989:

Manners became the principal source of controversy in these playoffs after Parker stood at the plate in Game 2 and admired the sight of his homer as if it were a Carmel sunset. Said Gruber after the game, "If I were a pitcher, I might have some guy ducking up there. And the next time Parker takes a day and a half rounding the bases...." In that same game, Rickey Henderson tippy-toed into second on an uncontested stolen base. Said Blue Jay catcher Ernie Whitt, "Rickey tried to show us up."

But what neither Gruber nor Whitt nor anyone else could do is define exactly what "showing someone up" means. "I think there are boundaries players shouldn't cross," says Oakland pitching coach Dave Duncan, "but they're personal, such as yelling at or pointing at a pitcher or hitter. While I might not like all that hot-dog stuff, it's part of the game."

"Back in the fifties and sixties, if you did that celebrating stuff to a Bob Gibson or a Don Drysdale, you risked having your head torn off," says Toronto coach Mike Squires. "But that was then, this is now, and more of our players were upset with Kelly for what he said than with Parker or Henderson."
   7. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 12:18 AM (#3253763)
Bob Gibson was also on Jim Rome and noted that he doesn't know if he would have taken roids if they were available then.


I take that as an admission of use.
   8. Hugh Jorgan Posted: July 15, 2009 at 12:27 AM (#3253791)
Picture the scene..

Gibson on the mound, political correctness in the batters box and do-gooders in the on-deck circle...he winds up, let's rip and sends PL on its arse with some nice chin music...

What an effing legend. I'm old enough to remember seeing him on tv once in awhile when he was still pitching, thank effing christ the dude hasn't changed one bit.
   9. Spivey Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:38 AM (#3254182)
The whole interview was pretty good, if you want to listen to it:

http://sports.espn.go.com/stations/player?id=4326148
   10. Dr. I likes his panda steak medium rare Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:51 AM (#3254232)
So basically Gibson thinks steroids are bad and shouldn't be in baseball, but doesn't really blame the players for trying to keep up with the competition. I think that is a pretty reasonable take on the whole thing. One of the most reasonable ones I have read in a while.
   11. SouthSideRyan Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:52 AM (#3254243)
Man, I always hated Bob Gibson. This sucks.
   12. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:54 AM (#3254248)
So basically Gibson thinks steroids are bad and shouldn't be in baseball, but doesn't really blame the players for trying to keep up with the competition. I think that is a pretty reasonable take on the whole thing. One of the most reasonable ones I have read in a while.


Agree - now if everyone in the mainstream media could just move on
   13. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:08 AM (#3254309)
The whole interview was pretty good, if you want to listen to it:

http://sports.espn.go.com/stations/player?id=4326148


The part where he casually mentions guys getting themselves hit was great.
   14. Spivey Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:15 AM (#3254336)
Yes, that was pretty good.
   15. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:25 AM (#3254407)
The only living Hall of Famers from the 60's would be American Leaguers, and neither Yaz, Kaline nor the Mick would be among them.

Mick's not really one of them now.


It's a shame that Elvis is alive to see you write that.
   16. bjhanke Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:06 AM (#3254629)
Not only did Gibson say this when having his most public forum in years, he has been saying it since Canseco's book came out. Every once in a while, someone quotes him in the local paper, and it's always the same quote. Given that Gibson played during the Ball Four era, it's almost an admission of greenies, which are a much more obvious case of performance enhancement than steroids are. Gibson has guts and honesty plus the ability to see where the other guy might be coming from. But then, we all already knew that. - Brock Hanke
   17. Hugh Jorgan Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:22 AM (#3254712)
it's almost an admission of greenies, which are a much more obvious case of performance enhancement than steroids are.

See I don't get this. We've had this discussion here before. I have alot of trouble figuring out how being on speed(or any other amphetamine) can actually help you make better contact and/or hit the ball harder. I've done speed and my experience is one which wouldn't have allowed me to hit anything other then the walls that I was trying to crash through. Sure you've got that heightened awareness arguement going but there is now way it helps you hit the ball farther or throw harder.

Steroids which help you overcome injuries much more quickly and build muscle mass clearly would help you do things with more strength like hitting the ball harder and throwing harder.
   18. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:43 AM (#3254748)
I hope you're wearing your batting helmet, Hugh. Preferably along with a full body suit of armor.
   19. rr Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:46 AM (#3254754)
See I don't get this.


Someone will be along to explain any second now.

Most of the arguments I have seen revolve around reaction time and increased focus/mental durability.
   20. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: July 15, 2009 at 12:59 PM (#3254777)
In all the "beanball" threads, people were whining about pitchers who hit a lot of batters. Here, there's much love for Gibson. Ok.
   21. Esoteric Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:26 PM (#3254799)
Most of the arguments I have seen revolve around reaction time and increased focus/mental durability.
And they're mostly all bullsh*t, which doesn't prevent trolls like Dial from pushing them with religious fervor.
   22. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:38 PM (#3254821)
In all the "beanball" threads, people were whining about pitchers who hit a lot of batters. Here, there's much love for Gibson. Ok.

Gibson hit a batter every 38 innings. By contrast, Clemens hit one every 31 innings, Drysdale hit one every 22 innings, Pedro's hit one every 20 innings, and Joba Chamberlain's hit one every 18 innings. "Headhunting" is relative.
   23. BDC Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:39 PM (#3254822)
Gibson, of course, never led the league in HBP. He was 30th on the career HBP list when he retired (and he was 27th on the career IP list when he retired). He's somewhere in the 50s on the career HBP leaderboard today. Guys who have hit more batters than Bob Gibson include Chan Ho Park, Jamey Wright, Dave Stieb, Al Leiter, Darryl Kile, Aaron Sele, Pedro Astacio, and Scott Erickson. Now it's true that if Aaron Sele hit you in the ribs with that curveball of his, it would probably just tickle you a little; I'm not factoring in the location and intensity of Gibson's HBPs. But it's odd that so many people think that hitting batters was the specialty of the 1960s, when so many of the career leaders pitched in the 1990s and 2000s.

Edit: great minds think alike
   24. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:46 PM (#3254831)
Most of the arguments I have seen revolve around reaction time and increased focus/mental durability.

