Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Baldest Truth: Nadel: Baseball’s enduring steroid stain

And here I thought the R Radical Record years were the enduring Stains.

Lots of people claim to be “old school,” but they’re not. I am.

Need proof? I get the newspaper every day. Need more proof? I read it, front to back. Need still more proof? I even read the agate pages in Sports!

...Anyway, something in the bottom right corner of the baseball agate page in today’s Charlotte Observer caught my eye. It was a string of items in the This Date In Baseball feature that AP makes available daily. Here is the string:

1988 - Jose Canseco became the first major leaguer to hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases in one season.

2000 - Rafael Palmeiro became the 32nd player to hit 400 home runs.

2001 - Alex Rodriguez hit his 48th home run, breaking the major league record for shortstops.

2001 - Sammy Sosa became the first player to hit three home runs in a game three times in a season.

2006 - Barry Bonds hit his 734th career home run, an NL record.

Yep, in baseball’s last quarter century, Sept. 23 was a big day for juicers.

Going forward, it’s going to be interesting how the game deals with its history concerning this period.

It’s difficult for the game to be proud of its heritage when so many of its major milestones were established by guys who got where they were by jabbing themselves in their keisters with syringes.

I mean, how many records and notable achievements involving home runs from 1985-2005 weren’t influenced by steroids?

Repoz Posted: September 24, 2012 at 11:40 PM | 319 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, steroids

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 3 of 4 pages  < 1 2 3 4 > 
   201. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 27, 2012 at 09:59 AM (#4247021)
What is the downside of purging steroids from baseball?

In fairness to most Primates whom we've been arguing with, I don't think too many of them object to the current testing and penalties. They simply don't see (or don't acknowledge, whatever) any difference between one form of "cheating" and another. A subset of this group limits their "all cheating is the same" argument to illegal drugs, but then you've got others who keep bringing up such bizarre comparisons as glasses or lasik surgery. The truth is that there are really only two fault line divisions: Should post-testing juicers be voted into the HoF? And with many known amp users already in the Hall, should pre-testing known** juicers be considered? Everything else is pretty much a sideshow.

**Of course everyone seems to have his own definition of "known", which is why some of us hardliners spend as much time arguing with our ostensible "allies" who lump Bagwell with Bonds as we do arguing with the Rays and the CFBs.

It seems to me the steroid defender are defending their "childhood heroes" ever bit as much (and probably more) than the amp defenders.

That's probably got some truth to it, just as there are probably a few older writers who see McGwire's and Bonds's records as some sort of a desecration of Roger Maris's and Babe Ruth's graves. But for the most part it's just sillytalk, of the sort you can always count on from people like Ray.

-------------------------------------------

For the life of me, I don't get the desire to defend steroid users.


Mostly fanboyism. Also, (misplaced) notions of privacy, loyalty to the saber cause (*), and the frisson of excitement from mocking the establishment and conventional wisdom.

(*) Most of the dedicated saber community are radical revisionists on this question, a position which has become both a core tenet of the catechism and an article of faith.


I'd go with a little of the first, and a lot of everything else you mention. But sometimes it's not all that easy to tell.

... another core tenet of the saber philosophy is that the numbers generated in baseball games are inviolate, and integrated -- which is to say, all there is to know about the game is found -- and to be found -- therein. Even proven violations of baseball rules regarding drug use is deemed inherently inadmissable for consideration -- see, e.g., the Melky Cabrera situation.

But here we see splits all over the board. I wouldn't vote for Melky for the Hall of Fame, but AFAIC Sean's way of dealing with his stats on BB-Ref. makes perfect sense. In the cases of juicers, my asterisks are strictly internal. In the realm of the physical world they have a place only on the Ecko ball, where it affects the offending player only.
   202. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 27, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4247033)
In fairness to most Primates whom we've been arguing with, I don't think too many of them object to the current testing and penalties.

That's true for some. Certainly Ray objects and has objected, as have others. And, as noted, none are willing to reconsider the numbers in the wake of even positive tests, much less pre-testing use.

But here we see splits all over the board. I wouldn't vote for Melky for the Hall of Fame, but AFAIC Sean's way of dealing with his stats on BB-Ref. makes perfect sense.

But majority opinion in that faction is that Sean's way wasn't right. Ray went so far as to deem bb-ref's credibility damaged by that treatment.
   203. Greg K Posted: September 27, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4247039)
My attitude towards steroids is that it wasn't baseball's finest hour, and there's plenty of blame to go around. I find it difficult to single out players personally because I'm not entirely sure I would have acted all that differently in the same circumstances. There was an opportunity to gain an edge, with seemingly few consequences (and the possibility that your competitors were doing it too).

I guess I'm not sure what is to be gained by villifying users and suspected users. Under the present system I'm all for judging players for PED use. I'm not entirely comfortable applying that same standard to an earlier era, nor do I see the benefit of doing so.

For the record I started watching baseball in 1989 and my boyhood heroes were Greg Maddux and Craig Biggio. I never got into the McGwire/Sosa hoopla (mainly because I was your typical too cool for school contrarian teenager), and I've never felt much of an affinity for Barry Bonds.
   204. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 27, 2012 at 10:26 AM (#4247047)
But here we see splits all over the board. I wouldn't vote for Melky for the Hall of Fame, but AFAIC Sean's way of dealing with his stats on BB-Ref. makes perfect sense.

But majority opinion in that faction is that Sean's way wasn't right. Ray went so far as to deem bb-ref's credibility damaged by that treatment.


Well, given Ray's propensity to throw out "liar", "dishonest" and "illogical" as if he were issuing Papal edicts from a Pez dispenser, I think we can take Ray's opinion of Sean's decision with a Mt. Everest-sized grain of salt.
   205. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 27, 2012 at 10:28 AM (#4247051)
I guess I'm not sure what is to be gained by villifying users and suspected users. Under the present system I'm all for judging players for PED use. I'm not entirely comfortable applying that same standard to an earlier era, nor do I see the benefit of doing so.

Examining and upholding concepts of fair play and honest competition would be one benefit.
   206. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4247066)
I guess I'm not sure what is to be gained by villifying users and suspected users. Under the present system I'm all for judging players for PED use. I'm not entirely comfortable applying that same standard to an earlier era, nor do I see the benefit of doing so.


I don't want to villify them; ownership, management, and the press surely bear lots of blame too.

I just want to acknowledge that their performance was altered, and make the appropriate judgement in a historical context.
   207. Morty Causa Posted: September 27, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4247074)
There’s a deficit created with amphetamine use just as there is when you don’t sleep, or don’t get the right kind of sleep. The magic pill myth was burst a long long time ago.

My argument was based on the allegations made that steroids and amphetamines were the same. They are not. All the huff and puff, the fume and froth, here has not refuted that.

Do amphetamines create muscle tissue?

