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Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Fergie Jenkins weighs in on MLB Hall of Fame, PED suspicions

The last time Fergie Jenkins weighed in on anything…it came to 3.0 grams, 2.2 grams, and 1.75 grams.

The conversation then turned to the performance-enhancing drugs, and the role they’ve played in the game since the 1950s and ‘60s, when amphetamines burst onto the scene.

“I heard all these guys were taking all these different pills, but dexedrine and benzedrine are a women’s diet pill. How the hell is that going to help you perform? What the hell do I want to take a women’s diet pill for?” Jenkins said, eliciting a round of laughter from the show’s hosts.

“But now you get into all these other drugs, the growth hormones and the steroids. There’s so many different synthetics now. They make you bigger and stronger supposedly, hand-eye coordination better.

“I think when you look at some of these athletes that have been connected with the Mitchell report, maybe it did make them bigger and stronger. Or maybe because they were 30-plus years old, it added two or three years to your career. Now the suspicions are even better. I can’t believe a lot of these guys are taking women’s diet pills.”

Repoz Posted: December 04, 2012 at 01:58 PM | 77 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4316604)
Jenkins said he would talk to guys like... Gaylord Perry to gauge their stance about the 2013 Hall of Fame ceremonies.

Has Perry announced his stance on cheaters in the Hall?
   2. Bob Tufts Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4316609)
Has Perry announced his stance on cheaters in the Hall?


No, he's waiting for all of the owners that lost the collusion case to weigh in.
   3. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4316611)
What the hell do I want to take a women’s diet pill for?”

I will resist this easy set up. I WILL RESIST!
   4. McCoy Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4316756)
“I heard all these guys were taking all these different pills, but dexedrine and benzedrine are a women’s diet pill. How the hell is that going to help you perform? What the hell do I want to take a women’s diet pill for?”

Ask Manny Ramirez
   5. Bob Tufts Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4316761)
have to go there.....from an ESPN article re: McGwire in 2010

Thirty years ago, Jenkins himself became one of the first players caught up in baseball's struggles with drug discipline. Commissioner Bowie Kuhn suspended Jenkins following the pitcher's arrest in Canada on charges of cocaine possession, but the penalty was overturned by an arbitrator less than two weeks later -- the first time a baseball commissioner's ruling was reversed. A judge gave Jenkins an absolute discharge: no fine, no jail term and no record.


When Fergie gets on his high (white) horse, he knows what he's talking about.
   6. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 04, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4316816)
Has Perry announced his stance on cheaters in the Hall?


His spokesperson, Andy, has already released a statement on behalf of Perry which IIRC was worded something to the effect of "Nyah, nyah, the voters see a clear distinction between the so-called 'cheating' of Perry and the cheating of steroids users."

What the meaningful distinction is, Andy did not elaborate on.
   7. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 04, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4316820)
From the excerpt or TFA Jenkins doesn't actually say that steroids users should be banned. Maybe there was something in the full interview.
   8. JJ1986 Posted: December 04, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4316822)
What the meaningful distinction is, Andy did not elaborate on.


Bowls full of spit openly displayed in the clubhouse.
   9. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: December 04, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4316833)

What the meaningful distinction is, Andy did not elaborate on.


Gamesmanship?

I'm not putting words in Andy's mouth, but this is the distinction I've always seen drawn. There's a difference between scuffing the ball in plain sight (i.e. gamesmanship, like having too much pine tar on your bat or corking) and PED usage.

   10. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 04, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4316871)
Gamesmanship?

I'm not putting words in Andy's mouth, but this is the distinction I've always seen drawn. There's a difference between scuffing the ball in plain sight (i.e. gamesmanship, like having too much pine tar on your bat or corking) and PED usage.


As I said, no meaningful distinction.

Steroids use, apparently, is a situation that even in the abstract is unlike any other in MLB history.
   11. salvomania Posted: December 04, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4316873)
I feel the same way about the so-called steroid problem as Jenkins does about the alleged ubiquity of greenies back in the day: why would someone take something that's used to relieve itchy skin? How is that going to help anyone hit a ball farther or throw a ball harder?
   12. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: December 04, 2012 at 05:20 PM (#4316952)
A guy who called himself Fergie Jenkins taught us how to throw what he said was a spitball. It seemed to work on Little Leaguers, but it was probably as much of a real spitball as he was the real Fergie Jenkins.
   13. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 04, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4317058)
Steroids use, apparently, is a situation that even in the abstract is unlike any other in MLB history.

Pretty much, and practically every faction of the game agrees -- MLB most recently in the Mitchell Report.

“I heard all these guys were taking all these different pills, but dexedrine and benzedrine are a women’s diet pill. How the hell is that going to help you perform? What the hell do I want to take a women’s diet pill for?

Heh.
   14. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 04, 2012 at 07:39 PM (#4317187)
As I said, no meaningful distinction.


There are nothing but meaningful distinctions.

One is done out in the open, with the possibility of detection by on-field arbiters, and a prescribed punishment if the perpetrator is caught. The other is done off the field, with no means of detection once the game has begun and no punishment if detected (at least for pre-testing era roid usage). Along those lines, there's a pretty meaningful distinction between pre-testing roids usage and post-testing usage.

