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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ray McNulty: Melky Cabrera taints Giants’ title

Well…at least he didn’t gooch the Giants’ title.

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants?

Not from me.

Not this time.

...But MLB commissioner Bud Selig can — and should — act in the best interest of baseball and make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.

Testing players for performance-enhancing drugs and suspending the cheaters isn’t enough. Teams can’t be allowed to benefit from the cheating. They must be punished too.

In the standings.

Disqualify them from playoff consideration. Take away wins. Do something drastic.

World Series champions deserve to be congratulated for their triumph.

But only if they deserve it.

And the Giants don’t.

 

Repoz Posted: October 31, 2012 at 04:47 AM | 73 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: giants

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   1. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 31, 2012 at 07:35 AM (#4289066)
Dumb.

Very dumb.

So, so very dumb.

But only if it's dumb.

And this is so very dumb.

   2. Derb Posted: October 31, 2012 at 08:33 AM (#4289074)
I get the arguments how Cabrera helped the Giants while he was cheating, both in the standings and in securing home-field advantage in the World Series (which apparently meant nothing). But if he was that important to the team, they would've folded after he was suspended and missed the playoffs. Or they would've lost in the 1st round. Or they wouldn't have come back down 3-1 in the NLCS. Or they wouldn't have swept my Tigers.

The simple fact is, Cabrera was gone and they kept on doing what they were doing when they had him.
   3. I Am Not a Number Posted: October 31, 2012 at 08:35 AM (#4289075)
EDIT: Removed. Wrong thread.
   4. Spahn Insane Posted: October 31, 2012 at 08:41 AM (#4289076)
Well…at least he didn’t gooch the Giants’ title.

Or the Giants' taints.
   5. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 31, 2012 at 08:42 AM (#4289077)
There's a Simpsons episode where Bart and Lisa start working for a kids TV station doing the news. As you'd expect Lisa does the hard news and Bart does a segment called "Bart's People" which are just fluff pieces and naturally become incredibly popular much to Lisa's dismay. At one point Bart does a piece on a war veteran and at the end says "we really should have a day to honor these people." Lisa condescendingly points out that we have Veterans Day. After Bart says we should have two days for all they've done Lisa notes that we have Memorial Day. Bart responds by saying "well then we should have a third holiday, this has been Bart's People" and signs off.

That is what I think of when I read these anti-PED fanatics. It is becoming clear that there is going to be no punishment enough for these people. They wanted testing they got testing. They wanted names, they got the Mitchell Report. They wanted penalties, they got penalties. They wanted harsher penalties, they got harsher penalties. It's simply never going to be enough. If the rule were changed to make the Giants ineligible for the post-season and the Yankees won it would be tainted because of A-Rod. These people are never going to be satisfied.
   6. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: October 31, 2012 at 08:45 AM (#4289078)
It's insane, this guy's taint!
   7. JL Posted: October 31, 2012 at 09:23 AM (#4289093)
I don't necessarily buy the premise, but I do love how Melky has shut up at least one blow hard in the media. While listening to the radio, Thom Laverro of the Washington Times was pontificating about how home run hitting sluggers could not longer win the World Series, because that was not the way baseball was played now that steriods were out. The host then mentioned Melky, causing Laverro to pause, and say I guess. They then switched topics.
   8. BDC Posted: October 31, 2012 at 09:30 AM (#4289101)
These people are never going to be satisfied

But that's the way most arguments on issues go, isn't it? There will always be people whose positions outflank the current consensus. That outflanking sometimes pulls the consensus further toward the flank, but there comes a point when so few people are left on the flank that it turns into the lunatic fringe.
   9. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 31, 2012 at 09:32 AM (#4289105)
It's insane, this guy's taint!


Does this make Melky Theo Brixton or Captain Tragedy?
   10. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: October 31, 2012 at 09:51 AM (#4289121)
Melky's World Series title should be stripped and awarded to Buster Posey.
   11. Chris Fluit Posted: October 31, 2012 at 09:56 AM (#4289126)
That is what I think of when I read these anti-PED fanatics. It is becoming clear that there is going to be no punishment enough for these people. They wanted testing they got testing. They wanted names, they got the Mitchell Report. They wanted penalties, they got penalties. They wanted harsher penalties, they got harsher penalties. It's simply never going to be enough. If the rule were changed to make the Giants ineligible for the post-season and the Yankees won it would be tainted because of A-Rod. These people are never going to be satisfied.


Exactly.
   12. Topher Posted: October 31, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4289132)
I don't agree with the premise of the article because I'm somebody who doesn't really care about the issue. But I don't think there is anything really wrong with the stated position within it. If PEDs are bad, it does seem like we have an awkward way of dealing with penalties in team sports.

