Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Frank Thomas: No sympathy for steroids-tainted stars

Says the man who saw his HR total jump by 17 in 1993…

Retired Chicago White Sox slugger Frank Thomas feels even better about his career after watching steroids-tainted stars Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens fail to gain entry to the Hall of Fame.

“I think I’ve done enough to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer,” he said Saturday at the team’s fan convention.

“Watching all the nonsense unfold and not really knowing what was going on, it makes me much more proud of my career,” he said. “I competed in that era. I played at a high level in that era. There are a lot of great players, but as it unfolds, a lot of it was not the real deal. I know 100 percent I was the real deal.”

Bonds, Sosa and Clemens were denied in their first year of eligibility amid suspicions by some voters that their accomplishments were boosted by performance-enhancing drugs. Mark McGwire, 10th on the career home run list, received 16.9 percent of the vote on his seventh try, far short of the 75 percent needed for election.

“I wouldn’t say I feel bad for them,” Thomas said. “I respected them on the field, but they chose this. They made their own decisions off the field and they’ve got to live with it.”

He said their numbers were “incredible” but “fake.”

“Any time you look at the PED situation, you look at the Lance Armstrong situation _ you look at stuff like that, it’s serious out there,” Thomas said. “Thank God I’m blessed I did it the right way. I had a good family base that made me outwork everybody else because that’s the only way I made it to the big leagues.”

...Thomas thinks baseball’s drug-testing is on the right path. Players will be tested for human growth hormone throughout the regular season following blood testing during spring training last year. Those are in addition to urine tests.

“There won’t be any more scandals. Baseball is going to be 100 percent clean,” Thomas said. “They’re going to have to be.”

Repoz Posted: January 26, 2013 at 05:29 PM | 51 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof, white sox

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. John Northey Posted: January 26, 2013 at 05:42 PM (#4355660)
Next years vote will be funny to watch - just know that some writers will say they doubt Thomas was clean due to the home runs, physique, the fact he played college football (not exactly known for being clean), and the fact most of his career was during the PED era. Wonder how he'll react to that, if he comes up short and it is due to writers doubting him even though he was one of the loudest voices pushing for testing.
   2. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 26, 2013 at 05:51 PM (#4355664)
Seems like there is as much evidence on Thomas as Bagwell. Why should the result be different?
   3. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 26, 2013 at 05:53 PM (#4355667)
Not to mention the recent assertion that, as a star and a veteran, Thomas bears greater responsibility for not stopping steroids.
   4. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: January 26, 2013 at 06:00 PM (#4355673)
That's true - rumors aside, it is confirmed beyond cavil that Thomas did not stop steroids.
   5. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 26, 2013 at 06:08 PM (#4355676)
There isn't really any evidence against Bagwell beyond vague associations. But Bagwell does have vague associations with steroids, in the form of his affiliation with body-builders and his focus on adding bulk in his workouts. Thomas does not have such associations, as far as I know.

Imagine a situation where an omniscient but playful god forced you to place 50/50 bets on whether individual ballplayers used steroids. I'd place by chip on yes for Bagwell. I'd need to do more research before making a call on Thomas.
   6. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: January 26, 2013 at 06:12 PM (#4355677)
I would take his vehement public denunciation of steroids and users as evidence that he did steroids.
   7.     Hey Gurl Posted: January 26, 2013 at 06:12 PM (#4355678)
He had a big head.

Steroids.
   8. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 26, 2013 at 06:19 PM (#4355680)
But Bagwell does have vague associations with steroids, in the form of his affiliation with body-builders and his focus on adding bulk in his workouts. Thomas does not have such associations, as far as I know.

Which one is bulkier? Has to be Thomas by any definition, no?
   9.     Hey Gurl Posted: January 26, 2013 at 06:20 PM (#4355682)
Which one is bulkier? Has to be Thomas by any definition, no?


