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  1. Why can’t it be as simple as: you vote players in as compared to others of their era. Thus, you compare Bonds and Co. to other “PED users” and make a determination as to who is and isn’t worthy. Was Bonds aided by PED? Well, we can sit and pretend, “We just don’t know” but one would hardly be committing a grave sin for thinking that PEDs *probably* played a role in his becoming Superman in his 40s. But, since there were probably a TON of guys using PEDs, and none of them were Superman (a couple of Aquamen, perhaps) he’s still in the HOF because he was still Superman.

    If a writer wants to give more credit to someone they have strong reasons to believe never did steroids, maybe that’s OK. But dismissing an entire generation of players because that entire generation played, in many respects, a different game is silly. PEDs impacted the game. So too at one time did the lack of black players. No one would think Babe Ruth shouldn’t be in simply because when he was playing it wasn’t a truly level playing field. Babe Ruth was the best of his generation. Barry Bonds was the best of his.

    Comment by Mike — January 4, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

  2. The point that we simply don’t know whether PED affect performance is false. We have strong reaons to suspect that steriods significantly imrpove performance, both from their effect on baseball and in other sports such as weight lifting where it is easier to quantify effects. The only sense in which we don’t know is one in which we propose an unusually high standard of proof.

    The being said, its much more difficult to know who did and didn’t juice. Just because a guy was very good alongside guys who were juicing does not make him guilty.

    Also, it does nothing for the integrity of baseball to overlook cheating because it has occurred in the past. To many minds, this only compounds evils, and does not excuse them.

    Comment by philosofool — January 4, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

  3. agree wholeheartedly.

    Comment by josh fortunatus — January 4, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

  4. I don’t see the relevance of your point about equal PED use of hitters and pitchers. There is no reason to think that PEDs equally enhance the skill sets required for each task. It is likely the PEDs that were taken benefited disproportionately affected attributes relevant for hitting.

    The article you site also fails to take this into account. Bicep strength and endurance are hardly relevant to the skill set required to be a good hitter or pitcher. Just because those parameters didn’t correlate with HGH use doesn’t mean that HGH doesn’t affect completely different (but relevant to baseball) physical properties.

    All, of the hitters who suddenly starting doing unbelievable things (Sosa, Bonds, Mcguire) where clearly implicated as PED users. It is awfully hard to believe that was coincidental.

    Comment by sam — January 4, 2011 @ 2:34 pm

  5. “strong reasons to suspect” is your angle? there’s no evidence on either side of the argument. it’s also possible that huge numbers were put up because the balls were juiced. expansion must’ve had something to do with it as well.

    Comment by josh fortunatus — January 4, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

  6. Even if we did, we’ll never know how PED use distorted statistics, if it even did.

    I don’t think we need to know “exactly” how much PED use did distort, to know that it actually did … and perhaps to know that it did significantly.

    The basic assumption, and probably a decent one, is that when we view Bonds, Sosa, and McGwire, before v. after, we can get an idea. I’m not talking physical structure or musculature, but performance.

    We are also likely fans of other sports and see how steroids affect performances there as well. I don’t think at this point, after 50 years of steroids in sports, that we can say “if it even did” in regards to PEDs. Not to point out the obvious, but there is a reason why they are called “performance enhancing”.

    There’s simply no way that a recovery-enhancing compound could not affect performance. Even being able to maintain the same performance is an effect/result.

    This is hardly a “breaking news” sort of observation, but we already have PED users in the Hall of Fame.

    Technically true. But probably not the way many people view it. I doubt many view greenies and diuretics in the same light as steroids.

    To state the obvious, it’s not just the hitters.

    I think you should have spent far more time elaborating on this. I would added “it wasn’t just major leaguers” and “it wasn’t just the superstars”. I think this is probably the most important or convincing aspect of the whole thing … at least when addressing the issue of how the baseball writers are “profiling” the players and assigning guilt.

    We don’t know if it was 5% of the players or 90% of the players. Some players said it was many (caminiti, Canseco), some said a few (Gwynn, etc). We do know that quite a few have tested positive, admitted use, and/or have reasonable evidence indicating probable.

    Many of us like to conflate the use of all PEDs into the same category.

    Like greenies and steroids. *grin*

    HGH may not be the best example. Rapid repair, regaining vision, repair of tendons/ligaments, increased rate of recovery, etc.

    What GH has done to bodybuilding is mind-blowing (1980s vs. 1990s). Champions went from 220 pounds to 290 pounds. That’s not to say bodybuilding is typical of other sports, or even comparable in skills, only stating that’s the difference GH makes. “Second Puberty” is one way I have heard it described.

    There are also some pretty good case studies of middle-aged athletes using GH as an experiment, and seeing their performance, vision, etc improve. It’s pretty amazing stuff. Stallone’s a big fan.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 4, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

  7. I don’t think the writers don’t vote for players who used PEDs because it altered their numbers, I think they don’t vote for the players because cheating is simply unacceptable in a major sports league

    Comment by William — January 4, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

  8. You say: but there is a reason why they are called “performance enhancing”

    That reason would be because that’s what writers started calling them.

    Comment by johng — January 4, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

  9. Age: 36
    HRs: 73
    Claiming it had nothing to do with steroids: Priceless

    Comment by MV — January 4, 2011 @ 3:02 pm

  10. *grin*

    PEDs have been affected sports for at least 60 years. Sports writers have been writing about it since the 1960s (at least). It’s not a secret.

    Writers know about amphetamines, and they knew about them 50 years ago. That argument has reached its limit. Writers don’t view amphetamines and steroids as being similar.

    From that perspective, I’m not even sure that “cheating” is the real issue … just cheating in a way that makes it so blatantly obvious that it simply cannot be ignored.

    Let’s face it, it’s only a big deal because MAJOR records fell. Not just any records, the BIG ones. Well, and in the 90 years of baseball before the 90s, there were 2 60-HR seasons. Between 1998-2001, there were 6. There was simply no way to ignore it (not that anyone wanted to).

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 4, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

  11. As already noted, how can you say we don’t know whether PEDs impact performance is false. Then follow that up with, and I quote, “strong reasons to suspect they significantly improve performance.” Reasons to suspect doesn’t equal knowing. The bottom line is we don’t know. Likewise, I don’t think known cheaters like Bonds should be elected. Likewise, not electing a guy because you think he cheated, or his numbers don’t add up, isn’t fair. What’s the saying about letting a hundred guilty go free before convicting one innocent person? To the one guy who didn’t take steroids, despite most of his peers doing it, and putting up HOF worthy numbers, and not making it in because people “think he might have taken PEDs” is so grossly unfair as to be criminal.

    Bottom line, between Juiced, the Mitchell report, etc. Etc. Etc., we have enough of the big names that might be HOF candidates linked to steroids to black mark. We don’t need to start going through the stats and saying “Hey, that guys never been connected with steroids, but look at his pre 30 and post 30 stats. He had to take PEDs.” add in the fact that we don’t truly know just how much PEDs impacted any players performance, and I don’t think we need any more of a witch hunt than we already have had.

    Comment by Coladar — January 4, 2011 @ 3:25 pm

  12. Right. Or some combination of the two. But no one is going to not vote for Bonds because they think steroids made him a HoFer. People are going to not vote for Bonds to punish him for being a cheat. (And yes, I know not everyone agrees that he cheated.)

    I think the author’s last paragraph is about right. There are mitigating factors. There are severe limits to our knowledge on the subject. On the other hand, we can’t just ignore all cheating because others have gotten away things in the past or because we lack perfect information or because, heck, there was a lot of cheating going on and always will be (and who can really say *anything* is right or wrong anyway?).

    Comment by Luke in MN — January 4, 2011 @ 3:29 pm

  13. Dayn,

    When a player talks about their hellacious workouts and adding significant muscle in one year and is unapologetic in general about PEDS does that not raise question? When after 3 full years and nearly 2000 plate apperances a player triples their HR Rate isn’t that suspicious (see Bautista, Jose)? Does the fact that the BBWAA writer community with their inside connections and sources is slow to embrace his candidacy possibly suggest that they may know something?

    You frequently noted how much isn’t known about PED’s but is it possible that better information may become available in the future – if not about time tables at least about impact to performance?

    Absolutely there are terrible people already enshrined but the current task is based on ..”the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played”. You can’t take back the glory of enshrinement and the day in the sun an enhanced player would receive once given.

    While not nearly the whole picture, currently Bagwell’s top 5 similar comps are C. Jones, Delgado, Thomas, Galaragga, and McGriff. As more players from Bagwell’s era retire and gain eligibility we may gain perspective on the worthiness of him and his peers. I humbly submit that it is both reasonable and careful to take a pass on Bags this year for the HOF.

    Comment by Mike Z — January 4, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

  14. I boggle every time I read stuff like this. I would suggest you read the actual studies regarding the benefit of steroids and HGH. For example, you concluded from an article about a study that was a summary of 44 other studies that HGH had no impact on athletic performance. However, if you read further down in the article it specifies that “the people who were studied took lower doses of human growth hormone than many athletes, and the longest anyone was studied was 84 days. Also, many professional athletes mix human growth hormone with anabolic steroids, which weren’t studied.” Google “Shalender Bhasin” and “steroids” and let the links lead you. Saying “we simply don’t know anything” is a cop-out for not doing due diligence. We don’t know everything, but we’re not completely clueless.

    Comment by longgandhi — January 4, 2011 @ 3:48 pm

  15. <>

    True. Although I think we can look at the evidence – circumstantial and otherwise – and draw a conclusion that the pitchers without pinpoint control likely were not helped as much “career wise” overall simply by being stronger, whereas the hitters do appear to have benefited from this.

    Comment by LAprGuy — January 4, 2011 @ 3:49 pm

  16. “just cheating in a way that makes it so blatantly obvious that it simply cannot be ignored.”

    But it was ignored. Exactly how many writers in the 1998 homerun chase ignored what you seem to want us to think was blatantly obvious? Almost 100%, right?

    No one really seemed to care until Bonds started approaching 700 HRs and Juiced.

