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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Konerko: Drug policy levels playing field

Captain Konerko – Vampire Hunter! Written & directed by Clemens (Brian, that is).

aw

“I don’t have a problem having blood drawn, Konerko said. “I can see that might be the issue for some guys. Some guys if they get blood drawn in the afternoon, they are done for the day—they are a mess. As for me I have never had a problem giving blood. The issue about how it is done will have to be figured out.”

Konerko was one of the first players to advance the idea that players should be tested for steroid use. He was one of the first proponents to support collective testing back in 2003, when baseball first tested all 1,200 players on the 30 clubs rosters in spring training.

“I personally think it is pretty level now,” he said. “I think everyone is so scared straight by it all. I believe the game is level and even right now. At this point I don’t think any players look around at other guys and say, ‘that guy is doing something.’ Most guys are even scared to take a drink of something if they don’t know where it came from. I think that is all behind us now.”

Repoz Posted: January 27, 2013 at 09:30 AM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: white sox

Reader Comments and Retorts

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

   1. adenzeno Posted: January 27, 2013 at 11:26 AM (#4355917)
Lance Armstrong says otherwise....Has anyone asked him how he evaded detection?
   2. Publius Publicola Posted: January 27, 2013 at 11:40 AM (#4355926)
Lance Armstrong says otherwise....Has anyone asked him how he evaded detection?


It was explained in detail by some of Armstrongs's USPS teammates how they avoided detection:

How did Lance Armstrong avoid a positive doping test
   3. John Northey Posted: January 27, 2013 at 11:58 AM (#4355943)
Love that he was caught year one (1999) but had a doctor cover it up. Might explain why they were so careful after that.
   4. boteman Posted: January 27, 2013 at 12:37 PM (#4355965)
I think that is all behind us now.

Famous last words.
   5. valuearbitrageur Posted: January 27, 2013 at 01:11 PM (#4355981)


It was explained in detail by some of Armstrongs's USPS teammates how they avoided detection:

How did Lance Armstrong avoid a positive doping test


When it started talking about HGH and cortisone as performance enhancing drugs, I LOLed.
   6. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 27, 2013 at 01:35 PM (#4355993)
“I personally think it is pretty level now,” he said. “I think everyone is so scared straight by it all. I believe the game is level and even right now. At this point I don’t think any players look around at other guys and say, ‘that guy is doing something.’ Most guys are even scared to take a drink of something if they don’t know where it came from. I think that is all behind us now.”

Good enough for me. He's a veteran guy who's seen it all. If he thinks the current testing program has worked for the most part than I guess I will have to begrudgingly score one for Bud Selig.
   7. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 27, 2013 at 01:53 PM (#4355999)
Some guys if they get blood drawn in the afternoon, they are done for the day—they are a mess.

How much blood do they think they are drawing? It's not like giving blood where they take a pint. We're talking maybe 10-20ml.

"Hey Skip, I cut myself shaving, gonna have to sit this one out. Sorry."
   8. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 27, 2013 at 02:10 PM (#4356015)
Good enough for me. He's a veteran guy who's seen it all. If he thinks the current testing program has worked for the most part than I guess I will have to begrudgingly score one for Bud Selig.

Unless Konerko's an expert in cheating or physiology, I can't put too much stock in his approval.
   9. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: January 27, 2013 at 02:13 PM (#4356018)
Been meaning to watch my DVD of Captain Kronos for well over half a decade now ... Perhaps this is a sign.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: January 27, 2013 at 04:02 PM (#4356091)
cortisone

Cortisone is performance enhancing. It makes a body part stop shooting searing bolts of pain every time you use it, thereby allowing you to perform at a much higher level than you would have otherwise. It's just a performance enhancement that is considered acceptable for no particularly good reason.
   11. Publius Publicola Posted: January 27, 2013 at 04:11 PM (#4356099)
How much blood do they think they are drawing? It's not like giving blood where they take a pint. We're talking maybe 10-20ml.


