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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Michael Pineda ejected from Red Sox game after pine tar discovered on neck

No pine tar barren episode here.

Yankee pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected from his start against the Red Sox Wednesday night after umpires checked him for a foreign substance at the request of Boston manager John Farrell.

Pineda could face a suspension from Major League Baseball, especially since Joe Torre, MLB’s VP of baseball operations, talked to Yankee GM Brian Cashman after Pineda was spotted with a similar substance on his palm during his last start against the Red Sox on April 10.

Pineda obviously had a brown goop on his neck at the start of the second inning Wednesday. In his previous start against Boston, Pineda had a similar substance on his right palm, but the Red Sox never protested.

Repoz Posted: April 23, 2014 at 08:29 PM | 197 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox, yankees

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   101. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: April 24, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4693437)
Mitch Williams is being pretty aggressive with Joe Torre on MLB now. He's stopping short of calling for a rule change, but is saying that pine tar doesn't change the flight of the ball.
   102. Ron J2 Posted: April 24, 2014 at 04:21 PM (#4693461)
#101 And Dwight Gooden is saying it does. A few tweets:

Lets put to rest all this talk about pine tar to get a better grip on the ball to protect the hitters!

Pine tar is used 2 make ur breaking pitches sharper& help ur sinker 4 more movement!

You can blow in your hand for a better grip when it’s cold… enough already!

Gaylord Perry agrees.

Why do you think so many pitchers are using it? It absolutely helps your sinkers to sink better and breaking pitches to break better.

   103. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: April 24, 2014 at 04:30 PM (#4693471)
I guess Mitch Williams is less of an authority on the control of a pitched baseball than those two.
   104. Ron J2 Posted: April 24, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4693484)
#102 Perry is the go to expert witness I would think. He sounded offended by Pineda being so blatant.

I never used pine tar, I didn’t have to, and if I did, I certainly wouldn’t have had it right out in the open like that. I can’t understand why a pitcher using pine tar would have it smeared on his body. Heck, if you want to use it, there’s a pine tar rag right there in the batter’s on-deck circle. All you got to do is grab that rag on the way back to the dugout, rub it on your hands real quick, then come out the next inning, retire the side 1-2-3 and jump back into the dugout!

   105. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: April 24, 2014 at 04:51 PM (#4693495)
It'll be interesting to see how long Sabathia goes tonight. If he has a short start, it'll destroy the bullpen. I expect 8 from him tonight.
   106. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: April 24, 2014 at 05:03 PM (#4693509)
It'll be interesting to see how long Sabathia goes tonight.

Start by checking his neck.
   107. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 24, 2014 at 05:26 PM (#4693533)
Right. The Perry, LaRussa, and Gooden comments are instrumental in the point I'm trying to make because I still fail to see why steroids use is cheating such that users shouldn't be in the Hall, but pine tar use is perfectly fine. Andy still has yet to articulate a distinction. And the distinction can't be "nobody cares about pine tar use; nobody thinks it's cheating" because here we have Perry, LaRussa, and Gooden all saying that it's cheating. So it's not unanimous. Hell, Perry goes so far as to call pine tar a "performance enhancing substance." And that's obviously why Pineda and the others use it, so we can cut the nonsense about how pitchers are only using it "to get a better grip" (as if that in itself wouldn't qualify as cheating anyway). Al Leiter said last night he had a gob of it in his belt; David Cone said he used it as well.

So here we have pitchers screaming dirty cheater at hitters who use steroids, and the pitchers themselves have been cheating routinely.
   108. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 24, 2014 at 05:31 PM (#4693539)
I still fail to see why steroids use is cheating such that users shouldn't be in the Hall, but pine tar use is perfectly fine.

Ain't that the truth.
   109. Dale Sams Posted: April 24, 2014 at 05:39 PM (#4693553)
Pitchers whose skin color matches pine tar is the new market inefficiency. (too much?)
   110. Dale Sams Posted: April 24, 2014 at 05:41 PM (#4693556)
In the 31st century, people will go to this thread for the definition of "false equivalency"
   111. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 24, 2014 at 05:54 PM (#4693573)
So here we have pitchers screaming dirty cheater at hitters who use steroids, and the pitchers themselves have been cheating routinely.

Pitchers who both roided and used pine tar should get the guillotines humming again.
   112. Morty Causa Posted: April 24, 2014 at 05:56 PM (#4693575)
Gunking while Black?
   113. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 24, 2014 at 06:20 PM (#4693590)
Right. The Perry, LaRussa, and Gooden comments are instrumental in the point I'm trying to make because I still fail to see why steroids use is cheating such that users shouldn't be in the Hall, but pine tar use is perfectly fine. Andy still has yet to articulate a distinction. And the distinction can't be "nobody cares about pine tar use; nobody thinks it's cheating" because here we have Perry, LaRussa, and Gooden all saying that it's cheating. So it's not unanimous. Hell, Perry goes so far as to call pine tar a "performance enhancing substance." And that's obviously why Pineda and the others use it, so we can cut the nonsense about how pitchers are only using it "to get a better grip" (as if that in itself wouldn't qualify as cheating anyway). Al Leiter said last night he had a gob of it in his belt; David Cone said he used it as well.

All that blustering in an attempt to equate pine tar with goat testicles and steroids. I don't think spitters should disqualify Perry from the HoF, and I think the pine tar rule should be done away with and pitchers allowed to use it openly instead of having to pretend they don't.

You disagree. So what?
   114. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 24, 2014 at 06:27 PM (#4693595)
All that blustering in an attempt to equate pine tar with goat testicles and steroids.


I didn't say anything about goat testicles, just asking for a reason why steroids use should bar one from the Hall while pine tar use should not. What's the relevant distinction? Surely you must have one, since you believe that steroids use should bar one from the Hall while pine tar use should not. So what is it? You haven't offered anything, probably because (let me use Andyspeak for a moment) even Fred Astaire couldn't tap dance through those raindrops.

I don't think spitters should disqualify Perry from the HoF, and I think the pine tar rule should be done away with and pitchers allowed to use it openly instead of having to pretend they don't.

You disagree. So what?


So I'm asking for the distinction.
   115. Publius Publicola Posted: April 24, 2014 at 06:31 PM (#4693598)
So I'm asking for the distinction.


You wouldn't get it even if it was explained to you so that's why nobody is bothering.
   116. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 24, 2014 at 06:33 PM (#4693599)
Gunking while Black?


Eh, I think "GWB" is already in use as an acronym in the "things African-Americans don't much care for" category.
   117. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 24, 2014 at 06:35 PM (#4693600)
So I'm asking for the distinction.

The pine tar rule and the spitter rule deal with minor violations that get treated with warnings and what amounts to a 2 game suspension.

Steroids are taken a lot more seriously by everyone but you and your camp followers on BTF. You've beaten this dead horse into the ground for so long now that I guess there's no stopping you, but Perry's in the Hall of Fame and Bonds isn't. That seems to bother you, but that's your problem. You should take some of that energy and start lobbying writers instead of Primates who just roll their eyes at your bizarre analogies.
   118. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 24, 2014 at 06:42 PM (#4693608)
The pine tar rule and the spitter rule deal with minor violations that get treated with warnings and what amounts to a 2 game suspension.


