Stand Tall Mark McGwire, Your Future is Bright

by ThomasWayne

Okay. Can we all finally shut the Hell up about Big Mac and what he did or didn’t do? The cat is now out of the bag (a cat most of us suspected was in the bag to start with), so let’s toss the bag in the trash and move the EXPLETIVE DELETED on.

Earlier this afternoon former Oakland  Athletic, St.Louis Cardinal and 12-time All Star Mark McGwire, through a statement issued to the AP, admitted to having used steroids off and on over a ten year time span during his 16 year big league career. Here are some segment’s of McGwire’s statement:

  • “I wish I had never touched steroids. It was foolish and it was a mistake. I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era.”
  • “I never knew when, but I always knew this day would come. It’s time for me to talk about the past and to confirm what people have suspected.”
  • “I’m sure people will wonder if I could have hit all those home runs had I never taken steroids,” McGwire said. “I had good years when I didn’t take any, and I had bad years when I didn’t take any. I had good years when I took steroids, and I had bad years when I took steroids. But no matter what, I shouldn’t have done it and for that I’m truly sorry.”

Last year on Dugout Central I wrote an article about McGwire’s silence on the steroid issue. I surmised that Mac silence on steroids was mainly because he could not win with the media no matter what he had to say on the issue.  If he had said “no” I never used, he would have been called a liar and a denier and hounded forever by the vultures we call the national media. If he had said “yes I used,” he would have been crucified as the poster boy for an era gone bad and hounded forever by the vultures we call the national media.  I went on to say that it was in this no-win situation that Big Mac found comfort in total, unmitigated silence.

Obviously, things have now changed. With McGwire coming back to the Cardinals as hitting instructor he knew those same vultures would be out in full force hovering over him on a daily basis, trying to pick away at anything that will land them a story.  McGwire’s admission comes a full month before the start of the 2010 Spring Training and the timing of the announcement is about one thing and one thing only - his team. Mac was not going to put the Cardinals and his mentor LaRussa through a season of hovering vultures hanging out in the locker room with only one thing on their minds.

Now, about that article I wrote last year…there are two things I made clear then and I will re-emphasize them now.

One, I was not a Mark McGwire steroid denier. At the time I penned that article I said he’d most likely used and if he did it was probably for help in his work-out recovery times more than anything else. I’m not one of these baseball men who believes that a magic potion makes the man. I believe steroids can increase strength and recovery times. Period.  No more, no less. Anyone who thinks that just using steroids made the careers of any big name athlete has never played any sport at a high level and can be lopped into the self-righteous, player hater category (are you listening Jim Rome? Jay Mariotti?).

Two, I have been and will continue to be (this was a  truth in the first article and continues to be a truth now) an un-ashamed Mark McGwire fan. I will not run and hide simply because of potential ridicule by those who think they are holier-than-thou. For those who want to call McGwire a cheat or worse, I propose this thought to you.  What did Mark McGwire really do when he used steroids or whatever? He did nothing more than try to be the best baseball player he could to help his team win ball games. Was it the right way to do things, the right way to help his team? Hell no. But in the end he didn’t club a baby seal or spill crude oil on a seagull. He didn’t leave his child locked in a car for 4 hours on a hot July day or beat a homeless man for the two bits in his pocket.  His real crime? He made a poor decision.

These guys who act like baseball was kidnapped and molested by the likes of McGwire, Bonds, Clemens, or whomever (and all of you know who you are. You never were an athlete, never will be and any chance you get to speak bad of or bring an athlete down you’re the first in line, salivating like a Pavlovian mutt) need to sit back and put this past era of the game into perspective.  These men didn’t sit around, twirling the ends of their handle bar mustaches cackling at their evil plans to cheat the game and take over the world. They simply made poor choices, but in the end, those choices were made to help win baseball games. Right or wrong, they cared about the game. They cared about winning. They just went about it the wrong way.

I say stand tall Mark McGwire. Your future in this game is still bright. I hope by the end of the 2010 season you can add Hitting Coach for a World Championship team to your resume. Until then, be strong. The next few days will have thousands of idiots like myself spouting off any number of opinions on your admission, and most of them will be negative. But I say the mistake you made didn’t destroy the game. Hell, in the large scope of things, it’s barely a bruise on a game that’s been around 140 glorious years. You could actually make a case that your mistake in 1998 helped save baseball after it legitimately tried to kill itself, but that’s neither here nor there.

As far as I’m concerned, you’re forgiven. Hopefully everyone else can just move on.

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120 Responses to “Stand Tall Mark McGwire, Your Future is Bright”

  1. Scott Says:

    The whole “steroid era” is a disgrace. It belittled records that were once venerated, and hurt the game I love. I have no problem leaving all the “roiders” out of the Hall, if only we can figure out who they all were. I don’t care about forgiving McGwire, I have never hounded him or belittled him. I’m just disappointed that the era of baseball I grew up watching was such a sham. I’m just glad it seems to be over and baseball can hopefully get back to some sembelance of respectability.

  2. hossrex Says:

    I’d be curious to see some of the “Andro only” people respond to this news.

    I don’t personally think McGwire needed forgiving.

  3. James Kunz Says:

    I don’t think he needs forgiving for doing something that wasn’t illegal or even frowned upon really (cause, you know, everyone pretended it didn’t exist) but at the same time it’s a shameful moment in my favorite sport’s history so it can’t and shouldn’t quite be swept under the rug.

  4. Raul Says:

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  5. Jerry Says:

    Regardless of his sincerity, McGwire needed to come (mostly) clean to have a shot at the Hall of Fame. Ultimately, I don’t think it’s feasible for the writers to keep all the steroid guys out, but they will continue to exclude those who are either defiant or silent. I expect McGwire will start to make progress next year and eventually be elected.

  6. Chuck Says:

    Anyone see his interview on MLBNetwork with Costas tonight?

    He said alot of things.

    I don’t think he told the truth.

    What’s the point of coming clean if you’re not going to come clean?

  7. matt Says:

    Let me start off and say that i am a McGwire fan and did I think he did steroids, yes any fool could see that. What I think is worse than Mcgwire doing PED’s is the sports writers who belittle and berate him. They are the same writers who were kissing both his butt and Sosa’s butt in 1998. They probably wouldn’t have jobs if baseball hadn’t been saved. Baseball would be sucking the hind tit and that’s what makes me sick. I say he was a great ball player and give him a break.

  8. jimmy vac Says:

    Baseball was late in taking a hard stand on steriods..these guys were tryin to make themselves better, they were not getting high and ruining their performance,
    if we can forgive the drug users, we can forgive these guys.,, but a line has to drawn in the sand, that if you are now caught,,, it is a season for the first offense and then out of the game.. and every clubhouse should have a sign up there with the no gambling sign so it is clear to all players that there is a zero tolerance… the records are another story..the damage has been done and we have to move on….and acknowlege the numbers were inflated by guilty players but we gotta stop accussing without proof.. there is no reason to impune the innocent because of the action of others….

  9. hossrex Says:

    Chuck: “I don’t think he told the truth.”

    I’m curious. What in particular did he say that you think he lied about? Or is it a lie of omission?

    No malice with that question, just curiosity.

  10. Jim Says:

    @Chuck – He admitted just enough for many observers to say, he came clean.

  11. augie4evr1 Says:

    Hey kid, congratulations for making it to the big leagues; here is a little “pill” I have that will help you with your hitting. I promise you, it’s all natural; it’s not a steroid “LMFAO”

  12. Seven Says:

    This article is an embarrassment. But I’m not here to talk about the past so whatever I really don’t care what he did or didn’t do. As far as the future goes, something i DO care about is the possibility of activating McGwire to push back his Hall voting. That would really be the icing on the cake for me.

  13. hossrex Says:

    It’s strange… to me anyway… that Canseco comes clean, but in the process says “too much”, and is vilified. McGwire comes clean, but in the process doesn’t say enough, and is vilified. Other players don’t come clean, and they’re vilified.

    That’s the definition of a witch-hunt.

  14. steven Says:

    I appreciate the career and single season accomplishments of Hank Aaron and Roger Maris even more.

  15. bobook Says:

    Many ballplayers took the juice because baseball’s de facto policy was to turn a blind eye and, if others were doing steroids, one could have felt compelled to take them, also. That one can understand and had Mr. McGuire come clean I would have forgiven him.
    But Mr. McGuire must think I am stupid when he tries to trivialize his usage by saying he took only small doses, only for his health, and his ability to hit homeruns was not effected.
    He took the juice to gain strength, gain recovery time, gain records and money and fame.
    And he had one last chance to regain our trust and with this last round of lies all he gains solidification of his identity as a cheater and a liar.
    Never shall he gain the Hall of Fame.

  16. Scott Says:

    Many many things to say on this subject. Author of the article is just plain silly. McGwire is a cheat and chose to lie about it for decades. He chose to take ILLEGAL drugs year in and year out of his career. How does this man get any sympathy? I’m saying this in the context of the steroids issue as I certainly don’t put him in the category of real criminals but ask yourself if you were a baseball player and played clean but were either overshadowed by these phonies or one of your records were broken by this clown and then he says he cheated, how would you feel?

    Also, how does Larussa continue to skate by on this stuff? So now we can go back a few decades and 2 teams with multiple players being caught for steroids. Larussa said they were ahead of their time in their weight training. I would agree and apparently it included steroids.

  17. Shawn Says:

    HE TOOK STEROIDS? OH MY GOD, I HAD NO IDEA.

  18. Scott Says:

    Definition of Witch Hunt:
    witch hunt 
    –noun an intensive effort to discover and expose disloyalty, subversion, dishonesty, or the like, usually based on slight, doubtful, or irrelevant evidence.

