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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Monday, July 06, 2009

Yay Manny!

I’m cheering for Manny Ramirez.

For weeks now, we’ve had to endure a veritable flood of articles decrying Manny Ramirez and telling us, the paying public, how we should be reacting to the return of the Man-Child from his 50-game suspension.  Whether it’s Bill Plaschke unleashing a torrent of sanctimony, matched only by the number of his one-sentence paragraphs, or some retired bridge author writing for the Palookaville Post-Gazette, one can’t help reading an article about Ramirez without being told how to feel, how to think, and how to act about the whole situation.

At what point does the reaction outweigh the crime?  When is the counterattack sharper than the original thrust?  That’s a philosophical point that everyone has to pretty much settle in their own minds.  But for me, that point has been well-passed.

MLB has one of the strongest drug-testing programs, if not the strongest drug-testing program of the major Americanadian sports.  Ramirez tested positive under the negotiated drug-testing program of the collective bargaining agreement.  There was no slap on the wrist involved as Manny lost some $8 million, sat out for 50 days, and received a tremendous blow to his professional reputation and possibly had his Hall of Fame chances affected.

As far as I’m concerned, we’re now “supposed to” add an exclamation point to his punishment to Manny for supposedly sullying the National Pastime.  When does justice become revenge?  How do I or any fan or analyst or member of the media have any right to demand an apology when none of us having any right to grand forgiveness?  The only people Manny hurt were other players, the true beneficiaries of a negotiated drug-testing arrangement, and his teammates and employers, who were deprived of what he brings to the team.  I’m not Frank McCourt or Chad Billingsley, so where would I get off demanding a pound of flesh?

So, what do we make of the fact that Manny has received cheers wherever he goes?  I think what we’re looking at is the limited scope of the public’s anger over steroid use.  People clearly despise steroid use in the abstract sense or when the roider is a player they don’t particularly like.  But when it comes to voting with their feet, the public’s had pretty low turnout and this seems to be the case when voting with the lungs as well.

As long as Ramirez keeps hitting homers, the cheers of the Dodger faithful and fans of Manny will continue.  In the big picture, Ramirez broke a physical training rule and paid a steep price.  He didn’t throw a game, rob a bank, or murder his girlfriend.  Joe Fan didn’t suffer in any way. 

It only takes one look at our culture to see how, when push comes to shove, people will frequently overlook the negative aspects of their heroes.  Nobody comes out of a Batman movie decrying Bruce Wayne’s lack of reverence for due process of law.  Nobody ever left a theatre angry at Michael Corleone’s cold-handed murders of the heads of the other New York crime families.  I daresay very few have put down a book unhappy with Raoul Duke’s hedonism, Stephen Dedalus’s impudence, or Thomas Covenant’s abrasiveness.  To many Ramirez’s many foibles, of which the drug suspension is only the latest, serve to make him more of a real person than the pre-packaged sheen we see applied to many athletes.

Another strong tendency that sports fans have is to root for the underdog, to root for the powerful over the weak.  In this fight, Ramirez is the underdog, a single controversial man who has nothing he can say or do that will please the shrinking-but-still-big mass media industry.  New media has made many inroads nationally, but there are still many bully pulpits manned by many Jeff Pearlmans.

I won’t literally be cheering Ramirez as he plays for a different team that I root for and I probably won’t see him play in person this year, but every cheer from every home run he hits, cutting into every demanding sportswriter too lazy to find something new to talk about, is something I definitely find worth cheering.  #### ‘em if they can’t take a joke.

Dan Szymborski Posted: July 06, 2009 at 02:00 AM | 109 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 06, 2009 at 02:03 AM (#3242961)
And yes, Andy, I know you disagree!
   2. The Essex Snead Posted: July 06, 2009 at 02:21 AM (#3242969)
God bless you & keep you safe from Bill Plaschke, Transaction Oracle.
   3. Dan Posted: July 06, 2009 at 02:57 AM (#3242973)
No TO on the Hairston trade yet?
   4. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 06, 2009 at 03:01 AM (#3242978)
And yes, Andy, I know you disagree!

MLB has one of the strongest drug-testing programs, if not the strongest drug-testing program of the major Americanadian sports. Ramirez tested positive under the negotiated drug-testing program of the collective bargaining agreement. There was no slap on the wrist involved as Manny lost some $8 million, sat out for 50 days, and received a tremendous blow to his professional reputation and possibly had his Hall of Fame chances affected.


Sorry, Dan, but I don't disagree with any of that. Manny did the crime and he did the time, and he may have blown his HoF chances in the bargain. That's about right, and I wish him well for the rest of his career---and in fact if they ever elect juicers to the HoF, he'd be the first one I'd want in. But then this isn't the first time you've confused my views with Kevin's, and it likely won't be the last.
   5. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: July 06, 2009 at 03:28 AM (#3242990)
Spot on, Dan.
Any moral qualms I had about Manny on my favorite team slowly disappeared with every column telling me if I didn't want the man strung up then I hated Mom and apple pie. I swear, Plaschke seemed this close to letting fly with the accusation baseball's problem wasn't the juicers but the fans.
Let me repeat a line that I've posted more than once here: These writers are entitled to their outrage, but they aren't entitled to mine.
   6. base ball chick Posted: July 06, 2009 at 03:47 AM (#3243000)
i could understand (non-Dodger) fan outrage if manny had tried to get out of his punishment, but hey, he did the crime, he confessed, he apologised, he did his time.

so what is it i am supposed to be outraged about?

i know it isn't that manny actually used a banned substance because that causes exactly zero outrage when the user is a guy whose name the writers can't be bothered to look up the spelling on

which reminds me - dan would you please start posting some of the hundreds of articles out there in which baseball writers are screaming for blood because convicted roids user ryan franklin got elected to the all star team

thx
   7. Frisco Cali Posted: July 06, 2009 at 03:59 AM (#3243007)
I'm outraged that he has those long dreads, even though he is clearly developing a bald spot on the top of his head. Damn ridiculousest thing I've ever seen.
   8. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: July 06, 2009 at 04:36 AM (#3243019)
No Zips for the rest of the season?
   9. Gonfalon B. Posted: July 06, 2009 at 05:33 AM (#3243052)
in fact if they ever elect juicers to the HoF, he'd be the first one I'd want in.

What makes you think they already haven't?
   10. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 06, 2009 at 10:40 AM (#3243095)
in fact if they ever elect juicers to the HoF, he'd be the first one I'd want in.

What makes you think they already haven't?


Geez, gonfs, you might as well throw out your computer today, since you'll likely discover at some point in the future that your hard drive has crashed. And even worse, you probably know scores of people whose hard drives have already crashed. So what are you waiting for? All computers are equally guilty, and what's the point in making these silly little distinctions based on current performance?
   11. Chip Posted: July 06, 2009 at 10:59 AM (#3243098)
Stupidest.