Individual sports seem to have an acceptable position for those that care about the issue. The result is invalidated, runners up become winners, etc.

Team sports results in a suspension for the person that tests positive, but nothing at all happens to the results.

My personal position is that for both individual and team I don't really care who is juicing but I completely understand how if you do care it seems odd that results can be altered in one case but not the other.
   13. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 31, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4289145)
My personal position is that for both individual and team I don't really care who is juicing but I completely understand how if you do care it seems odd that results can be altered in one case but not the other.


But what could you possibly do? Even if it is a problem (which I don't agree with), what possible penalty rule could you put in place that would address the issue without being truly terrible in its consequences?

I spent a whole two minutes trying to think of something and came up with nothing (which is both too little and way too much time spent if you ask me).
   14. zack Posted: October 31, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4289154)
It's not like the Giants weren't punished, they lost their best hitter for the remainder of the season. If he got caught on September 20th there might be a shred of a point here.

You see these, McNulty? These are for you.
   15. Topher Posted: October 31, 2012 at 10:26 AM (#4289156)
I spent a whole two minutes trying to think of something and came up with nothing


No idea either. (And to restate my position, I'd hope nothing does happen since I don't care about the issue.) And if there actually was a way to handle it, I would imagine it would be enacted by some team sport, if not in MLB.

But I can understand how somebody who does care finds a disconnect between what happens to Lance Armstrong (retroactive punishment) and what happens to the Giants (nothing). It's apples to oranges but if I were somebody who cared about the issue, I think I'd find the lack of direct punishment to the Giants to be unfair. Thankfully that's not me.
   16. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: October 31, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4289164)
There's already thousands of people out on Market st and the suns barely up. If yr working in the fidi, call in sick.
   17. Tippecanoe Posted: October 31, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4289185)
All that money that Lance Armstrong raised for cancer needs to be returned. Also, all references to Marion Jones must be expunged from the record. And, America, please commence with completely erasing Mark McGwire from your memory.

McNulty -- consider yourself outflanked!
   18. Joey B. is being stalked by a (Gonfa) loon Posted: October 31, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4289194)
I don't agree with the idea of invalidating wins and championships, but I do agree that teams that have a culture of repeated, unrepentant cheating like the Giants do should face stiff penalties at a certain point, much like the New Orleans Saints were punished as a team for BountyGate.

Start levying stiff fines against the teams, suspensions against coaches and front office staff, and loss of draft picks and such, and the attitude among the leadership within the game will change so fast that heads will spin around, Exorcist style.
   19. Craig in MN Posted: October 31, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4289211)
Didn't the Giants play better after Melky was suspended? Maybe the punishment should have been to force them to play Melky instead of his replacements. Actually maybe the fair punishment for PEDs should be to play the offending player but have them take some sort of depressant or "Performance Diminishing Drug". Melky would have to mope around the outfield with chemically induced hypothyroidism.

   20. cmd600 Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4289272)
18 - Upon looking it up, the Giants do have more than a couple guys busted for or linked to PEDs, but unless you find something about how the team knew of and was ignoring the behavior (like the Saints case), I'm not sure how you can punish the teams too much.
   21. Booey Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4289274)
I don't agree with the idea of invalidating wins and championships, but I do agree that teams that have a culture of repeated, unrepentant cheating like the Giants do should face stiff penalties at a certain point, much like the New Orleans Saints were punished as a team for BountyGate.


Didn't the Giants show that they DO care about cheating by not putting Melky back on their roster after his suspension was up? They showed that they wanted to take their chances and win (or lose) legit rather than accepting the help of a known cheater, even though he was one of their best players. I think that's admirable, and unless someone has evidence that team management knew Cabrera was roiding, I don't see any reason why the rest of the team should be penalized for one player's mistakes.
   22. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4289278)
unless someone has evidence that team management knew Cabrera was roiding


If they did know, you'd think they would have had their best IT guys help him with his fake web site.
   23. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 31, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4289281)
What happens if we find out he roided as a Royal and they knew about it when they traded him to SF. How can we punish the Royals even more?
   24. Topher Posted: October 31, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4289283)
Didn't the Giants show that they DO care about cheating by not putting Melky back on their roster after his suspension was up?


Umm ... maybe?
   25. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: October 31, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4289289)
Didn't the Giants play better after Melky was suspended? Maybe the punishment should have been to force them to play Melky instead of his replacements.

That's a terrible way to evaluate players.

