May 8, 2009

Manny Talk

Manny Ramirez's statement on his drug use seems spurious, to say the least, especially in light of this ESPN report:
... testing by Major League Baseball showed that Ramirez had testosterone in his body that was not natural and came from an artificial source ...

The sources said that in addition to the artificial testosterone, Ramirez was identified as using the female fertility drug human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG. ...

ESPN reported earlier that testing showed Ramirez had used hCG, which is typically used by steroid users to restart their bodies' natural testosterone production as they come off a steroid cycle. It is similar to Clomid, the drug Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi and others used as clients of BALCO. ...
I'm going to try to not post much about this story unless there is actually Red Sox-related news. However, similar resolutions in the past have not lasted long (though I didn't say I wouldn't post at all). ... Free free to chat and/or link to worthy articles.

Here's Joe Posnanski:
[W]e live in an America that demonizes drugs, declares war on drugs, etc. On the other, we live in an America that, in so many ways, celebrates performance enhancers.

... drugs that prevent us from going to the bathroom too often, drugs that promise to lower our cholesterol, drugs that inspire our bodies to have sex when the moment feels right, drugs that help us sleep more soundly, drugs that promise to give us more energy, drugs that help us lose weight, drugs that help us gain muscle, drugs that help us overcome debilitating conditions, drugs and drugs and drugs.

The side effects for many of these drugs are bountiful and terrifying. Vomiting. Diarrhea. Loss of hearing. Temporary blindness. Muscle pain. Nervousness. Sleeplessness. Hallucinations. Mistaken feelings of self-importance. In rare cases: Death ...

But millions and millions of people take them anyway. ...

We live in this drugged-up world, and yet we expect our athletes to stay away from those drugs that might help make them stronger, faster; that might help turn their warning-track fly balls into home runs, that might help their 89-mph fastball become 92-mph, that might give them five more infield singles a year, the difference between hitting .291 and hitting .300, the difference between a two-year deal and a three-year deal.

We expect them to play to the edge, to give their all, to run out every ground ball, to give a good fight every at bat, to pitch without fear, to chase fly balls into walls, to steal a high percentage of bases, to come through in the clutch, to protect their teammates, to be strong enough to hit home runs and throw serious heat, to engage in a little gamesmanship now and again ... but we demand that they stop there, say no to drugs.
It's myopic and naive to believe that most athletes will gladly draw an arbitrary line on certain drugs and step away.

41 comments:

redsock said...

Dominic DiMaggio has died

redsock said...

Some medical Q from SoSHer dinggo:
Manny might simply have a problem with his fertility, as hCG is used to treat male infertility. And note that the usual use of hCG is during the steroid cycle. The Clomid that Barroid was involved with is used after the steroid cycle. The reason for the differing use is simple. The hCG will only affect the LH, or luteinizing hormone, and does not aid the ramp up of the hormone cycle in its entirety as does Clomid. The hCG is used to keep one's testicles functioning and not atrophied during the steroid cycle. So the question is, why didn't Manny test positive for an anabolic steroid? ...
So, again, if the purpose of the hCG is to avoid testicular atrophy during the steroid cycle, then why no positive result here for an anabolic steroid? And note the simple point, the hCG isn't a steroid and so its purpose isn't to aid in building muscle mass, but simply and only to avoid testicular atrophy.
What bothers me here is everybody disregarding the part about the "doctor". We don't need to see his medical records. Off the record, someone could ask him who the doctor is, or better yet, ask Manny to produce a copy of the prescription, and then find out if the doctor's specialty area is male infertility. ...
Lastly, re the "he should have known better", maybe not, as hCG was not a banned substance until last year. And from BP, re the doctor's mistake:
"FINAL UPDATE: Spoke with several sources with knowledge of the tests and it appears that Ramirez is both guilty of offense and of some poor judgement. His doctor checked the list, but apparently the old list —"

****

Rocco Graziosa:
"MLB is now between a rock and a hardplace. If they "do their job" and strongly enforce their rules, they're gonna start catching the best players in the game. Why? Because all these guys are using PED's and will always be using PED's as long as baseball his handing out 100 million dollar contracts. Its human nature.
I have no answers here. Just pointing out what I think is pretty obvious to everyone. The only way baseball is gonna get past this, is if they get past this. But if they keep testing and suspending guys they'll never get past this. Rinse lather and repeat."

redsock said...

