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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Gossage on Bonds, McGwire Hall hopes: ‘Are you f–king kidding?’

As The Parliaments sang in “The Goose (That Laid The Golden Egg)”...“Just imagine a monkey with a peanut machine”.

“Two of the greatest records were manipulated by steroids, and I think the [pre-steroid era] records need to be reinstated,” Gossage told The Post. “If Bud Selig wants a legacy, he ought to reinstate those records and recognize the damage these guys did to the game.

“If you really want to make a statement, reinstate the records that McGwire and Bonds broke. That would take some guts and I would back the commissioner 100 percent.”

An impassioned Gossage then added, “Why recognize these guys?”

“And then we are going to reward these guys with an election to the Hall of Fame,” the former Yankees closer said. “Are you [expletive] kidding me? If they do that they might as well open up the floodgates and let everything ride. Let them do whatever they want to do and our kids are watching and see that they are rewarded for this.

“What does the tell our kids? That’s the crux of trying to get rid these guys so our kids can come up and try to play this game on a level playing field.”

“Ken Griffey Jr. is the guy who was supposed to break that [home run] record. He didn’t do steroids, I’d bet on my mother’s grave that this guy was as clean as clean can be, and he didn’t make the end of the race,” Gossage said. “He broke down like age breaks you down. You don’t get better the older you get. This game has a way of leaving you behind. You play as long as you can and that’s it.”

“We fade in and we fade out.”

Repoz Posted: July 27, 2014 at 09:29 AM | 156 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. The Duke Posted: July 27, 2014 at 09:59 AM (#4758340)
amen
   2. JJ1986 Posted: July 27, 2014 at 10:03 AM (#4758341)
I agree that Bud should give the single season HR record back to Sammy.
   3. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 27, 2014 at 10:11 AM (#4758343)
More Baseball Pinata Posts For The Thinking Pavlovian Fan™
   4. Jacob Posted: July 27, 2014 at 10:17 AM (#4758347)
Think about the children!
   5. Captain Supporter Posted: July 27, 2014 at 10:23 AM (#4758349)
I could not agree with him more. And despite the usual snark that will inevitably appear, I think that its clear to any thinking player or fan that there is nothing more important to the integrity of the game than a level playing field.

Primarily because of the union bosses whose myopia led them to back the cheaters among their members over the clean players (but also because of owners who knew high home run totals drew in fans), it took longer than it should have for that view to prevail, but nothing is better for the game than the fact that it indeed has prevailed.

The only Pavlovian viewpoint on this site is the reflexive defense of the steroid abusers by the majority of the posters.
   6. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 27, 2014 at 10:27 AM (#4758351)
Gossage says a lot of stuff in his post-induction identity, and a lot of it is silly, but the last part of the excerpt above is very good:

He broke down like age breaks you down. You don’t get better the older you get. This game has a way of leaving you behind. You play as long as you can and that’s it.”

“We fade in and we fade out.”


In a lot of ways, that is what bothers me the most about the whole steroid thing. There a lot of guys that, if they have the ability to heal faster, or stay quicker and stronger a little bit longer, their story is a lot different, and the way we think of them would be a lot different. But that's sports. No player - including Barry Bonds - should be having their best seasons in their late 30s and early 40s. People will point to Hank Aaron as an example of this, but the main thing for him is that he moved to Fulton County right at a time when his numbers would have likely otherwise declined. Ruth is the greatest player ever, but the right field porch at Yankee Stadium allowed him to get to 700 HRs. If Mantle had used steroids, would he have been able to recover faster from some injuries? What about Tony Oliva?

We all fade in, and we all fade out. If you use drugs that others are not supposed to use to push back on that process, everything changes. Get comfortable with the fact that all of us - baseball players, weekend warrior runners and tennis players, swimmers, frisbee throwers, whatever - have to deal with the pros of gaining wisdom, and the cons of getting physically older. That's part of what makes sports and life interesting...and some of these guys just didn't want to play by the same rules of life as the rest of us.
   7. Howie Menckel Posted: July 27, 2014 at 10:30 AM (#4758352)
Goose played with Palmeiro and I-Rod and Juan Gonzalez and McGwire and Canseco and Ruben Sierra and A-Rod.

Goose also played with Dick Allen in his 1972 MVP season and with Griffey Jr in his 1994 MVP runnerup season. and with Phil "The Vulture" Regan and Ron Santo and Jim Kaat and Eddie Fisher and Deron Johnson and Cleon Jones and Blue Moon Odom and Willie Stargell and Jim Fregosi and Thurman Munson and Paul Blair and Luis Tiant and Gaylord Perry and Tommy John and Bert Campaneris and Tony Gwynn and Greg Maddux and Jamie Moyer and Deion Sanders and Oil Can Boyd.

I think I'd ask Goose about some of the latter guys. might be a fresh story or two worth telling.
   8. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 27, 2014 at 10:39 AM (#4758354)
More Baseball Pinata Posts For The Thinking Pavlovian Fan™

The only Pavlovian viewpoint on this site is the reflexive defense of the steroid abusers by the majority of the posters.


I'm on your side of the steroids question, Captain, but it takes two to tango.
   9. jingoist Posted: July 27, 2014 at 10:53 AM (#4758357)
"Oh the horror; the horror"!
   10. salvomania Posted: July 27, 2014 at 11:03 AM (#4758359)
There a lot of guys that, if they have the ability to heal faster, or stay quicker and stronger a little bit longer, their story is a lot different, and the way we think of them would be a lot different.

