Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Hoo boy

So as if there wasn't enough going on in baseball right now - Spring Training, the World Baseball Classic, and Kirby Puckett's death - this comes along. SI has the scoop on a new book documenting Barry Bonds' steroid use in minute detail, by the SF Chronicle guys. It's a worthwhile read, as is the authors' list of documentation - pretty damning stuff. Obviously this affects more than just Barry and the Giants, and other (unnamed) players are implicated as well. This could be ugly.

On the brighter side, David Ortiz went 2-3 with 2 HR, 3R, 3RBI, and 1BB. The U.S. Yankess (Jeter, A-Rod, Damon) went a combined 3-for-9, with 0 R and 0 RBI. Timlin and Tavarez each pitched a scoreless inning. Go DR!


  1. Have you ever seen that Fainaru guy - he's pretty funny looking.

  2. There has to be a formal investigation now. There's no way they can let Bonds keep all those records if he's guilty...

  3. Yeah, the unfortunate thing is: he was a Hall of Famer by 1998, the time he apparently began using. It just sounds like his ego -- getting pissed off that McGwire got all the attention, and assuming it was a race thing (never mind that Sosa isn't white) -- got in the way.

  4. I agree that this is a disgrace, and even more so given the detail of the report. If Bonds had any sense, he'd retire now. But at the same time, records are records. Just because Bonds' are grossly public now doesn't mean they didn't happen. We're not taking away Bobby Thompson's homer even though he admitted to stealing catcher signs. We're not taking away records from greenie users, or any of the records that existed when baseball was segregated - a sin far worse than steroids. And, frankly, it's petty. What does he get if his name is in the record books? Notoriety. What does he get if it's not? Notoriety. No one's going to forget this happened if it's removed, and baseball granted it legitimacy already by failing on an exorbitant scale to address the problem in the first place. The steroid era is as much a part of baseball history as anything else, and its records will stand.

  5. Andrew -- I don't think it's anywhere near as simple as you say. None of your examples offer a great analogy to steroids: greenies had not been banned by baseball prior to 2006; stealing signs is not against baseball rules (unless it's done electronically); and sadly, racial discrimination was the norm, and totally legal, in baseball (and society) for much of this century.

    Steroids, on the other hand, have been banned by baseball. Many of them are also illegal. That makes steroid use massively different from any of the examples you provided, and thus in my opinion worthy of reconsideration of the records.

  6. Also, I disagree with your "records are records" argument. Would you say then that Ben Johnson deserved the World Record and Olympic gold medal in the 100m in 1988?

  7. Also, if you can get away with stealing signs, that is part of the game. Let me qualify that with saying that the use of technology (such as cameras, etc...) is wrong. Looking back and seeing what the catcher is throwing down is part of the game. It always has been. Watch Tek when he throws down signs...He's looking right in the eyes of the hitter...His job is to not let the hitter steal the signs...

    There is a place in baseball (and pretty much every other sport, but baseball especially) for records...Players like Aaron and Ruth and Williams are not only record holders, they are American icons up there with FDR, Kennedy, etc...That sounds ridiculous, but it is true. They are part of the culture of the U.S.

    Bonds's actions changed the outcomes of games, MVP votes, etc...

    With that said this goes further than Bonds, but baseball can't let him skate...It would be VERY bad for the future of the game.

  8. Funny that the HR I most remember Bonds hitting was against Eric Gagne - a massive, massive bomb in (I think late 2003) off a 99 mph fastball that I think just landed about a week ago.

    Gagne missed essentially all of last year, is noticeably smaller this year, and had his success starting in 2002, right after the offseason that he went home and worked out "intensely" with his hockey buddies and came to camp in noticeably better shape and much increased velocity on his fastball.

    Did Bonds cheat? Probably. Is he an arrogant self serving jackass. Definitely. But this is a very tricky issue.

    Will MLB's investigation focus only on Bonds and punish him? What will the punishment be? Where will it stop? Canseco admitted to using when he won the MVP in 88. Greenwell has been lobbying for the award since he came in second. And I think we all know Greenwell will never get that award. Its way to tricky. To this date Bonds (and McGwire, Sosa, hell even Frank Thomas, Jeff Bagwell, Roger Clemens, Gary Sheffield, A-Rod, Randy Johnson and a ton of others) have not failed a single drug test.

    I'm not condoning it, just saying this is a very tricky area.

  9. Good point about Gagne. But...

    To this date Bonds (and McGwire, Sosa, hell even Frank Thomas, Jeff Bagwell, Roger Clemens, Gary Sheffield, A-Rod, Randy Johnson and a ton of others) have not failed a single drug test.

    Everyone says this, but I'm not sure it's true. Baseball did anonymous drug testing in 2003, and 7% of the tests came out positive (despite it being really easy to for users to beat those tests). So at least 7% (probably more than that) of all players active in 2003 were using. We don't know who they are; so no one can say "so-and-so never failed a drug test."