See, I'm posting stuff already.

L-girl said...

Nice piece from Joe Posnanski. I'm so sick of all the self-righteousness around this issue.

James said...

The issue I have from dinngo's argument (i.e., "why didn't he test positive for anabolic steroids?") is that it ignores the common knowledge that there are a whole lot of drugs that they haven't developed tests for (HGH being the most well-known, but certainly not the only one).

Also, he's the only person I've read so far that suggests hCG is used during the steroid cycle, but since I'm getting a lot of conflicting information about this, I have no reason to believe anyone else any more than him.

I realize that not everyone here cares about the steroid issue, and I can understand that (especially w/r/t the totally unfair treatment that people who are only suspected are subjected to and the fact that the owners, media, management, and fanbase have all been left off the hook). But I do feel like it's important to have a level playing field, and that people using illegal, potentially dangerous substances clandestinely is a big threat to this level playing field.

It's not good for the game for players to be confronted with the choice of either A)breaking the laws, rules, and putting themselves in danger to keep up with other players; or B)being at a physical and mental disadvantage (both real and perceived) to the players who are using. It seems like Rocco is arguing for this to just be ignored or accepted as the status quo, and I'm not ready to go there. I think that rigorous testing and investigation of distributors and known users is a better way of going about it.

I realize this is a big privacy issue, but I think it's a necessary, if regrettable invasion of privacy. It may seem unfair, but because the stakes in the game are so high (economically, that is), expecting people to give up a little of their privacy is understandable and necessary.

However, I think it also makes sense to have Bud Selig, Theo Epstein, and Hank Steinbrenner all pee in the same cups and (perhaps) give the same hair samples of the players. I'm working freelance for MLB, and I received a letter in the mail informing me that I'm subject to baseball's drug policy (it even specifically talked about PED's! I sit at a computer!). So as long as I, and Bud Selig, are held to the same testing standards I think the loss of privacy is acceptable. I'm not sure how others may feel about that.

L-girl said...

As long as everyone's privacy is invaded, you're ok with it? Do you apply that standard to other injustices?

The choices aren't only ignore or test/suspend. We could make all substances legal and leave it to informed adults to decide what to ingest or consume.

Of course we *can't* do that because Drugs Are Bad (when we say they are) and Think Of The Children (when it's easy and convenient).

James said...

To be fair, I didn't suggest that I'm thrilled about drug tests or that I'm thrilled about taking them myself.

To be sure, the debate of controlling drugs and the debate about privacy is big and expands way outside of baseball. But I think the idea of absolute privacy being an essential and unalienable right above all others is mistaken. I'll quote Jon Franzen's essay "Imperial Bedroom" (which is probably the most thoughtful thing I've ever read about privacy, even though I don't agree with some of his conclusions.)

"Our problem now is that the custodians started speaking a language of panic and treating privacy not as one of many competing values but as the one value that trumps all others."

The issue I have isn't about athletes as role models influencing children, but with athletes having to choose between the use of substances or being at a marked disadvantage to the people who do use substances.

If we accept that Bonds, MacGwire, Sosa, Manny, Canseco, Palmiero, Pudge Rodriguez, Clemens and A-Rod all used steroids it becomes pretty clear that steroids give you a leg up on the competition. It's possible to compete against these guys without chemical assistance, but it's not easy, and it's certainly not fair. I don't think that it's a decision players should have to make. Honestly, I think it's an issue of competing and conflicting freedoms; i.e., Bonds' freedom to put whatever he wants into his body vs. Frank Thomas's freedom to pursue a career in baseball without using potentially dangerous chemicals that alter his body's structure.

For me, Thomas's freedom wins out; has to win out for some ideals and values I hold to be threatened. Namely, I do think it's more important that people not have to change their bodies' chemical makeup than be allowed to. And I think that freedom also trumps the freedom from random drug tests.

Perhaps you don't agree; and that's fair, but I do think that in this sort of situation some sort of injustice is unavoidable; someone has to decide which injustice is preferable.

One of the reasons I'm willing to grant some invasion of privacy is because I don't really feel like the serious privacy that I actually value is threatened by drug testing. The right to ingest whatever I want and then to work wherever I want while continuing to ingest whatever I want is very low on my scale of important values, and I'm willing to give it up in exchange for some things I value more.

redsock said...

