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About Jon
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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
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Palmeiro Posers
2005-08-01 15:44
by Jon Weisman

Today's suspension for a positive drug test by 3,000-hit, 500-home run man Rafael Palmeiro was sure to raise a lot of questions. Will Carroll attempts to answer them in this informative article on Baseball Prospectus.

Comments (54)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-08-01 15:50:43
1.   Nick Iyengar
Noticed a poll on Yahoo Sports that showed 65% of people saying Palmeiro doesn't belong in the Hall after this suspension. Maybe it's just me, but I really can't put a whole lot of stock in a positive test. I still get the sense that if you take the wrong cold medicine, you'll test positive in MLB's test.

MLB has to get a way more accurate testing system before I start to believe all the the positive steroid tests.

2005-08-01 15:53:30
2.   FirstMohican
Steroids might be forgivable. This ( however, is not.
2005-08-01 15:55:54
3.   Nick Iyengar
2: So much for the GOP being just a white Christian party.
2005-08-01 15:59:19
4.   db1022
3000 hits, 600 home runs:


2005-08-01 16:00:19
5.   db1022
Sorry, if/when he gets to 600.
2005-08-01 16:01:59
6.   Nick Iyengar
I don't see how Palmeiro can't be in the Hall, unless it's proven that he actually took steroids. A positive test doesn't prove anything.
2005-08-01 16:04:57
7.   Linkmeister
C'mon. That Palmeiro political contribution was probably just in solidarity with his fellow Viagra flak Bob Dole.
2005-08-01 16:07:57
8.   Brendan

I don't understand what you are trying to say. A positive test for steroids does prove he has/had steroids in his system.

You are never going to have a video of him being injected so if that is the only way to prove it, it is not going to happen.

people in this country get sentenced every day to long jail terms based solely on circumstational evidence. much less evidence than we have for Palmeiro. Everyone in this country watches too much CSI, I think.

2005-08-01 16:16:50
9.   db1022
8 - But does that keep him out of the HOF?

What about Sammy's corked bat? Is he out too?

Seriously, not trying to be standoff-ish.

2005-08-01 16:16:54
10.   FirstMohican
7 - That or.. he's a cuban self-exile. Though, I can't find any Anti-Castro orgs on the "Charities" section of his official website - just Make A Wish.
2005-08-01 16:18:10
11.   Nick Iyengar
I've never seen CSI, but what I'm saying is: if you take the wrong cold medicine the day before your random drug test, you could turn up positive for steroids.

You could have a player test positive even though he's never been in the same room as the steroids we actually care about. So just because an MLB player tests "positive" under MLB's system, that doesn't mean you have necessarily fingered the next Jose Canseco.

I've never thought Palmeiro was a steroid user, and I still don't think so now. Maybe if MLB would release the findings of their drug tests and explain what substances were found present in each player, they would gain some credibility for their steroid testing program. Alex Sanchez tested positive -- do we really think Alex Sanchez, of all people, is juicing?

2005-08-01 16:18:15
12.   FirstMohican
8 - Maybe there is a video. Maybe he'll release it a month or two before he starts his reality TV series.
2005-08-01 16:24:37
13.   Brendan

I don't know. Not up to me to decide. I just wanted to respond to Nick's statement of a positive test doesn't prove anything. I say it does prove something. The CSI comment was a little snarky so even though I believe it I'll take it back.

personally I wouldn't vote for him. Canseco's version of events doesn't seem so silly to me all of a sudden.

2005-08-01 16:26:05
14.   FirstMohican
11 - Yeah, he could've accidentally taken something, but "given his role on the No Tolerance Committee," don't you think he'd go through every pain necessary to avoid 'roids?
2005-08-01 16:26:32
15.   Nick Iyengar

Any number of legal substances can cause a positive result on a steroid test ... so how does a positive result prove that a player used a prohibited substance?

2005-08-01 16:28:06
16.   bigcpa
What would Palmeiro's incentive be to cheat in 2005, possibly his final season? Even if someone sold him something said to be undetectable, the risk/reward just doesn't work out. There's go to be a lot more to this story.
2005-08-01 16:28:25
17.   Nick Iyengar

Yeah, definitely. It's dumb on Palmeiro's part to get caught after what he said in Congress. He should have done his due diligence. Still, I cut him a little slack because it's impossible to know every single substance that will get you a positive result from the steroid test.

2005-08-01 16:30:19
18.   Brendan

I think you are exaggerating the cold medicine theory in the question of baseball testing.

If it is not the steroid we care about then how come he won't tell us what it was or what it isn't. He did the weasel with his lawyer. If it was some random supplement he would be screaming and not accepting the punishment.

