Originally Posted by MWM
Cyclone, I don't understand how you can object so adamantly to those who disagree with you here when you yourself have admitted that there are different levels of cheating and that they shouldn't all be punished the same.
I think the above quote is the crux of your entire argument. That is a statement of personal judgment, not of fact. That means others are capable of forming their own personal judgments about the magnitude of the crime. What it all boils down to is how each individual feels about the magnitude of steroids, and your judgment isn't any more legit that anyone else's on the matter. And while I agree it's closer to Perry than Rose (and that's because Rose is in a category all by himself exceeded only by the black sox), I still think it's much more severe than most other forms of cheating you bring up. And after 11 pages of dialogue, that's all that really matters. Some people think steroids is a much greater transgression than you. You seem to think steroids and greenies are a good comp and others think it's apples and oranges.
And to reg's point, I'm not clear at all on what it is you're looking for here as far as a concession? Is this argument strictly about the HOF for you?
Mike, right it is a matter of personal judgement, however, for that judgement to be valid and hold some water, I believe it must also reflect reality to at least some degree. You understand what the Black Sox did and you understand what Pete Rose did, which is why you're able to construct reality and agree that Bonds is closer to Perry than he is to Rose. Baseball's viewpoint is reality, and that's how they will also view Bonds. Part of me has a suscipicion that a large sector of the fan base believes baseball should penalize Bonds, but I think that fan base will be in for a rude surprise when baseball does little to nothing. Many people believe what Pete Rose did is not a major crime because he bet to win, not lose. It's also a personal judgement to believe what Rose did was not that severe, but I don't think there's much validity in it since it does not come close to reflecting reality.
Ultimately, I think what everyone should attempt to do is get down to the basic aspects of why steroids are bad for baseball. Maybe you'll agree, maybe you won't, but I believe it can be ironed down to four basic points:
1) Steroids are unhealthy
2) Steroids are illegal within the United States
3) Steroids are banned in other sports
4) Steroids give the user an unnatural edge
IMO, all things eventually point to number one. Steroids are illegal within the United States predominantly because they are unhealthy. I think you'll agree on that. Steroids are banned in other sports because they are unhealthy and illegal in certain parts of the world. Again, I think you'll agree on that. I don't think there's anything controversial with any of those statements.
Number four is where we may differ because we have to ask ourselves what exactly constitutes an "unnatural" edge. A hitter can have offseason lasik eye surgery to improve his eyesight, thereby giving him serious potential to increase his productivity at the plate. IMO, that is also an unnatural edge that is gained (and also unavailable to players in earlier generations). Of course, I've never read all that much on lasik eye surgery being terribly unhealthy. I've never heard of it being illegal within the United States. I've also never seen it banned in other sports.
So we're still stuck asking ourselves what then constitutes an unnatural edge? Is it using modern medicine in a healthy fashion? Is it using everything that is banned? Well if it's banned, then it's likely banned because it's unhealthy. And if you're using something in a healthy fashion, well then it isn't unhealthy. When you think about it, is there anything banned that is absolutely healthy?
If people hang onto the unnatural edge factor as the prime reason why steroids are banned, then I must ask what is the difference between an unnatural steroid and an unnatural, healthy modern medical method. It always seems to come back to the same point that unnatural steroids are illegal, banned in other sports, etc ... which all comes full circle back to the health factor.
I think when people take a step back and truly analyze why certain substances are legal and others aren't, the key ingredient is a health factor. Anything deemed unhealthy is banned while everything deemed healthy is acceptable to use. When athletes resort to the unhealthy, banned substances, they are accused of cheating. When athletes resort to the healthy, good-for-ya substances, they are looked up to as hard working role models.