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vaticanplum
03-09-2006, 05:36 PM
I think that if the HOF ever inducts guys such as Bonds or McGwire that perhaps it should be done as a package deal; say, put a picture of Bonds and his chemist together on the HOF plaque and induct them together. I usually think of Dr. Frankenstein and the creature he created as a package.

This may be the best solution yet.

Cyclone792
03-09-2006, 06:19 PM
I want to take a brief respite here and thank everybody for the articles and links they're posting. I've read some amazingly interesting and insightful stuff over the last couple of days (and gotten no work done, but hey, this is all with the good of the world in mind).

You might be interested in this article, which I find very interesting since I'm a stats guy through and through. It's a free article from Baseball Prospectus.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=4845

traderumor
03-09-2006, 09:47 PM
It just appears prudent to me that if fairness and equality is as significant of a justification that it's said to be, then all chemical substances should be banned ... healthy substances just the same as unhealthy substances (there are people who take that viewpoint too, and I don't necessarily disagree with them if they're concerned about a level playing field).

"Chemical substance" is much too broad of a term to develop any type of a standard from. Common prescription medication is often a chemical substance, for example. The idea seems more to me that athletes should only have access to supplements that assist an athlete to get in the best possible shape through normal physical training means and do not unnaturally speed up the process (shortcut to the hard work of physical training) nor allow an athlete to attain a mass that would be very unlikely attainable but for the use of the chemical substance(s), such as Bonds.

WMR
03-09-2006, 11:27 PM
Bonds should be suspended for this season at the very least and should be denied entry into the HoF whether he breaks any more records or not.

RFS62
03-09-2006, 11:36 PM
Yep, it's the necessary PR to satisfy the masses and justify the reasoning for them being banned. :) Everything derives from the health factor. It is the key core to it all.

It's likely that it really becomes a morals and values issue for most people. I can use a wide range of legal, healthy chemical substances to gain a definitive competitive advantage over those not using the same or similar substances. Right there, fairness and equality is suddenly broken ... but health is not sacrificed. Or I could elect to use steroids to gain a definitive competitive advantage. Fairness and equality is again broken ... and health is heavily sacrificed.

That Xyience stuff I mentioned in a previous post tastes terrible as well as being horribly expensive. :p: There's no other reason to take it other than gaining a competitive advantage!

But it's booming in the mixed martial arts community because of the competitive advantages gained from using it. The difference is it's healthy ... so it's acceptable to use.

It just appears prudent to me that if fairness and equality is as significant of a justification that it's said to be, then all chemical substances should be banned ... healthy substances just the same as unhealthy substances (there are people who take that viewpoint too, and I don't necessarily disagree with them if they're concerned about a level playing field).



I'm trying very hard to look at the big picture here. At this point in time, I agree with RedsBaron and Registerthis and their take on steroids.

But I'm still struggling with the vision of the future that was portrayed in that incredible Gary Smith article from SI last summer.

Again, consider what a futurist predicts for the athletes of the future in this excerpt....



I call a futurist. I ask him what a baseball player will look like in 30 years, using the advances that science appears poised to make. For starters, he'll have zoom vision, says Jerome Glenn, director of the Millennium Project, the American Council for the United Nations University's global think tank. Microscopic devices in the eye, possibly activated by voice command, will contract ocular muscles and change the shape of the eye in order to alter focal capacity.

Artificial muscles will complement the player's natural ones. Start-up companies are already working on them, using electroactive polymers. Nanobots, molecular chips that behave like red blood cells, will provide food and oxygen more efficiently to the cells and be programmed to travel through the bloodstream to the brain to stimulate the production of chemicals that speed up neural response. Nanobots will monitor the player's internal responses and flash them onto a lens on his eye, providing biofeedback so he can self-correct almost instantly.

He'll be genetically engineered, of course. Gene combinations will be customized just for him and introduced into his body as part of a harmless virus that will act as a carrier. This will alter him at his most fundamental level -- his DNA -- stimulating the production of chemicals that affect, on a cellular level, the size of his muscles, his strength and quickness and even psychological traits. That could easily happen in the next 10 years and be holy hell to detect. Scientists are already receiving calls from athletes and their representatives asking if gene doping is ready yet, says Dr. Theodore Friedmann, director of UC San Diego's Program in Human Gene Therapy.

Steroids? Don't be silly. "The use of anabolic steroids, in retrospect, will seem almost prehistoric," says Jerome. "Steroids are like the early biplanes. People got in them and crashed. But now people fly everywhere without a second thought. Steroids have negative connotations because of harmful side effects, but get rid of the harm associated with enhancement, and where is the controversy?

"It's a shame Bonds broke the rules, but the desire to go beyond will not end. What's the smartest way to embrace the future, rather than fight it? What we need to do is think it through beforehand. What if we'd done that with steroids? Would we be in this mess?

"We can invent this future if we start thinking about it now. Do we accept the interchange of human and pig DNA? Will there have to be two leagues, two standards for every sport? Because there's no way a 'natural' will be able to compete with a player augmented by drugs, bionics, genetic engineering and nanobots. The naturals will exist side by side with the augmenteds and then will vanish because the augmenteds will be more interesting to watch. But who knows? Maybe naturals will want to watch naturals, and they will survive."

How can Jerome be so sure all this is coming? Didn't he see the glare in the eyes of that white-haired congressman from Vermont? And isn't there a problem with getting rid of the harm: the possibility that you won't know you're harmed ... until it's too late?

"Mothers who want the best for their kids -- that's who will break the back of the naturals," says Jerome. "Humans becoming cyborgs is what we're talking about. Hopefully we're just beginning, and we ain't seen nothin' yet."




Even the most advanced steroids and human growth hormone of today will be primitave as medical science marches on. The jock of the future could well be the Frankenstein monster RedsBaron describes. The ethical questions we are now struggling with will no doubt be compounded exponentially.

And Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa may well be the first salvo fired in a revolution of performance enhancement that dwarfs our wildest dreams.

WMR
03-09-2006, 11:42 PM
Ask Ken Caminiti's wife what an athlete will look like 30 years from now.

paintmered
03-09-2006, 11:43 PM
Even the most advanced steroids and human growth hormone of today will be primitave as medical science marches on. The jock of the future could well be the Frankenstein monster RedsBaron describes. The ethical questions we are now struggling with will no doubt be compounded exponentially.

One of my professors is leading the research charge towards this very vision. If you were to hear him speak, the line between electrical engineering and biology/physiology is not much of a line at all - even today. What will be available to us in two or three decades will certainly be very impressive and disturbingly scary at the same time.

Cyclone792
03-10-2006, 12:59 AM
I'm trying very hard to look at the big picture here. At this point in time, I agree with RedsBaron and Registerthis and their take on steroids.

But I'm still struggling with the vision of the future that was portrayed in that incredible Gary Smith article from SI last summer.

Again, consider what a futurist predicts for the athletes of the future in this excerpt....

Even the most advanced steroids and human growth hormone of today will be primitave as medical science marches on. The jock of the future could well be the Frankenstein monster RedsBaron describes. The ethical questions we are now struggling with will no doubt be compounded exponentially.

And Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa may well be the first salvo fired in a revolution of performance enhancement that dwarfs our wildest dreams.

Yup, very interesting article, and I can definitely see the sporting world turning out that way. The ethical questions are just now beginning, and what the players of the last 10 years have done won't compare.

The quote that stands out to me ...


"The use of anabolic steroids, in retrospect, will seem almost prehistoric," says Jerome. "Steroids are like the early biplanes. People got in them and crashed. But now people fly everywhere without a second thought. Steroids have negative connotations because of harmful side effects, but get rid of the harm associated with enhancement, and where is the controversy?

Get rid of the harm, get rid of the health consequences, and the controversy disappears.

RedsBaron
03-10-2006, 07:55 AM
Even the most advanced steroids and human growth hormone of today will be primitave as medical science marches on. The jock of the future could well be the Frankenstein monster RedsBaron describes. The ethical questions we are now struggling with will no doubt be compounded exponentially.

And Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa may well be the first salvo fired in a revolution of performance enhancement that dwarfs our wildest dreams.
The pace of speed increases at a dizzingly rate, and what the future holds is probably wildly beyond any of my expectations. However, if I am around 30 years from now, I wonder if I will really care who wins contests between the creatures created by our science.

Roy Tucker
03-10-2006, 08:34 AM
Get rid of the harm, get rid of the health consequences, and the controversy disappears.


I suppose. That's a Brave New World kind of viewpoint. Ethically speaking, the dividing line will continue to blur. Like you said, if it doesn't harm you, what is the difference between a nanobot bringing red blood cells and a Fred Flintstone multivitamin. It disturbs me, but I haven't yet been able to articulate why. I'm working on it.

I think the devil will be in the details and all of these new techniques won't be as carefree as they seem. The human body is a tricky thing and Mother Nature doesn't like to be fooled.

I seem to recall this controversy happening in the weight lifting world and they finally started up a Clean league. They all get tested out the wazoo and take an oath stating they are clean.

I could see this happeing in baseball, a clean league and a chemically enhanced league. Unfortunately, I also think the clean league would be like the Florence Freedoms playing in relative cow pastures while the C-E droids play under the big lights in stadiums in New York, Frankfort, and Shanghai making gigabucks on 3D TV.

As I tell my kids, we'll see,

RedFanAlways1966
03-10-2006, 08:35 AM
Well... got my SI in the mail yesterday when I arrived home from work. I immediately opened it up to the article and read it. B*A*R*R*Y, it does not look good. The drug use, the lies (grand jury and others), the racist comments about other people and the attitude/behavior towards other humans... not good.

Will Barry sue for defamation of character? If not, I guess we can believe it all (I do anyhow). It seems the only way for B*A*R*R*Y to attempt to save face now.

All MLB fans should read this article.

letsgojunior
03-10-2006, 09:01 AM
Will Barry sue for defamation of character? If not, I guess we can believe it all (I do anyhow).

Truth is a complete defense in defamation causes of action. That, and a public figure like Barry has an extremely high burden in order to win - he would have to essentially prove that either 1) the reporters knew everything they wrote at the time was false or 2) they recklessly disregarded its falsity, meaning that they never checked sources, were extraordinarily careless, etc.

Cyclone792
03-10-2006, 11:51 AM
I suppose. That's a Brave New World kind of viewpoint. Ethically speaking, the dividing line will continue to blur. Like you said, if it doesn't harm you, what is the difference between a nanobot bringing red blood cells and a Fred Flintstone multivitamin. It disturbs me, but I haven't yet been able to articulate why. I'm working on it.