Analogy.

Ever.
   12. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 06, 2009 at 11:27 AM (#3243101)
Stupidest.

Analogy.

Ever.


Not quite as stupid (and nowhere near as creepy) as saying that

since at this point we know that A juiced but we don't know whether or not B has,

we should just assume that B has,

because at some point in the past we didn't know that A had.

That's the perverted logic of the "everyone is guilty" crowd, and thank God they don't use it in criminal courts.
   13. karlmagnus Posted: July 06, 2009 at 11:58 AM (#3243102)
There are clearly degrees of steroid usage as there are of alcoholism. Since Manny passed multiple previous tests and has neither the physical nor the statistical pattern of a steroid user (he's no Kingman/McGwire in terms of homer emphasis) he's clearly "net" a HOFer, and I hope he doesn't get swindled by a media witch-hunt. I also hope he manages to contribute in the rest of this season; his hamstrings are clearly a serious problem, and if he has an injury-plagued second half the witch-hunters will feel vindicated, however irrationally.

Wakefield's my favorite player, but Manny's clearly #2, and he's made me a mild Dodgers fan.
   14. FBI Regional Bureau Chief GORDON COLE!!! Posted: July 06, 2009 at 01:15 PM (#3243122)
since at this point we know that A juiced but we don't know whether or not B has,

we should just assume that B has,

because at some point in the past we didn't know that A had.

That's the perverted logic of the "everyone is guilty" crowd, and thank God they don't use it in criminal courts.


Except he's not actually naming any particular "B," nor is he saying that "everyone is guilty." He's making the point that performance enhancers have been part of the game a lot longer than the Plaschke-esque hysteria has, and that a lot of players now lionized (and whose HOF bona fides are not questioned) were probably among them. And that we should tone down our outrage vis. their modern analogs accordingly.
   15. FBI Regional Bureau Chief GORDON COLE!!! Posted: July 06, 2009 at 01:18 PM (#3243124)
He's making the point that performance enhancers have been part of the game a lot longer than the Plaschke-esque hysteria has, and that a lot of players now lionized (and whose HOF bona fides are not questioned) were probably among them.

What a horribly ungrammatical sentence. Ugh. TO needs an edit function.
   16. Best Regards, President of Comfort Posted: July 06, 2009 at 01:30 PM (#3243131)
Sorry, Dan, but I don't disagree with any of that. Manny did the crime and he did the time, and he may have blown his HoF chances in the bargain. That's about right, and I wish him well for the rest of his career---and in fact if they ever elect juicers to the HoF, he'd be the first one I'd want in. But then this isn't the first time you've confused my views with Kevin's, and it likely won't be the last.
Go back to doing your legpresses, Captain.
   17. Paul D(uda) Posted: July 06, 2009 at 01:38 PM (#3243134)
I put down the Covenant books without finishing them because he was such a miserable bastard.
   18. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 06, 2009 at 01:46 PM (#3243139)
since at this point we know that A juiced but we don't know whether or not B has,

we should just assume that B has,

because at some point in the past we didn't know that A had.

That's the perverted logic of the "everyone is guilty" crowd, and thank God they don't use it in criminal courts.


Except he's not actually naming any particular "B," nor is he saying that "everyone is guilty." He's making the point that performance enhancers have been part of the game a lot longer than the Plaschke-esque hysteria has, and that a lot of players now lionized (and whose HOF bona fides are not questioned) were probably among them. And that we should tone down our outrage vis. their modern analogs accordingly.


Well, if that's the case, then his reaction to my post about Manny makes no sense, since what I said about Manny had zero "outrage" in it at all. Judge for yourself:

Manny did the crime and he did the time, and he may have blown his HoF chances in the bargain. That's about right, and I wish him well for the rest of his career---and in fact if they ever elect juicers to the HoF, he'd be the first one I'd want in.

Is that the tone of "hysteria"? Is there some sort of subliminal "outrage" directed against Manny that you're picking up?

Whatever "outrage" I've exhibited against known juicers in all of these threads over the past few years, beyond supporting the current levels of punishment, has been focused on one narrow point: I'd keep them out of the Hall of Fame.***

Beyond that, I haven't said a word of "outrage" against any of them. I'd cheer Manny today if I were a Dodgers fan, just as I now cheer A-Rod and I used to cheer Giambi. And while I do see steroids as a different class of PEDs than the others, that doesn't mean that I don't understand why they're used, and it doesn't mean that there's not a certain "there but for the grace of God" thinking that enters into my calculations. But then I might say the same thing about Shoeless Joe Jackson, who was a dumb rube who mixed with the wrong crowd and was exploited by Charlie Comiskey. Doesn't mean I'd want him in the Hall of Fame, either, but it does mean that he's also not a purely black or white case in terms of eternal damnation.

And I'm sorry, Gordon, but I've voiced these sentiments over and over, and yet they still wind up being caricatured into something that they aren't. It's apparent that some people here miss having Kevin around to argue with, but that was Dan's decision to ban him, not mine.

***And even there, I've also said that if it comes to pass that one or more of the known juicers were to be elected, I'd accept that as a legitimate historical judgment, since to get to that point from where we are now, there would have had to have been a thorough venting of the steroid issue in all of its complexity. Neither history nor perspectives are frozen in stone, and four years is a long way off.
   19. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 06, 2009 at 01:52 PM (#3243143)
I'm not going to boo Manny Ramirez out of spite. I'm not going to root for him out of spite either.
   20. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 06, 2009 at 03:43 PM (#3243251)
I was listening to an ESPN show in the car on Friday night. The hosts breathlessly went to a clip of Manny's First At Bat Following His Suspension. It was a clip of San Diego's radio team breathlessly doing the play by play of his First At Bat. "And now here is Manny Ramirez OMIGOD! Let's listen to the reaction!... ... ... A mixture of cheers and boos!! Probably more cheers than boos!!"

If you're someone who cares what the reaction to him was, I laugh in your face.

If you're someone who boos him, I recommend you seek counseling.
   21. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 06, 2009 at 03:46 PM (#3243252)
What about if you care about people caring about the reaction?
   22. SoSH U at work Posted: July 06, 2009 at 03:49 PM (#3243254)
If you're someone who boos him, I recommend you seek counseling.


Does that go for people who boo anyone, or just Manny? Because I could get behind the first part (genuinely booing someone always seemed incredibly lame to me).
   23. Dewey, Crackpot and Soupuss Posted: July 06, 2009 at 03:49 PM (#3243256)
A Thomas Covenant reference? Wow.
   24. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 06, 2009 at 03:58 PM (#3243260)
Ray even cheers A-Rod when he steps up to the plate in Fenway Park, lest he be taunted about needing counseling.
   25. jmurph Posted: July 06, 2009 at 03:58 PM (#3243261)
If you're someone who boos him, I recommend you seek counseling.