Thomas was bulky in 1988. Bagwell looks like a stick figure in his rookie photo. As everyone knows, all people who bulk up as they get older did so because they used Steroids.
   10. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 26, 2013 at 06:21 PM (#4355683)
Requoting a December post of mine:

----

One of the most bizarre things about the entire steroids controversy is the sheer number of people who wouldn't believe players like Sosa or Bagwell, and yet swallowed Thomas's loud and unprompted claims of non-use whole. But if ever there was a player who fit the typical profile of a steroids user, it was Thomas. Big, strong guy, played football growing up and in college, a three-sport guy, around locker rooms his whole life, came of age as the steroids culture was blossoming -- and by his own admission was ultra-competitive and, moreover, was sore that he was not drafted out of high school, as players he knew he was better than were. From wiki:

Thomas was born and raised in Columbus, Georgia, and attended Columbus High School, where he was a standout in both football and baseball. As a Columbus High School sophomore he hit cleanup for a baseball team that won a state championship.

As a senior he hit .440 for the baseball team, was named an All-State tight end with the football team, and played forward with the basketball team. He wanted desperately to win a contract to play professional baseball, but was not drafted in the 1986 amateur draft.[6]

"I was shocked and sad," Thomas recalled in the Chicago Tribune. "I saw a lot of guys I played against get drafted, and I knew they couldn't do what I could do. But I've had people all my life saying you can't do this, you can't do that. It scars you. No matter how well I've done. People have misunderstood me for some reason. I was always one of the most competitive kids around."
   11. Chicago Joe Posted: January 26, 2013 at 06:22 PM (#4355684)
Thomas was bulky in 1988. Bagwell looks like a stick figure in his rookie photo. As everyone knows, all people who bulk up as they get older did so because they used Steroids.


President Taft: Juicer.
   12. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 26, 2013 at 06:25 PM (#4355688)
and the fact most of his career was during the PED era


Yeah. And just to highlight it, his career _basically spanned_ the steroids era. His career began about the time when more players began to weight train even though it was generally frowned upon to that point. (Ron J can pop in here and re-quote the blurb about Ron Gant.)

   13. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: January 26, 2013 at 06:26 PM (#4355689)

There isn't really any evidence against Bagwell beyond vague associations. But Bagwell does have vague associations with steroids, in the form of his affiliation with body-builders and his focus on adding bulk in his workouts. Thomas does not have such associations, as far as I know.

Imagine a situation where an omniscient but playful god forced you to place 50/50 bets on whether individual ballplayers used steroids. I'd place by chip on yes for Bagwell. I'd need to do more research before making a call on Thomas.


Agreed completely. Moreover, it really is a shame what's happened with Bags. The BBWAA groupthink seems to have shifted further and harder against the mere scent of PED use in the past couple of years. At this point, I'd wager that most would suspect that George Hackenschmidt or Eugen Sandow juiced if they were given a colorized photo. Or Mickey Mantle or Ted Kluszewski for that matter.

I'm very much a PED hawk in my own right, and it's shameful to hear the rhetoric the BBWAA espouses. Frank Thomas did absolutely everything you'd have reasonably expected a star clean player amidst a tide PED usage to have done.* There are no circumstantial links whatsoever beyond some very nebulous accusations relating to "well, if you were a Major League slugger in the 90's or a college football player in the 80's...." This is crap, and it makes a genuine argument about the very real problems associated with unchecked PED usage hard to have (though, fortunately, MLB and the PA seem to have the right idea moving forward. Hooray for longitudinal testing!)

*Note that this is also true of Roger Clemens' reaction to the Mitchell Report, and he's cleared his name so far as I'm concerned.
   14. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 26, 2013 at 06:33 PM (#4355691)
Bonds, Sosa and Clemens were denied in their first year of eligibility amid suspicions by some voters that their accomplishments were boosted by performance-enhancing drugs. Mark McGwire, 10th on the career home run list, received 16.9 percent of the vote on his seventh try, far short of the 75 percent needed for election.

“I wouldn’t say I feel bad for them,” Thomas said. “I respected them on the field, but they chose this. They made their own decisions off the field and they’ve got to live with it.”

He said their numbers were “incredible” but “fake.”

