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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

It’s time for a progressive, smart PED plan in baseball

Is he just trolling?

Take the below quote. This is pure conjecture. He has absolutely no idea what’s going on with players right now.

I usually like Passan but the whole article is filled with stuff like this.

Myth: PEDs are on their way out of baseball.

Truth: Earlier this week, I was on the radio with two really smart hosts, Danny Parkins and Matt Spiegel of 670 The Score in Chicago, and PEDs came up. I estimated somewhere between two and five guys per clubhouse are using some version of substances baseball would frown upon. This may be high. It may be low, too.

The point was two-fold: After the steroid era, where some half of players were on something of one kind or another, it is difficult to believe baseball has come close to ridding drugs from its clubhouses, even with the threat of long suspensions. And while the number of suspensions is down, drug-testing experts acknowledge there are plenty of ways to beat the tests, whether it’s taking HGH, which is detectable only in blood, using microdoses of testosterone that disappear quickly or taking boutique compounds that doctors don’t even know exist.

It’s all so cloak-and-dagger. Doesn’t a sporting culture where players could be honest about how they treat themselves – running experiments on their own bodies to find what suits them best and optimizing themselves to extract the best performances possible – sound like something sports should embrace, not run from? Transparency, in this case, leads to knowledge, which helps normalize the substances, which make the game better. And isn’t that the point?

Jim Furtado Posted: April 19, 2017 at 10:08 AM | 42 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: peds, starling marte

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   1. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: April 19, 2017 at 10:22 AM (#5438035)
I was wondering how long it would take to get from "Starling Marte suspended" to "see, baseball still has a massive PED problem and won't someone think of the children."

Admittedly, I have a strong opinion about PEDs; I hope the good players on the Red Sox don't get caught.
   2. Rennie's Tenet Posted: April 19, 2017 at 10:29 AM (#5438038)
Doesn’t a sporting culture where players could be honest about how they treat themselves – running experiments on their own bodies to find what suits them best and optimizing themselves to extract the best performances possible – sound like something sports should embrace, not run from?


I don't see why a sporting event in which the result is determined by who has the best needles would be interesting.
   3. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 19, 2017 at 10:33 AM (#5438040)
Admittedly, I have a strong opinion about PEDs; I hope the good players on the Red Sox don't get caught.


That was the league position for the last 20 years, I don't think you have much to worry about.
   4. Like Flies On Sherbert Posted: April 19, 2017 at 10:38 AM (#5438048)
It would help if people rtfa. Passan is suggesting making PEDs legal and aboveboard.
   5. Like Flies On Sherbert Posted: April 19, 2017 at 10:39 AM (#5438050)
I don't see why a sporting event in which the result is determined by who has the best needles would be interesting.


How 'bout needlepoint?
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2017 at 10:47 AM (#5438059)
It would help if people rtfa. Passan is suggesting making PEDs legal and aboveboard.

Which is ridiculous.
   7. SoSH U at work Posted: April 19, 2017 at 10:57 AM (#5438071)
I was wondering how long it would take to get from "Starling Marte suspended" to "see, baseball still has a massive PED problem and won't someone think of the children."


The thing is, if Passan's estimate is correct, that's just 8-20 percent of big league rosters pushing the rules, which would leave the vast majority of them playing clean. If he's right, that would strike me that the system they have now is having the desired effect. You're never going to get 100 percent compliance, which some people seem to seek. But if the overwhelming majority of players are steering away from them, and are confident that others in the league are behaving similarly and/or that the system will catch enough of them, that would seem to be the best you can hope for.
   8. bfan Posted: April 19, 2017 at 11:08 AM (#5438083)
If he's right, that would strike me that the system they have now is having the desired effect. You're never going to get 100 percent compliance,


This is exactly right; if you allow some form of the now banned substance, you are going to have the same number of players at the margin using the better, banned version of what is now permitted.

I also think this line is pretty funny:

I estimated somewhere between two and five guys per clubhouse are using some version of substances baseball would frown upon. This may be high. It may be low, too.


so we have narrowed the number down to...0 to 25.
   9. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 19, 2017 at 11:10 AM (#5438087)
I don't see why a sporting event in which the result is determined by who has the best needles would be interesting.
Banned PEDs don't play the game for you. A sport where there are no banned PEDs is no more "determined by who has the best needles" than a sport without such PEDs is determined by who has the best training regimen.
   10. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 19, 2017 at 11:12 AM (#5438088)
so we have narrowed the number down to...0 to 25.


