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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
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Bonds in the Eye of the Needle
2006-03-07 10:53
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Sports Illustrated is publishing an excerpt of what it calls "the most detailed and damning condemnation that (Barry) Bonds, formerly a sleek five-tool player, built himself into a hulking, record-setting home run hitter at an advanced baseball age with a cornucopia of elaborate, illegally-administered chemicals." The excerpt is from the upcoming book, Game of Shadows, by San Francisco Chronicle writers Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams.

An excerpt from the excerpt:

BALCO tracked Bonds' usage with doping calendars and folders -- detailing drugs, quantities, intervals and Bonds' testosterone levels -- that wound up in the hands of federal agents upon their Sept. 3, 2003 raid of the Burlingame, Calif., business.

Depending on the substance, Bonds used the drugs in virtually every conceivable form: injecting himself with a syringe or being injected by his trainer, Greg Anderson, swallowing pills, placing drops of liquid under his tongue, and, in the case of BALCO's notorious testosterone-based cream, applying it topically. ...

When informed about the book this morning and asked if he was concerned about it, Bonds told a group of reporters gathered around his locker, "Nope. I won't even look at it [the book]. For what? I won't even look at it. There's no need to." He then walked away.

Bonds, of course, isn't the only name linked with steroids. Just the biggest.

* * *

In related news, Major League Baseball "will start selling approved supplements to players in an effort to prevent positive drug tests," according to The Associated Press.

Comments (117)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-03-07 11:23:34
1.   Disabled List
Really, this is nothing that anyone who follows baseball didn't already know. This is just the damning confirmation of what we all knew to be true.

I think Bonds is a cheater and a loser. The day he breaks Aaron's record will be one of the saddest in baseball history.

2006-03-07 11:30:46
2.   ToyCannon
I don't think he'll break Aaron's record. Without a streoid inhanced Bonds do the Giants pose a threat this year? I don't think so. JMO
2006-03-07 11:39:46
3.   bhsportsguy
OT - Saw this little blurb and all I can say is, it is good to be Jack Nicholson.

"Before the [Oscar] show begins, Jack Nicholson prowls the wings. The notorious flirt spies [Nicole] Kidman and turns on the charm. After a brief exchange, Nicholson walks away grinning and Kidman plays it cool. But only until the actor is out of earshot. She smiles giddily, puts her hand over her mouth, and exclaims, "Oh, my God!"

And he doesn't need steroids either (No comment on what else he may or may not need)

2006-03-07 11:54:17
4.   Doug N
Here's what I think of Bonds & this story: he's not worth my attention. It's so much more fun to watch Beltre unleash a 3-run dinger off of Zambrano for the Dominican.
2006-03-07 11:55:42
5.   weatherman
What Bonds has done (if these allegations prove true) is far worse than what Pete Rose did. Bonds deserves to have every one of his statistics struck from the books. Not only is he a cheater, he has shown absolutely no remorse or done anything to deserve sympathy. How can Selig even allow him to wear a uniform?
2006-03-07 11:56:56
6.   Uncle Miltie
Bonds on roids? You have to be kidding me! There will stil be some Giants fans who say he either didn't take them or didn't know what he was taking.
2006-03-07 12:14:47
7.   thinkblue0
what amazes me is how many people actually support this guy. Just about every Giant fan makes up excuses and gives yada yada answers about steroids.

If this guy was on the Dodgers I'd be ashamed, and I'd be the first one on the "get this guy off our team" bandwagon. It's SHOCKING to me that ANY baseball fan can cheer this guy. What a disgrace. I hope he retires after this year, because Aaron's record shouldn't go to a hack like Bonds....

2006-03-07 12:17:48
8.   GIDP
When Bonds comes to Dodger Stadium I boo him as much as anyone else, but whether or not Bonds used steroids, he's the best in the game. Plenty of players used steroids. No one came close to Bonds. Steroids don't give you pitch recognition or the ability to turn on a pitch. It gives you some added strength. Maybe you discount 10% of HRs (not scientific, I'll admit). What's the big deal? He's still one of the best ever. Even coffee is a performance enhancer. And most critically, baseball had no rules against it. What's there to discount?
2006-03-07 12:19:33
9.   GoBears
I'm certainly no Giants fan, but I disagree with the notion that this is "stuff we already knew." We didn't know. We suspected. Many (most?) were willing to take (1) increase in body size, or (2) increase in HRs as sufficient evidence for conviction, but I was not. For one thing, comparing pictures of 18 yr olds with 38 yr olds is kinda pointless. For another, I've never seen one little shred of evidence to demonstrate that steroids actually lead to increased performance in baseball. Strength, sure. Speed (in, say, sprinters) sure. Hand-eye coordination? Well, I'm not convinced.

Still and all, whether steroids explain Bonds's outstanding performance or not, they're illegal, and now they're even banned in baseball (apparently a higher threshold). So cheating is cheating, even if it doesn't help (a la corked bats).

So for me, this SI article and the book it cites really are NEW information, and pretty damning. It's one thing to believe something to be true. It's quite another to know it.