“Any time you look at the PED situation, you look at the Lance Armstrong situation _ you look at stuff like that, it’s serious out there,” Thomas said. “Thank God I’m blessed I did it the right way. I had a good family base that made me outwork everybody else because that’s the only way I made it to the big leagues.”


Person who slanders other people based on no facts thinks he's morally superior to those people. Film at 11.

There is no evidence that either Sosa or Bagwell used steroids. If Thomas has such evidence, he should come forward, otherwise STFU.
   15. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 26, 2013 at 06:38 PM (#4355694)
There isn't really any evidence against Bagwell beyond vague associations. But Bagwell does have vague associations with steroids, in the form of his affiliation with body-builders and his focus on adding bulk in his workouts. Thomas does not have such associations, as far as I know.


Thomas played college football, then major league baseball. Those are such associations.

Did Thomas figure out how to weight train on his own? Or did he have trainers along the way?

Imagine a situation where an omniscient but playful god forced you to place 50/50 bets on whether individual ballplayers used steroids. I'd place by chip on yes for Bagwell. I'd need to do more research before making a call on Thomas.


All of this is unknowable, but I'd bet on Thomas before I bet on Bagwell.

And as Gonfalon said, Thomas didn't stop this train - so no vote for him.
   16. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: January 26, 2013 at 06:39 PM (#4355695)
There is no evidence that either Sosa or Bagwell used steroids. If Thomas has such evidence, he should come forward, otherwise STFU.
Thomas doesn't mention anyone by name (aside from Biggio in a different context), and TFA doesn't doesn't mention Bagwell at all. If you have evidence that Thomas was referring to those players, come forward, otherwise...
   17. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 26, 2013 at 06:42 PM (#4355696)
Moreover, it really is a shame what's happened with Bags.
I think Bagwell demonstrates the complete uselessness of the "let the BBWAA judge" position on steroids and the Hall of Fame. Even if you want to keep steroid users out of the Hall. To refuse to induct Bagwell is obviously wrong, since there's no evidence that he used. At the same time, if your goal is to avoid inducting steroid users, you can't be inducting guys like Bagwell who, you know, probably used. There is no way out of this trap. The "let the BBWAA judge" position on steroids simply ends either (1) in a rule that player who "sure seem like" steroid users don't get inducted - which is obviously stupid and unfair. Or (2) you end up with a rule that players who used steroids and were smart enough not to admit it and lucky enough to get their steroids from dealers who didn't tell the media or George Mitchell get inducted, but players who were relatively dumb and unlucky don't. Both are terrible systems, and they're the only systems you can possibly end up with if you let the BBWAA decide.

Even if you want steroids out of the Hall, if you care about HoF induction being at all fair, you can't reasonably support letting the BBWAA decide who used and who didn'.

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

For the "omniscient, playful god" scenario, nothing in 7-10 has made me think Thomas should be a "yes". (I mean, he's starting somewhere in between for me, since he was a power-hitting baseball player. But there's no added value in the information beyond that.) Where are the associations with body-builders? The weight gain? Did Thomas say he changed something in his workouts in response to being passed over? Give me something.
   18. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 26, 2013 at 06:47 PM (#4355697)
There is no evidence that either Sosa or Bagwell used steroids. If Thomas has such evidence, he should come forward, otherwise STFU.

Thomas doesn't mention anyone by name (aside from Biggio in a different context), and TFA doesn't doesn't mention Bagwell at all. If you have evidence that Thomas was referring to those players, come forward, otherwise...


I'll replace Bagwell with Bonds or Clemens. The article indicates that he was talking about them:

Bonds, Sosa and Clemens were denied in their first year of eligibility amid suspicions by some voters that their accomplishments were boosted by performance-enhancing drugs. Mark McGwire, 10th on the career home run list, received 16.9 percent of the vote on his seventh try, far short of the 75 percent needed for election.

"I wouldn't say I feel bad for them," Thomas said. "I respected them on the field, but they chose this. They made their own decisions off the field and they've got to live with it."

He said their numbers were "incredible" but "fake."


