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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

MSNBC: Fmr. Sen. Mitchell: Performance-enhancing drugs here to stay

The latest Mitchell Report: Electrolytes to Chuckolytes.

Mitchell, whose report helped lead to new rules regarding drug testing, said the problem isn’t going away. “Every society has laws against robbery and murder, yet everyone knows that robbery and murder are not going to end. It’s managing an ongoing human problem. That’s the case with performance-enhancing drugs,” Mitchell told Chuck Todd on The Daily Rundown. “It’s a problem of…keeping pace, reducing the incentives to use and…increasing vigilance, regulation and punishment for those who use.” Major League Baseball released a statement saying its in the midst of an “active investigation” into the latest allegations and noted that the developments amount to proof that anti-drug efforts are working.

Mitchell says the sport has its hands full trying to clamp down on cheaters. “In many parts of the world, including the United States, there are people engaged in illegal businesses trying to develop new performance-enhancing drugs that can escape detection. They try to stay one step ahead of the regulators and the testers.” Nevertheless, the former Senator says there’s no need to get the federal government involved. “Not at the moment, I don’t think so,” he said. “Let’s wait and see what happens.”

Repoz Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:39 PM | 105 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: steroids

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   1. smileyy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:37 PM (#4358330)
So remind me again what the arguments against acceptance are?
   2. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:39 PM (#4358332)
It seems like it's the nature of things that the chemists will always be ahead of the testers. 50 years down the road, will this be seen as the end of spectator sports? I can't wrap my brain around people going to see Clemens IV pitch to Ramirez IV if it'a just taken for granted that they're both juiced. I understand that people in general will be taking their own PED products, but I don't see a spectator interest in who has the better drugs.
   3. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:40 PM (#4358338)
So remind me again what the arguments against acceptance are?

Keeping the season and career HR records free of steroids taint.
   4. smileyy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:48 PM (#4358348)
but I don't see a spectator interest in who has the better drugs


The NFL doesn't seem to be suffering.

You're already seeing that to some extent -- who has the better training regimens, who has the better diets, who has the better film study/computer breakdowns, who has the better coaches. I don't see "PEDs" (which we can't even agree on a definition of) as being substantially different.
   5. Howie Menckel Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:58 PM (#4358357)

"So remind me again what the arguments against acceptance are?"

IF these substances cause longterm harm and premature death, then allowing them means you are forcing other players to make a rough choice: juice up and get rich, or play it safe and wind up being out of baseball.

IF being the operative word here, but the scenario would be a pretty good argument against, I think.
   6. Randy Jones Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:08 PM (#4358362)
IF these substances cause longterm harm and premature death, then allowing them means you are forcing other players to make a rough choice: juice up and get rich, or play it safe and wind up being out of baseball.

IF being the operative word here, but the scenario would be a pretty good argument against, I think.


Better ban football altogether then. Also, to be safe, hockey, rugby, Aussie rules, Gaelic football, and any other contact sports I am forgetting.
   7. smileyy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:12 PM (#4358363)
[6] has my response. I don't find an argument that's not backed by sentimentality or hypocrisy. (And I realize [5] was offering that up as a hypothetical argument, and not pressing it)

I realize that sports is entertainment and "Because I like it that way" is a real argument. But I can't find the moral imperative that so many writers seem to be latched onto.
   8. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:27 PM (#4358372)
Better ban football altogether then. Also, to be safe, hockey, rugby, Aussie rules, Gaelic football, and any other contact sports I am forgetting.


And headers in soccer.
   9. AROM Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:29 PM (#4358376)
It seems like it's the nature of things that the chemists will always be ahead of the testers. 50 years down the road, will this be seen as the end of spectator sports? I can't wrap my brain around people going to see Clemens IV pitch to Ramirez IV if it'a just taken for granted that they're both juiced. I understand that people in general will be taking their own PED products, but I don't see a spectator interest in who has the better drugs.


50 years down the road these drugs will be so old fashioned. Who needs steroids when robotic exoskeletons provide so much more strength and power?

I'm actually not even trying to joke here. I've read a bit about military uses of exoskeletons, allowing people to do heaving lifting with minimal effort. A long way from having something that will help throw a baseball or swing a bat, probably, but 50 years down the road? Considering the ever quickening pace of progress 2063 will probably be more unrecognizable to people of today that 2013 is to the imaginations of 1963.

Consider what unregulated enhancements might be possible to recreationists. If kids of the future can put on their suits and throw a ball 120 miles an hour, and the person they throw to can hit it 600 feet, will they have any interest in watching clean and low-tech professionals compete at what will seem to be a lower level of play?
   10. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:29 PM (#4358377)
IF these substances cause longterm harm and premature death, then allowing them means you are forcing other players to make a rough choice: juice up and get rich, or play it safe and wind up being out of baseball.


I doubt that most current PEDs are much worse for you than, say, a lifetime spent as a coal miner.
   11. SoSH U at work Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:34 PM (#4358384)
Better ban football altogether then. Also, to be safe, hockey, rugby, Aussie rules, Gaelic football, and any other contact sports I am forgetting.


That seems like it could be used as an argument why football shouldn't even try to curb helmet-to-helmet hits, which I doubt you advocate.

There is a certain amount of inherent danger in these sports, obviously. That doesn't mean efforts can't, nor shouldn't, be taken to make them as safe as possible.

Whether that includes juicing is a separate matter. But the inherent danger in these sports isn't a reasonable argument against it.
   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:36 PM (#4358390)

Better ban football altogether then. Also, to be safe, hockey, rugby, Aussie rules, Gaelic football, and any other contact sports I am forgetting.


We're kinda heading that way, aren't we?
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:37 PM (#4358391)
IF these substances cause longterm harm and premature death, then allowing them means you are forcing other players to make a rough choice: juice up and get rich, or play it safe and wind up being out of baseball.

This, and also, PEDs, if widespread, are pointless. It's just an arms race where everyone pays a price to get better, but no one gains.

Everyone concerned is better off if nobody uses, than if everybody uses.
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:47 PM (#4358403)
I doubt that most current PEDs are much worse for you than, say, a lifetime spent as a coal miner.

Except society needs coal miners. Nobody needs roided ball-players.
   15. SoSH U at work Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:48 PM (#4358404)
I'm actually not even trying to joke here. I've read a bit about military uses of exoskeletons, allowing people to do heaving lifting with minimal effort. A long way from having something that will help throw a baseball or swing a bat, probably, but 50 years down the road? Considering the ever quickening pace of progress 2063 will probably be more unrecognizable to people of today that 2013 is to the imaginations of 1963.