Do some of you guys pronouncing on the salubrious effects of amphs have any idea how amphs would affect a person who uses them day in and day out, year after year?
   208. Morty Causa Posted: September 27, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4247075)
Jim Bouton: It's going to be psychological, if anything. They didn't do that much for you. They were pet pills, like NoDoz or caffeine [pills]. I tried it one time, and I was so jumpy and jangled and on edge that I couldn't stand it. I wasn't able to focus; I wasn't able to concentrate. I didn't like the effect at all. I was already up for the game; I didn't need a pet pill - and those were the days that pitchers pitched every four days.


Bouton Interview
   209. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 27, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4247077)
I guess I'm not sure what is to be gained by villifying users and suspected users. Under the present system I'm all for judging players for PED use. I'm not entirely comfortable applying that same standard to an earlier era, nor do I see the benefit of doing so.


Examining and upholding concepts of fair play and honest competition would be one benefit.

I'd say that's the main benefit, despite the inevitable snarking and phony comparisons that inevitably follow such a statement.

-------------------------------------------------------------

I don't want to villify them; ownership, management, and the press surely bear lots of blame too.

I just want to acknowledge that their performance was altered, and make the appropriate judgement in a historical context.


Right on all counts. We can still acknowledge the tarnished records in a thousand ways while not giving the man who tarnished them a plaque in Cooperstown.
   210. Ron J2 Posted: September 27, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4247083)
I don't think too many of them object to the current testing and penalties.


I'm personally with Marvin Miller on this one. I personally don't approve of testing, but I'm totally fine with the PA and MLB having negotiated a testing plan. I don't think Fehr and co. did a good job of negotiating the matter.

In particular I'd have wanted more room to (successfully) argue good faith positive (as I believe is the case for Romero for instance). At an absolute minimum I'd have required MLB to certify some supplements as being safe (as in if you test positive and can demonstrate that the supplements are tainted then you're OK. Not a hypothetical as this has in fact happened in tennis.)
   211. Morty Causa Posted: September 27, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4247084)
"You hear stories about guys taking them as soon as they wake up in the morning and all through the day," said Seattle Mariners pitcher Jeff Nelson, among those who believe the higher figure is most accurate and that amphetamines should be banned. "It just gets to be a habit.


Lots of quotes from players and managers and coaches here, coming at the topic from every direction.

Selections of the opining of players, etc.
   212. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 27, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4247093)
Do some of you guys pronouncing on the salubrious effects of amphs have any idea how amphs would affect a person who uses them day in and day out, year after year?

I have a hard time believing that it wasn't written totally tongue in cheek, but yesterday CFB said "we are saying Hank Aaron broke the homerun record because he used amps". At some point I'd like him to say whether or not he was serious when he wrote that, especially considering that there's no evidence that Aaron ever used amps more than once in his career.
   213. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 27, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4247099)
I'm personally with Marvin Miller on this one. I personally don't approve of testing, but I'm totally fine with the PA and MLB having negotiated a testing plan. I don't think Fehr and co. did a good job of negotiating the matter.

In particular I'd have wanted more room to (successfully) argue good faith positive (as I believe is the case for Romero for instance). At an absolute minimum I'd have required MLB to certify some supplements as being safe (as in if you test positive and can demonstrate that the supplements are tainted then you're OK. Not a hypothetical as this has in fact happened in tennis.)


I completely agree with that last paragraph. Considering the cost in both money and reputation that follows in the wake of a positive test, I'd want to be 100% sure that that test result reveals what we think it's revealing. But I also think that those supplements should be approved and distributed by a MLB-controlled doctor only, and prescribed only for limited and specific use. The mere presence of someone like Victor Conte should raise a red flag the size of a bed sheet.
   214. Ron J2 Posted: September 27, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4247105)
#213 I'm certainly fine with MLB being the only people to authorize distributors. I'm equally fine if MLB wanted prospective vendors to pay for some kind of certification process.
   215. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4247111)
That's true for some. Certainly Ray objects and has objected, as have others.


Yes, I am completely against a testing policy. That said, if the union wanted to negotiate something, fine, but I think they did it very poorly. And they were basically strong-armed into it, and they still should have fought it. But if your membership as a whole wants it, after being fully advised as to the issues and the concerns, you need to try to get something done.

But here we see splits all over the board. I wouldn't vote for Melky for the Hall of Fame, but AFAIC Sean's way of dealing with his stats on BB-Ref. makes perfect sense.

But majority opinion in that faction is that Sean's way wasn't right. Ray went so far as to deem bb-ref's credibility damaged by that treatment.


No, I think I made one comment *before* Sean announced what he was going to do, that he should not go along with MLB's determination of who won the batting title. But after seeing the way he decided to deal with the matter, I think it's a reasonable approach, and I did not criticize him for it. (Specifically, I criticized Selig, for being an idiot.)


   216. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4247146)
Yes, I am completely against a testing policy.

Why? It's to the players collective interest to get rid of steroids. Why take that unnecessary health risk? Testing is necessary to solve the Prisoner's Dilemma.
   217. Booey Posted: September 27, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4247209)
It seems to me the steroid defender are defending their "childhood heroes" ever bit as much (and probably more) than the amp defenders.


I'm adamantly against keeping steroid users out of the HOF, and I have no problem admitting that fanboyism is the primary reason why. It's not the only reason, obviously; I fully understand and agree with the people that think retroactive punishments are wrong, especially for behavior that was ignored and possibly even encouraged at the time. But is basing opinions like this on fanboyism really a bad thing? People talk about it here like it is. Isn't fanboyism the reason we follow sports and the reason why places like the HOF even exist in the first place?

I was born in 1979, so the 90's were my teen years and my favorite era of baseball of all time. I do find it insulting that the BBWAA is basically saying that many of my favorite baseball memories and players didn't happen or don't matter. And I don't see how this isn't going to hurt the HOF in the long run. It's a history museum; just record history - the good and the bad. IMO it's not their job to moralize and tell people how they should be viewing certain era's and events.

A lot of people think it's a black eye on the HOF that the hit king isn't in there, but at least Rose is just one guy, so the damage is minimal. But what if an investigation found that betting on games was rampant in the 70's, involving stars like Reggie, Schmidt, Seaver, Carlton, Morgan, Bench, Stargell, Carew, etc? And the HOF was snubbing them all. Would people who grew up watching 70's baseball have any reason to care about the HOF at all after this? That's what we're looking at now with the 90's/00's. At this time the BBWAA seems perfectly content with turning off an entire generation of fans just to prove a point. I'm sure there are fans around my age with the opposite view, but the vast majority that I've talked to about it are of a similar mindset. Age seems to make a big difference when it comes to steroid viewpoints.

