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Highlifeman21
03-01-2006, 03:06 PM
Simple question:

What's worse for baseball? Gambling or Steroids?

deltachi8
03-01-2006, 03:07 PM
Gambling.

top6
03-01-2006, 03:08 PM
Gambling.

Cyclone792
03-01-2006, 03:10 PM
This one's obvious to me.

Highlifeman21
03-01-2006, 03:21 PM
This one's obvious to me.

I know I voted gambling, but apparently there's a small contingent out there lobbying for roids.

KronoRed
03-01-2006, 03:41 PM
Both pretty bad but gambling is tops.

Maldonado
03-01-2006, 03:45 PM
They're both equally give the major shaft to the guys who play by the rules. That's the worst thing about both of them, so they're equally bad.

beb30
03-01-2006, 03:49 PM
agreed equally bad

NJReds
03-01-2006, 03:49 PM
Gambling is bad for the integrity of the game.

Steroids are also bad, but it's not just the integrity of the records at stake. It's the young players who thought they needed to use the 'juice' to be on equal footing with those players who were willingly cheating. When baseball initially turned a blind eye to steroid users, it sent a bad message to players from the Major Leagues to youth leagues.

oneupper
03-01-2006, 03:58 PM
Choose your crime...eh?

In this day and age, I'd have to say STERIODS.

That's because the economics of the game have changed.
There are two kinds of gambling on baseball: recreational gambling and throwing games. The first kind may be against the rules of baseball, but has absolutely no bearing on the outcomes or the economics of the game (Who gets what or how much). If Pedro Martinez puts down $100 on an Indians-Tigers game, it simply doesn't matter.

In the case of throwing games, things change, since as a result of those actions, championships may be won or lost, some people will stand to make more (or less) than they deserve otherwise.

However, there is little incentive for players to throw games nowadays, since the payoff on a wager can't be much compared to the payoff for a good performance.
How much could a player actually bet without being detected? $100.000 perhaps?
And the player (s) betting would have to be impact players who are probably already making a lot of money (or stand to once they hit Arb. or FA). In addition, performing poorly in one or several games, lowers a players' value, at times significantly. (How much did Buckner's error cost him?).

With steriods, however, by enhancing their performance players are -in effect- not only altering the "otherwise" outcomes of the games, but stealing in a continuous fashion from all the clean players within the sport. (major league, minors, amateur, maybe even little league).

Roids are worse, as the game is today. IMHO, its not even close to being close.

Cyclone792
03-01-2006, 04:49 PM
Gambling is to baseball what murder is to society.

Gambling in baseball is baseball's ultimate crime. If it was allowed to rampage persistently through the game, the game would eventually crumble into nothingness.

Who would want to attend a baseball game if there was a good chance it was controlled by the bookies?

kbrake
03-01-2006, 05:04 PM
Gambling I dont even see how it is comparable.

RedFanAlways1966
03-01-2006, 05:09 PM
What Cyclone and kbrake have said. Not even close to the same in the context of professional sports (or any sports!).

GAMBLING... is the worst thing.

vaticanplum
03-01-2006, 05:23 PM
I am at one with oneupper on this one. I think that given the current state of baseball, steroids are worse. This does not mean that I in any way condone gambling.

Baseball is, ideally, a manifestation of the best in people [insert many wonderful great things here] through sport, ie. physical activity. Steroids therefore immediately negate most of the good that comes from baseball, because the validity of the physical activity itself is questioned. I don't see how the argument can be made that gambling is more harmful to the sport's integrity when the sport's integrity, by definition, depends on the strength of an athlete's body, on an athlete's commitment not to harm his body. Steroids harm the body, period. Unfortunately, steroids seem to help the record books, at least temporarily.

Gambling is, in its most extreme cases, a serious addiction. In many cases it needs to be treated in the same way as an alcohol or drug addiction. I am not in any way excusing any player who bets on baseball; he deserves a serious punishment, including, yes, lifetime banishment in certain cases. But I don't think our society necessarily recognizes gambling as anything more than something people do for fun and something people can quit anytime they want. It's not, or at least it's not always. There may be more serious things going on with a gambler that he is not necessarily able to control on his own.

Steroids are a choice. You can get hooked on them the same way you can with anything else, but they begin as a choice. And in our present time, it is a choice that may be getting harder for players to say no to, as long as the records keep getting broken and it becomes clearer that more and more players are doing it. Gambling begins as a choice too, I suppose, but introductions to gambling usually begin pre-baseball or independently of baseball, and I can very easily see how someone can be hooked long before he realizes that his handing a handful of money to somebody will harm a whoooooooole lot of people. By the time a player is given steroids, even if it's in high school, he has to know that it will immediately affect his body, his performance, his team, and anyone who watches him and follows his career.

Part of this may be a generational thing. Pete Rose has fallen in my lifetime and it was sad, but that's the only example I can think of offhand that has really affected me, and I can't say it had a permanent effect on my outlook on the game. But nearly every single record, almost every great accomplishment, that I've seen happen in my lifetime is now questionable. It's become pretty clear that certain players whom I loved did not achieve what they did on their own merits, either because they didn't believe in themselves enough to do so, or they didn't respect their team or the game, or because they were too filled with greed for money or fame to let things happen as they could naturally. That hurts. And that can hurt with gambling too; I just happen to have seen much, much more of the former.

registerthis
03-01-2006, 05:40 PM
Great post, Vatican.

