Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

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

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hardball Talk: Some fun evidentiary fights in the Barry Bonds trial

And Calcaterra is here to break them down.

Litigation is rough business, obviously, and of course each side is going to try to get in anything they can to win. But these particular evidentiary fights — however the law demands that they be decided — do paint an illuminating picture of how absurd this prosecution really is.

...Evidentiary rules generally prohibit prosecutors from putting on evidence of a witness’ character when those character traits have nothing to do with the charges, but the prosecution wants to tell the jury that Bonds was a meany-head.  Maybe this comes in as evidence of “roid rage,” but I don’t see how this isn’t the same thing as the prosecution telling the jury that Bonds is just a bad seed, so you probably should just convict him.

Finally, anyone who knows anything about athletes and steroids knows that it’s possible for someone to take steroids and not have dramatic changes to their physique. Indeed, we mock the sports writers who play that “that dude got huge, so he must be juicing” game.  But really, that’s a big part of the prosecution’s game here. The prosecution is basically Murray Chass.

Maybe the prosecution should, legally speaking, win all of these battles.  But the issues they’re raising seem to say more about the nature of the Barry Bonds prosecution than they do about whether Barry Bonds lied under oath.

Repoz Posted: February 15, 2011 at 12:57 PM | 385 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: giants, special topics, steroids

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

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

Page 3 of 4 pages  < 1 2 3 4 > 
   201. CrosbyBird Posted: February 18, 2011 at 01:46 AM (#3752920)
Whatever "glee" I have in seeing Bonds "humbled" has little or nothing to do with Bonds himself; it has to do with my respect for the game---and go ahead and lampoon that sentiment all you want. It's the same reason that many former players have taken the same position I have. Do you think that all of them bear some personal grudge against Barry Bonds?

I don't see those other players enjoying the spectacle of seeing these players dragged through court. I think most of them, like most people, say that steroids are bad because they have been convinced that steroids are bad and not really thought about it too carefully. It's a popular, easy, non-controversial position to say that steroids are bad.

Assuming for the sake of argument that steroids enhance performance significantly, let's compare the "steroid problem" with the "segregation problem." There was something negative in the sport that adversely affected the statistics of the era. At this point, most people are fairly satisfied with the changes MLB has made to correct the problem. Should we continue to rehash the issue, concentrating on tearing down records of the past as "tainted" (steroids), or should we simply acknowledge that there was an issue and move forward with the newer, better game (segregation)?

Pre-integration baseball stats don't need to be expunged from the record, even if some of the players that earned those statistics did terrible things to perpetuate the problem. We do, however, consider that the pre-integration era stats might need to be adjusted for a cross-era comparison. Like we should with the "steroid" era. That's not what happens, though. People shout about asterisks and making examples of these players. It's like you want to be spending the rest of your baseball life angry about past seasons. That doesn't sound like you love baseball, but like you hate it, and need to tear it down in order to feel good. We can call it the Bud Selig Marketing Strategy: Our sport is terrible!

I know that you do love baseball, and that you're aware of the history of baseball. Bonds has been out of baseball for three seasons. He represents something that you passionately believe was bad for the sport. Why do you even want to be thinking about him?

I want to think of Bonds because he was an awesomely good player at a time that baseball was awesomely good for offense, and he brought me to a greater level of appreciate for how great "great" can be. I want this court case to be a monstrous failure because I think the entire issue is representative of such a disgusting decline in our culture, a pathological need to tear down the people that once made us so happy, and a petty jealousy that makes me sick to even think about.

I love baseball, and Bonds at the plate represented quite a lot of what made baseball beautiful. I am angry with those who are fixated on PEDs for trying to tarnish that beauty, and more so because of how terrible an argument they make to justify that sin.

And BTW, what evidence do you have that I have any non-steroids related problem with Bonds?

I never said you did. I think you would have a similarly repulsive glee in seeing any "steroid player" get robbed of his rightful place in the HOF. As you do with Mark McGwire.
   202. CrosbyBird Posted: February 18, 2011 at 01:58 AM (#3752924)
Isn't it a fundamental part of being a sports fan that you dislike certain players? Yes, of course, we should all be serious adults when it comes to the government wanting to send Bonds to prison, but I don't see any moral or ethical failing in a sports fan rooting for a player he didn't like not to be rewarded with the Hall of Fame (or anything else).

I can separate my dislike of a player from properly judging his worthiness for the Hall of Fame, and so should anyone else who takes it seriously.

I root for certain players to fail, but I don't take it very seriously unless their success actually affects my team winning. The only reason I care about not letting certain people into the HOF is because part of the HOF's value is its exclusivity, and I think those players risk opening the floodgates to a silly NFL-style HOF, where practically any very good player with a moderately long career is a HOFer.

Unless we actually know these people, they're simply performers who have entertained us with their talents and personas -- and those personas are what we dislike. I never cared for Rafael Palmeiro, thought he was terribly overrated, don't think he should go into the Hall of Fame, and hope he doesn't. If I'd had professional or personal contact with him, I might feel entirely differently.

I just don't agree with that line of thinking. If you met Rafael Palmeiro in person and found out that he was an incredibly nice guy, his HOF qualifications shouldn't change in your mind. That's a pretty terrible way to defend selections and omissions: "well, I like this guy less so he shouldn't be in the HOF."
   203. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 18, 2011 at 02:52 AM (#3752960)
In other words, realistically: nothing.

Steve, I'm not sure why any of this matters to do, since IIRC you think he probably juiced and don't care. That's a perfectly honest and respectable position that I just don't happen to agree with.

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

The answer is easy; you just refuse to say it straightforwardly. Lisa didn't ask what magical fairy tale world event would prove Bonds' innocence. She asked what Bonds could say or do. Your answer is: "Nothing." But you don't want to come out and admit that, because it would expose you.

Pardon me for assuming that Lisa's question wasn't rhetorical, as is every last question that you and Ray pose in threads like this. But lawyers' habits die hard, I guess.

I said that there's nothing that Bonds alone can do to help himself, because there isn't. The evidence against him to date may or may not be enough to convict him in court, but unless he's willing to confront it in some sort of manner, people are going to infer what they will, whether you like it or not, and regardless of what further epithets you and Ray want to throw out against me.

Your position can be reduced to (1) you can't prove he did it; (2) Bonds doesn't have to answer no stinking questions in any sort of forum; (3) even if he did juice, so what?; and (4) anyone who doesn't go along with your little party line and vote for him for the HoF is either dishonest or a liar or the leader of a lynch mob**. Thus sayeth the objective observer, D.M. Nieporent, Esquire.

**Of course that particular line was nominally Ray's, but if there's ever been a substantive split on anything but TV shows between you two, I'd love to see any evidence of it.

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

Whatever "glee" I have in seeing Bonds "humbled" has little or nothing to do with Bonds himself; it has to do with my respect for the game---and go ahead and lampoon that sentiment all you want. It's the same reason that many former players have taken the same position I have. Do you think that all of them bear some personal grudge against Barry Bonds?

I don't see those other players enjoying the spectacle of seeing these players dragged through court.


Any more than I do.

I think most of them, like most people, say that steroids are bad because they have been convinced that steroids are bad and not really thought about it too carefully. It's a popular, easy, non-controversial position to say that steroids are bad.

Sure, almost as popular as it is on this site to be indifferent about them, or to lump them with amphetamines, and start saying it's all about "boyhood heroes." But I'd rather let those players elaborate on their particular individual reasons than try to speak for them.

Assuming for the sake of argument that steroids enhance performance significantly, let's compare the "steroid problem" with the "segregation problem." There was something negative in the sport that adversely affected the statistics of the era. At this point, most people are fairly satisfied with the changes MLB has made to correct the problem. Should we continue to rehash the issue, concentrating on tearing down records of the past as "tainted" (steroids), or should we simply acknowledge that there was an issue and move forward with the newer, better game (segregation)?

Pre-integration baseball stats don't need to be expunged from the record, even if some of the players that earned those statistics did terrible things to perpetuate the problem. We do, however, consider that the pre-integration era stats might need to be adjusted for a cross-era comparison. Like we should with the "steroid" era. That's not what happens, though. People shout about asterisks and making examples of these players. It's like you want to be spending the rest of your baseball life angry about past seasons. That doesn't sound like you love baseball, but like you hate it, and need to tear it down in order to feel good. We can call it the Bud Selig Marketing Strategy: Our sport is terrible!


Of course Jim Crow baseball was worse than steroid baseball, but I'm not sure why you're telling me this, since I haven't said anything about striking Bonds's records, only looking at them and taking them with a mathematically imprecise grain of salt---exactly as I've done innumerable times when I've written about the records from the Jim Crow era.

I know that you do love baseball, and that you're aware of the history of baseball. Bonds has been out of baseball for three seasons. He represents something that you passionately believe was bad for the sport. Why do you even want to be thinking about him?

C-Bird, I'll make you a deal: If Repoz stops posting articles about the Bonds trial or the Hall of Fame, I'll gladly drop the issue. And when it comes to the Hall of Merit discussion, I won't say a word about the great unmentionable. On the basis of raw stats, AFAIC he's the greatest position player in history, and trails Ruth overall only because of Ruth's pitching bonus.

I want to think of Bonds because he was an awesomely good player at a time that baseball was awesomely good for offense, and he brought me to a greater level of appreciate for how great "great" can be. I want this court case to be a monstrous failure because I think the entire issue is representative of such a disgusting decline in our culture, a pathological need to tear down the people that once made us so happy, and a petty jealousy that makes me sick to even think about.

I hope that wasn't directed at anything I've written.

I love baseball, and Bonds at the plate represented quite a lot of what made baseball beautiful.

I'd be more inclined to agree with that if he'd been playing on a level field during those years in question. I only wish that he'd have let well enough alone, since he was already the best player in the game.

I am angry with those who are fixated on PEDs for trying to tarnish that beauty, and more so because of how terrible an argument they make to justify that sin.

Obviously I can't argue you out of your emotions on this subject; I only ask that you respect my take as being every bit as honest as your own. That seems to be a sticking point with some of the others here, but I hope you'll be able to rise above their level.

And BTW, what evidence do you have that I have any non-steroids related problem with Bonds?

I never said you did. I think you would have a similarly repulsive glee in seeing any "steroid player" get robbed of his rightful place in the HOF. As you do with Mark McGwire.


I'll admit to a certain amount of glee about McGwire's consistent low vote totals, but that's about 80% because he represented the first test case for otherwise qualified roiders, about 5% because of that maudlin "I'm in awe of myself" BS that he came out with in 1998, and maybe 15% in fond memory of Dial's fantasies of a "one year penalty." I won't have any similar glee about Bonds or Clemens or A-Rod if the blackball hits them, because the point of principle would have already been made with McGwire.
   204. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 18, 2011 at 03:07 AM (#3752970)
I said that there's nothing that Bonds *alone* can do to help himself, because there isn't. The evidence against him to date may or may not be enough to convict him in court, but unless he's willing to confront it in some sort of manner,


The trial is not "some sort of manner"?
   205. Zipperholes Posted: February 18, 2011 at 03:34 AM (#3752993)
I don't see those other players enjoying the spectacle of seeing these players dragged through court. I think most of them, like most people, say that steroids are bad because they have been convinced that steroids are bad and not really thought about it too carefully. It's a popular, easy, non-controversial position to say that steroids are bad.
In other words, people who say steroids are bad are being lazy, stupid and/or pussies. It's not possible they're just reasonable people who have a different perspective than you.
I want to think of Bonds because he was an awesomely good player at a time that baseball was awesomely good for offense, and he brought me to a greater level of appreciate for how great "great" can be. I want this court case to be a monstrous failure because I think the entire issue is representative of such a disgusting decline in our culture, a pathological need to tear down the people that once made us so happy, and a petty jealousy that makes me sick to even think about.
Even if in fact he committed perjury, you want the case to be a monstrous failure? So you don't want to see perjurers punished when you happen to disagree with the underlying issue?
   206. CrosbyBird Posted: February 18, 2011 at 03:39 AM (#3752996)
Of course Jim Crow baseball was worse than steroid baseball, but I'm not sure why you're telling me this, since I haven't said anything about striking Bonds's records, only looking at them and taking them with a mathematically imprecise grain of salt---exactly as I've done innumerable times when I've written about the records from the Jim Crow era.

I never once said anything about striking records. I spoke of asterisks (which I seem to recall you being in favor of, at least on Bonds' #73) and making examples (like relying on a perverse interpretation of the "character clause" to exclude statistically qualified candidates). Both sound like your position: no matter how good your performance, steroids should keep you out of the HOF, and relics of your performance should be indelibly marked to show your shame.

Have you suggested the Ruth's 60 HR are "tainted" because he didn't play against the best black pitchers? Or that Cy Young's career wins must carry an asterisk because he didn't play against the best black hitters?

I picked race specifically because practically nobody ever defends segregated baseball. We all but universally agree that it was a terrible thing, and based on the statistical record, we must at least entertain the idea that some of the pre-integration players faced relatively weaker competition by excluding some of the most talented players otherwise available. Still, we don't seek to tear down those players, to put asterisks on their records, or to exclude them from the HOF.

