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Thread: We are on the verge of a widespread steroids investigation

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    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    We are on the verge of a widespread steroids investigation

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/29/sp...ll&oref=slogin

    By MURRAY CHASS
    Published: March 29, 2006

    THERE'S no indication if he found it a page turner, but Bud Selig spent last weekend reading "Game of Shadows," the new book that details Barry Bonds's suspected use of performance-enhancing substances. There's no indication, either, if Selig became ill when he finished reading it.

    The whole mess is enough to make a mere fan sick, let alone Selig, the commissioner of baseball. Selig has to deal with Bonds and all of the steroid reports and suspicions, and while he would not stand up and publicly cheer if Bonds were to disappear down a manhole tomorrow, he would breathe a large sigh of relief.

    Selig is on the verge of announcing a steroid investigation, perhaps in the next 24 to 48 hours, though not just of Bonds, because singling out one player would be problematic considering the issue has become a morass for Major League Baseball. The investigation will probably be more widespread, though what it will entail is not clear.

    Baseball will not do the investigation itself. No one would accept an in-house investigation. The name George Mitchell was floating around baseball circles yesterday.

    One executive said Selig was considering asking Mitchell, the former Senate majority leader from Maine, to head the investigation, if he had not already asked him. But the executive, granted anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss Selig's plans, said he did not know if Mitchell, a Democrat, would accept what seems like an impossible mission.

    Selig did not return a call yesterday seeking comment on the matter.

    A representative from Mitchell's law office in Washington said Mitchell was traveling. Bob DuPuy, Major League Baseball's president, said he had no comment when he was asked about Mitchell.

    "It is still under consideration," DuPuy said of a possible investigation. "But the direction will be resolved within the next 48 hours."

    Selig faces a difficult decision on Bonds, however he proceeds, and he will proceed in some manner because the published tales of Bonds and performance-enhancing substances cannot be ignored.

    Among the questions facing Selig are these:

    ¶Can he single out Bonds for investigation to the exclusion of other players who have been reported to have used steroids?

    ¶What kind of disciplinary action, if any, could he take if an examination finds validity in the published reports and public suspicions?

    ¶How does he handle the moment when Bonds hits career home run No. 756, breaking the record of Selig's good friend, Henry Aaron?

    That is where the manhole would come in handy, obviating the need for any kind of home run ceremony.

    It's unclear what Selig could or would do if an investigation confirmed published reports of Bonds's use of steroids. Because baseball had not specifically outlawed steroids in the years Bonds was suspected of using them, could Selig take belated action against him? Could he act under the best-interests-of-baseball clause and order some of Bonds's achievements stricken from the records?

    If an investigation is not completed by the time Bonds hits No. 756, should his total be recorded in the records books in disappearing ink?

    Although most of the recent fuss has been about Bonds, an investigator would have plenty of other players and incidents to investigate, and not just Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro.

    How about players whose names have not been linked to possible steroid use?

    Bonds has the spotlight and should be scrutinized closely, but he was not alone in doing whatever he did.

    Just as important, should the person investigating be Mitchell? Probably not. Diplomat yes, investigator no.

    Selig prefers Mitchell because he knows him well, and Selig is most comfortable with people he knows. Mitchell was a member of Selig's blue-ribbon panel on baseball economics in the late 1990's, and he is a director of the Red Sox.

    Selig probably also sees Mitchell as someone who would look good to the members of Congress who are pushing him to clean up the steroid mess.

    Mitchell, though, is not viewed as an investigator of the John Dowd type. Dowd set the standard for hard-hitting, take-no-prisoners sports investigations in his examination of Pete Rose.

    Dowd's job, in fact, was probably easier than a wide-ranging steroid investigation would be. Dowd had one player, Rose, and one issue, gambling on baseball, to pursue, and he ably and effectively bore in on his subject.

