FanDuel - WFBC

March 02, 2004

** Bonds, JG, Sheff on 'roids.: Other baseball players identified were ... former Giants outfielder Marvin Benard and catcher Benito Santiago, and former A's second baseman Randy Velarde. Since Velarde was taking them, we know it's a minimal advantage.

posted by djacobs to baseball at 07:01 AM - 50 comments

.... Randy Velarde also received performance-enhancing drugs, as did Oakland Raiders linebacker Bill Romanowski. Warning, results may vary. Some side affects include rage, homeruns and in some extreme cases, hitting slumps.

posted by jasonspaceman at 07:28 AM on March 02

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I cannot wait for this thing to be blown wide open. Why there isn't more interest in it, I don't know.

posted by jerseygirl at 07:35 AM on March 02

Why there isn't more interest in it, I don't know. At a guess, because a lot of people don't want it known and a lot more people don't want to know. I'm with you, however. Expose 'em all. If they want to have the Steroid-Enhanced Baseball League (or football, or basketball, or track, or whatever), then let 'em go make a league of their own, not stink up the existing leagues so that an athlete can't hope to compete and still stay clean.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:42 AM on March 02

Why there isn't more interest in it, I don't know. Fear not - there is PLENTY of interest in it. As soon as there is something tangible to report when a player owns up or tests positive not anonymously, you will see. This is the hugest thing in American sports right now, but it has to be peeled back one layer at a time. It's analogous to the Enron case - you think it's going away because the prosecuters aren't heard from for ages - but they're diligently building a strong case. I think the same thing is happening here.

posted by vito90 at 07:48 AM on March 02

The interesting question is, what will happen to Bonds' performance this year? We know that regardless of his past use, he won't be using roids and HGH this year. So when the inevitable dropoff in performance occurs, will people blame his age - protecting the integrity of his 2001 and 2002 seasons and career performance? Or will people blame the roids, thereby destroying the integrity of his career performance?

posted by Prince Valium at 08:20 AM on March 02

No one will blame his age. The integrity of his career performance is already marred, IMO. Similarly, watch Jason "I lost 4 pounds! No, really just 4!" Giambi this year.

posted by jerseygirl at 08:30 AM on March 02

I'm interested. Personally I found the responses from the legal teams interesting. Bonds' guy "adamantly denies" he was ever "provided, furnished or supplied" any of the substances, while Sheffield's lawyer includes the important caveat of Gary never "knowingly" ingesting or applying steroids. These two arguments' merit will be tested soon. I think Gary got the better lawyer.

posted by garfield at 08:32 AM on March 02

I think there's plenty of interest, and I believe it will come out that 30-40% of players take steroids. Honestly, if Randy Velarde's doing it, then everyone is.

posted by djacobs at 08:50 AM on March 02

Not to repeat myself, but you don't need to stay on steroids forever to keep your gains, and halting use would not cause a giant weight loss like Giambi's. In fact, Giambi's extreme slimming but loss of only 4 pounds would be perhaps the best evidence that he had used steroids, in this offseason, since to drop all that fat and only lose 4 lbs would have required a significant gain in lean muscle. To do both in one offseason is quite a feat. But there's no reason that Bonds' performance would slip if he stopped taking any supplements. He might be more susceptible to certain injuries, but that's it. Not that anyone would be stupid enough to do that this offseason. My theory is just that he's 4lbs below last year's pre-season listed weight, but that last year's listed weight was low. The other thing those fine lawyers could argue would be that at the time they were given it, THG wasn't illegal, since noone knew about it yet. So the clients would be in the clear legally. Of course they aren't up against the law so much as the public anyway.

posted by Bernreuther at 08:55 AM on March 02

I don't think human growth hormone is illegal either. Of course, technically, steroids aren't illegal, if you've been prescribed them by a doctor. Still, I think this shit's going to stink up baseball for years, and it's too bad. The folks I work with like to dis MLB by referring to "million-dollar crybabys" and engaging in stereotypes about "juiced athletes" and fat, out-of-shape players. I hate it when they're proven right.

posted by rocketman at 09:19 AM on March 02

halting use would not cause a giant weight loss like Giambi's. Have you ever been on steroids? I have. Yeah, I had a bit of bat power already, and was trying to break the backyard wiffleball HR record (anything hit over the roof or out of the yard entirely, FYI) and... Actually, it was medical. I was on them intravenously for a few weeks and then weened off. Weight went on (and how) and weight came off after I was done with them.