C-Bird, I'll make you a deal: If Repoz stops posting articles about the Bonds trial or the Hall of Fame, I'll gladly drop the issue. And when it comes to the Hall of Merit discussion, I won't say a word about the great unmentionable. On the basis of raw stats, AFAIC he's the greatest position player in history, and trails Ruth overall only because of Ruth's pitching bonus.

It isn't about me, but about you. If you hate steroids so much and think they were so terrible for baseball, why would participation in these threads be anything better than pouring salt in your wounds? I especially don't care what you do in the HOM discussion, because the HOM has an objective, rational approach (so you won't influence it in a silly way), and because I don't much care about the HOM as an institution (sorry, guys... I appreciate reading the work that you do, though).

I hope that wasn't directed at anything I've written.

I can't figure out why you feel the way you do, Andy. You come off as pretty damn petty sometimes. I think a large part of it is backlash against posters that are less friendly than I am, but as much as I've tried to understand your position, it still reads to me as manifestly unsupportable and unreasonable. Not merely an aesthetic difference, which I could comfortably accept. Unsupportable and unreasonable.

I don't need to consider your motives, but you keep some bad company with the rest of the anti-steroid mob (and I'm not confining that to the folks who post here).

I'd be more inclined to agree with that if he'd been playing on a level field during those years in question.

I am speaking purely from an aesthetic sense. What Bonds did on the baseball field was beautiful if you appreciate the art of hitting. A beautiful painting becomes no less attractive if the painter was a terrible human being. A great film is not less a masterpiece because the director is a pedophile.

I only ask that you respect my take as being every bit as honest as your own.

I try to always give you the benefit of the doubt. I think your take isn't honest but you don't realize it; for example, you make arbitrary distinctions that you don't support as reasonably distinct. Either you haven't thought carefully enough about the issues, or you're not fairly considering them, or you're just really terrible at verbalizing a supported, logical argument. I leave open the possibility that I have some fundamental defect of understanding, although I have to say that others seem to have the same complaints about your positions and I don't have this problem with too many people, so it seems exceptionally unlikely that I'm at fault here.
   207. CrosbyBird Posted: February 18, 2011 at 03:56 AM (#3753009)
In other words, people who say steroids are bad are being lazy, stupid and/or pussies. It's not possible they're just reasonable people who have a different perspective than you.

It's possible, and I await the day that people who are otherwise reasonable come up with a compelling argument as to why we should treat steroids as worse than amphetamines, and provide some hard evidence that steroids actually help baseball players in a significant way, and how to have a belief system where "character" is interpreted in such a way that doesn't defy moral sense in including Cobb but excluding Bonds.

Even if in fact he committed perjury, you want the case to be a monstrous failure? So you don't want to see perjurers punished when you happen to disagree with the underlying issue?

You are correct. This case never should have happened. The government never should have gotten involved in this matter, and everything that comes from this that isn't a colossal failure for the government is encouragement to bring these sorts of ridiculous cases more often in the future. I am rooting for failure the same way I rooted for the prosecution to fail in the OJ case even though I believed that he was guilty.

The consequences of overzealous (in this case) or incompetent (in the OJ case) government actions that are rewarded with convictions exceed the harm caused by guilty folk not going to prison. It isn't about Bonds in a vacuum. It's about things like a government putting a person in jail for refusing to testify. The government should lose every wasteful case that it brings, and lose in embarrassing fashion, until it stops bringing wasteful cases, or at least until people stop supporting a government that does.
   208. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 18, 2011 at 04:33 AM (#3753027)
I don't see those other players enjoying the spectacle of seeing these players dragged through court. I think most of them, like most people, say that steroids are bad because they have been convinced that steroids are bad and not really thought about it too carefully. It's a popular, easy, non-controversial position to say that steroids are bad.


In other words, people who say steroids are bad are being lazy, stupid and/or pussies. It's not possible they're just reasonable people who have a different perspective than you.

This is the perennial position of a lot of Primates when it comes to steroids. They seem fundamentally incapable of recognizing honest differences of opinion.

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

Of course Jim Crow baseball was worse than steroid baseball, but I'm not sure why you're telling me this, since I haven't said anything about striking Bonds's records, only looking at them and taking them with a mathematically imprecise grain of salt---exactly as I've done innumerable times when I've written about the records from the Jim Crow era.

I never once said anything about striking records. I spoke of asterisks (which I seem to recall you being in favor of, at least on Bonds' #73) and making examples (like relying on a perverse interpretation of the "character clause" to exclude statistically qualified candidates). Both sound like your position: no matter how good your performance, steroids should keep you out of the HOF, and relics of your performance should be indelibly marked to show your shame.


There's a world of difference between the asterisk ball and an asterisk-laden BB-reference. One represents one private person's opinion, marked on a ball that he bought at an auction. The other would represent a far more fundamental altering of the records. One can easily enjoy the former while being against the latter, although I'm sure that some people will say that you "have" to be for both of them or against both of them in order to be "consistent."

And sure, I don't think that roiders belong in the Hall of Fame. You're just finding this out?

Have you suggested the Ruth's 60 HR are "tainted" because he didn't play against the best black pitchers? Or that Cy Young's career wins must carry an asterisk because he didn't play against the best black hitters?

I picked race specifically because practically nobody ever defends segregated baseball. We all but universally agree that it was a terrible thing, and based on the statistical record, we must at least entertain the idea that some of the pre-integration players faced relatively weaker competition by excluding some of the most talented players otherwise available. Still, we don't seek to tear down those players, to put asterisks on their records, or to exclude them from the HOF.


Well, if you want to buy up Ruth's 60th home run ball and take a pen to it, be my guest. But the distinction is obvious: Ruth and Young had no choice but to play in the Jim Crow Majors, unless they wanted to try to pass for black, while Bonds had every choice about juicing. But since I'm not suggesting any asterisk for any of them in the record book, your point is meaningless to begin with.

C-Bird, I'll make you a deal: If Repoz stops posting articles about the Bonds trial or the Hall of Fame, I'll gladly drop the issue. And when it comes to the Hall of Merit discussion, I won't say a word about the great unmentionable. On the basis of raw stats, AFAIC he's the greatest position player in history, and trails Ruth overall only because of Ruth's pitching bonus.

It isn't about me, but about you. If you hate steroids so much and think they were so terrible for baseball, why would participation in these threads be anything better than pouring salt in your wounds?


Maybe it's because my feelings aren't quite as sensitive about being exposed to differing opinions as yours seem to be. I enjoy the give and take regardless of whether I'm in the majority or minority.

But beyond what you're saying about me, that seems to be a rather strange thought in general. Is it really your idea that only people with opinions like yours and Ray's should ever want to participate in steroids threads? That seems to be what you're saying in so many words, but correct me if I'm mistaken.

I hope that wasn't directed at anything I've written.

I can't figure out why you feel the way you do, Andy. You come off as pretty damn petty sometimes. I think a large part of it is backlash against posters that are less friendly than I am, but as much as I've tried to understand your position, it still reads to me as manifestly unsupportable and unreasonable. Not merely an aesthetic difference, which I could comfortably accept. Unsupportable and unreasonable.


I think that NYCTigersfan expresses my reaction to that very well. You can read his comment above.

I don't need to consider your motives, but you keep some bad company with the rest of the anti-steroid mob (and I'm not confining that to the folks who post here).

So now I'm not only responsible for my own opinions here, but for the opinions of Murray Chass and Jay Mariotti? That seems kinda harsh, not to mention not very logical.

I am speaking purely from an aesthetic sense. What Bonds did on the baseball field was beautiful if you appreciate the art of hitting. A beautiful painting becomes no less attractive if the painter was a terrible human being. A great film is not less a masterpiece because the director is a pedophile.

The problems with that comparison are that (a) Bonds as a "human being" has nothing to do with my opinion about his steroid use; and (b) unlike baseball, painting and film are not performed in head-to-head competition with other human beings, and doctored paint or film stock isn't going to affect the quality of a painting or a movie.

I only ask that you respect my take as being every bit as honest as your own.

I try to always give you the benefit of the doubt. I think your take isn't honest but you don't realize it; for example, you make arbitrary distinctions that you don't support as reasonably distinct. Either you haven't thought carefully enough about the issues, or you're not fairly considering them, or you're just really terrible at verbalizing a supported, logical argument.


Since I'm not sure whether I'm being accused of dishonesty or merely terminal stupidity and cluelessness, I'll wait till you elaborate until I further react to that.

I leave open the possibility that I have some fundamental defect of understanding, although I have to say that others seem to have the same complaints about your positions and I don't have this problem with too many people, so it seems exceptionally unlikely that I'm at fault here.

Of course there's also the possibility that those "others" mainly consist of people whose views on the whole steroid question mirror your own, and both you and they are fundamentally incapable of admitting to honest differing views on the question. And to be "honest," I've yet to see any evidence that you don't fall into this category. I'm "honestly" curious as to exactly what sort of opposing views you'd consider to be "honestly" held with even a modicum of "understanding" of the issues, because up to this point you've only seemed to find "honesty" and "understanding" on your side of the issue.

And BTW being in the minority opinion on BTF doesn't mean I'm wrong about this issue, any more than being in the minority in the BBWAA means that writers with your position are necessarily wrong per se. But then you obviously know, having been in the minority here on other issues on more than one occasion, that BTF makes up neither a large nor a particularly representative sample size of anything. It's just a random selection of opinionated people thrown together by a love of baseball and arguing.
   209. Chamran Knebter Posted: February 18, 2011 at 04:36 AM (#3753032)
It's possible, and I await the day that people who are otherwise reasonable come up with a compelling argument as to why we should treat steroids as worse than amphetamines, and provide some hard evidence that steroids actually help baseball players in a significant way, and how to have a belief system where "character" is interpreted in such a way that doesn't defy moral sense in including Cobb but excluding Bonds.


It's about sending a message that breaking the law in an attempt to gain an unfair advantage on the competition and undermine the competitive integrity of the sport is not a decision that's going to be rewarded. And you are correct, steroids and amphetamines are largely the same, and sportswriters of years past abdicated their responsibility by ignoring their usage. To the extent that differences exist it is only in the way players treated them. The election of players who relied on amphetamines may indeed have been a mistake, but it is now in the past and I see no reason that bad decisions from years past need to be viewed as some sort of binding precedent.

Note that earlier in this thread you said:

Not at all, but it is punishment, once we get over the semantic BS. Bonds' performance merits HOF induction, and denying him something that is deserved on the basis of his performance (and character, seeing how that has been historically interpreted prior to the steroids era), is simply the wrong thing to do.


I contend that your assertion there is flatly untrue. Denial of election to the HOF is not a punishment. Rather, *election* to the HOF is an award, comparable thematically to, say, Musial being awarded the Medal of Freedom. I do not believe in rewarding morally reprehensible behavior if I can possibly avoid it.
   210. Zipperholes Posted: February 18, 2011 at 04:38 AM (#3753034)
It's possible, and I await the day that people who are otherwise reasonable come up with a compelling argument as to why we should treat steroids as worse than amphetamines, and provide some hard evidence that steroids actually help baseball players in a significant way, and how to have a belief system where "character" is interpreted in such a way that doesn't defy moral sense in including Cobb but excluding Bonds.
You're moving the goalposts. The issue is whether and why people actually are against steroids in baseball, not whether they're as bad as other things, how much they helped players, or how this matters to the Hall of Fame.

As for a reasonable argument, it's perfectly reasonable to argue that, generally speaking, steroids help you get stronger, that strength enhances performance in baseball, and that, in any case, they were against MLB policy. Whether someone wants to conclude from those facts that players should be kept out of the HOF or nothing should be done, I don't care.
You are correct. This case never should have happened. The government never should have gotten involved in this matter, and everything that comes from this that isn't a colossal failure for the government is encouragement to bring these sorts of ridiculous cases more often in the future. I am rooting for failure the same way I rooted for the prosecution to fail in the OJ case even though I believed that he was guilty.
I don't understand. The government shouldn't get involved in investigating suspected illegal steroids dealers, or just BALCO? Or they should, but they shouldn't prosecute witnesses for perjury in such investigations?
   211. CrosbyBird Posted: February 18, 2011 at 06:05 AM (#3753100)
The election of players who relied on amphetamines may indeed have been a mistake, but it is now in the past and I see no reason that bad decisions from years past need to be viewed as some sort of binding precedent.

That's an honest position. The pseudo-scientific distinction being made between amphetamines and steroids is something I take major issue with, but you're not doing that.

Rather, *election* to the HOF is an award, comparable thematically to, say, Musial being awarded the Medal of Freedom.

There's a fundamental disagreement. The HOF is an acknowledgment of quality. It may well be a very distorted idea of what constitutes quality, but the HOF is, in essence, the "hall of best players." That's how the voters have traditionally made their decisions. You don't hear voters say "so and so was better than Jim Rice, but Jim Rice deserves the HOF more," but instead making (bad) cases for Jim Rice actually being the better player. You don't see writers saying "Kevin Brown was really great statistically and would have deserved the HOF if he hadn't been such a jerk."

