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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

SI: Bonds exposed in book

Beginning in 1998 with injections in his buttocks of Winstrol, a powerful steroid, Barry Bonds took a wide array of performance-enhancing drugs over at least five seasons in a massive doping regimen that grew more sophisticated as the years went on, according to Game of Shadows, a book written by two San Francisco Chronicle reporters at the forefront of reporting on the BALCO steroid distribution scandal.

(An excerpt of Game of Shadows that details Bonds’ steroid use appears exclusively in the March 13 issue of Sports Illustrated, which is available on newsstands beginning on Wednesday. The book’s publication date is March 27.)

Thanks to Jimmy P.

VG Posted: March 07, 2006 at 07:31 PM | 862 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   401. robinred Posted: March 08, 2006 at 08:03 AM (#1888118)
#405 is kind of amazing.
   402. robinred Posted: March 08, 2006 at 08:09 AM (#1888122)
Check that--#411. The counter on the sidebar is 6 behind.
   403. robinred Posted: March 08, 2006 at 08:10 AM (#1888123)
Although 405 is kind of out there, too.
   404. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: March 08, 2006 at 08:31 AM (#1888128)
If you hate steroids you hate freedom
   405. xfactor Posted: March 08, 2006 at 08:35 AM (#1888132)
411 I'm new to this site's debate of the subject and thus don't get all the references to past discussions. But props on the Geddy Lee line.
   406. xfactor Posted: March 08, 2006 at 08:40 AM (#1888135)
And the Geddy Lee reference triggered a song, I think it was by Rush, and I think the lyrics were,

And the men who hold high places
Must be the ones to start,
Build a new reality,
Closer to the heart.

Sorry if I loused that up, but that tripped another tangent about baseball's men in high places. If good old Bart Giammatti had lived another 15 years, would he have cleaned up baseball sooner than Buddy Boy was force to confront certain realities? I'm probably romanticizing Bart a bit, but I believe he would've bee more pro-active than Bud where PEDs were concerned.
   407. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: March 08, 2006 at 08:43 AM (#1888138)
If you hate steroids you hate freedom


That's basically the gist of Szym's, Nieporent's, Treder's et al's complaint: you just Shorter-ed it.

That's what happens when your devotion to "principle" degrades into dogma. No account is given for circumstances, and the circumstances, here, are imperative. Games are predicated on rules and fair play -- concepts wholly subverted by the steroids-use they endorse out of "principle".
   408. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: March 08, 2006 at 08:58 AM (#1888145)
Srul -- thanks. I was wondering if that was just me. People are treating this as conclusive new evidence, but it seems to be old evidence. (Which has nothing to do with its validity one way or the other; I'm just saying that there doesn't seem to be anything we haven't heard before.)

If I'm not mistaken, the information that Greg Anderson kept files, calendars, and documentation of Barry's drug use in his home and on his computer is new. To me, having such records in the possession of Barry's personal trainer is more damning than what has been reported of the records BALCO has of his use. Anderson was always the buffer between BALCO and Barry, so if the description of Anderson's records are accurate, Barry really finds himself in a corner.
   409. Guapo Posted: March 08, 2006 at 08:59 AM (#1888146)
The point isn't exclusively that we were right and you were wrong, it's that you were wrong and you were ######## about it the whole time.

Just for the record, everyone, on *both* sides were ########. Let's give credit where credit is due.
   410. Steve Phillips' Hot Cougar (DrStankus) Posted: March 08, 2006 at 09:27 AM (#1888172)
That's what happens when your devotion to "principle" degrades into dogma. No account is given for circumstances, and the circumstances, here, are imperative.


Pot, meet the kettle.

How do you square this with your comments lo these many years?

In fairness, it is an open question which Union member is most prone to dogmatic statements.

Games are predicated on rules and fair play -- concepts wholly subverted by the steroids-use they endorse out of "principle".


There is a whole heck of a lot of difference between not stringing someone up for an ex post facto infraction and endorsing the behaviour.

I gather that you are still attached too firmly to your dogma to understand this shading. Those of us in the real world note that this is a hazard and endeavour to fix systems that protect against it in the future, rather than wail mindlessly about someone doing something that was allowed at the time that should not be given the overriding framework.
   411. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: March 08, 2006 at 09:40 AM (#1888183)
So Bonds gets free passes for years despite mountains of circumstantial evidence because "nothing's been proven" but when Griffey is praised for not doing it all of a sudden the tone is "well we don't know he didn't do it?"

Bonds got a free pass on the PEDs prior to this article? Are you new to this site?

Seriously, Bonds has been a target of suspicion since the 73 HR in 2001. What some of us said up until the BALCO story broke, was that there wasn't sufficient evidence to support the claim. A lot has emerged over the past two years, culminating in this book/article, that proves beyond any reasonable doubt that Bonds knowingly used steroids--and a shitload of them at that.

So far Griffey has escaped any and all suspicion, which I suppose is commendable. My point is simply that the fact that he's suffered major injuries for the past five seasons do not prove one way or another that he did not use PEDs. I just don't understand why some people are jumping up to applaud Griffey for performing well without PEDs when there really isn't any evidence that he didn't used, one way or another.
   412. Len Lansford, Carney Barker Posted: March 08, 2006 at 09:47 AM (#1888191)
I was just gonna sit, lurk, and give an Amen Shout to the monitor at TDF's post, but RETARDO comes in like Jose Mesa in the ninth with the bases loaded:

Games are predicated on rules and fair play -- concepts wholly subverted by the steroids-use they endorse out of "principle".


Such concepts aren't subverted by greenies, apparently.

It's interesting, having lurked mostly here at the Primer/BTF for years to see how the Van Buren Boys went from honest discussion of rules and fair play to hunting the Great Brown & Orange Whale.

"A king's schilling for a positive test result!"

I'm just waiting for one of them to finally end a post with "Cordially yours" at this juncture.

(And sorry Ralph, but TDF is on the right track: This has less to do with race and more to do with breaking The Record and ruining the sport from its alleged glory days in the '70's and '80's. Look at the flak McGwire took when he was just hooked on andro.)
   413. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: March 08, 2006 at 09:51 AM (#1888195)
There is a whole heck of a lot of difference between not stringing someone up for an ex post facto infraction and endorsing the behaviour.


I'm not arguing that. I'm arguing that the worst of the people on the other side are still and always were against any rule banning PED use past present and future. I allowed for your exception, which is why I didn't put Mark Field in the above group, though he certainly gave tons of ammo to the worst sort of people and willingly formed a coalition of sorts with them during the hearings (when, incidentally, the pro-steroids nutbags were on their worst behavior).
   414. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: March 08, 2006 at 10:00 AM (#1888206)
This has less to do with race and more to do with breaking The Record and ruining the sport from its alleged glory days in the '70's and '80's.


Actually, jackass, there's far less evidence of this mentality on our side than on yours. How many posts here over the years were along the lines of "Barry's a bastich but he's the best I've ever seen and it depresses me that this is what it comes to"? Myriad. Or substitute McGwire or Sosa. It's the same thing.

If anybody has a subjective bias to their era, it's the 90s-00s people who think anything that is most recent (and, usually, and not coincidentally, has occurred in their short lifetimes) is the evidence of "the best of all possible worlds".

A bunch of Panglossian 'tards who are the Bizzaro World equivalent of Grampa Simpson: it wasn't in the past as with Grampa, but it still boils down to "The Real Gods roamed in my day, and nothing that anyone does or says can take that away from me."

Babies need pacifiers, Linues needs his blanket, and statheads and steroids-deniers need their precious Barry or their whole world goes to hell in a handcart.
   415. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: March 08, 2006 at 10:37 AM (#1888236)
Such concepts aren't subverted by greenies, apparently.


No, not in the same, flagrant way, despite the fact that many (conveniently) believe, since Dial started his crusade of dissembling, that they identically skew fair play and records of that fair play.

The skill-set affected by greenies is not the same crucial one that is affected by steroid use; moreover, the advantage given by greenie use cannot be nearly as much as that given by steroids use. Greenie-use has not translated into a wave of previously-unfathomable accomplishments that a great crowd of people, those of good faith and bad, accepted as genuine.

Greenies are the ultimate red herring: not as obviously preposterous as the old LASIK excuse, but just as contrived, irrelevant and, in the end, specious.

