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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Jeff Pearlman: Q&A: Dirk Hayhurst

Plenty of Hayhurst to chew on…

JEFF PEARLMAN: OK, Dirk, I’m gonna start with an untraditional one. I covered baseball for Sports Illustrated from 1997-ish through the 2002 season. At the time, I knew little about PED. Now, I feel like I know a lot. That, combined with eyes and common sense, make me feel comfortable in saying that certain guys, undeniably, cheated. Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell, Bret Boone. In my opinion, it’s so insanely obvious, it’s a joke. And since baseball had no testing, well, there’s zero accountability. My question for you—am I wrong? Is it wrong to say, “It’s so obvious that guy used, I’m gonna write it”? Or, because the union avoided testing as long as humanly possible, is it fair to say, “Well, y’all didn’t test, so … hey …”

DIRK HAYHURST: I feel you on this one, Jeff. It’s hard to look at guys that have more in common with professional wrestlers than ballplayers and say to yourself, “This guy is just a natural specimen.” Bullcrap. There are so few bulbous, big-headed, mutants occurring naturally that I can’t, with a straight face, see one squeezed into a baseball uniform and say, “Oh, that’s just the way God made him.” Yeah, right, God and a couple of well-timed injections. And lets face it, that’s why this gladiator of the ballfield hasn’t blown up on the testing radar—timing. Timing, or the right cocktail super serum.

Either way, there is no accountability. There probably never will be. Not real, hold-your-feet-to-the-fire punishment. It’s not in our nature as a people to want accountability. Baseball is a microcosm of life. In real life, we cheat, we bend and break rules, we lie about our taxes, we fleece sick days, etc … we do shady things. Things that, if caught, could get us fired or brand us as criminals. If you get busted in baseball, you get branded as a cheater, and for fat million-dollar contract, you can call me a cheater all day long.

...The system is broken, but it’s a system we made. Getting caught, not getting caught—it doesn’t really matter when you think of it that way. The punishment is like getting bit on the hand by a toothless dog that can’t see or smell as well as it used to, but hey, at least you have the dog.

Repoz Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:51 PM | 17 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, media, special topics

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Dale Sams Posted: November 22, 2012 at 12:00 AM (#4307927)
.H.: After I was told, I was happy, but in that way a person gets when they’re both thrilled and unsure about what happens next.

My mom decided we should celebrate. We were poor so we went to this dive Chinese restaurant where you order everything via numbers. I had a number 15. It came on a Styrofoam plate. My mom cried. She stood up and told everyone in the place—all of them eating from their Styrofoam cups and plates with plastic knives and forks


Hey Dirk! Don't be slamming dive chinese restaurants!
   2. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 22, 2012 at 12:39 AM (#4307934)
I wish there were a PED that made you a better writer, because then Pearlman might take some.
   3. Greg K Posted: November 22, 2012 at 03:46 AM (#4307951)
It’s hard to look at guys that have more in common with professional wrestlers than ballplayers and say to yourself, “This guy is just a natural specimen.”

I think they might be confusing Jeff Bagwell with Buff Bagwell.
   4. Cooper Nielson Posted: November 22, 2012 at 03:58 AM (#4307953)
This is a good interview but, as usual, every time I read Jeff Pearlman he seems like a huge 'assle. And his site could use a good proofreader.
   5. ...and Toronto selects: Troy Tulowitzki Posted: November 22, 2012 at 04:02 AM (#4307954)
I always find it laughable, naive, and then pathetic when people whom have never put any true effort in their lives, into trying to change their physique into a more muscular physique, so easily slough it off, that others who do, must have done so with steroids. For someone, who gets a lot of ink for being so enlightening, he's got a ways to go.
   6. Russ Posted: November 22, 2012 at 05:47 AM (#4307956)
I was so nervous initiating a fight that I hit the hitter in front of the mark, and the hitter behind mark. The guy I was supposed to hit I walked on four-straight pitches, which, counting the two hit batsmen, loaded the bases. Two doubles later, my day was over. I didn’t make two innings.


Awesome story.

   7. JJ1986 Posted: November 22, 2012 at 09:05 AM (#4307976)
If you're wrong, you've ruined a player's reputation permanently. If you're right, you've...I'm not sure, maybe kept someone from the Hall of Fame for a decade? There doesn't seem much of anything to be gained from positively IDing steroid users.
   8. Lassus Posted: November 22, 2012 at 09:11 AM (#4307977)
After reading this interview I finally took my "The Bad Guys Won" copy to the Salvation Army. Pearlman sounds like such an awful human being.
   9. The_Ex Posted: November 22, 2012 at 09:24 AM (#4307981)
I found this interesting:

I think Tweeting is a necessary evil. I hate it, actually. Maybe that’s why I Tweet so raw. I hate feeling like I must always be entertaining to this throng of faceless, fake-named, digital citizens because I need them to buy my product. It’s even worse now. The publishing houses monitor my Tweets. So do potential media employers. It’s a gauge of a person’s “reach” and the more reach the better the chance that person has of selling something, which, in turn, gauges how much you’ll get paid.

I understand and accept it. It’s mostly an ideological thing that leaves me shaking my fist. I feel like the impetus to create should be your desire to express yourself, not because you have some digital yoke strapped on you, forcing you to tread out entertainment to maintain relevance.


I never realized tweeting was a job, a requirement for many.
   10. McCoy Posted: November 22, 2012 at 09:24 AM (#4307982)
So now you're going to inflict him upon the poor? Don't they have enough to deal with?
   11. Toolsy McClutch Posted: November 22, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4307995)
I didn't enjoy DH's first book much at all, I think I'm in the minority with that. I find him dull and preachy.
   12. Monty Posted: November 22, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4308075)
That, combined with eyes and common sense, make me feel comfortable in saying that certain guys, undeniably, cheated.


This is my basic problem with their logic. I have no problem saying, well, some people undoubtedly did steroids. So some of the most muscular players arouse suspicion. And I can say that Player X, in my opinion, probably took steroids.

But jumping from "common sense" to "undeniable"? Shut up, dummy.
   13. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: November 22, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4308081)
I didn't enjoy DH's first book much at all, I think I'm in the minority with that. I find him dull and preachy.

agreed--I was very disappointed after hearing all the kudos here. (I also found him a bit whiny)
   14. ...and Toronto selects: Troy Tulowitzki Posted: November 22, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4308100)
Repeat
   15. ...and Toronto selects: Troy Tulowitzki Posted: November 22, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4308101)
I didn't enjoy DH's first book much at all, I think I'm in the minority with that. I find him dull and preachy.


and

agreed--I was very disappointed after hearing all the kudos here. (I also found him a bit whiny)


After having a very odd and I thought revealing, chain of Twitter correspondences with him once, some other people I know from the twitter world chimed in with some of their experiences with him. Some of them echoing what you've said My take was that he's perhaps very awkward with people and some of his personality is derived from that. It's interesting to see someone who is lauded as introspective, also be a thin skinned bully.
   16. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 24, 2012 at 12:42 AM (#4308570)
This seems rather damning:
• Five favorite sports writers: Jeff Pearlman. Hunter S. Thompson.

Pearlman? Really? And couldn't even dilute the selection by completely filling out the top five?
   17. simpleton & childlike gef the talking mongoose Posted: November 24, 2012 at 10:12 AM (#4308624)
agreed--I was very disappointed after hearing all the kudos here. (I also found him a bit whiny)


Well, good -- in the sense, that is, that it wasn't just me. I never read it all the way through; stuff of his I'd read earlier was much, much better, somehow.

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