FanDuel - WFBC

April 02, 2006

He caught No. 715 and knows a thing or two of steroids: "I actually think that the game is cleaner today than when I was playing,'' says former major league pitcher Tom House, who pitched in the 1970s and was later Nolan Ryan's pitching coach. House says that he used steroids because "In my case, I was doing everything I could just to survive, but the steroid use ended up backfiring on him....Every generation of players -- the '20s, '30s, '40s on up -- everybody was looking for a way to get the most out of their bodies, and they took whatever they possibly could. It was almost expected. . . "

posted by spira to baseball at 12:42 PM - 23 comments

If you think about it really wasn't a problem till the 90's I'm not saying what he did was right it probably wrecked up his health and body I just think it's awfully fucked up to put that shit in your body professionally or privately

posted by luther70 at 01:21 PM on April 02

We know alot more about the damage that steroids can do to one's body now than we did back then. Back then, everyone was looking for the edge and, as the article says, if its not frowned upon then players are gonna try it. And keep in mind that people still smoke cigarettes in spite of the massive numbers of people dying because of them every year. Its nice to think that people won't do something so harmful but its really unrealistic.

posted by fenriq at 01:49 PM on April 02

I am 45 years old and remember Hank Aaron hit the go ahead home run. Seems like it was yesterday. I also have a 5 year old and 9 years old playing little league ball. It worries me that these heroes of ours are sending the wrong message with the steroid use.

posted by Cal60 at 01:52 PM on April 02

I was watching Aaron that night also. It worries me that parents still don't teach their children that baseball players aren't heroes. I'm also 45 and I knew baseball players weren't heroes when Aaron hit the ball. Bouton's book had been out for years. They're simply men who play a great game.

posted by ?! at 02:56 PM on April 02

I agree with you. But to kids they are heroes or at least they ( children ) try to imulate them.

posted by Cal60 at 03:06 PM on April 02

Baseball players can be heroes just like anyone else can. To say otherwise is ignorant.

posted by ggermanctl@sbcglobal at 03:09 PM on April 02

What a bunch of freakin' hypocrites. Basically, you're all looking for some excuse why Barry Bonds is still a bad bad muthah, while Hank Aaron and other players from the 70's were... um... somehow different! Because the kids didn't idolize them in the 70's like they do now, thanks to Ball Four (but somehow today's kids idolize baseball players, when baseball isn't even the most popular sport)! And because they didn't know any better! And, um... Now we have yet another player of the 70's admitting the heroes of yesteryear also did steroids and drugs and anything else to get an edge. Yet instead of realizing "Wow, I guess this means the whole steroid debacle is a mountain out of a molehill- it's a 'problem' that has always been with professional sports, and always will be...", you still want to ruin the career of Bonds as some moral example to your demon brood who are busy playing xbox360 inside and can't even remember what the sun looks like. How about this? I'd hazard that not only do we know steroids are unsafe... but that the steroid-y substances manufactured in a lab are quite possibly actually safe, with the benefits of modern medicine and chemistry and doctor supervision. I'll say it like this: the whole steroids thing is a ridiculous distraction, a waste of time, and isn't actually a concern for most fans- they just know what they're supposed to say in a poll, and answer accordingly. The same country that thrills over nascar pileups and WWE piledrivers really doesn't give a shit that the people paid millions to entertain us will go to great lengths to be competitive.

posted by hincandenza at 04:05 PM on April 02

...you still want to ruin the career of Bonds as some moral example to your demon brood who are busy playing xbox360 inside and can't even remember what the sun looks like You know, Hal, sometimes you come up with some great stuff ... and then you ruin it with overstated horseshit like that. I'd weigh in with my own thoughts, but if you think that about my kids, or all kids ... what's the point of talking with you?

posted by wfrazerjr at 04:24 PM on April 02

fraze, I'm more worried about the kids who are trying to immolate their heroes. Hal, you need to swim back to the shallow end before Michelle Wie Thread Season starts up again.

posted by yerfatma at 04:34 PM on April 02

hey fraze: bite me. The reality is that kids these days are suffering from insane levels of obesity due to sedentery activity and high-sugar diets. That much is well-documented; maybe your own kids are out bungee jumping as we speak, but a good portion of those kids who are supposedly at such great risk for being emotionally scarred by Barry Bonds' and others alleged pro athlete behaviors probably don't even watch baseball, or much sports for that matter. They're too busy IMing or texting each other and checking out viral video online to even know who Bonds is at this point. speaking of wie... she choked again today. Well- to be fair, Webb hit an incredible eagle on 18 to put the pressure on, but Wie had 2 chances to beat or tie on 18, using a 5 iron despite being pumped up and going into the rough on her 2nd shot, then overshooting her 3rd shot with poor club selection, and on the 4th shot- the one that at least would have tied it and forced a playoff- once again unleashed the patented Wie "rim the hole" putt.