Really? Say you're on the low end of the PED outrage spectrum, and you equate PED use to basic stuff like corking the bat, or doctoring the ball, etc. Isn't it still fair to boo a guy who got caught doing something like that? I think there's a world of reasonable responses between the Plaschkes of the world and whatever Dan is doing here.
   26. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 06, 2009 at 04:38 PM (#3243301)
Does that go for people who boo anyone, or just Manny? Because I could get behind the first part (genuinely booing someone always seemed incredibly lame to me).


I think any fan who boos any player at any time is being a jackass. I've never booed a single player, ever.

The player is trying his best. He may not always succeed. He may not always make the best decisions, either on the field or off. He may not be a good player, or even a passable one. But he is trying his best, and booing him tells me far more about the person doing the booing than about the player.
   27. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 06, 2009 at 04:41 PM (#3243303)
Really? Say you're on the low end of the PED outrage spectrum, and you equate PED use to basic stuff like corking the bat, or doctoring the ball, etc. Isn't it still fair to boo a guy who got caught doing something like that?


I think it's a sign of a mental disorder to boo any player at any time, whether he's on your team or on the opposing team.
   28. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 06, 2009 at 04:45 PM (#3243308)
I think it's a sign of a mental disorder to boo any player at any time, whether he's on your team or on the opposing team.

Yes. Everyone ELSE is crazy. (FTR, I don't boo either, but I don't cheer much either, too. I mostly just kick back and nruse a beer and soak in the game while making fun of the histrionics on the jumbotron.)
   29. RJ in TO Posted: July 06, 2009 at 04:45 PM (#3243309)
You might want to watch out Ray. With your incredibly broad proclamations on morality, you're starting to sound like Gaelen.
   30. RJ in TO Posted: July 06, 2009 at 04:47 PM (#3243313)
I think any fan who boos any player at any time is being a jackass. I've never booed a single player, ever.

The player is trying his best. He may not always succeed. He may not always make the best decisions, either on the field or off. He may not be a good player, or even a passable one. But he is trying his best, and booing him tells me far more about the person doing the booing than about the player.


How do you distinguish between the booing of a player who has failed (or suceeded in a way adverse to the team you support) and the booing of a manager who has put that player in a position where failure was a likely (and occasionally painfully obvious) outcome?
   31. villageidiom Posted: July 06, 2009 at 04:53 PM (#3243319)
The player is trying his best. He may not always succeed. He may not always make the best decisions, either on the field or off. He may not be a good player, or even a passable one. But he is trying his best, and booing him tells me far more about the person doing the booing than about the player.
Can you distinguish among people who are booing the player and people who are booing the performance? Can you tell which people are booing the visiting hitter who just hit a HR, and which people are booing the home-team pitcher who just gave it up? Better yet, can you tell when Manny Ramirez is trying his best, and when he's not?
   32. FBI Regional Bureau Chief GORDON COLE!!! Posted: July 06, 2009 at 04:53 PM (#3243322)
The player is trying his best.

Not always, he isn't.
   33. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: July 06, 2009 at 04:57 PM (#3243325)
Wait, I thought that you didn't believe in mental disorders, Ray. Or am I confusing you with someone else. If so, my apologies.

FTR, I'm not that demonstrative at sporting events.
   34. Ron Johnson Posted: July 06, 2009 at 05:05 PM (#3243334)
Wait, I thought that you didn't believe in mental disorders, Ray. Or am I confusing you with someone else.


That's Tom Cruise you're thinking of. People confuse Ray with him all of the time so he's used to it.
   35. SoSH U at work Posted: July 06, 2009 at 05:06 PM (#3243337)
Not always, he isn't.


In those cases, he's merely taking intelligent injury-prevention measures.
   36. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 06, 2009 at 05:09 PM (#3243340)
Can you distinguish among people who are booing the player and people who are booing the performance?


I see no need to.
   37. robinred Posted: July 06, 2009 at 05:26 PM (#3243356)
Any homer hit off Josh Geer should come with an *.
   38. robinred Posted: July 06, 2009 at 05:29 PM (#3243359)
FTR, I'm not that demonstrative at sporting events.


Given how mouthy and hot-headed you are here, this is surprising.

The Padres' main radio guy is a disgrace, as I point out every chance I get.
   39. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: July 06, 2009 at 05:37 PM (#3243369)
Given how mouthy and hot-headed you are here, this is surprising.


Oh, I've yelled here. But I'm rather understated, so I didn't yell loudly.
   40. villageidiom Posted: July 06, 2009 at 05:49 PM (#3243381)
I see no need to.
Of course you don't.

But he is trying his best, and booing him tells me far more about the person doing the booing than about the player.
And if they're not booing him, what exactly does that tell you about the person doing the booing? Given your facts-in-evidence approach to steroids, I would've assumed you wouldn't be so quick to judge people based on uninformed observation, nor that you wouldn't see the need to do something different.

Just as an example, if the Red Sox play in Anaheim, lots of Red Sox fans show up. If in the top of the first Dustin Pedroia hits a HR, there will be lots of cheers from the Red Sox fans. It's my perception - maybe the resident Angels fans can confirm - that (a) more Angels fans boo, and more loudly, in that situation than would normally boo an opponent's HR; and that (b) it has little to do with the fact that it was hit by Pedroia. They are booing to drown out the show of support from Red Sox fans, or perhaps booing Red Sox fans in general. Had no Red Sox fans showed up & cheered, the boos would have been fewer and not as loud; had Pedroia been drafted by the Royals, made the majors, and hit a HR in Anaheim, the boos would have been fewer and not as loud.

What you seem to be saying is that those Red Sox fans are trying their best to cheer, and should not be booed by Angels fans; and that any Angels fans who boo Red Sox fans, or try to drown out their cheers with boos*, are in your mind the same as fans who would boo a player because he failed, or booing a fan who entered the field of play and is delaying the game, or booing the announced game time temperature of 22 degrees (F). It seems like you're choosing to be obtuse... because I don't believe you're actually that obtuse.

* In Anaheim and elsewhere, trying to drown out Red Sox fans with booze has already proven ineffective.
   41. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 06, 2009 at 06:35 PM (#3243454)
"I daresay very few have put down a book unhappy with...Thomas Covenant’s abrasiveness."

Semi-off-topic, but I could never get past the rape in the first one. It was just a bridge too far for me.
   42. Toolsy McClutch Posted: July 06, 2009 at 07:31 PM (#3243557)
I love a good boo. I used to be a super laid back fan, rarely cheering, never booing. And then I tried it once and I loved it.

Cheers have no meaning without boos.
   43. Sheer Tim Foli Posted: July 06, 2009 at 07:46 PM (#3243578)
What if terrorists have placed bombs in key areas of the United States and the only way to know the locations was to boo? Would it be OK then?
   44. Sheer Tim Foli Posted: July 06, 2009 at 07:48 PM (#3243580)
"I daresay very few have put down a book unhappy with...Thomas Covenant’s abrasiveness."

