Roger Clemens Indicted; Steroid Era on Trial

It’s been a fairly long time coming. On the one hand, there was the Mitchell Report and other leaked documents naming baseball players who had used banned or illegal substances; on the other hand, some of those players gave sworn Congressional testimony in which they claimed they had never used. So, in an announcement that likely brought few fans to tears, Roger Clemens was indicted today on charges of obstructing Congress, making false statements, and perjury.

Craig Calcaterra and David Pinto write that Clemens brought this on himself: by protesting the Mitchell Report too loudly, he practically dared Congress to subpoena him. Barry Bonds, of course, was already indicted in 2007, and his trial is scheduled for March; Clemens’s trial will likely have a similarly long wait.

Of course, this is what Congress wanted. An indictment was the inevitable result — and a likely goal — of Congress’s decision to subpoena testimony from athletes that George Mitchell accused of cheating. It was a circus in search of a gotcha. The Mitchell Report unearthed a number of names, but it neither revealed the full extent of steroid and PED use in baseball, nor the actual effect of steroid and PED use on a baseball player. The testimony made Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, and Rafael Palmeiro look foolish, but it didn’t offer much more than an opportunity for members of Congress to indicate their disapproval.

Of course, there’s plenty of disapproval to go around. Thanks to Major League Baseball’s hypocritical approach to steroids, players had numerous incentives to use, while owners and media alike chose to ignore the actual fact of use. (Most media, at least. The Washington Post’s Thomas Boswell fingered Jose Canseco as a steroid-user back in 1988.) George Mitchell somehow spent $20 million of the taxpayers’ MLB’s money on a report that raised more questions than it answered. And the shrill, howling condemnation by talking heads and columnists is about as unlistenable as Roseanne Barr singing the National Anthem.

Calcaterra believes Clemens stands a good chance of getting off, because Brian McNamee has no credibility, and he also believes the indictment shouldn’t affect Clemens’s Hall of Fame chances, because after all it was the Steroid Era, and his success came against players who used too. Of course, that sort of rational argument would be a lot easier if the baseball community ever got around to having the conversation about steroids — what they are, what they do, and why people take them — that we’ve been avoiding since the 1980s.

Interestingly, if it takes as long to bring Clemens to trial as it has taken with Bonds, the Rocket could be Hall of Fame-eligible by the time he’s in court: this is the third season since his last game in 2007, and the Feds have taken more than three years to bring Bonds to trial. So the government’s competence in bringing the case could have a great deal to do with whether he gets in on the first ballot. But it’s hard to imagine that even a jail term could keep him out of the Hall completely.

So what did we learn? We learned that Congress believes that baseball is one of the most important issues of domestic policy in America. We learned that you shouldn’t thumb your nose at George Mitchell. And we learned that Clemens’s attorney, Rusty Hardin — who has been described as “slicker ‘n deer guts on a doorknob” — gave his client some really, really bad advice.

So here’s some good advice: don’t lie to Congress, and don’t bother holding your breath for the trial.




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Alex is a writer for FanGraphs and The Hardball Times, and is a product manager for The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter @alexremington.


125 Responses to “Roger Clemens Indicted; Steroid Era on Trial”

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  1. KowboyKoop says:

    I simply will not stand for another insult of Roseanne Barr on this site!!!

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  2. Bob C says:

    Really enjoyed that piece, thanks.

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  3. B says:

    “if the baseball community ever got around to having the conversation about steroids — what they are, what they do, and why people take them — that we’ve been avoiding since the 1980s.”

    We’ve been avoiding that talk (or a talk about PED’s in general) longer than that…

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  4. Dan In Philly says:

    I agree that MLB should have open and honest discussions on the PED questions which are arising. Putting it off is not a good idea. It will be painful, but if at the end we can put it all behind us, it will be a good thing.

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  5. tdotsports1 says:

    Can’t say I am surprised, but not looking forward to this being out in the open, AGAIN.

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  6. Ben Hall says:

    I’m not disagreeing that many things could have been done differently, but I’m certainly glad that we’ve gotten to an era where using PEDs is much more difficult to do. I never paid much attention to PED stories, so I’m not sure, but I thought the Mitchell report contributed to that. If not, what did?

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  7. descender says:

    i like the title of this article… but like this:

    Roger Clemens Indicted; Steroid ERA on trial.

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  8. don says:

    I’m glad to see that Congress has settled all their other pressing matters.

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    • Anon21 says:

      Except, the hearing was back in 2008. And Congress, doesn’t, you know, prosecute people. That would be the executive branch.

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  9. Wally says:

    “Roger Clemens was indicted today on charges of obstructing Congress”

    On what sane planet should this even be a crime?

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  10. hank says:

    Did the Mitchell report really unearth anything? Wasn’t it more or less based on interviews with 2 or 3 folks who had already talked to the feds?

    I guess it did a decent job of collecting previously identified material, summarizing it and putting a public face on it, but I’m not sure what exactly was ‘unearthed’ by the committee/report.

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  11. kevin says:

    “Did the Mitchell Report really unearth anything?”

    Ummmm, how about it unearthed the fact that Mcnamee was supplying clemens with steroids? Isn’t this what the article happens to be about?

    Regarding the HoF, if McGwire is anything indication, then Clemens is going to get locked out too. I’m all for that. The Hof is supposed to be an honor so why honor the dishonorable?

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    • Rich says:

      Might as well kick out Hank Aaron. He took greenies. And Babe Ruth… he injected sheep testosterone…and…we could go for weeks.

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    • Monty says:

      There are plenty of “dishonorable” people in the Hall of Fame.

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      • CptSpandex says:

        Monty says:

        “There are plenty of ‘dishonorable’ people in the Hall of Fame.”

        I am so sick and tired of hearing this response. It’s completely transparent and ridiculous. Because baseball has, in the past, allowed dishonorable people in the Hall of Fame, it should knowingly continue to do so?

        Nice job, Monty. You really thought this one through, didn’t you?

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      • Valuearb says:

        Well since taking steroids was allowed under the CBA, can we change the word dishonorable to “hardest working”?

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    • Rob says:

      True.

      But McGwire is only a Hall of Famer because of the 70 home runs. He has fewer WAR than Graig Nettles and Reggie Smith. This idea that McGwire was a sure-fire HoFamer needs to be put down.

      He probably would’ve made it simply because of the notoriety he got from 1998, but it’s not like he’s the best player not in the Hall already.

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      • Valuearb says:

        As if hit 70 wasn’t important enough, he set the rookie HR record too, 49 in barely 150 games. Big Mac is the best hitting player not in the HOF, has the highest HR/AB rate of all time, and one of the highest Walk rates of all time. He’s the best hitting first baseman of the last thirty years not named Pujols. His WAR is held back by injuries and an early retirement. His records and historical significance make him a slam dunk hall of famer.

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  12. Oakland Dan says:

    When is someone going to indict Congress for obstructing Congress?

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  13. mettle says:

    While it’s fun to bash Congress for ‘wasting time’ on baseball, I think people are *really* missing the big picture here. This is about more than Roger Clemens and the HOF.

    Just as baseball was at the forefront of our changing laws and attitudes on race with Jackie Robinson integrating baseball well before the civil rights movement, the whole steroids thing represents bigger issues everyone is dealing with, not just GMs. We haven’t figured out how to morally deal with all the advances in science relating to genetics, eugenics, drugs that improve our mind, drugs that improve our mood and so on. Witness all the articles worrying about college kids taking adderall to boost their grades, or about designed babies. On some level people feel that that’s cheating and that’s what’s going on here for baseball. But with a game, it’s even easier to articulate.

    So, I really don’t think this whole thing is a waste of time for Americans to discuss (congress are our standins after all) and I don’t think this is only relevant to baseball just as #42 wasn’t all just about baseball.

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    • CptSpandex says:

      I might buy into this line of thinking if baseball — and PEDs — weren’t the direct target of the Congressional hearings. Nice sermon, though.

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    • Valuearb says:

      Of course congress isn’t capable of having these conversations, isn’t authorized to, and it’s main purpose is to limit individual freedoms while transferring the nations wealth to special interest groups.

