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Sunday, July 06, 2014

John Lackey on Nelson Cruz: ‘There are things I’d like to say, but I’m not going to’

Lackey: Unnatural Tissue.

Saturday night left a bitter and disgusting taste in the mouth of John Lackey.

It wasn’t so much the 10 hits, five runs and 120 pitches over just 5 2/3 innings. It wasn’t even taking the 7-4 loss to the Orioles on his record, dropping him to 9-6 on the season.

It was the man who did the most damage against him, including a laser beam homer to left in the fifth. John Lackey clearly hasn’t forgotten or forgiven Nelson Cruz.

“I’m not even going to comment on him,” Lackey said. “I’ve got nothing to say about him. There are things I’d like to say, but I’m not going to. You guys forget pretty conveniently about stuff.”

Lackey was clearly referring to Cruz’ suspension for 50 games for PED violations in 2013, which he believes has been overlooked by the media in general. Cruz, now with 27 homers on the season, also went yard off Lackey in second game of this season back on April 2 in Baltimore. Cruz finished the night with the first five-hit night of his career, including two doubles, two singles and a home run. Seeking the cycle, he was thrown out at third base in the eighth inning trying to stretch a double into a triple.

...There was nothing funny, though, about Cruz’ night to Lackey, who has expressed distaste in his comments towards the Orioles’ slugger in the past. After his first start of the season in Baltimore on April 2, Lackey expressed displeasure towards giving up a home run to Cruz due to the hitter’s history with performance enhancing drugs. Cruz was suspended for 50 games at the end of the 2013 season after being linked to the Biogenesis clinic in Miami. Lackey’s feelings towards Cruz seemingly carried over into his postgame comments Saturday night.

“Multiple things,” Lackey said in April when asked if his frustration regarding a two-run home run he allowed to Cruz was due to a pitch or the shallow left field in Camden Yards. “More than that, probably.”

Repoz Posted: July 06, 2014 at 12:56 AM | 115 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: orioles, red sox

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   1. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: July 06, 2014 at 01:26 AM (#4744545)
More bitter and disgusting than the taste of all the flies he catches in that black hole?
   2. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 06, 2014 at 01:48 AM (#4744549)
I'm guessing he doesn't remember that he played with Brendan Donnelly, Troy Glaus, and Scott Schoeneweis (all later implicated in the Mitchell Report) when he won the World Series in 2002.
   3. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: July 06, 2014 at 02:15 AM (#4744556)
The 'big whiny baby' tag exists for a reason. Baseball seems to have cornered the market on guys that act like jealous 12 year old girls.
   4. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: July 06, 2014 at 02:18 AM (#4744557)
I am an Angel fan, and I still came here to make the same point that #2 did.

Shut up, Mr. Ed. That #### cuts both ways.
   5. Belfry Bob Posted: July 06, 2014 at 02:22 AM (#4744558)
“I’m not even going to comment on him,” Lackey said.


...as he proceeds to comment on him.

enjoy that last place finish, John.
   6. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: July 06, 2014 at 02:35 AM (#4744562)
enjoy that last place finish, John.


And that base pay of $500,000 in 2015. Should still buy a lot of apples to fill your trough.
   7. bunyon Posted: July 06, 2014 at 03:10 AM (#4744565)
Eh. I think he has a point and if you're anti-PED, you should, too. If guys get dragged through the mud forever for using when there was no specific rule against use, I'm not sure why guys who break the rule should get a break. I think PEDs are overblown as a point of discussion but I can see how a clean* player would be pissed about their use. It's like the press only remembers guys who used if it suits their storyline, which is what Lackey is saying.

However, this:
It wasn’t so much the 10 hits, five runs and 120 pitches over just 5 2/3 innings. It wasn’t even taking the 7-4 loss to the Orioles on his record, dropping him to 9-6 on the season.

Is almost certainly not true. If Lackey pitches well, he isn't ######## about this stuff.

I get what you guys are saying, Lackey has played with and won with users, so isn't a complete innocent. But Cruz went from suspended to lovable awfully quick.


* If such an animal exists.
   8. AJMcCringleberry Posted: July 06, 2014 at 05:07 AM (#4744573)
Lackey should ask Ortiz about the media conveniently forgetting about stuff.
   9. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 06, 2014 at 07:47 AM (#4744580)
enjoy that last place finish, John.

Hey! The Red Sox might get fourth!
   10. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 06, 2014 at 07:56 AM (#4744582)
As a Red Sox fan, let me say:

If Hammel and Samardzija can get you the two best prospects in the A's system, one of them a top-10 prospect in baseball, then for the Love of God, please trade John Lackey. He is scheduled to make about $7m the rest of this year, half a million next year, and (last night notwithstanding) has pitched very well since his surgery a few years ago.

We're not going anywhere this year, anyway, and Lackey strikes me as a guy that has no problems on a winning team, but can all ornery on a team...like this one.



   11. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: July 06, 2014 at 08:29 AM (#4744584)
The Yanks are deluded enough to think they can contend if they add a starter. What about the first Yanks-Red Sox trade in over a decade?
   12. BDC Posted: July 06, 2014 at 08:40 AM (#4744587)
I can see how a clean* player would be pissed

Fair enough, but Cruz is demonstrably clean now. I guess the warrant for Lackey's argument is that Cruz should have been banned for life.
   13. Joey B. "disrespects the A" Posted: July 06, 2014 at 08:44 AM (#4744588)
Cruz is demonstrably clean now.

Yeah, and I'm demonstrably the Pope.
   14. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 06, 2014 at 08:59 AM (#4744592)
If there's one guy who's qualified to opine on matters of morality, it's a guy who walked out on his wife while she was being treated for cancer, shortly after a double mastectomy.
   15. BDC Posted: July 06, 2014 at 09:07 AM (#4744595)
I'm demonstrably the Pope

I'm praying for you, Joey.
   16. NattyBoh Posted: July 06, 2014 at 09:29 AM (#4744604)
If there's one guy who's qualified to opine on matters of morality, it's a guy who walked out on his wife while she was being treated for cancer, shortly after a double mastectomy.


Newt Gingrich plays MLB?
   17. DKDC Posted: July 06, 2014 at 09:32 AM (#4744605)
Someone else (David Ross?) on the Red Sox said something similar at the beginning of the season when they got beat by Cruz.

Do they just sit around the clubhouse and trash opposing players every time they lose? That doesn't sound very productive.
   18. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 06, 2014 at 10:06 AM (#4744610)
I'm praying for you, Joey.

Sounds like Joey should be praying for you.
   19. Captain Supporter Posted: July 06, 2014 at 10:07 AM (#4744611)
Clean players do not want to play against people who beat them and/or take their jobs by cheating. A simple concept but one that most of the people on this board seem to have a hard time comprehending. Perhaps if you lost your job to a cheater your perspective might change a bit.
   20. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 06, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4744613)
I'd have more respect for those clean players if they were as angry with their teammates who have used steroids. Weird how it's always the other teams that have steroid cheaters...
   21. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 06, 2014 at 10:18 AM (#4744617)
Clean players do not want to play against people who beat them and/or take their jobs by cheating. A simple concept but one that most of the people on this board seem to have a hard time comprehending. Perhaps if you lost your job to a cheater your perspective might change a bit.

