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cumberlandreds
03-07-2006, 03:06 PM
A new book is about to be released that details Bonds steriod usage. It is detailed in the SI article below. If these two authors have any credibility then it's going to cause havoc for Bonds and MLB. Very interesting article that details the great lengths Bonds went to get juiced. And the reasons why;jealousy of the attention McGuire was getting during the 1998 season.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/baseball/mlb/03/06/news.excerpt/index.html

Hap
03-07-2006, 03:12 PM
I'm not going to go back into the archives and do anything childish to prove a point, but......

This topic was discussed heavily two and three years ago, and there were several members of this board who did not believe Bonds was juiced.

Aceking
03-07-2006, 03:16 PM
I think Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams from the San Francisco Chronicle have more credibility than Jose Canseco. They have been on the front lines of the BALCO investigation.

flyer85
03-07-2006, 03:19 PM
I think Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams from the San Francisco Chronicle have more credibility than Jose Canseco. and they all more credibility than Bonds, Palmeiro and McGwire
.

registerthis
03-07-2006, 03:38 PM
...and in other news today, the Earth did not crash into the sun.

"Shocking revelation" this ain't. Will be curious to see how MLB handles it, though.

KronoRed
03-07-2006, 03:43 PM
Will be curious to see how MLB handles it, though.
Ignore it and hope it goes away

Baseball loves the homers and offense, no matter what the cause.

BRM
03-07-2006, 03:44 PM
Ignore it and hope it goes away

Baseball loves the homers and offense, no matter what the cause.

Krono nailed it.

registerthis
03-07-2006, 03:45 PM
Ignore it and hope it goes away

Baseball loves the homers and offense, no matter what the cause.

This isn't Richie Sexson or Adrian Beltre, though. This is the single most recognizeable star the sport has. I'm not sure the media will LET them ignore it.

KronoRed
03-07-2006, 03:46 PM
It took congress threating to get involved to get a decent steroids policy.

MLB will love the media attention.

BRM
03-07-2006, 03:47 PM
This story is now on the front page at cnn.com and msnbc.com.

Red Leader
03-07-2006, 03:48 PM
It took congress threating to get involved to get a decent steroids policy.

MLB will love the media attention.

I agree. The media coverage for this will last beyond the playing days of Barry Bonds, and MLB will suck up every ounce of it.

Cigar2
03-07-2006, 03:51 PM
This is getting more and more interesting.

HalMorrisRules
03-07-2006, 04:10 PM
Olberman was on the Dan Patrick Show saying that this book has the potential to be for Bonds what the Dowd Report was for Rose. He also said that if this is proven to be true, if Selig is any kind of Commish, every record of Bond's would be stricken.

Apparently when Bonds was questioned about the book he said something flippant, somthing like he wasnt going to read it and wasnt going to respond to it. They made the point that a normal person's reaction might be something more along the lines of "I'll Sue!!"

Redsfaithful
03-07-2006, 04:13 PM
This story is now on the front page at cnn.com and msnbc.com.

CNN is owned by the same company as Sports Illustrated. Little bit of synergy going on there.

paulrichjr
03-07-2006, 04:16 PM
I just don't understand why anyone would want to take something that gives you "sexual dysfunction" and baldness. I mean I'm a Certified Financial Planner and well I do like to make money but I would draw the lines somewhere.

I never looked into the side effects of steroids until this article but it does make the Palmeiro/Viagra deal more understandable.

MWM
03-07-2006, 04:35 PM
This is an interesting development. I don't know much about the authors, but it seems rather implausible that they're making this up considering the level of detail they appear to have gone into. The picture they paint in the article is quite sad for a guy with Bonds' natural ability.

And I don't think this one's going away like previous matters such as the grand jury testimony. No one will sweep this under the rug. This could have serious implications for Barry in the game.

As for MLB, I'm not sure what they can do. They had no steroid rules in place prior to last year. Unless they have definitive proof that he was doping last year, their hands are tied. Same with the hall of fame, unless they enact some ex post facto rule declaring that anyone guilty of steroid use is ineligible for the hall. And I don't see that happening.

Tommyjohn25
03-07-2006, 04:35 PM
This jerk is nothing but a human cocktail of drugs. I don't personally understand how his health hasn't suffered a great deal as of yet. I hope this report brings him down. Although even if it does, can baseball really do anything more than give him the normal penalty for a positive steroid test?

registerthis
03-07-2006, 04:49 PM
Same with the hall of fame, unless they enact some ex post facto rule declaring that anyone guilty of steroid use is ineligible for the hall. And I don't see that happening.

Well, they did it for gambling and Rose, i don't see anything stopping them. It may be a moot point, though. I'm guessing there are a number of writers who would never submit a vote for Bonds and the HoF.

paulrichjr
03-07-2006, 05:15 PM
Well, they did it for gambling and Rose, i don't see anything stopping them. It may be a moot point, though. I'm guessing there are a number of writers who would never submit a vote for Bonds and the HoF.

Barry Bonds deserved to be in the Hall based upon his stats just through 1998. I personally don't like him but that doesn't change the fact that he was a great player even before he obviously started doping.

Jr's Boy
03-07-2006, 05:24 PM
I love to watch him hit,his bat speed is something at his age.

steig
03-07-2006, 05:57 PM
This is where baseball needs a commisioner with a pair. Selig could ban Bonds from baseball with the best interest of the game clause, IF this story has facts behind it. If Bonds doesn't file a lawsuit over this then we all know the complete story it true, and let's remember that Canseco's book never went to court. This is what I think Selig could do but it isn't what I think he should do.

I believe Selig should have a sit down with Bonds and stongly suggest he retire if he ever want to get into the Hall of Fame. However, MLB and the Hall of Fame are two separate organizations. Should Bonds not retire immediately then Selig can ban him. Otherwise let him walk away from the game, do not let him pass Babe Ruth on the home run list.

I've felt for a long time that Bonds was on steroids and I still don't have a problem with it personally. If he wants to take that chance with his life then it is his choice. Steroids are for the athlete that wants the easy way out, look at all the problems Bonds has developed since 1998. Consider the physical problems of so many baseball players that have used steroids such as Giambi, Canseco, Palmerio. They've had problems with weird diseases or serious muscle pulls such as the abdominal pull that kept Canseco out for months. If players still want to take steroids with those type of complications then let them do it. We may be complaining about Bonds and steroids now but did we not enjoy they show that he put on. Who really wasn't amazed at his performance in the World Series against the Angels? He is the greatest player I've ever seen play and I have felt that since his pre-steroid period. Other players are better at each individual aspect of the game but I don't think you could find a better package for on the field performance.

kbrake
03-07-2006, 09:17 PM
1. I dont care what Barry Bonds has done before 1998, the fact it he has cheated and I think that warrants a ban from baseball and the Hall of Fame. I dont think Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Palmeiro, Bonds, or Rose should be allowed in the Hall of Fame. Bottomline is that they all thought they were bigger than the game itself and all are getting burned now for it.

2. Can we get off this steroids are the worst thing ever created kick? I have no doubt that if steroids are used with proper medical knowlegde that they will not hurt you. Have some of these juicers had health issues? Yeah but so has Griffey and he dont look like he is on the juice. Canseco does not seem to be hurting too bad. I think the problem occurs when you get high school kids who have no clue what cycling steroids is, much less what is ok to use and what is not. Also what do you mean by "sexual dysfunction"? I have never heard anything more than it shrinks the testicles, and according to Jose he never had any problems along that line. And dont question Jose as a good source, I think he has already proven himself to the public on this issue.

foxfire123
03-07-2006, 11:50 PM
Steroid abuse can cause impotence as it shuts off natural testosterone production. The body gets so overloaded with synthetic testosterone that it stops making natural testosterone, and if the abuse is long enough, production never starts up again. then it's "hello Viagra or Cialis" or other hormone therapy.

Webmd has a very basic article here:

http://www.webmd.com/content/article/102/106612.htm

I've used Cortosteroids myself, as well as in horses to help them recover after muscle, tendon and ligament pulls. But I don't think anabolic steroids are used much anymore for theraputic reasons.

foxfire

paulrichjr
03-08-2006, 10:07 AM
Steroid abuse can cause impotence as it shuts off natural testosterone production. The body gets so overloaded with synthetic testosterone that it stops making natural testosterone, and if the abuse is long enough, production never starts up again. then it's "hello Viagra or Cialis" or other hormone therapy.

Webmd has a very basic article here:

http://www.webmd.com/content/article/102/106612.htm

I've used Cortosteroids myself, as well as in horses to help them recover after muscle, tendon and ligament pulls. But I don't think anabolic steroids are used much anymore for theraputic reasons.

foxfire


Again I want to say that I didn't realize this, which makes the Palmeiro/Viagra thing much more understandable. Without getting too far off into a land that the mods wouldn't let us go into, has anyone ever heard an explaination from Palmeiro why he needed that drug at such a young age? You would think that somewhere over the years he has talked about something that might have happened to him. Wouldn't this point back to proof of very long-term usage of steriods by him?

Chip R
03-08-2006, 10:42 AM
1. I dont care what Barry Bonds has done before 1998, the fact it he has cheated and I think that warrants a ban from baseball and the Hall of Fame.

He cheated? What rule did he break?

oneupper
03-08-2006, 10:51 AM
He cheated? What rule did he break?

He gained an unfair advantage using an illegal substance/procedure/act.

That's all it takes to be cheating. MLB doesn't have a rule against murder or kidnapping, but killing the rival pitcher, detaining or abducting an opposing player, etc.., is cheating just the same.

Common sense applies to baseball, too.

westofyou
03-08-2006, 10:54 AM
He gained an unfair advantage using an illegalsubstance/procedure/act. Just like Alex Sanchez and Matt Lawton.

No one screamed this loud when they were tested and caught.... or did they?

Chip R
03-08-2006, 10:56 AM
He gained an unfair advantage using an illegal substance/procedure/act.

That's all it takes to be cheating. MLB doesn't have a rule against murder or kidnapping, but killing the rival pitcher, detaining or abducting an opposing player, etc.., is cheating just the same.

Common sense applies to baseball, too.

And what rule did he break?

registerthis
03-08-2006, 11:03 AM
And what rule did he break?

Well, since he gained the prescriptions illegally, and took drugs that were illegal, I'd venture a guess that he violated the league's substance abuse policy, but it coul dhave beeen written so lax and ambiguously that he may not technically have.

Regardless of the semantics, I feel perfectly safe calling Bonds a "cheater." The fact that the horse steroids he was injecting himself with weren't specifically banned by baseball at the time he took them doesn't concern me a great deal.

Chip R
03-08-2006, 11:10 AM
Well, since he gained the prescriptions illegally, and took drugs that were illegal, I'd venture a guess that he violated the league's substance abuse policy, but it coul dhave beeen written so lax and ambiguously that he may not technically have.


But there were no rules about steroids in MLB then. If you want to go down that road you're going to have to indict a whole bunch of players who smoked marijuana and took amphetimines - both of which are illegal drugs. If any law enforcement agency can prosecute Bonds for getting those drugs - which is very unlikely since it appears Greg Anderson obtained them for him - I say go for it. If they want to prosecute him for perjury, have at it. If he fails a drug test during spring training, suspend the guy. But don't tell me he cheated when he didn't break any rules.

membengal
03-08-2006, 11:17 AM
Smoking marijauna doesn't enhance a players' physical performance. Anabolic steroids does. Bonds and other unleveled the playing field. Apples and oranges. They should be denied the hall. Their records stricken.

RedsBaron
03-08-2006, 11:23 AM
If Bonds did what the SI article says he did, he cheated.
If he didn't cheat, Bonds and all of his apologists would be celebrating his brillance in having injected his way into the record books. Bonds isn't saying: "I took steroids and I'm proud of it."
If the story is accurate, he cheated the game, the fans, his family and himself, regardless of whether or not the Lords of Baseball timely got around to banning the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs.

Chip R
03-08-2006, 11:24 AM
Smoking marijauna doesn't enhance a players' physical performance. Anabolic steroids does. Bonds and other unleveled the playing field. Apples and oranges. They should be denied the hall. Their records stricken.

Physical conditioning also helps enhance a player's performance. So does weightlifting. As does vision enhancement i.e. contacts, glasses, laser eye surgery. We really don't know what does or what doesn't enhance a player's performance so if you want to get into that, get your cleats on because you would be on a very slippery slope.

registerthis
03-08-2006, 11:26 AM
But there were no rules about steroids in MLB then. If you want to go down that road you're going to have to indict a whole bunch of players who smoked marijuana and took amphetimines - both of which are illegal drugs. If any law enforcement agency can prosecute Bonds for getting those drugs - which is very unlikely since it appears Greg Anderson obtained them for him - I say go for it. If they want to prosecute him for perjury, have at it. If he fails a drug test during spring training, suspend the guy. But don't tell me he cheated when he didn't break any rules.

I'm telling you he cheated, Chip. Like I said, semantics aren't a grave concern to me in this matter. He may not have broken a clearly set-forth MLB rule, but he most certainly obtained an unfair advantage over his fellow competitors. Your argument applies to the type of punishment MLB could or could not hand down on Bonds for his steroid use, but it does not apply to perceptions of the man. My perception is that he cheated, and I find it difficult to believe that you believe he did not.

RedsBaron
03-08-2006, 11:30 AM
Many here condemned Jimmy Haynes a few years ago for reporting to spring training out-of-shape, for failing to do physical conditioning. If Bonds isn't guilty of cheating for using steroids, then I suppose we should condemn any Reds player who didn't take steroids between 1999 and 2004. They didn't give 100% by that argument.

membengal
03-08-2006, 11:40 AM
Physical conditioning also helps enhance a player's performance. So does weightlifting. As does vision enhancement i.e. contacts, glasses, laser eye surgery. We really don't know what does or what doesn't enhance a player's performance so if you want to get into that, get your cleats on because you would be on a very slippery slope.


Chip, no offense, but kind of argument really doesn't wash with me here. Can every player get eye surgery? Yes. It's not illegal. Can every player wear glasses if they need them? Yes. It's not illegal. Can every player weighlift? Yes. It's not illegal. Can every player put themselves in a conditioning program? Yes, it's not illegal.

Could every player have taken anabolic steroids to maintain pace with Bonds/McGwire/Sosa/Raffy et al? NO. The steroids those guys took were illegal. To try and keep pace with them, others would have had to break the law too. That is simply not an apt comparison. There is no slippery slope. There is simply took steroids or did not take steroids. It's not hard. Bonds did. I judge him accordingly.

PS: On top of that, they endangered their lives with their actions. I don't admire that in any manner. None. There is a reason steroids are illegal.

Chip R
03-08-2006, 11:42 AM
I'm telling you he cheated, Chip. Like I said, semantics aren't a grave concern to me in this matter. He may not have broken a clearly set-forth MLB rule, but he most certainly obtained an unfair advantage over his fellow competitors. Your argument applies to the type of punishment MLB could or could not hand down on Bonds for his steroid use, but it does not apply to perceptions of the man. My perception is that he cheated, and I find it difficult to believe that you believe he did not.