While there is certainly an argument to make, it's far from "a much more obvious case of performance enhancement".
   25. base ball chick Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:48 PM (#3254835)
seeing as how any sort of greenie does exactly zero to help performance and actually makes people try to crash through walls,

kindly explain why almost every ballplayer used them from the 60s on. and why, if they are just like coffee, anyone would bother to use them instead of just taking caffein pills

explain why they are banned by the WADA if they actually make performance worse

thank yuh verry much
   26. wjones Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:49 PM (#3254836)
One reason for the misconception is that batters are "allowed" to crowd the plate, both by pitchers AND umpires, much more so now than they were in the 1960's. This not only leads to more "unintentional" HBP's, but it also does not give a batter much wiggle room when a pitch is heading for his, well, head (or other places). Add to the fact that Gibby's reputation grew and began to precede him, leading batters to be "alert" when he was pitching to them, as to not wanting their careers/lives to suddenly end, and the fact that less noted pitchers, and more modern pitchers have more HBP's than Gibby would certainly make sense.
   27. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:50 PM (#3254837)
Most of the arguments I have seen [about greenies as PEDs] revolve around reaction time and increased focus/mental durability.


And they're mostly all bullsh*t, which doesn't prevent trolls like Dial from pushing them with religious fervor.

Here's one of the journal reports that Dial trotted out a few years ago to prove that amps were PEDs. Note the underlined qualifier. Talk about the mouse that roared.

1: Sports Med. 1997 Dec;24(6):366-84. Links
Drugs and sport. Research findings and limitations.Clarkson PM, Thompson HS.
Department of Exercise Science, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA.

Most studies, however, show that some individuals do improve exercise performance when taking amphetamines, which may be attributed to their role in masking fatigue.
   28. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:53 PM (#3254843)
One reason for the misconception is that batters are "allowed" to crowd the plate, both by pitchers AND umpires, much more so now than they were in the 1960's. This not only leads to more "unintentional" HBP's, but it also does not give a batter much wiggle room when a pitch is heading for his, well, head (or other places). Add to the fact that Gibby's reputation grew and began to precede him, leading batters to be "alert\" when he was pitching to them, as to not wanting their careers/lives to suddenly end, and the fact that less noted pitchers, and more modern pitchers have more HBP's than Gibby would certainly make sense.

IOW many HBP's are the batter's own fault rather than the pitcher's. Many batters simply overrate their own reflexes.
   29. Flynn Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:54 PM (#3254847)
Gibson's headhunting reputation today is like a bad game of telephone. It's a mantra repeated primarily by Boomers who were either teenage fanboys or just plain too young to be there. I suspect if you asked people who actually covered Gibson they would reply that he was certainly intimidating but hardly vicious.
   30. Dan The Mediocre Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:58 PM (#3254851)

I figure Andy is right in that many HBPs are the batters fault more than the pitcher. They crowd the plate because they aren't afraid of getting hit, they figure it helps the team to get on base, or they know they can control the pitcher to a certain extent by limiting how much room they have inside.
   31. RJ in TO Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:58 PM (#3254853)
IOW many HBP's are the batter's own fault rather than the pitcher's. Many batters simply overrate their own reflexes.


Have you seen most of the HPBs anymore? It's not a matter of overrating reflexes - it's a matter of batters not even bothering to try to get out of the way. They just stand there, or maybe turn their back to the ball, and then take their free base.
   32. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:02 PM (#3254860)
I figure Andy is right in that many HBPs are the batters fault more than the pitcher. They crowd the plate because they aren't afraid of getting hit, they figure it helps the team to get on base, or they know they can control the pitcher to a certain extent by limiting how much room they have inside.

Exactly. Which is what makes nearly all the sanctimony about "headhunting" so bogus. It nearly always seems to be directed against pitchers on the team(s) that the accusers love to hate. Funny that.
   33. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:07 PM (#3254866)
Most of the arguments I have seen revolve around reaction time and increased focus/mental durability.

And they're mostly all bullsh*t, which doesn't prevent trolls like Dial from pushing them with religious fervor.


Well, when I make the argument that steroids don't have much of an impact on baseball performance, I get the old "then why do players take steroids?"

Well, the same rationale applies to greenies, then. Under the same logic, greenies increase performance, and we know this simply by virtue of the fact that players take them.
   34. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:09 PM (#3254873)
As to the HBP issue, I suppose if Gibson was actually aiming at the batter's head it would explain some of his reputation. The other factor is the increased body armor that players wear today.
   35. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:17 PM (#3254884)
Under the same logic, greenies increase performance, and we know this simply by virtue of the fact that players take them.

Once again, here's that study that was originally posted by Dial himself:

1: Sports Med. 1997 Dec;24(6):366-84. Links
Drugs and sport. Research findings and limitations.Clarkson PM, Thompson HS.
Department of Exercise Science, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA.

Most studies, however, show that some individuals do improve exercise performance when taking amphetamines, which may be attributed to their role in masking fatigue.


Of course players take them---to stay alert after (a) a night on the town, or (b) because they've become psychologically addicted to them, which is what Bouton talks about in that passage from Ball Four.
   36. base ball chick Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:29 PM (#3254899)
and you are really saying that almost all the ballplayers were/are arriving drunk/hungover at the ballpark?

and even if they need to stay alert, why bother to take pills that are just strong coffee. why not just drink coffee?

if they actually HURT performance, you seriously think that most guys would take them?

and if they don't do anything more than coffee, then WHY are they banned by WADA? after all, they don't ban COFFEE

i get that a lot of people here really think that amphetamines have no effect whatsoever on human beings except to wake them up just like coffee does, but absolutely no one who believes this has explained why, if greenies do not actually help performance on the baseball field, WHY would most ballplayers take them?

i can't believe that anyone would insist that most ballplayers would continuously take substances that CLEARLY make their performance WORSE
   37. BDC Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:38 PM (#3254912)
if greenies do not actually help performance on the baseball field, WHY would most ballplayers take them?

Well, why would they take cocaine or marijuana or Maker's Mark? Why would they take Tigers Milk or Tahitian Noni Juice? or for that matter HGH, which truly might not have any impact on performance?