The problem with any increased testing is that it will never catch up to newer drugs. The test can't test for something that it doesn't know exists.

I think an increased invasion of privacy as per the player's job would be fine within strict guidlines. Not that I trust MLB to do anything correctly and intelligently.

The other part of Rocco's post was regarding the NBA and especially the NFL, where every player is roided up but no one cares.

Do football fans care that much? Does the NFL media wring its collective hands over this situation? Anything they do is small compared to the hue and cry about baseball, but from my very limited exposure, steroid use seems to be treated as a given.

James said...

I'm with you about not being able to keep up with drugs, and I agree with you about the likelihood of MLB doing a mature, intelligent, job, but I don't think you can use that as an excuse for not trying. To quote DFW, "there's babies in that bathwater, dude."

Also, I'm VERY with you on the NFL and the NBA, but I also don't really care all that much about those sports (I follow the Celtics pretty intensely and 2008 brought me an amount of joy that was similar to 2004 and 2007, but it doesn't feel as meaningful). I don't really care if NFL players cheat, because I'd never read a book about a 70-year old NFL and NBA teams.

redsock said...

We and the media can talk about the various things that SHOULD be done, but what WILL be done?

To truly tackle the problem, if that's what MLB (and the union) want to do -- though why would they with soaring attendance figures -- would mean treading into far deeper waters that MLB and the union want to go, in my opinion.

Short of something happening in the wake of some very high-profile deaths of current players that can be positively tied to steroid use, I don't see anything meaningful happening.

Players have always tried to cheat, using whatever means were available at the time. The easiest thing to do may be for MLB and the union to face up to the reality of the modern world.

L-girl said...

"But I think the idea of absolute privacy being an essential and unalienable right above all others is mistaken."

I've never even heard of this concept. An essential right above all others? No one in the US has ever enjoyed such a thing, or ever will. However, that doesn't mean privacy is not a concern. It's not all or nothing.

Still reading, tho.

L-girl said...

My concern about drug/steroid testing for professional athletes is not about privacy. I was just surprised to see that brought up. Testing for specific jobs within specific guidelines is fine. Random testing for all (i.e. pee in a cup to stock shelves at Wal-Mart) is not. But I've never heard about absolute privacy rights, and I don't need Jonathan Franzen or David Foster Wallace to tell me that.

For me it boils down to what Allan says here:

"Players have always tried to cheat, using whatever means were available at the time. The easiest thing to do may be for MLB and the union to face up to the reality of the modern world."

The hypocrisy of MLB and the union, who cashed in mightily on the results of steroid use, and so conveniently looked away for years, now pretending to care and to do something, is just ridiculous for me. It makes the whole thing meaningless.

9casey said...

Drug testing and Credit and background checks have become standard at a lot of workplaces...

For min. wage jobs.....
any place where imventory and money is an issue , it's nice to know if you have a junkie with a rap sheet employed for you..it's your right as an employer to protect your investment..and most people know this when they apply for jobs....The same way MLB teams must try and protect their investments.....The stupidity and the ignorance made by these athletes in whatever sport is mindblowing.....Now with A-rod and Manny the 2 highest paid players in the game, knowing they cheated diminishes everything they have ever done....the only thing they really did was inflate their numbers ,their salary , ticket prices, cable prices, merchandise prices, licensing fees, concession prices, parking fees, thats all some may not be concerend about steroids in baseball but it affects everyone, some for the good , most for the bad........

L-girl said...

"Drug testing and Credit and background checks have become standard at a lot of workplaces..."

Yes, they have. And I object to it, although I am subject to either.

"For min. wage jobs.....
any place where imventory and money is an issue , it's nice to know if you have a junkie with a rap sheet employed for you.."

That would show up in a felony check, but not necessarily in a drug test. They're not only testing for heroin. People who smoke pot are not more likely to steal that people who don't. Nice bit of rationalization, but there's actually very little rational reason for random drug testing. It doesn't make anyone safer or protect anyone's investment.

L-girl said...

If it's true that there's steroid use in the NFL and NBA and no one cares - I have no way of knowing if this is true or not, but assuming it is - doesn't this show that all the outcry over use in MLB is not about fairness or values or a level playing field? If the public was so concerned about these things in MLB, why wouldn't they be concerned about them in all sports?

