Ten Stray Thoughts On A Friday

melkyjaysFor many, Friday represents the end of a long work week that’s filled with heavy doses of drudging, sludging and other words that don’t actually exist but rhyme with “udging” and connote menial and tedious tasks that are ultimately distasteful. It’s my hope that at the end of such misery, at that moment in time that only occurs on a Friday afternoon when it’s too far away from closing time to leave work early, but too late in the day to start anything new, you’ll join us here to read some random observations about baseball and contribute your own thoughts on the subjects that are broached.

So, without further ado, I present this week’s Ten Stray Thoughts On A Friday:

Melky-a Culpa

Melky Cabrera released a statement today through the Toronto Blue Jays in which the left fielder said he’s working with Major League Baseball and federal officials in their investigation into Biogenesis, the Florida anti-ageing clinic that allegedly sold banned substances to baseball players. The timing of the statement coincided with Cabrera’s arrival at Spring Training in Florida, and was meant to deflect questions about the investigation, which he said he wouldn’t answer.

I’d like to invite all baseball fans to look deep within themselves, past the chewed-up remnants of baseball card bubble gum, to ask themselves why. Why do you care so much about the substances that an athlete takes to compete at an elite level? Where did this concern begin with you?

If it’s about cheating, about going against the rules of the game, do you feel as strongly about scuffed baseballs, trapped catches, feigned hit by pitches as you do banned substances? Do you ever stop to wonder why certain substances are perfectly acceptable, like Cortisone or Toradol, and others are absolutely not welcome despite having no tangible links to performance enhancing? I don’t put fault on anyone who considers banned substance use to be a larger indiscretion than any of the other acts of cheating. I’m just curious as to why.

Is it that some of these substances, when taken to excess, have properties that will negatively affect the health of the user? If so, would you describe the pursuit of banned substance users by Major League Baseball as something that’s in the best interest of the players using? If the motivation is to protect the health of ballplayers and to avoid their own exploitation, why are those suspended for drug use marked as cheaters and instantaneous pariahs?

Something doesn’t add up. Something seems fishy. I’m not entirely sure I understand what drives anyone involved in baseball’s supposed drug war, but it seems to me that there is some sort of disconnect between motivation and practice, and it makes what might be a form of protection come across as the zealous pursuit of a proxy Guy Montag. In place of a problem that may or may not exist, Major League Baseball names certain substances and pursues punishment against those  who use this substance, seemingly for the sake of optics, given the arbitrariness with which what’s banned and what isn’t is decided.

After having done this, they release news of suspensions and investigations with great fanfare, never mentioning what the purpose behind such practices are. It’s done to make it appear as though the reasoning and justification are inherent, so obvious that only the most morally reprehensible wouldn’t understand, but it’s really not, which brings us back to the original question of why. Why do we care so much about the substances that a baseball players uses?

Rosie DiMannostrative Show Of Affection

Josh Johnson is tall, dark and absolutely gorgeous.

He has great hair, sweetheart curls framing a broad forehead. Apollo, a (male) colleague has already dubbed him.

At six-foot-seven, he towers. He’s got presence.

Sadly, Toronto Star columnist Rosie DiManno, was lacking in presence, at least as it pertains to the variety that’s referred to as “in mind,” to avoid the objectification of a baseball player. Her column on Johnson reduces attendance at a ballpark to the lustful ogling that takes place at a strip club.

These are not, of course, the qualities that made this right-handed moundsman attractive to the Blue Jays. But it can’t hurt, such a fetching package, in the repackaging of baseball in Toronto.

While the temptation exists to think of all the poor male columnists who would love to write such descriptions of attractive female athletes, such a roll is best slowed, pilgrim. The real victim of insult that her writing creates is other females. It ultimately reinforces a heteronormative ideal centered around women being unable to understand and appreciate what’s considered to be a male pursuit  In order to find motivation to attend a baseball game, they’re interest must be reduced to the sexuality of the participants.

