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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
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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

Is It Time To Let Bonds Off the Hook?
2007-04-26 08:03
by Jon Weisman

I asked this question in the comments Wednesday night, and David Pinto asked it at Baseball Musings this morning: Isn't the prevailing assumption now that, despite what apparently happened in the past, that Barry Bonds is now clean - and if so, does that not reinforce that what he has been doing so far this season is legitimately incredible?

Bonds is 42 years and 10 months old, with an on-base percentage of .470 and slugging percentage of .808.

I have stood by my belief that Bonds is a Hall of Famer. The shorthand reasons are 1) he was a clear Hall of Famer before the first foreign substance hit his body, 2) his substance use was a reflection of what baseball rules and the collective bargaining agreement officially tolerated on a widespread level during the time in question, 3) given how widespread that substance use was among both hitters and pitchers, he shouldn't be singled out, and 4) given how studies on substance use conflict, it's unclear how much that substance use actually helped him.

Those reasons are debatable. But if Bonds is clean now, does that mean we should firmly stop singling out Bonds for derision? If what he did was part of a larger crisis in baseball, a crisis now being addressed, and if what he did didn't distort the record books as much as people think, what is the case against him?

I anticipate that the counterarguments to this are 1) he cheated, end of story, 2) this 2007 performance won't hold up if he's clean and 3) maybe he's not clean now.

* * *

The Mike Penner/Christine Daniels transformation story figures to get a lot of attention. Though a bit too snarky at times for my personal taste, especially on Morning Briefing for the Times, I've always thought Penner was an excellent writer. I look forward to reading Daniels.

I'm curious about his name choice. I'm not trying to be ultra-clever or anytyhing, but I can't help noticing that Christine/Christina appears to have become the dominant name for transsexual sportswriters, as Daniels joins Christina Kahrl of Baseball Prospectus. I believe there is a TV pilot about a transsexual sportswriter in the works - wonder what her name will be.

Update: Kahrl comments optimistically at BP.

Comments (257)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-04-26 08:27:22
1.   D4P
Isn't the prevailing assumption now that, despite what apparently happened in the past, that Barry Bonds is now clean - and if so, does that not reinforce that what he has been doing so far this season is legitimately incredible?

I see no reason for such an assumption. There are apparently plenty of undetectable PEDs, so there doesn't appear to be much risk of getting caught.

"Since they can't detect, go ahead and inject"

2007-04-26 08:37:10
2.   old dodger fan
If there are plenty of undetectable PED's I think most ballplayers must know what they are. If that is true doesn't it stand to reason that at least several are using them? How then do we evaluate anyone?
2007-04-26 08:38:49
3.   Sushirabbit
I'm just tired of Bonds. Sort of like Rose.

If they had any sense of humility over the gifts they were/are fortunate to have, instead of the same sort of smugness, maybe I'd care, but I don't. I found the stuff on Brian Traxler much more interesting.

Still the 'roids don't get you to see the ball.

2007-04-26 08:45:05
4.   D4P
I think it's naive to assume that players are no longer using banned PEDs. In addition to the subset of undetectable substances, it's nothing close to a guarantee that a player will get caught if he's using the stuff they can detect, and even if he does, there's a whole littany of excuses (e.g. doctor prescribed it, I don't speak your language, etc.).
2007-04-26 08:45:20
5.   shamrok
3. 2nd that, I just don't care anymore. Some humility and sense of history from him (perceived or otherwise) would be nice. I simply just don't like him, nothing more or less.
2007-04-26 08:50:41
6.   Marty
Actually, I thought I read that steroids does improve the eyesite.
2007-04-26 08:51:09
7.   Benaiah
I didn't know Christina Kahrl was transexual. Interesting. I took a few classes on the subject in college ("The Politics of Passing" most notably) and I feel very strongly about it. I occasionally see "passing" transsexuals on the subway and I want to give them gesture of solidarity, but I figure that not being noticed (for that anyway) is what they really want so I just go back to my newspaper.

The big misunderstanding, I think, is the difference between drag, transsexuals and cross dressers. Drag is usually just gay pageantry, either camp or glam, but always fabulous. Cross dressers are mostly straight guys who like to wear a dress, nothing wrong with it, but usually a lot less fabulous. transsexual is something else altogether.

2007-04-26 09:01:16
8.   Xeifrank
I don't think there was ever any question of Bonds being a great hitter or not. Even if he is clean now and still doing well, it doesn't hide the fact that he juiced. Without the juice would he have hit 40+, 50+, 60+ or 70+ HRs?? We will never know. The only thing Bonds is proving to me by being clean and still hitting home runs (though probably not in quantities of recent years) is that he is a great hitter, but I already knew that. Therefore, he's still on the hook. vr, Xei
2007-04-26 09:04:03
9.   D4P
Have you seen the, um, guy that works at Francesca's...?
2007-04-26 09:06:29
10.   KBL

I am inclined to agree with you on this one. Barry's homer last night was incredible, and the one I saw last year in person against Billingsey was a monster. When Barry hits a homer, he hits a homer...none of this barely over the wall stuff. I guess I have made my peace with him breaking the record because I am hoping/expecting Arod or Pujols to beat it if they stay healthy. I will be at the game tonight, and I can only hope no Giants fans are next to me (since I hate having beer thrown in my direction). I would love to see a day where we support our team with great cheering, rather than chanting, "Barry sucks, Barry sucks", especially when Gonzo is at the plate and it has nothing to do with what is happening at the game.

Oh well, I can only hope.

2007-04-26 09:12:22
11.   Benaiah
9 - It is PC to indentify transsexuals by their preferred gender. It seems like it is easier for a woman to pass than vice versa, but after I read "Stone Butch Blues" I wasn't so sure. It is a really tough thing to have to go through. I wish Mike/Christine all the best.
2007-04-26 09:14:32
12.   DodgerJoe
I think that Bonds is and should be off the hook for steroids in regards to baseball. It was not illegal in baseball when all this happened.

I personally know some borderline major leaguers who took steroids to make the show. It goes far beyond Barry Bonds.

But, it does not excuse Barry for playing on the Giants, lying to the grand jury, being a complete jerk to the media and fans. That's why I don't like Barry Bonds. It has nothing to do with PED's.

2007-04-26 09:16:31
13.   Greg S
Well that was certainly a different sort of morning read of the Times sports section. I was going to comment on a different part... anyone else notice that the last two days have featured stories about Bonds and A-Rod which both basically said, "we don't know anything about the guy or the story and that's the story". Don't they have to try a little harder than that? At least page 2 had a revelation.
2007-04-26 09:17:08
14.   old dodger fan
I don't like Barry for most of the reasons listed above but sometimes wonder how I would feel about him if he had been a Dodger for the past 10 years and we had won 2 or 3 WS during that time.
2007-04-26 09:20:06
15.   Benaiah
14 - I am confidant that I would love him more than I hate him now. Context and perspective is everything. It has become increasingly clear that Michael Jordon is not the nicest person in the world, but I doubt anyone in Chicago (and I live in Chicago, so I am confronted with this all the time) cares. If he was a Dodger than most of us would defend him to the end.
2007-04-26 09:22:16
16.   Jon Weisman
Liking Barry Bonds is a separate question. I don't "like" him.

I agree with KBL, though. I could totally lose the "Barry sucks" chants, if for no other reason than they're so old and tired and he clearly doesn't care.

2007-04-26 09:23:20
17.   Xeifrank
12. I remember having this discussion before. Not illegal in baseball, but illegal in the US. Which takes precedence?
vr, Xei
2007-04-26 09:23:50
18.   paranoidandroid
I just hope that Bonds gets his homers this year, doesn't get to the playoffs, retires, and goes away for good. Then blah, blah, blah about the Hall and the asterisks and let's move on.