I almost went with "equally bad", but I decided in the end to go with "gambling". Why?

The problem with both is that they call into question the integrity of the game--whether the results that were generated are genuine or fictitious. I believe both are a threat to the game and need to be taken--and dealt with--seriously.

However, I decided to vote "gambling" for one reason--steroids can make a good player great, or an average player good, but if the fundamental skills aren't there, all the steroids in the world won't help you. So their universal effect on the outcome of games is marginalized. Gambling, however, is a different story. In that case, it doesn't matter whether the player in question is great or awful--both have an equal opportunity to "throw" games or create questionable outcomes. The potential for doing this exists every single time a player who has gamble dont he game appears in the game.

In other words, it's easier for a player who has gambled on a game to cast its results into question than a steroid user. Again, not that this in any way defends the use of steroids or diminishes the detrimental effect they have had on the game--I just happen to think that gambling is an overall greater, and more persistent, threat.

gonelong
03-01-2006, 06:13 PM
If they made steriods legal and allowed the players to take them, would you still watch the games?

If they made gambling legal and allowed the players to place bets on their own games would you still watch the games?

Gambling would ruin the game instantly. Steriods didn't do much but increase attendance.

GL

Cyclone792
03-01-2006, 06:32 PM
I can look into the crystal ball and envision a scenario in my head. It's September 1st, and somehow, by some miracle stroke of luck, the Reds are leading the NL Central by a half dozen games. But ultimately, the team crumbles down the stretch, the Cards catch us and we're shut out of the division title and the playoffs.

One of two things then happens when the offseason gets fired up:

1) After the World Series concludes, baseball states that several key Reds players tested positive for steroids during the final weeks/months of the season.

2) After the World Series concludes, whispers of gambling and fixed games begin to surface throughout the game. Baseball investigates and it is determined that several key Reds players partook in a gambling ring. Their activities in that gambling ring include fixing games during the final month of the season to ensure a Cardinals division title and ensure the Reds miss the playoffs.

As a Reds fan, which of those two outcomes above would aggravate the heck out of you more?

RedsManRick
03-01-2006, 06:38 PM
I voted gambling for the sole reason that for everything wrong about steroids, it is simply an illlegal/unhealthy way for players to do better. There is an underlying assumption that everybody is out there to win and that is the objective of the sport. Steroids may be cheating, may be illegal, may be horribly unhealthy, but they don't undermine the "purpose" of the game and more than a pitcher scuffing the ball.

Gambling however does strike immediately at the purpose of the game. We cannot be sure that the parties involved are truly out there to compete. Rather they could be out there for the primary purpose of manipulating outcomes for profit. The basic tenet of fan attends game to watch 2 teams fight to score the most runs over 9 innings is subverted.

Both hurt the players involved and the game generally, but where steroids could hurt players or taint records, gambling can fundamentally alter the nature of the game.

registerthis
03-01-2006, 06:44 PM
Gambling however does strike immediately at the purpose of the game. We cannot be sure that the parties involved are truly out there to compete. Rather they could be out there for the primary purpose of manipulating outcomes for profit.

I basically agree with your post, but to play devil's advocate:

Could not the same be said for steroid users? Are they not also manipulating outcomes for profit?

registerthis
03-01-2006, 06:46 PM
As a Reds fan, which of those two outcomes above would aggravate the heck out of you more?

Immediately, the gambling story would aggravate me more, no question.

But steroid users rarely juice up for only a few weeks. A more apt comparison would be discovering that Ken griffey Jr. used steroids for the bulk of his career. I would find that pretty much as upsetting as discovering that several Reds players were fixing games.

User Name
03-01-2006, 06:48 PM
In other words, it's easier for a player who has gambled on a game to cast its results into question than a steroid user. Again, not that this in any way defends the use of steroids or diminishes the detrimental effect they have had on the game--I just happen to think that gambling is an overall greater, and more persistent, threat.

I agree. IMO, the individual player using steriods can generally improve his abilities only marginally, only in certain areas, and can only influence the outcome of the game slightly. However, the individual player throwing the game can diminish his skills greatly, in any area, at any time, and can greatly influence the outcome of the game.

Cyclone792
03-01-2006, 06:50 PM
Immediately, the gambling story would aggravate me more, no question.

But steroid users rarely juice up for only a few weeks. A more apt comparison would be discovering that Ken griffey Jr. used steroids for the bulk of his career. I would find that pretty much as upsetting as discovering that several Reds players were fixing games.

I've got an exceptionally hard time believing you'd be as upset to find out that Griffey used steroids throughout his career as you'd be if several Reds players fixed games and threw an entire season down the toilet.

If the latter happened, there would be a plethora of Reds fans who would never watch another baseball game again in their life. Pete Rose and the 1994 strike would pale in comparison, just as the revelation that a player such as Griffey juiced up.

vaticanplum
03-01-2006, 06:54 PM
I can look into the crystal ball and envision a scenario in my head. It's September 1st, and somehow, by some miracle stroke of luck, the Reds are leading the NL Central by a half dozen games. But ultimately, the team crumbles down the stretch, the Cards catch us and we're shut out of the division title and the playoffs.

