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

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Economist: If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’

An argument in favor of letting PED users into the Hall of Fame.

Only in 2005 did the sport formally and specifically prohibit the use of a long list of substances, begin to test for them, and suspend players with positive results. Before then, using steroids in baseball was roughly analogous to, say, using Adderall for high-stress office work: you had to break the law to get it without a prescription, and it might harm your health in the long run, but no one would test you for it, or punish you if you got caught.

Given that system, staying clean would seem to be a greater offence for baseball players, who are paid to do everything within the rules to help their teams win, than taking steroids is. Bobby Abreu got raked over the coals for being reluctant to chase after deep fly balls for fear of crashing into the outfield wall. So why does, say, Lance Berkman, whom the press has lionised for his criticisms of steroid users, get a free pass for putting his team at a competitive disadvantage (assuming he in fact did not use PEDs)? At least Mr Abreu can claim he was trying to avoid an injury that would have harmed his club even more than failing to catch the ball would. In contrast, the likes of Mr Berkman prioritised their own well-being long after retirement over their teams’ imperative to win now. Like all of us, professional athletes respond to incentives, and baseball players who doped did no more and no less than what they were paid to do.

The only way to prevent behaviour we disapprove of is to adjust the risk-return tradeoff so that it is no longer in people’s interest to try.

David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: January 12, 2013 at 11:45 AM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: 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.

   1. Knock on any Iorg Posted: January 13, 2013 at 12:50 AM (#4345987)
@tangotiger: Straight Arrow reader: "Football HOF finalists released today. No discussion whatsoever by the media about PEDs." #Hypocrisy

USA Today says [Ray] Lewis tallied a team-high 15 tackles in his second week back in action after tearing his triceps in October. His speedy recovery, a marvel in itself...

Yes, truly a marvel. How DID he do it?
   2. Bug Selig Posted: January 13, 2013 at 10:38 AM (#4346075)
He prayed - conspicuously. Then, he did a dance that included a throat-cutting gesture and everyone cheered.

Wait - what was the question?
   3. Bad Fish Posted: January 13, 2013 at 01:45 PM (#4346164)


The OJ, no doubt.
   4. salajander Posted: January 13, 2013 at 01:46 PM (#4346166)
I think the key quote is
But there are few worse crimes for a museum than whitewashing history, which is what leaving them out entirely would amount to.

Amen.
   5. McCoy Posted: January 13, 2013 at 01:49 PM (#4346169)
Except being honored by the Hall of Fame is different than being in the museum. Barry Bonds is in the museum. Roger Clemens is in the museum. The museum isn't pretending that Clemens or Bonds don't exist by not choosing to honor them. The Hall of Fame is an award/prize/honor. If they don't wish to give Bonds a prize that is their prerogative.
   6. Srul Itza Posted: January 13, 2013 at 01:52 PM (#4346172)
They're in the museum. They are not in the Hall, which is a separate issue.

Can we not go through this every time that comes up, as we do with Pete Rose?

The museum records baseball history, including Pete Rose, the Black Sox, and Barry Bonds.

The Hall confers a self-declared "high honor" based on whatever standard the current BBWAA consensus and/or Veterans Committee(s) are currently applying.

EDIT -- OR WHAT McCoy said.

   7. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 13, 2013 at 03:33 PM (#4346234)
At least Mr Abreu can claim he was trying to avoid an injury that would have harmed his club even more than failing to catch the ball would. In contrast, the likes of Mr Berkman prioritised their own well-being long after retirement over their teams’ imperative to win now.


Now, that's funny.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Darren
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOMNICHATTER FOR APRIL 18, 2014
(14 - 3:07pm, Apr 18)
Last: spycake

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-18-2014
(20 - 3:06pm, Apr 18)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

NewsblogOT: NBA Monthly Thread - April 2014
(309 - 3:05pm, Apr 18)
Last: tshipman

NewsblogRB: Carlos Beltran: more of a center fielder than Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb or Duke Snider. So what?
(23 - 3:04pm, Apr 18)
Last: Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora

NewsblogEscape from Cuba: Yasiel Puig’s Untold Journey to the Dodgers
(11 - 3:03pm, Apr 18)
Last: You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR)

NewsblogDaniel Bryan's 'YES!' chant has spread to the Pirates' dugout
(88 - 3:03pm, Apr 18)
Last: andrewberg

NewsblogOTP April 2014: BurstNET Sued for Not Making Equipment Lease Payments
(1637 - 3:00pm, Apr 18)
Last: A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose)

NewsblogDoug Glanville: I Was Racially Profiled in My Own Driveway
(270 - 2:56pm, Apr 18)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October

NewsblogFletcher: Foes have slowed Trout in one category so far - steals
(4 - 2:55pm, Apr 18)
Last: Shredder

NewsblogDesign Room: Top 10 Logos in MLB History.
(68 - 2:53pm, Apr 18)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October

NewsblogNY Daily News: Secret Service Threatened To Shoot Mr. Met
(11 - 2:32pm, Apr 18)
Last: Gamingboy

NewsblogChris Resop - The Most Interesting Reliever in the World
(21 - 2:05pm, Apr 18)
Last: I Am Not a Number

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread March, 2014
(891 - 2:00pm, Apr 18)
Last: J. Sosa

NewsblogMitchell: Now Playing First Base for the Yankees
(41 - 1:54pm, Apr 18)
Last: Sunday silence

NewsblogOrioles launch D.C. invasion with billboard near Nationals Park
(26 - 1:33pm, Apr 18)
Last: Joey B. is being stalked by a (Gonfa) loon

Demarini, Easton and TPX Baseball Bats

 

 

 

 

Page rendered in 0.2340 seconds
52 querie(s) executed