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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

ajc: Schuerholz has suspected Braves of steroids use

That damn Caraballo...always trying to bulk up!

Schuerholz…..I want to make this clear: As general managers, we didn’t turn our heads away from players who might be using steroids because it was a benefit to us. No, if we turned our heads, it out of frustration because there was nothing we could do about it. Sadly, we didn’t have the authority to test players or fix the problem.

Repoz Posted: March 02, 2005 at 01:59 PM | 82 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: March 02, 2005 at 03:08 PM (#1174583)
It was probably the homer that Rafael Belliard hit in 1997. What were the odds of that occuring naturally?

BTW, how the hell does a guy with a *46* career OPS+ get 2500 PAs in the majors over 17 seasons? It boggles the mind.
   2. Alex Vila Posted: March 02, 2005 at 03:36 PM (#1174645)
"BTW, how the hell does a guy with a *46* career OPS+ get 2500 PAs in the majors over 17 seasons? It boggles the mind. "

Simple: he was extremely good with the glove.
   3. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: March 02, 2005 at 03:40 PM (#1174654)
46 means that he's completely obliterated the Bowa barrier right?
   4. 1k5v3L Posted: March 02, 2005 at 03:42 PM (#1174658)
So that's how the Braves won all those NL east titles.
   5. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 02, 2005 at 03:44 PM (#1174662)
Any experts on the Basic Agreement and the CBA care to comment on Schuerholz' contention that teams were powerless to intervene? I thought there were provisions for testing if there was reasonable suspicion or something approaching probable cause.
   6. Sam M. Posted: March 02, 2005 at 03:52 PM (#1174678)
Any experts on the Basic Agreement and the CBA care to comment on Schuerholz' contention that teams were powerless to intervene?

I don't have any doubt they were powerless, particularly after the adoption of the first testing regime. At that point the policy superceded any authority the individual clubs might have had (and I doubt they had any even earlier). In any collective bargaining regime, the only authority the employer has to deal with the individual employee is that which is specifically allocated to such one-on-one dealings (the way salaries are negotiated between clubs and individual players). Testing for steroids, and punishing their use, was not only NOT allocated to individual club/player dealing, but was explicitly dealt with collectively, the clubs' hands were tied. Any deviation from the collective policy would have been an unfair labor practice.
   7. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 02, 2005 at 04:11 PM (#1174729)
Sam,

I'm sure you're right about the current CBA, but I was specifically wondering about the policy prior to the first testing regime. I have heard some folks claim that earlier CBAs (or the BA) had some sort of probable cause provision for performance enhancing drugs, and I was curious as to whether there's any truth to that.
   8. Rally Posted: March 02, 2005 at 04:25 PM (#1174767)
Testing for steroids, and punishing their use, was not only NOT allocated to individual club/player dealing, but was explicitly dealt with collectively, the clubs' hands were tied. Any deviation from the collective policy would have been an unfair labor practice.

How about if a team catches a player using steroids, and cuts him without mentioning steroids? I'm convinced this is what happened during Jose Canseco's spring training with the Angels. Scioscia saw him using steroids, perhaps even "advising" other players (Derek Turnbow, anyone?) and demanded that Jose be released. The whole thing about "He didn't hit a homer in spring training games" and the inevitable sample size discussions it generated around here were nothing but smokescreens.
   9. Sam M. Posted: March 02, 2005 at 04:28 PM (#1174780)
I have heard some folks claim that earlier CBAs (or the BA) had some sort of probable cause provision for performance enhancing drugs, and I was curious as to whether there's any truth to that.

That's a good question. The issue would be not only whether there was one, but what entity had the authority to act on "probable cause." Did the clubs have power to act independently, or did they have to take their suspicions to MLB (or the league presidents when they existed)? Either way, I'm sure that any attempt to act to test would have been subject to an arbitration brought by the player and the MLBPA, challenging the claim that the team or MLB (or both) had reasonable suspicion or probable cause, or whatever the triggering standard was.

So at best, I suspect, Schuerholz is basically right that the clubs were pretty powerless, though he may have overstated a little in saying there was NOTHING they could do. Given that what they most likely had was suspicion based on observation of circumstantial factors and rumor -- even if they were pretty confident at a gut level they were right -- there wasn't enough for them to act, leaving them pretty much unable to act.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: March 02, 2005 at 05:42 PM (#1174964)
But of course there was stuff they could do. Offer education to all players and talk to specific players and offer them counseling. Not draft players they suspected of steroid use. Not promote minor-leaguers they suspected of steroid use. Release/trade players they suspected of steroid use. Take some of the profits they were making off these guys' steroid usage and donate it to research/counseling.

For all we know, they did all of those things (at least at times).

Note, the collective bargaining agreement only covers major-leaguers.
   11. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 02, 2005 at 05:44 PM (#1174971)
Could they have gone to a player, told him to clean up his act or they would go public with their suspicions?
   12. runningbyrd Posted: March 02, 2005 at 05:56 PM (#1175009)
Could they have gone to a player, told him to clean up his act or they would go public with their suspicions?

