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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

George Mitchell on the legacy of the Mitchell Report, PEDs and the Hall of Fame.

I went through and reread all the player linked. I’d forgotten some of the names.

In December 2007, Mitchell released a 409-page report citing 89 names, including such prominent players as Clemens, Bonds, Gary Sheffield, Kevin Brown, Mo Vaughn, Jason Giambi, Lenny Dykstra, Miguel Tejada, Andy Pettitte, David Justice, Juan Gonzalez, Matt Williams and Jose Canseco. Ronald Blum of the Associated Press called it “the game’s most infamous lineup since the Black Sox scandal.’‘

Jim Furtado Posted: January 23, 2018 at 11:52 AM | 52 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mitchell report, steroids

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   1. John Northey Posted: January 23, 2018 at 12:18 PM (#5611718)
I would like him to say if anyone he suspected of PED use has been put in the HOF yet. There are some obvious candidates for that - I-Rod who Canseco named as a user, Randy Johnson who had a much longer and greater career than makes sense on the surface (btw, I was a big fan of his from day one so I hate to say it but it does seem like he is a likely user), Kirby Puckett seems an obvious early user from the 80's when he spiked from 0 to 30 HR in a couple of years. I'm sure I could come up with more easily using better logic than was used with Piazza to keep him out for years (back acne mentioned by one reporter as the entire vault of evidence). Heck, Clemens is a bizarre one as it is purely based on one trainer who has been shown to be a serial liar and on one conversation he had with Pettitte (a known user).
   2. dejarouehg Posted: January 23, 2018 at 01:39 PM (#5611782)
It's easy to dismiss the backne as is often done with Piazza b/c a) by itself it seems to be trivial and b) Murray Chass is the one who harped on it, but it is a real symptom. Piazza is one of the few players who was called out by another MLB player, Reggie Jefferson.

I never considered Randy Johnson or Puckett. I thought the likely potential HOFers were Fisk, Reggie, Eck, Rickey, Bagwell, Biggio & IRod.

Clemens is a "bizarre one?" Didn't he say the drugs were for his wife? or something like that. (By the way, is someone who cheats on their wife repeatedly a serial liar?)

You dismiss Pettitte who immediately 'fessed up to using HGH. (I'm still not sure why HGH is on the banned list - I think it's a gift from the gods that should be promoted for healing benefits though admittedly, I haven't done my research.) This makes him an unreliable source?
   3. dlf Posted: January 23, 2018 at 02:42 PM (#5611872)
You dismiss Pettitte who immediately 'fessed up to using HGH. (I'm still not sure why HGH is on the banned list - I think it's a gift from the gods that should be promoted for healing benefits though admittedly, I haven't done my research.) This makes him an unreliable source?


I don't dismiss Pettitte because he admitted using hGH; I dismiss him because under oath he stated that he could have misheard, misunderstood, or misremembered the conversation.

I thought the likely potential HOFers were Fisk, Reggie, Eck, Rickey, Bagwell, Biggio & IRod.


Nolan Ryan clearly was only using Advil.

   4. BrianBrianson Posted: January 23, 2018 at 02:47 PM (#5611877)
I would like him to say if anyone he suspected of PED use has been put in the HOF yet.


Pud Galvin claimed he used the steroids he was endorsing, so that's the most obvious.

Pucket doesn't stand out. Like, if Pucket did, that'd make my guess on the over/under HOFers who used at 30 or so. Fisk & IRod, ditto Ryan are obvious guesses - Randy Johnson didn't occur to me, but seems not unlikely.
   5. Hotel Coral Esix Snead (tmutchell) Posted: January 23, 2018 at 03:20 PM (#5611934)
Barry Larkin strikes me as a likely candidate, just based on circumstantial evidence. He had averaged 10 HR/year for a decade, then hits 33 at the age of 32, more than double the previous year's total. Then he suffered from leg and neck injuries for the rest of his career. It's not proof, by any stretch, but ironically, the year he did that, he lost the MVP to an admitted steroid user, with a similar career profile (averaged 11 HR before 1996, then hit 40).
   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 23, 2018 at 03:24 PM (#5611940)
Nolan Ryan clearly was only using Advil.

