FanDuel - WFBC

December 03, 2004

Report: Bonds Admitted to Using Substances : SAN FRANCISCO - Baseball star Barry Bonds testified to a grand jury that he used a clear substance and a cream given to him by a trainer who was indicted in a steroid-distribution ring, but said he didn't know they were steroids, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday. The Giants' slugger told the federal grand jury last year that Greg Anderson, his personal trainer, told him the substances he used in 2003 were the nutritional supplement flaxseed oil and a rubbing balm for arthritis, according to a transcript of his testimony reviewed by the Chronicle. The substances Bonds described were similar to ones known as "the clear" and "the cream," two steroids from the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, the lab at the center of the steroid scandal.

posted by LROD to baseball at 08:18 AM - 55 comments

Bonds said that Anderson had so little money that he "lives in his car half the time." Asked by a juror why he didn't buy "a mansion" for his trainer, Bonds answered: "One, I'm black, and I'm keeping my money. And there's not too many rich black people in this world. There's more wealthy Asian people and Caucasian and white. And I ain't giving my money up." Man, and some people argue that those who dislike Bonds are racists. Hello, pot, this is the kettle! As for the leaked testimony, it's no different than it was for me before -- Bonds has been juicing, and he knows he has been juicing. He's not a stupid man, and so I'm not going to believe he had no idea what he was using on his body. He's a liar and a cheat, same as the others.

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:29 AM on December 03

I guess the big muscles weren’t hard work as some Yankee player described before, what’s hurt me is that back in the days players used to hit homeruns without the help of these substances, Now these braking records players are all a mystery. As for me I ask myself, can they brake records without using illegal drugs or is cheating part of the sport nowadays?

posted by LROD at 08:30 AM on December 03

First, riiiiiggghhhht. Sure thing there Barry. Anything you say. Second, can we now start asking your self-righteous ass some questions about your physique without getting the, "I'm freaking Barry Bonds and you're just a dipshit" treatment? Questions: Barry, do you think you're records should count now, steroid boy? Hey freak, why did your body start changing a couple of years before you now admit you "unknowingly" rubbed yourself in the juice? Are you scared about tumors, Barry? What does Willie Mays think about your cheating, Mr. Muscles? Would you go back in time if you could? And this is just beautiful... "One, I'm black, and I'm keeping my money. And there's not too many rich black people in this world. There's more wealthy Asian people and Caucasian and white. And I ain't giving my money up." Cheery guy. Good friend. Exceptional teammate. Above-the-board person. Man of the Year! Caucasian and white people are now two different categories. This, I did not know. Black, white, caucasian, Asian, whatever... The reason this is going to come screaming down on your over-sized head is because you are a grade-A, extra-value, cream-rubbing, needle-shooting, self-righteous, lying, cheating ASSHOLE.

posted by 86 at 08:40 AM on December 03

LROD, if Bonds does break Aaron's record, I'm not counting it. The way I see it, you can make these decisions on your own. And unless something overly dramatic happens in this case and Bonds turns out to be the most unfortunate innocent person in the history of mankind, I'll still have Hammerin' Hank on the top of my list. He earned it.

posted by 86 at 08:43 AM on December 03

86. True 'dat. Bonds never ever ever equal the Hammer in my book. And I say this as someone who had grown to respect Bonds (grudgingly) over the years--the year he went into the stands to celebrate going to the playoffs with fans completed that transformation. Now? Fuck off you cheating ass.

posted by trox at 09:15 AM on December 03

I was just reading over the Chronicle's article and the news gets worse and worse. Besides the long list of drugs they have these guys, the number of guys doing it is crazy. Armando Rios, Benito Santiago, Bobby Estalella... Ugh. Ban users for life. All of them. It is the only way to make this stop.

posted by 86 at 10:35 AM on December 03

More from ESPN and Victor Conte here. He's a swell guy too.

posted by 86 at 10:48 AM on December 03

Being bigger doesn't make you a better athlete... Yah! right! and it didn't help Ben Johnson win a gold in the '88 Olymipic, either. (Sad day for Canada and sports in general). For guys like Ben, Barry, and Jason G, I say ban them for life. They took a chance and got caught... proving to everyone that they couldn't either gain or maintain success without cheating. Well, guess what guys. I'd rather watch baseball without 73 homeruns or a sub 8 sec 100m dash. See ya, get out of sports and live life as a personal trainer at Bally's Gym at the local strip mall where you belong with the rest of the trash. (my apologies to all who are patrons or employees at either a Bally's gym or a strip mall).