To answer my own question :) I think it's pretty obvious: taking greenies offers a tremendous rush, something that young, physically exuberant men who aren't using all their spare brain cells really get off on.
   38. simon bedford Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:42 PM (#3254919)
or to get them into some kind of shape where they can actually perform the task they are getting pretty well paid to do? They didnt take them for the kick , they took them because they are functional, the function being increased energy and awareness.
   39. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:46 PM (#3254922)
Lisa, read what I just wrote above. I'm not qualified to speak on the physiological aspects of greenie addiction, but I've sure as hell known enough people who couldn't stop using them once they'd acquired the habit, and they would have been much better off just getting a good night's sleep in the first place. Whether or not the addiction was physiological or psychological is a matter of debate, but in either case, the addiction was obvious.

And that's what Bouton was talking about when he wrote

How fabulous are greenies? Some of the guys have to take one just to get their hearts to start beating. I've taken greenies but I think Darrell Brandon is right when he says that the trouble with them is that they make you feel so great that you think you're really smoking the ball even when you're not. They give you a false sense of security. The result is that you get gay, throw it down the middle, and get clobbered.
   40. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:46 PM (#3254924)
Gibson did what he could to enhance the image that he was a cold-blooded SOB. That he was African-American and kind of scary looking only helped him get an edge.

Batters respected Gibson. But they HATED facing someone like Drysdale or Bunning who really would try and hit you for what at times seemed no reason. Bunning was a jerk a long time before he became a Senator. And smirked about it.
   41. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:47 PM (#3254925)
Of course players take them---to stay alert after (a) a night on the town,


I fail to see how this would not enhance performance. If they're taking them to stay alert after a night on the town, then it follows that if they didn't take them, they wouldn't be as alert, and their performance would suffer.
   42. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:48 PM (#3254926)
i can't believe that anyone would insist that most ballplayers would continuously take substances that CLEARLY make their performance WORSE


Is the argument that ballplayers took substances they thought clearly made their performances worse? And are people saying that it is clear or obvious that greenies makes performances worse? They're saying it doesn't help performance on the field which I think is qualitatively different from saying they clearly hurt (at least that's what they've mostly written on this site) performance. Hugh's original response was a refutation of the idea that greenies are obviously a much more effective PED than steroids. Intuitively, I agree with him, although I don't think there is any hard evidence that supports either of the claims that steroids is a more effective PED than greenies and the opposite statement. There's a chance that both do not enhance performance even if the users believe they do. 1,000,000 Nickelback fans, for instance, are wrong about a certain concept. Thinking something doesn't make it true.
   43. Ron Johnson Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:54 PM (#3254935)
Harvey I know that Hank Aaron said that Stan Williams was the only pitcher who scared him. Williams was known for noting down the players he felt he owed one. And the only pitcher I know of who talked about saving 3 pitches on an intentional walk.

A lot of it was probably mind games but he really did hit more than his share.
   44. JC in DC Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:57 PM (#3254940)
I fail to see how this would not enhance performance. If they're taking them to stay alert after a night on the town, then it follows that if they didn't take them, they wouldn't be as alert, and their performance would suffer.


Ray: We've all argued these points ad nauseam, and I'm sure you recall that many of us distinguish between "enhancement" and "restoration". The point is that the former creates situations where guys hit 73 HRs, an utterly unimaginable number, and the kinds of HRs that boggle the mind (opposite field 450' ones), and the latter produce situations where guys clear their heads well-enough to get on the field. People can choose to say the difference doesn't matter to them, but there is a difference.
   45. Crashburn Alley Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:02 PM (#3254947)
Sorry for the shameless self-promotion but I wrote something recently along the lines of what baseballchick is arguing. I figure instead of re-typing the same thoughts, I'd just quote myself.

Right on Red Bull’s very own website, they clear up any doubt that their product is a performance-enhancing substance. Click on benefits and you’ll see, “Improves performance”, “increases concentration & reaction speed”, “increases endurance”, and “stimulates metabolism.” Even more, it says, “It has been specially developed for times of increased mental and physical exertion. In addition, Red Bull vitalizes the body and mind.”

Here are the effects of amphetamines, a banned substance in most sports including baseball:

Amphetamines, sometimes called “speed” or “uppers,” are central nervous system stimulant drugs that increase alertness, self-confidence and concentration, and decrease appetite while creating a feeling of increased energy.

So, the difference between Red Bull and amphetamines is… what, exactly?


Roughly speaking, you can swap coffee in this argument with Red Bull.
   46. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:04 PM (#3254949)
Of course players take them---to stay alert after (a) a night on the town,

I fail to see how this would not enhance performance. If they're taking them to stay alert after a night on the town, then it follows that if they didn't take them, they wouldn't be as alert, and their performance would suffer.


Two responses to this:

In the short run, of course greenies may be "performance enhancing" in the sense that if they got you onto the field to begin with, they'd enhance your counting stats; and if they got you to focus better than you would have if you were still in a fog, then that's "enhancement," too. But tell me when I've ever denied that. As JC says, that isn't what most people mean by "enhancement."

And in the long run, it's not so obvious that there's no negative effect, as the wear on the body's nervous system takes a hold. I could certainly see this negative effect among the people I knew who used them on a regular basis, and what they were using them for didn't require the sort of reflexes necessary to hit a Major League pitch.

But this isn't what's been claimed by the "greenies = steroids" crowd. They're saying that if you take two players of equal ability, the one who uses greenies throughout his career will outperform one who simply gets sufficient rest. I say that's bullshlt, and if you look at what that 1997 study says (see above, # 36), that's not an opinion without scientific backing. But to spare you the trouble, here it is again:

Most studies, however, show that some individuals do improve exercise performance when taking amphetamines, which may be attributed to their role in masking fatigue.
   47. base ball chick Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:04 PM (#3254950)
ok, let's say greenies give a rush

STILL does not explain why they would then take them before PLAYING BASEBALL seeing as how there were no guaranteed contracts and they had to perform or get sent down

and it STILL does not explain why they would take them if it made their performance WORSE

and it STILL does not explain why, if they have no effect on PERFORMANCE, they would get banned as a performance ENHANCING drug by WADA

as for cocaine/marijuana/anything else that is a substance to get high on - 90% of the players did NOT take this before playing baseball and the stuff wasn't put in bowls in the clubhouse. this is why i am not falling for the explanation of - well 90% of the baseball players wanted to get high, no matter WHAT it does to their performance, just befre they go on the field
   48. tjm1 Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:05 PM (#3254952)
There was a lot of discussion when the amphetamine ban went in that it would require guys to take more days off, with the 162 game season. They were relatively widely used before the season was lengthened, and have been used routinely pretty much from the same time as the extension of the season. Whether this is true, I can't say, but I think few people other than pro ballplayers have any idea what kind of fatigue sets in from being called upon to perform athletically at a high level nearly every day for 6 months, or whether amphetamines help one to do that. It may not just be the fatigue from the night before, or from having become addicted to these drugs, but the fatigue of the long season that makes them useful.
   49. The Original SJ Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:08 PM (#3254953)
I watched that Shot Heard Round The World special from HBO (its on demand right now)