To wit:

Reds with Healthy Votto (342/465/604) through July 15: .568 winning percentage
Reds with Votto on DL (July 16th through September 4th): .673 winning percentage
Votto Returns (September 5th to year-end): .560 winning percentage.

This is what is called a coincidence. The Giants were better despite losing Melky, not because of losing Melky.

I am overweight and don't eat as well as I should. I also have good blood pressure and cholesterol levels. That doesn't mean being overweight and not eating as well are factors in me having good blood pressure and cholesterol levels, it means that I have good blood pressure and cholesterol levels despite those things - there are other factors, likely genetic, at work and I'd probably have excellent blood pressure and cholesterol levels if I lost weight and ate better.
   26. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: October 31, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4289299)
They showed that they wanted to take their chances and win (or lose) legit rather than accepting the help of a known cheater, even though he was one of their best players.

I must have missed the requests sent to Selig, asking him to invalidate their early-season wins. I'm not seeing the ethics gold star here. If you purchase stolen goods from a thief, they don't let you keep the stuff you purchased if you promise not to buy goods from the thief in the future. The Giants get the benefits of Melky using drugs and don't play Melky when he is more likely to have stopped using drugs? Hand out the Profile in Courage, stat!

Melky was caught and served his penalty. Punitive extra-judicial punishments are *bad* for people who want drug-testing in baseball - there's a lot less justification for the MLBPA to agree to drug-testing if players will receive in-baseball reprisals as additional penalties not negotiated in the CBA. Over time, these types of things will undermine the drug-testing program.

   27. SoSH U at work Posted: October 31, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4289301)
That's a terrible way to evaluate players.

To wit:

Reds with Healthy Votto (342/465/604) through July 15: .568 winning percentage
Reds with Votto on DL (July 16th through September 4th): .673 winning percentage
Votto Returns (September 5th to year-end): .560 winning percentage.

This is what is called a coincidence. The Giants were better despite losing Melky, not because of losing Melky.

I am overweight and don't eat as well as I should. I also have good blood pressure and cholesterol levels. That doesn't mean being overweight and not eating as well are factors in me having good blood pressure and cholesterol levels, it means that I have good blood pressure and cholesterol levels despite those things - there are other factors, likely genetic, at work and I'd probably have excellent blood pressure and cholesterol levels if I lost weight and ate better.


It's a good thing you didn't read all the way to the end of Craig's post, because his completely serious suggestion for PDDs might have turned your good blood pressure bad.
   28. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: October 31, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4289311)
You see these, McNulty? These are for you.


Dammit, that's what I was going to post.

Now all I'm left with is, "You, McNulty, are a gaping #######."
   29. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 31, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4289316)
Now all I'm left with is, "You, McNulty, are a gaping #######."

What'd I do?
   30. Booey Posted: October 31, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4289318)
I must have missed the requests sent to Selig, asking him to invalidate their early-season wins.


That would've been asinine if they'd done that.
   31. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: October 31, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4289323)
That would've been asinine if they'd done that.

Ah, so the "Giants DO care about cheating," just not enough to do anything that they feel would disadvantage them in any way.

So, if I receive stolen goods that I know are stolen but keep my mouth shut and keep the stuff, I get to brag about my morality?
   32. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 31, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4289332)
Ah, so the "Giants DO care about cheating," just not enough to do anything that they feel would disadvantage them in any way.

So, if I receive stolen goods that I know are stolen but keep my mouth shut and keep the stuff, I get to brag about my morality?

It's not as if the police try to go back in time and undo the past so you never enjoyed any benefit.

EDIT: also, if the Giants knew about the rule breaking at the time (i.e. were aware of the goods being stolen in your analogy), I think the calculus here would be much different.
   33. TDF, situational idiot Posted: October 31, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4289336)
Here's the problem:

The only way punishing the team makes sense is if you believe they knew the player was using; however, MLB has spent the past 20 years claiming the teams couldn't know if the players were using. To start punishing teams now would expose thier lies.
   34. Booey Posted: October 31, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4289376)
Ah, so the "Giants DO care about cheating," just not enough to do anything that they feel would disadvantage them in any way.

How is playing the entire postseason without one of their best players not disadvantaging them?

I really don't know (or care) if the Giants care about cheating or not. I'm not a Giants fan. I just think the suggestions that the team should have been punished beyond losing one of their best for 50 games are stupid without at least some evidence that the rest of the team knew about the cheating.

   35. Eddo Posted: October 31, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4289378)
I don't agree with the idea of invalidating wins and championships, but I do agree that teams that have a culture of repeated, unrepentant cheating like the Giants do should face stiff penalties at a certain point, much like the New Orleans Saints were punished as a team for BountyGate.