Semi-off-topic, but I could never get past the rape in the first one. It was just a bridge too far for me.

Me too. That's where I stopped. I don't need that in my "fun reading". I have non-fiction around if I want to get depressed.
   45. Gonfalon B. Posted: July 06, 2009 at 08:19 PM (#3243621)
#12: Not quite as stupid (and nowhere near as creepy) as saying that
since at this point we know that A juiced but we don't know whether or not B has,
we should just assume that B has,
because at some point in the past we didn't know that A had.


Way off base, Andy. It's that we don't know whether any of B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, or L have ever juiced. Next, consider the sheer scope of steroid use that has already been unearthed, which we know to be an incomplete accounting. Add to this our general understandings of PED history and MLB culture. In 2009, only the sunniest mind could construct an "if they ever elect juicers" hypothetical in which Manny Ramirez would be "the first."

What's the more logical lean here? That 1+ Hall of Famer may have used, or that 200+ definitely haven't?

Or what GORDON COLE's #14 said.

Geez, gonfs, you might as well throw out your computer today, since you'll likely discover at some point in the future that your hard drive has crashed. And even worse, you probably know scores of people whose hard drives have already crashed. So what are you waiting for? All computers are equally guilty, and what's the point in making these silly little distinctions based on current performance?

That analogy is worse than Manny's feces-soiled towels taking 3 pitches from Mariano before hanging out with Enrique Wilson instead of donating money to their old high school coach. On acid!

But I may be inspired to toss my computer soon, if I have to see another fifty "Why aren't you all booing? WHY?" columns. Why must so many writers imitate Kevin Bacon trying to keep order during the last sequence in "Animal House"?
   46. FBI Regional Bureau Chief GORDON COLE!!! Posted: July 06, 2009 at 08:51 PM (#3243638)
Is that the tone of "hysteria"?

No, which is why I said "Plaschke-esque hysteria," rather than "Andy-esque hysteria."
   47. phredbird Posted: July 06, 2009 at 08:55 PM (#3243643)
I used to be a super laid back fan, rarely cheering, never booing. And then I tried it once and I loved it.


you haven't lived until you've booed andruw jones after his fifth strikeout.
   48. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 06, 2009 at 09:45 PM (#3243691)
Gonfalon, why can't you just wait to see whether B or C or the rest of the alphabet have actually been shown to have juiced before passing collective judgment on them? What's so hard about that? Why the rush to judgment? Who's being "hysterical" here? Your standard of evidence concerning B through Z seems to entail little more than your personal interpretation of the law of probability, with no actual connection to any specific individual.

Your "logic" seems to go something like this: "Well, sure, we don't have any evidence against Player X, but since we didn't know about Player Y before ______, and as it turned out, Player Y was a juicer, THEREFORE we not only can't assume that any player is innocent, but justice fairly demands that we jump the gun and treat them all as if they'd already been proven guilty."

To you, the only difference between Rafael Palmeiro and Albert Pujols is evidently that Palmeiro got caught. To you, Pujols is simply one more computer that hasn't crashed, and in your mind he's living on borrowed time.

And if that's such a terrible analogy, then you tell me: In your mind, what IS the difference between Rafael Palmeiro and Albert Pujols?

Note that I'm NOT saying that it's impossible that at some point down the road, it'll be shown that Albert Pujols juiced. I'm only saying that it might be gracious of us to wait for some actual evidence before treating him as if he already WERE Rafael Palmeiro. Or is that too much to ask?

And please note that I'm not booing Manny. As I said, he's paid his penalty, and hopefully it'll be at least ten years before he's even up for a HoF vote.
   49. zenbitz Posted: July 06, 2009 at 10:32 PM (#3243714)
and has neither the physical nor the statistical pattern of a steroid user (he's no Kingman/McGwire in terms of homer emphasis)


No such pattern demonstrated.
   50. zenbitz Posted: July 06, 2009 at 10:33 PM (#3243717)
Manny Ramierez is a worthless human being.

He is the sum of all that is wrong and evil - not just in baseball but in the entire world.

Oh? He failed a drug test? I just meant because he wears Dodger blue.
   51. Srul Itza Posted: July 06, 2009 at 10:49 PM (#3243727)
Geez, Andy, you really are making too much of this.

You said:

"if they ever elect juicers to the HoF"

Now, you could have clarified by including what was -- I believe, from your perspective -- the intended meaning of "known juicer". But you didn't. Still, it could have been read neutrally to mean that -- on some other board. Here? not likely.

So it was instead read to firmly assert that no juicer had ever been elected to the Hall.

To which the response was: "What makes you think they already haven't?"

Which is a fair response. We have no way of knowing if a "juicer" may not already have been elected. Instead of conceding the point, by clarifying that you meant "known juicer", you went off on a jihad about, how dare we imply that anyone in the Hall is a juicer, when we have no evidence, yadda yadda yadda.

All of which is irrelevant to what was probably your intended original statement, or the immediate snarky response.
   52. Gonfalon B. Posted: July 07, 2009 at 06:49 AM (#3244066)
#51: Now, you could have clarified by including what was -- I believe, from your perspective -- the intended meaning of "known juicer".

I read #4 the other way, and Andy defended it that way, but this reading sounds entirely plausible.

As for the subsequent responses, they promote some binary premises whose very binary-ness is flawed. Nuance and context may be like chunks of Kryptonite to most of the media. But that's no reason why we should mimic their rhetorical light lifting. Ambiguity is not the enemy!
   53. Chip Posted: July 07, 2009 at 08:06 AM (#3244075)
Ambiguity is not the enemy!


Polysemy, on the other hand ...
   54. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 07, 2009 at 10:33 AM (#3244090)
Geez, Andy, you really are making too much of this.

You said:

"if they ever elect juicers to the HoF"

Now, you could have clarified by including what was -- I believe, from your perspective -- the intended meaning of "known juicer". But you didn't. Still, it could have been read neutrally to mean that -- on some other board. Here? not likely.

So it was instead read to firmly assert that no juicer had ever been elected to the Hall.

To which the response was: "What makes you think they already haven't?"

Which is a fair response.


I suppose it would be, if I'd just arrived at BTF yesterday and Gonfalon had no idea of what I'd already said on the subject about a thousand times. But as you can see from his overnight response, he wasn't really quite that dense, just minor league snarky.

Of course I meant known juicers. He knew that. And it's only by arbitrarily obliterating any moral distinction between known juicers and the rest of the baseball world that the two of you are able to maintain this pose of "logic."

And I'd still like to know if there's any distinction beyond a purely technical one that either of you draw between Rafael Palmeiro and Albert Pujols. If you give a clear answer to that, you'll put your position in a much clearer perspective.