    If I’m not mistaken there’s plenty of evidence that steroids were used. I could be wrong but I believe at least a couple of people have admitted to using them. So witch hunt definitely doesn’t apply. And just because they admit to using steroids are we supposed to forgive and forget? How many of these guys have admitted it prior to being caught? We all absolutely knew McGwire used steroids. Even the author of this silly article admitted he knew. We will never get baseball back the way it was. We’ll always question the star players or when a guy comes out of nowhere and has a good year we’ll wonder. Roger Maris is an after thought now and all this has happened because of steroids.

    That is the legacy of the steroid era. So continue to make excuses for these selfish guys who made these decisions but I for one would never allow any of them into the hall of fame and they should be banned from being involved in baseball. Just my humble opinion as a baseball fan.

  19. brautigan Says:

    ” They simply made poor choices, but in the end, those choices were made to help win baseball games. Right or wrong, they cared about the game. They cared about winning. They just went about it the wrong way.”

    Thomas, how do you know that was their motive? I would have to disagree with you for the most simplest of reasons, greed.

    Baseball once was played for thousands of dollars, and it was typical for players to go back home in the off season and find work to make ends meet. Those days are long gone (what was the average salary last year in the majors, $3 million?). With multi-million dollar contracts at stake, who wants to chance being left behind? Would you prefer to play in Charlotte to 4,500 semi interested people or in front of 25,000 people? The money, the transportation, and the money. If baseball was played by the most noblest of pursuits, winning,then why would anyone sign to play in Cincinnati or Kansas City?

    No, in my opinion, the steroid area was all about greed. Getting ahead of the competition and staying ahead. Ask Gary Matthews Jr., he can tell you all about it. (and for those with short memories, 5 years $55 million)

  20. brautigan Says:

    Hoss, there may be more reasons why Canseco was “villfied”. For starters, he like Bonds, had issues with being a decent human being. I saw with my own eyes many instances where Canseco was being nothing more than a miserable jerk. On the other hand, I saw McGwire put in the work and effort. I never saw him make an effort to reach out to the baseball fan, but I recall after one practice, he hauled off Bull Luzinski to a practice field in the back of Scottsdale Community College. Going through several buckets of balls, he had Luzinski throw pitch after pitch. Finally, a group of seniors (or as Chuck calls them, “northern blue hairs”) approached McGwire and asked him for an autograph, and he said politely, “I will when I’m finished hitting”. He hit through another bucket of balls, stopped, helped Luzinski pick up the balls, came over and signed autographs for the group, didn’t say much, and headed for the showers.

    Now Hoss, which of these two steroid users am I going to villify and which will I hold my opinion?

  21. Chuck Says:

    Omission, Rex.

    It’s more of what he didn’t say than what he did.

    Same old BS we heard from Bonds and the others.

    “I didn’t take it to improve performance, I took them to heal from injuries.”

    “I don’t believe they made me stronger”

    “I would have hit 60-70 homers without them.”

    Right…

  22. augie4evr1 Says:

    A friend of mine works at a country club that includes Mark McGwire’s home. Recently there was a tournament at the club and MCGwire partipated. Apparently, he lied about his handicap and won the tournament. Everyone in the private country club was aware that McGwire cheated but they let him get away with it. ONCE A CHEAT, ALWAYS A CHEAT. Anyone who has been found to have cheated in baseball should be banned from Major League Baseball and their records should be deleted.

  23. Eric Says:

    “and if he did it was probably for help in his work-out recovery times more than anything else.”

    So the fact that his work-outs produced better results (much better) was just something that he didn’t really care for, but would accept. I mean listen to yourself. That is the stupidest defense of steroid use possible. Improved recovery is great. With improved recovery you’ll push yourself much harder, and get much better results due to the additional time in the gym combined with better results from the nature of anabolic steroids. You think he worked out just like other guys and only basked in his immediate muscle recovery? No! Everyone knows he worked out harder and longer than everyone else. He used that “work-out recovery” benefit as a tool to work-out more. He was going for size and strength. He was using steroids to gain size and strength. If he was so dedicated to work-out recovery he would’ve run a quarter mile everyday, done 20 push-ups and 20 sit-ups and marveled about how good he felt the next day.

  24. Lefty33 Says:

    Big Mac is trying two things with this.

    1. The obvious, not to make his presence the story of Cardinal Spring Training.

    2. He’s trying to save his HOF chances. Mark’s no dummy; he realized that the writers are never going to put him in the way he left things. So, today’s speech plus him coming back to be a “hitting coach” are to me one thing.

    Maybe the greatest PR stunt ever in baseball history.

    He’s going to try and give the writers and the public the old razzle-dazzle and hope that he can salvage his HOF chances long-term.

  25. Mike Felber Says:

    Many did not like Canseco but respected his integrity at least in speaking up. I agree that the circumstances of Big Macs confession is highly suspect, but we need to realize he might also be sincere. And not all who condemn him, or seek a legitimate story, are “vultures”.

    Fallacies: that players/athletes do not condemn the use of PEDS. Whaaa? Many commentators played, & there are vociferous starts like Shilling & Frank Thomas & many older MLB players.

    That they did it only to “win” “help the team”, or “make themselves better”. Nope. They did it for fame, glory, & largely money. Regardless of the effect on honest players, teams, the records, integrity & history of the game.

    How many times must we remind some that they were ILLEGAL from the very early ’90’s? That not tested for & punished until years later does not change that it was cheating, lying, stealing wins, & depriving other players of fair competition, a fair marketplace & often jobs.

    It was NOT a level playing field, whatever the exact #s, many used, & many did not. That is highly unbalanced, & unfair to those who did not transform their potential through cheating (& usually lying too).

    That the effect was only on exercise recovery & strength. Whaaa? Just increased strength ups bat & arm speed & thus power, sometimes overall explosiveness, endurance over a long season…

    They cared more about themselves than the game. Their poor choices (not 1, innumerable decisions to continue drug usage) were also a willing decision to gain an illegal, unfair advantage. Sometimes for years: responsibility must be taken for that.

  26. Hossrex Says:

    I hope none of the people in this thread are ever forced to endure the scrutiny, harassment, or unsolicited expectations Major League Baseball Players have had to suffer over the course of the last twenty years, simply because of their chosen profession.

    I don’t even want a response to this. I don’t care. You’re all going to lie anyway.

    But think about all the bad things you’ve done. Think about all the bad things the people around you have done. Not too bad, right? A little selfish. Maybe hurt a few people in the process, but nothing major. Now imagine where you work. Your career. What you do for a living.

    Imagine if what you’ve done wrong… or even worse, simply the people with whom you work… became public, and although it had absolutely nothing to do with anyone else in the country, your transgression because the scandal du jour. Whether you did it or not doesn’t matter (but you did do it… whatever it was), everyone assumes you did, and people write countless articles about how terrible you are. People yell terrible things at you, and your family in public.

    All because you wanted to be the best you could possibly be at what you do.

    Not a single one of you has even thought about what that would be like, and not a single one of you hasn’t done something worse than using steroids.

    Don’t reply to this. I. Don’t. Care. What. You’ll. Say. Just think about it.

    Just think about how you’re treating other human beings.

    Human beings.

  27. Wheel Says:

    Was it legal to use steroids during this period of time? Yes! So whose fault is it that McGuire used steroids or anyone else if it was legal at the time and it could make them better players? It was the league’s, the government’s, the FDA or any number of organizations that overlooked how this could help player’s perform at higher levels. Then again isn’t this what sport is about? Using what is provided to us so that we can excel so long as it is legal? McGuire, not my favorite ballplayer but a great one should relax and let the chips fall where they may. He has done nothing wrong other than to hurt his body in his effort to help his team and his career. He pays for it more than anyone.

  28. Rakk Says:

    All of the steroid users knew they were doing something wrong at the time they were doing it. That’s why they kept it hidden and hoped to keep it hidden forever. They did it believing that it would give them an advantage. They didn’t take it for fun. It’s not cocaine, there is no rush. It’s not a party drug. They took it go get an advantage by cheating. And I don’t believe there was ever a time it was legal. I sure don’t remember ever seeing it on drugstore shelves. The cheaters weren’t getting it from their doctors, they were buying it from shady characters and shooting themselves up with it.

    McGwire’s “sorry” will mean nothing to me until he says “I am sorry and I voluntarily disqualify myself from ever entering the Hall of Fame because I cheated.” And I say that because I don’t think he’s sorry about using the steroids. I think he’s sorry that he got caught and it has cost him his shot at the HOF. I think he only expresses well-scripted regrets because public relations experts have convinced him that he can rehabilitate his image by being contrite.

    But for much of the baseball world, the apology will be enough. No so much because it is meaningful, but because people are grasping for a way to tie up the “steroid era” without tossing away a generation of players who cheated to excel. Many people will want take a sorry, write off the cheating as “poor choices,” and hope it all goes away.

  29. Steve W Says:

    It was not illegal to use steroids in baseball, but many steroids were illegal in society in the 90’s. It is possible that the steroid that McGuire used (Andro something) was an over the counter product and therefore not illegal in society or baseball. In which case we would be wrong to attack McGwire. He did nothing wrong, in this case.

    The problem here lies with the owners. They are the ones that should be attacked. Perhaps forcing those who were head owners of teams where players used steroids (legal or illegal) to give up their current controlling interests in their teams would be just. Yeah, I know, like the managers and shareholders of Goldman Sachs, etc. being banned from working or investing in the financial industry.

  30. Bill Johnson Says:

    I appreciate the apology. For those that argue it didn’t help MM produce on the field (a point on which MM seems to also suggest was true)- the specific apology to Roger Maris’ widow is telling.