Either he's speaking about them and others, or he should name just who he is speaking about.
   19. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 26, 2013 at 06:50 PM (#4355699)
Or (2) you end up with a rule that players who used steroids and were smart enough not to admit it and lucky enough to get their steroids from dealers who didn't tell the media or George Mitchell get inducted, but players who were relatively dumb and unlucky don't. Both are terrible systems, and they're the only systems you can possibly end up with if you let the BBWAA decide.


Yes. Let's have a $50 million investigation into Thomas like we had with Bonds and Clemens. Then we can decide whether to give Thomas the benefit of the doubt.

New rule: Players who haven't been the targets of government investigations get no benefit of the doubt. Why pretend that all players are created equal when some have been the subject of massive investigations (McGwire, Palmeiro, Pettitte, Bonds, Clemens) and some have not?
   20. Bob Tufts Posted: January 26, 2013 at 06:54 PM (#4355702)
frank Thomas: "They bought their steroids, they knew what they were getting into. I say, let 'em crash!"
   21. TJ Posted: January 26, 2013 at 07:30 PM (#4355709)
Maybe Thomasis so adamant about PEDs because he was truly a great offensive force in the 1990's, but was replaced in the public's eyes by the PED guys and the video game numbers they were posting. Bonds faced the same choice, and went the PED route. Thomas didn't, and maybe that's why he is still so ticked off at those that did.

Think about it- when was the last time you heard a casual baseball fan cite Frank Thomas as being one of the greatest players of the 1990's?
   22. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: January 26, 2013 at 07:31 PM (#4355710)
Frank Thomas did absolutely everything you'd have reasonably expected a star clean player amidst a tide PED usage to have done.*

*Note that this is also true of Roger Clemens' reaction to the Mitchell Report, and he's cleared his name so far as I'm concerned.


In general I agree with this kind of statement, but boy the Lance Armstrong thing really threw me for a loop. I mean, he filed and won a libel lawsuit (or slander, or whatever). He spent all of this time vehemently defending himself, and it was all a lie.
   23. AuntBea Posted: January 26, 2013 at 07:54 PM (#4355717)
Anyone who was not 99% sure Armstrong was a doper at least 5 years ago was merely not paying attention. There was tons of evidence, multiple first hand accounts, it was all over multiple news stories from diverse sources, and there was the simple fact of competition in the Tour de France (essentially all the other top finishers had already been caught).
   24. stealfirstbase Posted: January 26, 2013 at 08:03 PM (#4355722)
Good for the Big Hurt. He played clean in a dirty era, and put up HOF numbers regardless. That makes him a first ballot HOFer.

Who knows how much his OPS+ would go up if he only played against clean pitchers, and wasn't weighed against dirty hitters. I'd say 10 points, conservatively.
   25. Bob Tufts Posted: January 26, 2013 at 08:28 PM (#4355734)
He said their numbers were "incredible" but "fake."


How do we determine that Frank Thomas' home runs were real...and spectacular?
   26. Rob_Wood Posted: January 26, 2013 at 08:29 PM (#4355736)
Nothing against Frank, but it is well-known that Clemens and Bonds worked tremendously hard and had insane workout regimens. So the fact that Frank worked hard too is not evidence that he is clean and they are dirty.
   27. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 26, 2013 at 08:42 PM (#4355743)
And as Gonfalon said, Thomas didn't stop this train - so no vote for him.

For the record, I was merely quoting a thoughtful observation from one of the many Hall of Fame voters whose ballot may be laughable garbage if judged on an individual basis, but whose opinion in the aggregate must be respected.
   28. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 26, 2013 at 08:54 PM (#4355746)
You can't have a witch hunt and then be surprised when some non-witches get burned at the stake, too. Perhaps Thomas (and some of his backers) are overly concerned that he not be tainted, rather than all players not be tainted, in the absence of real evidence.
   29. stealfirstbase Posted: January 26, 2013 at 09:32 PM (#4355761)
You can't have a witch hunt and then be surprised when some non-witches get burned at the stake, too.