I think the same thing about those players in the '60s, '70s and '80s who chose not to use greenies---ubiquitous in major league clubhouses---while those that did were able to benefit from the documented effects: among others quicker reflexes and response times, more energy in day games after a night game, and ultimately better performances.

We'll never know which players used or did not use amphetamines as a performance-enhancing drug, so maybe it's best to take the stats--and some of the memorable performances---from that era with a grain of salt (the SB records, Rose's hits records, Aaron's 755 HR, etc. etc.). And back then you'd have relievers throwing multiple innings in consecutive games---a bunch of those guys would throw 130-140 relief innings a year!



   11. LargeBill Posted: July 27, 2014 at 11:04 AM (#4758360)
If Mantle had used steroids, would he have been able to recover faster from some injuries? What about Tony Oliva?


What do you mean "If Mantle had used steroids?"

Players have always tried to get an edge. Mantle had many injuries and ailments and it is fairly well documented that in 1961 a doctor gave him some crazy cocktail of steroids and amphetamines which ended up hurting Mantle because he got a nasty infection. Specifics and year might be off due to beer soaked memory, but point remains people are fooling themselves if they believe steroids were never used before Canseco.
   12. BDC Posted: July 27, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4758362)
that is what bothers me the most about the whole steroid thing. There a lot of guys that, if they have the ability to heal faster, or stay quicker and stronger a little bit longer, their story is a lot different, and the way we think of them would be a lot different. But that's sports. No player - including Barry Bonds - should be having their best seasons in their late 30s and early 40s

But (a) McGwire and Bonds and pretty much everybody else who's ever played was a better all-round player in their mid-20s than late 30s – even if they accumulated more WAR later because of heightened offense; (b) McGwire and Bonds were much-diminished players their last couple of years in the league, again like anyone else; and (c) baseball history is dotted with guys who hit career offensive marks in some areas in their late 30s (Darrell Evans, Paul Molitor) – though they too were lesser all-round players by then, and their exploits were more one- and two-dimensional (walks, base hits, home runs), just like McGwire's or Bonds's.

In particular, Bonds just did not have his best years at 40 or older. Nobody does, not even the better-living-with-chemistry crowd.

Part of the HR records of the 1998-2001 years is certainly steroids, but part is a number of other factors that resemble the Aaron-to-Fulton factor. I think if you want to censure or punish these players for seeking unfair advantage at whatever age, that's perfectly valid. But censuring them for tapping into some preternatural Fountain of Youth flies up against facts.
   13. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 11:13 AM (#4758363)
In a lot of ways, that is what bothers me the most about the whole steroid thing. There a lot of guys that, if they have the ability to heal faster,
...which of course they don't; in fact they make your body break down sooner. That's how we know that certain players were using steroids.
   14. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 11:22 AM (#4758370)
Gossage says a lot of stuff in his post-induction identity, and a lot of it is silly,
...with the silliest being the notion that Bud Selig has the power to alter reality. Records are what happened; that's what the word actually means. Even if there were any proof that Bonds had used steroids, nothing Selig can do can change the fact that he holds the HR records.

(I suppose Selig could order teams to pretend otherwise, Ministry of Truth style, but fortunately the commissioner's office doesn't quite control the entire press in Oceania yet, so it would be sort of an underinclusive order.)
   15. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: July 27, 2014 at 11:24 AM (#4758372)
Hear, hear. Preach on Goose; tell all these little bittch boys how it's going to be.
   16. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 11:44 AM (#4758380)
In particular, Bonds just did not have his best years at 40 or older.

Bonds had his 4 best batting seasons and his 3 best value season (the best 2, 2 WAR better than he'd ever achieved) between age 36 and 39. The just doesn't happen naturally.

   17. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 27, 2014 at 12:00 PM (#4758392)
I think I'd ask Goose about some of the latter guys. might be a fresh story or two worth telling.


I'd rather no one ever ask Goose about anything ever again.
   18. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: July 27, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4758395)
Records are what happened; that's what the word actually means. Even if there were any proof that Bonds had used steroids, nothing Selig can do can change the fact that he holds the HR records.

(I suppose Selig could order teams to pretend otherwise, Ministry of Truth style, but fortunately the commissioner's office doesn't quite control the entire press in Oceania yet, so it would be sort of an underinclusive order.)

This, this, a thousand times this. The home runs hit by Bonds, McGwire et al. counted in the score and determined the outcome of a great many games, which affected the standings, etc. Unless you're going to rewrite that part of history as well, it is completely incoherent to retroactively pretend that these things didn't happen just for the purposes of the record book.
   19. donlock Posted: July 27, 2014 at 12:05 PM (#4758398)
Griffey had a number of injuries over the last half of his career but he recovered and was still playing at 40. Always wondered what he was doing medically to heal and continue to play. He generally gets a free pass on being drug free but it's an odd career pattern.
   20. BDC Posted: July 27, 2014 at 12:13 PM (#4758404)
Bonds had his 4 best batting seasons and his 3 best value season (the best 2, 2 WAR better than he'd ever achieved) between age 36 and 39. The just doesn't happen naturally.