    You’re suffering from a kind of conformational bias. You see big men and lots of HRs and you think steroids, just like what must be 50% of the HOF voters.

    Comment by Wally — January 4, 2011 @ 3:58 pm

  17. There is always a lot of talk about level playing field and cheating, but you almost never hear about the fact that it was a level playing field and no one cheated (until very recently). Prior to the Mitchel Report and all this commotion over steroids and PEDS, it wasn’t against the rules.

    Attacking during siestas and after Christmas feasts and taking steroids might seem ungentlemanly, but if there aren’t any rules saying you can’t, can you really be mad/punish someone for doing it?

    Comment by Matt — January 4, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

  18. What’s more priceless is that you think the author claimed that.

    Comment by Wally — January 4, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

  19. Quick question William and Luke: What rules did they break? You know, to cheat. Like Gaylord Perry was breaking the rule implemented in 1920 that banned the spitball (he’s in the Hall of Fame by the way). What rules did the steroid users break that makes them cheaters?

    Comment by Matt — January 4, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

  20. You won’t find any medical professional conflating the long-term benefits of amphetamines and steroids. It is possible–*possible*–to garner a short-term benefit from amphetamines, but there is zero chance that their regular long-term use will boost performance. I can vouch for that as a former methhead myself.

    Comment by bureaucratist — January 4, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

  21. I agree with you.

    I would vote for Bagwell. I’d vote for Bonds too. I don’t get too wrapped up in discrediting anybody who was linked to PEDs (with it’s with solid evidence, or suspicions). But this article goes a little too far in defending the players, in my opinion. There are people that will look at Bagwell’s #’s and his body and say “he may have done steroids”. Just because we don’t have video footage of him injecting himself, does that mean you can’t be suspicous? Maybe he did it and maybe he didn’t – but I don’t give everybody a free pass just because we don’t have a documented failed drug test.

    Comment by vivalajeter — January 4, 2011 @ 4:16 pm

  22. I think there’s a different angle to this:

    Regardless of the significance of the effect that PEDs have on performance, they are against the rules. It’s cheating, period. And not everyone used them, so some players were cheating while others were not.

    I agree that we shouldn’t draw concrete conclusions from insignificant data. But the absence of quantifiable proof for the effect of PEDs doesn’t change the fact that they were outlawed. To me, that is an objective stance that can be agreed upon by both sides of the debate. Is it cheating to use PEDs? Objectively, yes.

    The question, then, is no longer, “did PEDs inflate numbers enough as to render comparisons with past players useless,” but now becomes, “do we let cheaters in the Hall of Fame?”

    Not an easier question, but perhaps a simpler question.

    Comment by Mike — January 4, 2011 @ 4:22 pm

  23. As it relates to baseball though, yes we are completely clueless. Anecdotally, yeah it sounds like adding more muscle would surely help, but does it really? Can you give me any kind of concrete evidence proving group A and group B of players who are otherwise comparable but one group is on steroids, that the group steroids hit more HRs or what ever? Yeah, I know we can’t or won’t actually do that study, but it doesn’t change what we don’t know.

    You have to understand the human body is far more complex than some F=ma equation and that steroids = greater F, thus you get more “a” on the bat, and the ball you hit with the bat goes farther. It is more complex than that. You need to actually make those muscles work in a very specific fashion. Plus, those higher testosterone levels are going to effect pretty much every other part of your body, who’s to say you don’t have some counteracting effect in there?

    There are known knowns, known unknowns and unknown unknowns. With this issue we currently have plenty of known unknowns and I’m sure at least as many unknown unknowns, and not a whole lot of known knowns. All you can really do is give me a fairly short list of players that have actually tested positive and have some hear-say evidence against them, and a provable idea that steroids, with excursive and proper diet, increase muscle mass. But nothing more.

    This comes down two questions:
    A) How many players cheated?
    B) How much does a baseball player (hitter, fielder and pitcher) benefit from steroids?

    Until you can give me more than the answers that basically boil down to “a lot” and “its gotta do something” to those questions respectively, I’m going to say we’re still completely clueless.

    You can define the moral issue to be wrong if you like. And you can condemn those that cheat simply because the rules (sort of*) made what they were doing cheating. But that isn’t really the point here.

    *I say “sort of” because of the vagaries of something really be wrong, immoral, cheating or what ever, if no one displays any concern for breaking the rules, much less even having a method of enforcement of those rules.

    Comment by Wally — January 4, 2011 @ 4:23 pm

  24. What I fail to understand from those who take a hard-line anti-PED stance towards the HOF, is how the “Steroid Era” was any different from the Dead-Ball Era, or the “Era of Gaylord Perry” (half joking). In fact, these eras seemingly mirror one another in the sense that there were, in all likelihood, more “sinister” reasons for the increase and decrease in offensive output, respectively.* Is taking a shot of anabolic steroids up the ass fundamentally different from doctoring a baseball with a nail file, or throwing a spitball? For those of you (writers and fans alike) who wish to maintain the “integrity” of the Hall of Fame, I think you may have already failed in your righteous quest.

    *Obviously there were other contributing factors to the emergence of the Dead Ball Era. Likewise for the “Live Ball Era”.

    Comment by Arthur Baker — January 4, 2011 @ 4:24 pm

  25. Sure, you can be suspicious, but is it not immoral to base your actions (say a vote on the HOF) on unreasonable suspicions?

    For example, let’s say you don’t have any evidence that Bags did steroids, yet you think he did, and you won’t vote for him because you won’t vote for people that use steroids (presumably because it is immoral to take steroids. Now, is that any different from not having any evidence that say Cal Ripken spends his free-time torturing puppies, yet you think he did, and you won’t vote for him because it is immoral?

    Ultimately, these kinds of things are all just prejudices, where we allow our “suspicions” to influence our actions, but only if those prejudices trigger your suspicions (in this case, bulky dude hits a lot of HRs). It might be lower on the immorality scale to having these suspicions triggered in jury members or police officers, for example, but its the same system, and its still wrong. These HOF voters still have some control over the lives of these players, and like a jury member or police office, I expect to act appropriately with that responsibility that has been given to them.

    Comment by Wally — January 4, 2011 @ 4:37 pm

  26. Wally, I do not think it’s immoral to base their actions (such as a HOF vote) on their suspicions. You act like there’s virtually no chance that Bagwell used PEDs and that it’s unreasonable to think he did. I don’t know whether he did or didn’t, and as I said, I would vote for him if I had a vote. But if a story leaked out that he was one of the 100+ players who failed the test a while ago (when was it, 2003?) then I wouldn’t be shocked in any way that his name was on the list. I’d think that relatively few people would be shocked to find out that he took PEDs.

    There are some people whose names would truly shock people – Jeter, Maddux, Griffey. But would you honestly be surprised to find out that he failed a test?

    As for your Ripken analogy, that’s just stupid. You say “is that any different from not having any evidence that….”. Yes, it is different. There’s absolutely no reason to suspect Ripken tortures dogs. It’s not unreasonable to suspect that Bagwell may have taken PEDs.

    Comment by vivalajeter — January 4, 2011 @ 4:49 pm

  27. But it was ignored. Exactly how many writers in the 1998 homerun chase ignored what you seem to want us to think was blatantly obvious? Almost 100%, right?

    No one really seemed to care until Bonds started approaching 700 HRs and Juiced.

    That’s not the way I remember it. I think we all knew something was up when both Mark and Sammy were going to break the record, in the same year. Writers were writing about a lot more than “Andro” that year. We did not know as much as we would know over the next two seasons, but we knew something.

    With Bonds, the cat was already out of the bag. When he hit 73 (and then 756), everyone already knew what was going on. Everyone knew.

    That’s not to say there aren’t other aspects affecting the Bonds situation. He’s an asshole. He’s black. The writers hate him. He was breaking the most hallowed record in baseball.

    You’re suffering from a kind of conformational bias. You see big men and lots of HRs and you think steroids, just like what must be 50% of the HOF voters.

    Do we really have to go through a personal qualifications checklist on this subject each and every time? I’ll keep it simple and inform you that your assumption is dead wrong.

    Here’s what I did say …

    60 HR Seasons
    ——————
    1880-1997 (117 years): 2
    1998-2001 (4 years): 6

    You can paint that anyone you want, or attribute any characteristic to me that suits your fancy.

    Really, if the choices are [1] you assuming I (or anyone else) don’t/doesn’t know anything, or [2] rehashing my personal experiences/education, reviewing all of the medical information about steroids, and all of the evidence for steroids in baseball … I’d rather just choose #1.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 4, 2011 @ 4:53 pm

  28. Again, I think it has more to do with “cheating vs. not cheating” than “advantage vs. no advantage.”

    Comment by Mike — January 4, 2011 @ 5:00 pm

  29. Viva,

    But where does this “note being shocked” idea come from? Isn’t it still just a product of your suspicion based on nothing but a prejudice?

    Whether its because you’re prejudice to him from being bulky or because you’re so used to MLB players testing positive, it doesn’t matter. Its still just prejudice.

    “There are some people whose names would truly shock people – Jeter, Maddux, Griffey.”

    So, now you’ve made judgements of either their character or body times in the opposite direction based on equally poor evidence. What do you actually know specifically about any of these people, Jeter, Bags, Griffey, Maddux, Bonds, who ever? Have you ever heard one word they said without them knowing they are on camera? Have you ever gotten them drunk and asked them about PED? You’re knowledge of these people is miniscule. This is one of those known unknowns I was talking about. You need to be able to recognize you have next to zero personal information on any of these people.

    “Yes, it is different. There’s absolutely no reason to suspect Ripken tortures dogs. It’s not unreasonable to suspect that Bagwell may have taken PEDs.”

    What reasons do you have for this? Define it specifically. Meaning beyond the fact that you wouldn’t be shocked if it came out that he did, and you don’t think many other people would either. If you have no good reasons, then by definition it is unreasonable.

