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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Matt Holliday calls for a player to miss an entire 162-game season for a first-time steroid offense

Holliday: Descension Day.

Steve Melewski: In this interview from MLB Network Radio, Matt Holliday of the St. Louis Cardinals calls for a player to miss an entire 162-game season for a first-time offense and be suspended for life with the possibility to apply for reinstatement with a second offense. I like how he thinks and perhaps it’s time to move in that direction.

Major League Baseball now has more stringent testing. Now the time has come for more stringent penalties for cheaters.

Repoz Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:31 AM | 47 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: steroids

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. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:50 AM (#4358906)
Too soft. First offense, the player should be dipped into a vat of scalding water, second offense they should be put in a catapult and vaulted into a pool of sharks.
   2. AROM Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:51 AM (#4358908)
No more draconian than the idea that if a great player just might have once been a little too close with another player who is suspected of steroids should never be allowed near the hall of fame.

If you really want to stop it, make the penalty for first offense be the loss of a hand. Second offense (some pitchers might keep playing after a first) would be summary execution. You can either get behind this, or you can keep being a steroid apologist.
   3. AROM Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:53 AM (#4358912)
Coke to RoyalsRetro. I fear my proposed penalties are too soft. I will endorse yours.
   4. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:58 AM (#4358915)
I, for one, am shocked that moral grandstanding is being performed by a player from the Cardinals.
   5. zonk Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:59 AM (#4358917)
Well, now that all the soft-on-crime hippies have spoken - time for some real solutions...

Why are we not infiltrating the steroid market and lacing every other PED dose with cyanide? No investigations, no trials, no touchy-feely 'suspensions' - just random death for anyone touching the stuff?
   6. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: January 31, 2013 at 11:00 AM (#4358920)
Hollliday is clearly a juicer -- why else would he not be supporting RoyalsRetro's proposals? Burn him! (Or at least scald him).
   7. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: January 31, 2013 at 11:19 AM (#4358937)
Despite the snark, very harsh penalties would probably get rid of against-the-rules PEDs.
   8. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 31, 2013 at 11:21 AM (#4358940)
You are all crazy. Clearly, the only fair way to decide this to push the players off the top of their team's stadium. If they are on PEDs, they will use their enhanced abilities to fly to safety and thus be banned from the game. If they die, at least we know they died an honorable, PED-free death.
   9. Repoz Posted: January 31, 2013 at 11:24 AM (#4358943)
Less players clear the path for Matt Holliday's outside chance of making the HOF!
   10. beer on a stick Posted: January 31, 2013 at 11:32 AM (#4358953)
You are all crazy. Clearly, the only fair way to decide this to push the players off the top of their team's stadium. If they are on PEDs, they will use their enhanced abilities to fly to safety and thus be banned from the game. If they die, at least we know they died an honorable, PED-free death.


I like this, but first you need to use the catapult to launch them up onto the roof.
   11. danup Posted: January 31, 2013 at 11:38 AM (#4358956)
I'm in favor of the penalties in #1, but only if Sam Hutcheson is using steroids.
   12. Esoteric Posted: January 31, 2013 at 11:38 AM (#4358957)
The penalties that really work would be collective punishment penalties: things that hurt the team or franchise. Social pressure and incentive structures would eliminate PEDs immediately.
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 31, 2013 at 11:38 AM (#4358958)

Despite the snark, very harsh penalties would probably get rid of against-the-rules PEDs.


Just like how the death penalty reduced crime and three-strikes penalties reduced crime in California.
   14. Randy Jones Posted: January 31, 2013 at 11:42 AM (#4358961)
The penalties that really work would be collective punishment penalties: things that hurt the team or franchise. Social pressure and incentive structures would eliminate PEDs immediately.


If by "eliminate PEDs immediately", you mean give teams a tremendous incentive to hide their players' use, then yes, I agree.
   15. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 31, 2013 at 11:52 AM (#4358972)
All I'm saying is that Holliday suspiciously continued with the play after that playoffs-losing fly ball hit him in the crotch. Any player with normal-sized, undrugged testicles would have flinched.
   16. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 31, 2013 at 11:57 AM (#4358975)
The penalties that really work would be collective punishment penalties: things that hurt the team or franchise. Social pressure and incentive structures would eliminate PEDs immediately.


