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Tuesday, June 04, 2013

MLB seeks to suspend A-Rod, Braun

This’ll go over as well as a Frey Family wedding.

Major League Baseball will seek to suspend about 20 players connected to the Miami-area clinic at the heart of an ongoing performance-enhancing drug scandal, including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, possibly within the next few weeks, “Outside the Lines” has learned. If the suspensions are upheld, the performance-enhancing drug scandal would be the largest in American sports history.

Tony Bosch, founder of the now-shuttered Biogenesis of America, reached an agreement this week to cooperate with MLB’s investigation, two sources told “Outside the Lines,” giving MLB the ammunition officials believe they need to suspend the players.

Gamingboy Posted: June 04, 2013 at 08:07 PM | 216 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: a-rod, biogenesis, steroids

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   101. bigglou115 is not an Illuminati agent Posted: June 05, 2013 at 05:22 AM (#4460811)
Where does Jeter live? Florida.


I want to see this, because the cognitive dissonance it created would likely lead to the complete implosion of several sports writers's brains.
   102. bjhanke Posted: June 05, 2013 at 05:34 AM (#4460812)
Eugene (#46) - Thanks for the comment. It's always good to hear from someone who actually knows labor law. I mean, I can think all I want that "associating" with someone and "possession and use of drugs" can't possibly be the same thing, but it's always nice to know that labor law actually agrees with me, since it's labor law, and not me, who will be involved. Frankly, based on the initial quote, this sounds like just another case of Selig operating as the owners' advocate, trying to win one from those damn players by putting out threats that have no legal chance except in the court of public opinion. When (if) this goes down in flames, Bud will probably blame the legal system and/or the union, probably the union first. I'm sure that will help the next round of labor negotiations go smoothly.... - Brock Hanke
   103. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 05, 2013 at 05:44 AM (#4460814)
Where does Jeter live? Florida.

I want to see this, because the cognitive dissonance it created would likely lead to the complete implosion of several sports writers's brains.


Everyone keeps saying this, but the sportswriters have shown no cognitive anxiety when declaring that in the identical acts of taking steroids, the arrogant villains demonstrated their villainy, while the shining heroes betrayed us all.

And a fresh dose of shocky shock for a Jeter (or a Griffey, or a Maddux, or someone else in the official smile pantheon) would only feed right into the BBWAA's "alas, alack, if only we could have suspected" garment-rending that has been their alibi for a decade.
   104. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: June 05, 2013 at 07:44 AM (#4460826)
Ryan Braun Brewers
Everth Cabrera Padres
Melky Cabrera Blue Jays
Francisco Cervelli Yankees
Bartolo Colon Athletics
Nelson Cruz Rangers
Fautino de los Santos Free agent
Gio Gonzalez* Nationals
Yasmani Grandal Padres
Fernando Martinez Astros
Jesus Montero Mariners
Jordan Norberto Free agent
Jhonny Peralta Tigers
Cesar Puello** Mets
Alex Rodriguez


Some of the 20 that MLB may try and suspend. This per the ESPN OTL article.


Looks like the Yankees are all a bunch of filthy, cheating, roider, cheaters.
   105. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 05, 2013 at 07:47 AM (#4460828)
This sort of witch hunt is much worse for the game than PEDs are or could be. I find the whole thing depressingly predictable. I just hope the madness ends before it all devolves into Tour de France level crazy.
   106. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: June 05, 2013 at 07:50 AM (#4460830)
They already suspended Colon! He tested positive and now they want to suspend him again for buying the stuff he used that caused him to test positive? That is...interesting.
   107. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 05, 2013 at 07:55 AM (#4460831)
Please don't say Machado or Davis. Please don't say Machado or Davis.
   108. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 05, 2013 at 07:56 AM (#4460833)
That is...interesting.


The witch MUST be burned. All else fades in importance.
   109. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: June 05, 2013 at 08:00 AM (#4460835)
The witch MUST be burned. All else fades in importance.

I get that baseball wants to be perceived as vigilant, but there's vigilant and then there's batshit crazy. I also get the feeling they want to take down all these guys just to get A-Rod and Braun. Does anyone else get that vibe?
   110. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 05, 2013 at 08:01 AM (#4460836)
is it permissible to notice that it's braun and a bunch of latino players?

so glad the jews and the catholics can work together on a common goal
   111. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: June 05, 2013 at 08:05 AM (#4460840)
so glad the jews and the catholics can work together on a common goal

That's 25% of the Illuminati! This is bigger than baseball. This goes deep.

(yes, I just completely made that up. I know nothing about the popular mythology of the Illuminati. Just like I'm supposed to not know...)
   112. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 05, 2013 at 08:06 AM (#4460842)
Does anyone else get that vibe?


All I know its that the NFL handles it better. Put the testing in place, so you have testing, and then refuse to make a big deal of it, treat it like every other rule and move on with selling your product. MLB seems to think their product includes PED investigations or something.
   113. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 05, 2013 at 08:10 AM (#4460847)
bitter

mlb was working toward that route when the braun situation happened. that sent the inner sanctum, especially the commissioner, into a serious tizzy

this cannot be understated.

