FanDuel - WFBC

February 23, 2005

Barry Bonds: Roid Rage: We thought he couldn't get any stranger. We thought he couldn't get any more arrogant. We thought he couldn't possibly get any tougher to love, or even like. It took a special Bonds performance up there on the podium Tuesday to make Jason Giambi look like a sympathetic figure. But Barry pulled it off.

posted by mayerkyl to baseball at 01:41 PM - 59 comments

For those of you who saw this, did you not get the distinct impression (if you didn't already have it) that Barry clearly uses steroids and is unapologetic for doing so? Barry's whole point about alchohol and tabacco being more serious threats to society seemed to underscore the fact that Barry doesn't even see steroids as a threat to the game.

posted by mayerkyl at 01:46 PM on February 23

It was almost a full admission of guilt, wasn't it. But you know? I respect him for sticking to his guns. He is what he is, and he'll do whatever he needs to do to play the game at as high a level as he can. Barry has always listened to a different group of people than the rest of us out here in the fan's world. And he has never, not for a minute, given a shit about what we think. He has a mission, and he will do whatever is necessary to achieve that goal. I'm not saying he's right or wrong, because I don't know, mounting evidence be damned, but at least he's not mounting a charm offensive or issuing blank-check apologies that mean absolutely nothing. Barry says what he means, and has never misrepresented himself. For that much, I respect him.

posted by chicobangs at 01:53 PM on February 23

More from the San Francisco Chronicle, which also has a transcript of his remarks. Sanford and Son had a cool theme song [.wav]

posted by kirkaracha at 01:59 PM on February 23

Baseball record books are forevermore non-useful relics in terms of comparing players. From this point forward, there will always be steroids in the game of baseball as well as many other sports (Olympics included). Doping technology will always seek to stay one or more steps ahead of the testing procedures. Comparing Maris to Bonds is apples to oranges, which seems to me to be very sad, a great loss to the game. Baseball post 1980ish is a new sport and should have new record books. Barry Bonds, the ultimate Ass-terisk.

posted by mayerkyl at 02:03 PM on February 23

I like this question: "Barry, without all of the attention, the drug-testing program probably would not have come to be, without Bush, without the scrutiny there never would have been a program. " without Bush?

posted by chris2sy at 02:47 PM on February 23

For those of you who saw this, did you not get the distinct impression (if you didn't already have it) that Barry clearly uses steroids and is unapologetic for doing so? No. What I saw was someone who didn't understand how steroids would help you hit a baseball. Steroids won't help timing and timing's a lot more to hitting a homerun than brute strength. To be perfectly honest, until a drug test comes back saying he's on the juice, I'm inclined to believe him when he says he doesn't use banned steriods. I would say that a large percentage of people looking to believe he does use the juice before it's ever proven as such are like french reporters looking for Lance's enhancers; they just don't like him and are looking for any reason to do so.

posted by dfleming at 03:10 PM on February 23

I thought Barry's "performance" was one of the best things I've seen on TV from an athlete. The fact that he walked right into the lion den and came out swinging proves he's got more integrity than any of the other athletes that have been "caught". I think a lot of people were hoping he'd be timid and admit to something and apologize. Why? He's never done it before and there is no reason he'd do it now. Do I think he used a legal (according to MLB) P.E.D.? Probably. Do I care that he used a legal (according to MLB) P.E.D.? Nope. The best response was this one: "And the fans come to the game, you have fans that come to the game that are going to boo and fans that come to the game that are going to cheer. That's part of sports. Boo me, cheer me, those that are going to cheer me are going to cheer me and those that are going to boo me are going to boo me. But they still are going to come see the show. "Dodger Stadium is the best show I ever go to in all of my baseball. They say, "Barry sucks" louder than anybody out there. And you know what, you'll see me in left field going just like this [motioning with arms in a "higher, higher" manner], because you know what, you've got to have some serious talent to have 53,000 people saying you suck. And I'm proud of that. " Comparing Maris to Bonds is apples to oranges, which seems to me to be very sad, a great loss to the game. Baseball post 1980ish is a new sport and should have new record books. Well, if you are going to be ridiculous, let's do this the right way:

  • You'd need a separate rule book for when there were a different number of balls/strikes and when foul balls weren't strikes.
  • You'd need a different book for when the pitching mound changed distances.
  • You'd need a different book for when they allowed black players in the league.
  • You'd need a different book for when they allowed different woods for the making of bats.
  • You'd need a different book for when they started playing night games.
  • You'd need a different book for when players started taking amphetamines.
  • You'd need a different book for when they lowered the pitching mound.
  • You'd need a different book for when they started using the designated hitter.
  • You'd need a different book for when international scouting started signing players from all around the world.
  • You'd need a different book for when they outlawed spitballs (but allowed primarily-spitball pitchers to keep using them until they retired).
  • You'd need a different book for when the game stopped being an east coast only affair and plane travel was required to get to games.
  • You'd need a different book for each time the number of games played has changed.
Each of these occurances would have had a profound effect on the makeup of the game/players and the results they produced. Why should performance enhancing drugs be singled out for having dramatically altered the game? I would say that a large percentage of people looking to believe he does use the juice before it's ever proven as such are like french reporters looking for Lance's enhancers; they just don't like him and are looking for any reason to do so. My name is grum@work, and I approve this statement.

posted by grum@work at 03:13 PM on February 23

Truly hilarious. A poignant moment in sports history. Bonds was Colonel Jessop on the stand, we just needed a Tom Cruisey journalist to start screaming "Did you order the code red!! Did you order the code red!"..... "You're goddamn right I did!" He'd crack - he was right there. He was going to give brand names, reputable doctors who could get them, the whole nine yards. It was on the tip of his tongue. Total admission. And he was mad at all that we had the sheer gall to question his integrity. Clearly, Barry Bonds kicks ass.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:16 PM on February 23

I would say that a large percentage of people looking to believe he does use the juice before it's ever proven as such are like french reporters looking for Lance's enhancers; they just don't like him and are looking for any reason to do so. Uh, didn't the grand jury statement indicate that Barry had used the 'cream' and the 'clear', but claimed he thought that it was (let me check my notes...) yes, flaxseed oil. Let me say that again... flaxseed oil. So he basically has admitted to taking them, just that he had no idea that he was. Frankly if that was the case, Barry would be running around saying "Holy shit, you guys got to try this flaxseed oil! It's fucking unreal! What the hell's in this stuff?!? Steriods?"

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:27 PM on February 23

I didn't see Barry's comments as an admission at all. I thought he was saying in his arrogant way that he had no need to apologize, reporters are liars, and that baseball needs to put the whole steroid mess in the past. No fake outrage, no whimpering apologies. I like that he doesn't feel the need to be popular and have everyone like him. Some people would sell their soul to be adored by all. And, mayerkyl, anabolic steroids have been around athletics since the 1950s. That is a lot of records to asterisk.

posted by bperk at 03:31 PM on February 23

The "lion's den" people are speaking of was a press conference. Yes, reporters were anxious to hear Bonds, but lots of athletes have gone through similar things with a lot more grace. Bonds was (yet again) standoffish, evasive, and dismissive... Even with the questions limited by the moderator. I'm not impressed by his comments.

posted by 86 at 03:42 PM on February 23

I thought it was funny and fairly well done, and I'm starting to dislike Jayson Stark's recent columns because they contain an awful lot more bias than they used to. Grum, excellent post. Barry is Barry. he's a jerk and he does it on purpose. This Press conference was him doing that and at the same time letting the world know that he's sick of all the talk of steroids, and that it's being blown out of proportion by the media. I agree. It wouldn't be so bad though if it was accurate, but half the information out there that is generally accepted as true is not. That said, I think it'd be a much more true, honest, and final statement (though still evasive) to just say "I have never taken a supplement that was illegal." - that would even put him in the clear for the clear and the cream, because hey - at the time, they were not illegal in MLB OR the US legal system. It'd be an admission of use but not of guilt. That's what makes me laugh about this BALCO thing. At the time, most of that stuff wasn't even illegal. (And Jason Giambi should be a sympathetic figure at this point. He's taken his lumps and it's been overdone. And he's the only one of the three that told the truth! The media should move along and just let the fans harass him all season now.) Meanwhile, Sheffield is hardly in the news for this at all, because he gets annoyed and rude when asked. Effective behavior. Maybe it wasn't such a bad idea for Barry to come out swinging like that.