Not all rumors are false, and this one looks like it wasn't. But I suspended judgment until I saw evidence, and assuming the book is not chock-full of lies, we now have it. I'm sorry that everyone's worst beliefs turned out to be correct, because, even as a Dodger fan, I've wanted to believe that I've been witness to greatness.

The next step, of course, is for someone to explain scientifically why these chemicals really can make someone a better baseball player. A cheater is a cheater and should be punished for trying to subvert the game, whether the cheating mattered or not. But before I discount the performance, I need more than just armchair science showing me that steroids really are "performance enhancers" in baseball. The "common knowledge" pseudo-science around steroids is worse than in the diet business. Everyone believes that steroids help, but as far as I can tell, no one actually can prove it.

2006-03-07 12:27:24
10.   Knuckles
And all this time I thought he had that "Property of East German Women's Swimming" duffel bag because he traded a couple pins for it at the Olympics! I feel so used...
2006-03-07 12:27:59
11.   PeterB
re: 8, 9
Hand-eye coordination or pitch recognition? Maybe not exactly, but the article specifically mentions Bonds reporting enhanced vision.

"Not only did the growth hormone keep him fresh, but after complaining in 1999 about difficulty tracking pitches, he noticed it improved his eyesight as well."

2006-03-07 12:28:18
12.   Jon Weisman
I don't boo people, but I agree with most of 8. And most of 9 too.

It's not that I don't think steroids help, but I do think there was something uniquely brilliant about Bonds, despite all the substance help.

2006-03-07 12:33:17
13.   GIDP
11
Someone should have told him about lasix and this all could have been avoided. :)
2006-03-07 12:39:25
14.   Disabled List
9 There's two kinds of "suspecting". One is when you just have a hunch about something, the other is when the circumstantial evidence piles up, and you know it in your gut to be true, even though you don't have conclusive proof.

And I think the scientific proof that steroids build muscle mass is pretty well documented. More muscle mass = more bat speed = ball goes farther when struck. And with that increased bat speed, a cheater like Bonds can wait longer on pitches and hit them more squarely.

2006-03-07 12:49:27
15.   D4P
9, etc.
From what I've heard, one of the primary benefits of steroids (and what makes them particularly attractive to pitchers, especially relief pitchers) is that they (evidently) aid recovery, allowing you to perform at or near your best every day, rather than needing days off to recover.
2006-03-07 12:49:28
16.   Brendan
steroids helps you to recover and to recover faster(plenty of research and it is not pseudo science, try will caroll to start). there is a reason why Bonds got better at an advanced age and all other of our favorite players did not.

if taking something allows you to make it on the field in the first place then talking about 'turning on a pitch" or "only helped 10% of his HR's" isn't really the point is it?

the current drug testing does not test for HGH. world class athletes do not become huge in their mid 30's. The human body doesn't work that way. These people are already above the highest percentile in tems of height and weigh and in their mid 30's they are adding 20 pounds of muscle?

I do respect the benefit of the doubt and guilty until innocent type of view but you do know that people in this country go to jail every day based solely on circumstantial evidence.

2006-03-07 12:51:04
17.   Brendan
Ha! 14 and 15 beat me to the punch.
2006-03-07 12:52:38
18.   DodgerBakers
It is really sad that this information comes out today when many people are remembering one of the best and one of my favorite players, Kirby Puckett.
2006-03-07 13:11:50
19.   Jon Weisman
18 - Two tales of good undermined by bad (to different degrees).
2006-03-07 13:12:17
20.   Uncle Miltie
Beltre with an opposite field home run. I think he's back.
2006-03-07 13:17:51
21.   GIDP
I still can't accept added strength as an open and shut case for high batting average, OBP, HRs. Bonds almost always seems to know what pitch is coming. Now if steroids leads to ESP, that may be another argument entirely....

Also, I think in all sports every acceptable step possible is taken to get athletes onto the field - painkillers, cortisone shots, amphetamines, etc. Steroids is blacklisted because of suspicions that it's not safe.

As for bulking up in Bonds' career, we should perhaps remember that ballplayers in the 50s and before were adamant about NOT lifting weights, feeling that it was unhealthy and led to a loss of flexibiity. Even back when Bonds was with the Pirates, ballplayers weren 't exactly Pujols big. It would be interesting to track this change in philosophy - due to sports science or to steroids or both.

2006-03-07 13:23:50
22.   jasonungar05
My Kirby Puckett Story:

Datline Oakland June 1995.

I roll into the Hilton Hotel bar and Resteraunt on Heggenberger (near Oakland Airport) and it was 11:45. Friday afternoon. Me and a buddy would go there for lunch as we worked down the street. Well we roll in and in his own Booth with another guy was Kirby. He owned the place. He had at least 6-9 empty scooners on the table and had the bartender and waitress on call. He was also Stoned to bejesus as my weed-ar was going off. You could smell it when walking by his booth. He invited us over, we were both like 23, 24 to have drinks. At that momment we both decide that we are not going back to work. We worked in a highly sales driven enviornment where we were preety micromanaged, just taking the rest of the day was a huge gamble for us. The man talked baseball for 3-4 hours with us, bought us beers and around 2:30 said, alright boys, I gotta go, we play Oakland tonight. I bet he went 2-4.