L-girl said...

"the only thing they really did was inflate their numbers ,their salary , ticket prices, cable prices, merchandise prices, licensing fees, concession prices, parking fees, "

Steroids did this??? Not the owners who raised the prices, the telecom companies who raised the rpices, the owners who struck deals to make the games less accessible to lower-income fans? Steroid use did this??

And without steroid use, we'd all be paying $10 a ticket, because before the steroid era (whenever that was) baseball was cheap and accessible?

L-girl said...

I'm curious, those of you who care about this, and who feel cheating diminishes the athletes' past accomplishments, do you watch the Olympics? Do you feel similarly about track, swimming, and other sports where steroid use is reported to be rampant? I'm not being sarcastic, I'm actually asking.

redsock said...

Worth reading.

CaKeY said...

I'm curious, those of you who care about this, and who feel cheating diminishes the athletes' past accomplishments, do you watch the Olympics? Do you feel similarly about track, swimming, and other sports where steroid use is reported to be rampant? I'm not being sarcastic, I'm actually asking.I do because unless EVERYONE is using the same PEDs then they're not playing on a level field.

9casey said...

L-girl said...
I'm curious, those of you who care about this, and who feel cheating diminishes the athletes' past accomplishments, do you watch the Olympics? Do you feel similarly about track, swimming, and other sports where steroid use is reported to be rampant? I'm not being sarcastic, I'm actually asking.




I do not watch the olympics....Do YOU really think cheating does not effect past accomplishments...

If cheating does not effect past accomplishments, what does?

I guess I have no use for those who get caught.......Once you are a cheater you are always a cheater it doesn't really go away, whether that be in sports ,school, your realtionships.....people who cheat ,cheat...

Pepe Lepew said...

I'm curious, those of you who care about this, and who feel cheating diminishes the athletes' past accomplishments, do you watch the Olympics? Do you feel similarly about track, swimming, and other sports where steroid use is reported to be rampant? I'm not being sarcastic, I'm actually asking.I have no doubt steroids are rampant in other sports. I mean 260-pound linebackers who could run a 4.4 40 just didn't exist 25 years ago. 320 pound linemen who can actually play didn't exist 30 years ago.
I look at LeBron James and unfortunately, I think "no way is that physique natural." Michael Jordan entered the league as a scrawny beanpole and 8 to 10 years later he had bulked up with at least 50 to 60 pounds of added muscle. You're right, no one seems to care.
That being said, my theory of why people care more about doping in baseball is because of all the home run records that were being shattered in the 90s and early 2000s. Baseball fans, especially old-timers, are hung up on the hallowed nature of the old records. I know people who argue about how Babe Ruth was the greatest hitter ever, and they were born decades after he stopped playing. So, I think a lot of those old-timers were horrified to see these "hallowed" records falling like dominoes.
Meanwhile, in football, no one rushing for 4,000 yards. No one scoring 40 touchdowns a year. Records weren't being shattered left and right, because the defensive guys are just as ridiculously fast and strong as the offensive guys. I think that's why you get a bigger reaction to baseball.
I'm a big cycling fan, and I've argued with many people until I'm blue in the face that I believe cycling takes doping a lot more seriously than baseball or any other sport. The big problem in cycling isn't that there not trying to clean it up, it's that the cyclists are ahead of the testers in the game, finding weirder and weirder stuff to take that they haven't come up with tests for. I mean, some cycling have actually taken hormones out of gerbils.
In cycling, it's a 2-year ban for doping, not 50 days. Guys have been thrown out of the Tour de France for just being *implicated* in a doping scandal without a positive drug test. One guy who was leading the Tour de France was fired by his own team halfway into the race because he was *implicated*, nothing more. 60 million people in France are convinced that Lance Armstrong is dirty, and they'll never let him forget that. So, it's not just baseball that takes this seriously.

johngoldfine said...

There are always going to be extraneous factors limiting or enhancing effective play on the field: diet, sex life, alcohol, depression, case of the sniffles, whatever. And a lot of those factors are dependent on people not on the field: doctors, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, chefs, friends.

Ultimately, the player brings the whole package to the field and does what he can. Some are more talented, some have better days than others.