I doubt that would be effective. I would think there could be negative legal ramifications if a team were to say something like that publicly. Schuerholz did state that players would say they weren't using and that there was little he could do from that point on.


Very smart of schuerholz to jump out in front of this one. I imagine someone asked the question at a news conference, based on Towers' comments yesterday, and he knew the shoe was going to drop anyway. If you're mentioning bulletproof gm's in the NL, aren't towers and schuerholz at the very top of the list?

Sam M, I hope you're mentally preparing yourself for your upcoming name change.
   13. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 02, 2005 at 06:00 PM (#1175022)
I doubt that would be effective. I would think there could be negative legal ramifications if a team were to say something like that publicly.

Then don't go public. Leak. Or have Bobby Cox say in a press conference: "Ronnie Floosbar is playing really well right now. I think all the hard work and steroids are really paying off. Excuse me. I mean all the hard work and practice are paying off. Floosbar is not doing steroids. I state that categorically and finally."
   14. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: March 02, 2005 at 06:06 PM (#1175037)
Could they have gone to a player, told him to clean up his act or they would go public with their suspicions?

Except that would hurt the club as much as it would the individual player, especially if the player under suspicion was integral to the team's success and image (eg, Barry Bonds). Even if its Armando Rios, then the team has to protect his image to a certain extent so that he could be traded...

JS exaggerates when he says that there was nothing that a GM could do. Instead, it was basically choosing between a couple of really bad options. Faced with that choice, GMs chose the safest course, which was to do basically nothing.
   15. bunyon Posted: March 02, 2005 at 06:09 PM (#1175052)
There is no way a team can do what Walt suggests. Teams must be able to attract players and if you're running around releasing players based on suspicion - when you can't test - you won't be very attractive. All of MLB is culpable in having the system they had. But the teams had to work within that system at the time and they really had no good outs.

Now, if you your manager or a bunch of players witness a guy injecting steroids in the locker room, you're in much better shape to release him. (of course, does that do much in terms of punishment? That player just goes off to play for someone else while you pay most of the bill. Woo, big punishment.)
   16. Sam M. Posted: March 02, 2005 at 06:20 PM (#1175109)
I hope you're mentally preparing yourself for your upcoming name change.

H. Ramirez is going to be better than Pedro? You can't imagine my anxiety over that possibility!

There is no way a team can do what Walt suggests.

They could do SOME of what Walt suggests, especially some of the stuff involving minor leaguers. If they kept it very quiet, and didn't do it too often, they'd be able to "hide" the real reason they released Prospect A or dealt away Prospect B, and it wouldn't affect their reputation significantly. If they started to do systemic things, or purged a whole slew of players, then that would/could have an impact.
   17. bunyon Posted: March 02, 2005 at 06:27 PM (#1175142)
If they kept it very quiet, and didn't do it too often, they'd be able to "hide" the real reason they released Prospect A or dealt away Prospect B, and it wouldn't affect their reputation significantly.

True, but it would also have zero deterrance effect. I guess it would make sense if you assume that steroid use is rare.
   18. Sam M. Posted: March 02, 2005 at 06:35 PM (#1175169)
it would also have zero deterrance effect

That might not be their biggest priority. That'd be nice, Schuerholz might say, but my # 1 goal is to get rid of the guy we're convinced is using steroids. Period. If he's a minor leaguer, that is a goal he can probably achieve. If he's a major leaguer, the GM better tread carefully, because if it can be proven a player was waived because of steroid suspicions, he'd have a pretty good grievance. (If the player is traded instead, the GM might get away with it, but he risks poisoning his rep with other GMs if the perception grows he is foisting off his problems on other teams).
   19. Backlasher Posted: March 02, 2005 at 06:36 PM (#1175171)
I'm sure you're right about the current CBA, but I was specifically wondering about the policy prior to the first testing regime.

Difficult to say with any certainty AFTER any particular CBA was signed. (I like Sam's style on this one.) Of course management could have negotiated for different terms at the renewal of the next CBA. If they had knowledge of this practice and did not seek to address it in collective bargaining, you can hold that against them.

Under any specific CBA, much may depend on the negotiations. Almost every CBA does have the character clause by the player and the warranty of skill clause by the player as part of the UPC. The thing we do not know is how much was bargained for that relates to drug testing.

Based on Gammons most recent article, it sounds like testing was an issue, and the absence of testing rights was a bargained for condition.

Nevertheless, the Giambi story may be more probative. According to Cashman, the Yankees did seek a "steroid clause" in Giambi's contract. Giambi's people put in an "addiction and legal substance clause" The Yanks thought this would cover the 'roids as it was broader and subsumed 'roids. The MLBPA did not object to the addiction and illegal substance clause as being contrary to the CBA.
   20. runningbyrd Posted: March 02, 2005 at 06:39 PM (#1175181)
That might not be their biggest priority. That'd be nice, Schuerholz might say, but my # 1 goal is to get rid of the guy we're convinced is using steroids. Period.