2006-03-07 13:27:32
23.   GoBears
I've read Will Carroll's stuff, and I respect it. I think I believe the stuff about recovery - that was McGwire's explanation for taking andro too. And of course steroids help to build muscle mass. And yes, I've heard all the same things all of us have heard about other benefits and costs.

What I'm looking for is evidence that muscle mass makes for better hitting (not just the occasional bomb). It might seem obvious, but it's not. Smaller guys outperform bigger guys all the time. Why do we believe that the benefits of extra muscle outweigh (as it were) the drawbacks?

I'll grant Brendan's point that the recovery effect matters, because you can't hit HRs from the bench. Of course, you can't strike out or GIDP from the bench either.

None of this has anything to do with Bonds, just with the actual effects of steroids.

As for Bonds, I agree with 8 that even if there is a steroid-fueled difference between Bonds the mere mortal and Super-Bonds, the mere mortal version was already the best player in baseball (with a nervous glance at A-Rod). It'll be his own fault, but it's a shame that his actual talent will be discounted by a pervasive belief that it was all about the chemicals.

Revisionism is a harsh mistress.

I've had similar thoughts about Kirby Puckett in the last day. He was a terrific player, and a joy to watch play. But he was also probably undeserving of his HoF induction, and he was apparently a sociopath off the field. Except for the HoF bit (the media NEVER questions a guy's worthiness once he's in), I've been impressed that every story I've seen since the news has mentioned the off-field stuff as well as the on-field stuff.

2006-03-07 13:29:23
24.   GoBears
I've read Will Carroll's stuff, and I respect it. I think I believe the stuff about recovery - that was McGwire's explanation for taking andro too. And of course steroids help to build muscle mass. And yes, I've heard all the same things all of us have heard about other benefits and costs.

What I'm looking for is evidence that muscle mass makes for better hitting (not just the occasional bomb). It might seem obvious, but it's not. Smaller guys outperform bigger guys all the time. Why do we believe that the benefits of extra muscle outweigh (as it were) the drawbacks?

I'll grant Brendan's point that the recovery effect matters, because you can't hit HRs from the bench. Of course, you can't strike out or GIDP from the bench either.

None of this has anything to do with Bonds, just with the actual effects of steroids.

As for Bonds, I agree with 8 that even if there is a steroid-fueled difference between Bonds the mere mortal and Super-Bonds, the mere mortal version was already the best player in baseball (with a nervous glance at A-Rod). It'll be his own fault, but it's a shame that his actual talent will be discounted by a pervasive belief that it was all about the chemicals.

Revisionism is a harsh mistress.

I've had similar thoughts about Kirby Puckett in the last day. He was a terrific player, and a joy to watch play. But he was also probably undeserving of his HoF induction, and he was apparently a sociopath off the field. Except for the HoF bit (the media NEVER questions a guy's worthiness once he's in), I've been impressed that every story I've seen since the news has mentioned the off-field stuff as well as the on-field stuff.

2006-03-07 13:32:50
25.   GoBears
Sorry about the double post. My browser froze up the first time, so I figured it didn't get posted.

It's not really any better on a second reading, so I hope we can all just pretend it never happened.

Apparently, denial is my M.O. today.

2006-03-07 13:38:06
26.   D4P
23-24
I've been wondering about Kirby's HOF-status myself, but didn't want to raise the issue out of respect. But, having looked at his career numbers, I was a little surprised that he got in, particularly as an outfielder. I guess it's all about his .318 lifetime BA...
2006-03-07 13:40:24
27.   regfairfield
20 Beltre hit .310/.390/.507 last Spring.
2006-03-07 13:47:45
28.   misterjohnny
22. Jasonungar05
On Friday May 12, 2005, Kirby Puckett went 1-5 and scored a run. Only Friday game in Oakland by Minnesota that year.
Man, I love retrosheet!

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/B05120MIN1995.htm

2006-03-07 13:48:11
29.   Brendan
Agreed Barry Bonds pre-chemical was still an HOF, no doubt

GDIP you should just write that you don't care if he took steroids rather than you don't believe steroids help in baseball. That really seems to be your point of view

The D.R. Venezuela game was great to watch.

2006-03-07 13:51:04
30.   Curtis Lowe
"it's a shame that his actual talent will be discounted by a pervasive belief that it was all about the chemicals."

Why is that a shame?

2006-03-07 13:54:15
31.   Disabled List
[23, 24] Smaller guys do not outperform bigger guys when it comes to slugging. The muscles matter. Besides Bonds, a bunch of players have been nailed for taking steroids. If it doesn't make them better hitters, why are they taking them?

Bonds and Palmeiro and the rest of the cheaters already had the great hand-eye coordination and the killer homerun stroke. That's why they're big-leaguers. The steroids gave them the extra help to wait longer on the pitches and hit them harder and farther, and also to avoid getting rundown by the rigors of the season.

