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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Johnny Bench, active players critical of Bartolo Colon

We’re ####### perfect and you ain’t!

While Colon took responsibility for his positive test, current and former players were hardly in a forgiving mood.

Here’s some tweets, quotes from around the league:

  @MLB players who knowingly took drugs should have their contracts voided. Why should clubs be punished financially.—Hall of Famer Johnny Bench

  @DHuddy41 thoughts on Bartolo colon?” same as Cabrera. I hate cheaters—Diamondbacks pitcher Daniel Hudson

  I’m proud I’ve been able to come back from injury without cheating. #wasitworthit?—Former pitcher Peter Moylan

  Seriously Bartolo Colon. What is wrong with these guys testing positive. U can’t be that stupid. This is so embarrassing for baseball.—Former pitcher and current ESPN Baseball Tonight analyst Mark Mulder

  “It’s a shock. He’s a guy that we’re definitely relying on right now. I guess you could say it’s bad timing any time, but especially now.”—Athletics reliever Grant Balfour told the Associated Press.

Repoz Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:38 PM | 40 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: lawns, steroids

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Dale Sams Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:53 PM (#4215132)
My biggest problem with all this is:

3 out of the last four guys caught have a HUGE narrative as far as proving the stupid things work and they work damn well. I don't want to suspect outlier seasons. Colon comes back big with the Yanks, everyone says he was roiding, wham he gets caught. Melky? Must be on PEDS. Jacoby? Must have been PEDs.(No Jacoby hasn't been caught, but everytime a Melky or Braun or Colon gets caught it makes me sad)

If we could have a few more scrubs get caught, that'd be ####### great.
   2. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: August 22, 2012 at 05:01 PM (#4215148)
I think we've had scrubs get caught, we just don't remember them.
   3. Steve Treder Posted: August 22, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4215157)
I think we've had scrubs get caught, we just don't remember them.

Nobody gave two sh!ts when Guillermo Mota was caught and suspended earlier this season. For the second time.
   4. Dale Sams Posted: August 22, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4215160)
Well, you're right. Mota was the non-huge name i was thinking of, but I didn't know Freddy Galvis had been caught, and my mind apparently didn't care enough about Marlon Byrd to retain the info.
   5. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 22, 2012 at 05:46 PM (#4215201)
When the scrubs get caught, they're held up as proof that steroids don't enhance performance.
   6. Bob Tufts Posted: August 22, 2012 at 05:53 PM (#4215207)
Call me when a Little League World Series player gets busted for something strogner than Frosted Flakes. Until then, run pictures of Colon saying that this is what steroids do to you in order to scare the crap out of kids.
   7. bigglou115 Posted: August 22, 2012 at 05:58 PM (#4215213)
Call me when a Little League World Series player gets busted for something strogner than Frosted Flakes. Until then, run pictures of Colon saying that this is what steroids do to you in order to scare the crap out of kids.


You know, that's actually something I've never thought of. The whole argument behind all the anti-steroids fervor is that ball players are role-models. If that's true, shouldn't there be some sort of teenage steroid epidemic? For all I know there is, but I sure haven't heard about it.
   8. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 22, 2012 at 06:03 PM (#4215219)
If that's true, shouldn't there be some sort of teenage steroid epidemic? For all I know there is, but I sure haven't heard about it.


The late great poster Kevin claimed all the time that there was... then he'd start threatening anyone who asked questions or disputed him...
   9. esseff Posted: August 22, 2012 at 06:13 PM (#4215224)
If that's true, shouldn't there be some sort of teenage steroid epidemic? For all I know there is, but I sure haven't heard about it.


Google Rob Garibaldi or Taylor Hooton. Consider that those are the far extreme cases.
   10. Austin Posted: August 22, 2012 at 06:13 PM (#4215225)
A classmate and kinda-friend from my high school was drafted in the second round in 2009 and he told me that he took steroids (incidentally, he's basically been a bust since then). Obviously, this says next to nothing about the overall trend, but he insinuated that it was quite common among high school baseball players. My guess is that it was just particularly prevalent in my state or on my school's team, but I guess you never know.
   11. dr. scott Posted: August 22, 2012 at 06:27 PM (#4215234)
So does anyone have the right information and statistics to answer the question...

If someone is tested and they have used steroids that year, what are the chances of a positve test?

Minimum information needed is...
How long is it traceable after use
how much and how often do people need to use it for it to be effective


Then how often are people tested in one year so one can calculate... if someone is using (for it to be effective) what are the chances they will be caught in a year?

