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Monday, January 13, 2014

George Mitchell: The steroid era isn’t over

Baseball World Still on Fire: Saving an Endangered Field! (fiction aisle)

Every society has laws against crime, but no one expects an end to crime; it’s a continuing problem that must be aggressively deterred and punished. So it is with the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports.

There will always be people who want so badly to gain a competitive edge that they are willing to cheat, even at great personal risk to their health. There also will be those who see profit in meeting that demand. As the money offered to premier athletes continues to rise rapidly, the risk-reward ratio skews increasingly to greater risk-taking. All sports face a continuing challenge.

Major League Baseball has moved in recent years to meet the challenge. For that, Commissioner Bud Selig deserves great credit. Credit also should go to the players and their union; they have come to understand that their interest lies in a strong, effective and fair program of testing and vigilance to limit drug use to an absolute minimum. I’m heartened that more players than ever are speaking out against steroid use, as has the Players Association. I hope the tide is turning against it in all sports.

Learning that our childhood heroes are fallible is disillusioning. But we grow up and get over our disappointment, and we understand it as another example of life’s complexity. Not every great human being is a great athlete. Not every great athlete is a great human being. Talent and morality may coexist, but they often do not.

It’s understandable, and human, to want clarity and finality. But in sports, as in life, some complexity and uncertainty are unavoidable, for fans and for those sportswriters who vote on candidates for the Hall of Fame.

Repoz Posted: January 13, 2014 at 05:56 AM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: steroids

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   1. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: January 13, 2014 at 08:50 AM (#4637603)
The troches discussed by Bosch last night were *stunning*to hear about. They'd be spoken of in whisper and rumor on internet forums, or referred to obliquely as troches/lozenges/gummies in the reports on Braun, etc. Writers had referred to drugs that were rumored to clear within mere hours. Now we know that Tony Bosch, and I am certain he's not the only one, cracked the code for the toughest testers in North American sport. There are almost certainly other Tony Bosches, just like there were almost certainly other Kirk Radomski's (Radomskis?).

A question on the cat & mouse game: from the way Bosch described the testosterone aid, the metabolites cleared the system very, very quickly. Would baseline markers return to normal, too? The sort used in longitudinal (Olympic) testing, which MLB adopted last year? http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/mlb-introducing-hgh-testing-2013-article-1.1237534

Obviously, this stuff is really expensive, but isn't it worth it for the already wealthy major leaguer of just a few years tenure?
   2. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: January 13, 2014 at 08:57 AM (#4637604)
PRetty much anything is worth it if it gets you to that one nice free agent contract.
   3. PASTE does not get put on waivers in August Posted: January 13, 2014 at 09:39 AM (#4637629)
PRetty much anything is worth it if it gets you to that one nice free agent contract.


Yep. I'd likely use the hell out of steroids were I a professional baseball player, and I find highly suspect anyone who claims they wouldn't.
   4. Covfefe Posted: January 13, 2014 at 09:42 AM (#4637630)
I'd use the clear/cream stuff, but I have an irrational fear of needles... coincidentally, it's what's kept me from developing a heroin addiction.
   5. Lassus Posted: January 13, 2014 at 09:55 AM (#4637638)
Yep. I'd likely use the hell out of steroids were I a professional baseball player, and I find highly suspect anyone who claims they wouldn't.

I find this kind of extremity a very weird position. Any current MLB or MiLB player who says they don't use steroids is probably lying?
   6. PASTE does not get put on waivers in August Posted: January 13, 2014 at 10:05 AM (#4637643)
Lassus: I don't know; it depends how easy or difficult it is to use without being caught, which I have no idea about. If it's relatively easy to use without being caught then yes, I assume most players are still using. If it's something you can get away with only if you're rich enough to hire the very best discreet suppliers, not so much.

Virtually every player before about 2005 was using to some greater or lesser extent, in my opinion. (But there is a difference between holding this opinion and slinging accusations at individual players in the total absence of evidence.)
   7. The District Attorney Posted: January 13, 2014 at 10:25 AM (#4637658)
The era of attempting to alter one's body to enhance athletic performance will never be over
fixed
   8. SoSH U at work Posted: January 13, 2014 at 10:39 AM (#4637669)
Lassus: I don't know; it depends how easy or difficult it is to use without being caught, which I have no idea about. If it's relatively easy to use without being caught then yes, I assume most players are still using. If it's something you can get away with only if you're rich enough to hire the very best discreet suppliers, not so much.