   218. simon bedford Posted: September 27, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4247223)
sbb
for the life of me i dont know what you are going on about, you dont argue in good faith at all. comparing an illegal performance enhancing drug with caffiene? is that really what you are sinking too? comparing two things that arent remotely the same then attacking others for comparing amps and roids and saying "look at what they are doing"? while you engage in the same behavior? no wonder people drop out of these threads.
listen ampthetamines are drugs, they are illegal without a perscription they are performance enhancing and cheating, they are a different kind of cheating than steriods but they are what they are and if the anti-roids crowd is yelling "gotcha" on it, then they gotcha, because you have to be consistant.
If you say , "no Bonds" in the hof due to cheating, you have to look at Hank Aaron, because he used the same unfair advantage that Bonds used, performance enhancing drugs, different ones, sure, but drugs none the less.
to say a drug that is banned everywhere in sports by everyone is the equivalent of coffee is just idiotic and you guys need to stop it, nobodies buying, its not a real arguement, stop trying to pat yourself on the back for this , because it just doesn't work and makes no sense.
so if you are all in for not voting for this batch of cheaters, you have to stop making excuses for the last batch.
   219. zenbitz Posted: September 27, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4247238)
For the life of me, I don't get the desire to defend amp users.

If nothing else, the whole sordid affair was a stain on baseball, even if what they did wasn't technically "cheating" at the time.

What is the downside of purging amps from baseball?
   220. zenbitz Posted: September 27, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4247242)
Caffeine is "performance enhancing." It has been conclusively proven to have postive effects on both aerobic and anaerobic exercise and exertion. Like amps, caffeine acts as a nervous system stimulant, increasing focus and concentration. Unless the radicals are suggesting a purge of all coffee sippers from the ranks of the honest, they're going to have to remand themselves back to the drawing board for work on their principles and definitions -- which are in desperate need of adult supervision.


This is correct. Lots of things are "performance enchancing" to one degree or another, and it's -- in fact -- extremely difficult to say which ones are "BETTER". Classic example: HGH vs. magnetic necklaces.

The only conclusion from this is to punish players caught breaking the rules, according to the rules stipulated the collective bargaining agreement.

I don't think Aaron, Mays, Rose et al should be punished retroactively for violating MLBs current policy on Amphetamines. I don't think Bonds, Canseco, Caminiti, et al should be punished retroactively for violating MLBs current policy on steroids. Or for that matter, spit ballers, scuffers, and sign-stealers.
   221. zenbitz Posted: September 27, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4247248)
And, as noted, none are willing to reconsider the numbers in the wake of even positive tests, much less pre-testing use.


The "inflated" numbers are already normalized away by correcting for league offense levels. Since we have essentially no data on who was using what, when, we cannot normalize away any PED use from a specific player. How much of Gaylord Perry's stats are from doctoring the ball? We know he doctored the ball "some". We presume it helped him "some". We don't know how much or how big an effect.


   222. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 27, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4247257)
The "inflated" numbers are already normalized away by correcting for league offense levels.

That methodology doesn't work if the players divide into fundamentally different tiers -- roid users and non-roid users.
   223. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4247263)
For the life of me, I don't get the desire to defend steroid users.

If nothing else, the whole sordid affair was a stain on baseball, even if what they did wasn't technically "cheating" at the time.

What is the downside of purging steroids from baseball?
Less freedom in the world.

If the anti-steroids jihadists are right, worse performances.

But the real issue is more about the unfairness of retroactively purging them from baseball.
   224. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4247273)
The distinction is simple: Amphetamines can keep a ballplayer awake and alert when he otherwise should just be taking a nap. But amphetamines can't turn a well-rested .240 hitter into a .250 hitter
Simple, and entirely pulled from your ass.

And the whole "well-rested" idea is a nonsensical argument anyway. Nobody is well-rested; the normal state is to be worn down over the course of a 162-game season.
   225. Morty Causa Posted: September 27, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4247276)
   226. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 27, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4247289)
The distinction is simple: Amphetamines can keep a ballplayer awake and alert when he otherwise should just be taking a nap. But amphetamines can't turn a well-rested .240 hitter into a .250 hitter

Simple, and entirely pulled from your ass.


As opposed to your assertion that a well-rested ballplayer's talent level can be improved with a magic pill.

And the whole "well-rested" idea is a nonsensical argument anyway. Nobody is well-rested; the normal state is to be worn down over the course of a 162-game season.

Which is exactly why amphetamines were used, to restore tired ballplayers to their natural talent level. Whether or not that actually worked as advertised is an open question, but there is zero evidence that they ever did anything more than that. There are no greenie versions of the juiced-up Barry Bonds late career spikes** anywhere to be found.

**Again, relative to their own past peak performances. We all know that Barry Bonds was always operating on a higher level, but nobody's ever elevated his own performance after he turned 34 the way that Bonds did.
   227. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 27, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4247290)
Examining and upholding concepts of fair play and honest competition would be one benefit.


The only conclusion from this is to punish players caught breaking the rules, according to the rules stipulated the collective bargaining agreement.

I don't think Aaron, Mays, Rose et al should be punished retroactively for violating MLBs current policy on Amphetamines. I don't think Bonds, Canseco, Caminiti, et al should be punished retroactively for violating MLBs current policy on steroids. Or for that matter, spit ballers, scuffers, and sign-stealers.


But the real issue is more about the unfairness of retroactively purging them from baseball.


I came to make these points and they were made already. I really don't understand how the fair play contingent can say it is OK to punish someone for something that was not against the rules (as documented and enforced) at the time. How can retroactive punishment be fair? And please don't tell me adjusting stats downward or refusing entrance into the Hall of Fame is not punishment - Barry Bonds is a Hall of Fame caliber level player and should have every expectation of being entered there absent a retro-active punishment for something.
   228. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 27, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4247314)
I really don't understand how the fair play contingent can say it is OK to punish someone for something that was not against the rules (as documented and enforced) at the time.

This part of the fair play contingent doesn't say it's OK.

And please don't tell me adjusting stats downward

That isn't rightly denominated "punishment." "Correct analysis" is a more accurate term.

Barry Bonds is a Hall of Fame caliber level player and should have every expectation of being entered there absent a retro-active punishment for something.

Agreed. His final few years, though, were a carnival freak show that shouldn't be celebrated. A full telling of the Bonds years says that he violated the spirit of fair play and the established ethics of sport with his aggressive late-career drugging. He used drugs to fashion himself into a different human being (in a way that amp users and coffee drinkers don't do), with muscles and other traits he wouldn't otherwise have had. Not to mention that fact that there's something quite weird and depressing about the various drugs that counterbalance this and that effect of other drugs. Manny Ramirez took women's fertility drugs -- sorry, that's freaky and bizarre, if not outright Frankensteinian.
   229. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4247343)
Which is exactly why amphetamines were used, to restore tired ballplayers to their natural talent level. Whether or not that actually worked as advertised is an open question, but there is zero evidence that they ever did anything more than that.


You are arguing that a well rested player who took amps would see no effect.