Anyway, I'm not rehashing greenies. The arguments are in the archive. I'm here, rather, to stick a fork into the denier's arguments and, frankly, to bask in their shame, should they be good enough to have it, and to beat on the shameless remainder, simply because they deserve it. Also, as a general rule of thumb, it's a pleasure to watch false idols fall, and an especial joy in watching the subsequent hysterics of said idol's accolytes and priests. Schadenfreude? oh yes. Ich kann nicht anders. If that makes me an #######, then I'm comfy with it. At least I wasn't a (protected) ####### in the service of falsehood and blatant idolatry, which is more than I can say for some people.
   416. Gonfalon B. Posted: March 08, 2006 at 10:47 AM (#1888245)
As for the validity of internet poll results, if they were good enough for the Sexiest Man Alive, Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf, who are we lesser mortals to dispute them?
   417. FJ Posted: March 08, 2006 at 11:30 AM (#1888259)
The point isn't exclusively that we were right and you were wrong, it's that you were wrong and you were ######## about it the whole time.

So, it's better to be right and an ####### about it? (Not saying that you are one, RETARDO, but some may consider you or some of your brethren to be.)

FWIW, I think both sides had ######## aplenty.

I "started" on the "pro-Bonds" side of the argument according to many of you. I said there wasn't enough evidence that he did it even though I couldn't rule it out. Then, as more and more evidence showed up, I admitted I was wrong about Bonds juicing.

Guess what, I was attacked for that by the "anti-Bonds" side (admittedly only by some select members). What is so bad about being wrong? We're all wrong some of the times.

I don't understand why people feel that being right and an ####### is that much better than being wrong and an #######. Actually, I don't understand why admitting you were wrong should be considered bad, at all. Especially, when the alternative is to being a blind-arse like some higher official who leads a certain wealthy country to a war over a pretext which has been nearly proven false and then, proceeds to say the war wasn't a mistake.

(In fact, I never understood why Kerry didn't defend himself in this way. All he had to do in response to the "flip-flopping" allegations was that new evidence came to light which changed his mind on the issue and he was willing to admit he was wrong unlike certain other people in the debate who STILL believe that everything they did was right....)

Anyways, I'm meandering. I really was just interested in why being wrong and an ####### is so much worse than being right and an #######....

F
   418. Psychedelic Red Pants Posted: March 08, 2006 at 11:31 AM (#1888260)
Your childhood heroes have feet of clay.


This is a great expression. Somehow I'm not surprised that my Southern Baptist upbringing managed to avoid it.

A failing or weakness in a person's character, as in The media are always looking for a popular idol's feet of clay. This expression comes from the Bible (Daniel 2:31–33), where the prophet interprets Nebuchadnezzar's dream of a statue with a head of gold and feet of iron clay. [c. 1600]


link
   419. Psychedelic Red Pants Posted: March 08, 2006 at 11:33 AM (#1888261)
Hm. I used the link button and everything. Apparently I suck at the internet.
   420. FJ Posted: March 08, 2006 at 11:36 AM (#1888264)
LOL, that's weird, ahole is picked up by the nanny, but ######## isn't.

I guess, the nanny thinks there's no such thing as only one ahole (and she's probably right)....

F
   421. Len Lansford, Carney Barker Posted: March 08, 2006 at 11:38 AM (#1888265)
If anybody has a subjective bias to their era, it's the 90s-00s people who think anything that is most recent (and, usually, and not coincidentally, has occurred in their short lifetimes) is the evidence of "the best of all possible worlds".


Hi, I'm from Cleveland. The 90s-00s have been the best of all of our possible worlds. Just ask Bernal. Pardon me for being apprehensive for the glory days when baseball was so popular and lucrative that we had civic leaders buying the Indians just to keep them in town.

I'm here, rather, to stick a fork into the denier's arguments and, frankly, to bask in their shame, should they be good enough to have it, and to beat on the shameless remainder, simply because they deserve it.


Well, congratulations. You have won the internets. Bask yourself in your moment of pixelated glory, and we'll make sure to put 'I WAS RIGHT ABOUT BONDS, WITH MY LAST BREATH I SPIT AT THEE' on your tombstone as the crowning achievement of your life's work.
   422. Len Lansford, Carney Barker Posted: March 08, 2006 at 11:42 AM (#1888267)
A failing or weakness in a person's character, as in The media are always looking for a popular idol's feet of clay. This expression comes from the Bible (Daniel 2:31–33), where the prophet interprets Nebuchadnezzar's dream of a statue with a head of gold and feet of iron clay. [c. 1600]


Here I thought he was referring to Mike Hargrove's speed on the basepaths.
   423. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 08, 2006 at 11:48 AM (#1888268)
Bonds was not the best player in the game before 1998. Griffey was.
God, you really are as dumb as the rest of your anti-steroids jihad makes you look, aren't you? From 1990-1998, Barry Bonds' lows in OPS were at the same level as Griffey's highs. Moreover, Bonds was playing every day while Griffey was getting hurt.

Not to mention that there is no reason whatsoever to consider Griffey 'clean' by the standards you're applying to any other player. Griffey hit 49-56-56-48 HRs over four straight years. Number of players who had done that before this era: Babe Ruth.

All I can say is, after reading Kevin, I'm rooting even more for Bonds to break Aaron's mark. I hope he does, while Kevin sits around in his underwear typing even more frantically on his computer about how Bonds must be continuing to use some undetectable substance. And Bonds goes into the Hall while Kevin is still sitting around calling himself a scientist and getting accolades from... people on the internet who buy into that claim.
   424. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 08, 2006 at 11:59 AM (#1888270)
Well, congratulations. You have won the internets. Bask yourself in your moment of pixelated glory, and we'll make sure to put 'I WAS RIGHT ABOUT BONDS, WITH MY LAST BREATH I SPIT AT THEE' on your tombstone as the crowning achievement of your life's work.
Well said.
   425. Psychedelic Red Pants Posted: March 08, 2006 at 12:02 PM (#1888271)
Number of players who had done that before this era: Babe Ruth.


I don't know how we can take your arguments seriously. Babe Ruth isn't a number, it's a string.
   426. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: March 08, 2006 at 12:28 PM (#1888273)
Well, congratulations. You have won the internets. Bask yourself in your moment of pixelated glory, and we'll make sure to put 'I WAS RIGHT ABOUT BONDS, WITH MY LAST BREATH I SPIT AT THEE' on your tombstone as the crowning achievement of your life's work.


As opposed to 'FACTS TOOK MY GOD FROM ME, MORALITY AND REASON DESTROYED MY ARGUMENTS, BUT I STILL SPIT AT THEE", which is the fitting epitaph for those ont her other side.

"Life's work" was an especially nice touch by the way: more projection. It's precisely the childish, loserish desire, in which one pours so much work and life, to hold onto an idol, to cling to a False God, that makes me so happy to see meet its defenestration here. It's like when Martin Gardner destroys new age crackpots, or when Dawkins rips into literalist Xtian nutbags: I take no pleasure in seeing/participating in the taking of benevolent falsities from children, but when it's malignant falsities taken from ostensible adults, it's great entertainment as well as a moral victory. Anyway, it seems to me that such adamant pro-Bonds, pro-steroids losers -- who commited the cardinal sin of putting a baseball player on such a high pedestal anyway -- are the last types of people who should call others pathetic.

And speaking of projections from the truly pathetic:

All I can say is, after reading Kevin, I'm rooting even more for Bonds to break Aaron's mark. I hope he does, while Kevin sits around in his underwear typing even more frantically on his computer about how Bonds must be continuing to use some undetectable substance. And Bonds goes into the Hall while Kevin is still sitting around calling himself a scientist and getting accolades from... people on the internet who buy into that claim.


Randroid delusions of achievement have never been something I could be sympathetic to, but this takes the cake. You idiots actually *identify* with Bonds! Hahahahaha. Sorry, Nieporent, you're still just a jackass ambulance chaser/libertarian nutjob who's contributed nothing to the culture, and never will. You're not Barry Bonds, you're not advocating any principles save those of malignance, and if kevin is just a guy with an opinion, then so are you, but even more pathetic as yours has been shown to be demonstrably wrong. If kevin's pathetic for being right, what does that make you with your ostentatious displays of utter wrongness?
   427. BDC Posted: March 08, 2006 at 12:33 PM (#1888274)
why some people are jumping up to applaud Griffey for performing well without PEDs when there really isn't any evidence that he didn't use

Well, we are a culture that loves to stare at B-Ref pages, and Griffey's isn't really very squirrelly, aside from its overall excellence. He was a tremendously heralded prospect, a star in the majors as a teenager, had his great HR years at 27 and 28, hasn't done much in his 30s. He's normal, at least scaled onto the great offensive era he's played in. Bonds isn't.