He was also slower and a greatly diminished fielder. That does happen naturally. And he was the right age to take advantage of strike zones, parks, bats, balls, and armor that helped his HR totals. AND he juiced - I am not denying that nor defending it. I just think critics should stick with moral failings, not go on about the voodoo of the secret potion :)

In any case, he was distinctly not better at 40+, in part because he had trouble staying in the lineup, despite his magic beans.
   21. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 27, 2014 at 12:16 PM (#4758406)
I'm an adjuster, but the roiders took a machete to the sport's competitive integrity, which became a total joke for about 15 years. Only a delusional fanboy could conclude otherwise. Gossage's opinion might be overkill -- it probably is -- but it's far closer to the proper perspective than the shrugging fanboys.
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 01:18 PM (#4758423)
He was also slower and a greatly diminished fielder. That does happen naturally. And he was the right age to take advantage of strike zones, parks, bats, balls, and armor that helped his HR totals. AND he juiced - I am not denying that nor defending it. I just think critics should stick with moral failings, not go on about the voodoo of the secret potion :)

Sure, but the juiced bats, juiced (probably) ball, and armor compound the steroid issue, not diminish it.

If we're asking the question, "How good was Barry Bonds?", all those things combine to say "Not as good as his post-1999 stats indicate."

That's really the only issue I'm interested in; I couldn't care less who holds the HR records. No one ever thought Maris was better than Ruth because he broke his record. I do care that Bonds be remember as "merely" a Mays/Aaron/DiMaggio level hitter, NOT a Ruth/Williams level hitter. Because that's what Bonds was, and would have been without all the silly ball era stupidity.

It's especially galling that a slam dunk top-25 player of all time decided to cheat. It was so unnecessary, and tainted what should have been a celebrated career. Bonds had the opportunity to be the "clean" player, who still way out performed the roiders, and he pissed that away out of greed or hubris.
   23. joeysdadjoe Posted: July 27, 2014 at 01:27 PM (#4758428)
Funny thing is while I don't disagree with Goose Bonds and maybe McGwire would both be more qualified for the HOF if they didn't do steroids.
   24. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 01:28 PM (#4758430)
I dunno. Yesterday I read the new(ish) book on Lance Armstrong, Cycle of Lies, & if its overview of cycling is at all accurate, baseball looks like Sunday school in comparison, steroids, greenies, etc. notwithstanding.

(And of course Armstrong comes off as so big a dick as to make A.J. Pierogi look like Mahatma Gandhi, but I digress.)
   25. John Northey Posted: July 27, 2014 at 04:51 PM (#4758543)
Bonds could've been the clean player but... he saw what happened in 1998 when McGwire was caught with stuff in his locker, he saw how the media, fans, MLB all ignored it along with the many warning signs earlier (Canseco being accused often of it since the 80's for example with no penalty or even a 'think of the kids' bit). In 1998 it was obvious that the guys NOT doing PED's were hurting their teams as no one cared. It only became an issue when Bonds got the HR record in 2001. Then suddenly it was 'think of the children' and the like. Not sure exactly what shifted public opinion, but I'm sure it didn't help to have a black man who is viewed as negative to the press set the biggest record so soon after it was broken.

If I was in Bonds shoes after that 1998 home run chase I'd probably have hopped in fully too. No one cared, millions were being made, why not jump in if you think you can keep your health through it?
   26. McCoy Posted: July 27, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4758548)
What exactly is wrong with being able to play longer at a higher level? Aren't we all trying to do that?
   27. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: July 27, 2014 at 05:00 PM (#4758550)
Goose belongs in the Hall for this alone.
   28. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 27, 2014 at 05:03 PM (#4758555)
What exactly is wrong with being able to play longer at a higher level?

What exactly was wrong with Ben Johnson winning the 100 meter gold medal in world record time in 1988, on roids?
   29. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 27, 2014 at 05:12 PM (#4758572)
What exactly was wrong with Ben Johnson winning the 100 meter gold medal in world record time in 1988, on roids?

Over five other runners who were also implicated in steroid use and/or tested positive? Maybe not as much wrong as advertised.

Johnson said later, "You only cheat if no one else was doing it. I was aware of what other people were doing in the field. I just did it better than anyone else."

As for steroids and sports in 1988, the IOC made MLB brass look like Inspector Javert.
   30. McCoy Posted: July 27, 2014 at 05:24 PM (#4758581)
What exactly was wrong with Ben Johnson winning the 100 meter gold medal in world record time in 1988, on roids?

The IOC made steroids against the rules so he broke the rules and was stripped of his titles. Now of course pretty much everyone else running that race was breaking the rules and pretty much everyone else that was at the Olympic level in track was as well so in terms of fairness the IOC comes off pretty shoddy. But raising Ben Johnson doesn't actually answer my question. Why was it wrong for Ben Johnson to try and get the most out of his body? Because the IOC said so? That's the reason why we have so much outrage and controversy?
   31. McCoy Posted: July 27, 2014 at 05:26 PM (#4758582)
Johnson said later, "You only cheat if no one else was doing it. I was aware of what other people were doing in the field. I just did it better than anyone else."

Johnson was given a spiked beer to fail the test so that another doper could win the gold. If it hadn't been for that little act of sabotage Ben would have kept his gold for much much longer.
   32. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 27, 2014 at 05:29 PM (#4758584)
Johnson was given a spiked beer to fail the test so that another doper could win the gold.

Sure he was.
   33. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: July 27, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4758585)
Always wondered what he (Griffey) was doing medically to heal and continue to play.

Nerve tonic.
   34. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: July 27, 2014 at 05:35 PM (#4758587)
McCoy isn't claiming he was clean. But it sure seems like the vast majority of PED-using athletes manage to pass all their drug tests. I imagine Johnson was well educated in how to avoid testing positive himself. Someone setting him up seems like a good explanation as to why he'd fail a drug test he had to know was coming.
   35. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: July 27, 2014 at 05:37 PM (#4758588)
Gossage sure does talk a lot of crap for a Hall of Fame pitcher who couldn't cut it as a starter.
   36. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 05:41 PM (#4758594)
McCoy isn't claiming he was clean.