   230. JJ1986 Posted: September 27, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4247347)
"Natural talent level" is not something that is set in stone. A player might have a natural talent level of say "50" when he's well rested. When he's tired, though, his natural talent level is "30" and if everyone is tired and their natural talent levels are now "30", then the guy putting his back to "50" by using banned drugs is enhancing his performance.
   231. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 27, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4247351)
"Natural talent level" is not something that is set in stone. A player might have a natural talent level of say "50" when he's well rested. When he's tired, though, his natural talent level is "30"

Thirty isn't his natural talent level -- 50 is. He's tired, so he can't perform at 50 -- much like a pitcher can't come back the day after a complete game at full power. (*) In the case of the tired everyday player, the amp or the coffee or the Red Bull would restore his effective talent level back to or near his natural talent level.

(*) Thus, it isn't accurate to say Justin Verlander's natural talent level flucuates between the day he pitches and the day after he pitches.
   232. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 27, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4247355)
You are arguing that a well rested player who took amps would see no effect.

But I thought everyone was tired (or not well-rested) not long into a 162-game season. Which is it?
   233. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4247356)
Less freedom in the world.

If the anti-steroids jihadists are right, worse performances.

But the real issue is more about the unfairness of retroactively purging them from baseball.


I don't value the freedom to cheat.

Who cares if performance is worse? It'll even out across the league, and you won't notice the difference.

No one is purging anything. All the records stand. The point is what achievements we honor, and how we recognize talent and performance.

Barry Bonds was one of the 20 greatest hitters of all time. He was NOT one of the 2 or 3 best. We should haircut his performance for what we know he did.
   234. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4247358)
Thirty isn't his natural talent level -- 50 is. He's tired, so he can't perform at 50 -- much like a pitcher can't come back the day after a complete game at full power. (*) In the case of the tired everyday player, the amp or the coffee or the Red Bull would restore his effective talent level back to or near his natural talent level.


Even under this framework, the player is cheating because he's putting himself back at 50 when other players are at 30.
   235. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4247367)
Even under this framework, the player is cheating because he's putting himself back at 50 when other players are at 30.

No, because the other players have full access to the coffee, the amp, and the Red Bull and restoring yourself to your natural talent level isn't cheating. That's why surgery is ok.

Even if you insist on it being "cheating," it's of an entirely different magnitude than chemically increasing your natural talent level through, inter alia, adding lean muscle mass attainable only because of the chemicals.

It's tough to take a definition of "cheating" seriously when it would include drinking coffee.
   236. zenbitz Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4247368)
That methodology doesn't work if the players divide into fundamentally different tiers -- roid users and non-roid users.


A divide that -- for years with no testing -- is completely opaque.

We all know that Barry Bonds was always operating on a higher level, but nobody's ever elevated his own performance after he turned 34 the way that Bonds did


Actually, Aaron isn't that far off. We did this a couple threads ago. It's just that Bonds' ridiculous IBB rate and the overall offense level made his stand out more. And furthermore - since the ONE thing we do no about PEDs is the Bonds was never the only one using - anything about his particular career is anecdotal.

Similarly we might argue that Boulton's experience with Amps was, in fact, atypical. People have different -- even wildly different -- drug reactions and responses and sensitivities. Boulton saying "it didn't work for him" is anecdotal TWO ways. One because, literally, he is just offering up a personal observation - and second it's an observation about a specific individual (himself).

His final few years, though, were a carnival freak show that shouldn't be celebrated.


What do you think Bonds' career line would like if he signed with the Rockies in 1993?

   237. JJ1986 Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4247369)
No, because the other players have full access to the coffee, the amp, and the Red Bull and restoring yourself to your natural talent level isn't cheating.


Um...amps are illegal.
   238. zenbitz Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:05 PM (#4247372)
It's tough to take a definition of "cheating" seriously when it would include drinking coffee.


The definition of cheating is that it's against the rules.
   239. JJ1986 Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:05 PM (#4247373)
Thirty isn't his natural talent level -- 50 is. He's tired, so he can't perform at 50 -- much like a pitcher can't come back the day after a complete game at full power.


He's not at his peak natural talent level. I would say he very much is at his current natural talent level. There's nothing more natural than getting rundown from playing.
   240. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4247375)
I don't value the freedom to cheat.

Roid use also deprived the teams of the freedom to offer fair and honest competition, and for the fans to consume it.

In no other walk of life would this so-called "freedom" of employees to go gonzo and damage their employers' product be supported.
   241. JJ1986 Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4247378)
In no other walk of life would this so-called "freedom" of employees to go gonzo and damage their employers' product be supported.


The employers didn't care at all and implicitly supported it.
   242. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4247379)
The definition of cheating is that it's against the rules.

Not Ray's definition. Ray's definition is that amps (and, presumably, coffee) are cheating and have been since the 50s. He's said that innumerable times.
   243. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4247380)
No, because the other players have full access to the coffee, the amp, and the Red Bull and restoring yourself to your natural talent level isn't cheating. That's why surgery is ok.


Amps are illegal drugs which subject the other players to breaking the law and health risks in order to catch up.

Even if you insist on it being "cheating," it's of an entirely different magnitude than chemically increasing your natural talent level through, inter alia, adding lean muscle mass attainable only because of the chemicals.


And you have precisely zero evidence that amps don't take a player beyond his "natural level." Andy has simply asserted this, with his justification being that no lab tests replicated under major league conditions have shown such an effect, while not requiring that kind of evidence to show the same re steroids.
   244. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4247381)
Not Ray's definition. Ray's definition is that amps (and, presumably, coffee) are cheating and have been since the 50s. He's said that innumerable times.


? I have not.

My position is that if steroids are cheating, then amps are; if amps are not cheating, then steroids aren't.

There is no meaningful distinction between the two drugs for the purposes we are discussing.
   245. zenbitz Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4247382)
Barry Bonds was one of the 20 greatest hitters of all time. He was NOT one of the 2 or 3 best. We should haircut his performance for what we know he did.


Why 20th? Why not 6th (cut 5% of OPS+)? Why not 11th? (cut 10% off OPS+)? Why not 50th? 150th?
   246. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4247383)
Actually, Aaron isn't that far off. We did this a couple threads ago. It's just that Bonds' ridiculous IBB rate and the overall offense level made his stand out more.

Are you insane?

Aaron: through age 34 157 OPS+, age-35+ 150 OPS+
Bonds: through age 34 163 OPS+, age-35+ 221 OPS+
   247. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4247384)
And you have precisely zero evidence that amps don't take a player beyond his "natural level."

They're a nervous system stimulant that wears off. Just as coffee is. They don't create new muscle.

What more are you looking for? People don't consider coffee drinkers to be increasing their natural talent level. Are they wrong? Is a person under the influence of caffeine in any way not "himself"?
   248. JJ1986 Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4247385)
SugarBear,

If coffee and amps do the same thing, then why would players take amps?
   249. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4247387)
As opposed to your assertion that a well-rested ballplayer's talent level can be improved with a magic pill.
Except for the studies showing the effects of amphetamines -- which (hint) are about much more than counteracting a lack of sleep.
Which is exactly why amphetamines were used, to restore tired ballplayers to their natural talent level. Whether or not that actually worked as advertised is an open question, but there is zero evidence that they ever did anything more than that.
Wrong. It isn't their natural talent level. One's natural talent level is to only be able to put forth a certain level of performance for a certain length of time. To go beyond that is enhancing.