If we want to say that we're creating a new HOF moving forward that doesn't exist to acknowledge the best players, then I suppose that's merely a desire for chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla. Not much room for discussion there.

With the exception of possibly Dick Allen, a failure of character has never kept a player believed by the voters to be statistically worthy out of the HOF. You could argue that Dick Allen's character actually hurt his teams. (I do not consider gambling or throwing games to be a character issue so much as a "conduct that risks destroying the legitimacy of the contest on the field" issue. Clearly, if being a racist psychopath like Cobb can't keep you out on grounds of character, gambling is a pretty minor sin on those grounds.)

You're moving the goalposts.

I'm not moving goalposts so much as attempting to address several issues in one thread.

The issue is whether and why people actually are against steroids in baseball, not whether they're as bad as other things, how much they helped players, or how this matters to the Hall of Fame.

If that's the whole issue, then we're probably in agreement. Whether steroids are performance-enhancing or not, players think they are performance-enhancing, and using them has certain health risks. For those reasons, I think baseball is better off without steroids. I can accept that in a competitive environment, there should be a different standard of permissible behavior than I'd advocate for private individuals.

I don't think that's the whole issue at all. I think that's barely at issue; most people agree that steroid-free baseball is the ideal.

People have claimed that steroids are more performance-enhancing than amphetamines (despite no evidence supporting that claim), they've claimed that the large spikes in offense are directly attributable to steroids (when there's clear evidence of a dramatic, league-wide shift in offense that speaks against that as likely, along with evidence that the ball changed in composition in a way that definitively enhances offense), and they've claimed that you can tell a steroid user based on offensive performance as compared to past seasons (without looking at the context of those numbers).

Those are the unsupportable and unreasonable arguments. We've mostly gotten over the "hat size" and "look at his arms" arguments; those were unreasonable too.

As for a reasonable argument, it's perfectly reasonable to argue that, generally speaking, steroids help you get stronger, that strength enhances performance in baseball, and that, in any case, they were against MLB policy.

Where's the evidence that strength significantly enhances performance in baseball, especially once a player has already gotten strong enough to be a power hitter? If anything, we've seen evidence that some very strong players aren't great power hitters and some players that are less strong than others can still hit tons of home runs.

I have no problem with MLB policy, so long as they don't punish retroactively. If they want to make the first instance of steroid use a lifetime ban starting tomorrow, I'll think it's pretty excessive, but you won't hear me saying that it's "unfair."

Whether someone wants to conclude from those facts that players should be kept out of the HOF or nothing should be done, I don't care.

I do care about that. I think the HOF is, despite its flaws, still a somewhat meaningful attempt to classify the greatest players in the history of the sport. If a player is in the HOF, that acknowledges the quality of his performance relative to his peers over the lifetime of baseball. That's a valuable mission that the HOF still isn't completely terrible at doing.

A HOF without Bonds or Clemens is simply worthless at representing baseball's greatest players. Blyleven was a glaring omission, but if you turned your head just right, you could pretend that there was some reason to keep him out. You can't do that with Bonds or Clemens, statistically speaking.

The government shouldn't get involved in investigating suspected illegal steroids dealers, or just BALCO? Or they should, but they shouldn't prosecute witnesses for perjury in such investigations?

The government should not be in the business of prosecuting drug use at all, or sales of drugs to consenting adults.
   212. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 18, 2011 at 07:12 AM (#3753118)
It's about sending a message that breaking the law


So it's about breaking the law?

McGwire in the '80s was not breaking the law.
Sosa if (as he was accused) he obtained and used steroids in the DR was not breaking the law.
Bonds if he used the clear was not breaking the law.
Etc.

Does "breaking the law" really matter to you?

in an attempt to gain an unfair advantage on the competition


It was the "steroids era," remember? "The competition" was largely using.
   213. Ron J Posted: February 18, 2011 at 02:35 PM (#3753168)
#212 I wouldn't get too hung up on the specifics of 209. Broadly speaking "there ought to be a law" and "illegal" can be taken as meaning the same thing for the purposes of these discussions. Most people don't care that there was no likelihood (or interest for that matter) of securing a conviction of a user of designer steroids in the time frame Bonds is thought to have used (And yes, I understand you're paid to care about these types of differences). That's a flaw in the crafting of the laws in question and any changes since then don't amount to a change of policy -- they better express the intent of those drafting the laws.

Likewise #210 (correctly IMO) notes that steroids (yes and amphetamines) were against MLB's (generally quietly) stated policy. Though not against their rules -- because ownership didn't care enough about the issue to bargain about the matter.
   214. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 18, 2011 at 05:00 PM (#3753302)
The answer is easy; you just refuse to say it straightforwardly. Lisa didn't ask what magical fairy tale world event would prove Bonds' innocence. She asked what Bonds could say or do. Your answer is: "Nothing." But you don't want to come out and admit that, because it would expose you.

Pardon me for assuming that Lisa's question wasn't rhetorical,
"Do I know what a rhetorical question is?"
as is every last question that you and Ray pose in threads like this.
Like Homer, you don't. Assuming that you won't answer a question is not the same as the question being rhetorical.

I said that there's nothing that Bonds alone can do to help himself, because there isn't.
Well, you actually didn't quite say that. Now you finally admitted it.
The evidence against him to date may or may not be enough to convict him in court, but unless he's willing to confront it in some sort of manner, people are going to infer what they will, whether you like it or not, and regardless of what further epithets you and Ray want to throw out against me.
The question is not what hypothetical "people" are going to do. The question was about you. But unfortunately, once again you obscure your position about what Bonds can do to prove his innocence. A minute ago you finally admitted that he couldn't, but now you talk about Bonds "confronting" something. But you don't explain who or what he's supposed to "confront" or how or where this is supposed to happen.

And you already admitted above that even if Anderson did come out and say that Bonds was innocent, you would refuse to believe him, even though that would mean the only two people with knowledge of the situation were proclaiming Bonds's innocence.

Your position can be reduced to (1) you can't prove he did it; (2) Bonds doesn't have to answer no stinking questions in any sort of forum; (3) even if he did juice, so what?; and (4) anyone who doesn't go along with your little party line and vote for him for the HoF is either dishonest or a liar or the leader of a lynch mob**. Thus sayeth the objective observer, D.M. Nieporent, Esquire.
And your position can be reduced to (1) Bonds has to prove his innocence; (2) It's impossible to prove innocence; (3) therefore Bonds is guilty; (4) look at me I'm oh so reasonable because I want to take a supposed compromise position and say that even though he's guilty he shouldn't be prosecuted.

There are no "forums" other than court. Please stop pretending that Bonds has some sort of ability to prove his innocence anywhere else even if there were a way to prove innocence.
   215. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 18, 2011 at 05:05 PM (#3753307)
In other words, people who say steroids are bad are being lazy, stupid and/or pussies. It's not possible they're just reasonable people who have a different perspective than you.
Reasonable people don't have different perspectives than me. ;)

Also, being "reasonable" pretty strongly implies that one can articulate coherent, logically consistent, thought out arguments. None of them have. If, e.g., one treats amphetamines and steroids differently, one has to have a logical reason for so doing, and nobody who does, does.
   216. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 18, 2011 at 05:08 PM (#3753310)
Maybe it's because my feelings aren't quite as sensitive about being exposed to differing opinions as yours seem to be. I enjoy the give and take regardless of whether I'm in the majority or minority.
You're kidding, right? About 90% of your argument -- on this topic and almost any other -- is "most people agree with me nyah nyah."
   217. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 18, 2011 at 05:23 PM (#3753325)
Ho hum, another day, another volley of tirades and non sequiturs from our resident Humpty Dumpty. I'm sure that Ray will be impressed, but I hope your employer doesn't have you on the clock.
   218. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: February 18, 2011 at 05:57 PM (#3753371)
Where would 11.7 rank if you excluded seasons after 1993? 15th? 20th?


43rd. Some pre-1994 immortals ahead of him:

Juan Gonzalez 1993
Kevin Mitchell 1989
Cecil Fielder 1990
Dave Kingman 1979
Boog Powell 1964
Rudy York 1937
Jim Gentile 1961



not to mention lesser immortals like Willie Stargell, Johnny Mize, Roger Maris, Ralph Kiner, and Hack Wilson,
   219. CrosbyBird Posted: February 18, 2011 at 06:22 PM (#3753392)
43rd.

Okay, that's lower on the list than I expected. I think it's still a pretty impressive showing, historically speaking. Bonds went from one of the top 50 best seasons (of AB/HR) to a run of dominating the top ten.

That actually sounds like a less dramatic version of what Hank Aaron did. Over most of his career, he never led the league in AB/HR (although he was practically always in the top 10), and then in his late 30s, he had three substantially better years where he led the majors.

What Bonds did, simply measuring changes in AB/HR, is not significantly different from the sort of late-career spike than Hank Aaron had.
   220. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 18, 2011 at 07:39 PM (#3753470)
Andy, how much, if any, weight do you give Victor Conte's statements that neither he nor BALCO directly supplied Bonds with anything? (Conte said his relationship with Bonds was purely for nutrition.) Granted, this doesn't address the huge question of whether Bonds got anything from Anderson -- Conte does admit supplying Anderson with the cream and the clear on half a dozen occasions, understanding that these were for Anderson's use -- but Conte has not had a problem saying that he supplied other professional athletes with PEDs.

Should Conte's statements count for anything? We know they would count for something if he said he DID supply Bonds.

Also keep in mind the timeline here: Bonds testified before the grand jury in December 2003. In 2003 MLB had survey testing, which was supposed to be anonymous. There was no compelling reason in 2003 for Bonds to be searching for something "undetectable."
   221. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 18, 2011 at 08:29 PM (#3753530)
Andy, how much, if any, weight do you give Victor Conte's statements that neither he nor BALCO directly supplied Bonds with anything? (Conte said his relationship with Bonds was purely for nutrition.) Granted, this doesn't address the huge question of whether Bonds got anything from Anderson -- Conte does admit supplying Anderson with the cream and the clear on half a dozen occasions, understanding that these were for Anderson's use -- but Conte has not had a problem saying that he supplied other professional athletes with PEDs.

Should Conte's statements count for anything?


Sure, but as you acknowledge, that wasn't the only way that Bonds could obtain them. You don't need to doubt Conte's word in order to say that. Whether or not the little fantasy scenario I outlined last night could ever take place (and of course it couldn't), I can't see too many ways short of that to getting at the bottom of this whole matter. At this point, we're all essentially operating with incomplete information, and outside of the courtroom we all have to make our assumptions of Bonds's guilt or innocence based on that.

And since I'm not robin and don't have a giant dossier of every Primate's take on every sub-part of the whole Bonds case, I can't get too precise about the following statement, but I do find it interesting that at least several Primates who are among Bonds's foremost defenders have also said that they assume that Bonds was juicing. I'm pretty sure Treder was among this group, but I don't think he was the only one. At one point I even recollect your saying the same thing, but I'd want you to confirm that before saying it for sure.

Of course the other side of that coin is that those people (and you, obviously) also don't care one way or the other if he juiced, but in real life the only difference between their position and mine is the one concerning the Hall of Fame. Neither they nor I (nor you) want to see Bonds brought into the criminal arena, which is why for the life of me I can't understand your "lynch mob" rhetoric. It's a strange kind of "lynch mob" that doesn't even want to see the victim in jail, let alone strung out at the end of a rope.
   222. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: February 18, 2011 at 08:49 PM (#3753548)
And since I'm not robin and don't have a giant dossier of every Primate's take on every sub-part of the whole Bonds case, I can't get too precise about the following statement, but I do find it interesting that at least several Primates who are among Bonds's foremost defenders have also said that they assume that Bonds was juicing. I'm pretty sure Treder was among this group, but I don't think he was the only one. At one point I even recollect your saying the same thing, but I'd want you to confirm that before saying it for sure.

Of course the other side of that coin is that those people (and you, obviously) also don't care one way or the other if he juiced, but in real life the only difference between their position and mine is the one concerning the Hall of Fame. Neither they nor I (nor you) want to see Bonds brought into the criminal arena, which is why for the life of me I can't understand your "lynch mob" rhetoric. It's a strange kind of "lynch mob" that doesn't even want to see the victim in jail, let alone strung out at the end of a rope.


I am one of those here that assumes Bonds took steroids, do not think that is provable, do not care, and think he should be in the HOF. However, I do not necessarily think Bonds knowingly took STEROIDS. I'm sure he knew something was up with the Cream and the Clear, but I would believe him 100% if he said he didn't think or know they were steroids. I imagine he thought they would give him an edge but in my opinion no more-so than something like the colored contact lenses Brian Reynolds did/does wear or injecting blood into injuries.