One of two things then happens when the offseason gets fired up:

1) After the World Series concludes, baseball states that several key Reds players tested positive for steroids during the final weeks/months of the season.

2) After the World Series concludes, whispers of gambling and fixed games begin to surface throughout the game. Baseball investigates and it is determined that several key Reds players partook in a gambling ring. Their activities in that gambling ring include fixing games during the final month of the season to ensure a Cardinals division title and ensure the Reds miss the playoffs.

As a Reds fan, which of those two outcomes above would aggravate the heck out of you more?

They would both aggrevate me terribly. Probably equally. Just because one is geared towards winning and the other is geared towards losing makes no difference to me: they both show a lack of respect for the game and are hugely detrimental to the team and the sport. But I would argue that the first scenario is way more likely to happen in the current climate and is thus indicative of a larger problem in the state of the game as it stands right now. Maybe I'm naive...but I don't think so.

Cyclone792
03-01-2006, 06:59 PM
They would both aggrevate me terribly. Probably equally. Just because one is geared towards winning and the other is geared towards losing makes no difference to me: they both show a lack of respect for the game and are hugely detrimental to the team and the sport. But I would argue that the first scenario is way more likely to happen in the current climate and is thus indicative of a larger problem in the state of the game as it stands right now. Maybe I'm naive...but I don't think so.

Pete Rose probably figured gambling isn't important in the current climate too. And gambling in other sports is just as bad for them as gambling in baseball is ... it's possible the NHL has a current disaster on their hands.

Look at how many professional athletes are seriously in debt, despite the millions of dollars they make. If that penalty of lifetime ban wasn't plastered across every locker room in the game, the prospect of making sudden riches by agreeing to kick one or more would loom mighty attractive.

Like gonelong stated, gambling would ruin the game instantly.

vaticanplum
03-01-2006, 07:06 PM
Pete Rose probably figured gambling isn't important in the current climate too. And gambling in other sports is just as bad for them as gambling in baseball is ... it's possible the NHL has a current disaster on their hands.

Look at how many professional athletes are seriously in debt, despite the millions of dollars they make. If that penalty of lifetime ban wasn't plastered across every locker room in the game, the prospect of making sudden riches by agreeing to kick one or more would loom mighty attractive.

Like gonelong stated, gambling would ruin the game instantly.

Well, right. But thanks to Pete Rose, it hasn't. At least as far as I know. "Lifetime ban" still looms over the locker rooms with regards to gambling. "Slap on the wrist" is still the presiding mentality with regards to steroids (though it's starting to change).

I'm confused as to whether we're debating the fundamental issues of gambling vs. steroids or the issues of them as they stand in the sport right now. I think they're both terrible on their own. But am I stupid in thinking that, for the time being, gambling is running a lot less rampant through the sport -- on a serious, statistic-changing, sport-changing level -- than steroids?

RedsManRick
03-01-2006, 07:18 PM
I basically agree with your post, but to play devil's advocate:

Could not the same be said for steroid users? Are they not also manipulating outcomes for profit?

Yes, they are, but they are striving for the same outcome as those using conventional means. It's on par with any cheating in that ethical framework. Profit is accumulated through successfully acheiving the accepted goals of the sport. Winning, or stat accumulation which leads to winning, is still the method through which profit is made.

Gambling suggests that not only is profit the primary consideration, but that winning has no intrinsic value over losing -- it only depends on which direction the bet was placed. Therefore, it's not a function of how you are trying acheive the accepted & assumed goal of on field success, but that on field success itself is no longer an assumed goal.

Per Cyclone's question, the gambling would bug me so much more. Largely for the reasons I've stated above. I can handle some players trying to win and cheating to do so. It reflects poorly on their individual character, on the Reds, and on the league. However, in a cheating scandal, these players abandoned not just their own morals, but subverted the efforts of the entire organization. They not only put financial success as their primary goal, but were willing to rob their teammates, organization, and fans of their potential to realize their goals. It's this subversion of the goals of other's which puts it on a different level.

vaticanplum
03-01-2006, 07:30 PM
They not only put financial success as their primary goal, but were willing to rob their teammates, organization, and fans of their potential to realize their goals. It's this subversion of the goals of other's which puts it on a different level.

I agree with you, but in order to say that steroids are not as bad as gambling for those reasons, you have to assume that the goal is to win at any cost, not to win honestly. An invalidated win (via steroids) is the same to me as an invalidated loss (via gambling). You're going to always wonder what if either way.

I'm going to shut up now, really.

MartyFan
03-01-2006, 07:32 PM
I would say from this point on they are equal and here is why.

We had the scandal of the BLACK SOX that gave us the rule on gambling...it has been the ONE rule that everyone knew to obey.

After the Senate hearings and all the media focus on players like Mac, Sammy and Bonds and the damage that roids are doing to people...I'd say they are equal from this point on.

As of now...GAMBLING and LIARS THAT LIE ABOUT GAMBLING AND THEN CONFESS TO IT IN A BOOK AND ON TV LIKE THEY ARE A FREAKIN HERO IS MUCH MORE SCUM.