The Giants cheating system was very, very elaborate. I don't know how a hitter could see the signs in the bullpen as the pitcher was in his windup. insanity.
   50. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:16 PM (#3254959)
There was a lot of discussion when the amphetamine ban went in that it would require guys to take more days off, with the 162 game season. They were relatively widely used before the season was lengthened, and have been used routinely pretty much from the same time as the extension of the season. Whether this is true, I can't say, but I think few people other than pro ballplayers have any idea what kind of fatigue sets in from being called upon to perform athletically at a high level nearly every day for 6 months, or whether amphetamines help one to do that. It may not just be the fatigue from the night before, or from having become addicted to these drugs, but the fatigue of the long season that makes them useful.

That's certainly true, but there's no evidence that players are taking any more time off late in the season than they were before the greenie ban.
   51. base ball chick Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:18 PM (#3254962)
please let's not drag in steroids or anything else.

it sounds like my kidz complaining - well how come you didn't yell at HIMMMMMMMMM
and he done it too and how come i got to do it and its not FAIRRRRRRRR

back on the subject.

let's suppose this is 100% true:
"they make you feel so great that you think you're really smoking the ball even when you're not. They give you a false sense of security. The result is that you get gay, throw it down the middle, and get clobbered."

what happened to ballplayers who pitched like shtt after taking this drug? you think they are so freaking stupid that they can't figure out that taking that stuff made them pitch WORSE? and if it is true that greenies made pitchers pitch WORSE, you seriously think that the clubs would PROVIDE them?

and as for addiction -
of course greenies are addictive. but i seriously doubt that 90% of the ballplayers took them because of addiction. some, yes

simon bedford Posted: July 15, 2009 at 10:42 AM (#3254919)

or to get them into some kind of shape where they can actually perform the task they are getting pretty well paid to do? They didnt take them for the kick , they took them because they are functional, the function being increased energy and awareness.


- ok
please explain how "increased energy and awareness" has nothing to do with performance. please help me understand why the performance that a player would give without the drug would be no different than the performance of the player WITH the drug. and if so, why the players would bother to take them in the first place

and no one has yet explained why the players would take these drugs instead of caffeine, seeing as how they do the same thing (supposedly)
   52. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:19 PM (#3254964)
Ray: We've all argued these points ad nauseam, and I'm sure you recall that many of us distinguish between "enhancement" and "restoration". The point is that the former creates situations where guys hit 73 HRs, an utterly unimaginable number, and the kinds of HRs that boggle the mind (opposite field 450' ones), and the latter produce situations where guys clear their heads well-enough to get on the field. People can choose to say the difference doesn't matter to them, but there is a difference.


The difference doesn't matter to me, but, more to your point, in order for greenies to not be "enhancement" (as opposed to simple restoration), it would have to be the case that they would not improve the performance of a well rested player.

As to the 73 HRs, my view is that such was utterly imaginable once it became clear that 1993 ushered in a new era of offense. One can't watch the average HR/game increase to record levels without understanding that both the single-season and career HR records are in serious jeopardy.
   53. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:23 PM (#3254968)
I think few people other than pro ballplayers have any idea what kind of fatigue sets in from being called upon to perform athletically at a high level nearly every day for 6 months,

You will find these same issues with any profession that requires constant attention/participation which is why abuse is so common among parts of government, air traffic controllers, oil rigs, etc.

Of course, anyone who has been in service during war time is very familiar with this environment.

I couldn't stand coffee. I smoked too much. I cursed a lot. Luckily for me I have never needed much sleep and long ago developed the ability to power nap.

The good many athletes who seem remarkably well adjusted typically have a sleep component as part of their pre-game regimen. Napping is incredibly powerful if one can develop the skill to relax at a certain time as a prepatory activity.
   54. JC in DC Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:25 PM (#3254970)
and no one has yet explained why the players would take these drugs instead of caffeine, seeing as how they do the same thing (supposedly)


Who said this?

90% of the ballplayers took them


Who said this?

Let's try to shed the discussion of as much flak as possible and focus on things: is anyone denying that (1) greenies affect you; (2) people used them; or (3) that they shouldn't be banned?

These are all accepted points. I can accept them and still maintain that there are distinctions to be drawn between them and PEDs (as commonly understood). Do you agree with that?
   55. BDC Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:26 PM (#3254971)
this is why i am not falling for the explanation of - well 90% of the baseball players wanted to get high, no matter WHAT it does to their performance, just befre they go on the field

And I actually don't think that the greenies in wide circulation are/were such lethal stuff that players are strung out of their minds on the field, either.

When I was a baseball columnist, I would sometimes sit in the dugout before games, during batting practice. Guys would come around hollering at the top of their lungs, jumping up and down like maniacs, giggling idiotically, doing stupid stuff like pounding bats and gloves on any available surface or on one another. I never saw anyone take a greenie, mind you. But part of the pre-game ritual is to get fired up in stupid ways. You can do this by being high on life, or by taking the equivalent of a dozen espressos all at once. It's a culture; not everyone participates, I don't know if it's 90% or how many of the 90% have what sort of extra stimulant, but it's part of baseball for a lot of major leaguers. Nobody's calculating the effect on their OPS as a result. In that respect, steroid use of the kind that's carefully monitored in terms of workouts and muscle building is quite a different culture, more purposeful, certainly less fun.

Edit: Now having read JC's #55, I quite agree with it.
   56. Dan The Mediocre Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:28 PM (#3254972)
We've all argued these points ad nauseam, and I'm sure you recall that many of us distinguish between "enhancement" and "restoration". The point is that the former creates situations where guys hit 73 HRs


I have never once understood how this argument is brought up by people in a serious discussion. It supposes that a) amphetamines don't help someone who is fully rested, (which is incorrect), b) that the "restoration" of amphetamines is somehow different from the "restoration" of steroids (steroids work by allowing you to recover faster from workouts), and c) that players should be able to do whatever they want and have a right to be at a certain level (no one has ever brought up the advantages a player should get if he chooses not to practice).