posted by jerseygirl at 09:59 AM on March 02

The other thing those fine lawyers could argue would be that at the time they were given it, THG wasn't illegal, since noone knew about it yet. So the clients would be in the clear legally. Of course they aren't up against the law so much as the public anyway. Same thing I was thinking, Bern. If it wasn't illegal to take THG and HGH, what's the big stink? Sure, I hate it also, but I don't think the government will be able to do a damned thing about it, and neither will baseball.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:17 AM on March 02

Barry Bonds received steroids and human growth hormone from a nutritional supplements lab implicated in a steroid-distribution ring, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday, contradicting denials by the Giants slugger that he ever used performance-enhancing drugs. Wait! Just because Bonds received these items doesn't mean he actually used them!

posted by deadcowdan at 10:22 AM on March 02

Well, of course, dead. I was inadvertantly shipped a used water pump for a large truck the other day. Of course, I immediately put it in a syringe and shot up. /pump rage

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:29 AM on March 02

Wait! Just because Bonds received these items doesn't mean he actually used them! This is turning into the Clintonian "I didn't inhale" isn't it?

posted by jerseygirl at 10:35 AM on March 02

The article does distinguish between having the steroids and using them: The information shared with The Chronicle did not explicitly state that the athletes had used the drugs they were said to have obtained. That's just to cover themselves legally, I guess. The implication is pretty clear from all this.

posted by dimmykarras at 10:55 AM on March 02

Yup. No documentation of Bonds' reguarly documented pill taking sessions. I guess we should call that circumstantial evidence. And frazer and Bern are right about it not being illegal. But the government can do one thing: tell us who they are. That's all the due process I need.

posted by garfield at 10:55 AM on March 02

For the record, my earlier comment was intended as sarcasm. Just so we're all on the same wavelength.

posted by deadcowdan at 11:20 AM on March 02

Here is the original Chronicle story by Mark Fainaru-Wada, Lance Williams and Chronicle Staff Writers: Bonds got steroids, feds were told Slugger's trainer said to have given substances to several athletes It's more detailed. "Early on, the government said it was not interested in prosecuting athletes for using steroids, instead granting them immunity when they were called to testify before the grand jury. The government also has deleted from public court files the names of every athlete who allegedly obtained illegal performance-enhancing drugs from BALCO." Like most drug prosecutions, they're going after the dealers not the users.

posted by Steve-o at 12:12 PM on March 02

Like most drug prosecutions, they're going after the dealers not the users. Not to go all MeFi but, *guh?!?*. You may want to check out this book

posted by Ufez Jones at 12:19 PM on March 02

Hmm, check that (possibly). I just noted you live in Canada where that may very well be the case. Not so much down here, sadly.

posted by Ufez Jones at 12:20 PM on March 02

who really cares? Athletes use whatever they can to be great athletes, if you all didn't know that Bonds was using roids when he was hitting all those home runs you are a fool, the guy's head doubled in size over a two year period. All of a sudden we are worried about this crap?

posted by jbou at 12:27 PM on March 02

oh, we should stop talking about it i guess!

posted by jerseygirl at 12:42 PM on March 02

People's bodies change based on a number of things. In this era of advanced training and nutrition techniques, we generally give people the benefit of the doubt. And we should. If its proven that -- or the evidence indicates that -- someone has done something illegal, it becomes a bigger story than "so-and-so looks different." As it should.

posted by jeffmshaw at 12:56 PM on March 02

And now...fun with ambiguous legal eagle quotes chock full o' loopholes! "We continue to adamantly deny that Barry was provided, furnished or supplied any of those substances at any time by Greg Anderson" -- Anderson's lawyer "Gary Sheffield has never knowingly ingested a steroid ... and Gary Sheffield has never knowingly applied an anabolic steroid cream to his body." - Sheff's lawyer

posted by jerseygirl at 01:05 PM on March 02

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman." Bill Clinton

posted by wfrazerjr at 01:17 PM on March 02

"I am not a crook." - Richard Nixon The folks who talk about whether it's legal or not are evidently new to the discussion of performance-enhancing substances in sports. It's perfectly legal to use an over-the-counter nasal spray. If you do it before an Olympic event, however, you won't be taking home any medals -- as UK skier Alain Baxter found out in '02. It may or may not be wrong, it may or may not be legal, but it sure is against the rules. Can't deal? Go start your own league with your own rules.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:28 PM on March 02

Have you ever been on steroids? I have. Yeah, I had a bit of bat power already, and was trying to break the backyard wiffleball HR record (anything hit over the roof or out of the yard entirely, FYI) and... Actually, it was medical. I was on them intravenously for a few weeks and then weened off. Weight went on (and how) and weight came off after I was done with them. I haven't, but I know people that have... I'm going to go ahead and assume that you weren't on the kind of steroids (or at the doses) that athletes use, and also that you don't have the diet and training style that these guys have. With proper diet and training after a cycle, people keep their gains. It'd be pretty wasteful to do a cycle and then lose everything. You'd have to stay on non-stop (which is just not possible unless you're trying to kill yourself). (this refers to any test-based cycle, anyway. Not HGH.) Giambi wasn't exactly approaching bodybuilder status before... he had some pudge. Now it's gone and he's leaner. I don't see why this is such a big deal.