The Saints' bounty scandal isn't really a great analogy here. In that case, the only suspensions that are holding up are the ones of the coaching staff and GM, since there was hard evidence that they facilitated the bounty program. The player suspensions have been one big cluster ####, since the league may or may not have good enough evidence.

The equivalent here would be if the Giants were shown to have provided PEDs freely to their players, but no players had actually failed tests.
   36. Booey Posted: October 31, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4289379)
So, if I receive stolen goods that I know are stolen but keep my mouth shut and keep the stuff, I get to brag about my morality?

And as others have alluded to, this example doesn't work unless we have good reason to believe the Giants DID know Melky was juicing.
   37. McCoy Posted: October 31, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4289381)
How do you have hard evidence that the GM and coaches helped with the bounty system but don't have evidence that players took part? I believe the real issue is that the players are part of union and had a way to fight back while the coaches and GM basically had to take it if they wished to work in the NFL.
   38. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 31, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4289382)
And as others have alluded to, this example doesn't work unless we have good reason to believe the Giants DID know Melky was juicing.


Even here I am not on board. I like rules, and unless there is some rule that teams need to actively police their players and/or report every suspicion of PED use to the proper authorities I am not seeing it. Do folks really think teams (coaches, whatever) should be part of the policing of PED usage? I think that would have a terrible effect on the sport, and really poison the player/team relationship for those teams that actually did so.

There are rules, penalties and testing procedures. Follow them and unclench about it already.
   39. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 31, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4289392)
Even if I bought into McNulty's premise, the punishment to the team has the potential to far outstrip the actual crime committed by the player. McNulty obviously believes that if you are caught, you have been doing the deed for a long time and both you and your team deserve the ultimate penalty. He doesn't account for the possibility of a Rick DeMont-type of situation, where you would be giving the team the ultimate penalty for an honest mistake by the player that likely affected no more than a couple of games at most.

-- MWE
   40. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 31, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4289394)
Didn't the Giants show that they DO care about cheating by not putting Melky back on their roster after his suspension was up? They showed that they wanted to take their chances and win (or lose) legit rather than accepting the help of a known cheater, even though he was one of their best players. I think that's admirable, and unless someone has evidence that team management knew Cabrera was roiding, I don't see any reason why the rest of the team should be penalized for one player's mistakes.


So let's take away 5 team wins for every 50 games of player suspension. I'm sure that wouldn't result in any chaos.

So in 2012:

* Giants lose 15 wins (Melky + Mota).
* Phillies lose 5 wins (Galvis).
* Cubs and Red Sox lose 5 wins each (Byrd).
* A's lose 5 wins (Colon).

Result: Dodgers are the new NL West champs. Texas wins the AL West. A's and Angels face off in a play-in game.

In 2011:

* Devil Dogs lose 10 wins (Ramirez).
* Rockies lose 5 wins (Jacobs).

Result: Red Sox now make the playoffs! It. Was. Over!!

Seriously, how many people still follow the sport after this mess?


   41. BDC Posted: October 31, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4289396)
There are rules, penalties and testing procedures. Follow them and unclench about it already

This. And pace TDF, how does one realistically suppose management would know about juicing? (Unless they were supplying the PEDs, as people have mentioned, which would presumably invite more and different penalties.) If Dave Righetti walks into the clubhouse and sees Jose Canseco plunge a needle into a bottle marked "Baseball Steroids" and then into Melky, that might be one thing. Short of that, a team might indeed suspect, even question and caution its players, but as Bitter Mouse says, they're not the Thought Police; what are they realistically supposed to do?
   42. Booey Posted: October 31, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4289397)
#38 - Agree completely.

I think it was cool that the Giants didn't put Melky back on their roster. But I would've had no problem with it if they did, either. He served his punishment according to the rules. It's entirely up to the team if they want to do more. I would've supported their decision either way.

And no, it's absolutely not the teams responsibility to police their players WRT drug testing policies. So I see no fault with anything the Giants did before or after Cabrera's positive test.
   43. Eddo Posted: October 31, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4289423)
How do you have hard evidence that the GM and coaches helped with the bounty system but don't have evidence that players took part? I believe the real issue is that the players are part of union and had a way to fight back while the coaches and GM basically had to take it if they wished to work in the NFL.

Sigh. I don't know, McCoy. You'll have to ask the NFL league offices (or Roger Goodell directly, I suppose).