How was the advantage unfair? Was he the only person to have access to steroids? You're trying to make this into a moral argument. Morally, Bonds was wrong to do it. Morally, he cheated. But the laws of baseball not only didn't prohibit it but they encouraged it. After all, if you believe what was reported, he only started taking steroids after McGwire and Sosa started getting all that love for their 1998 season. Every player in MLB could have started taking steroids if they wanted to and MLB couldn't have done a thing to punish them for it because there were no rules against it. Whether he used steroids or not isn't the argument here. There's certainly enough circumstancial evidence to say he did. Were pitchers who threw spitballs before they were banned cheaters too?

membengal
03-08-2006, 11:44 AM
Chip, society had rules against it. What they were doing was ILLEGAL. Punishable with jail, etc. Why did baseball need special rules at that point?

Walgreens wasn't carrying the clear. Wal-mart and Target's pharmacies didn't have the cream. You and I couldn't do it. Because it was illegal.

Edit: And, it matters to baseball because the guys who were breaking this law used it to unbalance the playing field, and have messed with the integrity of the game (in terms of the era they played in being so out of step with those that came before). And messed with the integrity because not everyone could do the same.

Chip R
03-08-2006, 11:48 AM
Chip, society had rules against it. What they were doing was ILLEGAL. Punishable with jail, etc. Why did baseball need special rules at that point?
Then let society deal with it. You can get away with all kinds of stuff in sports that would get you arrested outside the stadium/arena. Society also had rules against amphetimines. But no one condemns Willie Mays or Pete Rose or anyone who took them. Paul Molitor is in the HOF and he used to use cocaine. Babe Ruth and others drank alcohol when it was illegal to do so.

RedsBaron
03-08-2006, 11:49 AM
I know of a local pitcher who labored in the minor leagues for several years without ever "making it to the show." In all probability he failed to make the majors because he just was not good enough. I assume that's hard enough to live with.
What I believe would be harder to take is the thought of "if only I had taken steroids I would have picked up 5 mph on my fastball and I would have made the majors" and "the reason pitcher John Smith made it to the majors instead of me is he used steroids while I didn't."
The "don't ask, don't tell and don't test" policy MLB followed until last year was an open invitation for otherwise honest players to break the law and endanger their own lives just so they could stay competitive with other players who were already on the juice. The SI article indicates that Bonds himself was motivated to start taking steriods after he observed the adulation received by an already juiced McGwire.

membengal
03-08-2006, 11:49 AM
No, baseball has to deal with it too, because of the impact on the game and its records. Putting our head in the sand doesn't make that go away.

ochre
03-08-2006, 12:00 PM
Many here condemned Jimmy Haynes a few years ago for reporting to spring training out-of-shape, for failing to do physical conditioning. If Bonds isn't guilty of cheating for using steroids, then I suppose we should condemn any Reds player who didn't take steroids between 1999 and 2004. They didn't give 100% by that argument.
and that's really the problem I've had with the union's stance on this. For simplicity's sake, let's say that 1/3 of mlb players will do what ever to takes to get ahead, 1/3 will not do anything they deem unethical regardless of any contributing factor. The 1/3 that are going to do what it takes would ostensibly be jacking up the performance threshold. The 1/3 that aren't going to do anything unethical will continue on as before. There is a middle 1/3 there that just wants to make a living (yeah, I know, not quite factory worker quality, etc.). They are stuck. The union isn't on their side. They see these numbers being put up and they know what's going on. They are the one's that have been failed by the system. Rather than just focusing on raising the salary floors and ceilings for players that are already well compensated by prevalent societal standards they should have been worried about the long term effect of these drugs. Not every player will have the balco connection. Some of these guys, I'm sure, were using some fairly shady (medically) stuff. That is the real problem to me. The effect on the game is secondary to people doing long term damage to their health, particularly if they felt compelled to do those things just to keep up.

Bonds didn't need to 'keep up'. He's pride and ego gone wrong.

registerthis
03-08-2006, 12:04 PM
How was the advantage unfair? Was he the only person to have access to steroids? You're trying to make this into a moral argument. Morally, Bonds was wrong to do it. Morally, he cheated. But the laws of baseball not only didn't prohibit it but they encouraged it. After all, if you believe what was reported, he only started taking steroids after McGwire and Sosa started getting all that love for their 1998 season. Every player in MLB could have started taking steroids if they wanted to and MLB couldn't have done a thing to punish them for it because there were no rules against it. Whether he used steroids or not isn't the argument here. There's certainly enough circumstancial evidence to say he did. Were pitchers who threw spitballs before they were banned cheaters too?

Why does a rule prohibiting an action make that action "unfair"? MLB now has a rule prohibiting steroid use, but that doesn't physically stop players from continuing to use them, so in that sense "fairness" is not something that can be judged by the existence or non-existence of rules. A player can still throw a spitball, a player can still cork a bat. They will be punished if caught, but there's nothing preventing them from doing it. indeed, a number of players likely DO do those things. So we've established that making a rule against something does not make the use of that thing inherently unfair, so all that we're left with is the question of whether or not steroid use, within a vacuum, is cheating. Does it, by itself, present an "unfair" advantage?

If you argue "no", then I would argue that there is no purpose in MLB enactig a steroid policy at all. or, at the least, require that players taking steroids do so under close medical supervision so that they are used saefly and appropriately. Perhaps some people would argue for that, I don't know. But that would certainly open up some new doors...

Oh, and for the record, I'm not advocating any particular punishment for Bonds here. My argument certainly does stem from the moral realm, and I've not denied that.

Jr's Boy
03-08-2006, 12:13 PM
Bonds was wrong to do it,I agree with Chip,but there were no rules against it at the time.Sosa and Mcguire havent caught as much flack as Bonds has.Imagine having had Bonds in the Reds lineup,I doubt as much would be said about him.

RFS62
03-08-2006, 12:17 PM
If Bonds or his representatives never refutes these allegations, then the Scarlet Letter will forever be emblazoned on his forehead.

There will never be another mention of his career, even 100 years from now, in which it won't be associated to these performance enhancing drugs.

The morality of the future may well change. Medical advances may well make this seem like a small matter once we are confronted with the inevitible evolution of performance enhancement that's just around the corner.

But this is a landmark event in the public perception. The combination of Bonds' unbelievably negative public personna and the current outcry from congress on down to the most casual fan to steroid use has made this a historic event.

Fairness in comparison to past abuses won't matter in the big picture. That will be argued on boards like this, but will be a drop in the bucket of lasting public opinion and Bonds' place in history, IMO.

Roy Tucker posted a tremendous article last summer from SI, written by Gary Smith, who I consider the best sportswriter in the world.

It's long, but I think it's a landmark work on this subject in general. And it's about McGwire and Sosa as well.

Here it is....

Sports Illustrated March 28, 2005 by Gary Smith

I was there, that June at Wrigley, when the fever caught Sammy.

See, that's me and the three kids in the bleachers that weekend he rocked five out of the cathedral and the great home run chase was on.

I was there, that July in San Diego, when Big Mac took one into the second tier. Look, that's the lawyer I met up there, the guy proud to own the head struck by Mark McGwire's 43rd.

I was there, that September in St. Louis, when the fever caught us all. There, handing out hundred-dollar bills like sticks of stale gum just to get inside the coliseum and sit where the record long balls would land. There, alongside a Korean housewife who'd dreamed she would snag number 62 off Big Mac's bat, and a scrap-metal salvager and a psychiatric nurse and a Japanese chef and an 87-year-old guy in a wheelchair, wearing an oxygen mask and a baseball glove. Standing on my seat and pounding my own glove and screaming my lungs out -- see, that's me and my fishing net just before that damn usher took it away.

When that magical summer of '98 ended I went home, put all these photographs into an album, etched captions beneath them so that one day someone else would understand the significance of what I'd seen and felt ... then sealed my moments beneath protective plastic so they'd never be smudged.

I look up from the pictures. My God. It's Sammy and Big Mac, six and a half years later, together again ... at a table in the Rayburn building on Capitol Hill, facing a firing squad of cameramen and of congressmen asking terrifying questions. McGwire clenching back tears, refusing, on his lawyer's advice, to answer questions about anabolic steroids. Sosa denying he used them ... but boy, oh, boy, that body language and those brief, mumbled replies. ...

For 11 savage hours Congress asks the players, the commissioner, the general manager, the union chief, the lawyers and the medical advisers what they're going to do now. Funny. Everybody but us.

I stare at the photo of me in the crowd wearing the glove and the big grin. What am I going to do with this scrapbook full of memories and the story I used to tell?

My eyes shift to the other faces in the snapshot. Another summer full of moments will soon begin, the biggest home run record of all ripe to fall. What will we do, each of us, now that we know?

I walk out of my house. I cross the street. A professional problem solver lives there. A 51-year-old man whose job, as general counsel and professor of legal studies at College of Charleston in South Carolina, is to find solutions to disputes and crises that arise on campus. And, on the side, to teach a course called Baseball, Mythology and the Meaning of Life.

Andy Abrams has strolled all around baseball's cesspool, stared at it as lawyer and lover both. "O.K.," he says. "We can't prove that Bonds intentionally took steroids, even though everyone knows he did. So let's say we take him at his word that he unknowingly did. It's still an unfair advantage. Compare it with what we'd do if someone took a Kaplan course to prepare for the SAT, and one of the practice tests he got the answers for turned out to be the real test. Even if he didn't intend to cheat, his score would still be thrown out. The result must be addressed, even if there's no penalty.

"So how do we, as a society, address the result here? Bud Selig won't act. Congress can't do much about the records. It's up to the fans and the media.

"We shouldn't even talk about home run record holders anymore. No one holds the records now. With Bonds, since he's still playing, we should use the Amish approach. Shun him. From here on, when he hits one out, just call them asterisks. 'Bonds hit his 756th asterisk last night.' That's it. One line in the newspaper. Because if you glorify it, you reinforce it. Just asterisk his ass. This is what you wanted so badly, Barry? O.K., you got it. But guess what, Barry. Maybe it's not what you thought."

I call a Sunday school teacher, who happens to be a sportswriter, to ask if he and his media colleagues could asterisk Barry's ass. A lovely idea, says Terence Moore, columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but it will never happen because, for one, reporters shouldn't make or influence the news, and second, editors would fear alienating a public hungering for much more than one sentence about Barry Bonds's blasts.

But Terence, who has taught teenagers about values on Sundays for the last 15 years, will take a stand. Rule 5 on his Hall of Fame ballot instructions states: "Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character. ..." and so the names of Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds will never appear on Terence's ballot.

"This is worse than the Black Sox scandal," Terence says. "That was several players fixing one World Series. This is a much larger group of players fixing records that may last for decades. This story has become baseball's Watergate. It started as a minor break-in and just kept growing, week after week.

"McGwire's obviously guilty. There's been a huge feeling in the black community that everyone was going after Bonds while McGwire was getting a pass, but people can't say that now.

"I'd love to see the crowd respond with silence when Bonds passes Aaron. But there will be 50,000 people in San Francisco going wild. Poetic justice would be, Bud Selig's not there when it happens, because remember where the commissioner, Bowie Kuhn, was when Aaron passed Ruth? He was in Cleveland talking to the Indians' fan club. In Cleveland addressing the Wahoo Club."

I wonder, out loud, what sort of family dinner tables all these ballplayers sat around as kids, and then about the family dinner tables of all the people -- 41% of those under 30 years old, according to a New York Times poll -- who don't care if pro athletes use steroids. What would've happened to Barry, I ask Terence, if he'd sat at your dinner table?

"Ohhh, boy," says Terence. "You see, my mother and father both had nine siblings, and all but two of the 18 lived in South Bend, where I grew up. Moral authority was everywhere I turned. My grandmother's leather strap; he might get that first. Then my grandfather would come in from the farm and thump him with one big finger -- I mean, thump him so hard, he'd fly across the room. Then my mom would get her switch from the willow tree. Then Dad would come home from work with his belt. If Barry Bonds sat at our dinner table on a Sunday afternoon, oh ... my ... goodness."

I dial a Catholic priest. Someone who knows what happens when an institution holds its silence as the cesspool rises. Someone who has seen the cost when loyalty to the brotherhood somehow becomes the higher law, more important than even, say, the life of a kid.

Father Jim MacDonald, a 65-year-old Giants season-ticket holder, sits in the upper deck behind home plate. The perfect perch for the spectacle of a Barry Bonds bomb: near enough to see and hear that karate-chop explosion of maple against horsehide, far enough up to take in the majesty of the ball's journey toward the coliseum's rim. But what does the kindly curate do now?

"I do not know that he took steroids," he says.

But, Father, even if you just take what he said in his grand jury testimony --

"They claim Babe Ruth drank a lot of whiskey."

But whiskey wouldn't help him hit a baseball farther, Father. In fact, it would probably --

"I don't know the medical effects of steroids. They do not increase bat speed from what I know."

But, Father, what's the message we send if we stand up and cheer when he passes Aaron?

"Anybody who hits 756 home runs, baseball should celebrate."

But as a matter of fairness, Father --

"I haven't thought about fairness."

So even as a priest, you --

"As a priest I recognize that people are human and make mistakes."

So then you do realize, Father, that --

"Look. You're talking to a fan. An irrational Giants fan. I'm sad for Barry if he did it. But I still think he's a wonderful baseball player."

What about the heartland? All those people around me on that climactic Labor Day weekend in St. Louis, vowing that they'd return the ball if it fell into their hands because Big Mac's and the game's integrity meant more to them than the hundreds of thousands of dollars to be reaped by selling those balls ... and then, one after another, living up to their word? How must they feel now?

It occurs to me that I could ask them, that I'd scribbled down names and phone numbers back in those innocent, intoxicating days, then tucked the notepads away in the rafters of my garage.

I call Deni Allen. He was just out of college when he snagged number 60, the one that tied the Babe's single-season record, and the words poured from him that day. He's a 29-year-old corporate sponsorship manager for the St. Louis Rams now. "I'd do the same thing again," he vows.

But what about Canseco's book, I ask, and the needles in the backside in the bathroom stall?

"I prefer to make no comment."

I call 61. Mike Davidson, the fan who retrieved the homer that tied Roger Maris's single-season record, delivered it to McGwire and then hurried home to bed so he could arise at 4 a.m. for his job slicing cold cuts and vegetables. He was 28 then. He's busy now putting to bed the son born later that year. "I'd still give it back to Big Mac," he says. "I met the man. I looked him in the eye. I still consider him the home run king. He's not like Barry Bonds."

Even now? After Big Mac stonewalled Congress and essentially pleaded the Fifth?

"It's no big deal. Like he said, it's in the past. It really doesn't matter."

What will he tell six-year-old Vincent, with his two Big Mac posters on the wall?

"It doesn't matter. The first game I ever took him to, Barry Bonds hit a home run. So, he likes Barry Bonds."

I call 62. Tim Forneris, a former altar boy, was the young man on the Cardinals' grounds crew who grabbed the record-buster behind the leftfield wall, who had permission from the team to do with it as he wished, who had a million bucks in the palm of his hand at age 22 ... and handed it to Big Mac.