  31. Big Mac admits to steroid use…Who Cares; And a Misguided Concept | Sports Objective Says:

    [...] McGwire think his recent admission will help his Hall chances?  He would need an unprecedented and improbable 240% increase in votes to negotiate the ballot.  [...]

  32. Chuck Says:

    Steve, do you realize how conflicted your statement is?

    Steriods, especially HGH or manufactured steriods, are a controlled substance. They are considered in the same vein as cocaine and heroin and meth and Oxycontin and countless other drugs.

    Society trumps baseball. Just because baseball had no “written drug policy” doesn’t mean McGwire and the others didn’t do something wrong.

    McGwire said yesterday the same thing Palmeiro and Bonds have said, he wouldn’t tesitify to Congress because they wouldn’t give him immunity from prosecution.

    These guys all cheated, they all, in some form or another, broke the law.

    The lack of a written drug testing policy in baseball doesn’t change that fact.

  33. Larry R Says:

    Snore.

  34. Raul Says:

    Jose Canseco is the best. I think Canseco should be in the Hall of Fame.
    That guy is awesome.

  35. Raul Says:

    By the way, the only player who has my respect:

    Bronson Arroyo.

  36. Ronnie Says:

    I back this article 100 percent. Most of you guys that are posting these negative comments are probably pencil necks that never put on cleats. Major League baseball rode him and Sosa like Trigger to save the game. They knew good and damn well those dudes were swole up on something. If you are gonna call him a cheat then you have to throw the guys out in the 70s that got amped up on cocaine and amphetamines before games. A lot of players have admitted to the use of the speeds. If you have ever done cocaine or meth you know it would give somebody an advantage for sharper reaction times. So if your gonna point your finger then you need to go after all these older dudes to. Now, lets just talk about football where you have reports that hole teams did hgh and nobody seems to even care. Go look at all the hall of fame nfl players that admitted roid use. lol. All you haters where running around with Big Mac pom poms and you knew he was on something and you know it but it was cool in the moment and now you can sit around on your soap box and go thats not right he cheated. B.S. double standards

  37. Lee Says:

    I’m amused by this notion that anybody who thinks steroids damaged baseball was never an athlete. I think steroids did an incredible amount of damage to the game I love, Thomas Wayne, and I bet you I could dunk on your ass or blow a fastball right past you. Don’t make such idiotic statements if you want to be taken seriously.

  38. Chuck Says:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYA/NYA198608220.shtml

    By chance, I happened to see McGwire’s first major league game. Tall, gangly looking third baseman.

    He certainly stood out, even then.

    Brautigan,

    The Giants practice at SCC, not the A’s.

    I ran into McGwire once outside the A’s practice facility, probably ‘93 or ‘94. I didn’t attempt to speak with him, although he did appear friendly enough, signing autographs as he was walking to his car.

  39. Chuck Says:

    I see Rex is still planning on running for office.

    I wonder how fast he’ll jump off his soapbox if a sex offender moves across the street from his neighborhood school.

  40. Raul Says:

    Joaquin Andujar!

    Actually I feel kinda bad. My uncle sold his WS ring for him and pocketed some decent money.

  41. Shaun Says:

    I like Neyer’s take and think he’s spot-on: “There’s only one thing about McGwire’s statement that bothers me: The part where he says he’s sorry and wishes he hadn’t done it. I don’t mean to read McGwire’s mind; perhaps he really is sorry. I just wish that players like McGwire didn’t feel compelled to apologize, when we know that many of them would do exactly the same thing again, if they were in the same position. Most of them — and I don’t mean this as an insult — are sorry about getting caught, but not sorry about doing what they had to do (or thought they had to do) to get healthy or gain a competitive edge.”

    How many of us would do the same things if millions of dollars were on the line and our careers were in jeopardy, and we could fix all that by taking something illegal and knew we wouldn’t get caught right away or go to jail because our labor unions were so powerful and could protect us from jail time?

    Regarding steriods or other PEDs helping an athlete hit homers, I suspect it does. I agree that it most likely doesn’t help hand-eye coordination or an ability to recognize pitches or control the strikezone but I suspect it helps players hit balls farther. I also suspect hitters are helped more than pitchers because of the nature of pitching a ball versus hitting a ball. However, that would be interesting to investigate.

    Still, if hundreds of players were using PEDs during the “Steroid Era,” it would seem that no team would have a huge edge due to PEDs, assuming there were at least a few players from each team doing it. It’s kind of like both teams playing at Coors Field during its offensive heydays; both teams get inflated offense. It makes it problematic to compare players of that era to other eras, but that is always problematic for a variety of reasons: dead balls versus live balls, black players versus no black players, small parks versus big parks, spectators on the field of play versus not allowing spectators on the field of play, technologically advanced fielding gloves versus fielding gloves that look like something we wear just to keep our hands warm in winter, powers that be overlooking the throwing of ballgames versus cracking down on throwing ball games, etc.

    If a player was among the best of his “era,” I think he belongs in the Hall of Fame. It seems that has always been the standard. Everyone knows I’m a huge proponent of using stats to tell us things but too much is made of the basic statistical record book. It’s just another example of people misusing stats and looking at the wrong stats. It’s why it’s very important to adjust stats for context, which is a separate topic.

    We can’t hold PED use against players too much because a vast majority of us would do the same given the same circumstances and, though PEDs seem to clearly affect performance (hence the name performance-enhancing drugs), it’s always been problematic to compare players across eras.

  42. Doug B Says:

    “He has done nothing wrong other than hurt his body in his effort to help his team and his career”.

    his teams benefited from this at the expense of other teams without users. his career benifited at the expense of other players who were not users. maybe he made $20,000,000 that he should not have earned. No one will know but that’s probably a reasonable estimate. So he could offer a fair appology by donating his after tax unfair windfall of about $13,000,000 to charity. That would make things all good with me.

    Will I throw things at his dog and hound his family? Of course not. Will I sit behind the dugout of the Cardinals with hundreds of other fans chanting “steroid user!” You bet. Every game.

  43. Raul Says:

    I wish these players would stop dancing for the cameras.

    I want to see these athletes admit they took steroids. I want these players to stop feigning shame and regret because the media tells them they have to in order to be forgiven by the public.

    If you’re really an honest person, you’d get up in front of a reporter and television camera and say you took steroids because you thought they could make you the best player you could be. Because that’s the truth. Tell them you were so driven to be successful, and so afraid to fail that you did whatever you could.

    Don’t get up there and say you took them to heal from injuries. Or that you did it to help the team. People don’t take cocaine to stay up all night and cram for tests. You took steroids to crush baseballs. Or strike batters out. Or throw harder.

    I really wish these sportswriters would have the balls to ask the hard, straight questions. Instead, I went to ESPN.com only to see a bunch of pathetic, sappy articles applauding Mark McGwire for “coming clean”.

    All these athletes who took steroids and other substances don’t owe baseball a damn thing. They didn’t ruin the game.

    The people who’ve really ruined baseball are the greedy owners and baseball executives who due to their lack of vision, indecision and warped morals have allowed the best sport in world to become a 2nd-rate spectacle.

    Mark McGwire. You have nothing to be ashamed about except the fact that you’re a coward with no integrity. You steroid use is the least of your problems.

  44. Shaun Says:

    Doug B, I think it’s reasonable to assume virtually every team had PED users during McGwire’s playing days. It would be difficult to know for sure, but would be hard to imagine that wasn’t the case.

    Also, did he make more money than he would have otherwise? Maybe. Then again, all of us paying to see guys like McGwire would likely have done the same things under the same circumstances.

  45. Shaun Says:

    Raul, I hate to keep harping on it but many of us would do the same things that McGwire and others did if we were in their shoes. I agree that McGwire doesn’t deserve much sympathy or applause and that players should just come clean with an honest answer as to why they took PEDs.

    “The people who’ve really ruined baseball are the greedy owners and baseball executives who due to their lack of vision, indecision and warped morals have allowed the best sport in world to become a 2nd-rate spectacle.”

    Have they ruined baseball? I mean baseball survived gambling scandals of the early 1900s, it survived segregation, it survived the use of illegal drugs in the 1980s. I don’t mean to downplay the PED usage but human nature shows up in sports leagues like it does in other institutions in our society. Good things aren’t ruined just because people are going to be people.

  46. Chuck Says:

    Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds are exceptions to the rule.

    I don’t believe Bonds started using with the sole intent of being the single season or career HR leader, he did because he was frustrated with the fact players of lesser ability (McGwire and Sosa) were making more money, and Bonds himself has said as much.

    I know of players who have used for “medicinal purposes” whose production improved enough where they moved themselves into a higher income bracket, one they wouldn’t have reached without “help.”

    Most guys who used fall into this category. What about the guys who played a couple of years in the majors who wouldn’t have had a prayer otherwise?

    Bonds and McGwire and Sosa get more attention from PED’s because they “profited” more by using them, either financially, or with publicity and recognition or by their place in the record book.

    The vast majority of users never broke a record or made an All-Star team, but they did benefit financially or in career length or through pension tiers.

    They are no less guilty than McGwire or Bonds.

  47. Doug B Says:

    don’t forget, for every player that profited from it, another player was cheated out of a position they may have desereved. So don’t say nobody else was hurt by their using.

  48. Shaun Says:

    All complicated issues. Who’s to say a player who used PEDs wouldn’t have beat out a player we assume was cheated out of position, even without the help of PEDs? Just because PEDs helped players doesn’t necessarily mean some of those players wouldn’t have been major league regulars or stars without PEDs.