To me it just seems like stuff people make up to make their golden years of baseball more pure than the current era.
   57. base ball chick Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:30 PM (#3254976)
Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 15, 2009 at 11:23 AM (#3254968)

I think few people other than pro ballplayers have any idea what kind of fatigue sets in from being called upon to perform athletically at a high level [str]nearly[/str] every day for 6 months,


You will find these same issues with any profession that requires constant attention/participation which is why abuse is so common among MOTHERS!!! [str]parts of government, air traffic controllers, oil rigs, etc.[/str]

Of course, anyone who has been in service during war time is very familiar with this environment.

I couldn't stand coffee. I smoked too much. I cursed a lot. Luckily for me I have never needed much sleep and long ago developed the ability to power nap.


luckily for you,
you CAN take a power nap because you don't have to worry about what are your kidz getting into the second you shut your eyes...

i hope u quit smoking a long time ago. i already lost john this year and i don't want to lose you too

The good many athletes who seem remarkably well adjusted typically have a sleep component as part of their pre-game regimen. Napping is incredibly powerful if one can develop the skill to relax at a certain time as a prepatory activity.
   58. Ron Johnson Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:30 PM (#3254977)
Crashburn, you're missing another point. Caffeine is in itself a performance enhancer (now whether Red Bull has the right amount is another question. Too much caffeine actually makes athletic performance worse -- which is the reason that the WADA has removed it from the list of banned substances, and why the Australian Institute of Sport has a "best practices" booklet). And there are so many studies that back this up that anybody who doubts it has their head in the sand.

And we now even know why. Caffeine:

a) tricks an athlete's brain into delaying the perception of pain and fatigue.
b) tricks muscles into releasing more of the calcium needed to contract and relax.
   59. JC in DC Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:36 PM (#3254985)
steroids work by allowing you to recover faster from workouts


Dan the Mediocre: Your post attributes to me positions I don't hold. I'll ignore those. Apologists keep relying on this claim, but it's so misleading as to be disingenuous. Steroids (and I prefer the term, "PEDs" b/c I include HGH in there) work by increasing muscle mass REGARDLESS of whether you work out, they help you maintain muscle mass EVEN WHEN YOU DON'T WORK OUT, and they enable you, when you work out, to get muscle mass BEYOND WHAT YOU COULD ATTAIN if you didn't use them and only worked out. Yes, they do help you recover faster from working out, but that's understating things quite a bit.

This is where we miss Kevin's expertise, btw. All this has been documented many times. [EDIT: I think X-Roid User has made these points as well more recently]
   60. Danny Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:36 PM (#3254986)
Ray: We've all argued these points ad nauseam, and I'm sure you recall that many of us distinguish between "enhancement" and "restoration". The point is that the former creates situations where guys hit 73 HRs, an utterly unimaginable number, and the kinds of HRs that boggle the mind (opposite field 450' ones), and the latter produce situations where guys clear their heads well-enough to get on the field. People can choose to say the difference doesn't matter to them, but there is a difference.

I tend to think it's silly to make this a binary distinction, but it's even sillier to claim that amphetamines do nothing to enhance performance beyond "restoring" one from fatigue.

A simple search of Google Scholar will reveal 50+ years of studies showing that amphetamines improve athletic performance in subjects who are neither drowsy nor hungover.

And I love that Crashburn has joined Andy on the coffee=amps train.
   61. Dan The Mediocre Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:38 PM (#3254990)
Apologists keep relying on this claim, but it's so misleading as to be disingenuous.


There is a difference between building muscle mass and making you stronger. Doing nothing and taking steroids does only the former.
   62. base ball chick Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:39 PM (#3254991)
JC

to ME, the question is - does a certain chemical substance help you perform better than you would have if you had not taken it.

the question is not - do greenies have any effect

the questions are

do greenies have any effect on baseball players ability to play baseball
1 - does it make their performance better, or worse (as bouton claims)
2 - does it have any effect on the performance of ballplayers who are not tired/drunk/hungover

IF bouton is correct and greenies make performance WORSE, then why did the majority of players take them and why did the clubs provide them?

IF all greenies do is make someone less tired/wake up, then why would a non-addicted player take them instead of caffeine
   63. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:40 PM (#3254993)
Back in my day mothers drank all day passing out around 3 while the kids played waking up just in time to make dinner and be ready to get busy with hubby come bedtime.

Win-win for everyone

/complete BS for humor
   64. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:40 PM (#3254994)
Steroids (and I prefer the term, "PEDs" b/c I include HGH in there)


HGH is even less performance enhancing than steroids are.

[Steroids] help you maintain muscle mass EVEN WHEN YOU DON'T WORK OUT,


Sounds like restoration to me.
   65. Crashburn Alley Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:47 PM (#3255005)
increasing muscle mass REGARDLESS of whether you work out, they help you maintain muscle mass EVEN WHEN YOU DON'T WORK OUT


You can't use steroids and sit on a couch and wake up the next day looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger circa 20 years ago.
   66. JC in DC Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:52 PM (#3255010)
You can't use steroids and sit on a couch and wake up the next day looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger circa 20 years ago.


Not claimed.

HGH is even less performance enhancing than steroids are.


I don't have a stake in that, really. Just trying to make clear my use of terms.

There is a difference between building muscle mass and making you stronger. Doing nothing and taking steroids does only the former.


I'm not sure I agree with the former. But I'll take this as your agreement with my other claims.

IF bouton is correct and greenies make performance WORSE, then why did the majority of players take them and why did the clubs provide them?


Did the majority of players take them? You keep saying this and I keep asking how you know. Many players drink/drank alcohol, which has adverse affects on their bodies athletic performance: why do/did they do that?


IF all greenies do is make someone less tired/wake up, then why would a non-addicted player take them instead of caffeine


Mistaken belief (if that's all they do)? Dislike of coffee? Peer pressure?
   67. Dan The Mediocre Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:54 PM (#3255014)
I'm not sure I agree with the former. But I'll take this as your agreement with my other claims.