McCoy used steroids, too?

Think of the sous-chefs!
   37. cardsfanboy Posted: July 27, 2014 at 05:45 PM (#4758598)
McCoy isn't claiming he was clean. But it sure seems like the vast majority of PED-using athletes manage to pass all their drug tests. I imagine Johnson was well educated in how to avoid testing positive himself. Someone setting him up seems like a good explanation as to why he'd fail a drug test he had to know was coming.


Exactly. Ben Johnson doesn't deny he was using, just that it's possible that his test results happened because of extra taint that he wasn't able to properly mask the result like he had been doing previously.
   38. AJMcCringleberry Posted: July 27, 2014 at 05:46 PM (#4758600)
Yesterday I read the new(ish) book on Lance Armstrong, Cycle of Lies, & if its overview of cycling is at all accurate, baseball looks like Sunday school in comparison, steroids, greenies, etc. notwithstanding.

Yeah, check this out.

Looks like only 13 winners of the Tour de France since 1961 have never tested positive or admitted use at some point. (Including the last four, so there is still time)

I also liked this bit: "Six of the seven overall runners-up to Armstrong (all except Joseba Beloki in 2002) have either admitted to or been found guilty of doping"
   39. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 05:50 PM (#4758602)
Gossage wasn't close to the talent that Clemens and Bonds were. Perhaps that's the answer to his question "Why recognize these guys?"

And of course there's no proof that Gossage didn't use steroids, either, especially not since he played in Oakland with McGwire, Canseco, and LaRussa. But the lady sure as hell doth protests.

Did Gossage ever use greenies?

   40. McCoy Posted: July 27, 2014 at 05:51 PM (#4758604)
So the question dies then? If you're going to respond by saying Ben Johnson I would think you're capable of continuing the discussion beyond that.
   41. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 05:53 PM (#4758607)
I could not agree with him more. And despite the usual snark that will inevitably appear, I think that its clear to any thinking player or fan that there is nothing more important to the integrity of the game than a level playing field.


That's good, because the playing field was level: there were no rules against using steroids, so everyone in the 90s was free to use them without breaking the rules. See how that works?
   42. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 05:55 PM (#4758608)
Mantle had many injuries and ailments and it is fairly well documented that in 1961 a doctor gave him some crazy cocktail of steroids and amphetamines which ended up hurting Mantle because he got a nasty infection.


Yep.
   43. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 05:56 PM (#4758609)
Gossage wasn't close to the talent that Clemens and Bonds were. Perhaps that's the answer to his question "Why recognize these guys?"

So what? Your right to express an opinion isn't tied to your WAR.

Gossage played in MLB for 22 years. I would think that gives him some insight.
   44. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 05:56 PM (#4758610)
Bonds had his 4 best batting seasons and his 3 best value season (the best 2, 2 WAR better than he'd ever achieved) between age 36 and 39. The just doesn't happen naturally.


And yet while you can point to plenty of steroids users you can't point to a single player other than Bonds who this happened to.

What does that tell you?
   45. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 05:58 PM (#4758612)
Mantle had many injuries and ailments and it is fairly well documented that in 1961 a doctor gave him some crazy cocktail of steroids and amphetamines which ended up hurting Mantle because he got a nasty infection.


Yep.


So, Mantle failed to use PEDs. In fact it hurt his performance. There's no need to discount Dwight Gooden's stats for cocaine, or Mantle's for booze, because the impact is negative. Likewise, if the PEDs hurt your performance, we don't need to discount for them.

This isn't about personal morality; Lord knows Mantle and Ruth wouldn't pass that test. It's about baseball performance, and how it was obtained.
   46. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 27, 2014 at 05:59 PM (#4758613)
I see old mans ##### still hurts.
   47. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 05:59 PM (#4758615)
And yet while you can point to plenty of steroids users you can't point to a single player other than Bonds who this happened to.

What does that tell you?


Bonds was more talented than all of them (by far), and had a better, more disciplined regimen.
   48. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:01 PM (#4758616)
If we're asking the question, "How good was Barry Bonds?", all those things combine to say "Not as good as his post-1999 stats indicate."


But can we point to another superstar talent who made the decision while still near the top of his game to make wholesale changes to his approach in order to make himself even better? Because that's what Bonds did, whether he used steroids or not; he made the conscious decision to become more of a power player and less of a speed player and hit the ball in the air more and (being forced to) swing at the high strike.
   49. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:03 PM (#4758619)
This isn't about personal morality.

It's beyond bizarre that the apologists still haven't figured this out. There's nothing really inherently immoral about using steroids. It's only in the context of competitive sport that their use becomes not immoral, but situationally unethical.
   50. McCoy Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:04 PM (#4758620)
Hank Aaron had his best OPS+ of his career at 37 and had two seasons tied for 4th highest at age 35 and 39. Unfortunately for Aaron he couldn't play in as many games as he used to so his WAR is lower but even with the reduced amount of PA his age 37 seasons was his third highest total in rBat and only 5 away from his best despite his age 37 season trailing his best two seasons by 120 to 140 PA. His age 35 season also manages to place 4th for him .

We also know that Aaron claims to have used amphetamines in 1968 the year before his at 35 season.
   51. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:05 PM (#4758622)
Gossage played in MLB for 22 years. I would think that gives him some insight.