    Comment by Wally — January 4, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

  30. yes, of course we let cheaters in the hall of fame. sheesh!
    cheaters, segregationists, wife-beaters, you name it, they’re all in there. Bonds and McGwire will be far from the least honorable members of that hallowed institution.

    Comment by bowie — January 4, 2011 @ 5:13 pm

  31. As it relates to baseball though, yes we are completely clueless.

    Please don’t say “we”.

    necdotally, yeah it sounds like adding more muscle would surely help, but does it really?

    Somebody needs to read up on the benefits of steroids. More muscle is just the by-product of the primary benefit.

    ————————–

    * We know that PEDs do NOT improve skill. If you cannot read pitches, PEDs will not help that.

    * We know that PEDs can increase speed. How does speed affect BABIP and defense?

    * We know that the primary benefit of steroid is BY FAR faster recovery. The ability to recover from training workouts, practice sessions, etc is THE benefit of steroids. The more progressive workouts you can string together, the better you become, the more muscle you build, the more strength you gain, etc. Recovery is key. Steroids work best in athletes that work hard.

    The ability to recover is paramount for the sport with the longest season. The increased strength turned out to be rather handy as well.

    Plus, those higher testosterone levels are going to effect pretty much every other part of your body, who’s to say you don’t have some counteracting effect in there?

    You do know that the negative affects of aging are highly correlated with lower testosterone levels, right?

    In the near future, many guys my age may find taking daily injections to “maintain test levels” is a common way of “staying young”. Right now, just those with extra money do it.

    McGwire stated this bluntly that he took steroids so he could remain healthy.

    In the 4 years of 93-96, McGwire played in 308 games. In the 3 years after his PED use (98-00) he played in 464.

    Until you can give me more than the answers that basically boil down to “a lot” and “its gotta do something” to those questions respectively, I’m going to say we’re still completely clueless.

    Really?

    That’s your choice, but I could ask to tell me what % of any aspect of an athletic endeavor equates to a certain % of athletic performance, and then further claim that we’re clueless unless you can answer that.

    Pretty dumb way to go about it if you ask me.

    I can’t believe in the year 2011, there are people seriously questioning whether steroids affect athletic performance to a significant degree.

    What do you think athletes have been doing for the past 40 decades? I tell you what they ain’t doing … they ain’t F—- around. They’re using steroids because they work as intended and work very well. They don’t just work a little better than GNC products, and they don’t just work a little.

    Do people notice what has happened to athletes’ physiques, etc over the last 20 years? It ain’t evolution and genetic drift working its magic folks.

    This is serious poop for a serious business.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 4, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

  32. 40 years, my bad.

    In steroid discussions, I don’t mess around with phoney scare tactics, but I also don’t mess around with the issue of whether they work or not. That was already decided 50 years ago. Those results get re-confirmed consistently.

    Baseball is not so skill-dominated that steroids won’t drastically help someone that already has the skill.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 4, 2011 @ 5:26 pm

  33. Not to mention a guy like Kevin Brown will probably be looked at skeptically by some because he’s named in the Mitchell Report.

    The PED skepticism will affect pitchers (albeit fewer) as well.

    Comment by The Nicker — January 4, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

  34. “But where does this “note being shocked” idea come from? Isn’t it still just a product of your suspicion based on nothing but a prejudice?
    Whether its because you’re prejudice to him from being bulky or because you’re so used to MLB players testing positive, it doesn’t matter. Its still just prejudice.”

    I think it does matter. You act like these prejudices some out of left field. Someone goes from a pipsqueak to 230 pounds of pure muscle, in an environment where a lot of people did the same thing via steroids, and it’s not beyond suspicious to think “maybe he did too”. I’m not saying he did. I’m saying that there’s a chance he did.

    You seem to be saying “we have no hard proof, so he didn’t do it”. I happen to think that there is a chance that he did it. Maybe he didn’t, but maybe he did – and based on his transformation (on the field, and in the mirror) plenty of others think he ‘might’ have done it too.

    Comment by vivalajeter — January 4, 2011 @ 5:48 pm

  35. Here’s a study that says that growth hormones help performance, at least in sprinting: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-05-03/growth-hormone-makes-sprinters-faster-in-first-athlete-study.html

    Of course sprinting and hitting or throwing a baseball aren’t the same thing but it’s certainly possible that HGH helps.

    What I don’t get is the idea that steroids are worse than amphetamines (or TJ surgery or lasik eye surgery). In fact, aren’t the other ones worse because they are essentially a free boost? At least with steroids you still have to workout, it’s not some magic pill that makes you better without effort like the others.

    Comment by Tom — January 4, 2011 @ 5:48 pm

  36. Circle,

    Stop pretending you know more than anyone else knows. Part of being smart, and probably the most important part of being smart, is knowing what you don’t know.

    “The ability to recover is paramount for the sport with the longest season. The increased strength turned out to be rather handy as well.”

    Exactly, you don’t know how this all actually comes to fruition in a baseball game. You have what appears to be a logical argument, but you have no actual proof to your theory. Like I said, stop pretending you know what you obviously don’t know.

    “You do know that the negative affects of aging are highly correlated with lower testosterone levels, right?”

    Yes, know more than you about it almost certainly. However, having lower testosterone levels when your 50 or 60 than when you were 25, is a lot different than being 25 or 35 and having artificially high levels of testosterone.

    And you were saying something about someone needing to do some reading….

    “That’s your choice, but I could ask to tell me what % of any aspect of an athletic endeavor equates to a certain % of athletic performance, and then further claim that we’re clueless unless you can answer that.”

    Which only serves to highlight just how clueless we really are about a great many things involving the human body…

    “I can’t believe in the year 2011, there are people seriously questioning whether steroids affect athletic performance to a significant degree.”

    This is very imprecise language, that reveals your ignorance of the issue, or at the least, your incomprehension of what I’m saying. I’m not doubting it has SOME effect, I saying we don’t know what that effect is. Does it help this, hurt that, do nothing for this other thing? You only have guesses. They might be moderately well informed guess, but they are still just guesses. Can you actually prove to me that a guy on steroids will run to 1st base faster than if he wasn’t? How about that a guy on steroids swings a bat faster? Throws a ball faster? Etc.

    You think you know the answer to these questions because you information about some related point and wish to try to connect the dots. But you don’t know what other factors might be out there effecting this equation before you actually test it.

    “What do you think athletes have been doing for the past 40 decades? I tell you what they ain’t doing … they ain’t F—- around. They’re using steroids because they work as intended and work very well.”

    What a scientific argument…. Athletes also jump over the foul line, wear those stupid necklaces or bracelets that are supposed to do god knows what. Any other scientific evidence you’d like to present to make your case?

    “Baseball is not so skill-dominated that steroids won’t drastically help someone that already has the skill.”

    Maybe, maybe not, but you haven’t proven a thing here today. That much we know for absolute certain.

    Comment by Wally — January 4, 2011 @ 5:51 pm

  37. I’m with you CC, especially on this: “I can’t believe in the year 2011, there are people seriously questioning whether steroids affect athletic performance to a significant degree.”

    Do these people think that going to the gym has no impact either? Eating healthy has no impact? Steroids/HGH enhance the benefits from the gym – how could people think that has no change in performance?

    Comment by vivalajeter — January 4, 2011 @ 5:53 pm

  38. Tom, the simple answer to your question is because Lasik surgery doesn’t cause men to go into rape-filled rages.

    The difference with steroids is that they are illegal. They are illegal for the same reason marijuana is. If people are not scared of it, then they might use it, and gawd knows what happens if people use those. Everyone will be hooked on hard drugs (evidence from other nations says the contrary), and the nation will be filled of raging rapists addicted to hard drugs.

    Now, do you really want to live in that world? Isn’t it better if we just make it illegal and then use scare tactics to conceal the truth?

    If I am not mistaken we currently do have Lasik surgery (or soon will have) that actually gives people “better than perfect” vision. It is likely in the future that we have synthetic tendons used in TJ surgery, and those synthetic versions are better than our natural ones. What will happen, based on what we know oif athletes, is that people with already perfect vision will seek out the new and improved Lasik for a competitive advantage. Some players will elect for TJ surgery even if they don’t need it to repair injury, and some doctor out there will do it.

    The *good news* is that in the future gene replacement therapy and techniques will render this all moot. Heh Heh.

    Getting an edge never takes a day off.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 4, 2011 @ 5:57 pm

  39. Wally, these two lines are why we can never agree on this:

    “You have what appears to be a logical argument, but you have no actual proof to your theory.”
    “Can you actually prove to me that a guy on steroids will run to 1st base faster than if he wasn’t?”

    You look at a logical argument and think it’s wrong if there’s no actual proof. I look at a logical argument and think it might be true, even if we don’t have proof (assuming we don’t have proof that it’s wrong, either).

    If you go into a bar with a single Johnny Depp, chances are he’ll have an easier time bringing home a woman. Do I have proof? No, I can’t have absolute proof unless you both go to a bar together and try to take someone home. But that doesn’t mean my assumption is unreasonable.

    Comment by vivalajeter — January 4, 2011 @ 6:03 pm

  40. Viva,

    “Someone goes from a pipsqueak to 230 pounds of pure muscle, in an environment where a lot of people did the same thing via steroids, and it’s not beyond suspicious to think “maybe he did too”. I’m not saying he did. I’m saying that there’s a chance he did.”

    Sure, absent any evidence to prove anything one way or another, there is always a chance. For all you know, I shot JFK. The point is, is it reasonable, or even moral, to act on such baseless suspicions.

    I’m guessing if we took a poll of men that have remained fit from 20-35, they weigh quite a bit more at 35 than they did when they were 20 or 22. I’ve put on 30+ pounds of muscle over 5 years or so since roughly then (whoops know you know I didn’t shoot JFK) without a particularly tough work out regiment, and not even wanting to get bulky. I can easily see adding 50 pounds from being a fairly skinny kid at age 20-ish without any “artificial” help. Thus, going from being skinny in your early 20′s to being pretty freaking buff by mid-30′s, is not reasonable evidence of anything but lifting to gain muscle.