Consider what unregulated enhancements might be possible to recreationists. If kids of the future can put on their suits and throw a ball 120 miles an hour, and the person they throw to can hit it 600 feet, will they have any interest in watching clean and low-tech professionals compete at what will seem to be a lower level of play?


I don't know what future audiences will like, but if we reach that point, it would seem that the athlete would be providing so little of the performance as to limit its appeal as sport. Under this kind of scenario, it's possible that technology would make Albert Pujols and David Eckstein virtually equal as physical specimens, and you'd be doing little more than watching a battle to see who created the better machine (which may be what future audiences enjoy, though I'm sure the clean, low-tech competition would maintain significant appeal).

   16. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:51 PM (#4358410)
Except society needs coal miners. Nobody needs roided ball-players.


The market disagrees.
   17. smileyy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:51 PM (#4358411)

Everyone concerned is better off if nobody uses, than if everybody uses.


Except there's no pressure to defect.

I'm still unclear what the price they're paying is, and the marginal price on top of what an athletic career can already do to one's body.
   18. smileyy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:56 PM (#4358414)

That seems like it could be used as an argument why football shouldn't even try to curb helmet-to-helmet hits, which I doubt you advocate.


I'd advocate getting rid of the helmet, so that's kind of a "mu" answer to your question.


Whether that includes juicing is a separate matter. But the inherent danger in these sports isn't a reasonable argument against it.


No, but it makes histrionics suspect, if the marginal danger is slight compared to the inherent danger.
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:59 PM (#4358417)
The market disagrees.

Not clear. Most people seem to be happy with anti-PED efforts.
   20. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:04 PM (#4358422)

I doubt that most current PEDs are much worse for you than, say, a lifetime spent as a coal miner.


So, the nature of doping makes it really hard to predict what sort of effects we'll see. Beyond the stock warnings about increased risk of stroke and heart attack, liver and kidney troubles, and arthritis, it's hard to know what current pro PED usage will bring. My hunch is that someone like Barry Bonds (using designer steroids under strict supervision) will probably get away ok, whereas someone like Roger Clemens or Jason Giambi (using old school bodybuilding drugs stacked in high doses) probably has a great risk for trouble.

We *do* know that a great many of the heavy juicers of the 70's and 80's, like Superstar Billy Graham, saw serious deleterious side effects. Of course, MLB's testing policy has (for almost a decade now) made it really, really hard to use stuff like dianabol or winstrol (the stuff Raffy Palmeiro was caught with.) My own guess is that low dose testosterone creams and mild hGH usage are basically harmless, or at least would be under dr's supervision. Of course, unregulated PED usage would immediately become an awful arms race and we can all go ask Ken Patera how to think of that.
   21. smileyy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:07 PM (#4358425)
Not clear. Most people seem to be happy with anti-PED efforts.


In baseball. Kinda. In baseball, the market also showed that they like plausible deniability. In football, most people seem to close their eyes and stick their fingers in their ears.
   22. smileyy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:09 PM (#4358427)
My own guess is that low dose testosterone creams and mild hGH usage are basically harmless, or at least would be under dr's supervision. Of course, unregulated PED usage would immediately become an awful arms race and we can all go ask Ken Patera how to think of that.


Yeah. Saying that responsible, supervised use of PEDs will definitely ruin your organs and kill you strikes me as being about as effective as saying "Marijuana will make you microwave your baby".

OTOH, with regulation and use, I can see an effective campaign against unsafe, irresponsible usage.
   23. SoSH U at work Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:09 PM (#4358428)
No, but it makes histrionics suspect, if the marginal danger is slight compared to the inherent danger.


If there are any histrionics in this thread, it ain't by the anti-PED side. Mike Lupica's not here.

You can't remove all contact from football and still have football, so some of the danger is inherent. You can remove some other dangers, even marginal ones, if the inclusion is not necessary to play the game. Helmet-to-helmet hits and horse collar tackles, for instance, can be outlawed while still maintaining the game's core. The same is true of steroids (though there are obviously other issues with juicing).

But as long as the substances are controlled, the issue is moot. Whether you can reasonably ask athletes to take on further damage is something open to debate; whether you can ask them to risk legal consequences is not.
   24. smileyy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:18 PM (#4358439)
[23] That was probably poor sentence phrasing -- there are no histrionics in this thread, though there is plenty of it in public and "conventional wisdom".

But still, to argue marginal danger, I think you need to quantify the inherent danger and the marginal danger, which nobody is doing.
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:31 PM (#4358452)
But still, to argue marginal danger, I think you need to quantify the inherent danger and the marginal danger, which nobody is doing.


I don't think you have to quantify the inherent danger. Auto racing is inherently dangerous, and always will be. But its various governing bodies are consistently and routinely looking for any and all ways to make it safer, as they should be. Baseball should do likewise, whether that's juicing or collisions at the plate (get rid of them, dammit).

Now, you do have to quantify the marginal danger and compare it to what it costs (both financial and other) to modify it (such as enforcement, success rate, loss of appeal, etc.) That's got to be an ongoing enterprise.
   26. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:39 PM (#4358464)

Yeah. Saying that responsible, supervised use of PEDs will definitely ruin your organs and kill you strikes me as being about as effective as saying "Marijuana will make you microwave your baby".

OTOH, with regulation and use, I can see an effective campaign against unsafe, irresponsible usage.


I honestly think this is the direction we're headed in. You can't have a middle aged (and more) population that takes testosterone and hgh on the regular and then say ballplayers can't to get over their injuries.

Allow me to spitball for a moment: I'd imagine the structure of usage will be through some form of therapeutic use exemption, where Player X ends up on the DL with an "approved injury" and the team doctor administers whatever PED's as performance *enabling* drugs. The info is a matter of public record, the player is tested extremely heavily during this period to make sure he doesn't take advantage of the opportunity to dope in an untoward fashion (nothing therapeutic about mimicking Ronnie Coleman's stack while you're on the DL) and there's some "stoppage time" between when the player comes off the drugs and when he's allowed back onto the field so as to eliminate any chance of unfair advantage.
   27. AROM Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:43 PM (#4358466)
Most people seem to be happy with anti-PED efforts.