PETE ROSE = SCUM...we've all been hustled.

Cyclone792
03-01-2006, 07:34 PM
Well, right. But thanks to Pete Rose, it hasn't. At least as far as I know. "Lifetime ban" still looms over the locker rooms with regards to gambling. "Slap on the wrist" is still the presiding mentality with regards to steroids (though it's starting to change).

I'm confused as to whether we're debating the fundamental issues of gambling vs. steroids or the issues of them as they stand in the sport right now. I think they're both terrible on their own. But am I stupid in thinking that, for the time being, gambling is running a lot less rampant through the sport -- on a serious, statistic-changing, sport-changing level -- than steroids?

Gambling is much less rampant because, after a entire World Series was thrown, Landis came down with an iron fist and started banning players at an incredible rate. He made it known, if you have anything to do with gambling or betting on baseball, you're gone. No second chances. There's a laundry list of players expelled from the game in 1920s due to gambling connections, and Landis made an example out of them.

Still, that doesn't mean the possibility of its existence is zero, and it doesn't mean the ramifications of gambling aren't ten million times worse than those of steroids.

As far as what's going on today, well it might not be a stretch to say that 2006 could be the cleanest baseball season we've seen in over 50 years.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2052364


Updated: May 5, 2005, 4:09 PM ET
House: 'I tried everything known to man'

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- Former major league pitcher Tom House used steroids during his career and said performance-enhancing drugs were widespread in baseball in the 1960s and 1970s, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday.

House, perhaps best known for catching Hank Aaron's 715th home run ball in 1974 in the Atlanta Braves' bullpen, said he and several teammates used amphetamines, and that he tried human growth hormone and "whatever steroid" he could find in order to keep up with the competition.

"I pretty much popped everything cold turkey," House said. "We were doing steroids they wouldn't give to horses. That was the '60s, when nobody knew. The good thing is, we know now. There's a lot more research and understanding."

House, a former pitching coach with the Texas Rangers and co-founder of the National Pitching Association near San Diego, is one of the first players to describe steroid use as far back as the 1960s.

He was drafted in 1967 by the Braves and pitched eight seasons for Atlanta, Boston and Seattle, finishing his career with a 29-23 record and 3.79 ERA.

"We didn't get beat, we got out-milligrammed," House, 58, said. "And when you found out what they were taking, you started taking them."

House said he gained almost 30 pounds while using steroids, blaming the extra weight for contributing to knee problems. He said the drugs helped improve recovery time and conditioning but did not add velocity to his fastball.

"I tried everything known to man to improve my fastball, and it still didn't go faster than 82 miles per hour," House said. "I was a failed experiment."

House said he stopped using steroids after learning about the long-term harm they could cause.

"I'd like to say we were smart, but we didn't know what was going on," he said. "We were at the tail end of a generation that wasn't afraid to ingest anything. As research showed up, guys stopped."

Of course, this article has the potential to reach a sore spot with the people who bash the power hitters of the last 10 years. Take a look at career home run leaderboard as of 1975 and circle the names of the guys on that list who had played during the previous 20 years.

Aaron, Mays, Robinson, Killebrew, Jackson, Mantle, McCovey, Banks and Mathews all slammed more than 500 career homers and all played during the era from 1955-1975.

What'd the list look like before those players? Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams and Mel Ott.

So in a 20 year time period, the list of guys with 500 or more home runs triples in membership, the same time period players knowingly cheated and messed around with all sorts of drugs (see Bouton, Jim and his famous book). But of the people who go to great lengths bashing the sluggers of today, how many will also admit that it's possible for previous generations to also have been cheating? My guess is not many.

How much has cheating using various sorts of drugs killed the game in the last 50 years? Not very much.

Here's another gem I accidentely stumbled upon ... it's interesting ... http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/columnists/20020607finder4.asp


Performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. A pattern of clubhouse abusers. Why are mouths agape over this?

"It shouldn't be a surprise," Jerry Johnson said.

Seventeen years ago, he heard such stories routinely. He marched such story-tellers to the witness stand in a federal case and national-media circus that was a big deal to apparently everyone but baseball's commissioner and the players union. Dave Parker, Keith Hernandez, Lonnie Smith, Jeffrey "Penitentiary Face" Leonard and Dale Berra were just a few of the stars called to the stand by the U.S. District Attorney then known as J. Alan Johnson.

You remember those three infamous, inexorably linked words:

Pittsburgh.

Drug.

Trials.

Johnson hears now about Jose Canseco howling that 85 percent of all major-leaguers use steroids, about Ken Caminiti (along with others) lamenting the figure is closer to half, and the lawyer looks out his Gulf Tower office window to Grant Street. He thinks back 17 years to the Federal Courthouse, the parade of stars, the words of one particular witness. He remembers John Milner and the red juice.

The last player to testify in U.S. v. Curtis Strong, this particular one-time Pirates and Mets member talked about getting a liquid amphetamine from the locker of "Willie."

"Willie Mays?" asked the defense attorney.

"The Great One, yeah," replied Milner.