He still mans a bullpen gate for the Cards on summer nights and spends his days as a public defender working on appeals for poor people in St. Louis who've been convicted of rape, murder and theft. "I can't speak for Mac," he says. "If I'd done steroids, I'd have talked about it at the hearings and taken the repercussions. If I were commissioner, I know what I'd do about the home run records, but I'm not, so I won't comment.

"But I'd still give that ball back. The amount of kindness I've received for giving it back is unbelievable. People said it was worth a million dollars -- I've had close to a million experiences. You can't take those memories away from me. You can't take out of me what's already in me. You can't look back at Christmas Day when you were six and think any less of that moment, no matter what you learned later."

I call 70. Philip Ozersky, the Cardinals' fan who had a job in a Washington University lab in St. Louis charting DNA maps of the human genome when he snatched Big Mac's 70th and final homer that year ... and sold it for three million dollars. He's 32 now, still in the lab blueprinting chicken and chimpanzee DNA while his investments fatten and the charities to which he donated 10% of the money aid youth and fight disease.

His arms aren't quite long enough to slap himself on the back. "But what we're learning has reaffirmed my decision to sell that ball," he says. "Everyone who gave his ball back was doing what he thought was the fair thing to do. But was McGwire?"

I call Todd McFarlane, the guy who bought that 70 ball for $3 million and then watched a leftfielder who claims he thought he was rubbing flaxseed oil and arthritis cream on his body punch out number 73 three years later and lop, oh, a couple of million bucks off the value of Todd's purchase. And then watched Big Mac swallow his tongue on TV ... and there went, oh, a couple of hundred grand more.

So, will Todd -- who promotes his toy manufacturing company by buying and displaying significant home run balls struck by Sosa, McGwire and Bonds -- keep buying if the balls keep flying? "Look," says the 44-year-old, who was born in Calgary, "I was a little skinny guy playing centerfield at Eastern Washington University, and if someone had said, 'Pop this and we'll get you a major league contract,' I'd have said, 'Gimme two' and not asked questions till I was bleeding from the rectum. That's why we've got to make sure there's never an adult there holding out those two pills. So if you've got a vial of urine on Bonds, I'm with you. Get as harsh as you need to be."

But....

"But if Bonds is going for number 756 in Phoenix [where Todd lives], I'd probably try to buy most of the bleacher seats so I could get the ball. I'd be cheering. I'd be that blur you see in the background, and I'd get to talk s--- the rest of my life.

"Look, he'll pass Ruth early this season. There will be a cloud over it. But he may not pass Aaron until a year from now, and I don't know if we can work up that much moral outrage again. We'll be burned out, and people will say, 'Dammit, I'm just a baseball fan!' because ultimately, most us like to party.

"Baseball can't get pompous about it now. It turned a blind eye to its steroids problem. Fans can't start being hypocritical now. Same ones complaining today were standing and cheering for Sosa and Big Mac six and a half years ago. No one stopped to dissect the moment because we were in the moment. Right now we're out of the moment, but get to 755 and we'll be right back in it. We can all be moral again two days later."

So he won't even consider sending a message, keeping his wallet hand holstered at the auction for Bonds's 756th ball?

"Look, 756 isn't the ball I really want. I want the last one he hits. For me, it'll be simple -- does Major League Baseball say it's a record ball? I'll be blinded by that one fact. You can have all your buts, but when you're done with your buts, I'll get my but: It's still the record ball."

I follow the money: the agent who brokered the sale of all those tainted taters. That's Michael Barnes, a 34-year-old former altar boy and product of the same Jesuit education at Saint Louis University as Tim Forneris, Mr. 62.

"For me, it doesn't diminish that summer," says Michael, "because what I'll remember is me and my son together in front of the TV when he was four and him jumping off the sofa screaming whenever Big Mac or Sosa hit one. That's the summer his love of baseball was formed. That's the summer I began underhanding Wiffle balls to him in the yard. That's what's in his room now: A bobblehead of Mac and Mac's baseball cards in plastic stand-up sleeves. All that's worth more to me, that connection we'll always have, even if cheating brought it about. It's too sweet.

"Yes, I thought there'd be more outrage. Baseball's the one sport that had standards you could compare across generations, and that's been eroded. But the reaction's been more as if some major singer has been caught lip-synching -- it's fodder for gossip and controversy, but it's not shameful.

"I'd pay to see Bonds hit his 756th. I'd stand and cheer. Especially if my 10-year-old son's with me. Even if I think the record is tainted, it's good for all kids to have heroes and goals. Baseball has to celebrate it, and the commissioner should be there. It sounds so amoral, but it's history. I'd wait and have the moral talk with my son when we're on the way home."

What if the fan who catches number 756, I ask the broker, is like that Chinese guy who stood in front of the tank in Tiananmen Square? What if he flings the ball back on the field or pulls out a lighter and burns the ball in moral protest -- against the hitter for his fraud and against the game's caretakers for failing to take care of our treasure -- rather than bequeath it to the Hall of Fame or place it in Michael Barnes's hands to find the highest bidder?

He sighs. "My heart would sink," he says. "I don't know what it would solve. If he held a press conference to explain that there was a lesson behind it, I'd applaud him. But I'd think he was crazy as a loon."

I turn to a guy who didn't see Big Mac's 62nd, Bonds's 73rd or any home run or any congressional hearing, ever. A guy I'd heard of who was born without eyes, a guy whose principles couldn't be compromised by the power of an image, a picture in his scrapbook or the memory of, say, a white orb and 50,000 people rising as one. And yet a guy who loved what he couldn't see so deeply that -- through blood, sweat, tears and technology that would all take an hour to explain -- he actually broadcast minor league baseball as a color man for a dozen years. But now....

"I'm devastated," says Don Wardlow, 41, who recently left the booth because of his wife's health and now takes rental car reservations in Goose Creek, S.C. "I spent all those years sacrificing and sweating blood for a god that turned out to be false. A god that takes steroids. It's not anger I feel. It's a sick-in-the-stomach feeling. I can't give baseball up. But I'm pulling back. I'll be listening to music or a book on tape instead of a Rockies-Giants game at 1 a.m. But it doesn't seem like that many other people feel this way. Maybe it's more personal for me because my father had emphysema and had to take steroids. Maybe because I heard his groans and know what they did to his insides for 14 years before he died."

What if he could take an injection or a pill, I ask, an illegal one with risky side effects that would allow him to see? Would he? "For one day," he says, "so I could do two things: Look into my wife's eyes, and see a Yankees-Red Sox game. Just one day. Then never again."

I turn next to a cheater. A 35-year-old bookkeeper who was caught red-handed in ninth-grade advanced algebra and suspended from school 20 years ago, one who understands the temptation that might have overcome Barry Bonds, maybe, if you believe he took steroids, which Cory McPherson of Sonoma, Calif., of course does not.

How does he know? Because Cory has been watching Giants games since he could crawl, and Cory has his Barry poster and Barry warmup jacket and Barry baseball cards by the hundreds -- 20 Bonds rookie cards worth $50 a pop, lovingly preserved in photo albums, none for sale; you don't sell out family. Even now.

"You can't fight this when it's in your blood," Cory says. "It's blind loyalty. Blind love. My dad had Willie Mays. I've got Barry. I'm going to feel as great as ever this season when he hits a 500-foot homer. Baseball has to celebrate it when he passes Aaron. It'll be a great moment. It'll be our moment -- forever.

"I need an admission from Barry before I'll ever reflect on him in a negative way. I'm clinging to that. I haven't heard it from him."

Maybe I'm just like everyone else. Maybe I didn't want to see what I was seeing. I saw the numbers and the necks ballooning. I saw Big Mac's dread as the media surrounded him -- green eyes blinking like a cornered ox, I scribbled in my notepad that July -- as if he knew where the klieg light's glare would inevitably turn.

We all knew how to react to the East German swimmers, the Bulgarian weightlifters and the Jamaican-Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson. But this, this is like learning as an adult of some pathetic and embarrassing flaw in your father. Maybe it's easier just to pretend that it didn't happen or doesn't really matter than to stop and look it in the eye.

I call a 58-year-old TV writer, Marshall Goldberg, who remembers the scandal in the late '50s when a contestant, professor Charles Van Doren, was fed the questions beforehand on the quiz show Twenty One. "Watching Bonds now would be like watching Twenty One after you know Professor Van Doren has the answers," he says. "I don't care how many people in America today are saying, 'They're entertainers, let 'em entertain.' If 40 million people think a stupid thought, it's still a stupid thought.

"My daughter gets it. She's 17. When she was asked in her college interview whom she admired most, she said without hesitation, 'Roberto Clemente. He died helping the earthquake victims in Nicaragua.' I won't walk across the street to watch Bonds hit number 756, and if I did, she'd tear into me.

"I think the old-fashioned fans are offended, and they're going to pour it on him. I'm one of those. I think all the players should come out to the white lines on Opening Day, put their hands on their hearts and take an oath of integrity. I just have a feeling there's going to be revulsion from the older people, and if not -- if people just clap and act like this is legitimate -- it'll kill my interest in the game. It'll be like, Oh, man ... do I really want to be a part of this?"

Old People. That's who I need to call. I buzz the Windsong Village Convalescent Center in Pearland, Texas, where the oldest ex-major leaguer -- 100-year-old Raymond Lee Cunningham -- resides. Gulped two cups of coffee with the Cards as a late-season call-up in 1931 and for part of '32. Stood 5'7". Weighed 150. Tore the bush leagues to shreds but hit only .154 in the Show. "I don't know what to think or how to think," he rasps. "I might cheer Bonds -- but I wouldn't honor him. I might've taken that stuff if they had it back then, but I won't say I would. Right now I wouldn't."

Hmmmm. Guess I need somebody older. Frances Wormser, a 101-year-old baseball fan in Ventura, Calif., is what Google spits out. A former Broadway actress who, it turns out, used to bowl beside Babe Ruth in the early '40s in a New York City hotel. "He would take a swig of whiskey before he bowled," she tattles. "He didn't care about bowling a spare or a strike -- he was just interested in winning, and he always won. He was such an ugly man."

But what about the juice, what about now? "Baseball's wonderful," she says, "but it's a stupid game. A player sits there for God knows how long not doing anything -- and then he's supposed to get up and hit a home run? So I'm sure all of them have been taking something. It's not just baseball. It's young people. Everybody's trying to get a fix, everybody wants to be a star, everybody wants to be on television. But there's nothing anybody can do. I love the game. I'll put up with anything."

Okay, not just any old-timer. One who knows long balls and Anabols both. That's former minor leaguer Tex Warfield, who cranked 40 back in '51 at Elizabeth City, N.C., and bench-pressed 260 just the other day. Still pumping iron at age 76, still pumping bodybuilders for info. "No dog days!" barks Tex. Say what? "All these people who say that steroids don't help you hit a baseball, don't help hand-eye coordination, here's what they're missing: There are no dog days of summer when you're on steroids! As long as you stay on 'em, you stay strong, you have an abundance of energy every day. You feel the same in September as you did in April. Barry Bonds hasn't had dog days in four years.

"People don't understand the dog days. Home runs come from hitting the ball out in front, but by September, even when I'd drop from a 35-ounce bat to a 31, I'd be catching the ball a foot behind. What was a homer in May would be a can o' corn in August.

"I'm totally disgusted. I'm not going to watch anymore. I'd put an asteroid next to all their records. McGwire made a complete fool of himself. Sosa? He's a user, and he's going to get away with it. Bonds? I'll cry when he passes Ruth. I'll cry when he passes Aaron. This is the biggest bunch o' bullcrap ever to come down the pike."

I ring up an old romantic. One who believed so much in the game's purity that he wrote a novel about an Iowa farmer who carved a ball field out of a cornfield so that Shoeless Joe Jackson could rematerialize and play again, three decades after dying and 63 years following the Black Sox scandal that blackened his name.

"Baseball, to me, had a magical quality that no other sport did because of its open-endedness, its infinite possibility," says 69-year-old William Kinsella, whose novel Shoeless Joe became the basis for the movie Field of Dreams. "No confined boundaries, like other sports. Two foul lines diverging forever, eventually to take in the entire universe."

Possibility? Gone. Salvation? See ya. Something died inside William during baseball's 1994 work stoppage, and the steroids scandal is just one more kick in the crotch of a corpse. "People have grown too cynical to be outraged," he says. "Maybe that's what baseball's counting on ... but to baseball that should be the scariest thing of all."

William, who used to attend 50 major league games a season, now enters Scrabble tournaments instead. Purity is worth 33 points if the r or the i falls on a triple-word square.

I call a former Little League coach. He's astonished at himself. Ten years of teaching kids to race after fly balls, to hustle up the first base line, to huddle up and put their hands together for the team. Ten years of watching Bonds, 30 miles away from the Little League ballpark in Menlo Park, Calif., blow all that to smithereens. And yet....

"Bonds is up! That's all my kids have to yell when I'm out cutting the grass, and I come on the run," says 49-year-old stockbroker John Chladek. "I'm afraid I'll miss something I'll always wish I'd seen. Then he comes on for an interview, and I leave. I'm afraid I'll see something I'll always wish I'd missed. How do I do that? Divide myself?

"Sure, I worry about the example these players are setting with steroids. But I worry more about kids watching Bonds not run out ground balls. Look at the numbers. One hundred kids will not want to run out a ground ball for every one who wants to take steroids. You hurt more people by not running out ground balls than by taking steroids."

I contact an ex-crackhead. A big leaguer who chose the wrong drug. Willie Mays Aikens, barely halfway through a 20-year hitch in Atlanta's federal pen. A big farm boy of a first baseman, a teddy bear who came to the Kansas City Royals in 1980 with a stutter and a cocaine addiction and promptly set a World Series record for multihomer games by yanking out two in Game 1 against the Phillies and two more four days later. Without juice.

He's 50, born again but dead in the water, doing more time than some murderers because of pumped-up federal sentencing guidelines that consider his sale of 64 grams of crack to an undercover agent in 1994 to be the same as if he'd sold 100 times more -- 6.4 kilograms or 61/2 bricks -- of powder cocaine.

No, admits Willie, there's not a one-to-one equivalency between coke and human growth hormone or between crack and "the cream." But there sure as hell are a couple of dozen grams of concentrated hypocrisy in his getting 20 in the hole while a flock of juiced big leaguers get standing O's and $6 million signing bonuses.

His stutter comes, these days, only when he gets emotional. His stutter comes now. "A drug is a d-d-drug is a drug," Willie says. "If it's illegal it should be illegal. I broke a drug law. I've done 11 y-years. Why am I still incarcerated?"

I call an old prisoner of war. Surely 5 1/2 years of beatings, food deprivation and solitary confinement must clarify a man's thoughts. What kept John McCain sane through his captivity by the North Vietnamese, he tells me, was tapping on his wall, holding a cup to the brick and talking baseball with the prisoner in the next cell, Air Force major Bob Craner. Talking lineups, stats, managers, owners and, most of all, talking Teddy Ballgame -- their mutual hero, Ted Williams.