Maybe, but there's a sizeable number that are not happy about it. As an example, when a player who was caught and served his 50 game suspension signed a new contract, there were quite a few reactions such as "wow, I can't believe they are letting him play baseball again"

You've definitely got some people who could only be satisfied with a lifetime ban on a first offense, treating it the same as betting on your own games.

   28. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:47 PM (#4358471)

Allow me to spitball for a moment: I'd imagine the structure of usage will be through some form of therapeutic use exemption, where Player X ends up on the DL with an "approved injury" and the team doctor administers whatever PED's as performance *enabling* drugs. The info is a matter of public record, the player is tested extremely heavily during this period to make sure he doesn't take advantage of the opportunity to dope in an untoward fashion (nothing therapeutic about mimicking Ronnie Coleman's stack while you're on the DL) and there's some "stoppage time" between when the player comes off the drugs and when he's allowed back onto the field so as to eliminate any chance of unfair advantage.


I agree with this. It just needs to be more transparent and regulated. I think the public is fine with using PEDs to recover from injuries (as evidenced by their attitudes towards Andy Pettitte and now Ray Lewis). I think Bill Simmons said something to this effect when talking about how it was ridiculous that Kobe Bryant or whoever had to go to Europe to get his blood recycled or whatever weird process they do to help basketball players recover.
   29. smileyy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:52 PM (#4358474)
[25] I think if the danger levels are vastly different, then it matters. But I don't mind disagreeing.

[26]:

You can't have a middle aged (and more) population that takes testosterone and hgh on the regular and then say ballplayers can't to get over their injuries.


I'm imagining a scenario where I walk into my doctor's office and I say "I have a job that puts an extensive strain on my body, and my body is unable to recover in time to perform my job at the highest level on a day to day basis. My strength and energy, and thus my job performance, fluctuates on a day to day basis."

I have no doubt I have no problem finding a doctor who will offer to legally prescribe testosterone and hGH to improve my job performance, while warning me about the known risks.

This is why I range from meh to irritated about histrionics from the public and the media.

Edit: And I think my stance is just further down the continuum expressed in [26] and [28]: Athletes are getting over injuries every day.
   30. AROM Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:58 PM (#4358480)
I think the public is fine with using PEDs to recover from injuries (as evidenced by their attitudes towards Andy Pettitte and now Ray Lewis).


Ray? I think he get's the benefit of the doubt because the terrible thing he's supposed to have taken is deer antler spray. It sounds funny. Doesn't make him seem as evil as a guy taking some unpronounceable drug created in a lab. Doesn't really matter what the actual effects or potency of the drugs are.

I'm sure there will be a few Ravens fans to show up at super bowl parties wearing a #52 jersey and some fake antlers. I mean, it's Baltimore. They already own the costume antlers to support Buck Showalter.
   31. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:00 PM (#4358484)

Ray? I think he get's the benefit of the doubt because the terrible thing he's supposed to have taken is deer antler spray. It sounds funny. Doesn't make him seem as evil as a guy taking some unpronounceable drug created in a lab. Doesn't really matter what the actual effects or potency of the drugs are. of God


FTFY.
   32. smileyy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:10 PM (#4358494)
I would have said "because of the NFL", but yeah.

The story spins a lot worse (and due to NFL PED bias, may be being spun the way it is) if it reads "I sold Ray Lewis sublingually administered growth hormone."
   33. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:36 PM (#4358522)
I've heard and understood the arguments that most of the site likes about PED and the hall of fame, but until today I had not realized that so many here were actually pro drug. Bizzare.
   34. smileyy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:44 PM (#4358528)
[33] I've yet to hear convincing consistent arguments against it.

My state of residence also legalized marijuana. I guess I'm pretty libertarian.
   35. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:50 PM (#4358532)
[33] I've yet to hear convincing consistent arguments against it.

It creates an unecessary (unknown) health risk with no collective upside.

If everyone juices, the sport gains nothing, the players gain nothing, and there is added risk.

What's the argument for PEDs?
   36. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:55 PM (#4358540)

I've heard and understood the arguments that most of the site likes about PED and the hall of fame, but until today I had not realized that so many here were actually pro drug. Bizzare.


Its not that surprising. The site is populated full of (a) libertarians; (b) contrarians; and (c) diehard baseball apologists. I'm not saying that in a disparaging way, I tend to agree with them.

with no collective upside.


Sure there's an upside. There is some evidence to suggest it increases performance and allows players to recover faster from injuries.
   37. smileyy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:59 PM (#4358545)
The sport gains athletes playing at a higher level on a consistent basis. No one ever coaches a team to go out and play well but not too well. There's a reason I like the NBA more than I like high school basketball. Maybe this is different for baseball, where we don't want players playing too well, because it disrupts certain equilibria that make the game appealing?

It brings inevitable usage out of the shadows and into a place where it can be regulated and monitored and researched. It eliminates temptation to defect, and break the rules for personal benefit (and to the detriment of one's fellow players).

"It might be unhealthy, but we'll never know, because we'll never research it" rings hollow with me. How those risks compare to exists risks of playing the game are important (but I'm repeating myself here).
   38. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 06:01 PM (#4358547)
Sure there's an upside. There is some evidence to suggest it increases performance and allows players to recover faster from injuries.

Which just denies other players playing time.
   39. smileyy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 06:02 PM (#4358549)
Injuries and wear-and-tear are baseball's welfare?

I'm all about social safety nets in the world at large, but I want my talent to rise to the top and stay there, on display for me to watch, when I watch sports and entertainment.
   40. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 06:02 PM (#4358550)
How those risks compare to exists risks of playing the game are important (but I'm repeating myself here).

What risks are there to playing baseball? I've seen zero evidence MLBers die younger than the general population.
   41. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 06:03 PM (#4358551)
Maybe this is different for baseball, where we don't want players playing too well, because it disrupts certain equilibria that make the game appealing?


While I think the silly ball era was an ugly brand of baseball, it certainly drew fans. The answer to bigger, stronger hitters is probably moving the fences back, not handicapping player capabilities.
   42. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 06:09 PM (#4358555)
The answer to bigger, stronger hitters is probably moving the fences back, not handicapping player capabilities.

It's not handicapping to bar PEDs, and even with bigger parks, you'll still get crazy offense b/c the OFs can't cover all that space.
   43. smileyy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 06:14 PM (#4358556)
FWIW, I appreciate the discussion, snapper.
   44. smileyy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 06:18 PM (#4358558)

It's not handicapping to bar PEDs, and even with bigger parks, you'll still get crazy offense b/c the OFs can't cover all that space.


