FanDuel - WFBC

January 15, 2009

Bonds in the clear?: Evidence suggests that the "Clear" was not a steroid and was legal.

posted by Landis to baseball at 10:43 AM - 38 comments

Wouldn't it be funny if after all this vilification, Bonds is found to be innocent of wrongdoings?

posted by jjzucal at 10:57 AM on January 15

I don't know what most would do with their self-righteous indignation if he was actually innocent.

posted by brainofdtrain at 11:32 AM on January 15

It should be noted, of course, that he was accused of doing a lot more than just the "Clear". This news, if true, is not unlike someone charged with murdering five people having an "illegal possession of a firearm" charge dropped. (Not saying Bonds' crime is similar or anything, just trying to make a point.)

posted by TheQatarian at 11:51 AM on January 15

He is facing 10 counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice. I believe that if the "clear" is legal the perjury charge will go away.

posted by Landis at 11:58 AM on January 15

Wouldn't it be funny if after all this vilification, Bonds is found to be innocent of wrongdoings?

Why would that be funny? There a plenty of people that assume that Bonds' is guilty but there are also people out there that believe that he is innocent until proven guilty.

There are people out there that hate Bonds' just for the way the media portrayed him out to be some surly scumbag.

What bothers me is that these are also the same people that are supposed to vote for a player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame but will only do so if they really liked the player or if they have no other choice but to vote the player in.

posted by BornIcon at 12:39 PM on January 15

What bothers me is that these are also the same people that are supposed to vote for a player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame but will only do so if they really liked the player or if they have no other choice but to vote the player in.

Agreed. There are those who believe that all performance enhancing drugs are wrong and those who believe those that are illegal are wrong. I have a strong suspicious that the difference is lost on most of the BWAA.

posted by dfleming at 12:53 PM on January 15

I don't know what most would do with their self-righteous indignation if he was actually innocent.

Sure, but do you know any innocent explanation for why a guy develops a neck larger than his head late in life?

It looks like this trial will keep Bonds out of spring training camp, were he to get an invite, and will remind teams why they shouldn't take a chance on him. Could this be the way his career ends -- willing to play but without a single team that will take him?

posted by rcade at 01:13 PM on January 15

rcade,

Agreed. I don't begrudge people their own opinions of his guilt/innocence, but i do find it disconcerting when people (a) start hating a person who hasn't been proven of any illegal activity, and (b) think that it is okay to gloat over their moral superiority, when again, he hasn't been proven guilty of anything yet.

I am not saying you are doing this rcade; just trying to clarify my first statement. Personally, i find it unlikely that he didn't do some illegal PED, but that is mainly because of his gains in performance as he was starting to get a bit older. That said, i am willing to not villianize a man who at this point has been found guilty of nothing.

posted by brainofdtrain at 01:28 PM on January 15

Agreed. There are those who believe that all performance enhancing drugs are wrong and those who believe those that are illegal are wrong. I have a strong suspicious that the difference is lost on most of the BWAA.

Given that most people don't seem to understand that "innocent until proven guilty" has no bearing whatsoever in the world of drug testing, why do you think it odd that they don't understand the difference between "banned" and "illegal"?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:01 PM on January 15

In my view, this whole thing is a waste of the justice department's time and our money...when we can afford wasting neither!

posted by slackerman at 02:56 PM on January 15

Sure, but do you know any innocent explanation for why a guy develops a neck larger than his head late in life?

Or how a guy can, under go chemo, over come cancer, have a testicle removed, and win like 100 tour de frances' late in life. You are right, very suspicious.

posted by sportsblitz at 04:29 PM on January 15

How does Lance Armstrong winning after cancer prove that Bonds' physique is natural? Does one unlikely circumstance mean every other unlikely circumstance in sports is legit? The simplest explanation for the appearance and performance of Bonds after 35 is that he 'roided up. The same explanation for Mark "I don't want to focus on the past" McGwire.

I'd love for it all to be proven wrong. The most amazing home run I ever saw in person was a Bonds shot. But what are the odds?

posted by rcade at 04:47 PM on January 15

Actually Bonds biggest gains were in the years between 1993 and'96. He gained about 40 pouneds when he started a weight training program and hired a nutrionist. Some have said his hat size changed, but that is not true according to the equipment manager of the Giants. Fact is that until recently weight training was considered unwise for baseball players.

posted by Landis at 05:00 PM on January 15

Here's a photo Bonds time line of historic homeruns starting in 1986. It didn't appear he got huge until somewhere between '98 and '01.

posted by BoKnows at 05:08 PM on January 15

Given that the new revelations only address whether or not Bonds lied about taking the clear, it really doesn't cause me to reconsider my opinion regarding his use of steroids.

Clearly, he bulked up beyond normal limits in the late 90's, during a period that other sluggers(McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro, et al) were known to have used steroids.

So, no self-righteous indignation issues for me. Keeping in mind, that a "not guilty" verdict does not prove innocence, it only means that guilt was not proven.