posted by Bernreuther at 04:16 PM on February 23

" I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the outrageous statistics I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide them. I prefer you said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a bat, and stand in the box. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to. "

posted by LionIndex at 04:32 PM on February 23

Barry's just PO'd because he doesn't want an asterisk next to his name.

posted by roberts at 04:49 PM on February 23

"I don't know what cheating is." What more can you say? All's fair in love and baseball? Someone explain to me why we're supposed to say "part o the game" about roids, but we can disallow a hit because of too much pine tar.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 04:52 PM on February 23

Someone explain to me why we're supposed to say "part o the game" about roids, but we can disallow a hit because of too much pine tar. Well, because there is no rule in the official rules of baseball about using steroids, but there is one about the amount of pine tar allowed on a bat. It's really not that hard to understand. As soon as they do instant drug testing in the middle of a game and have a rule stating that: "if the player's official urine sample indicates illegal steroid use (as described in section 47.4a), then the player is to be removed from the game and a suitable punishment (as described in section 47.7c) will be assigned to the offending team and player" then it will be equal to using too much pine tar on a bat. However, someone please explain to me why some people say that a player that may have used a M.L.B.-legal performance enhancing drug should not be in the hall of fame because of this supposed transgression, but we have no problem electing known cheats into the same hall of fame? (ref)

posted by grum@work at 05:19 PM on February 23

I was ok with Barry up until yesterday. Is the real problem tat the media is allowed to come to Barry's office whereas they can't come to "Bank of America"? A: They can. B: Without the media, there's no zillion $ contract. I do tend to side with grum that while this will cheapen the records of the era for all players, whether enhanced or not, that's not the first and won't be the last era in baseball's history so tainted. Or maybe you're unfamiliar with Hugh Duffy's .440 average, which counts walks as hits

posted by yerfatma at 05:24 PM on February 23

Just one thing: Without the media, there's no zillion $ contract. yerfatma, I'd be willing to bet Barry's salary next year that the top people at Bank of America pull down salaries that at least equal, if not dwarf, those of the top major league ballplayers. Call it a hunch.

posted by chicobangs at 06:03 PM on February 23

Absolutely. I was totally vague there: I meant "With no media coverage there would be much less interest in baseball and little to no advertising revenue, therefore player contracts would be smaller." The robber barons at BoA would soldier on happily without the muckrakers from the Fourth Estate.

posted by yerfatma at 06:25 PM on February 23

It's too bad this issue will always taint Barry Bonds, the baseball player. Steroids or not, his talent is incredible. It's obvious that if baseball doesn't want to put a steroids testing policy with some real teeth to it in place (meaning if you test positive, you're gone, not after a few chances), they know the problem may be too big for them to ever defeat. That's why Barry and all the rest will continue to deny, deny, deny. And I do still enjoy watching Bonds play and could care less about his personality. It's not like I hang with the guy.

posted by dyams at 06:37 PM on February 23

I am tired of the whole story. Bonds makes me ill. Jose makes me ill, Practically all of the baseball experts on Espn and elsewhere make me ill. even Sammy makes me ill Steroids are bad when taken without the supervision of a DR., period. They are illeagal. And there have been laws broken by baseball players who has who them, period... this whole thing isnt funny any more. Lets move on, until the next steroid bomb drops. There is no useful discussion happening now and there wont be unitl the Balco case goes to trial or Somebody else decides to come clean. The stuff I am heatring right now about steroids is over-kill-just plain garbage.

posted by daddisamm at 11:52 PM on February 23

You really did not think that he would come clean did you? We really only expected him to spread his words like cream. Of course he would not actually admit anything in an attempt to clear his name. Barry has always been aloof and full of himself. Barry will still end up in the HOF and yet Pete will still be asking for admission. Go figure. Until MLB takes an actual hard-lined stand, like companies that operate in "the real world" (do the words ZERO TOLERANCE" mean anything?) there will still be 'roids. The greed displayed by the owners, players, and the commission will only serve to encourage different ways to beat a whiz-quiz. MLB does not really want to stop illegal drug use (P.E.D. or otherwise), because if they did, they would stop talking about it and start DOING something about it. As a dad, if I don't actually back up what I say about consequences when my kids get out of line, I am actually only exacerbating the issue. If I TELL them there are consequences but I never follow through, the REAL problem is not just with the kids but with ME!