    >You seem to be saying “we have no hard proof, so he didn’t do it”.<

    No, I'm saying, we have no proof, nor any reasonable evidence, so we don't know that he did do it and we shouldn't treat him like he might have. I've never said anything like "he didn't do it", don't exaggerate my words, just to create a strawman for you to knock down.

    "Maybe he didn’t, but maybe he did – and based on his transformation (on the field, and in the mirror) plenty of others think he ‘might’ have done it too."

    If that's all you got, I will maintain that it is quite unreasonable to punish him with a NO vote for the HOF. Further, I'd argue its even immoral, maybe just as immoral as the cheating the self-rightious voters which to condemn though these actions.

    Let me clarify as well. That so long as you keep you suspicions to yourself, I don't care. Nothing wrong with suspecting something in your own head, so long as you don't act on dumb suspicions. Its the enacting of some sort of power over people's lives without just cause that is the problem. Voters that make a habit of such behavior should have their voting privileges taken away from them.

    Comment by Wally — January 4, 2011 @ 6:07 pm

  41. Wally presumes that people have UNREASONABLE suspicions. Thinking that someone tortured puppies is unreasonable because, well, there isn’t any evidence to support the theory. (If there were reports that torturing puppies enabled people to use VooDoo which helped them never get injured, then, hell, maybe puppy torturing happens in Baltimore.) Thinking a guy who suddenly doubled his number of HRs in his 30s is using steroids isn’t unreasonable. There is evidence: abnormal increase in HRs; happened during an era where a great number of others were using steroids (this isn’t a court of law, mind you – but this IS evidence).

    Comment by Mike — January 4, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

  42. Actually, Tom, one of the studies conducted at UCLA that I referenced concluded that steroid use improves athletic performance even when it is not accompanied by exercise. Of course, different steroids affect different things so your mileage may vary. I urge all who are really interested in knowing what they are talking about to read the studies before going off on what they think steroids (and HGH) can and can’t do.

    Comment by longgandhi — January 4, 2011 @ 6:15 pm

  43. Viva,

    “You look at a logical argument and think it’s wrong if there’s no actual proof. I look at a logical argument and think it might be true, even if we don’t have proof.”

    Nope, now you’re putting words in my mouth as well, or at least telling me how I think, when I obviously know quite a bit more about my thoughts than you do. I’m not saying some theory is wrong. I’ve never said anything like that; I’ve even deliberately gone out of my way to make that clear. I’m saying we don’t know. A logical argument for something to be true, is not actually proof that it is true. In logic there is a very clear distinction between valid arguments and sound arguments for this very reason. Neither Circle nor you, can prove every step of the argument, even though it might be valid argument. Thus it is not a sound argument.

    So the argument might sound reasonable because one or two of the premisses are true, but if the other premisses are not true, then you haven’t proven the truth of your argument. All Circle’s ridicules or your strawman aren’t going to change that. Disagree if you like, but I warn you, this is not a matter of opinion.

    Comment by Wally — January 4, 2011 @ 6:18 pm

  44. Stop pretending you know more than anyone else knows.

    You’re going to laugh. But, after reading your opening line of “we are completely clueless”, I typed pretty much that exact line to you, and then replaced it with “please don’t say we”.

    We know McGwire’s typical performance before PEDs. We know when he used PEDs. We know the typical aging curve for players his age of his caliber. We could project the rest of career, compare it to his actual career and get an estimate.

    We could do the same thing with Bonds. Canseco used steroids his entire 1988 season. Compare to his other seasons. Caminiti used steroids during his MVP year, compare to rest of his seasons.

    We know when they used because they told us. Stats record their performance. It’s a small sample, but it’s a start. I would base anything conclusive on it, but it gives us some idea.

    Steroids are not going to affect every player the same way or in the same amount, even if they all take the exact same mg’s of the same compound the same number of times and do the same workouts, practices, etc.

    One of the most interesting bits of research I have seen is in regards to individuals varying number of “steroid receptors” (they actually have a medical name, but I forget what it is). Pretty interesting stuff. Supposedly it’s one of the main reasons why certain bodybuilders gain more than others, even though they’re all using basically the same compounds in the same insane amounts.

    You’re wanting someone to be able to say that “using steroids increases a baseball player’s performance by XX.X%” or conclude we’re clueless.

    That’s not gonna happen, for sample and ethical reasons. Not only that, but players get value from different aspects. It might affect the typical speed player a certain %, or a power hitter a different %, etc.

    If that’s the criteria you’re looking for in order to keep saying we’re clueless, then you’ll probably get to hold that opinion for a long while.

    If you to state that athletes do steroids, just as they wear bracelets, arm sleeves, wrist bands, etc in a discussion of PEDs … I don’t know what to say. I just don’t understand how one could think that we don’t know anything. It just doesn’t make sense to me on any level.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 4, 2011 @ 6:18 pm

  45. “If that’s all you got, I will maintain that it is quite unreasonable to punish him with a NO vote for the HOF.”

    I disagree. Voting something into the HOF cannot be undone. If you vote him in now, he’s in forever. If you don’t vote him in now, you can give him a chance next year,and for the next decade+ after that (I’m assuming he’ll never get so few votes that he’ll drop off the ballot).

    We’ve learned A LOT about steroids over the last several years, and we’ll learn a lot more over the next few years. For the people that don’t vote for him – I don’t think they’re all saying “he took steroids, so he’ll always be a ‘no’ for me”. A lot of them are just waiting for the dust to clear, and they’ll take it from there.

    Comment by vivalajeter — January 4, 2011 @ 6:20 pm

  46. Mike,

    Nice to see you can at least understand the points in my argument without distortion.

    However, I do not believe a doubling of HRs in someone’s 30s constitutes reasonable evidence. For one, a this doubling is hyperbole. Bagwell peaked at 47 HRs at age 32, but hit 39 at age 26 in 110 games (it was 1994), and 43 at age 29. In fact, give or take a couple HRs here or there, his age curve looks perfectly normal. Hitting his peak in his mid-late 20′s, maintaining it through his early 30′s and declining in his mid 30′s. Even Bonds, didn’t double his HR numbers.

    Thus, the conformational bias. You (general you here) wish to see evidence of PEDs with these bulky sluggers, so you construct it out of flimsy evidence. Like with Bagwell, yes he technically hit more HRs in his age 32 season. But first, that’s not that abnormal. Players as good as him are often still at their peak at age 32. And second, he actually hit more HR/game at 26. Maybe he was taking steroids then, maybe he was just ridiculously good and the league hadn’t figured out how to pitch him. Who knows, I have no knowledge to rule much of anything out. The point is, acting on such flimsy evidence, evidence that is constructed out of prejudice even, is just plain stupid if not immoral.

    Comment by Wally — January 4, 2011 @ 6:34 pm

  47. “I disagree. Voting something into the HOF cannot be undone. If you vote him in now, he’s in forever. If you don’t vote him in now, you can give him a chance next year,and for the next decade+ after that (I’m assuming he’ll never get so few votes that he’ll drop off the ballot).”

    Not true. If this were the prevailing wisdom, he’d fall off the ballot. Plus, in 15 years, you still might not any information, at which point, continued speculation may still hold him out.

    And what harm comes from later finding out a HOFer took steroids? We’ll knowingly elect PED users anyway. This is much like issue of having a legal system centered around not jailing the innocent rather than jailing the guilty. I’d much rather have a system of HOF election that puts a few cheaters in the HOF, rather than a system that excludes deserving non-cheaters.

    “We’ve learned A LOT about steroids over the last several years, and we’ll learn a lot more over the next few years.”

    I’m not sure this is true. The low hanging fruit has probably been picked, and new information will probably slowly leak out over decades as people that already made the HOF write books or publicly admit things after there is no repercussions. Such as Whitey Ford’s admission of doctoring baseball AFTER he got into the HOF.

    ” For the people that don’t vote for him – I don’t think they’re all saying “he took steroids, so he’ll always be a ‘no’ for me”. A lot of them are just waiting for the dust to clear, and they’ll take it from there.”

    Yeah, and one day an innocent deserving candidate will fall of the ballot because of them. To me, that’s the greater offense. We already have known cheaters in the HOF, and we’ll undoubtably add known steroid users from the 90′s as well, if we haven’t already, so you aren’t tarnishing the HOF. We already know it is imperfect and isn’t so bastion of morality. Its just a place to honor people that played baseball ridiculously well.

    Comment by Wally — January 4, 2011 @ 6:48 pm

  48. Wally, there’s really no chance that he falls off the ballot this year. And I don’t think voters are going to hold out for 15 years, and ultimately let him fall off the ballot, without more evidence that he did anything. If this was his last year of eligibility, I would think it’s a big deal for people to exclude him due to PEDs because there’s not enough evidence to keep him out for good. I don’t think it’s a big deal to hold off for now though – knowing that he has plenty of time left.

    “And what harm comes from later finding out a HOFer took steroids?”

    To me, not much harm at all. I’d vote for Bonds in a heartbeat. If I had a vote, I’d vote for the best players of the generations. But my points above are from the standpoint of someone who doesn’t think they should be allowed in the HOF if they took steroids. I can respect their opinion on that, and I can understand if they want to give it more time in order to let more information flow through.

    Comment by vivalajeter — January 4, 2011 @ 6:56 pm

  49. Circle,

    “We know McGwire’s typical performance before PEDs. We know when he used PEDs. We know the typical aging curve for players his age of his caliber. We could project the rest of career, compare it to his actual career and get an estimate.”

    A sample size of one means nothing. The typical aging curve, is just that typical. Not to be confused with what “should” happen to every player. On a site like this, I shouldn’t even have to say that. Second, do you REALLY know when he used steroids? Exactly how much confidence do you have in that information being fully inclusive? I’d put the number somewhere close to zero.

    “We could do the same thing with Bonds. Canseco used steroids his entire 1988 season. Compare to his other seasons. Caminiti used steroids during his MVP year, compare to rest of his seasons.”