He changes the game in so many ways when he plays, but he overshadows the entire sport with an attitude that makes me grunt in disgust when he smashes a ball and waddles up the line to first. His strut, his smarky smile, his body language, it just makes me disregard him as a human being. I had no sympathy when I watched him cry a river on his short lived "Bonds on Bonds" PR show.

I respect what he can do with a bat and how dominant he's been in the middle of a line-up for two decades, but I am ready for him to be in the past already and we can all stop debating this man. He's more of a whiner than a winner. And that is what he'll be seen as in history.

Just my opinion.

2007-04-26 09:26:53
19.   Greg S
So if liking him is out of the equation, the question is really just, is he a great basbeall player? The answer I think is clearly and with no doubt, yes.
2007-04-26 09:34:39
20.   underdog
16 I agree, too. I don't like Bonds, I wish he had more humility, but he's still an incredible hitter. I don't think steroids make someone an incredible hitter, or there would have been a lot of Barry Bonds out there for a few years. And the chant is as boring as "Yo mama" or some other child's comeback - not that I'd expect much cleverness from the bleachers, but really. If people really want to chant something anti-Bonds, we could hold a contest to come up with the most clever thing to shout at him.

I will say that I told my GiantsFanCoworker that we literally live in the only city in the US that will be excited in a positive way when Bonds breaks Aaron's record, the only city that cares or loves him. (Sigh, just my luck.) But despite that, I still don't hate him.

2007-04-26 09:36:03
21.   underdog
(I will say Bond's decided lack of hustle the last couple of years - I know he's old and creaky and all - is pretty hard to watch. Even Giants columnists here comment on how he runs, or jogs, up the first base line.
2007-04-26 09:36:29
22.   paranoidandroid

It is hard to cheer for jerks. I wanted to see Milton Bradley do well when he was a Dodger, but I didn't mind seeing him go at all.

As a Clipper fan, I didn't want Iverson or Artest. I like winning, but not at all costs.

Great player. Not likeable. The most dominant player of his era, steroids or not. But a classic jerk.

2007-04-26 09:37:36
23.   GoBears
14. Excellent point. We've been privileged to watch the greatest hitter and all-around player of our lifetimes (for those of use not old enough to remember Mays, at least), and we find 1000 reasons to hate him and diminish the experience. least one of those reasons is the understandable one that he plays for the Giants, our enemies. We can be forgiven for that.

At least we're not Yankee fans. They get to see the new "greatest player ever," A-Rod, play for the home team, and they still find a way to hate him. Save a career-ending injury or just frustration at how he's treated (Barry has a thicker skin - I'll give him that), A-Rod should retire as the best hitter and (therefore) best Yankee of all time. But he'll never get a fair shake in New York.

I wonder if this has ever happened before - that a sports star is admired and respected more by fans outside his hometown than within. And not because New Yorkers "know the real A-Rod." They have nothing on him off the field. By all accounts, he's an upstanding citizen. Ingrates.

2007-04-26 09:38:25
24.   Benaiah
I really don't like him as a person at this point, but the saddest thing is that he might have been the best ever even if he didn't juice. I think that 1998, when McGuire hit 70 pushed him over the edge. He had a better year than Sosa in 1998 because Sosa's OBP skills were thoroughly mediocre. Then again, juice or no, he put up the four best years ever so maybe that is enough for him.
2007-04-26 09:40:20
Im glad that Barry is a Giant. The last five years of the rivalry wouldn't have been the same without him.

I also think, subjectively, that Barry's approach at the plate is the best I will ever see. A-Rod might break his HR record but Bonds' discipline, body control, and the adjustments he makes at the plate are as close to perfect as you're gonna get.

I also think that he gets singled out, not because of the steriods, but because of his incredibly weird personality. From what I've seen, like the Bonds on Bonds show, dude is borderline Michael Jackson crazy.

2007-04-26 09:44:08
26.   JoeyP
A-Rod's closing in on 500 career homers and he's only 32.

How many home runs does he have left to hit?
900 or so?

2007-04-26 09:45:37
27.   Disabled List
12 I think that Bonds is and should be off the hook for steroids in regards to baseball. It was not illegal in baseball when all this happened.

It may not have been illegal by the baseball rule book, but everyone knows that doping is cheating when it comes to athletics, plain and simple. It's been that way for more than 30 years. If that wasn't the case, why didn't Bonds or McGwire or the rest of them simply admit they were juicing at the time?

Giving tacit approval to past steroid use by shrugging one's shoulders and saying "it wasn't against the rules at the time" is a total cop-out. This is why I couldn't care less if he's clean now. Barry could've been remembered as one of the greatest players of all time. But his legacy is tainted forever now, and that's exactly what he deserves. He doesn't have anything except his own lack of character to blame for it.

As far as Jon's reasoning that Bonds should be in the HOF, only #1 is valid: He had reached the threshold for HOF status before the steroid use started. The other reasons are not. #2 is simply a specious technicality, #3 is irrelevant, and (IMO) #4 is bogus. I think there's plenty of evidence to prove that using steroids aids one's baseball ability.

2007-04-26 09:46:44
28.   still bevens
18 I hope Bonds breaks the HR record this year then stays on to break the hit record for next season, thus continuing the stagnation of the Giants franchise for another year. Perhaps Sabean will respond to another year of Barry by going EVEN OLDER next season. Julio Franco! David Wells! Maybe they can grab Biggio for a one year contract since Durham is closer to 35 than 40.
2007-04-26 09:49:31
29.   underdog
I hope the Giants stagnate more tonight than they have for the past few days...
2007-04-26 09:50:44
30.   Jon Weisman
27 - My #2 is more than a specious technicality. I hear the arguments that players should have known it was wrong, but to ignore baseball players and owners turning a blind eye to the usage is to ignore a hugely relevant part of the story.
2007-04-26 09:50:59
31.   GoBears
I really have no problem with Bonds at all. I couldn't care less that he's surly. That's his teammates' and reporters' problem, not mine. Given what little we know to be true about him and PEDs (which, despite everyone's confidence that beliefs equal facts isn't very much), I see no reason to discount his accomplishments on the field. And I couldn't possibly care less about the off-the-field stuff he's been pilloried for (which is all personal stuff).

It's actually too bad that Bonds set the single-season HR record (well, until A-Rod hits 90 this season) and will set the career record this summer (or maybe Spring). Like Aaron, he'll be remembered primarily for his HRs, but both were so much more than just HR hitters.

There is no hitter in baseball that I'd rather watch. Of course, I'd prefer it if his team were to lose despite his exploits.

2007-04-26 09:51:15
32.   Greg S
27- I think you have pretty strict standard for our sports stars. Who's your favorite player of the last 20 years? Will you stop being a fan if you learn that they were taking non-banned stimulants to enhance their performance? If so, prepare for real disappointment.
2007-04-26 09:51:39
33.   D4P
I think the thing that bothers me the most is how so many Giants' fans categorically deny Bonds ever used PEDs. I could understand their denial if the Giants had won a championship during Bonds' tenure. But they haven't. The only thing that is tainted by Bonds is Bonds himself. I don't see any reason to defend him. Seems to me Giants fans have nothing to lose by admitting the obvious.
2007-04-26 09:55:24
34.   KBL
My brother lives in St. Louis and I think he said they treat Barry with complete silence when he comes to the plate. I think this would get into his head more than feeding off of the LA chants for how much he sucks. Of course, complete silence could get into the pitcher's head as well.
2007-04-26 09:56:47
35.   Humma Kavula
It is worth noting that in 1999, Barry Bonds was one of the most unappreciated superstars in baseball history. It seems insane, but when I think back to the late 90s, it was Ken Griffey, A-Rod, and others who were called "The Best Player in Baseball" -- Bonds' name was almost an afterthought. Even Bill James thought that Craig Biggio was a better player at that point. Then Bonds went on his tear and everything changed.