It’s absolute garbage, and incredibly unfortunate that such a restricting viewpoint would be preached like this from Canada’s most circulated newspaper.

Misplaced Schadenfreude

Occasionally, sports fans can go overboard in their fandom, and sometimes they can go so overboard as to leave the large body of water in which their boat is floating. Such is the case with Gaslamp Ball’s Sean Dreusike, who used the platform of his San Diego Padres blog on SB Nation to express a certain amount of pleasure in the misfortune of Karsten Whitson.

The post was eventually taken down.

Poking fun at a professional baseball player often comes with the unexpressed element of respect. Most fans understand that baseball players work incredibly hard – likely harder than the majority of us – at what they do. Yes, baseball is a game, and yes, they’re certainly lucky to have the opportunity to make large amounts of money by playing a game. However, their efforts in getting to that position and maintaining their status are more than the average person is willing to do. And even though fans may suggest harsh things from time to time, professional baseball players are well-compensated for tolerating brutish behavior from those earning far less.

However, Karsten Whitson is not a professional baseball player. He’s a 21-year-old student at the University of Florida whose 2013 season in the NCAA is over before it began due to a shoulder injury. In 2010, Whitson was drafted by the Padres, but turned the team down to pursue an education, and yes, perhaps a more sizable bonus through his performances at a higher level. Unfortunately, that second aspect of his intentions wasn’t going so well.

It already looked like he was going to go much later than the 9th overall pick the Padres used on him and would likely be getting less of a signing bonus than what the Padres offered a few years ago. However, news came out today that a shoulder injury will sideline him for the entire 2013 collegiate season.

That leaves us Padres fans with some nice schadenfreude. Whitson will sit out this season and either enter the draft as damaged goods (unlikely), enter next year after returning from injury (more likely) or redshirt this year in order to play 2 more seasons and enter the 2015 draft.

As a fan we can smugly think that the Padres dodged a bullet or we can smirk at Whitson and say, “Look what happens when you mess with the Padres.” Something like that. Normal schadenfreude stuff.

That’s not the behavior of a fan. That’s the behavior of an especially unfeeling misanthrope.

The Arizona Diamondbacks

I don’t think I’m alone in imagining that the Arizona Diamondbacks had the most curious off-season of any Major League Baseball team. There’s very little obvious sense to anything that they’ve added to their roster (or lost) since the end of the 2012 season. And yet, the team is projected by Pecota to have less than a single loss more than the defending World Series Champion San Francisco Giants.

This team:


Will be just as good as this team:


Adam Eaton is going to rake, isn’t he?

Bourn Vs. Upton

Earlier this week, Michael Bourn signed a four-year contract with the Cleveland Indians worth $48 million, with a vesting option for 2017 that could make it a five-year deal worth $60 million. At the end of November, B.J. Upton signed a five-year contract with the Atlanta Braves worth $75.25 million. Upton is two years younger than Bourn, but has played in 95 more games. They’re both center fielders, and they both entered free agency for the first time this off-season.

Despite not getting on base as much as Bourn, Upton is a vastly superior hitter, based largely on the newest member of the Cleveland Indians having very little power. However, Bourn has been far and away the more consistently good fielder. So, in terms of batting numbers, Upton is superior. In terms of defensive numbers, Bourn is superior. Overall, according to WAR over the last three seasons, the difference looks like this:

Michael Bourn:

  • FanGraphs: 15.2 fWAR
  • Baseball Reference: 8.5 rWAR
  • Baseball Prospectus: 8.9 WARP

B.J. Upton:

  • FanGraphs: 11.5 fWAR
  • Baseball Reference: 6.4 rWAR
  • Baseball Prospectus: 8.8 WARP

In terms of real money, Upton was judged by team owners to be worth more than $3 million extra per season, despite every metric available considering Bourn to be the superior player.

Too Many Centerfielders In The Outfield

With the addition of Bourn, it’s expected that the Indians will play Michael Brantley in left field, Bourn in center, move the recently acquired Drew Stubbs into right field, and have Nick Swisher man first base. There’s a lot of miscast value there that would easily be solved by ridding themselves of Stubbs and picking up just about any league average batter to play first base.