   114. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 05, 2013 at 08:19 AM (#4460849)
HW, I am not arguing causes - frankly I have no idea as to why - but what they are doing is a disaster for their sport.
   115. Publius Publicola Posted: June 05, 2013 at 08:21 AM (#4460850)
Hate to be the bearer of bad tidings but does anyone else notice the ethnically lobsided composition of that list?

EDIT: Oops. Coke to Harv.
   116. Greg K Posted: June 05, 2013 at 08:30 AM (#4460853)
Hate to be the bearer of bad tidings but does anyone else notice the ethnically lobsided composition of that list?

Forgetting about everything else, just assuming for the sake of argument that a large number of players are presently using PEDs, I can see this being a product of how the distribution networks are formed. Perhaps this stuff passes through friendships and word of mouth (which wouldn't surprise me if it was to some degree tied up with common language/culture. In other words, there's an anglo-centric group of guys buying from some other fellow that just had to the good luck not to be caught.

Just to be clear, (as if it's not obvious) this is entirely speculation on my part...just musing on the topic really.
   117. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: June 05, 2013 at 08:33 AM (#4460854)
Hate to be the bearer of bad tidings but does anyone else notice the ethnically lobsided composition of that list?

It's Miami, so doesn't that list just reflect the ethnic makeup of the city? (kidding, mostly!)

Also, I like the word lobsided. I think we should call a pitching staff loaded with lefty soft tossers a lobsided pitching staff.
   118. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: June 05, 2013 at 08:34 AM (#4460855)
there's an anglo-centric group of guys buying from some other fellow that just had to the good luck not to be caught.

I would imagine so. The Mitchell report, for all its BS, kind of illustrates this.
   119. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: June 05, 2013 at 08:56 AM (#4460864)
It's very good that A-Fraud is finally going to be punished for his misdeeds, but I still think he should be banned for life. Hopefully the Yankees will void his contract and his career will be over as a result.
   120. Greg K Posted: June 05, 2013 at 09:04 AM (#4460866)
It's very good that A-Fraud is finally going to be punished for his misdeeds, but I still think he should be banned for life. Hopefully the Yankees will void his contract and his career will be over as a result.

Man, I find it fun to root against A-Rod (though I find it funner to root against the Yankees, so no voided contract please), but there seems to be some personal animosity here. Did he blank you at the post office once or something?
   121. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: June 05, 2013 at 09:10 AM (#4460867)
A-Fraud and guys like him who are this openly contemptuous of the rules and norms of society and the game are a blight upon it and have no business in it.
   122. Bug Selig Posted: June 05, 2013 at 09:10 AM (#4460868)
Hate to be the bearer of bad tidings but does anyone else notice the ethnically lobsided composition of that list?


Never been to Miami, have you? If it were a lab in Minnesota, the list would be suspiciously Scandinavian.
   123. JJ1986 Posted: June 05, 2013 at 09:10 AM (#4460869)
Hate to be the bearer of bad tidings but does anyone else notice the ethnically lobsided composition of that list?


It's all a ploy to increase the percentage of active players in baseball who are African-American.
   124. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: June 05, 2013 at 09:11 AM (#4460870)
Hee hee hee!
   125. JJ1986 Posted: June 05, 2013 at 09:14 AM (#4460871)
Cesar Puello** Mets

** minor leaguer, not a member of the MLB Players Association


Cesar Puello is on the Mets 40-man, but good job reporting, ESPN.
   126. Bourbon Samurai, what price fettucine? Posted: June 05, 2013 at 09:36 AM (#4460877)
They already suspended Colon! He tested positive and now they want to suspend him again for buying the stuff he used that caused him to test positive? That is...interesting.


Cabrera too. I can't see how that possibly holds up.
   127. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: June 05, 2013 at 09:38 AM (#4460879)
Did he blank you at the post office once or something?
What does it mean to "blank" someone, in this context, please? Thank you.
   128. Greg K Posted: June 05, 2013 at 09:41 AM (#4460882)
What does it mean to "blank" someone, in this context, please? Thank you.

Whoops! I think I've officially started using British slang without thinking about it. It essentially means to ignore someone, or pretend you don't know someone when you meet in a social situation. Very rude.
   129. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: June 05, 2013 at 09:51 AM (#4460891)
Luckily, this site makes it very easy to blank someone.
   130. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: June 05, 2013 at 09:52 AM (#4460893)
A-Fraud and guys like him who are this openly contemptuous of the rules and norms of society and the game are a blight upon it and have no business in it.


Take it up with Gio, buddy.
   131. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: June 05, 2013 at 09:59 AM (#4460903)
I could go for some bubble and squeak.
   132. Chip Posted: June 05, 2013 at 10:03 AM (#4460907)
Verducci was just on Dan Patrick's radio show claiming they'll be able to suspend despite lack of positive test results under the same rationale used when Manny received his first suspension, after he was given a prescription from Bosch's father which included a banned substance. From the AP article at that time:

Ramirez's suspension was based not on a spring training urine test result but rather evidence obtained afterward, a second person familiar with the suspension said, speaking on condition of anonymity because those details were not released. MLB had concluded the spring test was positive, but the person said the players' association would have challenged the result because of "testing issues."
   133. Danny Posted: June 05, 2013 at 10:11 AM (#4460915)
Daily News on Manny in 2009:
Tests in spring training originally revealed elevated levels of a banned substance in Ramirez's urine sample, according to a source, but the discovery of the hCG use was the result of documentary evidence discovered by MLB investigators and the basis for the suspension. That evidence led to a violation of Section 8.G.2 of MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program; under that section, a player may be subjected to disciplinary action for "just cause," or evidence not based on a drug test.