John remembers seeing a fellow prisoner -- beaten to a pulp for sewing an American flag on the inside of his shirt so John and other POWs could secretly recite the Pledge of Allegiance to it -- stagger back to his cell after the beating, pull out his bamboo needle and begin sewing another one. What was seared into him, John says, "was a deeper sense that we have an obligation to things that are greater than our own self-interest. An obligation to think of consequences, all the way through. These ballplayers didn't do that. If they loved the game, they would have. But when a guy has his own rocking chair in the locker room, what more can you expect?"

You can question motives all day. After all, John's a politician, a senator who may run again for president one day, and half of America, before last Thursday's hearing, was howling at congressmen for grandstanding and sticking their noses where they shouldn't. But it was his threat of a congressional investigation last winter that compelled the players' association and Bud Selig to finally implement a steroids policy this spring.

A feeble one, John grumbles. "I blame Selig," he says. "If the players' association had refused a stricter policy, Selig could have gone to the public and killed them. It should've been a one-year ban for the first time caught, a lifetime ban the second time. Sometimes I'm angry. More often I'm sad. It's just unforgivable that Major League Baseball did not investigate earlier.

"I'll discount Bonds's record. Ted Williams would have been mad as hell about this. He'll unfreeze if someone on the juice beats his .406 average. He'll come out of the vat and go after him."

I take a drive. I pass the baseball fields. It's a Sunday. There are people playing baseball, but not groups of kids. It's all fathers and sons, in tandems, working on staying low and using alligator hands on ground balls and hitting the outside pitch to the opposite field. It's a beautiful thing in an age-partitioned land where the passing on of know-how from fathers to sons has nearly vanished. As beautiful as one of those home plate hugs that summer between Big Mac and his boy, little Matt.

I gaze at the fathers. Most of them know, deep down, that their sons won't be playing big league ball, maybe not even college ball. They tell themselves that's O.K., that all these hours on the field, all those weekends in towns four hours from home playing in travel-team tournaments, will be worth it anyway. That it's O.K. that they're on a ball field today instead of in a church or at a family dinner table, O.K. that sports have become our national religion, because sports, too, are a morality vessel, a carrier of values -- teamwork and sacrifice, discipline and the determination to overcome limitations -- that our sons will need in their careers and relationships for a lifetime.

Why aren't we horrified, then? About this toxin that has sneaked into our morality vessel, one that makes a mockery of every one of the values that justify this devotion? And about how fast the toxin is spreading, with one of every 16 teenagers, by 12th grade, having used steroids, according to the Centers for Disease Control?

A couple of decades ago, when drunken-driving deaths in America were mounting at a terrifying rate but little public outcry was heard, a group of mothers organized and began pressuring legislatures, law-enforcement bodies, corporations and the mass media.

In the 25 years since Mothers Against Drunk Driving drew a line and went to war, alcohol-related traffic deaths have dropped by more than 40%, and since 1990 teen drunken-driving accidents have diminished by nearly 60%. The mothers did it by stigmatizing the behavior.

I head home. I go to the phone. I start calling fathers.

I call a phenom's father. Nearly every day, if it's not too cold or wet or dark outside, Dr. Greg Scott gets off work at 7 p.m. and does what John Giambi, Jason and Jeremy's dad, used to do. He goes to work with his 13-year-old son, Jonathan, on a ball field. Sometimes even when it is too cold or wet or dark; once even in the snow. The kid's already 5'9", 180 pounds. Four years ago, when the homers started flying out, his teammates in Montgomery, N.J., started calling him Little Bonds.

Dr. Scott's a cardiac surgeon. Does he ever stop to think that every batting practice pitch he throws, every improvement that Jonathan makes, takes him one step closer to a world where his son may be forced to make a choice: to cash in his dream and all these hours they've spent together ... or take a drug that could ravage his heart, kidneys and liver, cause impotence, high blood pressure and mood swings so severe that they could induce him to do what the sons of those parents at last week's hearings did? To press a gun to his head and kill himself, as 19-year-old Efrain Marrero of Vacaville, Calif., did in September, or to hang himself in his bedroom, as 17-year-old Taylor Hooton, the cousin of former major league pitcher Burt Hooton, did in July 2003 in Plano, Texas?

"Yes, it worries me," says Dr. Scott. "What if the only ones who can dream are the ones willing to pump themselves full of juice? There's such an emphasis on size now. Jonathan says he won't do it, but this is a guy who hasn't gone on a date yet. I would never condone it, but I understand it. Make the Show, and your life is made. I see my son's and his teammates' faces when they see Giambi getting a custom-made $120,000 car.

"The cheating part doesn't ring a bell with them. They consider it no more of an unfair edge than having a better calculator than the kid next to you in math class. I asked if they think it's cheating, and they said, 'No, it's just trying to get ahead.' The integrity of the game, the old records -- that's a non sequitur to these kids. So I tell my son, 'Your balls will shrink, you'll get acne. Don't do it, because we don't know what it'll do to you.' And I bought the Canseco book to show them. All they said when they looked at it was, 'Wow, look at the change in Canseco's size!'"

So what'll happen at the Scotts' house when number 756 starts to rise?

"I'll be up cheering," says Dr. Scott. "Because I still say hitting a 90-plus-mile-an-hour fastball 340-plus feet 756 times is a great feat. And let me ask you a question. Suppose Bonds was a nice guy. Do you think there would be such a furor? How do we know Cal Ripken Jr. wasn't on something? What about Randy Johnson's using oxygen between innings? What about the amphetamines that so many players use before games? What about Lasix surgery that lets you see 20/10?"

O.K., O.K. My turn again. What does he think John Giambi is feeling today? Dr. Scott doesn't hesitate. "Guilt," he says. "He's thinking, I pushed them so hard they felt they had to use steroids in order not to fail in my eyes."

I hang up. Then redial Dr. Scott's house. I need to talk to Little Bonds. He tells me he hears kids saying he uses steroids when he socks one out, so he knows how annoying that must be for Barry. He tells me about his Bonds screen saver, and how he removes his autographed Bonds ball, the one he won in a raffle, from a locked metal box and rubs it for good luck before games. "I hit two home runs and went 3 for 4 the first time I did it," he says. "Then I hid it in my suitcase so I could rub it before the state tournament, and I hit three more.

"I know he's done a bad thing. But he's worked so hard. The record shouldn't be taken away from him. He's doing the best he can. I'd love to see him hit 756. I'd go wild."

I call the father of one of the smallest players in the bigs. I call Whitey Eckstein, wondering what it's like to be the father of a guy who's been told he needs to get bigger ever since he was a squirt. What it's like to be the parent of any major leaguer today, looking at your son when he comes home and wondering if, maybe....

No, says David Eckstein's father, you don't understand. The kid grew up in a house full of steroids, a home where a truck would pull up and unload 40 or 50 boxes of medications, solutions and dialysis equipment. The kid saw his sister Susan on her deathbed with diseased kidneys, then saw his mother save Susan's life by donating a kidney of her own, only for the family to find out within eight months that the kidneys of David's sister Christine and his brother Kenny were failing too. A kid who'd lived through all that wasn't about to let some little thing -- like 5'63/4", 165 pounds, the dimensions of his body -- keep him from his dream. Or even think of touching a steroid to achieve it.

Maybe it's time for ballplayers' parents, even those of big leaguers, to look harder at their sons and speak up. "The parents of major leaguers who are using steroids have to know it," says Whitey, a retired history teacher. "You can tell. The size. The acne. They must know."

Now it's Whitey's turn to have his kidneys shut down, to wait on eggshells for a donor, to live attached to a machine. What if his little guy -- the Cardinals' new shortstop, an off-season free-agent acquisition from the Angels -- comes home big? "He couldn't look me in the eye if he did," says Whitey. "I'd say, 'David, you're not my son. Stay away from me. You're not an Eckstein.'"

I find somebody Who's Doing Something. He's the co-owner of a sports bar and the son of a man born in Orestiada, Greece. Nondas Kalfas will offer free chocolate cake to every customer who turns his back to the 50 TV screens in the Varsity Ale House in Durham, N.C., when Bonds comes to the plate this season. The cake will be drizzled with sauce spelling the word LEGENDS to honor the men whose records were vandalized.

"I want kids to ask, 'Why are those men turning around?' and adults to have to explain," says Nondas. "What's it say about us if we don't take a stand in front of our kids? I'm hoping the idea takes off in sports bars all over the country. Because baseball is really mixed up right now. Nobody's telling the kids, 'Bonds cheated!'"

And when Jason Giambi bats? The Yankees' first baseman who has been overwhelmed by the fan support he's receiving in spring training? Free cake if you turn your back on him, too?

"Uhhh ... see what I mean about mixed up? You ask me about Giambi, and because I'm a Yankees fan, I pause. I don't know what to say."

I call Hank Aaron's son. Patience, he counsels. Calm yourself down. The truth will come out because the truth works the way his daddy did in his assault on the Babe. Slowly. Quietly. Relentlessly.

"In life," says Hank Jr., who's in charge of detailing cars at Hank Sr.'s Toyota dealership in Atlanta, "whatever you do wrong, it'll come back to you. I don't know if Bonds is guilty. He's a herculean man if he put all that muscle mass on and stayed that limber. Eventually, we'll tell by his body. Eventually it eats away your tissue."

He saw it happen to teammates who used steroids when he played tight end at the University of Tennessee-Martin from 1979 to '81. "They got crazy," he says. "Their bodies fell apart. Their knees -- they can't even walk now."

Will he be there when his father's name, and his, too, vanishes from the top of baseball's most hallowed list? "I won't. Not because of steroids. I just have no desire to be there. I'll watch it on TV. And I'll feel nothing. I'm proud of that record, but I'm prouder that my father's a good man."

And his dad? Will he stay away, as he indicated to the Los Angeles Times two months ago? Will he be able to resist when Selig, his friend since their days together in Milwaukee in the '50s, urges him to accompany him so that TV and Bud and baseball can make the night as much, or maybe even more, about Hank than about Barry, so they can have a noble cover for the celebration of an embarrassment? Does he realize that he can make the largest contribution of his storied life to the game he loves by refusing those entreaties, by leaving baseball alone to face itself that day ... by simply remaining invisible?

His son can't answer that. Hank Sr. declines my e-mail request through his lawyer to come to the phone. That's it, Henry. Invisible.

Maybe it's not fair, what I do next. After all, baseball's just now picking itself off the floor of the Rayburn building and staggering down Constitution Avenue after the billy-clubbing it took from a couple of dozen congressmen last week. But somebody has to pick it up, grab it by the lapels and get it ready for what's coming next.

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."

Sometimes you ask 25 people a question just to avoid having to answer it yourself. Sometimes the more convoluted and confusing the responses are, the surer you grow that you know the answer deep inside.

I hang up the phone. I close the scrapbook full of photographs from the Summer of Long Balls and Love. I put it back where it's always been, on the shelf with the wedding and birthday and vacation albums. Because every picture tells a story, and sometimes even two.

I was there, that June at Wrigley, when the great fraud began. See, that's me and the three other dupes in the bleachers that weekend when....

Issue date: March 28, 2005

Chip R
03-08-2006, 12:37 PM
Why does a rule prohibiting an action make that action "unfair"? MLB now has a rule prohibiting steroid use, but that doesn't physically stop players from continuing to use them, so in that sense "fairness" is not something that can be judged by the existence or non-existence of rules. A player can still throw a spitball, a player can still cork a bat. They will be punished if caught, but there's nothing preventing them from doing it. indeed, a number of players likely DO do those things. So we've established that making a rule against something does not make the use of that thing inherently unfair, so all that we're left with is the question of whether or not steroid use, within a vacuum, is cheating. Does it, by itself, present an "unfair" advantage?

Who did Barry Bonds have an unfair advantage over? Mark McGwire? Sammy Sosa? Rafael Palmiero? Jose Canseco? If you believe the conventional wisdom all of those guys used steroids too. So if those guys could use them, what was to stop anyone else from using them too? How is that unfair? Unfair would be if Bonds was the only person able to do it. The only thing that could have stopped them was their own moral code. Ken Griffey Jr. didn't use them because his moral code wouldn't let him do it. You'd be naive to say he didn't have an opportunity to do it but he didn't and that is to his credit.

This is not an issue of fair versus unfair. It's a morality issue. No one would care if Barry Bonds had the physique he does if he didn't take steroids and just get that way through weightlifting. Society has put enough pressure on MLB to not only ban the use of steroids but to ramp up the severity of penalties for using them. MLB doesn't want their players taking steroids not because they are hitting too many home runs but because their players are role models to the youth of this country. They don't want little Johnny to see Barry Bonds and rationalize that if steroids worked for Bonds they can work for him too. No one wants high school kids dropping dead because they used steroids. Bonds used the lack of rules to his advantage just like the old timers who used to throw spitballs - which, by the way, weren't banned because they gave pitchers an unfair advantage but because someone threw a spitball that killed another player; again with the morality thing. There is no difference between a spitball and a splitter or a forkball or a good changeup or a sinker. Yet the spitball remains banned because someone got killed. If all steroids did was make you stronger and had no after-effects then not only would they be legal but they would be looked upon much the same as weightlifting is. After all people aren't dropping dead because they are in a weightlifting program. Being strong doesn't give you an unfair advantage. Steroids didn't help Barry Bonds hit the ball better, they just made him hit the ball farther.

membengal
03-08-2006, 12:42 PM
It is too an issue of fair versus unfair. He had an unfair advantage, as did all like him, over players that were not cheating with steroids.

Chip R
03-08-2006, 12:43 PM
It is too an issue of fair versus unfair. He had an unfair advantage, as did all like him, over players that were not cheating with steroids.
But they also had the opportunity to use them so what was unfair about it?

membengal
03-08-2006, 12:44 PM
No, chip, they absolutely did NOT. What Bonds did was ILLEGAL. Those that chose to follow the LAW, did NOT have a level playing field. At the end of the day, you cannot explain that away. You simply can't.

ochre
03-08-2006, 12:47 PM
But they also had the opportunity to use them so what was unfair about it?
C'mon Chip. That's the Enron defense. All those other companies that Enron was 'outperforming' could have used the same accounting techniques.

membengal
03-08-2006, 12:49 PM
C'mon Chip. That's the Enron defense. All those other companies that Enron was 'outperforming' could have used the same accounting techniques.

Yes. Exactly. Simply stated.

Chip R
03-08-2006, 12:51 PM
No, chip, they absolutely did NOT. What Bonds did was ILLEGAL. Those that chose to follow the LAW, did NOT have a level playing field. At the end of the day, you cannot explain that away. You simply can't.Sure they did. Ken Caminiti did. People believe Bret Boone did. Some even believe Brandon Larson did. If they had the opportunity to use them, everyone did. You are getting opportunity and choice mixed up. I have the opportunity to take drugs but I make the choice not to. And don't bring the law into this unless you are willing to talk about amphetimines.

Chip R
03-08-2006, 12:53 PM
C'mon Chip. That's the Enron defense. All those other companies that Enron was 'outperforming' could have used the same accounting techniques.