  49. G.V. Says:

    Matt, McGwire “saved baseball”?! From what??? Fans returned to the stadiums after disasters, wars, scandals, retirements, and every single baseball strike they’ve ever had so spare me the absolute crap that McGwire single-handedly saved the game of baseball.
    All I can say is that I appreciate Jose Canseco coming forward and blowing the lid off the steroid cover-up because you know that good-for-nothing, spineless chicken (bleep) current Baseball Commissioner never had the balls to clean up the game let alone even investigate the problem, he was only forced to do so by Congress. If it were up to Bud, players would still be doing ‘roids and his owner buddies would be making billions more off of guillible morons who went to parks and worshipped phonies like McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, Clemens, A-Rod, etc.

  50. Shaun Says:

    Also, who’s to say many players cheated out of positions by PED users did not also use PEDs? There are a lot of complicated questions that are extremely difficult if not impossible to answer with regard to the “Steroid Era.”

    It’s safe to say PEDs were big part of the baseball players’ culture of the mid- to late-1990s. It’s hard to say how widespread the use of PEDs were. It’s likely, based on suspensions of minor leaguers, that many fringe type players were most using. It’s also likely, based on a few positive tests and testimony and investigations, that major league regulars and star players used. So it’s difficult to know how many player lost jobs because of PED use by their competition. I suspect there are some out there. But the entire era was complicated by this mess; much like gambling complicated things pre-1920. Human nature is going to make a mess of things throughout certain eras. Unfortunately that’s life.

  51. Traig Says:

    LOL, to those who say steroids ruined the game I wonder your ages… I’m in my thirties so the Baseball that I knew was the steroid era. I’m fine with that. I didn’t go to a ball game with my dad to watch a 2-1 pitcher’s dual, we didn’t sit in the bleachers because the view was good. We went to see home runs and we sat in the bleachers because they were cheep and you might catch a homer. Does being in the Hall of Fame make your success? Is that plaque and ring really worth all the BS you guys are spouting? I have a McGwire jersey hanging in my closet now and come opening day I’ll continue to wear it to every home game at Busch Stadium and I’ll proudly stand tall and applaud when he comes out on the field to be introduces as a hitting instructor.

    If it were my vote (which it’s not) I’d cast my ballet now for Mark, Alex and even Roger, steroids or not they were great Ballplayers. Oh and while I’m at it, here’s my vote for Pete Rose too.

  52. Scott Says:

    Poor Mark McGwire. He was just doing what everyone else would have done right Shaun? Poor guy everyone should just leave him alone. Your next defense will be to say, ‘but Canseco did it first’.

    What a joke. Imagine if we applied that logic to all illegal activities or questionable actions. I don’t know Shaun maybe you do. Maybe in your mind there’s always a good reason for people to show a lack or morals, judgement, honesty etc.

    In my world actions have repercussions. They could be good or bad. We all are responsible for our actions. In McGwire’s case they were both good and bad. For years while he took steroids he endured the good/great times. Won championships, made gobs of money, enjoyed fame, enjoyed breaking records etc. Now, unfortunately for him and of course his apologists, he’s going to have to endure the tough times where people question his actions, morals, baseball credentials, overall career, etc.

    Also your comparisons don’t hold any water. Gambling in the early 1900’s? Players were banned or didn’t you hear about that? Have you ever heard of Pete Rose then? You mention drugs? Yeah it was a big issue but as far as I know it didn’t improve the player’s overall skills. It didn’t make a player hit a ball farther for instance. Segregation? Of course it was bad times but this wasn’t just a baseball issue. This was a societal issue. Players don’t make rules like that. Besides banning minorities didn’t make a pitcher throw harder or a hitter hit the ball farther. Were they playing against lesser talent? Yes they were but it wasn’t because the player himself made that decision. McGwire made the decision to cheat. Unless he can show me it was a requirement of the job for him then he takes the blame.

    Finally, for all the people that like to say that steroids weren’t illegal, please stop and pay attention. STEROIDS WERE ILLEGAL AND IT IS/WAS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE TO USE THEM WITHOUT A DOCTOR’S PERMISSION. Just because baseball didn’t TEST for them doesn’t mean they’re not illegal. If you still question that then ask yourselves this question, 103 players tested positive for steroids in 2001. As far as I know none of the 103 ever openly talked about taking steroids nor have they come out and admitted it unless they had to. So if it was perfectly acceptable then why wouldn’t they? Plenty of people are being prosecuted for selling and distributing the drugs illegally. Also why would players testifying to congress, including the great McGwire, ask for immunity before they would testify? If they weren’t illegal then why would they need immunity from prosecution?

  53. Rick Rodriguez Says:

    Yeah it’s okay; he did nothing but try to win games…it’s convenient how one-sided your thinking is tainted toward win at all costs. What about the teams he beat? Yes, the losers that he beat fair and square? What about cheating the Maris’ family? You have no concept of the historical value of the game to real baseball fans (I’m no vulture)and am an athlete! Why does someone have to be holier than though to do the right thing? I hope you advise your kids accordingly, but as a non-vulture, I am sure you will! And, to think somewhere Jose Canesco is smiling?

  54. brautigan Says:

    Chuck:

    Prior to the A’s moving to their practice facility (right by Phoenix municipal), the A’s would go to Scottsdale Community college prior to the spring training games. I think back in those old days, the Giants were working out at Indian Bend (or some such facility).

  55. Bastaducci Says:

    This article is a joke.

    Does anyone here actually know anyone who ever used steroids? I know many and not one, but every single one of the guys I know who used it ended up with emotional issues. it is not about baseball, it is not about the players, it is about the example we set for the kids. I mean I understand the owners are themselves to blame just like the players so don’t think I am just picking on the players. I am picking on the whole sport that I love so much. but anyone who even tries to defend steroids has not seen or noticed the effects and if someone close to them ever takes steroids they will notice they are on them long before their size or muscles let you know they are on them, you will notice when their attitude starts changing and they have quick outbursts of rage or they start crying over the most little things.

  56. brautigan Says:

    Lee:

    In my day, I could dunk a tennis ball, but never a fast ball, but I’d sit dead red on your fastball and you wouldn’t have a chance.

  57. brautigan Says:

    err…….I mean “I could dunk a tennis ball, but never a basketball”…….

    Sorry folks. It’s too early on the left coast.

  58. Joe Says:

    “Idiot” is correct.

    Let me see if I’ve got this straight: he had that amazing season and broke the all time home run record by 10 home runs all on his own talent. It was just a coincidence that he happened to be on performance enhancing drugs which didn’t enhance his performance at all. It was all his own personal talent. This is just one case where the steroids didn’t help the person at all.

    What’s really depressing is that there will probably be other people who are allowed to vote for the HOF who share your ridiculous opinion. I weep for humanity.

  59. Raul Says:

    LOL @ The example set for kids.

    We’re going to need another website created for that one.

    Ha!

  60. Doug B Says:

    well I could hammer any basketball that any of you tried to throw past me from 60′-6″. so there!

    :)

  61. Shaun Says:

    Bastaducci, I don’t think anyone is trying to defend any player who took steroids. I think most of the arguments are about how baseball should deal with records and how and if these players should be punished.

  62. 2 liars Says:

    “Anyone who thinks that just using steroids made the careers of any big name athlete”

    McGwire tells this lie too. Critics don’t claim that. They claim PRO baseball players ADDING steroids to their talents makes thier careers BETTER than if clean. Not that steroids make no talents MLB stars. Strawman arguments are all Big Mac and his deniers have left. Before we suspected Big Mac was a cheater and a roider. Now we know for sure plus he is a liar.

  63. ThomasWayne Says:

    Lee,
    (A reply to post #37)

    First, I never said anyone who thinks steroids hurts baseball is a joke…I said most of the media covering this are holier than thou and have an agenda against athletes. Any chance they can hop on one’s back and club him down to their level, they do.

    Second, Come on down to Mountain Home Arkansas anytime little feller…I will glad swat the shit out of your weak ass fastball and take you to the floor before I ever let you throw down on my ass on the hardwood.

    I may be 37 with terrible knees, but weak ass punks like you get me all excited about showing off what I did back in the day better than you do right now.

    I am Deadly serious here. Pack your bags and come on down. Put your weak ass game where your mouth is. I’ll be waiting with open arms, I’ll even buy you a brew after your done crying about your ass whoopin.

    And by the way, I am just as big a baseball fan as anyone, and I don’t think the steroid era is as big a deal as you or anyone makes it out to be. We both have our opinions, and right or wrong, we own them. More power to the both of us.

    But I am an old school athlete who will not back down to any challenge so you better show up in my town really soon to get your whipping spoon fed to you.

    Challenge my school of thought on the article…absolutely fine…I sure as hell didn’t expect anyone to agree with me.

    But Challenge my game….you’d better lace em up tight and wear your best pair of panties, Susy Q, cause I will put you in your little place or die trying….

    TW

  64. brautigan Says:

    LOL @ TW. And I thought Raul was the only one with a twisted sense of humor.

  65. Dave Says:

    McGwire wishes he didn’t play in the steroid era? He is one of the major reasons there is a steroid era.If McGwire does not think he gained an unfair advantage by using steroids he does not get it. Maybe it doesn’t help hit the ball, but when it is hit it is going to go farther. The added strength sent how many more warning track outs over the wall? One a week? With about 6 games and 25 at bats one extra homer a week might be conservative. One a week over the period McGwire says he used means he hit 100, 150, 200 homers that would not have happened. Take away those HR’s and that number of hits and he would have maybe 400 homers and had an Avg. around .240. Those numbers are Dave Kingman and not Mickey Mantle.

  66. Heuj Ackmann Says:

    So how is Canseco’s admission being considered more honorable by some here? (I said some) Because he doesn’t really have a Hall case it seems less self-serving? I do believe he was pimping his book when he ‘came clean’. Jose’s admission came for the very reasons that quite a few posters believe that all players took ‘roids in the first place: to pad the pocket book. Canseco has and always will be a fairly slimey topic (just ask his wife – or airport security).