posted by Bernreuther at 09:25 PM on March 02

Out of today's Boston Globe: "[Johnny] Damon played with one of the players named (do your homework, people). Says Damon, "I know he's done stuff in the past. He's made a lot of money. Hopefully, he's aware, he'll stop, and he'll continue to play well."

posted by jerseygirl at 06:37 AM on March 03

This is starting to sound like McCarthyism. Teammates turning each other in and saying stuff like that Damon quote. I always knew that guy was a rat, the way he scurries around the outfield....

posted by dusted at 09:34 AM on March 03

Because the other players, the ones who aren't juicing, have no right to be angry that other players are juicing and want to out the ones who are juicing... apparently.

posted by jerseygirl at 09:55 AM on March 03

jgirl, I've never liked homework, so could I blast the answer from you?

posted by garfield at 10:46 AM on March 03

Good point, jgirl.

posted by dusted at 10:49 AM on March 03

I'd like to know more about Piazza's new diet.

posted by djacobs at 11:10 AM on March 03

I hear it's extra rich in protein. (worst comment ever)

posted by Bernreuther at 11:24 AM on March 03

sure garf, but i'm going to sing like a canary if anyone brings it up. Piazza slimmer too? Haven't seen those pictures.

posted by jerseygirl at 11:26 AM on March 03

ew bern. poor form for lunch time my man.

posted by jerseygirl at 11:30 AM on March 03

There's an Instant Poll at the bottom of SI's homepage asking: How would you feel if your favorite player admitted to using steroids? Currently, the results stand: Disappointed, but supportive -- 27% I'd disown him -- 52% I wouldn't care -- 8% Play ball! -- 13% There have been about 12,500 votes so far. I know it's just a stupid interweb poll, but still, that's a lot bigger split than I figured there would be.

posted by Ufez Jones at 01:19 PM on March 03

jerseygirl, don't you read randomWalks? At night, Bourell often visits a local health food store to buy more fruits and seeds. Then he leads Piazza in a yoga session, gives him a massage and fixes a dinner consisting only of uncooked foods: a spinach salad with raw portobello mushrooms, alfalfa sprouts, a clove of raw garlic, sunflower seeds and olive oil. Bourell has never seen Piazza eat a steak or drink a beer. "I'm very spiritual about things and I believe people come into my life for the right reasons," Piazza said. "Andy has got a calm way about him. He tells me what he sees. I'm not a hard-core vegetarian, but I realize there is a philosophy to raw foods instead of cooked foods that could make a difference in the long run." more here.

posted by djacobs at 01:25 PM on March 03

no, i read your other one!

posted by jerseygirl at 01:41 PM on March 03

:( Sorry, I know. I am working on making it easier to read it all. xoxo

posted by djacobs at 02:22 PM on March 03

wow:

posted by Bernreuther at 11:16 PM on March 03

I hate that people are making a big deal about that photo. Yeah, he was skinny when he was younger. So was I, along with a lot of other guys. The combination of hormone and metabolism changes, a workout regimen, and natural aging all tend to make you thicker. That photo is thirteen years old - how many people have the same build at 33 that they had at 20?

posted by dusted at 12:52 AM on March 04

/raises hand Scrawny then...scrawny now!

posted by grum@work at 07:13 AM on March 04

grum, you're probably in the minority.

posted by dusted at 12:12 PM on March 04

giambi looked like skeletor or something. he got any hair under that hat? looks like he had a shaved head.

posted by oliver_crunk at 03:04 PM on March 04

billsayshewasneverscrawnydammit!

posted by billsaysthis at 04:40 PM on March 04

Ralph Wiley says the outcry is not about steroids, it's sour grapes and racism. Of course, he thinks everything is about racism.... I think he takes out his Ralph Wiley Column Template and just inserts the current event in between the charges of institutional racism.

posted by dusted at 05:23 PM on March 04

dusted, Wiley is right on. If steroids really were that effective, we'd all be doing them! Instead, Randy Velarde!

posted by djacobs at 07:58 AM on March 05

heh, I was just coming here to post that. That was a wonderful article. it started off normally, made it about 90% of the way through it, then had 2 paragraphs of baseless garbage about racism. I'm sick of that idiot. Why does he even have a job? Oh, I guess they couldn't ever fire him though, because that would be racist.

posted by Bernreuther at 08:28 AM on March 05

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