I think the devil will be in the details and all of these new techniques won't be as carefree as they seem. The human body is a tricky thing and Mother Nature doesn't like to be fooled.

I seem to recall this controversy happening in the weight lifting world and they finally started up a Clean league. They all get tested out the wazoo and take an oath stating they are clean.

I could see this happeing in baseball, a clean league and a chemically enhanced league. Unfortunately, I also think the clean league would be like the Florence Freedoms playing in relative cow pastures while the C-E droids play under the big lights in stadiums in New York, Frankfort, and Shanghai making gigabucks on 3D TV.

As I tell my kids, we'll see,

Brave New World viewpoint - I like it! :p:

It does disturb me also ... to a degree. In baseball, it seems as if the blurry ethical line has always been there; I think the nature of today's media just makes it much more well-known. Today, we're reminded of it repeatedly, several times per day. It also existed in baseball yesteryear, but other than extreme circumstances, it remained buried underneath the pitcher's mound in old Comiskey, rarely observed by the fan base.

This reminds me of a somewhat famous quote by Rogers Hornsby when he stated, "You've got to cheat. I've cheated, or someone on my team has cheated, in almost every single game I've been in."

Hornsby had a personality and demeanor that was frowned upon by most in the game, and labeling him the ultimate jerk is probably being nice about it. He was perhaps the Barry Bonds of his generation in that regard.

It doesn't make cheating right, nothing does, but I do wonder how today's society would grasp everything about that man, including his apparent viewpoint on cheating.

You're definitely right though; we're just going to have to sit back and see how everything folds out, not just in the next few years, but over the next several decades.

Cyclone792
03-10-2006, 12:03 PM
Will Barry sue for defamation of character? If not, I guess we can believe it all (I do anyhow). It seems the only way for B*A*R*R*Y to attempt to save face now.

All MLB fans should read this article.

Whether or not Barry ever used a steroid or not in his life, I'm not sure he'd sue. For one, libel suits can play out for several years and that would only keep reviving the issue.

Secondly, and probably the big one, Barry's already protected by certain words not being in the CBA prior to the 2004 season. Selig can invoke his "best interests of the game" clause all he wants and attempt to punish Barry, but the union would likely step in and deliver a KO in Barry's defense. Fighting that fight would be a bloody mess, and Selig knows it. It'd be just like trying to invoke that clause during a player strike; sure, it's in the best interest of the game to not strike, but the CBA wins out.

Like it or not, the CBA rules just about everything in the baseball world today, and it's just a fact of the baseball world. To this day baseball is still paying for the financial greed of guys like Frank Navin who treated their players like indentured servants.

Roy Tucker
03-10-2006, 12:18 PM
I agree about Bud ultimately not doing anything. It's just too bloody of a battle.

What I'd like him to do is deliver a Bart Giamatti-like "Do *I* think Bonds took steroids? Yes, I do" line. That would carry some weight.

But that won't happen. Bud has too much planarian worm DNA in him.

Reds Nd2
03-10-2006, 05:07 PM
Barry Bonds? The "moral" crime he committed - steroids were legal in the game at the time so it wasn't even a baseball crime -

I just wanted to say that I've thoroughly enjoyed reading everyones opinions on this thread.

Cyclone, I primarily agree with your opinion regarding the hiearchy of crimes in baseball. I was wondering though, if you could explain your above quote to me. I admit to being a little confused by it. Perhaps I'm taking it out of context.

Steroids are illegal without a prescription and anyone possesing them would be in violation of the law, just as they would be for possesing cocain. It was my understanding that steroids were listed as an illegal drug by the MLB even though they were prohibited from specifically testing for them at the major league level. I guess my question is, how did you arrive at the conclusion that Bonds didn't break any baseball rules, assuming that he did indeed take steroids.

Reds Nd2
03-10-2006, 05:12 PM
Secondly, and probably the big one, Barry's already protected by certain words not being in the CBA prior to the 2004 season. Selig can invoke his "best interests of the game" clause all he wants and attempt to punish Barry, but the union would likely step in and deliver a KO in Barry's defense.

I think Selig will punish Bonds in some manner if the allegations prove to be true. I'm not sure what that punishment will entail, but it's my opinion that it's coming in some form or another.

Cyclone792
03-10-2006, 05:57 PM
I just wanted to say that I've thoroughly enjoyed reading everyones opinions on this thread.

Cyclone, I primarily agree with your opinion regarding the hiearchy of crimes in baseball. I was wondering though, if you could explain your above quote to me. I admit to being a little confused by it. Perhaps I'm taking it out of context.

Steroids are illegal without a prescription and anyone possesing them would be in violation of the law, just as they would be for possesing cocain. It was my understanding that steroids were listed as an illegal drug by the MLB even though they were prohibited from specifically testing for them at the major league level. I guess my question is, how did you arrive at the conclusion that Bonds didn't break any baseball rules, assuming that he did indeed take steroids.

Using steroids in baseball prior to 2004 was breaking America's law, but it did not break baseball's law. Just like Willie Mays and Mike Schmidt using amphetamines during their playing days also broke America's law, but it did not break baseball's law. They're two separate entities, and it's not MLB's responsibility to enforce US laws. They can elect to enforce them with their own regulations, which they've now done in the case of steroids/amphetamines, but are not held responsible to do such thing.

The 1991 documents you're probably referring to that listed illegal drugs was basically a powerless memo sent out by Fay Vincent to control cocaine problems, but it was not in the CBA. Baseball tried to place it within the CBA, but failed to do so, rendering it powerless. Had they successfully included that policy within the CBA, then Bonds would have been breaking baseball rules, but without its inclusion within the CBA there was no rule to break.

This is why I do not believe there will be any punishment for Bonds (Selig apparently mentioned today he's not considering suspending him). Attempting to penalize Bonds will likely just result in a bloody fight with the union, and the union would come out victorious.

Reds Nd2
03-10-2006, 06:33 PM
Using steroids in baseball prior to 2004 was breaking America's law, but it did not break baseball's law. Just like Willie Mays and Mike Schmidt using amphetamines during their playing days also broke America's law, but it did not break baseball's law. They're two separate entities, and it's not MLB's responsibility to enforce US laws. They can elect to enforce them with their own regulations, which they've now done in the case of steroids/amphetamines, but are not held responsible to do such thing.

The 1991 documents you're probably referring to that listed illegal drugs was basically a powerless memo sent out by Fay Vincent to control cocaine problems, but it was not in the CBA. Baseball tried to place it within the CBA, but failed to do so, rendering it powerless. Had they successfully included that policy within the CBA, then Bonds would have been breaking baseball rules, but without its inclusion within the CBA there was no rule to break.

This is why I do not believe there will be any punishment for Bonds (Selig apparently mentioned today he's not considering suspending him). Attempting to penalize Bonds will likely just result in a bloody fight with the union, and the union would come out victorious.

Thanks Cyclone. I totally agree that MLB isn't responsible for enforcing laws outside of their own rules as they apply to the game.

I guess I'm still confused as to why using steroids wouldn't be violating the rules of baseball prior to '04. Are you saying that any rule has to be included in the CBA for it to be effective, regardless of the position or policies of the MLB? I think this is the point that's throwing me here. I haven't done anything more than skim the CBA, but I thought it had more to do with salaries, punishment, drug testing of the players, etc. than it did with specific policies or rules concerning playing the game. I am under the impression that MLB could still ban any drug they wanted, even if the agreement with the union didn't allow for specific testing of said drug. That being said, a player caught using steroids could be suspended, just as if they had been caught using cocain.

On the other hand, my assumptions could just be wrong :), but that is my thinking at this time and that's why I think Bonds will get some type of punishment. I can see that I need to spend some time reading the CBA.

oneupper
03-10-2006, 06:46 PM
Using steroids in baseball prior to 2004 was breaking America's law, but it did not break baseball's law. Just like Willie Mays and Mike Schmidt using amphetamines during their playing days also broke America's law, but it did not break baseball's law. They're two separate entities, and it's not MLB's responsibility to enforce US laws. They can elect to enforce them with their own regulations, which they've now done in the case of steroids/amphetamines, but are not held responsible to do such thing.



Hi Cyc...I was traveling. Looks like this discussion rages on.

This is simply NOT true. Gaining an unfair advantage by unlawful means is CHEATING, and you yourself have admitted that using steriods is cheating.

Amphetamine users...also cheating. Cocaine users...not cheating (baseball chose to sanction, in a moral overreach, IMO). Coffee drinkers...NOT cheating (in baseball...olympics..yes). Caffeine may be performance-enhancing, but its not illegal and not against the rules (at this point).
Smoking pot...not cheaging, and shouldn't be baseball's problem, IMO, UNLESS you do it a the park (or some other baseball event).
Betting on baseball...not illegal everywhere, but against specific MLB rules. (Baseball sanctions).


Whether it is spelled out specifically or not, if an unlawful act relates to baseball, baseball should impose sanction.

Examples:
Player kills wife. Not baseball's business.
Player kills opposing player on the field (or a fan in the stands). Baseball's business (a baseball sanction is in order in addition to the Justice system's sanctions).

If we used your logic, then baseball should have ignored Juan Marichal's clubbing of Johnny Roseboro and let the cops charge him with battery.
(MLB response was lame, IMO anyway).
Or Milton Bradley's tussle with a fan.
Sorry, Don't think so...

The problem with steriods is that they are performance-enhancing AND illegal at the same time. And it DOES relate to baseball.

If some players are using, to make it fair (and not cheating)...everyone should be able to use them.
But "evening the playing field" meant committing an illegal act.

It is cheating in baseball...and requires a sanction.

In 2004, baseball chose to begin TESTING half-seriously (they still don't test for Human Growth Hormone). That's like putting traffic cops at an intersection. Running a red light was still against the law before the cops were there. If you have proof someone did...he can be charged.

One thing that this whole discussion has revealed (and take some credit for that, Cyc) is that "baseball" (as in MLB, Selig, et. al) has to clearly define what falls in its sphere of influence and what doesn't. Stuff like: What is the statute of limitations for baseball-related offenses? What can it investigate? What is none of its business?

Sports have their own parallel "justice" systems, like it or not. And like in all justice, there is room for abuse and overreaching. Make it clear and try to make it fair.