The difference is the Securities and Exchange Commission didn't have a rule that said it was OK to do what Enron did even if there was a law against it.

membengal
03-08-2006, 12:54 PM
I will bring the law into this...I don't mind talking about amphetimines. I don't agree anyone should have taken them, and if they did, they took a chance, because those were also illegal.

You simply cannot ignore the fact that anabolic steroids were illegal because it is inconvenient. The playing field was not level. Anyone who decided to take steroids KNEW it was wrong. They hid them during the season. They did them in the off-season. No question they knew it was not allowed by law. Or else they would have proudly talked about how shooting a steroid cocktail in the rear end was their key to their newfound success.

So, if you don't engage in that behavior, if you choose to not do what is illegal, how exactly is the playing field level?

ochre
03-08-2006, 01:02 PM
The difference is the Securities and Exchange Commission didn't have a rule that said it was OK to do what Enron did even if there was a law against it.
You lost me there. Are you saying MLB had a rule that said Steroids were ok?

The SEC oversight prior to the recent scandals was not all that dissimilar from the commisioner's oversight in regards to steroids. They had some loose guidlines and some requirements based on those guidlines, but 'best accounting practices' are not a formal standard.

registerthis
03-08-2006, 01:06 PM
Who did Barry Bonds have an unfair advantage over? Mark McGwire? Sammy Sosa? Rafael Palmiero? Jose Canseco? If you believe the conventional wisdom all of those guys used steroids too. So if those guys could use them, what was to stop anyone else from using them too? How is that unfair? Unfair would be if Bonds was the only person able to do it. The only thing that could have stopped them was their own moral code. Ken Griffey Jr. didn't use them because his moral code wouldn't let him do it. You'd be naive to say he didn't have an opportunity to do it but he didn't and that is to his credit.

I'm not disagreeing with any of this, as my post indicated. Players certainly have the ability to choose to take steroids if they wish, it isn't a question of accessibility. So there's no argument that something is or is not fair based solely on whether or not a rule exists preventing it.


This is not an issue of fair versus unfair. It's a morality issue.

Of course, and that was exactly what I stated. So why do we say taking steroids are wrong? Is it solely because of the health risks? Then let players take them under close medical supervision and let them get on with it. It may not be your intent, but your argument is coming off as saying that the use of steroids is not a problem, and shouldn't be viewed as such. your only concern seems to be whether or not players have ewual access to them.


No one would care if Barry Bonds had the physique he does if he didn't take steroids and just get that way through weightlifting.

Well of course not, because that's a natural way to increase your physique. It's the difference between studying for a test, and writing the answers on your desk.


Society has put enough pressure on MLB to not only ban the use of steroids but to ramp up the severity of penalties for using them. MLB doesn't want their players taking steroids not because they are hitting too many home runs but because their players are role models to the youth of this country. They don't want little Johnny to see Barry Bonds and rationalize that if steroids worked for Bonds they can work for him too. No one wants high school kids dropping dead because they used steroids. Bonds used the lack of rules to his advantage just like the old timers who used to throw spitballs - which, by the way, weren't banned because they gave pitchers an unfair advantage but because someone threw a spitball that killed another player; again with the morality thing. There is no difference between a spitball and a splitter or a forkball or a good changeup or a sinker. Yet the spitball remains banned because someone got killed. If all steroids did was make you stronger and had no after-effects then not only would they be legal but they would be looked upon much the same as weightlifting is. After all people aren't dropping dead because they are in a weightlifting program. Being strong doesn't give you an unfair advantage. Steroids didn't help Barry Bonds hit the ball better, they just made him hit the ball farther.

Your argument doesn't pass muster here, Chip. Why is it illegal to cork a bat? Why is it illegal to scuff a baseball? Why is it illegal to use too much pine-tar? Why is it illegal to use a bat larger than the regulation size? Again, you appear to be arguing solely from the perspective that, so long as everyone has equal access to it and it doesn't harm, it's not a problem. If, as you are claiming, laws that ban items or actions in baseball are enacted soley for moral reasons, then there is no justification for banning pine tar, bat corking or sandpaper. Everyone should be free to do as they wish to remain competitive, so long as it does not cause physical harm to themselves or others. If a player wishes to remain unnaturally productive by injecting himself with horse steroids, he should be allowed to, so long as baseball makes it clear that such things should nto be done except under the watchful eye of a physician.

That's not the type of sport I want baseball to become. I don't watch it, or follow it, because I want to see whose chemist can mix the best steroid cocktail, or which batter can come up with the most ingenious method of corking his bat. I watch baseball because the people who play it possess a level of skill and physical ability that I could only dream of, and they have come about it naturally, without the need to pop a pill that helps them hit home runs or steal more bases. If that's all baseball will become, I'm content to stay home and play my computer baseball simulation game, because, IMO, the results iwould get from that would have every bit as much validity as those achieved by players who are little more than walking medicine cabinets.

Dunner44
03-08-2006, 01:22 PM
C'mon Chip. That's the Enron defense. All those other companies that Enron was 'outperforming' could have used the same accounting techniques.

Amen!

Chip R
03-08-2006, 01:40 PM
I will bring the law into this...I don't mind talking about amphetimines. I don't agree anyone should have taken them, and if they did, they took a chance, because those were also illegal.

You simply cannot ignore the fact that anabolic steroids were illegal because it is inconvenient. The playing field was not level. Anyone who decided to take steroids KNEW it was wrong. They hid them during the season. They did them in the off-season. No question they knew it was not allowed by law. Or else they would have proudly talked about how shooting a steroid cocktail in the rear end was their key to their newfound success.

So, if you don't engage in that behavior, if you choose to not do what is illegal, how exactly is the playing field level?

So anyone who has taken amphetimines ever since they were declared an illegal substance should be banned from baseball? You're going to have an awful long list there and perhaps have problems filling out some major league rosters.

I'm not ignoring or disputing the fact steroids are and were illegal but that isn't the point. As I've said before athletes do things all the time that are illegal but they can get away with it for the most part because it happened during a game. But the point is that while they may have been afraid to say anything about it in public, it wasn't because they worried they would be suspended it was because they were worried they could be prosecuted. But they decided to take that chance and up to now, no player has been prosecuted for using steroids. So there really is no legal risk to taking them. Now there is a professional risk that wasn't there before. Losing a job that pays you millions of dollars is a pretty good incentive to not take steroids.

You are under the assumption that all you have to do is inject yourself with anabolic steroids and all of a sudden you will become a superstar. Tony Womack could take all kinds of steroids and still not be the player that Adam Dunn is. That doesn't give Womack an unfair advantage. Bonds felt that McGwire and Sosa had an unfair advantage over him so he wanted to level the playing field. So he took steroids. They made him a better home run hitter but they didn't make him any more beloved by fans nor did it give him more endorsement opportunities. They certainly didn't make him a better all around player. You could even make the case that he gave himself a disadvantage by taking steroids. He had less speed because he was bigger which hurt him on the basepaths and in the field. Would you rather have the 2001 version of Barry Bonds on your team or the 1993 Bonds? Sure, the 2001 version hits more home runs but the 1993 version was a better all around player.

ochre
03-08-2006, 01:53 PM
I think substantiated proof is the challenge. Other than innuendo and hear say, how are you going to identify the litany of players that have abused the system by enhancing their performance through illicit chemical concoctions. Unfortunately for Mr. Bonds (or not, as it might play out) people took extraordinary interest in his partaking of said enhancements.

membengal
03-08-2006, 02:18 PM
Chip wrote:

You are under the assumption that all you have to do is inject yourself with anabolic steroids and all of a sudden you will become a superstar.

Wrong again Chip. I am under no such assumption. I am under the assumption that steroids helped certain players achieve far beyond that which they ordinarily would have. But not all. You know why not? Because not everyone could try it because it was ILLEGAL. How would steroids have helped Griffey? Or Pujols? Or Guerrero? I have no idea, perhaps they would have reached the same ridiculous numbers. No one is discounting that Bonds was wonderfully skilled when he started cheating, but I am disputing that I have to somehow admire the results of his cheating. He unleveled the playing field, he achieved results due, in some manner, due to taking things that were absoutely not available to everyone.

Bonds has earned my scorn through his cheating, as have the others. Why am I supposed to honor his deception? He unleveled the playing field, and trashed a part of baseball that was important to me.

And, by the way, if it were up to me, Perry wouldn't have made the HOF either.

Edit: And, I fully acknowledge that steroids didn't help other players. But, what, am I supposed to give Bonds/McGwire et al a cookie because they responded so well to the cocktail? Because the cheating helped them become extra-huge and powerful with quick reflexes? Well, great for them. How wonderful what pharmacy has engineered. Baseball sure is the better for it...

Highlifeman21
03-08-2006, 02:21 PM
No, chip, they absolutely did NOT. What Bonds did was ILLEGAL. Those that chose to follow the LAW, did NOT have a level playing field. At the end of the day, you cannot explain that away. You simply can't.


What Bonds did was illegal in society, but he did not break any rules in baseball, because at the time baseball had no rules about steroids, as Chip has very accurately stated consistently. If you're going to judge, judicate, and execute Bonds for the current steroid policy, then you're doing so in an ex post facto manner. You can't retroactively punish someone because now you have a rule that deals with their situation, when at the time of the transgression, there was no legislation in place.

Some people have tried to argue that the Black Sox were banned from baseball ex post facto by Millvile's own Kennesaw Mountain Landis, when it's proven fact there is a laundry list of players in the early 19teens that received the same fate as Comiskey's Sox before them.

Some people have tried to argue that Pete Rose was banned from baseball ex post facto by Bart G, but the precedent had been already established.

There is no precedent for lifetime ban from baseball due to steroid use until I believe last year, or maybe 2004 at the earliest. Since there was no rule in place, you can't hold Bonds' actions from 1986 to 2004 to the current standards. Selig is on record saying Bonds has never failed a drug test. Right now, this is sounding like I'm defending Bonds, and heck, even saying he might be innocent, but that is FAR from the case. I think it's very safe to say that Bonds' predominant lack of a 2005 season was clearly due to him going off whatever litany of substances he was on and subsequently dealing with knee problems. Should Bonds test positive in the present for a banned substance, then he would be held to the new rule in place, and we could deal what that accordingly. While I wish we could do something about his actions from 1986 to 2004, we can't, because there was no rule to govern those actions.

Yes, there are societal rules and laws governing steriod use, but until 2004, the MLBPA had protected its membership from the outside world. Bonds probably lied to a grand jury about his steriod use, so he's gonna go the Chris Webber route and get a slap on the wrist for that, probably pay some sorta fine, and do some community service, but you didn't see Webber serve jail time and you won't see Bonds behind bars either.

Believe me, I wish there was a rule on the books from 1986 to 2004 that Bonds had broken and this would be a much easier situation, but unfortunately it's not because there was no such rule.

Bottomline, Bonds' records won't be erased, he'll still go in the HOF and join other players in there that have admitted to cheating in the game in various capacities.

membengal
03-08-2006, 02:26 PM
Highilifeman,

WHY would I expect that baseball should have an extra rule that confirms that it expects its players to adhere to US law? Why is that? Why should baseball have to have said:

"Um, hey guys. Steroids are illegal and purchasing and using them is a crime, so, just want to tell you, we are against it too?"

What's the point of THAT, exactly? Perhaps baseball should include some language somewhere that confirms that all of the laws in place in the rest of life apply in its sport too?

Seriously, I completly fail to understand that particular logic and argument.

Edit: There is nothing ex post facto about this. Bonds did what was illegal. Period. It was illegal at the time, and it is illegal now. The issue here is that his illegal behavior affected the integrity of the game, as did others' behavior.

RedsBaron
03-08-2006, 02:28 PM
The HOF did not have a rule barring a banned player from being on the HOF ballot until after Rose was suspended in 1989. That part of Rose's "punishment" was ex post facto.
I agree that statistics cannot be erased. The stats will forever say Bonds hit 73 HRs in 2001.
However, Bonds has no legal right to be inducted into the HOF. Voters can decide not to vote him in. I hope Bonds and McGwire and Palmiero are never inducted.

E. Davis 44
03-08-2006, 02:31 PM
Smoking marijauna doesn't enhance a players' physical performance. Anabolic steroids does. Bonds and other unleveled the playing field. Apples and oranges. They should be denied the hall. Their records stricken.

I bet you'd be heart broken if you knew how many current hall of famers took steroids or performance enhances of some sort.

membengal
03-08-2006, 02:35 PM
Ah yes, my favorite ploy of Bonds et al defenders...basically saying "Everyone else has skeletons, you judgmental child..."

Please, spare me. Steroids of the type that Bonds et al were using are of a class and scale that baseball simply hadn't seen before. That has been a pretty consistent theme in all of the reporting on this. The attempt to inject amphetamines as a "performance enhancer" (presuming that is the performance enhancer you are referrig to) into this particular discussion is laughable.

Steroids go so far beyond "greenies" that if you don't understand how, I am not sure what I can say to get it across. And, for the record, I am thrilled that they are addressing greenies too.

RFS62
03-08-2006, 02:36 PM
The HOF did not have a rule barring a banned player from being on the HOF ballot until after Rose was suspended in 1989. That part of Rose's "punishment" was ex post facto.
I agree that statistics cannot be erased. The stats will forever say Bonds hit 73 HRs in 2001.
However, Bonds has no legal right to be inducted into the HOF. Voters can decide not to vote him in. I hope Bonds and McGwire and Palmiero are never inducted.



I agree.

Some of the arguments seem to suggest that there is no degree to the different types of cheating.

Each instance is different, and should be seen differently.

Chip R
03-08-2006, 02:41 PM
Chip wrote:

You are under the assumption that all you have to do is inject yourself with anabolic steroids and all of a sudden you will become a superstar.

Wrong again Chip. I am under no such assumption. I am under the assumption that steroids helped certain players achieve far beyond that which they ordinarily would have. But not all. You know why not? Because not everyone could try it because it was ILLEGAL. How would steroids have helped Griffey? Or Pujols? Or Guerrero? I have no idea, perhaps they would have reached the same ridiculous numbers. No one is discounting that Bonds was wonderfully skilled when he started cheating, but I am disputing that I have to somehow admire the results of his cheating. He unleveled the playing field, he achieved results due, in some manner, due to taking things that were absoutely not available to everyone.

Bonds has earned my scorn through his cheating, as have the others. Why am I supposed to honor his deception? He unleveled the playing field, and trashed a part of baseball that was important to me.

And, by the way, if it were up to me, Perry wouldn't have made the HOF either.

You say not everyone could try (steroids) because they are illegal. Why? Perhaps you meant not everyone would try them and that I can agree with. Heroin is illegal but I could try it. Cigarettes are illegal for minors but a great percentage of cigarette smokers are minors. I've never smoked marijuana but I could if I wanted to even though it is illegal to do so. I am not questioning a player's choice to take steroids. What I am saying is any player from Mr. Clean Sean Casey to Dr. Evil Barry Bonds knew that they could take steroids. Casey did not but Bonds did. I don't think this is what you mean but when you keep saying that not everyone could try steroids it looks like you are saying that only a select few people can get their hands on them. And we both know that isn't true. If a kid in high school can get them, anyone can. Doesn't matter if they are illegal or not. People usually will not do something illegal because they are afraid of getting caught. If that was the case our prisons would be empty. People don't do something illegal because it goes against their values. That's the difference between Sean Casey and Barry Bonds. Casey's moral code is such that he wouldn't even think of using steroids. Bonds obviously has a looser moral code.