Also, the default assumption still, thangawd, is that someone didn't use.
   428. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 08, 2006 at 12:46 PM (#1888275)
Love the Rush references, keep them coming. I just read this entire thread, took about 2-3 hours, but that made it worth it.

I loved TDF's #491. Great summary. Retardo's sum up of the other side wasn't bad either, especially with bonus points for the Rush reference. I do have one issue:

"Greenie-use has not translated into a wave of previously-unfathomable accomplishments that a great crowd of people, those of good faith and bad, accepted as genuine."

No records were broke since the 1950s? Stealing 118 bases in a season was fathomable in 1946? Cal Ripken breaking Gehrig's record wasn't unfathomable circa 1982? Greenies, which get you up for every game didn't help keep him going day after day, year after year?

I don't care much, but like TDF said, they've been cheating forever. I'm very sad about this, and it taints the game, but lots of things have tainted the game over the last century, and many more will taint it in the one that is unfolding now. Some of us just choose not to dwell on it.

And before you bring it up Backlasher, yes I posted the Dayn Perry article many moons ago. It was new to me at the time, I had missed the first posting, and I even had that audicity to call it objective. Crucify me for it again, as that seems to be something you bring up every time I make a post in any thread you are in. Figured I'd beat you to the punch.
   429. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: March 08, 2006 at 01:02 PM (#1888276)
Griffey's isn't really very squirrelly, aside from its overall excellence. He was a tremendously heralded prospect, a star in the majors as a teenager, had his great HR years at 27 and 28, hasn't done much in his 30s. He's normal, at least scaled onto the great offensive era he's played in. Bonds isn't.


Exactamente.

Doesn't it look so obvious now? Well, it looked obvious then: ungodly power totals starting in his mid to late 30s. But then Bonds was a "workout fiend", with "great genes", and a late power surge was "counterintuitively" actually pretty normal, why just "look at Lee Lacy"! Anyway those whose doubts to Bonds's cleanliness were piqued just didnt understand how driven St. Barry was, how his late surge was a tribute to his father, how Barry Bonds was the Qwizratch Hadrach, the universe's superbeing. And doubters had "no evidence", their observations were bunk at best; and besides, players should be allowed to take what they want because a)it's not cheating and b)that way everyone can learn what works, and can be open about usage. Also, LASIK! And nanotechnology's coming!

Or so argued (sans Dune reference) fanboy, eugenics expert, serial dissembler, Bonds hagiographer Steve Treder, and such arguments not only passed as "reasonable", but they were expanded on by later steroids-apologists.

Yes, it was all obvious, even back then. The mass hysteria of denial here is, or ought to be considered, a black eye on the face of statborg judgement, both factual and philosophical, for a long long time.

Someone early in the thread asked, "was there really a pro-steroids crowd?" Yes. And it was exactly as insane as I describe. Shameless.
   430. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 08, 2006 at 01:20 PM (#1888279)
Also, the default assumption still, thangawd, is that someone didn't use.
Speaking of which, didn't Kirby Puckett die suspiciously young?

You're not Barry Bonds, you're not advocating any principles save those of malignance,
You're projecting again. At least Kevin, Andy, and JC, as much as I disagree with them, as much as I think they're badly misguided zealots, with Kevin's zealotry an order of magnitude beyond rationality, have an ideological position here. You, as always, simply take a position solely based on who you hate.

I admit I have some schadenfreude over the fact that Bonds is going to the Hall of Fame anyway, and that in a few years this whole controversy will be reduced to a mere footnote of history, but that derives from my long-standing views on the steroid "issue." You want to tear Bonds down not because you care about steroids, but just because you think it will make those people you don't like suffer, and you like seeing people whom you don't like suffer.
and if kevin is just a guy with an opinion, then so are you, but even more pathetic as yours has been shown to be demonstrably wrong.
No opinion of mine has been shown wrong. One cannot prove "not enough evidence" -- the position I took from the beginning -- wrong by producing more evidence. Sorry -- this is logic; it's too complicated for you. I'll try to speak more simply: "Bonds, good. You, not."

You're not a Gardner or a Dawkins; you're a guy who throws rocks through stained glass windows and pats himself on the back for being an iconoclast. Or, rather, a guy who tries to throw rocks through stained glass windows, but who misses, and who pats himself on the back anyway when someone with better aim actually hits the window, and then congratulates himself for associating with that other person.
   431. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 08, 2006 at 01:27 PM (#1888282)
I don't care much, but like TDF said, they've been cheating forever. I'm very sad about this, and it taints the game, but lots of things have tainted the game over the last century, and many more will taint it in the one that is unfolding now. Some of us just choose not to dwell on it.
Given that it is a taint on the game, isn't it good that people are trying to wipe it out?

The steroid controversy has led to real steroid testing with big honking penalties. It's even led to an amphetamine ban, which should work toward undoing the wrong perpetuated for decades of turning a blind eye. These policies won't end steroid abuse in MLB, but it seems pretty evident that they'll cut it down significantly - in part by changing the culture in MLB to make steroid use necessarily a hidden act.

Will we eventually face other attempts at cheating? It's pretty much inevitable, and it's likely that just as with steroids, the response will be slow to come and take a while to be commensurate.

I think that the shift from pessimism - there will be other forms of cheating - to something that looks like apathy - so who are we to do anything about it? - is troubling to me. The steroid ban and new penalties for amphetamines seem to me good evidence that something can and has been done about the problem, with productive results. Once you see steroids as a taint (a metaphorical taint), it seems to follow that organized baseball's response to steroids in the last two years has been a really good thing, and a cause for at least temporary optimism.
   432. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 08, 2006 at 01:35 PM (#1888283)
I'm a newbie to this argument since yesterday ... did people actually use the career path of LEE LACY to validate Bonds's?

Wow.
   433. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 08, 2006 at 01:38 PM (#1888285)
There's nothing to "face" with other "attempts at cheating." No other such "attempts" have as clear a nexus to a baseball-related skill set as steroids do to hitting a baseball farther.
   434. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 08, 2006 at 01:42 PM (#1888286)
The narrative of the new book, at least as summarized here and on Sportscenter, sounds interesting to me.

Basically, Bonds saw Sosa and McGwire get insanely pumped up, hit gobs of homers, and become the faces of baseball. Having avoided PEDs through his whole great career, Bonds decided that he would switch, and he would take more, better drugs than anyone had before. And he would show those two lesser cheaters what a truly great player on drugs looked like.

It's certainly a narrative that's been proposed before, but it's interesting to see it in a fully researched book.

If that narrative is not the best argument ever for changing the culture of the game through punitive legislation, I don't know what is. It was because no one seemed to mind McGwire's steroid use, and because there were no negative feedback mechanisms for steroid use, that Barry decided to start using.

I think it troubles the narratives of the Bonds-haters - really, McGwire was a far bigger problem, and he was whitewashed away until that Senate testimony - but I think it's a good narrative for explaining why steroid testing and punishment should be seen as positive things.
   435. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 08, 2006 at 01:42 PM (#1888287)
Given that it is a taint on the game, isn't it good that people are trying to wipe it out?
Well, I don't accept the "given," but assuming that it is:

1. Is that really what people are trying to do now? Or are they trying to tear down the game's past? Even if you assume that the game will be better now that there's testing and penalties, it doesn't necessarily follow that dwelling on the past "taint" is a good thing for the game. And it's the latter that people are doing here; the testing and penalties do not depend on "exposing" players, as the title of this thread has it.

2. Even if you assume it's "good that people are trying to wipe it out," it doesn't automatically follow that the particular means chosen for "wiping it out" are good. Cures can be worse than diseases.
   436. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 08, 2006 at 01:48 PM (#1888288)
That's certainly all possible, David, but it seems pretty unlikely to me. MLB's numbers suggest that use has gone down a lot since the punishments were instituted, and it seems likely htat the same will happen with greenies.

I don't mean in post 45 to let Bonds off the ethical hook - he shouldna done what he did, and it was bad. I do see him much more as a construct of a broken, immoral system than a villain in his own right, and I'm much more concerned with fixing the system.
   437. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 08, 2006 at 02:00 PM (#1888291)
The steroid controversy has led to real steroid testing with big honking penalties. It's even led to an amphetamine ban, which should work toward undoing the wrong perpetuated for decades of turning a blind eye. These policies won't end steroid abuse in MLB, but it seems pretty evident that they'll cut it down significantly - in part by changing the culture in MLB to make steroid use necessarily a hidden act.