    Same problems. You have no effect control or sample groups because your knowledge of events is extremely suspect. Plus, you’re now up to a sample of FOUR. But the first issue is still going to contaminate the study, even if you can reach large sample sizes. There is a reason you don’t see these kinds of studies on a site such as this….you can’t do it.

    “We know when they used because they told us. Stats record their performance.”

    Ok, so we’re back to people that have told you when they used. So, N=2, YAY!

    “Steroids are not going to affect every player the same way or in the same amount, even if they all take the exact same mg’s of the same compound the same number of times and do the same workouts, practices, etc.”

    Sure, just one of many confounding factors. Not a problem that can’t be over come in a controlled setting with large enough N, but another reason you N=2 or even 200, is not going to be enough.

    “One of the most interesting bits of research I have seen is in regards to individuals varying number of “steroid receptors” (they actually have a medical name, but I forget what it is). Pretty interesting stuff. Supposedly it’s one of the main reasons why certain bodybuilders gain more than others, even though they’re all using basically the same compounds in the same insane amounts.”

    Sure, there are lots of reasons for different amounts of muscle mass that go well beyond hormones.

    “You’re wanting someone to be able to say that “using steroids increases a baseball player’s performance by XX.X%” or conclude we’re clueless.”

    As it pertains to baseball. Yes. If you can’t at least give me some sort of quantitative idea, we might as well know nothing. This idea that “it must help some” is pointless. What are you going to do with knowledge like that? Its already difficult to impossible to think of any reasonable use of knowing exactly how much this steroids help, outside making it easier to decide to take them or not anyway.

    “If you to state that athletes do steroids, just as they wear bracelets, arm sleeves, wrist bands, etc in a discussion of PEDs … I don’t know what to say. I just don’t understand how one could think that we don’t know anything. It just doesn’t make sense to me on any level.”

    I made that comment, because you presented as evidence for their effectiveness that basically because athletes take them it must help. Obviously steroids do something, unlikely jumping over a foul line, but for just what they do regarding baseball, yep, pretty much clueless and yes, we’ll probably remain that way for quite some time.

    Comment by Wally — January 4, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

  50. Viva,

    I wouldn’t take for granted the fact that Bagwell has plenty of time. We’ve seen very good players fall off the ballot their first year. We’ll never know, but that might be due in part to voters simply not wanting to vote the first year for any number of reasons before giving them real consideration. In the world of presenting whether or not someone would be shocked about something as evidence for the possibility of something, I would not be shocked if Bagwell actually fell off the ballot entirely. Especially considering that he seems to viewed as inferior to McGwire by many, but still has the steroid stigma for what ever the reason. Maybe the chances are low, but as considerations go in this marginal world, I would think one would have to reason your “no” vote carries a much higher chance of being the vote that pushing off the list forever than your “yes” vote does for placing him in the HOF.

    Comment by Wally — January 4, 2011 @ 7:37 pm

  51. The typical aging curve, is just that typical. Not to be confused with what “should” happen to every player. On a site like this, I shouldn’t even have to say that. Second, do you REALLY know when he used steroids?

    That was a predictable stance to take. Next time just make it easy and ask me to prove there is or isn’t a God.

    I said in a previous post that with those parameters, you’ll be able to hang on to the “we’re clueless” opinion for a long, long time. Good for you.

    What you require is a study involving hundreds of nearly identical athletes, half of them using PEDs half not, eliminating the random variables of baseball (yeah, right), and demonstrating what % of baseball performance is attributed to steroids with a very high level of confidence.

    Don’t give me the “at a site like this” crap. You’re giving the illusion of having an intelligent conversation using impossible criteria.

    As it pertains to baseball. Yes. If you can’t at least give me some sort of quantitative idea, we might as well know nothing.

    So, basically all or nothing. You’re pretty good at this.

    I made that comment, because you presented as evidence for their effectiveness that basically because athletes take them it must help.

    No, I said athletes RISK their career and reputation to take them.

    VERY different situation. I’m not going to explain it.

    Can you actually prove to me that a guy on steroids will run to 1st base faster than if he wasn’t?

    Describe to me, the evidence that you would accept as conclusive.

    I’m not convinced I can prove anything to you. Can we agree that the earth is a sphere? Let’s start there.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 4, 2011 @ 7:52 pm

  52. Circle:

    >Here’s what I did say …

    60 HR Seasons
    ——————
    1880-1997 (117 years): 2
    1998-2001 (4 years): 6

    You can paint that anyone you want, or attribute any characteristic to me that suits your fancy.

    Really, if the choices are [1] you assuming I (or anyone else) don’t/doesn’t know anything, or [2] rehashing my personal experiences/education, reviewing all of the medical information about steroids, and all of the evidence for steroids in baseball … I’d rather just choose #1.<

    Cute, but shall I illustrate your problem:

    55 HR Seasons
    ——————
    1880-1919 (40 years): 0
    1920-1921 (2 years): 2

    All done by one man.

    Shorten the cut off HRs, lengthen the years. You'll get the same basic result. I guess in 1921 we should have figured Ruth was on steroids, or something unnatural to explain him right?

    What's the lesson? Can you guess. You seem to at least think you're a smart man.

    Comment by Wally — January 4, 2011 @ 7:53 pm

  53. Once again, I’m trying to throw the moral judgment out. When I say “cheaters,” I’m not implying “bad, unlikable people.” Rather, I’m implying “Someone who achieved success in baseball while breaking the rules.”

    Pete Rose is the best example of a “cheater” who isn;t allowed in, solely because he broke the rules.

    Comment by Mike — January 4, 2011 @ 8:00 pm

  54. What’s the lesson? Can you guess. You seem to at least think you’re a smart man.

    That I shouldn’t argue with a guy that thinks the two situations are comparable?

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 4, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

  55. Circle,

    “That was a predictable stance to take. Next time just make it easy and ask me to prove there is or isn’t a God.”

    Sure, predictable, and 100% valid. If you don’t want to hear simple predictable criticisms explaining why your idea sucks, don’t say stupid things. Honestly, I can’t even try to put that nicely. If you didn’t want to hear why what you said was a bad idea, don’t tell me your bad idea when you know its a bad idea.

    “What you require is a study involving hundreds of nearly identical athletes, half of them using PEDs half not, eliminating the random variables of baseball (yeah, right), and demonstrating what % of baseball performance is attributed to steroids with a very high level of confidence.

    Don’t give me the “at a site like this” crap. You’re giving the illusion of having an intelligent conversation using impossible criteria.”

    Ok, now you’re either using hyperbole or showing off your ignorance. Again, I can’t honestly tell which. This isn’t impossible criteria, its just not realistically going to happen. You don’t need nearly identical athletes. You just need need say, all of AAA. Divided into two random groups, that will be enough people that average talent should be even. But if you’re worried you could check by looking at the year before’s stats. Over the whole, the groups shouldn’t diverge too wildly in a year. Again, don’t need to eliminate “random variables” just don’t use stupid stats like BA, but instead ISO, BB%, K% or wOBA, and just run a whole year. You’ll have at least hundreds of player seasons. Baseball’s randomness will even out.

    If you want intelligent conversation, don’t pretend we know more than we do by using very preliminary research to extrapolate to complex tasks or games such as hitting, pitching or baseball in general.

    “I’m not convinced I can prove anything to you. Can we agree that the earth is a sphere? Let’s start there.”

    Just because you insist on using ridicules to “prove” your case, the Earth isn’t a sphere, look it up. So no, we can’t agree on that. Maybe next pick something simple enough that you actually understand it.

    Also, since you fancy yourself a smart guy. Maybe I should let you in on the secret that when you start off a series of posts to someone with ridicules, you not only reveal that you’re a jerk and decrease the chances of people believing what you say, but you also reveal that you are likely wrong. See people confident in the evidence supporting their position typically, but not always, avoid the need to act like a-hole. Instead they rationally explain their case. Your inability to keep your argument factual has only digressed, now to the point that you can pretty much only respond with some sort of ridicule.

    Good talking with you. Maybe next time we have this lengthy of a conversation you’ll actually be that smart guy you think you are.

    Comment by Wally — January 4, 2011 @ 8:20 pm

  56. Circle, if the situations were not the same, you didn’t explain it.

    All you used was, look at this low number over this long time period and this higher number over this short time period!!!!!!

    You gave me 2 vs 6. I gave you ZERO vs 2.

    If I’m missing something, its because you neglected it.

    Anyway, still guessing at that lesson, huh? Oh well, I’m sure you’ll get it….

    Comment by Wally — January 4, 2011 @ 8:23 pm

  57. Oh I forgot,

    “No, I said athletes RISK their career and reputation to take them.”

    No, you didn’t say anything about risk. Go look.

    Comment by Wally — January 4, 2011 @ 8:52 pm

  58. And yet there are scores of products, training routines etc. specifically targeting biceps as part of baseball training. Of course, you can probably find just as many that disagree.

    Therein lies a big chunk of the problem. You have enough conflicting data and competing interests as far as bodybuilding, powerlifting, trainers, doctors, chemists, drug dealers etc. that the actual truth is muddled. And the writers don’t seem as interested in this so much as confirming biases against certain players..

    Comment by kokushishin — January 4, 2011 @ 9:03 pm

  59. Okay, simple put ….

    In the 1920s, baseball is in its infancy. The talent pool is small. Along comes a 6’2 215-lb ‘Super Freak’ who does things the sport has never seen before. The Super Freak is also one of the game’s best pitchers. He hits 60 home runs and the rest of the league spends decades trying to do the same thing. It’s only done once over the next 40 years, and then only because the player was given more games to do it in.

    Since this time, baseball has experienced desegregation, a dramatic increase in the talent pool (America’s population explosion), international players, and major advancements in the quality of pitching. The league develops stability in its performances, as all major sports do.

    The level of competition is drastically different in the 1990s than in the 1920s. For comparisons in other sports, think Jim Brown in football, Wilt Chamberlain in basketball. Similar situations.

    All of the sudden, 3 guys in the span of 4 years did something 6 times that thousands of guys have been trying to do for decades.