Doubles and triples, and inside-the-park home runs! I remember people liking those things :)

But changing park dimensions away past historical thresholds...yeah, we're talking about changing the game in ways that fundamentally changes something about the sport. There is an appeal (as mentioned in another thread) to being able to imagine very similar games being played across eras.
   45. DL from MN Posted: January 30, 2013 at 06:25 PM (#4358562)
the ever quickening pace of progress


People have been decrying the ever quickening pace of progress for hundreds of years.
   46. AROM Posted: January 30, 2013 at 06:31 PM (#4358570)
It's not handicapping to bar PEDs, and even with bigger parks, you'll still get crazy offense b/c the OFs can't cover all that space.


You'd get different kinds of outfielders. More Ben Reveres, fewer Josh Willinghams. That would put a damper on offense.
   47. cmd600 Posted: January 30, 2013 at 07:42 PM (#4358623)
More Ben Reveres, fewer Josh Willinghams


This makes the incorrect assumption that PEDs help power but not speed.
   48. SoSH U at work Posted: January 30, 2013 at 07:47 PM (#4358627)

This makes the incorrect assumption that PEDs help power but not speed.


No, it doesn't. Bigger outfields, with or without rules on PEDs, put a greater premium on outfielders who can cover ground.
   49. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 30, 2013 at 08:00 PM (#4358641)
Not clear. Most people seem to be happy with anti-PED efforts.


The fans are not the market. The players are the market. Fans will go see baseball regardless. There wasn't a lull in attendance during the 90s, outside of the strike effect.
   50. Walt Davis Posted: January 30, 2013 at 08:10 PM (#4358648)
What's the argument for PEDs?

It's not an argument for PEDs, it's an argument against regulating PEDs based on some combination of:

a) standard civil libertarian right to do what you want to your own body stuff as long as you don't harm others
b) chemists are always ahead of the curve so testing is generally effective only against those ignorant or unable to afford the good stuff
c) making it "illegal" drives it underground which increases, not decreases, the health risks (and the shadiness)
d) punishment outweighs the crime
e) man some of the anti-PED crowd are hypocritical jerks

If you buy all of those, then drug-testing is unnecessarily invasive, ineffective, counter-productive, draconian and exists only to placate certain vocal segments of society. Add that the use of these drugs by the general public is effectively unregulated (while technically regulated) and you're singling out a small segment of society too. That doesn't mean you think that check-out folks at WalMart should be injecting themselves with Winstrol.
   51. bunyon Posted: January 30, 2013 at 08:16 PM (#4358656)
As to the market comment from Sam, I'm pretty sure he was taking issue with the idea that society needs coal miners but not ballplayers. The market says otherwise. Ballplayers are remarkably well compensated while coal miners struggle to make a living.

If the market is truly a reflection of society's priorities, the market says ballplayers are more important.
   52. smileyy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 08:24 PM (#4358661)
Nice Walt. I'll remember that reframing of the question.
   53. Publius Publicola Posted: January 30, 2013 at 08:30 PM (#4358662)
You know what would cause the PED abuse to no longer be a problem? If, in addition to the player penalties, you had club penalties as well. Say, if a player got caught who was on the 25 man roster, you lose a 1st rd draft pick. If he's on the 40 man, you lose a 2nd rd pick. If he's a minor leaguer not on the 40 man, the major league club gets hit with a stiff fine. Then there would be institutional incentives to not sign suspected users, and to more closely monitor the players you do have.
   54. Walt Davis Posted: January 30, 2013 at 08:41 PM (#4358666)
You'd get different kinds of outfielders. More Ben Reveres, fewer Josh Willinghams. That would put a damper on offense.

Maybe. What got lost in the HR bonanza of the sillyball era is that it was also an era of unprecedented levels of power and speed. Lord only knows what power-speed really measures but modern players are all over the top of that chart and not necessarily the ones you'd expect. There were 23 30/30 seasons prior to 1994 (convenient cutoff) and 20 from 95 to 02. Things aren't slowing down much as there have been 17 from 03 to 12. Four guys did it in 2011 which seems to tie the record with 1997. Looking at it from a different angle, there have been 82 seasons with 30+ HR and 15+ Rfield*. 47 of these have occurred since 1994 including 26 over the last 10 years, 3 last year and 5 in 2009.

Obviously there's still a relationship between speed/defensive range and power -- i.e. we still don't see many 30 HR SS -- but power and speed are a much more common combo now than before. Maybe fewer Willinghams but more Prados and more Reddicks.

*Rfield is not ideal here. I can't (easily) control for position (Adrian Gonzalez is not somebody you'd plunk into CF) and it's relative to average so defensive talent could be down overall but you could still have as many Rfield as Willie Mays in a season.
   55. Walt Davis Posted: January 30, 2013 at 08:52 PM (#4358670)
Oh, forgot to include my own personal view of PEDs in baseball today:

While I wish it had happened in a non-coercive environment, MLB and MLBPA have come to a negotiated agreement that PEDs are against the rules, testing will occur and penalties have been specified. I am fine with this state of affairs as long as the power balance between MLB and MLBPA is reasonably equitable. I am far from confident that the current arrangement is in the best interests of the players but they (through their union) have agreed to it and, obviously, if everybody actually stuck to the rules then there'd be zero undue health risks and players (overall but possibly distributed differently) will continue to share in that big pile of money.
   56. Esoteric Posted: January 30, 2013 at 08:55 PM (#4358671)
You know what would cause the PED abuse to no longer be a problem? If, in addition to the player penalties, you had club penalties as well. Say, if a player got caught who was on the 25 man roster, you lose a 1st rd draft pick. If he's on the 40 man, you lose a 2nd rd pick. If he's a minor leaguer not on the 40 man, the major league club gets hit with a stiff fine. Then there would be institutional incentives to not sign suspected users, and to more closely monitor the players you do have.
This is actually pretty brilliant, to the point where 1.) I'm surprised that nobody has suggested it before; 2.) there must be some critical flaw to it that I'm missing. I suppose the idea of collective punishment is a bit Leninist, but then again it really would take the PEDs out of baseball right quick. And you didn't even mention the number one reason it would, which is social pressure from the rest of the players.

