FanDuel - WFBC

February 25, 2004

Turk Wendell says its obvious Bonds has been using steroids: : "If my personal trainer, me, Turk Wendell, got indicted for that, there's no one in the world who wouldn't think that I wasn't taking steroids," the Rockies relief pitcher told The Denver Post. "I mean, what, because he's Barry Bonds, no one's going to say that? "I mean, obviously he did it. [His trainer] admitted to giving steroids to baseball players. He just doesn't want to say his name. You don't have to. It's clear just seeing his body."

posted by slavc to baseball at 03:49 PM - 50 comments

My first thought is, "Remember what Bonds looked like playing for the Pirates in the early '90s?" He must have weighed 170lbs then. When I saw him after a few years in SF, he was 200+ lbs and thick (Tyson thick, not Buster Douglas thick) and I probably thought he was taking something. Raising another red flag was the fact that when people get put get bigger, it's usually between the ages of 18 - 25, not 33-38 Nonetheless, I didn't proclaim unequivocally "He's guilty" because of this and Wendell shouldn't have simply because his trainer was implicated. He may be right, but I think he should probably wait until the truth comes out.

posted by pwilly at 04:10 PM on February 25

This picture of Jason Giambi doesn't prove anything, and I agree that these folks are innocent until proven guilty. But if Giambi and/or Bonds aren't hitting taters at the rate to which we've become accustomed at the season's onset, people are going to talk about this all the more.

posted by jeffmshaw at 04:18 PM on February 25

Any credibility the players were due was erased last season when they couldn't even beat the easy testing regiment they themselves approved.

posted by garfield at 04:32 PM on February 25

I don't need to be convinced on Bonds. Giambi slimming down so drastically really refocused my suspicions on him yesterday. We'll see I guess. Apparently, the government knows who Balco dealt juice to, and the AG wants everyone to go to trial. it will all come out in the wash. and what Garf said. and finally, welcome to our dysfunctional little family, pwilly.

posted by jerseygirl at 04:40 PM on February 25

When I saw him after a few years in SF, he was 200+ lbs and thick Which, I believe, is the opening line to a piece of slash fiction.

posted by yerfatma at 04:45 PM on February 25

Enough of this innocent until proven guilty cop-out. I see very sound arguments and very strong circumstantial evidence that Bonds is juicing. I never see a plausible argument against, other than the standard "innocent until proven guilty" spiel. This isn't a courtroom, it's a message board/community. If you think they are innocent or are just playing Devil's Advocate give some reasons, without sounding like Buck Turgidson ("We-he-ell, uh, I'd like to hold off judgement on a thing like that, sir, until all the facts are in. "). Don't be contrary just for the sake of it. His head is so damn big now the bobblehead doll is no longer a caricature. Is my head just naturally gonna swell up like that as I approach 40?

posted by pivo at 06:19 PM on February 25

Maybe, pivo. Maybe.

posted by rocketman at 07:14 PM on February 25

This isn't a courtroom, it's a message board/community. Except now it's a slippery slope. "Sorry pal, this isn't a trial, it's a witch hunt. This isn't a court room, it's the prelim to your hanging. This isn't courtroom justice, it's mob justice."

posted by yerfatma at 08:03 PM on February 25

I guess we are going to rehash the same arguments, but only 12 days later?

posted by grum@work at 09:10 PM on February 25

"Sorry pal, this isn't a trial, it's a witch hunt. This isn't a court room, it's the prelim to your hanging. This isn't courtroom justice, it's mob justice." It's no justice of any kind, it's just converation on an internet site. SpoFi is a great site and I love coming here, but not one bit of anything said here, in the past or future, will likely have any impact on Barry Bonds, his career, or any trials or hearings he may be part of. So let yourself go and have at it. Though the bigger picture here is dissension in the Union, which Fehr can't be happy with. Many players may have been saying things off the record, but now we have the beginnings of comments out in the open. Will be interesting to see if the toothpaste is out of the tube or if Fehr snaps them back into ranks post-haste. I guess we are going to rehash the same arguments, but only 12 days later? I predict similar conversation several more times over the course of the seasonas more developments arise. Feel free to give them a pass instead of the MeFi-style snark.

posted by pivo at 09:39 PM on February 25

I'm willing to put up $100 of my own damned money Bonds is either convicted of something or owns up to the steroids in the next two years.