I always appreciated watching Bonds play baseball. Even if I assume he did everything he's accused of doing, my reaction is something like, "Here's what a great ballplayer can do with on the steroid boost." It does not in any way disqualify him from the HOF in my book. Certainly, I can't bring myself to boo him.

I could also do without the Barry Sucks chant, as well as the homophobic chants that we get in the left field loge by the foul pole when the Giants are in town.

2007-04-26 09:59:28
36.   Benaiah
28 - He would definitely be in his own league with 3,000 (hits), 750+ (home runs), 500 (steals), 2,000 (RsBI), 2,000 (runs), 600 (doubles) and he is closing in on getting his career batting average above .300 which would give him a nice .300/.440/.610 line. He needs 141 hits to get to 3,000, but has to stay above .310-.315 to break .300.
2007-04-26 10:00:07
37.   Humma Kavula
25 I believe that if Barry were not a Giant, Sabean would have constructed his teams in a very different manner.
2007-04-26 10:01:53
38.   D4P
One thing (I think) we know for sure about the influence of PEDs on player performance: they help you recover from (and presumably avoid) injuries, which keeps you on the field more often. Even if it were true (which I don't think it is) that PEDs don't help your stats per se, the fact that they keep you in the lineup does, assuming of course that you're still playing well enough to pad the stats.
2007-04-26 10:05:08
39.   still bevens
37 It also makes you wonder how much say the ownership has in constructing the team. I think its safe to assume that the plan for this season was to focus strictly on Barry breaking the record and the All Star game. I cant see how adding a bunch of old guys screams out 'World Series' to anyone in their right minds.
2007-04-26 10:11:18
40.   Greg S
38- I think it is widely believed that the injuries that kept Bonds out of the lineup for much of 1999 were caused by the quick run up in muscle due to Steroids. So potentially that knife could cut both ways.
2007-04-26 10:14:26
41.   old dodger fan
16 If it is not about liking him what do you mean by "Let Bonds Off The Hook"?
2007-04-26 10:15:18
42.   Bob Timmermann
According to Dan Heisman of SABR, Alex Rodriguez already has the most homers of any player who is 31. If he hits 56 homers this year, he will also be ahead of the pace for batters who are 32 and 33.
2007-04-26 10:21:02
43.   Jon Weisman
41 - It's about whether or not his accomplishments should be dismissed.
2007-04-26 10:28:35
44.   Daniel Zappala
I have actually been thinking about this the past couple days -- what if it comes out, somehow, that Barry Bonds actually has been clean all these years? Or at the very least, that he did nothing that most other players didn't also do? Would we, 25 years from now, look back on this period as having "missed out" in some sense on the greatest player in baseball history? I wonder what it would have been like to see Babe Ruth play, or to be older when Hank Aaron was great, but here we have had Barry Bonds during my prime baseball watching years and I have mostly derided him as a cheater, rather than acknowledging his greatness.

I'm starting to come around as recognizing how great Barry Bonds is, regardless of any allegations.

2007-04-26 10:29:53
45.   regfairfield
44 Fortunately, Barry has already admitted to "accidentally" taking PEDs, so it shouldn't be an issue.
2007-04-26 10:31:47
46.   Westernmost in Flavor
I could totally lose the "Barry sucks" chants, if for no other reason than they're so old and tired and he clearly doesn't care

I agree the chant is "old and tired" but are there very many professional athletes (especially star athletes) who "care" when they are being booed by opposing fans? I think that is part of the job description of being a great player, being able to block out negativity (whether it be from fans at the game, or the media).

The "Beat LA" chant is much the same as "Barry Sucks" in regards to its old and tired nature, but I hope there aren't any Dodgers who actually are bothered by it.

2007-04-26 10:32:25
47.   D4P
I have actually been thinking about this the past couple days -- what if it comes out, somehow, that Barry Bonds actually has been clean all these years? Or at the very least, that he did nothing that most other players didn't also do?

1. I'm not sure the first part is possible. Yes, it's possible that he didn't use PEDs, but how would it be possible for this to "come out"? I mean, isn't that what he and his defenders have been saying all along? How could they possibly "prove" such a thing?

2. I think it's safe to say that Bonds did what many other players did, in the sense of using PEDs.

2007-04-26 10:33:34
48.   Westernmost in Flavor
Also didn't Josh over at ItD try to encourage fans to encourage fans to come up with a new anti-Giants and anti-Bonds chant last year?
2007-04-26 10:36:02
49.   old dodger fan
43 You are correct in that we can't dismiss him because we don't like him. If we did that we would have to dismiss Ty Cobb for starters and lots more HOFers after him.

Bonds is hard to evaluate. If he winds up with 800 HR's should he have had 500 or 600 or even 800? We don't have enough information to know what the number would have been without PED's.

If all we ever know is what we know now I am going to let the record speak for itself and recognize him for the great hitter he is.

Having said that, when the debate of who the greatest hitter of all time is I won't put him on top.

If all that is both naive and inconsistent, so be it.

2007-04-26 10:39:03
50.   Jon Weisman
46 - If it's old and tired, and doesn't really bother anyone, truly then, what's the point?

48 - That doesn't sound like Josh at all. If anything, he probably encouraged fans to come up with a new pro-Dodger chant to replace the anti chants.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-04-26 10:39:57
51.   D4P
And another thing: even if it were true that Bonds no longer uses, I reject the notion that his current performance is now completely independent from his prior use. For one thing, he undoubtedly draws some percentage of his walks largely as a result of the reputation he built during the period over which most reasonable folks believe he used.
2007-04-26 10:41:51
52.   Zak
I do not single Bonds out for derision because he takes steroids. I have immense dislike for him because he is the face of my most hated team, a team I would desperately like to see fail.

That being said, although I disagree strongly with Jon on reasons 1 and 4, I agree completely with reasons 2 and 3. He is a product of the atmosphere that MLB tolerated and, some might say, promoted. He is a Hall of Famer, the best OF in the past twenty years and is having a fantastic start to the year.

Also, is "some might say" the same thing as "is it just me"?

2007-04-26 10:42:07
53.   schoffle
I believe that it has been established that with proper training steroids and HGH will improve strength, speed, reaction times, and even eye sight. All of these improvements can benefit both pitchers and hitters. I also believe that the technology for testing banned substances tends to lag behind the technology used by those who develop such banned substances (the type of steroids that Bonds allegedly used were unknown and untested by even the Olympics until quite recently, and to date MLB does not test for HGH). Therefore, I would be hesitant to conclude that baseball players are now all of a sudden clean a mere 2+ years after finally admitting to a problem that had been swept under the rug for some 10 to 20 years. MLB wants nothing more than for this problem to disappear, catching star players does not accomplish this.

With regards to Bonds position in baseball I fail to see what the issue is here as generally players need to be compared to the era that they competed in. Many good players in the 90's put up numbers that would made them great players in the 50's, yet we don't judge them to be great. Bonds happened to compete in the steroid era and was/is by far the best in his era.

2007-04-26 10:44:10
54.   D4P
Also, is "some might say" the same thing as "is it just me"?

That rule is apparently no longer applicable.

2007-04-26 10:44:30
55.   Faramond
Simplitic summary of how the commenters stand on "letting Barry off the hook"

6, clearly say yes, let him off the hook.
2 other seem to be saying yes

3 say no
1 other seems to be saying no

3 don't care

So, it's about 2 to 1 in favor of letting Bonds off the hook. I guess I'm mildly surprised.