Sure you can, this isn't Arthur Miller. Lance Armstrong didn't confess because Abigail Williams accused him. His name didn't appear on Joseph McCarthy's list of imaginary communists. Armstrong was done in by the weight of the evidence. Thomas has no evidence against him, and several pieces of evidence that he wasn't using steroids: being the only player to voluntarily talk to the Mitchell report and to the congressional hearings, being one of the first players to call for testing, leading the walkout of the 2003 Sox to trigger more positive tests, and being tested as a college football player at Auburn. Not even Jose Canseco accuses him of using.

You can burn whoever you want as long as you have enough flammable evidence to pile up. Thomas doesn't, and really, neither does Bagwell, who's mostly guilty by association through playing on a team with Clemens, but who doesn't have all of Thomas's high marks for crusading against steroids.
   30. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 26, 2013 at 10:00 PM (#4355767)
Thomas has no evidence against him, and several pieces of evidence that he wasn't using steroids: being the only player to voluntarily talk to the Mitchell report and to the congressional hearings, being one of the first players to call for testing, leading the walkout of the 2003 Sox to trigger more positive tests, and being tested as a college football player at Auburn. Not even Jose Canseco accuses him of using.


Those aren't pieces of evidence at all that he wasn't using during his major league career.

And for all of it, did he finger even a single user?
   31. stealfirstbase Posted: January 26, 2013 at 10:06 PM (#4355769)
Those aren't pieces of evidence at all that he wasn't using during his major league career.

I see what you mean, but the last two actually are pieces of evidence he didn't use. He passed the college steroid tests at Auburn, and even a bad test is better than no test. Also, if Canseco isn't accusing him, that's evidence he didn't use, because Canseco would sell his own fingers for cash and/or attention.

The others are just circumstantial evidence, but they're powerful evidence.
   32. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 26, 2013 at 10:08 PM (#4355770)
Mitchell Report:

Among current players I asked to interview were five who have spoken publicly about the issue. When I did so, I made clear that there was no suggestion that any of the five had used performance enhancing substances, and I repeat here that clarifying statement. Four of the five declined. One of them, Frank Thomas of the Toronto Blue Jays, agreed. His comments were informative and helpful.


Either Thomas gets credit for "speaking out" about this issue, or he does not. If he does, he needs to have named names; otherwise, he's nothing more than a self-interested blowhard like Curt Schilling is, who clammed up before Congress.

If Thomas didn't name names - and there is no evidence that he did - then I see no reason to give him credit for speaking out. A whistleblower who doesn't name names shouldn't get credit for blowing a whistle. Whistleblowing carries with it consequences.

If Thomas didn't actually know any players who were using, his comments are of limited utility.
   33. stealfirstbase Posted: January 26, 2013 at 10:25 PM (#4355774)
If Thomas didn't name names - and there is no evidence that he did - then I see no reason to give him credit for speaking out.

I've never heard this line of thinking before. I'm a little surprised by it. People come forward anonymously all the time to report problems. I really don't see how Thomas was obligated to be a fink. He asked for testing as early as 1994. If MLB and the union or the media had taken his advice, the guilty would have been caught and there would have been evidence against them. Simple as that.

Who wants to get into an unsubstantiated accusation whirlwind based on rumors and hearsay, especially if you're innocent.

My point is that what you wrote makes no sense upon reading it, and makes even less sense upon reflecting on it. I'm surprised you wrote that, but I'd be stunned if you actual believe it.
   34. Bob Tufts Posted: January 26, 2013 at 10:30 PM (#4355775)
Among current players I asked to interview were five who have spoken publicly about the issue. When I did so, I made clear that there was no suggestion that any of the five had used performance enhancing substances, and I repeat here that clarifying statement. Four of the five declined. One of them, Frank Thomas of the Toronto Blue Jays, agreed. His comments were informative and helpful.


I assume that the reason they declined is that due to the language of the CBA, all such matters are supposed to be handled through the union and not directly to the players due to procedural agreements and also any legal kerfuffle that could occur.

Mitchell was in violation of the CBA when he made some direct requests to active and past players who are considered "active" for the purpose of discussing their careers.