Yachtzee
03-10-2006, 06:58 PM
But then, how could Steve Howe, Darryl Stawberry, Dwight Gooden and others be suspended for cocaine use if it wasn't in the CBA? I think baseball has always been able to punish players for breaking America's laws. It's just a matter of whether baseball saw the law broken as one that reflected poorly on baseball. Baseball has always been able to suspend players for drug use, they just couldn't test for it themselves. That is what the Union has always been fighting. Testing, in the eyes of the Union, is an invasion of privacy. I don't think they've ever taken the position that steroids are legal, even in baseball.

Just because something isn't in the CBA doesn't mean Baseball can't take action against it. There is nothing in the CBA against murder, but I'm sure if a player or owner contracted a hit on an umpire or an opposing player, baseball could make that person permanently ineligible.

Cyclone792
03-10-2006, 07:01 PM
Thanks Cyclone. I totally agree that MLB isn't responsible for enforcing laws outside of their own rules as they apply to the game.

I guess I'm still confused as to why using steroids wouldn't be violating the rules of baseball prior to '04. Are you saying that any rule has to be included in the CBA for it to be effective, regardless of the position or policies of the MLB? I think this is the point that's throwing me here. I haven't done anything more than skim the CBA, but I thought it had more to do with salaries, punishment, drug testing of the players, etc. than it did with specific policies or rules concerning playing the game. I am under the impression that MLB could still ban any drug they wanted, even if the agreement with the union didn't allow for specific testing of said drug. That being said, a player caught using steroids could be suspended, just as if they had been caught using cocain.

On the other hand, my assumptions could just be wrong :), but that is my thinking at this time and that's why I think Bonds will get some type of punishment. I can see that I need to spend some time reading the CBA.

In my understanding, drug rules pertain to player privacy rights and that's the big deal with them needing to be within the CBA.

To answer your question about any rule being in the CBA, Article XVIII labeled Rule changes in the CBA might be what you're looking for. It is on page 68 for me in the following CBA pdf ...

http://www.businessofbaseball.com/docs/2002_2006basicagreement.pdf

Cyclone792
03-10-2006, 07:15 PM
But then, how could Steve Howe, Darryl Stawberry, Dwight Gooden and others be suspended for cocaine use if it wasn't in the CBA? I think baseball has always been able to punish players for breaking America's laws. It's just a matter of whether baseball saw the law broken as one that reflected poorly on baseball. Baseball has always been able to suspend players for drug use, they just couldn't test for it themselves. That is what the Union has always been fighting. Testing, in the eyes of the Union, is an invasion of privacy. I don't think they've ever taken the position that steroids are legal, even in baseball.

Just because something isn't in the CBA doesn't mean Baseball can't take action against it. There is nothing in the CBA against murder, but I'm sure if a player or owner contracted a hit on an umpire or an opposing player, baseball could make that person permanently ineligible.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2634



Q. What about other drugs?

A. The players are not tested for marijuana, cocaine or other illegal drugs. A player who is convicted, pleads guilty or pleads no contest to charges of using, selling or distributing such drugs is subject to discipline as follows:

Use of marijuana: No suspension; progressive fines, not to exceed $15,000

Use of other drugs:

First offense: 15- to 30-day suspension, up to $10,000 fine

Second offense: 30- to 90-day suspension, up to $50,000 fine

Third offense: One-year suspension, up to $100,000 fine

Fourth offense: Two-year suspension

Fifth or subsequent offense (the Steve Howe level): Further penalties "consistent with the concept of progressive discipline."

Sale or distribution of drugs:

First offense: 60- to 90-day suspension, up to $100,000 fine

Second offense: Two-year suspension

Third or subsequent offense: Further penalties "consistent with the concept of progressive discipline."

Q. Why did the owners have to negotiate the terms of the testing policy with the MLBPA in the first place? Why can't an owner simply refuse to sign any player who won't take, and pass, a drug test?

A. Because an arbitrator ruled against them on this issue in 1986. Before the 1985 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers tried to add a mandatory drug-testing clause to all player contracts. They backed down, but a number of clubs tried again after the season, following the breakdown of talks over a joint drug program. The MLBPA filed a grievance, which was sustained by arbitrator Thomas Roberts on July 30, 1986. Roberts held that drug testing had to be negotiated with the MLBPA, not with individual players.

Cyclone792
03-10-2006, 07:21 PM
The problem with steriods is that they are performance-enhancing AND illegal at the same time. And it DOES relate to baseball.

If some players are using, to make it fair (and not cheating)...everyone should be able to use them.
But "evening the playing field" meant committing an illegal act.

It is cheating in baseball...and requires a sanction.

In 2004, baseball chose to begin TESTING half-seriously (they still don't test for Human Growth Hormone). That's like putting traffic cops at an intersection. Running a red light was still against the law before the cops were there. If you have proof someone did...he can be charged.

One thing that this whole discussion has revealed (and take some credit for that, Cyc) is that "baseball" (as in MLB, Selig, et. al) has to clearly define what falls in its sphere of influence and what doesn't. Stuff like: What is the statute of limitations for baseball-related offenses? What can it investigate? What is none of its business?

Sports have their own parallel "justice" systems, like it or not. And like in all justice, there is room for abuse and overreaching. Make it clear and try to make it fair.

It relates to baseball and baseball has its own justice system, which is why it relates to the CBA. The previous CBA during Bonds' years in question stated that players violated a drug policy only if he "is convicted, pleads guilty or pleads no contest to charges of using, selling or distributing such drugs."

Bonds never was convicted, never plead guilty and never plead no contest to charges of using steroids or selling/distributing steroids. Per the CBA, he did not break any baseball rules.

oneupper, I understand your frustrations, but you're arguing against the actual laws contained within the CBA. I guarantee you if there were loopholes within the CBA that would allow baseball to go after Bonds without engaging in a bloody battle with the MLBPA (and subsequently losing), that there would be countless published articles by sports law writers explaining how to do so, and more importantly, baseball would already be swiftly making their move. But it simply isn't the case. It is impossible to go back and rewrite the CBA and their rules as they stood from 1999-2003 ... such is life.

oneupper
03-10-2006, 09:33 PM
Cyclone, the provisions of the CBA can hardly be equated to "laws". I believe we already saw that last year as political pressure forced tougher penalties for positive test.

The CBA is just that, a collective bargaining agreement. It doesn't define what constitutes cheating.

It does limit what Selig can impose in terms of sanctions (without the best interest of baseball provision or legislative help), for certain kinds of transgressions.

I don't agree that baseball would "get" Bonds if there were a way. To me, its obvious that there has been (and still is) absolutely no WILL to go after Bonds and the other steriod poster boys. Selig just wants this to go away and must be terribly frustrated with the re-emergence of the issue.
The man has no cojones.

RFS62
03-10-2006, 10:01 PM
Regarding the CBA, I've always found it obscene that the players union used steriod testing as a bargaining chip in the CBA negotiations.

The first duty of the players union is to protect its membership.

Imagine if the owners were insisting that the players juice up to produce a better product, kind of like the WWF. The players union would be screaming from the rooftops at the injustice and danger it posed to its members.

But if MLB wants to stop it, it becomes a privacy issue. And that's just a thinly veiled excuse for Fehr and the players union to extract concessions from MLB in negotiations. They should be INSISTING that MLB help them protect the players from this crap. Instead, they use it to make more money and improve their deal.

I don't give a crap about Barry Bonds steroid use in the big picture. It's the implied pressure on the marginal players and young kids coming up who think they have to juice to keep up.

I would have slept in the road to make it to the bigs when I was a kid. I would have crawled across broken glass. And steroids, if I had thought they would get me to the bigs, I'd have been all over it.

This issue isn't about the superstars and the sanctity of records. It's about the kids and marginal players who are afraid not to juice.

That's the crime. That's the shame. That's the reason I hate the whole stinkin' mess.

The players union sold out their membership for 30 pieces of silver.

Chip R
03-11-2006, 12:29 AM
You can make the argument that a union should look out for their members' best interests. But you have to define best interests. Do you trade short term financial gain for possible long term health risks? Ultimately the choice is up to the membership. And it doesn't just happen in MLB either. It happens in everyday life. A mineworkers' union may trade off some health risks to their members for a couple of bucks more per hour or a little extra vacation or even better benefits. After all, if the owners have to spend money to upgrade working conditions, there's less money for the workers. And there's also a possibility of the mine being shut down. So union officials let the owners get away with some things that could later on jeopardize their members' health.

Getting back to baseball, two things you have to understand are that the vast majority of the players are in their 20s and 30s and their earning power is only about 20 years at the most. When you are younger, you don't care as much about what you put in your body because you think you're immortal. Those may not always be wise choices. But you do it anyway cause you're young and stupid and you figure it probably won't kill you. Perhaps that is how these players felt about steroids. What the hell, it isn't like it's addictive like coke or it could kill you. Sure, it's possible long term steroid abuse can kill you but you don't O.D. on it in the short term.

And these guys' earning power is during a relatively short period of time. Guys retire at 40. Normal people have another 25-30 more years to earn money. And we all know that the higher salaries go for the superstars, it will eventually make more money for the rest of them. It's a rising tide. I'm sure there were a lot of guys who were against steroids but they held their tongues because of peer pressure or because they felt that the money outweighed the competitive edge it gave to some of the steroid users. Ultimately it was up to the membership and not the union executives. You saw what happened when players started saying that they didn't want steroids any more. They negotiated agreements that called for testing and penalties for players who failed tests. The penalties may have not been very stiff but there were penalties. As there was more outcry, the penalties got stronger to the point where they are more severe than the penalties are in the NFL, where, if someone tests positive for steroids, no one cares. So there is now testing, punishment and there are actually players who have tested positive - which proves that the testing works and gives the fans a scapegoat. People are just upset now because the penalties aren't retroactive to 1998.

Cyclone792
03-11-2006, 01:32 AM
Cyclone, the provisions of the CBA can hardly be equated to "laws". I believe we already saw that last year as political pressure forced tougher penalties for positive test.

The CBA is just that, a collective bargaining agreement. It doesn't define what constitutes cheating.

It does limit what Selig can impose in terms of sanctions (without the best interest of baseball provision or legislative help), for certain kinds of transgressions.

I don't agree that baseball would "get" Bonds if there were a way. To me, its obvious that there has been (and still is) absolutely no WILL to go after Bonds and the other steriod poster boys. Selig just wants this to go away and must be terribly frustrated with the re-emergence of the issue.
The man has no cojones.