Where you seem to be criticized is a) your opinions regarding steroids and amps don't seem to mesh and b) more specifically in this thread you don't seem like you are even willing to consider anything Bonds can or would say in his defense. You have made up your mind and nothing can change that and you are being seemingly actively anti-understanding. Bonds has been dealing with this legal crap for SEVEN YEARS. Any lawyers feel free to correct me, but it's not like Bonds can come out and admit to anything at this point without potentially negatively affecting his case, so your insistence/desire to hear from Bonds is a joke. You want a parallel to this case look no further than McGwire - didn't say anything until the 5 year statute of limitations was up, and then apologized. If Bonds does feel the need for public redemption, I'd expect to wait until after all this legal crap is over and done with.
   223. Steve Treder Posted: February 18, 2011 at 08:49 PM (#3753549)
at least several Primates who are among Bonds's foremost defenders have also said that they assume that Bonds was juicing. I'm pretty sure Treder was among this group

Speaking only for myself, it isn't true to say that I "assume" Bonds was juicing. It would be more accurate to say that I would be entirely unsurprised to learn that he was, which isn't exactly the same thing.

But the main issue for me is that I hold that view not only of Bonds, but also of essentially every other player in MLB and the minor leagues from at least the mid-to-late 1980s until the imposition of meaningful PED testing in the mid-2000s. As well as essentially every other player in the NFL, NHL, and NBA. The primary issue here to me has always been the laser-like focus of outrage regarding Bonds and a handful of other high-profile MLB stars, and the complete disregard for the exact same behavior in literally thousands of fellow athletes.

Well, another issue to me has always been the singular demonization of steroids as distinct from every other kind of PED, but I guess that's another story.
   224. bads85 Posted: February 18, 2011 at 09:06 PM (#3753568)
Well, another issue to me has always been the singular demonization of steroids as distinct from every other kind of PED,


That goes back to the Cold War era Olympics. Steroids were demonized because those evil Commies were using steroids to beat our righteous athletes, and if we allowed that to continue, soon they would invade and take away our Baby Jesus. Thankfully, heroes like Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Charlie Sheen, and Lea Thompson were able to use hunting rifles and bows to repel the heathens.
   225. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 18, 2011 at 09:28 PM (#3753591)
Where you seem to be criticized is a) your opinions regarding steroids and amps don't seem to mesh and b) more specifically in this thread you don't seem like you are even willing to consider anything Bonds can or would say in his defense. You have made up your mind and nothing can change that and you are being seemingly actively anti-understanding. Bonds has been dealing with this legal crap for SEVEN YEARS. Any lawyers feel free to correct me, but it's not like Bonds can come out and admit to anything at this point without potentially negatively affecting his case, so your insistence/desire to hear from Bonds is a joke. You want a parallel to this case look no further than McGwire - didn't say anything until the 5 year statute of limitations was up, and then apologized. If Bonds does feel the need for public redemption, I'd expect to wait until after all this legal crap is over and done with.

I'm not interested in yet another steroids-amps duel to the death, but WRT the rest,

You want a parallel to this case look no further than McGwire - didn't say anything until the 5 year statute of limitations was up, and then apologized. If Bonds does feel the need for public redemption, I'd expect to wait until after all this legal crap is over and done with.

I see your point. But OTOH I'm not sure what the problem is with the wait, since in the meantime I can fully understand Bonds's reticence, and I'm not criticizing him for trying to avoid the slammer. Not to mention that the last time I looked, the Hall of Fame isn't going anywhere, and there's at least a fair chance that he's not getting in right away to begin with. So there's plenty of time to sort it out later.

Of course in the end McGwire finally confessed, so I wouldn't necessarily go around assuming happy endings about Bonds, even after that statute of limitations has expired.

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

at least several Primates who are among Bonds's foremost defenders have also said that they assume that Bonds was juicing. I'm pretty sure Treder was among this group

Speaking only for myself, it isn't true to say that I "assume" Bonds was juicing. It would be more accurate to say that I would be entirely unsurprised to learn that he was, which isn't exactly the same thing.


Fair enough; the main difference between you and most of the people that I've engaged here is that unlike them, you don't seem to be overly disturbed by the fact that by this time some people (and obviously I'm not the only one) do assume his guilt. I sometimes feel that I'm the designated BTF surrogate for all the writers out there whose opinions on steroids aren't 100% in accordance with the reigning BTF philosophy, regardless of whether or not I don't want Bonds in jail any more than they do. And having witnessed more than a few factional fight political wars in my time, it's a familiar feeling, alternately annoying and amusing.

But the main issue for me is that I hold that view not only of Bonds, but also of essentially every other player in MLB and the minor leagues from at least the mid-to-late 1980s until the imposition of meaningful PED testing in the mid-2000s. As well as essentially every other player in the NFL, NHL, and NBA. The primary issue here to me has always been the laser-like focus of outrage regarding Bonds and a handful of other high-profile MLB stars, and the complete disregard for the exact same behavior in literally thousands of fellow athletes.

That's a POV that's fairly common here, and it's internally consistent, but if you hold a less benign view of steroids---and even more if you're a player who himself never juiced---you're much more likely not to want to see broad assumptions of steroid use cast upon an entire generation of ballplayers. It's one thing to say that such usage wouldn't matter to you, but that's a little bit like a cynic saying that he just assumes that all civil servants are pencil pushing freeloaders, and then advising the honest ones among them not to take it personally.
   226. Steve Treder Posted: February 18, 2011 at 09:40 PM (#3753609)
the main difference between you and most of the people that I've engaged here is that unlike them, you don't seem to be overly disturbed by the fact that by this time some people (and obviously I'm not the only one) do assume his guilt.

I may not be overly disturbed by it -- because quite frankly I find the amount of emotional energy many people, yourself certainly included, invest in this issue is drastically disproportionate to its importance -- but that isn't the same thing as saying I condone it, or even that I'm okay with it. There is a very meaningful difference between assuming something to be true and acknowledging that it might well be true, and with all due respect I would suggest you think about that difference.

That's a POV that's fairly common here, and it's internally consistent, but if you hold a less benign view of steroids---and even more if you're a player who himself never juiced---you're much more likely not to want to see broad assumptions of steroid use cast upon an entire generation of ballplayers.

Sure, but then that gets back to the question of why exactly one should hold a "less benign" view of steroids, as opposed to the panoply of other things elite-class athletes ingest and otherwise do to themselves in the intense drive for competitive gain. If one fails to discover anything especially or distinctly evil regarding steroids within that context (which is certainly not the same thing as finding nothing wrong with steroids), then the logic of holding the less benign view of them becomes apparent, and thus the need to engage in forensic witch-hunting for them disappears.
   227. Steve Treder Posted: February 18, 2011 at 10:00 PM (#3753642)
then the logic of holding the less benign view of them becomes apparent

Oops, make that the "illogic" of holding the less benign view.
   228. bads85 Posted: February 18, 2011 at 10:51 PM (#3753710)
If one fails to discover anything especially or distinctly evil regarding steroids within that context


What about the children? Their balls will shrivel and the bones will crumble, and Lyle Alzado dying for their sins will mean nothing. Haven't you seen the commercials? The government would never finance commercials that exaggerate or distort the truth.

Most steroids are legal and are prescribed every day. However, to keep the children safe, we've created another bogeyman.
   229. CrosbyBird Posted: February 18, 2011 at 11:18 PM (#3753729)
I sometimes feel that I'm the designated BTF surrogate for all the writers out there whose opinions on steroids aren't 100% in accordance with the reigning BTF philosophy, regardless of whether or not I don't want Bonds in jail any more than they do.

You have different things in common with them. You make similarly unsupported arguments, and you appear unwilling to engage in a legitimate review of your arguments when others explain how they are flawed. You also tend to argue a distorted position that's made up by you, rather than the actual position being presented. I'm am not sure if the charitable way to describe that is to say that you can't tell the difference, or to say that you're doing it deliberately. It's either ignorance or dishonesty, and neither are very complementary traits.

I'm "honestly" curious as to exactly what sort of opposing views you'd consider to be "honestly" held with even a modicum of "understanding" of the issues, because up to this point you've only seemed to find "honesty" and "understanding" on your side of the issue.

Here are two reasonable positions that I simply disagree with:

1) All performance-enhancing drugs are bad, and all players who use them should be severely punished, even retroactively. Effectiveness is irrelevant; cheating is cheating. (PEDS are cheating and cheaters need to be punished.)
2) Use of performance-enhancing drugs is worse than other forms of cheating because drugs are impossible for umpires to detect during the game. (PEDs are "special cheating" that needs a more serious penalty.)

A position that not only insists that steroids must enhance baseball performance more than amphetamines, but that they are so much better that we should have an entirely different standard of punishment, is an irrational, unsupportable claim. Using raw numbers as evidence, without context, to prove that something caused that effect is circular reasoning.

I don't have a problem with a person that disagrees with me. I do have a problem with a person that doesn't have a good argument and refuses to acknowledge the flaws of that argument, while firmly holding onto an unsupportable position. You don't have to be ranting about hat size to be making a terrible argument, and you don't have to insist on throwing Bonds in jail in order to have misplaced and unhealthy "righteous" anger.
   230. Steve Treder Posted: February 18, 2011 at 11:49 PM (#3753750)
Here are two reasonable positions that I simply disagree with:

1) All performance-enhancing drugs are bad, and all players who use them should be severely punished, even retroactively. Effectiveness is irrelevant; cheating is cheating. (PEDS are cheating and cheaters need to be punished.)
2) Use of performance-enhancing drugs is worse than other forms of cheating because drugs are impossible for umpires to detect during the game. (PEDs are "special cheating" that needs a more serious penalty.)

A position that not only insists that steroids must enhance baseball performance more than amphetamines, but that they are so much better that we should have an entirely different standard of punishment, is an irrational, unsupportable claim. Using raw numbers as evidence, without context, to prove that something caused that effect is circular reasoning.


Entirely agreed.

There is another position that isn't reasonable, but is so widely-held within the mainstream discourse that it's essentially taken as a given, and is virtually never questioned or even examined:

"The use of steroids in baseball during the 1990s/early 2000s ('The Steroid Era') had the effect of dramatically altering the sport's statistical norms."

This statement might be true, in the sense that it's impossible to disprove. But it also might not be true, and given everything we can possibly do regarding understanding the effects of steroids and other PEDs on baseball performance, and disentangling whatever those might be from the jumble of other playing-conditions issues (the ball, ballparks, the strike zone, sports medicine/conditioning in general, etc. etc. etc.) the fact is that it most likely is not true, and with certainty we can say that we don't (and probably cannot) know whether it's true or not.

Yet it's a given, the foundational premise of nearly all discussion of the topic.
   231. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 19, 2011 at 12:02 AM (#3753760)
C-Bird, I could sit here and respond to that last post of yours with similar baseless accusations about your lack of logic, your lack of an open mind, and / or your lack of intellectual honesty, but I'd rather just let you bask in your own reflected glory. There's no point in continuing this any further, certainly not when The Producers is just getting warmed up on the telly.
   232. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 19, 2011 at 12:09 AM (#3753770)
Of course the other side of that coin is that those people (and you, obviously) also don't care one way or the other if he juiced, but in real life the only difference between their position and mine is the one concerning the Hall of Fame. Neither they nor I (nor you) want to see Bonds brought into the criminal arena, which is why for the life of me I can't understand your "lynch mob" rhetoric. It's a strange kind of "lynch mob" that doesn't even want to see the victim in jail, let alone strung out at the end of a rope.
Oh, please, Andy. You run around, parallel to a mob, yelling "witch" while pointing at certain people, and then when the mob grabs those people and ties them to a stake to burn them, shrug and say, "Who, me? I never meant for that to happen. All I wanted was to let people know who they were."
   233. Steve Treder Posted: February 19, 2011 at 12:17 AM (#3753774)
C-Bird, I could sit here and respond to that last post of yours with similar baseless accusations about your lack of logic, your lack of an open mind, and / or your lack of intellectual honesty, but I'd rather just let you bask in your own reflected glory. There's no point in continuing this any further, certainly not when The Producers is just getting warmed up on the telly.

In other words: I understand that I've just been pulverized in this argument, but rather than acknowledge that I'll pretend that I'm tired of engaging in it.
   234. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 19, 2011 at 12:26 AM (#3753779)
A position that not only insists that steroids must enhance baseball performance more than amphetamines, but that they are so much better that we should have an entirely different standard of punishment, is an irrational, unsupportable claim. Using raw numbers as evidence, without context, to prove that something caused that effect is circular reasoning.


actually it is not an "unsupportable" claim that steroids enhance performance more than amps, it is claim that with the right studies could be proven or disproven-

however it is, to date, a wholly unsupported claim, just as the assertion that HGH enhances performance is unsupported (actually the assertion that HGH enhances performance is, from what I've read, coming close to being disproven)
   235. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 19, 2011 at 12:31 AM (#3753782)
In other words: I understand that I've just been pulverized in this argument, but rather than acknowledge that I'll pretend that I'm tired of engaging in it.

I hope you enjoy the company you find yourself in with that sort of nonsense, Steve. Wait for a different thread subject and your temporary allies will turn on you as sure as you're born. They're a pathetic bunch and it's sad to see someone like like you stoop to their level.
   236. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 19, 2011 at 12:34 AM (#3753786)
"The use of steroids in baseball during the 1990s/early 2000s ('The Steroid Era') had the effect of dramatically altering the sport's statistical norms."