It isn't.
   68. JC in DC Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:57 PM (#3255017)
It isn't.


I hate it when people are anti-science.
   69. Repoz Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:03 PM (#3255024)
Gibson did what he could to enhance the image that he was a cold-blooded SOB.

During the recent Costas/McCarver/Gibby interview Gibson said that he never knew he was intimidating hitters with his "SOB image" and if he had known he would have played it up and used it to his advantage.

(McCarver then kissed him for no reason)
   70. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:06 PM (#3255030)
IF bouton is correct and greenies make performance WORSE, then why did the majority of players take them and why did the clubs provide them?

Did the majority of players take them?


Wide swaths of the league were taking them. At least to the same extent that players were using steroids in the 90s. I don't see why you're nitpicking over whether it was a "majority."
   71. bunyon Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:09 PM (#3255036)
The debate of how greenies fit in the spectrum of chemical aids could go on for a long time seeing as how the medical profession even has trouble quantitating these types of things. It seems to me that, for our purposes, the question of whether or not a substance has an effect, how large an effect it has, if so and what players think of the substance are all irrelevant issues. The only relevant issue is this:


Is it cheating? Is taking the substance against the rules? If so, then a player should be punished. If not, then no one should take issue. One could plausibly argue that modern nutrition, medicine, etc. are all artificial performance enhancers. BUT, they're not against the rules and, therefore, players can openly use the technology and, because all players can use it, no one gains an secret upperhand.


Given my view as expressed there, I really don't have a problem with players who used greenies in the old days but can't really take anyone seriously who says they shouldn't be considered PEDs. Because of the ambivalent manner in which MLB regulated PEDs until 2004, I will tend to give players who used before this date a pass.* Now, greenies, steroids and HGH are against the rules. Players who use these substances now should be punished and considered cheaters, regardless of how "effective" they are.


* My attempt at circumventing legal technicalities runs aground here. MLB banned "illegal" substances, which appears to have been aimed at coke and other narcotics but clearly would include anabolic steroids. OTOH, they did next to nothing to prevent their use - use which was obvious to anyone willing to pay attention even from a distance.
   72. Dan The Mediocre Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:11 PM (#3255043)
I hate it when people are anti-science.


I thought you meant your claims about why amphetamines and steroids could have differences in how you react to them. As far as what steroids do, the other claims were fine.
   73. JC in DC Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:13 PM (#3255045)
I don't see why you're nitpicking over whether it was a "majority."


Nitpicking? You don't think it's relevant to know what we're talking about? Wide-swaths could be 10% of players, not 51%, and certainly not 90%. Obviously, the "majority" and "90%" are important claims to bbc, it lends her moral equivalence a certain weight, she believes. I'd like to know whether we're interested in facts.

And, I think it ironic that apologists have nitpicked this stuff to death, but spread about the anecdotal claims about greenies like crazy. Let's all be disciplined and adhere to the facts.
   74. Danny Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:20 PM (#3255055)
How fabulous are greenies? Some of the guys have to take one just to get their hearts to start beating. I've taken greenies but I think Darrell Brandon is right when he says that the trouble with them is that they make you feel so great that you think you're really smoking the ball even when you're not. They give you a false sense of security. The result is that you get gay, throw it down the middle, and get clobbered.

It's awesome how Bouton's opinion on the subject means so much to you, but this is also the guy who said:

1. Were you shocked and surprised at the revelation that lots of ballplayers are taking steroids?

Jim Bouton: No, not at all. How could I be surprised? In the 1970s, half of the guys in the big leagues were taking greenies, and if we had steroids, we would have taken those, too. I said in "Ball Four," if there was a pill that could guarantee you would win 20 games but would take five years off of your life, players would take it. The only thing I didn't know at the time was the name.

Would you have taken them if they were around in your day?

Bouton: I splashed DMSO on my shoulder. That was a drug used for horses. Whitey Ford and I spread it all over our arms in 1965 or 1966. I tried a greenie once, to see what it was like, but all it did was make me too jumpy. But if it had helped me win the game, I would have taken another. I took a lot of cortisone shots. There's only a difference of degree.

2. Should steroids be banned?

Bouton: I think so, because it's pretty clear that they're no good for your health. I think pep pills should be banned because if they're not, they get handed out like candy. And players think it must be OK. At least if they're banned it will cause some players to pause. If they give someone an advantage, it's unfair to the ones who don't take them.


Having tried a greenie "once," Bouton doesn't seem like the most reliable source for a broad statement on their effects. Not that it would be better to rely on him for generalized information rather than actual studies even if he had extensive experience..
   75. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:21 PM (#3255057)
greenies are performance enhancing because the heightened awareness and concentration allows you to inject your steroids in exactly the right place
   76. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:21 PM (#3255058)
The point is that the former creates situations where guys hit 73 HRs, an utterly unimaginable number,


... and the latter creates situations where guys get 4,256 hits, an equally unimaginable number.
   77. Danny Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:23 PM (#3255062)
And, I think it ironic that apologists have nitpicked this stuff to death

Agreed. After all the moralizing about how using steroids is cheating the game and fans and putting other players' health at risk, it's bizarre to see nitpicking apologies for amphetamine use.
   78. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:23 PM (#3255063)
Here's a late 2006 article on the effect of the greenie ban. The conclusion: Little or no effect at all.

A simple search of Google Scholar will reveal 50+ years of studies showing that amphetamines improve athletic performance in subjects who are neither drowsy nor hungover.

Perhaps you might want to post a few of those studies that involved baseball players, preferably of the Major League variety. Most studies I've seen are more along the lines of this:

Amphetamines

Amphetamines have performance-enhancing potential, but also have the potential to reduce performance:

§ the stimulant effects of amphetamines last considerably longer than those of cocaine;

§ they cause wakefulness, alertness, mood elevation, increased self-confidence, and decreased appetite; they give a sense of reduced fatigue, but do not create extra physical or mental energy.

§ they distort the user's perception of reality and impair judgment***, and this may cause an athlete to participate while injured, possibly leading to worse injuries and putting others at risk;


***exactly the point that Bouton was making
   79. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:26 PM (#3255066)
Nitpicking? You don't think it's relevant to know what we're talking about?