Now what that distinction means is a matter of opinion. Some would view the surreptitious cheating as worse (as there's no means of getting caught, and thus there's no risk). Others think that only that which violates rules specifically laid out in the rules is cheating (a nonsensical idea, but I don't automatically condemn the irrationally held position). Others, maybe even you, think that all cheating is exactly the same, and thus the distinctions make no difference.

But if the latter is true, simply because one doesn't care about the distinctions doesn't mean they fail to exist.

   15. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: December 04, 2012 at 08:15 PM (#4317207)
They make you bigger and stronger supposedly, hand-eye coordination better.

Yes, yes, noooooo.
   16. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 04, 2012 at 11:09 PM (#4317283)
There are nothing but meaningful distinctions.

One is done out in the open, with the possibility of detection by on-field arbiters, and a prescribed punishment if the perpetrator is caught. The other is done off the field, with no means of detection once the game has begun and no punishment if detected (at least for pre-testing era roid usage). Along those lines, there's a pretty meaningful distinction between pre-testing roids usage and post-testing usage.

Now what that distinction means is a matter of opinion. Some would view the surreptitious cheating as worse (as there's no means of getting caught, and thus there's no risk). Others think that only that which violates rules specifically laid out in the rules is cheating (a nonsensical idea, but I don't automatically condemn the irrationally held position). Others, maybe even you, think that all cheating is exactly the same, and thus the distinctions make no difference.

But if the latter is true, simply because one doesn't care about the distinctions doesn't mean they fail to exist.


Everything in this is preposterous, starting with "a" and "the." "Surreptitious cheating?" Steroids is "surreptitious cheating" but hiding vaseline behind freaking ear is not?

"The possibility of detection"? The risk of being caught means that the cheating is more justified? So students who bring cheat sheets into exams are not really doing anything so bad after all?

But steroids users _were_ caught. That's why we're, you know, having this discussion. But nobody cared at the time, just like they didn't care about amps, which makes this crusade absurd.

Detection "on-field" is important, but no detection "on-field" because nobody cared and there is no way to detect steroids use "on-field" is a "meaningful distinction"? What were the umpires supposed to do, conduct a stop-and-frisk of players on the field to search for a vial of a drug that nobody cared whether anyone was using just like amps?

It is "nonsensical" to think that before we deem someone guilty of cheating, we set out rules for them to abide by, as a means of defining what will be considered to be "cheating"? It is "nonsensical" to think that retroactively going back to declare something that wasn't against the rules as "cheating" is unfair? Especially when it was just as "against the rules" as amps were, which was not at all? Would you like one of your kids to be accused of cheating by a teacher who made up the rules as he went along two months later?

Your position is cartoonish. And why is it? Because, as I said, no meaningful distinctions exist.
   17. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 05, 2012 at 12:48 AM (#4317345)
Has Perry announced his stance on cheaters in the Hall?


His spokesperson, Andy, has already released a statement on behalf of Perry which IIRC was worded something to the effect of "Nyah, nyah, the voters see a clear distinction between the so-called 'cheating' of Perry and the cheating of steroids users."

What the meaningful distinction is, Andy did not elaborate on.


I ain't getting into that briar patch again. Trying to explain commonsense distinctions between spitballs and steroids to someone hermetically sealed in a self-contained echo chamber is worse than a waste of time. Not that I haven't wasted a lot of time trying to do so.

Because, as I said

Trying to get past those four words in any discussion with you is like trying to Evel Knievel the Atlantic Ocean. I suppose it's theoretically possible, but the odds aren't very good.
   18. SoSH U at work Posted: December 05, 2012 at 12:57 AM (#4317347)
Everything in this is preposterous, starting with "a" and "the." "Surreptitious cheating?" Steroids is "surreptitious cheating" but hiding vaseline behind freaking ear is not?


Steroids use happened off the field, outside of the (occasionally) watchful eye of the game's only daily arbiters. Applying vaseline was done on the field. That's what makes the acts different.


"The possibility of detection"? The risk of being caught means that the cheating is more justified? So students who bring cheat sheets into exams are not really doing anything so bad after all?


I made no judgment on which form was worse. Only that there is a distinction between them (you may start to notice a pattern. But given that noticing #### isn't exactly your strong suit, probably not).


But steroids users _were_ caught. That's why we're, you know, having this discussion. But nobody cared at the time, just like they didn't care about amps, which makes this crusade absurd.


Steroids use could not be identified through on-field detection. That's different than applying vaseline, where there was both the opportunity for detection and a punishment if the rule was found to be broken. That doesn't make one form necessarily better or worse, just different. And different is what the argument was about.

And I'm not part of any crusade, so that little sidenote is irrelevant to me. FTR, I don't see any meaningful difference between steroid use and amp use (the only difference at all is the view the players had of the two acts, though I've come to conclude their position is not supportable).


Detection "on-field" is important, but no detection "on-field" because nobody cared and there is no way to detect steroids use "on-field" is a "meaningful distinction"? What were the umpires supposed to do, conduct a stop-and-frisk of players on the field to search for a vial of a drug that nobody cared whether anyone was using just like amps?


If this made a lick of sense, I'd respond. It doesn't, so let's move on.