I saw Barry his a homer at Pac Bell Park last year ... hardest hit ball I've ever seen. It is amazing to watch him bat. He's so quick, and his batting eye is probably the best ever.

His stats in his late 30's are so out of line with everything we know about how ballplayers age that I find it hard to imagine he wasn't using PEDs. It's not as if there isn't plenty of other circumstantial evidence as well.

Is it the prevailing assumption that Bonds is clean now? I guess I wasn't aware of this, which doesn't make it not so. Frankly, I don't understand how we can say confidently if he is or isn't cheating at this point. I can't assume an answer either way. Another player I'd give the benefit of the doubt in this situation, but since Barry pretty clearly did cheat at one time, the most I can say is I won't presume he's cheating, rather than presume he's not cheating.

I guess I fall into the "don't care" camp more than any other. Barry belongs in the HOF for sure, though. I think McGwire does too.

2007-04-26 10:46:13
56.   D4P
to date MLB does not test for HGH

Which of the following best describes reality:

1. No tests for HGH currently exist
2. Tests for HGH currently exist, but they're not considered "reliable enough"
3. Reliable tests for HGH currently exist, but MLB chooses not to use them

2007-04-26 10:47:11
57.   TellMeTheScoreRickMonday
46 I personally love the Barry Sucks chants, especially when we're not even playing the Giants (or he's not even in the game). They're hilarious.

I agree that it's like the Beat LA chants, a little tired. But if we're going to get rid of tired things, let's outlaw the wave (especially during a rally, for pete's sake).

2007-04-26 10:48:07
58.   regfairfield
56 I could be wrong here, but it's three with a "but". I think the only test for HGH is a blood test, and the CBA forbids blood tests.
2007-04-26 10:49:27
59.   Westernmost in Flavor
In response to reason #3

given how widespread that substance use was among both hitters and pitchers, he shouldn't be singled out

I'm not sure he's being singled out. McGwire missed the HOF on his first ballot and Palmeiro is likely going to get a similar snub.

Where I see a possible double-standard is that Sosa might be playing himself right back into the HOF just by proving he can play (even if not at an elite level) during the testing era. Bonds has put up better numbers than Sosa at an older age since testing was implemented.

I've personally thought it was wrong to lump Sosa into the steroids mess simply because of his numbers and somewhat suspect body changes. However, almost everyone else implicated was either singled out (McGwire), failed a test (Palmeiro), or had grand jury testimony leaked (Giambi and Bonds). While Sosa has been caught cheating in the past with a corked bat, it seems to great of a leap to automatically assume he did steroids.

2007-04-26 10:50:15
60.   Jon Weisman
51 - "For one thing, he undoubtedly draws some percentage of his walks largely as a result of the reputation he built during the period over which most reasonable folks believe he used."

I disagree with that. The moment pitchers and managers sensed he was vulnerable, they started going after him. And it's not as if his reputation was ever completely dependent on his usage.

2007-04-26 10:51:17
61.   Westernmost in Flavor

Yeah, thinking back, I do think it was a pro-Dodger chant that Josh was calling for

2007-04-26 10:51:25
62.   Jon Weisman
"Also, is "some might say" the same thing as "is it just me"?"

No, it's kinda the opposite.

2007-04-26 10:52:09
63.   old dodger fan
56 Quote from a 2006 USA Today article:

Yes, there is a blood test for HGH. But because antibodies necessary for the process are in such short supply, virtually no HGH testing is conducted. In addition, the test only detects HGH right after injection so it's impractical for in-competition testing. As a result, there never has been an HGH positive.

2007-04-26 10:52:38
64.   Jon Weisman
57 - How are they hilarious?
2007-04-26 10:52:49
65.   underdog
It's true, the Beat LA chants up here in SF are incredibly tiresome and can never be considered clever in any way. I hate hearing it. That said, I guess I was just hoping we could rise above that level with our chants, whether anti-Giants or anti-Bonds, you know, come up with something clever. Instead, we're basically just as boring.
2007-04-26 10:53:51
66.   Faramond
60 ---

I thought pitchers and managers took way too long to sense he was vulnerable last year. Though to be fair as a fan it took me a long time to shake my Barry-fear last year. Looks like I may have to learn it again this year.

2007-04-26 10:54:04
67.   D4P
Is there any expectation that HGH testing will improve, or are we stuck with what's currently available?

Given the current testing status, a blanket assumption that players are not using HGH seems unreasonable.

2007-04-26 10:54:11
68.   underdog
62 It's also a popular choice of phrase at FoxNews for when they don't have any actual evidence or quote to back something up factually. Some have said this, anyway.
2007-04-26 10:54:58
69.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
- I don't like Bonds because of his personality. I never really had any issue with guys like Jason Schmidt, Omar Visquel, Ray Durham or JT Snow. I think Michael Tucker is a punk, but that's 'cause of the Weaver-Tucker-Gagne scuffle.

- I don't think we should let Bonds off the hook just because "everyone else was doing it". Illegal substances are still illegal, if not explicitly against the rules of the game. If we could be comprehensive in admonishing or prosecuting all players who use or used PEDs, that would be fine by me. Singling Bonds out is troublesome but practical -- it is called setting an example.

- It is hard to know if Bonds today, if clean, would be anywhere near what he is had he not ever used PEDs. If PEDs help you return from injuries, if PEDs help you build muscle... we just can't know that he'd be so good while normalizing the past six years.

I'm just suspicious that he's playing at a higher level now than before the PEDs, and that to do so is so many standard deviations beyond a) where he was before and b) where any normal 42 year old would be. Given that, there is no letting him off the hook.

2007-04-26 10:56:37
70.   Disabled List
30 My #2 is more than a specious technicality. I hear the arguments that players should have known it was wrong, but to ignore baseball players and owners turning a blind eye to the usage is to ignore a hugely relevant part of the story.

It's a relevant part of the story, absolutely. But it no way should be used as justification, either for what he did, or for putting him in the HOF.

32 I think you have pretty strict standard for our sports stars. Who's your favorite player of the last 20 years? Will you stop being a fan if you learn that they were taking non-banned stimulants to enhance their performance? If so, prepare for real disappointment.

Like Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa? The summer of '98 was one of the greatest episodes in baseball history, until it was all revealed to be a fraud. We accepted it, expressed our disappointment, and got on with our lives.

To be honest, this is one of the reasons why I don't have favorite players. I just root for the laundry. Turning a human being into some kind of mythical hero leaves one exposed to being burned by that hero's all-too-human flaws.

2007-04-26 10:56:59
71.   Faramond
It's hard to get a chant of more than two or three words going, so they tend to be boring. Other than "so-and-so sucks", "beat LA" or "beat other team" and "MVP", what do fans chant?
2007-04-26 10:57:19
72.   bhsportsguy
Thursday's who said this quiz:

"Matt Cain wants to be the best pitcher in the game, and he's doing what it takes to get there. I think he'll wind up pitching more no-hitters than almost anybody in the history of the game."

Answer coming up.

2007-04-26 10:57:40
73.   Shotupthemiddle
The one thing that irks me about the "Barry Sucks" chants is that, by any measure you use, Barry Bonds does not suck. It's not like he's Mario Mendoza out there. You may hate him, and "Barry's An Ass" doesn't have the same ring to it, but you would think his talent is something that is never questioned.

Then again, what fun would it be to chant "Pirates suck!" over and over again, when it's been plainly obvious by just watching them for 15 years?

Oh wait, I heard that chant too, last weekend.

2007-04-26 10:58:49
74.   El Lay Dave
72 I'll guess Joe Morgan.
2007-04-26 11:00:32
75.   JoeyP
I'd let Bonds off the hook if for no other reason than I wish they'd allow PED to be legal. I enjoy watching homers, guys throwing 100mph, more than scrappy baseball.