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:17 PM on February 25

I'm sure you've all seen Dusty Baker lashing out against this "witchhunt" calling it simliar to McCarthyism right? Too bad he needs to realize that the McCarthy trials actually had an impact on the careers of innocent peoples, while this steroid search has yet to impact the job or money of anyone, innocent or guilty.....as yet.

posted by Ufez Jones at 11:59 PM on February 25

I'm willing to put up $100 of my own damned money I'd want odds. But I have some concerns about who damned your money.

posted by alex_reno at 02:10 AM on February 26

So let yourself go and have at it. See, that's the problem I have. Feel free to let yourself go and have at it. Me, I'm still stuck on why someone should come in for different treatment solely because he's famous. And where are all the people trashing Mark McGwire along with Bonds? McGwire was a big kid when he was in the Olympics/ a Bash Brother, but he was not that big. He broke the home run record thanks to "obvious" use of steroids (Creatine or whatever he claimed be damned). But he's not getting the Bonds treatment. Nor, for that matter, is Sammy Sooser.

posted by yerfatma at 06:28 AM on February 26

Besides his expanded physique over the last few years, I think Bonds gets the brunt of it now because of his involvement with Greg Anderson and Andersoin's presence in the Giants' clubhouse, etc. I see a case for Sosa, and Ja. Giambi too. (we actually spent some time trying to weed out who else could be a possibility) It certainly doesn't help his case that Giambi showed up much much slimmer this season. (4 pound weight loss my ass!) I'd imagine if McGwire was still in the bigs, he'd probably be feeling the heat just as hot as Bonds is. With McGwire being in close with Canseco during their Bash Brother days in the Bay Area, and Canseco already admitting steroid use in the game... lines would be drawn I'd guess.

posted by jerseygirl at 06:51 AM on February 26

People are still interested in what Turk Wendell has to say?!?

posted by dfleming at 07:31 AM on February 26

People are still interested in what Turk Wendell has to say?!? Let's go with, "Interest in Turk Wendell's opinions is as high as it always has been." Ah, the Pride of Western Mass.

posted by yerfatma at 08:11 AM on February 26

"You got something to say, you come to my face and say it and we'll deal with each other. Don't talk through the media like you're some tough guy." Yep, that quote is absolutely soaked with 'roid rage.

posted by crank at 08:21 AM on February 26

Yep, that quote is absolutely soaked with 'roid rage....and misdirection. An innocent man would at least deny the accusation.

posted by garfield at 08:45 AM on February 26

I agree that McGwire is not worth discussing because he's retired. Same with Ken Caminiti who admitted to 'roid use. The investigation needs to focus on the here and now. I think alot of the baseball players are under the mistaken assumption that this is something that can be cleared up in house - that it is a "family affair". Bullshit. I welcome the government's involvement in this, starting with A.G. Ashcroft. Baseball does not belong to the current crop of ballplayers, as they seem to believe. It is a public trust which has been granted special protections by Congress. If the union and MLB can't and won't face this issue head-on and expeditiously, then I for one welcome some new investigative overlords with TEETH.

posted by vito90 at 09:20 AM on February 26

And where are all the people trashing Mark McGwire along with Bonds? ... he's not getting the Bonds treatment. Nor, for that matter, is Sammy Sooser. It could be because those guys aren't Grade A prime dicks to everyone around them. Being a knob kind of focuses negative attention on you. As for Giambi, Walker et al ... it's just pretty hard not to be suspicious when all of them show up for spring training looking like J.C. Chasez instead of Conan the Barbarian. It's all circumstantial now, but I don't believe it's going to stay that way. I'm willing to put up $100 of my own damned money. I'd want odds. But I have some concerns about who damned your money. It would come out of my tax return. If cash from the IRS's coffers ain't damned, I don't know what would be. Odds are even.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:04 AM on February 26