When McGwire took steroids they weren't violations. They didn't get treated with warnings or suspensions. (And Pineda got 10 games, not 2.)

And even now the suspensions are workable for a first offense. If you're distinguishing a 10 game suspension from a 50 game suspension (or now I guess it's 80), that's a difference in degree, not in kind. Is that really one of your arguments, that 10 games is smaller than 50 or 80 games?

(And if we're going by the bogus "10 games = 2 games" then we can reduce the 80 game PED suspensions for starting pitchers to 16.)

Steroids are taken a lot more seriously by everyone but you and your camp followers on BTF.


That's an odd usage of "everyone." The hundreds or thousands of ballplayers who used them over the years seem not to have taken them seriously at all.

You've beaten this dead horse into the ground for so long now that I guess there's no stopping you, but Perry's in the Hall of Fame and Bonds isn't. That seems to bother you, but that's your problem. You should take some of that energy and start lobbying writers instead of Primates who just roll their eyes at your bizarre analogies.


I'm still waiting for an actual distinction. But I expect I'll not get one.
   119. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 24, 2014 at 06:46 PM (#4693610)
I'm still waiting for an actual distinction. But I expect I'll not get one.

Take an Evelyn Wood course. It did wonders for JFK.
   120. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: April 24, 2014 at 06:52 PM (#4693615)
Nice one, Joe:

@RaysJoeMaddon: I'm in favor of legalizing pine tar, but it's usage may have to begin with the Rockies and Mariners.
   121. zenbitz Posted: April 24, 2014 at 08:35 PM (#4693669)
Ray's point -- and it's a good one -- is that violation baseball rules should have prescribed punishments, and not violating baseball rules should not have punishments. Justice should not be arbitrary, capricious, or decided post-facto.
   122. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: April 24, 2014 at 08:48 PM (#4693675)
Bold prediction: The post-Pine-Tar-Da Era (And it will be known as a turning point) will be marked by a dramatic increase in runs scored, contact made on pitches, and a dramatic decrease in strike-outs around the league. Pine Tar was the reason.
   123. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 24, 2014 at 09:37 PM (#4693699)
Take an Evelyn Wood course. It did wonders for JFK.

Helps you understand the difference between steroids and pine tar, and helps you bag more broads!!!
   124. Gonfalon B. Posted: April 24, 2014 at 09:49 PM (#4693705)
12-2 Yankees, in the 7th. The balls are flying without all that tar weighing them down.
   125. salajander Posted: April 24, 2014 at 10:23 PM (#4693721)
you can't get into a sanctimonious witch hunt over one form of cheating and make the argument that other forms are acceptable if they are done in the right way


And a pack-of-gum shoplifter and John Wayne Gacy are both criminals. You don't think there's some proportionality to "cheating"?

Yes, Pineda broke the rules. He's a cheater, by definition. Doesn't make it equivalent to other forms of cheating.

(N.B.: I don't give a #### about steroids, but the whole HE'S A CHEATER AND ALL CHEATERS ARE CHEATY CHEATS is pretty ####### stupid.)
   126. AJMcCringleberry Posted: April 24, 2014 at 10:33 PM (#4693723)
Players suspended for having a foreign substance/doctoring the ball:

Julian Tavarez?
   127. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 24, 2014 at 11:59 PM (#4693753)
And a pack-of-gum shoplifter and John Wayne Gacy are both criminals. You don't think there's some proportionality to "cheating"?

Yes, Pineda broke the rules. He's a cheater, by definition. Doesn't make it equivalent to other forms of cheating.


But that's a conclusion, not a reason. Why is pine tar no big deal, but steroids is the death penalty? You haven't articulated a reason. Neither has Andy. I can explain why John Wayne Gacy's murdering is much worse than Lindsay Lohan's shoplifting: murder results in loss of life and also leaves victims among the living, while shoplifting is just a little money. I can't explain why people view steroid users as cheaters dirty cheaters but pine tar pitchers as cute gamesmanshipers.

Is it because pine tar pitchers don't hide what they're doing? No. Al Leiter said he hid gobs of pine tar inside his belt. And he said he didn't even tell teammates he was doing it, because he knew that teammates become ex-teammates and he didn't want guys he'd played with who ended up on other teams pointing out that he was using pine tar. And yet we heard in the steroids wars that players hid their usage of steroids (even though that wasn't true in many many cases as players shared dealers and contacts, etc.).

Are people in baseball in agreement that cheating with pine tar is no big deal for pitchers? No. We have comments from Gaylord Perry, LaRussa, and Gooden that it _is_ a big deal. They are the Rick Hellings here. LaRussa made a big deal about it around the time of the Kenny Rogers game.

Do pine tar pitchers break the rules? Yes. Are they suspended? Yes. So what is the difference with steroids? Why is "just getting a better grip on the ball" to pitch better -- and again Perry and Gooden say it's more than that, which makes this a slam dunk -- not just as bad as bulking up with steroids to hit the ball further? If steroids is a substance that enhances performance, pine tar for pitchers is. The weather and the elements are a part of the challenge of the game, and if a pitcher is dealing with the weather and the elements by using pine tar, he is enhancing his performance.

When no meaningful distinctions can be articulated, it's a pretty good sign that the person has formed his conclusion through whimsy as opposed to any core governing principle. Nothing new for Andy, really. But how convenient for players like Al Leiter and David Cone to draw the cheating-dirty-cheater line such that it *excludes* their personal form of cheating.
   128. Buck Coats Posted: April 25, 2014 at 12:44 AM (#4693768)
Anyone who can't see the difference between what Michael Pineda did and what Mark McGwire did is just being obtuse.

(the difference is that what Pineda did was against the rules...)
   129. Sunday silence Posted: April 25, 2014 at 02:08 AM (#4693792)

Ray's point -- and it's a good one -- is that violation baseball rules should have prescribed punishments, and not violating baseball rules should not have punishments. Justice should not be arbitrary, capricious, or decided post-facto.


it's a pretty good argument.
   130. Lindor Truffles Posted: April 25, 2014 at 02:28 AM (#4693794)
Julian Tavarez?

Dunno if BW3 wing sauce counts.
   131. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 25, 2014 at 06:08 AM (#4693802)
12-2 Yankees, in the 7th. The balls are flying without all that tar weighing them down.


Yankees drew 7 walks before Mike Carp came in waving the white flag and issued 5 more. Trouble gripping the ball last night boys?
   132. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 25, 2014 at 08:32 AM (#4693826)
Ray's point -- and it's a good one -- is that violation baseball rules should have prescribed punishments, and not violating baseball rules should not have punishments. Justice should not be arbitrary, capricious, or decided post-facto.

it's a pretty good argument.


No, it's a pretty dumb argument. There are plenty of things not listed in the rules, which everyone would agree is cheating. Is spiking an opponent's meal before the game with laxatives in the rules? Is having somebody sit in the stands and try and blind the opposing batters with a mirror in the rules? Yet nobody would conclude that those are not attempts at cheating.