The other problem, of course, is that neither the owners nor the MLBPA would ever agree to it.
   57. Karl from NY Posted: January 30, 2013 at 08:56 PM (#4358672)
Looking over the list of 30-30 seasons, it looks like mostly perennial 30 HR guys that happened to fluctuate up to 30 SB in a particular year. Guys like Mondesi, Walker, Preston Wilson, Abreu, even David Wright. It's a lot easier for a power hitter, say Dante Bichette, to grab 30 steals than for a speedy Barry Larkin to suddenly hit 30 HR.

I'd guess 30-30 seasons probably just track pretty closely with 30 HR seasons, which obviously went way up in the 90's.

Higher league OBP could play a role too: OBP should correlate with SB as a counting stat, more times on base means more stealing opportunities.
   58. SoSH U at work Posted: January 30, 2013 at 09:01 PM (#4358675)
I am far from confident that the current arrangement is in the best interests of the players


I am absolutely confident that the current arrangement is far better for the players as a whole than the old one.

In the pre-testing era, players took all of the health and legal risks, assumed the financial cost of any doping regimens, while creating no jobs in the process (and destroying the reputation of a number of union members along the way). OTOH, they did get to keep their pee to themselves.

The old system was boffo for the owners, though. They got more productive employees at no cost to themselves, as opposed to the current system where they have to absorb the cost of testing.

   59. smileyy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 09:02 PM (#4358677)
[56] Any sort of player-related team punishment seems like it violates boundaries between the team and the player. At my first glance, it would seem to allow individual players to damage a team in significant long-term ways.
   60. smileyy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 09:04 PM (#4358680)

Higher league OBP could play a role too: OBP should correlate with SB as a counting stat, more times on base means more stealing opportunities.


It also lowers the value of a stolen base, no? Not that expected value factors into every stolen base decision.
   61. Publius Publicola Posted: January 30, 2013 at 09:27 PM (#4358691)
At my first glance, it would seem to allow individual players to damage a team in significant long-term ways.


That's the point. It would incentivize teams to avoid such players, and incentivize the players to avoid damaging their teams longterm. As Esoteric correctly points out, the peer pressure on the players to not screw things up for their team would be enormous.
   62. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: January 30, 2013 at 09:40 PM (#4358692)
That's the point. It would incentivize teams to avoid such players, and incentivize the players to avoid damaging their teams longterm. As Esoteric correctly points out, the peer pressure on the players to not screw things up for their team would be enormous.


Making rules that merely provide "incentives" by applying the wrong penalties to the wrong people are not the way to legislate. Unintended consequences get bigger the more indirect your rules get......
   63. Moeball Posted: January 30, 2013 at 09:52 PM (#4358695)
you'd be doing little more than watching a battle to see who created the better machine (which may be what future audiences enjoy, though I'm sure the clean, low-tech competition would maintain significant appeal).


Welcome to Nascar!

This is actually pretty brilliant, to the point where 1.) I'm surprised that nobody has suggested it before; 2.) there must be some critical flaw to it that I'm missing.

The other problem, of course, is that neither the owners nor the MLBPA would ever agree to it.


It has been suggested before (at least on threads I have seen at BBTF)but, as you mentioned, the primary reason it won't happen is because it takes control away from owners while giving them a portion of accountability. Not.Ever.Ever.Going.To.Happen. (Sorry, went all Taylor Swift for a moment).
   64. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 30, 2013 at 10:06 PM (#4358698)
As to the market comment from Sam, I'm pretty sure he was taking issue with the idea that society needs coal miners but not ballplayers. The market says otherwise. Ballplayers are remarkably well compensated while coal miners struggle to make a living.

If the market is truly a reflection of society's priorities, the market says ballplayers are more important.


Then obviously ballplayers are also more important than policemen, firemen, teachers, engineers, scientists and presidents of the United States, though admittedly they're less important than the presidents and CEOs of hedge funds.
   65. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 30, 2013 at 10:10 PM (#4358699)
I am absolutely confident that the current arrangement is far better for the players as a whole than the old one.

In the pre-testing era, players took all of the health and legal risks, assumed the financial cost of any doping regimens, while creating no jobs in the process (and destroying the reputation of a number of union members along the way). OTOH, they did get to keep their pee to themselves.


Which seems to be almost as sacred a right as the right to own a Bushmaster, though not quite as sacred as the right to decent health care.

The old system was boffo for the owners, though. They got more productive employees at no cost to themselves, as opposed to the current system where they have to absorb the cost of testing.

Not to mention absorbing the risk of losing some of your key players for 50 or 100 games in the middle of the season.
   66. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 10:21 PM (#4358704)
Which seems to be almost as sacred a right as the right to own a Bushmaster, though not quite as sacred as the right to decent health care.

Shocking how you have a right to do something for yourself, but not to compel the rest of he world to give you something for free.

What's next, the right to a 2500 sq ft house?
   67. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 30, 2013 at 10:31 PM (#4358707)
The right to be secure in your own pee is inherently incompatible with free and fair sporting competition. That doesn't tell you where you should come out on the issue, only that a sporting competition wherein players don't have provide their piss for testing isn't going to be fair. Its value is to be found not in sport, but in entertainment.

The MLB owners are under no obligation to provide fair and sporting baseball competition, and consumers are under no obligation to prefer fair and sporting baseball competition to baseball entertainment.

   68. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 10:55 PM (#4358720)
The right to be secure in your own pee is inherently incompatible with free and fair sporting competition. That doesn't tell you where you should come out on the issue, only that a sporting competition wherein players don't have provide their piss for testing isn't going to be fair. Its value is to be found not in sport, but in entertainment.

The MLB owners are under no obligation to provide fair and sporting baseball competition, and consumers are under no obligation to prefer fair and sporting baseball competition to baseball entertainment.


Correct. But most fans seem to prefer fair competition.
   69. smileyy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:10 PM (#4358726)
[68] Do they prefer "better" (better athletic performances) over "fair"er?
   70. Publius Publicola Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:24 PM (#4358730)
The old system was boffo for the owners, though. They got more productive employees at no cost to themselves, as opposed to the current system where they have to absorb the cost of testing.


I don't agree with this. If the opposing players were also more productive, then there was no gain. All you accomplished was get a whole lot of negative publicity and coax the feds into nosing into your business.
   71. Walt Davis Posted: January 31, 2013 at 12:37 AM (#4358758)
Then there would be institutional incentives to not sign suspected users, and to more closely monitor the players you do have.