I'd like to see another Eric Gagne come along, even if he's PED enhanced.

I like seeing Roger Clemens throw 100MPH at 45 yrs old.

I dont feel guilty about being entertained.

2007-04-26 11:03:45
76.   schoffle
HGH Testing

There does seem to be various postions regarding the testing of HGH, here is what the world anti doping agency has to say regarding the matter:

"A test for hGH was first introduced at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. The test to detect hGH abuse is a blood test. The current test is reliable. The concepts and development of both hGH tests have been systematically reviewed by international independent experts in such fields as hGH, endocrinology, immunoassay, analytical chemistry, etc. In addition, these tests are the outcome of nearly US$6 million in research over the course of more than 10 years."

Here is there website

I tend to think there position is on rather solid ground.

2007-04-26 11:03:49
77.   El Lay Dave
Clever chants? It has to be short, maybe 4 syllables max, and you have to get the whole crowd to understand it and pick up the chant. Sounds somewhat difficult to me. What should the fans chant at Bonds? In-Jec-Tion? Steeer-Oid, Steeer-Oid (ala Darryl, Darryl)? Can-SAY-Co?
2007-04-26 11:04:50
78.   Bill Crain
On that note, I'd just like to add that Pete Rose also clearly belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Joe Jackson doesn't.

Given that the Hall's standards are apparently vague, sometimes loony, often both.

2007-04-26 11:04:55
79.   Zak
72 Joe Morgan?
2007-04-26 11:06:15
80.   Zak
72 Just so my answer is different from 74, which I read after posting my answer, I will guess John Kruk.
2007-04-26 11:06:35
81.   JoeyP
FireJoeMorgan isnt a Grady Little fan.
2007-04-26 11:08:23
82.   bhsportsguy
72 Since no one is playing, the answer is our own General Manager, Ned Coletti.

The quotes appear in Jayson Stark's columm, Colletti was the Asst. GM for the Giants when Cain first came up in 2005.

BTW, in Cain's short career, he has never pitched out of the bullpen.

2007-04-26 11:08:30
83.   dzzrtRatt
I'll never like Bonds -- he sounds like an A1 jerk -- but I feel I owe him and his accomplishments respect. This is a change of position for me. I thought his PED use negated his accomplishments and it made me angry to think about it. But the way he's come back from last year's knee surgery to resume his great hitting has persuaded me that Bonds could well be on the verge of breaking HR records today even if he'd foresworn the 'clear' and the 'creme.' I'm not sure he really needed them. He might be like a writer who thinks he needs booze or drugs to be creative, but they're just a crutch. It's pretty apparent that Bonds was surrounded by players who used PED--including pitchers--and he still stood out.

If the league is successful in driving these drugs out of baseball, I'll be thrilled. But I'm softening my position on how the "steroid era" should be regarded. I don't know if anyone can say the best players during that period wouldn't have been the best players if the strongest stuff they used was gin. PEDs probably had more of an impact at the margins, helping a few mediocre players jump to whatever the next level was. But I don't think they could make you a star.

As for Penner: Vaya con Dios. He's lucky to make this change in a period where there is relatively more acceptance and understanding of his medical situation, but outside of James/Jan Morris (British travel writer, wrote a book about her sex reassignment surgery back in the 70s), and Renee Richards, there aren't that many prominent people who've gone through this. It won't be an easy road. He deserves every good thought.

2007-04-26 11:08:33
84.   El Lay Dave
77 Not that I am in favor of such chants. Personally, I find it pointless to vociferously jeer and chant at the opposition of the team I am rooting for. Heck, it's probably bad karma. I also don't hate the Giants; rivalry or not, I am ambivalent to then, other than how they affect the Dodgers' success. I get no schadenfreude if the Giants finish last for the season or get trashed in some game.
2007-04-26 11:08:47
85.   KBL

This is especially when the chanting is the worse. You chant "Barry sucks" only to have him hit the ball so hard you end up looking like an idiot. But we forget, and half an inning later we are back to the chant while he is in the outfield.

2007-04-26 11:09:25
86.   Marty
75 Because of the serious health issues, I can't agree with that. That's too high a price for entertainment.
2007-04-26 11:10:33
87.   El Lay Dave
82 I didn't know I was a recurring character in "The Family Circus" comic strip.
2007-04-26 11:11:49
88.   KBL

I believe the steroid chant is what Matthews got in the exhibition games

2007-04-26 11:11:59
89.   still bevens
I really cant stand the "Beat LA" chant. It just reinforces SF people's irrational hatred of Los Angeles, which I don't understand. I've lived in both areas and both have their charms and low points. It just seems to me that northern California people are far more hostile to Los Angeles to the point where it comes off as an inferiority complex. Perhaps its a superiority complex? Can't really say.
2007-04-26 11:12:34
90.   Bob Timmermann
If you read Derek Zumsteg's book on cheating in baseball, he makes a pretty good case on why Pete Rose shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame and it's not overly preachy. Basically, Zumsteg shows Rose's statements about gambling and how his stories about it have evolved over the years and it's all just one variation on the same lie.
2007-04-26 11:13:28
91.   D4P
FireJoeMorgan isnt a Grady Little fan

Ken Tremendous is a Red Sox fan.

I thought his PED use negated his accomplishments and it made me angry to think about it. But the way he's come back from last year's knee surgery to resume his great hitting has persuaded me that Bonds could well be on the verge of breaking HR records today even if he'd foresworn the 'clear' and the 'creme.'

You seem to be assuming that he's now "clean", an assumption that ultimately must rest on further assumptions about Bonds' character.

2007-04-26 11:14:24
92.   still bevens
81 The writer(s) for FJM are also hard core Red Sox fans, so there's your bias right there.
2007-04-26 11:20:16
93.   Bill Crain
Okay, I'm willing to be enlightened, I'll look for the book. Does the city provide some kind of free book service?

I'd offer to bet that it's not available in my local library, but I don't want to blow our chances for the Toaster Hall of Fame.

Wait, the basketball pools have already done it. We're out Bob. We even wagered on Sunday.

2007-04-26 11:22:24
94.   D4P
Speaking of blood tests, let's get one on Schilling's Sock™, and put the controversy (such as it is) to rest.
2007-04-26 11:25:32
95.   Jon Weisman
55 - I think just the fact that intelligent people disagree on this subject is noteworthy.

83 - I find my views on Bonds to be a bit fluid as well.

2007-04-26 11:31:07
96.   El Lay Dave
95 As fluid as flaxseed oil.
2007-04-26 11:41:58
97.   Benaiah
At some point I think the anti-PED movement can turn into a lynch mob, and I don't really understand what is the difference between a PED and a health supplement. HGH is a PED, but all the MET-RX, creatine and other assorted weight gainers aren't. Steroids and meth are PEDs, but Vitamin B-12 shots in butt are given out by the team physician. The Olympics have disqualified someone for drinking a a few cokes before a match, but I imagine that many, many players have done cocaine before (or during) a game. Who decides where the line is and why should I care?
2007-04-26 11:44:24
98.   D4P
I'm somewhat on board with your line of thinking. PEDs and such allegedly have negative health effects, but so do cigarettes and donuts.
2007-04-26 11:48:36
99.   kngoworld
Off topic sorry.

Going to tonights 51's game, Greg Miller is scheduled to start, Kemp might be starting his second rehab assignment i believe. Will have a report tomorrow on how things went. Anything special I should look out for?

2007-04-26 11:53:24
100.   schoffle

Don't think I am going out on a limb by saying that no athlete has ever felt it necessary to smoke a cigarette or eat a donut in order to be able to complete with other athletes that do.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-04-26 11:56:28
101.   Eric Enders
I am, and have always been, in full agreement with the four points Jon makes above.