From his quotes, his number one goal was getting the players some help for their addiction.
   21. Sam M. Posted: March 02, 2005 at 06:41 PM (#1175195)
The MLBPA did not object to the addiction and illegal substance clause as being contrary to the CBA.

Yes, but I suspect that's because they would not have agreed with the Yankees' interpretation that it covered/subsumed steroids. That was a case of creative ambiguity, in which it served everyone's short-term purposes to fudge the question and hope it wouldn't create a nightmare down the road.

The fact that the Yankees did not seek to act on the clause tells me they were not confident they could prevail in their interpretation. For them, it's pretty clear that nightmare scenario struck, and they're paying the price now for settling for the ambiguity they wanted back then.
   22. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: March 02, 2005 at 07:06 PM (#1175274)
If he's a major leaguer, the GM better tread carefully, because if it can be proven a player was waived because of steroid suspicions, he'd have a pretty good grievance.

Well, they weren't waived but all he got for them was Reggie Sanders, a finished Quilvio Veras, and the remains of Wally Joyner, so he might as well have waived them.
   23. Backlasher Posted: March 02, 2005 at 07:14 PM (#1175311)
The fact that the Yankees did not seek to act on the clause tells me they were not confident they could prevail in their interpretation.

That is definately true.

Yes, but I suspect that's because they would not have agreed with the Yankees' interpretation that it covered/subsumed steroids. That was a case of creative ambiguity, in which it served everyone's short-term purposes to fudge the question and hope it wouldn't create a nightmare down the road.


That is certainly plausible. I am offering this merely as being responsive to the point of "what could the GMs have done."

I think its clear and I haven't seen anyone contend that the owners could have negotiated for better drug testing procedures in subsequent CBAs if they knew an issue existed wrt steroids.

The second question, which I understand to be the question of the forum, is what could they have done independently as an employer wrt their employees.

The addiction and illegal substance clause in the non-UPC portion of Giambi's contract presumedly reads on behavior like taking amphetamines. It presumedly reads on modafinil. IIRC, stimulants were taken off the table by MLBPA in the last CBA negotiation, yet they still allowed this specific clause.
   24. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 02, 2005 at 08:05 PM (#1175502)
I'm going to file Schuerholz under liar.

Intimate details of Sammy Sosa's boombox and Chad Curtis' clubhouse antics leak out in a matter of days. If baseball management, a group of people who can't resist any opportunity to run their mouths off, had knowledge of the extent of PED use and were unhappy about it, the top would have blown off the story 15 years ago.
   25. base ball chick Posted: March 02, 2005 at 08:18 PM (#1175541)
Posted by Dan Szymborski on March 02, 2005 at 03:05 PM (#1175502)
I'm going to file Schuerholz under liar.

Intimate details of Sammy Sosa's boombox and Chad Curtis' clubhouse antics leak out in a matter of days. If baseball management, a group of people who can't resist any opportunity to run their mouths off, had knowledge of the extent of PED use and were unhappy about it, the top would have blown off the story 15 years ago.

- now WHY would they be even a little unhappy about a perfectly legal drug that (supposedly) made players better.

unhappy????!!!!!

like jim bouton sez, yeah, suuuuuuuuurrrrrrrre


agree with ya dan.
   26. base ball chick Posted: March 02, 2005 at 08:43 PM (#1175626)
Posted by kevin on March 02, 2005 at 03:26 PM (#1175567)
...Dan, that's just not true. The players do all kinds of crap that management doesn't approve of and they let them get away with it. For instance, all the drinking and womanizing.

- i see like NO evidence that the management minds ONE BIT that the ballplayers are male sluttts. after all, disrespecting your wife is a god given right of the rich athlete. can you say "steve garvey" or "chipper jones" and they only care about drinking if/when it gets bad pub or the player plays lousier.

...And what is Schuerholz supposed to do, approach a player and say "Hey, I overheard a conversation in the men's room the other day and the conversation suggested you are taking steroids. When I asked Peter Gammons about it, he said he heard the same story so we're going to have to release you withoug compensation. Any questions?"

- schuerholz does NOT confront the player, since all he gonna get is the river in egypt. he or one of his boys LEAKS something to someone - sorta like some officer of the court "leaked" the grand jury transcript on balco to reporters who would want to publish it instead of turning their felony-ful assses into the law. leaking is how you get things done to keep your own self righteous skirts clean.
   27. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: March 02, 2005 at 09:31 PM (#1175755)
This article contains no information, and the title is right up there with this article and "Fish lurk in streams" as obvious headlines. Why don't they interview him about, um, well, I can't think of anything you could ask Schuerholz that would get an interesting answer. The Braves front office is like Emerson's "transparent eyeball", all-seeing and indetectable.