People are trying very hard to come up with a rationale under which Bonds might be innocent in this. I think Occam's Razor applies here. What's more likely, Bonds is a unique specimen who just happened to improve from merely great to Ruthian in his late 30s, when he should have started the wind down of a normal career arc... or, he took performance-enhancing drugs and achieved the desired result?

2006-03-07 13:55:48
32.   Curtis Lowe
How can you argue that PreRoid Bonds was HOF?
2006-03-07 13:57:01
33.   mcrawford
Increased strength helps you swing the bat faster. Swinging the bat faster means you can decide whether to swing and where to swing a bit later, which would obviously help OBP and batting average, not just homeruns.

Saying that increased strength (roids or not) doesn't improve performance is a bit myopic, in my opinion. Obviously among professional baseball players, the bigger players tend to have more power than the smaller players. Do some smaller players hit more than some larger players? Sure. But disregarding the overall trend is like saying that big cars don't get worse gas mileage than smaller cars, just because somebody just put out a SUV hybrid that gets better mileage than some smaller cars.

2006-03-07 13:58:21
34.   Disabled List
I should add that the mountain of evidence, both from the leaked grand jury testimony, his involvement with BALCO, and the bombshell dropped by SI today really do make my rhetorical question moot.
2006-03-07 14:01:56
35.   gcrl
23 24 26

i live in minnesota, but didn't move here until 1997 (post puckett). anyway, the coverage here is reverential, although everyone does mention the divorce and assault trial. i think the take on the divorce put out by the locals here is that he simply married the wrong woman, and a lot of the stuff that happened was her fault. there's not much said about the assault trial, except that he was acquitted. reading between the lines, though, i would guess most people here don't think he was guilty.

as far as the hof goes, the sense seems to be that he would have reached 3000 hits had he not been stricken with glaucoma, and that, along with the post-season heroics would have been good enough based on past inductees.

there area a lot of people walking through the skyways looking depressed today, and i don't think it's entirely due to the crappy weather.

2006-03-07 14:05:23
36.   ToyCannon
Is anyone else rooting for Mexico against the US?
2006-03-07 14:13:41
37.   Brendan
25 1990, 1991, 1993 NL MVP started taking steroids in 1998.
2006-03-07 14:16:20
38.   Brendan
36

No but I was watching the first game and loved every minute of it. I didn't think of a player being Dominican or venezuelan it was just Big Papi, Beltre, Cabrerra etc.

2006-03-07 14:16:40
39.   GIDP
29
My argument is neither that I believe steroids do not help baseball performance, nor that I do not care if he took them. For the sake of argument I'll buy that he took them. I'll also concede it helped his performance. And I'll concede the urge to cheat is despicable. I do not concede that Bonds is not one of the best in the game. Also, somebody please tell me why the venom is saved for Bonds while people seem to merely shake their head at McGwire?

As far as my attitude toward steroids, I think health concerns are the main reason it has a stigma, otherwise people would be marvelling at modern science's ability to aid recovery time from injuries. Today's ballplayers have access to (legal) drugs, surgeries, personal trainers, physical therapists, nutritionists, etc etc, things that Babe Ruth never had nor desired. Protecting the sanctity of stats? Ridiculous.

2006-03-07 14:18:17
40.   ToyCannon
I figure the only people who don't think of Puckett as a HOF player were those who never say him play. He and the Toy Cannon were the only players I've ever seen with that kind of body who could combine speed and power. Kevin Mitchell had the power but no speed. Add in the sheer joy of watching the man play and he made me a Twin fan for a long time.
2006-03-07 14:18:39
41.   Blu2
Isn't Cortisone a Steroid?
2006-03-07 14:20:34
42.   Bob Timmermann
41
Yes, but it's not an anabolic steroid. It doesn't build mass.

There are very, very, very few people who are ever legitimately prescribed anabolic steroids.

2006-03-07 14:20:52
43.   Brendan
41

and Near Beer is alcohol.

2006-03-07 14:22:25
44.   GIDP
Preparation H is a steroid.
2006-03-07 14:26:12
45.   GIDP
42
"Steroids aren't the wonder drug of tomorrow," says Mark Gordon, a Los Angeles–based anti-aging doctor with more than 3,700 patients, including movie stars, studio heads and network executives. "Steroids are the wonder drug of right now. Just look at the diseases they treat. Patients with MS on steroids exhibit no symptoms [according to several studies done in Europe, where research is more advanced]. A full turnaround in AIDS wasting syndrome. I know athletes who had injuries that normally take nine months to heal after surgery — with an anabolic-steroid protocol, that time shrinks to two months. Do you wear glasses? Do you know there's a muscle surrounding the eye that wears out as we age and steroids can keep it healthy?" And his list doesn't include many of the current or coming wonders of anti-aging medicine of which steroids — or, now that we're being nice, let's call them hormones — will be a part.

from LA Weekly

2006-03-07 14:27:55
46.   Robert Daeley
"It's not that I don't think steroids help, but I do think there was something uniquely brilliant about Bonds, despite all the substance help."