The trial of Chef Curt, the former Philadelphia Phillies caterer and cocaine supplier to National League stars, dealt mostly with the drug that carries a very intriguing street name among today's youths: baseball. Indeed, Johnson brought this case and others against alleged small-time dealers because of coke sales in Pittsburgh that just so happened to involve some rather famous users. Strong's defense attorney, Adam O. Renfroe, who later admitted to be a longtime cocaine user, tried to shine a spotlight on baseball's seamy underside. So he got Milner to testify about red juice coming from the great Mays and greenies, a tablet form of amphetamine, coming from Bill Madlock and future Hall of Famer Willie Stargell in the Pirates' clubhouse. Indeed, the stuff was everywhere.

Is everywhere.

Nine of every 10 major-leaguers are taking some kind of stimulant before each game, so Caminiti and another former player told Sports Illustrated. Greenies, caffeine pills, ephedrine (the stuff found in the blood of dead football players Korey Stringer and Rashidi Walker last year) -- how about a little something before or after batting practice? Going without an amphetamine or stimulant is known among the fellas as "playing naked."

Baseball's emperors have no clothes, and, figuratively, their players feel they have none, either. The game had its chance to address the clubhouse users.

"The information was certainly there, and it was public if they wanted to rely on it," Johnson said. In fact, when Milner opened the lid on the red juice, the reporters turned that Grant Street courtroom into a scene from a 1940s movie: "They started running for the door."

Johnson won't go so far as to say baseball dropped the ball on drug testing -- it's a Constitutional, freedoms argument to a lawyer like him -- but he will point out that NFL officials attended the trial. Two years later, they instituted their own policy. By the time they reached a new bargaining agreement with the players union in 1994, the league launched a substance-abuse testing system.

The NBA tests, too. Shoot, there are even tests for college and high school athletes. So there's no good reason for the NHL and baseball to get special exemptions, no matter how reliable urine and blood exams are.

"My conclusion is, only stupid and careless people get caught," began Dr. Charles Yesalis, a Penn State professor and expert in performance-enhancing drugs. "People with a lot of money can hire people ... to make sure they don't flunk drugs tests. Drug testing is done mainly for public relations, to make the media feel good and fans feel good.

"And in baseball, you don't have to be careful -- you can take any damn thing. It's carte blanche."

No rules means the same as don't ask, don't tell. Yet Canseco and others are starting to tell, starting to shine that spotlight on the steroids and greenies underbelly of baseball. Let's not even delve into the issue of cocaine, the drug that prompted only four suspensions in baseball's past decade and got such free rein post-1985 that it basically torched the potential Hall of Fame careers of Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry -- half of that aforementioned suspension class.

It's time for the lords of baseball and the heads of the world's most powerful union to get with the PR program, pretend at least that they are worried about the health of their workers and their game. Do something to level a playing field where the non-users want to prove their cleanliness.

"I've been a baseball fan a long time, and it offends me that guys are breaking records of my sports heroes where I personally don't feel they could hold their jockstraps," Yesalis continued. "But this still will just be a blip on the radar for two weeks, then go away. Nothing will be done. I'm not happy that I think that way, either."

History shows it to be true, right here in Pittsburgh.

Baseball closes its eyes to red flags and red juice.

If gambling was legalized in baseball, the game would whither away into nothing. Cheating using various forms of drugs has been rampant for five decades, and all that's happened is expansion, attendance booms and teams making so much money they can pay horrible players millions of dollars.

SeeinRed
03-01-2006, 08:50 PM
Most people are looking at this in a way that I just don't understand. The fact is that neither gambling or steroids are allowed in baseball. You can't base your answer on what if one or the other was allowed. Not only that, but gambling only controlls the outcome of a game if the player involved bet against his own team. Everyone is making it sound like a large amount of players would bet on the game, and would be involved in throwing games. That is by no stretch of the imagination the truth. Although steroid use also seems to be overstated.

Unlike steroids, players who would gamble would not be given an advantage in any way other than monitarily. You can't say that because Player A gambles, he will be able to hit the ball farther, or throw the ball harder. In fact, I would argue that Player A rarely bets against his own team, as that would negatively affect his performance, and you seem to forget, he is playing for his future. The risk is too great and the chances of you getting away with throwing a game is very slim. Unbelievable that someone would try something like that.

Steroids, on the other hand, give Player B an unfair advantage over those who do not use them. They are not only affecting themselves, but they are making it harder for clean players to succeed. Perhaps the scariest part it the fact that steroids keep popping up that are staying ahead of any detection process. In this age of information, you it is not near as easy to hide you monitary transactions.

4256 Hits
03-01-2006, 10:48 PM
For me this is a hard question to answer because IMO all gambling is not equal. Taking money to throw a game or betting on your team to lose is a terrible offense but to me betting a smaller amount on your team to win I don't have problem with a player/manager doing that.

pedro
03-01-2006, 10:52 PM
For me this is a hard question to answer because IMO all gambling is not equal. Taking money to throw a game or betting on your team to lose is a terrible offense but to me betting a smaller amount on your team to win I don't have problem with a player/manager doing that.

I have a problem with players being involved in any type of illegal gambling that rises above the level of a march madness tournament pool.

Gambling, of any sort, has always been against the rules in baseball. Any player caught gambling on baseball should be kicked out forever IMO. It's inexcusable.