I don't know. When I have my blood drawn, it is usually out of a vein on the inside of my left elbow (nice big, fat, easily stickable vein there). It feels stiff for the rest of the day, even if by chance the needle misses the pain receptors. They should have a policy of taking blood samples after a game rather than before. A lot of people are freaky about needles. I know I am.
   12. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 27, 2013 at 05:14 PM (#4356147)

Cortisone is performance enhancing. It makes a body part stop shooting searing bolts of pain every time you use it, thereby allowing you to perform at a much higher level than you would have otherwise. It's just a performance enhancement that is considered acceptable for no particularly good reason.

Pretty much every medical treatment is "performance enhancing" depending on how you use the term. Some things can be legally prescribed by your doctor and some can't, although perhaps you'd argue that the reasons for that are arbitrary as well.
   13. Up2Drew Posted: January 27, 2013 at 05:24 PM (#4356152)
There's a difference between a substance that remedies pain or illness to allow one to perform to the best of their full natural abilities and a substance that goes beyond those limits. That seems fairly obvious, yes?
   14. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: January 27, 2013 at 06:08 PM (#4356172)
There's a difference between a substance that remedies pain or illness to allow one to perform to the best of their full natural abilities and a substance that goes beyond those limits. That seems fairly obvious, yes?

It is fairly obvious why people treat it differently, yes. Whether the two are actually much different from an ethical standpoint doesn't seem so obvious to me.

   15. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 27, 2013 at 06:31 PM (#4356180)
How much blood do they think they are drawing? It's not like giving blood where they take a pint. We're talking maybe 10-20ml.

"Hey Skip, I cut myself shaving, gonna have to sit this one out. Sorry."


If you cut yourself so severely during shaving that you lose 10-20mL of blood you should only be allowed to handle a rubber training razor.
   16. valuearbitrageur Posted: January 27, 2013 at 06:56 PM (#4356183)
There's a difference between a substance that remedies pain or illness to allow one to perform to the best of their full natural abilities and a substance that goes beyond those limits. That seems fairly obvious, yes?


Where does Tommy John surgery lie on that scale, when some pitchers come out of it throwing even faster?

How is taking cortisone to allow you to play more often okay, and taking other steroids to allow you to workout more often wrong?
   17. Tuque Posted: January 27, 2013 at 07:25 PM (#4356196)
Some guys if they get blood drawn in the afternoon, they are done for the day—they are a mess.

The colloquial term for these men is "babies."
   18. Walt Davis Posted: January 27, 2013 at 09:00 PM (#4356248)
I am simply pointing out that it is a performance enhancer.

If, before "treatment X", you perform at level Y and, after treatment X, you perform at level (Y+Z) then, assuming Z>0, treatment X enhances your performance.

This helps clarify that the debate is not about performance enhancement but about other ethical/legal/social issues.

In the case of anti-inflammatories, I would argue the ethical issue comes down to whether the drug is actually curing the condition. Sometimes a joint becomes irritated but the cause of the irritation has ceased and using something like cortisone simply gets rid of the inflammation faster. Sometimes, especially in sports, cortisone or other painkillers are used to mask the pain to allow performance but also with at least the risk of further injury which is certainly ethically questionable.

We can take one of the anti-roiders' favorite bete noires, Clemens. Towards the end of his career, the man was using Vioxx to be able to start every 5th day. Why was Clemens able to keep going in his 40s when so many other pitchers bodies would have broken down? Well, at least in part, because he was (legally, I assume) using very strong painkillers to overcome his broken-down body. Without those painkillers, he is probably no longer able to make 30 starts and/or no longer able to go 5+ innings and his career ends. Even if Clemens was using roids, it's quite possible that the use of painkillers had more to do with his longevity.

And as anybody who's ever seen North Dallas 40 (or was it Semi-Tough, still can't keep those two straight), the pressure on players to keep up with the competition by using painkillers to stay on the field is every bit as real as the pressure to use roids.

Note, this is surely a bigger issue for football, hockey and other contact sports.
   19. Barnaby Jones Posted: January 28, 2013 at 12:50 AM (#4356357)
Some guys if they get blood drawn in the afternoon, they are done for the day—they are a mess. As for me I have never had a problem giving blood.


All playing fields are level. Some playing fields are more level than others.

Where does Tommy John surgery lie on that scale, when some pitchers come out of it throwing even faster?