What insight? He wasn't even able to finger any steroids users himself, despite playing on the same team with several of them as well as with the Steroids Manager.

Where was he two decades ago, when all of this was going down? He was silent. So either he didn't know anything (meaning he has no insight to offer) or he didn't reveal anything (meaning that he didn't think it was a big deal at the time).

Or maybe he was using himself.
   52. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:06 PM (#4758624)
I see old mans ##### still hurts.

I would have thought the guidebooks would have told you that the walls in the Sydney hotels are more sturdily constructed than ours. Poo is much harder to scrub off them.
   53. McCoy Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:06 PM (#4758625)
It's only in the context of competitive sport that their use becomes not immoral, but situationally unethical.

Would it have been unethical in 1920? If so where is the proof? Up until the cold war we all found it perfectly acceptable to live by the mantra of better living through chemistry and that worldview certainly included athletes.
   54. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:07 PM (#4758626)
Or maybe he was using himself.

And I bet he reminisced about it when he snorted those lines with Frank Thomas in Cooperstown this weekend.
   55. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:09 PM (#4758629)
What exactly was wrong with Ben Johnson winning the 100 meter gold medal in world record time in 1988, on roids?


The fact that he actually won the race, so he's the one who history views as a cheater, rather than the others in the same race with him who were also cheating.

This has been my view of Lance Armstrong, by the way. Everyone seems to be of the view that he only won because he was cheating; but in my view he was the best cheating cyclist out of the lot of cheating cyclists. Which means he was the best cyclist.
   56. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4758633)
Hank Aaron had his best OPS+ of his career at 37 and had two seasons tied for 4th highest at age 35 and 39. Unfortunately for Aaron he couldn't play in as many games as he used to so his WAR is lower but even with the reduced amount of PA his age 37 seasons was his third highest total in rBat and only 5 away from his best despite his age 37 season trailing his best two seasons by 120 to 140 PA. His age 35 season also manages to place 4th for him .

We also know that Aaron claims to have used amphetamines in 1968 the year before his at 35 season.


And if Bonds had basically held his own, with diminishing PT, from 35-40, I wouldn't discount that. I've said, when I personally evaluate Bonds, I give him credit for an Aaron/Mays kind of decline phase, which I think is the reasonable best case.

But Bonds didn't hold his own. He went from averaging 7.7 WAR per season before age 36, to averaging 10.8 WAR per season at age 36-39. I hold that that kind of improvement is only possible with massive chemical enhancement.

For comparison: Aaron though age 35, 7.5 WAR p.a., age 36-39 5.2 WAR p.a.; Mays through age 35, 9.5 WAR per season, age 36-39 4.7 WAR p.a.
   57. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:16 PM (#4758634)
The fact that he actually won the race, so he's the one who history views as a cheater, rather than the others in the same race with him who were also using.

This has been my view of Lance Armstrong, by the way. Everyone seems to be of the view that he only won because he was cheating; but in my view he was the best cheating cyclists out of the lot of cheating cyclists. Which means he was the best cyclist.


So in other words, before the evidence against people like Bonds and Armstrong became clear and pronounced, you guys regularly chastised people for assuming and concluding, but now that what we knew was going on has been proven to have been going on, you guys are just going to assume and conclude.

Everyone sees the comedy there, right? That's a comical perspective.

As was pretty clear at the time, what you guys really meant by "THERE'S NO EVIDENCE, STOP SMEARING BARRY BONDS!!!!" was "We don't want our hero Barry Bonds to have the public reputation as a steroid user." And so now that he has that reputation, and you're in full retreat, you're just torching everybody and everything like Saddam's routed army torched all the oil wells in Kuwait. Frank Thomas, Mickey Mantle, the other racers in the 1988 Olympic 100, the cyclists who competed against Armstrong -- all up in smoke.
   58. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:16 PM (#4758635)
Looks like only 13 winners of the Tour de France since 1961 have never tested positive or admitted use at some point. (Including the last four, so there is still time)


I'm not sure it's possible to win that race while clean, given that most of the field is using.

I don't know the answer to this: Does Armstrong claim (whether he is to be believed or not) that he was clean during any of his victories? Or does he basically confess to using in every one of them.
   59. McCoy Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:19 PM (#4758640)
I've said, when I personally evaluate Bonds, I give him credit for an Aaron/Mays kind of decline phase, which I think is the reasonable best case.

Both Mays and Aaron were pill poppers so how can you give Bonds credit for their decline phase when in all likelihood their decline phase wasn't natural?
   60. Booey Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:21 PM (#4758641)
Gossage has always been a dumb a$$. I don't see why anyone still bothers listening to his ramblings. Morbid curiosity, I guess.

Doing what Goose suggests would be the single stupidest thing Selig could possibly do. For a sport that already has an old fan base and is struggling to attract young fans, you're going to risk alienating an entire generation of relatively young fans (born 1970's and 80's) by telling them that the game they grew up watching wasn't real and didn't count? For what purpose? To appease the Gossage types and give his generation their "rightful" records back? ALL eras in baseball history are equally valuable. They shouldn't favor one era over another.

What happened happened. You can't whitewash history just because you don't like it.
   61. McCoy Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:21 PM (#4758643)
So in other words, before the evidence against people like Bonds and Armstrong became clear and pronounced, you guys regularly chastised people for assuming and concluding, but now that what we knew was going on has been proven to have been going on, you guys are just going to assume and conclude.

Everyone sees the comedy there, right? That's a comical perspective.