Very good point, Matt.

And how much of baseball's newly found religion would have happened without certain people (and I sure wasn't one of them, contrary to certain other people's opinions) yelling loud and long? How much of this would have happened if baseball had continued stonewalling it to the extent that lots of people here have?

You can argue forever about such Philosophy 101 abstractions as "Is it better to be right and to be an ###### than to be wrong?"

But you can't argue with this one: No heat, no light.

And I know which side here (on a symbolic mini-scale) and in the outside world (God bless those Chronicle reporters) has provided the heat. And which side has been trying to snuff out every candle.
   438. Bren-Dull Posted: March 08, 2006 at 02:04 PM (#1888292)
Posting regardless of content or merit.
   439. The Original Gary Posted: March 08, 2006 at 02:08 PM (#1888293)
Carson Cressly would like to wax this taint.
   440. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 08, 2006 at 02:13 PM (#1888294)
I am coming to agree with that position, Andy. I worry that there are good and bad kinds of heat - for instance, this post from the previous page, which I find to be one of the most awful, indefensible things said on BTF since I've been here:
If there weren't any racists before Barry, he certainly tried his best to create some.
The trope that racism derives from the sins of minorities itself comes from the earliest strands of racist discourse, and its uncritical repetition is, to me, a far bigger problem than any defense of Barry Bonds.

If we're going to laud those who hand out heat, we need to be careful not to make all types of heat laudable.
   441. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: March 08, 2006 at 02:23 PM (#1888295)
You're projecting again. At least Kevin, Andy, and JC, as much as I disagree with them, as much as I think they're badly misguided zealots, with Kevin's zealotry an order of magnitude beyond rationality, have an ideological position here. You, as always, simply take a position solely based on who you hate.


You've got it backwards, which is not surprising as you're the ultimate moron.

It's not that I don't have an ideology, it's that other people have too much of one, so much so that it excuses cheating and excuses the health-destroying effects of that cheating.

To add fuel to my fire, the people with too much ideology (crossing into the realm of dogma: I'm looking at you, #######) defend their excesses, like Bush, with the constant mantra of "freedom freedom" all the while deprecating the humane principles of others as purely about power-grabbing (you, otoh, prefer coercion to come via structure, as per steroids, or by market-structure, as per politics). Also, indeed, they/you take joy in the suffering of others whom they/you consider inferior (the coerced unknowns forced to juice to be employed, so similar to the downtrodden in politics, be they single mothers or whatever among the poor, whom you consider subhuman, whom you consider "looters").

As such, these people who have too much ideology -- so much that it trumps humanity and fair play , among all other entities and concepts -- are worthy of hate, deserve whatever illtreatment they get, and are to be laughed at and made to look as ridiculous as possible (which doesn't take much effort).

You act is if the people I despise are a large crowd. Not really. I enjoy the security blanket being taken from the childish steroids-apologists, the fanboys, but I don't hate them to the core. Who I must despise on grounds of, yes, principle are the people whose utter stupidity on this issue comes from the same dogma by which they toxicly stupidify politics: idiots like you who will gladly allow/encourage cheating, suffering, deceit, dehumanisation and substantial coercion to go on in the name of "freedom": you know, amoral asshats like you.

I'm a newbie to this argument since yesterday ... did people actually use the career path of LEE LACY to validate Bonds's?


Oh yes. It's known as the Treder Maneuver.
   442. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: March 08, 2006 at 02:37 PM (#1888300)
I'm a newbie to this argument since yesterday ... did people actually use the career path of LEE LACY to validate Bonds's?

Of course not. While I can't say for certain, I imagine the exchange, if it ever occured, went something like this:

"No one, in the long history of the game, has ever had his best 5 seasons after he was 35 (like Bonds has)"

"Well, Lee Lacy did."

Happens all the time. Someone make a broad absolute statement, with little or no research to back it up, and someone else plays gotcha. And then a third person takes the gotcha statement out of context to make an ever bigger claim.
   443. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: March 08, 2006 at 02:45 PM (#1888302)
Maybe it's best that you don't comment on things you weren't around to see.

I can promise you that Steve Treder made a huge post where he took the trouble to research every player who had a post-35 power surge and it was absolutely in the context of "see, it's not suspicious!"

This post was after he'd mentioned Lacy at least one time (IIRC, twice) previously in the same sort of context. Lacy's name was dug up precisely to refute suspicious allegations against Bonds: it was no casual remark.

There is an archive, you know. If you weren't here like the rest of us, you could look there before dismissing our claims as preposterous. These pro-steroids whackos *did* argue that way; I'm not making it up.
   444. Gaelan Posted: March 08, 2006 at 02:51 PM (#1888306)
What retardo said was awesome. Especially this part:

It's not just that we were right and you were wrong, it's that the fanboys and the nutjob ideologues were cheerfully willing to sacrifice any notions of fair play in favor of Ohhh stats! look at Barry swing! Or even worse, to the idea that "steroids-use is FREEEDOM!"

In other words, it's not just that you were wrong, it's also that you advocated such an atrocity of moral calculus that you were willing to sacrifice what baseball means to the instant gratification of your wanking devotion to St. Barry, inflated power-based offense, and in some cases, to a ######## ideology which seems to manifest stupidity and evil in every situation to which it's applied.
   445. Gaelan Posted: March 08, 2006 at 03:02 PM (#1888311)
While there are some good arguments about how exactly one would rewrite the recordbook and the similarities between amphetamines and steroids there is one thing I don't really understand and would like to hear from the steroid-advocates, the steroid-apologists, and the steroid-agnostics. What about the future of the game? Would you really prefer a baseball in which chemical modification to enhance performance are allowed? As far as I can tell when you say you don't care this is what you are advocating. There isn't really a middle ground because if no one cares then that is what we will get. So, as a baseball fan, any allegations make me happy (and I've been a huge Bonds fan) so long as they make people angry because sports that are all drugs are sports that I'm not very interested in watching.

Now I have no illusions about being able to stop it altogether but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try and it certainly doesn't mean we should endorse it. As far as I'm concerned saying you don't care is tacit endorsement which may be even worse than open and honest endorsement.
   446. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 08, 2006 at 03:02 PM (#1888312)
A contemporary of Lacy's, Brian Downing, who got much stronger and much more powerful in his 30s, supports the argument much more strongly than Lacy, but the argument is still specious. Downing became a dedicated weight-lifter in an era in which prevailing wisdom (believe it or not) was that weight training was actually detrimental to baseball players.

Needless to say, the competitive advantage Downing gained from pumping iron closed rather quickly. Nor would it be a shock if Downing took roids, and I'm sure others know more about the evidence or lack thereof on that question than I.
   447. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 08, 2006 at 03:03 PM (#1888313)
I'm not going to RTWFT, so can someone tell me if the bombshell is supposed to be that he started before the '98 season, or after? It really isn't clear from the wire stories.

Anyway, here's an angle that I'm not sure is being considered by the "expunge his records" crowd: is there anyone in the world who is likely to have more doping dirt on more people than Barry Lamar? It's real easy to say that he has zero credibility, but I'd still bet that more than a few people would buy his book.

I'd love to pay a visit to the parallel universe where Bonds announced his retirement after the '98 season, saying at the press conference that he just could not compete with a league full of juicers and he wasn't going to risk his health by joining them in cheating. The trouble is, he'd never have been vindicated, because without his own uniquely enhanced performance, no one ever would have given a rats' ass about steroids in baseball.
   448. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 08, 2006 at 03:06 PM (#1888316)
If we're going to laud those who hand out heat, we need to be careful not to make all types of heat laudable.

Obviously. But in RETARDO's case, once you discount the personal invective, there remains a core argument which is hard to refute: That the root of much opposition to steroid bans and steroid sanctions is an almsot thrillingly enthusiastic form of literalist libertarianism. Though I can't see the reason for personalizing the rhetoric in the form of Nieporent the Devil Incarnate (since Nieporent seems to me to be a fairly mildmannered, garden variety type of anti-government one-note of the sort that I run into all the time, and hardly worthy of all the bile), once you remove that then I think RETARDO's overall point is quite correct. And in fact, I'd say that it's to Nieporent's credit that he doesn't shy away from consistently maintaining his postition---even though one should note that his replies to RETARDO are every bit as flaming as RETARDO's are to him. Which is why I try to discount the personal stuff and concentrate on their arguments.

I'm a newbie to this argument since yesterday ... did people actually use the career path of LEE LACY to validate Bonds's?