This is the problem with the idea of penalizing teams. MLB and MLBPA have come to an agreement on how closely teams may monitor the drug use of the players they do have -- i.e. by the agreed testing. Any further monitoring rather obviously also has to be negotiated into the CBA, not undertaken at the whim of a team.

MLB and MLBPA have agreed on the penalty structure -- i.e. losing 50 then 100 then all games and attached monies -- for violating the drug policy. But once that penalty is served, no enduring penalty is supposed to apply -- i.e. ideally there would be NO disincentive to signing previously suspended much less suspected players.

Of course a draft pick or other team penalty could be negotiated into the next CBA I suppose but why would the MLBPA agree to a policy that will make it harder for their guys to get roster spots and/or leave them signing for less money. They surely already recognize that the Melkys of the world will always lose a lot of money/years on their next contract (i.e. that ideal world will never exist) so why would they agree to something that will take even more money out of Melky's pocket?

And boy don't I feel silly for believing that the right to privacy is more important than ridding baseball of roids.
   72. SoSH U at work Posted: January 31, 2013 at 12:45 AM (#4358762)

I don't agree with this. If the opposing players were also more productive, then there was no gain. All you accomplished was get a whole lot of negative publicity and coax the feds into nosing into your business.


And what harm did the feds nosing into their business actually cause the owners? They had to strengthen the penalties in the already-enacted drug testing programs. That's it. The overwhelming brunt of the bad PR fell on the players. Attendance didn't plummet as a result. Revenues continued to rise throughout the post-testing era. So even the aftermath was OK from the perspective of the suits.

Still, there was never a good reason for the owners to want a drug-testing program, which cost them money to implement. The status quo was great for them.

As for productivity, yes, to an extent you are correct. Productivity gains are not quite as meaningful in a closed-sporting system such as baseball as they would be in a factory. But they're not completely meaningless. Steroids presumably allowed their employees to return from injury quicker (which would help the owners' bottom line, albeit modestly).

As for the players...

The hands-off policy was good for the individual player who chose to use, since he could see his performance improve* and collect the benefits that acccompany such improvement. But it was most definitely not good for the union as a whole, since any performance gain in one place was naturally offset by a performance decline somewhere else. Meanwhile the players who used took all the risks from the usage (financial, health, legal and reputation), while the players who didn't suffered the performance decline against their peers (and, in some cases, may have also suffered a hit to their reputations). No jobs were added. I don't know if overall salaries escalated above what would be expected during that time frame, though even if they did, you couldn't specifically pinpoint a juicing culture as the reason.

The absence of a policy provided only one benefit to the MLBPA - its members weren't subject to periodic piss tests.

* That's assuming they work. If they don't, they're still a losing proposition, it's just that there would be just risk and no benefit even to the individual user, while the non-users wouldn't actually be at a competitive disadvantage.

   73. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 31, 2013 at 02:49 AM (#4358784)
“It’s a problem of…keeping pace, reducing the incentives to use and…increasing vigilance, regulation and punishment for those who use.”


Yet, not a word of why all this is 'necessary'.

What's weird is how utterly pointless PEDs are in the context of sports. They game is not more or less interesting because athletes take them. They merely fuel an entirely arbitrary arms race.

Considering the ever quickening pace of progress 2063 will probably be more unrecognizable to people of today that 2013 is to the imaginations of 1963.


Considering the exponential change in technological advancement and the ever-nearing Singularity, unless there's a catastrophe of some kind I think we can count on it.

Consider what unregulated enhancements might be possible to recreationists. If kids of the future can put on their suits and throw a ball 120 miles an hour, and the person they throw to can hit it 600 feet, will they have any interest in watching clean and low-tech professionals compete at what will seem to be a lower level of play?


Chess after Deep Blue still draws a crowd (well, for chess) so I think the interest will be there. Still, for me, some of the magic in the deep, undiscoverable beauty that used to be chess (even though that was the function of limited brains) was lost after computer chess dwarfed human abilities.
   74. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 31, 2013 at 02:54 AM (#4358785)
Hey--what's going on with testosterone supplements for the general market. All of a sudden I'm seeing ads crop up everywhere, and they're trying to take it out of the realm of something for tired old men by calling it 'Low-T'.

The claims are clear: it turns back the clock. I haven't tried it, but how could anyone resist?
   75. smileyy Posted: January 31, 2013 at 02:57 AM (#4358786)
[74] I'm curious...once I don't need sperm, I might investigate...
   76. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 31, 2013 at 03:03 AM (#4358787)
What's the argument for PEDs?

It's not an argument for PEDs, it's an argument against regulating PEDs...


Surely I'm not the only one actively for PEDs (based on their benefits once they reach the general population)?

edit: @75--yikes! It that a known drawback to the low dose supplements marketed widely?
   77. pikepredator Posted: January 31, 2013 at 09:01 AM (#4358830)
I am with you JC. Here's why.

I work in sales. There are no laws preventing other sales people from working insanely long hours and subjecting themselves to incredibly high stress levels (let's leave blowing lines of coke and taking adderall out of this for now) in order to be more successful than I am. I really like spending time with my wife and kids and have no interest in a heart attack at 50 so I keep things in balance. Would the anti-PED "for the players health" crowd also support laws that prevent my fellow salespeople from working more than 8 hours per day, including invasive in-home check-ups and email/phone monitoring to prevent them from risking their health to gain an unfair advantage over me? I personally don't care how hard they work; my health is more important to me and thus far by working "smarter" I've been able to stay competitive (I'm Frank Thomas, baby!) but every day I have to choose between reading to my kids and answering email. Does that violate the spirit of fair play that anti-PED crowd talks about?

If this isn't a valid simile/analogy/comparison, where are the flaws? As I see it, people are putting their health at risk to gain an advantage in almost every profession, forcing others in that profession to choose between taking care of their health and staying competitive. I don't think baseball players deserve any more protection from this occupational hazard than I do.
   78. pikepredator Posted: January 31, 2013 at 09:34 AM (#4358843)

Said another way: since I don't think we can (or should) prevent players from using PEDs, we may as well help them do it more responsibly so that they can enhance performance and reduce the potential long-term health effects.
   79. Howie Menckel Posted: January 31, 2013 at 09:57 AM (#4358860)

"If this isn't a valid simile/analogy/comparison, where are the flaws?"

IF PEDs shorten life expectancy, then you have a flaw imo.
It's not a great idea, healthwise, to work long hours per your example, but IF PEDs are as toxic as some claim, then that's your flaw.