This statement might be true, in the sense that it's impossible to disprove. But it also might not be true, and given everything we can possibly do regarding understanding the effects of steroids and other PEDs on baseball performance, and disentangling whatever those might be from the jumble of other playing-conditions issues (the ball, ballparks, the strike zone, sports medicine/conditioning in general, etc. etc. etc.) the fact is that it most likely is not true, and with certainty we can say that we don't (and probably cannot) know whether it's true or not.

Yet it's a given, the foundational premise of nearly all discussion of the topic.


ever notice that political discussions with avid partisans tend to flounder because of a similar mechanism- the far left and far right in this country each take something as an unarguable given- where anyone else can see that such is not only arguable, but likely false?

I've taken to reading Al Jazeera in English online lately, because frankly I find it fascinating- the world view of many of their writers/contributors is so far removed from what I regard as reality...
   237. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 19, 2011 at 12:37 AM (#3753790)
I hope you enjoy the company you find yourself in with that sort of nonsense, Steve. Wait for a different thread subject and your temporary allies will turn on you as sure as you're born.


He knows that, as do I, but really, DMN, C Bird & Co really clean you clock on these steroid threads...
   238. Steve Treder Posted: February 19, 2011 at 12:40 AM (#3753793)
I hope you enjoy the company you find yourself in with that sort of nonsense, Steve. Wait for a different thread subject and your temporary allies will turn on you as sure as you're born. They're a pathetic bunch and it's sad to see someone like like you stoop to their level.

Quite honestly, Andy, I neither know nor care who exactly my "allies" are in any particular thread, nor my adversaries for that matter. You and I have met in person, and I look forward to the opportunity to do so again, because you're a heck of a nice guy, you know a ton about baseball and its history, and you're a very enjoyable fellow to be with.

But either arguments have factual foundation and logic supporting them, or they don't, no matter who presents them and when. I would rather be a "temporary ally" with someone only on the subjects upon which our arguments share those bases than attempt to forge and maintain a permanent "alliance" across all subjects with someone regardless of the merits of their arguments.
   239. Steve Treder Posted: February 19, 2011 at 12:47 AM (#3753796)
I've taken to reading Al Jazeera in English online lately, because frankly I find it fascinating- the world view of many of their writers/contributors is so far removed from what I regard as reality...

Fascinating indeed. If I were you, I would hope that it would cause me to, as best I could, re-examine the basis of my own understanding of reality -- not necessarily reject my own understanding, by any means, but meaningfully re-examine it, and attempt to see how it is that different people can comprehend the same set of "facts" quite differently.
   240. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 19, 2011 at 01:32 AM (#3753829)
You don't have to be ranting about hat size to be making a terrible argument, and you don't have to insist on throwing Bonds in jail in order to have misplaced and unhealthy "righteous" anger.


Andy has never understood that many of his arguments are as terrible as the hat size ones. It's a distinction without a difference.
   241. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 19, 2011 at 01:35 AM (#3753830)
There is another position that isn't reasonable, but is so widely-held within the mainstream discourse that it's essentially taken as a given, and is virtually never questioned or even examined:

"The use of steroids in baseball during the 1990s/early 2000s ('The Steroid Era') had the effect of dramatically altering the sport's statistical norms."

This statement might be true, in the sense that it's impossible to disprove. But it also might not be true, and given everything we can possibly do regarding understanding the effects of steroids and other PEDs on baseball performance, and disentangling whatever those might be from the jumble of other playing-conditions issues (the ball, ballparks, the strike zone, sports medicine/conditioning in general, etc. etc. etc.) the fact is that it most likely is not true, and with certainty we can say that we don't (and probably cannot) know whether it's true or not.

Yet it's a given, the foundational premise of nearly all discussion of the topic.


Yes; that's what is surreal about these discussions.
   242. CrosbyBird Posted: February 19, 2011 at 05:11 AM (#3753924)
C-Bird, I could sit here and respond to that last post of yours with similar baseless accusations about your lack of logic, your lack of an open mind, and / or your lack of intellectual honesty, but I'd rather just let you bask in your own reflected glory.

I invite you to provide any failure of logic or lack of intellectual honesty in any of my posts, on any subject, throughout my history of posting on BTF. Certainly if you can find such an example where it even looks like that, and I haven't corrected it, I'd want the opportunity to correct the error (and that's not at all sarcastic).

Or to clarify my meaning like this:

actually it is not an "unsupportable" claim that steroids enhance performance more than amps

That was sloppy on my part. I mean to say "unsupportable with the currently existing evidence."
   243. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 19, 2011 at 05:34 AM (#3753929)
C-Bird, I could sit here and respond to that last post of yours with similar baseless accusations about your lack of logic, your lack of an open mind, and / or your lack of intellectual honesty, but I'd rather just let you bask in your own reflected glory.

I invite you to provide any failure of logic or lack of intellectual honesty in any of my posts, on any subject, throughout my history of posting on BTF. Certainly if you can find such an example where it even looks like that, and I haven't corrected it, I'd want the opportunity to correct the error (and that's not at all sarcastic).


After you've spent the better part of this thread telling me that you're not sure whether I'm ignorant or dishonest (but it must be one or the other), that I have my mind completely made up about Bonds (as opposed to provisionally thinking he's guilty, on the basis of what's been revealed to date), and have little or no sense of logic, about all that's left is for you to go whole hog and say that I'm part of a lynch mob.

Do you really expect for me to keep up this sort of discussion? Maybe on some subject that you're less emotional about, like abortion or dog fighting, but not this one. You and your buddies can continue your little circle jerk and award yourself prizes and "well said"s, but you'll have to do it from now on without my help. Sorry.
   244. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 19, 2011 at 05:52 AM (#3753933)
I just want to say that I am also removing myself from this discussion. You lot are free to go on and on, but I am O-U-T.
   245. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 19, 2011 at 05:52 AM (#3753934)
Don't think for a moment that I don't have more important things to do with my time than continue in this thread. I have many of those things, and guess what? I'm going to do one of them now. Sayonara, suckers.
   246. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 19, 2011 at 05:53 AM (#3753935)
So it's goodbye from me to you. You can say anything you like, but don't hold your breath waiting for my reply.
   247. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 19, 2011 at 05:54 AM (#3753936)
The law of diminishing returns most definitely applies to all of you. Go play your reindeer games, only you'll be doing it without me.
   248. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 19, 2011 at 05:54 AM (#3753938)
No comment.
   249. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 19, 2011 at 06:12 AM (#3753944)
Gonfalon, come back! We're lost without you. Gonfalon!
   250. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 19, 2011 at 06:18 AM (#3753948)
Nice try. But it's not happening. Woo, wooo, clue train leaving the station.
   251. Josh1 Posted: February 19, 2011 at 06:36 AM (#3753954)
(as opposed to provisionally thinking he's guilty, on the basis of what's been revealed to date)


Could you summarize all the facts revealed to date that cause you to have such a strong provisional feeling?
   252. CrosbyBird Posted: February 19, 2011 at 02:30 PM (#3754016)
about all that's left is for you to go whole hog and say that I'm part of a lynch mob.

I think you're the one that's lumping me in with other people.

I'm talking about YOU and YOUR ARGUMENTS, not the bad arguments other people make that I also happen to disagree with. The only reason to even bring up other bad arguments is to demonstrate to you that it's not personal. Hate the sin, and not the sinner, and all that.

Do you really expect for me to keep up this sort of discussion? Maybe on some subject that you're less emotional about, like abortion or dog fighting, but not this one. You and your buddies can continue your little circle jerk and award yourself prizes and "well said"s, but you'll have to do it from now on without my help. Sorry.

Here's the thing: you make terrible arguments, and I've given you ample opportunity to allow you to correct those terrible arguments or retract them. At nearly every turn, you've attempted to shift the discussion to something else: a position that I haven't taken, or my "affiliation" with a group of "allies," or an accusation of a flaw in my own logic. I'm not going to let you off the hook, especially for that last one. If you've found me to be without logic at any point in my posting history, then I invite you to demonstrate that failing; if you can't, then I invite you to demonstrate some integrity and say that your attack was entirely unwarranted.

This isn't about me, anyway. Even if half my posts represent fundamentally defective positions that can be easily refuted, it says nothing as to the quality of your own posts. Stop changing the subject and fix the problem. Give straight answers to the questions that people ask. Find legitimate support for your positions or stop taking them with such intensity.
   253. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 19, 2011 at 03:34 PM (#3754049)
you appear unwilling to engage in a legitimate review of your arguments when others explain how they are flawed. You also tend to argue a distorted position that's made up by you, rather than the actual position being presented. I'm am not sure if the charitable way to describe that is to say that you can't tell the difference, or to say that you're doing it deliberately. It's either ignorance or dishonesty, and neither are very complementary traits.


C-Bird, I notice that you chose not to defend those comments after I objected to their tone. When I can begin assuming that you'll deal with points I raise without impugning my honesty, my intelligence, or my sense of "legitimacy," I may want to resume the conversation. I'm used to this sort of thing from Ray and David---it's what they eventually do to pretty much everyone who doesn't bow down to their idea of "logic," but I'd hoped that you might be different.

But since I've already answered pretty much every question that's been posed here, if not to your "logical" satisfaction, I'm also not sure what the point is of continuing the discussion. I'm not going to re-hash the greenie/steroids thing, since that's been gone over in countless prior threads over the past five or six years, and it's a bottomless pit. I'm not going to presume that Bonds is innocent of juicing until at some point he chooses to address the issue, and until that day comes, I can't see honoring him in Cooperstown. And I'm not going to root for him to serve time for a "crime" that IMO was strictly against baseball, and not against the U.S. government.

AFAICT except for that last point, where we all seem to agree, those are the fundamental splits between us, and unless one of us undergoes a lobotomy, I doubt if we're ever going to resolve it. I can certainly live with that.
   254. Chip Posted: February 19, 2011 at 04:30 PM (#3754075)
At nearly every turn, you've attempted to shift the discussion to something else: a position that I haven't taken, or my "affiliation" with a group of "allies," or an accusation of a flaw in my own logic.



I'm used to this sort of thing from Ray and David---it's what they eventually do to pretty much everyone who doesn't bow down to their idea of "logic," but I'd hoped that you might be different.
   255. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 19, 2011 at 04:54 PM (#3754091)
Something that continues to puzzle me is that umpteen folks insist steroids are a health hazard and users will suffer. Eventually

And I keep waiting and watching.

Contrast that with football's concussion/collision issue where there ex-players everywhere as anecdotal "evidence".

I am not wanting folks to get overtly ill and/or die. But if that is an outcome of use where has it happened? Are all the East German swimmers in a home somewhere?

I am asking because I am trying to connect the statements to facts
   256. Lassus Posted: February 19, 2011 at 04:54 PM (#3754092)
This has become surreal.
   257. robinred Posted: February 19, 2011 at 05:37 PM (#3754116)
@256

Well, when this whole thing started, you had Backlasher, kevin, JC, RETARDO and Andy, aka "The Union", so in that context Andy was actually the nice one. Now it's just Andy.

The other thing is that people's knowledge base about these issues, on both sides, really isn't very strong. Backlasher, kevin and Ron Johnson knew some stuff about the drugs, the Schedules, and the legalities thereof; Dial cited some studies on amps, and there were a few studies cited on steroids, and of course Nieporent and some of the other lawyers know the court legalities as related to the Bonds and Clemens cases, and to the Congressional hearing. But no one really KNOWS, as there has never been, and never will be, a controlled double-blind study on how steroids and amphetamines affect baseball performance and their possible long-term health effects.

So ultimately, a lot of this is guesswork. Even with the guys that we know used steroids, and we know used amps, they were using different drugs in different combinations for different lengths of time, and are going to be affected in different ways due to having different body types training programs etc.

As far as amps themselves, no one really knows what the answer there is, either, for the same reasons.

So, the guys (and Lisa) on the opposite side of Andy take that reality and say since we don't really know, everyone should forget about it, leave Bonds alone, and put Bonds and McGwire et al in the HOF. Andy, OTOH, thinks there is enough circumstantial etc. evidence that steroids can really help you, and are therefore different from amps, and that Bonds took them that he and the other guys should NOT be in the HOF.

But neither side knows for sure, or will ever know.

It is just two interpretations of the same set of facts, and each side finds the other's interpretation to be kind of dumb and offensive.

As for me, I am where I think most people are. I think Bonds used, and I think they helped him. I can certainly picture his trusting Anderson enough and being savvy enough to create a "plausible deniability" scenario in terms of how he talked about the stuff/act. I think it is also possible he REALLY didn't know and just trusted Anderson. And it is possible he is just lying. I think the govt. should have left him alone a long time ago, and the bloviating about him is far more tiresome than Bonds himself ever has been.

I have never really bought the idea of a moral distinction between amps and steroids, even if steroids really help you and amps don't. In both cases, guys are/were taking drugs to help them play better. If you hate one, you should hate the other. I am in favor of a testing program in large part because of the workplace/pressure argument, made by many and made most effectively by Backlasher. But even if I weren't, MLBPA has agreed to one, so that is that.

