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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Rothbard: Baseball’s Steroid Era Is Over. Now We Have to Figure Out Its Legacy

Ding Ding Ding! Hall of Shame used!

At an event co-presented by Arizona State University at Scottsdale’s Clayton on the Park, a panel of baseball insiders offered their observations and opinions.

USA Today baseball columnist Bob Nightengale, the evening’s moderator, asked the panelists whether they qualify statistics based on whether or not the numbers were posted in the era of drugs.

Retrosheet founder David W. Smith, who collects extensive play-by-play data, said he’s not nearly as bothered by the question of drug use as other people. “Is it true that taking steroids made people hit baseballs further?” he asked. Steroids add strength and give people big muscles. But their effect on performance hasn’t been adequately tested or scientifically proven.

It’s not just about muscles, said Barry Axelrod, a longtime agent for baseball players who is currently a special assistant to the general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Performance-enhancing drugs also allow athletes to recover more quickly. And in the case of human growth hormone (HGH), a side effect is increased visual acuity. One argument in defense of Barry Bonds was that he saw the ball better than everyone else. But that excellent vision could have been thanks to the drugs he took.

Smith said that his biggest concern when it comes to PEDs is teenage athletes who emulate pro players’ drug use. “You’ve got a bunch of 15-year-olds who are never going to be professional baseball players who are taking this stuff that is demonstrably horrible for them,” he said.

...Nightengale said that offensive statistics don’t tell the whole story, either: Pitchers were using drugs just as much as hitters. “I have a Hall of Fame vote,” he said, “and I vote for the steroid guys, because it was almost a level playing field.” We don’t know who was doing what. We just know who got caught, he said.

The guys who get caught—and who get the most press for their drug use—are Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, and Roger Clemens. “They’re not easy men to deal with,” said Smith. That doesn’t necessarily make them guilty.

“I don’t have a vote, and I wouldn’t vote for any of them,” said Leavy—not a single one of the players who admitted drug use or were named in the Mitchell report on PEDs in baseball. “I think there should be a hall of shame for those guys,” she said.

Repoz Posted: March 25, 2014 at 07:12 PM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, steroids

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   1. Moeball Posted: March 25, 2014 at 07:55 PM (#4677009)
Major League Baseball’s “Steroid Era” of the 1990s is over
(FTFA).

Cool, so everything that happened after the 1990s is legit?
   2. Rough Carrigan Posted: March 25, 2014 at 08:14 PM (#4677018)
Of course Jane Leavy isn't squawking about the steroids that Mantle took or the greenies that Koufax probably took like everyone else. No hall of shame for them, huh, toots?
   3. ntr RdP Posted: March 25, 2014 at 09:06 PM (#4677029)
Colome will miss the first 50 games of the season ahead after testing positive for Boldenone...an anabolic steroid generally used to treat horses.

I guess this story from 2 days ago must have been caught in the moderator's queue for about 10 to 20 years then?

tl;dr Didn't read TFA.
   4. AndrewJ Posted: March 25, 2014 at 10:35 PM (#4677048)
This evening I attended "Old Jews Talking Baseball" at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, featuring Dan Okrent and John Thorn. Thorn quoted Bud Selig as saying that if the steroid-era players deserve asterisks next to their numbers, so do all the pre-integration players.
   5. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: March 25, 2014 at 10:40 PM (#4677050)
Pretending the steroid era is over is doing a disservice to millions of children. Steroids will never be over so long as little Johnny or Debbie is possibly tempted into injecting a chemical into their ass because a baseball player hit a home run that one day.

Until that ends the steroid era will never be over so long as we continue to think of the children.
   6. JRVJ Posted: March 25, 2014 at 11:14 PM (#4677059)
To paraphrase Samuel Jackson in Pulp Fiction: "We don't have to figure out a Gód Dam-n Thing!"
   7. ptodd Posted: March 26, 2014 at 01:26 AM (#4677089)
Nightengale said that offensive statistics don’t tell the whole story, either: Pitchers were using drugs just as much as hitters. “I have a Hall of Fame vote,” he said, “and I vote for the steroid guys, because it was almost a level playing field.” We don’t know who was doing what. We just know who got caught, he said.


A voice of reason.

Until that ends the steroid era will never be over so long as we continue to think of the children.


Let parents think of their own kids, not wasting my time on theirs. Based on my memories, kids pretty much do anything they want anyways, and the opposite of what they are told to do. At least I did.
   8. The District Attorney Posted: March 26, 2014 at 01:32 AM (#4677090)
I have to admit that, if I knew that agreeing that there was a specific "steroid era" would stop people from disputing that future accomplishments are legitimate, that would be a deal with the devil I'd very seriously consider making. (Even though it'd be totally unfair to the players of that era. It would probably still be worth it to throw them under the bus just to put this behind us.)

I don't think this will ever stop, though, so I'll continue to resist that notion.
   9. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 26, 2014 at 06:32 AM (#4677104)
Of course Jane Leavy isn't squawking about the steroids that Mantle took


Corticosteroids?
   10. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: March 26, 2014 at 08:59 AM (#4677131)
Weren't 17 players famously suspended for steroid use just last season? And weren't they suspended for using things that avoided detection?

If Biogenesis taught us anything, it's that the "steroid era" isn't over. The scary thing (to those who worry about such things) is that usage could be more widespread than ever and MLB wouldn't even realize it.
   11. gehrig97 Posted: March 26, 2014 at 09:00 PM (#4677605)
In her book, Leavy went into vivid detail about Mantle's ill-advised connection to Dr. feelgood

He clearly wasn't a "steroid user".
   12. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 26, 2014 at 10:37 PM (#4677629)
In her book, Leavy went into vivid detail about Mantle's ill-advised connection to Dr. feelgood

He clearly wasn't a "steroid user".


But it fits the narrative so beautifully! Mustn't spoil a good story!
   13. Sunday silence Posted: March 27, 2014 at 01:51 PM (#4677868)
Did anyone find the remarks by David Smith contradictory; viz: that steroids effect on performance "hasnt been proven" but that for young people that stuff is "demonstrably horrible." Maybe just me, but it seems to reflect lot of the inconsistencies in these sorts of debates.
   14. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: March 27, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4677872)
BTW, my #5 was sarcasm. Perhaps I was not crazy over the top enough. My bad (Sorry ptodd).

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