Keep an eye out for injuries and durability, as well as offensive upticks, collapses or consistency. Then you'll identify the roiders.
   11. SBB, Live from the Alt-Center Posted: April 19, 2017 at 11:13 AM (#5438089)
I don't see why a sporting event in which the result is determined by who has the best needles would be interesting.


The vast, vast majority of people who think and write the kind of things that assert that it would be interesting are non-athletes who've never seriously competed in sports. Only non-athletes would equate something like lifting weights with injecting yourself with nandrolone. It's no accident that you get the kind of garment-rendering around the norm that PEDs are illegitimate far and away the most in baseball -- the sport of "intellectuals."
   12. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 19, 2017 at 11:15 AM (#5438092)
The vast, vast majority of people who think and write the[] kind of things [SBB writes] are
trolls.
   13. BrianBrianson Posted: April 19, 2017 at 12:07 PM (#5438147)
I don't see why a sporting event in which the result is determined by who has the best needles would be interesting.


The way you avoid this is giving everyone the best needles.
   14. cmd600 Posted: April 19, 2017 at 02:25 PM (#5438262)
I don't see why a sporting event in which the result is determined by who has the best needles would be interesting.


Maybe one day, we could bother to see what actually are the best needles and how much they help one play baseball. Right now, we just have more or less a wide ban on any chemical that the government deems to have a potential for abuse.
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2017 at 03:01 PM (#5438300)
Maybe one day, we could bother to see what actually are the best needles and how much they help one play baseball.

Not when the cost is the lives and health of all the athletes who get it wrong while trying to figure it out.

Maybe MLB players will have good enough medical advice that they'll avoid the worst side effects. But all the HS and college prospects and the wannabes are going to harm themselves trying to figure it out.
   16. cardsfanboy Posted: April 19, 2017 at 03:06 PM (#5438306)
That was the league position for the last 20 years, I don't think you have much to worry about.


lol... that was quite funny.
   17. Captain Supporter Posted: April 19, 2017 at 03:23 PM (#5438323)
The good news is that it has become clear that vast majority of players are now anti-PEDs, which is why the union has been dragged along into accepting stronger and stronger penalties. In sharp contrast to the apologists on this site, you have Anthony Rizzo calling for much more testing and Jake Diekman calling for PEDs users to make the minimum salary for the rest of their careers.

As hard as it is for some of you to understand, most players don't want to compete on an unequal playing field against cheaters, and they don't want to pushed towards ingesting substances that will harm them physically.

I'm glad that we seem to be heading in the right direction here although there is obviously still a long way to go.
   18. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: April 19, 2017 at 03:25 PM (#5438328)
That was the league position for the last 20 years, I don't think you have much to worry about.



lol... that was quite funny.


Yeah it really was.
   19. cmd600 Posted: April 19, 2017 at 03:26 PM (#5438332)
Not when the cost is the lives and health of all the athletes who get it wrong while trying to figure it out.


Sure, it's not going to happen. But until it does, we have no basis to say "the result is determined by who has the best needles".
   20. cmd600 Posted: April 19, 2017 at 03:28 PM (#5438335)
In sharp contrast to the apologists on this site, you have Anthony Rizzo calling for much more testing and Jake Diekman calling for PEDs users to make the minimum salary for the rest of their careers.


And we seem to have inadvertently stumbled upon the real goal of the commissioners office/owners pulling the strings. The PED issue divides the players, and makes it easier to have them keeping the 40% or so of revenue they make now rather than the 60% or so they did 20 years ago. Why else would the owners care who uses? Dingers supposedly brought the fans back after the 94-95 work stoppage, and it's not like any Pirates fans are now going to stay home.

I do wonder if there is a demographic/economic breakdown among the players who are for harsher penalties, especially of the financial kind. Verlander, Trout, Rizzo, Diekman - all Americans who would likely have much better access to safer, legal supplements while developing than kids coming out of the DR or Venezuela.
   21. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2017 at 03:36 PM (#5438341)
Why else would the owners care who uses?

1) You don't want to sign a guy to a 7-year contract based on a heavy steroid regimen, then to have him go off that regimen out of health fears, once his last big payday was in the bank.