I predict similar conversation several more times over the course of the seasonas more developments arise. Feel free to give them a pass instead of the MeFi-style snark. Hey, I'm willing to talk my fool head off about this subject until the cows come home. But I wonder if it's necessary to do it every time someone has an interesting sound bite on the local news. Now, if Bonds comes out and says "I use THG." or Anderson (Bonds' trainer) comes out and says "I tried to give THG to Barry, but he refused it every time.", then we've got something to talk about. As it is, I'm pretty sure we'll be rehashing this again when Jay Mariotti and Rick Reilly begin their annual attacks on Sosa and Bonds.

posted by grum@work at 11:19 AM on February 26

It could be because those guys aren't Grade A prime dicks to everyone around them. I know. That's what bothers me. Who gets a free pass and who doesn't?

posted by yerfatma at 11:54 AM on February 26

I don't think anyone get's a free pass, per se...it's just that none of the others are on the cusp of breaking perhaps the grandaddy of all baseball records. Also, none of them were childhood friends and personal trainer client of the indicted steroid factory ringleader. Bonds is a story. If there were no steroid controversy in baseball today, Bonds is still among the top stories going into the season. The fact there is a steroid controversy, he is arguably a user, he recently broke the single season HR record, and he stands a very real chance of breaking Aaron's record make him the figurehead for the issue at large. C'est la guerre.

posted by pivo at 12:15 PM on February 26

There are so many people basing their opinions about this on faulty assumptions that itís sickening. Giambi is becoming guilty in so many peopleís minds because heís thinner and in better shape, which under ordinary conditions might suggest that he just used steroids now for the first time. Bonds and others are guilty because they bulked up (letís nevermind the Balco guy for now). None of this means anything. These are professional athletes. Their job, and only responsibility in the 4-5 months of the offseason, is to improve themselves. When all you have to do is eat, sleep, and work out (the three most important things, in order of importance), itís very very easy to gain. Consider: Iím 5í10Ē and as recently as 1997 I used to weigh 135 pounds. As of last May I weigh 200. At 10% body fat, with my abs visible, unflexed. To avoid exaggeration, my natural non-workout weight settled in at about 150. I gained that weight naturally, and quite easily and quickly. I went from 175 to 200 last year beginning in mid February and ending in early May. Thatís 2.5 months to gain 25 pounds, and Iím no freak of nature. During that time I gained about 50 pounds on my bench press, 100 on my squat (though some of this was realizing potential that had been blocked by bad form) and about 100 on my deadlift (same form thing). My supplements? A multi vitamin, a post-workout 50g whey protein shake, and a diet consisting of about 3500 calories a day, with anywhere from 100-200g protein. Lots of chicken, PBJ sandwiches, and 3 gallons of milk a week. Iím no freak of nature. I see these things happen all the time. Iíve had 3 independent spurts like this, all of which were about 20lbs gained quickly, all of which coincided with unemployment (more time to sleep, less to do Ė jobs generally made me lose mass due to less sleep and fewer workouts). I used to work in a gym and watched it happen to dozens of people. Some people have a harder time of it than others, like the severe ectomorphs, but even they can gain. A friend of mine weighed 140lbs at 6í1Ē in April of 2002. He didnít start gaining untill he started eating 5000 calories a day. This is absurd, of course, but doable and quite legal, and once he hit that range he jumped up to 210 by February 2003 (which inspired me to get back into shape after many months off, hence my giant 03 leap). 70 pounds in 10 months for a ďhardgainer.Ē He gained another 10 while I put my 25 on, hitting a max of 220 before cutting up (with such insane calorie levels he did gain some fat). The funny part is that when he hit 220, he ordered some 1-AD. 1-AD is a prohormone, sometimes called a prosteroid, which has steroid-like effects, but is sold over the counter. Itís legal, just because itís not quite as potent. Itís basically the same as the andro McGwire used. He took the 1-AD for a month and with an unchanged workout schedule and 500 fewer calories a day, guess what happenedÖ he got smaller. He gained strength, lost a bunch of fat, looked significantly smaller under clothes, and weighed a mere 5 lbs less. Lean body weight can go up and offset massive amounts of fat loss, which is what happened to Giambi, and thatís why itís funny that people are jumping to the conclusion that he must have juiced in the past, and lost his gains. (The truth about that is that you donít need steroids to maintain steroid gains Ė all you have to do is eat.) In fact, Giambi simply lost the extra fat he had carried for the past several years. He was always slightly soft on top of those muscles, and that alone is a pretty good reason to think that he hadnít used steroids in the past, because many steroids do have the fat-loss effect, and ultimately give you a body like Cansecoís, or Rickey Hendersonís, where the muscle definition is more shocking than the actual muscle size. The point is, if you take the time to know what goes into these things, and you see it happen to yourself, it becomes clear that these big bulked-up athletes arenít automatically guilty of steroid use. Yes, there are steroids that have a greater effect on strength and speed than on size, and any number of the athletes in question may have used them, but the conclusion made by 90% of the grossly underinformed public is false, and this controversy should not be shining the spotlight so intensely and so negatively on these famous players. Letís get the facts first. These guys have nothing to do other than bulk up in the offseason. Itís not that hard to naturally make the gains that theyíve made in size and strength, and untill they show me evidence that they took them (or that BALCO gave them to them without their knowledge, which is pretty unlikely), I believe the players. I guess after that I can state my own opinions. I tend to think that the players who use steroids are not the best players, but the ones who are less naturally gifted and have to do anything possible to keep up. Regardless of what population uses them, I donít really care. I donít think itís a big deal, I donít think it damages the integrity of the game as much as people like to think it does, and I think there are better things MLB could be doing, like promoting their game instead of only publicizing negative things.