All that being said, I do think this country needs to look at how certain people (athletes, celebrities) are being abused by the legal system. If the prosecutors knew this data years ago, why bring the case? Prosecutors trying to make a name for themselves should be charged with more often in these cases. The Duke rape case is another great example of this type of situation. That prosecutor got his just rewards, if this latest information proves to be true, I hope it is addressed as well.

posted by dviking at 05:29 PM on January 15

Given that most people don't seem to understand that "innocent until proven guilty" has no bearing whatsoever in the world of drug testing, why do you think it odd that they don't understand the difference between "banned" and "illegal"?

The difference isn't between banned and illegal; as far as I can tell, Clear was legal. So, those who would still think he broke the rules would be invoking some greater moral standard than the rulebook enforces.

posted by dfleming at 06:38 PM on January 15

Here's a photo Bonds time line of historic homeruns starting in 1986. It didn't appear he got huge until somewhere between '98 and '01.

Interestingly enough, Babe Ruth started his career at 185lbs and ended it at 250lbs At one point near the middle he was a muscular 225.

posted by Landis at 10:31 PM on January 15

I wasn't suggesting that you were wrong, Landis. He probably did gain a lot of weight between 93 and 96 with the help you mentioned, but after 98, he seemed to bulge...er, more.

posted by BoKnows at 10:42 PM on January 15

How does Lance Armstrong winning after cancer prove that Bonds' physique is natural? Does one unlikely circumstance mean every other unlikely circumstance in sports is legit? The simplest explanation for the appearance and performance of Bonds after 35 is that he 'roided up

Or how about the simplest explanation being that since Bonds' was a professional baseball player, he simply worked out like a mad man. If someone has a job where they can actually work out 2-3 times a day, wouldn't that individual eventually show progress? Maybe even more so than someone that works out between once or twice a week? To suggest that the only reason that Bonds' bulked up is from the use of steriods is not far-fetched but also not factual, just speculation because like people I've talked to about this very subject tend to say, "...there's just no way that Bonds' muscle mass is legit since I work out once a month and haven't seen those kind of results".

Lance Armstrong is actually in the same boat as Bonds is. People have speculated about him winning the Tour de [L]ance but since those accusations were mainly coming from the French, then they just had to be jealous over Armstrong's win and since Armstrong never failed a drug test (and neither has Bonds), then we'll give him a pass.

posted by BornIcon at 07:00 AM on January 16

Steroids aren't the only reason for Bonds' physique and his production after age 35; they're the most likely reason. There's nothing simple about his numbers after an age when the big home run hitters lose their power. I think the most likely cause is the one detailed in Game of Shadows -- Bonds had the fourth-most home runs in his career in 1998, 37, but was overshadowed in all the hype showered on Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. So he did what a lot of other players did, and rationalized his steroid use as an attempt to level the playing field.

posted by rcade at 08:40 AM on January 16

It should be noted, of course, that he was accused of doing a lot more than just the "Clear".

By whom? The only evidence related to his steroid use is in this "clear" investigation. All other accusations are conjecture with no real evidence.

There's nothing simple about his numbers after an age when the big home run hitters lose their power.

a) It should be evident that Bond's isn't "most hitters".
b) If you're going to compare him to other hitters, how about we compare him with one that's actually in his class (stolen from another article)

GROWTH PHASEHANK AARON BARRY BONDS
First 7 Years 31 HRs (1/18.8 ABs)-25 HRs (1/20.4 ABs)
Middle Prime -36 HRs (1/16.4 ABs) -39 HRs (1/12.9 ABs)
Fine Wine Years** 41 HRs (1/11.8 ABs) 49 HRs[2] (1/8.5 ABs)
**ages 35 - 39

- Aaron hit 245 home runs after the age of 35, more than any other player in baseball history at that time....guess he was 'roiding too?
- Bonds greatest growth increase came between the first and second thirds of his career (before he was ever accused of using steroids)
- Carlton Fisk shattered his previous home run high (26) by smacking 37 at age 37; Ted Williams hit .388 at 38, and Hank posted his career-best home-run-or at-bat ratio when he belted 40 while approaching 40.
- Bond's weight gain progression
1986 - 185
1997 - 206
2001 - 228
- Unlike many of his younger contemporaries, he has: failed no drug tests, not retired, not lost significant weight, or has not had major decreases in production since testing was implemented several years ago

Look, I'm not saying Bonds didn't do steroids. In fact the article indicates he took THG, just that it wasn't illegal to do so. My point is simply that you can't "conclude" that he did any of this based on his size/production/etc.

posted by bdaddy at 10:33 AM on January 16

Steroids aren't the only reason for Bonds' physique and his production after age 35; they're the most likely reason.

Oh really?!!? Anything is possible but to just say that Bonds took steriods but someone like Lance Armstrong did not just based on their appearances doesn't hold much weight with that assessment. One doesn't have to look like the Incredible Hulk in order to prove that a person is juicing and that's just an asinine statement to make....no disrespect intended.