Gentl'r on m'stummich!
   7. SoSH U at work Posted: January 23, 2018 at 03:24 PM (#5611941)
Barry Larkin strikes me as a likely candidate, just based on circumstantial evidence. He had averaged 10 HR/year for a decade, then hits 33 at the age of 32, more than double the previous year's total.


That would mean he decided to start juicing the offseason after winning the MVP.
   8. Hotel Coral Esix Snead (tmutchell) Posted: January 23, 2018 at 03:40 PM (#5611957)

That would mean he [Larkin] decided to start juicing the offseason after winning the MVP.


Not necessarily, though I can also see someone doing that, saying "now I have to prove it wasn't a fluke" or whatever.

He had missed some time with injuries in 1989, 1991, 1992 and 1993. He may have started using just to get healthier, saw the beneficial effects and sarted using for muscle mass too, then overdid it so that his frame couldn't handle it and broke down. It's all speculation anyway.
   9. BrianBrianson Posted: January 23, 2018 at 03:56 PM (#5611970)
Or, you know, Larkin was often in bad health, and when he managed to get it together, he performed better. Hell, Larkin's 20 HRs in 123 games in '91 was probably better power than 33 in 152 games in '96.
   10. cardsfanboy Posted: January 23, 2018 at 07:33 PM (#5612139)
I would like him to say if anyone he suspected of PED use has been put in the HOF yet. There are some obvious candidates for that - I-Rod who Canseco named as a user, Randy Johnson who had a much longer and greater career than makes sense on the surface (btw, I was a big fan of his from day one so I hate to say it but it does seem like he is a likely user), Kirby Puckett seems an obvious early user from the 80's when he spiked from 0 to 30 HR in a couple of years. I'm sure I could come up with more easily using better logic than was used with Piazza to keep him out for years (back acne mentioned by one reporter as the entire vault of evidence). Heck, Clemens is a bizarre one as it is purely based on one trainer who has been shown to be a serial liar and on one conversation he had with Pettitte (a known user).


Seriously....do people actually think Nolan Ryan was clean....that is precious if there are people on this planet who believe he was clean.
   11. Khrushin it bro Posted: January 23, 2018 at 08:12 PM (#5612149)
Is there any actual evidence Nolan Ryan was not clean? He had a hell of an arm, steroids or no.
   12. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 23, 2018 at 08:30 PM (#5612157)
Nobody was clean. Stan Musial used to get special breakfast sausage made from hogs treated with growth hormones.
   13. Adam Starblind Posted: January 23, 2018 at 08:38 PM (#5612160)
What's the evidence on Fisk?
   14. Sweatpants Posted: January 23, 2018 at 08:40 PM (#5612162)
Trying to link Larkin's 1996 power surge to steroids is like trying to do the same with Brady Anderson's. If the increase was caused by steroids, then why did his power drop back down afterwards? Either he stopped using (which brings up the question of why he would, after seeing the positive effects) or he continued using and it wasn't actually the steroids that led to the home run spike (which makes the assumption that he was using them to begin with pretty tenuous, if home run totals aren't proof of anything).
   15. cardsfanboy Posted: January 23, 2018 at 08:45 PM (#5612164)
Is there any actual evidence Nolan Ryan was not clean? He had a hell of an arm, steroids or no.


Nolan Ryan's hof speech, specifically spelled out Tom House, Tom House has argued that 6 or 7 pitchers per team was using steroids or hgh.... you do the math.

I mean, c'mon we have less evidence for Piazza, or even Sosa.... but we are supposed to think Ryan was clean....c'mon now....again that is rich. There are a few certaintities with roid usage in baseball.

I'm positive that Arod, Clemens, Bonds, Caminiti, Manny, McGwire and Ryan used....those are just so obvious that it's hard to really argue against them..... there are less obvious candidates of course....but I would bet every penny I have that every single one of the aforementioned names used. (of course it would require a time machine to prove it, and at the point that you create a time machine, you can do much more to make money than betting on who used roids or not)
   16. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 23, 2018 at 08:50 PM (#5612168)
Nolan Ryan's hof speech, specifically spelled out Tom House, Tom House has argued that 50% of the pitchers in the 70's used steroids, you do the math.

Let's see: 50% x the 70's = 35%, and Nolan Ryan wore #34.

Close enough for me----GUILTY!!
   17. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 23, 2018 at 08:53 PM (#5612169)
Nobody was clean. Stan Musial used to get special breakfast sausage made from hogs treated with growth hormones.