Of course not. While I can't say for certain, I imagine the exchange, if it ever occured, went something like this:

"No one, in the long history of the game, has ever had his best 5 seasons after he was 35 (like Bonds has)"

"Well, Lee Lacy did."

Happens all the time. Someone make a broad absolute statement, with little or no research to back it up, and someone else plays gotcha. And then a third person takes the gotcha statement out of context to make an ever bigger claim.


The only problem with this hypothetical scenario, alas, is that with the exception of the injury season of 2005, Bonds did have his best seasons after the age of 35: OPS+ numbers of 262, 275, 231, 260. The best he ever produced prior to that was 206. So if that initial statement you hypothesized was indeed just pulled out of a hat, that hat must have included a copy of Bonds's record in it.
   449. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: March 08, 2006 at 03:08 PM (#1888320)
Maybe it's best that you don't comment on things you weren't around to see.


That's never stopped you before.

Look, I'll accept the exchange took place as you describe. I didn't see it, but I was around for most of the genesis of the Bonds steroid debate. I didn't contribute much, if anything, but I was reading. The initial position was "Bonds is hitting a ton of HR at a late age and he has a big head. He must be on steroids." While the latter turned out to be true, and it became obvious to most before this book, the initial evidence for the claim was rather flimsy. There was nothing untoward about Steve or anyone else refuting the claim that Bonds' post 35 HR surge was de facto evidence for steroid use, and citing as their evidence that Bonds was not unique. Oh, he was unique in the magnitude to be sure, but not in the achievement. I'm sure many players were brought up. Darrell Evans comes to mind. But Lee lacy makes a good sound bite, and thus can be invoked to lampoon a legit argument.
   450. Brian Posted: March 08, 2006 at 03:19 PM (#1888324)
I've never seriously gotten involved in one the Bondsfests over the years and without getting into it now I'd just like to suggest that RETARDO seek help.

Go back and read your posts on this thread. The invective and hate is way over the top; it's an internet discussion about a game! Maybe I am behind the times and you're writing from a facility right now but, if not, get some help.
   451. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 08, 2006 at 03:23 PM (#1888332)
It's silly even for anti-government one notes to be pro-steroids because baseball is private enterprise that limits personal freedom in order to sell athletic competition to the public.

The Oakland A's aren't allowed to set up a diamond with bases 85 feet apart and present it as a "Major League Baseball" game. Is their freedom restricted? Nor is Mark Kotsay allowed to use a bat made of aluminum in a "Major League Baseball" game. An issue for libertarians?
   452. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 08, 2006 at 03:27 PM (#1888335)
Darrell Evans's biggest power year was at age 26 and his career path wouldn't support a steroid use inference. Not even close.
   453. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 08, 2006 at 03:28 PM (#1888336)
The big head is more de facto evidence of steroid use than the power surge. Together they are irrefutable.
   454. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 08, 2006 at 03:31 PM (#1888341)
There was no power surge in Lee Lacy's career, and he didn't have his best 5 years after the age of 36.
   455. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: March 08, 2006 at 03:33 PM (#1888343)
Darrell Evans's biggest power year was at age 26.

And his second was at 38, his third at 40, his fourth at 36, and his fifth at 39.
   456. chris p Posted: March 08, 2006 at 03:39 PM (#1888350)
"Greenie-use has not translated into a wave of previously-unfathomable accomplishments that a great crowd of people, those of good faith and bad, accepted as genuine."

No records were broke since the 1950s? Stealing 118 bases in a season was fathomable in 1946? Cal Ripken breaking Gehrig's record wasn't unfathomable circa 1982? Greenies, which get you up for every game didn't help keep him going day after day, year after year?


don't forget 4256 hits.

I "started" on the "pro-Bonds" side of the argument according to many of you. I said there wasn't enough evidence that he did it even though I couldn't rule it out. Then, as more and more evidence showed up, I admitted I was wrong about Bonds juicing.

me too. *high five*
   457. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: March 08, 2006 at 03:42 PM (#1888353)
There was no power surge in Lee Lacy's career, and he didn't have his best 5 years after the age of 36.

I agree. If Lacy's name was brought up, it was a big mistake, as we are now seeing. This is a good example of presenting too much evidence. Legit examples of real power hitters hitting their stride after age 35, guys like Evans and Aaron (in no way Bondsian, but he did have his best 5 year HR run starting at age 35) are ignored, and trivial marginal examples like Lacy are lampooned by the oposition, like Michael Dukakis in a tank or John Kerry duck hunting.
   458. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 08, 2006 at 03:43 PM (#1888355)
I "started" on the "pro-Bonds" side of the argument according to many of you. I said there wasn't enough evidence that he did it even though I couldn't rule it out. Then, as more and more evidence showed up, I admitted I was wrong about Bonds juicing.

me too. *high five*


And me, too.
   459. JC in DC Posted: March 08, 2006 at 03:44 PM (#1888357)
While the latter turned out to be true, and it became obvious to most before this book, the initial evidence for the claim was rather flimsy.



Welcome back, RETARDO. I want to address this claim, since I consider myself one of those who early on embraced the "if the hat doesn't fit, he must be doing the ####\" arguments.

No one ever advanced the claim that this kind of extrapolation was admissable in court. However, it really is the case that there are physical markers of steroids and HGH use. Bonds's body then and now evince use of steroids. When I saw Bonds play in 99 and 00, and recall I was once a Barry fan (as a Bucs follower), it was clear to me he had used SOMETHING to transform his body from wiry athlete to muscle guy. I'm not going to apologize for seeing this and drawing this conclusion; nor will I grant it was some shot in the dark blind squirrel thing. I said the same thing about McGwire and Canseco and Giambi and Brett Boone. Obviously, not everyone who uses looks this way, and obviously not everyone who uses will play like these guys did, but playing as well as they did trains the camera on them.

For some time people have defended Bonds et al by claiming various miracles in modern training techniques, much as Hulk Hogan attributed his body to vitamins and good living, but the Occam's Razor here points to cheating. Why do these guys look less like Mickey Mantle or Hank and more like der Arnold? Well of course, b/c they're using what der Arnold used.
   460. RP Posted: March 08, 2006 at 03:49 PM (#1888362)
While we're all arguing about Barry Bonds and his gigantic head,

- the President just established an office of faith-based initiatives in the Department of Homeland Security, (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/03/20060307-5.html),

- the US is threatening Iran,

- Iraq continues to spin out of control,

- the Treasury department is raiding Federal pension funds to avoid hitting the debt ceiling (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/03/06/politics/main1374280.shtml),

- the administration is threatening to jail journalists who published leaks under the 1917 espionage act (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2002846981_leaks06.html), and

- Congress has killed the investigation into the NSA.

Good times.
   461. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: March 08, 2006 at 03:53 PM (#1888367)
- the US is threatening Iran,

To be fair, we're hardly alone in this one.
   462. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 08, 2006 at 03:56 PM (#1888371)
All below a previously-established level of performance, not to mention in the best hitters park for his type as opposed to one of the worst.

And also not to mention that his OPS at age 26 dwarfs anything after.

Nice try though.
   463. HCO Posted: March 08, 2006 at 03:56 PM (#1888372)
Greenie-use has not translated into a wave of previously-unfathomable accomplishments that a great crowd of people, those of good faith and bad, accepted as genuine.


Does Schmidt's confession change this? I ask because it's about time we Phillies fans got to fight in the fanboy wars.
   464. JC in DC Posted: March 08, 2006 at 04:02 PM (#1888377)
the President just established an office of faith-based initiatives in the Department of Homeland Security, (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/03/20060307-5.html),

OH MY GOD, THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE!

- the US is threatening Iran,

SEE MISERLOU'S COMMENT, OR, IOW, WOULD YOU RATHER IRAN HAVE NUKES?

- Iraq continues to spin out of control,

EXCEPT WHERE IT DOESN'T, BUT WE DON'T GET MUCH OF THAT IN THE NYTIMES. I HAVEN'T HEARD MUCH ABOUT MOSUL LATELY? OH, THAT'S B/C IT'S RELATIVELY PEACEFUL.

- the Treasury department is raiding Federal pension funds to avoid hitting the debt ceiling (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/03/06/politics/main1374280.shtml),

AH, THE OLD DON'T NEED MONEY ANYWAY.

- the administration is threatening to jail journalists who published leaks under the 1917 espionage act (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2002846981_leaks06.html), and

I ASSUME MANY HERE WOULD JAIL THESE SF CHRONICLE GUYS FOR BADMOUTHING BARRY, SO WHAT'S SO EVIL ABOUT THIS?