4256 Hits
03-01-2006, 11:49 PM
I have a problem with players being involved in any type of illegal gambling that rises above the level of a march madness tournament pool.

Gambling, of any sort, has always been against the rules in baseball. Any player caught gambling on baseball should be kicked out forever IMO. It's inexcusable.

First off it is legal to bet on baseball in number of ways so just because a person (player) is betting on a game doesn't mean they are doing it illegally.

I find it ironic that it is ok for them to bet ILLEGALLY bet on college b-ball, but then turn around any gambling should be against the rule.

oneupper
03-01-2006, 11:49 PM
The question was a little ambiguous to start with. "What's worse?"

If that means, what's a worse problem for baseball. Steriods, no doubt.
There is little incentive for players TODAY to throw games. (and I don't think they are doing it).

If that means, what's a worse offense (morally). Throwing a game, no doubt.

Gambling and "throwing a game" are NOT the same offense.
Is throwing a game the same kind of gambling as "placing a bet on a baseball game in which the player/manager is not involved" Of course not.

If I have to choose between Jose Canseco and Pete Rose. I'd ban them BOTH for life. But my understanding is that Rose never threw a game...so in my book he's still got a bit up (morally) on Canseco, Caminiti, Giambi and other (confessed) steriod users.

The justifications I'm reading that "it only helps a little bit", etc. frankly upset me. Maybe you haven't been watching the same game I have, in which bloated monsters who didn't have space on their bodies for more muscles, bash out home runs, practically at will.

"They're just trying to win"...right. Why not just put performance-diminishing drugs in the opposing team's water supply? It's pretty much the same thing. Just trying to win...NOT.

The problem with steriods was that the punishment never fit the crime and impunity reigned for too long.

Much the same happened with throwing games in the early 20th century, until Landis threw the 8 "acquitted" SOX out.

I'm willing to bet (pun intended) that Dozens of game-throwers from that era got away with it. Some might even be in the HOF. But once the standard was set and punishment imposed, I'm willing to wager that game-throwing became extremely rare.

If Selig applied the same justice, Bonds, Sosa, McGwire and dozens more would be out of baseball forever and could take their cases to appeal to the celestrial court, 'cause he wasn't going to hear it.
But in this, the "era of litigation" and "reasonable doubt" that's not really feasible either.
Most of the juicers will get away with it, too.

That doesn't make them moral.

Let's hope that steriod use becomes as rare as game-throwing.

Yachtzee
03-02-2006, 12:02 AM
I feel that gambling and steriods are bad for different reasons. With gambling, my concern is for the integrity of the games as they are played. It calls results of the game into question. Not as much as throwing games, mind you, but it still has the taint of impropriety.

The effect of steriods is twofold. First, it doesn't really call into question the outcome of games as much as it taints the legitimacy of individual records. Even without direct evidence that Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds have actually used steroids, the record for home runs in a season is now someone degraded because of questions of steroid use.

Of course the second effect of steroids, the one I find to be much more troublesome, is the effect on young players trying to get into the game. If you encourage use, or turn a blind eye to it, you encourage kids in high school and younger to try steroids. These are kids who haven't finished growing and will be doing it unsupervised. The major leaguers have the access to the good stuff, along with trainers and professionals who know how to administer it properly. Kids trying to break into pro ball have neither the money nor the access to high quality steroids and the pro trainers and medical personnel. They will be the ones who feel the negative effects of steroids the most.

TeamCasey
03-02-2006, 08:02 AM
Equal ..... with an edge towards steroids.

Gambling brings the temptation to cheat.

Steroids is cheating without a doubt.

Chip R
03-02-2006, 10:17 AM
Steroids, on the other hand, give Player B an unfair advantage over those who do not use them.
That isn't necessarily the case. Just being musclebound doesn't give you an advantage. Look at a guy like Gabe Kapler. As far as anyone knows he's always been clean and he's always had a great physique. Yet he's a journeyman. Always has been, always will be. The minor leagues are littered with guys who have better physiques than their major league counterparts. People accused Brandon Larson of taking steroids. Let's say he did, how did it help him become a superstar? Most of these guys who get an unfair advantage over their peers already have an unfair advantage. It's called genetics. You talk about Bonds, Canseco, McGwire, Palmiero, Sosa. All those guys were great players before they started taking steroids. Steroids aren't going to help you hit Randy Johnson's slider. They may help you hit it farther when you make contact with it but steroids, in and of itself, doesn't help you hit the curveball.

WhiteSoxer
03-02-2006, 10:24 AM
1919. :(

--WhiteSoxer

registerthis
03-02-2006, 10:29 AM
I've got an exceptionally hard time believing you'd be as upset to find out that Griffey used steroids throughout his career as you'd be if several Reds players fixed games and threw an entire season down the toilet.

I'm not asking you to believe me, I'm simply telling you that would be the case. Believe what you want. And I think you underestimate the trust and value many fans place on people like Junior--he's a "hero" to many fans, and to find out that their hero's numbers were artificial and fraudulent would, IMO, cause many people to lose faith in the game as a whole. "If JUNIOR'S juicing, then I can't trust any numbers that have been put up."