Anyway, post #13 is funny stuff.
   28. base ball chick Posted: March 02, 2005 at 09:33 PM (#1175763)
Posted by kevin on March 02, 2005 at 05:06 PM (#1175693)
he or one of his boys LEAKS something to someone - sorta like some officer of the court "leaked" the grand jury transcript on balco to reporters who would want to publish it instead of turning their felony-ful assses into the law. leaking is how you get things done to keep your own self righteous skirts clean.

But that's just it, what is he going to leak? A couple of rumors and innuendos?

- of COURSE!!!!! that's how you play the leak game. suppose schuerholz is dead set against, say, roids (yeah, suuuurrrrreee) BUT in 1989, roids is NOT illegal like cocaine or against the cba. BUT, he happens to not like it. well, he can't complain about THAT any more than he can complain about the player smoking cigarettes. so, he has the right people leak how the guy ain't a "team player", or "gritty", or why they hadta get a backup, or anything that won't be real too popular with the local fans. not quiiite a REAL lie, but everybody KNOW there are ballplayers who ain't zackly real popular with the management for some reason and they always sorta puttin them down. (like morgan ensberg with the stros.) it ain't hard to ruin someone's reputation. at ALL.

- one more thing - if schuerholz REALLY REALLY against roids, and he know who usin, and it ain't real hard to smell it, he could let that knowledge get around and just bench a user. and "refuse" to tell why - "character" issues or some other such word which menas a whole lot of nothin

The grand jury testimony is black and white.

- IF that was even the real thing. which we don't KNOW for an absolute fact it was.

If they leaked rumors and innuendos, they would open themselves up to a lawsuit

- nope. i been listening REAL good to all the lawyers here. HARD as heck to do a libel suit when you a "public" figure. and rumor is NOT libel.

as well as piss off everyone else on the team and make the club untouchable for potential free agents and unsigned draftees.

- nope. i don't see all the stros players all upset over a player not being "liked" by management. we don't do real too well with the FA market cuz mclean won't spend and we don't have a good rep as a baseball town.
   29. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: March 02, 2005 at 09:35 PM (#1175769)
It was probably the homer that Rafael Belliard hit in 1997. What were the odds of that occuring naturally?

Well, it was against Brian Bohannon. Plus he had hit one almost 10 years earlier.

(Source: Rafael Belliard Home Run Tracker)
   30. runningbyrd Posted: March 02, 2005 at 11:47 PM (#1176042)
Well, they weren't waived but all he got for them was Reggie Sanders, a finished Quilvio Veras, and the remains of Wally Joyner, so he might as well have waived them.

This was absolutely spot on robert. Great use of humor to point out something that I too have suspected for years.
   31. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: March 02, 2005 at 11:52 PM (#1176049)
Yes, that was very subtle, robert, and it does include two of the people most often associated with nebulous steroids.

That Jason Shiell is a real scofflaw.
   32. rr Posted: March 03, 2005 at 12:50 AM (#1176172)
"And what is Schuerholz supposed to do, approach a player and say "Hey, I overheard a conversation in the men's room the other day and the conversation suggested you are taking steroids. When I asked Peter Gammons about it, he said he heard the same story so we're going to have to release you withoug compensation. Any questions?"

There are any number of middle ground alternatives between this and doing nothing--baseball chick pointed out a couple. Moores had his man Dick Freeman publicly spank Towers out here in SD today, to try to cover JM's sizable ass. My mind is still open about the degree of management complicity in PED use in MLB but only about the degree. The fact that Schuerholz and Moores are making CMA announcements to the media indicates to me that there was a lot. As Doug Pappas once said, specifically wrt to MLB owners, but I would apply it management as well in this case, watch what they do, not what they say. If John Schuerholz was that worried about/appalled by roiding in the 1990s, he could have said/done some things about it without opening himself up to libel suits. He didn't....unless you decide to count the Klesko/Boone deal. Based on the level of evidence/type of reasoning process many people are going on now, there is reason to suspect both of them.

It is useful at this point to recall Bill James' description of Whitry Herzog's decision to dump Keith Hernandez in 1983. Writing about the cocaine issue of the 1980s two or three years later, James lionized Herzog for trading Hernandez as a way to send a message about Whitey's stance on coke and said "a whole lot of people owe Herzog an apology." In time, I suppose, Schuerholz may get credit for the Klesko/Boone deal in the same way.

However, at the time, I don't recall its being regarded as a steal for the Padres. Sanders, of course, is still around and has always been a pretty good player, and although Veras declined quickly, he had good OBPs and was regarded as a plus player at that time. Klesko, of course, had his best years AFTER the deal. Herzog, OTOH, got hammered the day the traded Hernandez and thereafter until the Cardinals acquired Jack Clark to play 1B.
   33. Srul Itza Posted: March 03, 2005 at 02:37 AM (#1176385)
2. they threatened management with a work stoppage if they didn't acquiesce.