    Mitchell, who stepped down as Senate majority leader in 1994, helped broker a Northern Ireland peace agreement in 1998 on behalf of President Clinton. Bringing two warring sides together is one thing; digging into Bonds's past and confronting him in a no-nonsense inquiry is another.

    An alternative choice mentioned yesterday was Louis Freeh, former director of the F.B.I. Freeh has a lot of credibility, knows the territory and could easily communicate with federal officials, starting with the United States attorney's office in San Francisco, where it all began.
    This is the Cal Ripkin Jr. of typos.

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    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: We are on the verge of a widespread steroids investigation

    I doubt MLB will do much of anything about it, they and the players union just want it to go away, they will smile and ignore it.
    Go Gators!

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    Member Jpup's Avatar
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    Re: We are on the verge of a widespread steroids investigation

    there is nothing Selig can do about what happenned 2 or 3 or 5 years ago. If he does, the players will have his lunch.

    I have also read most of the book, will be done with it in a day or two, and it does make you really sick to see what baseball has become. Thus far, there is no hard evidence, other than grand jury testimony, against Barry Bonds.

    I don't think MLB want to go looking into this mess to deep, it may turn up that the owners will look pretty bad as well.
    "My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it's never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger." -Josh Hamilton

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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: We are on the verge of a widespread steroids investigation

    I'm trying to understand the point in rehashing at this point. If it's for justice, are they going to make the players return the millions of $ earned if they are guilty? And who would the money go to? Owners? TV contracts? To the guys out of the game who played by the rules and never made it to the show as a result?

    But if it's not about justice, then it just seems to me as little more than more witchhunting.

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    Member Jpup's Avatar
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    Re: We are on the verge of a widespread steroids investigation

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor
    I'm trying to understand the point in rehashing at this point. If it's for justice, are they going to make the players return the millions of $ earned if they are guilty? And who would the money go to? Owners? TV contracts? To the guys out of the game who played by the rules and never made it to the show as a result?

    But if it's not about justice, then it just seems to me as little more than more witchhunting.
    that sounds about right. that's actually what the entire BALCO investigation was, a witch hunt agains Barry Bonds. They just happenned to fall into info about Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery, Benito Santiago, Bill Romanowski, etc.

    If Bud wants to blame someone, blame himself for being ignorant or just ignoring the obvious.
    "My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it's never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger." -Josh Hamilton

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    Member Cedric's Avatar
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    Re: We are on the verge of a widespread steroids investigation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jpup
    that sounds about right. that's actually what the entire BALCO investigation was, a witch hunt agains Barry Bonds. They just happenned to fall into info about Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery, Benito Santiago, Bill Romanowski, etc.

    If Bud wants to blame someone, blame himself for being ignorant or just ignoring the obvious.
    And wasn't it a great witch hunt. I'm thrilled that the "collateral damage" was ratted out also.

    Other than grand jury testimony? Jpup- I doubt if you saw Barry shooting something in his butt cheeks you would believe it was steirods. You would have been perfect on the Oj jury.
    This is the time. The real Reds organization is back.

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    Harry Chiti Fan registerthis's Avatar
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    Re: We are on the verge of a widespread steroids investigation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jpup
    that sounds about right. that's actually what the entire BALCO investigation was, a witch hunt agains Barry Bonds.
    Are you suggesting the investigation should never have taken place?
    We'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: We are on the verge of a widespread steroids investigation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jpup
    that sounds about right. that's actually what the entire BALCO investigation was, a witch hunt agains Barry Bonds. They just happenned to fall into info about Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery, Benito Santiago, Bill Romanowski, etc.

    If Bud wants to blame someone, blame himself for being ignorant or just ignoring the obvious.
    Not sure about all that, since that was an investigation to blow the lid off the sucker. This potential investigation seems to be beating a dead horse unless they have some punitive damages in mind, like records, fines, banishment and the sort.