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      • mettle says:

        Congress isn’t authorized to establish the laws regulating drug use? Interesting hypothesis.
        Almost as interesting as the idea that laws only limit freedoms as opposed to expanding them.

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  14. Socrates says:

    I dont think this saga is about Congress wasting. The point isn’t that Clemens was a saint. Nobody is defending the use of steriods and PEDs, but it must be noted that they system that was set it place by Major League Baseball and supported by the media is the responsible party. Roger Clemens did what countless other players did. Probably all our favorite players whether they are listed in the Mitchell Report or not did it, but we will never know.

    The conversation that Baseball needs to have and hasnt yet is a conversation where the Owners, the GMs, the Managers, the Trainers, the Commissioner and league officials, the Player, the Media, AND the Fans recognize what was obvious and inevitable in the system that existed.

    So we can criminally prosecute Roger Clemens for lying to a media circus (that is what the hearing was). We should remember that Roger Clemens is a man… not an honest one, but a man. And he has a family. And if convicted, he is going to go to prison (anyone that thinks otherwise is foolish). That is completely absurd.

    The conversation… we will never have it. The people who need to have it are the culprits and are cheering on the sidelines for these prosecutions swearing they new nothing. That includes all the people listed above, but most of all the fans.

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    • CptSpandex says:

      A lot of silly responses on this… Lying to Congress in a Congressional hearing is a crime. For. Any. Man. Regardless of whether or not he has a family or not.

      If Clemens was smart, he’d have told the truth — assuming, of course, that he did not — asked the nation for forgiveness and used his name to launch an open discussion about PED abuse.

      The conversation that all you bleeding hearts seem hell bent on baseball and America having.

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  15. Lucas says:

    Nothing could be intellectually lazier than this childish government bashing. It’s fun to believe that they just interviewed “2 or 3 folks” and didn’t actually do any meaningful work (they never do, right! hahaha). Take a look at the report. Almost anyone attempting making a serious attempt to cite actual facts–you know, with which we could have a “rational conversation”–about the steroid era would begin with the Mitchell report (though obviously several journalists–also bashed here for some reason–have contributed a lot also). They spent $20 million. That’s a microscopic amount compared to baseball’s revenues, MLB player salaries, or the public-health consequences of steroids (and obviously a submicroscopic amount compared to the federal budget). Major league Baseball is a federally created monopoly that resulted in the systematic use of illegal and potentially dangerous drugs by baseball players and those who aspire to be like baseball players. It’s hardly absurd to suggest Congress dedicate $20 million to it. If you want to have a serious discussion about steroids in baseball, I can’t think of anything more disingenuous than mindlessly ripping the Mitchell Report as typical guvmint waste. And if you want results, do you seriously argue that Congressional pressure hasn’t expedited the crackdown on illegal PEDs in baseball? (But maybe you don’t even want that; I’m not sure exactly where this serious conversation we can’t have due to the shrillness of the anti-PED media would lead us.)

    And the whole perjury indictment was part of Congress’s devious plan? How brilliant, forcing people to lie to Congress! This is why you bring people in front of Congress: to force them to tell the truth. (Being able to get people to tell the truth is a useful–and money-saving!–investigative tool.) Maybe this is complex, but Clemens had other options, including, just for example, (1) not using steroids in the first place and (2) not lying about it when brought in front of Congress.

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    • DavidCEisen says:

      Agree 100% with this.

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      • Eric says:

        No one is saying that the government was lazy and didn’t have some evidence and interview a good amount of people. What they are saying is that our country is fighting two wars our economy sucks and we just had huge oil spill that might crush the southeast’s economy, so Roger Clemens possibly lying to congress seems very very trivial to me.

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      • DavidCEisen says:

        The hearings were three years ago.

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      • JMHawkins says:

        “The hearings were three years ago.”

        And all the problems Eric mentioned were completely unforseeable three years ago and there were no actual, real, national problems for our elected representatives to be worried about back then. Getting their ugly mugs on camera by holding their own kangaroo court with sports celebrities required to attend was the absolute best use of their time and our tax dollars.

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      • Anon21 says:

        There has been an intervening election. Hopefully you voiced your displeasure with your representatives’ cavalier disregard of all these pressing national issues, which they have never even begun to address because they are too busy going after baseball players.

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      • CptSpandex says:

        Yes, David CEisen, the HEARINGS were three years ago. When we were facing an economy on the brink of recession, we STILL had war in the Middle East, we had domestic issues abound, and he is NOW being brought to Congress when all these things still do apply.

        So, what exactly was/is your point?

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    • Darien says:

      Childish government boosting is intellectually lazier than bashing, in my opinion. Congress takes our money and spends it summoning entertainers to Washington to grill them about breaking workplace rules, and we’re supposed to think that’s sensible? That’s a good use of my money, then?

      It’s a ridiculous waste of my money, is what it is, not to mention the fact that it’s a rather flagrant flaunting of the Constitutional limits on congressional power. Where in the Constitution is congress granted the authority to investigate steroid use in baseball? It is not. I mean, you go ahead and say commerce clause if you want — just bear in mind that, if you do, you’re committing a massive act of intellectual laziness, which is precisely what you presume to call other people out for just because they don’t believe that congress should be spending all of our money trying to right every perceived wrong everywhere in the world.

      Seriously, man. It’s not “intellectually lazy” to refuse to accept that might makes right. Believing what people with power tell you just because they have power is far worse. And ignoring hidden costs increases the laziness yet again.

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      • Wally says:

        I suspect that if those who participated in the writing of our constitution saw what our congress and presidents have done under the commerce clause, they would have greatly revised that little section.

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      • DavidCEisen says:

        The Commerce Clause is interpreted by the courts, but apparently they are intellectually lazy.

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      • Alex Rodriguez says:

        You know what’s a waste of MY money. All the roids I’m taking. Chan Ho Park has a bigger schlong than me!

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    • Wally says:

      “They spent $20 million. That’s a microscopic amount compared to … the public-health consequences of steroids”

      I’m sorry, what facts do have for that one?

      “Major league Baseball is a federally created monopoly that resulted in the systematic use of illegal and potentially dangerous drugs by baseball players and those who aspire to be like baseball players. It’s hardly absurd to suggest Congress dedicate $20 million to it.”

      If you rely on the false assumption that being a sanctioned monopoly means we should care about entertainers taking drugs….

      “How brilliant, forcing people to lie to Congress! This is why you bring people in front of Congress: to force them to tell the truth.”

      Hardly. Why people are brought before congress is because congressmen think they have something to gain politically by doing so.

      So in summary:

      Did congress holding hearing about steroids speed up MLB’s drug enforcement? Maybe.

      Did congress holding hearings about steroids make our country better in any appreciable way? Certainly not.

      So, if we’re to have a meaningful discussion, or rational conversation, I think the first thing we need to do is change the subject. Our society carrying about whether or not Clemens took steroids, or lied about it, is a complete and total waste of time.

      Now I have time to waste. Congress however does not. And when they do they are not only experiencing an opportunity cost (say they could have better spent this time actually reading one of the those bills they are expected to vote on), but they are wasting our money. And yes $20M is still a shit load of money. I don’t care if its .001% of the federal budget, that doesn’t justify the spending. If it did, how about you just give me $20M because its such a drop in the bucket that it won’t matter? Sound good?

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      • dannux says:

        Furthermore, the question here is not just, “was the Mitchell report a good or a bad thing for the country.” In fact, that is not the question AT ALL. The government didn’t commission the Mitchel report. It just cooperated with it to some degree by handing over some sources. Which is fine. But the prosecution of Clemens is scapegoating beyond belief. The man was brought before congress, mostly just as a figurehead because he was a great ballplayer, and was asked to admit to things that would have made him look like a cheat. He *should* have said “no comment,” and refused to testify against himself, as he has the right to do (and as McGwire did), but he instead lied (probably). But it is essentially the same situation as the Lewinsky matter, and it was a huge waste of time then, and it still is now. In the end, Clemens may go to prison for doing the same thing that a lot of people did–lie to protect his reputation. And the federal government, which only pursues perjury cases when it has some political points to score, is clearly wasting time and money demonizing a man who was not the problem, but rather just another one of the thousands of athletes who participated in this behavior. He is not Al Capone, he is no Enron, he is not a criminal mastermind or a spy, he is just an athlete with an arrogant lawyer, and the government is attempting to score points by ruining his life.