posted by Bernreuther at 12:33 PM on February 26

letís nevermind the Balco guy for now I don't think so.

posted by garfield at 12:35 PM on February 26

I agree with Bern that it's plausible these gains could have occurred naturally -- workout and nutrition science has never been more advanced. That's why I'm taking the "innocent until proven guilty" route. At the same time, you can see why people are suspicious: Bonds had access to much the same training resources in, say, 1997, when he looked lean and wiry. He was always a great player, but his power increased by a prodigious amount in a short time. This tends to cause some speculation on its own, even if you do discount the (significant) fact that his personal trainer and lifelong friend is an admitted distributor of 'roids to major leaguers. No one has a smoking gun, but means, motive and opportunity are definitely present. Is it possible that athletes like Bonds et. al. achieved their current physical prowess absent illegal pharmaceutical aid? Yes. Is it possible that they were (and possibly are) chemically aided? Yes. It's a lot of circumstantial evidence. Not nearly enough to convict in a court of law, but certainly enough to raise eyebrows in the court of public opinion.

posted by jeffmshaw at 12:45 PM on February 26

donít think itís a big deal, I donít think it damages the integrity of the game as much as people like to think it does ok. why?

posted by jerseygirl at 01:37 PM on February 26

So, Bern ... how big's your head?

posted by wfrazerjr at 01:55 PM on February 26

Bern, I think you make a great argument except for one fact: these athletes are experiencing the type of weight gain you did, but they were already in prime shape.

posted by garfield at 01:58 PM on February 26

like promoting their game instead of only publicizing negative things. Do you honestly think this was part of their marketing campaign? What a pitch that would make: "And then I see a string of TV commercials with players peeing in cups! And Pit Pat!"

posted by yerfatma at 02:20 PM on February 26

HAHAHAHA!!!! And Pit Pat! Thanks a lot yerfatma, now I gotta get this freaking Mt. Dew off of my monitor.

posted by pivo at 02:30 PM on February 26

what is Pit Pat from?

posted by jerseygirl at 02:38 PM on February 26

If there is anything new I've learned from this thread it is: Don't fuck with Bernreuther. He's got over 50lbs on me and is in great shape. I tend to think that the players who use steroids are not the best players, but the ones who are less naturally gifted and have to do anything possible to keep up. I hear ya, brother. I'm trying to preach the same sermon to my friends. I'd bet on the middle-infielder who goes from 6-8 HR a year to 15-20 HR being on steroids before the OPS-tastic outfielders/corner-infielders like Bonds, Giambi and ARod.

posted by grum@work at 04:25 PM on February 26

what is Pit Pat from? A Mr. Show sketch about the world's worst ad agency. [deleted explanation of sketch because it's offensive and because it would spoil the fun]

posted by yerfatma at 04:54 PM on February 26

I would also say players getting up in years, looking to extend their shelf life would also be viable candidates for steroid use. Or a good minor leaguer who just needs that little something to get to the Bigs. Or the established guy in mid career looking for an edge to get a better contract, or get out of a platoon situation. If your not very good, steroids won't make you good. They can however accentuate your natural abilities. A good hitter can become a good hitter with some pop. A good baserunner may become more of a threat to steal (if anyone stole bases anymore, that is).