Over the last three seasons, Stubbs has appeared in 444 games. Over that time, no center fielder with as many plate appearances (1,808) has been a less productive batter than Stubbs. In fact, by the same criteria, Juan Pierre is the only baseball player at any position to have a lower wRC+ than the former center fielder for the Cincinnati Reds. Stubbs is good defensively as a center fielder, but that’s about it. Playing him in right field is like casting Lindsay Lohan to play Mother Teresa.

You might point out that he’s got 51 home runs over the last three years, which isn’t the worst of sums, but I’ll remind you that Joey Votto is capable of bunting baseball out of Great American Ballpark.  Of the 59 home runs that Stubbs has hit over his career, 35 have come at his home ballpark in Cincinnati, where his HR/FB rate is a staggering 18.5%, compared to a far more normal 10.3% on the road.

Who Does Michael Brantley Give A Card To On Father’s Day?

It seems so obvious, now, but I never realized that Michael Brantley’s dad is Mickey Brantley.

The Sad Story Of Jose Valverde

The way in which mainstream commentators frequently refer to free agent dollars being won and lost during the smallest of samples of postseason baseball has become something of a joke among baseball nerds. There aren’t very many team runners in today’s game who would let a few bad outings inform their decision-making, whether they happen to occur in October or in April.

However, Jose Valverde had a truly awful playoffs, breaking down in his final appearance of 2012 like a Dominican Richie Tennenbaum. It’s much sadder to see a grown person cry than a child. That’s strange, but it’s the truth. With a child, there’s a level of recognized ignorance suggesting that as bad as it might be in the kid’s mind right now, it’s not nearly as bad in comparison to life’s other tragedies. When a grown person cries out of sadness, it’s assumed that they are aware of all of life’s traumas, and their body considers whatever they’re dealing with at the time to be worth of tears.

When these tears are from the eyes of a once proud person whose point of pride has been quashed, no matter how obnoxious they might have been prior to their down fall, it seems ever sadder than the typical adult tears.

That’s what I was thinking when Valverde was removed from Game One of the World Series after facing five batters and only getting one of them out. After he was removed from the game, the broadcast showed him in the dugout with red, swollen and wet eyes, pointing with his arms and configuring a sight that said, “I don’t know what’s wrong, but the one thing from which I felt good about myself is no longer.”

And it’s also what I’m thinking now as the reliever remains unsigned even as players begin reporting to their Spring Training facilities. Would you offer him anything more than a Minor League contract at this point in the 34-year-old’s career?

He Said. He Said.

According to Mike Piazza, in reference to his contract negotiations with the Dodgers prior to the 1998 season and questions that Vin Scully asked him at the beginning of spring training:

He wasn’t happy about it. And Scully’s voice carried a great deal of authority in Los Angeles … Vin Scully was crushing me.

According to Vin Scully:

I have no idea where he is coming from. I really have no idea. I can’t imagine saying something about a player and his contract. I just don’t do that, ever. I’m really flabbergasted by that reference.

Since then, KTLA dug through their archives to find video of the alleged incident. It’s hardly the stinging indictment that Piazza imagines, but what’s being overlooked in this entire fiasco is that Vin Scully now has a story to tell that he hasn’t told thirty times previously, and for that we should all be grateful.

In all seriousness, I don’t know why everyone is getting so bent out of shape about this, it’s not like Piazza said anything bad about Jon Miller.

Know Your Limits

Never, ever, bet on Notre Dame.

I’m ready for baseball to start.

Comments (88)

  1. Whoa, the Arizona “White”backs, amirite?

    • It really looks that way, doesn’t it. There are only what, three players of color on the entire team? The area in which they play, too, doesn’t make that easier to swallow.

      • Gotta love them dirtbag, hardworking players. Lotta hustle. The ones that play the game the right way. A real blue collar work ethic to this groupa guys.