Bonds may have been a jerk to many people during his career (especially the media) but this whole ordeal had been nothing but a witch hunt with Bonds being the main target. I don't have proof but I'm sure that steriods has been around professional sports before Barry Bonds decided to play baseball and become the greatest home run hitter of all time.

posted by BornIcon at 11:11 AM on January 16

Not that you need help, BI, but here's your proof.

posted by BoKnows at 11:19 AM on January 16

The argument that the majority of weight gain came before he was accused of steroids just doesn't make sense to me. If he gained, say 25 pounds between 93-96, and then 20 pounds thereafter, yes 25 is more than 20, but it's not that big of a difference. It could be said that those 20lbs after 96 were just muscle on top of muscle. And I'll never trust a team's media guide weight listings, ever, right C.C.

posted by BoKnows at 11:26 AM on January 16

One doesn't have to look like the Incredible Hulk in order to prove that a person is juicing

A roommate of mine in college was juicing. When he failed our NCAA piss test I was shocked because he hadn't experienced any real growth at all. In fact, I used to joke that he was taking the kindof steroids that made you fat, not muscly.

posted by bdaddy at 12:20 PM on January 16

Guilty, innocent, who cares? $55 million, people! That's just outrageous expenditure for a case that has netted all of about 7 months of jail time total for those convicted.

posted by holden at 03:17 PM on January 16

just speculation because like people I've talked to about this very subject tend to say, "...there's just no way that Bonds' muscle mass is legit since I work out once a month and haven't seen those kind of results".

Really? You have actual discussions with people that say they work out ONCE A MONTH, don't get results, so Bonds must be using steroids?

Not sure which is more shocking, the statement or that you're having discussions with these people.

posted by justgary at 05:21 PM on January 16

I like the way that I think about this:

1. Bonds was clearly on steroids. I feel sometimes like I'm taking crazy pills here. I'm all for benefit of the doubt. I live on the premise that most people deserve the benefit of the doubt. However, I'm not stupid. I look at that guy, and it's just so clearly the case. As is McGwire. As was Ben Johnson (though mostly in retrospect).

2. I don't really care. The guy is flat out awesome. Best hitter I ever saw. If all it took was roids, I just think we'd see it more. It obviously inflated some of the power stats for that particular era, but Bonds was just as clearly touched by the baseball gods.

3. The cultural hypocracy that is the steriods issue is maddening. We only give a shit with baseball and the Olympics (well seemingly some of us). I agree they shouldn't do do them - it should be policed, and we sould endeavor to correct this behaviour. But I don't think we should selectively condemn people based on what amounts to arbitrary morality.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 05:53 PM on January 16

Guilty, innocent, who cares? $55 million, people! That's just outrageous expenditure for a case that has netted all of about 7 months of jail time total for those convicted.

Typical government way of thinking. They need to justify their existence and expenditure, so they try to create crimes or entrap people, especially if it is a big name. The bigger the name of the suspect, the longer they can stay on the government payroll and the more they can spend. Not the first time it's happened.

posted by graymatters at 06:16 PM on January 16

That's bullshit. Civil servants kick ass. They should kick yours for spouting all that waste; what the hell did you eat for lunch? You should wipe more often.

posted by Hugh Janus at 11:29 PM on January 16

Lets not jump on the Bonds bandwagon again. I clearly remember he is the player that spit on umpires.

posted by Badgerfan77 at 10:46 AM on January 17

I clearly remember he is the player that spit on umpires.

That was Roberto Alomar, showing the form that earned him first-ballot status in the Expectorant Hall of Fame.

posted by rcade at 01:43 PM on January 17

OK, but wasn't Bonds the guy who killed his ex-wife and that Pearlman guy?

posted by tahoemoj at 01:53 PM on January 17

No, Bonds is the guy who hit his record setting home run off of a pitcher who was suspended for USING ROIDS at 1 point in his career.

posted by sportsblitz at 11:40 PM on January 17

I remember Bonds as the guy who stormed out of the dugout arguing about pine tar after a home run. I think he was playing for the Royals at the time.

posted by BoKnows at 12:02 AM on January 18

Bonds was clearly on steroids. I feel sometimes like I'm taking crazy pills here. I'm all for benefit of the doubt. I live on the premise that most people deserve the benefit of the doubt. However, I'm not stupid. I look at that guy, and it's just so clearly the case. As is McGwire. As was Ben Johnson (though mostly in retrospect).

What he said. Every time I hear 'innocent until proven guilty' trotted out when sports is being discussed on a message board I just shake my head.

I don't need a court to tell me bonds took something extra, or clemens, or that OJ killed two people, just a little logic. If you're waiting for a court decision to form an opinion you might as well drop your brain in the nearest dumpster.

posted by justgary at 02:20 AM on January 18

These aren't the roids you're looking for. He can go about his business. Move along.

posted by Hugh Janus at 10:41 AM on January 18

As much as you might hate Bonds, he's nothing, nothing compared to Maddox.

posted by sfts2 at 11:58 PM on January 23

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