It is "nonsensical" to think that before we deem someone guilty of cheating, we set out rules for them to abide by, as a means of defining what will be considered to be "cheating"? It is "nonsensical" to think that retroactively going back to declare something that wasn't against the rules as "cheating" is unfair? Especially when it was just as "against the rules" as amps were, which was not at all? Would you like one of your kids to be accused of cheating by a teacher who made up the rules as he went along two months later?


Cheating in baseball (and beyond, but we'll limit it to the diamond here) exists on a continuum. When Derek Jeter pretended he got hit with a pitch when he didn't, he was cheating. He wasn't breaking any written rules, but he was cheating nonetheless. And the only punishment for this rules breaking is a little criticism (or, maybe a fastball to the ribs, if the opponent is douchey enough).

If Jason Heyward kneecaps Stephen Strasburg with a tire iron outside Nats Park before Stras was going to pitch against the Braves*, he is also cheating, though again it's probably not covered in the rulebook.

As for how we deal with steroid use (pre-policy), I don't support any kind of retroactive punishment for the steroids users for a number of reasons, including the fact there was no specific rule against it.

But that's not an absolute. If my kids figure out some high tech way to cheat on a test that the teachers have not yet caught up to (but everyone knows would be against the rules if they were aware of), then damn right I'm not going to whine if they're punished when they're caught.

That doesn't apply to steroids. Any number of interested parties (the commish, the team owners, the media, and, most especially, the non-juicers) had ample opportunity to do something about PEDs long before they did. They failed to do so. Thus, it isn't right to single out one group for punishment when the system itself was corrupt.

Your position is cartoonish. And why is it? Because, as I said, no meaningful distinctions exist.


Your position is laughably simpleminded. And why is that? Do I really need to answer?

* God and Mike Rizzo willing, though I suspect the latter thinks they're the same guy.


   19. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 05, 2012 at 01:34 AM (#4317354)
I ain't getting into that briar patch again. Trying to explain commonsense distinctions between spitballs and steroids to someone hermetically sealed in a self-contained echo chamber is worse than a waste of time. Not that I haven't wasted a lot of time trying to do so.


Right, Andy. Spitballs are meaningfully different. Amps are meaningfully different. Steroids in the 60s/70s (Tom House) are meaningfully different. Steroids that Mantle took are meaningfully different. The animal testosterone that Pud Galvin injected was meaningfully different. Babe Ruth's corked bat was meaningfully different.

It's funny how when one starts with one's conclusion, everything that is meaningfully different just flows from there.
   20. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 05, 2012 at 01:39 AM (#4317356)
SoSH, it's late, but on skimming your post 18, I don't really see a problem with it. The discussion seems to have gone:

Ray: There is no meaningful distinction between spitballs and steroids.

SoSH: Yes there is! There are nothing but meaningful distinctions! <Lists a bunch of distinctions>

Ray: Those distinctions aren't meaningful.

SoSH: Those are distinctions.

Ray: Yeah, but they're not meaningful.
   21. Sunday silence Posted: December 05, 2012 at 05:34 AM (#4317375)
Steroids use happened off the field, outside of the (occasionally) watchful eye of the game's only daily arbiters. Applying vaseline was done on the field. That's what makes the acts different.


would it make you feel any better if Barry Bonds had applied the clear while on the field?

WHen you saw ball players as big as cows in the 1990s, you dont think that was in plain sight?
   22. Lassus Posted: December 05, 2012 at 09:10 AM (#4317409)
Ray: There is no meaningful distinction between spitballs and steroids.

If you grant that each is effective, I'd say the difference in percentage of pitches affected is pretty meaningful.
   23. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 05, 2012 at 09:18 AM (#4317411)
So to the anti-PED crowd where does stealing signals fit in the pantheon of cheating? If done by someone in center field or something - is that off field enough to be a problem?

The issue is one of competition, rules and the enforcement of the rules. But we have covered that part of it a bunch.
   24. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 05, 2012 at 09:31 AM (#4317419)
I agree with Ray. I would actually say that doctoring the ball post-1920, when it was specifically outlawed by MLB, is worse than using roids pre-testing. I don't get the notion that whether something is done on or off the field has anything to do with it.

Stealing signs is trivial to me.
   25. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 05, 2012 at 09:38 AM (#4317426)
Stealing signs is trivial to me.


But still cheating (I think). There is this jumble of possible ways to cheat and while something has to be on the far side of the arbitrary line it happens enough with Steroids that it is almost as if there is something else going on :)
   26. John Northey Posted: December 05, 2012 at 09:52 AM (#4317437)
Lets see... doctoring a ball could lead to a pitch moving in a weird way which could cause it to hit a guy in the head and kill him. Steroids could lead to a hitter getting 70+ home runs. Yeah, who cares about doctoring the ball.

It has seemed odd to me how sportswriters can so easily draw the distinctions they have. Steroids = horrible for the game need to condemn those who might have used. Greenies = who cares. Spitballs = fun. Gambling = who cares (not to all writers, but a sizable number).
   27. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 05, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4317531)
So to the anti-PED crowd where does stealing signals fit in the pantheon of cheating? If done by someone in center field or something - is that off field enough to be a problem?