The United States Supreme Court is the "law of the land" for US law. Similarly, the Collective Bargaining Agreement is the "law of the land" for Major League Baseball. It absolutely defines what constitutes cheating and what does not constitute cheating in Major League Baseball. When the original CBA was passed, it was passed under the condition that every current MLB rule in place was acceptable within player rights (if they disagreed, they fought until they reached a compromise). All further changes to MLB rules that have any bearing on player rights must pass through the MLBPA. We do not hear about the rules that pass by without controversy; behind closed doors MLB informs the MLBPA what it wants to do and the union quietly signs off on it. We only hear about these issues when they disagree and fight about it.

What is within the CBA may go against the morals of every single MLB fan in regards to what constitutes cheating, but it does not matter. The CBA is MLB's law of the land.

Only Congress can threaten to push MLB around because of MLB's Antitrust Exemption (http://espn.go.com/mlb/s/2001/1205/1290707.html). Perhaps the proper term is blackmail; if an issue arises that aggravates Congress enough, they have the magical threat in regards to the Antitrust Exemption.

This isn't about Bud Selig having the cojones to go after Bonds; it's about Bud Selig being powerless to do anything about Bonds committing an act that was not against baseball rules at the time. It is a lose lose situation for Bud Selig to go after Barry Bonds. He can go after Bonds all he wants until the cows come home, but here is what would happen:

1) Bud Selig and MLB penalize Bonds. Let's say they suspend him for x number of games.
2) The MLBPA files a grievance in Bonds' defense.
3) A bloody mess ensues.
4) An arbitrator ultimately rules in favor of the union (Bonds).
5) No penalty (suspension) results from the decision.

In the end, if baseball went after Bonds, they would still not be able to penalize him, and they would be dealing with all the negative PR dealing with the entire case. There is absolutely no positive gain for Selig to go after Bonds because he cannot win.

What can Bud Selig do? He can do what Roy pointed out earlier in this thread. He can investigate it and he can ultimately release a statement saying, "After reviewing the case, I believe Barry Bonds used steroids, and Major League Baseball does not condone his actions ... blah blah blah."

While I'm posting this, I also want to say that I wholeheartedly agree with everything RFS and Chip said in the two previous posts. Chip stated one sentence that glowingly stands out:


People are just upset now because the penalties aren't retroactive to 1998.

There it is in 12 words, and in the specific case of Barry Bonds it is what it all comes down to.

Yachtzee
03-11-2006, 03:38 AM
I think that if Selig took a strong stand on it, Bonds would be done. Even if it wasn't explicitly banned by baseball at the time, steroid use without a prescription was illegal at the time it allegedly occurred. As far as I know, there is nothing in baseball's rules that prevent players being sanctioned ex poste facto. Sure Selig may need sign off from the Players Association, but I think if he pushed the matter with the union, it's the one area where he can win. He has the moral high ground, the support of Congress, and public support. He may even have support of a majority of ballplayers themselves, although I've never seen a poll and I doubt the union would ever let the results of one be made public. So I think that if he pushed it, I don't think the union could hold out against sanctioning Bonds if its proven he took steroids. But Selig doesn't work that way. He's a consensus builder. I have a feeling that if Bud investigates and finds out that the allegations are true, there will be some agreement where Bonds will quietly retire and nothing more will be said about it. Then, come HOF voting time, it will be up to the baseball writers.

Right now, MLB has a real credibility problem. Instead of being able to promote the World Baseball Classic and get fans focused on Opening Day, they've been dealing with steroids as a major issue yet again, even after they supposedly "settled" the issue with the new drug policy. The longer it continues, the more it hurts baseball, its owners, its players and its fans.

Yachtzee
03-11-2006, 03:47 AM
Just as an aside, I have personally suspected that the past opposition to drug testing among rank-and-file players probably has less to do with steroids and more to do with recreational drug use. A lot of guys in their 20s and 30s have much different views on the use of marijuana and other non-performance enhancing drugs than past generations.

GAC
03-11-2006, 06:15 AM
I just find it ironic seeing Barry Bonds standing next to one of baseball's all-time greats (who didn't have to juice to be a superstar)

http://images.art.com/images/products/large/10123000/10123937.jpg

RedsBaron
03-11-2006, 07:52 AM
This issue isn't about the superstars and the sanctity of records. It's about the kids and marginal players who are afraid not to juice.

That's the crime. That's the shame. That's the reason I hate the whole stinkin' mess.

The players union sold out their membership for 30 pieces of silver.
:clap:

oneupper
03-11-2006, 11:40 AM
Similarly, the Collective Bargaining Agreement is the "law of the land" for Major League Baseball. It absolutely defines what constitutes cheating and what does not constitute cheating in Major League Baseball.



Cyclone, now you made me read this damn thing! :) :)

Not really, but I did give it a good scan. The word "cheat" or "cheating" isn't mentioned. Neither is gamble, gambling, wager or bet (or expectorate). I'd hardly say it defines "cheating" by any stretch of the imagination (neither specifically and definitely not comprehensively).

This, however, I found interesting:

"Loyalty
3.(a) The Player agrees to perform his services hereunder diligently
and faithfully, to keep himself in first-class physical condition and to
obey the Club’s training rules, and pledges himself to the American
public and to the Club to conform to high standards of personal conduct,
fair play and good sportsmanship."

By cheating...Bonds has broken this pledge.

I'll admit I couldn't find any specific penalties for this very basic pledge. But then again there is no mention of specific crimes, either (except those pertaining to drug distribution and use).

The point is...if there is a will there is a way. Selig doesn't have the will. He may, however, be coerced into acting, much as he was last year.

As I posted before...we can argue about the penalties. Some are even unappealable (sic?) by the MLBPA, such as HOF eligibility and records.

Cyclone792
03-11-2006, 01:45 PM
Cyclone, now you made me read this damn thing! :) :)

Not really, but I did give it a good scan. The word "cheat" or "cheating" isn't mentioned. Neither is gamble, gambling, wager or bet (or expectorate). I'd hardly say it defines "cheating" by any stretch of the imagination (neither specifically and definitely not comprehensively).

This, however, I found interesting:

"Loyalty
3.(a) The Player agrees to perform his services hereunder diligently
and faithfully, to keep himself in first-class physical condition and to
obey the Club’s training rules, and pledges himself to the American
public and to the Club to conform to high standards of personal conduct,
fair play and good sportsmanship."

By cheating...Bonds has broken this pledge.

I'll admit I couldn't find any specific penalties for this very basic pledge. But then again there is no mention of specific crimes, either (except those pertaining to drug distribution and use).

The point is...if there is a will there is a way. Selig doesn't have the will. He may, however, be coerced into acting, much as he was last year.

As I posted before...we can argue about the penalties. Some are even unappealable (sic?) by the MLBPA, such as HOF eligibility and records.

Rule 21 is in the MLB rulebook. All CBAs have been passed with that being an acceptable rule for both parties.

But the union still defends their own, no matter how slimy and morally wrong baseball fans think the act is, and Bonds is one of their own. By not defending Bonds they would be showing that they have no backbone in defending their players, and we all know the union wants no part of that. They file grievances for just about anything they can file grievances for, especially if the player wants to file a grievance.

That pledge is exceptionally basic and extremely vague, with a high probability it would never pass muster through an arbitrator. Selig attempting to invoke the "best interest of the game" clause would hold more weight than that pledge. Either way, the mess would be too bloody, baseball would lose and the circus involved with it would just stain the game more than it's already been allegedly stained.

oneupper
03-11-2006, 08:05 PM
I think we found something to agree on.

That would be that Selig will be reluctant to act. His motives could be, as you state a low expectation of "success" (or not wanting the scandal) or a lack of spine (as I have posted).

Of course, there is another possibility. That would be that a comprehensive and independent investigation could very well turn up damning evidence against the commish and the owners themselves, regarding how much they knew about, condoned and even maybe promoted steriod use.
I doubt Selig would want that as his legacy.

registerthis
03-11-2006, 09:31 PM
That pledge is exceptionally basic and extremely vague, with a high probability it would never pass muster through an arbitrator. Selig attempting to invoke the "best interest of the game" clause would hold more weight than that pledge. Either way, the mess would be too bloody, baseball would lose and the circus involved with it would just stain the game more than it's already been allegedly stained.

This I agree with. I don't see Bud aking any action on this, it would too protracted and messy.

What will be interesting is whatwins out more--Bonds' ego or his embarassment from the situation. palmeiro decided he couldn't take the public scrutiny and retired, I have a feeling Bonds is going to press through--i think he wants the HR record, or at least to beat Babe Ruth.

This whole thing is like watching a car crash.

RFS62
03-11-2006, 09:37 PM
This whole thing is like watching a car crash.



If Bonds goes down, it will be more like the Titanic.

flyer85
03-11-2006, 09:41 PM
The person to look to in all of this is Henry Aaron, who is respected by everybody. He should just come out and say that Bonds passing his HR total should be considered illegitimate(because it is).

WMR
03-12-2006, 12:42 AM
I think we found something to agree on.

That would be that Selig will be reluctant to act. His motives could be, as you state a low expectation of "success" (or not wanting the scandal) or a lack of spine (as I have posted).

Of course, there is another possibility. That would be that a comprehensive and independent investigation could very well turn up damning evidence against the commish and the owners themselves, regarding how much they knew about, condoned and even maybe promoted steriod use.
I doubt Selig would want that as his legacy.

I think Bud will end up surprising a lot of people and moving on this situation in a substantial way.

GAC
03-12-2006, 06:32 AM
The person to look to in all of this is Henry Aaron, who is respected by everybody. He should just come out and say that Bonds passing his HR total should be considered illegitimate(because it is).

But because Hank is so respected (and a class act), that is exactly why he will stay out of this whole mess.

As I stated before - MLB is gonna do what is best for MLB. And not only doesn't Bud Selig have the cahonies to step up and really do what is right; but the rules committee probably wouldn't be on his side since there were no set rules on steroids during those suspected years (as per say with Rose, where there is one on gambling).

You have to have solid proof that Bond used steroids (not just 3rd party testimony). Other then the fact that he has no neck. ;)

He has already been convicted in the the only legitmate court that counts IMO.... the fans.

RedsBaron
03-12-2006, 08:39 AM
Hank Aaron doesn't need to publicly denounce Dr. Frankenstein's creature....I mean Victor Conte's creature....I just hope that should Bonds one day hit career HR no. 756 that Aaron is nowhere near the ballpark and pointedly ignores Bonds.

westofyou
03-12-2006, 11:11 AM
I just find it ironic seeing Barry Bonds standing next to one of baseball's all-time greats (who didn't have to juice to be a superstar)True. but was also implicated in the Pittsburgh Drug trials, John Milner who played with Mays as a Met testified that Willie was a regular user of the infamous "Red Juice"

Chip R
03-12-2006, 11:22 AM
This I agree with. I don't see Bud aking any action on this, it would too protracted and messy.