Hell, when Musial was growing up in Poland, everyone had two things: Pony and steroid sausages for breakfast.
   18. cardsfanboy Posted: January 23, 2018 at 08:54 PM (#5612170)

Close enough for me----GUILTY!!


I mean, sure it's not as 100% as Mantle's or Ruth's usage, but it's pretty high on the list of evidence that many writers are using to keep guys out of the hof.
   19. Walt Davis Posted: January 23, 2018 at 10:20 PM (#5612199)
I don't advocate that "performance jump" = "steroids" but if that's the evidence you're looking for, Puckett is absolutely a prime candidate.

He was the #3 pick ... in the old January draft. There are only 2 rounds in that draft. The first round picks compiled a total of 50.2 WAR, 50.9 of that from Puckett. (Robby Thompson was drafted at the end of the second round but did not sign.)

At 22 he spent half a season at rookie ball. Then at 23, a year at A ball. At 24, he's at AAA for a month (doesn't do well), then up to the majors. So we've already got a meteoric rise on our hands.

As noted he then hits 4 HR in his first 1300 PA at ages 24-25 ... then 31 in 733 PA at 26. At 5'8" which might be generous. And it wasn't a case of turning doubles into HRs, his non-HR XBH counts stayed the same. This also coincided with (per TZ) a big drop in his defensive value from well above-average to below-average. Those would be consistent with him bulking up substantially.

I wouldn't expect Randy Johnson to be a steroid guy based on performance. The blazing fastball and nasty slider were always there, the control wasn't. That's a pretty common pattern and not one obviously helped by strength and weight training. Now amp usage and heavy painkiller usage as he aged, I could certainly believe that.

HGH: As far as I know, the statistical studies done have not found a significant effect. The one I saw a seminar about did find a positive but not significant effect (as always, on non-professional athletes over a short period of time). I don't recall if they were measuring sprint times or strength or maybe a bunch of stuff and focused on the biggest impact ... I am pretty sure they found an insignificant effect around 4%. I recall that because one of my colleagues made the point that at a pro-level, a 4% increase could be huge (in baseball, the difference between a 92 and 95 MPH fastball is less than 4% ... or adding 10 feet to your average flyball will add some HR). Still there's no evidence it could turn a guy who hits 4 HR in 1300 PA into a guy who hits 31 in 700. :-)



   20. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: January 23, 2018 at 10:41 PM (#5612204)
(By the way, is someone who cheats on their wife repeatedly a serial liar?


Don't you have to be by definition? Every time you speak with your wife you basically would have to lie about where you were, how you spent money, etc. etc.

I wouldn't expect Randy Johnson to be a steroid guy based on performance. The blazing fastball and nasty slider were always there, the control wasn't. That's a pretty common pattern and not one obviously helped by strength and weight training. Now amp usage and heavy painkiller usage as he aged, I could certainly believe that.


Not for performance but to assist with recovery and off season training? The dude was a workhorse throughout his 30's, maybe he juiced to keep fit and on the field?
I don't really give a sh*t one way or another, I just figure it was so common at one time that most(say 75%) of players were using them for a variety of benefits.
   21. John Northey Posted: January 23, 2018 at 10:57 PM (#5612206)
I remember Johnson jumping from meh pitcher to 'wow' after a few meetings with Nolan Ryan. Ryan was known in the 80's as a super workout guy, did tons on his legs but never had any bulk on him. Puckett I recall in the year he jumped to 30+ HR power really jumped in size as did many others around that time - all saying they were doing better workouts. Many dropped in performance as they bulked up too much and lost bat speed. Now, that could all be a coincidence, along with the many players playing well into their late 30's early 40's but somehow I doubt it.