posted by face73 at 11:12 AM on December 03

86: Ban users for life. All of them. It is the only way to make this stop. What if that meant the majority of the majors? What if the only player left in the major leagues was Ichiro Suzuki? I suppose you'd like that, suggest we throw everyone out, but how would such a massive upheaval protect "the integrity of the game"? People talk as if these people took a magical drug that made them 10-feet tall and built of steel- it's like listening to Reagan-era anti-marijuana hysteria with you people!!! These are drugs meant to make the workout recovery faster; keep in mind they still have to be putting the effort in to get stronger, these drugs make the process more efficient, albeit still with an element of risk- a risk I personally feel every athlete should have the right to use if they are aware of and comfortable with it. After all, no one is going to accuse Ichiro of steroid use, but it's not like he can't compete without it- and a lot of people, myself included, find his style of play not only exciting in its own right but valuable as well. Anyone who thinks Giambi or Bonds or Sheffield wouldn't be a top-caliber player without enhancing drugs is- well, on drugs. I've long maintained that eventually, steroids or other performance-enhancing would become less and less risky for their return on enhancement. I don't think these drugs like "The Clear" are necessarily at that point, but are they really as bad as the 80's after school special style, raw hormones from a thoroughbred's adrenal gland, hairy man boobs style of steroids? And what are the ethical implications when we do have a performance enhancing drug that no more dangerous than OTC flu medication?

posted by hincandenza at 11:39 AM on December 03

We've been waiting a while for this day. It is now absolutely clear that Bond's numbers have been enhanced through drugs. Personally, I don't believe his testimony. What person who makes his living with his body wouldn't keep track of what he's putting in it/on it? So he denies knowledge, and that's all well and good, but the fact is he can't deny putting the cream on even if he thought it was simply arthritis medication. And now what we're faced with is having possibly the worst commisioner in the history of the game having to make some decisions regarding what to do about it. Obviously Bonds won't be banned, and it seems clear that you can't strike his record from the books. This is a really fucked up situation. I remember we had a thread on here awhile ago about changing the intentional walk rule because it "wasn't right" that pitchers could just put him on five times a game. Well now I know why. Pitchers knew he was cheating and didn't want to enable it by grooving pitches for him to hit. I would like to hear what Hank and the Say Hey kid have to say about these revelations.

posted by vito90 at 11:40 AM on December 03

it's like listening to Reagan-era anti-marijuana hysteria with you people I dunno, Hal. I'm on the fence about the issue, but what do we say to this:

"I wasn't prepared for what walked through the door. The sight of Giambi, in a cut-off muscle shirt, made me burst out laughing. I had to cover my mouth. Where was the other half of him?"

posted by yerfatma at 12:00 PM on December 03

Hal, there's no point in getting exercised about calls to ban Bonds; you know that can't happen. MLB is like the late Mr. Lubner, it has no spine. I think it would be great if they were all banned, because they stink up the game. But if they can't be banned, perhaps it can force a rule change that would allow that to happen. MLB just has to stop being so limp. That's all there is to it. The USOC/IOC standard says that it doesn't matter what your intentions were, or what you thought you were taking; you're responsible for what goes into your body, and if that's a performance-enhancing substance, you competed unfairly, and the best you're gonna get is your results nullified. That's what will happen to Jones if they get the goods on her. Baseball players are a bunch of babies. It's time for them to grow up.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:04 PM on December 03