    “The Steroid Era” WILL have to be handled some way; obviously, however we wouldn’t possibly consider doing what we did for the coke/amphetamine era of the late 60’s to late 90’s: turn a blind eye, ‘forgive’ and then elect memebers to the Hall at ever increasing rates and on earlier ballots than ever in the games history. NoNo. Let the cokeheads, separatists and ball-doctorers in but keep that other guy away from Cooperstown!

    Whatever.

    I’ve said before but I’ll repeat it here where it is direct to the content – here’s your options: either we find a way to absorb and move beyond the ’90’s and early ’00’s and understand it’s place in historical context, an unfortunate but far from ‘End Of The Game’ era (like other periods in MLB history), OR we elect no player after 1987-’88 and then REMOVE Gaylord Perry, Phil Neikro, Lefty Grove, any pitcher who used foreign substances of scuffing/cutting to enhance their performance, Paul Molitor and – aw heck, ya gotta kick out Wade Boggs! All those dalliances just make the game look dirty. Then, of course we have to eliminate Ruth for being a drunk and a womanizer (and punching/shoving an umpire); Cobb, Anson, Hornsby and myriad others for their bald-faced racism, etc. If cheating and character are the issues, the Hall is gonna get a WHOLE LOT smaller; a Hall that consists only of “The Nice Guy” class of players that people assume never did anything wrong (and the key word – is assume). I like the Hall representative; ignoring this era of players is just like trying to ignore or sweep under the rug blacklisting: counter-productive.

    The NFL allows it’s players to miss 4 games and still win the MVP if their caught – and the nation pretends that baseball is the problem, the ‘threat to the youth of our nation’. Puh-lease.

  67. Chuck Says:

    “you’d better lace them up tight and wear your best pair of panties, Susy Q”

    Anyone know how to get iced tea off a keyboard?

  68. Chuck Says:

    Braut,

    I’ve lived in Phoenix 18 years now, and the A’s have always trained at Papago Park, which is about two miles north of Phoenix Muni.

    I know, before Indian Bend was expanded, visiting teams would take INF and BP at SCC before playing the Giants at Scottsdale Stadium, but the A’s never actually trained there.

  69. ThomasWayne Says:

    Chuck,
    A wet paper towel usually does the trick.
    (Wink)
    TW

  70. Hazy Nichols Says:

    He didn’t do anything wrong? Are you are moron? Federal law made possession of steroids a felony in 1991. And to say he did it to win ballgames rather than make more money or feed his megalomania is naive at best. You don’t have to be a professional athlete to understand what integrity means.

  71. Matt Says:

    You write about McGuire like he’s the victim. The “no-win” situation was his own creation.

    At best, he’s a cheater.

  72. Raul Says:

    Thomas Wayne – Post #58.

    Top contender for Reply of the Year.

  73. Bob C Says:

    I cannot get bent out of shape at people who do any controlled substance, since all substances should be legal. “Society’s” proscription against them is a joke. The war on drugs is killing and currupting as many people as the drugs themselves. Areas all over the world are being turned into war zones (both sides of the Mexico/US border, Afghanistan, South America, Southeast Asia). Too many government officials are on the take or look the other way or actively sell drugs themselves. Tens of thousands of people in Baltimore are addicted to heroin. People are ruining their lives on crystal meth all over the country. After all the wailing and gnashing of teeth no one seems to be able to keep drugs out of sports, out of schools, or out of the military. Shoot, they can’t even keep the stinkin’ things out of prisons. Who’s kidding who, here?

    While I’m at it lying to the government (Bonds-who should not be in the dock for same, based on the comments above) should not be a crime. It should be considered rational behavior in most instances.

    Moreover, ballplayers have been using amphetamines and whatever else by the fistful since the mid-50s, which includes Mantle, Maris, Mays, and more. Aaron was perfectly willing to try them but didn’t use because of a bad reaction to them. If he hadn’t had that reaction what do you think he would have done?

    What would most of you do?

    Baseball itself is completely hypocritical since it seemed perfectly happy to look the other way when “chicks were digging the long ball,” all the while accepting massive government subsidies for their shiny new stadiums.

    By many accounts McGwire is a decent guy who hit a lot of home runs. He could theoretically not make it to the HOF simply because it could be argued that he’s a one dimensional player. I don’t care if he makes it into the Hall or not, but I sure don’t want to hear all of the puritannical busybodies moaning about how some cheater ruined *their* precious game.

    Get over yourselves and get a sense of perspective.

  74. ThomasWayne Says:

    Raul,

    Thanks. I’d like to accept this award on behalf of all late 30 somethings with bad knees and ankles who once fought the good fight on the black top, the diamond, and the gridiron. Our bodies may be diminished but our spirit lives on.

    I’d like to finish by saying…

    You like me….you really like me….(sniff…sniff)

    TW

  75. ThomasWayne Says:

    Raul,

    Actually….I’m not sure if you were praising me now…lol. Did you mean #58 against me or my reply which is actually #63.

    Maybe I jumped the gun on my acceptance speech…yikes….lol.

    That would suck.

    TW

  76. brautigan Says:

    Chuck:

    My first spring training was in 1992, and the A’s were at Scottsdale Community College until Papago park opened, which was roughly around 1996. I remember going out to Scottsdale to watch the A’s work out, and this must have been 1994, when Rickey Henderson jumped the fence to work out with the Scottsdale Community College softball team. He had lots of admirers that day.

  77. Heuj Ackmann Says:

    BobC: Like the general cut of your jib (perspective is sorely lacking in the ‘roid debate) but would like to qualify one point:

    McGwire is as ‘one-dimensional’ as Harmon Killebrew, Eddie Mathews, Willie McCovey, Willie Stargell, Ernie Banks or Ralph Kiner. Read: not very. These players are actually more two- or three-dimensional: lots of power, lots of walks, middling-to-low average, weak fielding, slow afoot. They’re sluggers and by and large the Hall loves ‘em some sluggers. C’mon Shaun, defend the high OBP that should put McGwire in the Hall all by itself?

    Shaun: great posts at #41 & #50. I was wrong above, there is some perspective being presented. The word I get from people who still know many big-league players or are involved in the game is over 80%. If – if – that were true . . . what do you do, folks? That means reserve infielders, middle relievers, 7 hole hitter on 2nd division teams, number four pitchers are or have been ‘juiced’, not just the ’stars’; that would mean that the GAME has been ‘juiced’ for most of the past two. Omar Vizquel or Nick Punto or Shane Victorino or K-Rod – any of them could be ‘enhanced’. There are many sides to the ‘roid argument but the dominant ‘ban-them-all’ voice just seems – naive. “Okay, so no Manny, no Clemens no this guy or that guy, but the game is mostly clean.” What if the game is mostly tainted and it’s been only 20-30% max who have not used? It’s very likely, folks.

    Time to stop bashing the big names and consider the full implications to your mindset considering every player in the game. There is no one who can say unequivocally “that guy for sure did and that guy for sure didn’t.” No less than Mike Schmidt has said he most likely would have done some kind of PED if they would have been available to him. Michael Jack Schmidt, guys, has said that he understands the urge. It’s pretty hypocritical for players from past generations to disparage this eras players. How can the players of the ’60s, ’70s or 80s point fingers at today’s players when none of them blew the whistle on amphetamine and coke use? Weren’t they complicit? “Oh I didn’t know and I was clean?” I call bulls*#t. Different drugs, different eras but same culture.

    If it’s hypocritical for other players to condemn, what does it make the average Joe on the street who feels he’s justified in slamming someone he doesn’t know, someone who’s been in position that he could only dream of attaining. All of the opinions about the players so far implicated, those not yet and those never to be from the last 2 decades are just that – opinions. And largely uninformed opinions at that. None of us knows what it is like to be a big league baseball player or a professional athlete of any kind. Y’know that thing about the high-horse? Consider it next time you want to throw stones.

  78. Jacob Says:

    Steroids saved my dog’s life. Thank you, steroids!

  79. brautigan Says:

    Heuj: I have yet to find someone that says cocaine is a performance enhancing drug. In fact, if one looks at the careers of those that did cocaine in the early 80’s, there was a pretty steep decline in performance for the majority of those (known) users.

    And then there is Rod Scurry, Rod Beck and Eric Show. Pretty damn sad if you ask me.

  80. Hossrex Says:

    Jacob: “Steroids saved my dog’s life. Thank you, steroids!”

    My aunt is dying of COPD (she’s a scumbag, so it’s cool), and she was prescribed a steroid to help her… something. Instead of taking them, she’s selling them to a neighbor who’s trying to bulk up. Her sister (my other aunt), a registered nurse, told her “it isn’t that kind of steroid”, and she just shrugged her shoulders and said “as long as he doesn’t know that, I don’t care.”

    I’m not making fun of Jacob here (since his comment was obviously tongue in cheek), but it cracks me up how often people just lump all steroids together, to the point of hesitancy for people to take them in cases like pneumonia, when it’s really necessary to survive.

  81. jimmy vac Says:

    As someone who has had to take steriods and HGH because of a tumor, I can tell you, you put on weight, have mood swings. HGHreally does not help recovery. It was orignally utilized to help small kids grow to normal size. A side benfit was recuing body fat. It did not help me much because I started wroking out on my own andcutting back. I do think it made me a little stronger but it did not help me hit a baseball any further.
    One thing we gotta ask ourselves is would we have taken them when we were 18
    and had a chance at the majors? I know I would have .. maybe not at 49 but at 18, my world was pitching a baseball……

  82. Heuj Ackmann Says:

    brautigan: Cocaine is a stimulant. How could that possibly help one perform? Hmm, I – don’t – know. Those who’ve taken a ride on two white horses can attest to the potential for a performance ‘boost’. You might want to ring Paul Molitor and clue him in as well, since his career certainly didn’t have a ‘pretty steep decline’, quite the opposite. Rock Raines biggest years were almost certainly all ‘under the influence’ (but I assume he is the steep decline of which you speak). Steve Howe, perhaps? And to prevent any caustic posts – I love and advocate for Rock and think Molitor was a stand-up guy and true professional who gutted it out through many an injury to become one of the better hitters of his generation. Howe, sadly, just couldn’t beat the monkey. But they did do coke. Just ask them.