I'm trying to think of an example simple enough for you to understand. (It's tough, because you're easily distracted by shiny objects and chipmunks.) But let me try. Let's say that Justin Verlander can throw, at the outset of a game, 95 MPH. Now, as he's pitching, as his pitch count gets up there, he starts to wear down, and his fastball drops to 90 MPH and straightens out a bit. Now imagine there's a drug that he could take (or a device he could use, or a medical procedure he could undergo) that would allow him to continue to throw 95 MPH for 100 pitches, 150 pitches, even 200 pitches in a game. By your nonsensical reasoning, this would be merely "restorative" because it gets him to his "natural talent level." In the world of people who can use logic, this is enhancing, because it's not natural for him to be able to throw that hard for that long.

There are no greenie versions of the juiced-up Barry Bonds late career spikes** anywhere to be found.
False. There are no steroid versions of Barry Bonds' late career spike anywhere to be found. But there are plenty of examples of power spikes in the greenie era. You need to re-read your Nate Silver.
   250. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4247388)
Why 20th? Why not 6th (cut 5% of OPS+)? Why not 11th? (cut 10% off OPS+)? Why not 50th? 150th?

I didn't say 20th, I said top-20.

We know what Barry Bonds was. He had a 163 OPS+ through age-34. With a normal decline, he was going to end up as a ~155 OPS+ player. He was a clear HoFer.

He is NOT a career 182 OPS+ player. I will not acknowledge that mad-scientist freak show.
   251. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4247389)
My position is that if steroids are cheating, then amps are; if amps are not cheating, then steroids aren't.

So your position in response to people who think and assert that steroids are cheating -- which numerous people have said, on and outside these boards -- is that amps are cheating.

How is this difficult? Do you somehow not have the power of your conviction?
   252. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4247390)
If coffee and amps do the same thing, then why would players take amps?

Coffee's a diuretic, for one thing. It's also less efficient to ingest.
   253. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4247398)
Which is exactly why amphetamines were used, to restore tired ballplayers to their natural talent level. Whether or not that actually worked as advertised is an open question, but there is zero evidence that they ever did anything more than that.

You are arguing that a well rested player who took amps would see no effect.


In the light of zero evidence to the contrary, yes. And again, why would anyone who was well rested take amps in the first place? Every piece of testimony regarding amps says that they were used for restoration purposes by players who were fatigued from either jet lag, doubleheaders or hangovers. Of course once the effects wore off, they could easily become addictive, but all that would mean would be that once the amps got into a player's system, he would never really feel normally rested and alert, and would need to keep taking them just to maintain himself. And there is no evidence that after all that, his natural talent level would have been "enhanced" beyond what it was to begin with.

And you have precisely zero evidence that amps don't take a player beyond his "natural level." Andy has simply asserted this, with his justification being that no lab tests replicated under major league conditions have shown such an effect, while not requiring that kind of evidence to show the same re steroids.

If you or anyone else can show me a single amped up player whose late career power spikes were remotely comparable to those of Barry Bonds, I'll gladly wave my request for such a test.
   254. JJ1986 Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4247402)
If Barry Bonds is the only data point that steroids cause late career power spikes, then he can just as well be the only data point that amps cause late career power spikes.
   255. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4247406)
My position is that if steroids are cheating, then amps are; if amps are not cheating, then steroids aren't.

So your position in response to people who think and assert that steroids are cheating -- which numerous people have said, on and outside these boards -- is that amps are cheating.


No, it's not. Can you read? I said _if_ one is cheating _then_ the other is.

I don't think either is cheating, but if we want to define one as cheating then by similar reasoning the other has to be cheating as well.

If you want to define both as cheating, or both as not cheating, you will get no real argument from me. It's the conflicting treatment of the two that I object to.

How is this difficult? Do you somehow not have the power of your conviction?


My conviction is fine. This is "difficult" because one can only reach the conclusions you are reaching through bad faith, dishonesty, or a complete lack of logic. Andy complains that I call him dishonest on this issue, but in that I am doing him a favor by not concluding that he's just a complete idiot.
   256. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4247407)
If you or anyone else can show me a single amped up player whose late career power spikes were remotely comparable to those of Barry Bonds, I'll gladly wave my request for such a test.
Barry Bonds.

Now, if you can show me a single steroid-using player whose late career power spikes were remotely comparable to those of Barry Bonds...
   257. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4247408)
No, it's not. Can you read? I said _if_ one is cheating _then_ the other is.

I think both are cheating, and both should be banned. But, that doesn't mean the effects of or response to their use has to be the same.

Shoplifting, and grand theft auto are both stealing; we don't treat them the same.
   258. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4247411)
As opposed to your assertion that a well-rested ballplayer's talent level can be improved with a magic pill.

Except for the studies showing the effects of amphetamines -- which (hint) are about much more than counteracting a lack of sleep.


Which (hint) do not deal with 95-MPH pitches that have to be struck squarely by 34 ounce bats. Not that you would know anything about that.

Which is exactly why amphetamines were used, to restore tired ballplayers to their natural talent level. Whether or not that actually worked as advertised is an open question, but there is zero evidence that they ever did anything more than that.

Wrong. It isn't their natural talent level. One's natural talent level is to only be able to put forth a certain level of performance for a certain length of time. To go beyond that is enhancing.


That's a semantic distinction without a difference, at best philosophical and at worst simply misleading. But at least with this you're not trying to pretend that if Hank Aaron had spent his entire career on amps, he would have surpassed his own home run record. Amphetamines are no more "enhancing" than a cortisone shot, which nobody has ever complained about. They may keep a player at point A for longer than he would be otherwise, but they don't bring him beyond that.

There are no greenie versions of the juiced-up Barry Bonds late career spikes** anywhere to be found.

False. There are no steroid versions of Barry Bonds' late career spike anywhere to be found.


Well, other than Barry Bonds himself, but we'll ignore that.
   259. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4247413)
I don't think either is cheating, but if we want to define one as cheating then by similar reasoning the other has to be cheating as well.

That's a trollish position, maybe definitionally so. You don't think amps are cheating, but you reserve the right to go "NYAH, NYAH, NYAH" and change your mind. Arguing that amps are cheating when you don't believe it is trollish -- there's really no other word.

Bottom line is you don't think amps are cheating, and you concern troll discussions of whether different drugs are cheating.

Upon reflection, perhaps you'll see the dishonorability of that stance.
   260. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4247417)
If you or anyone else can show me a single amped up player whose late career power spikes were remotely comparable to those of Barry Bonds, I'll gladly wave my request for such a test.

Barry Bonds.

Now, if you can show me a single steroid-using player whose late career power spikes were remotely comparable to those of Barry Bonds...