Maybe. Most people believe that Selig shuld do something but won't because he doesn't have the stones to do it. But, really, he could do something. He could come out tomorrow and say that he's going to suspend Bonds indefinitely. And of course Bonds will appeal and the whole thing will end up in front of an arbitrator and MLB will lose. But Selig can say that he tried and the system failed. Of course Bud will get negative publicity but he should get more positive publicity out of it. Fans can say that he at least tried to do something but the greedy players union wouldm't let him.

The problem with this is that it sets a bad precedent. This book that came out was the product of a couple of years of research. All this stuff didn't just fall out of the sky and land in these reporters' laps. They had to go through testimony, talk to witnesses and people who knew Bonds. Now Bud could just read the book and pronounce sentence, but there's where the bad precedent comes in to play. If MLB starts suspending players based on accusations in a book, anyone could write a book and say a certain player is dirty. What then? Since Bonds was suspended because of what was said about him in a book, the next player has to be suspended too. Maybe it's true and maybe it isn't but the precedent has been set.

Cedric
03-12-2006, 11:59 AM
It's not like it's just a book with an authors opinion. It has wire tapped information and also grand jury testimony.

RFS62
03-12-2006, 12:06 PM
True. but was also implicated in the Pittsburgh Drug trials, John Milner who played with Mays as a Met testified that Willie was a regular user of the infamous "Red Juice"



Has anyone ever written about the ingredients of the "Red Juice"?

I know it's speed, but I wonder if that's a catch-all phrase like "greenies" or a specific formula.

westofyou
03-12-2006, 12:14 PM
Has anyone ever written about the ingredients of the "Red Juice"?

I know it's speed, but I wonder if that's a catch-all phrase like "greenies" or a specific formula.
At a drug trial in Pittsburgh in 1985, Dale Berra and Dave Parker testified that Willie Stargell and Bill Madlock dispensed greenies to their Pirates teammates. John Milner told the jury that Willie Mays had a bottle of red juice, or liquid amphetamines, in his locker when they played for the Mets.



"The great one. Yes," Milner said. "I don't know what kind of speed it was, but it kept your eyes open."

Stargell, Madlock and Mays denied using stimulants and were later exonerated by the commissioner's office.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05138/506225.stm

Chip R
03-12-2006, 12:27 PM
It's not like it's just a book with an authors opinion. It has wire tapped information and also grand jury testimony.

And that is true. However, we have no way of knowing if that wire tapped information or the grand jury testimony is true. After all, it appears Bonds lied before the grand jury when he said he didn't know what he was taking. Rafael Palmiero lied before Congress. Now that isn't a grand jury but you're sworn to tell the truth there as well.

You see, what I'm saying here is that MLB can suspend Bonds or any player for any reaon they want. But a suspension is most likely to be overturned by an arbitrator. People want that suspension to happen sooner rather than later. But just going by what a book says - without taking the time to fully investigate the accusations - opens up a can of worms.

WMR
03-12-2006, 05:57 PM
John Dowd said that Bud Selig should hire a private investigator to prepare a report similar to Rose's Dowd Report.

A report like the Dowd Report prepared on Barry Bonds would give Selig enough to withstand an arbitrator's challenge in the attempt to discipline Bonds.

GAC
03-12-2006, 08:49 PM
John Dowd said that Bud Selig should hire a private investigator to prepare a report similar to Rose's Dowd Report.

A report like the Dowd Report prepared on Barry Bonds would give Selig enough to withstand an arbitrator's challenge in the attempt to discipline Bonds.

Would it though if there were no standing MLB rules/policy on steroids in existence during those suspected usage years? That, IMO, appears to be the "sticking point". As far as I'm concerned, Donald Fehr and the players union are the stumbling block that prevents MLB from enacting a solid steroid policy. But even if they do, at some stage, enact one, I can't see them retroactively going after some of these "superstar" players who we all know were using them before the rule was enacted.

MLB heirarchy helped to promote and create this monster to the level we are seeing it now.

I just read this article on ESPN by Skip Bayliss....

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=bayless/060310

Barry Bonds Remains The Biggest, Baddest Bully In Sports History.

He reportedly lies to a grand jury and laughs about it. He taunts Congress. He treats commissioner Bud Selig with no more respect than he seemingly gives the clubhouse lackeys.

And he ignores a new book that spills over with relentlessly damning allegations about his steroid-junkie habit.

Even now, he's probably injecting himself in the stomach with his body-building drug of choice, human growth hormone. And why not? Baseball doesn't test for HGH.

San Francisco seems more interested in Bonds' pursuit to break Babe Ruth's home-run record.
Laugh, Barry, laugh.

Puke, world, puke.

This is the most maddening question I've faced in my career: How does Barry Bonds keep getting away with it?

How can the United States attorney's office in San Francisco not pursue a perjury indictment against Bonds for his testimony to the BALCO grand jury? Are there simply too many Bonds fans and Giants season-ticket holders in that office? Are they more concerned with being at SBC Park the nights he passes Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron on the all-time home-run list?

Does Bonds keep getting away with it because he's still the biggest individual draw in sports? You might hate him, but you can't take your eyes off him. He'll still pack parks from San Francisco to New York because people want to see just how much farther and harder this chemistry experiment of a robo-slugger can hit a baseball now. The steroid revelations make him an even bigger freak-show gate attraction.

Taunt, Barry, taunt.

And I was so sure in late 2003 that the feds were hell-bent to do something I couldn't -- nail Bonds.

I love watching Bonds hit as much as anyone. But it seemed obvious that he was cheating when he skyrocketed from 49 homers in 2000 to a record 73 in 2001. He also skyrocketed from about 200 pounds to what appeared to be a muscled-up 250.

So in May 2002, I wrote a Bay Area column quoting body-building experts who said it's virtually impossible after age 35 -- when the male's testosterone supply naturally drops -- to pack on that much muscle that quickly without using the artificial testosterone that steroids provide.

You would have thought I had spray-painted profanity on the Golden Gate Bridge.

I took an e-mail beating from many Bonds lovers -- and there are many outside the media. Did I have proof? No, I did not witness Bonds injecting himself with juice -- nor could I find a single source within the organization who knew for a fact that Bonds used steroids. Many insiders had suspicions, but no firsthand proof.

And you couldn't blame Giants ownership or management for looking the other way. The owners tote the entire note on their ballpark, and Bonds has been the reason the Giants have had baseball's biggest season-ticket base. So ownership was going to expose and suspend its lone draw?

Please.

Soon, I experienced firsthand some of Bonds' infamous intimidation. He walked up behind me in the Giants' clubhouse and vice-gripped my arm. When I turned, he gave me the kind of five-second stare he gives a pitcher who has dared to brush him back.

The message, I assumed, was, "Don't you ever write about me and steroids again."

I just stared back, and without a word, Bonds walked away.

After federal agents raided the BALCO office in September 2003, I began hearing about Jeff Novitzky, an agent for the IRS Criminal Investigation unit. At a gym near BALCO, Novitzky had observed Bonds lifting weights under the guidance of trainer Greg Anderson. And Novitzky -- according to several media sources -- was on a mission to expose Bonds.

In fact, word was that the Bush administration wanted to put a face on its stamp-out-steroids campaign -- Bonds' oversized head.

Eventually, Anderson and BALCO founder Victor Conte were convicted. But despite a wall of evidence even Bonds couldn't hit a ball over, he somehow got away clean after three hours with the grand jury.

The media's proof now comes in a book, "Game of Shadows," written by San Francisco Chronicle reporters Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada. These aren't a couple of Johnny-come-latelies trying to make a quick buck. These are two highly respected investigative reporters who have demonstrated in print for three years that their information on this story is accurate and credible.

I believe every last word of the lengthy excerpt in this week's Sports Illustrated. I admire and envy the job they've done. As the BALCO smoke cleared, they had the time and the skill to return to all the sources they quoted periodically in the Chronicle and build a devilishly detailed case against Bonds.

When Bonds' grand-jury testimony originally was leaked to the Chronicle, his excuse at least seemed plausible. He testified that Anderson, his buddy from high school, had told him to rub some cream onto his arm that he thought was flaxseed oil. It turned out to be a newly invented steroid.

Even I had second thoughts. Maybe Bonds was duped into using these mysterious steroids that don't require injections.

But the Williams and Fainaru-Wada reports could blow that defense all to hell. They write that Bonds left his grand-jury session "confident that he had asserted control over the government's inquiry, just as he had controlled his baseball team and, for that matter, most of the people in his life. His reputation had been preserved and his well-guarded secret had not been revealed."

Until now.

The authors go into astonishing detail about how Bonds turned himself into a human pin cushion, injecting just about every steroid known to man and beast. Yes, they even report that he tried a steroid used to beef up cattle. They also report that while Bonds found injecting human growth hormone was the most painful -- into a pinch of stomach skin -- HGH was so potent that it allowed him to keep his physique and strength through the season with minimal weight-lifting.

Bonds makes Jose Canseco look like he was on no more than fruit juice.

So why in the name of Henry Aaron wasn't Bonds called before the congressional hearing on steroids that obviously was prompted by Canseco's bombshell book? Reportedly, because Bonds was still involved in the BALCO investigation -- though his day in court had been about 16 months before last March's hearing.

Of course, Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa were forced to lie or deny that day on national television. All three wound up tainting their legacies. Bonds was the elephant that was not in the room.

Yes, "Game of Shadows" reports that Bonds resorted to steroids because he was convinced McGwire was juicing when he (and Sosa) broke Roger Maris' single-season record in 1998. But should that make Bonds any less guilty or more brazen?

Incredibly, when the Giants played in Washington last season, Bonds ridiculed Congress. He said Congress has more important problems to address than steroids -- even though the point of the hearing was that steroid abuse has become an epidemic among teenagers.

How do congressional leaders let Bonds get away with this? Were they content to have box seats when Bonds was in town?

And why hasn't the IRS investigated Bonds for tax evasion? His lawyer continues to paint ex-mistress Kimberly Bell as nothing but a scorned lover. Yet she comes across as an extremely credible witness, and she has hours of secretly taped phone calls from Bonds. She alleges he gave her about $80,000 in unreported cash for the down payment on a house -- all made from signing baseballs.