Hal: What if that meant the majority of the majors? What if the only player left in the major leagues was Ichiro Suzuki? I suppose you'd like that, suggest we throw everyone out, but how would such a massive upheaval protect "the integrity of the game"? So, if you are travelling at lightspeed and I'm travelling at lightspeed too, does it really seem like you're are going that fast? How can you argue that it's acceptable for athletes to compete juiced? Most of them are doing it so let them? You have juiced pitchers pitching to juiced batters who will hit to juiced fielders and juiced fans will cheer them on. LOL! We're all moving at lightspeed, baby. Taking power-enhancing drugs (as they should be rightfully called since, as you are arguing, Ichiro performs with record-breaking precision without them) doesn't make the game more exciting. It may , however drop the number of homeruns hit per year. This won't kill the excitement of baseball. Perhaps it will increase it. We can share the appreciation the these are all guys who work naturally to hone skills that regular guys, like you, dream of having. That's something to appreciate. Hal: And what are the ethical implications when we do have a performance enhancing drug that no more dangerous than OTC flu medication? That has nothing to do with ethics. The ethics in question is cheating: is it acceptable or not.? You don't cheat on SAT's even if you aspire to attend Harvard or Princton. And you don't cheat to get into the major leagues or to break Hank Aaron's record. Cheating is ethically wrong.

posted by face73 at 12:06 PM on December 03

Ban the assholes. I've only started following the majors this last year (loved the sport, had no real interest in the majors until this year) but this is a joke. I mean for HR records, I think Maris was the last untainted one. I mean Mac was taking what was it? Andrestone or something? (Can't remember the name.) Now you've got 'Roidzilla Bonds... What a joke. May as well burn the record book. It's meaningless now.

posted by Drood at 12:12 PM on December 03

Good post face73... From yerfatma's link: "I've only lost four pounds, to be honest with you," Giambi said with a straight face but a sheepish look. What, four pounds in each biceps, calf, quadriceps and deltoid muscle? It adds up, doesn't it, Jason? For me, the sight of the honest version of Jason Giambi brought home again, in graphic terms, just how enormous an advantage steroid cheaters have in sports. It's not a few pounds. In many cases, it's a whole new body. To Giambi, steroids meant a fake physique that brought him a $120 million contract." Cheating motherfuckers.

posted by vito90 at 12:13 PM on December 03

face73 hit on my point exactly... Cheating should result in much more severe punishments than it currently does (in every sport).

posted by 86 at 12:29 PM on December 03

I freely admit my hypocrisy in saying that if there were even a reasonable chance I could make that kind of money, I just might take the stuff too. But I didn't support MLB before this. The players, owners, and "commissioner" all revealed their true colors (to me, at least) when they walked out on a world series for petty shit in '94, and this little scandal is right in line with what I knew to be true about the whole miserable lot of them before this. It makes no difference. And frankly, Hal, if this scandal takes out 90% of the MLB players playing right now, then you know what? Good. I'd rather have a few years of Ichiro hitting .500 against AAA pitching than the status quo.

posted by chicobangs at 12:35 PM on December 03

If Roger Marris has to live with 61*, at the very least Bonds et al. needs to get a * too. Sure, maybe he would still have been a great player if he hadn't juiced, but would he be a record breaker? Would any player use steroids if there wasn't clear evidence that they played the game better as a result of using steroids? And, as others have mentioned, are we, as a society (in this case of baseball fans), willing to support cheating?

posted by Joey Michaels at 12:40 PM on December 03

You can't condone this without encouraging a lot of young athletes to abuse their bodies with performance enhancing drugs to go after the million-dollary payday. You can't condone this without calling into question every athletic achievement in the sport. Does anyone now believe the single-season home run record was broken legitimately? One of the most important records in the sport is now ruined, pushed to a height that a non-juiced player may never be able to reach. Baseball has to give this controversy the Kennesaw Mountain Landis treatment. Start real testing for these drugs and put clauses in contracts that make them voidable for people who get caught using them. I'm a huge fan of Bonds, in spite of his personality, but he's not bigger than the game.

posted by rcade at 01:02 PM on December 03

You know, I've been thinking a lot about this over the past couple of days, and part of me doesn't care about this at all, and another part of me really, really wants to see this stuff wiped out. The part of me that doesn't care is the casual sports spectator: for me, it's about more than statistics - it's about stories, and diversion, and this other world that works much like a soap opera and this steroids thing is the latest plot twist. The part of me that cares is the baseball fan, the kid who loves the excitment of a 1-0 game, all pitching, where a homerun ceases to be a nightly highlight and becomes a Very Special Thing. Because that's really what performance-enhancing drugs are about, right? Hitting more home runs - at least in baseball? Well, they hit so many that they aren't as special as they once were. Sure, people still go nuts over them, but they feel different. Imagine if three no-hitters were thrown every day of the season. The part of me that cares is the Brewers fan in me. I'd feel awful if it came to light that Keith Ginter, Billy Hall, Lyle Overbay or Russ Branyan were juicing. These guys are my team, and I love those losers. But if they were juicing, they'd stop being lovable losers and become pathetic.