   134. BDC Posted: June 05, 2013 at 10:20 AM (#4460929)
Cruelly, my first thought upon opening the paper this morning was that the Rangers might benefit from living without Nelson Cruz for a while; despite an undeniably entertaining home run every now and then, he's a pretty mediocre player overall. And now that David Murphy is developing into a solid reliever, they can go with an outfield of Profar, Martin, and Gentry and they'll catch everything in sight behind Murphy on the mound. Yay!
   135. valuearbitrageur Posted: June 05, 2013 at 10:28 AM (#4460939)
Tests in spring training originally revealed elevated levels of a banned substance in Ramirez's urine sample, according to a source, but the discovery of the hCG use was the result of documentary evidence discovered by MLB investigators and the basis for the suspension. That evidence led to a violation of Section 8.G.2 of MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program; under that section, a player may be subjected to disciplinary action for "just cause," or evidence not based on a drug test.


The MLB will invoke this using the thinnest shreds of evidence.

The players association won't allow it and will take it to arbitration, and/or court if necessary. This isn't Manny facing a problematic test with a documentary evidence thrown on top, this is a large number of Players Association members being summarily convicted on a he said, she said testimony.

The MLB will lose because "just cause" is going to require some sort of compelling evidence, none of which has been revealed yet.

Bud Selig will hold up his hands as if to say "see, I've done all I can, it's the players association that's the problem", in an attempt to shame the players association and curry favor with the hack neanderthal contingent of sportswriters.

The players association will tell Selig to STFU this time, they know who they work for and they will only waive their rights so much to assist in these witch hunts. I think once the PA allowed testing, including blood testing and year round testing, they will feel they've bent enough and their job is now to ensure the testing and investigations are done openly, honestly, and fairly, and rigorously respecting the players remaining rights.
   136. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 05, 2013 at 10:33 AM (#4460945)
The MLB will lose because "just cause" is going to require some sort of compelling evidence, none of which has been revealed yet.


If Bosch is cooperating, they may very well have documentary evidence of what was shipped to whom, etc.
   137. valuearbitrageur Posted: June 05, 2013 at 10:37 AM (#4460950)
If Bosch is cooperating, they may very well have documentary evidence of what was shipped to whom, etc.


Maybe. If Bosch suddenly comes into several million dollars of legal defense funds, he might not cooperate either.
   138. Mike Emeigh Posted: June 05, 2013 at 10:37 AM (#4460951)
under that section, a player may be subjected to disciplinary action for "just cause," or evidence not based on a drug test.


Well...

Every penalty that can be applied under the JDA specifically states that the penalty can be applied for a failed test or other evidence of a violation but in the absence of a failed test, MLB still has to produce the other evidence of a violation. The JDA specifies that players are barred from "using, possessing, selling, facilitating the sale of, distributing, or facilitating the distribution of" prohibited substances. The application of 8.G.2 that Danny references applies only to disciplinary action for violations of the JDA for which specific penalties are not called out elsewhere in Section 8 of the JDA - and specific penalties are called out for use, possession, sale, and distribution.

-- MWE
   139. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 05, 2013 at 10:42 AM (#4460957)
Maybe. If Bosch suddenly comes into several million dollars of legal defense funds, he might not cooperate either.

Yes, but I'd think MLB is smart enough to have had him turn over the evidence already.
   140. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: June 05, 2013 at 10:45 AM (#4460967)
I can't help but wonder if we're headed to a very long and ugly labor battle next time the CBA comes up in 2016.
   141. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 05, 2013 at 10:49 AM (#4460970)
I can't help but wonder if we're headed to a very long and ugly labor battle next time the CBA comes up in 2016.

I doubt it. The players won't cost themselves money over this issue. I doubt most players care about the rights of perceived cheaters.
   142. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: June 05, 2013 at 10:50 AM (#4460971)
Take it up with Gio, buddy.

Learn how to read, you illiterate redneck.
   143. JJ1986 Posted: June 05, 2013 at 10:52 AM (#4460972)
I doubt it. The players won't cost themselves money over this issue. I doubt most players care about the rights of perceived cheaters.


The issue isn't really about the cheaters, though. It's about MLB not adhering properly to the current CBA.
   144. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: June 05, 2013 at 11:01 AM (#4460981)
It's about MLB not adhering properly to the current CBA.

According to who, you?
   145. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: June 05, 2013 at 11:04 AM (#4460986)
So Bud Selig has lurched from doing nothing about PEDs, if not overtly encouraging their use, to vendettas against particular players, and running roughshod over the terms of the negotiated CBA and all sense of fairness to suspend people for using PEDs. All in the span of little more than a single decade.