2) Liability issues. If the owners foster an environment where you must use to compete, they opne themselves to class action lawsuits a la the NFL concussion issues.
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2017 at 03:38 PM (#5438343)
I do wonder if there is a demographic/economic breakdown among the players who are for harsher penalties, especially of the financial kind. Verlander, Rizzo, Diekman - all Americans who would likely have much better access to safer, legal supplements while developing than kids coming out of the DR or Venezuela.

Dude, they don't want to have to use unregulated, potentially dangerous, drugs to compete. If you're good enough to be in MLB on your own merits, you would be angry as hell at some guy that gets there just because of illegal drugs.
   23. SoSH U at work Posted: April 19, 2017 at 03:49 PM (#5438351)
Why else would the owners care who uses?


They didn't care until Congress made them. And, for good reason. Under the old system, it cost the owners nothing, while players absorbed all the risks associated with PED use (independent of the whole dinger thing, owners may have gotten a modest benefit in terms of sped-up injury recovery of salaried players). It was always the players, as a whole, who had an incentive to get the PED issue under control.
   24. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 19, 2017 at 03:55 PM (#5438357)
Personally I am OK with nearly anything that the Owners and Players negotiate on the issue*. They negotiated the current regime and I have no issue with it, and if they want to change it, that's fine too.

That is why the players have a union, so they can negotiate with the collective best interests of the players in mind, while similarly the owners have their best interests in mind.

No matter what they end up with there will still be disparities in talent, skill and ability, played out at the highest level. The game of baseball will still be baseball no matter where they end up.

* Other than the obvious they don't get to negotiate what is legal in the real world.
   25. cmd600 Posted: April 19, 2017 at 04:14 PM (#5438379)
1) You don't want to sign a guy to a 7-year contract based on a heavy steroid regimen, then to have him go off that regimen out of health fears, once his last big payday was in the bank.


Owners need to set up regulations so that they can be saved from themselves. Consider me unwaved by this argument.

2) Liability issues. If the owners foster an environment where you must use to compete, they opne themselves to class action lawsuits a la the NFL concussion issues.


That is one hell of a jump from "we don't care who uses" to "you must use to compete". If they were passing out PEDs like NFL teams were passing out smelling salts, and come to think of it, MLB did this back in the 70s, then you might have a useful comparison to opening themselves up to lawsuits. Pushing drugs on players is not the same as turning a blind eye.

If you're good enough to be in MLB with the help of all the technological, medical, training, and countless other advantages that wealthier American-born players get during their development years over poorer foreign-born players


Go back in time and have Verlander raised by his grandmother in Santo Domingo, and send Marte to the Richmond Baseball Academy, and I wonder how much their views change on this topic.
   26. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2017 at 04:32 PM (#5438401)
Go back in time and have Verlander raised by his grandmother in Santo Domingo, and send Marte to the Richmond Baseball Academy, and I wonder how much their views change on this topic.

Given the vast over-representation of Dominicans in MLB, relative to population, any impact would seem to be in the Dominicans favor.
   27. cmd600 Posted: April 19, 2017 at 04:51 PM (#5438417)
Given the vast over-representation of Dominicans in MLB, relative to population, any impact would seem to be in the Dominicans favor.


Or the impact of their environment on their ability to earn well-paying jobs in other fields is hugely in favor of the Verlanders.
   28. Like Flies On Sherbert Posted: April 19, 2017 at 06:15 PM (#5438477)
Being from the DR is a big part of this story. It's higbly unlikely Marte was intentionally taking nandrolone, but rather taking non-detectable PEDs from a lab that also manufactured it and cross-contaminated its product.

I also loved the way Marte's apology was parsed despite the fact he's not a native English speaker and from a foreign culture. Ballplayers from the US are largely immune from Marte's exposure.
   29. Zach Posted: April 19, 2017 at 06:29 PM (#5438489)
There's nothing to make you a flaming reactionary than seeing the latest "progressive, smart" plans.

Didn't we just go through a whole era where players took whatever they wanted with the winking acceptance of management? It wasn't that great. There wasn't a lot of transparency or knowledge, either.