Exactly!

Time for a drawing of lots and a good old fashion decimation!
   17. Esoteric Posted: January 31, 2013 at 12:00 PM (#4358979)
Time for a drawing of lots and a good old fashion decimation!
Oh yeah, I get the point: there's something vaguely Leninist/Stalinist about imposing collective punishment for the actions of an individual (we discussed this in the George Mitchell thread) but it WOULD work. It's somewhat akin to what happens to a misbehaving recruit in Basic Training: the Drill Sergeant doesn't make HIM do extra exercises as punishment...he makes all the other men in the barracks do them while the recruit stands there and watches. And suddenly a very strong incentive structure has been put in place for that recruit not to screw up in the future.

It's all pie-in-the-sky talk anyway, as it would never be agreed to by either ownership or the player's union.
   18. Ron J2 Posted: January 31, 2013 at 12:03 PM (#4358984)
#13 and just like the two year (minimum) ban for positive PED tests has completely eliminated PEDs from track and field and competitive cycling.
   19. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 31, 2013 at 12:15 PM (#4359001)
but it WOULD work.


And it would work BETTER with a good old decimation: we won't just get the juicers, we'll get the ones that might be juicing, the ones thinking about juicing, hell, we'll even get the ones who just look like they're juicing.

Better safe than sorry ...
   20. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: January 31, 2013 at 12:34 PM (#4359031)
As a first time offense you have to guest host on "the View".
   21. John Northey Posted: January 31, 2013 at 12:35 PM (#4359033)
The problem is most who do PED's think they won't get caught. Once the penalties hit a significant level the gain of pushing it further is minimal. The most effective would be making it so if you are caught then your contract can be voided by the team should they so choose (some might not, but you would run the risk of the Yankees putting everything possible into A-Rod food and drink). For games missed, 50 seems plenty although 81 (1/2 a year) or 162 (full year) might be worth going to if you want to push it further. As an extra incentive you could have it be if you are caught you are ineligible for awards/officially leading the league in anything the year you are caught (the Braun/Cabrera rule) and if the penalty goes into the following season then it applies for that year too. That should cover off the major fears of some people (thus if McGwire was caught in 1998 Sosa would've officially been the HR leader for example). Seems silly to me, as what happened did happen but it would make the media and some fans (and players) happy to see.

Still, voiding a contract would be the biggest thing you could do I suspect.
   22. Randy Jones Posted: January 31, 2013 at 12:39 PM (#4359038)
Still, voiding a contract would be the biggest thing you could do I suspect.


Wonderful idea, let's give teams motivation to dose their own players with PEDs to get out of bad contracts. Can't ever imagine something going wrong with that.
   23. slothinator Posted: January 31, 2013 at 12:40 PM (#4359043)
Better safe than sorry ...


Just take off and nuke the stadium from orbit; it's the only way to be sure.
   24. Hank G. Posted: January 31, 2013 at 12:50 PM (#4359051)
Despite the snark, very harsh penalties would probably get rid of against-the-rules PEDs.


Right. Because that's how we won the war on drugs and why Prohibition was such a success.
   25. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 31, 2013 at 12:56 PM (#4359060)
It is my guess that Matt Holliday used steroids.

There. Now that he has been accused and found guilty, with the accusation alone serving as evidence like it has for ARod, Holliday should miss an entire 162-game season for his first-time offense and be suspended for life with the possibility to apply for reinstatement with a second offense.
   26. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: January 31, 2013 at 01:14 PM (#4359091)
I am actually pretty happy with the current penalties. They seem fair to me.
   27. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 31, 2013 at 01:16 PM (#4359096)
Well done @25, Ray.
   28. zonk Posted: January 31, 2013 at 01:17 PM (#4359102)
Still, voiding a contract would be the biggest thing you could do I suspect.



Wonderful idea, let's give teams motivation to dose their own players with PEDs to get out of bad contracts. Can't ever imagine something going wrong with that.


Admit it, though.... imagining Brian Cashman chasing A-Rod around the locker room with a syringe is mildly amusing.