"Throwing faster" is typically ascribed to throwing what you would have been throwing all along if you hadn't had a bum elbow, i.e., most pitchers are already pitching with a good bit of wear on their UCLs, acquired over the course of their whole careers, and the new ligament basically resets the wear counter.
   20. base ball chick Posted: January 28, 2013 at 01:30 AM (#4356367)
if you repair what wears, you are enhancing performance above your natural ability. it is not natural to be 20 years old again. older bones, joints and muscles just hurt more and don't repair themselves as fast. doing whatever to play like you are younger and healthier is enhancing performance

if you give pain killers so that your injured whatever doesn't hurt and you can play, you are enhancing performance because you naturally wouldn't be able to perform as well or at all

nobody cares because no other performance enhancer INCREASES PHYSICAL SIZE and that is what really matters to people

which is why there is no bytching about any other drug
   21. Bhaakon Posted: January 28, 2013 at 04:21 AM (#4356406)
All playing fields are level. Some playing fields are more level than others.


Except the one the Astros play on.
   22. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 28, 2013 at 09:25 AM (#4356446)
nobody cares because no other performance enhancer INCREASES PHYSICAL SIZE and that is what really matters to people


That explains the Hulk Hogan scandal, but not the Lance Armstrong scandal.
   23. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 28, 2013 at 10:24 AM (#4356491)
Where does Tommy John surgery lie on that scale, when some pitchers come out of it throwing even faster?


Contrary to myth they don't.

Some guys REGAIN velocity they had lost, and since they may have had reduced velocity for quite awhile before surgery the impression may be that that the surgery gave them velocity they never had.

   24. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 28, 2013 at 10:38 AM (#4356502)
How is taking cortisone to allow you to play more often okay, and taking other steroids to allow you to workout more often wrong?

You might start by noting that cortisone shots are reported by the teams, and aren't administered in bathroom stalls or by the sort of slimeball characters associated with other forms of steroids.

If steroids were used only in very specific situations of injury recovery, prescribed and distributed by Mayo Clinic level doctors, with a strict time limit, and everything surrounding their use was announced publicly, then I suspect that there'd be a lot less objection to steroids than there is today.
   25. cmd600 Posted: January 28, 2013 at 12:42 PM (#4356568)
If steroids were used only in very specific situations of injury recovery, prescribed and distributed by Mayo Clinic level doctors, with a strict time limit, and everything surrounding their use was announced publicly, then I suspect that there'd be a lot less objection to steroids than there is today.


I kind of agree with you, but how did greenies get a pass? And there certainly is at least a little chicken and egg thing going on. Steroids are done in bathroom stalls and quietly because they are looked down upon. McGwire kept his andro out for everyone to see.
   26. Spectral Posted: January 28, 2013 at 01:02 PM (#4356588)
How much blood do they think they are drawing? It's not like giving blood where they take a pint. We're talking maybe 10-20ml.


The last time I gave some blood samples for tests, probably in that 20 ml range, I was woozy for a couple hours afterwards, and went home early from work because I was exhausted. Not everyone responds to blood loss the same; I have no idea if my response is physiological or psychological, but it doesn't really matter, does it? Either way, I sure wouldn't have been able to hit a pitch I could normally hit.

I don't really think this is a problem though. If 5% of players respond in a similar fashion and have to take a game off, that doesn't seem like anything that anyone should worry about.
   27. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 28, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4356611)
How is taking cortisone to allow you to play more often okay, and taking other steroids to allow you to workout more often wrong?

You might start by noting that cortisone shots are reported by the teams, and aren't administered in bathroom stalls or by the sort of slimeball characters associated with other forms of steroids


But that's just a comment that X is prohibited but Y isn't, which is a statement of fact that isn't interesting to anyone. It doesn't at all address the question KT was asking.
   28. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 28, 2013 at 04:47 PM (#4356853)
to allow one to perform to the best of their full natural abilities and a substance that goes beyond those limits.
There are a good deal of "undefined" in there. What is "full natural"? Can someone get as big and strong as McGwire or Canseco without steroids? Yes. So, steroids really just let you do what is "full natural", just in less time (like cortisone).

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