posted by rocketman at 01:11 PM on December 03

MLB and the MLBPA has a big problem if there are not some severe punishments given out in relation to such transgressions. Heck, Rio Ferdinand was suspended for eight months by the English FA for missing a drug test.

posted by gspm at 01:14 PM on December 03

MLB and the MLBPA has a big problem if there are not some severe punishments given out in relation to such transgressions. Then there are likely to be big problems- the MLBPA has made it pretty clear that this was not against MLB rules and retroactively creating/imposing those rules is unlikely to be popular with the PA.

posted by tieguy at 01:59 PM on December 03

retroactively creating/imposing those rules is unlikely to be popular with the PA. Not just unpoular, but impossible to do unless the players consent since the US has rules against such treatment of employees. This thread, and others, have brought out quite strong feelings about athletes 'juicing' to get better results. Hal raises an interesting question, though for the future, in asking what happens when the health-related downsides of these substances is removed. None of us today has any qualms with athletes taking the kind of vitamins and minerals found in the pharmacies and supermarkets, so what happens when chemists develop similarly safe muscle and nervous system enhancers, will they be acceptable? If not, why not?

posted by billsaysthis at 02:23 PM on December 03

I guess I meant "big problems with the fanbase if this thread is any indication" rather than "big problems with me 'cause i am going to go over there and beat them up". but yeah, this does not sound good for MLB.

posted by gspm at 03:05 PM on December 03

Over on the ESPN.com frontpage, they are running a poll with the question "Would you take steroids if it helped you earn millions of dollars as a professional athlete?" With 95,634 votes, Yes has it 50.1% to 49.9%. Wow.

posted by holden at 04:17 PM on December 03

Armando Rios, Benito Santiago, Bobby Estalella You know, if anything would convince me that steroids don't help a baseball player's performance, it would be this list of guys who supposedly used them... Hal, there's no point in getting exercised about calls to ban Bonds; you know that can't happen. ... But if they can't be banned, perhaps it can force a rule change that would allow that to happen. According to the rules at the time, Bonds didn't use a banned substance. It's the same thing as McGwire. The "workout supplement" that got a brief amount of press back in 1998 was not a banned substance. It is NOW a banned substance (just like "clear" and "cream"), but I don't see there being any chance of retroactively punishing Bonds. And if you think there is going to be some huge fan backlash, that's pretty much wishful thinking. Two reasons:

  1. It was in the past (2000 or so). The majority of North American sports fans are pretty forgetful about stuff. I mean, how many people still bring anti-Roberto-Alomar-spitting signs to baseball games? Or curse at Jason Grimsley for stealing the bat? Heck, how many of them bad-mouth Sammy Sosa, and it was only last year?!
  2. Most of them really don't care that much about what the athletes are taking. I mean, how big of an uproar was there when all these American Olympic athletes started getting caught? Zzzzz. How about football players? It's not natural to be 320lbs and run a sub-5second 40yrd dash. Everyone knows that SOMETHING is going on in the NFL, but they don't care.
The indignation is from the super-informed fan and the media (who get paid by the controversy). Am I upset that all of these baseball players are now admitting taking performance enhancing drugs? Sure. Is it going to stop me from watching baseball? Probably not.

posted by grum@work at 04:34 PM on December 03

Hey, does steroids give you a better swing?, better eye-hand cordination, or a longer shelf life? Didn't think so. The point is what they did was wrong and let thier fans down. Isn't that the true injustice here. They would have no fame if it wasn't for us fans. These spoiled millionare athletes who think they are semi-gods, just make me sick. As for Barry Bonds saying I'm black and Im keeping my money. Good for you, but what the hell does being black have to do with keeping your money? I'm tired of the racism card being played all the time. Be a MAN/WOMEN AND STEP UP TO YOUR MISTAKES AND TAKE WHATS COMING TO YOU. If I tested positive at my work for any steroids that wasn't by prescription I would be fired. Maybe they should be too.