      • I find it funny parkes that you make so many Eurocentric claims about towers + the diamondbacks. I’m 90% sure that if a GM had a team of almost all black players and a commentator pointed it out, you’d rip them up for seeing them as black baseball players instead of just baseball players. But ofcourse, you’ll never admit to your blatant double standards.

        • I’m sure Parkes would rip them just as hard if they assembled a black team and gushed about their urban toughness or assembled a Hispanic team and rambled about their energy and spiciness.

    • Whoa. Hadn’t looked at that before.

    • There should be a contest to rename the Diamondbacks to something more in line with their team philosophy.

      Arizona Honkies
      Phoenix Crackers
      Sheriff Joe’s Posse

      Also the uniform should be changed to more closely resemble what Larry the Cable Guy wears. Cut off flannel sleeves, blue jeans, and a camouflage hat.

      And they should sponsor a Nascar team. That would be awesome.

    • Didn’t someone say something like that about the Jays once?

  2. Holy crap, I am so sick of the dumping on Rosie DiManno when it’s impossible to read an article about a woman of prominence in which what she looks like isn’t discussed. Where are the calls of unprofessionalism then?

    Of course there aren’t. It may not be the lede but show me one article about a female athlete that doesn’t talk about her body and compare her to some legendary figure.

    Yes, it does suck that it plays into the assumption that women only watch sports to look at the attractive athletes. But again, the double standard. It’s rampant on sports sites to state that men watch women’s athletics to oggle the women. It’s considered normal. Those same men aren’t assumed to know nothing.

    I hope the next time a male writer does this about a female athlete they get the same treatment.

    • I disagree. I think that any male who wrote like that would be immediately chastised, if not by his editor, than in public forums and social media. I’d love to see an example of that not happening.

      • I’m just surprised Rosie shows attraction to males…

      • just chastised?

        if a male wrote that article about a female athlete he’d be fired and probably sued.

        its extremely unprofessional on her part.

      • It’s unfair to compare one article, especially when there is really only couple of lines in what is other wise a decent length article, to the consensus view of female athletes (and females in sports) everywhere. i.e. a large number of court cut packages i watch, which are put together by the company that employs you, end with a view of a cheerleaders cleavage or butt, or otherwise doing something sexual.

        Whats so different between this and that broadcaster (sorry, i cant remember his name) that oggled over Katherine Webb on a much larger scale? Has he been fired? sure, he was chastised for a while, but i don’t recall a lot of people saying he was absolutely garbage.

        • Brent Musburger is constantly ridiculed on sites like deadspin for: a) being a bad commentator, b) habitually getting DUI’s and c) objectifying women…so yeah he’s garbage

          • though he was chastised at first, everyone took the Webb incident as the funny grumblings of an old man and the majority of the media wasn’t calling for his head or calling for his firing. His bad commentating and his DUI’s are irrelevant in the point I’m making.

            the point is, men constantly sexualize women in sports. I remember a sports caster on television referring to Anna Kournikova as the ace/king (as in the poker hand) of tennis because she looks good and never wins. Or even on the Live at the score and The Basketball Jones after the superbowl they were talking about how good beyonce looked.

            my point is that in the world of sports, where women are constantly objectified, to attack a woman writer when she wrote literally 2 sentences about how good looking a male athlete is, is not only ridiculous, but it’s an affirmation of one of the main issues within the sports culture today.

            • I’m definitely late on this, but Webb wasn’t an athlete, she’s a beauty queen so I think it’s more appropriate to talk about her looks.

        • This is so far from the biggest reason to criticize Rosie DiManno’s writing (sports or otherwise) that I can’t possibly bring myself to care.

    • The problem with your analogy is that sports are, generally, more popular with men than women.
      Imagine a male reporter covered a fashion show and only talked about was how hot the models were. That is basically the equivalent of what Dimanno did.
      Yet that is not to say a women can’t cover sports or a man can’t cover a fashion show, but that these reporters should cover the sport or the fashion show, not ogle the models or athletes.