I am not the guy to ask about the Bonds/HOF issue since I don't really care about whether he gets in. If I had a HOF vote, I would try to talk to a lot of current players and former players and see what they think. There is one poll about it that I have seen, and cited here, that said 67% of players polled (I think it was 100 guys) said he should be in.
   258. base ball chick Posted: February 19, 2011 at 05:56 PM (#3754126)
andy,

re: 253 - this is a discussion between you and me and i am ignoring everything anyone else says good/bad/smart/dumb

you said
"I'm not going to presume that Bonds is innocent of juicing until at some point he chooses to address the issue"

OK, i am very clear that you are not going to presume bonds is INNOCENT of juicing and not that you are not going to presume that he is GUILTY of juicing - and you use the word "juicing" meaning that he knew (before 2002) he was using a chemical like winstrol only a legal one (at the time) and was told/believed that the chemical he used was actually using a steroid.

now, let's suppose bonds chooses "to address the issue" and let's pretend that he can say whatever he wants to without having to worry about lawyers/courts

what exactly could he HIMSELF (ignoring every other person who just might could have something to say) say/do to address the issue that would raise so much as a reasonable doubt IN YOUR MIND that he knowingly used what he BELIEVED AT THE TIME was a steroid? meaning, he did not think he was using steroids
   259. base ball chick Posted: February 19, 2011 at 06:04 PM (#3754130)
harveys

stop making sense. if a full grown adult uses huge amounts of testosterone-like chemicals every day for a long time, bad stuff can happen. but if you are looking for an example of someone famous doing this in like the past 30 years, i don't know who it is. it is obvious that movie stars use anabolic steroids to do some roles (see linda hamilton in the terminator) and that they go back to normal when they stop

who knows what it does to a boy or girl who is still growing. i would guess that if a girl started shooting up before she hit puberty it would probably permanently do something to her body and brain

but the hysteria is kind of like carrie nation and alcohol - one drink at all is the same thing as drinking a giant bottle of whisky every day and being drunk ALL the time
   260. Steve Treder Posted: February 19, 2011 at 07:58 PM (#3754204)
it is obvious that movie stars use anabolic steroids to do some roles (see linda hamilton in the terminator) and that they go back to normal when they stop

Wasn't there some other actor in The Terminator who admitted to having used steroids for years? Who was it? I'm trying to think of his name ... he seems to have done all right ...
   261. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 19, 2011 at 08:37 PM (#3754224)
I remember when the Creatine stuff was all over the media and a mother exclaimed how her son urinated "orange" for a week and me remembering how after I was nailed in the crotch by my horse when I was 13 I p#ssed blood for a week

Everything still works
   262. OCF Posted: February 19, 2011 at 09:06 PM (#3754240)
but the hysteria is kind of like carrie nation and alcohol - one drink at all is the same thing as drinking a giant bottle of whisky every day and being drunk ALL the time

Just a reminder that dosage always matters.

I can think of five broad categories of drugs that might matter when we're talking about athletes. The first three are performance-enhancers; the last two not so much (at least in most sports):

1. Anabolic agents and strength-builders.

2. Stimulants.

3. Painkillers and anesthetics.

4. Sedatives and anti-anxiety medications.

5. "Recreational" drugs.

Each of these five categories contains drugs which are legal and illegal, IOC-allowed and IOC-prohibited. In #1, there's creatine - legal and probably not too hazardous (although dosage always matters). In #2 there's caffeine, including coffee and cola drinks - legal, nearly universally taken, relatively innocuous. In #3, there's asprin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen. Category #2 also contains things like pseudoephedrine: over-the-counter legal but IOC-banned.

Category #5 is one in which the potential for harm doesn't particularly line up well with legal status. We all know of alcohol-wrecked lives; it's legal and surely hazardous. But a large majority of the population consumes alcohol in moderation, and suffers no ill effects.

Categories 1,2,3 - the ones where athletic performance can be improved - also contain prescription-only drugs and black market drugs, including amphetamines and steroids. And I do consider painkillers to be performance-enhancing: if pain was restricting your performance, blocking it is an enhancement.

Dosage always matters, and pattern of use always matters, so broad generalizations may be useless. But to make a broad generalization anyway, I think that categories 2 and 3 - stimulants and painkillers - both cause more harm and more long-term harm than steroids. Some painkillers are pretty scary stuff.

Harveys is waiting for someone to drop dead. The witch hunters already had their case: Lyle Alzado. Of course, he died in 1992, he was a football player, and despite what Alzado said himself, it's far from obvious that his brain cancer had anything to do with his steroid use.
   263. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 19, 2011 at 09:26 PM (#3754250)
OCF

I learned a long time ago that a trend line requires more than one data point

The country is a lot fatter. Maybe the impact of all the usage starting years back is obesity.
   264. EddieA Posted: February 19, 2011 at 09:31 PM (#3754251)
OCF's category 1 include things advertised on TV every sporting event - "Progene" will "improve your performance on the field". It may well be IOC-prohibited, may not be. The main concern an aging multimillionaire baseball player would have taking something like progene in 2003 would have been the same as most of the people watching that ad on TV would have now, whether its a for real product. What reason would there be for a rich baseball player not to take advice of a trainer and try to get a designer product that's most likely to be effective? They wouldn't give a flip about what the IOC says and they wouldn't call it "steroids".
Todays articles are about the judge suggesting both sides get together and come to a resolution outside of trial. The SF paper headlines have interpreted that as saying she wants Bonds to take a plea deal. Other papers and outlets aren't putting that spin on it. Unfortunately, there's no way for the prosecution to save face and drop the case. Articles say the defense objected to entry of pictures of Bonds in baseball uniforms through the years to show his obvious change of physique - but then said the defense was showing the pictures to the media. Would seem like effective and fun defense to show Bonds through the years and compare his size with some guys who probably used real steroids - most every day in my gym I see people much larger than Barry Bonds ever was (none of whom could ever hit a baseball like him though, even when he was 20).
   265. CrosbyBird Posted: February 19, 2011 at 10:43 PM (#3754284)
C-Bird, I notice that you chose not to defend those comments after I objected to their tone. When I can begin assuming that you'll deal with points I raise without impugning my honesty, my intelligence, or my sense of "legitimacy," I may want to resume the conversation.

If you can think of a way to more politely make the point that someone is making an unsupported, objectively defective argument, I'll be happy to use that language. I'm sure that in regular life you're a very nice and honest guy who is reasonably intelligent, but some of the positions you take on this website aren't nice and aren't rational, and don't appear to be very honest.

I'm used to this sort of thing from Ray and David---it's what they eventually do to pretty much everyone who doesn't bow down to their idea of "logic," but I'd hoped that you might be different.

This is exactly the sort of thing I'm taking about, by the way. I'm my own person, and I'm the one criticizing you. I'm attempting to have a direct dialogue with you, and you keep bringing up other people, like when people discuss the HOF and you bring up the HOM, or like when people criticize you for counting Bonds defense as evidence of guilt and you bring up how you don't think the case should be going on, or like when someone says there's not supporting evidence that steroids are as or more performance-enhancing that greenies and you bring up the opinions of the BBWAA.

This is a dishonest way to have a conversation, and I'm calling you out specifically for it. I'm not saying "Andy always switches goalposts" in any general sense, but pointing out specific things that you have done that make your arguments problematic. That's not a matter of opinion. It's a matter of you not arguing in good faith. The only question is whether it's willful (in which case you're dishonest or simply trolling) or done out of ignorance. I'm doing the best I can to give you the benefit of the doubt by saying that you might not know better, but I can't explain it any more clearly.

But since I've already answered pretty much every question that's been posed here, if not to your "logical" satisfaction, I'm also not sure what the point is of continuing the discussion.

It's not my satisfaction, and the scare quotes are inappropriate. Your arguments aren't logical, they aren't supported with reasonable evidence, and that's why I take issue with them. Not because I disagree.

I'm not going to re-hash the greenie/steroids thing, since that's been gone over in countless prior threads over the past five or six years, and it's a bottomless pit.

It is only a bottomless pit because you have a position with terrible supporting evidence and you're unwilling or unable to acknowledge that.

I'm not going to presume that Bonds is innocent of juicing until at some point he chooses to address the issue, and until that day comes, I can't see honoring him in Cooperstown.

This comes back to "what can Bonds do?" He's sworn under oath that he didn't knowingly use steroids, and maintained that position in the face of a lawsuit. He's never tested positive for steroids. That's not "addressing the issue"? When finally backed into a corner, you admit there is nothing that Bonds can ever say or do that can convince you that he didn't knowingly use steroids. There is no "addressing the issue" as far as he's concerned short of a confession of guilt.

And I'm not going to root for him to serve time for a "crime" that IMO was strictly against baseball, and not against the U.S. government.

It's not a matter of opinion. It was most certainly a real crime if Bonds used steroids, and if he lied about it, perjury is also a real crime. I think the government never should have gotten involved and I'm rooting for failure, but I think it's quite possible that Bonds is indeed a lying drug user.

In this instance, we share a conclusion about what should be, but we get there in very different ways. I hope this source of agreement demonstrates that even sometimes when you reach the same conclusion that I reach, I still have a problem with the support you give for that position.
   266. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 19, 2011 at 11:44 PM (#3754311)
This is a dishonest way to have a conversation, and I'm calling you out specifically for it. I'm not saying "Andy always switches goalposts" in any general sense, but pointing out specific things that you have done that make your arguments problematic. That's not a matter of opinion. It's a matter of you not arguing in good faith. The only question is whether it's willful (in which case you're dishonest or simply trolling) or done out of ignorance. I'm doing the best I can to give you the benefit of the doubt by saying that you might not know better, but I can't explain it any more clearly.


Actually, the more charitable interpretation is that he's not arguing in good faith. Inherent in the alternative is that he doesn't know how to carry on a coherent conversation by responding to the points being made rather than introducing irrelevancies.
   267. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 20, 2011 at 12:11 AM (#3754319)
Well, when this whole thing started, you had Backlasher, kevin, JC, RETARDO and Andy, aka "The Union", so in that context Andy was actually the nice one. Now it's just Andy.
I thought JC was the nice one.
   268. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 20, 2011 at 12:40 AM (#3754329)
I'm not going to presume that Bonds is innocent of juicing until at some point he chooses to address the issue, and until that day comes, I can't see honoring him in Cooperstown.

This comes back to "what can Bonds do?" He's sworn under oath that he didn't knowingly use steroids, and maintained that position in the face of a lawsuit. He's never tested positive for steroids. That's not "addressing the issue"? When finally backed into a corner, you admit there is nothing that Bonds can ever say or do that can convince you that he didn't knowingly use steroids. There is no "addressing the issue" as far as he's concerned short of a confession of guilt.
Right. He says that he won't presume Bonds is innocent -- which says it all in itself -- but what he means is that he won't believe Bonds is innocent. Bonds can't prove his innocence (how exactly would that be possible even if Andy had an open mind?), and Anderson can't establish Bonds' innocence either (even though Andy pretends that it's Anderson's failure to testify that proves Bonds' guilt.)
   269. AJMcCringleberry Posted: February 20, 2011 at 01:23 PM (#3754440)
This comes back to "what can Bonds do?"

He can do what Clemens did. Look how well that worked for him!
   270. Josh1 Posted: February 20, 2011 at 03:33 PM (#3754465)
Andy, I really would be interested in seeing the answer to my earlier question: "Could you summarize all the facts revealed to date that cause you to have such a strong provisional feeling" that Bonds knowingly used? Maybe I'm missing something, but I haven't read about anything particularly damning.
   271. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 20, 2011 at 04:47 PM (#3754487)
Andy, I really would be interested in seeing the answer to my earlier question: "Could you summarize all the facts revealed to date that cause you to have such a strong provisional feeling" that Bonds knowingly used? Maybe I'm missing something, but I haven't read about anything particularly damning.

In three words: Game of Shadows. It's not necessarily the last word, but it's a pretty damn good working hypothesis, and it's enough to fuel my provisional presumption of Bonds's knowing roiding. If you haven't read it, I'd strongly recommend it, if only to get the side of the story that you'll seldom read here among the Philadelphia lawyers. Of course the MSM will give you enough hyperventilating anti-Bonds rhetoric to last you several lifetimes, but if you want to get past the cross-volleys of "bacne" and "lynch mobs," Game of Shadows is a good place to start.

And if you want to read the "lynch mob" version of events along with all of its sub-narratives**, just read the archived BTF steroids threads, where it's about as hard to find as water in the ocean.

**lying witnesses, what about greenies?, boyhood heroes, lasik surgery, spitballs, corked bats, Ty Cobb's racism, Hank Aaron's late career spikes, etc., etc.
   272. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 20, 2011 at 06:05 PM (#3754522)
In three words: Game of Shadows. It's not necessarily the last word, but it's a pretty damn good working hypothesis, and it's enough to fuel my provisional presumption of Bonds's knowing roiding. If you haven't read it, I'd strongly recommend it, if only to get the side of the story that you'll seldom read here among the Philadelphia lawyers. Of course the MSM will give you enough hyperventilating anti-Bonds rhetoric to last you several lifetimes, but if you want to get past the cross-volleys of "bacne" and "lynch mobs," Game of Shadows is a good place to start.