Article XI Grievance Procedure

A. Definitions

(4) “Player” or “Players” shall mean a Player or Players on the
active roster of a Major League Club or on a disabled, restricted,
disqualified, ineligible, suspended or military list of a Major League
Club. The term “Player” shall also include a former Player or Players
who have a grievance or complaint arising by reason of their former
status as a Player as defined in the preceding sentence.

   35. Bruce Markusen Posted: January 26, 2013 at 10:47 PM (#4355780)
Ray, where do you come up with these arguments? You have no idea if Frank Thomas named names, or if he did not name names. That's not specified in the Mitchell Report. The fact of the matter is that Thomas did cooperate to some extent, whereas the others members of the Players Association did not cooperate AT ALL. According to logical and reasonable thought, that puts Thomas ahead of the game, not behind it.

Really, you just need to come up with a template or a form letter to respond to these steroid articles. Just write it up once and then just copy and paste it in response to every one of these articles where "Player X criticizes players A, B, and C for having used steroids." And in that form letter, you can tell us just how reprehensible the steroid critics are.

Maybe your response can be stamped on automatically as the first comment; perhaps Jim Furtado can set that up for you. You'll save a lot of time and energy for yourself, and you'll spare those who are tired of reading through your repeated ramblings on this subject.

I mean, at this point, is there anyone on BTF who doesn't know how Ray (RDP) feels on the subject of PEDs? Anyone?
   36. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 26, 2013 at 11:00 PM (#4355786)
I've never heard this line of thinking before. I'm a little surprised by it. People come forward anonymously all the time to report problems. I really don't see how Thomas was obligated to be a fink. He asked for testing as early as 1994. If MLB and the union or the media had taken his advice, the guilty would have been caught and there would have been evidence against them. Simple as that.

I agree with the above sentiment, but the problem is that when Thomas implicitly let Sosa and Clemens be lumped in with Bonds in response to that statement about the HoF, he's essentially accusing them of juicing without any real proof. That may not be finking in the classic sense of the word, but it's the kissing cousin to it, since the evidence against Sosa and Clemens is basically a combination unsupported hearsay mixed with lots of schadenfreude and snark.
   37. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 26, 2013 at 11:08 PM (#4355787)
I mean, at this point, is there anyone on BTF who doesn't know how Ray (RDP) feels on the subject of PEDs? Anyone?

I've probably locked horns with Ray more than anyone else here over the years, and sure, he's utterly predictable and engages in idiotic rhetoric about how everyone who's on the other side on the steroids question is either "illogical" or "dishonest". But giving credit where it's due, I have to say that his digging into the Clemens case was what turned me around in my initial thought that Clemens was guilty. It's too bad that most of the BBWAA can't be bothered to pay attention to little things like evidence that doesn't fit their preconceived notions.
   38. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: January 26, 2013 at 11:16 PM (#4355788)
Do you really trust the tests Auburn was conducting in the 80's? That was a team and well league what had wide spread roid use. It was in there best interest that players pass the test...
   39. Walt Davis Posted: January 26, 2013 at 11:32 PM (#4355797)
On naming names, he still isn't. From the other link, Thomas is still claiming ignorance. How he can claim he didn't know what was going on while simultaneously being lauded as the one guy who was trying to stop what was going on is ... interesting:

“I’ll be honest with you. It was a secret society,” Thomas said. “I had no idea. I think I was the one guy that when they were having that conversation they would stop quickly when I walked in the room. For many, many years I had a lot of teammates involved and I had no idea it was going on the way it was going on. There were always rumblings about one or two guys, but to know the numbers that really came out, I was really, really shocked.”
   40. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 26, 2013 at 11:50 PM (#4355807)
On naming names, he still isn't. From the other link, Thomas is still claiming ignorance. How he can claim he didn't know what was going on while simultaneously being lauded as the one guy who was trying to stop what was going on is ... interesting:


Eggs-actly.
   41. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 26, 2013 at 11:55 PM (#4355811)
I've never heard this line of thinking before. I'm a little surprised by it. People come forward anonymously all the time to report problems.