  10. Okay, point taken on the anonymous drug tests, but are we now going to make then un-anonymous and punish those that failed? When the anonymity was collective negotiated?

    Again, I am not condoning this, I just have a real problem with the arbitrary nature of the ire that is being directed specifically at Bonds. Palmeiro - hey I see it. And sure the preponderance of evidence points to Barry's guilt (these guys writing the book are real journalists with fairly impeccable credibility), but don't know how you convict and punish (just) Barry.

  11. I think the things that sets Bonds apart (if the allegations are true) is that he set out to juice up to beat the record...Bonds is taking a lot of heat but maybe he wouldn't if he weren't so cocky about it all. When all the BALCO stuff came out (as much as I don't like Giambi) at least he copped to it...

    Again, I think there's a lot of this going around without a doubt. As you know, I constantly bring up the NFL and how there drug policy is praised (and it is a joke)...They should all be tested and punished...

    But Bonds is chasing the most coveted record in perhaps all of sports and I think people (with what they know now) don't want him to be uttered in the same breath as those others...

  12. I certainly don't think anyone else gets a free pass here. But I agree with GR about the importance of records -- he's broken one huge one, and is close to breaking another one.

    Additionally, I think he's brought on the additional scrutiny by being such an utter ass to the media. And in doing so he's turned a lot of Giants fans against the media as well. It's no surprise the press is more likely to hold him up as a poster boy. If you're going to bite the hand that feeds you (take away the media exposure and these guys are not multimillionaires), you need to be prepared to face the consequences.

  13. Actually, here's a real reason to single him out: get him so pissed off he retires before the season starts. Seriously. It's good for baseball (Aaron remains HR King until he's passed by A-Rod, in 2014 or so), and it's good for Bonds (he can stop dealing with the media he so despises, and may gain some HoF votes by not going after Aaron's record).

  14. To refer to earlier posts...Panama could use Mariano Rivera right about now...tied 4-4 against Cuba late in the game...

  15. Okay, just to get this straight, we are going to take away Bonds' HR records, both the single season and career, but we will let Giambi, Caminiti and Canseco keep thier MVPs, as well as Gagne keeping his consecutive save record. And what exactly will we do with the single season record? Does McGwire keep it? Or Sosa? or Maris?

    It would be nice if Bonds retires. But the better chance of the record not being broken is injury. The media certainly don't bother him. He acts like they do, but he really doesn't care. I think he uses it to motivate himself. This is not A-Rod who just wants everyone to adore him. Bonds is a very complex character that trusts no-one. Not just the media. Absoultely he hurts himself by being such a prick, but good lord the backlash is phenomenal. Every columnist in America is on his high horse along one of two lines 1. Shame on him, no HOF vote from me/we should take away all his records/accomplishments 2. Bonds owes the world an explanation (which of course no one will believe his denials - in other words, they just want Bonds to write their next article for them).
    and then bonds will muddy it all up by using the race card.

    Yeah and for Panama - Rivera didn't want to play for them because they had no chance - they lost this one in the 9th and lost to PR yesterday 2-1. I wonder if Murray, George et al will call him out on it....

  16. No, I can't speak for everyone, but I'm not saying we should definitely take away Bonds's records. It's just, as you say, ridiculously complex, and MLB needs a policy on how to deal with it. My original point was simply disagreeing with Andrew's argument that baseball's been through this before: it really hasn't, and so these are uncharted waters.

    And yes, whatever it chooses to do, MLB absolutely needs to be consistent in its treatment of all players.

  17. And yeah, that's a good point about Bonds and the media. His love of the spotlight certainly would explain the Paula Abdul outfit...

  18. Yeah, that and his reality TV show. Obviously we see a whole different side of it here. His relationship with the media is quite interesting. The Paula Abdul thing was fascinating because (according to various reports, chatter, talk radio, etc) Bonds had NEVER been one of the "guys." But he is such an intimidating personality, they just went along with the American Idol thing because no one really wants to be the player/team official that says anything negative about Bonds.

    And he seems to vascillate between despising the media and playing into them. Like the press conference last year that he brought his kid to and then complained that he and his family are always the target and that his kid cries over the abuse he takes.

  19. Ok, Palmiero got caught. Does that kill his chances for the HOF? I would think so...

    There is a ton of evidence that Bonds has been doing this...So,there should be an investigation.

    They didn't do one on McGwire and Sosa, so...no their records would stand. I don't even think you can take away the single season from Bonds unless there is definitive proof that he did it that year...


    You can look in to him cheating NOW since he still seems to be...and you can stop him from playing and you can take away consideration from the HOF as you did to Pete Rose because he got caught.

    The others did not get caught.

    Canseco admitted to it, but he's also a big talker...Hell, Darren Daulton says the world is going to end in a few years when the Mayan calendar runs out. Some of these guys are nuts...

    My take on it is that you cannot undo the past, but you can change the future (I am not sure but maybe Fox Mulder said that once...).