Andy, you do realize that you haven't answered Josh's question here. He asked you to summarize the facts that have led you to your "provisional presumption of Bonds's knowing roiding." That shouldn't be hard for you to do, and it's a fair question. Pointing to a 300 page book (which I and a number of us have read) doesn't answer it.
   273. CrosbyBird Posted: February 20, 2011 at 06:08 PM (#3754524)
It is just two interpretations of the same set of facts, and each side finds the other's interpretation to be kind of dumb and offensive.

This, I can't agree with. There's an interpretation that is speculative, and one that is non-speculative. It is inherently superior to take the position "we don't have enough evidence" when we actually don't have enough evidence than it is to fill in the gaps with speculation and/or unreliable evidence.

Here's what it comes down to:
1) You can't prove that Bonds ever used steroids (although he tested positive for amphetamines),
2) You can't prove that steroids significantly help hitters, especially with players who are already quite strong,
3) You can't prove that steroids are worse than amphetamines,
4) Offensive performance in baseball improved dramatically over a particular period of time, and there is substantial, non-circumstantial evidence that the ball changed significantly within that time period, and it has been established as scientific fact that these changes result in further movement of ball off of bat,
5) A fair number of the known steroid users weren't particularly good power hitters, and didn't see any measurable improvement in performance, power or otherwise,
6) Players outside this particular era have had similar sorts of late career spikes

There's no interpretation here. Those are just facts.

lying witnesses, what about greenies?, boyhood heroes, lasik surgery, spitballs, corked bats, Ty Cobb's racism, Hank Aaron's late career spikes

It sounds really unreasonable to consider whether the witnesses are lying, why you'd want to distinguish one performance-enhancer from another, how you could reasonably raise character without addressing elections of folks with far worse character issues, and similar performance spikes? If cheating is the problem (as opposed to the degree of enhancement), why wouldn't spitballs and corked bats be relevant (or even, for the purposes of a hypothetical, LASIK used to enhance vision rather than correct it)?

I won't try to seriously predict the motives of the people who insist that steroids are different and worthy of much more serious punishment, so you'll get no support about the reasonableness of the "boyhood heroes" stuff from me.
   274. CrosbyBird Posted: February 20, 2011 at 06:10 PM (#3754526)
Pointing to a 300 page book (which I and a number of us have read) doesn't answer it.

Particularly since a good deal of that book has nothing to do with Bonds. His story is only a small part of the book (although it's probably the part that sells the rest of the book most effectively).
   275. Josh1 Posted: February 20, 2011 at 06:22 PM (#3754535)
In three words: Game of Shadows.


Game of Shadows is your main evidence? I read that book when it came out, so it's been a while, but I recall it being essentially two books in one. One book was an interesting, detailed discussion of various clearly guilty track athletes presented with compelling evidence. The other was a set of equally confident accusations made against Bonds but with almost no evidence backing up those accusations.

I just pulled the book off my shelf and see there is an appendix listing all the evidence against Bonds. What I just read in that section seems pretty weak as the foundation for anyone unbiased to form a strong view.

-There is a statement that Valente in a plea admitted to giving the cream/clear to Anderson to give to Bonds, but I don't see anything saying Valente knows that Bonds took them or knows that Anderson couldn't have been just providing them to any of his many other clients. The book also says Conte supposedly told Novitzky that Bonds was using the cream/clear, but we know full well Conte has been very consistent in denying that he knows anything about Bonds using anything dubious, which is decent support since Conte has thrown every other athlete under the bus. As a general point, the Cream/Clear were not illegal at the time and were not technically steroids under the law.

-Kim Bell accused Bonds, but she is pretty unreliable given her vendetta against her ex-boyfriend, and her financial motive to sell a sensational story to Playboy. I vaguely recall the details of her story are inconsistent with the fact pattern resented by other sources.

-Sheffield said Anderson gave him some stuff, he thinks that stuff was the cream/clear, and he thinks it was the same stuff Bonds was using (and Bonds said Sheffield should take it). Sheffield says he was not told they were steroids, which is the same story Bonds tells.

-Documents: I guess this is the stuff that could come out in the case and make things look bad for Bonds. There are some payments to Anderson (was it for drugs or just normal supplements/training? -- guess we'll see in the case). There was a suspicious calendar that was maybe a doping calendar or maybe something else. Since it seems much of this "evidence" may not be allowed at trial, it may be pretty dubious or unreliable. I guess we'll see.

-Some secret recording of Anderson supposedly saying Bonds was using undetectable steroids. Has anyone actually heard this recording? Is it actually real or just a rumor?

-Circumstantial evidence that Bonds added a little more than 20 pounds of muscle over a few years. Obviously this is ridiculously uncompelling since Bonds has some of the best genetics in baseball history and went from working out in small quantities to working out essentially all day long in the off season during this period (with maybe the most intense workout program in baseball). With or without steroids, you would expect him to gain significant muscle mass, and Bonds never reached football player size anyway.

From what I see in the Game of Shadows appendix, it obviously is possible Bonds used the cream/clear, and it is possible he knew what he was taking, but it's also possible he didn't know what he was taking (since he has the same story as Sheffield), and it's also possible he never used them at all since no one reliable actually says he/she saw Bonds taking any drugs, and Bonds passed his MLB drug tests. Surely you have something more than Game of Shadows in order to have any degree of confidence...
   276. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 20, 2011 at 06:40 PM (#3754539)
It is just two interpretations of the same set of facts, and each side finds the other's interpretation to be kind of dumb and offensive.

This, I can't agree with. There's an interpretation that is speculative, and one that is non-speculative. It is inherently superior to take the position "we don't have enough evidence" when we actually don't have enough evidence than it is to fill in the gaps with speculation and/or unreliable evidence.


Robinred's m.o. in these discussions is basically to pop in and declare that everyone on all sides is acting reasonably and rationally and that what exists is simply a difference of opinion.
   277. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 20, 2011 at 06:41 PM (#3754540)
Pointing to a 300 page book (which I and a number of us have read) doesn't answer it.

Particularly since a good deal of that book has nothing to do with Bonds. His story is only a small part of the book (although it's probably the part that sells the rest of the book most effectively).


Bottom line: when one has formed a strong conclusion about something, one should be able to immediately tick of the reasons that led him to his conclusion.
   278. Kiko Sakata Posted: February 20, 2011 at 07:16 PM (#3754556)
Obviously this is ridiculously uncompelling since Bonds has some of the best genetics in baseball history and went from working out in small quantities to working out essentially all day long in the off season during this period (with maybe the most intense workout program in baseball). With or without steroids, you would expect him to gain significant muscle mass, and Bonds never reached football player size anyway.


This isn't really an argument against steroid use. This is an explanation of how steroids work.
   279. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 20, 2011 at 07:36 PM (#3754566)
Josh 1,

Of course Game of Shadows isn't all about Bonds, but it's a very useful source for setting the background of the characters involved, and the four page Appendix One at the back provides an excellent summary of the case against him. Since you've read the book yourself, there's little need to rehash the particulars, which includes statements about Bonds and steroids from Valente, C.J. Hunter, and Kimberly Bell; the (in)famous calendars; and the Hoskins recording (though at the time of publication Hoskins wasn't identified by name) of Anderson.

And yes, I've read the countless deconstructions of this evidence that have been posted here ad nauseum. Nieporent's and Ray's outpourings on the finer rules of evidence and law alone could probably fill a good medium sized book shelf.**

But for about the 1001st time, the question ISN'T whether or not this evidence is sufficient to convict Bonds in court---especially when much of it may wind up being ruled inadmissible---but whether or not that FOR NOW, it's enough to make me presume that Bonds was in fact a roider. That's why I use the word "provisionally."

At some point down the road, if and when Bonds cleared of all his criminal charges and the statutes of limitation have expired, he and Anderson may choose to explain (or explain away) the evidence contained in those appendices. That's up to them. But until that time comes, or until that evidence is discredited by cross-examination during the trial, my assumption is going to remain that Bonds was a juicer.

**And in the new bi-partisan spirit of John Boehner, I'll believe them if they say that they haven't been billing their employers for all those countless workday hours they've spent defending Barry Bonds against us lynch mobbers.

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

Robinred's m.o. in these discussions is basically to pop in and declare that everyone on all sides is acting reasonably and rationally and that what exists is simply a difference of opinion.

I was wondering how long it would take Ray to get around to Robin. Ray don't cotton to no stinkin' deviationists, and how dare anyone have different interpretations of facts that Ray doesn't deem "logical"!
   280. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 20, 2011 at 07:46 PM (#3754568)
This isn't really an argument against steroid use. This is an explanation of how steroids work.

Not to mention that the claim that Bonds didn't reach "football player size" is flat-out ridiculous. He was listed in 2007 at 6-2, 228. Troy Polamalu is listed in 2010 at 5-10, 207. Chad Ochocinco is listed at 6-1, 192. Tom Brady 6-4, 225.(**)

Not only was Bonds "football player size," he was NFL football player size. He was big enough to play Division 1 linebacker.

It's hilarious to watch people prattle on about how their position is more "logical" when BS like this is continually shoveled.

(**) Bonds is listed on bb-ref at 185 pounds, and there was certainly a point in his career when that was what he weighed. Which means he didn't put on "20 pounds of muscle," he put on (at least) 43 pounds of whatever. What other baseball players prior to 1993 put on 43 pounds or more during their major league careers? Any? Note that the question isn't about normal guys, or fat asses who might have played a little in high school and then sat around drinking and eating wings once they hit 22; it's about world-class, professional athletes.
   281. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 20, 2011 at 07:46 PM (#3754569)
you'll get no support about the reasonableness of the "boyhood heroes" stuff from me

As a general principle, it's great fun when people who treat the "Bonds began using steroids in 1999 because he was jealous of the attention McGwire and Sosa were getting" bullshit as an established reality get some "you're only mad because your beloved idols Hank and Roger got knocked down a peg" bullshit thrown into their faces.

Of course, if these people don't like the accusation, they should step up to the plate and prove they're NOT only mad because their beloved idols Hank and Roger got knocked down a peg. In the court of public opinion, their inability to do so speaks for itself.
   282. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 20, 2011 at 07:51 PM (#3754571)
I was wondering how long it would take Ray to get around to Robin. Ray don't cotton to no stinkin' deviationists, and how dare anyone have different interpretations of facts that Ray doesn't deem "logical"!

Yeah, the "logical" thing is quite a hoot. This from a group that demands that everyone bow to the "aesthetic beauty" of a guy with a distended head; a bloated, phony body; and arms adorned with body armor swinging for the fences, and the luminescent wisdom of hoping OJ gets off even though they know he's guilty.

Barry Bonds, ca. 2001-07 -- the apex of baseball's timeless and eternal beauty. What will they come up with next?
   283. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 20, 2011 at 08:02 PM (#3754576)
Yeah, the "logical" thing is quite a hoot. This from a group that demands that everyone bow to the "aesthetic beauty" of a guy with a distended head; a bloated, phony body; and arms adorned with body armor swinging for the fences, and the luminescent wisdom of hoping OJ gets off even though they know he's guilty.


That's not my position with respect to OJ. As I specifically said in the other thread, I hoped he would be found guilty and thought he should have been, no matter the mistakes of the prosecution.
   284. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 20, 2011 at 08:03 PM (#3754577)
O.J. Simpson is a flawless analogy.
   285. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 20, 2011 at 08:03 PM (#3754578)
In three words: Game of Shadows. It's not necessarily the last word, but it's a pretty damn good working hypothesis, and it's enough to fuel my provisional presumption of Bonds's knowing roiding. If you haven't read it, I'd strongly recommend it, if only to get the side of the story that you'll seldom read here among the Philadelphia lawyers. Of course the MSM will give you enough hyperventilating anti-Bonds rhetoric to last you several lifetimes, but if you want to get past the cross-volleys of "bacne" and "lynch mobs," Game of Shadows is a good place to start.
It's not even the first word. I'm not willing to give them my money, so I only read it in the store and thus can't pull it off the shelf and provide detailed quotes, but while GoS gives extensive background about BALCO, it has virtually no hard evidence about Bonds. It also tells an awful lot of what people were thinking without providing any explanation of how they could possibly know that. And the vast majority of the book relies either on anonymous sources or Novitsky. In short, relying on Game of Shadows is pretty much like saying, "Bonds is accused, so he must be guilty."

EDIT:
lying witnesses
We'll see what happens at trial, but based on what we've heard to date, it seems that exactly one person is going to testify to purported knowledge of Bonds using steroids: Kimberly Bell. Not Anderson, not Conte, not -- IIRC -- Hoskins.

EDIT #2: Or, in short, what Josh1 says in 275.
   286. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 20, 2011 at 08:04 PM (#3754579)
This isn't really an argument against steroid use. This is an explanation of how steroids work.


Not to mention that the claim that Bonds didn't reach "football player size" is flat-out ridiculous. He was listed in 2007 at 6-2, 228. Troy Polamalu is listed in 2010 at 5-10, 207. Chad Ochocinco is listed at 6-1, 192. Tom Brady 6-4, 225.(**)

Not only was Bonds "football player size," he was NFL football player size. He was big enough to play Division 1 linebacker.