As for ambiguity and complexity, I allow for plenty of that. I've never accused any player based solely on their physical characteristics or their statistics. I don't demonize the Mannys of the world who get caught, do their time, and return to the field. I fully recognize the pressures of the game that might cause players to juice. And I've never let my personal opinion of a player enter my judgment as to his guilt or innocence.

And most of all, I recognize that there are players out there who juiced (and may still be juicing) but have not yet been convincingly identified. But where I differ from the two of you is that I'm perfectly willing to wait for actual evidence to come out about them before assuming for purposes of judgment that any given individual is anything but clean.

The only thing that seems to stick in your throat about my position is what I've said about the Hall of Fame, and even there my most central concern is to be satisfied that there's a serious debate about the ethical implications of steroid use in baseball before honoring juicers with a plaque in Cooperstown.

If in four years 75% of the voters decide that Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens are worthy of Hall of Fame induction, I'll take that as a fully legitimate expression of a new consensus on the subject. Perhaps by then, the writers will have agreed with the Dial line that Barry Bonds's steroids really weren't any different from Mickey Mantle's greenies, or that his pre-juicing statistics trump all subsequent ethical lapses on his part.

We'll find out about all that in four years. I'm perfectly willing to wait.
   55. Gambling Rent Czar Posted: July 07, 2009 at 11:30 AM (#3244098)
I'm not even going to bother to read the comments. Why soil a master piece. Heck Dan, you should have just locked it up after you hit submit.

Primey infinity Dan.

Put it on the front page for a month!
   56. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: July 07, 2009 at 01:18 PM (#3244178)
I make fun of Manny for the amusement value. People take sports too seriously.
   57. Steve G. Posted: July 07, 2009 at 03:42 PM (#3244387)
I'm not even going to bother to read the comments. Why soil a master piece. Heck Dan, you should have just locked it up after you hit submit.

Primey infinity Dan.

Put it on the front page for a month!


It's funny that you say that, since I think this is a pretty good example of why I've been steadily moving away from BTF for my baseball coverage. Less analysis, more single-minded editorializing.

So much of this article speaks in absolutes, all-too-convenient reductions. "Nobody comes out of a Batman movie decrying Bruce Wayne’s lack of reverence for due process of law." "Nobody ever left a theatre angry at Michael Corleone’s cold-handed murders of the heads of the other New York crime families." Didn't they frame an entire movie around the possibility that Batman may not be all that different from the criminals he fights? Isn't the entire dramatic framework around The Godfather II (or the series as a whole) centered around Michael's descent from apparent innocence?

Dan Szymborski didn't suffer in any way when Manny Ramirez was busted for PEDs and, as a result, he can apparently conclude that nobody else suffered either. After all, Dodger Stadium (and stadiums all around the league) are still filling up, right? But that presupposes that the entire universe of baseball fandom is completely limited to those that have paid for a ticket, those that have already decided that they either don't care or are willing to push aside any objections so that they might be a part of the spectacle. Didn't Bill James teach us anything about selection bias?

Baseball is a beautiful game. I still enjoy the flow of the game and, from time to time, I'll still listen to or watch the local Cardinals game to see what's cooking. And, in terms of analysis, I'll still follow things through the team-specific sites or some of the more specialized stat communities (FanGraphs).

But I've only attended one MLB game (for a family get-together) over the last few years because I don't have the same enjoyment that I had for the game, say, five or six years ago...and a lot of that has to do with the loss of the presumption of innocence with players and PEDs. I don't enjoy trying to explain to my daughter why certain players aren't allowed to play the game. I don't enjoy wondering if Rick Ankiel is completely floundering now because he's not juiced up on HGH.

And I find myself becoming less enamored with sports coverage that seems obligated to crank one of two (and only two) possible opinions all the way up to eleven. And that includes a community that seems a little too willing to fill thread after thread with Matt Wieters jokes (it's not as funny as you think it is) or political commentary (didn't come here for it) or relentless fisking of mainstream journalism (we get it: Rick Reilly or virtually any other mainstream journalist is mentally inferior to you). There are still some great people here (e.g. Emeigh, Harvey's), but it's becoming a chore to cut through it all to find them.

But, then again, I'm not exactly a major contributor here, having less than 300 posts and all. And there are still plenty of people still posting here -- over 50 comments in this thread alone -- so there's nothing to be worried about, right?
   58. Steve G. Posted: July 07, 2009 at 03:49 PM (#3244394)
Ah, that quoted post came from Gambling Rent, didn't it. My sarcasm detector apparently needs more coffee to function this morning. Oops.
   59. SoSH U at work Posted: July 07, 2009 at 03:49 PM (#3244396)
While I don't agree with all of it, and remain as active at BTF now as ever, I think Man in Blak's post contains a lot of thoughts worth considering by everyone here.
   60. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 07, 2009 at 03:54 PM (#3244402)
While I don't agree with all of it, and remain as active at BTF now as ever, I think Man in Blak's post contains a lot of thoughts worth considering by everyone here.

I agree. I've made it a point to avoid the political stuff (though on occasion I slip). I still enjoy some of the off-topic threads that occasionally develop--books, movies, Pavement, neuroscience, the history of WWI, etc--because Primates, collectively, know everything it seems. I should probably cut down on my attempt at zingers. It's just I've been posting here so long and have such a collegial relationship with so many other posters, I completely forget that there are many lurkers who don't find me amusing at all.
   61. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 07, 2009 at 03:55 PM (#3244404)
Or, most primates, as well, I should add.
   62. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 07, 2009 at 04:20 PM (#3244435)
I don't enjoy trying to explain to my daughter why certain players aren't allowed to play the game.


I guess you don't enjoy explaining many things in life to your daughter, then.

I don't enjoy wondering if Rick Ankiel is completely floundering now because he's not juiced up on HGH.


People sit there "wondering" about nonsense such as this? Wow.
   63. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 07, 2009 at 04:29 PM (#3244450)
I guess you don't enjoy explaining many things in life to your daughter, then.

Nice. He's not looking to pick a fight with you.
   64. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 07, 2009 at 04:31 PM (#3244452)
But I've only attended one MLB game (for a family get-together) over the last few years because I don't have the same enjoyment that I had for the game, say, five or six years ago...and a lot of that has to do with the loss of the presumption of innocence with players and PEDs. I don't enjoy trying to explain to my daughter why certain players aren't allowed to play the game. I don't enjoy wondering if Rick Ankiel is completely floundering now because he's not juiced up on HGH.