That's a fair point, but then by that logic Lackey should've returned his 2002 World Series ring. And of course it's not as if Cruz was the only Oriole who was drilling Lackey last night, given that he gave up 10 hits and 5 runs in barely over 5 innings.
   22. bfan Posted: July 06, 2014 at 10:22 AM (#4744621)
He also misses a critical element of the American pop culture; we love redemption and the rise of the fallen. We do not want clean successes; we want dirty ones: a terrible act, followed by a crying apology on Oprah or in a Barbara Walters interview, is far more valued than a boring, crisis-free rise.
   23. Swedish Chef Posted: July 06, 2014 at 10:32 AM (#4744624)
Clean players do not want to play against people who beat them and/or take their jobs by cheating. A simple concept but one that most of the people on this board seem to have a hard time comprehending. Perhaps if you lost your job to a cheater your perspective might change a bit

They would be more convincing if they took a stand against players on their own team.
   24. NattyBoh Posted: July 06, 2014 at 10:46 AM (#4744631)
Clean players do not want to play against people who beat them and/or take their jobs by cheating...


No one likes cheaters. - http://voices.yahoo.com/derek-jeter-fakes-getting-hit-pitch-takes-hit-to-6801626.html
   25. Ulysses S. Fairsmith Posted: July 06, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4744660)
What difference does it make what Cruz did in the past? He received a suspension, and he served it. Case closed--or it should be, anyway.
   26. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 06, 2014 at 12:13 PM (#4744672)
What difference does it make what Cruz did in the past? He received a suspension, and he served it. Case closed--or it should be, anyway.


This. Stop complaining, Mr. Lackey.

Dear Red Sox,

Please trade John Lackey to a team with attractive outfield or 1B prospects. You have a veteran starter generally pitching well who has an option for 2015 at $500K. That makes him a very interesting trade acquisition. We are, like, 10 games under .500, are living off of an unlikely World Championship last year, have five legit starting pitching prospects in AAA, and two more at AA. The fans will let you trade him, and tank the rest of the season, if you want. Ger him out of here.

Signed,
Pretty much all the Red Sox fans I know
   27. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 06, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4744677)
No one likes cheaters.


Jeters never prosper.
   28. bigglou115 Posted: July 06, 2014 at 12:54 PM (#4744686)
I don't understand what it is about steroids that makes everyone think of absolutes. Only Joey is so absolute as we ask the players to be. These guys do a job, it seems entirely consistent with the human psyche that he would overlook everything short of pedophilia from his teammates, he's just like us, everyone you don't know well is just an abstract concept of a person. Of course he's not going to hold people he knows to those same standards.
   29. alilisd Posted: July 06, 2014 at 01:04 PM (#4744688)
A-Rod says neigh to the Lackey horse face jokes.
   30. Rennie's Tenet Posted: July 06, 2014 at 01:24 PM (#4744692)
I think people have to keep in mind that for more than 100 years, reporters have gathered around pitchers and asked them about "that pitch" and what the hitter did with it. To place a muzzle on the pitcher uniquely with respect to steroids seems unfair to me.
   31. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: July 06, 2014 at 01:34 PM (#4744695)
Signed,
Pretty much all the Red Sox fans I know


Cosigned
   32. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 06, 2014 at 01:48 PM (#4744700)
Of course he's not going to hold people he knows to those same standards.

Well, then he's being a hypocrite. I guess you could say "of course people are myopic jackasses" and that would probably be true. That it's true doesn't make Lackey less of one.
   33. Joey B. "disrespects the A" Posted: July 06, 2014 at 02:33 PM (#4744723)
I don't understand what it is about steroids that makes everyone think of absolutes. Only Joey is so absolute

Your first two sentences directly contradict each other and are incoherent.
   34. Cleveland (need new name) fan Posted: July 06, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4744730)
Clean players do not want to play against people who beat them and/or take their jobs by cheating. A simple concept but one that most of the people on this board seem to have a hard time comprehending. Perhaps if you lost your job to a cheater your perspective might change a bit.


Please stop. Good players like Cruz using PEDs have never taken anyone's job. They will be playing with or without PEDs. Fringe major leaguers have taken clean players jobs, but nobody cares about the utility infielder or 7th relief pitcher out of the bullpen. So yell about the unfairness of drugs when the 5th outfielder is nailed for PEDs, but it is pointless to yell when an All Star level player is busted. Of course this will never happen because PEDs hysteria is only about shaming the stars.
   35. base ball chick Posted: July 06, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4744732)
Cleveland (need new name) fan Posted: July 06, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4744730)

Clean players do not want to play against people who beat them and/or take their jobs by cheating. A simple concept but one that most of the people on this board seem to have a hard time comprehending. Perhaps if you lost your job to a cheater your perspective might change a bit.


Please stop. Good players like Cruz using PEDs have never taken anyone's job. They will be playing with or without PEDs. Fringe major leaguers have taken clean players jobs, but nobody cares about the utility infielder or 7th relief pitcher out of the bullpen. So yell about the unfairness of drugs when the 5th outfielder is nailed for PEDs, but it is pointless to yell when an All Star level player is busted. Of course this will never happen because PEDs hysteria is only about shaming the stars.


- correctamundo
which is why no one screamed at any no name player who got busted - just home run hitters

which is why the people who wanted "the records" altered only wanted home runs removed (but strangely, without compensating the pitchers who gave them up, whether or not those pitchers were on drugs or not)

but this screaming about cruz is beyond bullstuff
he did the crime, did his time

so captain supporter

you think that if someone commits a felony and goes to the slammer and puts in his years that after he gerts out, he should not be able to get any legitimate job? should the felon be throwin into the gutter to rot and die? should the felon be permanently limited to some degrading minimum wage job? or do you believe in life sentences for every single felony committed?

because you sure seem to belie3ve that any player who does drugs should be permanently banned from MLB immediately. even the OWNERS don't want that
   36. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 06, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4744742)
I think it's fair to criticize Lackey for the idea that Cruz "did his time," but it isn't really hypocritical to call out players who have served PED suspensions while not doing the same to former teammates who used during the pre-testing era. I'm not sure why that distinction is so often ignored.

   37. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 06, 2014 at 03:28 PM (#4744744)
I'm guessing he doesn't remember that he played with Brendan Donnelly, Troy Glaus, and Scott Schoeneweis (all later implicated in the Mitchell Report) when he won the World Series in 2002.
I don't agree with Lackey's underlying point, but I think this criticism of him is misplaced; in 2002, there was no rule those people were violating.
   38. mex4173 Posted: July 06, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4744759)
Only Joey is so absolute


And the Sith.
   39. JE (Jason) Posted: July 06, 2014 at 04:27 PM (#4744762)
I don't agree with Lackey's underlying point, but I think this criticism of him is misplaced; in 2002, there was no rule those people were violating.