    Granted that’s not proof in itself. But we also know through the BALCO investigation the Bonds did use PEDS, although “not knowingly”, and McGwire has admitted use during the period of time he performed the feat. Sammy has not admitted use.

    In all of baseball history only one guy surpassed the 60 HR mark, and he did it by 1 in more games. These 3 eventually topped the record by 5, 9, and 12 HRs.

    This discussion is not whether I am a smart guy or not. I would not consider Jose Canseco a smart man, but he sure did figure out that steroids significantly help baseball performance.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 4, 2011 @ 9:10 pm

  60. It was not directed at ignorant McGwire/Bonds fans, not at author.

    Comment by MV — January 4, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

  61. we can go back and look at the balls that were being hit. If they were juiced, we could easily prove it.

    Comment by philosofool — January 4, 2011 @ 10:35 pm

  62. Do you believe that singing strike rates predict high stike out rates in pitchers? because our evidedence than steriods improve athletic performance is stonger than that. If you want to use high standards of evidnece, that’s fine. But be consistent.

    Comment by philosofool — January 4, 2011 @ 10:46 pm

  63. Overall, my biggest problem with PEDs is that very little is proven in regards to who were users. Until we get that list, the entire era is under suspicion. And, we are condemning the best performers of the era (you know, the hall of famers) because of this. Right now, if you performed up to HOF standards, you did PEDs. If you didnt do PEDs you dont get into the HOF. At this rate, nobody will get in, clean or not. And, if a player was a late bloomer, there is absolutely NO WAY he will get in, as he “must have taken PEDs to spike his performance that way”. We dont have seperate wings in the HoF for each era of the sport. Nor should we. If you “qualified”, you got in. If not, you didnt. Each era had flawed stars, some flaws were endearing, some, … not. Right now, there is an entire era that qualifies as not. But, judge them against their era, not those of another era. If they measure head and shoulders above their contemporaries, then they should get in. No asterisks, nothing that besmirches their place in history that isnt attached to any other era. The voters and the hall itself should not become the morality police. We got to many people trying to do that already. No, I am not condoning cheating at all. But, there are hall of famers that used steroids and other peds. Yes, it enhanced their ability, but we dont know by how much etc. And, remember, the enhanced hitters were trying to hit against enhanced pitchers too. We often forget that aside from Clemens.

    Comment by Cidron — January 5, 2011 @ 12:05 am

  64. It wasn’t against the rules only in the sense that taking out a gun and shooting the pitcher wasn’t against the rules. Yes, there is no rule against it, but it was also illegal in the US and in Canada. Baseball generally does not make rules about illegal activities because they shouldn’t have to.

    Comment by Barkey Walker — January 5, 2011 @ 1:41 am

  65. How do you know that Jim Thome wasn’t the best, but chose not to use steroids?

    Comment by Barkey Walker — January 5, 2011 @ 1:46 am

  66. The first steriod intented for human use was invented in 1918 in NYC. (yep right about the end of the deadball era). As far as I am concerned there is no player since 1918 that we can say for absolutely sure did not use steriods. NO ONE!

    Comment by kick me in the GO NATS — January 5, 2011 @ 2:59 am

  67. To me, cheating and scandal are and have been a part of baseball history, to ignore them is wrong. The PED era should be looked at possibly differently, but guys like Clemens and Bonds are HOFers in my opinion. For voters to act all moral about it now seems like an overcompensation of their own guilty feelings for turning a blind eye to it for so long. If it was an isolated case or two, I might have different feelings, but the fact it was so widespread and baseball itself turned a blind eye to me seems like they were giving their silent approval and more and more players joined in creating an era that should be aknowledged and not *erased* from the record books or in this case the HOF.

    Each era of baseball players took what advantages they could and manipulated rules or broke rules to become better players. The PED Era is no different…that being said, this seems like just the start of it with McGwire, Palmero and (possibly unfortunately lumped in there just becasue he played side by side) Bagwell on the ballot. It will become more clear when guys like Bond and Clemens are on the ballot. Once those guys go in (I guess I should say, *if those guys go in*), then other lesser players will have a shot.

    I think Big Mac (not many hits) and Sosa (lower OPS+/WAR) are on the cusp. Bagwell is not, he is a HOFer. For those writers who want to wait a couple more years, I guess I can understand that, but I think it is bad for baseball to keep *all* of the PED users, associated players and guilty by association players out of the HOF. The time for writers to take a stand was in the 1980s or even in the 1990s…basically none of them did, except a few like Steve Wilstein in 1998. That was the time to take a stand… and maybe it would have been bad for baseball in the short term, which was just rebounding from the strike of ’94, but good for the long term and might have prevented this present day dilema. The BBWAA “dropped the ball” in 98 and denying some of baseball’s greatest players entry into the HOF will not correct their mistake…two wrongs don’t make a right.

    Comment by bcp33bosox — January 5, 2011 @ 5:57 am

  68. But that’s ok. There’s no reason that certainty needs to be the standard by which a HoF voter decides whether to hold steroid use against a player or not. It’s not a court of law, and it’s not a life or death matter. or really one of great importance. Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is nothing more than an honor. We can’t say fpr 100% certain that Roger Clemens used roids and Tom Glavine did not. But, based on the evidence we *do* have, I think it’s pretty rational to consider the two players as if the former did use and the latter did not, with the acknowledgment that we might be wrong. And that’s ok. Again, not a life or death matter, or a matter of a 30 year jail term.

    Comment by Brian — January 5, 2011 @ 6:56 am

  69. People claim that the baseball writers dropped the ball before the 00s on steroids, but did the baseball writers actually have any facts to work with at that point, or just suspicions? (This is not a rhetorical question, I am actually asking because I do not know). But, if they chose to write about steroids without hard factual evidence, can you imagine how much we’d be killing them now, based on how much some of us are already killing them for it now?

    Comment by Brian — January 5, 2011 @ 6:58 am

  70. When did it become the writers job to police illegal drug use in baseball?

    In the places where I have worked, that job belongs to the owners, management, and workers themselves.

    They all failed. Or, they were all in some sort of tacit agreement about it.

    I wouldn’t care if they blacklisted the entire generation.

    And really… what difference does it make?

    Comment by Dave — January 5, 2011 @ 9:19 am

  71. Brian, the point is that it was supposedely suspected and nobody bothered to dig deeper. The first I ever heard about it was in ’98 during the McGwire and Sosa HR battle. From wikipedia: “The use of steroids by players had been only hinted at until Wilstein’s story on Aug. 21, 1998″

    Dave, have you ever worked in a place that writers and members of the press follow you around every day and write reports and news about you? While I agree management is to blame as well, the press, in theory has a duty to report what is going on and they cover other illegal activities of the players, so why didn’t anyone ever dig deeper?

    Us fans are to blame too, because I for one didn’t want to admit it in ’98, I was having a blast following the chase to 61…my point is that why are some of the baseball writers now trying to act like they are either innocent and/or villify and penalize the players, when *yes* it was MLB’s responsibilty to clean up the sport?

    Comment by bcp33bosox — January 5, 2011 @ 10:01 am

  72. Jim Thome didn’t steal 500 bases or win 8 gold gloves.

    Comment by merizobeach — January 5, 2011 @ 10:11 am

  73. Nobody bothered to dig deeper? How could you possibly know this?

    If a media member asked a player “Are you using PEDs?” or “Who else is?”, do you think the players would say yes and then start naming names?

    This is one of those areas where voicing suspicions or making unproven accusations could really cost a reporter his job (or be shut out).

    Your comments make it sound like the reporters have access to all areas of the player’s lives, or as if the players were just shooting up in front of everyone. You can’t possibly believe either one.

    I don’t think before 1998 we really had good reasons for thinking steroids were in baseball. Seriously, I was pitching in college in 1994 and the common thinking then was “baseball players don’t need weights, they need conditioning/endurance” or that lifting weights would make one musclebound (inflexible, actually hurt baseball performance). Baseball was about 30-40 years behind the times in regards to strength-training.

    I think Lenny Dykstra’s build with Philly after coming back from back surgery was a big red flag for me (scrawny as a Met), as was Anderson’s 50 HR season. But, at the same time, baseball players were starting to hit the weights, and we serious about it. Anderson was on the cover of M&F. Baseball was finally catching up to everyone else in terms of valuing strength-training. What we did not know is how rampant (?) the PED use was. I remeber a lot of talk about the ball being juiced, but no one really thought the players were because baseball was different than “strength sports”.

    I ask you this … if I work out all the time, and I am gaining a lot of muscle, how do you prove that I am using PEDs?

    What could reporters have done? Currently stat analysts state that’s there’s no clear statistical reason to assume PEDs increase home runs. They point to similar HR spikes in the 70s and 30s (whenever the live ball era started).

    So, where is all this evidence that needs reporting? By evidence, I am talking about the standard of evidence a professional journalist would require in order to document it in print and make it part of the official record … not the type of evidence that we hold ourselves to in order to say anything on a blog or reader forum.

    There was basically [1] larger athletes,and [2] increasing home runs. In 98, it was pretty obvious that it wasn’t just “lifting weights” or “juiced balls”, and the reporting started. I remember when Andro was found in McGwire’s locker, the opinion among my friends was “nice cover”.

    We only know what we do, to the extent that we do, because Jose Canseco and Ken Caminiti told us.

    Had a jealous track coach not ratted, we wouldn’t know anything about BALCO. The system cannot punish Barry Bonds because his personal trainer chose to sit in jail rather than testify.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 5, 2011 @ 10:49 am

  74. Of all HOF-eligible players not presently enshrined, how many accumulated 403 2B, 411 HRs, 445 SB, 1364 R, 1216 RBI, .966 OPS, 8 ASG, 3 MVPs, 8 Gold Gloves, and 7 Silver Sluggers?

    Bonds did this before 1999.

    To make my point crystal clear: it is my opinion that it would be flagrantly ridiculous to exclude Bonds from the HOF.

    Comment by merizobeach — January 5, 2011 @ 10:50 am

  75. Circle,

    Good job. You can at least explain what every 12 year old knows about the HR record history.