posted by aaronscmc11 at 04:44 PM on December 03

If I tested positive at my work for any steroids that wasn't by prescription I would be fired. Really? I'd just break my keyboard.

posted by yerfatma at 07:22 PM on December 03

If I tested positive at my work for any steroids that wasn't by prescription I would be fired. Really? I'd just break my keyboard. "Yah, we had to fire [yerfatma] today. We found out he was using steroids and keying 35% faster than the rest of the team. That's really not fair to the other employees. As well, our competitors and customers were accusing us of unsavoury business practices, and in order to maintain a positive relationship with them, we were forced to make an example. Also, the added bulk to his fingers meant that he was punching holes in the middle of the keyboard. His steroid use was costing us a new ergo-keyboard every two weeks." /tired on a Friday night

posted by grum@work at 07:47 PM on December 03

More likely 'roid rage during a client meeting. God, that'd be an awesome way to go out: "RAAAAARGGGH. Me no believe you have no competitors! Know who say dat! People going out of business! RAARHHH!" /trying to stay sober for dishwasher delivery occuring between 7am and 9 am tomorrow

posted by yerfatma at 07:52 PM on December 03

If I tested positive at my work for any steroids that wasn't by prescription I would be fired. IANAL but: Unless you're an airplane pilot, first responder, surgeon or otherwise putting people at risk by using substances that alter your abilities, I'm not really sure an American employer would be within their rights to summarily dismiss you (except in states like California where anyone without a written contract specifying otherwise can be fired without cause unless the reasoning is later shown to be discriminatory). These days, an addict might even be considered a protected person under the Americans with Disabilities Act. And since steroids generally don't interfere except in extreme circumstances with the type of jobs I listed previously, I don't see how they'd even come into consideration. So what the heck do you do, aaronsmc11, that your boss would fire you for taking steroids? (Note that professional athletes generally have contracts which specify restrictions on drugs and testing policies, so they're taken out of the general explanation in the previous paragraph.)

posted by billsaysthis at 08:14 PM on December 03

I stand with Drood. You fucked up the record books with your performance enhancers? Well, f you. You're disqualified.

posted by sixpacker at 09:26 PM on December 03

Jeez... Stop focusing on Bonds, the man, and spend some time thinking about Bonds, the athlete. Steroids or not, he's accomplished some amazing things. I agree with Hal's earlier post. These drugs simply enabled the players to recover from their muscle-rending workouts faster. I can't believe that these are the "aggression inducing/testical reducing" steroids of my youth... I, for one, am still a great admirer of Bonds, regardless of the outcome of all of this stuff... I consider him a fantastic hitter (on the merits of his bat speed and technique...not necessarily power) and a decent fielder (even as a middle-aged man). I wouldn't mind it if they stripped him of his home run title (or *'d it!), but what he did this past season was even more impressive, and I don't think they can take that away. Say what you will about Bonds, the person, (personally, I think he's a jerk too!) but his athletic ability is undeniable!

posted by slackerman at 10:05 PM on December 03

I am sorry--I cant think of Bonds and not think about steroids use. Everything he has done to this point has been tainted, no matter wonderfull the records are. He cant have his cake and eat it too. I am worried about all of the "no names" who take "the Juice". They dont have the advantages of getting the "good stuff" like the Bonds and Giamge's of the world. It scares me that people will trades thier health for riches and a big ego. Maybe after all of this have blown over and we get good, strong drug testing, we can get back to playing the game the way it should be. Our game today it too much "Homer Worship" There is more to Baseball than the 500 ft 3 run HR! AND "I dont care if chicks dig the longball" ESPN will have to find other things to show on the HIghlight!

posted by daddisamm at 08:28 AM on December 04

Bonds, the way he is now, is a freak show. He burps and its on ESPN. He is a god because people dont want to pitch to him and he gets walked 1,000 times a years? His stats are inflated because of the walks. You stats junkies will tell me that his stats are still impressive if you dont figure in the walks. You dont know have he would react if he ws pitched to all of the time........So dont waste your time trying to convince me otherwise!!! Like I said, Bonds is a freak show. I wonder who esle is now in the category?? Mcquire , Sosa, Giambi--the list could go on!