The rules can't possibly enumerate every possible way of cheating. Not can you expect somebody writing down the rules, to know exactly what methods players will come up with in the next 100+ years. At some point, you just have to acknowledge that actions which violate the spirit of the game, or lead to an unlevel playing field, are in fact attempts at cheating.
   133. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 25, 2014 at 08:34 AM (#4693827)
But that's a conclusion, not a reason. Why is pine tar no big deal, but steroids is the death penalty?

Because after having had plenty of time to think about it, MLB has concluded that defacing the ball is a two game** misdemeanor, while steroids warrant much stiffer punishments, for reasons that have been gone over a million times, reasons that have been spelled out countless times here and elsewhere. You know what these reasons are, but instead of just saying you disagree with the ethical reasoning beneath the distinction, you continue to repeat the tired old line that you don't know "why" the distinctions among different forms of cheating exist.

You can keep posting your same rhetorical question a hundred more times, and it won't change the fact that MLB doesn't buy into your simplistic "all cheating is the same" argument. The law is full of varying sentences that everyone doesn't like for one reason or another, but few people spend as much time as you do obsessing over one of them as you do over this.

As for Gaylord Perry, the irony of his current stance seems to be lost on you, but then irony appreciation was never one of your strong suits.

**How many starting pitchers will actually miss more games than that?
   134. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 25, 2014 at 08:39 AM (#4693828)
Clearly Larry Rothschild doesn't think it's harmless cheating. Rothschild:

"What am I supposed to do, teach him how to cheat better?"
   135. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 25, 2014 at 08:42 AM (#4693829)
Andy, your #133 still doesn't answer the question - not surprising - but at least please stop repeating the lie that Pineda only got 2 games. He got 10, and once more if we're equating his suspension with an effective 2 games then starting pitchers who are suspended for steroids use effectively only get 16 games for a first offense using your calculus. 16 games is a slap on the wrist.

But what really makes your argument dishonest is that Mark McGwire got zero games for using steroids, because it was not a violation and there was no punishment for it, and yet you think his being kept out of the Hall for using steroids is justified. So which is it? Does this game turn on number of games suspended or does it not?

I'll also point out that amps players are now suspended. So "MLB doesn't buy into your" silly "restorative" justifications for amps. So no matter which way you turn this, you can't point to any distinctions that justify one case but not the other.
   136. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 25, 2014 at 09:01 AM (#4693833)
But what really makes your argument dishonest is that Mark McGwire got zero games for using steroids, because it was not a violation and there was no punishment for it, and yet you think his being kept out of the Hall for using steroids is justified.


The people who vote for the HOF aren't required to weigh MLB's proportional responses to perceived transgressions. I don't think Jim Rice's induction was justified but here we are.
   137. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 25, 2014 at 09:03 AM (#4693835)
Andy, your #133 still doesn't answer the question - not surprising -

Again, if you don't understand why steroids are considered a worse form of cheating than pine tar, there's no explanation that would ever satisfy you.

but at least please stop repeating the lie that Pineda only got 2 games. He got 10, and once more if we're equating his suspension with an effective 2 games then starting pitchers who are suspended for steroids use effectively only get 16 games for a first offense using your calculus. 16 games is a slap on the wrist.

Jesus, Ray, your sophistry really knows no limits.

First, only pitchers get nailed for pine tar, and even relief pitchers seldom pitch more than about 4 days out of 10.

Second, even 16 games is a lot more than 2. It's a lot easier to replace a starter for 2 games than for 16.

Third, that 16 games is only for a first offense. The steroid penalties for second and third offenses are far greater. There is no provision in Rule 8.02(b) for any greater penalty for second or third offenses of ball doctoring. No pitcher is ever going to get suspended for an entire season for loading up on pine tar. Alex Rodriguez should be so lucky.

Fourth, position players miss the full number of games during their suspension period, but again, position players aren't covered by the pine tar rule.
   138. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 25, 2014 at 09:11 AM (#4693838)
No pitcher is ever going to get suspended for an entire season for loading up on pine tar.


Don't put it past the Budshoviks to make up punishments on the fly when it might screw the Yankees.
   139. Rob_Wood Posted: April 25, 2014 at 09:12 AM (#4693839)

I imagine this has been brought up previously but this incident highlights again that HD broadcasts give fans at home more information/close-ups than the fans in the stands (and presumably, the umpires around the bases).

And how did this thread turn into another referendum on steroids?
   140. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 25, 2014 at 09:12 AM (#4693840)
But what really makes your argument dishonest is that Mark McGwire got zero games for using steroids, because it was not a violation and there was no punishment for it, and yet you think his being kept out of the Hall for using steroids is justified. So which is it? Does this game turn on number of games suspended or does it not?

I'll also point out that amps players are now suspended. So "MLB doesn't buy into your" silly "restorative" justifications for amps. So no matter which way you turn this, you can't point to any distinctions that justify one case but not the other.


As YR just pointed out, the Hall of Fame voters aren't obliged to follow baseball's penalty gradations, but can consider the degree to which potential inductees violated the spirit of the game during their careers. And since there aren't going to be any hard and fast rules to govern these subjective judgments other than the elastic "character" clause, I'm afraid your only remedy is going to be persuasion. Good luck with that.

   141. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 25, 2014 at 09:14 AM (#4693842)
And how did this thread turn into another referendum on steroids?

With Ray, it's always about steroids. He won't give it a rest until Barry Bonds is in the Hall of Fame.
   142. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 25, 2014 at 09:17 AM (#4693845)
With Ray, it's always about steroids. He won't give it a rest until Barry Bonds is in the Hall of Fame.


Oh I think we're well past that point. I think we'll need writers kissing Barry's needle-pocked ass in Macy's window.
   143. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 25, 2014 at 09:23 AM (#4693849)
With Ray, it's always about steroids. He won't give it a rest until Barry Bonds is in the Hall of Fame.


With me it is I don't care about steroids, certainly not before they were included in the CBA with actual testing and such. And while I sleep well, I will be very happy when Bonds and Clemens are in the Hall of Fame (and I don't even like Roger, but he warrants being in the Hall).

Plus once they go then Ray and I can stop being on the same side to the relief of both of us.
   144. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 25, 2014 at 09:26 AM (#4693854)
With me it is I don't care about steroids, certainly not before they were included in the CBA with actual testing and such. And while I sleep well, I will be very happy when Bonds and Clemens are in the Hall of Fame (and I don't even like Roger, but he warrants being in the Hall).

Plus once they go then Ray and I can stop being on the same side to the relief of both of us.


Yeah, but the difference is that you don't introduce steroids into every thread about things like this, and you don't profess a phony ignorance as to why people might ever have a different POV.
   145. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 25, 2014 at 09:55 AM (#4693878)
He won't give it a rest until Barry Bonds is in the Hall of Fame.

And Frank Thomas is out. Because complaining about other players using steroids is worse than actually using steroids, and being born bigger than everybody is a form of cheating justifying the use of steroids by others to catch up.