    Shall I list off any number of other factors that probably helped high HR totals?

    Smaller parks with homogeneous hitting backgrounds, expansion, juiced balls, improvements in training methods and medicine, popular acceptance of baseball players being more typical athletes (ie. working out helps), I think you get it.

    Anyway, for all your effort, you’ve still only explained the numbers used, not gone beyond them. Thus, you’re still limiting your entire argument to basically “look this was rare for a long time, then it wasn’t for a little while.”

    Its still conformational bias, Circle. While its nice that you at least tell yourself you know what that means, that doesn’t preclude you from suffering from it. You see a couple of events line up, subjectively assign some correlation and you jump to causation.

    Go ahead and believe what ever you want. I can’t stop people from believing stupid things. But I will continue to point out the faults in your line of reasoning, and that while you hold this believe, there is no way in which you can actual prove it (nor even support your belief with anything but the flimsiest evidence), at least as long as I have time and it continues to hold my attention.

    Get angry, use strawmen and ridicules all you like, but nothing is going to change that fact that your argument is EXTREMELY weak.

    Comment by Wally — January 5, 2011 @ 12:30 pm

  76. Philosofool, does that point about athletic performance apply to HGH, too? A lot of the “evidence” of widespread abuse rests on observation of physical changes like HGH jaw. And from what I recall, the evidence that HGH enhances performance is a lot less clear than steroids and amphetamines.

    Comment by Bigmouth — January 5, 2011 @ 12:33 pm

  77. Barkey,

    All drugs now on the banned list are not illegal. McGwire was not breaking any laws in 1998 using Andro. Similarly, MLB had no policy against Andro either.

    Comment by Wally — January 5, 2011 @ 12:35 pm

  78. Hi Dave, I don’t think it’s their job to “police” it – that to me means administering drug tests, etc. etc. But it is their job to decide who they believe is worthy of the baseball hall of fame, as outlined by the guidelines given to them. And I just don’t the decision to hold steroid use against players, something that was factually illegal, against the players, as against those guidelines.

    But, at the same time, I do understand your point of view that reports should have either acted as police before and investigated steroid use during the height of its prevalence OR else not hold it against those players. I don’t agree with it, but I do understand it.

    Comment by Brian — January 5, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

  79. Circle,

    Good job. You can at least explain what every 12 year old knows about the HR record history.

    Wally, I did not think I needed to explain it. I assumed it was obvious. Then you said this, “Circle, if the situations were not the same, you didn’t explain it.”

    I agree with you. Every 12yo should have known how the situations of how baseball in the 1920s and 1990s were not comparable.

    Babe Ruth used a 55oz bat. That tells me something about the average velocity of pitches in 1925.

    Smaller parks with homogeneous hitting backgrounds, expansion, juiced balls, improvements in training methods and medicine, popular acceptance of baseball players being more typical athletes (ie. working out helps), I think you get it.

    This would be acceptable to me if Ruth didn’t play in a park perfectly suited for him and Bonds hadn’t played in a park that suppresses lefty power. One played in the ideal environment, the other played in “lefty’s hell”.

    What you describe are all factors that increase the level of competition, making it harder for the most talented to dominate to a degree that they would without anything. In other words, those things help the lesser players “decrease the gap” because there’s only so much higher a mega-talented athlete can go.

    Get angry, use strawmen and ridicules all you like, but nothing is going to change that fact that your argument is EXTREMELY weak.

    If I were using this ONE bit of information as my sole basis, you would be exactly right. But, I’m not.

    Please tell me that McGwire’s admission is evidence that he used steroids. Please tell me the BALCO investigation and Bonds admission that he unknowingly used steroids is evidence?

    We KNOW they used steroids because they told us they did, Bonds “unknowingly”, McGwire for the specific purpose of staying healthy. Just looking at the numbers could mean “juiced ball”. Canseco, Caminiti, Bonds, McGwire told us it was them.

    Please stop cherry-picking one statement out of all I have said, pretending to debunk it, and then declare victory. If you’re going to phrase my opinion based on ONE piece of evidence, please use the athlete’s admission of steroid usage.

    All the other stuff about my intelligence, mood, or personality is just filler.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 5, 2011 @ 2:41 pm

  80. this is probably the worst post i have ever read

    Comment by daniel — January 5, 2011 @ 3:32 pm

  81. Circle, in the future if you have an argument supported by something more than the minuscule and cherry-picked data you choose to present, you should probably state it. Though all you did was add some pretty insignificant anecdotes around that data. Basically, you gave the long winded version. Sorry, you don’t get extra point for more words.

    “Every 12yo should have known how the situations of how baseball in the 1920s and 1990s were not comparable.”

    No shit! That’s at least half the point here. Why do you give such a crap about attaining some particular number? 60 one year in one park might be worth 70 in another year in a different park or maybe 40 in yet another set.

    This is your fundamental flaw in creating an argument around the number of seasons above or blow some arbitrary line when a gazillion other things are changing, and then attributing it to ONE FACTOR.

    We could both probably combine to write 1000 pages on differences in baseball between 1927 and 2001 or 1998, but in there, the one thing you center your argument around is PED. This is the idiocy you are displaying. I can only hope that in another subject you’d be wise enough to not let your bias so color your judgement, but you have obviously failed to do that here.

    “What you describe are all factors that increase the level of competition, making it harder for the most talented to dominate to a degree that they would without anything.”

    Not true at all. Many of those changes would only help hitters. Such as a juiced ball. How would a juiced ball make it harder for the most talented to dominate? Wouldn’t you just expect the balance between hitting and pitching to change? Same with smaller parks or uniform backgrounds. Or as you mention, bat changes. Also wouldn’t expansion help the top stand out? There are many competing factors here. Which again brings us back to the idiocy of attempting to describe some simple and weak correlation to one factor….

    “If you’re going to phrase my opinion based on ONE piece of evidence, please use the athlete’s admission of steroid usage.”

    I can only think you’re hallucinating if you believe I’ve denied or ignored these factors. We went over this before. You cherry picked a threshold, found a total of 8 data points above it. We have admissions from 2 of the people responsible for those data points that used steroids. I’m sure the dates they gave we’re correct; I can’t see why they would lie about confirming those actions. But that doesn’t mean they were fully inclusive. For example, McGwire may wish us to believe he only took PED to get healthy, a la Pettitte, but really he may have taken them when fully healthy to just get stronger. But of course this is all just guesses. The point here is give me the data. Yeah, I’ll give you the fact that they used. But we shouldn’t pretend we really know how much or when. And none of this changes the absurdity of your argument.

    “All the other stuff about my intelligence, mood, or personality is just filler.”

    Circle, now you’re being a hypocrite. I’m treating you like D-bag, because you started in with the personal attacks, not I. If you don’t like the “filler” maybe next time you address someone you should stay away from unwarranted comments such your little comments like “Somebody needs to read up on the benefits of steroids. More muscle is just the by-product of the primary benefit.” You should not assume people are ignorant. Especially over something so mundane. Really, steroids don’t build more muscle directly, they help you recover from muscle damage faster, thus allowing you to build more muscle. Are you F-ing kidding me? Initial and adult development of muscle is kind of a big part of my field… Maybe next time we can get more than one post into a conversation before you basically call someone ignorant. Sounds like a plan?

    Also,

    “Please stop cherry-picking one statement out of all I have said, pretending to debunk it”

    For the love of god, you do the same damn thing. Copy pasting one thing, give one short liner, like that mentioned above, as if to say “look at me I can take one sentence that isn’t 100% accurate, but is totally inconsequential to the point, correct it and pretend like I’m smart.” I don’t even have the words for such juvenile behavior any longer.

    Comment by Wally — January 5, 2011 @ 6:54 pm

  82. I agree the discussion should end.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 5, 2011 @ 7:08 pm

  83. I’ll agree to that. With a luck maybe a little time will allow you to digest what I’ve been saying.

    Comment by Wally — January 5, 2011 @ 9:07 pm

  84. I don’t think either of us is misunderstanding with what the other is saying, we’re just not agreeing on it.

    At this point, I’m less concerned with whether I’m right or wrong, and more concerned that I might be coming off as an a’hole or making comments that are being perceived as if I am taking a “Smarter Than Thou” stance, which is not my intent.

    I certainly have made some comments and some word choices that could be interpreted that way, and I’d like to think that’s not my style.

    I get the feeling that if we were having this same discussion over a steak and a brew, we’d be done in about 10 minutes, with no one offended with what the other had to say. But, on the internet, we’re likely to just keep going round and round, with each of us interpreting the other’s comments in the worst possible light.

    If there’s anyting you’d like to add, please contact me here, circlechange11@gmail.com , if not we’ll just walk away and take a different approach next time.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 5, 2011 @ 10:47 pm

  85. Circle, you make a few valid points about my assumptions, but maybe my writing was not as articulate as I would have liked.

    If there were suspicions before ’98, why didn’t they press the issue (look for that jealous trainer/coach from one of the baseball players). Maybe they could have found a newly retired non HOF player who wanted to come clean…maybe not, but the writers didn’t even need to go to the players for sources, to answer your question they could have just been critical of MLBs lack of PED testing and lack of Official Policy. My point is, investigative reporters have their ways, especially when the PEDs were supposedly illegal by law. Who is selling it to the players or the trainers, who’s making it. It doesn’t seem like anybody was asking these questions. That being said I am not blaming the writers, I am just saing they are not completely innocent either (I’ll come back to this).