It's also the expected benefit. The rate of usage is going to be affected by how directly proportional use is to performance gains.

In certain more straightforward sports (say weightlifting or sprinting), where an increase in strength or speed or endurance directly relates to a measurable 20 or 30 or 40 percent gain in performance, the rate should be higher than a more complex sport such as baseball, where these gains may help you a potential 3 or 5 or 7 percent gain, then the calculus on usage vs. likelihood of detection should be much different.

   9. PASTE does not get put on waivers in August Posted: January 13, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4637694)
SoSH, since you're here: I owe you a $10 b-ref sponsorship since Jack Morris wasn't elected to the Hall of Fame. At least, that's what this note here on my phone says. Let me know who you want it for and what you want it to say.
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: January 13, 2014 at 11:18 AM (#4637707)
SoSH, since you're here: I owe you a $10 b-ref sponsorship since Jack Morris wasn't elected to the Hall of Fame. At least, that's what this note here on my phone says. Let me know who you want it for and what you want it to say.


Let me find someone who fits and I'll post it in this thread.

   11. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: January 13, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4637741)
Morris isn't in the Hall, $10 should do it for him.
   12. SoSH U at work Posted: January 13, 2014 at 11:46 AM (#4637749)
All right Zeth. Prompted by today's Dugout:

Germany Schaefer:

Message: All hail the original Jean Segura. SoSH U.

   13. Ray K Posted: January 13, 2014 at 11:53 AM (#4637755)
#3 I know it's hard to understand, but there really are people in the world, including professional athletes, who simply don't cheat. Now I'm sure that if you deprive anyone of enough resources and then require them to cheat to survive, then almost everyone will. But most people who cheat are not wrestling against desperation, but simply with their own greed.

And greed is not the motivating factor for everyone. I know it's hard to understand, but different people are motivated differently.
   14. Bob Tufts Posted: January 13, 2014 at 11:54 AM (#4637756)
Clark: Let it go. War's over, man. Selig dropped the big one.

Ghost of Miller: What? Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

Clark: Germans?

Orza: Forget it, he's rolling.

Miller: And it ain't over now. 'Cause when the goin' gets tough... the tough get goin'! Who's with me? Let's go!

What the ### happened to the union I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? This could be the greatest night of our lives, but you're gonna let it be the worst. "Ooh, we're afraid to go with you, Marvin, we might get in trouble." Well just kiss my ### from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this. Selig, he's a dead man! Manfred, dead! Horowitz...

Clark: Dead! He's right. Psychotic... but absolutely right. We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons, but that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part!

Miller: We're just the guys to do it.

Fehr, Orza and Clark: Yeah, I agree. Let's go get 'em.

Miller; Let's do it.
   15. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 13, 2014 at 01:23 PM (#4637854)
SoSH, speaking of bets: while I paid out on my b-ref sponsorship for losing the Johnny Damon bet...... there's a chance I haven't lost yet. Per Calcattera:

Johnny Damon is now 40 years old and didn’t play in 2013, but he has yet to fill out the paperwork to end his 18-year Major League career. In fact, as Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports, Damon would be willing to report to spring training if an interested team would like to bring him on board.

Boras said he asked Damon to let him know when he was all done. So far, Boras hasn’t heard those words from Damon, meaning Damon would love to resume his career after missing last season. Damon has remained in shape and would be willing to hook on if someone called.


So stay tuned :-) Maybe Damon gets 3,000 hits yet. I put the chances at 1 in 3,000.
   16. SoSH U at work Posted: January 13, 2014 at 01:30 PM (#4637860)
So stay tuned :-) Maybe Damon gets 3,000 hits yet. I put the chances at 1 in 3,000.


Damn, I suppose I'd have to pay for two sponsorships, or maybe just a sponsorship twice as pricy as ol' Oisk.

   17. PASTE does not get put on waivers in August Posted: January 13, 2014 at 05:42 PM (#4638111)
Wait, where's the link to sponsor a page on b-ref? Am I just a ####### and overlooking the obvious?
   18. SoSH U at work Posted: January 13, 2014 at 06:09 PM (#4638145)
Do you have ad block? I had to disable it to find a player that would fit the terms.
   19. Bob Tufts Posted: January 13, 2014 at 06:13 PM (#4638149)
From the end of the editorial in the NY Post :

"George J. Mitchell, a US former senate majority leader, did an independent investigation of the use of performance enhancing substances in Major League Baseball."


Board member of MLB teams and paid by MLB. I guess that if you repeat it enough times, you eventually believe your own spin.

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