As long as its over 30% the deterent should be high enough that very few people will try... Im guessing its more like 1%.

Im guessing the problem is those questions are not easy to answer.
   12. bigglou115 Posted: August 22, 2012 at 06:35 PM (#4215240)
Google Rob Garibaldi or Taylor Hooton. Consider that those are the far extreme cases.


I'm not arguing that we shouldn't try and stop steroid use. I'm more curious about the link between MLB use and high school use.
   13. smileyy Posted: August 22, 2012 at 06:41 PM (#4215244)
The whole argument behind all the anti-steroids fervor is that ball players are role-models.


No, its not. Its that players are tempted/encouraged/required to consume likely illegal and possibly dangerous substances in order to play at the major league level.
   14. bigglou115 Posted: August 22, 2012 at 06:51 PM (#4215249)
No, its not. Its that players are tempted/encouraged/required to consume likely illegal and possibly dangerous substances in order to play at the major league level


Fair enough. Although I use "the whole argument" far too loosely as a phrase so I didn't mean 100% of the argument. Just that its the most compelling argument for moral outrage.
   15. The District Attorney Posted: August 22, 2012 at 07:00 PM (#4215251)
Johnny Bench called.
   16. Bruce Markusen Posted: August 22, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4215258)
So it's not just former major leaguers who are upset with the use of steroids. It's good to see some of the current players speaking out about the problem.
   17. smileyy Posted: August 22, 2012 at 07:24 PM (#4215266)
[16] Yes -- I'm happy about that. The public may have the moral outrage, but the real issue is with the players and their own health.
   18. Select Storage Device Posted: August 22, 2012 at 07:40 PM (#4215271)
I’m proud I’ve been able to come back from injury without cheating.


I ain't never been to jail!
   19. Blastin Posted: August 22, 2012 at 08:11 PM (#4215282)
What you want, a cookie?
   20. Moeball Posted: August 22, 2012 at 08:21 PM (#4215286)
my mind apparently didn't care enough about Marlon Byrd to retain the info.


The thing I thought was the funniest was when Byrd actually made a public statement that he wasn't taking any steroids for performance enhancement.

I think we noticed it wasn't enhancing his performance - when the Cubs dumped him on the Bosox earlier this year, to that point of the season Marlon had the same amount of doubles, triples and homers...as I had. Ouch!
   21. Walt Davis Posted: August 22, 2012 at 08:32 PM (#4215289)
From the CDC's Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System**, % answering yes to "ever took a steroid* pill or shot without doctor's prescription"

1991 -- 2.7
1993 -- 2.2
1995 -- 3.7
1997 -- 3.1
1999 -- 3.7
2001 -- 5
2003 -- 6.1
2005 -- 4.0
2007 -- 3.9
2009 -- 3.7
2011 -- 3.6

No significant change from 2009 to 2001.

http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/yrbs/pdf/us_drug_trend_yrbs.pdf

Some comparisons:

marijuana started at 31%, peaked in 1999 at 47.2 and is down to 39.9
cocaine started at 5.9, peaked in 1999/2001 at 9.5/9.4 and is down to 6.8
meth/speed not tracked until 1999 at 9.1 peaking at 9.8 in 2001 down to 3.8 (go Ritalin!!)

so the steroid trend doesn't look any different than any of the other drugs tracked and has the lowest current usage rate of any drug tracked except heroin (2.9). While steroid use (apparently) did peak around 2001/2003 (Mac/Bonds/Balco), all of the drugs peaked around 1999 to 2003 -- plus all the publicity around steroids at that time may have increased reporting rates.

A couple of blog pieces cited studies claiming usage rates among high school athletes of 6 to 13% (varying by sport but they didn't provide breakdowns) but I didn't track down the validity of those numbers (and they seemed to be older reports so they might have been citing 2001/3 data). One cited a survey (USA Today I think, imagine the quality) with 40% of HS athletes claiming their use was influnced by their belief that sports stars use them but the same blog report claimed that muscle mags and just having a hot body were to blame. While less common, they cited use among HS female athletes as high as 9%.

There's no evidence steroid use in HS is epidemic and it's pretty low on the dangerous drug totem pole.

*Note the question doesn't disinguish anabolic vs. other steroids and I doubt most respondents would reliably know the difference anyway so some of the reported usage is probably not anabolic. Probably not a lot though.