I think both cases are equally bad in that scenario.

registerthis
03-02-2006, 10:32 AM
Steroids aren't going to help you hit Randy Johnson's slider. They may help you hit it farther when you make contact with it but steroids, in and of itself, doesn't help you hit the curveball.

That's exactly why I gave the nod to "gambling". Steroids don't make you great, they exploit your strengths. Huge difference there.

RFS62
03-02-2006, 10:54 AM
Gambling is worse, although that doesn't make taking steriods acceptable because it's not the most dangerous to the sport of the two.

Gambling would destroy the game. It's unacceptable in any form.

Cyclone792
03-02-2006, 01:02 PM
I'm not asking you to believe me, I'm simply telling you that would be the case. Believe what you want. And I think you underestimate the trust and value many fans place on people like Junior--he's a "hero" to many fans, and to find out that their hero's numbers were artificial and fraudulent would, IMO, cause many people to lose faith in the game as a whole. "If JUNIOR'S juicing, then I can't trust any numbers that have been put up."

I think both cases are equally bad in that scenario.

Junior is a hero to many people much the same as Mark McGwire was in 1998. Many people are considering themselves "cheated" due to that home run race, but they're still showing up at the park. People claim steroids are destroying the game, but they're still forking over their cash and time to baseball. Players have been on drugs for 50 years, and the game's popularity has boomed. Fans will bash players all afternoon whom they believe are on steroids, and then that night will head down to the ballpark. If gambling was running buck wild, those same fans wouldn't be heading down to the park.

If it wasn't for a man named George Herman outhomering entire teams and the hard fist of Landis throwing out guys by the truckload, the game likely would have crumbled in the aftermath of the Black Sox Scandal. The White Sox were immensely popular at the time, having won the 1917 World Series, the 1919 AL Pennant and contending down to the final week for the 1920 AL Pennant. Baseball as a whole was more popular then than it is now; no other sport came close to matching its popularity during that time period. It's how you get fabricated stories of a little boy tugging on Joe Jackson asking him "Say it ain't so, Joe," and it's how those stories are still told today, 85+ years after the fact.

FWIW, I'm still wondering about the generation of players that played in the late 1950s through the late 1970s and all the claims of PEDs that littered the game then. For the first 50-60 years of the modern game, the 500 home run club had four members. Coincidentally, during the same time period PEDs are claimed to have popped up, that 500 home run club triples in size. If people are so concerned about the purity of the game's numbers, then they should also be concerned about the numbers of the sluggers in the late 50s, 60s and 70s.

But they're not concerned about those sluggers, and never will be ... because those guys are now simply nostalgic, and you can't touch nostalgia! People will not want to believe the possibility of those earlier records being fraudulent so they won't believe it, while they will want to believe today's records as being fraudulent. Every excuse in the book will be thrown up in the air defending the guys of the 50s, 60s and 70s while every excuse in the book will be thrown at the guys accusing them of cheating in the 90s and beyond.

registerthis
03-02-2006, 01:53 PM
Junior is a hero to many people much the same as Mark McGwire was in 1998. Many people are considering themselves "cheated" due to that home run race, but they're still showing up at the park. People claim steroids are destroying the game, but they're still forking over their cash and time to baseball. Players have been on drugs for 50 years, and the game's popularity has boomed. Fans will bash players all afternoon whom they believe are on steroids, and then that night will head down to the ballpark. If gambling was running buck wild, those same fans wouldn't be heading down to the park.

Cyclone, your response was that you'd find it exceptionally hard to believe that I'd be equally upset in both scenarios. I answered yes, I would--and I'm not even disagreeing with most of what you wrote here. I think a large reason why fans appear to be so forgiving to steroid users (which is questionable, given the fans' reaction to players such as Palmeiro) is that there is not a widespread belief that most MLB players are on steroids--most people still believe that it's only a few players here and there, and an even fewer lot who actually get caught. I think if steroid testing had come back and it was discovered that 60-70% of the active players were juicing, you WOULD see a large scale revolt from fans. Maybe I'm wrong--I don't know. But when faced with irrefutable evidence that a player has taken steroids--witness Canseco, Palmeiro and Giambi--the fan's reaction has been vile. It's true, they continue to show up at the park, but that is due largely in part because they don't want to believe that the other 24 guys are on the juice as well--jeer Giambi, cheer for the rest of them. If MLB testing disproved that, and determined that a sizeable majority of MLB players were juicing, I think the reaction from fans would be substantially different.

But, like I said, I agree that gambling represents a greater threat to the game than does steroid use. I simply think you're underestimating the reaction fans would have if the steroid scandal blew up much larger than it currently is.

Cyclone792
03-02-2006, 02:54 PM
If MLB testing disproved that, and determined that a sizeable majority of MLB players were juicing, I think the reaction from fans would be substantially different.

But, like I said, I agree that gambling represents a greater threat to the game than does steroid use. I simply think you're underestimating the reaction fans would have if the steroid scandal blew up much larger than it currently is.