  3. Parkes,

    I’d like to start by stating that I stand in the gray area between the group of people that think athletes should be able to do whatever they want to their bodies and the frothy-lipped mouth-breathers that think the ‘banned substance’ users are on par with child molesters with regards to their moral standing.

    However, my number 1 answer to your question “Why do we care so much about the substances that a baseball players uses?” is as follows:

    Even though there is no concrete proof that so called PEDs offer any performance enhancement, it is still possible that they do add some sort of edge for those that use them. It does not seem fair that an athlete who is willing to use these substances could get an advantage over an athlete who does not want to put those substances into their body.

    • But then I’d ask, what’s the difference between that and an athlete who is willing to do 100 more bench press reps. That, too, could be problematic for his health. We don’t know if it would have any effect on his performance. And yet it would be encouraged. The banned substances aren’t a magic elixir that immediately improves performance. Players have to be willing to change their routines to make substances work. I don’t know how you say this is okay, and that is not.

      • Yep…where does that line get drawn? MLB players take pain killing substances like cortisone and Toradol that allow them to get through games and seasons. Does that not improve performance as much as (or even more) any of the so-called “PEDs?” And how about athletes like Kobe, Tiger Woods and ARod using their wealth to do platlet-rich plasma therapy injections to help deal with their injuries? Is that morally/legally acceptable but HGH use to help injuries isn’t?

      • I understand your stance, and I agree with you on part of it. Honestly, my opinion has nothing to do with player health… it is their body, they can treat it how they like. Also, I have no idea how you even begin to decide what is okay for players to use and what is not.

        I just know that it gives me a feeling of unease when I think that there is (possibly) a scenario out there where Player A is riding the bench, while Player B plays full time because he is better purely by virtue of adding a chemical supplement to his workout.

        Of course, I also realize that this scenario is just as likely to be complete bullshit as there is no evidence that “PEDs” actually PE.

        • And I am well aware that this my flakiest comment of all time.

        • I dunno. I’m bothered a lot more by the guys whose careers get ended because they can’t use the substances that modern medicine believes are best for treating the conditions they have.

      • I think comparing bench press reps or pushing yourself in a workout to taking steroids is highly unfair. These players aren’t looking to lift as much weight as possible like a bodybuilder, they’re try to run fast and swing a quick bat, which requires an athletic body (Prince Fielder aside). The few extra reps or suicides will sure suck at the time, but is there really long-term physical damage there? And will those extra few reps cause mental health problems? Maybe I’ve been living under a rock, but I haven’t heard about any bench-press related injuries or deaths recently (baring accidents with the bar falling on people).

        • Because it’s cheating? Why is it cheating? Because we say it is. Why do you care that we care? Can you finally just fuck off with this constant pushing of your anarchist,amoral,douchebag argument on PEDs already. It’s fucking cheating, it’s not natural; it sets a horrible example for children, it puts children’s health at risk, it costs society money and; it is fucking cheating.

          what about incest Parkes? You ok with incest? Is necrophillia ok? I mean, who does that hurt really?
          you fucking cynical,arrogant douchebag.

    • Same could be said of Red Bull, Caffeine, cortisone, legal supplements, etc.

      Same could perhaps also be said about guys who are willing to work to crazy degrees of exhaustion and pain. Why should someone be forced to do that just to stay competitive in the sport they play? Well… because that’s what it takes. Which I don’t say in order to endorse PEDs by any means, but to point out that they are hardly the only way in which players run afoul of their own bodies in the pursuit of athletic greatness.

      Aaaaand apparently Parkes beat me to this one.

    • If we agree that all, most or at least many PEDs are also really bad for your health and that they do offer some sort of performance enhancement (perceived and therefore confidence boosting or actual) then allowing them in sports spurs athletes to use them and hurt themselves even if in the absence of other players using them they would choose to not use PEDs. It’s classic game theory.

      Also, chest presses don’t increase the chances of developing cancer (testicular or otherwise) but anabolic steroids do.