- Congress has killed the investigation into the NSA.


GOOD TO SEE CONGRESS DOING ANYTHING, REALLY.
   465. David Wrightwing obstructionist Posted: March 08, 2006 at 04:07 PM (#1888381)
Well said JC, somehow we just got lucky by being able to eye a player and suspect that something may not be right

What other evidence could we even present at the time, that Ken Caminiti claimed 50% of players were using steriods, because other than whispers thats all we had, but somehow we have no clue what were talking about because we noticed players looked like the stuff puff marshmellow man.

The first time I suspected McGwire was when I saw him warming up at Coors Field and when he stood next to Dave Parker he made him looke like Rafael Belliard, even a fat and out of shape Cobra.

Lets also not forget the argument for Bonds at the time, well I was skinny when I was young and now I'm a fatass so its possible, that was always my fav. I've gained muscle latter in life, so he can too.

Also the winners have an option to gloat, it may not be "winning with class" but they have that option, and after the ridiculous piling on we took in the begginning of the steriod scandal, I don't blame anyone for taking that option.

Yes most of us guessed by the size of his head his very unusal power surge late in age and guess what we were right, you gotta love it.

In the words of Crash Davis, "Utterly ####### hopeless"
   466. RP Posted: March 08, 2006 at 04:08 PM (#1888382)
Wow, touche JC. Insightful commentary.
   467. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: March 08, 2006 at 04:09 PM (#1888383)
All below a previously-established level of performance, not to mention in the best hitters park for his type as opposed to one of the worst.

And also not to mention that his OPS at age 26 dwarfs anything after.

Nice try though.


It would help if you reference what you are commenting on. I assumed you were talking about Aaron. I was confused, because his best year was age 25, not 26. Except OPS wise it was 37. Then I realized it was Evans.

It's silly that you are dismissing the fact that Evans had much more power in his late 30's than at any other time in his career based on 1 more HR hit at age 26. It's even sillier when you realize it took him 90 more at bats to hit that 1 home run. Evans is a legit counter-example to the notion that no one hits more HR's in his late 30's than at any other time.

And I'm not making this argument, I'm re-capping it for you.
   468. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: March 08, 2006 at 04:14 PM (#1888387)
Right, Evans moved to Tiger Stadium, Aaron to the launching pad. That's enough for me, and yes, both guys were used as examples.

Neither are Bondsian. No one ever was. Hence, suspicion. What was it that Carl Sagan said? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The fact that Bonds hit 73 HRs at that age is extraordinary; in turn, it necessarily elicited extraordinary suspicion, and requires extraordinary explanation and evidence to prove that he got those HRs fairly.

And when you're desperate enough to dig up Lee Lacy to meet this "unreasonable" challenge, you're an extraordinary Bonds-fanboy hack. That's Steve, all right.

***
Hi, JC. Andy's here. Where's kevin and BL?

But in RETARDO's case, once you discount the personal invective, there remains a core argument which is hard to refute: That the root of much opposition to steroid bans and steroid sanctions is an almsot thrillingly enthusiastic form of literalist libertarianism.


Hi, Andy. Thanks for translating: that's exactly what I mean, the main reason for my vehemence, and really, the only dog I care to follow on this hunt anymore. The fanboys are dropping like flies; it's the libertarian scum who'll make this into a "lost cause" project. But then they always were the worst offenders in this argument, as indeed they are in most every other argument.
   469. Boots Day Posted: March 08, 2006 at 04:22 PM (#1888394)
It was because no one seemed to mind McGwire's steroid use, and because there were no negative feedback mechanisms for steroid use, that Barry decided to start using.

I think there's a bit of revisionism here, unless you mean those within baseball, like Tony LaRussa, who was probably aware of McGwire's steroid use, were the ones who "didn't mind."

When the andro news broke, late in the 1998 season, most of the focus was on whether andro itself was a steroid. Only secondarily were people concerned with whether this meant McGwire was using other PEDs.

As far as the general public was concerned, there was no option to mind McGwire's steroid use, because it was not reported on. If that's what caused Bonds to start using, the rationalization was not that the public doesn't mind, but rather that the public does not and will not know.
   470. Guy LeDouche Posted: March 08, 2006 at 04:37 PM (#1888417)
Guy LeDouche has been saying this for awhile.

Watching lesser players take over the game in '98 was too much for him.
   471. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 08, 2006 at 04:40 PM (#1888421)
To add to Boots's point, on this site alone there has been nearly as much mockery, laughter, and scorn directed at McGwire since his congressional testimony as there has been directed at Bonds. As to which one gets more heat, this is largely a function of which player has been more in the news lately, and since Bonds didn't retire five years ago, it's hardly surprising that he gets more attention.
   472. BWC Posted: March 08, 2006 at 04:40 PM (#1888422)
As I said earlier, I'm past defending Bonds, but there's no way Griffey was a better player than him prior to '98. Griffey never had a season like Bonds in 1993 (let alone 1992), he never reached 40-40, etc., etc. You might be able to pull out a year or two where Griffey bettered Bonds, but despite what might have been said on SportsCenter circa 1996 Bonds was always better.

All of which makes it even more indefensible that Barry decided he needed an extra boost.

I think there were a few posters out there who were wrong but not ######## about it. I can see why the Union guys might not have noticed them as much.
   473. robinred Posted: March 08, 2006 at 04:41 PM (#1888423)
And how much of baseball's newly found religion would have happened without certain people (and I sure wasn't one of them, contrary to certain other people's opinions) yelling loud and long?


Probably all of it, unless the IRS guys who instigated the BALCO investigation are pals with the Union and take professional advice from you guys.

Or maybe by "certain people" you mean Ken Caminiti.
   474. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 08, 2006 at 04:49 PM (#1888431)
It would help if you reference what you are commenting on. I assumed you were talking about Aaron. I was confused, because his best year was age 25, not 26. Except OPS wise it was 37. Then I realized it was Evans.

It's silly that you are dismissing the fact that Evans had much more power in his late 30's than at any other time in his career based on 1 more HR hit at age 26. It's even sillier when you realize it took him 90 more at bats to hit that 1 home run. Evans is a legit counter-example to the notion that no one hits more HR's in his late 30's than at any other time.

And I'm not making this argument, I'm re-capping it for you.


You're right, I should have referenced.

On the merits, I don't see that Evans had "much more power" in his later years. His best power year was undoubtedly his age 26 year when his SLG and OPS dwarf -- yes, dwarf -- anything he did in his 30s. Everything after the magic age 36 year was in a ballpark tailor-made for the kind of hitter he was.

What I see is a guy who hated hitting in Candlestick who was motivated by his walk year to put it aside, then got to a park like the one he played in while young and put up the kind of numbers he would have put up in mid-career if he weren't stuck in the 'Stick.

Anyway, the argument on Bonds isn't just that he had his best power years after 36, it's that he BLEW THROUGH well-established power numbers after 36. There's nothing comparable by any player in the history of baseball.
   475. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 08, 2006 at 04:55 PM (#1888438)
And how much of baseball's newly found religion would have happened without certain people (and I sure wasn't one of them, contrary to certain other people's opinions) yelling loud and long?


Probably all of it, unless the IRS guys who instigated the BALCO investigation are pals with the Union and take professional advice from you guys.


This is a fair point, but that IRS investigation didn't take place in a vacuum. And if no legal charges were ever brought out against Bonds, we'd still quite possibly be in the dark. Those Chronicle reporters were our Woodward and Bernstein, and bless their hearts and their energy.

Or maybe by "certain people" you mean Ken Caminiti.

By "certain people" I meant everyone, both known and unknown, who yelled loud and long about the whole issue. Including Ken Caminiti, although standing alone he would have been howling at the moon, just like Canseco, since his motives were a little too transparent even if some vague part of the specific charges he made turned out to be true.

But "certain people" certainly does include Caminiti and Canseco, as well as Henry Waxman and Jim Bunning, as well as Kevin, BL, RETARDO and JC, and countless others. Obviously some made their cases better than others, and obviously some had far more influence, but the driving force was the collective public sense that whatever was going wrong, you had to get to the bottom of it, and correct it. What was important in the long run was the essential truth behind the charges, and the decibel level of the shout. Against this, the "libertarians" are little but a curiously driven fringe group.
   476. DCA Posted: March 08, 2006 at 05:04 PM (#1888450)
What I find interesting, is that if this story is true, which it likely is, then Bonds is really a victim; really the classic victim in the keeping up with the Joneses model of steroid use. Here he is, really without a doubt the greatest player in MLB, and apparently clean, watching the roided-up one-dimensional sluggers get all the public good will. With steroid use being effectively unpunished in MLB, he starts using in order to reclaim his status from the cheaters. Poor Barry, he was just trying to keep up.