posted by daddisamm at 08:35 AM on December 04

With the steroid scandal raging, it's a great time to go a-prostitute solicitin'. Under the radar, Denny Neagle, is where you shall stay!

posted by Prince Valium at 09:07 AM on December 04

Say what you will about Bonds, the person, (personally, I think he's a jerk too!) but his athletic ability is undeniable! You do realize that what is wowwing you is steroid enhanced and juicylicious, right? They call them performance enhancing drugs for a reason. You're asking us to look at Bonds' athletic career and basically disregard the steroids. That's like asking us to look at Monica Lewinsky and not think, "she blew the President in the Oval Office". Tainted.

posted by jerseygirl at 09:10 AM on December 04

Did you guys see barry Bonds Lawyer, this is what he said: "He put together statistically one of the most remarkable seasons ever," Borris said in an interview. "There are people in this world whose sole purpose is to try and figure out ways on how to undermine the accomplishments of others." He said that regarding last year "PERFORMANCE". Well at least somebody is defending this cheater and is getting paid for!.

posted by LROD at 10:03 AM on December 04

You dont know have he would react if he ws pitched to all of the time........So dont waste your time trying to convince me otherwise!!! There is nothing better than claiming something is wrong by ignoring any attempt to prove it otherwise. You do realize that what is wowwing you is steroid enhanced and juicylicious, right? They call them performance enhancing drugs for a reason. You're asking us to look at Bonds' athletic career and basically disregard the steroids. You're pretty quick to paint that brush on Bonds, jg. Will you do the same if someone on your heroic 2004 Red Sox have been caught juicing? And please don't tell me that you don't think EVERYONE is juice-free on that team...

posted by grum@work at 10:39 AM on December 04

I would put money that there is Somebody on the Red Sox that is Jucing--There are alot of "nagging injuries" on the Sox. Come to think of it--Nobody in this league would surprize me anymore--A-rod, Jeter, David Ortiz--everybody--the Rocket, The Big Unit, yes even pitchers. Right now I would suspect almost anybody. Hey until we get a tough testing policy--we wont know for sure.....There may be even a few Hall of Famers who may of "juiced". Even on my beloved Twins I have suspected "juicers" Dougy M and A.J P>(now of the Giants) were ones who raised suspision for me. Dougy boy especially--he always has the nagging joint and mucsle injuries. I have no proof-but like I said notheing would surprize me anymore Yes Bond's career is forever tainted--so is anybody else's that is connected to this story. MLB will be tainted too if the Owners and players dont get thiers acts togather and come up with a workable drup policy!

posted by daddisamm at 12:32 PM on December 04

I can accept the fact that people have a thing against Bonds, the person, but it takes more than steroids to put up these kinds of numbers. There is one person, who did take "performance enhancing" drugs, who (I think) everyone would like: Mark McGwire. Yup. He took androstenedione to help him achieve his level of performance. Follow this link for a pretty decent article on steroids, their use, and a little history on them. Basically, my point is that personality does make a difference and that if this controversy had McGwire at the center, the opinions would be different. Or, could it be that the ridiculous "regressive conservatives" are about to lead another witch hunt? Perhaps. Opinion on this topic will swing back and forth... The personality(ies) at the center of the controversy will always sway public opinion.

posted by slackerman at 01:20 PM on December 04

Hey, daddisamm is a visionary and I think some of these visions might become true... No wonder why the Red Sox won the MLB trophy last season, they really enhance their performance against my team the Yankees and them like it wasn't enough they enhance their performance against the daddisamm's Twins. I don't agree with the speculations lets go and get the facts. Lets test everybody and implement new rules were players can be banned from the sport like they did to Pete Rose.

posted by LROD at 02:25 PM on December 04

daddisamm's a prophet and I think you ought to listen to what he can say to you, what you ought to do. Alternatively, I think he might have been using the Sox as an example to counter an argument.