That puts more of a spotlight on Carlton Fisk and I-Rod as both played well far longer than catchers ever had before (or since for that matter). Catching 2000+ games at the major league level has to put a major amount of damage onto a body. IRod actually played 201 more games behind the plate in the majors than anyone else ever had. One wonders about Bob Boone who hit for a 97 OPS+ for his age 40-42 seasons vs 80 for all his seasons before that. Another guy with 2000+ games caught was Gary Carter who played a lot at 1B near the end plus a lot in RF early on (132 in RF, 76 at 1B) which might have helped him a bit. Jason Kendall is the only other one with 2000+ (barely) and in his last 4 years, with testing in place, never cracked 75 for OPS+ and was sub 90 for his last 6 years (all 100+ games played). Draw your own conclusions.
   22. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 23, 2018 at 10:58 PM (#5612207)
Paul Molitor seems like a good candidate. Fisk, absolutely; he was a workout freak whose power numbers jumped in his 30s and lasted abnormally long as a player. Ask yourself this: If you were Carlton Fisk in 1983, why would you not take steroids? Why would you think there was any stain or opprobrium attached to them?
   23. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 23, 2018 at 11:06 PM (#5612208)
Bert Blyleven would be a candidate for someone who might have tried them at the end of his career.

Fastball dwindling, wanting to hang on to chase 300 wins, injuries near the end of his career...all right at the end of the 1980s / start of the 1990s...
   24. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 23, 2018 at 11:14 PM (#5612211)
Now amp usage and heavy painkiller usage as he aged, I could certainly believe that.

Maybe amps can't help a player time a Randy Johnson slider with a 33 oz. bat any better than they could with a good night's sleep, but here's one sport where amps could definitely enhance performance, and your mother doesn't even have to worry that you'll get beaned:

What do owners of the Patriots, Rams, Grizzlies and Flyers have in common? A big bet on eSports.

BURBANK, Calif. —The Overwatch League christened its inaugural season this month in largely the same ways as any professional sports league’s opening day. The very best players in the world donned uniforms representing their teams. Fans packed an arena, purchasing licensed merchandise in addition to concessions. And announcers broadcast the action for hundreds of thousands more watching at home.

The setting was consistent with a big league pro football, basketball, baseball, soccer or hockey event, but the competition here was a team-based video game, and the new league is the latest development bringing competitive gaming, familiarly known as eSports, closer to the mainstream.

The audience for eSports has surged in recent years and major investors have followed, including owners of traditional sports franchises seeking to reach a young audience traditional sports increasingly miss. Annual revenue has grown more than 40 percent over the past two years and is quickly approaching $1 billion, according to market research firm Newzoo. The International, the major tournament for the game Dota 2, featured a total prize pool of $24 million, with the tournament winners landing $10.8 million. Newzoo projects the total audience for eSports will approach 590 million worldwide by the year 2020....

As strange as filling a stadium to watch people play video games might be to older generations, Moore quickly found it to be on par with watching any other competition, after his college-age son introduced him to the culture.

“You play basketball, you like to watch basketball, you like to talk about basketball,” Moore said. “You play Overwatch, you like to watch Overwatch and see the best people play. It’s the same dynamic.” There are more than 35 million Overwatch players worldwide, according to Blizzard, the game’s producer. ...

“When you’ve grown up in this country with ball-and-stick sports, it’s hard to fathom it at first,” Jonathan Kraft said. “While they might not need the cardio and physical strength of an NFL player, they need hand-eye coordination and fast-twitch hand reflexes. You have to develop an appreciation for what the game is.

“They are athletes, it’s just a different definition,” he said,...


First Trump, and then this. I'm not sure which is loonier, but with apologies to SBB, it feels like 1979 all over again.

   25. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 23, 2018 at 11:22 PM (#5612212)
Nolan Ryan's hof speech, specifically spelled out Tom House, Tom House has argued that 6 or 7 pitchers per team was using steroids or hgh.... you do the math.

Nolan Ryan's Hall of Fame induction speech thanked everyone but the ballpark ushers. I'm not sure whether mentioning his pitching coach with the Rangers is supposed to be guilt by association or a coded message, but it strikes me as exceedingly weak sauce.
   26. bachslunch Posted: January 24, 2018 at 07:49 AM (#5612234)
Among those who haven't been accused to varying degrees, I'd be very surprised if Ryan and Puckett weren't steroid users. Wouldn't be too surprised if Fisk, Eck, Reggie, Molitor, or Rickey did, either.

If the bacne issue suggests possible steroid use, what about Randy Johnson's face acne during his pitching days -- which doesn't seem to be there since retirement?

I've also wondered about Jack Morris, Frank Thomas, Cal Ripken, and Tony Gwynn. The last two have or developed the same "round" look that Puckett had, plus Gwynn contracted cancer pretty young. Thomas was huge, and I'm very suspicious of his vociferous denial and crusading. And Morris had a late career resurgence, had the same Ryan mean streak, and looks like he developed some face acne later on.