Selig's lieutenants have been dropping hints to national baseball writers that the commissioner is livid over the book. Selig met with Bonds two years ago to ask if he had anything to hide, and when Bonds shrugged him off, Selig reportedly warned that Bonds had better be telling the truth.

But what's Selig going to do now, suspend Bonds? He hasn't failed a single test. The players' union would have Selig for lunch.

No, Selig will do nothing but huff and puff and hope the book fades away.

It appears that government agents and officials finally gave up and decided they could get Bonds only in the court of public opinion. So they emptied their notebooks for the Chronicle reporters, who paint a chilling picture of a steroid junkie and an O.J.-like bully who threatened Bell's life.

But so what? Most people already considered Bonds a bad guy.

So he'll continue to laugh at us and pack parks and hit home runs. And in the end, maybe, he'll get his last laugh from only one source -- the body he has abused.

OnBaseMachine
03-12-2006, 08:59 PM
Normally I can't stand Skip Clueless, but that was a great article. I actually agree with him on something.

OnBaseMachine
03-14-2006, 08:10 AM
Bob Feller says no Hall of Fame for Barry Bonds
Mon Mar 13, 2006 9:46 PM ET
Printer Friendly | Email Article | Reprints | RSS (Page 1 of 2)

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Legendary pitcher Bob Feller, who has been in baseball's Hall of Fame longer than any other living player, said on Monday controversial superstar Barry Bonds should be kept out of the exclusive club.

Bonds, who owns baseball's single-season home-run record, has been under intense scrutiny since excerpts of a new book last week said he actively used steroids for at least five seasons.

"He's not going to get the numbers when it comes to Cooperstown," Feller, 87, who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1962, told Reuters.

"Those players who have been convicted of using steroids or are caught using them are not going to get the numbers to be elected to the Hall of Fame when they become eligible for that great honor. And I am with them on that."

Feller, who played from 1936 to 1941 and 1945 to 1956, was known for a blazing fastball. He spoke by telephone from spring training at Winter Haven, Florida, where he still works for the Cleveland Indians, the team with which he spent his playing career.

Bonds, who plays for the San Francisco Giants, has won a record seven Most Valuable Player awards, and at 708 career home runs, is within striking distance of Babe Ruth (714) for second place on the all-time list.

The latest suspicions about his slugging power follow the imprisonment of his personal trainer and head of the BALCO nutritional lab near San Francisco on steroid distribution charges. Bonds has said he never actively used steroids, and he has never failed a drug test.

Baseball has banned all-time base-hit leader Pete Rose from the Hall of Fame for life because be bet on the game.

The approximately 550 eligible voters of the Baseball Writers' Association of America and 82 on the veterans' committee -- including Feller -- are the two groups that can elect members to the Hall of Fame.

ASTERISK IN THE RECORD BOOKS

The allegations surrounding Bonds have divided fans and Hall of Famers, with former San Francisco Giant Willie McCovey backing Bonds, and former Minnesota Twin Harmon Killebrew saying cheaters should not be in the Hall.

Feller, who recorded 266 victories in a career interrupted by World War II, said record books should also indicate which players used steroids. "I think that should be noted, the same as Pete Rose," he said. "An asterisk might be needed."

One of the oldest living Hall of Fame members, Feller said cheating was not unique to recent years.

"There has always been cheating going on in pitching and hitting," he said. "As far as cheating, using a wooden bat and flattening the hitting surface, that has always been going on. ... It is usually discovered in pretty good time."

Feller also lamented the glorification of home runs in the game today. "There used to be a stigma in striking out. If you struck out, that used to be an embarrassment. Not anymore," he said.

"They go up there and swing hard three times, with a lot of intent on hitting the ball out of the ball park, because that's where the money is. There is not much money in hitting singles, is there?"

http://today.reuters.com/News/newsArticle.aspx?type=sportsNews&storyID=2006-03-14T024626Z_01_N13310348_RTRUKOC_0_US-BASEBALL-BONDS.xml

RedsBaron
03-14-2006, 09:25 AM
Feller has never been consistent in his HOF arguments. He has been quite vocal in opposing Pete Rose's induction into the Hall of Fame, yet he has also supported the HOF induction of Shoeless Joe Jackson. Gee, I'd think Jackson's actions of actually accepting money from gamblers to throw a World Series and keeping quiet while he knew his teammates were intentionally losing the Series outweigh Rose simply betting on the game with no evidence that Rose actually tried to throw a game.
I can understand Feller being opposed to the HOF induction of Rose and of Bonds, but Jackson's baseball sin was worse than theirs.

RFS62
03-14-2006, 09:40 AM
He's just a bitter old man.

M2
03-14-2006, 10:30 AM
RB, Bob Feller's for people born before him being in the HOF and against people born after him being there. In this he's completely consistent.

RedsBaron
03-14-2006, 10:34 AM
RB, Bob Feller's for people born before him being in the HOF and against people born after him being there. In this he's completely consistent.
:laugh: I had thought of that.

OnBaseMachine
03-14-2006, 08:02 PM
For Bonds, great wasn't good enoughBy Jeff Pearlman
Special to ESPN The Magazine

Thanks to two enterprising San Francisco Chronicle reporters who cast a spotlight into the shadows, we have a pretty good idea of what Barry Bonds did to himself to pump out those big numbers. To illuminate his motivations, ESPN The Magazine turns to writer Jeff Pearlman. In his upcoming biography, "Love Me, Hate Me: Barry Bonds and the Making of an Antihero," Pearlman examines why, and pinpoints when, one of the most talented and dominant players in baseball history went over to the dark side.

The concentration of sports and entertainment superstars living in the 800-acre Windermere, Fla., enclave known as Isleworth can make an afternoon stroll down one of its sidewalks seem like a red-carpet rehearsal. Shaquille O'Neal, Tiger Woods, Wesley Snipes -- they all flock to this gated community of multimillion-dollar homes. Few spreads match the splendor of the 13,000-square-foot mansion owned by Ken Griffey Jr. Decorated in serene linens and creams, the place features floors of marbled Macedonian stone and a miniature movie theater. Video games line the walls of an entertainment center; outside, a large in-ground swimming pool begs for balmy days.

Griffey's friendship with Barry Bonds dates back to 1987, when Griffey was a 17-year-old Mariners prospect playing in the Arizona Instructional League. Bonds, a young Pirate at the time, was living near Phoenix, and he took the future star under his wing. "Barry would come by and pick me up in his white Acura Legend," Griffey recalls. "He probably treated me to four or five dinners." The two bonded over baseball and the identity crisis that comes with having a renowned parent. "Now whenever I go to San Francisco, Barry takes me out to dinner," Griffey says. "And when he comes to Cincinnati, I'll take him out. I fly my mom in because Barry loves the way she cooks macaroni and cheese and fried chicken. That's the kind of relationship we have. It's not just about baseball."

In the winter following the 1998 season, Bonds brought his family on vacation to Orlando, where he could also visit his longtime buddy. After spending a day toting his two kids around Disney World, he headed to Griffey's house for dinner.

In June of 1998, when this photo was taken, Barry Bonds was being left in the dust of the epic home-run onslaught of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.On an otherwise ordinary night, over an otherwise ordinary meal, Griffey, Bonds, a rep from an athletic apparel company and two other associates chatted informally about the upcoming season. With Griffey's framed memorabilia as a backdrop, and Mark McGwire's obliteration of the single-season home run record a fresh memory, Bonds spoke up as he never had before. He sounded neither angry nor agitated, simply frustrated. "You know what," he said. "I had a helluva season last year, and nobody gave a crap. Nobody. As much as I've complained about McGwire and Canseco and all of the bull with steroids, I'm tired of fighting it. I turn 35 this year. I've got three or four good seasons left, and I wanna get paid. I'm just gonna start using some hard-core stuff, and hopefully it won't hurt my body. Then I'll get out of the game and be done with it."

Silence.

According to others in the room, Griffey was uncertain how to react. At age 29, he was at the top of his game, fresh off a season in which he compiled 56 home runs and 146 RBIs. As the pressure to indulge in performance-enhancing drugs mounted, the man known as 'The Kid' stayed clean. Sure, he, too, could see the physical differences in many players, including some on his own team. But to him, baseball wasn't important enough to risk his health and reputation. "If I can't do it myself, then I'm not going to do it," Griffey says. "When I'm retired, I want them to at least be able to say, 'There's no question in our minds that he did it the right way.' I have kids. I don't want them to think their dad's a cheater."

Nevertheless, Griffey understood how Bonds felt. For most of the past decade, they had been the sport's two top players. Now, from their point of view, men with significantly less talent were abusing drugs to reach their level. Where was the fairness? The integrity? Griffey didn't agree with Bonds' position, but he certainly empathized.

Bonds' frustration had peaked on Aug. 23 of the previous season. That was the day he crushed a knuckleball from Marlins lefthander Kirt Ojala into the bleachers of Miami's Pro Player Stadium, becoming the first man in major league history to compile 400 home runs and 400 stolen bases.

Ken Griffey Jr. apparently understood the dilemma Bonds thought he faced back in the late '90s.On the scoreboard, "400/400" flashed in bright yellow letters, and most of the 36,701 fans rose in appreciation. Outside the stadium, however, few people cared. Bonds' achievement found its way into every sports section across America -- but on the second, third or fourth page.

For Bonds himself, the ultimate statistics scavenger, reaching 400/400 was momentous. He had gone beyond his father, Bobby Bonds. He had gone beyond his godfather, Willie Mays. He had gone beyond Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. In the sort of aw-shucks false modesty he put on from time to time, Bonds told the small number of assembled reporters that he was nothing compared to McGwire and Sammy Sosa, who were in the midst of their epic home run race. "I have nine writers standing here," he said. "McGwire had 200 writers back when he had 30 home runs. What they're doing is huge, phenomenal. Two guys might break the record. I mean, what's the chance of that ever happening again?"

Though Bonds delivered the sentiment with a broad smile, he was in fact feeling unappreciated, grumpy and terribly jealous. Just one day earlier, after the Associated Press reported that a bottle of androstenedione had been found in McGwire's locker, Bonds scoffed. He was well aware McGwire had ingested more than vegetables and vitamin C tablets to become the size of The Thing. "I use that stuff too," Bonds told teammates. "The difference is Mac's doing stuff I wouldn't think of." The belief that McGwire was cheating infuriated Bonds, who -- for all his faults -- respected the sanctity of the record book.