** There is an obvious issue with asking about illegal drug use and accurate answers -- both in terms of hiding use and of kids screwing with the survey. However, as long as the level of measurement error is reasonably constant over time, the trend estimate should be accurate. That is the estimates of 3.7 in 1995 and 1999 might both (on average) under-report actual use but as long as they (on average) under-report consistently then the trend estimate of "no change" is pretty good.
   22. Adward Posted: August 22, 2012 at 08:39 PM (#4215294)
The only kids I knew from high school/travel ball to have anything stronger than an ibuprofen for their arm were Jeff Allison(not 'roids afaik) and Frankie Ratcliff. Small world.

/Lettered at 120 lb. I also chewed on dates so that I could spit just like everyone else...

Edit: Freshmen(all?)get a "supplement talk" and end up ditching whatever protein, no, stack?, they'd been using in HS for something that won't run afoul of the NCAA tests. Hearing them talk it seemed like more of a lateral move than anything else.
   23. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: August 22, 2012 at 08:57 PM (#4215300)
I also chewed on dates so that I could spit just like everyone else...

My dates prefer that I lick them, not chew on them. Just sayin'
   24. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:14 PM (#4215306)
Seriously Bartolo Colon. What is wrong with these guys testing positive. U can’t be that stupid. This is so embarrassing for baseball.—Former pitcher and current ESPN Baseball Tonight analyst Mark Mulder


Seriously Mulder? After his season with the Yanks last year at age 38 (after having been out of baseball for a year), he gets a $2 mil contract.
   25. bunyon Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:16 PM (#4215312)
Growing up in a town of about 1000, near a town of 15000, I knew 4 guys who I am 100% sure of used steroids. I saw them and was offered them. They said there were several others. My first college roommate used. The guy down the hall used.

This was an honors engineering floor.

This was 1988-89.

Those numbers above look pretty low until you consider that steroids are going to be isolated to a subset of students. How many high school students are serious about their athletics? It's the percentage of that group that you'd like to know.
   26. Adward Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:15 PM (#4215353)
23, Mail order Saudi dates: for those with a sweet tooth. Now shrink wrapped for easy handling without the mess! IIRC: alarabiya

25, Engineering? HGH at Waterloo
   27. Jason Michael(s) Bourn Identity Crisis Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:24 PM (#4215355)
I played high school ball in the late 90's with two guys who were admitted users. About half the team was taking protein shakes or creatine and a decent amount of weightlifting, and then there were the scrawny guys like me who didn't know what half of the machines in the weight room were for.
   28. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:32 PM (#4215358)
How long is it traceable after use
how much and how often do people need to use it for it to be effective


There's no single answer to these questions. Different drugs are taken on different schedules and remain detectable for different lengths of time.
   29. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 22, 2012 at 11:09 PM (#4215386)
marijuana...peaked in 1999 at 47.2
cocaine...peaked in 1999/2001 at 9.5/9.4
meth/speed not tracked until 1999 at 9.1 peaking at 9.8 in 2001


So why did drug usage peak in the 1999-2001 years?
   30. bigglou115 Posted: August 22, 2012 at 11:11 PM (#4215388)
So why did drug usage peak in the 1999-2001 years?


Barry Bonds?
   31. VoodooR Posted: August 22, 2012 at 11:36 PM (#4215401)
So why did drug usage peak in the 1999-2001 years?


People had more disposable income at that time than in years to follow?

I'm not sure how relevant it is to directly compare steroid and recreational drug use. I mean, cocaine and heroin can be more easily compared because while they are two completely different types of drugs, a 17 year old kid that is using one or the other is pretty likely to be doing so for similar reasons -- as an escape, to experiment, basically to get high. A 17 year old who opts for steroids is doing something completely different, for good or ill.
   32. McCoy Posted: August 22, 2012 at 11:50 PM (#4215411)
I'd guess it might have something to do with the fact that kids that were in high school from 1999 to 2001 didn't grow up in Reagan's War on Drugs 1980's.
   33. Bhaakon Posted: August 23, 2012 at 12:13 AM (#4215423)
I'd guess it might have something to do with the fact that kids that were in high school from 1999 to 2001 didn't grow up in Reagan's War on Drugs 1980's.


I'd wager that kids born into the internet age might be a little more paranoid about answers on anonymous surveys coming back to haunt them (or not, given the kind of stupid crap people get up too on Facebook, where anyone can see).
   34. Walt Davis Posted: August 23, 2012 at 01:00 AM (#4215457)
No significant change from 2009 to 2001.