Frankly, I suspect a lot of players used, including a bunch of HoFers.
   27. dejarouehg Posted: January 24, 2018 at 12:26 PM (#5612446)
Ripken wouldn't surprise me. Other than the connection with House and the longevity, is there any other smoking gun with respect to Ryan. I'm one of those who thinks steroid users are cheats and that >70% of players used PEDs in the 90's-2000's. (I think current PEDs are at least 25%. So many of the same characteristics exist, especially the number of smaller players jacking bombs and opposite field HR's.)

That said, you often heard writers BEFORE the Bagwell/IRod class saying there were steroid-users in the Hall. Is it common knowledge that they were referring to Ryan? (No sarcasm intended. I've been curious about this for some time.)

I've always thought that Ryan was just the freak who was blessed by the gods, like Warren Spahn, to have an absurd level of longevity and (unlike Spahn) velocity. He also threw some of the hardest first pitch/opening day pitches in history well into his 50's.

Hell, it might be a Texas thing. There's no secret as to why so many of those HS lineman are so huge.
   28. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 24, 2018 at 01:23 PM (#5612503)
Nolan Ryan's hof speech, specifically spelled out Tom House

You mean, like, if you take the first letter of every paragraph of the speech and put them together, you get "TOMHOUSE"?
   29. Rally Posted: January 24, 2018 at 02:12 PM (#5612581)
Robin Yount is another one to wonder about. He added a lot of muscle mid career, and with it a jump in power. At the time, it was all credited to weight lifting but since then that kind of story has attracted suspicion.

plus Gwynn contracted cancer pretty young


Yeah, but there's no reason to doubt the given narrative - smokeless tobacco is really bad for you.
   30. kwarren Posted: January 24, 2018 at 04:19 PM (#5612730)
I just figure it was so common at one time that most(say 75%) of players were using them for a variety of benefits.


Why do people think that steroid usage has declined in baseball, but continues to increase in every other endeavour ?? I suspect that steroid usage as prevalent as it has ever been. Masking agents and the technology are improving and not reporting positive tests is likely becoming the norm for big names.
   31. Sunday silence Posted: January 24, 2018 at 05:44 PM (#5612785)
I'm not sure whether mentioning his pitching coach with the Rangers is supposed to be guilt by association or a coded message, but it strikes me as exceedingly weak sauce.


Is that what CFB was saying? I couldnt figure out if he was "calling out" Tom House for using steriods or thanking him for giving him steroids or what. Again people could really help themselves by writing clearer.

To me Reggie was an obvious one based on visuals. I saw him in the 72 ALCS and he was obviously athletic but the next time I recall him n 1977 or so he had really bulked up.

You can almost draw a time line historically at what pt. steroids suddenly became effective and accessible to the masses of athletes. Bodybuilders probably got them (effective steroids) in the early 70s, as their body types started to blow up, Arnold especially. The 1972 E German women apparently were on something strong because they won and a bunch of medals and were eventually stripped. So it seems like early 70s for specialized athletes with perhaps government support.

BUt you didnt see that blown up look in baseball and football until the Steelers circa 1974. It was bizarre to see like one team in the NFL had an entire front line that was all blown up and no one else was (or so it seemed.) Kolb, Webster, Larry Brown, Sam Davis and co. just seemed totally different. So mid 70s for rich professionals.

Then by 1981 or so you could see that steriods had reached college football because suddenly you had a wave of 300 pound lineman. Dean Steinkuhler, Tony Mandarich, Dave Rimington. Check out pics of them they were all about the same time.
   32. Sunday silence Posted: January 24, 2018 at 05:47 PM (#5612790)
Thomas was huge, and I'm very suspicious of his vociferous denial and crusading.


Yeah, I have no idea what he's like in real life, but it would be interesting if you knew the guy personally to know what his baseline personality is really like. Like is he really a strict, toe the line guy, or does he have a duplicity about him? His act does seem a little bit over the top, but again..who knows?
   33. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 24, 2018 at 05:59 PM (#5612799)
Yeah, I have no idea what he's like in real life, but it would be interesting if you knew the guy personally to know what his baseline personality is really like. Like is he really a strict, toe the line guy, or does he have a duplicity about him? His act does seem a little bit over the top, but again..who knows?