I really doubt that Lackey shares your concerns, David. At least Cruz did time for his crime, whereas any users in 2002, while there was no MLB testing/penalties in place at the time, were giving the middle finger to the Vincent Memo (1991), not to mention violating federal law (1988, 1990).
   40. The Duke Posted: July 06, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4744770)
I assume the subtext is that Lackey thinks Cruz is still using which is a much more interesting story, but of course, if you think that, then you should just say it instead of the innuendo stuff.
   41. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 06, 2014 at 06:00 PM (#4744799)
Buck Showalter Responds To Lackey:
Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter responded to Boston Red Sox pitcher John Lackey's loud "no comment" on slugger Nelson Cruz after Saturday night's game, telling ESPN Radio on Sunday that "everybody needs to make sure that their own backyard is clean" when it comes to performance-enhancing drugs.
. . .
"Considering the timing of things, it's one of those things that you keep quiet about it and it reflects poorly upon the person who said it," Showalter said. But the manager added that Lackey might want to rethink commenting about other players unless he knows for sure that none of his teammates have used PEDs. "He might want to be careful," Showalter said.

Maybe Showalter knows something?

   42. bigglou115 Posted: July 06, 2014 at 06:10 PM (#4744801)
@33. It was a bad choice to use "absolute" both times. The first sentence is meant to convey that steroids make people think in extreme black and white, the second to point out that no players convictions on any issue are as focused as yours. Perhaps I should also have specified the first sentence refers to a subset of people that includes baseball writers and most baseball fans.

Don't take offense to my naming you. People who believe what they believe with 100% conviction are the ones who change the world. I don't have you on ignore because if your stance on steroids, I have you on ignore because of the absolute glee you showed when Heyward broke his jaw. I only noticed that your comment was about mine because I forgot to check "remember me" last time I signed in.
   43. Captain Supporter Posted: July 06, 2014 at 06:41 PM (#4744806)
nobody cares about the utility infielder or 7th relief pitcher out of the bullpen.


Ballplayers care, and with very good reason.

because you sure seem to belie3ve that any player who does drugs should be permanently banned from MLB immediately. even the OWNERS don't want that


I did not say anything resembling that. Only someone who has an emotional involvement in defending PED use among players at all costs, would read that into what I wrote. Its quite clear that John Lackey is implying that Nelson Cruz is still using PED's. That obviously bothers him. I have no idea if his implied allegation is true or not, but it seems clear enough that he (who, after all, competes against Cruz, unlike anyone who writes on this board), believes it is true.
   44. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: July 06, 2014 at 07:35 PM (#4744826)
Please stop. Good players like Cruz using PEDs have never taken anyone's job. They will be playing with or without PEDs. Fringe major leaguers have taken clean players jobs, but nobody cares about the utility infielder or 7th relief pitcher out of the bullpen. So yell about the unfairness of drugs when the 5th outfielder is nailed for PEDs, but it is pointless to yell when an All Star level player is busted. Of course this will never happen because PEDs hysteria is only about shaming the stars.

This is, in context, a really bad argument. Nelson Cruz was the definition of a fringe major leaguer - for years he was saddled with the "AAAA" label and didn't get a real chance at a full-time job until he was 28 and had been wrecking shop in the minors already for years. His margin was razor thin. To say "he made the ASG so he never competed for a roster spot" is a pretty genuinely strange way to look at things to begin with, but in this specific case makes even less sense than that.
   45. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 06, 2014 at 08:33 PM (#4744854)
I really doubt that Lackey shares your concerns, David. At least Cruz did time for his crime, whereas any users in 2002, while there was no MLB testing/penalties in place at the time, were giving the middle finger to the Vincent Memo (1991), not to mention violating federal law (1988, 1990).
The Vincent Memo had no 'legal' significance, and there is no evidence that any player even knew that such a memo existed. Further, whether they "violated federal law" turns on facts that we don't know, but of course federal law doesn't run MLB anyway. The point is precisely that "there was no MLB testing/penalties in place at the time." MLB didn't think it was wrong, so there was no "crime" for them to do "time" for. (By the way, I looked back at the Mitchell Report; it does not identify any of the three Angels you named as having done anything in 2002.)
   46. JE (Jason) Posted: July 06, 2014 at 09:11 PM (#4744862)
(By the way, I looked back at the Mitchell Report; it does not identify any of the three Angels you named as having done anything in 2002.)

Here you go, David:
The 2002 Angels, for example, are the legitimate champions of an illegitimate time, just as Bonds is the legitimate home run champion of a discredited era. Despite Angels manager Mike Scioscia's adamant public stand against drugs, people around the game point privately to that club as one of the premier steroid-fueled teams thanks in part to a bullpen rife with career minor leaguers who suddenly began throwing in the mid-90s after their 30th birthdays.

Glaus was the MVP of that 2002 World Series, which is looking more and more like the definitive Steroid Series. Glaus, Brendan Donnelly and Schoeneweis, all of whom have been implicated, played for the Angels that season.

Or just look here.

EDIT: Oh, wait: I just spotted your legalese. Nevertheless, it still casts a pall over their 2002 performances.
   47. JE (Jason) Posted: July 06, 2014 at 09:20 PM (#4744866)
The point is precisely that "there was no MLB testing/penalties in place at the time."

Where is the evidence that Lackey is steamed because Cruz got busted for taking enhancers and not PED use per se?
   48. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 06, 2014 at 10:05 PM (#4744876)

Where is the evidence that Lackey is steamed because Cruz got busted for taking enhancers and not PED use per se?


People are claiming Lackey is being hypocritical because he criticized Cruz while he was silent on those tainted Angel teammates that helped him win a WS. But it's perfectly reasonable/not hypocritical to have no problem with steroid use in the pre-testing era since MLB had no real policy against it/no punishment for it, while also believing those players who have been caught since the policy went into effect are drug cheats.

   49. base ball chick Posted: July 06, 2014 at 10:17 PM (#4744884)
Captain Supporter Posted: July 06, 2014 at 06:41 PM (#4744806)
nobody cares about the utility infielder or 7th relief pitcher out of the bullpen.


Ballplayers care, and with very good reason.


- the good reason is that a whole lot of them are the same fringe guys who may be getting beaten out for that spot
the "nobovy" referred to is the media/fans


because you sure seem to belie3ve that any player who does drugs should be permanently banned from MLB immediately. even the OWNERS don't want that


I did not say anything resembling that. Only someone who has an emotional involvement in defending PED use among players at all costs, would read that into what I wrote. Its quite clear that John Lackey is implying that Nelson Cruz is still using PED's. That obviously bothers him. I have no idea if his implied allegation is true or not, but it seems clear enough that he (who, after all, competes against Cruz, unlike anyone who writes on this board), believes it is true.