In addition, I still don't think that the public cares about steroids or PEDs in baseball. Oh, I know they say they do, but I theorize that this is merely a rationalization for their anger which seemed to pop up all of a sudden in the late 90's, despite widespread suspicion about steroid use before that time. The timing of the outrage suggests that the anger is really about the HR record, being broken by someone they envy so (money, atheltic ability, popularity, aloofness). And it's not really something that we want to admit that what we really care about is a stupid record, so we rationalize that it's because of fair play, or health, or something else more noble. And these concerns *are* noble. I just don't think many people cared about them, at least not until they needed some better reason than the record book.
   477. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: March 08, 2006 at 05:10 PM (#1888456)
Oh yes. It's known as the Treder Maneuver. ]

Is that like the Stanford version of the Cleveland Steamer?
   478. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: March 08, 2006 at 05:11 PM (#1888459)
His best power year was undoubtedly his age 26 year when his SLG and OPS dwarf -- yes, dwarf -- anything he did in his 30s. Everything after the magic age 36 year was in a ballpark tailor-made for the kind of hitter he was.

You do realize that his immense power year at age 26 was in the launching pad, don't you? The same ballpark and year where Davey Johnson hit as many home runs as any three other years combined? The same park and season in which a 39 year old Hank Aaron hit 40 and posted the second best OPS of his career, making the 1973 Braves the only team prior to the Rockies to have three 40 HR seasons.

What I see is a guy who hated hitting in Candlestick who was motivated by his walk year to put it aside, then got to a park like the one he played in while young and put up the kind of numbers he would have put up in mid-career if he weren't stuck in the 'Stick.

This is precious. Evans hit 30 HR at age 36 in SF, 10 more than in any previous 7 seasons, not because he was becoming a better power hitter, but because he was motivated to get out of the Stick?
   479. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: March 08, 2006 at 05:11 PM (#1888460)
I think we should make it a BTF rule that all steroid threads require people that post more than krappy one-line jokes to write their arguments in rap form.
   480. Spivey Posted: March 08, 2006 at 05:14 PM (#1888465)
What I find interesting, is that if this story is true, which it likely is, then Bonds is really a victim

Wha wha whaaaaaaaaaa?
   481. scotto Posted: March 08, 2006 at 05:19 PM (#1888471)
Here he is, really without a doubt the greatest player in MLB, and apparently clean, watching the roided-up one-dimensional sluggers get all the public good will.

Maybe not the greatest player in MLB, but the rest of the comment would seem apt in reference to Frank Thomas, as well.
   482. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: March 08, 2006 at 05:21 PM (#1888476)
What I see is a guy who hated hitting in Candlestick who was motivated by his walk year to put it aside, then got to a park like the one he played in while young and put up the kind of numbers he would have put up in mid-career if he weren't stuck in the 'Stick.

Retrosheet is a wonderful thing. During his tenure in SF, Darrell Dvans hit 6 more HR on the road than at home. During his tenure in Det, he hit 9 more HR at home than on the road. In 1985, he hit 19 HR on the road. That's more than he hit in the entire full seasons of 1976, 1977, 1979, and 1982, and only one fewer than 1978 and 1980. The stick depressed his HR output by less than 1 HR per year, and Tiger stadium boosed it by about 2. Park factors do not explain his going from a 15-20 HR/year guy to a 30-40 HR/year guy.
   483. robinred Posted: March 08, 2006 at 05:21 PM (#1888477)
But "certain people" certainly does include Caminiti and Canseco, as well as Henry Waxman and Jim Bunning, as well as Kevin, BL, RETARDO and JC, and countless others. Obviously some made their cases better than others, and obviously some had far more influence, but the driving force was the collective public sense that whatever was going wrong, you had to get to the bottom of it, and correct it. What was important in the long run was the essential truth behind the charges, and the decibel level of the shout. Against this, the "libertarians" are little but a curiously driven fringe group.



Fair enough, but Waxman and Bunning got on the bandwagon long after it was rolling. And I doubt the "collective public sense" would have moved the way it did without the dislike of Bonds, which as I said, pre-dates BALCO and 2001. I talked to at least 50 baseball fans about the about the Maris chase in 1998; not one mentioned PEDs--even AFTER the andro-in-the-locker. In 2001, I heard several people--some of the same people- say they suspected Bonds.

I don't know enough about the chronology of the Chronicle articles/IRS investigation to say who started it.

In retrospect, I think it is fair to say that having such an unpopular guy with the media and fans be a user and break the HR record was instrumental in opening it all up.
   484. Mefisto Posted: March 08, 2006 at 05:29 PM (#1888483)
I'm not going to RTWFT, so can someone tell me if the bombshell is supposed to be that he started before the '98 season, or after? It really isn't clear from the wire stories

I believe that the claim is that he began using after 1998, not before. That's what the mistress (Bell) says. It's not new; she said this a year or two ago.

More bonus points to Retardo for the Dune reference.
   485. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 08, 2006 at 05:32 PM (#1888488)
This is precious. Evans hit 30 HR at age 36 in SF, 10 more than in any previous 7 seasons, not because he was becoming a better power hitter, but because he was motivated to get out of the Stick?


No, because he was motivated to make money.

And why limit the lookback to 7 seasons when his career obviously extended further back? Just to eliminate the 3 previous years which negate your theory? What ... 'roids in '73-'75, no 'roids between '75 and '82, then 'roid back up in '83? Or did the 'roids end after '73?

You do realize that his immense power year at age 26 was in the launching pad, don't you? The same ballpark and year where Davey Johnson hit as many home runs as any three other years combined? The same park and season in which a 39 year old Hank Aaron hit 40 and posted the second best OPS of his career, making the 1973 Braves the only team prior to the Rockies to have three 40 HR seasons.


Yes, I do realize it. He played more than just '73 in the launching pad. So what? Evans showed the inherent ability to be a 40 home run hitter and a 955 OPS hitter when he was 26 years old. Later in his career, when he moved to a much more comparable hitters park he came more close to these numbers than he had in mid-career when he played in a terrible hitters park.

Evans NEVER surpassed his age 26 season.

How does this compare with Bonds, who demolished his previous performance record after 36?
   486. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: March 08, 2006 at 05:34 PM (#1888490)
More bonus points to Retardo for the Dune reference.

Except he gets a one-tenth deduction for misspelling Kwisatz
   487. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 08, 2006 at 05:40 PM (#1888499)
Retrosheet is a wonderful thing. During his tenure in SF, Darrell Dvans hit 6 more HR on the road than at home. During his tenure in Det, he hit 9 more HR at home than on the road. In 1985, he hit 19 HR on the road. That's more than he hit in the entire full seasons of 1976, 1977, 1979, and 1982, and only one fewer than 1978 and 1980. The stick depressed his HR output by less than 1 HR per year, and Tiger stadium boosed it by about 2. Park factors do not explain his going from a 15-20 HR/year guy to a 30-40 HR/year guy.


Thanks for the research (I mean that sincerely not sarcastically). Park effects apparently don't explain it, but he didn't go from a 15-20 HR/year guy to a 30-40 HR/year guy, unless you ignore 1973 through 1975 and I can't see why you'd do that unless you're trying to skew and fudge the data to fit it where it doesn't fit.

It's not just his HRs from 1973 that set his inherent potential; it's also his SLG and OPS which he never came really close to matching.

I'm also not sure that a guy's swing can't get F'd up so bad by Candlestick that he's also F'd up on the road and conversely that he gets in a power zone in the launching pad or Tiger Stadium so much that he takes it on the road, but that's another discussion.
   488. Ron Johnson Posted: March 08, 2006 at 05:42 PM (#1888502)
Recalcitrance? Steroids weren't even on the table in 1998. The union wasn't fighting an effort by MLB to test players back then.


There was still a widely held belief that adding upper body strength was not a positive.

Re-reading an old baseball annual I ran into a quote from Russ Nixon complaining about Ron Gant's bulking up before the 1990 season. While that's not 1998, I think it's reasonable to say that this attitude was not uncommon in baseball through the 90s.
   489. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: March 08, 2006 at 05:47 PM (#1888512)
Yes, I do realize it. He played more than just '73 in the launching pad. So what? Evans showed the inherent ability to be a 40 home run hitter and a 955 OPS hitter when he was 26 years old. Later in his career, when he moved to a much more comparable hitters park he came more close to these numbers than he had in mid-career when he played in a terrible hitters park.