You know -- logic and all.
   146. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 25, 2014 at 10:49 AM (#4693921)
Ray's point -- and it's a good one -- is that violation baseball rules should have prescribed punishments, and not violating baseball rules should not have punishments. Justice should not be arbitrary, capricious, or decided post-facto.


I appreciate the defense, but that first sentence is not quite my point (although the second sentence is). My point is that if we are citing X as a reason why one form of cheating is ok (e.g., pine tar suspensions are only 10 games), then we can't ignore the fact that X also applies to the "bad" form of cheating (e.g., when McGwire was using steroids there were no violations or suspensions).

My point is that we should be consistent when arguing one versus the other. Otherwise, there's no governing principle at play and people are just doing what Andy is. Andy's "argument," near as I can tell, boils down to "nyah nyah, look at all the people that agree with me." But logic is not determined by a popularity contest.
   147. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 25, 2014 at 10:54 AM (#4693924)
No, it's a pretty dumb argument. There are plenty of things not listed in the rules, which everyone would agree is cheating. Is spiking an opponent's meal before the game with laxatives in the rules? Is having somebody sit in the stands and try and blind the opposing batters with a mirror in the rules? Yet nobody would conclude that those are not attempts at cheating.


Except that I didn't argue that steroids were ok because they weren't against the rules. I argued that if one believes that the determination turns (at least in significant part) on how big the suspension is for a violation, then that can't possibly distinguish pine tar from steroids use in the 90s since steroids use in the 90s wasn't against the rules.

We went down the "listed in the rules" pathway because that's a factor Andy cited. (See our exchange above in posts 117 and 118; and in 133 and 135.) I was just responding.
   148. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 25, 2014 at 10:56 AM (#4693925)
I appreciate the defense, but that first sentence is not quite my point (although the second sentence is). My point is that if we are citing X as a reason why one form of cheating is ok (e.g., pine tar suspensions are only 10 games), then we can't ignore the fact that X also applies to the "bad" form of cheating (e.g., when McGwire was using steroids there were no violations or suspensions).

My point is that we should be consistent when arguing one versus the other. Otherwise, there's no governing principle at play and people are just doing what Andy is. Andy's "argument," near as I can tell, boils down to "nyah nyah, look at all the people that agree with me." But logic is not determined by a popularity contest.


That's not how life works. Lot's of things that are legal are viewed as more wrong than certain things that are illegal.

Pretty much everyone in the world believes cheating on your spouse is worse than recreational drug use. Yet the first is perfectly legal, and the latter usually criminal.
   149. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 25, 2014 at 10:58 AM (#4693926)
But what really makes your argument dishonest is that Mark McGwire got zero games for using steroids, because it was not a violation and there was no punishment for it, and yet you think his being kept out of the Hall for using steroids is justified. So which is it? Does this game turn on number of games suspended or does it not?

I'll also point out that amps players are now suspended. So "MLB doesn't buy into your" silly "restorative" justifications for amps. So no matter which way you turn this, you can't point to any distinctions that justify one case but not the other.


As YR just pointed out, the Hall of Fame voters aren't obliged to follow baseball's penalty gradations, but can consider the degree to which potential inductees violated the spirit of the game during their careers.


Hilarious. You brought up baseball's penalty gradations as a justification for distinguishing pine tar from steroids, and I'm not asking "Hall of Fame voters" for their reasoning; I'm asking you (and others here) for your reasoning.
   150. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 25, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4693929)
And Frank Thomas is out. Because complaining about other players using steroids is worse than actually using steroids, and being born bigger than everybody is a form of cheating justifying the use of steroids by others to catch up.

You know -- logic and all.


Sometimes when the arguments are absurd the rebuttals sound absurd. But that's a flaw with the argument, not with the rebuttals.
   151. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 25, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4693954)
I'm not asking "Hall of Fame voters" for their reasoning; I'm asking you (and others here) for your reasoning.


There does seem to be some conflating - likely semi-accidental - between what should be, what is, what posters think and what various "authorities" think. It makes these conversations even worse than they otherwise need to be IMO.

That said, and noting that I still basically agree with 80+% of what Ray says about Steroids (if not every argument he uses on the subject), I am not getting a strong connection in general between the Pine Tar Incident and steroids. Well except I think baseball in general is more than a little hypocritical in how these things (rules, written and unwritten) are handled.
   152. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 25, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4693959)
My point is that if we are citing X as a reason why one form of cheating is ok (e.g., pine tar suspensions are only 10 games), then we can't ignore the fact that X also applies to the "bad" form of cheating (e.g., when McGwire was using steroids there were no violations or suspensions).

My point is that we should be consistent when arguing one versus the other. Otherwise, there's no governing principle at play and people are just doing what Andy is. Andy's "argument," near as I can tell, boils down to "nyah nyah, look at all the people that agree with me." But logic is not determined by a popularity contest.


Nobody's saying that pine tar violations aren't cheating. So are spitballs. So are corked bats. "Cheating" as you want to define it is a function solely of the formal rule book.

And that's fine for penalizing players, and nobody's complaining about Pineda's suspension, even if many of us think that the rule itself is stupid, at least when applied in cold weather conditions. But it's not as if Pineda wasn't forewarned, so I'm certainly not feeling sorry for him.

But just as baseball makes distinctions between petty violations like pine tar / spitballs and more serious ones like steroids, there's absolutely no reason why anyone else should also not make these sort of distinctions. Your constant refrain for the past seven years has been "if steroids are so bad, then my laundry list ranging from pine tar to lasik surgery is equally deserving of the same degree of condemnation." It's this constant insistence on the "equally" that makes you seem like little more than Barry Bonds's lawyer.

Hilarious. You brought up baseball's penalty gradations as a justification for distinguishing pine tar from steroids, and I'm not asking "Hall of Fame voters" for their reasoning; I'm asking you (and others here) for your reasoning.

This has been explained to you so many times by now that all you're doing by repeating this meme is confirming your long standing membership in the BTF Troll Hall of Fame. It's the baseball equivalent of still demanding to see Obama's birth certificate.
   153. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 25, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4693960)

Except that I didn't argue that steroids were ok because they weren't against the rules. I argued that if one believes that the determination turns (at least in significant part) on how big the suspension is for a violation, then that can't possibly distinguish pine tar from steroids use in the 90s since steroids use in the 90s wasn't against the rules.


But that's the very point I would make: Bonds and McGwire and Clemens cheated but didn't have to pay any penalty. They got away scot-free.

If McGwire had been suspended for a year and then reinstated, he probably would be in the HoF today.
   154. zenbitz Posted: April 25, 2014 at 12:19 PM (#4694013)
Is spiking an opponent's meal before the game with laxatives in the rules? Is having somebody sit in the stands and try and blind the opposing batters with a mirror in the rules? Yet nobody would conclude that those are not attempts at cheating.


Spiking a meal with laxatives is at least a misdemeanor, if not felonious. Press charges or don't waste my time.

I am not familiar with the MLB rule book as some but I guarantee there is a catch all clause that covers these. And it doesn't say "blacklist from MLB and HOF".

But that's the very point I would make: Bonds and McGwire and Clemens cheated but didn't have to pay any penalty.