I think we all see the comedy of your strawman argument. There really isn't a whole lot of assumptions going on. Time has gone by and athletes involved in those races have been caught, confessed, and had massive amounts of evidence put out towards their drug use.
   62. John DiFool2 Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:27 PM (#4758645)
Didn't Bonds get more help from that hinged elbow armor thingie?
   63. McCoy Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:35 PM (#4758650)
As what, a bionic arm doo-hickey?
   64. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:35 PM (#4758651)
Both Mays and Aaron were pill poppers so how can you give Bonds credit for their decline phase when in all likelihood their decline phase wasn't natural?

Because stimulants have been around for the whole history of baseball: whether it was caffeine, cocaine (which was perfectly legal during the first 50 years or so of baseball), nicotine, speed, or bogus ADHD prescriptions today.
   65. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:37 PM (#4758652)
As what, a bionic arm doo-hickey?

He didn't need to fear getting brushed back, b/c he was armored. That allowed him to hang over the plate to an extreme degree. That's why Clemens said the first thing he'd do if he faced Bonds in the World Series was to hit him in the head.
   66. BDC Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:38 PM (#4758654)
snapper, I think I see your point in #s 22 and 56, and it makes sense. Steroids mightily cloud the issue of player evaluation, and make it uneasy and somewhat unpleasant to appreciate past accomplishments, unlike "clean" developments like the lively ball or the lowered mound or Coors Field which affected everyone who played with them. One can't just say "Steroid Era" without wondering who was juiced and who wasn't.

I'm still sort of more on the side of "what happened happened," but I see the problems.
   67. McCoy Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:42 PM (#4758657)
Because stimulants have been around for the whole history of baseball: whether it was caffeine, cocaine (which was perfectly legal during the first 50 years or so of baseball), nicotine, speed, or bogus ADHD prescriptions today.

That's like saying testosterone has been around the whole history of baseball. It's a meaningless distinction. After WWII the use of stimulants in athletic endeavors became widespread. Virtually everything after WWII is tainted by drug use and one shouldn't be using what athletes did during this era as a control group. We simply don't know how a clean Willie and Hank would have decline while facing clean players.
   68. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:42 PM (#4758658)
I'm still sort of more on the side of "what happened happened," but I see the problems.

And I completely agree that all the records must stand. As you say, what happened happened.

My only concern is to adjust for steroids when considering historical accomplishments. I'd even let Bond and Clemens into the HoF (after a wait) if I had control.
   69. McCoy Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:43 PM (#4758659)
He didn't need to fear getting brushed back, b/c he was armored. That allowed him to hang over the plate to an extreme degree. That's why Clemens said the first thing he'd do if he faced Bonds in the World Series was to hit him in the head.

Bonds always crowded the plate.
   70. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:46 PM (#4758661)
That's like saying testosterone has been around the whole history of baseball. It's a meaningless distinction. After WWII the use of stimulants in athletic endeavors became widespread. Virtually everything after WWII is tainted by drug use and one shouldn't be using what athletes did during this era as a control group. We simply don't know how a clean Willie and Hank would have decline while facing clean players.

They didn't do anything remarkable. They aged about as well as other great players before WW2.
   71. McCoy Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:48 PM (#4758664)
29:40 mark

As you can see, even in 1992 Bonds crowded the plate and he took steps to protect himself.
   72. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:49 PM (#4758666)
As you can see, even in 1992 Bonds crowded the plate and he took steps to protect himself.

Well, that armor should be illegal too.
   73. McCoy Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:49 PM (#4758667)
They didn't do anything remarkable. They aged about as well as other great players before WW2.

And if league quality had improved to the point where they shouldn't have?
   74. McCoy Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:52 PM (#4758669)

Well, that armor should be illegal too.


And so should batting helmets and cups. F safety. If a player is legally in the batters box what is the issue? If crowding the plate is a problem in terms of the balance of the game the resolution isn't to increase the risk of injury but to move the batters box back.
   75. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:55 PM (#4758675)
And so should batting helmets and cups. F safety. If a player is legally in the batters box what is the issue? If crowding the plate is a problem in terms of the balance of the game the resolution isn't to increase the risk of injury but to move the batters box back.

You hang your hands over the plate, you risk an injured or broken elbow, hand or wrist (like Jeter has gotten several time). It's part of the balance of the game. If you take away the fear of the inside pitch, hitters gain an undue advantage.

It's silly to equate that to a helmet or cup. Nobody's life is permanently altered by a broken hand or elbow.

Umps never police the batter's box anyway, so that's a pointless suggestion.
   76. haggard Posted: July 27, 2014 at 07:03 PM (#4758683)
I haven't heard Barry Bonds say "Gee. I thought everybody would be fine with it if I used steroids."
   77. Booey Posted: July 27, 2014 at 07:03 PM (#4758684)
Wouldn't the entire body armor problem be solved if umpires just enforced the damn rule requiring the players to make an attempt at getting out of the way? Just don't give the batter first base if he sticks his padded elbow into a pitch. If it's over the plate, call it a strike even. But telling players they can't take measures to protect themselves from injury just seems silly (and mean).
   78. Booey Posted: July 27, 2014 at 07:07 PM (#4758688)
I haven't heard Barry Bonds say "Gee. I thought everybody would be fine with it if I used steroids."