For my money, the current era is a *lot* more fun than the steroid era. Better defense, more varied teams, much more likeable stars. For heaven's sake, the reigning MVP's are Kris Bryant and Mike Trout!
   30. Like Flies On Sherbert Posted: April 19, 2017 at 06:34 PM (#5438491)
...much more likeable stars. For heaven's sake, the reigning MVP's are Kris Bryant and Mike Trout!


"They look, talk, and act like me!"

One thing that's striking now is how naturally big baseball players of all stripes are now. If you're under six feet 200 pounds your a little guy.
   31. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2017 at 06:35 PM (#5438492)

I also loved the way Marte's apology was parsed despite the fact he's not a native English speaker and from a foreign culture.


Please. Do you really think he wrote one word of it? He read what his agent wrote for him.

No one talks like that. If he was speaking for himself, he would have said something like "I screwed up. I let down my teammates and fans. I'm sorry." Which would be 10,000% better than the lawerly drivel we got.

Being from the DR is a big part of this story. It's higbly unlikely Marte was intentionally taking nandrolone, but rather taking non-detectable PEDs from a lab that also manufactured it and cross-contaminated its product.

Right, he was cheating. He got caught, and is getting a severe punishment. Good.
   32. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2017 at 06:38 PM (#5438493)
Or the impact of their environment on their ability to earn well-paying jobs in other fields is hugely in favor of the Verlanders.

Seriously? No good athlete in America chooses accounting or law school over pro sports.

That happened in the 50's-70's when the top MLB salary was only 2-3X that of a really good professional job. But today? Even really smart kids take their shot at the pros.
   33. Like Flies On Sherbert Posted: April 19, 2017 at 06:53 PM (#5438496)
Despite the pretensions of this site, I'm in tune with the wistfulness for childlike fandom that doesn't have to worry about players sticking needles in their butts or sticking women not their wives on those long road trips. Just enjoy the game and not think too hard about its modern machinery.
   34. Zach Posted: April 19, 2017 at 08:10 PM (#5438535)
"They look, talk, and act like me!"

Were you following baseball during the steroid era? The stars were not a very likeable bunch, as a rule.
   35. Like Flies On Sherbert Posted: April 19, 2017 at 08:25 PM (#5438548)
Dunno, people loved McGwire and Sosa plenty at the time. Bonds and Clemmens were ########, but all-time greats.

I try to like baseball regardless. Even made my peace with replay.
   36. Zach Posted: April 19, 2017 at 08:30 PM (#5438552)
Well, I'm not going to argue about matters of taste, but there's no reason to whip out the race card just because someone suggests Kris Bryant is more likeable than Barry Bonds.
   37. Like Flies On Sherbert Posted: April 19, 2017 at 08:53 PM (#5438576)
Like who you like. Trout and Bryant are great all-around. And they're such nice boys, too.
   38. Booey Posted: April 19, 2017 at 10:33 PM (#5438648)
"They look, talk, and act like me!"


Dude, I WISH I looked like Kris Bryant...

Dunno, people loved McGwire and Sosa plenty at the time.


Griffey, Jeter, Rivera, Piazza, Ripken, Gwynn, Pedro, Edgar, Nomar, Vlad, Ichiro, Papi, etc.

Bonds and Clemens (and I guess you could throw Sheffield and Belle in there. Maybe Jeff Kent) are just a few guys. The majority of sillyball era stars were plenty likeable.
   39. The Duke Posted: April 19, 2017 at 11:13 PM (#5438665)
All these tech savvy front offices must have detailed analyses on who they believe the 'roiders are. I'd love to see the stats they use to try to isolate this. It would be great if fangraphs had some stat like fPED to measure 'roidness
   40. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 20, 2017 at 07:23 AM (#5438723)
Being from the DR is a big part of this story. It's higbly unlikely Marte was intentionally taking nandrolone, but rather taking non-detectable PEDs from a lab that also manufactured it and cross-contaminated its product.


The Papi Defense.
   41. Like Flies On Sherbert Posted: April 20, 2017 at 09:52 AM (#5438770)
"I was cheating, but I'm not stupid."
   42. Captain Supporter Posted: April 20, 2017 at 11:44 AM (#5438883)
there's no reason to whip out the race card just because someone suggests Kris Bryant is more likeable than Barry Bonds


The people who see the world through race colored glasses will always find a reason to whip out the race card. Ignoring them is the best approach.

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