Also, I suspect that the bulk of your fellow salespeople feel as you do.
If:
- you worked in a specific field where the bulk of your rivals deliberately sabotaged their health and
- you couldn't easily work in a different sales job, because your talent is based solely on selling this one product

then I think you'd have a better comparison.

   80. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:17 AM (#4358873)
- you couldn't easily work in a different sales job, because your talent is based solely on selling this one product


You move the unit that's on the shelf.
   81. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:19 AM (#4358874)
I work in sales. There are no laws preventing other sales people from working insanely long hours and subjecting themselves to incredibly high stress levels (let's leave blowing lines of coke and taking adderall out of this for now) in order to be more successful than I am. I really like spending time with my wife and kids and have no interest in a heart attack at 50 so I keep things in balance. Would the anti-PED "for the players health" crowd also support laws that prevent my fellow salespeople from working more than 8 hours per day, including invasive in-home check-ups and email/phone monitoring to prevent them from risking their health to gain an unfair advantage over me? I personally don't care how hard they work; my health is more important to me and thus far by working "smarter" I've been able to stay competitive (I'm Frank Thomas, baby!) but every day I have to choose between reading to my kids and answering email. Does that violate the spirit of fair play that anti-PED crowd talks about?

If this isn't a valid simile/analogy/comparison, where are the flaws? As I see it, people are putting their health at risk to gain an advantage in almost every profession, forcing others in that profession to choose between taking care of their health and staying competitive. I don't think baseball players deserve any more protection from this occupational hazard than I do.


I would see nothing wrong with a law that limited hours for salaried employees (or at least requiring over-time pay). They have them in Germany.

Employers today are vastly abusing employees by extracting extra hours for no extra pay, and keeping them on 24/7 call with BlackBerrys.

The world functioned fine when you couldn't reach someone outside of 8 to 6, and most white collar workers had 40 hour weeks.
   82. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:22 AM (#4358879)
What's weird is how utterly pointless PEDs are in the context of sports. They game is not more or less interesting because athletes take them.


How popular was baseball during the Sosa/McGwire home run chase?

I'm pretty sure he was taking issue with the idea that society needs coal miners but not ballplayers. The market says otherwise. Ballplayers are remarkably well compensated while coal miners struggle to make a living.


This is pretty silly. (1) baseball does not operate in anything resembling a free market; (2) baseball skills are extremely scarce in the job market, pushing the price for ballplayers up whereas individual coal miners are pretty dispensible; and (3) as #64 points out, the market does not pay salaries according to what society "needs", it pays salaries based on what an individual employer is willing to pay, which does not necessarily reflect the needs of society or the market overall.

BTF I think for the most part, takes a libertarian stance on PEDs, dismissing any negative health effects as speculative or unproven or downright false. The fact is, we probably don't know what the long-term health effects are for decades or so.

Take that in contrast with the topic of concussions in football, which I think BTF takes a much more interventionist approach, even though the data on that is still unclear (although more proven? Less proven? I'm guessing more but I don't really know) I think its an interesting contrast, and I feel its a cognitive dissonance I can't reconcile in my mind.
   83. AROM Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:23 AM (#4358882)
Maybe. What got lost in the HR bonanza of the sillyball era is that it was also an era of unprecedented levels of power and speed. Lord only knows what power-speed really measures but modern players are all over the top of that chart and not necessarily the ones you'd expect. There were 23 30/30 seasons prior to 1994 (convenient cutoff) and 20 from 95 to 02. Things aren't slowing down much as there have been 17 from 03 to 12. Four guys did it in 2011 which seems to tie the record with 1997. Looking at it from a different angle, there have been 82 seasons with 30+ HR and 15+ Rfield*. 47 of these have occurred since 1994 including 26 over the last 10 years, 3 last year and 5 in 2009.


Just because managers are more willing to allow players to steal bases than they were from the start of the Ruthian era to the Wills revolution. Willie Mays had 2 30-30 seasons. If he had wanted to, he could probably have had 7 (54-57, 59, 61, 62). Mantle had zero 30-30 years. Probably could have done it 5-7 times as well.

Among the recent players, Dante Bichette had a 30-30. We saw the results of him trying to cover a large outfield, and that was not pretty.

I made no assumption that PEDS only help power hitters. Only that with or without PEDS, a large outfield would shift the game to smaller, quicker outfielders. Put CF 500 feet away and make it 375 to the corners, and speedy outfielders may well need the Ben Johnson cocktail to cover all that ground.
   84. DL from MN Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:42 AM (#4358896)
You know what would cause the PED abuse to no longer be a problem? If, in addition to the player penalties, you had club penalties as well.


I agree but the penalty for cheating shouldn't be draft picks but wins. If teams had to forfeit wins when a player was caught they would be squeaky clean. Imagine if the Yankees were kept out of the playoffs because A-Rod was juiced.
   85. Randy Jones Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:46 AM (#4358900)
You know what would cause the PED abuse to no longer be a problem? If, in addition to the player penalties, you had club penalties as well.


I agree but the penalty for cheating shouldn't be draft picks but wins. If teams had to forfeit wins when a player was caught they would be squeaky clean. Imagine if the Yankees were kept out of the playoffs because A-Rod was juiced.


Now, I disagree with these ideas for a variety of reasons, but you guys do realize that this simply would not work, right? All this would mean was that if a team became aware of one of their players using banned PEDs, they would go to great lengths to hide that use from the league.
   86. pikepredator Posted: January 31, 2013 at 11:01 AM (#4358922)
Punishing the team also opens up opportunities for others teams to pay marginal players for sabotage. "Oh, you're getting the league minimum? We'll pay you 10X that to test positive, so we get into the playoffs."

Snapper, I would love a law like that! But I don't see how it could possibly be enforced.
   87. DL from MN Posted: January 31, 2013 at 11:04 AM (#4358926)
That's the penalty for the Olympics. If your team cheats they forfeit.

edit: Now that I look for a source to back that up it's a bit more complicated than that but relay teams have been DQed because one member doped.
   88. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 31, 2013 at 11:12 AM (#4358932)
Snapper, I would love a law like that! But I don't see how it could possibly be enforced.

Well, it would not be so much a matter of active enforcement, but instead giving employees the standing to push back.

Sort of like discrimination/harassment laws. The gov't doesn't monitor behavior, but the law creates potential liability for the employer.