I would also point out that there is a long and distinguished history of illegal performance-enhancing drug use in baseball. Those who would tear down Bonds' achievements because steroids were illegal in the United States would also be required to do the same for greenie users like Willie Stargell and many other Hall of Famers. And, let's face it, cocaine was long used as a performance-enhancing drug, so we'd have to kick Paul Molitor and other coke users out of the HOF too. (My own belief is that the drug laws of this country are so comically irrelevant that they should have no bearing whatsover on analyzing baseball.)

I always hated Barry Bonds early in his career. But the smug, condescending, and above all ignorant treatment of him by mainstream sportswriters has managed the remarkable feat of driving me into Bonds' corner. Every columnist seems contractually obligated to write at least three or four columns a year spitting on Bonds. That would be fine, if they actually used logical, reasonable, defensible arguments. Instead, they make no arguments at all; they usually just make a few lame jokes at his expense and throw in a few lazily composed passages of moral outrage. I am far, far more disturbed by the media's one-sided and often unethical jihad against Bonds than I am by the fact that Bonds may have taken steroids.

If you've ever read any of the medical research on steroids, you know that even experts disagree on the nature of their effects. But there is no evidence, none, that using steroids can make someone a great baseball player. Personally, I find the very idea laughable. I think we've seen that it can make an already great player better, but steroids do not teach one how to judge the strike zone, or how to tell from the spin whether a pitch is a fastball or a curveball. They are at the very most a supplement to one's skills, not the basis for the skill itself. Barry Bonds is, always was, and always will be a Hall of Famer and one of the greatest hitters of all time whether he took steroids or not.

Even if one does buy that PEDs have an inordinate impact on a player's ability, where do we draw the line? Andro used to be legal in baseball; now it's not. Did its morality change overnight? What about Creatine? Protein shakes? Vitamins? PowerBars? Where does it end?

My final point is that, let's face it, we created this mess. You and I. Baseball fans. We asked for it, demanded it even. Fans go to baseball games to see home runs, period. We may not like that fact, but do not doubt that it is a fact. Whenever home run rates go up, attendance goes up, and teams make more money. That is an irrevocable fact; as a long-ago Dodger once said, you could look it up. Teams therefore place special attention on signing players who hit home runs, thereby jacking up the salaries for sluggers. Players juice up to make more money and meet the fans' demands. Fans are complicit in all this. We loved the '98 home run chase even though we knew at the time Mark McGwire was putting funny stuff into his body, which was reported during that season by the Associated Press. And we still flocked to the games, we still bought all the products he endorsed, we still fostered the atmosphere that made a known PED user a national hero, and then all of a sudden we changed our minds, treating McGwire and Sosa and Bonds like they were child molesters. It's weird.

2007-04-26 11:57:51
102.   natepurcell

Anything special I should look out for?

re: miller

-what is his arm slot? how consistent is he with it?

-fastball velocity and movement

-what breaking pitches is he throwing? curve, slider or both?

-how often is he using his change up?

2007-04-26 11:58:20
103.   Shotupthemiddle
100 It may have had nothing to do with on-field performance, but something tells me Terry Forster was hearing the "jelly-donut" arguments in his head...
2007-04-26 11:58:52
104.   D4P
Don't think I am going out on a limb by saying that no athlete has ever felt it necessary to smoke a cigarette or eat a donut in order to be able to complete with other athletes that do

That's more of an argument for why PEDs should be against baseball rules than why they should be illegal. I was talking about why the government should/shouldn't proscribe their use.

2007-04-26 12:00:16
105.   jasonungar07
It's a tricky debate. In general though I think the attitude in this country (in all aspects of society) is that cheating is ok. As long as you don't get caught or if you are caught hugely successful at what you do. I think that's a real bad message to the kids. We cheat our education system, our health care, and environment. We take the easy way out. This goes from the top all the way down. Actors and Actresses practically brag about their Performance Enhancements. In politics its par for the course as something like the recent Tillman episode points out. Sports are obvious. So I tend to think it's more a societal problem than a baseball one. Bonds himself once said, with Big Mac and Sammy hitting 70 bombs a year everyone forgot about me and that makes me mad. So that overgrown kid cheated (alledgly). Imagine what real kids would do.
2007-04-26 12:04:39
106.   Bob Timmermann
May I suggest:
2007-04-26 12:04:56
107.   Benaiah
101 - You touched on exactly what I tried to say, but avoided the grammar mistakes and childish ending. Great points, all.

The NFL is the worst offender, since there is no stigma attatched to steroid use (at least there wasn't for Merriman) but marijuana has ridiculous penalties and a scarlet W (for weedhead) associated with it. The worst drugs in such a system aren't the ones that are really bad for you, or the ones that create an unfair playing field, instead it is the drug that is the easiest to get caught doing. Marijuana stays in a habitual users system for a urine test for something like a month, HGH apparently never shows up in urine.

2007-04-26 12:06:22
108.   underdog
103 See, "Tub of goo, tub of goo" would have been a funny chant when Forster was pitching - or at least, it's funnier than most of the ones we hear today.

Actually, a friend of mine once cracked me up with a silly chant aimed at Barry, that was something along the lines of "Barry-farry-fo-farry-banana-fanna-foo-farry.. Fe, fi, fo... Steroids" - or something. I'm paraphrasing, and, hey, I said it was silly, but at least it was different. I feel like if Barry had heard it, even he might have cracked up.

Right now I'm less worried about chants than I am about the Dodgers' tonight, especially after all the "Oh Russ Ortiz is pitching" jinxes in the comments last night. ;-)

2007-04-26 12:08:23
109.   El Lay Dave
106 Santa Clara County Free Library

Free? As opposed to what, the Santa Clara Country Pay-Per-Use Library?

2007-04-26 12:09:48
110.   dkminnick
89 - It's an inferiority complex posing as a superiority complex.
2007-04-26 12:11:53
111.   Benaiah
Alyssa Milano's blog is pretty funny today. Could someone explain this joke though?

"As a vegetarian, I was happy to see no meat in the lineup. (Obscure joke for the true Dodger fans.)"

I guess I am no longer a true Dodger fan.

2007-04-26 12:12:18
112.   schoffle

Ok so are you making the agruement that PEDs (and just about every substance) should be legal or that cigarettes and donuts should be illegal?

Please keep in mind that I really like donuts.

Also it is probably worth noting that Woodland Hills and all California beaches are making the arguement regarding cigarettes.

2007-04-26 12:12:21
113.   jasonungar07
As an employer I drug test people all the time. It is crazy that Benaiah is correct. Marijuana will stay with you for 30 days but cocaine, speed and drugs that are super destructive are gone in 2-3 days. (urine testing)
2007-04-26 12:12:48
114.   AtlantaIrish
Bonds is a disgrace to the game and the fact that he is passing one of the all-time great players and records is just more fuel for the fire that he created. No one should ever feel sorry for Bonds, he is a piece of garbage that only cares for himself. I will proudly wear my "756" shirt with a big asterick on it that I got from the next time I attend a Braves game because he might be breaking a record but to the real fans he is breaking our hearts.
2007-04-26 12:12:52
115.   Bob Timmermann
In the old days, there were subscription libraries and you had to pay the organization running it to use it. Then governments started free libraries. Some of them still have that name.

The central library for Baltimore is the Enoch Pratt Free Library.

2007-04-26 12:14:37
116.   jasonungar07
Thats a funny joke. She is saying that our 3-4-5 hitters are below avg and old. I agree. I am afraid 120 million just dosen't get you what it used to.
2007-04-26 12:16:48
117.   paranoidandroid
More reasons to dislike Bonds:

1. Bonds dressed in drag last spring in order to humiliate Mike Penner. He knew about him/her long before anyone else, it was his personal revenge against sportwriters in general.