posted by BigAl4Auburn at 11:57 PM on February 23

Amen Big al

posted by daddisamm at 01:17 AM on February 24

Lay off poor Barry. According to him it is all because he is black. He had to pull himself up by his own jock strap and walk to and from the syringe-littered sandlot--up hill both ways--while walkign through a KKK parking lot just so he could do what he loves... smacking baseballs. What? Barry was raised by a All Star major league baseball player? Why the heck is he talking all this shit about his blackness then?

posted by scully at 08:00 AM on February 24

What? Barry was raised by a All Star major league baseball player? Why the heck is he talking all this shit about his blackness then? Because, being rich means that you don't ever have to worry about racism and bigotry? Just a quick reminder that when his father was a baseball player, he still ran into racism when he travelled to the south. And who do you think gets to hear all those stories of racism when he's growing up?

posted by grum@work at 08:18 AM on February 24

I think terrapin might be looking at things in scale with Bonds the way I do. Who had it tougher growing up -- A) Barry Bonds, who is black and may have encountered some racism, but also had a father who played major-league baseball and therefore probably did not want for anything, or B) a white kid who did not encounter racism, but had a father who was out of work or struggling and therefore had to scrap for everything he got. Being rich doesn't mean you don't have to worry about racism or bigotry at all ... but it sure as hell takes the edge off of it.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:44 AM on February 24

I don't know the answer, fraze, but neither does anyone else.

posted by yerfatma at 11:00 AM on February 24

And wait a second: how does being rich "take the edge off" racism? If anything, it might be a little worse: here you are travelling in famous people circles, living the life and some jackass can make you feel like no one all over again with just one word.

posted by yerfatma at 11:01 AM on February 24

In case anyone was confused, my question was rhetorical. I think wealth has NOTHING to do with experiencing racism. If I remember correctly, Barry went to a rich, predominantly white high school. That couldn't have made things any better...

posted by grum@work at 11:42 AM on February 24

I've always figured that Bonds could get away with being such a big asshole if he was white. Roger Clemens is as much of a jerk, if not more, but he still gets more adulation from the press and fans.

posted by rcade at 12:08 PM on February 24

Clemens isn't nearly as standoffish as Bonds. He's intense and can be surly, but is generally open to dealing with the media and has done a lot more to make himself likeable despite the times when he's not. Barry went to Serra high school in San Mateo. Not really rich, but definitely mostly white.

posted by Bernreuther at 12:40 PM on February 24

rcade: Not from me, he doesn't. [/obligatory]

posted by chicobangs at 12:43 PM on February 24

Barry Bonds...What a waste! Players who use steriods are cheaters,plain and simple. Cheaters never win & WINNERS never cheat. He should be ashamed of himself for letting his fans down, Not to mention all the kids that will one day probably use(steriods) to be like Barry. He has Scared Baseball Forever,Just like so many other players have. I hope he keeps using until his head explodes...What a waste.

posted by JHW119 at 01:40 PM on February 24

He has Scared Baseball Forever Are you saying baseball's yellah?

posted by rocketman at 01:56 PM on February 24

rcade - I dunno if playing the race card has a lot of merit. It just sounds petty when used in the context of a silver spoon super rich millionaire with a pro-ball daddy - just like the rest of us would sound. Roger Clemens doesn't get away with a lot, anyway - maybe from certain sportscasters with big bandwidth - but to Joe and Jane fan, I think most agree that he's a hired gun and without conscience or loyalty. Just ask Jersey Girl.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:01 PM on February 24

Are you guy's kidding me? Now it's the black and white thing. That's the whole problem with people like Jose and Bonds. It's not about them, it's about the GAME. I have three sons, who I just signed up to sstart this year. That is what it's all about. Way back when, my Dad played catch in the front yard with me, That is what it's all about. Barry Bonds will fade away just like Michael Jackson. The only people who will cheer him, will be from other countries. THIS GAME is our sport, don't ever fucking forget that! Barry Bonds can kiss my ass. After this year he will be gone and the focus will return to the GAME!!!!!Don't go away mad, just GO AWAY!