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      • mettle says:

        How is discussing what we should do, as a society, about using drugs to improve ourselves a waste of time? It’s probably going to be one of the most important issues of the next generation. It’s essential we sort out what we consider cheating in life and what we don’t. If we make any progress on that through the proxy of MLB steroid policy, it will certainly make the country better.
        Witness how riled up everyone is getting about it in this comment section on website ostensibly concerned about statistical analyses. Damn straight it’s important.

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      • Wally says:

        “How is discussing what we should do, as a society, about using drugs to improve ourselves a waste of time?”

        That’s not what we’re actually doing when we hold congresional hearings or try to convict people that lied in those hearings. As dannux said, its scapegoating and grandstanding.

        If we actually wanted to have this conversation, I’d be all for it. And I believe we should be improving ourselves in every safe way possible.

        I agree this is an important issue in the larger scope, but I believe congresses actions and the attempts to prosecute Bonds and Clemens, or to vilify McGwire/Sosa/Palmero, is a complete waste of public time and money.

        And MLB is a sport, cheating is doing what ever is against the rules. Whether its a balk or using PED. So, what MLB does to define the rules in which that game opperates does not have any particular barring on the rest of society. Obviously the WWF doesn’t really give a damn about PEDs, various body building or weight lifting competitions don’t either. Those in the public eye in movies, TV or modeling often use various drugs (some of which we’d call a PED) or procedures to enhance their apperence.

        So why is MLB hauled be congross? It certainly isn’t to try to answer some society at large question. If it where, you’d think you’d call body builders, actors, etc., that use designer drugs to enhance their bodies as well. Or maybe you’d call up a bunch of med students to talk about using adderal or ritalin on the MCAT.

        So, please don’t pretend this is something that it clearly is not.

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      • mettle says:

        So how do you propose we have it, instead? A big town hall meeting in Peoria?
        What the trial is essentially saying is, if you’re going to do ‘roids or some other drug to make you better at something, you better be honest about it; lying about your performance enhancement is worse than doing it in the first place.
        That’s something I can agree with, is an important point to make and is an important stand to take (say that in a Johnny Cochran voice).
        And of course it’s grandstanding – that’s what debates are, after all.

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      • Wally says:

        How would I have it?

        There are plenty of other ways that this could have been handled starting ~100 years ago that would have been better than this.

        Congress could not deal with it at all and not attempt to legislate someone’s morality and interfear with our personal choice.

        Your basic argument seems to be:
        Issue A is important.
        Congress can do what ever it wants just so we can “discuss” issue A because it is important.

        Sorry, no dice. “What else could they have done?” is not a valid argument.

        “What the trial is essentially saying is, if you’re going to do ‘roids or some other drug to make you better at something, you better be honest about it; lying about your performance enhancement is worse than doing it in the first place.”

        And why is that important at all? Obviously lying under oath is bad. We establish that hundreds of years ago and you won’t encounter much debate on the issue. So why was this issue worth hauling a bunch of people in front of congress, getting them under oath and putting them in a no win situation? Because the issue is important? Lots of things are important. Eating enough fiber is important. Wearing corrective lens, if you need them, when you drive is important. Why not haul a bunch of people before congress who need glasses to drive and ask them if they ever drive without them, then try the ones you can catch in lie for purjury? Does that sound like the approate way to deal with this problem or any problem someone deems important. Congress’s job is not to conduct witch hunts as some glorified PSA.

        And grandstanding is for the SOLE purpose of impressing people. Correct me if I’m wrong, but not even you have argued that is the point of all this, right?

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      • mettle says:

        I’m not asking what your alternative suggestion is as an argument in favor, I’m honestly asking you if you happen to have a better idea or whether you’re just complaining.

        Your point was that it *certainly* hasn’t made the country better. I’m saying it probably has in that it’s focusing on issues that people might not have thought were serious. It’s raising the profile of the issue and making it explicit, instead of just being this amorphous unease people feel about Bonds’ HR records, or whatever.

        And yes, obviously lying to congress is a known bad thing, but in the court of public opinion, it is emerging that it’s better to come clean on this one issue – or maybe not – we’ll see how everything turns out. The point is that the result will impact people’s behavior in the future, possibly for the better.

        Finally, regarding your analogy – if we had as much clarity on when and where PEDs are appropriate in life as we do about driving with glasses, maybe your analogy would be something beyond reductionist and useless.

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    • verd14 says:

      Do you know what’s not intellectually lazy? What George Mitchell is working on right now, trying to help peace talks with Palestine and Isreal. To think that he spent all this time and effort on baseball and not on the latter issue or any other issue for that matter is a joke.

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      • mettle says:

        If you had to bet which would be sorted out first, though, which side would you take?
        That’s a rhetorical question…

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  16. Breadbaker says:

    The Mitchell Report was commissioned by the Commissioner’s office. Not a cent of taxpayer funds was used. Please check your facts.

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  17. DavidCEisen says:

    “We learned that Congress believes that baseball is one of the most important issues of domestic policy in America.”

    Could you be any more juvenile? Obviously having a handful of hearings and indicting someone for lying to Congress means that Congress is obsessed with baseball.

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    • Valuearb says:

      It ain’t obsessed with fixing social security, ending wars, or reducing the deficit or crime, that’s for sure.

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  18. Sean says:

    “With the U.S. government’s blessing, Selig and Major League Baseball sank an estimated $20 million into the project.”

    Unless the taxpayers are funding MLB that sentence from your linked source clearly indicates that it was MLB that spent $20 million on the Mitchell Report, not the “taxpayers.” Your own howling about the unfairness of this is no better than any other pundits’ if you can’t even bother getting the facts straight in your rush to bash Congress for looking into the issue.

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    • Wally says:

      Tax payers certainly do help finance MLB. Its generally in very non-direct ways, but it is there. Take for example the advantages we give them for their anti-trust exemption. It may not be a direct payment, but it functions to allow the current MLB teams to make more money from us tax payers.

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      • Sean says:

        Fine, but I doubt anybody would consider it accurate to say that the $20 million (or whatever the actual number is) the MLB paid to put on say the All-Star Game or any other MLB event is the “taxpayers” money. Or if you do consider it to be the taxpayers money, then you should have far greater gripes with how MLB is spending the public’s money than the Mitchell Report.

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      • Tree says:

        Prostitutes use roads therefore Congress funds prostitutes. okay, maybe that’s a bad example.

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      • Kevin S. says:

        Subsidized stadiums, anyone? Taxpayers have contributed billions of dollars to MLB.

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    • Fair enough — Major League Baseball is a corporation entitled to spend its own revenues. Calling it “taxpayers’ money” was a bit of a stretch on my part.

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      • etasports says:

        Bit of stretch? How about complete misrepresentation of the facts

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      • Valuearb says:

        The day we stop subsidizing the sport of baseball is the only day it’s a misrepresentation. By this point we should own it, and I request an eminent domain proceeding by the Obama administration to take it over completely.

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  19. Socrates says:

    Exactly… MLB actually PAID Mitchell to write a report that place as much of the blame on the players as possible. How is it possible that a trainer was providing players with Steriods and nobody else knew. It isnt.

    We shouldnt blame George Mitchell or Congress for steriods in baseball. BUT the report was commissioned by the organization that had the most the lose from this “conversation” we have been talking about actually taking place.

    My point is that there is SO much blame to go around that it is sickening to me to see people pointing at Clemens and Bonds and cheering as their lives are ruined. Nothing has been solved. Maybe 1% of all the players that used steriods have been identified. To date, not one player has had the opporunity to defend themselved, yet when two players who clearly did steroids are paraded in front of us, too many people pick up stones and throw. Then go home believing the problem had been solved.