Here is what we do know. We have a witness saying that he injected Palmeiro himself(Canseco) and now we have a failed steroid test. When do you go from I've never thought he was a user to Look he probably did or does. You've set a real high bar of proof before you are convinced. Just my opinion.

2005-08-01 16:30:53
19.   db1022
16 - I agree with you. I'm sure there some very interesting details we are missing.

Most overused joke of the forthcoming week:

I didn't know Viagra was on the banned substances list. - cue rim shot.

2005-08-01 16:33:09
20.   Brendan

People do really dumb things every day. why do people shop lift when they have the money. I don't know Big if we can get into the psychology of "why would someone do this or that or risk it all".

2005-08-01 16:34:29
21.   GoBears
I suspect Nick is right about the high likelihood of "false positives." I too am skeptical of the testing regimen.

Moreover, as far as I can tell, there is no evidence that steroids help baseball players, and even if they do, that they skew statisitics (because if the pitcher and hitter are both juiced, does it even out?!, or just lead to more Ks and more HRs? The point is that we (HOF voters, the scientific community, Bud Selig) have no freakin' idea.

Now, if Nick's concerns can be dealt with, so that we really can believe that positive tests mean something, then I'd support suspending players who test positive. Because even if steroids DON'T help (just like a corked bat doesn't, according to physicists who've studied the question), the point is that there are rules and that a player willfully tried to cheat, even if the cheating wouldn't matter.

But even in that case, I don't think I'd downgrade a player's HOF chances unless we also knew that successful cheating led to inflated stats. To repeat, we don't know that. All we believe is that steroids mean more muscles which mean more strength which mean more HRs (or pitch velocity). And, as Joe Sheehan just reminded us in a different context, the plural of "opinion" is NOT "fact."

2005-08-01 16:36:19
22.   Brendan
I have read that it is very tough to stop using steroids both psychically and mentally. Not always a rational frame of mind when stopping them or while using them.
2005-08-01 16:36:51
23.   Nick Iyengar

Give him a chance, the story just broke. He may very well appeal his suspension. If he doesn't, then I agree that that would be very suspicious.

One of the players caught earlier this year broke down crying when he found out he had tested positive, and he ended up serving out his suspension anyway. I think it was Rincon from the Twins, but I'm not sure.

Re: Canseco, a lot of people have said that you can't trust him on anything he says. So I wouldn't want to use him as a relied-upon source.

Maybe I've set a high burden of proof, but you're innocent until proven guilty. If you're going to claim that a 3000-600 (likely) guy doesn't deserve to be in the Hall, there should be undeniable proof that he was guilty. And we know that MLB's steroids tests are not infallible by any means.

2005-08-01 16:41:20
24.   db1022
Were steroids illegal (not in a court of law, I mean in between the lines) prior to this most recent program? Or were they just not tested for?
2005-08-01 16:42:32
25.   jpeace
11-Alex Sanchez tested positive -- do we really think Alex Sanchez, of all people, is juicing?

Yes, of course. He tested postive as you said. Steroids are a unique class of chemical compounds, and are easily detectable in a lab if your know what you are looking for. And I have never heard of cold medicines containing anabolic steroids, that is indeed an exageration.

2005-08-01 16:42:51
26.   Brendan

I'm sure you or myself or Nick are qualified to comment on the validity of these tests. Both the players and everyone involved are ok in using them as a determinant.

Raffy isn't saying it is a false positive so I don't think that excuse washes. he is saying he doesn't know how they got into his system. Raffy isn't questioning the testing so we shouldn't either.

2005-08-01 16:43:17
27.   FirstMohican
23 - I thought the "give him a chance" thing was for when rumors broke, not evidence.

"I think I tested positive because of steroid content in the Spicy Chicken Sandwhiches at Carl's"

2005-08-01 16:47:01
28.   Brendan
A little off topic GoBears but I wanted to respond to you comment about the word Moot a few threads ago:

Usage Note: The adjective moot is originally a legal term going back to the mid-16th century. It derives from the noun moot, in its sense of a hypothetical case argued as an exercise by law students. Consequently, a moot question is one that is arguable or open to debate. But in the mid-19th century people also began to look at the hypothetical side of moot as its essential meaning, and they started to use the word to mean "of no significance or relevance." Thus, a moot point, however debatable, is one that has no practical value. A number of critics have objected to this use, but 59 percent of the Usage Panel accepts it in the sentence The nominee himself chastised the White House for failing to do more to support him, but his concerns became moot when a number of Republicans announced that they, too, would oppose the nomination. When using moot one should be sure that the context makes clear which sense is meant.