- i do not defend PED use AFTER they were banned in the CBA
it's against the rules, and so i agree that they should be punished according to the rules

it was most certainly NOT quite clear that lackey implied that cruz is still using steroids. if lackey believes that, he should testicle up and accuse him flat out. or give his EVIDENCE to authorities. or just shut up.

it is true that some ballplayers and some fans and some media (and some primates) have stated that they believe that anyone who is found guilty of steroid use should be immediately banned from baseball and their contracts voided. for example, with melky cabrera. and anyone else with a large contract. you certainly did not see that with the guys earning the minimum.
   50. JE (Jason) Posted: July 06, 2014 at 10:25 PM (#4744888)
But it's perfectly reasonable/not hypocritical to have no problem with steroid use in the pre-testing era since MLB had no real policy against it/no punishment for it, while also believing those players who have been caught since the policy went into effect are drug cheats.

That's how some here may feel, SoSH, but we don't know that's Lackey's take.
   51. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 06, 2014 at 10:25 PM (#4744889)
People are claiming Lackey is being hypocritical because he criticized Cruz while he was silent on those tainted Angel teammates that helped him win a WS. But it's perfectly reasonable/not hypocritical to have no problem with steroid use in the pre-testing era since MLB had no real policy against it/no punishment for it, while also believing those players who have been caught since the policy went into effect are drug cheats.

I'm sorry, but that's a lawyer's defense, and not anything that sounded like what Lackey was saying.

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

it was most certainly NOT quite clear that lackey implied that cruz is still using steroids. if lackey believes that, he should testicle up and accuse him flat out. or give his EVIDENCE to authorities. or just shut up.

Thank you, Lisa. Lackey's just the latest example of the slimy "I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'" crowd.
   52. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 06, 2014 at 10:37 PM (#4744894)
That's how some here may feel, SoSH, but we don't know that's Lackey's take.


It doesn't matter. If you're calling Lackey a hypocrite for his comments, then his comments ought to be certifiably hypocritical. His simply aren't. That the distinction between pre- and post-testing steroid usage is often ignored, both in the MSM and by folks on this site, is quite perplexing.

Moreover, it really would only be hypocritical if he were specifically defending any juicing teammates while calling out opponents.

Now, you can (and should, as far as I'm concerned) criticize him on the grounds that Cruz served his punishment and should thus be free to ply his trade again without having to put up with this shithead's ######## after a terrible outing, but that's a different matter altogether.


I'm sorry, but that's a lawyer's defense, and not anything that sounded like what Lackey was saying.


Oh bullshit. Lackey vaguely ####### about a player busted for PEDs taking him deep. As far as I know, that's the extent of his public remarks on the subject. It's not me reading all sorts of crazy #### into John Lackey's lack of public commentary on the subject and what it all means.

   53. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 06, 2014 at 10:39 PM (#4744895)
Where is the evidence that Lackey is steamed because Cruz got busted for taking enhancers and not PED use per se?
The fact that he criticized Cruz but not other PED users?
   54. Squash Posted: July 06, 2014 at 10:43 PM (#4744897)
Further, whether they "violated federal law" turns on facts that we don't know, but of course federal law doesn't run MLB anyway.

People make this point often, but what does it actually say? Federal law trumps any rule MLB could make about steroids (or anything else). MLB couldn't legalize non-prescription use of steroids in MLB even if it wanted to, so why do we care what MLB's position is on steroids as to whether they're allowed or not?
   55. JE (Jason) Posted: July 06, 2014 at 10:45 PM (#4744899)
It doesn't matter. If you're calling Lackey a hypocrite for his comments, then his comments ought to be certifiably hypocritical. His simply aren't. That the distinction between pre- and post-testing steroid usage is often ignored, both in the MSM and by folks on this site, is quite perplexing. ...

Now, you can (and should, as far as I'm concerned) criticize him on the grounds that Cruz served his punishment and should thus be free to ply his trade again without having to put up with this shithead's ######## after a terrible outing, but that's a different matter altogether.

I didn't suggest that Lackey was a hypocrite, only that he might be a hypocrite. (David was responding to someone who was more explicit.) One more time: Lackey didn't say that why he's so pissed at Cruz.
   56. base ball chick Posted: July 06, 2014 at 10:55 PM (#4744904)
lackey said:

quote "there are things i'd like to say, but i'm not going to"

what a mealymouth coward. he refuses to say why he's so pissed at cruz. either say it, accuse the man of breaking rules, or SHUT UP
   57. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 12:50 AM (#4744928)
I'm sorry, but that's a lawyer's defense, and not anything that sounded like what Lackey was saying.
Andy, you do realize how much of a #### you sound like every time you use phrases like "lawyer's defense" as though it were pejorative? What you mean is "Look at the facts, and look at the accusation, and see if the former supports the latter."
   58. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 12:58 AM (#4744932)
People make this point often, but what does it actually say? Federal law trumps any rule MLB could make about steroids (or anything else). MLB couldn't legalize non-prescription use of steroids in MLB even if it wanted to, so why do we care what MLB's position is on steroids as to whether they're allowed or not?
MLB can't immunize people from federal prosecution -- though of course nobody has ever been prosecuted for using steroids¹ -- but by the same token the federal government can't declare something to be cheating in MLB, either.



¹Of course, there's Barry Bonds, but he was prosecuted for breaking the HR record, not for using steroids per se.
   59. Booey Posted: July 07, 2014 at 02:29 AM (#4744951)
That the distinction between pre- and post-testing steroid usage is often ignored, both in the MSM and by folks on this site, is quite perplexing.


I don't necessarily disagree with anything you're saying regarding this specific example (2002 use vs today), but I'm not sure the quoted text above is true in most cases. I don't think I've read anyone here saying that players testing positive today shouldn't be suspended according to the pre-written rules of the CBA. They're saying they shouldn't get MORE of a penalty than what MLB and the MLBPA agreed upon. So yes, there's a difference between juicing in 2014 and juicing in 2002 - it's the difference between a 50 game suspension and no suspension at all. That's it. The current, tough on roids CBA doesn't mention anything about affecting HOF eligibility, future All Star appearances, awards voting, etc. People here and in the MSM don't need to 'ignore' the distinction between then and now to believe that Manny and Raffy belong in the HOF in addition to Bonds and McGwire, or to believe that Cruz served his punishment (which you did allude to) and is thus a perfectly valid and deserving all star.
   60. Ron J2 Posted: July 07, 2014 at 09:26 AM (#4745019)
Jason, if the criminal aspect of the use is the sticking point does this make (say) Paul Molitor or Time Raines cheaters? How about Tim Lincecum? Or Babe Ruth for that matter.

As for the Vincent memo, Vincent himself was at pains to point out it didn't apply to players (and as David points out there's no evidence it was circulated. Again Vincent agrees that few people ever saw it)
   61. JE (Jason) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 09:40 AM (#4745025)
Ron, I was merely pointing out that the evils of PEDs were being widely talked about long before "This time it counts!" testing started so it's not unreasonable to ask Lackey how he felt about his Anaheim teammates who were later named in the Mitchell Report. It's also understandable to guess that he was outraged only because Nelson Cruz has the audacity to sign with Baltimore, not Boston, this past offseason.
   62. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:17 AM (#4745070)
I don't necessarily disagree with anything you're saying regarding this specific example (2002 use vs today), but I'm not sure the quoted text above is true in most cases.