    Prosecuting Clemens and Bonds is like mission accomplished 40 days after invading Iraq… and that was over 7 years ago.

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    • Nick V says:

      I’m generally cool with the blame going on the players. Afterall, they took steroids. Sure you can say that MLB didn’t discourage it or whatever (despite statements issued from MLB to the players saying that illegal drug use is against the rules), but really, the fault should come down on players and trainers. That is, if you care about this issue…

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      • Valuearb says:

        Of course the players had the right to use steroid under the CBA, and baseball never has the right ton say otherwise.

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  20. Socrates says:

    The public absolutely and very DIRECTLY funds MLB and EVERYTHING they do. Including the Mitchell Report.

    It is completely absurd to even suggest otherwise.

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    • DavidCEisen says:

      So you’re saying the public should dictate to MLB how to spend its money?

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    • Mark says:

      “The public absolutely and very DIRECTLY funds MLB and EVERYTHING they do. Including the Mitchell Report.”

      Yes, really – every granny in South Dakota is forced at gunpoint to march to the box office and buy tickets to several baseball games each year, and purchase merchandise. (My personal pet peeve is when government agents appear at my door and force me to watch Pirates games.)

      Here is another reference to the fact that taxpayers did not spend a red cent on the Mitchell investigation:

      http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2009-02-08/sports/0902070160_1_mitchell-report-steroid-phelps

      Mr. Remington’s article above should correct that misstatement.

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      • Socrates says:

        I am the public. You are the public. As fans we funded the Mitchell Report. Nevertheless, it appears to me that it might be incorrect to say to that it was funding by taxpayers.

        Remember thouth that they largers piont is that it was Bud Selig, one of the most responsible people for this whole mess, who commissioned the report, yet he oddly seems to have dodged an responsibility.

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      • mettle says:

        And what about those grannies that live in cities that built stadiums for a team or gave tax breaks to a team? They certainly handed over their money with little choice.

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      • philosofool says:

        We didn’t pay for the Mitchel Report, but we pay for their stadiums, which would be the bulk of their operating costs if it weren’t paid for by the (largely disinterested) masses. Next time your team signs a $40 million dollar free agent, just remember that that salary is publicly subsidized.

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  21. Socrates says:

    huh? I am not sure where I suggested that.

    My point is that MLB funded the Mitchell Commission so it is not a suprise that the result of the report was to place the blame squarely on a handful of players and not on themselves or anyone else.

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    • CommonSense says:

      “My point is that MLB funded the Mitchell Commission so it is not a suprise that the result of the report was to place the blame squarely on a handful of players and not on themselves or anyone else.”

      It would seem the players took the PEDs voluntarily, against medical advice, with support from the MLBPA.

      And yet people want to insinuate that somehow Bud Selig and/or MLB is at fault.

      Sheesh…

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  22. Dudley says:

    it strikes me as rather unprofessional to claim that taxpayers funded the mitchell report–this taints the entire piece.

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  23. The Ancient Mariner says:

    For all the bashing of MLB, they’re a lot farther along than the NFL and the NBA in acknowledging these issues. (Unless you really believe that all those 350-lb. linemen got that way eating Nebraska corn-fed beef.)

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    • mettle says:

      Great point.
      And don’t forget “professional” wrestling. It’s hard to imagine that a McMahon might end up an actual Senator. Imagine her at the hearings: “Roger, what in the hell were you thinking in ’95 when you didn’t take ‘roids?”

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      • YG says:

        I don’t see how wrestling fits into this one. I mean if your saying that wrestler’s take steroids and that’s giving off a bad image, than yeah I feel you and your right. The thing about baseball and the other sports like basketball and football that were mentioned is the fact that steroid usage is directly correlated to success in those sports. Wrestling is fake/choreographed/scripted or whatever you want to call it. I don’t know how the organization picks which wrestlers they want to be at the top, but I’d guess the answer isn’t “personality x steroid use = superstar”. Granted some of the superstars in wrestling may take roids, and their probably are a few case where you can say certain wrestler’s success was based wholely on how strong they looked, but I’d say that’s about as far as it probably went.

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      • Raf says:

        “I don’t know how the organization picks which wrestlers they want to be at the top, but I’d guess the answer isn’t “personality x steroid use = superstar””

        It’s more ‘personality x “look” = superstar. The number of deaths involved with professional wrestling is amazing

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  24. CircleChange11 says:

    I feel bad for the players, they were practically forced to take steroids. They didn’t even have a choice in the matter, and none of them made money off prolonged careers, historic seasons, or inflated production. Yeah, that’s sarcasm.

    Let’s not absolve the players of wrong doing because the organization was lax or naive on steroids, or that Congress should have better things to do. Every single player that used steroids, followed by strong outright denials, later followed by an admission of guilt, mounds of evidence against them, or being caught in a lie (followed by an admission and apology).

    Seroiusly, grown men, especially athletes, knew exactly what they were doing, and players from Canseco to Caminiti to Boone to even the historically great players benefitted from the usage. Sure, baseball benefitted as well. But, getting into a nit-pick fight about who benifitted most is a side issue.

    The article seems to be an indictment of Congress because they spent money to learn that baseball players were using steroids and lying about it. I can support the idea that Congress has more important things to do, but let’s not shift the emphasis away from where it belongs. And by that, I don’t mean keep the focus on Congress, MLB, the owners, etc … let’s keep it on the players … the only ones that had a solid choice to use or not.

    A lot of these super tough, stand-up, take charge guys, have displayed some very embarassing behavior in regards to explaining or admitting their own actions.

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    • CircleChange11 says:

      I find it strange that we will comment on the irresponsibility of Congress for spending money on investigating the issue, but the situation of millionaire athletes wasting the money by intentional lying is a non-issue. It’s as if we expect defendants to lie until they have no choice but to admit the truth. That’s more of a commentary of us, I suppose.

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      • JMHawkins says:

        No, the commentary is that Congress has, or should have anyway, more important things to do than investigate steriod use in professional sports. If they have time to do that, then we ought to just cut the legislative session short a few days and send them all home early.

        Frankly Selig was a Grade A idiot for getting Mitchell involved at all. The PED mess has been fueled by reporters and politicains looking for ways to get cheap publicity. Sports stars are big names and draw lots and lots of eyeballs, so getting latched onto a story about them is gravy for the attention seeking grandees of those two professions. Selig paied Mitchell to make the situation worse for baseball.

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      • JMHawkins says:

        BTW, if you’re worried about “the kids” and what message it sends to them that guys like Clemens were using steroids, then adding the extra publicity of Congressional hearing just makes it worse.

        Without those hearing, you could tell kids “you don’t need to use PEDs to be good. Plenty of guys have had great careers based on hard work. Be like them, not like the cheaters.”

        Then the hearings and the stories and exposes come out and, well, looks like “hard work” really wasn’t enough. So the end result is probalby a greater chance of kids using PEDs, because it turns out not just the pariahs like Bonds were using, but the “good guys” were too. Way to go Bud.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        “BTW, if you’re worried about “the kids” and what message it sends to them that guys like Clemens were using steroids,”

        I don’t feel bad for the kids. They get it. They get it better than the adults do.

        I have a very good understanding of steroids, and some experience (through friends and ex-teammates) in regards to their daily use for sports. I don’t, at all, buy into the scare tactics regarding side effects, and aspects like that. But, those are all side issues.

        It’s the adults that seemingly have a problem understanding what the athletes did was wrong. Well, we understand what they did was wrong … but then will do mental and linguistic gymnastics to provide excuses, justification, and support for their decision and weak-ass apologies.

        It is VERY possible for Roger Clemens to be a great pitcher, cowardly liar, and cheating prick at the same time. Likewise, it is possible for [1] Congress to have more important things to do and [2] athletes to act with honesty and integrity simultaneously.

        I have no idea why so many adults operate within a fasle dichotomy setting. Well, Congress has better things to do so who cares if the athletes used steroids and lied about it? Who thinks like this? It’s possible that both groups are wrong. That doesn’t make one “right”.