All I know is that the current state is that the Saints' coaches (Payton, Vitt, Williams) and GM (Loomis) were suspended and didn't make a peep about the evidence (in fact, I believe at least a few of them openly confessed to the bounty program). And that the players (Vilma and company) are contesting their suspensions based on a lack of evidence (and no one really seems to know for sure if the league actually has good evidence, or if it's just hearsay).
   44. AROM Posted: October 31, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4289445)
It's not like the Giants weren't punished, they lost their best hitter for the remainder of the season. If he got caught on September 20th there might be a shred of a point here.


What happened to Buster Posey? He looked fine in the playoffs to me.
   45. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 31, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4289450)
What happened to Buster Posey? He looked fine in the playoffs to me.


Obviously he's juicing.
   46. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: October 31, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4289467)

Team sports results in a suspension for the person that tests positive, but nothing at all happens to the results.


Not in the NCAA model. Simply say that anyone using steroids is ineligible to play in MLB. When someone is caught, then that team used an ineligible player and has to vacate their wins. Don't give them losses, don't give their opponent wins, just take away the offending player's team wins. Whichever team has the most wins at the end of the season plays in the silly little tournament. Make sure all testing and appeals are resolved a few weeks before the end of the season so we can get accurate win totals. Solved. Think teams will be rushing to take FA flyers on the Mannys and Guillermo Motas of the world then?
   47. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: October 31, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4289469)
So let's take away 5 team wins for every 50 games of player suspension. I'm sure that wouldn't result in any chaos.


They should just take away the WAR of every suspended player. So if the Dodgers had managed to get Dee Gordon (-1.1 WAR), Juan Rivera (-.8), Aaron Harang (-.5), and James Loney (-.4) suspended, they'd have made the playoffs!
   48. dr. scott Posted: October 31, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4289496)
They should just take away the WAR of every suspended player. So if the Dodgers had managed to get Dee Gordon (-1.1 WAR), Juan Rivera (-.8), Aaron Harang (-.5), and James Loney (-.4) suspended, they'd have made the playoffs!


thats a serious incentive to up ones game. Knowing that by the last day of the season if you dont get your WAR above zero you will likely have your twinkies spiked with DHEA or clenbuterol.

Wow, the dogers had a lot of below replacement level players... maybe replacement level means something different to the Dodgers.
   49. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: October 31, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4289512)
thats a serious incentive to up ones game. Knowing that by the last day of the season if you dont get your WAR above zero you will likely have your twinkies spiked with DHEA or clenbuterol.


Or to run out someone like, say, me anytime you're down by more than a few runs late in a game. I'm confident that I could put up a -5 WAR in very limited playing time, and then would be more than happy to juice myself to the moon with the most detectable drugs available. A guy able to generate a big negative WAR in garbage time might cost the team only 1 real win, while adding several when he gets suspended.
   50. cardsfanboy Posted: October 31, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4289526)
Individual sports seem to have an acceptable position for those that care about the issue. The result is invalidated, runners up become winners, etc.

Team sports results in a suspension for the person that tests positive, but nothing at all happens to the results.


I despise the way they handle the individual sports. If you want to prevent cheating, you test before the event happens, you get the results back that day, and you go with those results, and that is it. If someone can beat the system, too ####### bad. Get over it. It's ridiculous as a fan to be watching a sport, enjoy the victor or feel the agony, then to find out that the emotions from that day are invalidated because of future testing. ######## I say. If you want to catch them, develop perfect testing and administer it, and get the results, before the event. Someone comes up with a way to beat the system, that is part of the competition.

Same with team sports. Ultimately sports at the professional level, is about the fans. The athletes are entertainers, and your emotions shouldn't be thrown out because something was found illegal two years later.
   51. Booey Posted: October 31, 2012 at 06:30 PM (#4289575)
What happened to Buster Posey? He looked fine in the playoffs to me.


Obviously he's juicing.


Only if steroids make you look like a high schooler.
   52. Booey Posted: October 31, 2012 at 06:33 PM (#4289578)
#50 - Seconded.

Stripping the Michigan Wolverines of their Final Four appearance or taking away Lance Armstongs Tour De France wins a dozen years later is just nonsense. Everyone who watched knows what happened. Hollow gestures can't change memories.
   53. cardsfanboy Posted: October 31, 2012 at 06:47 PM (#4289594)
Look at the way sports (not counting peds) handled cheating. In baseball, you get caught throwing a spit ball, you are ejected from the game. They do not go back and retroactively award a hit to everyone you faced that game. If you get caught with an illegal bat, you are out.