If you're talking about from the center field bleachers or from a scoreboard, it's a clear ethical violation, and not really quite in any other category, other than perhaps stealing your opponents' scouting reports. But the most famous instance of it came in the Polo Grounds in 1951, and tracers showed no added advantage to the Giants during the time of the alleged offense.

Like steroids, though, it's something that takes place in locations where cameras and umpires aren't generally looking, which IMO puts it in a more serious category than violations that can be (and are) detected by direct observation.
   28. dlf Posted: December 05, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4317539)
I have a hard time understanding how some posters fail to understand that arbitrary distinctions are a fundamental part of sports rather than a flaw. Why 60'6"? Why 90' between bases? Why four balls and three strikes? Why is Dustin Pedroia's strike zone smaller than Jon Rauch's? The written rules are full of arbitrary distinctions. The unwritten rules are too. Why is it OK to bowl over the catcher to try to knock the ball loose, but not OK to swipe at the firstbaseman's arm? Why is it OK to heckle a batter, but not OK to shout at a fielder while running by? They are not, need not and should not be controlled by mandatory logical consistency.

In life we make a series of aesthetic choices -- do I wear wingtips or loafers today? Spread collar or button down? Sandwich or salad for lunch? Bourbon or wine before dinner tonight? These are all arbitrary and based on nothing more than my own personal preference. Larger penalties for some types of cheating is simply an ackowledgement that a majority (or at least vocal minority) have an aesthetic preference for certain types of conduct. As it is a mere aesthetic preference that has CF about 400' away from home rather than 300' or 500', I don't have a problem making other distinctions within the game based on such aesthetics. Suggesting that all decisions must be based on logically consistent principles seems, to me, a hopeless and pointless endeavor.
   29. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 05, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4317556)
In life we make a series of aesthetic choices -- do I wear wingtips or loafers today? Spread collar or button down? Sandwich or salad for lunch? Bourbon or wine before dinner tonight? These are all arbitrary and based on nothing more than my own personal preference. Larger penalties for some types of cheating is simply an acknowledgement that a majority (or at least vocal minority) have an aesthetic preference for certain types of conduct. As it is a mere aesthetic preference that has CF about 400' away from home rather than 300' or 500', I don't have a problem making other distinctions within the game based on such aesthetics. Suggesting that all decisions must be based on logically consistent principles seems, to me, a hopeless and pointless endeavor.

Not to mention that the "logic" involved is purely asserted in many cases, and that it's based on the personal preferences of the people making them, while these same people are pretending some sort of pseudo-objectivity about the similarities they claim to find among steroids, spitballs and goat testicles.

But OTOH think of the page hits, and think of all the time spent here by lawyers who otherwise might be out there doing more serious harm to the world. It's not a total loss.
   30. natebracy Posted: December 05, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4317619)
I don’t get to come here as often as I’d like, so I’m sure I’ve missed previous discussions about this, so forgive me if this is old ground.
Does the grandfathering of some spit ballers indicate a meaningful difference between that rule change and other absolute prohibitions?
   31. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 05, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4317633)
Suggesting that all decisions must be based on logically consistent principles seems, to me, a hopeless and pointless endeavor.


Not at all. What you're doing is the equivalent of giving Jeter a 90' baseline, while making ARod run 95'. "Hey! It's just arbitrary! Everything is arbitrary! Weeeee!"

That is cartoonish.

The point of the argument is that there _is_ nothing meaningfully different between one form of cheating (amps or spitballs) vs. another (steroids).

Would you argue that ARod only deserves two strikes because he has a bigger shoe size than Jeter? No. A lack of consistent principles is a problem, and is certainly not something to be celebrated.
   32. dlf Posted: December 05, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4317663)
The point of the argument is that there _is_ nothing meaningfully different between one form of cheating (amps or spitballs) vs. another (steroids).


That assumes an answer with which I am not in agreement. SoSH has listed a number of distinctions above. I'd add that there is clearly an aesthetic choice between improvement of reaction time versus improvement of strength. That you fail to agree that these clear distinctions aren't meaningful doesn't make it so for others.

Would you argue that ARod only deserves two strikes because he has a bigger shoe size than Jeter? No.


Would you argue that 5'5" Jose Altuve deserves a strike zone markedly smaller than 6'5" Jason Heyward?
   33. Sunday silence Posted: December 05, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4317669)
If you're talking about from the center field bleachers or from a scoreboard, it's a clear ethical violation, and not really quite in any other category, other than perhaps stealing your opponents' scouting reports. But the most famous instance of it came in the Polo Grounds in 1951, and tracers showed no added advantage to the Giants during the time of the alleged offense.


other than Bobby Thomson's HR...

What't the pt. anyhow? Are you saying that as long as we cant prove there was some advantage than cheating like this is perhaps, unseemly, but not on the same level as steroids?
   34. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 05, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4317677)
That assumes an answer with which I am not in agreement. SoSH has listed a number of distinctions above. I'd add that there is clearly an aesthetic choice between improvement of reaction time versus improvement of strength. That you fail to agree that these clear distinctions aren't meaningful doesn't make it so for others.


Amps are a drug that players used to gain an undue advantage.

Steroids are a drug that players used to gain an undue advantage.