At least here in the Chicago area, he's in TV ads for some "over-40 testosterone supplement" type thing. If his onscreen performance is any indication, his personality is slightly less wooden than Mike Trout's.
   34. bachslunch Posted: January 24, 2018 at 08:00 PM (#5612924)
@31: in pro football, the 60s San Diego Chargers were notorious for steroid use:

http://www.espn.com/espn/otl/news/story?id=3866837
   35. toratoratora Posted: January 24, 2018 at 08:05 PM (#5612929)
BUt you didnt see that blown up look in baseball and football until the Steelers circa 1974.

The Chargers were doing steroids back in 63
   36. Red Voodooin Posted: January 24, 2018 at 08:13 PM (#5612934)
For an increase in performance to be convincing evidence of steroid use, wouldn't there have to be some evidence that steroid use increases performance?

Of which, I submit, there is none.
   37. toratoratora Posted: January 24, 2018 at 08:37 PM (#5612952)
Carbonated beverage to bachs
   38. Captain Supporter Posted: January 24, 2018 at 08:50 PM (#5612962)
For an increase in performance to be convincing evidence of steroid use, wouldn't there have to be some evidence that steroid use increases performance?

Of which, I submit, there is none.


Barry Bonds' bizarrely inflated head and bizarrely inflated home run totals in the twilight of his career works for me.
   39. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 24, 2018 at 08:57 PM (#5612968)

Barry Bonds' bizarrely inflated head and bizarrely inflated home run totals in the twilight of his career works for me.
The former, of course, is not only a figment of one's imagination but a sign one is a hack.
   40. A triple short of the cycle Posted: January 24, 2018 at 11:55 PM (#5613013)
This isn't a court of law, but having acne is not strong evidence of taking steroids. Acne is pretty common even among adults and can be triggered by stress among other things.

EDIT: Also, people's hat sizes increase w/o doing steroids.
   41. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 25, 2018 at 12:55 AM (#5613019)
EDIT: Also, people's hat sizes increase w/o doing steroids.
Steroids have literally nothing to do with increased hat sizes. The theory is that hgh, not steroids, can cause head growth. But it doesn't. It can cause acromegaly, which involves a misshapen head, not an increase in hat size. (Google it; you can see pictures.)

(It's like when Kimberly Bell perjured herself by claiming that she saw Bonds' testicles shrink because she had read somewhere (or had it fed to her by the government) that this was a symptom of steroid use. The problem is that she didn't understand the difference between the scrotum -- which is what you can see, but which doesn't shrink -- and the testicles -- which you can't see, but which can shrink.)

The point here is that hack-y people read a list of symptoms and made stuff up in the absence of real evidence.
   42. A triple short of the cycle Posted: January 25, 2018 at 01:23 AM (#5613023)
You have to draw the line somewhere I guess but...
Eyeglasses
Contacts
Lasik eye surgery
Adderall with ADD Rx
Ligament replacement
...are all perfectly allowable performance enhancing drugs or prosthetics.
   43. A triple short of the cycle Posted: January 25, 2018 at 01:45 AM (#5613025)
So I think the policies will need to be updated in this era of bioengineering. Can a player have eye surgery that gives him an advantage instead of just a correction to normal? A player is currently be allowed to play with hip replacement(yes?) I am old enough to have watched Six Million Dollar Man (as a child I was mesmerized by the Bigfoot episode), what about a "bionic" hip that allows the guy to run faster? "Tommy John" surgery may give pitchers an advantage, especially once it begins to incorporate carbon fibers or nanosomething.