309-foot right foul line? ;)

2006-03-07 14:29:20
47.   thinkblue0
39-

I think the reason people save their Venom for Bonds is because he's simply not a likable guy. I'm not saying it's right...McGwire should be getting just as much flack but he's more "likable" than Bonds...not to mention he isn't chasing the all time HR record.

And for those saying that roids don't help you....they absolutely do. I played college baseball, I knew a couple guys who went through some cycles and the improvement was unbelievable. Sure, you need to already have the good hand eye coordination, but the roids just amplify everything...i saw it first hand.

How many of Barry's HR that sail over the wall would have been caught at the warning track otherwise?

2006-03-07 14:29:34
48.   Brendan
I'm surprised at how tense these WBC games feel. lots of drama already and the crowds are really into it. this US game is already nerve racking although I'm used to 1-0 games by now.
2006-03-07 14:35:32
49.   Uncle Miltie
Yea the Mexican fans are booing the US players, especially A-rod. The US fans are sitting back and drinking beer. If Bonds was playing for the US, I'd definitely be rooting against them. I don't want Bonds to win a championship of any kind.
2006-03-07 14:35:48
50.   Disabled List
This may be one for the TMI file, but back when I was in college I came down with mono. The doc gave me an anabolic steroid shot that cleared up all my symptoms, despite giving me a nasty case of back acne. It did not, however, provide me with the ability to hit 50 homeruns at the major-league level.

I probably could have hit only 20, 25 tops.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-03-07 14:40:43
51.   Brendan
49 I don't want Bonds to win a championship of any kind

Agreed. I don't want any Giant winning anything and especially Bonds. I root against giants in the all star games.

2006-03-07 14:43:13
52.   Brendan
How did JDt do today? I looked through the threads but didn't see any posts on him.
2006-03-07 14:43:17
53.   D4P
51
I don't want any Giant winning anything

I apply that rule to Kent as well, which makes the current situation untenable.

2006-03-07 14:46:04
54.   trainwreck
I do not look Bonds more because of how he acts as a person not the fact that he uses steroids. The excerpts about Bonds threatening to kill his mistress and chocking her for being late shows what type of person he is.
2006-03-07 14:46:20
55.   deburns
20 I turned on the WBC late, and what do I see but Beltre striking out on a breaking pitch outside in the dirt. Where have I seen that before? Then I hear he hit a 3 run homer to right. I guess this is the old Beltre; but which one?
2006-03-07 14:47:00
56.   Bob Timmermann
Guzman was 1 for 4 today.
2006-03-07 14:48:28
57.   Suffering Bruin
Twenty years ago I got my first sportscasting job in a small New Mexico town. In that town was a smal NAIA school with a football team. And on that team were many, many players who took steroids. The rationale was always the same: they're not that bad for you and the guys across the line are taking them, too, so why should they have the advantage?

I know what I saw. The bodies of those players before steroids and after steroids... well, they were stronger and faster and they all looked like body builders. Further, they were able to get stronger and faster in a very, very short period of time.

Taken with the purpose of increasing and sustainging muscle mass, I think steroids help tremendously (based on what I saw). I think that's what Bonds did and I think he's been lying about it for years, not that he doesn't have company.

2006-03-07 14:48:39
58.   sanchez101
20. I dont think Beltre is back. The only AB was able to see from him all the announcers were saying was how good Beltre was, at which point he flailed at a slider low and away for strike three from the lesser Zambrano. Thats the Beltre I remember.
2006-03-07 14:50:26
59.   Uncle Miltie
I wouldn't say every Giant. Some of them I don't care about either way. The only player on the Giants that I actually like is Ray Durham.

I apply that rule to Kent as well, which makes the current situation untenable.
I wouldn't be too upset if Kent retires ringless. Hopefully this is his last year on the Dodgers.

2006-03-07 14:51:52
60.   Suffering Bruin
59 Marquis Grissom. Granted you're probably talking about current Gints but I always found it easy to cheer for Marquis.
2006-03-07 14:53:33
61.   sanchez101
54. Im with you, I dislike Bonds because he's Barry Bonds. Steroids dont really matter to me. Take them, dont take them, I could really care less. Any outrage I have is over the fact that it seems like very few Dodgers from the "steroid era" seem implicated. Why werent these guys trying to be the best they could be, was it because Kevin Malone would give you a 3 year contract no matter how you played?
2006-03-07 14:54:11
62.   regfairfield
32 Pre Roid bonds was easily a Hall Of Famer. Here is his VORP through the 90s

78.4
68.8
96.1
113
74
77
98.1
95.8
92.7
52.3

Combine this with at least 30 steals a year and very good defense, and you have an easy Hall of Famer. Pre-roid Bonds was easily the best hitter of the 90s, (only Frank Thomas was even close to him) and if that's not a Hall of Famer, I don't know what is.