But despite his protestations that he wanted only to be left alone, Bonds cared deeply about his status. He was already a three-time MVP, widely considered one of the greatest players ever. In his mind, he was the best. Here was a guy who, as a freshman at Junipero Serra High School in suburban San Francisco two decades earlier, had turned to a classmate and declared, "I'm gonna be a superstar." A guy who, as a 21-year-old spring training invitee with the Pirates in 1986, told manager Jim Leyland, "Dude, you're gonna need me around here."

Now, with McGwire and Sosa occupying the center of the baseball universe, Bonds was unhappy. For years he had perfected the art of media deflection, of hiding the fact that he actually liked -- no, needed -- the spotlight.

"Barry yearned to be the Michael Jordan of baseball, the icon of the game," says one ex-teammate. "He knew he was better than McGwire and Sosa, and at that point he was, factually, better. But everyone loved Mac and Sammy, and nobody loved Barry."

By the time Bonds arrived at Scottsdale Stadium on Feb. 25, 1999, he had a new daughter -- Aisha Lynn, born Feb. 5 -- and a new physique. Everything seemed to have blown up: his arms, his chest, his shoulders, his legs, his neck. When asked by Rick Hurd of the Contra Costa Times to explain his physique, Bonds blew off the question. "It's the same thing I've always done," he said. "It's just that I started so early."

Within the Giants' clubhouse, Bonds' transformation was met with skepticism. His face was bloated. His forehead and jaw were substantially larger. "And the zits," says Jay Canizaro, who played 55 games as a Giants infielder in 1996 and '99. "Hell, he took off his shirt the first day and his back just looked like a mountain of acne. Anybody who had any kind of intelligence or street smarts about them knew Barry was using some serious stuff."

Canizaro had firsthand knowledge of the side effects, having used steroids himself while in college at Oklahoma State. Observing from a nearby locker throughout spring training in 1999, Canizaro was almost 100 percent certain Bonds was using steroids and human growth hormone. Any lingering doubts were eradicated when Canizaro approached Greg Anderson, Bonds' trainer, and asked a simple question: "What's he on?" Anderson didn't hesitate. "He was calling out Deca-Durabolin and testosterone and all these different things that were steroids and hormones," Canizaro recalls. "Then he told me he could easily put a cocktail together for me, too."

Canizaro was tempted. He was fighting for a job against other players who were clearly using. But then he remembered the acne and the shrunken testicles -- and the time he blacked out while injecting steroids into his rear.

"Thanks," he told Anderson, "but no thanks."

Canizaro estimates that as many as a dozen other Giants were taking illegal performance-enhancing drugs. "The Giants that year were really out of control," he says. "It started in the minors. You're in Triple-A, and you think you need that extra boost to make the majors. So you give in and cheat."

What was the motivation not to? True, the possession of steroids for nonmedical reasons is a crime under U.S. law. But who was busting athletes? Not baseball.

"You're a product," says former Giants catcher Brian Johnson. "Teams say they care about their players, but it's only true until you stop producing. So it's hard to see a motivation for having your players stop using steroids if it's working for them."

And in Bonds' case, it seemed to be working. According to the Society for American Baseball Research, the peak age for players with at least 200 career home runs is 27. After 30, a noticeable decline begins. At 35, the decline becomes a steep hill. But here was Bonds, at 35, hitting the ball harder and farther than ever. He started the 1999 season on a tear, leading the Giants with an April average of .366. "One of the things I noticed was how fast he was able to put the bat on the ball," says pitcher Russ Ortiz. "He could recognize the pitch well before he had to swing, and then he would get around so fast, so hard." Equally amazing was Bonds' indifference to fatigue. He could lift weights, play, lift more weights, then arrive early the next morning to pump more iron.

Such are the recuperative powers supplied by steroids. But the body often isn't able to handle the rapid muscle growth. In a mid-April series against the Astros, Bonds began to feel pain in his left elbow. He tried playing and sleeping with a protective rubberized sleeve, but to no avail. The pain became so bad that Bonds needed someone to rub his arm to dull the sensation before at-bats. On April 20, he underwent surgery for, of all things, a damaged triceps tendon.

Bonds missed 60 games in 1999, and he played in only 14 last year due to three surgeries on his right knee. During the five years in between, he hit 258 homers with a .535 on-base percentage, staggering numbers that dwarfed those he himself had put up until then. But he also attracted the attention of federal prosecutors and became the most controversial figure in baseball since Pete Rose.

In the end, Barry Bonds may be the least likely drug abuser baseball will ever see. Going into 1999, he was already the best all-around player in the game, making more than $9 million a year. With or without another five or six great seasons, he was guaranteed enshrinement in Cooperstown.

But it wasn't enough.

Adapted from "Love Me, Hate Me: Barry Bonds and the Making of an Antihero," published by HarperCollins and scheduled to arrive in bookstores May 9. This story appears in the March 27 edition of ESPN The Magazine

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2368395&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab1pos1

westofyou
03-14-2006, 08:15 PM
Adapted from "Love Me, Hate Me: Barry Bonds and the Making of an Antihero," published by HarperCollins and scheduled to arrive in bookstores May 9. This story appears in the March 27 edition of ESPN The MagazineBaseball's next cottage industry will be juicer books.

RFS62
03-14-2006, 08:45 PM
Baseball's next cottage industry will be juicer books.


True. But even if there are a bunch of opportunistic hacks out there making money on the situation, it's newsworthy.

After it's all distilled down into a believable set of facts, history will decide what's to be remembered.

It's part of baseball history now.

GAC
03-14-2006, 09:41 PM
I don't know - maybe it's just me - but I would think one's conscience would bother them (it would me at least) knowing all along that I achieved a certain award or height of recognition, equalling to my peers, and that I achieved it by cheating, and not by my natural abilities.

George Foster has also weighed in....

http://www.daytondailynews.com/sports/content/sports/reds/daily/0314reds.html

Foster: Steroid era can't be compared to others
Former Reds slugger blasted 52 homers in 1977
By Hal McCoy

Dayton Daily News

SARASOTA, FLA . | George Foster's No. 15 Cincinnati Reds uniform is the same size it was when he wore it in the 1970s, trim and neat, sleek at the hips and broad at the shoulders.

He leaned against a batting cage on a back field of the City of Sarasota Sports Complex on Monday, a man who hit 52 home runs in 1977, still a club record and accomplished without injections, creams, salves or any other foreign substance introduced into his body.

He is the only man to hit more than 50 home runs in the 1970s and 1980s and was the 11th player to hit more than 50, "But in one year in the 1990s there were 11 guys who did it and they passed me like I was standing still," he said.

While Foster hit home runs of legendary height and distance, he knew of players who used greenies (amphetamines) and cocaine and other drugs.

"I don't know if that helped them, but it was my choice to do without having to deal with that other stuff," he said. "I didn't feel I needed that. I wanted to make sure my statistics were equal or better than those guys. Then I could say, 'I didn't need it and those guys never got the upper hand on me.' "

But the steroids are an enhancement of a different order.

"They weren't illegal at the time and it was what a player could do to get that edge," Foster said. "I'm amazed how much it improves somebody's performance. It increased hand-to-eye coordination so much that is unreal. (The playing field) isn't even anymore.

"If you compare it to my time and don't separate it, it isn't fair," Foster added. "Guys like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa passed us like we were standing still. Hitting 60 home runs or 70 home runs became easy, nothing to it. Is it that easy? Trust me, it isn't."

Eric Davis, another former Reds outfielder who hit plentiful homers and stole bases without enhancements, also is in camp as a guest instructor.

RFS62
03-14-2006, 09:46 PM
George Foster has also weighed in....

"They weren't illegal at the time and it was what a player could do to get that edge," Foster said. "I'm amazed how much it improves somebody's performance. It increased hand-to-eye coordination so much that is unreal. (The playing field) isn't even anymore.




How would he know this if he never used them?

registerthis
03-15-2006, 10:17 AM
How would he know this if he never used them?

Talking with and observing teammates who were using them, I would assume.

Yachtzee
03-15-2006, 10:29 AM
Of course, back when Foster and Davis were in their primes, players had a different view of working out. IIRC, the conventional wisdom of the time was that players who worked out too much ran the risk of becoming "muscle-bound," which players equated with inflexibility and a loss of range of motion. In fact, I seem to remember that TV commentators would comment on Davis having great power precisely because he wasn't "muscle-bound." The feeling was that his lean arms and strong wrists allowed him to get greater bat speed than someone who had big biceps. Big biceps were thought to just get in the way. At least that's what I remember. Can anyone with reference material at hand confirm?

ochre
03-15-2006, 12:01 PM
Giving weight to the opinions of current and former players in this issue is nothing more than a fallacious appeal to authority. George Foster is not a doctor.

I think you are right Yachtzee. Weight training was the sabermetrics of the 70s and 80s :).

registerthis
03-15-2006, 12:30 PM
Giving weight to the opinions of current and former players in this issue is nothing more than a fallacious appeal to authority. George Foster is not a doctor.

I don't know what weight is being given, other than another voice to the chorus of people who are extremely disappointed with the revelations that have been coming out in recent years. I read George's comments as I do many on here--as fans of the game. I don't think anyone is confusing George Foster with Dr. Foster here.

ochre
03-15-2006, 12:39 PM
I don't know what weight is being given, other than another voice to the chorus of people who are extremely disappointed with the revelations that have been coming out in recent years. I read George's comments as I do many on here--as fans of the game. I don't think anyone is confusing George Foster with Dr. Foster here.
That was just an observation. Not trying to say anyone was.

westofyou
03-15-2006, 12:52 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/12/opinion/12thorn.html?_r=1&oref=slogin


Almost Famous

By JOHN THORN
Published: March 12, 2006

WHO'S in? Who's out? Who should be barred at the door? The Baseball Hall of Fame has been a lightning rod for outrage these past two weeks, with attendant confusion about the currency by which one obtains sporting immortality. First came the uproar over the Hall's election of 17 dead obscurities of African-American baseball while neglecting Buck O'Neil, who at 94 is the living symbol of the Negro Leagues and, since his star turn in Ken Burns's documentary "Baseball," a national hero.

Now come the calls for Barry Bonds to have his records stripped, his carcass flayed and his path to the Hall blocked because of revelations or allegations (depending upon one's point of view or, it has been suggested, race) that he has for years been souping up his engine with substances dangerous to his own health as well as that of pitchers.