Perry cheated and didn't pay any penalty. Everyone who took amphetamines cheated (under todays rule -- 50 game suspension) and didn't pay any penalty. In fact - are you going to retcon all the dead-ball pitchers who used a spit ball? It's agianst today' rules.
   155. zenbitz Posted: April 25, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4694016)
Pretty much everyone in the world believes cheating on your spouse is worse than recreational drug use. Yet the first is perfectly legal, and the latter usually criminal.


Since baseball doesn't punish you for cheating on your spouse (that would be... some large number of suspensions) this isn't relevant.
   156. Ron J2 Posted: April 25, 2014 at 12:22 PM (#4694021)
#154 And it's not like there weren't complaints about some -- Danforth in particular -- before the rule changes in 1920. Particularly after he damned near killed Tris Speaker with one of his "sailers".

EDIT: 3 years before Chapman/Mays
   157. zenbitz Posted: April 25, 2014 at 12:30 PM (#4694033)
Again, if you don't understand why steroids are considered a worse form of cheating than pine tar, there's no explanation that would ever satisfy you.


IT'S NOT RELEVANT. Steroids are, in 2014, considered a worse form of cheating by the MLB rule book than pine tar. That is why the penalties are greater. Steroids, in 2002 WERE NOT considered a worse form of cheating; in fact, there was no penalty proscribed at all.

I don't care what the hoi polloi consider to be "worse" cheating. You can't measure the quantity of cheating anyway. It is unjust to punish people for essentially victimless crimes with retroactive penalties.

When Ray (or I) argue that pre-2004 steroid users should be punished like pre-2004 amphetamine users that doesn't even imply that the quantity of cheating was equal - or that (pre-rule) amphetamine users should be retroactively punished. (They shouldn't be). It just means that it's unjust to punish people beyond written expectation.

Baseball is a game. It has rules. Break the rules, get penalized. Break unwritten rules, get villified, twitter-raped, have nasty columns written about you, get thrown at (also illegal). Sure. But officially suspeded? Banned from baseball? The HOF? That's petty, vindictive, and unjust.

   158. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 25, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4694046)
But that's the very point I would make: Bonds and McGwire and Clemens cheated but didn't have to pay any penalty. They got away scot-free.

If McGwire had been suspended for a year and then reinstated, he probably would be in the HoF today.


Rafael Palmeiro served a suspension for steroids. That doesn't seem to have helped him any.
   159. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 26, 2014 at 08:37 AM (#4694661)
Sometimes when the arguments are absurd the rebuttals sound absurd. But that's a flaw with the argument, not with the rebuttals.

If the arguments are so absurd, you should be able to highlight that absurdity quite easily, without resulting to absurdity of your own. If you resort to absurdity in your rebuttal, it is in fact, a flaw with your rebuttal.

Spiking a meal with laxatives is at least a misdemeanor, if not felonious.

Yes, which makes it drastically different from using anabolic steroids without a prescription... oh no wait, it doesn't.

Not to mention that you purposely ignored the entirely non-felonious example I gave in the same post. And there are tons of similar examples around all of sports, of entirely non-felonious acts, which everybody would deem cheating regardless of whether they are explicitly listed in the rulebook or not. A marathon runner who takes a ride on the subway is obviously cheating, even if the rules don't specifically say "runners may not use a subway train during the race".
   160. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 26, 2014 at 09:40 AM (#4694673)
Again, if you don't understand why steroids are considered a worse form of cheating than pine tar, there's no explanation that would ever satisfy you.

IT'S NOT RELEVANT. Steroids are, in 2014, considered a worse form of cheating by the MLB rule book than pine tar. That is why the penalties are greater. Steroids, in 2002 WERE NOT considered a worse form of cheating; in fact, there was no penalty proscribed at all.


A more accurate way of putting it would be to say that the rule book hadn't yet adjusted to circumstances. That doesn't mean that the Bonds of 2002 should have been suspended.

I don't care what the hoi polloi consider to be "worse" cheating. You can't measure the quantity of cheating anyway. It is unjust to punish people for essentially victimless crimes with retroactive penalties.

First, you might ask the non-juicing players of that era about that "victimless" part. Second, the only "retroactive penalty" for known pre-testing users is that at this point they haven't been honored by being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Beyond that, what penalty have they suffered?

When Ray (or I) argue that pre-2004 steroid users should be punished like pre-2004 amphetamine users that doesn't even imply that the quantity of cheating was equal - or that (pre-rule) amphetamine users should be retroactively punished. (They shouldn't be). It just means that it's unjust to punish people beyond written expectation.

Nobody's arguing that current players should be retroactively suspended for violations that took place prior to testing.

Baseball is a game. It has rules. Break the rules, get penalized. Break unwritten rules, get villified, twitter-raped, have nasty columns written about you, get thrown at (also illegal). Sure. But officially suspended? Banned from baseball? The HOF? That's petty, vindictive, and unjust.

You're equating actions taken by baseball (suspensions and/or bannings) with actions taken by an unofficial organization that baseball doesn't control (the BBWAA). The former group has to follow strict rules in meting out punishments, but the latter group has every right to consider other factors beyond the formal rules of the time in deciding whether to honor a player. You and Ray simply don't agree with the criteria** that some of the writers have employed, which is fine, but that's all it is---a disagreement. All the excess verbiage---"petty", "vindictive", etc.---is just that: Verbiage. It's the flip side of the Chassian rhetoric concerning Roger Maris, who was no more of a "victim" of juiced-up steroids using players than you or I are.

**And I certainly don't agree with the way some writers have applied it in the cases of Clemens or Bagwell or Sosa.
   161. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 26, 2014 at 10:04 AM (#4694678)
A marathon runner who takes a ride on the subway is obviously cheating, even if the rules don't specifically say "runners may not use a subway train during the race".


Terrible example. Runners aren't required to stay on the course? That about covers it.
   162. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 26, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4694690)
Terrible example. Runners aren't required to stay on the course? That about covers it.

Way to be obtuse and intentionally miss the point... well you are Ray, that's what you do.

Ok, no more examples, let's go with definitions instead. Here is what Wikipedia says about cheating: The rules infringed may be explicit, or they may be from an unwritten code of conduct based on morality, ethics or custom, making the identification of cheating a subjective process.

Something does not have to be written down in the official rules to be considered cheating. Period.
   163. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 26, 2014 at 11:47 AM (#4694704)
Steroids, in 2002 WERE NOT considered a worse form of cheating; in fact, there was no penalty proscribed at all.


Which is why when reporters asked McGwire if he used steroids, he said "Oh, sure. They're really a vital part of the modern workout regimen. It was Canseco who first turned us on to them back when I was in Oakland, but now they're as essential as weights or protein shakes."
   164. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 26, 2014 at 11:51 AM (#4694706)

Rafael Palmeiro served a suspension for steroids. That doesn't seem to have helped him any.


Ten days??? That's a joke. And did he even play after serving the suspension? He essentially retired right after.