Is that an assumption, or do you have a citation? How much did Management really push on this? Or did they just fold the minute the Union said no? Was it a priority or a bargaining chip that they had no intention of following through on?
   34. Chris Dial Posted: March 03, 2005 at 02:45 AM (#1176405)
coughjavylopezcough
   35. Chris Dial Posted: March 03, 2005 at 02:51 AM (#1176425)
And, Szym, you are just wrong that everything leaks.

Do you honestly believe that no one knows who the gay players in MLB are? No GM knows?

Hogwash.
   36. bunyon Posted: March 03, 2005 at 03:04 AM (#1176450)
coughmikepiazzacough
   37. Sam M. Posted: March 03, 2005 at 03:04 AM (#1176451)
Do you honestly believe that no one knows who the gay players in MLB are? No GM knows?

coughlegrandeorangecough
   38. bunyon Posted: March 03, 2005 at 03:06 AM (#1176454)
Good lord, Sam, that looks like a real word.
   39. Chris Dial Posted: March 03, 2005 at 03:15 AM (#1176458)
Really, Sam?
   40. Sam M. Posted: March 03, 2005 at 03:18 AM (#1176463)
Really, Chris.
   41. J. Cross Posted: March 03, 2005 at 03:23 AM (#1176470)
I've heard that somewhere about Rusty before.
   42. bunyon Posted: March 03, 2005 at 03:27 AM (#1176471)
Seems I read somewhere that he talked like a girl, cooked like a girl, threw like a girl, but hit like a man.

The quote is stuck in my mind, but I have no idea where I heard/read it. But I do know that I wondered if that's what the quote was trying to say.
   43. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: March 03, 2005 at 03:30 AM (#1176477)
I've seen that same line - never occurred to me that there might be an additional connotation.
   44. Sam M. Posted: March 03, 2005 at 03:41 AM (#1176483)
Actually, I have to say I have been intrigued by the same thing Chris pointed out: how little has (pardon the pun) come out about who is gay in baseball.

I remember when I read Dave Pallone's book, Behind the Mask. He wrote about sleeping with a player while he was umpiring a series in Houston late in the season. At that time, it meant it had to be an NL West opponent, since they played only intra-division games in September back then. He said it was a first baseman, and blonde.

My theory, given that info and when it was: this guy. But it was just a guess; I have no idea if it's true.
   45. greenback used to say live and let live Posted: March 03, 2005 at 03:58 AM (#1176494)
Actually, I have to say I have been intrigued by the same thing Chris pointed out: how little has (pardon the pun) come out about who is gay in baseball.

Dial seems to have missed that Szymborski said "and were unhappy about it." Not that teams are happy about having gay players, but their target demographic is closer to Fox News's than to "Will and Grace." They probably make an active effort to, er, keep it in the closet.

Which is why I can't help but laugh when I'm at a baseball game in some conservative bastion like Appleton with everyone singing about having fun at the YMCA.
   46. Chris Dial Posted: March 03, 2005 at 04:30 AM (#1176530)
Dial seems to have missed that Szymborski said "and were unhappy about it." Not that teams are happy about having gay players

So you are agreeing with what I said?

Then why the chop-busting lead-in?

I bet there are GMs that are aware of gay players in MLB that are unhappy about it and it doesn't leak.

That ought to cover it.
   47. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 03, 2005 at 04:41 AM (#1176543)
- i see like NO evidence that the management minds ONE BIT that the ballplayers are male sluttts. after all, disrespecting your wife is a god given right of the rich athlete. can you say "steve garvey" or "chipper jones" and they only care about drinking if/when it gets bad pub or the player plays lousier.

Hey BB Chick, if you want to be seriously entertained you should read "The Jock's Itch," written by the old Rangers' pitching coach, Tom House. It came out in 1989. He describes all the womanizing, boozing, and drug use, but the best part is how he described the Jesus followers. Seems as if lots of them were just faking it, in order not to be pressured into joining the drug, alcohol, or skirtchasing cliques. It was about the only way (other than being a superstar) that they could be left alone, even if they weren't religious at all. I remember an article in the NY Times Magazine when Johnny Oates was the Rangers' manager, in which the author stated that over 20 players on the Rangers' roster were "born-again Christians." House's explanation suddenly made a lot of sense.
   48. mr. man Posted: March 03, 2005 at 04:47 AM (#1176552)
frankly, i think there ought to be more finger pointing and name-naming in this steroids thing.
   49. Backlasher Posted: March 03, 2005 at 05:20 AM (#1176600)
Do you honestly believe that no one knows who the gay players in MLB are? No GM knows?


Dial's statement actually made me slant toward kevin's POV a little bit. There are leaks and there is knowledge. If the leak is malicious or of a private nature, it might not hit the stands.

I imagine that most beat reporters probably know details about the intimate lives of the players, but its just not worth publishing.

I mean even if you become an ardent fan and start circulating in heavy fan circles you hear stories. Whether they are true is another question; however, I imagine people that travel with the team probably get enough cooberating information just from close proximity.
   50. rr Posted: March 03, 2005 at 06:02 AM (#1176661)
kevin,

First, your telling anybody to "get off their high horses" in a thread related to steroids is pretty funny. I assume your next move will be to tell the Yankee fans not to talk smack about the Red Sox.

