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Thread: The Cocaine Era

  1. #1
    No half measures, Walter RedEye's Avatar
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    The Cocaine Era

    Reading about Selig's commentary on the Bosch investigation tonight, I ran across this quote on ESPN:

    "We went through the cocaine era of the '80s and there was no drug-testing agreement, which was quite sad. The Pittsburgh drug trials -- very sad, and still no drug-testing agreement. Now here we are, 30 years later with the toughest drug testing agreement in American sports. We must be doing something right. I haven't heard from anyone in Washington in eight and a half years."
    To be quite honest, the latter half of the quote was just sort of "yada yada yada" to me at this point. I've read a lot about steroids and Biogenesis at this point. Not so for the first half of the quote though. Am I the only one on here who knows next to nothing about the "cocaine era" in baseball?

    I was a kid in the 1980s, and I remember some stuff about the 1986 Mets being coke addicts while they made their run to the World Series (mostly Keith Hernandez, Dwight Gooden and Daryl Strawberry, but I know there were others, too). I have to admit, though, that I know almost nada about the "Pittsburgh drug trials." So what the heck happened? I know Dave Parker came to the Reds from Pittsburgh, and he was a cocaine addict before that... but that's about it, and that's a reach, I freely admit. So instead of using The Google to find out some stuff, I thought I'd have RZ flex its powerful group brain to give me some information on this topic, since I know we have a lot of people with a lot of baseball history knowledge to burn on here.

    Also -- isn't Selig mixing apples and oranges when he compares cocaine and steroids? I mean, last I checked, cocaine is a hell of a drug -- but it couldn't be called "performance enhancing" in any way, right?

    Discuss.
    Last edited by RedEye; 07-16-2013 at 11:48 PM.

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  3. #2
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: The Cocaine Era

    I was born in 1984, so I don't know a ton, but I have certainly head of at least 20 guys from the 80's who were linked to Cocaine.

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  5. #3
    No half measures, Walter RedEye's Avatar
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    Re: The Cocaine Era

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I was born in 1984, so I don't know a ton, but I have certainly head of at least 20 guys from the 80's who were linked to Cocaine.
    Yeah, I could probably name 20 if pressed on a bar trivia night, too. But did you ever hear of the "Pittsburgh drug trials"? Bud was talking about them as if they were common knowledge.

  6. #4
    Member Tom Servo's Avatar
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    Re: The Cocaine Era

    Before my time but I am a bit familiar with the Pittsburgh drug trials, mostly from researching Dave Parker and from making snide comments about Keith Hernandez.
    "Since I've been with the Reds in 1989, we've never had a farm system this loaded," Bowden said. "If we were the New York Yankees and had unlimited dollars, we could have traded for Colon, (Jeff) Weaver, Rolen, (Cliff) Floyd, (Kenny) Rogers and Finley and gotten them all -- and still held onto our top five prospects. That's an amazing statement."

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    Worst Behavior. reds44's Avatar
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    Re: The Cocaine Era

    For the Rangers, the cocaine era was in the 2010's.
    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    Let's face it, you mis-hit the bun with the mustard squirter, no one will really care.

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    *BaseClogger* (07-17-2013), HatchMo (07-17-2013), RedEye (07-16-2013)

  10. #6
    No half measures, Walter RedEye's Avatar
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    Re: The Cocaine Era

    Yeah... I couldn't resist Wikipedia, so I read up a bit on it. Dave Parker really was the one connection I had with those trials since I was a little Reds fan at the time that his career restarted in Cincinnati.

    Best tidbit from the entry (which is clearly 100% fact since it is from Wikipedia ): Tim Raines used to keep a cocaine vial in his back pocket during games, would snort during games and testified in the trial that he always slid head first to avoid breaking it.

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    Member Norm Chortleton's Avatar
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    Re: The Cocaine Era

    A number of Pirates (most famous was Parker) and other mlb players (most famous were Hernandez and probably Tim Raines) were granted immunity and testified in front of a Pittsburgh grand jury. A bunch of Pittsburgh drug dealers were eventually busted.

    Some players admitted buying the drugs at games, using during games. Hernandez testified he thought 40% of all players were using cocaine.

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    No half measures, Walter RedEye's Avatar
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    Re: The Cocaine Era

    Quote Originally Posted by Norm Chortleton View Post
    Some players admitted buying the drugs at games, using during games. Hernandez testified he thought 40% of all players were using cocaine.
    Yeah, I just read that quote from Hernandez -- although he apparently backtracked later in his testimony and admitted he could have been "grossly wrong."

  14. #9
    Member Tom Servo's Avatar
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    Re: The Cocaine Era

    Quote Originally Posted by reds44 View Post
    For the Rangers, the cocaine era was in the 2010's.
    That is still such a bizarre story, I can't believe Washington wasn't fired.
    "Since I've been with the Reds in 1989, we've never had a farm system this loaded," Bowden said. "If we were the New York Yankees and had unlimited dollars, we could have traded for Colon, (Jeff) Weaver, Rolen, (Cliff) Floyd, (Kenny) Rogers and Finley and gotten them all -- and still held onto our top five prospects. That's an amazing statement."

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    RedEye (07-16-2013)

  16. #10
    Member Norm Chortleton's Avatar
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    Re: The Cocaine Era

    I had forgotten all about this until this thread. I never liked any of those players again after that trial (although I had to make an exception for Parkway). I bet drug use among players in 70s >>>>>>>>>>>>>> 80s.

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    RedEye (07-16-2013)

  18. #11
    Worst Behavior. reds44's Avatar
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    Re: The Cocaine Era

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
    That is still such a bizarre story, I can't believe Washington wasn't fired.
    Don't forget about their OFer too! Hide the money, grandma!
    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    Let's face it, you mis-hit the bun with the mustard squirter, no one will really care.

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    RedEye (07-16-2013)

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    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: The Cocaine Era

    "Remember to always slide headfirst!" - Tim "Rock" Raines

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  22. #13
    No half measures, Walter RedEye's Avatar
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    Re: The Cocaine Era

    Also from Wikipedia, here are the players who testified in the trial and were suspended for a season:

    Joaquín Andújar
    Dale Berra
    Enos Cabell
    Keith Hernandez
    Jeffrey Leonard
    Dave Parker
    Lonnie Smith

    These players were suspended for 60 games:

    Al Holland
    Lee Lacy
    Lary Sorensen
    Claudell Washington

  23. #14
    No half measures, Walter RedEye's Avatar
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    Re: The Cocaine Era

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldaniels View Post
    "Remember to always slide headfirst!" - Tim "Rock" Raines
    Goodness -- is that the derivation of his nickname? If so, my mind = blown.

  24. #15
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: The Cocaine Era

    Quote Originally Posted by RedEye View Post
    Goodness -- is that the derivation of his nickname? If so, my mind = blown.
    I actually don't know the history of that, but it sure fits the bill...I'll try to do a quick Google check tonight.

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