Not to mention that his body fat index went from 8% to 6.2% between 1997 and 2002, in spite of a 22 pound weight gain.

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

As a general principle, it's great fun when people who treat the "Bonds began using steroids in 1999 because he was jealous of the attention McGwire and Sosa were getting" bullshit as an established reality get some "you're only mad because your beloved idols Hank and Roger got knocked down a peg" bullshit thrown into their faces.

Problem is, I've never said anything about why Bonds used steroids, and I've never said anything about boyhood heroes. But if you'll offer me the right price I might reconsider.
   287. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 20, 2011 at 08:10 PM (#3754580)
But other people have said those things about you. How do you answer that? Or are you going to issue a pro forma denial while offering no evidence? Which is of course your full right to do, and I would never question your choice.
   288. CrosbyBird Posted: February 20, 2011 at 08:11 PM (#3754581)
This from a group that demands that everyone bow to the "aesthetic beauty" of a guy with a distended head; a bloated, phony body; and arms adorned with body armor swinging for the fences

If that's all you saw when Bonds was at the plate, then I don't really understand what you like about baseball.

Practically every Bonds PA was a demonstration of the most exceptional hitting talent that existed in my lifetime. Nearly perfect control, never swinging at a bad pitch, whip-quick bat control, perfect swings... if you don't find that beautiful, you're watching something very different than what I watch.

the luminescent wisdom of hoping OJ gets off even though they know he's guilty

OJ Simpson shouldn't, in my opinion, have been convicted because his freedom is a lesser evil than allowing a corrupt, incompetent prosecution to success at trial. In the civil trial, where the standard of proof is lower, he lost. If the prosecution didn't botch the case so badly, OJ would have been in prison, but they did, and it is, in my opinion, better for us as a society for the government to have paid that price. Next time they won't cut corners, hopefully for someone that might not be guilty but also might not have the benefit of having high-priced defense lawyers.
   289. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 20, 2011 at 08:16 PM (#3754583)
-Some secret recording of Anderson supposedly saying Bonds was using undetectable steroids. Has anyone actually heard this recording? Is it actually real or just a rumor?
There's a real recording; transcripts of parts of it have been published in court documents. It's the one where Anderson was talking to Hoskins in the locker room. It may or may not be admissible; as I noted the other day, Judge Ilston has not -- contrary to reports -- ruled that it is. It's barely audible, uses lots of ambiguous pronouns, and does not say, IIRC, that Bonds knew he was taking steroids, so at most it establishes, if it is believed and understood the way the government wants it to be, that Bonds unknowingly used.
   290. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 20, 2011 at 08:26 PM (#3754587)
As a general principle, it's great fun when people who treat the "Bonds began using steroids in 1999 because he was jealous of the attention McGwire and Sosa were getting" ######## as an established reality get some "you're only mad because your beloved idols Hank and Roger got knocked down a peg" ######## thrown into their faces.

Problem is, I've never said anything about why Bonds used steroids, and I've never said anything about boyhood heroes. But if you'll offer me the right price I might reconsider.

But other people have said those things about you. How do you answer that? Or are you going to issue a pro forma denial while offering no evidence? Which is of course your full right to do, and I would never question your choice.


Tell you what, Gonfalon, if you can ever escape from the clutches of Tinker-Evers-Chance and find a recording of me where I state any such things, or if you can ever find a similar written statement, I promise I won't move to suppress the evidence.
   291. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 20, 2011 at 08:34 PM (#3754592)
Practically every Bonds PA was a demonstration of the most exceptional hitting talent that existed in my lifetime. Nearly perfect control, never swinging at a bad pitch, whip-quick bat control, perfect swings... if you don't find that beautiful, you're watching something very different than what I watch.

Apparently so. It was aesthetically displeasing in itself, in the same way that many superficially accomplished feats are. I can kind of say "Wow" at the guy who puts his gut in the way of a cannonball, or Evel Kneival trying to traverse the Snake River Canyon, while at the same time taking note that they're circus acts. Bonds from 2001-07, with the distended head and body armor, was primarily a circus act.

When you add to that the fact that his head became distended, and his body bloated, from strange substances supplied by creeps, taken in a creepy, furtive way, that merely amplifies the blight.

Barry Bonds before his at bats became the baseball equivalent of the bearded lady swallowing the burning swords? Now there's an aesthetically appealing baseball player. Maybe the most aesthetically pleasing ever.

OJ Simpson shouldn't, in my opinion, have been convicted because his freedom is a lesser evil than allowing a corrupt, incompetent prosecution to success at trial.

The idea that a murderer should go free because the state's attorneys aren't very good at their jobs -- and rooting for that result -- borders on obscene. If they're corrupt that's a different story. The idea that the state's corruption in the OJ case was thorough enough to morally demand his acquittal is silly, bordering on delusional.
   292. EddieA Posted: February 20, 2011 at 08:40 PM (#3754600)
What other baseball players prior to 1993 put on 43 pounds or more during their major league careers? Any?


Babe Ruth for sure, but perhaps he was a lardass.
   293. CrosbyBird Posted: February 20, 2011 at 08:43 PM (#3754602)
It was aesthetically displeasing in itself, in the same way that many superficially accomplished feats are.

If you saw a particularly beautiful painting with striking color that you'd never seen before, and learned that it had been painted by Hitler using the blood of innocent victims, would that make the painting less beautiful to you? Or just something you had less respect for?
   294. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 20, 2011 at 08:45 PM (#3754605)
Tell you what, Gonfalon, if you can ever escape from the clutches of Tinker-Evers-Chance and find a recording of me where I state any such things, or if you can ever find a similar written statement, I promise I won't move to suppress the evidence.

It's not just what you may or may not have said, but more tellingly, what you haven't said. I just know what I would say to my accusers, if it were me. Naturally, I cannot expect you to utter that speech word for word, or to jump through a series of procedural hoops of my own creation just to satisfy me, a total stranger. But I can't help but draw certain conclusions. If other evidence or statements emerge in the future, I would naturally consider revisiting my opinion.
   295. robinred Posted: February 20, 2011 at 08:46 PM (#3754606)
Here's what it comes down to:
1) You can't prove that Bonds ever used steroids (although he tested positive for amphetamines),
2) You can't prove that steroids significantly help hitters, especially with players who are already quite strong,
3) You can't prove that steroids are worse than amphetamines
,

Sure. And that is part of the reason why:

Andy doesn't think Bonds should be in court trying to avoid jail.
Andy has left the possibility open (albeit in his mind a small one) that he is wrong about Bonds.
Andy has said LITERALLY 200-300 TIMES, that he is not looking at this as a question of provable, beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt legal guilt.

You think he shouldn't do that. Fine. But that is all you have here; logic doesn't have #### do with it. Reading GOS and concluding Bonds lied and looking at some of the players of that era, like Caminiti and Canseco and McGwire and Sosa and Bonds and concluding that steroids in SOME cases CAN really help guys hit HRs is just as "logical" as saying we don't know for sure, so presume innocence. You seem to think it is less ETHICAL, (hence your referring to your position as "inherently superior") and that is OK too, but it isn't logical in any grand or inarguable sense.

And as I pointed out in the post Ray mocked, you are never going to know exactly what steroids do and don't do for baseball performance, but we have some circumstantial evidence about the issue. You have taken that reality and reached the conclusions you have. Fair enough. Andy has taken that same evidence and reached his.

For the record, I don't agree with all of Andy's positions on PEDs and I get tired of his 'tude about the asterisk ball and his "put Bonds in the HOM" crap. I think are some huge holes in his amps/roids arguments. But his position on Bonds has been clear and consistent for eight years now.
   296. robinred Posted: February 20, 2011 at 08:58 PM (#3754613)
Practically every Bonds PA was a demonstration of the most exceptional hitting talent that existed in my lifetime. Nearly perfect control, never swinging at a bad pitch, whip-quick bat control, perfect swings... if you don't find that beautiful, you're watching something very different than what I watch


If you are going to hammer on people about logic, rationality, objectivity etc. when it comes to Barry Bonds, you might be better served leaving this kind of thing for another thread.

I see Gonfalon Bubble, a personal fave of mine at BTF, making some suggestions about Andy's motivations. That cuts both ways.
   297. AJMcCringleberry Posted: February 20, 2011 at 08:59 PM (#3754615)
The idea that a murderer should go free because the state's attorneys aren't very good at their jobs -- and rooting for that result -- borders on obscene.

The idea that someone should go to jail because you "know" he's guilty even though the prosecution didn't do their job borders on obscene.
   298. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 20, 2011 at 09:09 PM (#3754623)
I see Gonfalon Bubble, a personal fave of mine at BTF, making some suggestions about Andy's motivations.

Actually, no. I don't have any cynicism about where Andy's coming from. Our thoughts on the subject overlap in some respects. But I sure am teasing him about his imaginary "path to vindication" that he thinks Barry Bonds isn't taking.
   299. base ball chick Posted: February 20, 2011 at 09:26 PM (#3754630)
look guys,

while i OBVIOUSLY do not agree with andy's conclusion that bonds is guilty of KNOWING he took "steroids" at the time he took them, as well as his conclusion that absolutely nothing bonds himself could say or do would convince him otherwise, it is simply horsepoopoo to keep going on about his "childhood heroes" when he has absolutely NEVER said anything of the kind. and i've read these threads since the day they got started back umpty years ago.

in fact, he has denied this vigorously from the very first accusation as vigorously as barry lamar has denied KNOWINGLY using steroids. if youse guys can give barry lamar the benefit of the doubt, why not andy?

he has the opinion that amphetamines are not performance enhancing and if barry lamar had only used them, then there would not be a reason to keep him out of the hall. he has the right to think that amphetamines are nothing more than coffee, if he wants to. it doesn't have anything to do with "boyhood heroes"

he has the opinion that using steroids is such a terrible thing that anyone who used them before they were against the rules shouldn't be in the hall of fame. he has the right to his opinion. he doesn't believe that using any other chemical before they were specifically banned in the CBA should

lots of people have those opinions and they have a right to

as for the game of shadows book chapters on bonds AND the appendix - i read them over very carefully when that book was first published

almost every piece of evidence against barry lamar is either anonymous or from novitsky - and i would believe that andy would start a rich lederer campaign for blylevin type campaign to get barry lamar elected to the HOF beefore i would believe one word coming out of novitsky's mouth. including "and" and "the"

like whatshisname said in the movie - show me the money. no - some anonymous person threw accusation X around.

as for kimberly bell - please. if youse guys don't know nothin YET about how a woman who was dumped without getting the money she was promised - acts or what she does for revenge, all i can say is either you never got out of your mama basement or you STILL don't know nothin bout women anyhow
   300. robinred Posted: February 20, 2011 at 09:28 PM (#3754632)
Actually, no. I don't have any cynicism about where Andy's coming from.


Fair enough. But if you referencing the "boyhood heroes" stuff, you are walking a pretty narrow line there. I will assume it was in jest.
Page 3 of 4 pages  < 1 2 3 4 > 

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
TedBerg
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 8-29-2014
(35 - 12:23am, Aug 30)
Last: Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant

NewsblogIndians Sign Russell Branyan
(11 - 12:20am, Aug 30)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogThe First Hundred PAs: The Curious Case of Cubs Rookie Javier Baez
(2 - 12:07am, Aug 30)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogRobothal: Tension growing between Astros' manager, GM
(37 - 12:05am, Aug 30)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogWatch a Japanese baseball player try to hit a 186 mph fastball (Video)
(18 - 11:56pm, Aug 29)
Last: Rob_Wood

NewsblogAdam Jones says he was joking about 'airport' comment at social media event
(15 - 11:47pm, Aug 29)
Last: McCoy

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread August, 2014
(801 - 10:58pm, Aug 29)
Last: The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB)

NewsblogRockies' Troy Tulowitzki bent on playing shortstop: "I will retire before I move"
(12 - 10:52pm, Aug 29)
Last: Greg K

NewsblogJesus Montero gets heckled by Mariners cross checker during rehab stint
(47 - 10:49pm, Aug 29)
Last: The District Attorney

NewsblogJonny Venters Tears UCL, Facing Third Tommy John Surgery
(18 - 10:29pm, Aug 29)
Last: BDC

NewsblogFG (Zimmerman): Alex Gordon, UZR, and Bad Left Field Defense
(43 - 10:22pm, Aug 29)
Last: BDC

NewsblogPosnanski: Alex Gordon and the M-V-P chants
(61 - 9:51pm, Aug 29)
Last: SOLockwood

NewsblogAngels beat Athletics, Oakland protests game after obstruction call
(30 - 9:18pm, Aug 29)
Last: Cargo Cultist

NewsblogOT: Politics, August 2014: DNC criticizes Christie’s economic record with baseball video
(6226 - 9:10pm, Aug 29)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip

NewsblogDavid Justice Says Put Barry Bonds in Baseball Hall of Fame Despite Steroid Use Late In Career
(155 - 8:54pm, Aug 29)
Last: Jimmy

Page rendered in 1.0708 seconds
52 querie(s) executed