Which leaves the continuing defense of his tenure as commissioner, on this site and elsewhere, all the more puzzling. Put simply, he's a used car salesman and a hack. He always has been and he always will be. His tenure happened to coincide with a boom-cum-bubble in sport worldwide from which baseball has also profited; beyond that, he's been an abject disaster for fans and the aesthetics and elegance of the sport. An abject disaster.
   146. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 05, 2013 at 11:07 AM (#4460994)
The issue isn't really about the cheaters, though. It's about MLB not adhering properly to the current CBA.

Yes, but as long as the victims are only guys the rank-and-file thinks are cheaters, they won't go to the mattresses over it.
   147. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 05, 2013 at 11:17 AM (#4461005)
Selig's third act in the steroids saga has been to actively portray his stars as cheaters: Clemens, ARod, Braun, etc.

It's a curious marketing strategy. I suppose in return he gets to claim that he's so Concerned about steroids that he's doing All He Can to rid the game of it. I don't know whether the end is worth the means. My sense is that MLB would have survived just fine no matter how it approached the steroids issue - ignore it, pay it half-hearted attention, smear its players - because none of those various approaches ever affected attendance/revenue.

What this latest approach has done is defame players, including star players, including legends, and throw the HOF into a state of crisis. I'm not sure that was worth it, since nobody except a handful of kooks was going to stop watching had MLB continued to ignore the issue, or simply gave it the NFL treatment.
   148. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: June 05, 2013 at 11:21 AM (#4461009)
It's a curious marketing strategy. I suppose in return he gets to claim that he's so Concerned about steroids that he's doing All He Can to rid the game of it.

There's no reason to credit a word he says as sincere, and never has been any reason to do so.
   149. Danny Posted: June 05, 2013 at 11:24 AM (#4461012)
Gio in January: "I've never used performance enhancing drugs of any kind and I never will. I've never met or spoken with Tony Bosch or used any substance provided by him. Anything said to the contrary is a lie."

If MLB is serious about going after players for "previous statements to MLB officials denying any such connection" to Bosch, they could also go after Gio. But I don't see anything in the JDA that would allow them to suspend anyone for lying to MLB officials.
   150. bunyon Posted: June 05, 2013 at 11:24 AM (#4461013)
I've looked through the thread so I know people have speculated but we have no idea why Bosch is cooperating, right? I mean, withouth immunity, turning over actual evidence that would get these guys suspended seems insane. And if he doesn't have actual incriminating evidence, what use is his testimony? I can't imaging MLB would put this out there unless they really think they can win and I can't imagine Bosch acting to help that.

   151. Ron J2 Posted: June 05, 2013 at 11:37 AM (#4461034)
#150 No idea what quality of legal advice MLB is getting now but they used to get regularly pounded on the legal front. Actually the issue may not have been the quality of the legal advice but whether they followed their lawyer's advice.

Take the example of collusion or the bad faith bargaining of 1994. I can't imagine any lawyer being fine with how MLB approached these matters. There was just so much institutional arrogance that they didn't seem to care.
   152. Rennie's Tenet Posted: June 05, 2013 at 11:39 AM (#4461039)
As I've said here before, I really can't imagine pro sports being popular fifty years from now if the average fan thinks the average player is the result of pharmaceuticals. I think there's at least a possibility that Selig, et al agree with that assessment and are doing what they have to, rather than acting out of any personal or short-term incentives.

   153. Chip Posted: June 05, 2013 at 11:41 AM (#4461043)
From the ESPN article:

But sources said Bosch has been feeling pressure from both the MLB lawsuit, which claims tortious interference, and a potential criminal investigation, and that he sees full cooperation with MLB as one of his only refuges. Several attorneys have said they don't think the lawsuit could survive a legal challenge, but Bosch likely would have to put up a costly fight in order to have the case dismissed. Several sources have told ESPN that Bosch is nearly broke, living alternately with family members and friends, and has tried unsuccessfully so far to revive his "wellness" business.
   154. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 05, 2013 at 11:45 AM (#4461045)
I really can't imagine pro sports being popular fifty years from now if the average fan thinks the average player is the result of pharmaceuticals.


Why? Besides, by that point genetic manipulation, cybernetics and nanobot surgery will likly be much more the issue than random pharma. However looking ahead 50 years (or even 10 years) is a fools game.

Agressively painting stars as cheaters, making the news on your sport all about off field crap instead of on field fun, is a terrible idea right now from a marketing standpoint.
   155. JJ1986 Posted: June 05, 2013 at 11:46 AM (#4461047)
I think using bogus lawsuits to bankrupt a man is somewhat worse than using steroids to be better at a game.
   156. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 05, 2013 at 11:49 AM (#4461048)
As I've said here before, I really can't imagine pro sports being popular fifty years from now if the average fan thinks the average player is the result of pharmaceuticals.


That is what the average fan thinks now. And yet pro sports are popular.

Also, as Bill James has suggested, since usage of chemicals/pharma by the normal population to combat various medical conditions (diseases, aging, etc) is only going to increase over the coming decades, in 50 years this stuff will indeed be a non-issue. (If I'm summarizing his POV properly.) PED use will seem silly to obsess over then, as it already is becoming now.
   157. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 05, 2013 at 11:54 AM (#4461059)
bitter's point is something that the Olympics is facing now and which more sports will face soon in that along with artificial limb technology enhancements there are 'body suits' that a person can wear to increase strength and stamina. the military already has this being tested.

the lines between 'natural' and 'artificial' are being blurred very rapidly
   158. Rennie's Tenet Posted: June 05, 2013 at 12:19 PM (#4461088)

Also, as Bill James has suggested, since usage of chemicals/pharma by the normal population to combat various medical conditions (diseases, aging, etc) is only going to increase over the coming decades, in 50 years this stuff will indeed be a non-issue.