IOW it was the amps and not the steroids. Got it. But given the ubiquity of the amp culture well before 1999, and given Bonds's understandable tendency to be "the best that he could be", and given the game-wide power spikes that were evident well before 1999, why is it that those amp-driven spikes didn't take place when Bonds was in his prime years, or until he started juicing?
   261. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4247420)
That's a trollish position, maybe definitionally so. You don't think amps are cheating, but you reserve the right to go "NYAH, NYAH, NYAH" and change your mind. Arguing that amps are cheating when you don't believe it is trollish -- there's really no other word.

Bottom line is you don't think amps are cheating, and you concern troll discussions of whether different drugs are cheating.

Upon reflection, perhaps you'll see the dishonorability of that stance.


Not at all. "Bottom line" is that I see no distinction between the two as far as cheating goes.
   262. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4247426)
Not at all. "Bottom line" is that I see no distinction between the two as far as cheating goes.

That's an accurate statement, but incomplete.

The record reflects your statement that you don't think either is cheating and, therefore, that you don't think using amps is cheating. Too late to withdraw it.

You don't think "Andy's heroes" cheated, and you agree with the historical consensus which holds the same. So, apparently, does Andy.
   263. JJ1986 Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4247428)
I'm curious about the answer to the Justin-Verlander-hypothetical or this similar problem: What if a starting pitcher could take a drug (call it "super-amp") that restored him to his peak level of ability before each start? He could start every day for 162 games. That seems "restorative" rather than "enhancing". Is it not cheating?
   264. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4247434)
That's an accurate statement, but incomplete.

The record reflects your statement that you don't think either is cheating and, therefore, that you don't think using amps is cheating. Too late to withdraw it.


No need to withdraw it. Here's how the discussion proceeds:

1 SBB: Players who used steroids were cheating.
2 Ray: By what definition?
3 SBB: Because of X, Y, and Z.
4 Ray: X, Y, and Z apply to amps users also. Are players who used amps cheaters too?
5 SBB: No.

The dishonesty and/or breakdown in logic occurs between 4 and 5.
   265. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4247436)
I'm curious about the answer to the Justin-Verlander-hypothetical


It was a fine dodge by Andy not to specifically answer it.
   266. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4247437)
Not at all. "Bottom line" is that I see no distinction between the two as far as cheating goes.

Which is IMO an honorable position that's honorably arrived at. Your only problem is that you refuse to grant comparable honorable intent to those who see it differently, which is what occasionally puts you into troll territory.

The truth is that there's no "correct" way to look at steroids and amphetamines. There are only conflicting and inherently subjective ideas about how each of these drugs impact the players who take them, and what they do to the competitive balance of the game itself. If this were such an easy question to resolve, with all the facts on one side or the other, it would have been resolved long ago.
   267. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4247439)
No need to withdraw it. Here's how the discussion proceeds:

1 SBB: Players who used steroids were cheating.
2 Ray: By what definition?
3 SBB: Because of X, Y, and Z.
4 Ray: X, Y, and Z apply to amps users also. Are players who used amps cheaters too?
5 SBB: No.

The dishonesty and/or breakdown in logic occurs between 4 and 5.


X, Y, and Z don't apply equally to the two. It's perfectly logical.
   268. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4247440)
I'm curious about the answer to the Justin-Verlander-hypothetical or this similar problem: What if a starting pitcher could take a drug (call it "super-amp") that restored him to his peak level of ability before each start? He could start every day for 162 games. That seems "restorative" rather than "enhancing". Is it not cheating?

Depends on if the Yankees could buy up the entire world's supply before anyone else could get to it. Then it'd be just another Free Market Miracle.
   269. Greg K Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4247441)
The record reflects your statement that you don't think either is cheating and, therefore, that you don't think using amps is cheating. Too late to withdraw it.

You don't think "Andy's heroes" cheated. Neither, apparently, does Andy.

I'm not entirely sure what you're getting at. I think Ray has been pretty clear and upfront about what he's arguing.

It's a pretty straight forward rhetorical move
Amps and steroids are either both cheating or neither of them is cheating. Those are the only positions available. If amps aren't cheating, neither are steroids. If amps are cheating than so are steroids. He doesn't seem particularly concerned which of those viewpoints a person takes...so long as it doesn't split the two. Whether amps are cheating or not isn't the issue he's getting at, consistency is.

(This isn't to say I agree with this approach...I really haven't put a great deal of thought into steroids in baseball, there just seemed to be some confusion)

   270. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4247443)
I thought there was some evidence that Barry also* changed his approach at the plate during his run.

Question: Why is the whole change attributed to Steroids?

Answer: Because it was unprecedented before or since. No one has had such a late career surge**, it must be steroids.

Question: If he is unique then he isn't proving anything about Steroids in general, or other (many, most, all) players would have had similar late career spikes. So why is the whole change in stats attributed to Steroids?

Note: I still don't care if he did or did not use Steroids during the period it was not against the rules (as documented and enforced by baseball). I don't even care if people use steroids now, if they get caught, they are punished and the game moves on. The punishment is more than enough for me. I don't get the desire to do more than inflict the agreed upon punishment - but he tested positive , now he can't win MVP, batting title, or Miss Congenialty! I say if it was important than make that part of the punishment up front, otherwise STFU about it.

* Assuming he was using Steroids in addition to changing his approach. I admit I have never looked closely at the evidence, because i still don't care.

** In the history of baseball pretty much everything has happened. Soon I expect to see cases of late career surges being discussed. Have a coke on me if so.
   271. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4247444)
I'm curious about the answer to the Justin-Verlander-hypothetical or this similar problem: What if a starting pitcher could take a drug (call it "super-amp") that restored him to his peak level of ability before each start? He could start every day for 162 games. That seems "restorative" rather than "enhancing". Is it not cheating?

It wouldn't bother me in the slightest as long as it was available to every pitcher under Obamacare.
   272. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4247445)
I'm curious about the answer to the Justin-Verlander-hypothetical or this similar problem: What if a starting pitcher could take a drug (call it "super-amp") that restored him to his peak level of ability before each start? He could start every day for 162 games. That seems "restorative" rather than "enhancing". Is it not cheating?

How is it restorative? Humans have not shown over 100 years of baseball history the ability to pitch starters innnings balls out for 162 games.

I don't see the confusion or the gotcha. Maybe I'm missing it.
   273. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4247447)
X, Y, and Z don't apply equally to the two. It's perfectly logical.


They don't have to apply "equally," just similarly, which they do, in the abstract.

It's like calling pizza and apples both "food" even though one is specifically different from the other. In the abstract they're both food.

With steroids and amps if you try to drill down from the abstract to cite specific differences you get distinctions but no meaningful differences.
   274. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4247449)
Amps and steroids are either both cheating or neither of them is cheating. Those are the only positions available. If amps aren't cheating, neither are steroids. If amps are cheating than so are steroids. He doesn't seem particularly concerned which of those viewpoints a person takes...so long as it doesn't split the two.