Second, you are engaging in a thinking pattern common to people who are reactionary about an issue: you are assuming that I am trying to ameliorate the guilt of the accused/acting parties by pointing out flaws in the action/inaction of the power structure or looking at the environment that contributed to the problem as a whole. The players who have taken steroids have made their own choices and their own mistakes. What John Schuerholz did or did not do, or should or should not have done, does not and cannot change this. It is sort of like people who think that questioning Bart Giamatti is tantamount to "defending Pete Rose."

Also, your nothing to gain/everything to lose argument is questionable, IMO. If management really thought that the competitive integrity of the game and the health of players--not just MLB players, but minor leaguers and amateurs--was severely threatened, then you could argue they had everything to lose by looking the other way. They should have tried harder to do something or, at least, have the stones to admit now they should have done something. But, as with the gambling and game-throwing scandals of the 1910s, to which many have compared PEDs, management/ownership/Selig did not step up, and, as people will do when their business is taking a hit or is in a mess, are now trying to sidestep any culpability.

As far as your work stoppage argument, I assume you have citations to support this. However, I think going public with the situation as you describe it--"the players are threatening to strike if we institute a stronger drug testing program"--would have put much of the media in the owners' corner. Would it have been risky? Sure. But if they really think guys who have been taking the stff are going to be dying or at least having severe health problems in 2015 or whenever, or if they thought it would ruin the game on the field, it was worth some risk--and in the industry's long-term interest--to address the problem.

Instead, management chose to ride the home run wave and rake in the bucks.

Fair enough. That is what businesses do. But to come out now and say "we knew it was a terrible problem, but we just couldn't do anything" exculpates neither management nor the players nor nor any other parties who benefited from whatever share of the blame people feel they deserve, and is, in a word, chicken s h i t.
   51. bunyon Posted: March 03, 2005 at 12:14 PM (#1176910)
Actually, I have to say I have been intrigued by the same thing Chris pointed out: how little has (pardon the pun) come out about who is gay in baseball.

Sam (I'm addressing this mostly to you as you'll have a different, and probably better, POV than I), it is my experience that a lot of guys are very loud about how they wouldn't work alongside a gay man and that homosexuality is evil, etc. etc. But that is an abstract gay man they've never met. Often, when those same guys meet someone and get to know them before finding out their friend is gay, their reaction is much different. Only the really diehard zealots turn on friends, no matter what they may think in the abstract.

So, I guess what I'm saying is that it makes perfect sense to me that little comes out. Most ballplayers, despite numerous flaws, aren't going to go running to the press to out a teammate and/or friend, anymore than they would do so about a teammate having an extramarital affair.

However, I only know a few guys who are out and where I grew up, no one was openly gay. So I could be way off base here in terms of how the average person reacts.
   52. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 03, 2005 at 12:47 PM (#1176917)
But it ain't just the GMs. If the GM knows, the trainer probably knows, the coaches probably know, the manager probably knows, the assistant to the GM knows, and so on.

I find it hard to believe that all these people would know about something being pervasive and unhappy about would keep the secret for 15 years.

You may think that people wouldn't say anything if they thought a player was gay. Hogwash. I'm guessing gay players keep it to themselves as best they can. Bene sure did.

Hell, how long did it take for people to find out about an overseas gay indie porno made by a AA pitcher? Not long.
   53. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 03, 2005 at 01:00 PM (#1176923)
How many of you have quit a lucrative job on principle? Raise your hands now.

</raises hand>

Of course, the principle was "I'm not going to take all this crap from a bunch of sadistic pricks who don't know jack about running their business when I can make almost as much money working for decent human beings who won't give me nearly so much crap."
   54. Sam M. Posted: March 03, 2005 at 01:04 PM (#1176925)
Most ballplayers, despite numerous flaws, aren't going to go running to the press to out a teammate and/or friend, anymore than they would do so about a teammate having an extramarital affair.

I agree with that. But it only take one enemy in the clubhouse for a rumor to spread. Or take a situation like the Kazmir trade. In the firestorm that followed, you heard just about every explanation under the sun from "unnamed sources" within the organization, some of them quite nasty towards Kazmir. If a similar situation happened with a closeted gay player who was traded, and the team came under fire for what looked like a bad trade, I wouldn't be surprised at all if someone in the organization would leak innuendo about the player's sexual orientation to "defend" the trade.

I guess what I'm saying is that I'd be surprised if someone came out voluntarily (too much at stake). And I'd be surprised if there were a lot of leaking and rumors flying, for the reasons you mention, bunyon. But I am surprised at the absence of any outing.
   55. bunyon Posted: March 03, 2005 at 02:46 PM (#1177031)
That's true, Dan and Sam. I guess I wasn't suggesting that everyone on a team would know a player was gay. I think in that case it is inevitable that it would become public. I'm just thinking that most teams are cliquish and that clique is most likely to know. I'm just thinking it would be most likely that a guy's firend would know, and I wouldn't expect them to out the guy without his permission.