I'm sure the use will be commonplace, I just don't see why anyone would find it interesting enough to buy tickets to see it.
   159. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 05, 2013 at 12:56 PM (#4461134)
I'm sure the use will be commonplace, I just don't see why anyone would find it interesting enough to buy tickets to see it.


Everyone thinks every other player is drugged up now and people are buying tickets.

I don't understand the question. Unless you think there is going to be no natural skill component left, and every beer league softball player will be able to turn himself into Albert Pujols through drugs.
   160. Greg Pope Posted: June 05, 2013 at 12:59 PM (#4461140)
along with artificial limb technology enhancements there are 'body suits' that a person can wear to increase strength and stamina.

Harveys, that wasn't a documentary... you were watching Iron Man 3.
   161. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 05, 2013 at 01:00 PM (#4461141)
Everyone thinks every other player is drugged up now and people are buying tickets.


For the Tour de France pretty much every player is drugged up and has been for years as far as I can tell. There are still fans, but I wonder how much their witch hunt (provocative term intended) has helped or more likely hindered fan support of their event. And that is what baseball wants to become?
   162. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 05, 2013 at 01:09 PM (#4461150)
#150 No idea what quality of legal advice MLB is getting now but they used to get regularly pounded on the legal front. Actually the issue may not have been the quality of the legal advice but whether they followed their lawyer's advice.


About 10 years ago I met a lawyer from one of the firms that worked for MLB back in the 80s, he said that MLB consistently refused to follow advice, did what they wanted, brought the lawyers back for damage control... and still didn't do what they were told. Then they'd bring in PR guys, pay them money, and then wouldn't do what the PR guys told them to do. Associates would want to work on something, because, hey baseball, but they'd learn quick that any assignment was better than an MLB related one.
   163. Drexl Spivey Posted: June 05, 2013 at 01:10 PM (#4461152)
along with artificial limb technology enhancements there are 'body suits' that a person can wear to increase strength and stamina.

Harveys, that wasn't a documentary... you were watching Iron Man 3.


No, he's referring to the "Blade Runner" Olympian (for the limb part) and world records set in swimming competitions (for the suit part).
   164. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: June 05, 2013 at 01:13 PM (#4461158)
I don't understand the question.

The question is the following: "Without the natural frailties, endemic to being human, that impacted and impinged upon organized sport and its participants from 1860 to [pick your date] render organized sport less compelling?"(*)

The answer is pretty clearly yes, though the question is certainly subjective. (I'm speaking, of course, of sport as sport -- not as titillation or entertainment.)

(*) The governing bodies of golf effectively answered the question in the affirmative with their recent ban of anchored putting, which serves to reduce the impact of nerves on the putting stroke.

   165. Gamingboy Posted: June 05, 2013 at 01:14 PM (#4461160)
I worry about genetic modification, really. Not because of the people who would do it, but rather what the further implications of it would be. You could ban the genetically engineered Super-Ballplayer from playing in MLB, perhaps, but would you be able to discriminate against the son for the sins of the father when he inherits dad's super-ballplaying genes?
   166. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: June 05, 2013 at 01:16 PM (#4461164)
About 10 years ago I met a lawyer from one of the firms that worked for MLB back in the 80s, he said that MLB consistently refused to follow advice, did what they wanted, brought the lawyers back for damage control... and still didn't do what they were told. Then they'd bring in PR guys, pay them money, and then wouldn't do what the PR guys told them to do. Associates would want to work on something, because, hey baseball, but they'd learn quick that any assignment was better than an MLB related one.

The decision makers in MLB are entitled cartel operators and they act as you'd expect entitled cartel operators to act.
   167. Drexl Spivey Posted: June 05, 2013 at 01:18 PM (#4461165)
Craig Calcaterra has the best take on this:

Baseball is doing this again. Getting into bed with a drug dealer who, allegedly, provided PEDs to dozens and possibly scores of players. Using his likely unreliable and clearly self-serving words to nab a few big names rather than to understand and address the problem they have in front of them


The full article is here: http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/06/04/when-it-comes-to-drugs-major-league-baseball-has-learned-nothing-from-the-past-wishes-to-learn-nothing-in-the-future/
   168. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 05, 2013 at 01:39 PM (#4461197)
It's a curious marketing strategy. I suppose in return he gets to claim that he's so Concerned about steroids that he's doing All He Can to rid the game of it.

There's no reason to credit a word he says as sincere, and never has been any reason to do so.


Bud Selig discusses steroids, 2005: "'I never even heard about it. I ran a team and nobody was closer to their players and I never heard any comment from them. It wasn't until 1998 or '99 that I heard the discussion."