    Fact is, we’ll never know who was coked up or took other stimulants just like we’ll never know for sure how many have used the next-gen of PEDs or are using whatever is available now. Other names have certainly been mentioned but, well, it seems like were not here to talk about the past.

    So . . . Players from the late ’50s to, well who knows when, were amped up, on uppers, ridin’ a express train, feelin’ the heat, feelin’ the burnin’, lovin’ the drip, pick your euphemism (which players, you may ask. Well, gee, we don’t really know. Sound strangely familiar?). Whether it was coke or amphetamines or something else, they were the ‘drug’ of choice for those trying to get an edge before the next big thing came along.

    Welcome to the next big thing. My point is there was a substance that provided an ‘unfair’ edge before this and, guess what, major league players used it. Ya know what? We should ban those players and write awful things about them and the kind of people they obviously are. We can tell the world their motives, even though we couldn’t possibly know what they were truly thinking. We could tell everyone how they helped to destroy the integrity of the game. Yeah, then we can feel superior and righteous. That’d be cool.

  83. Hossrex Says:

    I’m beginning to like Heuj.

    Heuj: “We could tell everyone how they helped to destroy the integrity of the game. Yeah, then we can feel superior and righteous. That’d be cool.”

    That’s the steroid issue in a nutshell.

  84. Raul Says:

    TW,

    I meant 63

  85. Scott Says:

    Heuj:
    I like how you people say we’re trying to feel superior and righteous and all along that’s what you’re trying to do to us.

    As a baseball fan I’m completely amazed that other baseball fans are okay with players taking drugs to improve their physical talents. Cocaine and amphetimines are not the same as HGH and steroids no matter how many times you try and compare the two. Nowhere is history has any doctor or medical person labeled cocaine a performance enhancing drug. Where do you people come from? Have an argument that makes sense to people please.

    Hossrex:
    “Just think about how you’re treating other human beings.

    Human beings.”

    Just asking but isn’t your aunt a human being? Or is that title only given to people you don’t know or whom haven’t offended you?

  86. Hossrex Says:

    Scott: “As a baseball fan I’m completely amazed that other baseball fans are okay with players taking drugs to improve their physical talents

    As a baseball fan I’m completely amazed that other baseball fans have a problem with players taking drugs to improve their physical talents, because I enjoy seeing the best players in the world compete at the highest level.

    Scott: “Cocaine and amphetimines are not the same as HGH and steroids no matter how many times you try and compare the two. Nowhere is history has any doctor or medical person labeled cocaine a performance enhancing drug.”

    Then why were the players doing them?

    Scott: “Have an argument that makes sense to people please.

    It makes sense to a lot of people Scott. People who understand the motivations behind the steroid witch hunt.

    Scott: “Just asking but isn’t your aunt a human being? Or is that title only given to people you don’t know or whom haven’t offended you?”

    I’m not telling anyone to go harass my aunt or her family. I’m not telling anyone to cry out for my aunt to lose her job. I’m not telling anyone to scream obscenities at her family in public. I’m not telling congress to put her in prison because she lied to them to avoid public persecution.

    Those are all things YOU’RE doing. Even if you’re not actively doing them, you’re perpetuating a mentality that causes those things.

    It was an offhand anecdote, and I didn’t want anyone to feel sorry for a felonious thief who’s in the last stages of COPD because of her chain smoking. My aunt has hurt people, and ruined the lives of her children.

    Barry Bonds used drugs, and snapped at greedy selfish fans who didn’t appreciate him.

    Everything you say just screams of a major case of over-self-importance.

  87. Jon Says:

    Heuj is spot-on. Throughout the history of the game, players have been juicing in one form or another, looking for that competitive edge.

    To all who say using steriods was all about the money, your mind-set is incredibly limited. You have obviously never been an athlete at a high level and cannot possibly understand the thought process of a lifetime athlete. The desire to be the best and the will to win are very powerful things, much more powerful than an extra zero on that paycheck. It was all about the competitive edge. Winning is all that matters to a career athlete. Winning for yourself, for the team, and for the fans.

    Steroids increase strength and recovery time. Not mental focus, not hand-eye coordination, not ANY of the skills required to hit a ball really far. EVERYONE who is under scrutiny for using steroids was a great ballplayer on his own. Many of them, like McGwire, were exceptional ballplayers.

    I CHALLENGE ANYONE to give a REALISTIC idea of how many homers or RBIs were due only to the steroids. Once we agree on the % of stats that are invalid, we can adjust the stats of the steroid era and be done with it.

    Also, we all have to keep in mind that steroids were RAMPANT. You can’t point to McGwire and say “your numbers were artificially inflated compared to your contemporaries”. In fact, many of the pitchers McGwire hit off of were on steroids as well. You can’t even really say for sure that hitters had an unfair advantage in the steroid era.

  88. Jon Says:

    @Dave: an extra homer every 25 at bats is astronomical. That’s almost half of McGwire’s homers during his heyday and ALL of them during down years. Think before you speak.

  89. Heuj Ackmann Says:

    Scott: Buddy, calm down. You act as if A-Rod and Barry came over to your house and keyed your car, kicked your dog, told your kids Santa was myth and peed in the pool. I can tell you feel quite passionately about this. But stating “Have an argument that makes sense to people please” simply because it does not make sense to YOU is – well, senseless. I can see from the comments of many other participants on this thread that my point of view ‘makes sense’ to quite a few people actually. You’re just not one of them – end of story.

    But, I’ll stop using the word “cocaine” if it makes you feel better (even though there are documented cases of players admitting the use of that particular drug). Go back to prior posts and simply substitute the word “stimulants”. But the fact (it’s a fact, Scott) is that this is not the first generation of players to use a ’substance’ in attempt to gain advantage over the opponent.

    And last the superiority thing. Don’t try to twist my words to make me out as the one who wishes to pass judgment. I don’t feel superior to you or anybody on this page – I disagree with YOU on this topic; with your POSITION on this topic. That’s it. I don’t see how the use of HGH, steroids, stimulants, the spitter, pine tar, the induction of players suspected of misuse of any of these into some shrine in NY or even the ultimate ‘cheat’: segregation have spelled the end of box scores in the paper come June. They won’t. Baseball rolls on, baby. It’s a beautiful thing.

    And I came from my mother’s womb. Oh, did you mean geographically or was that a rhetorical question?

    hossrex: I’m glad you were called out as well as it made me go back and re-read the referenced comment. I know no response was requested but – Well said. Bravo.

  90. Hossrex Says:

    Heuj: “I’m glad you were called out as well as it made me go back and re-read the referenced comment. I know no response was requested but – Well said. Bravo.”

    If you’re speaking to the comment for which I believe you’re speaking… think for a moment the point Scott was trying to make.

    He was basically trying to say “It’s okay for me to treat people like absolute $#!t, and be a total dick, because… LOOK!… I can find an instance where it appears you’ve done the same thing!”

    Well… good for him. If the level of respect he gives to humanity is determined by the lowest common denominator he can grasp upon at any given moment, simply to justify his immoral behavior, I can imagine it would be quite easy for him to be a complete waste of skin for the vast majority of his life.

    Rest assured… while I might slip up now and then… I prefer to think humanity (and the human beings who represent said group) deserve to be treated as we’d want to be treated ourselves.

  91. Hossrex Says:

    My previous comment (#88) left things slightly ambiguous to how I was responding to Heuj. I just want to make clear that I was appreciative of what he said, and I agree with him entirely. I didn’t mean the comment to come off as “NU UH! LOOK WHAT HE SAID!”… but instead to be read as “I know, right? Can you believe people actually think like that?”

  92. Jacob Says:

    TW: “wear your best pair of panties, Susy Q”

    haha

    Sorry, I still at #63.

  93. Bill Johnson Says:

    Cheating is cheating is cheating. When everyone does it or would do it if they could then it’s meaningless and any who oppose it are self-righteous and naive. There should be no qualitative distinctions between Babe Ruth drinking to excess, Gaylord Perry spitting on the ball, Mike Schmidt taking greenies, Dale Berra doing coke, or Barry Bonds increasing his hat size by three by using “flaxseed oil.”

    We should all just throw up our hands and say “never mind.” Is that the argument?

  94. Hossrex Says:

    Bill Johnson: “We should all just throw up our hands and say “never mind.” Is that the argument?”

    Considering it’s simply a sport, which has nothing to do with us or our lives, which has no purpose except to entertain us by showing us the best competitors playing at the highest level… yet. We should literally just throw our hands up and say “damn, that was fun to watch.”

  95. Bill Johnson Says:

    I thought so, thanks for the confirmation.

  96. Doug B Says:

    Only a delusional person would say they used performance enhancing drugs but they did not enhance their performance.

    McGwire attempted to come clean about his drug use and at the same time legitimize his career numbers.

    It sounds too much like “I did not have sex with that woman Ms. Lewinski”. Mac, you failed.

  97. Hossrex Says:

    I love how saying “baseball is a game that exists for our enjoyment, so our enjoyment should be the most important part” is seen as absurd by some people.

    If the integrity of the game outweighs the importance of the game being enjoyable, baseball has INHERENTLY outlived it’s usefulness.