If an employer systematically made people work more, or fired/adversely treated those who worked only regular hours, they would open themselves to class action suits.
   89. base ball chick Posted: January 31, 2013 at 11:20 AM (#4358939)
DL from MN Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:42 AM (#4358896)

You know what would cause the PED abuse to no longer be a problem? If, in addition to the player penalties, you had club penalties as well.


I agree but the penalty for cheating shouldn't be draft picks but wins. If teams had to forfeit wins when a player was caught they would be squeaky clean. Imagine if the Yankees were kept out of the playoffs because A-Rod was juiced.


NO
NONONONONONO

absolutely positively NO messing with the records. what do you plan to do with all the teams who get all those extra wins, seeing as how a team forfeits 50 games? are they gonna bother to play them at all? it's going to have the overall effect of playing to lose

anyone with a positive t4est? we should just take away all their money, possessions, children, have them flogged in public, then put in maximum security prison in solitary confinement for the rest of their lives. while their wives and children are sold into slavery

   90. DL from MN Posted: January 31, 2013 at 11:33 AM (#4358954)
If it's okay to cheat to win games and titles then why is it so awful to cheat to set individual records? I thought winning titles was supposed to be the point?

I agree that it's a terrible idea but it seems to be what the public wants. Vacate all the MLB titles from the 1990s. Positive tests means games are effectively "rained out" and not replayed. Is it about the integrity of the game or just about home run titles?

If the games were won and the championship trophy sits in the trophy case then let the players into the Hall of Fame.
   91. Ron J2 Posted: January 31, 2013 at 11:57 AM (#4358976)
You know what would cause the PED abuse to no longer be a problem? If, in addition to the player penalties, you had club penalties as well.


Why would that solve anything? Clubs don't have any powers that the league doesn't.


   92. Esoteric Posted: January 31, 2013 at 12:09 PM (#4358989)
Why would that solve anything? Clubs don't have any powers that the league doesn't.
Because clubs would be forced to choose between either 1.) ridding themselves of a PED-using player/cracking down internally on him to make sure he ceases using; 2.) working to conceal said player's usage.

Option #2 is an course that some (e.g. Randy Jones) have suggested would be taken by FOs, but I think that fails to game out what a team's risk assessment would be in that scenario. The PR hit to a club and its FO staff if a conspiracy to conceal PED usage were to be discovered would be massive and fatal to the careers of the FO staff (probably an instant housecleaning from the GM on down). And the chances of a known juicer getting caught, while probably small (i.e. <25%) under any testing regime given the cat-and-mouse game of testers vs. masking agents, is still significant enough that you have to assume somebody will get nabbed sooner or later, regardless of how much effort a FO puts into concealing PED use.

Again, this is a purely notional thing: it would NEVER be agreed to by either the owners or players, and I don't see how MLB could impose it from above. But it would work, with brutal efficiency.
   93. Ron J2 Posted: January 31, 2013 at 12:33 PM (#4359030)
#92 You're assuming that clubs have some way of knowing who's using. I see no reason to believe that is the case.

And they *can't* crack down internally. Powers of discipline are set out in the CBA and anything relating to drug policy is explicitly reserved to the league. You can't even negotiate harsher penalties than are mandated by league policy -- an arbitrator made that clear back in the Uberroth era.

Move players that they suspect of use? Probably already happening. The penalties in place (loss of player for at least 50 games) are pretty significant. (And yes, the Giants success last year argues otherwise. Still, teams would not want to get caught holding the bag -- Cabrera situation from last year notwithstanding)

   94. base ball chick Posted: January 31, 2013 at 12:35 PM (#4359034)
it would be REALLY easy to throw games - all someone would have to do is mix some testosterone gel in soap or even "accidentally" smear it on someone and make sure there was a tester right close to catch the guy. bingo - goodbye goes some expensive unwanted guy - goodbye FIFTY entire games for team X, goodbye any hope of teammates of reaching any sort of incentive clause, teammates lose 50 games worth of stats

no

NONONONONONO

we're getting to the - no punishment could possibly be bad enough. already you have people saying anyone who tests positive for ANYTHING be immediately banned for life
   95. Steve Treder Posted: January 31, 2013 at 12:52 PM (#4359054)
And yes, the Giants success last year argues otherwise. Still, teams would not want to get caught holding the bag -- Cabrera situation from last year notwithstanding

The Giants won last year despite losing Cabrera, not because of it.
   96. Ron J2 Posted: January 31, 2013 at 01:18 PM (#4359103)
#95 I know that, but an awful lot of people are not very good at causal links.
   97. DL from MN Posted: January 31, 2013 at 01:19 PM (#4359107)
already you have people saying anyone who tests positive for ANYTHING be immediately banned for life


Stupid people
   98. smileyy Posted: January 31, 2013 at 01:27 PM (#4359116)
[76] Its one of the advertised possible side effects -- if your body is getting enough testosterone elsewhere, the testosterone-producing glands will shut down or slow down. Unfortunately, those boys are responsible for other things too. I assume this happens if the dose is too high or something, and that there's lots of variation in how individuals tolerate hormones.

As someone actively trying to conceive, that's not a risk for me right now.
   99. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: January 31, 2013 at 05:24 PM (#4359494)
@ Ron J2/93

#92 You're assuming that clubs have some way of knowing who's using. I see no reason to believe that is the case.


I recall reading about how the Dodgers' GM (DePo?) had been informed by team scouts that LoDuca had juiced for his big years and was likely to use again if traded so as to show the team up. Also, that Theo Epstein was made aware by scouts that Eric Gagne's career resurgence was a product of PED usage.

My very strong hunch is that scouts and managers, in particular, have a *very* good idea of who is using and that GM's and especially owners would really rather not know. The standard for a team penalty would have to be something connected to a very clear affirmative act of systematic doping, or something like the team hired a player/trainer/whoever for the express purpose of engaging specifically in the practice of systematic doping in violation of the CBA (basically what Jose Canseco claims the Rangers did with him. And I don't think you could have pinned that one on the Rangers, even under this basically unworkable standard.)
   100. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 31, 2013 at 08:43 PM (#4359668)
And what harm did the feds nosing into their business actually cause the owners? They had to strengthen the penalties in the already-enacted drug testing programs. That's it.


I think it cost the rest of us, though I'd be hard pressed to prove that. The idea that it's acceptable for government to deeply involve itself in the lives of players, and that suspicionless drug testing of an entire class of people is perfectly acceptable, because, well, we want to, seems pretty destructive to me. What's the argument for PEDs?
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