Bud Selig testifying to Congress about steroids, 2006: "In 1994, before anybody was really talking about steroids in baseball, we proposed a program of testing for such substances to the MLBPA. As early as 1998, I began formulating a strategic plan to eliminate the use of performance enhancing substances from the game."
   169. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 05, 2013 at 01:39 PM (#4461198)
It's very good that A-Fraud is finally going to be punished for his misdeeds, but I still think he should be banned for life. Hopefully the Yankees will void his contract and his career will be over as a result.

A-Fraud made $19,000 while you were typing that.
   170. Ron J2 Posted: June 05, 2013 at 01:48 PM (#4461204)
#162 The Eugene Freedman article mentions that MLB has claimed to have brought in labor law specialists and generally upgraded their legal game.

I remain skeptical that they're actually listening to them though.
   171. AJMcCringleberry Posted: June 05, 2013 at 01:53 PM (#4461209)
Players suspended without failing a test, players suspended twice for the same offense, players extra suspended for denying they used anything. Yup, smart move for the MLBPA to just agree to testing, things are going great!
   172. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: June 05, 2013 at 02:02 PM (#4461226)
Players suspended without failing a test, players suspended twice for the same offense, players extra suspended for denying they used anything. Yup, smart move for the MLBPA to just agree to testing, things are going great!

Selig's true colors are showing.
   173. Mike Emeigh Posted: June 05, 2013 at 02:05 PM (#4461234)
players suspended twice for the same offense


I should note that the Joint Drug Agreement also explicitly states that players can't be suspended twice for the same infraction.

-- MWE
   174. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: June 05, 2013 at 02:08 PM (#4461240)
There's no authority whatsoever for suspending a guy for telling MLB he isn't 'roiding. You could try to stretch "best interests of baseball" but that would be a joke.
   175. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: June 05, 2013 at 02:19 PM (#4461258)
It will be interesting to see if suspended players wind up suing Selig and MLB for defamation, a la a couple of the Saints players in the recent bounty case.
   176. zenbitz Posted: June 05, 2013 at 02:28 PM (#4461270)
The average age of puberty for girls has dropped 2 to 3 years in the last 100+ years. Some of that is less malnutrition, but that's a big change.


atmospheric CO2, obviously.
   177. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 05, 2013 at 02:33 PM (#4461277)
atmospheric CO2, obviously.


Anthropomorphic change at any rate.
   178. Rally Posted: June 05, 2013 at 02:35 PM (#4461283)
bitter's point is something that the Olympics is facing now and which more sports will face soon in that along with artificial limb technology enhancements there are 'body suits' that a person can wear to increase strength and stamina. the military already has this being tested.


For the bench press, the most anyone has ever done is around 750 with normal gym attire. With bench shirts, people have lifted over 1100 pounds.
   179. bunyon Posted: June 05, 2013 at 02:36 PM (#4461288)
The average age of puberty for girls has dropped 2 to 3 years in the last 100+ years. Some of that is less malnutrition,

Let this be a lesson to fathers: starve your daughters.
   180. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 05, 2013 at 02:37 PM (#4461290)
Harveys, that wasn't a documentary... you were watching Iron Man 3.

I hope it is understood by the readers here that what I described is being used on an experimental basis.

your military services, especially the marines or special units in the army and navy, will almost certainly be incorporating some form of body suit that not just enhances protection but provides the users with enhanced/special skills.

I have heard estimates from 2015 to 2022.

I am invested heavily in such things so this area is of particular interest to me.

yup, merchant of death. that's me
   181. Ron J2 Posted: June 05, 2013 at 02:38 PM (#4461294)
#173 and yet it probably has already happened. Mike Morse's 2005 suspension was probably due to the same stuff that caused his earlier (minor league) suspension.
   182. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 05, 2013 at 02:41 PM (#4461302)
if it helps I think the other word used is exoskeleton
   183. Randy Jones Posted: June 05, 2013 at 02:49 PM (#4461324)
This seems relevant to the current discussion: Mind Controlled Exoskeleton
   184. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: June 05, 2013 at 03:12 PM (#4461355)
#173 and yet it probably has already happened. Mike Morse's 2005 suspension was probably due to the same stuff that caused his earlier (minor league) suspension.
The earlier suspensions weren't covered under the JDA.
   185. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: June 05, 2013 at 03:15 PM (#4461362)
Yup, smart move for the MLBPA to just agree to testing, things are going great!

Heh, like they had a choice! A 100 game suspension is absolutely nothing compared to the hammer the federal government wields when they decide to come after you.
   186. villageidiom Posted: June 05, 2013 at 03:26 PM (#4461385)
Bud Selig discusses steroids, 2005: "'I never even heard about it. I ran a team and nobody was closer to their players and I never heard any comment from them. It wasn't until 1998 or '99 that I heard the discussion."

Bud Selig testifying to Congress about steroids, 2006: "In 1994, before anybody was really talking about steroids in baseball, we proposed a program of testing for such substances to the MLBPA. As early as 1998, I began formulating a strategic plan to eliminate the use of performance enhancing substances from the game."
These are not necessarily conflicting statements; it depends on the context of the first quote, which in the numerous past times you have provided the quote you have not done. It's entirely possible he was saying he wasn't hearing anything about steroids from players or staff prior to 1998, which is somewhat plausible. That's different in nature from your characterization of the context as simply "on steroids".