2006-03-07 14:56:35
63.   Curtis Lowe
62- Why would you think he was'nt doing roids in those years?
2006-03-07 14:58:07
64.   regfairfield
63 It's entirely possible he was, but he didn't massively bulk up until 1999.
2006-03-07 14:59:13
65.   ToyCannon
58
The Beltre I remember is the one that hit two home runs and a single and his 3 run shot was to right center. You can focus on the one ab where he k'd on a slider and I'll focus on the other 3 successfull at bats. I'm not posting that I think Beltre will have a bounce back year on one game, I posted earlier that I expect him to have a bounce back year where he puts up a 280/340/480 line with his typical great defense. Still won't help Seattle escape last place and still isn't worth his salary but he won't be the worse value in baseball in 2006.
2006-03-07 15:00:13
66.   sanchez101
63. Because he didnt "look" like he was using steroids, and he wasnt hitting 70 homeruns. These are apparently the standards of proof for steroid usage. Or are were going with a guilty 'till proven innocent approach here?
2006-03-07 15:03:36
67.   sanchez101
65. Ya, whatever, Im not sure I really care what Beltre does. It was just fun to remember Beltre's complete lack of discipline; I think his pitch-recognition skills where always advanced enough to see the slider coming but he'd swing at it anyway.
2006-03-07 15:04:15
68.   the OZ
62 - Bonds was great during the 90s, but people forget about how insanely good Junior was during the same period. I know "best player of the 90s" isn't exactly the point of your post, and this is very nitpicky of me, but give Griffey his due. The kid could really play, and in 1999 he was the guy, bot Bonds, that was supposed to break Aaron's record.
2006-03-07 15:05:20
69.   the OZ
not Bonds.
2006-03-07 15:05:24
70.   Curtis Lowe
64,66- I'm going with the caught cheating, always cheated approach. I dont see why you discount those years just because of a supposed lack of Bulk muscle, I doubt you have ever really been around steroids much to make such short sighted claims.
2006-03-07 15:08:26
71.   sanchez101
68. That post made me think of Griffey too. Odd that those two guys were about equals from about 1990-2001, and the guy that used (probably) steroids stays healthy while the guy that didnt (im assuming) become injury prone. I think that speaks to the real benifits of steroids (health, durability) and why I think they should be allowed.
2006-03-07 15:11:08
72.   Doug N
61 Im actually enjoying the fact that the Dodger's horrible offense seems to be attributable to the fact that the teams as a whole chose not to cheat for the last six years.
2006-03-07 15:13:00
73.   sanchez101
70. I think youre missing the point. The point is that circumstancial evidence like chest size and homerun power arent convincing evidence of steroid usage because those things can change for better or worse absent from steroid use. Moreover, this country's legal system goes with the innocent-till-proven-guilty approach for good reasons, and I think the steroid controversy proves why.
2006-03-07 15:13:29
74.   Curtis Lowe
71- If fits of uncontrollable rage are health benefits then I guess yeh they should be allowed.
2006-03-07 15:13:33
75.   sub4eraplz
Wait Wait Wait!!!! Bonds is on roids!??!! WOW! Ive been living under this rock see...
2006-03-07 15:14:04
76.   regfairfield
68 I was going mainly by VORP in that comparison, but in most other respects, Bonds wins as well.

He out VORPed Griffey by over 100 for the decade (846.2 to 733.1) he stole a hell of a lot more bases, and he put up a better rate2. As much as I hate to admit it, Bonds was the best player of the 90s.

2006-03-07 15:14:29
77.   sanchez101
72. So are you ashamed of Don Drysdale's career. He admitted to cheating.
2006-03-07 15:14:35
78.   Uncle Miltie
72- Gary Sheffield was on roids. I'm sure there were others.
2006-03-07 15:16:25
79.   regfairfield
76 Something that completely slipped my mind, Griffey played center and Bonds played left, making Griffey the better defender in all likelyhood.
2006-03-07 15:17:10
80.   GIDP
70
As long as people here are taking as fact that Bonds threatened to kill his former mistress (another nail in the coffin of the principles upon which this country was founded), then claims from the same book supposedly state that 1999 is the year he first resorted to steroids because McGwire, who he thought was juiced, was stealing his thunder.
2006-03-07 15:19:03
81.   jasonungar05
Strange to think that if Bonds broke the total HR record, MLB's two biggest records would be owned by pete rose and barry bonds
2006-03-07 15:19:17
82.   Curtis Lowe
73- I think you missed the point.
2006-03-07 15:24:30
83.   sub4eraplz
In a sport where a team can have a payroll that is 6 times larger than others, giving that team a completely unfair advantage... would it be that outlandish if a cheater held a homerun trophy? Baseball cant control their own financial situations with several of their teams, let alone control records. We all knew McGuire was on something, and you are a liar if you deny it. However, we all turned the other way when it was happening cause it brought up interest in the sport. Now someone is reaping the benifits of that. I cant say as a Dodger fan that I like Bonds, but you cant just blame him... cause if you do you have to blame yourself AND the game of baseball for letting it get to this point to begin with.
2006-03-07 15:28:22
84.   regfairfield
83 As a Dodger fan, you should know that large payroll != good team.
2006-03-07 15:28:49
85.   Gen3Blue
I don't mean to defend Bonds, and I sorry I haven't had time to read the whole thread. I hope my comments aren't completely redundant.
A) Its very hard to know what is true and what is overblown.
B) All steroids can do is make one a bit stronger--to hit the ball on the nose enough to homer every other game is an amazing achievement.
This makes it all the more shameful because it will negate an amazing career that could have been.