2005-08-01 16:48:54
29.   Nick Iyengar

A lot of baseball people have maintained that legal supplements that players take can create a "false positive" on a steroids test. I'm just using cold medicine as an example, I'm not literally saying that Dimetapp is going to get you a 10-day suspension.

And why would Alex Sanchez be juicing? This is a guy with 6 HR in 1527 career AB's, according to Yahoo Sports. Steroids aren't going to turn him into an effective power hitter.

26/27: I said "give him a chance" meaning that maybe tomorrow he will say it's a false positive. He's probably consulting with his lawyers and what-not. I don't know why he wouldn't just come right out and say it, but you know how these things are.

2005-08-01 16:50:37
30.   GoBears
26. Well, good point. If the players are OK with the tests as is, then I guess we shouldn't offer them the "false positives" defense. I guess Nick and I are thinking about track and swimming and some other sports where the list of banned substances goes far beyond steroids, and where all these cold-medicine-type mistakes keep cropping up. Perhaps the analogy to MLB's steroid testing doesn't wash. Thanks for reining me in.

But I still maintain that we have no evidence that steroids affect performance. If they're banned and a guy who hopes they do chooses to cheat, then suspend him. But for me, the question of downgrading HOF credentials is a different question than "did you violate the spirit of the game, even if you didn't change your effectiveness?"

Then, it becomes less a matter of "should we take off 100 HRs and 300 hits" and more a matter of ethical standards, a la Pete Rose. Even if you were an awesome player, maybe you should be banned from the HoF because you don't deserve to be in that august company...

I'm not sure how I feel about that, given than one could argue that the game has just changed over time. But I'm pretty sure it's a different question than one of how inflated the stats are and how much they should be discounted.

2005-08-01 16:53:56
31.   natepurcell
can we discuss other topics in this thread, or has to be steroid related?
2005-08-01 16:54:20
32.   Brendan

The story just broke to us. Raffy was informed weeks ago and the players association filed an appeal which the commissioner's office has already turned down. Raffy then accepted the 10 day suspension.

Here is the crux of my argument. He no longer deserves the benefit of the doubt. the hall of fame and public opinion are not courts of law. If you want to attack the testing(which he hasn't by the way) or if Steroids help a baseball player or not, go ahead. I'll bow out of that one.

2005-08-01 16:55:08
33.   Brendan

Yes, Please do. any news from the minors? How about Kuo.

2005-08-01 16:56:56
34.   natepurcell

theres a good article on their take on the nonmoved made by depo.

apparently, we went HARD after sweeney and adam dunn.

2005-08-01 16:57:27
35.   GoBears
28: Yes, Brendan, you're absolutely right about the common usage of the term. And languages do evolve. I mean, heck, look at the words "awesome" or "sweet" over the last 20 years. I'm sure a lot of you remember what we 30-somethings (now) did to the word "radical" in the 70s/80s. I'm just a curmudgeon when it comes to language, and since I write and teach writing, I tend to resist the notion that common usage should be allowed to trump proper usage. But of course it can and does.

My point about "moot" (or my "moot" point, if you prefer) was more by way of a wise-crack response to the person who asked the question about whether anything was a moot point on DT. He/she was joking about how we revel in the irrelevant. I, trying to be clever you know, joked back that all we revel in is debates. Ah well.

2005-08-01 16:57:31
36.   Jon Weisman
Nate, every chat thread can be an open chat thread, but I just posted a link to the Bonds story - we can have everyone meet up there.
2005-08-01 16:57:56
37.   natepurcell
well most of the teams on the farm are off today, jax and vero beach notably. columbus is playing, elbert is pitching.
2005-08-01 17:00:10
38.   GoBears
34. Sweeney? Egad.
2005-08-01 17:04:14
39.   Nick Iyengar

Okay, I didn't realize all that about how Palmeiro has known this for weeks.

My main objection, which I believe is shared by many, is that the tests actually don't prove guilt.

Given the stuff you've added, I tend to agree with you.

2005-08-01 17:04:39
40.   Brendan

Gee, you must cringe every time you read something I write.

Ok, now I understand, thank you. Damn, i wish I would have caught that joke.

2005-08-01 17:05:50
41.   Brendan

I think we might have been arguing slightly different topics. I also think most people are. LOL

2005-08-01 17:08:31
42.   GoBears
Ok, now I understand, thank you. Damn, i wish I would have caught that joke.

I wish I'd made it funnier. So we're even.

2005-08-01 17:09:56
43.   jpeace
"And why would Alex Sanchez be juicing? This is a guy with 6 HR in 1527 carrer AB's "

He got caught this year so wouldn't his past be inconsequential? If anything, his lack of power in the past is exactly why he would be juicing it up.