I don't think we can really know whether it's, say, 30%, 50%, or 70% of players with respect to either greenies in the 60s/70s or steroids in the 90s/00s. I certainly don't see any reason to support a conclusion that the usage percentages of one was vastly different from the other. It may be greenies 60% and steroids 40%, or vice versa, but I don't think we can know which.

If I had to make a wild guess I'd say that the percentage of players using greenies was larger than the percentage of player using steroids, but I don't claim I have anything to support that; it's just based on what I've absorbed about these issues over the years.
   80. JC in DC Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:36 PM (#3255080)
No problem, Ray.
   81. Danny Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:38 PM (#3255082)
Here's a late 2006 article on the effect of the greenie ban. The conclusion: Little or no effect at all.


Really? Here's what the article said:

What baseball officials knew for certain was that amphetamine use was so widespread -- at various times in recent years, players have estimated the usage rate to be as high as 85 percent -- it had become an accepted part of big league culture. Steroids get more publicity, but baseball insiders knew amphetamines -- which can increase a person's energy, alertness and sense of well-being -- had a bigger impact on the game on a day-to-day basis.


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

Amphetamines have performance-enhancing potential, but also have the potential to reduce performance:


First, you realize this isn't actually a study, right? Here's the description from the top of the document: "This tool provides basic information about the possible effects of commonly abused drugs on athletic performance. It could be used by physical education teachers, coaches or other teachers involved in drug abuse prevention education to make the message against substance use more relevant to students, especially those involved in athletics."

Second, you realize that the document also says: "Except for amphetamine, a banned performance-enhancing substance, none of these substances has a net performance-enhancing effect."
   82. Doug's Hopkin off the band wagon Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:38 PM (#3255083)
How fabulous are greenies? Some of the guys have to take one just to get their hearts to start beating. I've taken greenies but I think Darrell Brandon is right when he says that the trouble with them is that they make you feel so great that you think you're really smoking the ball even when you're not. They give you a false sense of security. The result is that you get gay, throw it down the middle, and get clobbered.


Wow. Uhh, something something something Mike Piazza!
   83. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:51 PM (#3255104)
Jolly Old St Nick - Question for you. Would you care if a player you liked, say Jeter, (you are a Yankees fan, correct?) were to test positive for amphetamines? Would it in any way cheapen his achievements (in your view)?
   84. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:53 PM (#3255108)
Here's a late 2006 article on the effect of the greenie ban. The conclusion: Little or no effect at all.

Really? Here's what the article said:


What baseball officials knew for certain was that amphetamine use was so widespread -- at various times in recent years, players have estimated the usage rate to be as high as 85 percent -- it had become an accepted part of big league culture. Steroids get more publicity, but baseball insiders knew amphetamines -- which can increase a person's energy, alertness and sense of well-being -- had a bigger impact on the game on a day-to-day basis.


Of course this has absolutely nothing to do with the point that the ban had little or no effect---not because greenie use wasn't widespread (I've never argued otherwise), but because the statistical effects of withdrawal were so inconsequential.

But since you like quoting one paragraph out of a four page article, here are a few more for you to ponder:

Despite forecasts of doom that greeted the start of this season -- one American League executive predicted during spring training that everyday players would take liberal days off, and afternoon games would feature players appearing like "zombies" -- there has been little measurable evidence of amphetamine testing having a quantifiable effect on the game.


"I think the overall effect of the greenies was to make [a player] think he was stronger, more rested and better able to perform," said ESPN and Comcast SportsNet television analyst Buck Martinez, a former manager of the Toronto Blue Jays. "I think it was in their heads more than a physical thing. The [quality of play this] season doesn't seem to have changed one bit."

One scout for a National League team, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the league has asked team employees not to discuss drug policy, agreed with the "it's-all-mental" theory, saying: "I don't see any difference. If guys aren't doing [amphetamines] now, their bodies have probably gotten used to it, and they probably didn't need them in the first place."

Arroyo said, if anything, some players have reported better results without the drugs. "I've heard two guys talking about why they're having so much success as hitters. And both of them attributed it to not using greenies -- it's made them more relaxed at the plate, less jumpy," he said.


Statistically speaking, there is little outward evidence of a major change in the way the game is being played since the amphetamine ban went into effect. For example, contrary to popular wisdom at the start of the season, the most durable starting players do not appear to be taking more days off.

In 2005, 71 players played in 150 or more of their team's games -- or 92.6 percent of a full 162-game schedule. This season (through Sunday), 82 players had played in 92.6 percent or more of their team's games. The number of players who played in 100 percent of their team's games has fallen from 10 last season to seven so far this season; however, both numbers are up from 2004, when there were only four.

Likewise, relief pitchers -- the group believed to be the most dependent on amphetamines, because of the quick-response nature of their job -- seem to be appearing in games just as frequently. In 2005, 21 relievers appeared in 75 or more games (46.3 percent of a full 162-game season); this season, 22 pitchers are on the same pace or greater.


There are a couple of opinions voiced in the other direction, but needless to say, none of those are backed up by any data.
   85. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:55 PM (#3255111)
Breaking, from the Times:

Report: Jeter tested positive for banned substance in 2003.
   86. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:56 PM (#3255112)
haha. Jesus! I almost had a heart attack.
   87. RJ in TO Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:59 PM (#3255115)
Breaking, from the Times:

Report: Jeter tested positive for banned substance in 2003.


Ray, that's the cruelest thing I've ever seen you do.

I'm impressed.
   88. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 15, 2009 at 05:01 PM (#3255117)
Jolly Old St Nick - Question for you. Would you care if a player you liked, say Jeter, (you are a Yankees fan, correct?) were to test positive for amphetamines? Would it in any way cheapen his achievements (in your view)?

I'd want him to be suspended for violating MLB's drug policy, but other than that, it wouldn't affect my judgment of him. To me it'd be on about the level of testing positive for cocaine---more stupid than anything else.

But this doesn't have anything to do with Jeter---if the entire Red Sox team got caught popping them by the barrel I'd have the same reaction. Believe it or not, none of my opinions on greenies or steroids, whether you agree with them or not, have a damn thing to do with my personal opinion of the players involved, or how old I was when they played. That may be a factor in the case of some other Baby Boomer stereotypes, but it doesn't apply to me. (And anyway, I'm not a Baby Boomer.)

EDIT: I posted this before reading the article that Ray linked. I'll read it now.