That doesn't make you harmed by Manny's actions, that makes you naïve. Unless you're heading towards 60, you've never seen a baseball game in which players weren't heavily using performance-enhancing drugs. The revelations of players using PEDs is hardly new - we've known Mays and Stargell were illegal performance-enhancing drug traffickers for a quarter of a century now.
   65. phredbird Posted: July 07, 2009 at 04:42 PM (#3244469)
People sit there "wondering" about nonsense such as this? Wow.


worrying about the performance of players on your favorite team is nonsense? since when? i thought this was a baseball site. with what goes on in some of the other threads, i guess its easy to think otherwise. not that i'm excusing myself from getting off topic.
   66. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 07, 2009 at 04:46 PM (#3244476)
I don't enjoy trying to explain to my daughter why certain players aren't allowed to play the game.

To continue, I simply don't buy this line of reasoning one bit.

Why would you suddenly now face some moral quandary about how to explain goings-on in baseball?

Apparently, you didn't lose your innocence about baseball based on some of the thug-like behavior of 19th century players. Or lose your innocence based on the number of virulent racists that are also heralded as some of baseball's greatest heroes or MLB kept black players out of baseball. Or lose your innocence from thrown games. Or players getting involved in nightclub brawls. Or snorting drugs like it was Afrin. Or casual use of performance-enhancing drugs in the clubhouse to play better and recover from nights of alcohol-fueled mayhem.

But now, you're faced with a dilemma because players are using drugs to make physical workouts more productive? Again, I don't buy it.
   67. Rivers McCown Posted: July 07, 2009 at 04:50 PM (#3244481)

But I've only attended one MLB game (for a family get-together) over the last few years because I don't have the same enjoyment that I had for the game, say, five or six years ago.


I too, have struggled with this at times. But I think it's less about the actual idea of steroids and their impact and more to do with the loss of my naivety for the system as a whole. There are players who take PEDs, yes. But there are also owners who scam taxpayers out of millions so their team can make more money, and that isn't significantly worse on a moral level to me. The players aren't allowed to make what they would on the open market for years, but then when they start fading in their later years they are vilified for making too much money. A majority of fans are ######## looking for a dump point for their own insecurities and rage. There are many, many ways that the system is self-serving, defeatist, and not really good for anyone. And if you focus on them, they can eat all the enjoyment out of anything.
   68. SoSH U at work Posted: July 07, 2009 at 04:55 PM (#3244492)
Just so I can keep this straight: The Plaschkes of the world are wrong to demand our outrage or exasperation, but it's OK to question Man in Blak's?
   69. Steve Treder Posted: July 07, 2009 at 04:56 PM (#3244494)
There are players who take PEDs, yes. But there are also owners who scam taxpayers out of millions so their team can make more money, and that isn't significantly worse on a moral level to me.

Owners scamming taxpayers out of millions is way, way signficantly worse on a moral level, to me, than players taking PEDs. Not a close call.
   70. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 07, 2009 at 05:01 PM (#3244504)
worrying about the performance of players on your favorite team is nonsense? since when?


Since you lied about what my point was.

My point had to do with wondering if players were struggling because they weren't "juiced up on HGH."
   71. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 07, 2009 at 05:15 PM (#3244523)
Just so I can keep this straight: The Plaschkes of the world are wrong to demand our outrage or exasperation, but it's OK to question Man in Blak's?


Man in Blak's thesis is incoherent. PEDs are not something new that was thrust upon the sport in the '90s. Players had been using them in one form or another for decades.
   72. SoSH U at work Posted: July 07, 2009 at 05:23 PM (#3244531)
Man in Blak's thesis is incoherent. PEDs are not something new that was thrust upon the sport in the '90s. Players had been using them in one form or another for decades.


That's an opinion Ray, based on yours either the belief that greenies are no different than steroids or blind faith in House's questionable claims. Either way, I see little difference between bemoaning the demands for outrage and telling a guy he's wrong for feeling it.
   73. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 07, 2009 at 05:42 PM (#3244562)

That's an opinion Ray, based on yours either the belief that greenies are no different than steroids or blind faith in House's questionable claims.


But you don't have to consider greenies to be PEDs to the exact degree of steroids for greenies to be PEDs.

I mean, would someone explain it to their daughter as "You see, while players in the 70s used illegal drugs to enhance their performance and go on wild benders every night, it wasn't quite as effective illegal drug use, so it was cool then, but not now?"
   74. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 07, 2009 at 05:42 PM (#3244563)
That's an opinion Ray, based on yours either the belief that greenies are no different than steroids or blind faith in House's questionable claims. Either way, I see little difference between bemoaning the demands for outrage and telling a guy he's wrong for feeling it.

Indeed, Ray's and Dan's entire argument is based on the premise that all PEDs are morally equivalent. And the more they realize that theirs is a distinctly minority opinion, the more loudly they insist on it as somehow being the only possible premise. They have zero faith that the baseball world will ever come up with a judgment on steroids that's based on their premise; hence their preemptive insistence that only a fool or a naif could possibly disagree with them.
   75. SoSH U at work Posted: July 07, 2009 at 05:49 PM (#3244574)
I mean, would someone explain it to their daughter as "You see, while players in the 70s used illegal drugs to enhance their performance and go on wild benders every night, it wasn't quite as effective illegal drug use, so it was cool then, but not now?"


All I'm asking is you follow your own words, Dan.

"One can’t help reading an article about Ramirez without being told how to feel, how to think, and how to act about the whole situation."
   76. jmurph Posted: July 07, 2009 at 05:54 PM (#3244582)
"You see, while players in the 70s used illegal drugs to enhance their performance and go on wild benders every night, it wasn't quite as effective illegal drug use, so it was cool then, but not now?"


When were greenies banned? I've read countless defenses of pre-ban steroid use on this site (I'm not putting you in that group, Dan, I honestly have no idea if you've ever made this argument) because, though the drugs may have been illegal, they were not specifically disallowed in the MLB rulebook.
   77. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 07, 2009 at 05:58 PM (#3244588)
And the more they realize that theirs is a distinctly minority opinion, the more loudly they insist on it as somehow being the only possible premise.

We'd live in a much different, a much darker world if the plural of opinion was fact.

All I'm asking is you follow your own words, Dan.

Ordering someone to share your moral outrage is different than debating specific points someone makes.

If I tell a Christian to stop being a Christian, I'm being rude and bossy. But if a Christian announces that the only foundation of our government can be one based on Christianity, then I'm perfectly free to argue that point.
   78. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 07, 2009 at 06:00 PM (#3244591)
When were greenies banned? I've read countless defenses of pre-ban steroid use on this site (I'm not putting you in that group, Dan, I honestly have no idea if you've ever made this argument) because, though the drugs may have been illegal, they were not specifically disallowed in the MLB rulebook.

Greenies, like steroids, weren't banned.

However, if one is upset with the morality of steroid use in baseball, it's mighty hypocritical to ignore the morality of previous, similar behavior.
   79. phredbird Posted: July 07, 2009 at 06:03 PM (#3244593)
worrying about the performance of players on your favorite team is nonsense? since when?