        There’s lots of jokes one could make about Congress, integrity, honesty, etc … but the one thing I can’t tolerate is minimizing the athlete’s role in the cheating and the follow-up dishonesty.

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    • Socrates says:

      I have said each time that I believe that the players that took the steriods are also responsible. That said, I do not believe that they should have been paraded before Congress and I do not believe that they should be prosecuted.

      If a police officer pulled me over and said, “my speed gun isnt working but it sure looked like you might have been speeding. Where you speeding?” EVEYONE’S answer would be “No, officer.” That is what Roger Clemens did. Then the Cop came back and said, “AHA! Gotcha. My speed gun was working.” Perjury. That is what has happened to a number of these guys.

      As for the act of taking steroids… they are responsible. Just like we are responsible when we dont stop at a stop sign, push a yellow light, and speed. We ALL do it anyway sometimes because we are in a rush or some other reason.

      Players had a clear finacial advantage to use steriods. That is unequivical. The system encouraged it (this cannot be denied… there were no penalties and huge contracts to those who did it successfully.

      No could you imagine the roads if the rules were no speeding and dont run lights. But there were no Cops and even if you happened to drive by one he just waived you along. I know that I would be speeding EVERYWHERE.

      Take a more direct approach. If someone told you that there was a pill that YOU (yep, at your desk) that you could take that was not allowed but you would never be checked, that virtually all your co-workers were taking, and that your bosses even subtly encouraged. This pill allowed you to earn 50% to 100% more than you currently do, would you take it?

      Go ahead and say you wouldn’t… I dont believe you.

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      • YG says:

        That pill sounds real good when you leave out all the negative side effects that would occur with that pill. Its like one of those pharmaceutical commercials where they glamorize the good part of the drug and then they go on to state a list of negative effects (that sometimes include death lol) so long that it becomes laughable and you find your self saying “you’d have to be an idiot to take that”.

        If money was the incentive of the pill, that ain’t worth it to me. If half these players had (or workers in the pill case) had better money management they wouldn’t need the extra money. Not to generalize, but the more money people get, it looks like most people piss it off even faster in dumber ways.

        When you make everything look positive and try to put all the negative stuff to the back or put it in small print of course the people that don’t care to do their own research will lean towards that pill. That pill ain’t worth it.

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      • Socrates says:

        YG – There is more to the story about the drugs Bonds and Clemens were using. They are not nearly as dangerous as some would have you believe when taking in a controled setting. These are not wrestlers pumping up with TONS of steroids and they are not the steroids of the Ben Affleck after school special in 1988. They are very different.

        Before you point to Caminiti, I want to throw on the caveat that I am not saying there are no health risks, but they are not nearly as prevelant as people thinks.

        Going back to an earlier analogy… there are very real dangers to speeding too, but we all do it… and that is without the $ incentive that we all know is powerful. Of course everyone denies that they would do something wrong/illegal/dangerous for money yet there are 10’s of millions of smokers, drinkers, and fast food eaters that do something very dangerous for less incentive than money.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        If someone told you that there was a pill that YOU (yep, at your desk) that you could take that was not allowed but you would never be checked, that virtually all your co-workers were taking, and that your bosses even subtly encouraged. This pill allowed you to earn 50% to 100% more than you currently do, would you take it?

        Go ahead and say you wouldn’t… I dont believe you

        You forgot the part about “oh yeah, it’s also a class 3 controlled substance. So, if by chance you are ever caught with the stuff, it’ll be 10 years in prison for the 1st offense.”

        Not only that but if people find out, they’ll consider you a cheater and the shit’ll hit the fan. The pill is both illegal at the federal and state level, and it’s prohibited by our organization … it’s just really hard to test for. So, the risk is moderate, but the consequences are very large, as is the potential for benefits. Whattya say?

        I have no idea why discussions on steroids are often so childish. People running in all directions with side issues, or theoreticals, etc. It’s gets old because we can never sit down and talk about “steroids” as adults.

        In this particular thread, the issue is not steroids, but honesty and integrity. They cheated. They lied. Now, they want to avoid the natural consequences of their actions. That’s the exact opposite behavior than what is required to make freedom work. Yes, you have the freedom of choice, but you have to live with the consequences of your actions. They’ve enjoyed all of the good, now they want to avoid or minimize the bad. They think like my 3yo does.

        Cheat. Lie. Avoid consequences.

        It’s consistent, but that’s not how the adult world works.

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      • Wally says:

        “That pill sounds real good when you leave out all the negative side effects that would occur with that pill….If money was the incentive of the pill, that ain’t worth it to me.”

        If you’re so worried about side effects, I’m guessing you don’t drink alcohol right? Alcohol is much, much more dangerous “drug” than the things professional athletes might take…

        …so no I don’t believe your most likely hypocritical statement fueled by ignorance.

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      • Wally says:

        Circle,

        >You forgot the part about “oh yeah, it’s also a class 3 controlled substance. So, if by chance you are ever caught with the stuff, it’ll be 10 years in prison for the 1st offense.” <

        Nope, you can buy many of these drugs at GNC. Not to mention most of the rest become legal with a doctor's perscription. And we all know how hard it is to get one of those…

        So lets just assume that these pills in this example are over-the-counter.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Not to mention most of the rest become legal with a doctor’s perscription. And we all know how hard it is to get one of those…

        Really? Go get a prescription from a local doctor for steroids, and prove me wrong.

        Most athletes get steroids from a teammate or a local gym rat that wants to associate with professional athletes. Gym rat is code for “personal trainer”.

        I am pretty much a Libertarian. I feel that almost everything should be legal and that adults should have the choice to do pretty much anything they want until it impinges the rights of another. So, factoring the risk is a MAJOR poart of a decision-making.

        In your pill situation, I would take the pill. But, I’d also point out that the pill is not representative of steroids.

        I also freely admit, that if steroids were legal, I would take them regularly (on/off cycles) in moderate amounts just because I really enjoy strength training, think muscles are just plain old cool, and I am entering my late 30s and would like to keep as much muscularity and athleticism as I can for as long as I can.

        But they are not legal, they are not even close to over the counter, yet they are condemned out of fear, not superior understanding. Think about the steroid commercials … they try and get teens to avoid steroids because they “shrink your balls”. Actually, that’s true … but testicles shrink because the body is getting artifical testosterone in its system, so the testes don;t have to work as hard, thus reduce their size/storage. What the commerical doesn;t tell you is that your testicles retain their size and production once you get off steroids. It’s hardly as severe as they make it.

        But, again, this is just a side issue. Whether I’d take some fictional pill or not has nothing involved in whether pro athletes that cheated and lied should receive their negative consequences.

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      • Socrates says:

        Ah… now I have said that I agree that people who use steroids should be punished. There problem here is that there is no just application of the rules. The rules actually were NEVER applied for steroid use. There are a very select few players who have been pursued on this issue legally. That is not justice. That is scapegoating. That is selective justice.

        As a libertarian, I would think you would be against this type of use of the law. As a matter of fact, I would think that anyone who believes in Justice would be opposed to such selective prosecution.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Here’s what I am getting at …. and it touches on justice.

        All of the following players have used steroids to prolong careers, make many more millions, win awards, break records, etc.

        They get to KEEP all of the money, ALL of the awards, ALL of the records.

        What they (Bonds and Clemens) are in trouble for is LYING to Congress about using steroids.

        Canseco admitted steroid use in his MVP, and 40/40 season. He gets to keep his MVP, and the history acknowledges him as the first 40/40 player.

        McGwire used steroids to break the HR record and prolong his career for 3 of his best seasons ever. He gets to keep all of his accomplishments. He never told Congress he did not use steroids.

        Sammy Sosa used steroids to have 3 of the greatest HR seasons ever. He gets to keep those accomplishments. If they have evidence that he lied to Congress, he should be punished for that.

        Ken Caminiti admitted to using steroids to win an MVP. He gets to keep his award. He wasn;t around to be questioned, so he did not lie to congress.