But I am surprised at the absence of any outing.

I am too, I guess. However, I think it is only a matter of time. Of course, thinking more about it (at my doctor's appt - at 8am, but they didn't unlock the doors until 8:20, what a bunch of unprofessional bastards), there are gay men who hide it from wives and parents. I'm sure most gay players, maybe all, are hanging onto their secret tightly. And I don't really blame them that much - more for the reaction of the public than their teammates.
   56. Sam M. Posted: March 03, 2005 at 03:29 PM (#1177114)
Who called Barney Frank "Barney Fag" Was it Cheney or DeLay? I can't remember.

It was Dick Armey.

You may recall that in the early 1990s, there were all sorts of vicious rumors spreading around about Tom Foley, then Speaker of the House. Barney Frank let it be known -- forcefully -- that if it didn't stop immediately, he would begin outing GOP lawmakers. He didn't want to do it, he said, but he would because he wasn't going to play nice with a bunch of vipers.

It stopped. Immediately. Barney may be a fag, but he's a tough SOB who you don't #### around with.
   57. base ball chick Posted: March 03, 2005 at 03:44 PM (#1177149)
Posted by kevin on March 03, 2005 at 11:24 AM (#1177104)
.... Maybe there is a certain amount of blackmail and extortion that goes on but it seems it never goes so far as to actually "out" someone.

Another example. Whay wasn't Strom Thurmond finked on that he had an illegitimate daughter through miscegenation? That kind of thing would be political dynamite in the Jim Crow south.


- i always wondered that myself.

when i found out about the outside child, i was shocked SHOCKED that such an out of the closet nigga-hater would have had sex, let alone a BLACK child with a non-white

i asked my mama and she said that men are men are men and all cats are grey in the dark.... and that people talk outta both sides they mouths.

but i would guess that he never got outed as a nigga-lover cuz he said the opposite and the press liked what he said and the people with money liked what he did and besides, what's a little pusssy of ANY color to a person with power? ALSO, i figger he never got outed by the other people he worked with cuz none of their own skirts clean...
   58. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: March 03, 2005 at 03:48 PM (#1177160)
Giambi's people put in an "addiction and legal substance clause" The Yanks thought this would cover the 'roids as it was broader and subsumed 'roids.

Could the Yankees argue that the steroids are addictive?

I'm just throwing this out there. Psychological dependence or something. I don't know.
   59. base ball chick Posted: March 03, 2005 at 03:51 PM (#1177175)
Posted by Sam M on March 03, 2005 at 11:29 AM (#1177114)
Who called Barney Frank "Barney Fag" Was it Cheney or DeLay? I can't remember.

It was Dick Armey.

You may recall that in the early 1990s, there were all sorts of vicious rumors spreading around about Tom Foley, then Speaker of the House. Barney Frank let it be known -- forcefully -- that if it didn't stop immediately, he would begin outing GOP lawmakers. He didn't want to do it, he said, but he would because he wasn't going to play nice with a bunch of vipers.

- republicans have gay sez, too????? fancy that... hehhehheh

It stopped. Immediately. Barney may be a fag, but he's a tough SOB who you don't #### around with.

- good for him!!!!!!!!! FAG POWER!!!!!
yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss


i am so tired of all those freaking hypocrites. preaching "family values" and screwing interns, hos and goodness knows who else. i remember gary hart and monkey business. i just HATE men who think that having money gives you the god-given right to disrespect your wife... i wouldn't mind seeing all those male slutts called out for what they are...
   60. Mefisto Posted: March 03, 2005 at 04:19 PM (#1177243)
when i found out about the outside child, i was shocked SHOCKED that such an out of the closet nigga-hater would have had sex, let alone a BLACK child with a non-white

Strom just acted in the fine Southern tradition. The young males in Southern upper classes started their sexual experience in the slave quarters. It was an inevitable abuse of power.
   61. bunyon Posted: March 03, 2005 at 04:52 PM (#1177318)
Barney may be a fag, but he's a tough SOB who you don't #### around with.

Yep. You know I always got Armey and Frank confused - I mean, visually. I couldn't keep their faces straight with their names. I'm sure that would horribly offend both of them.

I would also guess this keeps the press in line. When Clinton was getting hammered, I kept looking at these folks following him around and asking him questions and wondering where they spent their nights.
   62. base ball chick Posted: March 03, 2005 at 05:07 PM (#1177360)
Posted by Mefisto on March 03, 2005 at 11:19 AM (#1177243)
when i found out about the outside child, i was shocked SHOCKED that such an out of the closet nigga-hater would have had sex, let alone a BLACK child with a non-white

Strom just acted in the fine Southern tradition. The young males in Southern upper classes started their sexual experience in the slave quarters. It was an inevitable abuse of power.