2. I've seen his fat head's shadow on the grassy knoll in the JFK assasination footage. I'm not sure how a shadow can smirk, but his does.

3. If you really think about it, 9 minus 1 minus 1 equals 7. Barry's number is 25. 2 plus 5 is seven. I think Barry's involved in the planning and execution of the 9/11 attacks too.

2007-04-26 12:16:55
118.   D4P
"As a vegetarian, I was happy to see no meat in the lineup. (Obscure joke for the true Dodger fans.)"

I'm guessing she's referring to Bete-meat

2007-04-26 12:16:56
119.   Bill Crain
109 115
There's no such thing as a free book.
2007-04-26 12:17:25
120.   s choir
My views on the Bonds/steroids topic have been pretty well covered here, so I just want to add something for you all to think about.

In the foreseeable future, athletes with access to cutting edge technology will be able to utilize genetic engineering to make themselves stronger instead of using drugs. Assuming that the international anti-doping agencies will ban these treatments, we are probably heading for a testing regime that will disqualify athletes based on their genetic code.

2007-04-26 12:18:56
121.   jasonungar07
Dang it D4P your right and I am only sorta wrong.
2007-04-26 12:19:04
122.   Bob Timmermann
What if buy a book and then hand it to you at your convenience? You expend nothing. Not even opportunity cost!
2007-04-26 12:19:07
123.   D4P
Ok so are you making the agruement that PEDs (and just about every substance) should be legal or that cigarettes and donuts should be illegal?

I'm suggesting that if PEDs are being made illegal because they're harmful, such logic should apply to other things as well, especially since PEDs have positive health benefits as well.


PEDs > Cigarettes


PEDs and Cigarettes both bad, don't know which is worse.

2007-04-26 12:20:00
124.   Bob Timmermann
I'm going to switch my allegiance to the Gattaca All-Stars then.
2007-04-26 12:22:07
125.   kngoworld
102 Nate, I will have a report out late tonight or early tomorrow. Thanks for answering my question.
2007-04-26 12:22:39
126.   s choir

Nicotine itself could be considered a performance-enhancing drug, since it aids memory and concentration. That's why I chain-smoke when I play chess.

Cigarettes are awesome.

2007-04-26 12:24:49
127.   D4P
That's why I chain-smoke when I play chess

Do your opponents feel pressured to smoke so as to keep up with you?

2007-04-26 12:27:58
128.   s choir
127 Not the way I've been playing lately.
2007-04-26 12:29:16
129.   Benaiah
123 - Cigarette positives:

-Make you look cool, especially when accompanied by a leather jacket.

-Third best pickup line ever: "Do you have a light?" involves a cigarette (number one is "You're with me, leather" and number two is "Wanna touch my burrito?").

-Smoke rings.

-Make you talk like a real man, at least until you get a tracheotomy, then you talk like a robot (so this is like a double good thing).

-They smell great.

-If you get the soft pack then you can learn that cool tap thing where you put the cigarette directly in your mouth and then casually brush your pompadour back.

Can PEDs really compete with all of that?

2007-04-26 12:30:15
130.   Greg S
118- That is his inside nickname so I'm sure that was her inside joke.
2007-04-26 12:32:47
131.   ToyCannon
Jon doesn't like redundancy but I've pointed out in the past whenever this comes up that HGH unlike steroids does not help the major league baseball player in the same way. Will Carrol from BP linked to the information that Andy Andres (HQ Writer) has used when refuting the media that HGH is still making a mockery of baseball. I was lucky enough to attend a seminar put on by Andy and his information was quite compelling in showing how anabolic steroids help a major league baseball player and how HGH DOESN'T. He didn't run any of these test himself but used information from testing done at UCLA and other institutions. Below is a quick bio of this guy and link to a chat he did at BP. I'm only posting this because I get tired of the new PED arguments about HGH and how HGH isn't being tested. It is quite possible HGH use is prevalent, but the data shows that the results for a ballplayer don't come close to the performance boost from anabolic steroids.

Andy Andres (Data analyst) teaches what is likely one of the first ever college courses in Baseball Analysis and Sabermetrics at Tufts University in Medford, MA. When not spending time scheming victory in the very competitive Boston Baseball League, he also teaches biology at Boston University and Harvard College. Andy is a diehard Red Sox Fan and lives in Cambridge, MA with his wife, Kate, and their three children, Maddie, Aubree, and Griffin. He also plays 3B for the Jumbo's Peanut Surprise in various Tufts Softball Leagues, and has been schooled at Universities Brown, Harvard, and Tufts.

2007-04-26 12:35:48
132.   Sushirabbit
126 I used to do that, too. I did a lot of late night math and physics problems aided by nicotine.

I'm OK with Bonds in HOF. Not OK with Rose in.

In happier news, it was as if the "light came on" with my 5 year old last night: all of the sudden he just started fielding fungoe grounders correctly. I didn't say anything-- he just started doing it. It was for me the coolest thing in a long, long time.

2007-04-26 12:36:04
133.   D4P

DL: A hot topic is Human Growth Hormone (HGH), which is reportedly replacing anabolic steroids in a lot of locker rooms. How effective is HGH?

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

2007-04-26 12:40:11
134.   schoffle
Well I am glad that donuts have been removed from the, to be banned conversation, but I am still unsure if DP4 would like more or less government restrictions. I would like to point out that both steroids and HGH can be and regularly are prescribed by a doctor, so it is not like we are kept from their beneficial properties.
2007-04-26 12:43:24
135.   El Lay Dave
126 Wouldn't nicotine gum, for example, be a more effective delivery system? Or is the exhaling of second-hand smoke part of an intimidation tactic?

123 They smell great Only prior to ignition. Now, some cigars and pipe tobaccos smell great while burning.

2007-04-26 12:45:36
136.   s choir
steroids and HGH can be and regularly are prescribed by a doctor

I wonder if a player taking prescribed steroids as an asthma medication would run into problems with a drug test.

2007-04-26 12:46:36
137.   El Lay Dave
118 Every time I hear Wilson's family name, I can't help but think of Vegemite. Are the seventh and ninth spots in the batting order part of a Betemit sandwich?
2007-04-26 12:48:50
138.   JoeyP
There's been some doctors that have claimed HGH is the new 'fountain of youth' drug and has very few side effects.
2007-04-26 12:49:15
139.   Benaiah
135 - Clove cigarettes are very tasty. I am not a smoker, in fact I have to be three sheets to the wind to choke one down, but if I ever was going to be then I would smoke cloves, no matter how bad for you they are (besides, once you start smoking why worry if cloves are bad for you, don't treat smoking like a diet... have fun).
2007-04-26 12:50:00
140.   natepurcell
new on elbert from tony jackson, follow up talk after tests came back on elberts shoulder..

Talked to DeJon again tonight, and there was nothing new. This doesn't sound like anything serious. If anyone cares, I did learn that Tim Hamulack was on the Vegas DL last week with some injury, but he's back now.

his next scheduled start is tomorrow so we'll see if he pitches again.

2007-04-26 12:50:00
141.   s choir
135 is the exhaling of second-hand smoke part of an intimidation tactic?

Well I'm certainly not intimidating anyone with my chess moves.