   44. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: January 25, 2018 at 02:55 AM (#5613027)
We've probably already been there for a few years with the technology available for prosthetic legs (and even in the slim chance we aren't there yet, there's absolutely no chance we won't be there extremely soon with very modest increases in technology).
   45. Sunday silence Posted: January 25, 2018 at 03:03 AM (#5613028)

The Chargers were doing steroids back in 63


I am aware of the story but my post had to do with seeing players visually and how they changed. I was too young to watch football in 1963 did the SD chargers of that era look different than other players? Are there some pics we can look at?
   46. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 25, 2018 at 03:55 AM (#5613029)
To my eye, the 1963 Chargers seem substantially larger.
   47. villageidiom Posted: January 25, 2018 at 09:46 AM (#5613096)
So I think the policies will need to be updated in this era of bioengineering. Can a player have eye surgery that gives him an advantage instead of just a correction to normal? A player is currently be allowed to play with hip replacement(yes?) I am old enough to have watched Six Million Dollar Man (as a child I was mesmerized by the Bigfoot episode), what about a "bionic" hip that allows the guy to run faster? "Tommy John" surgery may give pitchers an advantage, especially once it begins to incorporate carbon fibers or nanosomething.
The line was drawn on steroids because they were illegal. Players had to break the law*, or be complicit in a doctor breaking the law*, to use them. MLB was providing financial incentives to players who broke the law because they were physically superior to players who didn't break the law. As long as players were getting paid, and not getting penalized, that incentive would be there. So they set up penalties - once the public was against PEDs and Congress did their usual we-could-take-away-the-antitrust-exemption-if-we-wanted-to dance.

That's why the rough equivalence to amphetamines is drawn. Maybe they didn't have the same effect as modern PEDs, but they were also illegal, and players used them. That contemporaneous attitudes about amphetamines were more permissive, and use was less obvious, doesn't take away the principle that players breaking the law had an advantage over those who didn't, the same perverse incentive that MLB grudgingly tried to reverse with PED testing.

In that light, the bioengineering stuff you mention is a whole other world. Elective medical procedures are legal. They give an advantage to players with money over players without money. Same is true for middle-school travel teams, baseball training camps, etc. Two players of similar talent, one with money, the other without, the player with money can use it to his advantage. I'm not sure an effective line can be drawn at this point. Nobody is electing to have their legs amputated and replaced with spring-loaded stilts to increase range and speed. When we get to the point of players electing surgery to become Inspector Gadget, sure, let's consider what's happening and draw a line. (EDITed to add:) In the meantime, I don't think the line can be drawn on money.

* US Federal law. They could leave the country in the off-season, get roided up where laws or enforcement were lax, and come back. PED testing knows no such boundaries, but BITD without testing they could use PEDs and comply with laws by traveling to other jurisdictions.
   48. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: January 25, 2018 at 10:03 AM (#5613101)

Yeah, I have no idea what he's like in real life, but it would be interesting if you knew the guy personally to know what his baseline personality is really like. Like is he really a strict, toe the line guy, or does he have a duplicity about him? His act does seem a little bit over the top, but again..who knows?


Frank is currently doing commercials for something called "Neugenix." The reviews on this stuff are pretty sketchy.
   49. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 25, 2018 at 10:56 AM (#5613146)
* US Federal law. They could leave the country in the off-season, get roided up where laws or enforcement were lax, and come back. PED testing knows no such boundaries, but BITD without testing they could use PEDs and comply with laws by traveling to other jurisdictions.
They could also use substances like THG ("the clear") that were not illegal at the time in the U.S.
   50. Adam Starblind Posted: January 25, 2018 at 11:10 AM (#5613164)
You have to draw the line somewhere I guess but...
Eyeglasses
Contacts
Lasik eye surgery
Adderall with ADD Rx
Ligament replacement
...are all perfectly allowable performance enhancing drugs or prosthetics.


And we all know that making nuanced judgments is unconstitutional.


That's why the rough equivalence to amphetamines is drawn. Maybe they didn't have the same effect as modern PEDs, but they were also illegal, and players used them. That contemporaneous attitudes about amphetamines were more permissive, and use was less obvious, doesn't take away the principle that players breaking the law had an advantage over those who didn't, the same perverse incentive that MLB grudgingly tried to reverse with PED testing.


So what? Is anybody happy that happened?
   51. Adam Starblind Posted: January 25, 2018 at 11:30 AM (#5613182)
* US Federal law. They could leave the country in the off-season, get roided up where laws or enforcement were lax, and come back. PED testing knows no such boundaries, but BITD without testing they could use PEDs and comply with laws by traveling to other jurisdictions.


This seemed to be the upshot of Sosa's lawyerly statement to Congress.
   52. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: January 25, 2018 at 11:43 AM (#5613192)
Nobody is electing to have their legs amputated and replaced with spring-loaded stilts to increase range and speed.
Not even one leg?

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