See the similarity?

Would you argue that 5'5" Jose Altuve deserves a strike zone markedly smaller than 6'5" Jason Heyward?


Huh? It's not smaller. Lower-thigh to belt, or whatever.
   35. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 05, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4317681)
Amps are a drug that players used to gain an undue advantage.

Steroids are a drug that players used to gain an undue advantage.

See the similarity?


Yes, we all see the similarities, but do you see the differences -- that's the problem.

As a factual matter, MLB has concluded institutionally that steroids provided an unfair competitive advantage, and amps didn't. See, e.g., the Mitchell Report, the relevant provisions of which were quoted herein in another thread. Start with footnote 19.
   36. JJ1986 Posted: December 05, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4317689)
MLB has concluded institutionally that amps didn't (provided an unfair competitive advantage).


No.
   37. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 05, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4317703)
As a factual matter, MLB has concluded institutionally that steroids provided an unfair competitive advantage, and amps didn't.


What "fact" is this? Amps are specifically banned under the joint drug agreement.
   38. SoSH U at work Posted: December 05, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4317715)
Ray. Your summation was close. But let me fix it.

Ray: There is no meaningful distinction between spitballs and steroids.

SoSH: Yes there is! There are nothing but meaningful distinctions! <Lists a bunch of distinctions>

Ray: Those distinctions aren't meaningful.

SoSH: Those are distinctions, and here's why they're meaningful.

Ray: They're not meaningful, because I said so.


Let me ask you this: In terms of cheating, do you see a meaningful distinction between pre-testing steroids usage and post-testing steroids?
   39. dlf Posted: December 05, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4317716)
Amps are a drug that players used to gain an undue advantage.

Steroids are a drug that players used to gain an undue advantage.

See the similarity?


I do see a lot of similarities. I do, however, see a difference too. Steroids are a drug that, combined with weightlifting, improves strength. Amphetamimes are a drug that improves reaction time. They are different types of improvement and a different aesthetic value judgment can be made between the two. Drawing a distinction between amps and steroids is like the distinction between a hollowed out end cap on a bat versus a corked bat: both are intended to reduce the weight to improve the swing speed; one is arbitrarily prohibited.

Huh? It's not smaller. Lower-thigh to belt, or whatever.


If only all players' legs were then the same length, the strikezone would be equal. The fundamental contest, that between the hitter and the pitcher, is arbitrarily measured based on the height of one of the two contestants.



edit: spelling and an analogy.
   40. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 05, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4317727)
What "fact" is this? Amps are specifically banned under the joint drug agreement.

Mitchell Report. Read what it says about amps.
   41. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 05, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4317728)
A bird flies.

A plane flies.

See the similarities?
   42. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 05, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4317741)
See the similarities?

Amphetamines are a scheduled drug, banned as a performance-enhancing drug in most, if not all leagues, nationally and internationally, and by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Anabolic steroids are a scheduled drug, banned as a performance-enhancing drug in most, if not all leagues, nationally and internationally, and by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

See the similarities?
   43. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 05, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4317754)
What "fact" is this? Amps are specifically banned under the joint drug agreement.

Mitchell Report. Read what it says about amps.


What page was it on? You mentioned it in another thread, and I wanted to read it for myself.

   44. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 05, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4317755)
A bird flies.

A plane flies.

See the similarities?


Yes, and if we're talking about what is similar between a plane, a bird, and a cat in regard to the issue of which animals or objects can fly, it would be a meaningful distinction that a cat does not fly.
   45. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 05, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4317758)
See the similarities?

Yes.
   46. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 05, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4317763)
What page was it on? You mentioned it in another thread, and I wanted to read it for myself.

Not sure of the page. Start with footnote 19, which is a nice summary.
   47. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 05, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4317765)
Yes, and if we're talking about what is similar between a plane, a bird, and a cat in regard to the issue of which animals or objects can fly, it would be a meaningful distinction that a cat does not fly.

And if we were talking about the means by which something flies, and the effectiveness of their flying techniques, and the manner by which they pass through space, the fact that a bird and a plane both fly would be a banal and superficial observation, and obsessing about the fact that both fly would border on clinical.
   48. JJ1986 Posted: December 05, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4317770)
This is what it says in full:

My investigation did not include an examination of the use of amphetamines by players in Major League Baseball. The allegedly widespread use of amphetamines in baseball, rumored for decades, is a problem distinct from more recent allegations that players have used steroids and other substances with anabolic or similar effects to gain an unfair competitive advantage. I was asked to examine the latter question, and I am comfortable that a thorough examination did not require me to look into the additional problems posed by amphetamines use, serious as those problems might be. Moreover, an expansion of the scope of this investigation to include amphetamines use inevitably would have increased the already significant time that was needed to complete this investigation and diluted its focus, which I believe would have hampered whatever improvements might be achieved as a result of this report.


Mitchell states that amphetamine use is a "problem", allegedly widespread, that (might be serious) and gives specific reasons for not examining it - it is distinct and he doesn't have enough time.
   49. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 05, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4317772)
What page was it on? You mentioned it in another thread, and I wanted to read it for myself.

Not sure of the page. Start with footnote 19, which is a nice summary.