  4. Holy. God. Masterson is gigantic.

  5. Why do people care? I imagine it has a lot to do with the government/media-led fear and smear campaign against PEDs over the last 25 years that many don’t bother to challenge or even give a second thought about. And specifically in baseball’s case, the sport’s glorified history.

  6. Arizona Diamondbacks predicted less than a loss than San Francisco Giants?

    Eric Henske, that’s why.

  7. Parkes, you must understand something. Women only go to baseball games to be seen.

    That’s why women force their boyfriends to leave by the 7th-8th inning. No need to stay until the end when all the value of being seen has been gotten. At that point she has plenty of ammo (pictures) to attention whore her body on FB all the while sporting a Blue Jays cap almost using it as a tool for plausible deniability for her attention whoring. “I’m just showing how big a fan I am!”

    Secondly, it’s of no surprise to me that this Dimanno lady has given birth to several womb shaking orgasms just thinking of Josh Johnson. The only way to get a woman to watch baseball on television is the presence of a good looking alpha male. Why do you think JP Arencibia is a fan favorite when he’s such a terrible baseball player? It’s because his rugged good looks bring vagina tingles to the female viewer.

    What’s funny here is Parkes has admitted his gf doesn’t even watch baseball. Lemme guess Parkes, she is also a victim of the heteronormative.

    Female nature isn’t good or bad, it just is. What is bad is your ignorance to the innate differences between men and women. Do yourself a favour and read some evolutionary psychology.

    Oh and I’m fully expecting the white knights to reply to this post eyes crossed nostrils flaring.

    • I pity the women in your life.

    • Cool, somebody posted TSTOAF on the Misandry subreddit. Awesome.

    • Oh sweet Jeebus- this is almost as deliciously bad as the Rosie article.

    • Ggg is either a sublime troll, or tremendously up his own ass. Just look at all those markers! Inflammatory statements, generalizations, laughable stupidity, dismissing other viewpoints… man, I just don’t know. Who can we trust, if we can’t trust the internet?

      Rosie Dimanno posting something dumb isn’t new, sadly.

    • Whatever you may say, it’s true for about 95% of the chicks i know, some act better than others.

    • This is HILARIOUS.

      In the ‘laugh at’ sort of way. But still..


    • The fact that Ggg refers to evolutionary psychology, or as I like to call it “Justify all the misogyny in the world based on cavemen hunting in the primordial plains or something”, is proof that he is a complete ass.

      • +1 “Female nature isn’t good or bad, it just is.” Um, regarding baseball? That’s some highly perfected “evolutionary psychology.” It’s the perfect troll statement though, right? And no follow up comment when the educated people start responding. Sigh.

    • Dear Steve Simmons,

      Do you know that thing that Lewis Black does where just before he gets to the punchline, he kind of shakes his head in that Nixon-esque way? Well, take out the punchline, and that’s all I could hear as I pictured you writing your diatribe.

      A rambling, non-sensical cross-eyed (coke-bottle glasses), nostril-flared (deviated septum) white knight (albino).

  8. re upton vs. bourn:

    Upton is a year younger and also will not be turning into juan pierre with 3x the strikeouts as Bourn will be doing soon enough.

    Going forward I will take Uptons 150 k’s per year over Bourn’s and obviously the braves were willing to give up a draft pick to do so rather than keep the pick AND spend less money to re-sign their own guy. This is very telling. The Braves are not a poorly run org.

  9. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to understand that cheating equals players taking banned PEDs. The substances are banned and therefore should not be injected into one’s buttcheek. You may not believe that it has the performance-enhancing power that it elicits in its namesake, but that seriously doesn’t matter. Melky knew about the illegality of it, and did it anyway. Why the hell should be let off with a slap on the wrist? What would that say about the MLB? “We let our players break the rules!” I’m all for punishing players who have continued lapses of ethical judgement.