In the NFL they have different degrees of cheating, (and other sports) and have defined rules (called penalties) that is not practical in a baseball sense, but again, the penalties at most invalidate the play that the penalty occurred during, they don't retroactively go 5 plays back and start redoing everything or even summarily judging a different result on a play two plays prior.

Nobody is asking for the Giants to invalidate their '54 world series or the Patriots their Super Bowl victories, just because we have retroactively found out that they cheated (true they were probably minor cheats, but still, cheating is cheating) The hysteria over PED's is one of the sillier prolonged hysterias of all time, it's verging on the Red scare level of absurdity.

It used to be said "it's not cheating, if you don't get caught" and many people took pride in saying that. But for some reason ped's are a different story, I'm fine with people saying it's a worse type of cheating if they want, but ultimately, it's JUST CHEATING. (assuming you don't get into pedantics about the fact that it wasn't against the rules most of the time etc.) React to it, just as you have done to other forms of cheating in your life, assign a penalty and move on.
   54. Bhaakon Posted: October 31, 2012 at 07:09 PM (#4289606)
And as others have alluded to, this example doesn't work unless we have good reason to believe the Giants DID know Melky was juicing.


Even if the team did know, all they can do is phone up the league office and strongly suggest that they test Cabrera, then sit back and wait while the confidential process completes itself. The Union would never stand for a team benching or releasing a guy because they think he's juicing without a positive test. The agreement doesn't even allow a team to do anything that could be perceived as additional punishment to players who have tested positive (which is one of the reasons why Mota was allowed back, even thought the Giants arguably would have been justified in releasing him based on performance).
   55. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: October 31, 2012 at 07:14 PM (#4289611)
It used to be said "it's not cheating, if you don't get caught" and many people took pride in saying that. But for some reason ped's are a different story, I'm fine with people saying it's a worse type of cheating if they want, but ultimately, it's JUST CHEATING. (assuming you don't get into pedantics about the fact that it wasn't against the rules most of the time etc.) React to it, just as you have done to other forms of cheating in your life, assign a penalty and move on.

While I don't understand the sentiment of things being OK if you don't get caught, the rest is spot on. I do consider steroids to be cheating, but there's a method of testing, there's a penalty, it's done. I have no problem if you want to talk about changing the penalties for future violations, or change the testing, or whatever, but I hate retro-active stuff.
   56. Bhaakon Posted: October 31, 2012 at 08:17 PM (#4289650)
It used to be said "it's not cheating, if you don't get caught" and many people took pride in saying that. But for some reason ped's are a different story, I'm fine with people saying it's a worse type of cheating if they want, but ultimately, it's JUST CHEATING. (assuming you don't get into pedantics about the fact that it wasn't against the rules most of the time etc.) React to it, just as you have done to other forms of cheating in your life, assign a penalty and move on.


Is armed robbery worse or better than picking a pocket? How one goes about breaking the rules can be a big deal, an even bigger one than the crime itself, if it's trivial enough offense. I don't want to get into another prolonged discussion about the danger of PEDs, because the evidence is slight and both camps intractable, but the idea that one means of cheating can be significantly worse than others is hardly novel.
   57. cardsfanboy Posted: October 31, 2012 at 08:51 PM (#4289665)
Is armed robbery worse or better than picking a pocket? How one goes about breaking the rules can be a big deal, an even bigger one than the crime itself, if it's trivial enough offense. I don't want to get into another prolonged discussion about the danger of PEDs, because the evidence is slight and both camps intractable, but the idea that one means of cheating can be significantly worse than others is hardly novel.


But we have a fairly well defined system of punishments, You commit a crime, you are penalized by either being fined or put in jail. The more severe the crime, the longer/higher the punishment. The anti-ped fanatics, would prefer to create a new system of punishment, such as executing your child, since you wouldn't have met your wife if you didn't have the extra funds from the armed robbery. They want to create a whole new level of punishment instead of extending the system we have.

You get caught doctoring a baseball, at the very most you get is a 10 day suspension, after appeal, 7 day....with PED usage you get 5 times that penalty. No matter how you look at it, that is a significant penalty, so the game clearly considers it to be a higher level of cheating, but the sport has in place an appropriate penalty, on par with how they handle other forms of cheating, but with a significantly harsher penalty. Sounds fair(if you believe it's a worse form of cheating) the zealots on the other hand want significantly more penalties completely out of bounds with rationality.
   58. Howie Menckel Posted: October 31, 2012 at 10:30 PM (#4289716)

Say it t'aint so, Melky!