   165. Sunday silence Posted: April 26, 2014 at 12:32 PM (#4694720)

No, it's a pretty dumb argument. There are plenty of things not listed in the rules, which everyone would agree is cheating. Is spiking an opponent's meal before the game with laxatives in the rules? Is having somebody sit in the stands and try and blind the opposing batters with a mirror in the rules? Yet nobody would conclude that those are not attempts at cheating.


this is not as god an argument as you think it is.

In US law, there is a distinction between crimes/violations of regs. where you have to be actually aware of the law, such as not reporting bank transfers, certain types of tax rules, ripping labels off of mattresses, pouring stuff down a drain, etc.

There are other crimes/violations of regulations where you dont have to be aware of a specific law, because the conduct, IN ITSELF is bad. I think the term is malum in se. Such as shaving serial numbers off of firearms, using a stooge to buy a gun for you, showing up drunk to fly an airplane.

The crimes you describe as spiking drinks and shining laser lights, would by any rational standard be malum in se. Those are crimes that are bad enuf that you should know the very action is bad by itself. You dont need to be aware of a certain rule to know that hurting someone is bad. And the law knows this and operates on that concept.

It is not at all obvious that taking a supplement or PEd in the time period before they were banned was/is cheating. It can be seen as simply getting a competitive advantage.

Not sure how traditional baseball looks at this stuff, but this sort of distinction is fairly clear at least in american jurisprudence.
   166. Sunday silence Posted: April 26, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4694722)
Ten days??? That's a joke. And did he even play after serving the suspension? He essentially retired right after



Ummm, he's referring to the HoF vote and Palmeiros failure to gain votes after his suspension. THe previous fellow claimed that McGwire would have done all right in HoF voting if he had been suspended.

but I guess the previous fellow was you. You were saying that. Do you not acknowledge Toms point? That Palmeiro was suspended and his hoF voting has flopped.

   167. Sunday silence Posted: April 26, 2014 at 12:48 PM (#4694726)
Not to mention that you purposely ignored the entirely non-felonious example I gave in the same post. And there are tons of similar examples around all of sports, of entirely non-felonious acts, which everybody would deem cheating regardless of whether they are explicitly listed in the rulebook or not. A marathon runner who takes a ride on the subway is obviously cheating, even if the rules don't specifically say "runners may not use a subway train during the race"


It is obvious that taking a short cut is cheating. It is obvious that hurting opponents is cheating. From Wikipedia, that font of all knowledge:


Malum in se (plural mala in se) is a Latin phrase meaning wrong or evil in itself. The phrase is used to refer to conduct assessed as sinful or inherently wrong by nature, independent of regulations governing the conduct. It is distinguished from malum prohibitum, which is wrong only because it is prohibited.
For example, most human beings believe that murder, rape, and theft are wrong, regardless of whether a law governs such conduct or where the conduct occurs, and is thus recognizably malum in se. In contrast, malum prohibitum crimes are criminal not because they are inherently bad, but because the act is prohibited by the law of the state.


OK? Do you not subscribe or understand this concept?
   168. Sunday silence Posted: April 26, 2014 at 12:52 PM (#4694727)

Which is why when reporters asked McGwire if he used steroids, he said "Oh, sure. They're really a vital part of the modern workout regimen. It was Canseco who first turned us on to them back when I was in Oakland, but now they're as essential as weights or protein shakes."


It is not clear if you're being facetious here.

Are you referring to McGwire being evasive in his responses to this inquiry?

Just because someone is secret about something does not make it a crime and does not prove that whatsoever.

There are plenty of establishments like Kentucky Fried Chicken, MacDonalds, IBM that have various trade secrets that do not disclose. That does not mean they are committing crimes.

Many competitors in many sports have training techniques they do not disclose. The last is vast do I need to document this too?
   169. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 26, 2014 at 12:53 PM (#4694728)
It is not at all obvious that taking a supplement or PEd in the time period before they were banned was/is cheating. It can be seen as simply getting a competitive advantage.

You could very well argue that, and in turn the HoF votes can be seen as simply referendums on whether that rationalization passes the smell test.

Not sure how traditional baseball looks at this stuff, but this sort of distinction is fairly clear at least in american jurisprudence.

So what's next up on the Supreme Court's agenda? Bonds v Baseball Writers Association of America?

   170. Sunday silence Posted: April 26, 2014 at 12:57 PM (#4694731)

Something does not have to be written down in the official rules to be considered cheating. Period.



It is true stuff does not have to be written down it can rely on tradition but it is not as cut and dried as you think. In america and england this concept has been fought over for a long time and the concept of malum in se is what has evolved.

See the previous wikipedia citation I gave.

This stuff is not at all straightforward or simple, so I would suggest you keep an open mind.

It can be argued that if certain drugs/supplements were against US laws at the time of McGwire et al I guess an argument can be made. However there are other issues as well, what about players who go out of the US and legally take a supplement there? This whole argument is not as simple as you think.
   171. Sunday silence Posted: April 26, 2014 at 01:00 PM (#4694732)

You could very well argue that, and in turn the HoF votes can be seen as simply referendums on whether that rationalization passes the smell test.


I dont disagree with that statement Andy. But does it not seem unfair if:

taking amphetamines was against US law but not specifically against MLB laws and these players in the 60s e.g. Aaron etc were not deemed to have dishonored themselves in the minds of BBWA; then why should guys in the 90s e.g. McGwire be deemed to have dishonored themselves. Because steriods/PEDs, were not specifically banned, albeit some supplements were against US law.

This is the crux of the matter. Do you agree?
   172. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: April 26, 2014 at 01:08 PM (#4694734)
You could very well argue that, and in turn the HoF votes can be seen as simply referendums on whether that rationalization passes the smell test.


I personally am not comfortable with declaring that the members of the BBWAA are good representatives for the smell test. Sometimes they line up with my opinions and sometimes they don't, but in neither case do I have a lot of faith in the institution as a whole (or many of its members individually) to be arbiters of ethical conduct, assessors of playing ability, or really anything other than knowing what makes a good story. When McGwire was hitting a lot of home runs, there was money to be made in writing columsn about how he and Sosa were saving baseball. After he retired, there was money to be made in writing stories about the evils of steroids.
   173. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 26, 2014 at 01:28 PM (#4694742)
Which is why when reporters asked McGwire if he used steroids, he said "Oh, sure. They're really a vital part of the modern workout regimen. It was Canseco who first turned us on to them back when I was in Oakland, but now they're as essential as weights or protein shakes."


After Pineda was first spotted with pine tar on his hand, he said after the game, “My hands get sweaty. It was dirt. I don’t use pine tar.” Then of course, he tried to hide the pine tar on his next for his next start.

In other words, Pineda's pine tar usage, to employ a favorite word of Andy's, was "surreptitious."



   174. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 26, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4694748)
After Pineda was first spotted with pine tar on his hand, he said after the game, “My hands get sweaty. It was dirt. I don’t use pine tar.” Then of course, he tried to hide the pine tar on his next for his next start.

In other words, Pineda's pine tar usage, to employ a favorite word of Andy's, was "surreptitious."