We're going to have to disagree there Booey. I've seen many examples where writers (and primates) lump the two types of PED users together as if there's simply no difference in how we see their usage. This was just the latest example.
   63. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:26 AM (#4745086)
I'm sorry, but that's a lawyer's defense, and not anything that sounded like what Lackey was saying.

Andy, you do realize how much of a #### you sound like every time you use phrases like "lawyer's defense" as though it were pejorative? What you mean is "Look at the facts, and look at the accusation, and see if the former supports the latter."


Sorry if I've offended your noble profession, but all I meant was that Lackey sounded much more like someone who was reacting to a bad game than someone who was parsing the difference between pre-testing and post-testing juicers and giving the former players some sort of principled pass. His only principle here seems to be the laundry.

If Lackey had any actual evidence to back up his implicit charge that Cruz is currently juicing, he sure didn't offer it.

And if he's using the good old "I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'" standard, then he might want to look around his own team and ponder how many times Mike Napoli or David Ortiz has helped him win games.

Note that I'm not accusing, or even "sayin'" anything about those two, but there's no more current evidence against Cruz than there is against them.

   64. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:43 AM (#4745112)
Sorry if I've offended your noble profession, but all I meant was that Lackey sounded much more like someone who was reacting to a bad game than someone who was parsing the difference between pre-testing and post-testing juicers and giving the former players some sort of principled pass.


He wasn't making any distinction between pre-testing and post-testing juicers, or really any distinction about anything. But the absence of such doesn't mean we ascribe this senseless position to him. That was you filling in the considerable number of blank spaces with what you want him to believe (which, not coincidentally, is exactly what you believe).

John Lackey may be the biggest hypocrite ever, it wouldn't surprise me in the least (though again, he's only truly hypocritical if he attacks opposing juicers while defending his own, which to my knowledge he's never done). But you can't get that from his statement, now matter how much you wish it so.

It's now some lawyerly defense, whatever the hell that means. It's simply ####### true.

   65. villageidiom Posted: July 07, 2014 at 11:22 AM (#4745146)
He wasn't making any distinction between pre-testing and post-testing juicers
So you and Andy agree, then.
   66. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 07, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4745155)
So you and Andy agree, then.


Really vi?

The only ones bringing up pre-testing juicing are Andy and co. They want to highlight Lackey's inconsistency, but considering there is a very significant difference between what his former Angel teammates did and what Cruz did, there's no obvious inconsistency to be found. He may very well not care about the distinction, but we can't assume that in the absence of evidence. There's no gotcha here (there are, however, other reasons to take exception to Lackey's comments).

   67. Joey B. "disrespects the A" Posted: July 07, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4745161)
Of course, there's Barry Bonds, but he was prosecuted for breaking the HR record

There's no criminal offense called "breaking the HR record" anywhere within the United States. One would think that a so-called lawyer would know that.
   68. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 07, 2014 at 11:53 AM (#4745176)
The only ones bringing up pre-testing juicing are Andy and co. They want to highlight Lackey's inconsistency, but considering there is a very significant difference between what his former Angel teammates did and what Cruz did, there's no obvious inconsistency to be found. He may very well not care about the distinction, but we can't assume that in the absence of evidence.

You're right in that I'm assuming that the underlying sentiment behind Lackey's diatribe against Cruz was his view on the immorality of steroids, not on whether or not Cruz was caught. I may be wrong in that assumption, but then Lackey himself seems to be making a pretty big assumption in implicitly questioning whether or not Cruz is clean today. The only way to know who's right here would be to directly question Lackey, but obviously he's not so stupid that he'd want to open up any more cans of worms than he has already.

I'll add one more point: If Lackey had been racked up by Cruz during the period prior to Cruz's positive test, I wouldn't begrudge him his sentiment a bit. But that wasn't the case on Saturday.
   69. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 07, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4745189)
but then Lackey himself seems to be making a pretty big assumption in implicitly questioning whether or not Cruz is clean today.


And that's a legitimate reason to criticize Lackey (if indeed that's what he's saying, since it's not like he's being terribly coherent), not the 2002 Angels silliness.

   70. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 12:07 PM (#4745192)
And if he's using the good old "I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'" standard, then he might want to look around his own team and ponder how many times Mike Napoli or David Ortiz has helped him win games.


There's evidence against Napoli?

(Also, it's not clear to me what the evidence against Ortiz is but I know people have whispered about him before, I guess regarding either the 2003 survey testing or regarding some vague comments he made about not being sure whether he's ever taken something that might be a problem.)
   71. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 12:19 PM (#4745209)
Note that I'm not accusing, or even "sayin'" anything about those two, but there's no more current evidence against Cruz than there is against them.


There's a recent suspension for Cruz, which is more current than any evidence (?) that we have (?) against Ortiz (?) or Napoli (?).

Bottom line, the players as a group seem more upset at those who've been suspended in the testing/penalty era than at those who possibly used during the pre-testing/penalty era. So I don't think it's at all a stretch to think that Lackey would be upset at players who've been suspended but not at players who used pre-2004.
   72. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 07, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4745213)
There's evidence against Napoli?

About as much against him and Ortiz as there is against Cruz in 2014. It's "I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'" evidence, which of course is no evidence at all. Bottom line is that while Lackey's got a right to say whatever he wants, he was totally out of line in what he said on Saturday, unless he wants to provide clear evidence, as opposed to innuendo, that Cruz is currently juicing.

   73. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 07, 2014 at 12:24 PM (#4745218)
Bottom line, the players as a group seem more upset at those who've been suspended in the testing/penalty era than at those who possibly used during the pre-testing/penalty era. So I don't think it's at all a stretch to think that Lackey would be upset at players who've been suspended but not at players who used pre-2004.

That may or may not be true, but then you also have to factor in the point that the vast majority of current players have no direct connection to the pre-2004 era, so their opinions on pre-testing cheaters are likely to be more abstract than they would be about players they're currently competing against. To a 25 year old player today, Barry Bonds is ancient history.
   74. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4745222)
I guess from two minutes of googling what we have is that Ortiz confirmed he was on the 2003 "list" but he denied ever taking steroids and of course as he and Weiner pointed out being on the 2003 "list" does not necessarily mean he tested positive for steroids.

As to Napoli, apparently his hip injury triggered steroids suspicion. Here's one such article: "According to Mayoclinic.org, the blood flow can be interrupted if the bone is fractured in a traumatic episode or the joint becomes dislocated. Avascular necrosis has also been linked to thrombosis, vascular compression, lupus, repeated exposure to high pressure such as in deep-sea diving, long-term use of high-dose steroid medications and excessive alcohol intake."

   75. BDC Posted: July 07, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4745224)
I guess what I was thinking way upthread in #12 is that Cruz must have passed some sort of recent test, or he would currently be suspended for even longer.

Of course, one can argue that residual ill-gotten benefits of juicing persist after a suspension is served. But I'm assuming that Cruz is currently compliant. Heck, I could be wrong; maybe completing a suspension earns you a "get out of testing free" card for the coming season.
   76. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4745233)
There's evidence against Napoli?


About as much against him and Ortiz as there is against Cruz in 2014. It's "I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'" evidence, which of course is no evidence at all.