I'm not asking you or expecting you to honor or admire Bonds. We both believe he's a scum-sucking lowlife. You don't even have to admire his accomplishments. All I'm saying is that morally he cheated but he didn't in a baseball sense. If he were to test positive now, I'd be the first one to call him a dirty cheater. If it is discovered that he was on steroids when they finally made a rule against it, I will call him a cheater. But not until then.

membengal
03-08-2006, 02:47 PM
Chip, thanks for the discussion. I think on this issue, people will come to where they are, and there will be no need to try and convince the other that they are right or wrong.

My anger with Bonds and others is that they did things that were not available to everyone. For me, that is cheating in the baseball sense. Not everyone could walk down to Walgreens and start 'roiding. They put themselves on a different plane than others. For me, that's the huge problem. For others, it's different things that bother them, or don't.

I actually think this discussion is healthy, because this should indeed be Bonds' sentence, and McGwire, and Sosa, and Raffy, their careers should be questioned and appropriate judgements drawn.

--Aaron

Highlifeman21
03-08-2006, 02:55 PM
Highilifeman,

WHY would I expect that baseball should have an extra rule that confirms that it expects its players to adhere to US law? Why is that? Why should baseball have to have said:

"Um, hey guys. Steroids are illegal and purchasing and using them is a crime, so, just want to tell you, we are against it too?"

What's the point of THAT, exactly? Perhaps baseball should include some language somewhere that confirms that all of the laws in place in the rest of life apply in its sport too?

Seriously, I completly fail to understand that particular logic and argument.

Edit: There is nothing ex post facto about this. Bonds did what was illegal. Period. It was illegal at the time, and it is illegal now. The issue here is that his illegal behavior affected the integrity of the game, as did others' behavior.


I touched upon ex post facto because it deals with precedent. You cannot hold Bonds to a standard that did not exist when he committed his transgression. Blame the MLBPA for allowing until 2004 its membership to be held to a different set of rules and laws than society. Look at Palmeiro. He tested positive last year and got the 1st strike penalty under the new steroid policy. That's the key to all this. There was no penalty system in place until 2004-2005! Sure, players historically have been breaking state and federal laws by using illegal substances, but professional athletes have been protected by their unions and collective bargaining agreements and aren't losing their jobs because of their actions. Do I think this should change? You betcha. Would I love to see Bonds spend some time in jail because he broke state and federal laws by using steroids? Definitely, let's open Alcatraz back up just for him!


Edit: There is nothing ex post facto about this. Bonds did what was illegal. Period. It was illegal at the time, and it is illegal now. The issue here is that his illegal behavior affected the integrity of the game, as did others' behavior.

Bonds did was was illegal in society, or with state and federal laws, but did not break baseball laws! He couldn't have broken baseball laws because they've only been in place for a year or two! That's everything ex post facto! You can't retroactively change the legal consequences of acts committed or the legal status of facts and relationships that existed prior to the enactment of the law. From 1986 to 2004, what Bonds did was baseball legal. Now, it's baseball illegal. It's ALWAYS been illegal in society, but this goes back to players unions and collective bargaining agreements protecting professional athletes. In society, Bonds is a criminal. In baseball, he's only a criminal if he continues his actions and breaks the new rules.

If you're going to bring up integrity of the game, there have been far worse issues harming the game than steroids, such as fixing games and racism. Fixing games is at the top of the mountain, IMO, then racism, then at the bottom we have steroids because you'll find that going forward players will continually find ways to beat the system with drug testing.

Think of it this way. Bonds took steroids, I think we can all agree to that. What did steroids do to improve his already HOF caliber batting eye? Sure, the juice might have helped him gain some strength, but did it give him the 2nd best eye we've seen behind Ted Williams?

membengal
03-08-2006, 02:58 PM
Highlifeman, I am genuinly curious: do you think baseball players are not subject to the laws the rest of us are because they are somehow subject to "baseball laws"?

As I have discussed with Chip, it is the unlevel playing field which bothers me. No way to fairly compare him versus others because he cheated.

registerthis
03-08-2006, 02:58 PM
Bottomline, Bonds' records won't be erased, he'll still go in the HOF and join other players in there that have admitted to cheating in the game in various capacities.

Not necessarily, there's nothing saying Bonds is locked into the HoF. Playing with the semantics of "not illegal at the time" or "no laws specifically forbidding it" does not detract from the fact that, in the eyes of many (including this poster), many of the stats and records that Bonds would be entering the Hall on are fraudulent and ill-gotten. I could care less what baseball's steroid policy was--for years, people clamored for baseball to enact tougher standards, but they never did. I view Bonds as a fraud, as someone who was intensely jealous of the accolades being received by other juiced-up players and decided he'd rather live with the consequences of his actions than continuae to "play clean." And I don't respect that. Unlike "character flaws" which make an individual undesirable off the field but serve no detrimental purpose on it, Bonds steroid use attacks the very essence of why he would be in the hall to begin with--his superhuman records. I'd say, at this moment, it's far from a forgone conclusion that Bonds will be in the Hall. We'll see, time may sooth the anger being vented at Bonds right now. But I'm certain there are a number of ballot voters who will ook at Bonds, will look at the evidence supplied in this book, and decided that someone with such behavior does not warrant inclusion in the Hall. And I would completely support them.

registerthis
03-08-2006, 03:00 PM
You can't retroactively change the legal consequences of acts committed or the legal status of facts and relationships that existed prior to the enactment of the law.

In that case, I demand immediate enshrinement of Pete Rose into the Hall of Fame.

Highlifeman21
03-08-2006, 03:04 PM
The HOF did not have a rule barring a banned player from being on the HOF ballot until after Rose was suspended in 1989. That part of Rose's "punishment" was ex post facto.


So why is Joe Jackson still on the outside looking in? He was banned way before Rose and was never on a ballot to the best of my knowledge. Please correct me if I'm wrong and I'll definitely accept it. I'm under the impression Giamatti's ruling used Jackson as the example in which to punish Rose.

Cyclone792
03-08-2006, 03:05 PM
In that case, I demand immediate enshrinement of Pete Rose into the Hall of Fame.

Why?

Pete Rose bet on baseball. He committed the ultimate baseball crime and was placed on the ineligible list. There's no precedent for electing anybody on the ineligible list.

Do you really believe what Barry Bonds did even comes remotely close to what Pete Rose did?

Highlifeman21
03-08-2006, 03:17 PM
Highlifeman, I am genuinly curious: do you think baseball players are not subject to the laws the rest of us are because they are somehow subject to "baseball laws"?

As I have discussed with Chip, it is the unlevel playing field which bothers me. No way to fairly compare him versus others because he cheated.


I think baseball players should be subject to the laws of the rest of us, but thanks to the MLBPA and the collective bargaining agreement they aren't. Heck, not only baseball players, but ALL professional athletes.

I wish there was a fair way to compare all generations of ballplayers, but there isn't. Ruth didn't face black players. Cap Anson wouldn't take the field against black players. Kennesaw Mountain Landis cleaned up the gambling/fixing problem, but did nothing to help blacks play in the league. Scuffing/doctoring a baseball used to be legal. The pitching mound used to be higher than it is now. There are too many factors taking away the hope of a level playing field, and steroids is another factor on that list.

membengal
03-08-2006, 03:19 PM
Highlifeman wrote:

I think baseball players should be subject to the laws of the rest of us, but thanks to the MLBPA and the collective bargaining agreement they aren't. Heck, not only baseball players, but ALL professional athletes.

That's simply untrue. They are subject to those laws. You really have lost me here. No union can bargain its members out of the laws that apply to all of society.

registerthis
03-08-2006, 03:21 PM
Why?

Pete Rose bet on baseball. He committed the ultimate baseball crime and was placed on the ineligible list. There's no precedent for electing anybody on the ineligible list.

Nope, but I've said it so many times I just get tired of repeating myself, Cyclone. Go research some of my previous posts if you're interested.

My response was, as I'm sure you picked up, a direct reply to highlifeman's comment that "You can't retroactively change the legal consequences of acts committed or the legal status of facts and relationships that existed prior to the enactment of the law."

Pete Rose is a crystal-clear example of someone who was punished by retroactively changing the legal consequences of acts committed. If, as highlifeman wrote, you can't do that--then pete should appear on the next HoF ballot. Lack of precedent, as you know, does not mean a rule exists preventing it.

registerthis
03-08-2006, 03:22 PM
Highlifeman wrote:

I think baseball players should be subject to the laws of the rest of us, but thanks to the MLBPA and the collective bargaining agreement they aren't. Heck, not only baseball players, but ALL professional athletes.

That's simply untrue. They are subject to those laws. You really have lost me here. No union can bargain its members out of the laws that apply to all of society.

I think what he means is that if those players are to be punished, they must be punished by society and society's legal structure. baseball is/was under no obligation to punish steroid users in 1998 than they were to enact there own brand of justice if one of their players had murdered somebody. That's society's job.

deltachi8
03-08-2006, 03:25 PM
You cannot hold Bonds to a standard that did not exist when he committed his transgression.

Bingo.

Just curious, if Bonds need be punished for these transgressions taht occoured before the MLB steroid policy went into effect, what is the punishment? Who decides that and why?

The law may have penalties assigned to those that use steroids, but how can baseball enforce those things?

membengal
03-08-2006, 03:29 PM
So, why exactly cannot baseball punish for the extremely illegal activities that Bonds and others engaged in? They were illegal when they did them, they are illegal now. I am back to the same place...WHY did baseball need a rule then that spelled that out? It didn't. IF Selig chooses to levy some kind of sanction (asterisk, whatever), which he won't, he won't have needed to have something in writing at the time that said that those laws applied. Same deal for HOF entrance. If they chooses to keep him out, which I hope they do (and the others I have mentioned throughout this and the thread on Guard), then I will shed no tears. If that is the only real consequence these guys have for their actions, then they are damn lucky. Permanent health problems and an early death are other possibilities. Jail could have been a possiblity, but they avoided that. But there are still potential consequences to be paid.

Highlifeman21
03-08-2006, 03:31 PM
Highlifeman wrote:

I think baseball players should be subject to the laws of the rest of us, but thanks to the MLBPA and the collective bargaining agreement they aren't. Heck, not only baseball players, but ALL professional athletes.

That's simply untrue. They are subject to those laws. You really have lost me here. No union can bargain its members out of the laws that apply to all of society.


You're going to tell me that professional athletes are equal citizens in society? They are clearly held to a different standard than John Q Public. Palmeiro tested positive for steroids and broke a law outside baseball as well as a law inside baseball, yet he was only suspended in baseball and didn't face any punishment outside of baseball? He lied before Congress and to the best of my knowledge, I haven't found where he was punished for that. The unions aren't bargaining members out of societal law; those laws still apply to union membership, it's just that their penalties seem to be greatly different than our penalties. I lie before Congress, I guarantee you something bad happens to me. Like I said, Palmeiro lied before Congress, and what's happened to him?

Chip R
03-08-2006, 03:37 PM
So why is Joe Jackson still on the outside looking in? He was banned way before Rose and was never on a ballot to the best of my knowledge. Please correct me if I'm wrong and I'll definitely accept it. I'm under the impression Giamatti's ruling used Jackson as the example in which to punish Rose.

Simply because he never got enough votes. After HOF balloting began, Jackson was on the ballot and received votes. I don't know if he got them every year but IIRC, he would receive a smattering of votes most years but never close enough to be voted in. I have a difficult time believing that Pete Rose would be in the HOF even if there was no rule against players on the ineligible list not being able to be voted in. If Jackson never did, I don't think Pete would have either.

registerthis
03-08-2006, 03:43 PM
I have a difficult time believing that Pete Rose would be in the HOF even if there was no rule against players on the ineligible list not being able to be voted in. If Jackson never did, I don't think Pete would have either.

I don't know, the media and hype sorrounding today's players being what it is, I could see Rose getting in. He's quite the popular "cause."

Highlifeman21
03-08-2006, 03:53 PM
Nope, but I've said it so many times I just get tired of repeating myself, Cyclone. Go research some of my previous posts if you're interested.

My response was, as I'm sure you picked up, a direct reply to highlifeman's comment that "You can't retroactively change the legal consequences of acts committed or the legal status of facts and relationships that existed prior to the enactment of the law."

Pete Rose is a crystal-clear example of someone who was punished by retroactively changing the legal consequences of acts committed. If, as highlifeman wrote, you can't do that--then pete should appear on the next HoF ballot. Lack of precedent, as you know, does not mean a rule exists preventing it.


I shall refer to this document, the Rose/Giamatti Agreement. Rose/Giamatti Agreement (http://www.baseball1.com/bb-data/rose/agreement.html)

clause a. in the disciplinary sanctions section says "a. Peter Edward Rose is hereby declared permanently ineligible
in accordance with Major League Rule 21 and placed on the Ineligible
List."

There already was an "Ineligible List", see Joe Jackson (most noteable) and other players. Giamatti's decision followed prior precedent. He didn't create the "Ineligible List", nor did he create a mandate saying that if you're on the "Ineligible List" you're not allowed to be put on the ballot for the HOF. That's the whole premise of the "Ineligible List"; it's very self-explanatory: a list of players ineligible for the HOF ballot. Giamatti did not commit ex post facto with his Rose ruling.


Pete Rose is a crystal-clear example of someone who was punished by retroactively changing the legal consequences of acts committed.

How? What were the legal consequences before and after Giamatti's decision? He violated Rule 21 and Giamatti simply executed policy.

deltachi8
03-08-2006, 03:56 PM
Actually, I dont believe the inelligible list had to do with HOF elligibility. IIRC, the HOF changed its rules shortly after the Rose suspension to say that anyone who appears on the inelligible list will not be considered for HOF induction.

Phhhl
03-08-2006, 04:00 PM
It doesn't matter if Bonds' usage of steroids was technically within the realm of the game's rules or not. The perception that it was cheating will prevail. It's a complete debacle that threatens the "best interest" of the game, and baseball would be well-within it's rights to do something decisive to fix it. I do believe that the majority of fans would love to see baseball attempt to defend itself and the legacy of it's greatest, legitimate superstars and historical figures by casting this Frankenstein out of the game. Bonds can sue at that point if he wishes, but I don't see how he could win. That clause is an extremely powerful tool of the commissioner's office, basically leaving the matter of what is (and is not) detrimental to the best interest of the game to his discretion.

Baseball was grossly neglegent not to have a steroid policy in place before now, but that is no reason to ignore the three headed monster sitting in the middle of it's living room now. Selig needs to stop being a puss and do something about it.

vaticanplum
03-08-2006, 04:00 PM
I'm of two minds on the whole ex post facto thing. On the one hand, if the organization of baseball was suddenly allowed to go retroactive with the rules, who knows what kind of decisions they'd make and what stupid reasons they'd come up with as excuses to get anybody out if they felt like it. There has to be some standard set. And it's not like the rules are made half-heartedly -- there are people whose entire jobs consist of making sure these things are appropriate and fair.