posted by hincandenza at 04:56 PM on April 02

ggermanctl@sbcglobal: "Baseball players can be heroes just like anyone else can. To say otherwise is ignorant." Speaking of ignorance let's look at the word hero*: (I'll strike out what doesn't apply here.) 1 a : a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability b : an illustrious warrior c : a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities d : one that shows great courage 2 a : the principal male character in a literary or dramatic work b : the central figure in an event, period, or movement 4 : an object of extreme admiration and devotion Now, I'll grant a baseball player can be an "object of extreme admiration and devotion." I'll even agree that a baseball player could be "admired for his acheivements and noble quatities." Those may fit the definition of hero, but not the connotation of hero as we've used it. I believe it is ignorant for parents to aim so low as to teach their children that it is "heroic" to play baseball. That they are men whose example should be followed. "Gee, Mom, why can't I use the Clear? Barry does!" "But, it's just a greenie Dad. Jim Bouton says they're performance enablers, not enhancers." Roberto Clemente was a hero, not for playing the game but for helping his people. Jackie Robinson wasn't a hero for stealing home, but for showing his people could stand shoulder to shoulder with anyone. But putting Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth or Joe Dimaggio** under the banner "Hero" is ludicrous. ---- *:definition from Webster **: A man my mother was told was a hero because he was also Italian-American.

posted by ?! at 05:11 PM on April 02

I wanted to make a couple of points by posting this article. First off, to clear up the misconception that baseball players didn't take steroids until Jose Canseco. Now, I certainly think steroids were more commonplace in the 90s and the 70s. I also think the steroids around in recent times (at lesat the ones in the U.S.) have been a lot safer than the ones around in the 70s, and that - along with the greater acceptance of weight training in baseball - is the reason steroid use became far more prevalent. But other drugs were used - a lot - back then. It is extremely likely that Hank Aaron was on amphetamines the night he broke Babe Ruth's record. Virtually every over 35 everyday player was. It's quite posssible Roger Maris was on amphetamines when he broke the Babe's single season home run record. I doubt ballplayers even gave using the stuff even a second thought. Obviously, we can't say for sure since we weren't there, but we know from many sources what is was like, and that people like Jim Brosnan, who claim to have never seen any sign of any drug use by anyone, are full of it. Second, to note that while a few baseball players may be suitable heroes, most are - and always have been - extreme competitors. That's partly why they succeed in baseball. Why they're willing to take risks like steroids to perform better. Why they always want more money - it's actually usually not about the money, but about ego, about wanting to achieve higher than one's peers, and wanting to be recognized for doing so. Third, we know how we've treated other known steroid users over the past 30 years. Arnold would almost certainly never have become governor if he hadn't used steroids, since he would never have won all those bodybuilding titles that first made him famous. The NFL decided to go forward with its testing program in the eighties (which is still clearly flawed, give that game of Shadows connects more NFL players than MLB players to Balco), but no one ever gave a though to changing records or not electing users to the Hall of Fame. Yes, baseball ignored the problem for far too long, for a variety of reasons (it was less obvious, the owners didn't want to see it, and thel egacy of hostility between players and owners that made the players union think that it had to oppose anything the owners ever proposed), and it deserves to be flagellated for that. But individuals should not be singled out. Obviously, part of the problem is that many people still want to cling to the myth of baseball, a baseball that never was. Since baseball is a religion to many, its numbers are viewed as sacred. But real baseball has never been a religion; it's a game that has always been played by real, very flawed humans under flawed circumstances. Baseball was never a genteel, pastoral event. Baseball players have never been people to admire; on average, baseball players have always been people of lesser moral character than average, at least according to middle class standards. There are, of course, some great people in baseball, like they are everywhere, but it's near impossible to tell who they are. Some of its seemingly most upstanding players are actually louts, while some gruff, unfriendly players are actually great guys. (Similarly, there is absolutely no one we can say hasn't taken steroids - no one. Everytime I see a media member say that player x is clearly not a user I want to scream) Anyway, how we handle kids who will naturally look up to ballplayers is a difficuly question. While ballplayers haven't changed, society has, and we now know many more details about ballplayers' lives. I do think the only real solution is to teach kids that all humans have imperfections. People who are at the top of their profession - any profession - deserve admiration for what they've accomplished, but not who they are. More often than not, these people are single-minded and more likely to have their failures in other parts of their lives indulged, so they are also more likely than others to have major flaws of character. That's always been the case, and in today's world, these flaws are far more likely to become public knowledge than in the past, so kids have to be prepared for this before they get disillusioned or learn the wrong lessons.

posted by spira at 05:41 PM on April 02

Hal while it is true that obesity rates are rising and some kids are ignorant, that doesn't mean that every kid thinks Bonds is a role model or doesn't even have a clue. There are many kids who do pay attention and have enough sense to understand that athletes, let alone Bonds, are not good role models. Just because some kids (your kids?) may think of athletes as role models does not mean all of them do. They have enough sense to move on to looking up to people like Paris Hilton. While that may not be an improvement, it shows that not every kid is as out of touch as you imply.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:44 PM on April 02