So, I'm for the cream rising to the top, even if the cream is artificially-designed creme, so to speak. In the future I imagine, similar to the present NBA or NFL, everyone has access to the same performance-enhancers, but, even so, not everyone plays equally well. Let the best players plus the best pharmaceuticals plus the best trainers and doctors take to the field and doff caps for the national anthem and then play ball.

Apart from issues with hallowed records toppling, the big downside to ignoring drugs altogether is the eventual and probably inevitable damage done to the players' bodies. That's not a trivial concern, but it is primarily the players' look-out.

As for the reputation of the sport, the freakishness of the athletic displays, the end of role-modeling for kiddos, those are much more trivial.

L-girl said...

Thanks for the perspective.

"That being said, my theory of why people care more about doping in baseball is because of all the home run records that were being shattered in the 90s and early 2000s. Baseball fans, especially old-timers, are hung up on the hallowed nature of the old records."

Ah yes, that goes a long way to explain it. Not entirely - some of it is a contagious hysteria - but this is a big factor, you're right.

"Do YOU really think cheating does not effect past accomplishments..."

To me it does not. Many more people had to have cheated than we know about. If it was so easy to take drugs and hit like Barry Bonds or Mark McGwire, more people would have done it. Even with the available drugs, few have accomplished these records.

Supposedly Alex Rodriguez used steroids even in high school. I doubt he was the only one to do so, yet how many high school athletes excelled at that level (3 sports, great in all, IIRC).

Plenty of marginal, also-ran players must have used - in fact, they have a much greater incentive to do so. Bonds, McGwire, etc. didn't break records only because they used PEDs.

In addition, I'm sure if all this medical technology had been available in earlier eras, players would have used then, too. In those "hallowed eras," players had an even greater incentive to cheat, as they were underpaid and had no job security. People weren't more honest then, they just had less at their disposal. I see no reason to demonize modern players or idealize old-time players.

To me the records are what they are, and PEDs are just another tool. There's no such thing as a level playing field in sports.

L-girl said...

JohnGoldfine, well said, I agree.

James said...

I do care about steroids in the Olympics, but I hold baseball to a higher standard than I do the NFL, NBA, the Olympics, cycling, or anything else because a)I care a lot more about baseball than the rest of these sports and b)Records and history seems to be of more importance in baseball than in basketball, cycling, or anything else.

See: Ken Burns' documentary, Baseball.
See: the existence of Bob Costas. See: Ted Williams at the all-star game.

Do a google search for "756." I bet most of the first things that come up are about Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, etc. Can you do that with a number from another sport? I'm serious, I don't think it's possible.

If you want to say that the standard for the NFL and the NBA needs to be higher, fine. But don't tell me that we need to lower the standard for MLB. You don't lower the bar to the worst example you can find, you raise the bar to the best!

@ L-Girl:

The hypocrisy of MLB and the union, who cashed in mightily on the results of steroid use, and so conveniently looked away for years, now pretending to care and to do something, is just ridiculous for me. It makes the whole thing meaningless.I don't see why hypocrisy factors into this at all. Regardless of how people used to act, regardless of whether front offices and the media and the fans are guilty, that doesn't change the fact that some players are breaking the law and the rules to gain an advantage and that this isn't fair for the rest of the athletes (who I still believe are the majority) who are not. I think you're ducking the question.

And as to "leav[ing] it to informed adults to decide what to ingest or consume," I think we both know that's not an actual option for Major League Baseball; maybe it's an option for the governments of the US and Canada (an incredibly unlikely to occur option, but technically still and option, I guess).

L-girl said...

"See: Ken Burns' documentary, Baseball.
See: the existence of Bob Costas.
See: Ted Williams at the all-star game."

Can you explain what you mean by this?

Baseball should be held to a higher standard because of the surrounding mythology? Am I close?

"that doesn't change the fact that some players are breaking the law"

Laws are made by people. Just because something is against the law doesn't make it wrong. The law itself could be what's wrong.

"And as to "leav[ing] it to informed adults to decide what to ingest or consume," I think we both know that's not an actual option for Major League Baseball; maybe it's an option for the governments of the US and Canada (an incredibly unlikely to occur option, but technically still and option, I guess)."