    The fact that McGwire just had androstenedione openly in his locker, to me, says (and you are right it is an assumption) that he was not affraid of being caught, or maybe he wasn’t affraid because he honestly didn’t think it was wrong; but it also makes me think it could be a.)relatively wide spread and b.)management possibly knows about it and it isn’t a concern. When Wilstein had the evidence in ’98, his story should have been *huge*. It wasn’t. As I said us fans are guilty there as well, most of us didn’t want to believe becasue we were all taken in by the HR chase. It was nothing short of *awesome*. Regardless of what I know know, atthat time that summer was amazing…

    From a 2005 ESPNMagazine article:
    >So on the Monday after Wilstein’s story ran, Selig publicly ignored the effects of andro: “I think what Mark McGwire has accomplished is so remarkable, and he has handled it all so beautifully, we want to do everything we can to enjoy a great moment in baseball history.” … That was enough to satisfy the nation’s sportswriters and talking heads. When Sports Illustrated named McGwire and Sosa its 1998 Sportsmen of the Year, the story didn’t mention androstenedione.The Cardinals wouldn’t let La Russa bar AP’s reporters from the clubhouse. Instead, they permitted St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz to stand in front of McGwire’s locker to see if he could re-create the infamous moment. “To be able to decipher the label on this andro bottle, you have to intentionally look, and look hard,” Miklasz wrote. “And that’s out of bounds.” <

    Now, before I get too long-winded again, my point is we were all guilty in it, therefore, I don't like hearing writers get all moral in the matter by taking such a hard stance *now* (when they weren't then, even in '98) and seemingly put all of the blame on the players. Which if the not voting for any power players from the steroid era continues, to me is, exactly what they are doing. And how can they honestly vote for any player (Bagwell or Griffey come to mind) when all we know about them is they have never been *linked* to PEDs?

    Comment by bcp33bosox — January 5, 2011 @ 11:39 pm

  86. I donno. Maybe the increase in hat size allows them to wear bigger hats, thus shading their eyes better from the sun and helping them hit DINGERS!

    I myself found it a bit odd when Barry Bonds came to the plate wearing an arm guard and a sombrero for his 700th HR, but he was simply the product of his era.

    Comment by B N — January 6, 2011 @ 12:55 am

  87. I have always been amused by the roid apologists (usually because it’s one of the players from their favorite team involved). They love to say” oh yeah? but you can’t PROVE any of this!!” and sneer and get all defensive like Al Capone before they caught his book keeper…… But , we live in the real world, not in a TV courtroom. We don’t have to have evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to make decisions… We just need to see with our own two eyes and with our brains and read the stats and make COMMON SENSE DECISIONS!!!

    Bonds got better in his mid to late 30′s…. It was roids, only a retard or a Giants fan would think otherwise… Nobody get’s better in their late 30′s, not Ruth not Dimaggio not Mantle not Cobb not Musial not Aaron not Mays…. He used, AND he changed his focus to hitting homeruns… Both led him to what he acomplished.
    Clemens’ career looks like an upside down bell curve for god’s sake!!! he starts out with ERA’s of 2′s and low 3′s, jumps up to 4′s and higher 3′s then drops back down to 2′s again….. that seems off (his K/9 rate appears similar) Plus we know he used…..
    All the other main suspects like Sosa, Mcgwire, Palmeiro… their stats look suspect because of how they got better when they got older. (i saw Sosa play when I was in college in Chicago back in 1995 and 1996 when he was a solid 3.5 WAR type of RF’er… He was also lean and hitting HR’s in the mid 30′s…. all of a sudden, he hits 66,63,50,64 and 49 ? Unlikely without roids…..

    Bagwell however, his stats look right to me. (I’m a Braves fan btw so no dog in this hunt) his OPS and HR”s go up from his inception til age 32 and fall in a nice little steady drop til age 37 when he retired…. Sure he hit a lot of HR’s in his early 30′s and late 20′s …but watch how even his bell curve tracks… It looks right to me.(once again, we aren’t lawyers and we aren’t in court, I don’t need to prove anything within a reasonable doubt… I just need to be able to convince myself of what the data says to me).

    I’m of the opinion that each voter should view the data and vote with his heart…. It;s not up to us to say “well the voters don’t have the right to do this or do that…” Guess what? They do, it’s their damn vote. If they don’t wanna vote for Chipper because he cheated on almost every woman he’s been with that’s their right….But, if I was a voter, I think Bonds and Clemens would get my vote because they were HOF’ers without roids.. Bagwell gets in because his decline in skills looks correct, Griffey gets in, Chipper gets in, Thome gets in, Manny gets in because of the same reasons as Bonds and Clemens… Sosa, Mcgwire, Palmeiro… I wouldn’t vote for them. Their game was power and it’s my OPINION that without roids they wouldn’t have achieved enough to be considered HOF players.

    Oh and Wally, if you think for one minute that 6′ 180 lb, 89 mph K Greg Maddux was on roids I’ve got some beachfront property in Arizona to sell ya…… Don’t try and make silly excuses about the roids era (greenies don’t help, have you ever taken amphetamines? they make you jittery as all hell and the ruin concentration, they will kill a hangover though… I can’t see them being considered performance enhancing) Your argument about the Babe Ruth and the end of the dead ball era? well, the live ball, the introduction of new stadiums and the removal of fans from the OF all led to this (in fact many stadiums didn’t have back walls during that time, not ones really much in play anyway as they were often over 500 feet away. ) Babe Ruth was lucky in that his arrival coincided with many variables in his favor… I don’t think him facing black pitching would’ve changed very much…. do you?

    Comment by bravos4evr — January 6, 2011 @ 5:15 am

  88. Well said BCP.

    Anyone that really cared about PED should have been calling for tougher drug testing policies (or any at all) with strong penalties (again any at all) probably since the 70′s, or at the very least the early 90′s. Its not like these were unknown things. Other sports had already had scandals, particularly the whole issue around the East German Olympic teams.

    But in 1998 we find a bottle of Andro in the most powerful homerun hitter to ever play the game’s locker, and the basic response is “meh.” No one really cares to do some checking to find out that Andro is a steroid. And, now 12 years later, we wish to apply our “modern” morality to these people? Its just pathetic.

    Comment by Wally — January 6, 2011 @ 12:30 pm

  89. Bravo,

    You can make what ever personal decision about your opinion that you like. But if you want to convince me of anything, you’re going to have to do a pretty good job at proving your case.

    The basic argument of “Its common sense, only a retard wouldn’t see it.” Only serves to give me information towards your (lack of) intelligence. It does not prove who did what and how much it helped them.

    And if your evidence is Bonds, McGwire, Palmeiro, or Clemens (no you can’t use Sosa, because we have no evidence what so ever he actually used) and their atypical aging patterns, I could list another 100 some guys that have tested positive, where named in Juice or the Mitchell report that lack a Bonds or Clemens-like late 30′s peak.

    You, just like Circle, are cherry picking your evidence in order to confirm your bias. If you want to get back to me with a more comprehensive study using every MLB or MiLB doper known, I might listen, but currently all you’re given me evidence for believing is that you’re a raging moron….sorry, I guess that’s just my common sense….

    Comment by Wally — January 6, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

  90. I’m a Mensa member Wally. I have a verified IQ of 162, keep the cheap shots to yourself, how old are you 14?. You just sound whiney…. You are mad because some fave player of yours was a roid doing hooligan and you are in such denial that you refuse to admit the truth…. He cheated….

    Sure lots of players used and didn’t peak late, it’s prolly because they either didn’t use regularly, or weren’t that skilled to begin with. I mean if you are Brooks Keishnick and you take roids, you prolly will go from hitting 9 HR’s a year to hitting 14 (a 50% increase!) yet it doesn’t appear that dramatic as going from hitting 35 to hitting 50+….. Not to mention these guys aren’t HOF material regardless so their usage (while also disrespectful to the game and cheating) isn’t important in regars to the subject at hand.

    So let me understand something real quick, the gist of your argument is that since nobody walked in and caught Barry Bonds with a needle sticking out of his ass , took a picture and posted it on the internet, then he’s innocent? I guess if that sllows you to sleep at night thats your bidness. But if your wife (yeah right like you’ve left mom’s basement) keeps being late from work, begins to take phone calls in the other room and suddenly begins having out of town “meetings” out of the blue…. Might you become a tad bit suspicious that she’s screwing someone else? Do you not find it suspicious that a player , who previously was atheletically built (slender yet ripped) suddenly becomes the incredible hulk, has a head the size of Idaho and hits 73 HR’s (27 more than his previous high) that you may just suspect a tiny little bit he’s on the juice?

    They did it, they are cheaters, they will pay the penalty for it. You want to question someone’s intelligence big man, look in the mirror, because the only person who seems to be living in a land of make believe and childish pouting is you…

    Comment by bravos4evr — January 6, 2011 @ 10:08 pm

  91. BTW, you don’t have to cherry pick the players I listed stats to find evidence. Name a single significant offensvie statistic and they went from steady to monstrous and then back down to near avg again…..(or they got pinched and had to run for cover ….ie. Palmeiro and Clemens.

    Players just don’t get better when they get older…. They decline, the odds that we were all of a sudden blessed with the ten players OF ALL TIME who got better as they aged(all during one 6 year period) seems so unlikely as to be ludicrous. (it means overtly ridiculous, look it up)

    Comment by bravos4evr — January 6, 2011 @ 10:10 pm

  92. Hmm, Mr. Mensa, I have to say for an IQ of 162, your quips about being “14″ and living in “mom’s basement” are not very original or *clever*…

    Personally I am not a fan of any names you mentioned and I am not denying they used, but other admitted cheaters are in the HOF. Plus speed, an illegal drug, was used by many players to improve performance (both for energy and as a hangover cure). I don’t think the players should be given a pass, but I think the HOF should aknowledge the best players of each generation and of each era, regardless of our anachronistic moralities. I am not about to say Babe Ruth or Ty Cobb doesn’t belong because of segregation, but I do think it should be aknowledged. This, though quite different, is still an era of baseball and I want the history written correctly and not erased or washed over. And more importnatly I don’t want players like Bagwell or Griffey Jr. left out if they are in fact clean, but guilty by association of being a part of the Steroid Era. We are going to know some of the guilty, but we are not going to know who was innocent.

    Comment by bcp33bosox — January 8, 2011 @ 10:08 am

  93. There is noticeably a bundle to know about this. I suppose you made particular good factors within features also.

    Comment by Pablo Calderaro — February 2, 2011 @ 9:21 am

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