posted by yerfatma at 03:11 PM on December 04

follow for now, power of the people, say... *grinning out loud*

posted by gspm at 03:22 PM on December 04

I still think you're all missing the point. First, unless I am mistaken, I thought the "clear" wasn't illegal or banned at the time Bonds was taking it. Again, I'm not clear on the timing, so I may be mistaken. But second, and more pressingly, I cannot fathom how these drugs are considered "cheating". It's not the case that you rub some goo on your chest and suddenly become a he-man musclebound greek god- you still have to put in hours and hours in the gym working out your body, you just recover a little faster, can push yourself a little further. If a sedentary computer jockey like myself took these drugs, I'd be a sedentary computer jockey with a flabby midsection the next day anyway. And somehow, if a sedentary computer jockey like myself "dopes up" on lattes in the morning, or hits the free soda in the breakroom when I'm on a coding frenzy at work at night- how is this "legal"? Shouldn't my company fire me for taking "performance enhancing drugs"? Our whole society is founded on the coffee bean; people push themselves out of bed groggily, get a cuppa joe to artificially stimulate themselves when they should be back sleeping, getting a full 8-9 hours a night. Instead, we use doping mechanisms to get ourselves to work each day, despite the health risks of taking all that caffeine and the sleep deprivation- we dope ourselves just to keep our jobs! And yet- McGwire, Bonds, Giambi- these guys are an outrage because they take drugs to keep their jobs?!? We have a whole culture built on taking drugs to change our lives, to "cheat" what nature is doing. Feeling sad? Take these pills, they'll put new chemicals in your brain and make you haaapppy! Feeling old, feeling wrinkled or less than perfect? Go to your doctor, he'll give you human growth hormones that'll have you feeling and looking 10 years younger! Kids acting like, well, kids? No worries- force them to take some pills, and they'll be sedate and placid, easily plopped in front of the tv for the active parent on the go to get some freedom! Age and nature caught up with you, and now you can't get a boner? Well, take a pill, and get hard as a rock, at 65 years old! Because it's certainly natural for elderly men to be banging away like 19-year-olds... So why is it when an athlete decides to get an edge, we all become a bunch of fucking pinch-nosed prudes, a bunch of Christian Scientists who believe the "natural" way is better, that any technological advantage is "impure" or threatens the integrity of the sport? Why, when an athlete takes a drug that can help them achieve a higher level of performance, is this an outrage?! Why on earth is that?

posted by hincandenza at 04:18 PM on December 04

Why, when an athlete takes a drug that can help them achieve a higher level of performance, is this an outrage?! Why on earth is that? Because jealousy breeds contempt, in this case. They make way more money than us, and we'll look for any reason to put them on an impossible pedestal and then knock them down. And by "we", I mean the sport-obessessed and the media, not the average person. Oh, and the "good old days" factor. Can't forget that. EVERYTHING was better in the "good old days". Nobody cheated and everyone played fair in the "good old days". Yup, them was good times. Yesiree. Indeed.

posted by grum@work at 07:30 PM on December 04

Because jealousy breeds contempt, in this case. Speak for yourself, grum. My disgust is over what the PED-users' choice of chem does to others. It's really very simple. Stuff isn't banned because it's performance-enhancing; if that were true, they'd ban water and lean protein. It isn't banned because it's harmful; if that were true, they'd ban cyanide. But no one cares if athletes drink water and eat lean protein, because it doesn't hurt them, and no one makes rules against athletes taking cyanide, because they have no reason to take it -- it wouldn't help them. The stuff is banned because it's both performance-enhancing and harmful. If Bonds, or whoever, juices and hits a gazillion home runs, what do you think is going to happen? If "everyone" in the elite level of a sport is juicing, what do you think will happen? Do you really want to have sports where nobody has a choice but to use this shit?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:03 PM on December 04

Do you really want to have sports where nobody has a choice but to use this shit? They do have a choice. I'm pretty sure players like Wakefield, Eckstein, Perez, Moyer, etc. don't need and haven't used PED. If you know it's a harmful substance, don't use it. Especially since it isn't going to help you as a fielder, and it definitely won't help your batting eye, and I can't see how it's going to help you make that curve ball break any better than before. The main advantage (if there even is one) is that you might hit the ball a BIT further than before. Maybe. But you'll still have to hit the damn thing, and unless the PED gives you hawk-vision, you'll just swing a bit harder when they drop that 12-to-6 curve past you. I wonder how many of these ballplayers would have had the same "improvements" if they were given sugar pills and told they were PED?