posted by volfire at 02:03 PM on February 24

By the way Clemens can be as ansty as he want's to be, he did'nt have to testify before Congress.

posted by volfire at 02:21 PM on February 24

By the way Clemens can be as nasty as he want's to be, he didn't have to testify before Congress.

posted by volfire at 02:22 PM on February 24

Barry Bonds will fade away just like Michael Jackson. Not keeping up-to-date with CNN, I see. Not to mention all the kids that will one day probably use(steriods) to be like Barry. If you think all you need to do is take steroids to "be like Barry", then you obviously don't have a clue what it takes to be an elite baseball player. Cheaters never win & WINNERS never cheat. *cough* *cough* *cough* He has Scared [sic] Baseball Forever,Just like so many other players have. Like Paul Molitor? (cocaine) Like Tim Raines? (cocaine) Like Mickey Mantle? (alcohol) Like Willie Mays? (uppers) All of them have been caught/admitted to using drugs while playing baseball. Has baseball been scarred forever because of them?

posted by grum@work at 03:44 PM on February 24

And wait a second: how does being rich "take the edge off" racism? It doesn't mean Barry didn't have to face racism. It doesn't make anything negative he heard any nicer or better. But my best judgement tells me Bonds' life wasn't about in-your-face racism, and was probably less fraught with that sort of thing than a normal African-American growing up in lesser financial circumstances. That's what money will do for you. It also means I think Bonds is a complete dick for pulling the race card every damned chance he gets. Just remember this crap from the BALCO hearings about why he didn't purchase a mansion for his trainer (and childhood friend) Greg Anderson: "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." And I'm supposed to believe the sportswriters are the racist jerks in the room? Whatever. If I remember correctly, Barry went to a rich, predominantly white high school. That couldn't have made things any better... Better than what? Attending school in Harlem? Attending school in Appalachia? Who had it tougher, Barry or the kid whose parents were hooked on drugs and living withoutb electricity in the projects? Bonds should have had, by the affluence and society that surrounded him, a relatively easy childhood. I don't know that he did ... but if he didn't, he can't blame it on The Man.

posted by wfrazerjr at 03:44 PM on February 24

Look - forget the apologists - racism doesn't give anyone the right to be an asshole, just as much as being beaten as a child doens't mean you get to beat your kids. And it certainly doesn't give Bonds the right given his upbringing. It's a sympathy move; emotional manipulation at best.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 04:16 PM on February 24

The temerity of Barry Bonds toward all that is MLB is insightful. He has shown his narcisim is self evident. He cares for no one except himself. He denigrates MLB each time he steps or will step on the field, and this includes his racial comments, which he hoped would take attention away from his obvious steroid use. Lets get to it, the only records that Baroid should get, is the most steroids taken to cheat in a game. Lastly, when will people realize he is not the Greatest ball player of all time, until he matches Babe Ruth's pitching records at the major league level.

posted by STLHAMMER at 08:20 PM on February 24

Can we all agree that there's a difference between a cause and an excuse? (Not that I have any idea of what are the myriad causes to make Bonds, um...what he is.)