I doubt Bonds will continue any success, because although he seems to have a remarkably good response to this unpredictable and volatile substance, it is known to cause poor aging and/or problems on withdrawal. Of course I'm not confident that the Major's reluctant and wimpy response to the problem means that everyone has to stop using steroids. Anyone else suspicious?
2006-03-07 15:29:26
86.   sub4eraplz
84 - Never said it made a good team, but I did say it gave an advantage.
2006-03-07 15:33:04
87.   D4P
Of course I'm not confident that the Major's reluctant and wimpy response to the problem means that everyone has to stop using steroids. Anyone else suspicious?

I see no reason to assume that everyone has stopped using steroids. Isn't the whole point of "cream" and "clear" (and others, I'm sure) that they can't be detected?

"If they can't detect, go ahead and inject."

2006-03-07 15:33:35
88.   Curtis Lowe
83- okay so now being rich and doing steroids are the same things? Please.
2006-03-07 15:33:39
89.   tmurase
I just wanted to chime on the "benefits" of performance enhancing drugs. Outside Magazine sent a writer to go get juiced up and report on the differences he saw. One specific thing was that the use of human growth hormone greatly improves eyesight. The Outside writer was given a veritable cocktail of drugs, and it's not too unreasonable to think that those cheaters in pro sports who have a lot more income than a magazine writer could afford the same. The article is here:http://outside.away.com/outside/bodywork/200311/200311_drug_test_1.html
2006-03-07 15:34:40
90.   Bob Timmermann
Dodger alert for Panama-Puerto Rico game in WBC:

Olmedo Saenz starts at third base for Panama and bats third.

Jose Cruz starts in right field and bats fifth for Puerto Rico. "Old friends" Jose Valentin and Alex Cora are starting at short and second.

2006-03-07 15:45:13
91.   Uncle Miltie
Jose Valentin is definitely not an old friend even though he did hit that 0-2 pinch hit HR against the D'backs last year to put the Dodgers up 9-8 (I think)
2006-03-07 15:45:21
92.   Marty
Valentin's knee must be feeling good.
2006-03-07 15:47:23
93.   Marty
Of all the posts so far, the most surprising one to me is finding out Suffering Bruin was a sportscaster in the past.
2006-03-07 15:49:22
94.   GIDP
Some of my best experiences at Dodger Stadium have been watching Bonds. I never chanted that two-word mantra, though I empathized with its sentiment. Bonds always inspired that odd mix of hatred and envy and awe that you feel for a mortal enemy. I'd get goosebumps, in different ways, whether he struck out or hit one over the fence. Watching Bonds, I didn't need stats, and I didn't need grand jury testiomony. I just knew that I was in the presence of one of the greatest to ever played the game. How many milestone home runs has he hit against us? THAT'S greatness.
2006-03-07 15:52:38
95.   Jon Weisman
93 - In Alaska, no less.
2006-03-07 15:53:52
96.   Andrew Shimmin
There's a bit of ex post facto name-calling going down, here. It's not cheating if it isn't against the rules. I hate Barry Bonds as much as any ten men, but he didn't cheat in any practical sense. He probably used illegal drugs (which is absolutely shocking behavior, except that it isn't), he may have violated what somebody sees as the spirit of pure competition. But neither of those things are cheating, because there weren't rules against the first when it would have happened, and there can't be rules against the second, because there's no such thing.

He should still go to jail (for tax evasion!), but he isn't a cheater.

2006-03-07 15:55:04
97.   Gen3Blue
87 Time May Tell

I understand a characteristic of steroids ( even prednisone and possibly HGH), is that you can stay 30 until you are 45 years old, but you are likeley to turn eighty when you are 47!

2006-03-07 15:57:23
98.   sub4eraplz
88 - not quite.. but in a broader perspective where baseball is a team game, it relates. On a personal level steroids help a player play above the ability of his peers who are not using the drug correct? At the organizational level the Yankees having 200 million to spend while Tampa Bay has 30 is an advantage correct? Money doesnt always equate success but neither do Roids.
2006-03-07 16:02:37
99.   Steve
I hate Barry Bonds as much as any ten men

Andrew has simplified things for everyone, though perhaps he doesn't hate Bonds as much as "any" ten men. Depends on who the ten men are. Take me, for instance...