#hadtobedone

   59. base ball chick Posted: October 31, 2012 at 11:11 PM (#4289728)
i'm so tired of religious fanatics, PED fanatics, weather fanatics, political fanatics

now anti-DH fanatics, we're the only sane ones around here
   60. Baldrick Posted: November 01, 2012 at 01:15 AM (#4289754)
i'm so tired of religious fanatics, PED fanatics, weather fanatics, political fanatics

...like Chris Truby and Albert Belle.
   61. BDC Posted: November 01, 2012 at 09:42 AM (#4289874)
The Union would never stand for a team benching or releasing a guy because they think he's juicing without a positive test

Exactly. What are teams supposed to do, bench every journeyman who hits a few home runs in a week? "Quiroga is batting .400, Skip, why is he sitting?" "Well clearly that's a bit suspicious, and we have to make sure we're winning fairly, so I'm playing my crappy unPEDed shortstop instead" …
   62. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: November 01, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4290128)
Just give the Tigers the World series trophy and we'll call it square, OK?
   63. obsessivegiantscompulsive Posted: November 02, 2012 at 01:18 AM (#4290668)
The writer is an idiot. When Melky was suspended, LA and the Giants were tied. At the end of that day, LA led by one game. Within a week, the pulled off their blockbuster trade while the Giants had lost one of the better hitters. If LA deserved to win the pennant, they should have outplayed the Giants to the end of the season, particularly after picking up A-Gon and Beckett.

At suspension, Giants and LA were 64-53. Giants after Melky was suspended: 30-15. LA after Melky was suspended: 22-23. LA after they picked up A-Gon and Beckett in huge deal: 18-18.

How did Melky do that? Melky did not enable that to happen, unless one is saying is that by his absence he made that happen. And that's a good month and just over a half of games played, that is a significant amount of time, plus they picked up a great player in A-Gon and a good one in Beckett, he did great for them, similar to his 2011 performance.

If the Giants were leading by a lot when Melky was suspended, then coasted in, yet, I would concede that Melky helped the team win the division. But they were tied and the Giants outplayed them to the end, even with the Melky handicap, even with the LA pickup. I recall someone complaining that they picked up Pence, but Sabean had been trying to get him since 2011 plus Hunter was acquired a few weeks before Melky was suspended. And again, in any case, LA picked up A-Gon and Beckett. And if you take the final records, and subtract off the difference between what Melky provided and what Blanco would have provided as the starting LF, the Giants would have still won by a large margin.

I understand wanting to punish the teams. If you want to take away the Giants 2012 championship just for Melky, then the Giants should have gotten the 1989 World Series because the A's were helped by McGwire and Canseco's steroiding up. And from what I understand from Ball Four, the Yankees were doing up a whole cocktail of drugs all through the 60's and 70's, maybe all of their championships back then should be given to the other team too. And who knows about the 50's? Speed was the drug of choice during WW II, I'm sure the teams of the 50's Yankees were probably hopped up on them at some point.

But retroactive rulings never work, they are forced and tries to change history. Just think of the whole Pluto is not a planet debacle. For better or worse, they are what they are, the A's won 1989, the Giants won 2012, but we can remember that the A's got a lot of help via illegal drugs but the Giants despite losing Melky, won the division. If anyone is really worked up about this, they should be advocating change to the rules so that a better result happens in the future.

But how do teams know that a player is doing it? Just because a team suspects does not mean that it gives them the right to invade a player's privacy to see if they are right or wrong. And the MLB Players Association would have a class action lawsuit up faster than you can say "foul ball!"

And that's really the rub there. It is the Players Association that has been the bigger obstacle than the owners. They should really care about the product that is being put out there on the field, yet they continually give players lenient punishments (look at how many times they appeal legit suspensions and win; look at how many times a suspended player can come back and embarrass the Players Assocation - see Steve Howe). They have no shame about it and just look for the god-almighty dollar as the cure for all ails.
   64. Sunday silence Posted: November 02, 2012 at 05:04 AM (#4290694)
But retroactive rulings never work, they are forced and tries to change history. Just think of the whole Pluto is not a planet debacle. For better or worse, they are what they are...


the problem with this argument is that if you went back to the 19th cent. you would find our ancestors believed in dozens of planets as scientists started to name all those asteriods planets. So indeed, scientists went back retroactively and "changed history" as it were and in fact it's probably better that they did rather than leave it as what it is or what it was...

One could probably make the same pt. with e.g. Ty Cobb's hit record or whatever it was that was recounted after they found someone had miscounted a few. The argument then, I think from the Commissioner, was that these records should be sacred regardless of whether they were correctly counted or not. That's insane...