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:20 PM on February 24

Yeah, yeah, yeah...I know better than anyone how the race card figures into the whole MLB thing. In fact, the whole reason that I was unable to make it in the "Big League" is because I grew up in a lower (at best) middle-class, white family home, in Centeral Alabama. If it were not for the fact that I was raised by my grand-parents (my dad went for a walk and never came back, my mom then had a nervous breakdown and was unable to raise my brother and me,) I could have made it. It is due in part to the fact that I had to work a job during college that I did not make the cut. Let's not take into consideration that when I played in college, that I was average (at best). Never mind that if ranked according to talent, ability, and performance, I was probably the lowest ranked player on the team. I probably should not consider that I only hit between .225 and .250, with a fielding % that just barely allowed me to call myself a ballplayer. Yes, I did get to attend a tryout for the Dodgers, but it was probably only due to the fact that I dated the daughter of one of the scouts. YEAH!!!I'm sure it is ONLY because I am white that I did not make it. The fact that as far as ballplayers go, I was probably in the "suck" catagory. Barry's excuse is just smoke and mirrors. The usual M.O. in this country is to always have an excuse for when you do wrong. "Yes officer, I was driving after having several drinks...but you see, the reason that I was doing so is because ________" (Fill in the blank with any lame excuse other than to take responsibility for own actions.) Again, I have to look at things from the perspective of being a dad. If I don't teach my kids the difference between right and wrong, then I am the problem when they get out of line. I have to take the responsibility if I don't teach them the right way. It is NOT the responsibility of MLB to teach my kids. It is NOT Barry Bonds responsibility to teach my kids about the dangers of steroids. However, until MLB actually starts to back up their tough talk, instead of just starting more tough talk, then the steroid issue will still rage on. Barry, stop your whining. Stop your racial crying. BE A MAN! Take responsibility for your actions. I think I speak for most of the public when I say that I can respect someone who is big enough to take the heat for their own actions. GROW UP!

posted by BigAl4Auburn at 01:16 AM on February 25

Barry, stop your whining. Stop your racial crying. BE A MAN! Take responsibility for your actions. I think I speak for most of the public when I say that I can respect someone who is big enough to take the heat for their own actions. GROW UP! I find it rather unlikely that Barry is reading this blog, but I'll pass your message on next time I run into him.

posted by mayerkyl at 06:42 AM on February 25

Take responsibility for your actions. I don't think he's using the "race card" to dodge responsibility for anything. ... By the way, this whole "race" discussion about Barry in this thread is entirely because of terrapin's comment and my response. We were all content with just arguing about his (potential) steroid use and his (definite) surliness, and then terrapin dropped that bomb onto the thread and I (like a dolt, since I come from a lilly-white upper-middle class family and have NO clue about racism directed at me) felt some bizarre need to respond. Is there anyone involved in this discussion right now that is black and was raised in a predominantly-white, middle-class neighbourhood? Can someone shed some light as to what it would be like to be in that situation? Otherwise, aren't we all (both accusers and defenders) just making wild accusations and assumptions?

posted by grum@work at 10:53 AM on February 25

I understand why the sports writers and talk show mouths are down on barry but not the public. We know that they get paid by the owners and their job is to stir the controversy around steroids. When Ruth was out because of screwing whores and drinking too much he was admonished by Mayor Jimmy Walker for not living up to the hero that they expected. He then wepted. Maybe that's what Barry should do. Walker then got caught scaming money from public transportation. As a player Barry's job is to win games and if the owners didn't like steroid use they would have done more about it.

posted by stilltime24 at 12:24 PM on February 25

As a player Barry's job is to win games and if the owners didn't like steroid use they would have done more about it. Integrity: firm adherence to a code of moral or artistic values. Too bad many of our pop culture heros have none. It's only cheating if you get caught, right? Sad.

posted by mayerkyl at 12:53 PM on February 25

Too bad many of our pop culture heros have none. It's only cheating if you get caught, right? Sad. Well, it's only cheating if it's against the rules, right? Show me (before 2003) where it was against the rules for a player to use performance enhancing drugs in MLB.

posted by grum@work at 03:09 PM on February 25

Rule 1.08 of the official rules of baseball says, The home club shall furnish players' benches, one each for the home and visiting teams. Such benches shall not be less than twenty five feet from the base lines. They shall be roofed and shall be enclosed at the back and ends. But it doesn't say that the home team can't light the away team's bench ON FIRE. So I guess that's okay.

posted by 86 at 03:29 PM on February 25

Look, I know that's an asshole way to say this, but I don't understand how you can condone the use of steroids in baseball, whether they were specifically banned or not. They were still illegal. And using an illegal means to gain an unfair advantage over others. Or, as I like to call it, cheating.