        Barry Bonds used steroids to win more MVP awards than anyone in history, break the single season HR record, and the all-time HR record. He gets to keep all of that, including the extra millions he earned in those years. He’s not in trouble for using steroids, he’s in trouble for lying to congress.

        Roger Clemens used steroids (assuming all have because that’s the position taken for this discussion) to win my CYA than anyone in history, extend his career, making many more millions, etc. He gets to keep all of that. He’s in trouble for lying to congress.

        Same story for ARod, Ortiz, etc.

        Bonds and Clemens are NOT in trouble for using steroids, they’re in trouble for lying to congress. We can debate whether that should be a criminal offense, but not that it is.

        I think the case could be made that Sosa and Palmeiro should be right there with them. I wonder if there is evidence that Sosa and Palmeiro did, in fact, lie. If there is, they should be prospecuted.

        All of these guys profited greatly by using steroids. They weighed to pros and cons, and made the choice. When they had the chance to admit it, AND keep all of their accomplishments, they lied … likely knowing the full consequences (as advised by their lawyers, and disclaimers from Congress). They chose to lie.

        Being a libertarian, I am in favor of unlimited choice, but harsh consequences. As a fully informed individual you make the choice and take whatever consequneces/risks associated with the choice. If you, as an informed adult, decide to use addicted drugs, and as a result become an addict and ruin your life …. you are not “saved” from the consequences of choosing to use addictive drugs. You are forced to live with those consequences. Becoming an addict is part of the decision that goes into using addictive drugs. I suppose that “addictive” is a grey area in that the addiction removes a choice to use the drugs … but, that’s splitting hairs.

        Both guys knew that lying to congress had severe consequences, yet for selfish reasons, they chose to lie. Now, they are facing the consequences of that choice. They were not forced to lie, they chose to. It’s not our job to shelter them from the natural consequences of our actions.

        That does not mean that others who lied to congress should be absolved of their actions. But Congress feels they have a case against both Bond and Clemens are are moving forward with the evidence.

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      • Wally says:

        Circle,

        “Really? Go get a prescription from a local doctor for steroids, and prove me wrong.”

        Really, piece of cake. I may not get it from the first doctor down the street, but there are places to go for such things. Doctors that make a living on selling this stuff as anti-aging cream, to suppliment natural testosterone loss by men around your age, or even for ED.

        Second, these guys have team doctors, personal trainers, etc. Its much easier to get what you want in that kind of environment than it is if I just go see my family doc.

        >Most athletes get steroids from a teammate or a local gym rat that wants to associate with professional athletes. Gym rat is code for “personal trainer”.<

        Most really? Is this because of what you heard from A-rod? Some sure, but where do you think they got them? A friend that makes it himself? Sorry, this isn't pot, who you get from a guy with a couple plants. Its trickled down from people with access to drugs that are supposed to be behind a perscription barrier.

        "But they are not legal, they are not even close to over the counter,"

        You can buy testosterone anologes at GNC or 100 places online that are banned in most athletic compititions. You say you want some big muscles to look cool and would take steroids if they are legal, well you have options that do pretty much the exact same thing as the controlled substances.

        And I'm of your opinion regarding the legality and also a libertarian. Steroids, much like pot, is perfectly safe when used correctly. The social stigma around this drug and other's is completely irrational.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Doctors that make a living on selling this stuff as anti-aging cream, to suppliment natural testosterone loss by men around your age, or even for ED.

        Sure they do, and some have gone to prison for selling the bogus prescriptions … it’s how we found out about Gary Matthews Jr, Evander Holyfield, etc.

        But they are not common. You go their for a specific reason. I think you vastly over-estimate how easy it is to get a steroid prescription from your local doctor. Far easier to get it from a guy at the gym, or a personal trainer that will do anything to list you as a client, or even be associated with you.

        Most really? Is this because of what you heard from A-rod?

        No, it’s because when you want high quality running shoes, you go to a store that specializing in running shoes. You don;t go to foot locker, looking for work boots. Want steroids? Go the bodybuilding internet sites, or your local gym and look for the meathands (I use meatheads as an affectionate term). Steroids are pretty much everyone, and rather easy to obtain illegally. Getting a prescription from a doctor is a different story.

        From my experience, you can trace most of the steroids on a college campus or around town to 2 or 3 gym rats. At the professional level, athletes would be better served to get them through a high-priced trainer whose livelihood depends on you continuing to pay him (and he keeps his mouth shut). Greg Anderson, Bonds’s trainer, is the perfect example.

        We’re kinda going all over the map here.

        I’m not even going to get started on the “steroid replacements” sold at GNC. My summation of that situation “Replacements my ass”. Nobody would risk criminal activity and more expensive prices if they could get the same alternative at G-N-freackin-C. None of the claims or studies made by those companies is done by the FDA. Basically with supplements,you can claim anything you want.

        The only stuff ever sold at GNC that worked really well was “Ultimate Orange”, then they found out it had a banned substance (clenbuterol, a very strong diuretic) in it, and it was removed from the shelves.

        Please don’t confuse the trash sold at GNC with steroids. Not in the same league.

        You say you want some big muscles to look cool and would take steroids if they are legal, well you have options that do pretty much the exact same thing as the controlled substances.

        No, I said I want to keep muscles for as long as I can. *grin* You’d be better off spending your money on steak, milk, and generic protein powder than you would buying the “steroid replacement” products at GNC. They’re replacement in claim only.

        This is all moving very far away from the situation of lying in front of congress. If you want answers to the steroid replacement questions, go to a hardcore bodybuilding site, and ask them if you can get the same effects from “testosterone products” at GNC as you can from steroids. Be prepared to change to your mind.

        IMO, ALL non-FDA approved products should be banned for athletes. The industry is just rampant with bogus claims and unproven products. The industry preys upon people (literally).

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    • verd14 says:

      Don’t feel bad for the players. The $$$ was flowing.

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  25. Doug Melvin says:

    “So what did we learn? We learned that Congress believes that baseball is one of the most important issues of domestic policy in America.”

    This is such an awful criticism that I’m quite possibly done with articles on this site. Here I was hoping that only Mr Cameron carried the holier-than-thou cross on his shoulders. Bookmarks will be changed to the stats pages, and that will be that.

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  26. algionfriddo says:

    Some players cheated. Maybe more than ‘some’. Maybe a LOT more.
    The ‘system’ looked the other way knowing full well they were cheating.
    Congress is now and has most always been an embarrassment.
    We can’t fix the past but we can look to correct this from happening again… that should be the focus.

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    • wobatus says:

      It’s possible that the system looked away because they didn’t want a messy fight with the players’ union on its hands over the issue. Getting them to agree to enforcement measures regarding PEDs may have meant sacrificing money in some other area of negotiations.

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  27. Gary says:

    If it is a crime to lie to congress, what is it when congressmen lies to the American people? Good government?

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  28. Kyle says:

    This is hilarious, because this is nothing more than old news. We know most of the Hall of Fame players(of our era)used roids or other PEDs like amphetamines(just like Mays and Mantle.) The government wasn’t going to be anymore adept at dealing with America’s past time when it came to roids than it is with illegal drugs or immigrants. And baseball didn’t pay for this, fans who bought tickets, jerseys, and other baseball crap paid for it. Don’t fool yourselves…

    Anyway, as someone else said, at least baseball is ahead of the NBA and NFL when it comes to this…

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  29. Andy Pettite says:

    Roger, Dodger, what has become of you, pal?

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  30. Roger Clemens says:

    Shit… My syringe is stuck in my ass.

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  31. Rafael Palmeiro says:

    I thought I would just take this time to say… I NEVER (Imagine finger wagging horrible facial hair) used Steriods. Period.

    Indict me next! Indict me next!

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  32. Anon21 says:

    Two things: First, Clemens wasn’t subpoenaed the second time around (2008 post-Mitchell Report hearings). He insisted on going in to testify of his own accord.

    Second, I am skeptical that he’ll go into the Hall if he ends up going to prison behind this. I just don’t think the BBWAA is going to honor a felon, no matter what his on-field achievements. (Although, with Steinbrenner’s Hall case pending, you never know.)