But that's trollish as applied to the amp argument, because he doesn't think amps are cheating.

Put another way, if someone says, "I don't think amps are cheating," it's trollish to say, "But what do you think about steroids?" in lieu of simply agreeing.
   275. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:11 PM (#4247451)
I thought there was some evidence that Barry also* changed his approach at the plate during his run.

Question: Why is the whole change attributed to Steroids?


It isn't, at least certainly not by anyone I've met. There are many factors that went into that power surge, all of which are freely acknowledged to have contributed to it. This is the problem with so many of these discussions when people act as if these questions are always black and white, and if anyone "admits" one point then they have to switch "sides" completely. IMO that's just silly.

   276. JJ1986 Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4247453)
How is it restorative? Humans have not shown over 100 years of baseball history the ability to pitch starters innnings balls out for 162 games.


Are we now changing the definition of restorative? For the purpose of this debate, "restorative" has meant getting a player back to his "natural talent level". You specifically said that a pitcher's natural talent level is the same however tired he is.

   277. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4247454)
They don't have to apply "equally," just similarly, which they do, in the abstract.

Of course they do. You don't get to just say both are "cheating" and "performance enhancing" and have a reasonable expectation that the argument will cease. Where does that come from?

Moreover, "X, Y, and Z" are a fit as between amps and coffee.
   278. Morty Causa Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4247457)
Amps and steroids are either both cheating or neither of them is cheating. Those are the only positions available. If amps aren't cheating, neither are steroids. If amps are cheating than so are steroids.


That isn't really the distinction that matters. It needs to go a little further. t doesn't matter how much you want to cheat if what you are doing does not in fact have the effect of giving you a leg up. Thus, the distinctions I have set out.
   279. Morty Causa Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4247458)

With steroids and amps if you try to drill down from the abstract to cite specific differences you get distinctions but no meaningful differences.


You don't know that.
   280. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4247459)
How is it restorative? Humans have not shown over 100 years of baseball history the ability to pitch starters innnings balls out for 162 games.

I don't see the confusion or the gotcha. Maybe I'm missing it.


The gotcha is in your own words above.

Allow me to introduce yourself to your own argument. Humans have shown the ability to start at (say) level 50 once every five days. If they tried to start every day, they would be much less than 50 for each start. Under your and Andy's stated criteria, a pill that put the pitcher at 50 every day for 162 games is merely "restorative" and not "enhancing" because the pitcher's "natural, well-rested level" is 50. So as long as the pill doesn't put the pitcher at (say) 60 for any one of the 162 games, the pill is totally cool, simply restorative, not cheating at all.

And also, applying similar logic as your statement above, humans have not shown over 150 years of baseball history the ability to be well-rested for 162 games. So by your own argument, amps, which return a player to his "well-rested" level, are cheating.

Do you see now?
   281. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4247463)
Are we now changing the definition of restorative? For the purpose of this debate, "restorative" has meant getting a player back to his "natural talent level". You specifically said that a pitcher's natural talent level is the same however tired he is.

No, it's assumed recovery times from high-pitch outings generally consistent with 100 years of baseball history. Something that changes that underlying premise isn't restorative.
   282. Greg K Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4247466)
But that's trollish as applied to the amp argument, because he doesn't think amps are cheating.

Put another way, if someone says, "I don't think amps are cheating," it's trollish to say, "But what do you think about steroids?" in lieu of simply agreeing.

I don't think it's trollish...I don't know, maybe I'm operating under a different definition of troll. Certainly a different definition of "concern trolling" as I always took that to mean someone ostensibly agreeing with you, but pointing out the problems in your shared view-point dishonestly. I think Ray's been pretty clear he doesn't agree with you.

I see trolling as someone fishing for an emotional response, more interested in angrying up the blood than discussion. I think it's pretty clear Ray's just addressing what he sees as a logical inconsistency in the argument.

[Apologies again (or the first time) for speaking for you so much Ray. I'm just trying to put my finger on why the discussion has taken the turn it has. It seems pretty clear what your two positions are, and yet the discussion seems intent on moving in some weird direction. I guess this is what comes from me not reading a steroids thread in years]
   283. JJ1986 Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4247467)
No, it's assumed recovery times from high-pitch outings generally consistent with 100 years of baseball history. Something that changes that underlying premise isn't restorative.


#### it. You absolutely are changing the way we're using the word 'restorative'. I can't debate if you're going to do that.
   284. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4247472)
Under your and Andy's stated criteria, a pill that put the pitcher at 50 every day for 162 games is merely "restorative" and not "enhancing" because the pitcher's "natural, well-rested level" is 50. So as long as the pill doesn't put the pitcher at (say) 60 for any one of the 162 games, the pill is totally cool, simply restorative, not cheating at all.

That isn't close to my criteria. See 281, which refines the definition of "natural talent level."
   285. Greg K Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4247475)
So is there a line somewhere that changes "restorative" to something else?
If some drug allowed pitchers to come back on three days rest on a regular basis that would still be restorative, but 2 or 1 day rest would be something else?
   286. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4247477)
I can't debate if you're going to do that.

You're not debating. You're engaging in sophistry and imagination, and looking for gotchas in concepts I've barely subscribed to. Those are Andy's categories.

There's no pill that can make a starting pitcher be able to pitch 130 pitches every day, so I don't give a #### whether or not its called restorative, because at that point those categories have lost part or all of their ability to assist understanding. It's like asking whether a brand of Coca-Cola that can make Justin Verlander throw 10 pitches a start at 200 mph is "restorative." Who cares -- at that point the meaning and weight of "restorative" changes.

"Fifty" and "30" were constructs.
   287. JJ1986 Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4247481)
I posited a hypothetical. That hypothetical was quite clearly impossible and not realistic. If that was your problem with it, then that makes sense.

But the drug in the hypothetical did follow your definition of "restorative" and you claimed that it didn't.
   288. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4247482)
That isn't close to my criteria. See 281, which refines the definition of "natural talent level."


"Refines" the definition. Hilarious. I saw more redefining than refining.

But let's go with your newly refined definition, which is: "assumed recovery times from high-pitch outings generally consistent with 100 years of baseball history. Something that changes that underlying premise isn't restorative."

Do you not see that a similar argument applies to position players? No position player is "well-rested" after 120 games or whatever. So any amp that gets that player back to his well-rested state every day is cheating even under this refined definition.

   289. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4247491)
Do you not see that a similar argument applies to position players? No position player is "well-rested" after 120 games or whatever.

Says who?

The difference, of course, is that the starting pitcher the day after 130 pitches is something quite different than simply not "well-rested." Better, more precise descriptions would be "deemed by mainstream sports medicine all but unfit to pitch," and "jeopardizing his health if he does pitch."