Everybody WAS fine with steroids until Canseco let the cat out of the bag and it became popular not to be. The outrage has always seemed largely retroactive.
   79. McCoy Posted: July 27, 2014 at 07:10 PM (#4758691)
If the batters box is setup in such a way that it creates a dangerous environment then the solution isn't to make it more dangerous but to make it less dangerous. This should be obvious to all.
   80. shoewizard Posted: July 27, 2014 at 07:18 PM (#4758696)
Ooh, a BTF steroids thread.....wonder if I'll learn anything new ? ;)
   81. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 07:24 PM (#4758699)
What exactly was wrong with Ben Johnson winning the 100 meter gold medal in world record time in 1988, on roids?
Only that it was against the rules, nothing more. Steroids are malum prohibitum, not malum in se. And if (as it appears) the other elite runners were doing it too, then nothing was wrong with it at all.
   82. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 27, 2014 at 07:28 PM (#4758702)
Wouldn't the entire body armor problem be solved if umpires just enforced the damn rule requiring the players to make an attempt at getting out of the way? Just don't give the batter first base if he sticks his padded elbow into a pitch. If it's over the plate, call it a strike even. But telling players they can't take measures to protect themselves from injury just seems silly (and mean).


Hasn't the entire body armor problem already been solved?

But I'd rather see a different fix. If you get hit with a ball that's not outside the batter's box, it's not an HBP. It's a ball/strike (hell, you can call them all strikes if you want).

And if you get hit with a ball inside the batter's box, you take your base. No pretending to get out of the way. It shouldn't be up to the batter to bail the damn wild pitcher out anyway.

Batter's can protect themselves to the hilt. But if half their body is hanging over the edge of the batter's box, they ain't getting their base if they get hit.

   83. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 07:29 PM (#4758703)
I could not agree with him more. And despite the usual snark that will inevitably appear, I think that its clear to any thinking player or fan that there is nothing more important to the integrity of the game than a level playing field.
The phrase "level playing field" doesn't mean what you seem to think it means.
   84. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 07:30 PM (#4758705)

I'm not sure it's possible to win that race while clean, given that most of the field is using.


Judging completely from Cycle of Lies (it's not like I have any other knowledge of the Tour de Drugs, or for that matter of cycling, period ... hell, as I've noted before, I never even learned how to ride a bike, for godssakes), there's apparently some doubt that it's possible to complete the ####### race at any sort of competitive pace without doping. Which should tell the crooked idiots in charge of the event, & the "sport," something, or so I'd think.



I don't know the answer to this: Does Armstrong claim (whether he is to be believed or not) that he was clean during any of his victories? Or does he basically confess to using in every one of them.


I don't know that he's gone into specifics, but after finishing the book my impression is that he's come clean (so to speak) about doping from the mid-'90s on, along with just about everyone else he ever rode with or against.
   85. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 27, 2014 at 07:37 PM (#4758706)
Modern competitive cyclists are bio mechanical cyborgs for all intents and purposes.
   86. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 27, 2014 at 07:38 PM (#4758707)
there's apparently some doubt that it's possible to complete the ####### race at any sort of competitive pace without doping.

Well, yeah -- if the competitive pace is a doping pace, it's going to be tough to complete the race at that pace without doping.

It's most likely virtually impossible to hit 73 homeruns in a major league season without doping, too.

I don't know that he's gone into specifics, but after finishing the book my impression is that he's come clean (so to speak) about doping from the mid-'90s on, along with just about everyone else he ever rode with or against.

And there's no reason to have any doubts about Lance Armstrong's veracity. Now, at long last, he's telling the unvarnished truth.
   87. AJMcCringleberry Posted: July 27, 2014 at 07:44 PM (#4758714)
It's most likely virtually impossible to hit 73 homeruns in a major league season without doping, too.

It's most likely virtually impossible to hit 73 homeruns in a major league season with doping, too.
   88. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 07:46 PM (#4758716)
Well, yeah, I guess he could be lying about having doped while also convincing loads of his former teammates to lie about his (& their) having doped. Not sure what the point would be, but hey, people are strange, & if the book is to be believed he's one of the stranger ones in many respects.
   89. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 07:49 PM (#4758718)
there's apparently some doubt that it's possible to complete the ####### race at any sort of competitive pace without doping.

Well, yeah -- if the competitive pace is a doping pace, it's going to be tough to complete the race at that pace without doping.


Certainly. Though in this case, by saying "any sort of competitve pace" I pretty much meant "riding more intensely than a 5-year-old still learning to navigate without training wheels."
   90. BDC Posted: July 27, 2014 at 07:55 PM (#4758723)
I never learned to ride a bike either. I've ridden horses, it makes sense they should stay up, they have four legs. Bike always seemed logically impossible to me.
   91. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 08:05 PM (#4758731)
I never learned to ride a bike either. I've ridden horses, it makes sense they should stay up, they have four legs. Bike always seemed logically impossible to me.


Yeah. It's weird. I'm no more balance-challenged than anyone else, but ... yeah. What you said.
   92. cardsfanboy Posted: July 27, 2014 at 08:21 PM (#4758738)

It's most likely virtually impossible to hit 73 homeruns in a major league season without doping, too.


I agree with your first point, but disagree with this point. As the acceptance of strikeouts happened, without the stigma, it was pretty likely that at some time, somebody was going to have 70, 80 or even 90 homeruns, regardless of doping. Add in smaller parks, and possibly a livelier bat and Bonds might have been aided by his doping, but it was pretty inevitable that someone was going to destroy the homerun record.
   93. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 27, 2014 at 08:53 PM (#4758751)
I agree with your first point, but disagree with this point. As the acceptance of strikeouts happened, without the stigma, it was pretty likely that at some time, somebody was going to have 70, 80 or even 90 homeruns, regardless of doping. Add in smaller parks, and possibly a livelier bat and Bonds might have been aided by his doping, but it was pretty inevitable that someone was going to destroy the homerun record.