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    • Socrates says:

      I agree. I think that McGwire, Bonds, and Clemens are all going to have a harder time getting into the Hall of Fame then people think. Not to mention Sosa who has over 600 HRs. He should be in there, but probably will never be.

      I personally disagree with this, but I am also the guy that thinks that Rose should be in the Hall. He playing career was rightfully ended for betting on the game, but that doesnt erase what he did in his career (the oddest part is that while he is Hall worthy he is a little bit over-rated).

      Sorry to change the subject

      Anyway, I think that the writers (and their holier than thou attitude) will not vote for McGwire on the first ballot. I think this is just another example of people who are also partially responsible (sports writers) for steroids in baseball placing the blame on other people’s shoulders.

      And to think that Ricky Henderson got into the HOF even though we all assume he was also doing steroids.

      The real test of the steroid era though is when Alex Sanchez comes up for election. 2012 if I am not mistaken. 6 career HRs at 155 lbs… that is enough for me to indict him.

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      • etasports says:

        I don’t assume Ricky Henderson did steroids. Please remove me from the “we all.” Thanks

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Rickey Henderson on steroids would have been one the greatest running backs in NFL history (turned down 35 D1 scholarships to play MLB). Rickey was one of those guys that didn’t lift weights because “his muscles got oo big when did”. Yeah, one of those guys. We call it “gain 10 pounds by smelling the iron”.

        If Rickey was on steroids, I can’t even imagine some of the amazing stuff we would have seen.

        Don’t confuse “on steroids”, with “the genetic jackpot”.

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  33. verd14 says:

    ok Roger Clemens is an ass. what will happen when we come to find out that steroids were never as helpful for baseball players as perceived and that the balls were rigged by bud selig and major league baseball, and bud paid off george mitchell to investigate for the sole purpose of putting the blame on the players?

    why are people wasting time prosecuting this, wasting our tax dollars. makes me sick.

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    • CircleChange11 says:

      Geez.

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      • Socrates says:

        For those who criticized Congress for having messed priorities, I agree with you that it is a side issue. It is not relevant to the larger story. My point is that people feel that holding Clemens and Bonds up as scapegoats (be it Congress or Mitchell or anyone posting on this board) is completely losing sight of what happened in baseball.

        Generations of players cheated with PEDs. Steroids are just the latest form of cheating.

        I remember in little league we werent allow to take a lead from the base until AFTER the pitch crossed the plate. Essential the art of pick-off moves and catchers throwing out baserunners was much too compliticated for 9 year olds. That was the rule. But EVERYONE on my team too two steps off the base as the ball was released from the pitchers hand. The umps didnt call it so, we did it. Was is cheating… technically. I say technically, not because is probably only had a very marginal effect on the game, but because EVERYONE on EVERY TEAM did it. So we were all cheaters.

        That is what happened in MLB. The league didnt care (even worse they encouraged it). So a young player come in the league and looks around and says, “I guess I have to do the SAME THING to compete.” And he does.

        So we hang Clemens and Bonds… What does that do for baseball or for kids or for this higher moral perspective that the non-sinners here have taken. NOTHING.

        I dont understand it. Nothing has changed. Why do people cheer? Because a guy who worked his ass off to be better than almost EVERYONE ELSE for 20 years under the same conditions as EVERYONE ELSE is going to go to prison. I dont get it.

        Nothing has changed.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Why can’t people just admit that they cheat?

        I wa a left-handed pitcher. I cheated every time on my pick-off move. I did this intentionally, because the amount of times I got caught versus the amount of times I picked someone off had to be in the 20 to 1 range. It helped me and my team win games, and it was very difficult for the umpires to see.

        But, here’s where I diverge. I don’t appeal to other lefties that cheated. I don’t make excuses for why I cheated or call it justification by saying “erveryone else does it”. I calculated the risks, mixed in the benefits, and then decided that it was “worth it” to cheat on my pick-off move (intentionally).

        Now, suppose I would have been given the player of the year award, in large part, to my great pick-off move, or suppose I was the tourney’s most outstanding player, in part, due to the 3 guys that I picked off while doing my “cheat move”. I would have accepted all of that praise, and then some.

        But, had anyone asked me if my move was cheating, I would have had no real choice but to say “Oh hell yeah, I step about 70-degrees when only 45-degrees is allowed. I balk every time.” How could I deny that it was a balk? That’s what makes it so effective. You can’t pick anyone off stepping straight toward first base in the manner described. You have to “show your front spike” to the runner to do that and a 1-eyed guy wearing an eye patch could read that move.

        To deny that it was cheating or to justify because others have done it or that I felt pressure to do it, or to defer to not talking about it at all is to avoid the overwhelming situation of “at some point in time, I made a conscious decision to do something that I knew was against the rules, for personal gain.” I have to live with the consequences, which in this situation are minor.

        There’s a phrase that I very much relate to, “Either learn to shave with your eyes closed, or be able to look at yourself in the mirror.”

        These guys all did the dance, and now they don’t want to pay the piper. Tough s— fellas.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        I do agree that Bonds and Clemens are being figure-headed.

        The right thing though is not to let them go as if they did nothing wrong. The right thng to do is prosecute all those athletes that lied to congress.

        It coudl very well be that Congress just does not enough evidence to prospecute McGwire, Sammy, Palmeiro, etc.

        McGwire knew how the situation would play out (feared prosecution) which is why he refused to say anything. Clemens ran right to Congress to state his case. Different situations.

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      • Socrates says:

        Well, Clemens screwed up on a personal level by lying to Congress. That is certain. But I would never expect him to admit cheating. That would have been foolish. Not even McGwire did that. You have to remember it wasnt simply a Q and A after a game about a great pickoff move. EVERYONE was saying going into the hearings… if they admit using they will be banned from Baseball if they dont could, they could be guilty of perjury.

        Remember the uproar when McGwire executed his CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT not to incriminate himself. The press was outraged. There was calls to ban him from baseball and the HAll of Fame.

        That is the envirnment that they guys (human beings… nothing more) where faced with. THEY BROKE THE RULES AND VIOLATED THE LAW. I get that. But you yourself pointed out that it is different for Wrestlers because performance isnt affected (performance is predetermined in wrestling). So their breaking of the law (taking drugs) is okay as long as performance isnt affected? NO! It is has nothing to do with the law.

        The only reason that they where up there was for the media circus. The Baseball press BEGGED for Congressional hearings. They got them.

        Kind of like LeBron. EVEVYONE wanted to know where he was going. ESPN BEGGED him to do it on TV. He did. Then… “How dare he do it is such a manor.”

        Everyone needs to get off their high horses and stop judging everyone. We are all human. Be it Lebron or the Rocket, or Barry or Rafi. We do stupid sh#t. We defend ourselves to the end. We sometimes convince ourselves we are right when we are not.

        All the guy wants to do at this point is to be rightfully recognized as the best pitcher of his generation (sorry Pedro and Maddox) spend time with this kids and grand kids. And give his earned fortune to his children (with the gov’t’s cut taken).

        Spending 12 months in prison is not what he deserves. That is not Justice.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        But I would never expect him to admit cheating. That would have been foolish.

        This is where we diverge. Congress was giving everyone a chance to discuss steroid use as a means of assessing the situation and to gain insight on the frequency of use.

        EVERYONE was saying going into the hearings… if they admit using they will be banned from Baseball

        Can you link to something that illustrates this. IIRC, this was their chance to admit use without prosecution. That doesn;t mean absolved i the court of public opinion, just that they would not be prosecuted for using an illegal substance.

        The press was outraged. There was calls to ban him from baseball and the HAll of Fame.

        The press calls for lots of stuff.

        The players lied because they did not want to be known as cheaters, even though they cheated.

        The only reason that they where up there was for the media circus. The Baseball press BEGGED for Congressional hearings. They got them.

        Does this even matter?

        I’m a school principal and baseball coach. If for whatever reason, I am called in front of Congress to testify on disciplinary practices, does it give me reason to lie if I disagree with the reason for the hearings?