"I guess this why no centaur has ever won the Kentucky Derby, #####!"
   29. AROM Posted: January 31, 2013 at 01:19 PM (#4359106)
Ray, Holliday is just as guilty as Piazza, Bagwell, and Sosa. But A-Rod is different. He has admitted it. This recent report from Miami may or not be real, but there is no room for doubt that A-Rod used PEDS.
   30. The Non-Catching Molina (sjs1959) Posted: January 31, 2013 at 01:31 PM (#4359129)
   31. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 31, 2013 at 01:36 PM (#4359142)
Actually, baseball played by witches would be awesome.
   32. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: January 31, 2013 at 01:39 PM (#4359147)
It's a cryin' shame that the first thing I think of when I read a headline like this is "Hmmm...methinks the gentleman doth protest too much."
   33. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: January 31, 2013 at 02:57 PM (#4359313)
Double, double, balk and trouble;
Loogys burn, and La Russa bubble
   34. Moeball Posted: January 31, 2013 at 03:24 PM (#4359350)
Ha! A first offense should result in the player being shackled to a post in a small room and being forced to listen to Gilbert Gottfried and Fran Drescher singing duets together from the Yoko Ono songbook. There will be no need for a suspension - after the player gnaws his hands and feet off to remove the shackles and escape the hideous screeching, his playing career will essentially be over and it will take several years of therapy in the psych ward before he recovers enough to resurface.

No medical coverage with any insurance plans cover this type of situation and the owner will be forced to pay all the player's medical expenses over the years out of pocket which, at our current rates, will come to more than the player's original contract did.

That should fix the problem!

It was either this or Vogon poetry, but this seemed more humane.
   35. phredbird Posted: January 31, 2013 at 04:40 PM (#4359440)
ok, can we be reasonable here.

i can't get behind anything harsher than being shot out of a cannon.

i'm surprised i'm the only one who thought of this.
   36. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: January 31, 2013 at 05:10 PM (#4359475)
As a first time offense you have to guest host on "the View".


Come on. We are still not barbarians here. I would prefer a lesser punishment, like being dragged behind a tractor trailer on 66, or having to watch a two week loop of that Citibank commercial where the woman climbs the rock while somebody screeches about somebody leaving the gate open.
   37. Walt Davis Posted: January 31, 2013 at 05:16 PM (#4359481)
Look, I am only in favor of harsher penalties if catapults are involved.

I am a bit surprised that folks don't think 50 games is a sufficient deterrent. A 50-game suspension for ARod is the equivalent of an $8 M fine. That's the equivalent of, what, 16,000 DUIs?

The problem is most who do PED's think they won't get caught.

The people who commit any crime don't think they'll get caught. Often that's because it's happened on the spur of a moment and they haven't thought period. But no 13-year-old shoplifter is doing proper cost-benefit analysis. This is why deterrence isn't very effective.

Let's assume for the moment that ARod has been juicing the last few years. What's the rational thought process here? He's got a guaranteed $250 M contract that carries him through the end of his career. What's his incentive to use? To make the incentives? Maybe, balanced against the risk of getting caught and losing out on at least $8 M and a further damaged reputation and definitely no HoF (having some tiny impact on future earnings)? Could be I suppose.

The incentive for Melky Cabrera to use was obvious -- he was on the fringe of losing his career, especially prior to his time at KC when we don't know if he was using or not. Using to stay in the majors, using to get that big contract -- obvious incentives and, if you get caught, how much have you really lost?

But Ryan Braun (who may or may not have used) -- he was already signed through age 36. I suppose an MVP in 2011 made it slightly more likely that they'll pick up the $20 M option in 2021 which is some damned impressive long-range planning ... plus he got a playoff share ... and 50 games would have only cost him $1-2 M.

Most of these guys use because they are competitive bastards driven to be the best. If they were rational human beings driven by long-range cost-benefit planning they'd have never spent day after day playing baseball when they were kids in the first place.

"Mommy, I want to be a professional cyclist when I grow up. I'll make millions."

"Lance, honey, I'm sorry, I didn't meant to laugh, it's just that ... well, you're American sweetie."

The purpose of draconian punishment is to please us not deter them.
   38. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 31, 2013 at 05:41 PM (#4359510)
This thread is tremendous (Even the totally off topic Walt Davis reasonable post).
   39. Lassus Posted: January 31, 2013 at 07:41 PM (#4359630)
Whomever won the HR title will be executed at home plate right before the first pitch of opening day of the following year. Give them the winter to think about the children they hurt.
   40. Moeball Posted: January 31, 2013 at 08:36 PM (#4359659)
Whomever won the HR title will be executed at home plate right before the first pitch of opening day of the following year. Give them the winter to think about the children they hurt.