Since you lied about what my point was.


hold on a sec, ray. i think you might have me confused with man in blak.

but if not, i didn't mean i wasn't worrying about whether or not my favorite players are juicing. i am worried about it, but mostly because it's against the rules and i'd rather he didn't get nailed, not because i share the high dudgeon of sportswriters. i'm more like the majority of fans in feeling that manny got caught, did his time, and now let the man play and lay off the excessive moralizing.
and i also share some of the perplexity of those who want to know where the sportswriters were when owners were shaking down municipalities for stadium deals and the heroes of the 60s and 70s were revealed to be amphetamine users. the writers, with their selective outrage, just have no credibility with me anymore. i'll make up my own mind, thanks.

don't know if that's putting me at loggerheads with you.
   80. SoSH U at work Posted: July 07, 2009 at 06:04 PM (#3244595)
Ordering someone to share your moral outrage is different than debating specific points someone makes.


Blak shared his feelings about how steroids in the game make him feel. You're busy trying to tell him why he's wrong. You want to rationalize it further, knock yourself out.
   81. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 07, 2009 at 06:05 PM (#3244596)
Indeed, Ray's and Dan's entire argument is based on the premise that all PEDs are morally equivalent. And the more they realize that theirs is a distinctly minority opinion,


Ah, good old Andy. Citing majority opinion to claim victory.

There is no meaningful distinction between greenies in the '60s and steroids in the '90s.

the more loudly they insist on it as somehow being the only possible premise. They have zero faith that the baseball world will ever come up with a judgment on steroids that's based on their premise; hence their preemptive insistence that only a fool or a naif could possibly disagree with them.


Or an intellectually dishonest person who is more interested in sanctimony than logic.
   82. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 07, 2009 at 06:19 PM (#3244622)
the more loudly they insist on it as somehow being the only possible premise. They have zero faith that the baseball world will ever come up with a judgment on steroids that's based on their premise; hence their preemptive insistence that only a fool or a naif could possibly disagree with them.

Or an intellectually dishonest person who is more interested in sanctimony than logic.


Sorry I left that one out, Ray, but you can add it to your collection. Heaven help the thought that someone might actually disagree with your premise without falling into one of those dismissive categories, or that majority opinion might have something worthwhile to say.
   83. jmurph Posted: July 07, 2009 at 06:20 PM (#3244625)
Greenies, like steroids, weren't banned.

However, if one is upset with the morality of steroid use in baseball, it's mighty hypocritical to ignore the morality of previous, similar behavior.


That doesn't seem right to me. You (and others) are pointing out the supposed hypocracy in not villifying greenie-users while expressing moral outrage at steroid/hgh-users, yet one category of peds (greenies) wasn't considered cheating according to MLB rules, and the other categories (steroids, hgh) are. I'll cede to you that the likes of Plashke and Mariotti aren't really that interested in the MLB rulebook argument, so that's a fair point. But what about those that are slightly bummed that their favorite players knowingly attempt to cheat the rules of the game, at the risk of a 50 game ban?
   84. _ Posted: July 07, 2009 at 06:23 PM (#3244629)
The "greenies" argument is nothing more than a dishonest rhetorical trap. Dan and Chris and Ray see no distinction because they don't think anything should be banned, ever.
   85. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 07, 2009 at 06:26 PM (#3244633)
That doesn't seem right to me. You (and others) are pointing out the supposed hypocracy in not villifying greenie-users while expressing moral outrage at steroid/hgh-users, yet one category of peds (greenies) wasn't considered cheating according to MLB rules, and the other categories (steroids, hgh) are.


Steroids and HGH were not against the rules in the 90s and early 00s -- just like greenies in the 60s. Yet, McGwire and Clemens and such are being skewered anyway.

If one wants to put Manny in a separate category, that's fair enough. I mean, I couldn't care less that he used, but at least there it IS against the rules. It wasn't before.
   86. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 07, 2009 at 06:30 PM (#3244643)
The "greenies" argument is nothing more than a dishonest rhetorical trap. Dan and Chris and Ray see no distinction because they don't think anything should be banned, ever.


You're correct that I don't think any drugs should be banned -- for a whole host of reasons. But I won't object if you call Manny a "cheater," since there _were_ rules that he broke. I don't view him any more negatively for doing what he did, but if you want to act all outraged over it, go right ahead.
   87. _ Posted: July 07, 2009 at 06:45 PM (#3244661)
You can be disappointed in something without being outraged. Many on the libertarian/agnostic side are just as belligerent and obnoxious in their positions as the crusading sportswriters on the other. Being dead certain of their rightness can bring out the worst in people.

I also find it interesting that the guy who likes to make fun of the ignorance of mainstream baseball fans would use the reaction of Dodger fans in San Diego to bolster his argument.
   88. Srul Itza Posted: July 07, 2009 at 07:00 PM (#3244679)
And most of all, I recognize that there are players out there who juiced (and may still be juicing) but have not yet been convincingly identified. But where I differ from the two of you is that I'm perfectly willing to wait for actual evidence to come out about them before assuming for purposes of judgment that any given individual is anything but clean.

Wrong again. We are not accusing anyone. We are just stating the obvious -- if X number of players have gotten caught, it would take, not just a leap of faith, but a total divorce from reality, to assume that this was the entire universe of users. Since some of us here are not divorced from reality, we accept that there are plenty of other users, without feeling the need to make up lists of the suspect and the not suspect.

The only thing that seems to stick in your throat about my position is what I've said about the Hall of Fame, and even there my most central concern is to be satisfied that there's a serious debate about the ethical implications of steroid use in baseball before honoring juicers with a plaque in Cooperstown.

No, what sticks in my throat is your refusal to accept known facts, such as the measured physiological effects of amphetamines, or reasonable assumptions, such as that the universe of users is greater than the universe of caught users. I could not give a rat's arse about your position on the Hall of Fame, at least until you get a vote.
   89. Srul Itza Posted: July 07, 2009 at 07:03 PM (#3244683)
I don't enjoy wondering if Rick Ankiel is completely floundering now because he's not juiced up on HGH.

Well, you can stop wondering, then.

There is not now, and never has been, any probative evidence that HgH does squat-all. It is modern snake-oil and monkey glands. Thrown it on the heap with homeopathic remedies and magical supplements.
   90. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 07, 2009 at 07:09 PM (#3244693)
The "greenies" argument is nothing more than a dishonest rhetorical trap. Dan and Chris and Ray see no distinction because they don't think anything should be banned, ever.

This argument would make sense, if, in fact, there was no evidence that amphetamines were performance-enhancing drugs or no doping agencies banned use of amphetamines.

However, there is and they do. It's quite amusing how people accept WADA as experts when it comes to evil steroid users but the WADA's positions on amphetamines as perfomance-enhancing drugs plus their ban in international competition are completely ignored by the "It's Tang!" crowd.