It's also entirely possible that, given Congress passed an act regulating supplements in 1994, that MLB would consider related testing rules that same year without ever hearing any indication of use in MLB to that point. They were already testing for illegal recreational drugs by then, so proposing to expand that to include illegal supplements wouldn't be surprising during a contentious CBA negotiation.

I don't mean to appear as a Selig apologist, nor am I one at heart. It all could have happened the way I contextualized, and yet he is still contemptible for not doing more earlier, as well as for doing dumb stuff now. I'm just saying the quotes themselves are presented as though contexts are equal, when it's unclear that they are.
   187. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 05, 2013 at 03:45 PM (#4461425)
atmospheric CO2, obviously.

Anthropomorphic change at any rate.

You mean anthropogenic, unless those sneaky molecules have started imitating humans...
   188. villageidiom Posted: June 05, 2013 at 03:56 PM (#4461451)
I should note that the Joint Drug Agreement also explicitly states that players can't be suspended twice for the same infraction.
If they have multiple receipts of purchases, that's potentially multiple infractions.

Normally the infractions are failed drug tests. There might be multiple uses of PEDs leading to that test, but if I understand it correctly, the infraction is technically the positive test, not the usage. (Some banned substances are not PEDs but can trigger a positive test, and the JDA does consider such a positive test to be an infraction. Likewise, undetected usage is not an infraction, technically.)

However, in this case it's not a drug test, but "other information". And presumably MLB has multiple samples of such information from Boesch. I doubt the JDA proscribes that the discovery of, say, 100 purchases of PEDs can only count as one infraction simply on the basis that they are all discovered at the same time. (More likely that the JDA is silent.) And there's no way MLB would want it interpreted as one infraction. I think they're likely to say, "Hey, three receipts from three different shipments are three different purchases, and thus three infractions, warranting a lifetime ban. We'll be nice and simply count it as two infractions. You're welcome." And hence the 100-game suspension recommendation.

- - - - -

That aside, it will be interesting to see the defense. Choices seem to be:

1. "You can't do this." IOW, they'd say that the JDA doesn't allow for this. The players will do their best to keep adding the caveat "...even if it's true, which I deny." This could, I suppose, take years to resolve. This might be their best defense, though it's unclear to me if it's even realistic.

2. "It wasn't me." This will be either "someone close to me bought them, but that doesn't mean it was for me", or "yes, that's my credit card, but someone else used it and it wasn't for me". If there's enough of a paper trail, this seems like a tough one to prove. Even if MLB can't prove use, the paper trail is likely enough to establish purchase or distribution, which are infractions.

3. "Despite the multiple shipments, it was one purchase, and I used it once." Basically, pleading guilty for a lesser charge, the player admits use and gets the suspension halved by getting the infractions consolidated into one. I think MLB considers this a win. The player... Well, the JDA is a three-strikes policy, and having a one-strike count instead of two-strike count is a pretty big thing (especially considering the possibility of a non-PED triggering a positive test in the future).

I'm guessing the MLBPA goes all-in on #1.
   189. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 05, 2013 at 04:23 PM (#4461491)
As noted, I'm not aware Bosch is in any trouble with Fed and State authorities, at least not yet.

Seems like the reporting indicated that Bosch may have posed as a doctor, personally administered prescription drugs, forged doctors' signatures on prescriptions and fell far short of the record keeping requirements imposed on controlled substances. Can't see how the allegations against the players are credible without those against Bosch being equally so. Which makes it more difficult to suspend anyone based on Bosch's testimony unless there is significant corroborating evidence.
   190. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: June 05, 2013 at 04:29 PM (#4461500)
There's no way the multiple purchases equal multiple violations defense is going to fly. It's implicitly rejected by the one positive test equals one violation standard. One positive test, by definition, can result from not only multiple purchases, but multiple uses.
   191. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 05, 2013 at 04:31 PM (#4461501)
Re: #186--
The context for Bud Selig's February 1995 quote is the release of Jose Canseco's book "Juiced" and the reactions to its claims. The Associated Press asked Selig when he first became aware of steroid rumors within his sport.

http://newspaperarchive.com/ottawa-herald/2005-02-10/page-8

There's no reason to think that the 1990 Brewers used to phone up Bud Selig and say "My new drugs are awesome, boss!" And there's no reason to doubt that MLB did make perfunctory passes at some kind of ban, including in 1994. Fay Vincent still touts his earlier, toothless memo at every turn.

But Selig now wants the same kind of retroactive credit as a pioneer for spearheading an assault on PEDs, years before he first "heard the discussion" in 1998. A discussion he denounced as "terribly unfair" at the time, incidentally. Even Vincent doesn't claim to have first heard about the problem after he wrote his memo.

It's entirely possible he was saying he wasn't hearing anything about steroids from players or staff prior to 1998, which is somewhat plausible.

You tell me.

MLB Chief of Security Kevin Hallinan, 1994:
"We've heard it too, but what can we do?"

Padres GM Kevin Smith, 1995:
"We all know there's steroid use, and it is definitely becoming more prevalent. The ballplayers all know the dangers of it. We preach it every year."

Expos GM Kevin Malone, 1995:
"If individuals are going around and getting an unfair advantage because of steroid use, we should do something about it. You hear the rumors of usage is way up, and it would be nice to know if those are accurate."