WTF are you talking about? Let's leave Ortiz aside since his issues date back to the pre-suspension era and thus are not comparable. How is the "evidence" against Napoli (whispers about what may have caused his hip injury) at all comparable to the evidence against Cruz?

From what I've read this is a decent summary of the evidence against Cruz:

Nelson Cruz statement:
"I have been notified by the Commissioner of Major League Baseball that I have been suspended for 50 games for violation of the Joint Drug Agreement. I have decided to accept this suspension and not exercise my rights under the Basic Agreement to appeal. From November, 2011 to January, 2012, I was seriously ill with a gastrointestinal infection, helicobacter pylori, which went undiagnosed for over a month. By the time I was properly diagnosed and treated, I had lost 40 pounds. Just weeks before I was to report to spring training in 2012, I was unsure whether I would be physically able to play. Faced with this situation, I made an error in judgment that I deeply regret, and I accept full responsibility for that error. I should have handled the situation differently, and my illness was no excuse. I am thankful for the unwavering support of my family, friends, and teammates during this difficult time. I look forward to regaining the trust and respect of the Rangers organization, my teammates, and the great Rangers’ fans, and I am grateful for the opportunity to rejoin the team for the playoffs."

Texas Rangers statement:
"The Texas Rangers are disappointed that Nelson Cruz has violated the terms of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program resulting in his suspension. The Rangers’ organization fully supports the MLB program and its efforts to eliminate performance-enhancing substances from our game. Per the protocol outlined in Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement, the Rangers will have no further comment."

Miami newspaper report:
Cruz was suspended six months after his name appeared in a Miami New Times newspaper report that linked him to Biogensis. The now-shuttered Miami clinic allegedly distributed performance-enhancing drugs to a number of Major League players, including Cruz.

According to the report, Cruz bought $4,000 worth of products from Biogenesis. The report also said Biogenesis owner Anthony Bosch wrote in a 2012 private journal concerning Cruz that: "Need to call him, go Thur to Texas, take meds from April 5-May 5, will owe him troches and … and will infuse them in May."

Troches are lozenges that introduce synthetic testosterone into a player's body. They cycle in and out of the body quickly, so they are likely undetectable unless a drug test is given soon after the drug is used.


----

How in the world is the "evidence" against Napoli as strong as the evidence against Cruz? You're not sayin', you're just sayin', eh? Is that how it goes?

EDIT: Oh, I guess I missed that you were comparing the evidence against Cruz "in 2014." But why would we limit the inquiry to 2014 given that Cruz has already shown the willingness to violate the JDA in the testing/penalty era? Why would we pronounce Cruz 100% clean in 2014 given his history? Napoli and Ortiz have nothing like that same history. So why would it make sense to put Ortiz and Napoli (Napoli???) in the same boat as Cruz?
   77. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 07, 2014 at 12:40 PM (#4745238)
I guess from two minutes of googling what we have is that Ortiz confirmed he was on the 2003 "list" but he denied ever taking steroids and of course as he and Weiner pointed out being on the 2003 "list" does not necessarily mean he tested positive for steroids.

As to Napoli, apparently his hip injury triggered steroids suspicion. Here's one such article: "According to Mayoclinic.org, the blood flow can be interrupted if the bone is fractured in a traumatic episode or the joint becomes dislocated. Avascular necrosis has also been linked to thrombosis, vascular compression, lupus, repeated exposure to high pressure such as in deep-sea diving, long-term use of high-dose steroid medications and excessive alcohol intake."


I didn't cite those articles, but they were exactly what I was implicitly referring to when I brought up those two names. There's no reason for Lackey to call out either of them, but then in 2014 there's also no reason for him to be casting innuendo about Cruz.
   78. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 07, 2014 at 12:41 PM (#4745239)
But I'm assuming that Cruz is currently compliant.


Yeah, that's my default position. I suppose you can take the Joey tack, but that just seems like a depressing way to follow the sport.

   79. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 12:44 PM (#4745241)
Yeah, that's my default position. I suppose you can take the Joey tack, but that just seems like a depressing way to follow the sport.


Sure, but Cruz hasn't earned the benefit of the doubt in the same the way that Napoli (or even Ortiz) has. To claim otherwise -- as Andy is -- is ludicrous.
   80. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 07, 2014 at 12:47 PM (#4745246)
How in the world is the "evidence" against Napoli as strong as the evidence against Cruz? You're not sayin', you're just sayin', eh? Is that how it goes?

I hate to be nitpicky, but has Cruz failed a drug test this year?

Do you give Lackey a pass for his comments? And do you also think that every player who failed a drug test at some point in the past should be assumed to be still using them today? You knock me for wanting to keep juicers out of the Hall of Fame, but at least I don't want them to go around wearing a scarlet "S" around their necks after they've served their time and want to continue with their careers.

And please don't try this "fanboy" crap here. The next time you see me defending a Yankee or Oriole who gives out with an outburst like Lackey's, please let me know.
   81. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 07, 2014 at 12:48 PM (#4745250)
EDIT: Oh, I guess I missed that you were comparing the evidence against Cruz "in 2014." But why would we limit the inquiry to 2014 given that Cruz has already shown the willingness to violate the JDA in the testing/penalty era? Why would we pronounce Cruz 100% clean in 2014 given his history? Napoli and Ortiz have nothing like that same history. So why would it make sense to put Ortiz and Napoli (Napoli???) in the same boat as Cruz?

I'll repeat: Do you approve of Lackey's outburst, or do you want to continue with your fanboy excuses for it?
   82. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 12:57 PM (#4745261)
I hate to be nitpicky, but has Cruz failed a drug test this year?


He has never failed a drug test, to my knowledge. Not even last year.

Do you give Lackey a pass for his comments?


I think his comments are silly, but I think it's perfectly plausible to think that he makes a distinction between players suspended vs not.

And do you also think that every player who failed a drug test at some point in the past should be assumed to be still using them today?


I don't care enough to go around wondering who is on steroids, but when the issue comes up I think it's ludicrous to give a Nelson Cruz the same benefit of the doubt that we'd give to a player who has not accepted a PED suspension and who doesn't have the sort of evidence against him that Cruz did.

You knock me for wanting to keep juicers out of the Hall of Fame, but at least I don't want them to go around wearing a scarlet "S" around their necks after they've served their time and want to continue with their careers.


To me it's not a scarlet S since using steroids is not something a player "should" (if I were king) be disciplined for. But I also am not dishonest enough to pretend that a player who was suspended for PED use is in the same boat and should be presumed just as clean as players who were never suspended.

I "assume" - I don't care either way - that Cruz may or may not be currently clean. I have no idea. I know that he recently accepted and took responsibility for a PED suspension which appears (given the newspaper reports and the statements of all parties including Cruz) to have carried evidence with it, so I don't at all think he should be given the same benefit of the doubt as players who that has never happened to.
   83. Booey Posted: July 07, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4745281)
We're going to have to disagree there Booey. I've seen many examples where writers (and primates) lump the two types of PED users together as if there's simply no difference in how we see their usage. This was just the latest example.