19 My investigation did not include an examination of the use of amphetamines by players in Major League Baseball. The allegedly widespread use of amphetamines in baseball, rumored for decades, is a problem distinct from more recent allegations that players have used steroids and other substances with anabolic or similar effects to gain an unfair competitive advantage. I was asked to examine the latter question, and I am comfortable that a thorough examination did not require me to look into the additional problems posed by amphetamines use, serious as those problems might be. Moreover, an expansion of the scope of this investigation to include amphetamines use inevitably would have increased the already significant time that was needed to complete this investigation and diluted its focus, which I believe would have hampered whatever improvements might be achieved as a result of this report.


EDIT: coke to JJ1986

   50. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 05, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4317778)
Right. Amps are a distinct problem from "more recent allegations that players have used steroids and other substances with anabolic or similar effects to gain an unfair competitive advantage."

Moreover, Mitchell says that a "thorough examination" of players gaining an unfair competitive advantage did not require an investigation of amp use.



   51. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 05, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4317780)
Mitchell Report. Read what it says about amps.

Where did George Mitchell get his pharmacological expertise? Was it in the army? Was it at Georgetown Law? Was it as the assistant to noted biochemical expert Edmund Muskie? As a senator from Maine? As special envoy to Ireland? Was it buddying around with baseball owners?

But it does open up neat stuff though. For example, we can safely say that smoking does not cause any health problems, because the tobacco companies suggested it didn't in the 1940s!

The George Mitchell Report was nothing more than a whitewash PR job for MLB's power structure. As a serious discussion of anything, it ranks lower in the pantheon than Reefer Madness.
   52. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 05, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4317783)
Moreover, Mitchell says that a "thorough examination" of players gaining an unfair competitive advantage did not require an investigation of amp use.


Luckily, there's absolutely no reason to give half a #### about anything George Mitchell has to say, has ever said, or will ever say about performance-enhancing drugs. Asking George Mitchell about performance-enhancing drugs has about as much probative value as seeking out a Klan member for analysis of Talmudic law.
   53. JJ1986 Posted: December 05, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4317786)
Moreover, Mitchell says that a "thorough examination" of players gaining an unfair competitive advantage due to steroid use did not require an investigation of amp use.
   54. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 05, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4317795)
Luckily, there's absolutely no reason to give half a #### about anything George Mitchell has to say, has ever said, or will ever say about performance-enhancing drugs.

Maybe, but MLB adopted the report which means, as noted, that the institutional position of MLB is that:

1. Steroids provided players with an "unfair competitive advantage."
2. They did so even before they were tested for by MLB.
3. Amps, while problematic, did not provide players with the same "unfair competitive advantage" as steroids (and perhaps no competitive advantage at all).
4. A thorough study of players obtaining an "unfair competitive advantage" through drug use did not require a consideration of amps.
5. We interpret the history of amp use by our players as long-standing and widespread, but of little to no competitive concern.
   55. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 05, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4317798)
Moreover, Mitchell says that a "thorough examination" of players gaining an unfair competitive advantage due to steroid use did not require an investigation of amp use.

Nice try, knew it was coming -- there's no need to explain why you didn't investigate amps if you meant to stress steroid use in that sentence. By definition there's no reason to examine amp use if your writ is merely to examine steroid use.

It's inartfully worded, but its meaning is unambiguous.
   56. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 05, 2012 at 02:25 PM (#4317801)
Luckily, there's absolutely no reason to give half a #### about anything George Mitchell has to say, has ever said, or will ever say about performance-enhancing drugs.

You're getting all in a snit about something that your current Great Satan # 755 didn't even say in that quoted paragraph. All we know from that quote about what he said about amphetamines is that (a) they're distinct from steroids in some undefined way; and (b) they didn't look any further into it.

Next up: Rand Paul weighs in, with suitable quotes from John Galt, architect, scientist---man.
   57. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 05, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4317803)
Beyond the many problems with the Mitchell Report (sorry, Larry Starr, if only we'd had a 312th page, we would have had the space to include your three separate interviews with Mitchell's team that directly implicated the owners and MLB brass, and exploded the timeline in Selig's Congressional testimony), that footnote #19 isn't even slightly an "official institutional conclusion" by MLB that steroids "provided an unfair competitive advantage, and amps didn't."
   58. pikepredator Posted: December 05, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4317828)
From Footnote 19:

The allegedly widespread use of amphetamines in baseball, rumored for decades


sounds like an admission that potentially, amps have been widely used over a period of decades. anecdotes from players back this up.

a thorough examination did not require me to look into the additional problems posed by amphetamines use, serious as those problems might be.


sounds like an admission that amps could be a serious problem, so vast that there isn't time to explore it. So according to the Mitchell report, amp use is:

1. Rumored to be widespread
2. Potentially a serious problem
3. Too huge to investigate as part of the Mitchell report

How does this conclusion follow

MLB has concluded institutionally that steroids provided an unfair competitive advantage, and amps didn't.
   59. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 05, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4317837)
How does this conclusion follow

MLB has concluded institutionally that steroids provided an unfair competitive advantage, and amps didn't.