On the other hand, I don't totally buy the "it's illegal in the US but not in baseball" either. Rape, murder, arson and any number of other things are illegal in this country but not, to my knowledge, against the "rules of baseball". If Bonds were in the midst of being prosecuted for murder, Major League Baseball couldn't suspend him, but Peter Magowan sure as hell could, and he'd be perfectly within his legal and personal rights to do so.

So I don't know where I stand on that. Thanks for listening.

Highlifeman21
03-08-2006, 04:04 PM
Actually, I dont believe the inelligible list had to do with HOF elligibility. IIRC, the HOF changed its rules shortly after the Rose suspension to say that anyone who appears on the inelligible list will not be considered for HOF induction.


If this is the case, then clearly there was ex post facto with Rose, but I found no evidence that Giamatti created anything new while dealing with Rose. I would LOVE to see baseball come down on Bonds and make up something for this situation, but legally it's just so wrong. Baseball's wrong would make up for Bonds' wrong and it would all be right? Hopefully some new precedent aside from the current steroid testing policy will govern players from here forward.

If the ineligible list has nothing to do with HOF eligibility, then what exactly does it cover?

IslandRed
03-08-2006, 04:06 PM
You're going to tell me that professional athletes are equal citizens in society? They are clearly held to a different standard than John Q Public. Palmeiro tested positive for steroids and broke a law outside baseball as well as a law inside baseball, yet he was only suspended in baseball and didn't face any punishment outside of baseball? He lied before Congress and to the best of my knowledge, I haven't found where he was punished for that. The unions aren't bargaining members out of societal law; those laws still apply to union membership, it's just that their penalties seem to be greatly different than our penalties. I lie before Congress, I guarantee you something bad happens to me. Like I said, Palmeiro lied before Congress, and what's happened to him?

Different societal standards for the rich and famous, including baseball players, is nothing new and the existence of the MLBPA is irrelevant to that.

Should Congress prosecute Palmeiro for perjury? Maybe. But I know this -- it's not the union's decision to make. If you're mad at the MLBPA because Palmeiro hasn't been punished for lying to Congress, you're directing your wrath at the wrong people. If you're mad because he hasn't been charged by some law enforcement agency for steroid use, gripe at those folks. I just don't see what the union has to do with that. Where the penalties within baseball have been nonexistent or insufficient, that's where the union deserves its share of the blame.

Highlifeman21
03-08-2006, 04:13 PM
I'm of two minds on the whole ex post facto thing. On the one hand, if the organization of baseball was suddenly allowed to go retroactive with the rules, who knows what kind of decisions they'd make and what stupid reasons they'd come up with as excuses to get anybody out if they felt like it. There has to be some standard set. And it's not like the rules are made half-heartedly -- there are people whose entire jobs consist of making sure these things are appropriate and fair.

On the other hand, I don't totally buy the "it's illegal in the US but not in baseball" either. Rape, murder, arson and any number of other things are illegal in this country but not, to my knowledge, against the "rules of baseball". If Bonds were in the midst of being prosecuted for murder, Major League Baseball couldn't suspend him, but Peter Magowan sure as hell could, and he'd be perfectly within his legal and personal rights to do so.

So I don't know where I stand on that. Thanks for listening.


I couldn't agree with you more. I think if you allowed ex post facto in baseball, you would get some ridiculous rulings and it would just open a new pandora's box, conceiveably worse than the current state of baseball.

I don't like the "it's illegal in the US but not baseball" argument but unfortunately it's reality. I wish you saw more prosecution of players breaking laws, but historically professional athletes receive glorified slaps on the wrists.

Chip R
03-08-2006, 04:13 PM
So, why exactly cannot baseball punish for the extremely illegal activities that Bonds and others engaged in?

They can but doing it is another thing. The Black Sox scandal is a good example. It wasn't until late in 1920 when Comiskey suspended all the suspected players. They were right in the middle of a pennant race and there was talk some of the players were still dumping. Long story short, they had a trial and the players were acquitted. Then Landis was named Commissioner and rules that the suspected players were ineligible for life. That's as ex post facto as you can get, to say nothing about double jeopardy. But back then the players didn't have any power. What were they going to do, sue? They didn't make much money so hiring a lawyer to sue baseball would take a lot of money. Even if they were reinstated, I doubt any owner would have signed them.

Fast forward to today and think what would happen if Bud declared Bonds ineligible - which he could do if he wanted to. Best interests of baseball clause would probably cover that. Bonds and the MLBPA would sue MLB so quick it'd make Bud's head swim. Who would win that case isn't sure but you can bet it would cost a lot of money for both sides.

Cyclone792
03-08-2006, 04:19 PM
Simply because he never got enough votes. After HOF balloting began, Jackson was on the ballot and received votes. I don't know if he got them every year but IIRC, he would receive a smattering of votes most years but never close enough to be voted in. I have a difficult time believing that Pete Rose would be in the HOF even if there was no rule against players on the ineligible list not being able to be voted in. If Jackson never did, I don't think Pete would have either.

Joe Jackson received 2 votes in 1936 and 2 votes again in 1946. Hal Chase received 11 votes in 1936 and 18 votes in 1937. Eddie Cicotte and Buck Weaver have never received a vote. I may be wrong, but I think Jackson, Chase and Rose are the only banned players ever to receive votes.

Roy Tucker
03-08-2006, 04:21 PM
Fast forward to today and think what would happen if Bud declared Bonds ineligible - which he could do if he wanted to. Best interests of baseball clause would probably cover that. Bonds and the MLBPA would sue MLB so quick it'd make Bud's head swim. Who would win that case isn't sure but you can bet it would cost a lot of money for both sides.


I agree with this. Ex post facto is a Pandora's Box that won't get opened. I seriously doubt Bud has neither the stomach nor the spine for this fight. And you couldn't get the owners to agree on what to have for lunch, much less what to do with Bonds.

Bonds will have to stand trial in the court of public opinion. Palmeiro quailed at such a thought and retired. If there is any outrage, moral or otherwise, it will have to come from the fans of baseball.

Highlifeman21
03-08-2006, 04:22 PM
Different societal standards for the rich and famous, including baseball players, is nothing new and the existence of the MLBPA is irrelevant to that.

Should Congress prosecute Palmeiro for perjury? Maybe. But I know this -- it's not the union's decision to make. If you're mad at the MLBPA because Palmeiro hasn't been punished for lying to Congress, you're directing your wrath at the wrong people. If you're mad because he hasn't been charged by some law enforcement agency for steroid use, gripe at those folks. I just don't see what the union has to do with that. Where the penalties within baseball have been nonexistent or insufficient, that's where the union deserves its share of the blame.


You can't fault the union for protecting its membership, that's one of foundation roles of a union. However, I think unions should be more in touch with reality in the protection they offers their constituents. Is it too much to ask for unions to allow their membership to be subject to societal laws?

The MLBPA showed during the negotiations of the current steroid policy that they wanted lessor penalties than Selig suggested, and it wasn't until they received bad press that they eventually gave into his penalty system.

registerthis
03-08-2006, 04:26 PM
I shall refer to this document, the Rose/Giamatti Agreement. Rose/Giamatti Agreement (http://www.baseball1.com/bb-data/rose/agreement.html)

clause a. in the disciplinary sanctions section says "a. Peter Edward Rose is hereby declared permanently ineligible
in accordance with Major League Rule 21 and placed on the Ineligible
List."

There already was an "Ineligible List", see Joe Jackson (most noteable) and other players. Giamatti's decision followed prior precedent. He didn't create the "Ineligible List", nor did he create a mandate saying that if you're on the "Ineligible List" you're not allowed to be put on the ballot for the HOF. That's the whole premise of the "Ineligible List"; it's very self-explanatory: a list of players ineligible for the HOF ballot. Giamatti did not commit ex post facto with his Rose ruling.

Oh, the ineligible list. Ineligible for what? the Hall of Fame was never specifically mentioned, therefore Rose should have been eligible. A precedent of not electing players on the "ineligible" list for the HoF does not establish a rule prohibiting it. In fact, that's precisely why the rule was created--Vincent et al. could certainly forsee the possibility of Rose being elected to the Hall, and wanted to make sure it didn't happen. thus, a year after Rose was banned from baseball, the rules were amended to say that players banned from the game were also banned from hall enshrinement. Voila, an ex post facto altering of consequences, precisely the type of thing you stated "cannot occur."

registerthis
03-08-2006, 04:29 PM
Joe Jackson received 2 votes in 1936 and 2 votes again in 1946. Hal Chase received 11 votes in 1936 and 18 votes in 1937. Eddie Cicotte and Buck Weaver have never received a vote. I may be wrong, but I think Jackson, Chase and Rose are the only banned players ever to receive votes.

Somewhat off-topic, but could Rose be written in on HoF ballots? I thought I remember every year a few people writing in Rose's name, but I wasn't sure. And, if so, do those votes count? As in, could Rose have been elected despite not appearing on the ballot?

Chip R
03-08-2006, 04:32 PM
Somewhat off-topic, but could Rose be written in on HoF ballots? I thought I remember every year a few people writing in Rose's name, but I wasn't sure. And, if so, do those votes count? As in, could Rose have been elected despite not appearing on the ballot?

I believe he has been but they aren't counted.

Highlifeman21
03-08-2006, 04:46 PM
Oh, the ineligible list. Ineligible for what? the Hall of Fame was never specifically mentioned, therefore Rose should have been eligible. A precedent of not electing players on the "ineligible" list for the HoF does not establish a rule prohibiting it. In fact, that's precisely why the rule was created--Vincent et al. could certainly forsee the possibility of Rose being elected to the Hall, and wanted to make sure it didn't happen. thus, a year after Rose was banned from baseball, the rules were amended to say that players banned from the game were also banned from hall enshrinement. Voila, an ex post facto altering of consequences, precisely the type of thing you stated "cannot occur."


I admit, I was completely wrong on the Rose situation about ex post facto. I was not aware they changed their policy in 1991 to essentially set the groundwork to exclude him. Rule 9 on their list actually allowed them to do so. Rules for Election to the Hall of Fame (http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/hofers_and_honorees/rules.htm)

The ineligible list says that a person on said list is not allowed to play or coach in the Major Leagues in any capacity and is banned from being voted into the Hall of Fame unless being reinstated. So now we have a chicken or the egg argument. Which came first, the ineligible list saying you're not allowed to be on the ballot, or the HOF saying if you're on the ineligible list, you're not allowed on the ballot?

Still doesn't change the fact that Bonds hasn't broken any baseball rules, yet.

IslandRed
03-08-2006, 04:54 PM
You can't fault the union for protecting its membership, that's one of foundation roles of a union. However, I think unions should be more in touch with reality in the protection they offers their constituents. Is it too much to ask for unions to allow their membership to be subject to societal laws?

I guess I'll have to ask what you mean by "subject to societal laws." I've already stated that the union has no power over how society, the government, or law enforcement treats baseball players. It only has power over how Major League Baseball deals with baseball players.

I repeat from the previous message -- if you have a problem with society not holding baseball players to societal laws, your beef is with society, not the MLBPA.


The MLBPA showed during the negotiations of the current steroid policy that they wanted lessor penalties than Selig suggested, and it wasn't until they received bad press that they eventually gave into his penalty system.

Agreed. But this time, we're actually talking about something the union has power over.

Cyclone792
03-08-2006, 04:58 PM
Somewhat off-topic, but could Rose be written in on HoF ballots? I thought I remember every year a few people writing in Rose's name, but I wasn't sure. And, if so, do those votes count? As in, could Rose have been elected despite not appearing on the ballot?

Like Chip said, voters can vote for him, but they are not counted. If Rose received enough write-in votes to cover 75 percent, he'd still fail to be elected.

Chip R
03-08-2006, 05:11 PM
Like Chip said, voters can vote for him, but they are not counted. If Rose received enough write-in votes to cover 75 percent, he'd still fail to be elected.

Yeah, but he'd then be going around like some wrestler saying that he's the "people's champ". ;)

registerthis
03-08-2006, 05:39 PM
Yeah, but he'd then be going around like some wrestler saying that he's the "people's champ". ;)

He'd be even more insufferable than he is now.

RFS62
03-08-2006, 05:51 PM
I agree with this. Ex post facto is a Pandora's Box that won't get opened. I seriously doubt Bud has neither the stomach nor the spine for this fight. And you couldn't get the owners to agree on what to have for lunch, much less what to do with Bonds.

Bonds will have to stand trial in the court of public opinion. Palmeiro quailed at such a thought and retired. If there is any outrage, moral or otherwise, it will have to come from the fans of baseball.



Completely agree. His records will never be touched.

The Scarlet Letter is his fate.

savafan
03-09-2006, 03:19 AM
http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/articles/2006/03/08/wells_doesnt_want_bonds_to_pass_ruth/

By Howard Ulman, AP Sports Writer | March 8, 2006

FORT MYERS, Fla. --David Wells gave up Barry Bonds' 701st home run. He doesn't want the Giants slugger to pass Babe Ruth's total of 714.

"No. Not really," the Boston Red Sox left-hander said Wednesday, one day after excerpts of a book were released alleging that Bonds used steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.

Bonds needs seven homers to pass Ruth for second place and 48 to overtake Hank Aaron for the top spot.

Wells praised Bonds' baseball skills but said he should "be a man and come out and say that he did it" if he used steroids.

"If you're guilty and you got caught, come clean. I think you can get a lot more respect from people than (by) lying," Wells said.

In Tampa, Joe Torre said allegations of steroid use have given baseball "a black eye."

"I think the one thing that baseball has always tried to maintain was the integrity because our game more than any other game statistics are so important," the New York Yankees manager said. "I think that right now that is called into question, and it's a shame in Barry's case. He's such a good player ... long, long ago before there was any doubt on what made him good."

Torre is concerned about the long-term impact on fans.

"It's certainly a black eye that we all have to be aware of," he said. "It can turn to anger if you try to circumvent and get around trying to help us clean up. Trying to cut corners or trying a different way to keep doing what you're doing, that I think is wrong and knowingly wrong."

Wells said that Bonds "probably" used steroids but that he also had been sure Rafael Palmeiro, his former teammate in Baltimore, didn't. Palmeiro was suspended during the second half of last season after a positive steroids test.

"I would have bet my house that Rafael Palmeiro never did them," Wells said. "He's not a large, cut man. He's not. And then it happened. I mean, I had his back the whole time and then he got nailed for it."

The upcoming book, "Game of Shadows," written by two San Francisco Chronicle reporters, alleged that Bonds used performance-enhancing drugs for at least five seasons beginning in 1998. Such drugs were banned by baseball after the 2002 season.

Wells seemed uncertain whether Bonds should make the Hall of Fame if his alleged use of steroids is proven.

"If it comes out and he has done them, then no," Wells said in the Red Sox clubhouse.

A few minutes later, he said, "Barry a Hall of Famer in my book? Yeah. Is Raffy? Yeah. ... If we (players) are going to vote, we'd probably vote yeah. Players? Yeah. Pitchers probably wouldn't."