But that's not what happened here. That's the opposite of what happened here. Here, someone who was not anonymous - Thomas - came forward to... report that he had no names and not much information at all.
   42. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 26, 2013 at 11:58 PM (#4355812)
Ray, where do you come up with these arguments? You have no idea if Frank Thomas named names, or if he did not name names. That's not specified in the Mitchell Report.


If it's not specified, then there is no evidence that he named names, and therefore no reason to presume it.

Also, nothing in the Mitchell Report says "We have evidence that this player used steroids. Frank Thomas told us."
   43. Busted Flush Posted: January 27, 2013 at 12:47 AM (#4355822)
If it's not specified, then there is no evidence that he named names, and therefore no reason to presume it.

True.
he needs to have named names; otherwise, he's nothing more than a self-interested blowhard

Conjecture and of no value.
   44. Walt Davis Posted: January 27, 2013 at 01:20 AM (#4355830)
By the way, I generally believe Thomas when he says he didn't use during his ML career (more in a moment). I'm also willing to believe that he had little to no specific knowledge of a player's use -- I mean I suspect he overheard bits of conversation, he noted that unofficial trainer in the locker room, etc. but not "X told me he was using roids." That's doubly reasonable in that he probably didn't want to know. I also have no problem with him receiving "credit" for speaking out a bit when few others were. And I'd have a lot less respect for him if he had named names in the Mitchell report.

Now, back to "use". I would frankly be a bit stunned if Thomas has NEVER used roids. A top high school football player at a major college program known for playing a bit loose with the rules? He never even tried them? Did he never even try andro? (I know, legal at the time.) And even if that's the case, the number of tainted supplements out there was quite high at the time (and probably still is).

So I'm willing to believe that he wasn't on a regular program of steroid cycles during his ML career. I also wouldn't be at all surprised if he was.

   45. CrosbyBird Posted: January 27, 2013 at 09:39 AM (#4355880)
The fact of the matter is that Thomas did cooperate to some extent, whereas the others members of the Players Association did not cooperate AT ALL. According to logical and reasonable thought, that puts Thomas ahead of the game, not behind it.

I think that's a little much. There are a number of scenarios in which a dishonest person makes a show of cooperation to disguise guilt.

Just to be clear, I'm not accusing Frank Thomas of using steroids. I'm just saying that his position on steroids isn't much evidence of lack of use; it's too easy for mere words to be self-serving. I think that's where Ray is coming from. Let's speculate for a moment that Thomas used steroids, but then stopped a couple of years before he spoke out (for whatever reason: health, disbelief in efficacy, fear of discovery). Couldn't he behave in precisely the same way as he would have if entirely innocent?

A negative result on a test is a evidence (but not proof, of course) of lack of use. You can never prove that Thomas didn't use steroids, because you can't prove any negative. You can only show that there's a lack of positive evidence under strong enough scrutiny so as to be very unlikely.

One of the things that I don't think has been much explored in the steroid discussion is the Prisoner's Dilemma of an environment that doesn't enforce steroid prohibition (the same concept applies to amphetamines), assuming that steroids are enhancing. If I use and my opponent doesn't, I have an large competitive advantage; in the opposite case, I have a disadvantage. If we both use, we both suffer a small disadvantage (health) with no relative benefit. If neither of us use, things are neutral. This means that no matter what my rival does, using provides a relative advantage (assuming I value the competitive advantage over the health risk). One of the reasons that I don't hold players as morally accountable as some others do for the steroid problem is that the environment itself created this set of perverse incentives.
   46. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: January 27, 2013 at 10:14 AM (#4355891)
Have any players suspected of using and later proven to have used steroids ever pleaded innocence while saying that others used?
   47. Carlo Paz Posted: January 27, 2013 at 05:13 PM (#4356146)
If Thomas was clever enough to actively call for steroid testing while actually taking steroids as a diversionary ruse, he deserves to get into the hall of fame as a diabolical genius. Anyone who followed the White Sox knows that Frank wasn't (and isn't) a genius.
   48. Danny Posted: January 27, 2013 at 06:12 PM (#4356175)
leading the walkout of the 2003 Sox to trigger more positive tests

According to the Tribune at the time, this isn't true.
Frank Thomas arrived at the White Sox's spring training complex early Tuesday and was the third player to submit to a drug screen for steroids.