This is another effort to equate things at an entirely superficial level, just as with "cheating" and "performance enhancing."
   290. JJ1986 Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:53 PM (#4247504)
I think a lot of us have a problem with an argument that depends on a cutoff point. I'm not okay with a (banned) drug being okay if it's 10% restorative or 1% enhancing, but not okay if it is 90% restorative or 50% enhancing. That doesn't make sense to me.
   291. cardsfanboy Posted: September 27, 2012 at 05:02 PM (#4247513)
I have a hard time believing that it wasn't written totally tongue in cheek, but yesterday CFB said "we are saying Hank Aaron broke the homerun record because he used amps". At some point I'd like him to say whether or not he was serious when he wrote that, especially considering that there's no evidence that Aaron ever used amps more than once in his career.


Not tongue in cheek, but not totally serious either. Since Aaron played in the amp era, he falls under the guilty until proven innocence that guys like Bagwell, Sosa etc have fallen under.
   292. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4247517)
Why is it silly to claim that Aaron wouldn't have had 755 home runs without amps, either because of performance "restoration" or just allowing him to take the field instead of taking more days off throughout his career?

I'll note that Andy has claimed not to care about this kind of add-on, be it Aaron's home run record or Rose's hits record, because, in his words, amps merely restored these players to their natural states.

But if it doesn't matter that Aaron hit 755 home runs when he would have hit (say) 705 without amps, I don't know what we're doing, exactly. Why are the steroids players being savaged while Andy doesn't care about 705 vs 755 or 4100 instead of 4256?
   293. cardsfanboy Posted: September 27, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4247518)
Not Ray's definition. Ray's definition is that amps (and, presumably, coffee) are cheating and have been since the 50s. He's said that innumerable times.


I think you have it backwards. Ray says it's no more cheating than what the pre-tested roiders had done. And that there is now a set of testing with a defined limit on punishments, and that more punishments beyond what is spelled out in the rules, is wrong.
   294. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 27, 2012 at 05:12 PM (#4247521)
But if it doesn't matter that Aaron hit 755 home runs when he would have hit (say) 705 without amps, I don't know what we're doing, exactly. Why are the steroids players being savaged while Andy doesn't care abotu 705 vs 755 or 4100 instead of 4256?

I can't speak for Andy, but those numbers are entirely speculative. The number of times Aaron used amps is entirely speculative. There isn't a stitch of evidence that he took the field a single additional time because of amps.

You're stitching together a bunch of tall tales, urban legends, and ideological poses into a mass jumble of incomprehensibility.
   295. cardsfanboy Posted: September 27, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4247524)
I can't speak for Andy, but those numbers are entirely speculative. The number of times Aaron used amps is entirely speculative. There isn't a stitch of evidence that he took the field a single additional time because of amps.


Where is the evidence that Bagwell used? Sosa? Piazza?

On top of that, if Aaron was discovered to use(which he has admitted to at least once) would you argue for punishing him in the same way you would argue for punishing Bonds?
   296. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 27, 2012 at 05:16 PM (#4247527)
On top of that, if Aaron was discovered to use(which I'm pretty sure he has admitted to at least once) would you argue for punishing him in the same way you would argue for punishing Bonds?

I haven't argued for punishing Bonds.
   297. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 05:19 PM (#4247531)
I have a hard time believing that it wasn't written totally tongue in cheek, but yesterday CFB said "we are saying Hank Aaron broke the homerun record because he used amps". At some point I'd like him to say whether or not he was serious when he wrote that, especially considering that there's no evidence that Aaron ever used amps more than once in his career.


I absolutely love this. Since when does it matter for steroids players that the player has only been shown to have used steroids once in his career? Do you see how you're using a double standard, Andy? Do you see why I have charged you with arguing in bad faith? You have said that with good evidence that a player ever used steroids you would ban him from the Hall. Are you now saying that "just once" is ok for steroids players? Otherwise, why even mention that Aaron may only have used once?
   298. cardsfanboy Posted: September 27, 2012 at 05:20 PM (#4247532)
I haven't argued for punishing Bonds.


That was my next question, what are you arguing for?
   299. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 27, 2012 at 05:24 PM (#4247537)
I absolutely love this. Since when does it matter for steroids players that the player has only been shown to have used steroids once in his career? Do you see how you're using a double standard, Andy? Do you see why I have charged you with arguing in bad faith? You have said that with good evidence that a player ever used steroids you would ban him from the Hall. Are you now saying that "just once" is ok for steroids players? Otherwise, why even mention that Aaron may only have used once?

Again not Andy, but the difference is in leverage per use. A dose of amps lasts a few hours and each "impacted" game requires a new dose. Not so with steroids.

I'm not sure your hypothetical "just once" 'roider exists, but if he does, I'd almost certainly say no harm, no foul.
   300. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 27, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4247539)
That was my next question, what are you arguing for?

What you got?
Page 3 of 4 pages  < 1 2 3 4 > 

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogDodgers, Cardinals lead race for top trade deadline pitchers Lester, Price - CBSSports.com
(3 - 11:16am, Jul 30)
Last: Davo Dozier

NewsblogSOE: Minor League Manhood - A first-hand account of masculine sports culture run amok.
(45 - 11:16am, Jul 30)
Last: A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose)

NewsblogOTP - July 2014: Republicans Lose To Democrats For Sixth Straight Year In Congressional Baseball Game
(3610 - 11:16am, Jul 30)
Last: You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR)

Newsblog‘Caucasians’ T-shirt mocking Cleveland Indians becomes hot seller on reserves
(26 - 11:15am, Jul 30)
Last: Random Transaction Generator

NewsblogABC News: ‘Capital Games’: How Congress Saved the Baseball Hall of Fame
(58 - 11:14am, Jul 30)
Last: Ray (RDP)

NewsblogHoward: David Ortiz shaping up to become first steroid era Teflon slugger
(47 - 11:11am, Jul 30)
Last: Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer

NewsblogAn Idiot in Exile
(7 - 10:46am, Jul 30)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogESPN: Twins Sign "Out Of Nowhere" Prospect
(38 - 10:45am, Jul 30)
Last: Davo Dozier

NewsblogMASN TV Contract Pits Selig vs Nationals vs Orioles
(27 - 10:42am, Jul 30)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread July, 2014
(509 - 10:39am, Jul 30)
Last: Randy Jones

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-30-2014
(5 - 10:35am, Jul 30)
Last: Davo Dozier

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 7-29-2014
(63 - 8:33am, Jul 30)
Last: Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play

SABR - BBTF ChapterWho's going to SABR??
(103 - 8:00am, Jul 30)
Last: Mike Emeigh

NewsblogMelky Cabrera smashed a windshield with a homer
(15 - 5:02am, Jul 30)
Last: Bunny Vincennes

NewsblogFull Count » Tim Kurkjian on MFB: ‘I’m going to say that Jon Lester is not going to be traded’
(33 - 3:14am, Jul 30)
Last: ellsbury my heart at wounded knee

Page rendered in 0.9258 seconds
75 querie(s) executed