Huh? Everyone, including the other team, knew he was using it the first game and the other team didn't care; the next game he had it lathered all over his neck where anyone with two eyes could see.
   175. zenbitz Posted: April 26, 2014 at 02:05 PM (#4694759)
Which is why when reporters asked McGwire if he used steroids, he said "Oh, sure. They're really a vital part of the modern workout regimen. It was Canseco who first turned us on to them back when I was in Oakland, but now they're as essential as weights or protein shakes."


That doesn't make them against rules. What if reporters asked him if he masturbated more than 3 times/day?
   176. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 26, 2014 at 02:11 PM (#4694763)
That doesn't make them against rules.

They don't have to have been against the stated rules to have been cheating.
   177. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 26, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4694768)
You could very well argue that, and in turn the HoF votes can be seen as simply referendums on whether that rationalization passes the smell test.

I dont disagree with that statement Andy. But does it not seem unfair if:

taking amphetamines was against US law but not specifically against MLB laws and these players in the 60s e.g. Aaron etc were not deemed to have dishonored themselves in the minds of BBWA; then why should guys in the 90s e.g. McGwire be deemed to have dishonored themselves. Because steriods/PEDs, were not specifically banned, albeit some supplements were against US law.

This is the crux of the matter. Do you agree?


I don't, for the simple reason that I don't view amphetamines as performance enhancers on the same scale as I view steroids. This has absolutely nothing to do with whether either of those drugs were legal, are legal, or will be legal. I've spelled out the reasons for making this distinction a hundred times, and don't need to do it again, no matter how many times it get labeled illogical, hypocritical, unfair, or whatever. I respect opposing POVs on this, but I don't agree with them.

And again, #### this ridiculous "boyhood heroes" BS. The victims of steroids aren't Roger Maris and Hank Aaron, no matter what Billy Crystal or Bob Costas might say. The victims of steroids are the non-steroid users that the steroids users of the "steroid era" competed against on the field.

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

I personally am not comfortable with declaring that the members of the BBWAA are good representatives for the smell test. Sometimes they line up with my opinions and sometimes they don't, but in neither case do I have a lot of faith in the institution as a whole (or many of its members individually) to be arbiters of ethical conduct, assessors of playing ability, or really anything other than knowing what makes a good story. When McGwire was hitting a lot of home runs, there was money to be made in writing columsn about how he and Sosa were saving baseball. After he retired, there was money to be made in writing stories about the evils of steroids.

The BBWAA may have its share of fools, opportunists and hypocrites, but until something comes along to replace them, there's no alternative route (other than the VC) to the Hall of Fame. I'm not thrilled with plenty of their choices and non-choices (including Clemens and Sosa), but then I could say the same thing about the U.S. electorate. You win some and you lose some, and in any case, the "sins" of the writers don't cancel out the "sins" of the players. Nobody kidnapped Mark McGwire and raped him with a steroids needle, and the concept of personal responsibility shouldn't just apply to welfare applicants.
   178. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 26, 2014 at 02:34 PM (#4694780)
I don't, for the simple reason that I don't view amphetamines as performance enhancers on the same scale as I view steroids. This has absolutely nothing to do with whether either of those drugs were legal, are legal, or will be legal. I've spelled out the reasons for making this distinction a hundred times, and don't need to do it again, no matter how many times it get labeled illogical, hypocritical, unfair, or whatever. I respect opposing POVs on this, but I don't agree with them.

Some performance enhances are OK and some apparently are not? Well, Andy is free to decide which performance enhancers he cares about, but I notice that he thinks the ones that work more or less automatically are OK, but the ones that do nothing for you unless you also work out intensively are bad. Not a persuasive distinction, IMHO, but clearly the consequences of not making that distinction could be far reaching.
   179. Publius Publicola Posted: April 26, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4694789)
Many competitors in many sports have training techniques they do not disclose. The last is vast do I need to document this too?


Even under oath when you are testifying before Congress?
   180. Gonfalon B. Posted: April 26, 2014 at 03:13 PM (#4694811)
you might ask the non-juicing players of that era about that "victimless" part

2000 Yankees winner's share: $294,783.41
2001 D-Backs winner's share: $279,260.41
2002 Giants loser's share: $186,185.62
2004 Red Sox winner's share: $223,619.79

I wonder how victimized the non-juicing Yankees, Diamondbacks, Giants and Red Sox felt? Or their poor unknowing, victimized team owners? Or shop.mlb.com? The needle giveth, and the needle giveth some other guys, too.


What if reporters asked [McGwire] if he masturbated more than 3 times/day?

That would explain why his complexion always looked so red.
   181. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 26, 2014 at 03:20 PM (#4694819)
OK? Do you not subscribe or understand this concept?

I understand and subscribe to that concept. Where I differ from you, is your conclusion that professional athletes abusing steroids is only bad because it is prohibited, and not bad IN ITSELF. The players that abuse steroids, put other players in the position, where they either have to take substances themselves, and risk potential bad side-effects and long term health consequences that can follow, or become a comparatively less valuable player, who will enjoy less success, and be less well compensated. How is an action that directly leads to other people either losing money, or facing negative health consequences not bad IN ITSELF.
   182. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: April 26, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4694820)
It's not bad because tough noogies on them.
   183. Sunday silence Posted: April 26, 2014 at 03:35 PM (#4694824)
How is an action that directly leads to other people either losing money, or facing negative health consequences not bad IN ITSELF.


1) Losing money? That's the whole nature of competition. If I have a better training technique then you and you lose money. That is tough sh!t. Right?

surely you are not arguing that just because someone loses money, it makes the conduct bad per se? are you?

2. negative health. OK, anyone that steps onto a baseball field risks their health. What if it could be shown that the health consequences of taking steroids were = or < than the risks of say blowing out an arm or crashing into a wall?

Would your position change? Does your position then hinge upon how dangerous steroids and/or amphetamines are?
   184. Publius Publicola Posted: April 26, 2014 at 03:37 PM (#4694825)
I wonder how victimized the non-juicing Yankees, Diamondbacks, Giants and Red Sox felt? Or their poor unknowing, victimized team owners?


Aren't you barking up the wrong tree? Look for the trees marked "non-playoff team".
   185. Sunday silence Posted: April 26, 2014 at 03:39 PM (#4694826)

Huh? Everyone, including the other team, knew he was using it the first game and the other team didn't care; the next game he had it lathered all over his neck where anyone with two eyes could see.


I have no idea if Pineda speaks english or what. I see was born in Dom Rep. and was only in MLB one other season Is it possible that there was some sort of miscommunication? That Pineda asked if he can use pine tar and his team told him, yes fine, everyone does it. He just didnt realize that you can be blatant about it.

I have no idea, but it seems Pineda had no shame in smearing it on his neck, whereas the rest of the league was like WTF you doing man?
   186. Sunday silence Posted: April 26, 2014 at 03:42 PM (#4694831)

Even under oath when you are testifying before Congress?


I think so, yeah. Someone asks lance armstrong how he trains for tour de france, in front of Congress. He declines to say.

That still doesnt mean he's cheating does it?
   187. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: April 26, 2014 at 03:44 PM (#4694833)
That still doesnt mean he's cheating does it?