About 2 p.m., Thomas heard the buzz that was sweeping through the clubhouse: 16 players initially had refused to be tested because they wanted to be counted as positive results.

Thomas turned to veteran catcher Sandy Alomar and said, "Shoot, there's going to be some controversy if they did that."

...Thomas said that even if he had known about the Sox's short-lived boycott, he would have agreed to be tested because he supports the current program.

The article also notes that some of the players were going to refuse to be tested to protest testing--not to trigger more testing/punishments the following year.
   49. Ron J2 Posted: January 28, 2013 at 02:01 PM (#4356632)
As requested, Russ Nixon on Ron Gant, "He's not a baseball player, he's a body builder. It wasn't my idea. I thought he was big enough before." (1991)

Sparky Anderson destroyed Nelson Simmons' career over the whole issue of strength training. He'd been through it before with Lance Parrish and wasn't interested in take two.
   50. Ron J2 Posted: January 28, 2013 at 02:15 PM (#4356639)
nothing in 7-10 has made me think Thomas should be a "yes"


I did a mini study of players who had 300+ PAs in both 1992 and 1993 (since that's the year with the big spike in HR I think we can call it the start of "the steroid) era)

Thomas was among the leaders in increased HR/AB. I'm not saying this is actual evidence of anything. Nothing remotely surprising about a 24 year old who hit 46 doubles and 24 home runs going to 36 doubles and 41 home runs at 25.

But people want to use HR/AB deltas as evidence of PED use and Thomas (and Griffey Junior -- who also shows up on the list of top gainers in HR in 1993, moving from 27 in 565 AB to 45 in 582) show up near the top of the 1992-93 list.

   51. smileyy Posted: January 28, 2013 at 02:30 PM (#4356655)
If Frank Thomas didn't take steroids, he denied me seeing what it would be like if Frank Thomas took steroids.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Francis
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(9271 - 5:53am, Dec 22)
Last: Win Big Stein's Money

NewsblogOT: Politics - December 2014: Baseball & Politics Collide in New Thriller
(5216 - 4:56am, Dec 22)
Last: You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR)

NewsblogRuben Amaro Jr. says it would be best if Phillies move on from Ryan Howard
(47 - 3:26am, Dec 22)
Last:     Hey Gurl

NewsblogA Salute to Sy Berger, From a Card-Carrying Fan - NYTimes.com
(5 - 3:26am, Dec 22)
Last: vortex of dissipation

NewsblogThe 2015 HOF Ballot Collecting Gizmo!
(179 - 3:25am, Dec 22)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogThe right — and wrong — way for Mets to get Tulowitzki | New York Post
(14 - 1:01am, Dec 22)
Last: PreservedFish

Hall of Merit2015 Hall of Merit Ballot
(96 - 11:51pm, Dec 21)
Last: Rob_Wood

NewsblogDetermining Hall vote is no easy task | New York Post
(29 - 11:40pm, Dec 21)
Last: SoSHially Unacceptable

NewsblogJUNICHI TAZAWA & CULTURE OF DENIAL
(4 - 11:37pm, Dec 21)
Last: Steve Parris, Je t'aime

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - December 2014
(776 - 11:33pm, Dec 21)
Last: The District Attorney

NewsblogMarty Noble's HOF Ballot
(45 - 11:32pm, Dec 21)
Last: bobm

NewsblogThe Yankees’ plan in case A-Rod can’t play at all
(25 - 10:12pm, Dec 21)
Last: Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

NewsblogOT: Soccer December 2014
(344 - 9:50pm, Dec 21)
Last: Mefisto

Hall of MeritHerman Long
(11 - 9:22pm, Dec 21)
Last: Joey Numbaz (Scruff)

NewsblogThe Jeff Jacobs HOF Ballot: Keep The Voting Serious And Fair
(55 - 9:14pm, Dec 21)
Last: Ron J

Page rendered in 0.5359 seconds
48 querie(s) executed