    Also, what’s the alternative? Selig saying “OK, everyone can use steroids”? Again, what is that saying about the MLB? What is that saying to kids/teens looking up to them? I just don’t see a future where the MLB, critics, fans, etc. revolt against the MLB for punishing players for cheating with illegal, possibly damaging drugs.

    • Ok so what if wearing your hat cocked sideways was illegal? For all we can prove the performance enhancing effects are the same (although we can reasonably assume they aren’t). I only bring it up because the list of legal and illegal substances seems equally arbitrary when you consider greenies, cortisone and toroidal. Just because its against the rules doesn’t mean we shouldt ask why it is when other substances aren’t.

    • They’re certainly not equal. Scuffing balls and corking bats is also cheating. You do not need testosterone injected into your buttcheek to scuff a ball.

  10. Let’s be honest about the Dimanno article and say that since athletes in major league sports are entertainers first and foremost, their appearance is part of their marketable appeal, and it’s not at all a stretch to say that some people attend games partly because they like how these young men look in tight pants. I’m sure the players aren’t offended by being referred to as gorgeous adonises.

    • When they get shit rained down on them by their teammates when these type of things get written, I think it takes some of the fun out of it.

      Also, men don’t get objectified in the media like this very often, so it might be a little humiliating just because it’s not typical.

      What a ball player looks like isn’t usually a factor in their fame or success- hence the Dustin Pedroias of the world.

      The most offensive thing about the Dimanno article is that it’s terribly written. And terribly written shit gets mocked on this blog and others all the time.

  11. Having spent some time thinking about this the past few weeks, I think my reluctance to condone PEDs use stems from the uncertain health consequences associated with using. I am no doctor/medical researcher, but I think its pretty safe to say that we have no clue of the long term consequences of PED useon the health of an individual. The argument that Bill Simmons and others have advanced that “normal people use HGH all the time!” is true, but its also true that they are prescribed these drugs to treat diagnosed medical ailments where it has been assessed that the potential benefits of taking the drug has been deemed to outweigh any possible negative side effects. I dont think the science is there yet to justify the treatment of PEDs like we do caffenie, or pain killers, or other drugs, in that we dont seem to have a very good grasp on the consequences. The test should be something like – would you be comfortable with their 18 year-old child taking PEDs in an effort to win a scholarship? I wouldn’t, and thus I am not ready to condone its use by a select group in order to gain some personal advantage.

    • Great point. I’ve never heard anything positive about PEDs aside from the short-term effects, so I don’t know why so many people are quick to defend it.

    • Would you be comfortable with an 18-year-old having an 80 or 90 mph fastball thrown within a foot of his head in order to win a scholarship? Would you be comfortable with an 18-year-old playing football or hockey in order to win a scholarship? Because those can be some pretty dangerous things to do, with particularly dire long-term health consequences in certain instances, in and of themselves.

      As with my other comment, I’m not saying that to be pro-drug, but to point out that if health is your concern, it’s not quite so easy, as athletes in these sports are putting their health at risk with or without drugs. Not only that, there are surely the same concerns on supplements that aren’t banned, the newfangled energy drinks guys may be crushing, the workout regimens they may put themselves through, etc.

      • Please stop with the ambivalent bullshit about PEDs and come up with a goddamn position on the issue.

        • Oh, you mean there’s only two sides to this complex issue, Saul? What are you, ten years old? Welcome to adulthood, big fella.

          • Only a Sith deals in absolutes…….

          • At some point you have to actually make decisions and decide what is, and what is not permitted.
            Abortion is likewise a difficult issue. But at some point, you have to go beyond ‘well it’s a complicated and nuanced issue’ and actually come up with rules and laws.
            But thanks for all the snark, assholes.

          • Egalitarian, I know there is nuance, you fucking tool. Where did I take a black and white view that either PEDS were all good, or all bad? I know it’s complicated. Thing is, you can’t just say it’s complicated and leave it at that. Why? Because you didn’t fuck decide anything. If it’s a grey area, then what should the regulations of this grey area be?
            Some people are so fucking dense.