But here's the thing, we've got players in the game today who have never tested positive for steroids, but a significant amount of fans still believe those players are juicing and/or getting around testing. We've got the commissioner of baseball stating that certain players have never tested positive for steroids, but people don't want to believe it. MLB numbers are proving that hardly anybody is using steroids now, but it's almost as if people refuse to believe it. At the same time, we have other players who fit those same parameters people use to throw around steroid accusations and those other players never get mentioned.

Still, if someone has a big home run year, BAM, they must be on the juice, at least according to many fans. Every player who has had a 60+ home run year season since Maris has been accused. I sure hope that doesn't mean every player who has a 60+ home run season in the future will also be accused.

Alex Rodriguez hit 26 home runs in Yankee Stadium last season, a stadium that's historically been known for being tough on home runs for right-handed hitters. This is also the same guy that's bulked up quiet a bit since coming up as a skinny kid with Seattle in the mid 90s. If Rodriguez goes out and blasts 60+ next season (he's already hit 57 in a season), I sure hope people don't start throwing steroid accusations at him too.

David Ortiz increased his home run rate from 10 --> 18 --> 20 --> 31 --> 41 --> 47. What happens if 47 turns into 55+ next season? What happens if Ortiz ever approaches that magical juiced mark of 60? Do people think Brian Giles was ever on the juice? Go look at Giles' home run stats and tell me if they appear shady or not. Adam Dunn tripled his home run rate in one season from 2000 to 2001, with his 16 homers in 2000 coming in low-A ball.

Testing is in place, and has been in place, for a couple seasons now ... but the witch hunt still continues, and I'm wondering why. Offensive numbers are barely lower than they were before testing. There's been small spikes up in the past 15 years, but the reasoning for those spikes isn't steroids. If steroids played such a large role in huge offense, then I'd expect to see a significant drop in offense, but it just hasn't happened.

All of this is why the entire steroid saga is overplayed, overhyped and overrated.

oneupper
03-02-2006, 08:01 PM
But here's the thing, we've got players in the game today who have never tested positive for steroids, but a significant amount of fans still believe those players are juicing and/or getting around testing. We've got the commissioner of baseball stating that certain players have never tested positive for steroids, but people don't want to believe it. MLB numbers are proving that hardly anybody is using steroids now, but it's almost as if people refuse to believe it. At the same time, we have other players who fit those same parameters people use to throw around steroid accusations and those other players never get mentioned.

Still, if someone has a big home run year, BAM, they must be on the juice, at least according to many fans. Every player who has had a 60+ home run year season since Maris has been accused. I sure hope that doesn't mean every player who has a 60+ home run season in the future will also be accused.

Alex Rodriguez hit 26 home runs in Yankee Stadium last season, a stadium that's historically been known for being tough on home runs for right-handed hitters. This is also the same guy that's bulked up quiet a bit since coming up as a skinny kid with Seattle in the mid 90s. If Rodriguez goes out and blasts 60+ next season (he's already hit 57 in a season), I sure hope people don't start throwing steroid accusations at him too.

David Ortiz increased his home run rate from 10 --> 18 --> 20 --> 31 --> 41 --> 47. What happens if 47 turns into 55+ next season? What happens if Ortiz ever approaches that magical juiced mark of 60? Do people think Brian Giles was ever on the juice? Go look at Giles' home run stats and tell me if they appear shady or not. Adam Dunn tripled his home run rate in one season from 2000 to 2001, with his 16 homers in 2000 coming in low-A ball.

Testing is in place, and has been in place, for a couple seasons now ... but the witch hunt still continues, and I'm wondering why. Offensive numbers are barely lower than they were before testing. There's been small spikes up in the past 15 years, but the reasoning for those spikes isn't steroids. If steroids played such a large role in huge offense, then I'd expect to see a significant drop in offense, but it just hasn't happened.

All of this is why the entire steroid saga is overplayed, overhyped and overrated.

Nice Post, Cyc. But I really don't agree with you.
You bring up a lot of issues here about steriods. There is a lot we DONT know about these substances (which are varied and with different effects, BTW), such as for how long do their effects last. My understanding is that many of these substances help build muscle. That muscle doesn't go away overnight.

For all we know, juicers from years ago may still be enjoying the fruits of their cheating, even if they come up negative in tests today.

As for the skeptiscism, it is well-founded. Testing is a joke, with most players getting tested once or perhaps twice a season at most. A big bank account can probably buy a masking agent, if needed. But, I'll agree that most players are not using nowadays (however, see above).

As for the 60+ club of Sosa, McGwire and Bonds, there is enough anectdotal and circumstantial evidence IMO to pronounce them guilty. If this were 1919 and Landis were in charge, they'd be out of baseball for LIFE (and OJ would have needle in his arm).

With a credible testing program in place and effective sanctions, I'm sure people would believe in the performances again. How many people believed the 1921 WS was rigged?

As for the numbers themselves, HRs were down 9.4% in the NL last year. (AL 7.3%). That is VERY significant as far as I'm concerned. But let's not forget that PITCHERS have been accused of juicing also (and several HAVE tested positive). If pitchers were benefitting from steriods also, it kind of cancels things out.

If you think the saga is overplayed and overhyped, put a really tough testing program in place, go after the big boys and investigate their pasts (what are private investigators for). Get evidence, make a case, expose some lies, throw some people out of the game.

That will get everyone's attention.