EDIT of EDIT: Ray's mother is looking younger every day. It must be all that milk and cheesecakes.
   89. Chris Dial Posted: July 15, 2009 at 05:03 PM (#3255119)
They're saying that if you take two players of equal ability, the one who uses greenies throughout his career will outperform one who simply gets sufficient rest. I say that's bullshlt,
JC has specifically disagreed with this. JC, you asked who was disputing that they are PEDs? RIght there.
   90. Chris Dial Posted: July 15, 2009 at 05:04 PM (#3255121)
but because the statistical effects of withdrawal were so inconsequential.
Just like steroids.
   91. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 05:05 PM (#3255123)
Ray, that's the cruelest thing I've ever seen you do.


Which? Posting a phony news item or linking to a picture of Madeleine Albright?
   92. Chris Dial Posted: July 15, 2009 at 05:06 PM (#3255124)
ANdy, all of that is true wrt steroid use too. HRs didn't drop either.
   93. Hack Wilson Posted: July 15, 2009 at 05:08 PM (#3255127)
Report: Jeter tested positive for banned substance in 2003.

No surprise but the sex change operation is shocking.
   94. RJ in TO Posted: July 15, 2009 at 05:09 PM (#3255128)
Which? Posting a phony news item or linking to a picture of Madeleine Albright?


The wonderful combination of posting a phony news item linking to a picture of Madeleine Albright.
   95. FBI Regional Bureau Chief GORDON COLE!!! Posted: July 15, 2009 at 05:20 PM (#3255142)
Cool. About time we had a good "In my day, ballplayers were for ####\"-type article.
   96. Backlasher Posted: July 15, 2009 at 05:30 PM (#3255152)
No problem, Ray.

I think its a problem. This is from the same thread:

If I had to make a wild guess I'd say that the percentage of players using greenies was larger than the percentage of player using steroids, but I don't claim I have anything to support that; it's just based on what I've absorbed about these issues over the years.


and

Wide swaths of the league were taking them. At least to the same extent that players were using steroids in the 90s

are not compatiable statements, esepcially when taken in context of a proclamation of a majority of players use.

Very few people have demanded exacting certainty on the percentage of users.

Many do include a rough percentage of users in their calculus on whether there is any moral transgression. I stand on earlier arguments as to why this is a valid consideration.

If we are going to casually throw out that the number of users is approximately the same, that those users are a majority, and use tenuous logic to then posit a conclusion, there should be some demonstration of evidence on premises which are not generally or even majority accepted.

I have only heard two players claim such high percentage of steroid users, Caminiti and Canseco. Cams died before anyone could question him on it. Canseco backed off the number when pressed.

I have never heard any player that has not claimed a large use of amphetamines, including players like Gwynn who claimed that amps was the bigger problem.

On this subject, it would be nice if we at least stuck to statements of witnesses. (There aren't many independent facts other than testing reports that show usage of steroids far too small to call a majority). Of course, the witnesses ability to determine exact percentages is pretty small. The non-steroid users will likely think the number is smaller and the steroid users will be seeing more use and think the number is larger. So far, the majority of those that are guesstimating seem to be saying 'Roids low and Juice high. Whether or not its true or erroneous is immaterial to the problems caused by taking a small minority viewpoint and throwing it out as fact.

... and the latter creates situations where guys get 4,256 hits, an equally unimaginable number.

Perhaps. How do we arrive at this conclusion. Do we presume:

(1) Pete Rose definately did amphetamines? That he did them every game? He did them a majority of the time?

I would tend to believe that Rose would do anything to win. I can accept some presumption that he did amphetamines, but what are we basing this conclusion on. Do we have any evidence on the extent of Pete Rose's use of juice.

(2) How many other players had hit totals that are aberrant against MLB averages in the Juice Era? Did we have a different BABIP during that time.

(3) How did the advantage work. Was it a higher BABIP for the hitters? I presume hitters had shorter careers during this period. Let me know if that is incorrect, and if we can attribute a PE quality of amphetamines as career extending.

NOTE: If anyone does address these questions, please note, they are entirely independent of any statement regarding steroids. Also, it is independent of whether I view amphetamines as being performance enhancement, a record of which can easily be found.
   97. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 05:36 PM (#3255157)
Of course players take them---to stay alert after (a) a night on the town,
Once again, Andy repeats this nonsense, misrepresenting Bouton's claims in a desperate attempt to support it. Apparently in Andy's world, 90% of players are hung over. (Also, they're still playing mostly day games, so that "nights on the town" leave them too tired to play.)
   98. bunyon Posted: July 15, 2009 at 05:37 PM (#3255158)
BL, the trouble with using Rose is that he was almost certainly a steroid user as well as greenie user.

No evidence, of course, but he is the one guy I find it completely impossible wasn't using. I think I'd sooner believe Canseco was steroid free than Rose was.
   99. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 05:53 PM (#3255183)
I think its a problem. This is from the same thread:

If I had to make a wild guess I'd say that the percentage of players using greenies was larger than the percentage of player using steroids, but I don't claim I have anything to support that; it's just based on what I've absorbed about these issues over the years.

and

Wide swaths of the league were taking them. At least to the same extent that players were using steroids in the 90s

are not compatiable statements


Sure they are. I was talking about whether we can ascertain a difference in the percentage of players taking greenies in the 60s/70s vs. the percentage of players taking steroids in the 90s/00s. And I don't think we can. Therefore, I don't see any reason to claim that one percentage is higher than the other. It may be that there was a greater percentage of players taking steroids in the 90s/00s as opposed to greenies in the 60s/70s, or vice versa, but we have no way of knowing that. Therefore, I see no reason not to treat the estimates of one the same as the estimates of the other.

Wide swaths of the league were taking greenies in the 60s/70s. Wide swaths of the league were taking steroids in the 90s/00s. I don't think we can say anything more definitive than that.
   100. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 15, 2009 at 05:59 PM (#3255191)
We've all argued these points ad nauseam, and I'm sure you recall that many of us distinguish between "enhancement" and "restoration". The point is that the former creates situations where guys hit 73 HRs, an utterly unimaginable number,



No, but they can get you 118 stolen bases from a 35 year old who's previous career high had been 74. They can get you 4256 hits from a guy who's major attribute was going 100% on every play 162 games a year.
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