      • This Stoeten argument is ridiculous. Driving a car to practice is dangerous. Driving a car whilst roided up is much more dangerous and has been medically proven to have all sorts of negative health effects.

        Now the ‘it’s my body’ argument is stupid too – people who don’t want to do long term clinical damage to their body via UNREGULATED chemical injection should be allowed to compete equally

        I can’t stand the ‘We’re the smartest 3 guys in the room’ thing you guys have on this.

        It’s dangerous it sets a horrendous example and is rightfully frowned on by society. Are you ok with your kids (if they’re top class potential track athletes) doing anabolic steroids and other PEDs? Are you comfortable with that? Please confirm.

  12. To a large extent it doesn’t particularly matter where the line is drawn on PEDs, but it has to be drawn somewhere. Preferably the line should be drawn before the use of drugs which haven’t been properly tested.

    After your Armstrong article I’m not sure whether you have finally admitted that maybe some drugs can enhance performance. If you still aren’t convinced of this then of course you won’t be able to understand why people care, but it is just a delusional view at this point.

    It seems like your logic treats the subject as if it is a one round game where a player can either take PEDs or not. If that were the case then I would almost understand your views. However, it is the continual development of PEDs which leads players to push the boundaries and risk their health and the health of anyone who wants to play on a level playing field.

    If you don’t draw the line somewhere then sport becomes a battle between the best chemists. You might be fine with this, but most people aren’t.

    • Our society allows people to take risks all the time as long as they are not exposing others to such risks. Drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, maintaining diets full of heart-attack inducing cholesterol-inflating foods, the list goes on. Heck, even the practice of playing many sports (particularly sports of the contact variety such as hockey, football, and rugby) brings a lot of risk to individual health and yet we still let people do it. Why exactly is the thought of some athletes taking PEDs so concerning to you?

      • “Our society allows people to take risks all the time as long as they are not exposing others to such risks.”

        I have no problem with someone taking a risk that only affects themselves. However, I don’t believe taking PEDs only affects the player taking them. Sports are more or less a zero-sum game. If one player gets an advantage due to PEDs then everyone else loses out. I care about everyone else, not the PED user.

  13. This is all I can think about when PED’s now come up in sports.


  14. We don’t care about ped’s ! It’s a joke cause for one thing juice or and performance enhancing drugs don’t A give you hand eye cordonation ok . If anything wooo you can run faster and maybe hit the ball farther but it means Jack . Barry bonds was hitting 40 homers with Pittsburgh and what jump up 10 or so on the sauce ? Man if any other player did the juice doesn’t mean it would make them better by no means so ya ped’s and all this junk talk is a waste of time

  15. Hey ped worriers think of this if it is cheating how does Michael phelps in swimming win all gold medals and brakes records on pot ??? Maybe cigarettes can make a hockey player awesome to eh ? Look at the flower Guy Lafluer or Grant Fuhr on coke win four cups ! I just think whatever sport you do then maybe certain things like juice oh sorry Ped’s shouldn’t be allowed . Ya arm wrestlers on juice is cheating Olympic runners yes , tennis maybe and boxing or MMA perhaps ! Golf , Baseball , hockey , and Basketball would not make any Joe that much better unless he already is good to begin with

  16. Not a big fan of nuance are ya there? Positional certainty always works so well in arriving at the best answer.

  17. I think most people just don’t like the sneakiness of the whole PED thing. The denials on the player’s part and the way MLB ignored the issue in the past, turns people off. It’s not much more than that IMO.

  18. Rosie DiManno: The Josh Towers of sports writers. After the first paragraph, its all just a lost cause.

  19. I only read the quotes, but what was hetero about them? They seem only to be saying that the guy is hot.

  20. Flo Jo and those dead Eastern European athletes might disagree on whether doing 100 push ups or anabolic steroids is more dangerous for your health.

    I most clean competitive athletes have more legitimacy on this than most commentators.

    All Olympic level athletes- even the ones that make no money out of sports are against- and as a pretty good sprinter in my day I am too

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