I still agree with the last paragraph of the article:

"There is no evidence that anyone can identify a steroid user by sight. It would certainly save time and money if this were the case. Some pictures of suspected steroid users have been taken at times when the players were said to be out of condition. Again, the only way to prove use of a banned substance is a positive test.

No matter what happens with Raf and the HoF, Raf comes out the winner. He made millions of dollars for playing baseball at the cost of what? embarrassment? a 10-day suspension? The guy is obviously not afraid of embarassment-- he does commercials for viagra. All i can say is that the current steroid policy is a joke.

2005-08-01 17:21:16
44.   GoBears
Raf comes out the winner.

Only true if (1) we believe that he made a lot more money because of steroids than he would have otherwise, which we don't know because we don't know if steroids help you play baseball better, and (2) if we believe that the marginal improvement in stats and therefore money was worth more to Raffy than the marginal decline in his HoF chances for having been caught.

(1) and (2) MIGHT both be true, but we can't possibly know.

2005-08-01 17:22:54
45.   Brendan

why wouldn't Kuo be called up now? bullpen help is needed, didn't make a trade and Kuo is old for the league.

are they just worried about him injured or overused?

2005-08-01 17:29:19
46.   Nick Iyengar

I think a mediocre hitter with legitimate home run potential might "juice it up" if he thought he could become a real slugger. But even if steroids could double a hitter's home run production, Sanchez is going to hit less than 5 HR a year. Anyway, just debating Alex Sanchez's steroid past is pretty ridiculous.

2005-08-01 17:33:18
47.   Telemachos
Re: steroids. Isn't it the case that while steroids won't help hand/eye coordination and all that, they give a HUGE boost to your ability to work out and weight-lifting, by reducing the amount of time your body needs to recover?

So it's not a simple one-to-one correlation that BALCOing will make you hit more homers, but it's true that it will help boost your ability to add muscle mass and strength, thus (in the long run) making you stronger and faster.

2005-08-01 17:38:11
48.   Identity Crisis
I wonder if Kuo would be better served going back to being a SP. He seems to get a ton of rest between relief appearences. I don't know if it is because he can't handle it or if they are just being really cautious because of what happened about a month back.

I'm still hoping Broxton goes back to starting but I'm content with him being a reliever.

2005-08-01 18:07:37
49.   Benaiah
45 - I don't know about bullpen help not being needed. Even in a limited role Kou would be more valuable than some of the slugs in the pen now, hopefully with Carrera injured Depo will move him to the DL and bring up a another bat (Rose maybe?). We have too many pitchers in the pen already (Dessens only has 10 IP in July despite having the lowest ERA in the bullpen). Before you note the contradiction between needing Kou and having too many relievers, I mean we have too many rag-armed has-beens in the pen and we could use Kou to replace Alverez or Carrera (or ideally both of them and bring up Mike Rose so that Tracy doesn't need to keep Phillips in the game). If nothing else bring up Osoria, and get rid of Gio.
2005-08-01 18:42:45
50.   Brendan

I think you misread my post. this is what I posted:

"why wouldn't Kuo be called up now? bullpen help is needed, didn't make a trade and Kuo is old for the league."

I missed the word He(depo) didn't make a trade and Kuo is old for the league so there isn't a worry about starting his clock early. I think there is a drastic NEED in the bullpen. we agree completely.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-08-01 19:01:09
51.   USCDodger Knuckleballer
Don't know if this has already been mentioned or discussed and its not really my area of expertise, but are there steroids in viagra?
2005-08-01 19:14:04
52.   bokonon42
Steroid isn't a chemical compound, like water. It's a class of drugs. Drug tests aren't one event where a computer prints out every chemical other than water and urea in the urine, it's a series of tests for each compoud on the banned list. That's why they need more than an eye-dropper full.

The lab that conducted the test, and the MLB brass who read their report know exactly what illegal substance was found and in what concentration. They just don't report that publically; that's part of the collective bargaining agreement. So while it's true that we don't know exactly what he took, it isn't true that nobody does. Say, doesn't Congress have, um, what's it called. . . subpoena power?

2005-08-01 19:19:57
53.   bokonon42
Also, Palmeiro knows what he took, right? Even if it was an accident, even if he didn't know it at the time, as he claims. Why hasn't he said what it was? Every time an Olympian gets caught with more asperin in their system than they're allowed, it becomes a story. I remember a runner whose asthma medication disqualified him. Palmeiro hasn't done that.
2005-08-01 19:38:21
54.   Brendan

Agreed. maybe it was cocaine or heroin. that is only other reason why he wouldn't come out and say what it was.

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