He said Bonds' added muscle and increased head size cast suspicion on the San Francisco outfielder. Wells said he heard a comic on a radio show Wednesday morning joke about Bonds' hat size.

"He goes, `They use his helmet as a Jacuzzi.' I about died when I heard that," Wells said, "You just don't like to accuse somebody of doing it, but you look at him and you can't help but think. I mean, he's getting bigger and bigger."

Wells, who was with San Diego when he gave up Bonds' 701st homer on Sept. 18, 2004, wondered how other sluggers would have done if they used steroids.

"If Hank Aaron was on them it probably would have been 1,000 homers" instead of his total of 755, Wells said. "It's a shame that it's come down to this and it's really putting a hurting on the game."

He also criticized commissioner Bud Selig for not dealing with the problem aggressively.

"He's putting it on Congress. He's putting it on" the players' union and passing the buck, Wells said. "He's doing what he does best."

Torre said Bonds' Hall of Fame status is up to the individual voter. He does feel the home run marks has been watered down.

"I think right now we have already diluted that," Torre said. "They broke 60 every year. The only good part that came out of this, besides the fans were entertained, all of sudden somebody thought highly of Roger Maris."

SirFelixCat
03-09-2006, 06:54 AM
Just a note here...if, what the book that is coming out says is true, they give extremely detailed accounts of Bonds taking steroids for at least 5 years, beginning in 1998. Steroids became 'illegal' in baseball in 2002.

Apparently there are over 200 different sources used to help write this book/account. If what they say in it is true, then yes, Barry Bonds DID break the rules in baseball.

registerthis
03-09-2006, 12:24 PM
Just a note here...if, what the book that is coming out says is true, they give extremely detailed accounts of Bonds taking steroids for at least 5 years, beginning in 1998. Steroids became 'illegal' in baseball in 2002.

Apparently there are over 200 different sources used to help write this book/account. If what they say in it is true, then yes, Barry Bonds DID break the rules in baseball.

That may be true, but the penalty for a first-time offender in 2002 was pitiful. Plus, I'm pretty sure you had to be caught by one of MLB's drug tests. Evidence outside of that--no matter how damning it is--I don't think can be used.

savafan
03-10-2006, 01:44 PM
SAN FRANCISCO—With the publication of a book detailing steroid use by San Francisco Giants superstar Barry Bonds, two San Francisco Chronicle reporters have corroborated the claims of Bonds' steroid abuse made by every single person who has watched or even loosely followed the game of baseball over the past five years.

In Game Of Shadows, an excerpt of which appeared in Sports Illustrated Wednesday, authors Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams claim that more than a dozen people close to Bonds had either been directly informed that Bonds was using banned substances or had in fact seen him taking the drugs with their own eyes. In addition to those witnesses, nearly 250 million other individuals nationwide had instantly realized that Bonds was using banned substances after observing his transformation from lanky speedster to hulking behemoth with their own eyes.

According to hundreds of thousands of reports coming out of every city in the U.S., Bonds' steroid use has been widely reported and well-documented for years, with sports columnists, bloggers, people attending baseball games, memorabilia collectors, major ballpark popcorn and peanut vendors, groundskeepers, roommates, significant others, fathers-in-law, next-door neighbors, fellow fitness club members, bartenders, mailmen, coworkers, teachers, doormen, parking-lot attendants, fellow elevator passengers, Home Depot clerks, servicemen and women serving in Iraq, former baseball players, Congressmen, second-tier stand-up comics, Sports Illustrated's Rick Reilly, and random passersby all having stated at some point in the last five years that Bonds was obviously taking some sort of performance-enhancing drugs.

Many of those eyewitnesses came forward following Wednesday's revelation with their own accounts of Bonds' seven-year history of steroid use.

"I originally heard that Barry Bonds was on steroids during a Giants game in 2001, when my buddy Phil, who was on the couch next to me, said, 'Dude, that Barry Bonds guy is definitely on steroids,'" said Chicago resident Mitch Oliveras. "After 10 seconds of careful observation, and performing a brief comparison of Bonds' present neck width with that on Phil's old 1986 Bonds rookie card, I was convinced."

"I can see how some people might be shocked about Bonds' doping, but this has been an open secret for years among the people in my industry," said air-conditioner repairman Mike Damus. "I'm sure it's an even more widely known fact in baseball."

"Everyone in our front office has known about Bonds since the 2001 season," said San Francisco-area accounts-receivable secretary Mindy Harris of McCullers and Associates, Ltd. "People in our ninth-floor office, too, and all seven branch offices. None of us were sure exactly which kind of steroids he was on, but we were pretty sure it was the kind that causes you to gain 30 pounds of muscle in one offseason, get injured more easily, become slow-footed, shave your head to conceal your thinning hair, lash out at the media and fans, engage in violent and abrupt mood swings, grow taut tree-trunk-like neck muscles, expand your hatband by six inches, and hit 73 home runs in a single season."

"Come to think of it, we're all fairly certain he's on all of them," Harris added.

"My 6-year-old son and I bonded over our mutual agreement that Bonds was obviously juicing up," San Francisco-area construction worker Tom Frankel said. "I hope that, one day, little Davey will have kids of his own, and that they will be able to easily glean the knowledge that Bonds was a cheater just by looking at the remarkable shift in his year-by-year statistics on his Hall of Fame plaque."

In light of the most recent accusations, which echo what any idiot with a pair of eyes and even the most fundamental knowledge of how the human body works has made in recent years, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig issued a statement Wednesday to address the issue.

"It is unfair to judge Mr. Bonds based solely on the fact that everyone says he has taken some sort of performance-enhancing drug for the past five years," Selig said. "I myself think Bonds has been taking steroids—I'm not blind, after all—but nothing, even an admission by Bonds himself, can conclusively prove that he took steroids, as he has not tested positively in an MLB-sanctioned drug test. Unless that is somehow made to happen, we must all accept his recent unfathomable accomplishments as one of the truly exciting and continuing storylines of this great sport."

When reached for comment, Bonds insisted that he "[doesn't] have time to deal with all these charges."

"I'm not going to respond to these 228 million allegations," Bonds said. "I don't care what every last person in the entire world thinks. As long as my fans believe me, that's the most important thing."

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/46188 ;)

Maldonado
03-10-2006, 02:06 PM
"According to hundreds of thousands of reports coming out of every city in the U.S., Bonds' steroid use has been widely reported and well-documented for years, with sports columnists, bloggers, people attending baseball games, memorabilia collectors, major ballpark popcorn and peanut vendors, groundskeepers, roommates, significant others, fathers-in-law, next-door neighbors, fellow fitness club members, bartenders, mailmen, coworkers, teachers, doormen, parking-lot attendants, fellow elevator passengers, Home Depot clerks, servicemen and women serving in Iraq, former baseball players, Congressmen, second-tier stand-up comics, Sports Illustrated's Rick Reilly, and random passersby all having stated at some point in the last five years that Bonds was obviously taking some sort of performance-enhancing drugs."

Yes, Canseco, McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, and others have been right in front of us for years. Why all of the sudden is it such a big deal?

Dom Heffner
03-10-2006, 02:18 PM
I love to watch him hit,his bat speed is something at his age.

Yeah, it's really something isn't it. I have no idsea how a 40 year old does that. Works out a lot I guess. :)

westofyou
03-10-2006, 02:23 PM
Yeah, it's really something isn't it. I have no idsea how a 40 year old does that. Works out a lot I guess. :)
Dom is that Mitch Hedberg under your name? He was certainly chemically enhanced eh?

savafan
03-10-2006, 02:38 PM
We've all seen the pictures of Bonds through the years, but I never really noticed the physical appearance in his face until now. Is that a side effect of steroids?

http://i.a.cnn.net/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/2006/03/06/bonds.years/1983_001324282Final.jpg
1983
http://i.a.cnn.net/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/2006/03/06/bonds.years/1990_001092960.jpg
1990
http://i.a.cnn.net/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/2006/03/06/bonds.years/1992_05055391.jpg
1992
http://i.a.cnn.net/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/2006/03/06/bonds.years/1998.jpg
1998
http://i.a.cnn.net/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/2006/03/06/bonds.years/1999_PADRES_G(18).jpg
1999
http://i.a.cnn.net/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/2006/03/06/bonds.years/2001_PADRES_G.jpg
2001
http://i.a.cnn.net/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/2006/03/06/bonds.years/2004_017022893.jpg
2004
http://i.a.cnn.net/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/2006/03/06/bonds.years/2004_U1D5601.jpg
2004
http://i.a.cnn.net/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/2006/03/06/bonds.years/2006_new_015154627.jpg
2006

westofyou
03-10-2006, 02:42 PM
Is that a side effect of steroids?

I don't know you tell me.


http://www.1918redsox.com/images/ruth1.jpg


http://sportserver.nandomedia.com/images/gallery/baseball/mlb/20041028/bos0100.0.jpg

savafan
03-10-2006, 02:45 PM
I don't know you tell me.


http://www.1918redsox.com/images/ruth1.jpg


http://sportserver.nandomedia.com/images/gallery/baseball/mlb/20041028/bos0100.0.jpg

Yeah, but Babe Ruth's skin color didn't change as he got older.

westofyou
03-10-2006, 02:50 PM
Yeah, but Babe Ruth's skin color didn't change as he got older.
Well of course if all those photos of Bonds were taken under the exact same circumstances, and each with the same exact lighting, angle, and equipment then maybe I'd ponder the reality of the question.

savafan
03-10-2006, 02:56 PM
Well of course if all those photos of Bonds were taken under the exact same circumstances, and each with the same exact lighting, angle, and equipment then maybe I'd ponder the reality of the question.

You make a valid point, I didn't take into consideration the advances in photography over the last 20 years.

westofyou
03-10-2006, 03:03 PM
You make a valid point, I didn't take into consideration the advances in photography over the last 20 years.

20 years? nah... photography is the recording of light and shadow, change any aspect of that and you'll get a different tone.

Roy Tucker
03-10-2006, 03:03 PM
Yeah, but Babe Ruth's skin color didn't change as he got older.


Maybe Bonds went to Michael Jackson's plastic surgeon as well.

savafan
03-10-2006, 03:30 PM
In case you wanted to know his opinion, and I'm sure that you do, M.C. Hammer weighs in on this issue.

http://mchammer.blogspot.com/media/covera.gif

http://mchammer.blogspot.com/2006/03/barry-bonds_09.html

Dear Barry,
Under no circumstances are you allowed to quit, exit , leave, retire, walkout or any other form of saying bye that would equate to you aborting the mission. This is not your mission alone. This is baseball's, and millions of baseball fans mission. For all of us who played the game and the love the game, to see you walkout while in earshot of the all time most prestigious record in the game of baseball would be a slap in our collective faces. Don't let the bloodhounds shake you. You have to realize and understand that sensationalism sells. This new book timed for your historical season is strictly business and nothing personal.

Bloodhounds smell and sniff out blood. Every story written about steroids means nothing to us in the know. While we don't endorse, support or condone the usage of steroids in any shape or form, we also are keenly aware of the hand eye coordination and science of hitting that is necessary to hit on the level of excellence that you do Barry. Nobody does it better. No one has done it better. As you close in on the record, and the day of reckoning is at hand, there will be many attemps by the bloodhounds to shake you and force you to quit. Old girlfriends, used car dealers, former barbers, and even fix and repair men. You name them, the stories are coming. Each one meant to somehow discredit your skills and accomplishments even though they have nothing to do with the game. They want to discourage, pressure you and stress you out, literally. Barry don't let them fool you. You are loved by many. I love you. You have brought me so much joy in your mastery of the game of baseball. Don't let the bloodhounds win. Finish the mission. Do it for San Francisco, do it for baseball, do it for your kid's, do it for your Dad (R.I.P.), and do it for yourself.

Barry,
you deserve to be the all time greatest homerun hitter in baseball history. The hounds, they deserve the dog pound.

Posted by MC Hammer at 12:39 AM |

RFS62
03-10-2006, 04:38 PM
I'm waiting until I hear what Billy Ray Cyrus thinks before I make my final decision.

Chip R
03-10-2006, 04:48 PM
I'm waiting until I hear what Billy Ray Cyrus thinks before I make my final decision.

Aren't we all?

savafan
03-16-2006, 01:41 PM
http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cs-060315bonds,1,6018103,print.story?coll=cs-home-headlines

By Phil Rogers
Tribune baseball reporter

March 15, 2006, 10:39 PM CST

With two books hitting the market that detail Barry Bonds' alleged steroid use, Major League Baseball is preparing to launch a fact-finding mission that could rival John Dowd's investigation into Pete Rose's gambling.

Reached Wednesday, Commissioner Bud Selig indicated no decision had been made about an official response to the allegations in the two books that Bonds became a heavy user of steroids in 1999, two seasons before he hit 73 home runs to break Mark McGwire's 3-year-old record. He said he was continuing to study the situation and weigh his options.

However, a highly placed MLB source said Selig has decided he cannot ignore the allegations in the books "Game of Shadows," by San Francisco Chronicle reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams and "Love Me, Hate Me: Barry Bonds and the Making of an Antihero," by former Sports Illustrated reporter Jeff Pearlman.

"We have to do something," said the source, adding Selig hoped to have the details put together by next week.

The source said it is unclear if it will be an independent study of Bonds or a joint review including Kevin Hallinan, MLB's head of security. While Selig has insisted MLB has not investigated Bonds, it reportedly has worked many of the same sources as the Chronicle reporters while "monitoring" Bonds' situation since he was called to testify in a grand jury investigation of steroid distribution in December 2003.

In issuing his lifetime ban of Rose for gambling in 1989, late Commissioner Bart Giamatti made a compelling case for appointing an independent party as special counsel for the investigation.

Giamatti wrote in his decision that he appointed Dowd to pursue the truth wherever it took him, in part, because the integrity of the investigation was vital in protecting the integrity of the game.

With Bonds set to chase the all-time home run record this season—at 708 he's six away from Babe Ruth and 47 from Hank Aaron—Selig's first instinct after reading excerpts from "Game of Shadows" last week was to suspend Bonds before Opening Day. He apparently thinks Bonds misled him when they discussed grand jury testimony in the spring of 2004.

But by appointing an individual or a committee to investigate Bonds, Selig will be conceding he lacks the grounds to discipline Bonds at this time.

"We have no empirical data," the source said.

The source said a formal review "will take some time," but could be hastened by contacts and information MLB already has collected regarding Bonds.

The Dowd investigation and Giamatti's deliberation over it took about six months.

There is not a direct parallel to the Rose case, however. The rules he violated were long-standing ones. MLB did not have a specific program to disciple steroid users until 2004. Selig could invoke his "best interest" powers or find Bonds in violation of standard conduct clauses in his contract.

Bonds, whose personal trainer pled guilty in the Bay Area Laboratories Co-Operative case, faces possible perjury and tax evasion charges if the reporting in "Game of Shadows" can be substantiated.

Chip R
03-16-2006, 01:43 PM
A strong letter will follow. ;)