Uh... did you post that to agree with me, YYM? Because your tone says "Hal, you're mistaken" yet you pretty much echoed what I said above...

posted by hincandenza at 07:02 PM on April 02

I was agreeing and disagreeing with you at the same time. The part of your point that I agree with is that most kids do not look up to Barry Bonds as a role model, or most other athletes who would be poor role models for that matter. What I don't agree with is your reasoning for why they don't. You make it out as if kids just don't care, which in many cases is not true. Especially in the age of the Internet, kids keep up with their favorite sports/players/ and most sporting events in general. While there may be kids who don't give a rat's ass about Barry Bonds (or don't know who he is) there are many who have pay attention and don't look up to him because frankly, he doesn't do anything to look up to.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 07:38 PM on April 02

hal, why don't you work this all out over at MetaFilter where people piss on each other all day long. I can honestly say I stopped reading anything over a graf from you a long time ago because I know your verbal diarrhea is a stand-in for logic/ a point. "but a good portion of those kids who are supposedly at such great risk for being emotionally scarred by Barry Bonds' and others alleged pro athlete behaviors probably don't even watch baseball, or much sports for that matter. They're too busy IMing or texting each other and checking out viral video online to even know who Bonds is at this point." Cram the soundbites back into the bomb shelter with the rest of your delusions and come with some non-logical fallacies next time you pop out of the bunker to enlighten us.

posted by yerfatma at 07:54 PM on April 02

yerfatma: hal, why don't you work this all out over at MetaFilter where people piss on each other all day long. I can honestly say I stopped reading anything over a graf from you a long time ago because I know your verbal diarrhea is a stand-in for logic/ a point. Please, heal thyself, doctor. You piss on fellow posters with the best worst of them. And if you "honestly say [you] stopped reading anything" he's written over a paragraph, then -- honestly -- you 1) should have no trouble simply ignoring what he writes, rather than overreacting to it, and 2) you have no real basis to criticize him as if you did.

posted by L.N. Smithee at 09:51 PM on April 02

speaking of wie... she choked again today. Yah, when she hit that iron shot on the 16th green within a foot of the cup, I was thinking "Man, what a choker she is." I mean, finishing in the top 3 in 3 different majors is the surest sign of choking in my books.

posted by grum@work at 09:52 PM on April 02

?!: But putting Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth or Joe Dimaggio** under the banner "Hero" is ludicrous. Under the most honorable sense of the word "hero," I agree. But what word do you believe would be more appropriate? IMHO, the major difference between Ruth, DiMaggio, and Bonds is that Bonds is being deconstructed in real time. The protection of Ruth's reputation from his vices is already the stuff of legend, and the more that is learned about DiMaggio, the more arrogant and self-important he seems in retrospect (I don't think Barry will expect an airport to be renamed in his honor).

posted by L.N. Smithee at 10:18 PM on April 02

grum@work: I mean, [Michelle Wie] finishing in the top 3 in 3 different majors is the surest sign of choking in my books. Amen to your sarcasm. This was Wie's first major as a pro on the LPGA tour, and she almost forced a three-way playoff against eventual winner Karrie Webb (a veteran nearly twice her age) and Lorena Ochoa. If anyone "choked," it was Ochoa, who set a record low round to open the tournament and led at the beginning of play Sunday. Even though Ochoa came up with an eagle of her own on the 18th (albeit less dramatic) to force the OT with Webb, the inaccuracy of her tee shots earlier gave Webb, Wie and Natalie Gulbis the opportunity to crash what was thought to be her party. This is where Wie belongs: On the LPGA tour fighting it out at the top of the leaderboard, not struggling to make the cut against men. When she starts winning, then talk should begin about her earning her way onto the PGA tees. But not before.

posted by L.N. Smithee at 10:44 PM on April 02

L.N. Smithee: "But what word do you believe would be more appropriate?" Ballplayer.

posted by ?! at 03:07 AM on April 03

Please, heal thyself, doctor. You piss on fellow posters with the best worst of them You're right, I constantly dump on non-trolling members of the community with statements like "Bite me". Feel free to provide some examples. Diagreeing with you != "bite me", nor do I think my lack of decorum excuses someone else's, so I'm not sure of your point.

posted by yerfatma at 07:47 AM on April 03

Yerfatma you have made me cry many times with your hurtful statements. But putting Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth or Joe Dimaggio** under the banner "Hero" is ludicrous. While it is obvious that many athletes are horrible role models and should not be treated as such, there are also athletes who are great role models for kids such as Lance Armstrong and Mia Hamm. Regardless of controversy surrounding Armstrong on whether he did performance enhancing drugs or not, he is an example of athletes who take on the role of being a role model and do things that cause kids to look up to them (i.e. the yellow armband thing). While kids should be taught that all athletes are not role models, there are several athletes out there who are.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 02:09 PM on April 03

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.