It doesn't, except only in SugarBear's and Andy's minds.
   60. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 05, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4317874)
Yes, my reading of that excerpt was that although amp use may have been widespread and may have provided an unfair competetive advantage, the answer to those two questions has nothing to do with whether steroid use is/was widespread and if it provides an unfair advantage. Or simply, steroid use can be evaluated objectively without a comparison to other drugs from other eras.
   61. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 05, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4317881)
Mitchell was asked to examine the unfair competitive advantage provided by steroid use and did not deem amphetimine use -- widespread and "serious" as it may be -- as germane to that question. Thus, as many of us have said repeatedly, steroid users benefitted from an unfair competitive advantage that amp users didn't. That unfair competitive advantage is the very reason we bemoan steroid use, and don't worry so much about a bunch of guys in the 60s popping Betty Draper Diet Pills -- and of course the reason why treating them differently for HOF purposes is perfectly "logical" and "consistent."

Baseball has adopted that conclusion, by accepting the report as valid, and by not punishing amp use as harshly as roid use. As the report notes elsewhere, amps are and have been treated as more akin to drugs of abuse -- as in, e.g., the 1985 drug testing agreement implemented by Ueberroth -- and merely tangentially, if at all, similar to drugs that provide an "unfair competitive advantage."

   62. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 05, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4317889)
How does this conclusion follow


MLB has concluded institutionally that steroids provided an unfair competitive advantage, and amps didn't.


It doesn't, except only in SugarBear's and Andy's minds.

Ray, as usual, you have the reading comprehension of a slug. Here's what I wrote just 3 posts above yours:

All we know from that quote about what [Mitchell] said about amphetamines is that (a) they're distinct from steroids in some undefined way; and (b) [he] didn't look any further into it.

   63. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 05, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4317890)
The primary way amps differ from steroids is that they don't provide users an unfair competitive advantage in competing at baseball at the major league level. The report is clear in that regard. It neither says nor implies that amps do, and states explicitly that roids do.

Footnote 19 doesn't merely state that the drugs are different, it states that problems presented by their use in baseball are "distinct."

As Andy noted, the report does not catalog the differences.
   64. dlf Posted: December 05, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4317956)
The primary way amps differ from steroids is that they don't provide users an unfair competitive advantage in competing at baseball at the major league level. The report is clear in that regard. It neither says nor implies that amps do, and states explicitly that roids do.


Your first and second sentences are expressly contradicted by your third. The report says that steroids provide an unfair advantage and is silent on whether or not amps do. That Mitchell didn't investigate amps is not evidence that amps do not provide an unfair advantage any more than his failure to address Bill Veeck watering the basepaths or John McGraw grabbing on to a baserunner's belt is a determination that the latter are acceptable practice.

edited out a double negative
   65. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 05, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4317969)
The report says that steroids provide an unfair advantage and is silent on whether or not amps do.

It's not silent. It says steroids provide an unfair competitive advantage and that amps, whatever else they do, present a problem "distinct" from that. If Mitchell or MLB thought that the problems presented by amps and steroids overlapped, it's easy enough to write that. (*) But they didn't.

That Mitchell didn't investigate amps is not evidence that amps do not provide an unfair advantage any more than his failure to address Bill Veeck watering the basepaths or John McGraw grabbing on to a baserunner's belt is a determination that the latter are acceptable practice.


No, but it's (definitive) evidence that baseball is comfortable with the official historical record saying that amps don't.

(*) Thus, the key sentence in Footnote 19 could read something like, "The allegedly widespread use of amphetamines in baseball, rumored for decades, closely resembles the problem posed by more recent allegations that players have used steroids and other substances with anabolic or similar effects to gain an unfair competitive advantage. ..."
   66. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 05, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4317980)
Andy and SBB are reading something into the report that isn't there. It would be interesting to get some other's opinions on it; so far its about 6 or 7 to 2.
   67. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 05, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4317981)
The report says that steroids provide an unfair advantage and is silent on whether or not amps do. That Mitchell didn't investigate amps is not evidence that amps do not provide an unfair advantage any more than his failure to address Bill Veeck watering the basepaths or John McGraw grabbing on to a baserunner's belt is a determination that the latter are not improper performance enhancers.

That's true, but when MLB codified its latest drug policy, its penalties for steroids were significantly greater for steroids than for amphetamines. Make what you want of it, but here they are:

First time offense:

Greenies: subject to mandatory evaluation and follow-up testing
Steroids: 50 game suspension

Second offense:
Greenies: 25 game suspension
Steroids: 100 game suspension

Third offense:
Greenies: 80 day suspension
Steroids: Lifetime ban

Fourth offense:
Greenies: "up to" a lifetime ban
Steroids: N/A
   68. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 05, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4317985)
Plus there's the widely-used "waiver" process by which a player can pop greenies without penalty. Dozens of players do.
   69. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 05, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4317989)
Andy and SBB are reading something into the report that isn't there.

Again, here's what I wrote. and please tell me what I'm "reading into the report".

All we know from that quote about what [Mitchell] said about amphetamines is that (a) they're distinct from steroids in some undefined way; and (b) [he] didn't look any further into it.