Oops, major typo ... no significant change from 2009 to 2011.

I'd wager that kids born into the internet age might be a little more paranoid about answers on anonymous surveys coming back to haunt them

This is a CDC survey run under full confidentiality protocols and then some given it involves kids. Lord only knows what kids are paranoid about these days but anybody ever finding out their answers to these questions is virtually zero and the probability that any such person who might find it out cares in the slightest even lower than that.
   35. theboyqueen Posted: August 23, 2012 at 01:26 AM (#4215473)
I suspect prescription pharmaceutical abuse has probably diminished the casual market for heroin/meth/cocaine somewhat. I am a doctor and when I talk to high school kids about drugs we always have a laugh at how irrelevant their curriculum is. They are asked to give presentations about substances like crack, LSD, and heroin even though the vast majority of their experience of drug culture involves marijuana, alcohol, xanax/benzos, opiates, and adderall/ritalin. I can also say that for the poorer/minority students their knowledge of drugs basically amounts to uncle so-and-so who was incarcerated for selling/using such-and-such. Richer, suburban kids are in my experience far more likely to actually use drugs.

I can't imagine corticosteroids would be included in these data since I'm sure many teenagers would have used them for asthma or poison oak or something at some point.
   36. Walt Davis Posted: August 23, 2012 at 04:51 AM (#4215510)
I can't imagine corticosteroids would be included in these data

The question as phrased just says "steroids." True, they have no interest in tracking corticosteroid use but they are relying on the kid to interpret the question as "anabolic" and report it that way. I don't think you're likely to get many false positives -- who uses corticosteroids without a prescription? how many are pills/injections anyway? -- but there will be a few. They could change the question to specify anabolic but given how few kids are likely to know what that means or know the difference between the types of steroids, they probably figure it's less confusing to leave it out.

I'm more stunned they apparently didn't start tracking speed until 1999 ... unless maybe they had an older, discontinued question, switching to the "meth" oriented question now and dropped that older question from the comparison table. They apparently haven't started tracking illicit use of ritalin, etc.s

They don't have a fact sheet that breaks it down by socio-economic status but they do by race/ethnicity (for some generic risk behaviors, not detailed drug use) so take this for what it's worth:

Blacks

carried a weapon at least one day (in last 30): 33% in 1991, dropped in about half by 1999, slight decline since then
had at least one drink: 42% in 1991, lower but lots of bouncing, then settling around 32-33%
marijuana: doubled from 91 (13%) to 99 then slight drop to steady around 22% (possible uptick in 2011)0
condom use: 48% in 91 to 66% in 95, steady since

My ADOBE seems f'd up, I will try to post the white numbers in a bit.
   37. Walt Davis Posted: August 23, 2012 at 05:03 AM (#4215512)
Whites

carried a weapon: 25% in 91, down and steady around 17%
had at least one drink: 53%, steady through 2001, steady decline to around 40%
marijuana: 15% to 26% now steady around 21%
condom: 47% slow climb to about 60%

I'll add meth since it's a bit different:

Blacks: never higher than 3.1%
Whites: 10-11% in 99-01, down to 3.7%

So ...

weapons about the same now and similar trend
drinking lower among black kids, similar trend
marijuana is pretty much identical across the board
condoms higher usage among blacks
meth lower among black kids but current usage nearly the same

With meth usage down, can I have real cough syrup back?

With the microdata, I'm sure you could do this by income or other SES indicators but they aren't in the fact sheets.
   38. asdf1234 Posted: August 23, 2012 at 05:08 AM (#4215513)
Thank heaven that Mark Mulder didn't sully his honor by using unnatural substances to extend his career or pitch effectively. Honor being what fans and executives pay for, after all.
   39. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: August 23, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4215875)
Apparently there's a group of entrepreneurs that are considering a new "baseball" league with smaller fields but much taller fences, no more than 8 teams, 6 inning games, urban stadiums and no drug testing at all. They want baseball games to have football scores. Sort of a Jai-alai / baseball mash-up.
   40. dr. scott Posted: August 23, 2012 at 06:54 PM (#4216299)
There's no single answer to these questions. Different drugs are taken on different schedules and remain detectable for different lengths of time.


Agreed, so that makes me think that the test frequency is likely random and not based on answers to questions that would allow one to actually have an effective program. But Id be happy to be proven wrong.

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