Buck O'Neil is a modest man of high character whose playing statistics evidently fell short of immortality — no matter that it was the coattails of his celebrity that the fortunate 17 rode to their newfound glory. The shimmer of statistics, which the Hall's specially appointed committee on Negro League baseball had spent years in excavating, appeared to have blinded the electors to the attribute that should have been their beacon: fame.

Barry Bonds is, by news media consent, a selfish lout whose unparalleled statistics may now be dismissed as the product of weak character and brazen swindle. He wanted not merely to be good or great, Sports Illustrated tells us; he wished to be a god. Many fans, including many who might occasionally reach for the Viagra, are angry with him because he may have tinkered with performance enhancers. Baseball moralists point to his alleged flouting of the marital and tax codes. Mellow enthusiasts of the game who might overlook a little marijuana smoking by their heroes can still object that his nonrecreational drugs endangered baseball's integrity.

But all who are down on Bonds right now are united in this: they believe that he is a cheat, and they know that they feel cheated. Whether he has broken baseball's law or that of the land, he has exposed their credulity, their belief that in baseball, if nowhere else in America, life is fair.

O'Neil and Bonds both could play, and the history of the game cannot be told without them. O'Neil's absence from last week's list of the newly notable raises questions not about the man but about the institution. In Bonds's case, if the current Ox-Bow gang prevails and he proves to be legislated or blackballed out, the Hall will be seen to be not about fame, or merit or proficiency, but scorn.

My personal Hall of Fame includes all the best players, without ex post facto point deductions for violating the Volstead Act, the Sherman Act or the All Around Bad Actor Act; Gaylord Perry and Whitey Ford's admitted cheating will not displace their plaques from my walls, and Bonds's will be there too. I recognize, however, that the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is sensitive to constituencies while I am not.

Baseball itself is a vibrant anachronism, the museum for our archaic and most endangered values. We expect Cooperstown to embody the qualities we believe made America great and to rectify injustices in the game, even those long past cure, like the color bar.

Yet the Hall operates, like Augusta National, as a private club. Within the confines of civil law, it may admit or bar whom it pleases by whatever electoral mechanism. It may include questionable choices like Rick Ferrell, George Kelly and Warren Giles; it may exclude the arguably more deserving Ron Santo, Dick Allen and Bert Blyleven. It may create rules by which Joe Jackson is banned for life and unforgiven thereafter. It may dismiss the hobgoblin of consistency by inducting Alex Pompez, a numbers kingpin and mobster, while holding Pete Rose at arm's length.

As mature adults, the rest of us ought not to be upset by what this august institution does — and yet we are. We take special pride when one of our favorites wins a plaque, the Good Hallkeeping Seal of Approval, thus confirming our good taste as well as our illusions about the golden age, when giants walked the earth.

It is the fate of Buck O'Neil and Barry Bonds to form bookends around the Fat Guy, the one we pretend to ignore in the current controversy. Babe Ruth will always be the greatest of all baseball players, not for his statistics but for his aura and his era. Ruth may have been better than any baseball player ever was or will be (though I think not), but it defies reason to claim that his opposition was likewise better than any since.

African-Americans never graced the same field as Ruth; had they been allowed to do so, many white players would have lost their positions, the overall level of competition would have risen, Ruth's statistical dominance would have narrowed, and many players from the golden age now in the Hall would instead be recalled only by their statistical entries in the baseball encyclopedias. Buck O'Neil and the 17 he elevated to fame would all have been in the Hall long ago. And Willie Mays or Hank Aaron ... or Barry Bonds ... might now be seen as the greatest baseball player who ever lived.

John Thorn is the editor of "Total Baseball."

savafan
03-16-2006, 01:38 PM
http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/story/400137p-339001c.html

BY T.J. QUINN
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

Bud Selig is expected to announce next week that he is beginning a formal investigation into Barry Bonds' steroid use, opening the door to possible sanctions against the embattled slugger.

The Daily News reported yesterday that the commissioner had decided on his course of action and would likely announce an investigation in the near future, although Selig still has not decided on the details. Selig did not return calls for comment yesterday, but sources said he was still deliberating on whether to appoint an outside investigator or have Major League Baseball officials run the probe.

"The point is, he's going to look into it," a high-ranking MLB official said.

Also yesterday, U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), one of several members of Congress to introduce anti-steroid legislation last year, issued a press release saying that he had written Selig a letter asking how the commissioner planned to handle the Bonds controversy.

Selig's anger with Bonds goes beyond recent allegations that he used hardcore steroids knowingly and before he ever met Victor Conte and the staff at BALCO labs. As the Chicago Tribune reported, Selig met with Bonds two years ago and said if Bonds had anything else to confess, he wanted to know about it then. Bonds reportedly told the commissioner that he would have nothing to worry about, and Selig warned Bonds that he would deal with him more harshly if it turned out he was not telling the truth.

Baseball officials told the Daily News a year ago they were monitoring Bonds' legal troubles, including an ongoing federal investigation into perjury and tax evasion charges, but that investigation did not extend into his history of steroid use. The new investigation would be an active quest to get information about exactly what Bonds may have used and when.

Roy Tucker
03-16-2006, 01:54 PM
You know, as much as I think Bonds is a dirtbag, this really isn't fair.

If MLB is going to investigate Bonds, they have to investigate McGuire, Sosa, Palmeiro, Brady Anderson, etc and the whole alleged steroids era.

savafan
03-16-2006, 02:07 PM
You know, as much as I think Bonds is a dirtbag, this really isn't fair.

If MLB is going to investigate Bonds, they have to investigate McGuire, Sosa, Palmeiro, Brady Anderson, etc and the whole alleged steroids era.


I agree about McGwire and Sosa. Palmeiro, we know about. He can claim it was a one time accidental thing all he wants, nobody will buy it now. As for Brady Anderson, not sure how important he is to the history of the sport. I do feel that this issue with Bonds will only be the tip of the iceberg, as it should be.

savafan
03-16-2006, 02:09 PM
I watched the movie 61* again Sunday night, and it made me angry now, after seeing what all Maris went through in the 1961 season, and how today's players cheated to move past him and didn't appear to even feel bad about it. Seeing McGwire hug the Maris family is about enough to make me sick.

Reds Nd2
03-16-2006, 08:40 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2370762

A suspension, however, is not likely in the near term, two league sources told ESPN's Pedro Gomez. The league has no grounds for discipline, the sources said, although that could change if the government indicts Bonds on perjury or tax evasion charges.

GAC
03-16-2006, 08:55 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2370762

A suspension, however, is not likely in the near term, two league sources told ESPN's Pedro Gomez. The league has no grounds for discipline, the sources said

And that has been my position on this whole ordeal. MLB knew this was going on and looked the other way for years, refusing to address the problem or enact any rule changes (which would have gotten stiff opposition from the union anyway) - and it has brought us to where we are today.

Plain and simple - during those suspected years, what rules was Bonds, or any of these other guys, breaking? I don't se how they can enact a rule, and then retroactively go back and nail these guys. I just don't see it happening.


although that could change if the government indicts Bonds on perjury or tax evasion charges.

They could discipline him on those charges, but not steroid usage. Again - under what existing rules THEN?

Dom Heffner
03-16-2006, 09:04 PM
I don't know what the big fuss is about. Gaylord Perry threw spit balls and Ty Cobb was a racist.

Big deal. :)

Shaknb8k
03-16-2006, 11:59 PM
GAC...they dont have to make a rule retroactive...it was already there. Steroids were illegal but not tested for. Sorry if this has been mentioned already, i havent read the entire thread.

On June 7, 1991 Fay Vincent sent a memo to all teams reminding them about the Drug Policy. If you look at the second paragraph under the title Major League Baseball's Drug Policy (page 2) it states:

"This prohibition applies to all illegal drugs and controlled substances, including steroids or prescription drugs for which the individual in possesion of the drug does not have a prescriptions"

If you go on to read it says that players are not aloud to take any illegal drugs and that sentence from above states that steroids are considered illegal. The memo goes on to say that the drugs that will be tested for are: cocaine, marijuana, amphetamines, opiates and phencyclidine. In an interview with Vincent in Nov. 2005 he said at the time we believed the cocaine problem in the MLB was a lot larger than the steroid problem. That is why steroids were not to be tested for. So lets not mistake testing for steroids in 2002 as the point when it was deemed to be illegal.

All of this became became popular in an ESPN article a few months ago so sorry if it has already been discussed. But I believe it puts the myth that "Bonds never broke a rule" to an end. If enough evidence came be gathered against Bonds or any player then that would take the place of a positive drug test for me and hopefully Bud too.

Here is a link to a copy of the 1991 memo:

http://www.businessofbaseball.com/docs/1991Memo_Baseballs_Drug_Policy_And_Prevention_Prog ram.pdf

RedsBaron
03-17-2006, 07:42 AM
I watched the movie 61* again Sunday night, and it made me angry now, after seeing what all Maris went through in the 1961 season, and how today's players cheated to move past him and didn't appear to even feel bad about it. Seeing McGwire hug the Maris family is about enough to make me sick.
I've thought several times in the last few weeks of the night McGwire hit HR #62 in 1998 and then hugged the Maris family. I thought that the Maris family behaved graciously throughout the 1998 season. I wonder what they think now.

registerthis
03-17-2006, 10:50 AM
All of this became became popular in an ESPN article a few months ago so sorry if it has already been discussed. But I believe it puts the myth that "Bonds never broke a rule" to an end. If enough evidence came be gathered against Bonds or any player then that would take the place of a positive drug test for me and hopefully Bud too.

Here is a link to a copy of the 1991 memo:

http://www.businessofbaseball.com/docs/1991Memo_Baseballs_Drug_Policy_And_Prevention_Prog ram.pdf

Is it an enforceable rule if it wasn't part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement though? The recent penalties for steroid use included in the CBA is the first time such a thing has been mentioned. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Selig could put forth a memo stating that a player couldn't wear black shoes on Saturday or risk suspension, and it wouldn't be enforceable since it wasn't part of the CBA.

Jpup
03-27-2006, 05:57 AM
I picked up the book yesterday and read about 50 pages last night. It's very well written and so far, I would recommend it if you are interested in the Balco fiasco or steriods in athletics in genereal.

anyone else pick it up?

vaticanplum
04-20-2006, 10:25 AM
Sorry to be dragging this up again, but I keep meaning to post this...when this all came up I gathered up my thoughts on the steroid controversy (some of which were spurned by this thread) and tried to put them in more coherent and soapbox form. It's not a research piece, just an editorial-type thing. It is here if anybody wants to read it:

edit: I got the address wrong, it is actually here
www.theapollocreed.blogspot.com