And yet those parks are still around, and strikeouts are virtually seen as a badge of a hitter's honor, but nobody's approached 60 since then.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying it's impossible that Bonds himself wouldn't have broken Maris's record. I only wish that he'd tried to have done it on the square and given us something to really cheer about for more than a year or two.
   94. cardsfanboy Posted: July 27, 2014 at 09:07 PM (#4758757)
And yet those parks are still around, and strikeouts are virtually seen as a badge of a hitter's honor, but nobody's approached 60 since then.


1. I'm not saying Bonds wouldn't have broken the record without a little help, but laying the entire blame and thinking it's a future impossibility is ridiculous.
2. someone in the next 30 years it wouldn't surprise me if plenty of people challenge the record. (most likely coinciding with the next round of expansion)
3. Just look at Mcgwire, his rookie season, a year he's admitted was clean he hit 49 homeruns. Griffey a perceived clean hitter hit 50 homeruns twice in his career, and 49 in a season he played 140 games, and 40 in a season he played 111... A few breaks here or there and 60+ or even 70 isn't unlikely..

Eventually you are going to get an AL team with a DH that is more on par with a Kingman type of hitter in todays game, than an Ortiz type of hitter.

   95. McCoy Posted: July 27, 2014 at 09:12 PM (#4758761)
Certainly. Though in this case, by saying "any sort of competitve pace" I pretty much meant "riding more intensely than a 5-year-old still learning to navigate without training wheels."

This is silly. Of course grown men and women could compete in a grueling bike race and turn in times that look nothing like what you're describing. Time would be longer but they wouldn't be horrible.

Before WWII the last winner did 2625 miles in 132 hours. In 1987 with modern bikes modern training, and presumably some kind of doping going on the winner biked 2629 miles in 115 hours. Let's not go overboard here.
   96. JRVJ Posted: July 27, 2014 at 09:13 PM (#4758763)
Modern competitive cyclists are bio mechanical cyborgs for all intents and purposes.


So is Arjen Robben.

(That's my last, out of context, World Cup reference).
   97. haggard Posted: July 27, 2014 at 09:52 PM (#4758772)
Everybody WAS fine with steroids until Canseco let the cat out of the bag and it became popular not to be

People didn't say they were fine with steroids. Players weren't using openly. If Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens wants to use the "everybody was doing it" excuse, that would be one thing. But they haven't as yet.

A lot of people did denigrate the home run levels in the 1990's, saying it must be the result of livelier balls or weaker pitching. They didn't attribute it to steroids because that would have required, as a first step, acknowledging that the current players were able to hit the ball harder than players in the past, which they were unwilling to do.


   98. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 27, 2014 at 10:09 PM (#4758778)
1. I'm not saying Bonds wouldn't have broken the record without a little help, but laying the entire blame and thinking it's a future impossibility is ridiculous.

Not impossible. Virtually impossible. There was a Bob Beamon shattering the long jump record by two feet in Mexico City possibility but nothing more.

There isn't really a thing about pre and post-roid era baseball that would lead one to intuit in good faith a 73 HR year as having anything but a fluke-of-the-century chance.
   99. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 27, 2014 at 10:15 PM (#4758780)
And yet those parks are still around, and strikeouts are virtually seen as a badge of a hitter's honor, but nobody's approached 60 since then.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying it's impossible that Bonds himself wouldn't have broken Maris's record. I only wish that he'd tried to have done it on the square and given us something to really cheer about for more than a year or two.


1. I'm not saying Bonds wouldn't have broken the record without a little help, but laying the entire blame and thinking it's a future impossibility is ridiculous.


I assume that here you mean "would have" rather than "wouldn't have", but in any event I'm saying he might have, but we'll never know.

2. someone in the next 30 years it wouldn't surprise me if plenty of people challenge the record. (most likely coinciding with the next round of expansion)
3. Just look at Mcgwire, his rookie season, a year he's admitted was clean he hit 49 homeruns. Griffey a perceived clean hitter hit 50 homeruns twice in his career, and 49 in a season he played 140 games, and 40 in a season he played 111... A few breaks here or there and 60+ or even 70 isn't unlikely..

Eventually you are going to get an AL team with a DH that is more on par with a Kingman type of hitter in todays game, than an Ortiz type of hitter.


I didn't say that it would be impossible, only that it hasn't yet been done. And if you're going to count close calls by a Griffey or a rookie year McGwire, then you have to count Foxx and Greenburg.

For someone to break 61 under current conditions is going to take a terrific run plus a fair amount of luck. I don't think you're ever going to see a Dave Kingman type hitter doing it. More likely it'd be a low strikeout, scientific slugger along the lines of-----Barry Bonds. IOW a batter with the right sort of swing, but with more "natural" power than Bonds exhibited before BALCO, and with the ability to put as many as 100 or more balls in play per year than some assclown like Kingman.
   100. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 27, 2014 at 10:23 PM (#4758783)
Before WWII the last winner did 2625 miles in 132 hours. In 1987 with modern bikes modern training, and presumably some kind of doping going on the winner biked 2629 miles in 115 hours. Let's not go overboard here.


Supposedly (again, I don't pretend to have any sort of special knowledge), doping of various types has been going on for pretty much the entirety of the tour, which I believe started around 110 years ago. Hell if I know; perhaps it's the equivalent of using foreign substances on baseballs, which of course has a long, long history.
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