I'll bite. No, the fact that he cheated means that he cheated. That he declined to admit it in front of Congress probably meant he had something to hide.
   188. Gonfalon B. Posted: April 26, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4694849)
#184: Aren't you barking up the wrong tree? Look for the trees marked "non-playoff team".

Oh, that's how steroids worked? How many postseason home runs did Mark McGwire hit in 1998?
   189. Sunday silence Posted: April 26, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4694872)
I want to ask fancypants this:

How is it so very obvious that steroids that McGwire took are a health risk? Is it because of something you saw on TV? the argument about malum in se has to do with whether things are OBVIOUSLY bad. It is not obvious to me that taking steroids and by implication that others will have to take them, is health endangering.

Does it matter if taking steroids is more or less dangerous than facing a fastball?

****

Question for Andy: does your position vis a vis steroids change if it can be shown that amphetamines are just as dangerous as steroids? Would your position change if it can be shown that certain steroids are no more effective than amphetamines?

one problem I have is that your position is quite vague despite what you said about having repeated it. You said amphetamines are not "on the same scale" as steroids.

meaning what? That they are not as effective? or they are not as dangerous?

*****

Question for all:

if say in 1920, Carl Mays loads up a pitch that makes it break sharply. And the tradition in baseball is that is Ok because players need/have the ability to dodge those pitches. Say he kills CHapman with such a pitch. Does that make his conduct bad, per se? Ie. obviously bad.

Now, flashforward 50 years. Substances on the ball are banned but brush backs are allowed. Say Dock Ellis, or Bruce Kison or Gibson or Clemens throws a fastball near someone's head and kills them. Is that malum in se?
   190. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 26, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4694883)
Question for Andy: does your position vis a vis steroids change if it can be shown that amphetamines are just as dangerous as steroids?

My position has nothing to do with health considerations. I doubt if either of those drugs are all that harmful if they're used as prescribed, and both of them can be harmful if abused. I've known more people whose health has suffered from amps than steroids, but that's probably because I knew a ton of stupid pool hustlers BITD who kept popping speed pills (and cocaine) in search of that elusive zone of concentration, and I've known few if any stupid jocks of recent vintage who think that steroids are some sort of a miracle pill and use them indiscriminately.

Would your position change if it can be shown that certain steroids are no more effective than amphetamines?

I've said many a time that I'd be fine with steroids that were prescribed under strict supervision for players on the DL, in order to restore them to their pre-injury condition. When they try to take it beyond that is where I have a problem.

Question for all:

if say in 1920, Carl Mays loads up a pitch that makes it break sharply. And the tradition in baseball is that is Ok because players need/have the ability to dodge those pitches. Say he kills CHapman with such a pitch. Does that make his conduct bad, per se? Ie. obviously bad.

Now, flashforward 50 years. Substances on the ball are banned but brush backs are allowed. Say Dock Ellis, or Bruce Kison or Gibson or Clemens throws a fastball near someone's head and kills them. Is that malum in se?


No and no. Accidents happen, and BTW Chapman got killed because he leaned into a pitch that by all accounts was over the plate.
   191. zenbitz Posted: April 26, 2014 at 05:21 PM (#4694894)
They don't have to have been against the stated rules to have been cheating.


Well the word stated there is doing a lot of work. I don't think it's legit to proscribe in game punishment for violating unwritten rules. I guess *technicially* the HOF is an independent non game private entity that can do what it like ps.
   192. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 26, 2014 at 07:26 PM (#4694955)
I don't think it's legit to proscribe in game punishment for violating unwritten rules.

Totally agree.

I guess *technically* the HOF is an independent non game private entity that can do what it like ps.

Why the qualifier? To all intents and purposes in this discussion the "Hall of Fame" is 75% of the BBWAA. The only possible inductees that baseball itself has "blackballed" are Shoeless Joe and Charlie Hustle.
   193. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 26, 2014 at 11:50 PM (#4695111)
First, you might ask the non-juicing players of that era about that "victimless" part.


We might also ask the non-pine-tarring pitchers whether they feel there are no victims.

We might then ask all the hitters who were struck out by the pine-tarring pitchers whether they feel there are no victims.

Second, the only "retroactive penalty" for known pre-testing users is that at this point they haven't been honored by being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Beyond that, what penalty have they suffered?


It is dishonorable to vote for an award while holding similarly situated players to different standards.

But I can't believe you're seriously asking what penalties steroids-tainted players have suffered. Clemens, Bonds, McGwire, Palmeiro, and the rest of the steroids-tainted stars saw their reputations destroyed. (Same for ARod, who before Biogenesis saw his reputation was destroyed for pre-testing use.) Bonds and Palmeiro saw their careers end early. Bonds and Clemens ended up as targets of federal investigations and ultimately indicted for crimes because of it. McGwire was the target of a federal investigation. And that's setting aside the Hall of Fame pettiness.

But keep pretending no players were hurt.
   194. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 27, 2014 at 12:00 AM (#4695117)
Terrible example. Runners aren't required to stay on the course? That about covers it.

Way to be obtuse and intentionally miss the point... well you are Ray, that's what you do.

Ok, no more examples, let's go with definitions instead. Here is what Wikipedia says about cheating: The rules infringed may be explicit, or they may be from an unwritten code of conduct based on morality, ethics or custom, making the identification of cheating a subjective process.

Something does not have to be written down in the official rules to be considered cheating. Period.


You still need to explain what the distinctions are, i.e., why pine tar is no big deal but steroids is. All you've offered is conclusions, not reasons.

Why were amps ok but steroids were suddenly a bridge too far?

As to the rules specifically, certainly it doesn't help your argument that pine tar is against the rules while steroids weren't against the rules pre-testing.
   195. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 27, 2014 at 12:06 AM (#4695121)
Rafael Palmeiro served a suspension for steroids. That doesn't seem to have helped him any.

Ten days??? That's a joke. And did he even play after serving the suspension? He essentially retired right after.


That's an odd definition of "retired." He was forced out of the game, as I recall it. They were supposed to have a day for him for the 3000-500, but it was canceled on account of the mess he found himself in, and then shortly thereafter the fans were reacting so badly to him that the Orioles sent him home in September and he never played again.
   196. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 27, 2014 at 12:11 AM (#4695127)
Huh? Everyone, including the other team, knew he was using it the first game and the other team didn't care;


Did they not care? I understood the Red Sox weren't aware he had it smeared all over his hand until after the game. Regardless, what is your point? Because Farrell certainly "cared" when he came out the second time and basically had Pineda ejected.

the next game he had it lathered all over his neck where anyone with two eyes could see.


And Farrell with two eyes saw, cared, complained, and had the pitcher removed from the game.
   197. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 27, 2014 at 12:26 AM (#4695145)
Joe Torre:

"I can understand the fact you don't want the ball slipping out of a pitcher's hand because someone can get hurt," Torre told ESPN.com Saturday. "But there's also the aspect that the ball may stick on your fingers longer and you may be able to make it sink or cut more or whatever. And it may act in a dangerous way with guys who don't know what they're doing with it.
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