Now the penalties for steroids and amps are different, which lends credence to the point about distinctions, but I never said that the Mitchell Report said anything about amphetamines other than what you see above.
   70. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 05, 2012 at 04:29 PM (#4318000)
SugarBear, you're misreading the text. And you don't need to; the correct reading of the text is not incompatible with maintaining a belief that amphetamines are/were insignificant compared to steroids in potency or clubhouse culture-- or not believing it, for that matter. The sole finding of the footnote is "Amphetamines, yeah, we decided not to get into that." The words say what the words say.
   71. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 05, 2012 at 04:33 PM (#4318006)
Andy and SBB are reading something into the report that isn't there. It would be interesting to get some other's opinions on it; so far its about 6 or 7 to 2.

The fun thing is that it doesn't actually matter what George Mitchell intended or did not intend to say. There's absolutely no reason to care at all about what George Mitchell said, he cited no science, no real ethics argument, or anything that would give us the least bit of motivation to give a #### about anything in the report. Wow, some players did drugs before baseball cared! Whoop de doo. Maybe he can tackle other Super Important Investigations like checking to see if Jeff Tackett illegally downloads porn or how much cocaine Steven Tyler snorted in 1982.

Why would anyone care if George Mitchell says amphetamines aren't performance-enchancing, or Twizzlers are performance-enhancing, or yogurt is as dangerous as crystal meth? There is zero support for the notion that Mitchell has any sort of expertise or knowledge of the subject and nothing written in the Mitchell Report gives us any additional reason to believe he does.
   72. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 05, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4318011)
SugarBear, you're misreading the text. And you don't need to; the correct reading of the text is not incompatible with maintaining a belief that amphetamines are/were insignificant compared to steroids in potency or clubhouse culture-- or not believing it. The sole finding of the footnote is "Amphetamines, yeah, we decided not to get into that." The words say what the words say.

I've been doomed to create and sift through these kind of reports and language for a living and can report that the people that create them know how to express what they mean to express, and if they meant to say that the problems posed by amps overlapped with those posed by roids, they would have said so. And if they wanted to say that amps implicated similar competitive concerns as roids, they could have said that. (And if they'd meant to dilute the problems posed by roid use they could have said something other than "unfair competiive advantage.")

There were drafts upon drafts of this thing prepared, and much redlining of both footnote 19 and the rest of the text.

Nor have I ever suggested that baseball's word is final on the ultimate question -- it could be wrong. But, as of now, baseball believes amps and roids posed "distinct" problems, and that roids offered players an "unfair competitive advantage." (And that players used roids to gain such.) Which bears on the ultimate issue around here -- if the official position of baseball is that the benefits afforded roid and amp users were "distinct," it isn't illegitimate (or, heaven forbid, "logically inconsistent") for HOF voters to treat them differently. A HOF with Henry Aaron, pill popper, but not Mark McGwire, roider, isn't "inconsistent," it's in harmony with the official position of Major League Baseball.
   73. Ron J2 Posted: December 05, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4318037)
Andy, the problem in invoking the penalties is that the initial penalties negotiated between the PA and MLB for a positive steroid test was precisely the same as for being caught altering a baseball. It was only reaction from those outside the game that led to harsher penalties.
   74. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 05, 2012 at 05:01 PM (#4318041)
First time offense:

Greenies: subject to mandatory evaluation and follow-up testing
Steroids: 50 game suspension

Second offense:
Greenies: 25 game suspension
Steroids: 100 game suspension

Third offense:
Greenies: 80 day suspension
Steroids: Lifetime ban

Fourth offense:
Greenies: "up to" a lifetime ban
Steroids: N/A


See where it doesn't say: Greenies: no suspension?

At best, this is evidence that the PTB see a difference in degree, not in kind. But not really, because of what Ron said.
   75. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 05, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4318053)
SugarBear, you're misreading the text. And you don't need to; the correct reading of the text is not incompatible with maintaining a belief that amphetamines are/were insignificant compared to steroids in potency or clubhouse culture-- or not believing it, for that matter. The sole finding of the footnote is "Amphetamines, yeah, we decided not to get into that." The words say what the words say.


He's also creating the Mark Furhman trial within the OJ trial. Who cares WTF the official unofficial institutional position in MLB is from twisting some obscure footnote in a George Mitchell report? That doesn't change the science, or the players' state of mind in taking the various drugs, or what was against the rules, etc.
   76. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 05, 2012 at 05:12 PM (#4318061)
Who cares WTF the official unofficial institutional position in MLB is from twisting some obscure footnote in a George Mitchell report?

Because it bears on the legitimacy (or, in your terms, "consistency") of an HOF vote distinguishing roiders and pill poppers. Unless you're suggesting that an approach to the HOF that accords with MLB's official position is somehow illegitimate.

See where it doesn't say: Greenies: no suspension?

At best, this is evidence that the PTB see a difference in degree, not in kind. But not really, because of what Ron said.


The disparate treatment of roiders and pill poppers (don't forget the pill waivers) under current baseball "law" is itself adequate reason to treat roiders and pill poppers differently for HOF purposes. You don't need Footnote 19, or anything else. Baseball has not, and does not, treat roiding and pill popping similarly.
   77. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 05, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4318063)
See where it doesn't say: Greenies: no suspension?

Baseball suspends players for greenies.
Baseball suspends players for roids.

See the similarities?

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