2006-03-07 16:07:48
100.   Andrew Shimmin
99- Bonds hate-off, noon tomorrow, Ontario. Bring nine friends.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-03-07 16:11:21
101.   Daniel Zappala
Steve, you will always be an outlier.
2006-03-07 16:14:03
102.   Steve
Ontario? Then I couldn't listen to the Dodger game.
2006-03-07 16:22:02
103.   jet
Does anyone remember the pre-roid Bonds rage incident when he pushed his first wife down a flight of stairs and crashing into a piano? In other words, the man has always been angry.
2006-03-07 16:26:18
104.   Jon Weisman
103 - That was a priceless Steinway!
2006-03-07 16:29:47
105.   Kayaker7
I've read some of the comments casting doubts on whether increased strength result in more homeurns, and I think people are missing something. When you have greater strength, you can stay within yourself and still hit the ball with power. When the human body exerts maximum effort, the result is a loss of control. It's the difference between swinging for the fences and hitting for average. The increased strength will allow the hitter to hit for average basically, and still hit them out of the park.
2006-03-07 16:56:01
106.   Gen3Blue
If i'm in time--
Not any more!!!
2006-03-07 17:06:56
107.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
Re: Bonds and steroids stories:

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

2006-03-07 17:14:41
108.   FirstMohican
105 - And consider the effect that HGH has on Bonds' strike zone. Bigger elbow, bigger elbow pad.

"An elbow pad was something that hitters wore to make pitchers angry."

2006-03-07 17:47:38
109.   Andrew Shimmin
From the fifth page of the SI.com excerpt of the book, have a look at the manhands on Bonds's girlfriend.

http://tinyurl.com/nzglq

2006-03-07 19:06:33
110.   scareduck
103 - priceless?

http://tinyurl.com/r8lpn

2006-03-07 19:25:21
111.   Nolan
33 - You're dead on.

GoBears/GIDP - You guys are way off on this one, mainly because you are asking for evidence that is as plain as the nose on my face. We know that steroids make you stronger. We know that the stronger you are, the faster you can swing a bat. The faster you can swing a bat, the further the ball you hit will go. We have evidence of all of this. We've had it for decades, in fact.

Now, does using streoids give you a swing that is technically more sound? No. But that's not the point. Once you have a technically sound swing - like most major leaguers - using streoids will help you hit the ball farther. Period. There's really no debate about that.

Once you become a guy that can hit the ball, say, 50 feet further than everyone else, then a lot of numbers are going to improve. Obviously, your slugging will improve because you are hitting more homers. Your on-base will improve because pitchers will stay away from you (how may pitchers stay away from Podsednik, for example?) and because your improved bat speed will give you an extra moment to decide whether the pitch is a ball or a strike. Your batting average will improve because, again, harder hit balls are more difficult to field.

I don't understand what the mystery is here.

2006-03-07 19:28:54
112.   Nolan
One more thing, on the "big guys v. small guys" argument.

Yes, several small guys have better numbers and are better players than large guys (remember Lyle Mouton, for instance). Those small guys are simply more skilled than the big guys. Being big isn't sufficient for being great. But when you take two guys of equal skill and make one stronger it's obvious that the stronger player will excel to the extent that baseball rewards strength (and many aspects of it do).

2006-03-07 20:16:23
113.   Icaros
Here's another interesting excerpt, analyzing Bonds's stats before and after joining the club.

From sfgate.com:

http://tinyurl.com/nhgoo

2006-03-07 20:25:39
114.   das411
So when Andruw Jones only hits 25-30 HRs this year will everybody who follows baseball accuse him of taking greenies?

61 - No Dodgers? What about all of the Piazza rumors? Or Gagne and his "mysterious" velocity loss last season?

What will you guys say when Bonds comes back this season, plays in maybe 80 games, with say 300 at-bats, and still manages to pop 20+ HRs and post an OBP above .500?

Giambi all but said he was juicing, went out and put up numbers anyways, and now the media is his best friend again. McGwire denied denied denied stonewalled, and now the media is selectively ignoring him. Bonds has always denied taking anything, and yet the media and all of the anti-Bonds haters are out to get him now more than ever! Especially when Sosa and Palmiero have, oddly enough, quietly disappeared much the same way as McGwire did...

2006-03-07 22:29:40
115.   Steve
We'll say "Barry Bonds Sucks." That's an easy one.
2006-03-07 23:23:48
116.   Nolan
114 - Just because McGwire et al. haven't been skewered to the degree Bonds has doesn't mean that it is wrong for the media to treat Bonds as they have. I agree, though, that Giambi and McGwire have gotten a pass and do think that's wrong. They should be crucified as far as I'm concerned but so should Bonds.
2006-03-08 11:14:44
117.   DodgerHobbit
McGwire differs a little bit still from Bonds as there were more rumors going about concerning Bonds. There's no smoking gun yet on McGwire. McGwire also was a more likeable guy with the media through his playing days.

Giambi got his pass by owning up and taking his lumps, apologizing, and generally looking pathetic for a year after he was unjuiced. Basically he got punished. Giambi was also never anywhere close to any hallowed home run records.

in other unlikeable baseball guy news

"[Selig] worries about what people say about him and he Googles himself," Wells said. "I'm sure he's going to Google [his name] tomorrow and say, `Oh, there's Dave talking about me.'

http://www.courant.com/sports/baseball/hc-wells0308.artmar08,0,5156862.story?coll=hc-headlines-baseball

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