- oh mark, honey, i know ALL about it. it's why i look like i do. and have ancestors who were, um, danced with at the infamous Octaroon Ball......
- i was being, sarcastic. i guess i should explain myself better... what i believe is that many males aren't real too picky about what happens to be attached to the pusssy and if they can screw it without consequences, they do. and they can, so they do. which is why most of us who can trace our people back more than a few hunderd years here in america, especially west of the 13 colonies, aren't "pure" race...
   63. Mefisto Posted: March 03, 2005 at 05:11 PM (#1177371)
most of us who can trace our people back more than a few hunderd years here in america, especially west of the 13 colonies, aren't "pure" race...

You got that right.
   64. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 03, 2005 at 05:36 PM (#1177422)
bc, there's really no such thing as "pure race" anyway. The concept of race is a social construct, not a scientific one.

I have a late 19th century cartoon called "Concerning Race Suicide," which is a complaint that "the Idle Stork" wasn't doing his job among the upper classes, while "the Strenuous Stork" was working overtime among the lower classes. But there was no demonstrable "racial" difference in the faces. All the "races" were white and mostly Anglo-looking.
   65. base ball chick Posted: March 03, 2005 at 05:40 PM (#1177426)
Posted by kevin on March 03, 2005 at 01:19 PM (#1177393)
bc, there's really no such thing as "pure race" anyway. The concept of race is a social construct, not a scientific one.

- what is gonna be interesting is when the genetics/dna people take those 20,000 gene locis they found people have and see if they can use that to trace our migrations and "race" changes since humans first appeared (by God or evolution - i don't wanna start that). it might could help if we realized that fer sher, we all just people, we just look different.....
   66. Mefisto Posted: March 03, 2005 at 05:41 PM (#1177430)
what is gonna be interesting is when the genetics/dna people take those 20,000 gene locis they found people have and see if they can use that to trace our migrations and "race" changes since humans first appeared (by God or evolution - i don't wanna start that). it might could help if we realized that fer sher, we all just people, we just look different.....

They're already doing that. There are 2-3 popular books out about it.
   67. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 03, 2005 at 05:44 PM (#1177437)
bc,

The "DNA people" have already taken a first crack at that, and they can't find any consistent genetic markers that track with what is generally thought of (sociologically) as race. That's what Kevin was talking about when he said that race is not a "scientific" constuct. I'd have said "biological" myself, but why quibble?
   68. base ball chick Posted: March 03, 2005 at 05:46 PM (#1177442)
Posted by Andy on March 03, 2005 at 01:36 PM (#1177422)
bc, there's really no such thing as "pure race" anyway. The concept of race is a social construct, not a scientific one.

I have a late 19th century cartoon called "Concerning Race Suicide," which is a complaint that "the Idle Stork" wasn't doing his job among the upper classes, while "the Strenuous Stork" was working overtime among the lower classes. But there was no demonstrable "racial" difference in the faces. All the "races" were white and mostly Anglo-looking.

- well, it wasn't even like, what 60 years ago that spanish and italians weren't "white" and jews were rationed in college and denied jobs and i heard about the "no irish need apply" stuff in NYC in the 1800s. and if irish ain't white, i don't know who is....

- my oldest brother told me that when i was a baby, some of his (stupider) "friends" would look at me and call me a white man's baby to insult my daddy.....

too many people gotta find somebody to hate. unfortunately, most don't gotta look too far.....
   69. base ball chick Posted: March 03, 2005 at 05:51 PM (#1177463)
Posted by Mefisto on March 03, 2005 at 01:41 PM (#1177430)
what is gonna be interesting is when the genetics/dna people take those 20,000 gene locis they found people have and see if they can use that to trace our migrations and "race" changes since humans first appeared (by God or evolution - i don't wanna start that). it might could help if we realized that fer sher, we all just people, we just look different.....

They're already doing that. There are 2-3 popular books out about it.


Posted by kevin on March 03, 2005 at 01:43 PM (#1177433)
bc, that has already been done to a great extent and the data basically support the same conclusion you state.

- wish they'd put it on the discovery channel..... or the history channel. i'm tired of the planes of WW2
   70. bunyon Posted: March 03, 2005 at 05:53 PM (#1177469)
wish they'd put it on the discovery channel..... or the history channel. i'm tired of the planes of WW2

Yeah, you can't tell who their prime demographic is, can you? :)
   71. base ball chick Posted: March 03, 2005 at 06:02 PM (#1177491)
Posted by bunyon on March 03, 2005 at 01:53 PM (#1177469)
wish they'd put it on the discovery channel..... or the history channel. i'm tired of the planes of WW2

Yeah, you can't tell who their prime demographic is, can you? :)

- uh, teenage grrrls????

hehhehheh
   72. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: March 03, 2005 at 06:54 PM (#1177690)
"Yeah, you can't tell who their prime demographic is, can you? :)

- uh, teenage grrrls????"

OMG!!! did U see that Grumman F6F Hellcat?? Liek totally sweet!!!

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