In which case we have the following scenario taking place just last season:

With a few games left to go in the season, Cabrera trails Hamilton by one HR and is thinking every time he goes to the plate: "If I hit just 1 or 2 more HRs I can wrap up the first Triple Crown since 1967 and will probably win the MVP award...on second thought, Josh can have the HR crown..." Mike Trout is in favor of this new rule as Cabrera suddenly slumps down the stretch.

You would also see star players doing the opposite of the Carlton Fisk move - instead of waving at the ball telling it to stay fair, they would be praying that long drives down the line hook foul. I'm guessing a few pitchers would be in favor of this rule, too...

Just imagine games at Coors field - the hurlers for both teams are intentionally throwing fat pitches right down Broadway to each team's leading slugger, knowing that these pitches will most likely be taken. Nobody wants to take a good rip at a pitch and chance that he might hit one out of the yard. I mean, you may only get a single or a double out of a solid line drive, but the batter risks getting too much of it and just crushing it.

Think how this would change batting tactics - batters who normally are patient and work the count to make pitchers throw one in the happy zone are suddenly taking all the fat pitches and only swinging at the ones off the plate. The batters who were already free swingers but are actually fairly successful "bad-ball" hitters (the classic models are guys like Kirby Puckett and Vlad Guerrero - don't know who would best fit that mold nowadays - maybe Adrian Beltre?)are used to hitting HRs on pitches a foot off the plate - they will now start taking a lot of pitches out of the strike zone and become much more selective out of fear that they will be the best at hitting bad pitches for HRs.

Free agency will change, too. Power hitters will want to sign with teams like the Padres knowing that their chances of leading the league in HRs will be substantially reduced by playing home games in a place like Petco. Nah, on second thought, they'll just sign with the Giants - still play in a pitcher's park that reduces HRs, but get paid better and have a chance to actually win championships!

And if you're someone like Ryan Theriot, feel free to swing away as hard as you want, you are in no danger whatsoever!
   41. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 31, 2013 at 09:20 PM (#4359695)
I'm sympathetic.

If a guy is clean, but knows lesser players are costing him millions because he won't add a PEDs performance bonus to his stats, why wouldn't he want draconian punishments.

Doesn't mean we should agree with him, but he's not wrong to being pissed.
   42. Alex Vila Posted: January 31, 2013 at 09:43 PM (#4359710)
Actually, baseball played by witches would be awesome.

There has got to be a switch-hitting witch out there.
   43. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: January 31, 2013 at 09:44 PM (#4359712)
Holliday has a $120 million contract. If his complaint is that "lesser players are costing him millions", my sympathy for his plight is limited.
   44. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:10 PM (#4359723)
Sure, but not really the point.

Whomever won the HR title will be executed at home plate right before the first pitch of opening day of the following year. Give them the winter to think about the children they hurt.


This would probably be effective in creating a world without extreme wealth in few hands. Just apply the same punishment to the Fortune 100. The rush towards charitable giving would be something to behold. Hell, just make it applicable to the Fortune 1.

   45. Walt Davis Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:12 PM (#4359725)
Whomever won the HR title will be executed at home plate right before the first pitch of opening day of the following year. Give them the winter to think about the children they hurt.

Only if we also execute all those guys who won HR titles while on greenies.

Starting with Maris.
   46. DL from MN Posted: February 01, 2013 at 09:10 AM (#4359846)
If we want to limit HR we could just use slow-pitch softball rules. Only 3 HR allowed per team per game. After that it's an out. I bet the crowds would be just as large as for my team's softball games; half the player's wives would show up plus a random vagrant.
   47. base ball chick Posted: February 01, 2013 at 10:54 AM (#4359894)
the trouble with these ridiculous - The Player MUST Be Punished MORE!!!
is that if a player has a positive test, he's screwed. it would be dead easy to drug anyone. especially with testosterone gel. or putting any illegal chemical in food. they ARE absolrbed that way too.

get even with a guy, get a guy off the roster, and even useful if they enact some stupid rule about voiding contracts for positive tests. there are too many incentives for people to drug OTHER guys

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