  98. brautigan Says:

    Heuj:

    My point is/was that no way is cocaine a performance enhancing drug. It just isn’t. And the greenies the players took in the 60’s? Bouton’s book talked about it, and what I gathered from it was this: the players ate greenies so that they could come out of their booze hazed trance from the night before. I mean, c’mon, do you think your synapses are going to be at their best if you chugged down a pot of coffee and had to face Matt Cain?

  99. Enough Already Says:

    “He took the juice to gain strength, gain recovery time, gain records and money and fame.”

    The money and fame parts were already covered. Records? If they happen, they happen. Strength and recovery time, sure, why else would an athlete take such a risk? As for whether McGuire said too much or too little, what does it matter? He already confirmed what everyone KNEW for years. We don’t need his life story in the process.

  100. Mike Felber Says:

    I will post a detailed comment on the now clear indications that Big Mac has minimized & distorted both what he used, how much, & for what purpose. Briefly: it is not inherently arrogant to condemn cheating, esp. that which hurts the careers & fortunes of teams & players. Many did not use PEDs. the anabolic ones are qualitatively distinct from those drugs which only either hurt performances, or maybe increased endurance (at least by compensating for damage done by other drugs). It is clear that ‘roids not only improve endurance & help w/recovery, but often dramatically change the body, & increase power in a way that helps w/such basic advantages as hitting the ball hard & far, & throwing fast.

    This should all be ABCs by now. Also, as the game is highly public, the example of same has a huge impact on our national psych & example, especially forn youths, AND the players gain fame & fortune, particularly through effective cheating & lying, it is VERY appropriate to loudly condemn their conduct. It would be wrong not to. This has nothing to do w/abuse or the minority who are nasty: like that some could assault or curse at a criminal does not make the crime right.

    PEDs were a crime for virtually all of the ’90s. Players who in part stole their prominence & money, depriving others of some similar success, & were utter hypocrites & lacked guts by lying about what they did: it is not right to ignore said sins, thus enable the next guys to try to cheat & lie more effectively.

  101. Hossrex Says:

    Braut: “And the greenies the players took in the 60’s? Bouton’s book talked about it, and what I gathered from it was this: the players ate greenies so that they could come out of their booze hazed trance from the night before. I mean, c’mon, do you think your synapses are going to be at their best if you chugged down a pot of coffee and had to face Matt Cain?”

    I just looked into the future, and when bioware (the implantation of more tightly wound muscle mass, and faster connections between the brain and the spinal column to increase twitch speed) becomes banned by baseball, this will be what people write about it to demonify it compared to steroids:

    Future apologist defending the players he grew up watching/idolizing: “And the steroids the players took in the 90’s? Canseco’s book talked about it, and what I gathered from it was this: the players used steroids so that they could come out injuries faster. I mean, c’mon, do you think your muscles are going to be at their best if you took a Tylenol and had to face Matt Cain?”

    It’s. The. Same. Damn. Thing.

    You can either accept Pandora’s Box, or you can waste all your energies trying to close it. Ask the RIAA about it some time.

  102. Hossrex Says:

    Mike Felber: “PEDs were a crime for virtually all of the ’90s. Players who in part stole their prominence & money, depriving others of some similar success, & were utter hypocrites & lacked guts by lying about what they did: it is not right to ignore said sins, thus enable the next guys to try to cheat & lie more effectively.”

    You still have to hit the damn ball.

  103. Mike Felber Says:

    Why must it be all or nothing? As Bill Johnson & others have written, there is a huge qualitative distinction between the effect of different drugs: I am tired of showing theis, but will dedicate paragraphs to it as necessary. And a legal thing for headaches like tylenol is totally not a PED.

    The nature of any rational & ethical argument is making distinctions,if they are real. It is not a waste of time, & even with the very imperfect system of detection & punishment today, there has been for years now clearly a reduction in the size of players, & the amount of outlier performances. Though do tell me about the RIAA.

    “Having to hit the ball”. Hoss, it is like you throw me a softball, like the small corruption of Denny Mclain serving up # 535 for Mantle on a platter. Why do you make it so easy? ;-) O.K., I will tee off, briefly;

    Using illegal drugs that enhance physique & performance give many a large qualitative edge. So what that you have to have some skill to reach a certain level? Cheating, & the lying that supports it, gives you exactly the effect that you quoted me on above. If I have to have some ability to get to a certain corporate, or management, or political position, could that possible excuse or mitigate stealing, lying, cheating? If so, then many executives, money guys, Congressman, religious leaders…who otherwise we would all condemn the actions of: they are off the hook! Lie, embezzle, influence peddle, betray your oaths of office, awaaaaaay!

  104. Chuck Says:

    As a (parttime) practicing nutrition counselor/advisor, I would consider a 6′5″ 205 pound man to be about average, or medium in build.

    With McGwire being an athlete, or someone requiring a higher than normal calorie intake, I would consider him to be slightly underweight, despite his average frame.

    The ceiling for a normal, “big-boned” (non athlete) man of McGwire’s size would be 230 pounds, max. At 230 pounds, an average man would be considered overweight at 230 pounds.

    McGwire, essentially, even allowing for minimal weight gain through exersize related to his profession and aging, gained 30-35 pounds, unnaturally.

    There is only one way to do that.

    A lot of artificial help.

  105. Mike Felber Says:

    There are some people who can gain that muscle weight absent drugs, but they are fairly few & far between. It would be highly unusual for someone with an average frame.

  106. Heuj Ackmann Says:

    Mike: All of the people you listed – do exactly what you say. Congressmen, preachers, CEOs – they lie, cheat and steal. They’re human beings, flawed and fallible. And the things they do, THOSE things actually effects people’s lives; their financial portfolios, their job security.

    Baseball, on the other hand, is entertainment – like movies or TV. And entertainment REFLECTS the culture of it’s time. So today’s steroids = yesterday’s segregation; an issue that will, or certainly should, stink up the history of the game a million times more than any PED scandal could.

    The senate hearings, the media B.S. – that’s not baseball; it’s O.J. and “Survivor” and “America’s Next Top Model”. Tabloid press, that’s where the money in the steroid scandal lies: in the coverage. Writers who’ve never played the game telling wannabes who’ve never played the game why the guys who’ve actually played the game suck. Brilliant! You couldn’t make this up. And it sells, so they keep it coming. “People” for guys. You’re not watching into “Brangelina”; you’re buying “McA-Roid”.

    Average Joe Fan would have long sped past the exit for “Steroid Scandal” if the same media that swooned for the ‘98 homerun battle and posited the still valid theory that the big HR numbers were partly due to expansion and it’s effect on the dilution of the pitching pool as well as new, hitter-friendly ballparks and the ne’er waning throng of self-righteous ’super-fans’ out to protect the game from itself would just MOVE ON.

    Has anyone seen the footage from the senate hearing with Ray Lewis, Michael Irvin, Randy Moss, Ben Roethlisberger, and Brett Favre? No? Ya know why? Because it NEVER HAPPENED – and I don’t see those clouds anywhere on the horizon.

    When and if I ever hear some member of the “Burn Mark McGwire” fan-club mention the NFL while they’re harping on the use of PEDs, then, and only then, will I perhaps consider listening to what they have to say.

    And in reference to your attempted smug “refutation” of “you still have to hit the damn ball” – you’re point was what, exactly? You simply went back to the corporate analogy that was beyond a stretch to start with. Barry Bonds, A-Rod, Manny and Mark McGwire were great hitters, y’know hand-eye coordiantion, the physical act of hitting a baseball, round stick to round ball. You teed off on nothing; your “point” was inane. “So what that you have to have some skill to reach a certain level?” Are you serious? Have you played baseball at even a moderately competitive level? It doe not take “some skill” to play Major League baseball; it takes great skill to play major league baseball. And it takes immense skill to play major league baseball at the highest level against the best competition. Rethink; try again.

  107. Hossrex Says:

    First… I’ve seldom agreed so fervently with a post written by someone else. Well done Heuj.

    Although I was confused about something. It was me who said “you still have to hit the damn ball”… not Mike (I’m not sure if you got confused about who said what, or if you mistook what I said). What *I* meant by that was there’s a reason Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferigno, or the assembled Mr. Universe contestants every year aren’t making 30 million dollars per year playing baseball. It doesn’t matter how big you are, if you can’t hit a major league pitch. I know people don’t actually believe this… or at least I hope they don’t believe this… but a LOT of people talk like steroids are a drug that turns scrawny little Steve Rogers into Captain America. Like it’s magical drug that turns Mario Mendoza into Alex Rodriguez.

    Well. You still have to hit the damn ball.

    I predict posts 108, 109, and 110 in this thread all pick apart unimportant parts of Huej post (i.e. congress picking on baseball because of the anti-trust exemption, etc), without ever having anything close to an actual refutation.

    It must suck to be persecuted because you wanted to be the best you could be.

    Don’t we encourage that in our children? Shouldn’t a person have the right to decide what he puts in his body?

    Oh well.

    Mr. Mackey: “Drugs are bad, M’KAY.”

  108. Heuj Ackmann Says:

    The argument wasn’t meant to be directed at the fact that the NFL is exempt – or whatever – but to the fact that they’re not even really in the discussion. Look at pro football. Look at pro football players. Look at baseball. Look at baseball players. And the problem is where?

    Maybe the problem is everywhere. But until we take the magnifying glass to the society at large, the culture that bred the steroid era, we’re just getting on a pedestal and blathering away. And it’s pretty easy to fall from those heights. PED use didn’t happen in a vacuum, folks; when it was providing us entertainment, all was cool. When it was erasing the memory of work-stoppages, damn it was great. But now, now it’s the work of the great Satan hisself. The word is hypocrisy.