People have said they don't think players who fail tests should be suspended? I haven't read that. Or are you talking about HOF debates? The current drug rules don't forbid juicers from being HOF eligible any more than the old ones did. So in that case, yeah, I don't think it's ignorant for anyone to say that Ramirez and Palmeiro deserve to get elected just as much as McGwire does. It's the same (perfectly legit, IMO) argument people are using to defend Cruz's All Star selection - they already served their punishment.

Acknowledging that using roids today is different (and worse) than using 15 years ago was doesn't mean we have to accept every overly excessive, generally revenge based punishment critics can think of as being justified. I absolutely think that doing steroids today is cheating, yet I still think roiders should be eligible for the HOF, future All Star selections, and yearly awards once they serve their time, just like players who are caught participating in any other kind of cheating are. The increased severity of juicing compared to say, corking bats or scuffing balls is already accounted for with the increased length of suspension. I don't think that's an inconsistent or unreasonable position that ignores the differences between then and now.
   84. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 07, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4745292)
People have said they don't think players who fail tests should be suspended?


No, I never said that. I don't even know how one would make that comparison to the pre-testing era, absent time machine technology.

Or are you talking about HOF debates?


I'm talking in general, how we perceive these guys and their "crimes", whether its just a general sense, in terms of the HoF or simply situations like this. For example, there are many who don't distinguish between the HoF cases of Sammy and Raffy. Now, I guess I understand why some hold that position, but it's ridiculous to think that others wouldn't believe the policy/punishment distinction draws a sharp line between the two.


   85. Booey Posted: July 07, 2014 at 02:45 PM (#4745346)
For example, there are many who don't distinguish between the HoF cases of Sammy and Raffy. Now, I guess I understand why some hold that position, but it's ridiculous to think that others wouldn't believe the policy/punishment distinction draws a sharp line between the two.


Sorta. The YES! to Sammy but NO! to Raffy crowd at least has some actual rules to point to showing that roids were clearly frowned upon when the latter was using compared to the former. But since these new clear rules STILL don't mention anything about a HOF snub as part of the punishment, they're still just pulling additional penalties out of thin air, which isn't much different than what the voters snubbing Bonds and McGwire are doing.



   86. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 07, 2014 at 02:57 PM (#4745360)
But since these new clear rules STILL don't mention anything about a HOF snub as part of the punishment, they're still just pulling additional penalties out of thin air, which isn't much different than what the voters snubbing Bonds and McGwire are doing.


Not really. The character notation in the voting criteria gives them some room here where these distinctions become meaningful. Hell, even if you ignore the character aspect, these suspensions are a part of a player's historical record and shouldn't necessarily be completed ignored.

Manny was twice suspended for PED use. If some Hall voter thinks that kind of repeated, serious* rulebreaking/team damaging (coupled with other black marks, both on and off the field) leaves him unworthy of his Hall vote, I can't say I'd fight him on that, even if it's not the way I'd necessarily vote. ** Likewise, if Raffy is a borderliner to a voter, then his suspension is certainly a reasonable cause to drop him into the No column.

That these distinctions are not meaningful to you is mildly interesting, but yours is just one of many possible positions.

* The seriousness of the offense being defined by the size of the penalty.

** Honestly, much as I love him, I can't say I've made up my mind on Manny.
   87. Booey Posted: July 07, 2014 at 02:58 PM (#4745363)
I guess from two minutes of googling what we have is that Ortiz confirmed he was on the 2003 "list" but he denied ever taking steroids and of course as he and Weiner pointed out being on the 2003 "list" does not necessarily mean he tested positive for steroids.


True, but that same 2003 list is all the 'evidence' there is against Sosa, and it's enough to keep him out of the HOF (hell, he'll probably be off the ballot entirely within a year or two). I'd say there's actually MORE evidence against Papi than Sammy, since Ortiz admitted he was on the list whereas Sosa (AFAIK) hasn't confirmed anything and is still just a rumor at this point.

(I realize you were comparing Cruz to Papi and not Sosa; I'm just pointing out that being on the 2003 list hasn't been handwaved away as being no evidence or very little evidence regarding other players in the past).
   88. Booey Posted: July 07, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4745379)
That these distinctions are not meaningful to you is mildly interesting, but yours is just one of many possible positions.


IIRC, the HOF has a rule saying that no one on MLB's banned list would be eligible for the HOF (Rose, Shoeless Joe), so I'd fully support a bar against steroid users who were given a lifetime ban after the required 3rd 'conviction', as agreed upon in the JDA. The flipside of that, though, means that anyone who HASN'T received the lifetime ban IS eligible. If Manny comes back and fails yet another test, you won't hear a word of support from me in favor of his HOF candidacy (and he was one of my all time favorites). Until then though, I don't see anything in the JDA or any other MLB or HOF rule that supports his exclusion.
   89. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 07, 2014 at 03:39 PM (#4745404)
Do you give Lackey a pass for his comments?

I think his comments are silly, but I think it's perfectly plausible to think that he makes a distinction between players suspended vs not.


It's also plausible to think that he's just steamed at steroid users no matter when they were using them. Neither of us are mindreaders here.

And in either case, to say what he did when he did it was classless to the max, and only charitably a sign of frustration at his own performance. It wasn't as if Cruz was the only Oriole who was doing him in, not when he gave up 10 hits in 5.1 innings.

And do you also think that every player who failed a drug test at some point in the past should be assumed to be still using them today?

I don't care enough to go around wondering who is on steroids, but when the issue comes up I think it's ludicrous to give a Nelson Cruz the same benefit of the doubt that we'd give to a player who has not accepted a PED suspension and who doesn't have the sort of evidence against him that Cruz did.

You knock me for wanting to keep juicers out of the Hall of Fame, but at least I don't want them to go around wearing a scarlet "S" around their necks after they've served their time and want to continue with their careers.

To me it's not a scarlet S since using steroids is not something a player "should" (if I were king) be disciplined for. But I also am not dishonest enough to pretend that a player who was suspended for PED use is in the same boat and should be presumed just as clean as players who were never suspended.

I "assume" - I don't care either way - that Cruz may or may not be currently clean. I have no idea. I know that he recently accepted and took responsibility for a PED suspension which appears (given the newspaper reports and the statements of all parties including Cruz) to have carried evidence with it, so I don't at all think he should be given the same benefit of the doubt as players who that has never happened to.


So you don't care if Cruz is clean, and you don't even care enough to wonder whether he's clean, but you do care enough to speculate about unspecified percentages of assumptions of Cruz's current state of guilt. Yessir, that's a heap of principle you've got there, Mr. Paragon of Honesty.
   90. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 07, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4745443)
The flipside of that, though, means that anyone who HASN'T received the lifetime ban IS eligible. If Manny comes back and fails yet another test, you won't hear a word of support from me in favor of his HOF candidacy (and he was one of my all time favorites). Until then though, I don't see anything in the JDA or any other MLB or HOF rule that supports his exclusion;


That doesn't really make a lot of sense to me. If he does something terrible three times, then he should be barred from the Hall of Fame. But if he only does that terrible thing twice, then you can't even consider it when voting whether he should receive an honor (Obviously it's the second part that doesn't track).