Cincinnati Reds trainer Larry Starr:
"I have notes from the Winter Meetings where the owners group and the players' association sat in meetings with the team physicians and team trainers. I was there. And team physicians stood up and said, 'Look, we need to do something about this. We've got a problem here if we don't do something about it.' That was in 1988."

Starr met with MLB brass on multiple occasions. Starr later met with George Mitchell's investigative team on three separate occasions. His name, notes and testimony subsequently did not appear in the Mitchell Report.

Selig to Congress:
"In the period of time following the 1994-95 strike, I began to hear more about the possibility of the use of performance-enhancing substance by players."

A reminder:
"It wasn't until 1998 or '99 that I heard the discussion."
   192. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 05, 2013 at 04:38 PM (#4461512)
"yes, that's my credit card, but someone else used it and it wasn't for me"

That wouldn't help would it, if the JDA apparently (via MWE #138) prohibits:

"using, possessing, selling, facilitating the sale of, distributing, or facilitating the distribution of"

I would think if Bosch can and does produce any of their account information, they are basically screwed.
   193. Gaelan Posted: June 05, 2013 at 04:53 PM (#4461530)
Everyone thinks every other player is drugged up now and people are buying tickets.

I don't understand the question. Unless you think there is going to be no natural skill component left, and every beer league softball player will be able to turn himself into Albert Pujols through drugs.


It appears to me that the pervasive use of drugs and technology to improve performance has already undermined the popularity of the Olympics and the Tour de France. There is a tipping point which, once past, the sport loses its credibility.

You can't stop this kind of thing entirely but you can place limits on it that retain the basic integrity of the game. Otherwise sports degenerates into entertainment and if sports is merely entertainment, as opposed to entertaining, why would people give it such importance. This is why, I think, that professional sports are more popular than professional wrestling.

So while I haven't been following the particulars of this development I am in favour of hard lines on all of these issues from drugs to biotechnology to equipment (smaller gloves please).
   194. bunyon Posted: June 05, 2013 at 04:55 PM (#4461534)
I would think if Bosch can and does produce any of their account information, they are basically screwed.

Yes. If Bosch has held onto evidence that can be authenticated and tied to the player, they're toast. Why he would give that stuff up to a non-legal entity, is what I don't understand. I can completely see him cutting a deal* with state and federal authorities. It would make sense. But by giving MLB the evidence, it seems to me he hangs himself as well. And that's even if you can trust MLB to do whatever it is they've told him they'll do.

If he doesn't have any evidence that can be corroborated, what the hell is MLB thinking?
   195. Ron J2 Posted: June 05, 2013 at 05:09 PM (#4461548)
#193 I guess in the sense that some sponsors have chosen to walk away, but that always happens anyhow. There are only about 8 constants in the sponsors. The rest are just in for a while. But one long time sponsor did recently walk away.

What seems to be happening in France is that it's basically kept its established fan base but has had trouble attracting new fans. According to a 2010 survey, 72 percent of people under the age of 35 have no interest in the event. (survey in France -- no idea what's going on stateside, but cycling was never that big in the US)

I'm not at all sure that it's PEDs (or that it isn't). Can't be good news if an entire generation has basically turned its back on the sport.
   196. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 05, 2013 at 05:13 PM (#4461550)
I'm sure the use will be commonplace, I just don't see why anyone would find it interesting enough to buy tickets to see it.
Because they're not magical pills. At most they enable people to maximize their potential, not to simply increase performance unboundedly.
   197. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 05, 2013 at 05:40 PM (#4461582)
It appears to me that the pervasive use of drugs and technology to improve performance has already undermined the popularity of the Olympics and the Tour de France. There is a tipping point which, once past, the sport loses its credibility.
The fall of the Berlin Wall undermined the popularity of the Olympics. The Tour de France is people riding bicycles. Around France. 'Nuff said.
   198. AJMcCringleberry Posted: June 05, 2013 at 06:27 PM (#4461617)
I think the rampant corruption and fixing of events is probably worse for the Olympics than people improving their performance.
   199. Zach Posted: June 05, 2013 at 06:31 PM (#4461621)
Because they're not magical pills. At most they enable people to maximize their potential, not to simply increase performance unboundedly.

In the realm of cycling, they may as well be magic pills. Read Tyler Hamilton's book. He quite clearly goes through the math and explains the benefit of various forms of cheating, and has a quite well founded belief that it was impossible to win a multi-day race in his era without doping.

Just as a sample: in a multi-week race such as the Tour de France, an athlete will tend to lose about 0.5% hematocrit per week. Assuming they start at 50% (the maximum allowed in competition), by the end of a three week race, a non-doping rider has fallen to 47%, so that peak power output is down by ~6%, which is more than large enough to be decisive in a given stage. Now consider that many cyclists have a natural hematocrit of 40%, so they're giving up 20% to the dopers. At that point, it's basically impossible for a clean rider to win.
   200. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 05, 2013 at 06:45 PM (#4461631)
At that point, it's basically impossible for a clean rider to win.


Yes, but if everyone's drugged up, then natural talent still dominates. Lance Armstrong was the best drugged up cyclist out of all the other drugged up cyclists. So he did accomplish something - plenty.
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