posted by pivo at 05:06 PM on February 26

wfrazer, it's a 7 1/2. :) Sorry, any boasting was just done as evidence. The court of public opinion is not something I'll dispute, I just wish that people weren't so adamantly insisting that "there's no way they aren't juicing" when they simply don't know what is possible. I left the Balco out because I wasn't speaking on my opinion of whether Bonds et al actually did it (I think he took prohormones at the very least, and can't believe that this guy ever actually slipped roids to someone without telling them), just on the possible ways it could have happened without it. The bit about peak physical condition already having been achieved is a decent one because everyone hits a point where gains become much more difficult. However, the thin wiry Bonds was probably not at that point. JG, I've got people over so I can't get into it, but I'm one to let most anything pass, so that shapes my opinion there. They're here... Sorry, gotta go.

posted by Bernreuther at 06:10 PM on February 26

Bern, don't think wfrazer was dinging you on your ego there. He was referring to the swollen melon side effect of steroid use.

posted by pivo at 06:15 PM on February 26

He was referring to the swollen melon side effect of steroid use. That's urban legend: why doesn't it happen to female bodybuilders?

posted by yerfatma at 06:53 PM on February 26

That's urban legend: why doesn't it happen to female bodybuilders? I would think so too, but a friend of mine took a cycle in high school. His nickname? bighead. It's no joke.

posted by usfbull at 09:05 PM on February 26

it happens to those taking HGH, which is a bit different than steroids, isn't it? and pivo, it's cool. I'm a 7 3/4 ... and I'll let you decide what we're talking about.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:29 PM on February 26

I'm pretty well educated about the stuff (considered the 1-ad, and read the steroids forum of bodybuilding.com for general knowledge) and swollen head is not something I have ever heard of. The elevated testosterone usually gives people acne, some hair loss (less common), elevated blood pressure, prostate irritation from the raised estrogen, and shrunken goodies, not to mention the whole roid rage thing. The goodies should come back with proper post-cycle therapy, but in some cases don't. But I've never once heard mention about the head swelling. I think that's a myth. Actually it turns out that the illegal steroids are a lot safer and better researched than the legal prohormones. But the prohormones have the advantages of being a) legal b) slightly cheaper and c) available orally (only some steroids are safe orally). OK, I've dropped enough science. Now I'm kind of pissed that I didn't get to the gym today.

posted by Bernreuther at 10:31 PM on February 26

and pivo, it's cool. I'm a 7 3/4 ... and I'll let you decide what we're talking about. Hey, I have a similar ring size for my wedding band. Cool!

posted by billsaysthis at 11:41 PM on February 26

fair enough, bern. now why don't you think it damages the integrity of the game?

posted by jerseygirl at 01:00 AM on February 27

it happens to those taking HGH, which is a bit different than steroids, isn't it? Rather than thinking I tried to make an insightful comment and failed, think instead I tried to make a disgusting chauvinist joke and failed. I believe in the over-sized head effect as a tell-tale sign of steroid abuse.

posted by yerfatma at 06:45 AM on February 27

I'm now officially lost. But I'm investing in those hats with the expandable bands.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:25 AM on February 27

Well then. Apparently, Barry's clean. According to his trainer and friend's attorney.

posted by jeffmshaw at 04:05 PM on February 27

uh... yeah.

posted by jerseygirl at 04:36 PM on February 27

Now, if Bonds comes out and says "I use THG." or Anderson (Bonds' trainer) comes out and says "I tried to give THG to Barry, but he refused it every time.", then we've got something to talk about. Well...who knew I was damn psychic! Okay, so to summarize:

  • Barry says he didn't do it.
  • The person who deals it (and who is currently being prosecuted) says that he TRIED to give it to Barry but he wouldn't take it.
  • There is no testimony, evidence, eyewitnesses or test results that support the allegation that Barry used it.
But obviously that can't be enough to prove his innocence because JUST LOOK AT HIM (tm) !

posted by grum@work at 12:11 PM on February 28

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