I'm not suggesting that Manny (or Raffy or anyone else dinged) should be barred from consideration. I don't know why you'd suggest that. They absolutely should be ELIGIBLE. I'm merely noting that this rather significant event on their historical record can be considered when weighing the merits of their case for inclusion in Cooperstown. That it's not spelled out in the JDA is, frankly, irrelevant.
   91. Booey Posted: July 07, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4745497)
That doesn't really make a lot of sense to me. If he does something terrible three times, then he should be barred from the Hall of Fame. But if he only does that terrible thing twice, then you can't even consider it when voting whether he should receive an honor (Obviously it's the second part that doesn't track).


It doesn't make sense to say that the punishment for breaking a rule should be exactly what the rule says it should be and nothing more (and nothing less)?

That it's not spelled out in the JDA is, frankly, irrelevant.


I think this is the part of your argument I'm having trouble understanding. Why are the specifics of the JDA irrelevant? Isn't the JDA the only reason Manny/Raffy juicing is different than McGwire/Bonds in the first place? If so, it seems a little inconsistent to me to care about the first half of that rule (paraphrasing: PED's are banned in MLB...) without attaching equal weight to the 2nd half of the very same rule (...and the punishment for violations will be...XXX).
   92. The District Attorney Posted: July 07, 2014 at 05:17 PM (#4745551)
Federal law trumps any rule MLB could make about steroids (or anything else). MLB couldn't legalize non-prescription use of steroids in MLB even if it wanted to...
Sure it could. Or at least, it could be indifferent to it.

If a player were convicted of tax evasion, do you think MLB would issue him a suspension? I don't think they would. I'll grant you that if they did, they could probably get away with it. (Although maybe not... the NY Giants tried to withhold Plaxico Burress's signing bonus after his gun possession arrest, and were overruled.) But I don't think they would even do it to begin with. Obviously, if you're in jail, you can't play baseball, so that's a potential problem. But I don't think there's an inherent assumption that legal infractions are also baseball infractions.

Hell, we've got a marijuana thread going, right? MLB has decided that that illegal activity is not baseball-illegal.
   93. villageidiom Posted: July 07, 2014 at 05:29 PM (#4745560)
It doesn't make sense to say that the punishment for breaking a rule should be exactly what the rule says it should be and nothing more (and nothing less)?
The punishment from MLB for breaking an MLB rule should be exactly what the MLB rule says it should be.

The punishment from the HoF for breaking an MLB rule should be exactly what the HoF rules say it should be.

SoSH U is considering that the HoF rules encourage character to be factored in, and that being twice suspended for PEDs could be a mark against a player's character. You seem to be saying unless the HoF ascribes a specific penalty to a twice-suspended player it shouldn't be considered in the HoF vote at all.
   94. TDF, situational idiot Posted: July 07, 2014 at 06:04 PM (#4745590)
¹Of course, there's Barry Bonds, but he was prosecuted for breaking the HR record, not for using steroids per se.
I thought he was prosecuted for being mean to Jeff Novitzky.
   95. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 07, 2014 at 06:11 PM (#4745596)
Of course, there's Barry Bonds, but he was prosecuted for breaking the HR record, not for using steroids per se.

I'll never forget the way that Novitsky slapped a warrant on Bonds the second he touched home plate after #756. It was a lynching scene that was eerily reminiscent of the noose slipped around Clarence Thomas's neck by Anita Hill.
   96. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 07, 2014 at 06:58 PM (#4745621)


I think this is the part of your argument I'm having trouble understanding. Why are the specifics of the JDA irrelevant?


Because the JDA doesn't govern the Hall of Fame. It's relevant in the sense that baseball now has a policy with specifics attached to it. But the voters for the Hall, be they the BBWAA or the Vets Committee later on, are not bound by the specifics of the JDA when considering the entirety of a player's case.

SoSH U is considering that the HoF rules encourage character to be factored in, and that being twice suspended for PEDs could be a mark against a player's character. You seem to be saying unless the HoF ascribes a specific penalty to a twice-suspended player it shouldn't be considered in the HoF vote at all.


Yes, but I wouldn't limit it to just the character question, but also the direct impact on a team. Manny getting suspended for 50 (then 100) games does real damage to his team's chances, and thus is a part of his record.

It doesn't disqualify him for Hall consideration, but it sure as hell counts. To me, it just goes into the great big pile of information we have on a player when weighing his case.


   97. Booey Posted: July 07, 2014 at 07:13 PM (#4745627)
SoSH U is considering that the HoF rules encourage character to be factored in, and that being twice suspended for PEDs could be a mark against a player's character.


Sure, but many other writers have decided that doing steroids at all - pre or post testing - is a black mark against a players character. And according to the vague guidelines given by the HOF regarding voting rules, those writers are perfectly within their rights to vote that way too. It doesn't mean the rest of us can't criticize them for putting their own standards above the league's and giving a personal lifetime ban to players for offenses that neither MLB nor the HOF deemed ban worthy.
   98. Booey Posted: July 07, 2014 at 07:17 PM (#4745631)
Manny getting suspended for 50 (then 100) games does real damage to his team's chances, and thus is a part of his record.


Wouldn't that already be factored in by the numbers he missed out on compiling during his suspension, same as if he were injured? Ryan Braun already hurt his HOF case by missing 65 games in the heart of his prime. I don't see any reason to double penalize him.

   99. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 07, 2014 at 07:24 PM (#4745637)
Sure, but many other writers have decided that doing steroids at all - pre or post testing - is a black mark against a players character. And according to the vague guidelines given by the HOF regarding voting rules, those writers are perfectly within their rights to vote that way too. It doesn't mean the rest of us can't criticize them for putting their own standards above the league's and giving a personal lifetime ban to players for offenses that neither MLB nor the HOF deemed ban worthy.


Yes, and I think they're wrong. And I would say so. But the misapplication of the guidelines doesn't invalidate the guidelines, which is what you're doing.


Wouldn't that already be factored in by the numbers he missed out on compiling during his suspension, same as if he were injured? Ryan Braun already hurt his HOF case by missing 65 games in the heart of his prime. I don't see any reason to double penalize him.


The numbers he missed out on compiling during his suspension hurt him, but they don't take into account the effect on the team.

It's not like this is something unique to PED guys. It's part of the problem Larry Walker faces, and Edgar faces, and J.D. Drew would if he were a reasonable candidate, and in their cases their lost time wasn't, to an extent, voluntary. So no, I don't think so at all.
   100. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 08:07 PM (#4745656)

So you don't care if Cruz is clean, and you don't even care enough to wonder whether he's clean, but you do care enough to speculate about unspecified percentages of assumptions of Cruz's current state of guilt. Yessir, that's a heap of principle you've got there, Mr. Paragon of Honesty.


If you admit to cheating once (and that's what you think steroids use is, so we'll go with it) then I do think you're more likely to be cheating currently than the person who was never caught cheating, yes. Why this is such a mind blowing concept to you, I don't know.
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