posted by grum@work at 09:48 PM on December 04

Hal, you're a rationalization machine. But it all rings too hollow. Think of the cultural consequence of the message this sends. Think of how steriods have impacted any other athlete in any other sport. The better ethical decision is a ban, the better business decision is a ban. The rest is all completely bankrupted reasoning.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:17 PM on December 05

The better ethical decision is a ban, the better business decision is a ban. I might agree with the first one, but the second one is clearly false. How do you think professional and high level amateur sport became a multi-billion dollar industry? By continually increasing the gap between what is possible from the elite athlete and what is possible from the rest of us. The better (ie. pragmatic) business decision is to hunker down, ride this one out, and focus your next marketing campaign on the pitchers.

posted by smithers at 11:02 PM on December 05

The better (ie. pragmatic) business decision is to hunker down, ride this one out, and focus your next marketing campaign on the pitchers. Smithers - perhaps, if the story goes away. And this one has ungodly legs, especially if congress gets involved. No baseball has to weather the storm all right - by reacting appropriately. If baseball has no integrity in the eyes of the consumer, it will suffer financially, absolutely. Especially a sport that carries so much of its reputation on its relationship with history - and comparing statistics of players of mutliple eras. This is Maris' asterisk and the Black Sox all over again. It's not a John Rockeresque slight PR issue. How do you think professional and high level amateur sport became a multi-billion dollar industry? By continually increasing the gap between what is possible from the elite athlete and what is possible from the rest of us. Maybe. But I would argue that part of baseball's appeal (as well as sports such as soccer, hockey - basically anything that's not football or basketball) is that we (fans) are also attracted to ordinary men doing the extraordinary. That we fundamentally believe that with the right talent, and hard work, we could be our heroes. It's why Earl Boykins is popular everywhere- why Ichiro amazes and other examples too numerous to mention. I agree with you that some athletes appeal to us because they embody unattainable perfection - but that's not baseball. I have Monday off. Late night.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:06 AM on December 06

(i don't have monday off. working late tonight. so i may wake up in a few hours and the following post may read as total horseshit) If baseball has no integrity in the eyes of the consumer, it will suffer financially right now i'm not seeing that baseball as a whole has lost integrity but rather individual players, the ones that admit to it (giambi, bonds) and the ones we still suspect (sosa, etc.). i'm just not getting the "i'm turned off to baseball forever" vibe from people that i saw with the strike. (granted it's a small sample size which consists of mostly yankee fans/blogs if that means anything. what's come out in the past week isn't really a shock to anyone.) will that change change depending on decisions made either by baseball or congress? possibly. but as of right now everyone just seems to want to move on. weedy, i've never looked at any pro athlete as being an ordinary person doing extraordinary things. the men and women that can to make it to that level and perform well enough to sustain a career have something the rest of us schmucks don't whether it be physical or psychological.

posted by goddam at 01:48 AM on December 06

Hey, daddisamm is a visionary and I think some of these visions might become true... No wonder why the Red Sox won the MLB trophy last season, they really enhance their performance against my team the Yankees and them like it wasn't enough they enhance their performance against the daddisamm's Twins. I don't agree with the speculations lets go and get the facts. Lets test everybody and implement new rules were players can be banned from the sport like they did to Pete Rose. posted by LROD at 2:25 PM CST on December 4 My point here is that we dont know--All we have are speculations. Can any fan honestly say that thier favorite team is Clean from Steroids??? I know I cant--My point was and is that NOBody is beyond suspision.

posted by daddisamm at 06:54 AM on December 06

Goddam - really? The only pro athlete I legitmatly know is Jeff O'Neil - and he's far from superhuman. I've seen NBA players whoes primary attribute seems to be 'tall'. The physical advantage certainly many have, but overcoming pressure and competition and other psychological attributes are hardly the sole property of those that play pro-sports. These guys hardly seem beyond our criticism most of the time, let alone occupy a realm beyond our understanding and comprehension.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:52 AM on December 06

hmm, maybe i didn't phrase it right. i'm not calling them superhuman. but i wouldn't call them ordinary either. whether it's exceptional height, strength, speed, hand-eye coordination, whatever, these are attributes that most people who aren't pro athletes don't have. and yes, of course athletes aren't the only people who can overcome pressure and competition and stuff like that. i can see how you could read that from my comment, but that's not how i meant it.

posted by goddam at 11:36 AM on December 06

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