I agree with you overall but you can run aground when you start using analogies that stretch a point.
   65. obsessivegiantscompulsive Posted: November 02, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4290834)
Yes, in retrospect, I probably shouldn't have brought up Pluto. Thanks for your reply and comment.
   66. OsunaSakata Posted: November 02, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4290896)
The 1937 Salisbury Indians were a famous example of forfeiting games. Briefly, they had one too many players with experience at a higher level. However, he only signed a contract and never played at that higher level. The League President had the Indians forfeit all 21 games they had won at that point so they went from being 21-5 to 0-26. They went on to go 59-11 for an official record of 59-37, 80-16 without the forfeits and winning the league.
   67. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 02, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4290903)
And as others have alluded to, this example doesn't work unless we have good reason to believe the Giants DID know Melky was juicing.

IANAL, but last I checked, you don't keep stolen goods you purchased even if you didn't know that they were stolen. Whether you acted knowingly or not determines whether you committed a crime, or not, but you don't get to keep the stuff if you didn't. That the Giants didn't know would just mean they didn't face additional penalties - if we're taking pure ethics here, those wins were stolen, whether they knew Melky was using not.

Of course, I don't agree with this, because I consider it a matter of the rules, not a question of ethics. But if one's going to praise the ethical pureness of the Giants, you can't simply wash away the fact that they did benefit from Melky's services and did not take any steps whatsoever to return that benefit.
   68. cardsfanboy Posted: November 02, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4290919)
IANAL, but last I checked, you don't keep stolen goods you purchased even if you didn't know that they were stolen. Whether you acted knowingly or not determines whether you committed a crime, or not, but you don't get to keep the stuff if you didn't.


The problem with that analogy is that you are assuming that the stolen goods weren't converted into something else. They didn't go out and steal wins, they had one small fraction of one player go out and steal something that helps them create wins. If someone goes out and steals money, which they then used to buy food and his family eats the food, would you suggest they stomach pump the family, then take the food out and return it to the vendor to get the money back to return the actual stolen goods? Or would you recommended a justified expense after the fact, say an excessive fine and maybe imprisonment?

   69. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 02, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4290930)
They didn't go out and steal wins, they had one small fraction of one player go out and steal something that helps them create wins.

It's not hard to estimate wins from what players do. And Melky certainly was worth at least 1 win, which would be 1 more than the team tried to return.

They won't pump the food out of their stomachs, but they certainly can sue for the money. There's no magic money laundering ability that you get with stolen goods. You can't say "oops, I turned that $2,000 into a vacation, which I already took. Good luck trying to take back my trip to Orlando!"

Again, I'm not saying that this is the proper course at all. But if someone's going to drag ethics into the mix rather than simply what the rules say, you can't ignore that the Giants did, in fact, benefit from Melky's services.
   70. Belfry Bob Posted: November 02, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4290968)
I am not at all neutral on the issue of PEDs, but I find this to be nothing short of absurd. AT no point during the playoffs did I say to myself, 'Boy, I hope the Giants don't win because they cheated to get here!'

Ugh.
   71. Booey Posted: November 02, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4291020)
Again, I'm not saying that this is the proper course at all. But if someone's going to drag ethics into the mix rather than simply what the rules say, you can't ignore that the Giants did, in fact, benefit from Melky's services.


Giving wins back is idiotic, plain and simple. As far as anyone knows, the Giants organization did nothing wrong, so there's nothing they need to atone for.
   72. BDC Posted: November 02, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4291033)
It's not hard to estimate wins from what players do. And Melky certainly was worth at least 1 win, which would be 1 more than the team tried to return

One practical problem is that it approaches certainty that other teams got a win or two from uncaught PEDed players. I don't know if that makes it more or less grievous in ethical terms to let the Giants "keep" their 1 win. As suggested frequently upthread, they then lost some other amount of value when Melky was caught. It stinks to be caught when others aren't, but that's the course of justice in a fallen world. (When some are caught receiving stolen goods, other fences, even deliberate ones, skate away free.) Anyway, one could argue (and some here have) that the Giants were punished, and maybe even punished more than other teams equally "guilty."
   73. Bhaakon Posted: November 03, 2012 at 01:33 AM (#4291463)
IANAL, but last I checked, you don't keep stolen goods you purchased even if you didn't know that they were stolen. Whether you acted knowingly or not determines whether you committed a crime, or not, but you don't get to keep the stuff if you didn't.


No, but you get to keep any value that you got out of the item. If I own a automotive repair shop and unknowingly purchase a stolen welder, then I have to return when the police come by, but I don't have to go back to my customers, return their money, and take a cutting torch to the welds I made with the stolen tool.

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