And no, I have no problems with drugs being banned in sports, so long as it's the result of a freely negotiated agreement.
   91. _ Posted: July 07, 2009 at 07:26 PM (#3244710)
Yes, and what is the goal of "winning" the argument that amphetamines are performance-enhancing? WADA also bans Sudafed. That makes it the "equivalent" of Nandralone or Adderall in only one respect.
   92. Steve Treder Posted: July 07, 2009 at 07:41 PM (#3244739)
what is the goal of "winning" the argument that amphetamines are performance-enhancing?

Um, gaining the acknowledgement of manifest factual truth? There's that.
   93. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 07, 2009 at 07:54 PM (#3244760)
You can be disappointed in something without being outraged.


Well, I'm disappointed that catchers try to cheat by pulling a pitch they know is outside back over the corner of the plate, in an effort to gain an unfair advantage by fooling the umpire. But I'm not outraged over it.

Steroids are no worse than that.
   94. _ Posted: July 07, 2009 at 07:54 PM (#3244761)
Um, gaining the acknowledgement of manifest factual truth? There's that.

I don't know what's changed over the last five years to convince the PED-agnostics that steroids are in fact performamce-enhancing, because back then they were arguing that there was no evidence that they are. Now they seem to be claiming that it's self-evident that it's all p-e, and that all PEDs are alike. This is at least as inconsistent as the greenies "hypocrisy" they think they're exposing.
   95. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 07, 2009 at 08:01 PM (#3244771)
I don't know what's changed over the last five years to convince the PED-agnostics that steroids are in fact performamce-enhancing, because back then they were arguing that there was no evidence that they are.


I've never argued that steroids were performance-enhancing. I don't believe they are, to any significant degree. As such, they're certainly no worse than greenies.
   96. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 07, 2009 at 09:08 PM (#3244843)
And most of all, I recognize that there are players out there who juiced (and may still be juicing) but have not yet been convincingly identified. But where I differ from the two of you is that I'm perfectly willing to wait for actual evidence to come out about them before assuming for purposes of judgment that any given individual is anything but clean.

Wrong again. We are not accusing anyone. We are just stating the obvious -- if X number of players have gotten caught, it would take, not just a leap of faith, but a total divorce from reality, to assume that this was the entire universe of users.


But regardless of this statistical judgment---which as you can see by the passage you quoted above, I don't deny---there remains the position that any given individual player should be presumed innocent until shown otherwise. Whereas your premise seems to be there's no way to prove that any specific individual is innocent, and therefore they should all be lumped together with known juicers.

And no, you're not "accusing" them. You're merely saying that you'll never believe that they're innocent, regardless of any lack of specific information tying them to steroids. How white of you to make such a generous distinction.

The only thing that seems to stick in your throat about my position is what I've said about the Hall of Fame, and even there my most central concern is to be satisfied that there's a serious debate about the ethical implications of steroid use in baseball before honoring juicers with a plaque in Cooperstown.

No, what sticks in my throat is your refusal to accept known facts, such as the measured physiological effects of amphetamines, or reasonable assumptions, such as that the universe of users is greater than the universe of caught users. I could not give a rat's arse about your position on the Hall of Fame, at least until you get a vote.


I'll tell you the same thing I told Dial: I've stated my position on this on more than one occasion, and if you sincerely care to know it, you can find it in the archives. I see no point in beginning another endless sub-thread on this sub-topic all over again.

But in the meantime, feel free to invent my positions so as best to suit your rhetorical purposes. Between you and Dial and Dan, I've learned my lesson about trying to prevent this.*** The three of you are mostly interested in circle jerking yourselves, anyway, and don't let me stop you.

***See Dan's first post in this very thread, and my unanswered response to it three posts below it. As I've said several times before, you all really need to reinstate Kevin.
   97. Srul Itza Posted: July 07, 2009 at 09:37 PM (#3244867)
And no, you're not "accusing" them. You're merely saying that you'll never believe that they're innocent, regardless of any lack of specific information tying them to steroids.

No, that's not what I'm saying.

And you know that's not what I'm saying.

You're either sparring with me for practice, because DMN is not around, or you're off your meds.

What I'm saying is that, as a class, we cannot say definitively that no juicer has been elected to the Hall of Fame. Period. Full Stop. End of Section. End of Statement. Done. Finis.

I'll tell you the same thing I told Dial: I've stated my position on this on more than one occasion, and if you sincerely care to know it, you can find it in the archives. I see no point in beginning another endless sub-thread on this sub-topic all over again.

Yes, we know your position. We have accurately stated it herein. I don't need to traipse through the archives to locate it. This "go to the archives" dodge was old when the first guy came up with it.
   98. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 08, 2009 at 01:12 PM (#3245612)
And no, you're not "accusing" them. You're merely saying that you'll never believe that they're innocent, regardless of any lack of specific information tying them to steroids.

No, that's not what I'm saying.

And you know that's not what I'm saying.

You're either sparring with me for practice, because DMN is not around, or you're off your meds.

What I'm saying is that, as a class, we cannot say definitively that no juicer has been elected to the Hall of Fame. Period. Full Stop. End of Section. End of Statement. Done. Finis.


Which is certainly true, but also completely abstract and meaningless in any real world context.

I likewise have no "definitive" proof that you're not a child molester, but that doesn't mean that I shouldn't rightly assume that you're not, given the lack of any evidence that you are. And if you were competing for a teaching job against the late One Glove Jackson, I wouldn't give Jackson consideration for the position equal to yours, regardless of his lack of a conviction.

If someone presents convincing evidence that you've molested children, I'll then lump you with Michael Jackson. And if you show me some convincing evidence that any specific member of the Hall of Fame juiced during his career, I'll then put them in the category with known juicers. But until that point, I'll let you do the assuming.

I'll tell you the same thing I told Dial: I've stated my position on this [greenies] on more than one occasion, and if you sincerely care to know it, you can find it in the archives. I see no point in beginning another endless sub-thread on this sub-topic all over again.

Yes, we know your position. We have accurately stated it herein. I don't need to traipse through the archives to locate it. This "go to the archives" dodge was old when the first guy came up with it.


Well, you actually haven't accurately stated my position on greenies up to now, but I'm so used to that by this time that it doesn't particularly bother me, any more than I give a flying fuck whether or not you happen to think that Barry Bonds and Hank Aaron are moral equivalents.
   99. scotto Posted: July 08, 2009 at 03:00 PM (#3245741)
I daresay very few have put down a book unhappy with Raoul Duke’s hedonism, Stephen Dedalus’s impudence, or Thomas Covenant’s abrasiveness.

Tyrone Slothrop's drug use? He was Der Raketmensch after all.
   100. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 08, 2009 at 03:15 PM (#3245781)
Quit fooling with the roids, man. Scott Hairston!
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