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    Greatness In The Making RedLegSuperStar's Avatar
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    Re: We are on the verge of a widespread steroids investigation

    I myself want to read the book. I'm not for enhancers unless your a professional wrestler. I want to know the game I love and respect and choose to follow is played right without drugs. Sure you can't correct what took place in the past but I hope this investigation if there is one gets rid of those who are cheating now. There's tons of young talented atheletes out there dying for a shot at the big leagues. Like was said before, Bud has no one to blame but his own self.

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    Member membengal's Avatar
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    Re: We are on the verge of a widespread steroids investigation

    Well, all I am hoping for is the records of McGwire, Sosa and Bonds be stricken from the books. Or asterisked. If the "investigation" causes Selig to move that far, I would be pleased.

    And, I hope, that the writing powers that be deny them the HOF. And, yes, Bonds too, despite the fact that he would have been a shoo-in prior to launching the cheating arc.

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    CELEBRATION TIME RBA's Avatar
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    Re: We are on the verge of a widespread steroids investigation

    I don't think I'm in the minority opinion that the management/ownership knew what was going on.

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    Member Jpup's Avatar
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    Re: We are on the verge of a widespread steroids investigation

    Quote Originally Posted by RBA
    I don't think I'm in the minority opinion that the management/ownership knew what was going on.
    exactly.

    My stance on the issue is ironicaly much like that of Pete Rose. MLB didn't have a steriod policy prior to 2003. Whatever happenned before that should be left alone.

    btw, if you read the book, you will see that the BALCO investigation started because of Barry Bonds. Novitsky, the PI, was all about getting Bonds. I just want to point out that I haven't completely finished the book. Those that haven't read it should not comment on the issue like they have. It is a wealth of information, but how much of it is true and how much of it is fact? We don't know. Much of the information comes from Kim Bell, a scorned lover, and Victor Conte, a man out to save his own end. Did Bonds use steriods, I believe he did. Can MLB do anything about it prior to the 2004 season (when punishments for performance enhancing drugs were instituted), I don't think they can.

    Cedric, I don't appreciate the personal comment either. Attack the post, not the poster, I believe that is the rule around here.
    Last edited by Jpup; 03-30-2006 at 04:51 AM.
    "My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it's never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger." -Josh Hamilton

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    Re: We are on the verge of a widespread steroids investigation

    The only thing the investigation will accomplish is revealing more information. If Selig tries to penalize anyone for taking steroids before the policy was in place the Union will break him. Selig did willfully ignore what was going on, but keep in mind that he didn't have much leverage to do anything until recently. It wasn't a coincidence that the threat of Conressional intervention preceded the new policy.
    "Man, what would we ever do without water? We'd like....famish or something."

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    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: We are on the verge of a widespread steroids investigation

    Quote Originally Posted by Izzardius
    The only thing the investigation will accomplish is revealing more information. If Selig tries to penalize anyone for taking steroids before the policy was in place the Union will break him. Selig did willfully ignore what was going on, but keep in mind that he didn't have much leverage to do anything until recently. It wasn't a coincidence that the threat of Conressional intervention preceded the new policy.
    I think this hits the nail on the head.

    The best that I can see coming out of this is for all to see how the MLB culture changed to enable steroid abuse. All the way from the commisioner to the front offices to the coaches to the players to the union. All are to blame. I'd personally like to see names named.

    I don't think any suspensions, bannings, asterisks, bans from the HoF, etc. will result. But I do think any accomplishments during the steroid era will be viewed with a skunk eye by the fans, HoF committees, and the history books.

    Pay attention to the open sky

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    Re: We are on the verge of a widespread steroids investigation

    Here's the idea I had:

    Why can't they put Bonds on active suspension while the investigation is being held? There has to be something that they can do like that? I know it would be unprecedented, but then at least they could protect the sexiest record in all of sports.
    I know the idea is less than perfect, but honestly I think something along those lines would be sufficient.

    Or anounce to the Giants that if Bonds is found guilty, they will be ineligible for postseason play 'X' number of years after 2006, unless he confesses. Then you get others involved making sure Bonds admits to cheating, investigation over, and records asterisked.


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