See post 93.



And why limit the lookback to 7 seasons when his career obviously extended further back? Just to eliminate the 3 previous years which negate your theory? What ... 'roids in '73-'75, no 'roids between '75 and '82, then 'roid back up in '83? Or did the 'roids end after '73?

Evans NEVER surpassed his age 26 season.

How does this compare with Bonds, who demolished his previous performance record after 36?


What theory? You're missing the entire point. Nobody was/is arguing that Darrell Evans was on steroids or that he was comparable to Bonds in magnitude. He was merely used as an example, and a good one, to refute the notion that players do not set new HR levels in their late 30's without cheating. And despite your constant denials, he did just that. 4 of his top 5 HR years were after age 36, and the fact that he hit one more home run (in 90 more at bats) at age 26 than he did at age 38 does not refute that. And as I demonstrated, park factors had very little to do with that.
   490. Ron Johnson Posted: March 08, 2006 at 05:47 PM (#1888514)
SugarBear Blanks isn't citing home run count, but the "long home run" count that one of the media places cited recently. Of course, since the data doesn't exist elsewhere and for other players, he's simply making up an argument he cannot possibly know to be true.


Actually I'm pretty sure that was covered in a Stats Scoreboard article. In any case, the Scoreboard has data up until its publication ceased and I can tell you that it's a fact that prior to 1998 Bonds did not make regular appearances on the list of moon shots.
   491. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 08, 2006 at 05:52 PM (#1888518)
In retrospect, I think it is fair to say that having such an unpopular guy with the media and fans be a user and break the HR record was instrumental in opening it all up.

I don't doubt that it was a major contributing factor. But it was by no means the only thing driving the story.
   492. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 08, 2006 at 06:01 PM (#1888531)
What theory? You're missing the entire point. Nobody was/is arguing that Darrell Evans was on steroids or that he was comparable to Bonds in magnitude. He was merely used as an example, and a good one, to refute the notion that players do not set new HR levels in their late 30's without cheating. And despite your constant denials, he did just that. 4 of his top 5 HR years were after age 36, and the fact that he hit one more home run (in 90 more at bats) at age 26 than he did at age 38 does not refute that. And as I demonstrated, park factors had very little to do with that.

That's the point I've been addressing. Darrell Evans did not establish "new" HR levels after age 36. The fact that 4 out of his 5 best HR years after that age does not establish what you say it does, especially when the point of the exercise is to compare post-36 years with pre-36 years. He was not demonstrably a better HR hitter (and clearly not power hitter measured more properly) after 36 than before and noting that his best 5 years were at 26, 36, and three years after 36 doesn't show that he was. Since one of those years was his age 26 year, the levels after 36 are not "new."

Which is the entire point as it relates to Bonds.
   493. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 08, 2006 at 06:02 PM (#1888534)
There was still a widely held belief that adding upper body strength was not a positive.

But, as you know, the belief that it was a negative wasn't universal, going way back. After all, Tom House reported that both him and and his teammates were using HGH and steroids all the way back into the 60s.

From USAToday's article at the time:

House, 58, estimated that six or seven pitchers per team were at least experimenting with steroids or human growth hormone. He said players talked about losing to opponents using more effective drugs.

"We didn't get beat, we got out-milligrammed," he said. "And when you found out what they were taking, you started taking them."


Oh yeah, I forgot. Performance-enhancing drugs used by players in the 60s and 70s isn't cheating, it's "folksy" or "quirky" like an episode of Northern Exposure.
   494. Kyle S Posted: March 08, 2006 at 06:06 PM (#1888538)
One reason I hate threads like this one is that everyone ignores all the other discussions and piles into "the big topic." Maybe I just haven't found the thread discussing yesterday's WBC action (including Chris Reitsma being Chris Reitsma with near-disastrous results for the Canucks), but I don't think so.

Steroids discussions on this site are like a huge sucking vortex that pulls everyone in and thrashes them until all traces of reason, civility, intelligibility, and open-mindedness are extinguished. Kind of like Hurricane Katrina, acctually.
   495. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: March 08, 2006 at 06:06 PM (#1888539)
House, 58, estimated that six or seven pitchers per team were at least experimenting with steroids or human growth hormone. He said players talked about losing to opponents using more effective drugs.


YOU'RE RISKING A PITCHER'S LIFE
   496. CraigK Posted: March 08, 2006 at 06:11 PM (#1888549)
I'd just like to bring attention to the 25th post on the first page, and how wrong he was. :)
   497. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: March 08, 2006 at 06:14 PM (#1888552)
It's not just his HRs from 1973 that set his inherent potential; it's also his SLG and OPS which he never came really close to matching.

Well, he never again played in such a hitter friendly ballpark for one. In 1973 when he slugged .556, the league slugged .404 in Atlanta. When he slugged .519 in SF in 1983, the league averaged .385. Those are very similar when adjusted for context.

Here are the home ballpark factors for Evans, starting in 1973:

ATL

108
104
104

SF

103
100
96
93
98
98
100
97

DET

99
99
100
96
96

During his time there, Detroit played like a marginal pitching park, only very slightly more favorable than SF. Now, he may have been uniquely helped by Det (or hurt by SF), but that isn't born out by the splits. His road slugging % was slightly better than home during his stay in SF, and in DET it was the opposite. But not nearly enough to explain away a 10 HR/year increase. He was, for whatever reason, one of those rare players who established a consistant, real power increase in his late 30's.

I'm not dismissing 1973 because it's inconvienient. But I find it hard to assume it represented his true level of ability when it didn't return for 12 more years.

And this has little to do with Bonds, as we know his reason.
   498. f/k/a Scoriano Posted: March 08, 2006 at 06:15 PM (#1888554)
This probably sorta kinda came up already, and my knowledge of things GJ and crim law are substandard, but if the authors have all the evidence they claim, shouldn't we expect the Feds to arrest Bonds for lying to the GJ, and see him prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law?

And, if the Feds don't (as they promised to do--remember, it was the prospect of the seriously adverse consequences of lying to the GJ that led Giambi to opening up in that proceeding), should we not question the authors' conclusions to a great extent?
   499. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 08, 2006 at 06:19 PM (#1888560)
SugarBear:
It's silly even for anti-government one notes to be pro-steroids because baseball is private enterprise that limits personal freedom in order to sell athletic competition to the public.


To quote Retardo, "Maybe it's best that you don't comment on things you weren't around to see."

1. This is hardly an issue in which the government had no involvement. To begin with, the illegality of steroids is a big part of the anti-steroids crusade. ("But they're illegal" is a starting point for many people.) Moreover, the issue in this millennium has been raised and fueled not by MLB nor by the MLBPA, but by a government investigation apparently initiated by the IRS and then conducted by numerous other agencies, culminating in a grand jury investigation and Congressional hearings. And MLB's steroid policy, contractually negotiated between employers and employees, was thrown out and rewritten a few months ago, dictated directly by Congress, on threat of having it imposed by fiat. So let's not pretend that "private enterprise" is the only player here.

2. Leaving that aside and focusing just on baseball's policies, I have repeatedly said that if the players and owners (freely) negotiated a testing policy, that this was their choice. (Indeed, as a libertarian I am far more open to having employers impose conditions on employees' private lives than the vast majority of people celebrating MLB's steroid policy. I believe in freedom of contract.)

That having been said, the fact that I support the <u>right</u> of someone to do something does not mean I support them actually doing it. That's the difference between being a libertarian and being a left-wing authoritarian like Retardo. Just because I have a vision of the "good life" doesn't mean I think that vision may be imposed on others in the name of some vague non-principle like "fairness" or "decency" or whatever, even if I think it's for their own good.

As a libertarian, I am a big fan of personal privacy. (Or, rather, that should say, as a big fan of personal privacy, I am a libertarian.) I don't like intrusions into that privacy. So I am opposed personally to drug testing. As a libertarian, I don't gasp in horror at the word "drugs," so I have no particular interest in removing steroids from baseball, and I don't see them as a "taint."
   500. Andere Richtingen Posted: March 08, 2006 at 06:20 PM (#1888562)
One reason I hate threads like this one is that everyone ignores all the other discussions and piles into "the big topic."

The big topic under which there is virtually no news at all, just a shabbily executed money-grab exposé that for some reason is itself being presented as news.
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