        No. Furthermore, I know lying comes with severe consequences … likely greater consequences than my (theoretical) misconduct.

        Everyone needs to get off their high horses and stop judging everyone. We are all human.

        I don’t understand this thinking. I have broken the law before, and have paid the consequences of that action (speeding tickets, theft as a youth, etc). That does not mean that I am obligated to say that people shouldn’t be prosecuted of their crimes, nor does it mean that I shouldn’t (as a parent) punish my kids for wrong-doing.

        All the guy wants to do at this point is to be rightfully recognized as the best pitcher of his generation (sorry Pedro and Maddox) spend time with this kids and grand kids.

        I would argue, at this point, all he wants to do is avoid being known as a cheater, and avoid prison for lying to Congress. He’s the one that came forward to clear his name and defend himself against allegations. Had he wanted what you said, all he had to do was just do that … go spend time with his family, and live out his life. He came forward of his own free will.

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      • Socrates says:

        Other than being baseball fans, I think you and I look a the world in pretty different ways.

        I dont believe that Congress was attempting to “assess the situation and gain insight”. I work in washington. During the hearing I worked for a member of Congress. I was not involved in ANY way in the hearing and the Member I worked for was not on the committee that held the hearings. That said, having been around Congress, I know that they do not hold hearing to assess situations. They hold hearing to 1) have a public display of an issue and/or 2) to put someone on the record. It was both these reasons in this case. The committee has a staff that does research and “assesses” situations BEFORE the hearings ever take place.

        As for the suggestions that this was their “chance to admit use without prosecution” that is simply not try. Some of the players lawyers (most notably Mark McGwire’s) tried to get immunity agreements worked out before they showed up, but the committee would not allow it.

        You said, “The players lied because they did not want to be known as cheaters, even though they cheated.”

        I can agree with that.

        As for Clemens being prosecuted, my point it that it apeears that he may have broken the law. That law being perjury. But there are thousands of people who are never put in this situation. Either admit under oath, publically that you broke the law and risk prosecution (which would have happened in my opinion) or deny it and hope not to be prosecuted. My feeling is if they have the good on him that he used steroids prosecute him for that crime. But the dont have the evidence to convict him of that, but they do (or at least believe they do) to convict him for perjury.

        I have seen what the federal government and prosecutors do to people. They can ruin their lives. Roger Clemens is going to spend millions of dollar defending himself. If he is found not guilty does he get that money back? No. It’s gone. Will you be here lampooning the government for wasting taxpayer’s dollars (millions of it like in the Bonds case) on a case that they couldnt have won?

        Just let you in on how the process works, here it is. Watch. Give it a few months. Over that time Clemens lawyers are meeting with prosecutors. They will pressure a plea. He will obviously refuse. Then they indict his wife. They will pressure him to plea again, and drop the charge against her. Will he do it? If they have young children he might because they cannot both be in prison. Probably not if all the children are older. Is that Justice? Did he get his day in court? Only if he has millions to spend.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        I dont believe that Congress was attempting to “assess the situation and gain insight”.

        You’re probably right. I was looking at the situation as a whole (report + hearings) thing. The hearings, themselves, were (as you say) to get folks on the record.

        As for a public display …. yeah, that goes without saying. It is Congress. They don’t do anything good without making sure we know about. They’re not so transparent about the “not so great” stuff. That’s also likely a rub with some fans, Congress going after someone for being dishonest. Oh, the irony.

        Clemens will likely get something, since this has been so public. Perhaps enough time will have passed that people will have forgotten and he can buy his way (fines) out of a serious sentence.

        But there are thousands of people who are never put in this situation.

        Agreed. I don’t see it as justification though.

        But, that’s beside the point. Clemens came forward himself, being the standup, full of bravado, guy he is … defending himself with passion. All that was missing was the Raffy finger pointing.

        ——————

        Sometimes life really is as simple as John Wooden thinks it is.

        If Clemens didn’t want put into this situation all he had to do was say “no comment” on the McNemee situation and go on with life. The problem for Clemens is that the public would think he was a cheater. So, rather than have that, he went on offense … and got himself into even more trouble.

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  34. philosofool says:

    Charade or not, lying to Congress is serious shit, it’s not up to the people subpoenaed to decide whether the legal matter in question is serious or not. Our legal system depends on the existence of honest conduct and provides rights for people not to testify against themselves. Of course, you can’t just tell everyone not to lie and have it work. That’s why perjury is a felony.

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    • Socrates says:

      I agree. Lying to Congress is a felony and is bad. People should not do it. The feeling that justice is being done as it relates to steroids in baseball is not something that I see here though.

      Steroids in baseball has been whitewashed. The scapegoats have been named. Everyone else can breath a sigh of relief because nobody cares about the truth the just care about hanging Clemens and Bonds and moving on.

      Some might be happy about that. I am not.

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  35. YG says:

    Points taken Socrates, still, jail time ain’t worth it either.

    Wally your buggin. First of all, your analogy doesn’t even come close to what Socrates was talking about, you tried to warp what I said and call me ignorant…fool please. You can’t replace alcohol in that analogy because the main side effect of it is impaired judgement. Alcohol wouldn’t even work in that pill scenario considering that. Even if in some warped hypothetical situation if alcohol was the pill, I wouldn’t do that because of the side effects either. I’m not fittin to become an alcoholic just to gain double what I make, that’s nothing. Now if Socrates would’ve said something like “I got a pill that will make you millions a year” that’s something completely different and yeah that would make someone think a lot harder about what to do.

    You got your head up your damn ass thinking everyone in this country bases its decisions on this materialistic society we live in.

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  36. YG says:

    “Going back to an earlier analogy… there are very real dangers to speeding too, but we all do it… and that is without the $ incentive that we all know is powerful. Of course everyone denies that they would do something wrong/illegal/dangerous for money yet there are 10?s of millions of smokers, drinkers, and fast food eaters that do something very dangerous for less incentive than money.”

    One more thing. I don’t deny that I would do something wrong/illegal/dangerous for money because there will always be situations that will damn near force your hand to. That being said, that doesn’t mean I’m just going to jump at every scenario that someone else perceives to benefit me, because how someone else thinks vs. how I think is bound to be different.

    Steroids aren’t a drug people take for pleasure or stress relief. Maybe someone that works out alot might get a rise off of it, but you won’t hear of people picking steroid just for the pleasure of it or to relieve stress, and that’s pretty much what drugs are good for. I wouldn’t necessarily say the incentive is less than money; if you gave someone that does drugs often more money, most of that money you give them is likely to go towards drugs. If you had someone’s drug of choice in one hand and it’s street value (or slightly less) in cash on the other hand I’d bet at least half those people would take that drug if it was a reasonable (in their opinion) amount of drugs you were holding.

    Fast food, I agree there though. It’s a shame people are so educated about drugs, but they’re are seemingly not nearly as hip to what they should/should not eat.

    Raf: I thought about that, and that does apply, but there are plenty of wrestlers that don’t look like they’re roided out; that doesn’t mean they aren’t, but society’s image of roids seems to be someone that looks JACKED/HUGE if you smell me. At the sametime though, it IS probably easier to get away with looking like the part when your a smaller individual.

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  37. Great post

    There’s nothing like being lean and healthy. In today’s world, we have toworkout more often and throw off our unhealthy diet habits. It’s not difficult. You only need to stick to a workout program and continue until you reach your goals.

    Thank you for sharing this with your readers.

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  38. Hello People! Just wanted to tell you that I bought tickets to the Rush concert on Apr 17. In this webpage you can find tickets for other dates too. It’s amazing Rush and his band performance, this is my second time and I’m still so excited about listening him live! On this page you can see the section where you’re buying the ticket, so it’s very recommended! Rush 2 get ‘em!

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  39. Hello People! Just wanted to tell you that I got tickets to the A Perfect Circle concert on Jun 29th. In this site you can find tickets for other dates too. It’s amazing their performance on stage, this is my fourth time and I’m still so excited about listening them live! On this page you can see the section where you’re buying the ticket, so it’s very recommended!

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