    I’ve recently said it in another comment but I’ll say it in this thread too: I don’t care about PEDs. Don’t care. The drug we ban today is obsolete next month and the one that replaces it, that they can’t test for, the athlete’s who want the edge, want to win and succeed – they’re gonna find it. And then we can have this stupid debate again.

    And last, I knew it was Hoss who made the “hit the damn ball” statement (hence the quotes). It was Mike’s attempted dis of his post that was the target of the last bit. Playing ball is not easy, people. I really don’t think that many people understand that. We all remember playing whatever level of ball we got to and simply conflate that to “Pro ball ain’t that tough.” Baseball somehow looks easy unlike football or pro-hoops even where physique trumps all. But step in against live pitching, guys. Stand in against 90 mph, now stand in against a curve that’s coming for your head (you swear it’s coming for your -STRIKE). Take some grounders at third. Try to track a ball off the bat from 320 feet. Turn two from second. Try to throw a strike, now try to make it bend, make it sink, change speeds. Good luck.

  109. Mike Felber Says:

    Mr. H.J., cheating in pro sports does effect the fortunes of teams & players who are honest. And by dint of its visibility & effect on kids especially, it has a big impact on our culture. The game is not merely entertainment, otherwise throw our all rules, use superballs & atomic bats, let players fight it out…

    There is an element of sensationalism in media coverage. There is also rational & instructive indignation about the warping of the game & its records. It is too cynical too assume there is only soap opera, no sincerity, & it patronizes many fans to believe that they are mindlessly led by media, & never would be outraged & dismayed by themselves.

    That many are hypocritical in other areas, like about football, does not mean that their is not a special concern for baseball. Like that other factors enabled more HRs does not mean that ‘roids & HgH did not inflate the # of many-outlier performances have been deeply curtailed, even with an imperfect system.

    One reason you assumed my tone was smug, rather than jestingly gleeful, is you have not seen my interactions w/Hoss over a long period. My analogy was not “corporate” at all, the opposite of my politics too. You missed my point, & only you, w/your “rethink, try again”, comment seem condescending. Please review the context: what you quoted from me was NOT me saying that it is meaningless or unimpressive to achieve at the highest levels, far from it.

    But that it does not effect the issue at hand: whether when you get there cheating (& the position, money, & status it denies other honest players) is mitigated by this talent. Actually, some would not even get to the Bigs without cheating, denying other, sometimes more talented & hard working, players the chance. Though “some skill” was perhaps imprecise of me: much skill is needed, though when you artificially enhance, that can compensate to an extent. Though most know that there is a limit to how much improvement you get-yet at the top level, any edge goes a long way.

    And let us say you are a libertarian & would ban no drugs. O.K., but does a game have the right to set their rules? That value men being able to reach the Majors, & excel there, not based somewhat upon the efficacy of their dosing, & the peculiarities of how their system responds to drugs? That wants to let men who do not want to poison their body & compete partly through freakish chemistry have a fair or fighting chance?

    Then the example is set for kids that all is not O.K. in the name of “being the best”. Otherwise we should celebrate anyone from drug regimen successes to Tonya Harding.

  110. Mike Felber Says:

    In ‘98 steroids were banned, but not tested for. Sure, some turned a blind eye, but it is mistaken or revisionist history to say most knew. Big Mac did some excellent misdirection upon reflection. Yes, media & baseball was complicit in not looking to closely. But also we had no tests, minimal allegations, & did not have reason to know how widespread usage was yet.

    Now players are often deterred from cheating, or as much. And if we froze samples & let them be tested whenever for any newly detected substances we would be doing even better (Jim Bouton suggested this). It is worthwhile, & feasible, to discourage as much illegality & corruption as possible. Then those who have the great talent & work ethic can shine as they are supposed to do: it is bass-ackwards to celebrate the liars & cheaters as those “willing to do what it takes”.

  111. Heuj Ackmann Says:

    Mike: All clarifications of your position are appreciated. Your comment at #103 certainly left ambiguities as to your perspective to my mind; I understand now from whence you come. Agreement is a different story.

    Allow me to make a small clarification as well ss far as PEDs go. There is now in place an explicit penalizing system for players who test positive for certain substances. Ask Manny Ramirez. Well and good.

    It’s the backward-looking need to ‘fix’ the past that bothers me. Players now will be punished in due course. It’s the engineering of punishment for past transgressions that’s beyond me. This isn’t murder or rape and, as I’ve stated before, statistical differences are always viewed within the context of time and situation; that’s why we still celebrate both Ruth’s 60 and Maris’s 61*. Any astute baseball fan knows and understands the qualitative differences between periods of baseballs existence. I find no denigration of the ststs of Micky Mantle because of the ’steroid era’; I know the difference and can separate the qualitative differences. I assume anyone with even a decent statistical and historical acumen of the game can do the same.

    And the Bouton idea – more on that for another thread.

    Good talk. Good talk.

  112. Mike Felber Says:

    Yes sir, & sorry about the confusion. See, Hoss, Chuck I & others have gone over this many times before, so they know I was not minimizing the difficulty & attendent credit that accrues to reaching the Majors.

    I agree so many make the adjustments of which you speak: but not all do, & it is intrinsically unfair to honest players. Plus the stealing the roster spot, &/or undeserved successes at the expense of others, wins for your team-it warps the game. As does changing the balance of offense, or how much power, including pitching, is ascendent-the list goes on.

    Now I am likely more of a scold than you ;-) , but when this happens, it both helps deter other potential cheaters & liars to look retroactively, & it is only fair that those who broke the law are not just called to account after a certain point. If 1 guy suffers a fall due to cheating now, if it was illegal before, why is it fair that another who just happened to play before we could or did detect what he did, gets a free pass? He still avoids the formal penalties incurred today-even if he used for years-but should he not be called on a somewhat fraudulent performance?

  113. brautigan Says:

    Hoss:

    No. It’s. Not.

    Greenies never helped Mantle play a full season since 1961.
    Greenies never helped anyone on the Pirates hit more homeruns.

    Did greenies help keep players on the field? Probably. And with greenies, guys possibly knew they could go out, drink until the bars closed, pop a couple of those bad boys and you’re back in the game. That. Might. Be. The. Same. Thing. Then.

  114. Chuck Says:

    I see Rex found his Vice_Presidential candidate.

  115. Hossrex Says:

    Mike Felber: “it is bass-ackwards to celebrate the liars & cheaters as those “willing to do what it takes”.”

    Okay. So the hall of fame is bass-ackwards.

    What’s your point?

    *whisper whisper whisper*

    What? No way. Are you serious?

    *whisper whisper whisper*

    Really? He really meant that TODAY’S players were the only ones who lied and cheated?

    Seriously?

    *whisper whisper whisper*

    No way. No freaking way. I demand that Mike be given more respect. I demand that we not insult him by suggesting that he actually meant that only players from the steroid era lied and/or cheated. He clearly meant that going back through the annals of history, we should set out to find each and every player who ever lied or cheated, and refuse to celebrate them. He couldn’t have POSSIBLY meant ONLY modern players should be held to those standards.

    *whisper whisper whisper*

    I’m not outta control! You’re outta control! The whole freakin’ system’s outta control! You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth! ‘Cause when you reach over and stick your hand into a pile of goo that was your best friend’s face! You’ll know what to do – forget it Disembodied Voice – it’s China Town!

  116. Raul Says:

    Wondering how Hossrex gets italics and bold. I don’t see a formatting icon here.

  117. Mike Felber Says:

    Hoss has transcendental powers of as trickster God. Or at least a nature sprite.

    That was an amusing ‘lil tableaux. Yet I know your smart-itude: when you do this it’s puckish, & you are vert able to anticipate at least the essence of my rejoinder.

    I clearly meant that the ideal of making any effort O.K., & celebrating it, whether legal or moral, whatever the effect on the game, other teams & competitors, is perverse. And have stated at length how we do not ignore illegalities, but consider the severity & impact of the offense. Was the things illegal? How about was it banned in baseball? How much/often did a player use? And crucially, what is the likely impact of the substances or conduct?

    Most of the other drugs used were either de-enhancers, or accomplished only 1 of the functions of ‘roids: improved endurance. They did not totally enhance a physique & power game, nor help others shatter records, personal & all time in defiance of logic, natural peaks, & age.

  118. Hossrex Says:

    Raul: “Wondering how Hossrex gets italics and bold. I don’t see a formatting icon here.”

    It pays to have been as much of a computer nerd circa 1996 as I was a baseball nerd. ‘Twas a time nigh on a half a score years ago when people wrote in the arcane language known as “HTML”. ‘Tis a programming language, the acronym for which means “hyper text mark-up language”.

    It’s a lost art for precisely the fact that most sites now have “formatting icons” (*spit*). If you know what you’re doing, simple HTML codes can really emphasize what you’re saying.

    I don’t know how many HTML commands are allowed here (probably not many… lulz…), but lets see if the one which will let you see what I type works.

    The below is what I type to get my formatting how I like it:

    Raul: “Wondering how Hossrex gets italics and bold. I don’t see a formatting icon here.”

    Hopefully that doesn’t break the message board.

    *crosses fingers*

    Mike: “Yet I know your smart-itude: when you do this it’s puckish, & you are vert able to anticipate at least the essence of my rejoinder.”

    lol… this time I actually WAS trying to be Puckish. He’s my favorite Satyr.

  119. Hossrex Says:

    Nope. Sorry. XMP commands aren’t allowed (neither was the other HTML I tried to use).

    It seems like italics, and bold are about the extent of what can be done, which is good because you can really raise hell with programming language if it’s allowed.

  120. Hossrex Says:

    You know, I never realized until now that I was the only person here who used formatting code.

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