But I don't base my opinions on what's socially or culturally possible for Major League Baseball. MLB is a corporate entity, not some kind of god or voice of authority. MLB has done and continues to make tons of stupid, irrational things decisions. For that matter, so do both the governments you mentioned. Just because something is not politically possible for a government or corporation doesn't mean I have to care about it or agree with it.

vrictare said...

http://www.fanhouse.com/news/mlb/hcg-popular-among-steroid-users-has/471672

More stuff on how the HCG is not necessarily connected to steroid use.

Pepe Lepew said...

As far as why I care about steroids, and I am going to use the dreaded Maude Flanders "think of the children" argument [ducks].
I mean, I hear the argument about it's the athletes own bodies and it's their choice, etc. I just don't agree with it.
The big problem I have with steroids is you have to draw a line *somewhere* with them. If you just say, "screw it, let 'em do it all they want" what will inevitably happen, and it already has happened to a degree, is that college players will do them so they get drafted into pro sports. Then, high school players will do them so they get college scholarships or they get attention from college recruiters or pro scouts, then middle school kids will do them so they can make the high school team to begin with. Are we OK with 12-, 13-year-old kids taking this stuff? I'm not. Just saying, "well, you have to wait until you're 18 before you can take steroids" isn't going to stop a kid who wants a college scholarship or pro contract any more than making alcohol illegal for kids stops them from drinking. I believe it is absolutely inevitable that if you just let the steroids run rampant and unchecked at the professional level, they will filter insidiously down to younger and younger kids. So, the best place to stop it is at the professional level to begin with.

9casey said...

Take steroids out of the equation.....it's not just steroids, it's the cheating part.


If the kid sitting next to you in class has an A+ average in math and at the final exam the teacher finds a cheat sheet...is it safe to assume all of his past accomplishments coming into the final exam were obtained by cheating.....

If a husband of 25 years gets caught cheating, is it safe to assume that he was cheating for all of those 25 years and diminishes the first 24 were everyone thought he was the pick of the litter.......I don't care about the steroids and PED's I care about the cheating.......

James said...

Baseball should be held to a higher standard because of the surrounding mythology? Am I close?You're very close. I think you could change the words "should be" to "is," (because I'm talking more about cause than justification, at least on this point) but I think you've got my point pretty well. The importance of the surrounding mythology and history of baseball is something I don't think other sports really have. Because of this, baseball fans expect more from their sport than fans of other sports expect from theirs'. Fair or not, I think it's true.

But I don't base my opinions on what's socially or culturally possible for Major League Baseball.Nor do I. But I do base my opinions on what baseball should do on what they can do. I think that's the only logical way of going about the process of formulating opinions about baseball. We both agree that the United States should not have a military presence in Iraq. And I suspect we both agree that it is not MLB's job to deal with the United States' illegal occupation of that country.

By the same token, I might agree with you on legalizing all substances and letting adults make informed decisions; I might not.***

But I don't think it's germane to the topic at hand. What I'm concerned with, primarily, is what baseball should do about steroids.

My opinion is based on three main points; steroids are

A)illegal according to the laws of the countries in which MLB games are played,

B)potentially harmful to players' health and

C)potentially beneficial to players' performances.

Because of these three facts, players are faced with a choice of either

A)taking steroids and risking their freedom and health (and, in the case of players not from the US or Canada, their ability to stay in the country where they live) or

B)not take them and be at a disadvantage to players who are taking them.

Major League Baseball, in their limited power, can choose to ignore this problem or to make rules and implementing a frameworks of testing and investigation to combat this. There are no other choices that Major League Baseball can make.

I greatly prefer the latter. If you prefer the former, that's fine, too; we'll disagree, and probably occasionally argue about it, but we still both cheer for the Red Sox and like Doc Watson and are repulsed by the illegal occupation of Iraq and love dogs and probably have a lot of other things in common. I'll let you have the last word, should you want it.



*** I really am not sure how I feel about this. Certainly most substances should be legal, but some present real risks for public safety (because people using really dangerous drugs are more likely to commit violent crimes and do impact the lives of those around them negatively.) I'd say I'm probably 90% of the way with you, but I wouldn't want to have to be the person to make the decisions on this.

L-girl said...

"ust saying, "well, you have to wait until you're 18 before you can take steroids" isn't going to stop a kid who wants a college scholarship or pro contract any more than making alcohol illegal for kids stops them from drinking."

But that's what society does with drinking, smoking, sexual activity, etc. We say, it's your choice, we create public health campaigns to help people make informed decisions, and we say, not until you're older. Because we understand that banning a substance will never stop people from using it.