posted by 86 at 03:53 PM on February 25

But it doesn't say that the home team can't light the away team's bench ON FIRE. So I guess that's okay. Bzzzt! It is covered in the rules: 9.01 (a) The league president shall appoint one or more umpires to officiate at each league championship game. The umpires shall be responsible for the conduct of the game in accordance with these official rules and for maintaining discipline and order on the playing field during the game.(b) Each umpire is the representative of the league and of professional baseball, and is authorized and required to enforce all of these rules. Each umpire has authority to order a player, coach, manager or club officer or employee to do or refrain from doing anything which affects the administering of these rules, and to enforce the prescribed penalties. I'm pretty sure setting the visiting team's bench on fire would be a breach of "discipline and order". (if we're going to be silly, I'll play along...)

posted by grum@work at 04:10 PM on February 25

So if you asked the (so-called) commissioner then: "its okay for all of the players to use steroids if they want right?" He would have said: "yes, its not against the rules." Is that right?

posted by chris2sy at 04:56 PM on February 25

Well, one way or the other, we'll find out this year. It sure will be interesting to see how he does this year, now that he's under the microscope. Of course he could always blame poor performance on the distraction.........

posted by volfire at 05:02 PM on February 25

He would have said: "yes, its not against the rules." Is that right? here's a drug testing faq (it's slightly outdated but the basics are pretty much the same) from what i understand, steroids used to fall under the category of drugs of abuse. meaning, yes, they were against the rules just as cocaine use is against the rules. but only because both drugs are illegal to possess in this country. there was no acknowledged of performance enhancing drugs. there were never rules for testing for any of these "drugs of abuse" (marijuana, cocaine, etc). and the mlb still doesn't test for them, just steroids. to get disciplined for a "drug of abuse" by baseball, you have to get busted by the law first. so i guess technically, while it wasn't ok for players to use any of these drugs because they were outlawed by the u.s. government, there really wasn't much you could do to stop them unless you could find a way to get them busted and convicted for it.

posted by goddam at 06:26 PM on February 25

I understand why the sports writers and talk show mouths are down on barry but not the public. We know that they get paid by the owners and their job is to stir the controversy around steroids. I worked as a sportswriter and broadcaster for several entities before I left the States, and I can't remember a single time my paycheck came signed by a sports franchise owner. And I don't anything I've said here has been wild or accusatory. Assumptions, perhaps. As for being black and raised in a middle-class, all-white neighborhood, nope I can't say a word. But I am white and was raised for the first 10 years of my life in an overwhelmingly black and poor neighborhood (East St. Louis, IL ... look it up or just watch National Lampoon's Vacation sometime). I guess I got incredibly lucky, but I don't think occasionally being called a honky or stared at in the store scarred me forever.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:39 PM on February 25

he still ran into racism when he travelled to the south The south, huh? Ask a black guy about getting a cab in NYC, or maybe you forgot about that little video tape starring the LAPD? And thats recent stuff, so it was worse back in his father's time. You might want to expand your little statement there. Regardless, he's a jerk, plain and simple, and racism has nothing to do with it. And rcade, I hate clemens more than any athlete in history, but he's never even come close to bond's outburst. The thing about Clemens is he keeps most of it inside, while Barry let's it all out. I respect Barry more, but I don't think Clemens could handle such a press conference. Clemens seems to be about as smart as toast.

posted by justgary at 01:35 AM on February 26

I can't respect Barry for using racism as a crutch. It seems that whenever a black athlete gets in trouble he blames racism. I'm tired of the entire thing! A real man will own up to it and move on to better himself. The fans will forgive.

posted by TheSportsBrief at 02:44 PM on February 27

Show me (before 2003) where it was against the rules for a player to use performance enhancing drugs in MLB. Grum, I think you either missed the point or are choosing to ignoring it. Clearly, although not specifically documented in the rule book, steroids were known as illegal performance-enhacing drugs, i.e. cheating, prior to 03. If not, why would players have hidden their use of it? Why go into a bathroom stall to inject? The philosophy that you seem to be promoting, that all behavior is permissible until the administration puts a stop to it, places no responsibility on the players as professionals. Yes, administration should crack down on this problem, but it all boils back down to the childhood lesson of right vs. wrong. Players clearly knew that they were in the wrong, and that's enough to cause many people to change a behavior. It's disappointing how many people need a rule book to decipher what they should, or should not do.

posted by mayerkyl at 07:32 AM on February 28

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