Why wouldn't this approach be sufficient for steroid use? Especially if scholarships were taken away if athletes failed (independent, not school-administered) testing.

Sure steroid use among young people is less of a problem than smoking or driving while intoxicated, yet society takes this approach with both of those issues.

L-girl said...

"If the kid sitting next to you in class has an A+ average in math and at the final exam the teacher finds a cheat sheet...is it safe to assume all of his past accomplishments coming into the final exam were obtained by cheating....."

Of course it's not safe to assume that. You're saying either someone is perfect, or if they're caught, that means they were always wrong. You're making a huge assumption, and acting like it's perfectly rational.

The relationship issue is the same. You think everyone who ever cheats - even once - has therefore cheated throughout the whole relationship? That doesn't make any sense.

redsock said...

I think that is what casey is saying -- a "Strike 1 and you're Out":

"Once you are a cheater you are always a cheater it doesn't really go away, whether that be in sports ,school, your realtionships.....people who cheat ,cheat..."

****

I don't agree.

A player who plays clean for 5 years, then starts taking PEDs and gets caught was not cheating during those previous 5 years.

L-girl said...

James, I didn't even think it was an argument, never mind any interest getting the last word. I'm interested in your opnions on this, especially since they are obviously well thought-out and not knee-jerk.

Even though I love baseball and it's very important to me, I have trouble with creating special rules because a certain segment of Americans embue the game with a special meaning. Millions of people - including many of the people who play the game professionally - don't see it that way. And to many other Americans, football is the one true religion.

Although baseball is the only sport I care about, I can't see that as a reason to hold it to special standards. It's like saying whatever I love is important, what other people love, eh, who cares.

L-girl said...

The problem with one strike and you're out is that people aren't perfect, and often learn from their mistakes.

In fact, it's often the only way people ever learn. Everyone needs more than one chance.

9C, since you're a dad, I hope you know that.

9casey said...

L-girl said...
The problem with one strike and you're out is that people aren't perfect, and often learn from their mistakes.

In fact, it's often the only way people ever learn. Everyone needs more than one chance.

9C, since you're a dad, I hope you know that.




Ya, I agree ..but know we are talking about trust , and I have no reason to trust any of these ballplayers . I just go on blind faith that they are all not cheaters....It has nothing to do with the people I love, if you notice in my examples it is more about public perception....I have no reason to give Manny Ramirez a second chance , and I bet he doesn't care.....

L-girl said...

"you notice in my examples it is more about public perception"

Ok, I didn't get that. I was thinking reality - what someone did or didn't do - not how the public trusts them. Definitely two different things.

9casey said...

L-girl said...
"you notice in my examples it is more about public perception"

Ok, I didn't get that. I was thinking reality - what someone did or didn't do - not how the public trusts them. Definitely two different things.





I am more confused now then I was before as well...........The funny thing this as much as this whole thing bothers me I will never leave baseball...I'm like that spouse you can keep cheating on...I may not forgive Manny or any other of these idiots , but I can forgive the game.....Thank God there is baseball tonight....

Pepe Lepew said...

...........The funny thing this as much as this whole thing bothers me I will never leave baseball...I'm like that spouse you can keep cheating on...I may not forgive Manny or any other of these idiots , but I can forgive the game....Oh, my gosh, you sound *exactly* like a cycling fan! :)

andy said...

The testing is driving the business of making new kinds of steroids. If it were legal and there was no reason to try and get away with it then we could cultivate a culture where there are a few kinds that are well known. That way the proper corrective action can be taken more accurately. This testing thing is like teaching abstinence to people in the prime of their sexual lives. Boys at least.

L-girl said...

"I may not forgive Manny or any other of these idiots , but I can forgive the game....Oh, my gosh, you sound *exactly* like a cycling fan! :)"

I don't see what there is to forgive the game/sport for. It hasn't done anything wrong.

"The testing is driving the business of making new kinds of steroids. If it were legal and there was no reason to try and get away with it then we could cultivate a culture where there are a few kinds that are well known. That way the proper corrective action can be taken more accurately. This testing thing is like teaching abstinence to people in the prime of their sexual lives. Boys at least."

Very well said, I agree. And GIRLS TOO. Or haven't you figured out that females have sex drive, too??