2007-04-26 12:50:51
142.   Frip
Regardless of the supposed preponderance or benefit of steroids, it was Bond's intention to gain a covert, unfair advantage over his opponent, the pitcher...a comrade in the gentlemen's agreement called Sport. He is a low, mean, unbrotherly thing, as all cheaters are, and is rightly disdained.
2007-04-26 12:51:13
143.   Shotupthemiddle
137 There's a Craig Shipley reference to make there somewhere, but I'm not exactly sure where....
2007-04-26 12:51:19
144.   s choir
139 I can't stand cloves.
2007-04-26 12:56:36
145.   Benaiah
144 - I can't stand menthols. Ugh.
2007-04-26 13:03:56
146.   Penarol1916
129. Ever since I worked in a bingo hall I can't stand the smell of smoke and associate smoking with poor old people who have a fondness for troll dolls and go digging in their purses for pennies in order to buy extra bingo cards. I'm not sure if that's cool though.
2007-04-26 13:04:53
147.   underdog
124 {chanting} "Gattaca, Gattaca, Gattaca!"
2007-04-26 13:06:42
148.   Benaiah
146 - Did they have pompadours and leather jackets though? Either that or smoking through a hole in your throat is the only way to be cool with death sticks.
2007-04-26 13:10:51
149.   underdog
148 Oh God, when I was in h.s., we had a neighbor who used to smoke through the hole in his throat. You think that would have maybe been the final straw but nope. It was like something out of a John Waters movie.

All the talk of steroids does make wonder what will happen to the bodies of athletes who took them, later on in life? Will their bodies collapse, will they be prone to weird ailments...? Doesn't seem like it's doing any good for your body's longterm health, even separate from debating what boosts it gives you short term.

2007-04-26 13:11:26
150.   Benaiah
Let's say A-Rod opts out at the end of the year. Gonzo is gone, we'll just assume Kent doesn't hit the vesting ABs in his contract, Odalis, Gagne and Mueller's money is gone, and at the end of 2008, Lowe and Furcal both are gone. Do the Dodgers have a legit shot at signing A-Rod? Should they make a push at it? He would be a nice player to build around.

I have heard that he doesn't want to go to the NL, but I bet he could be convinced.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-04-26 13:12:16
151.   Scanman33
This might be a question for Bob.

Let's say the Dodgers are beating the Cubs 7-5 after 8 innings at Chicago.

Broxton finished the 8th inning. The Dodgers score 2 in the top of the 9th and Saito comes in during the bottom of the inning with the score 9-5. The skies open up and the umpires call the game.

With the game reverting to the 8th, does Broxton get credit for a save?

2007-04-26 13:13:26
152.   dzzrtRatt
100 Your comment reminded me: There's a Saturday Night Live bit with John Belushi as a pentathlete who always makes sure donuts are on his "training table." He's puffing on a cig while he's eating them. You might want to look it up -- funny.

If the point hasn't been made yet, I think a lot of ballplayers in past decades thought smoking kept them alert and their reflexes sharp during long games.

2007-04-26 13:14:52
153.   El Lay Dave
148 What about sticking one in each ear and one in each nostril?

Or this guy?

2007-04-26 13:18:14
154.   kinbote
150 - i'm sure the dodgers could be a legit player for rodriguez's services, but it's so much easier to pass. the thought of getting into the ultimate bidding war over a boras client is not appealing at all. i'd say despite the temptation, we're best off not to bother.
2007-04-26 13:19:11
155.   Bob Timmermann
The game wouldn't revert back to the 8th. It would as a 9-5 final. There would be no save.
2007-04-26 13:20:10
156.   Benaiah
153 - Those are more examples of "awesome" than cool. Cool is about not caring what other people think, and yet having people generally think you are cool*. Obviously people who smoke out of holes in their neck or iconoclastic and I find that cool.

*may not be the real definition

2007-04-26 13:20:45
157.   Scanman33
155-OK. What if Saito comes in with the score 8-5, walks a guy and then the game gets called for rain. Does Saito get a save despite not recording an out?
2007-04-26 13:20:51
158.   El Lay Dave
I've got four hungry ballplayers out in the dugout. We need doughnuts.
2007-04-26 13:25:20
159.   paranoidandroid
Who would win an eating contest, Lou Pinella or Tommy Lasorda?
2007-04-26 13:26:21
160.   dzzrtRatt
OT but Jae Seo just got raked in Anaheim. Jackson pitched pretty well last night but errors behind him hurt. But this afternoon's game, Seo was pitching BP, and he got taken out in the 2nd.

Has Seo ever been good? It must be hard even for him to remember.

2007-04-26 13:29:08
161.   Paul B
I'm a little late, perhaps, but:

Jon, I appreciate the points you made in your post, but only number one resonates with me very strongly, and I am not inclined to let Barry off the hook. I likewise admire Eric's dispassionate analysis: I cannot pretend that part of my personal distaste for Bonds, and my lack of impartiality when evaluating the media's response to him, is not colored by the fact that he is a Giant and that he's such a prickly personality. (I don't think I can ever really forgive him for that obnoxious little pirouette he did after hitting a homerun against the Dodgers.) I do not apply the same standard to Barry as to other players. There is no question, however, that he is a marvel to behold.

That said, I feel as though there is no getting around this simple fact: at an age when players are lucky if they are gently declining into their dotage, Barry not only maintained his indisputably HOF-level of play, but improved upon it. In fact, in his age 36-39 seasons, he went on the greatest hitting rampage ever, posting 4 of the top 10 OPS+ seasons of all-time (including taking spots 1-3). (His slackish age 35 season in 2000 was only good for 90th on the list.) His "only" other appearance in the top 100 were from his age 27 and 28 seasons, or those when players most typically peak. In fact, of the top 100 OPS+ seasons, only 30 were achieved by players who were 30 years or older. If Bonds were somehow able to finish this year as he's started it, he would have five of the top ten seasons, all achieved at the age of 36 or later. To my mind, even the most impartial person would find these numbers worthy of deep suspicion.

ToyCannon, I am the farthest thing from an expert on HGH as there could be, but the discussion in the interview you cited seems to me to be incomplete at best. In particular, it doesn't address (the perhaps equally specious) arguments that HGH is a "fountain of youth", a claim that seems particularly salient when discussing the late-career performance of a player, like Bonds.

2007-04-26 13:29:16
162.   El Lay Dave
156 It is a very good definition indeed.

But people who smoke with their stoma are sad, pathetic addicts who are to be pitied; they are not cool. My mother-in-law essentially smoked (in the usual manner) herself to death, unable to quit despite her chronic emphysematic condition, despite being hooked up to O2 tanks constantly. Sad, not cool.

2007-04-26 13:31:32
163.   El Lay Dave
O2 = oxygen, if it wasn't clear. The '2' should, of course, be subscripted.
2007-04-26 13:33:19
164.   Bob Timmermann
You have to record at least one out to get a save.
That was a new rule added this year. However, no one ever got a save without recording an out before that loophole was removed.
2007-04-26 13:34:20
165.   Penarol1916
148. No, they were almost all bald, includin the women, it was really pretty disgusting, one of the worst jobs I've ever worked, and I worked in a slaughterhouse.
2007-04-26 13:34:20
166.   gibsonhobbs88
Jon - To me, with Bonds it is more than the steroid issue, it is his whole demeanor to the media,teammates and even his own myopic fans in SF. I witnessed this in person in Cactus League spring training where he told a worshipping myopic fan dressed in Giant garb to "Get a $%^&'n life". That was in Scottsdale Stadium a couple hours before game time in either 1998 or 99. I decided right then that I can never root for this guy who treats the people and public in this way. It's the whole package you get with Bonds that makes him so distasteful. However, look at the fact that prior to 2000 he had never had a season with more than 39 HR and then in 2001 he hits 73. That big of a jump does raise a red flag like Brady Anderson going from 14 to 50 dingers. Now McGwire was juicing as well but he did hit 49 HR as a rookie so he was capable of a 60 HR season even without artificial aids. Now I grant you that Bonds had HOF numbers prior to his steroid aided numbers but take away another 30-50 HR over the last 4-5 years that might have been enhanced and he probably doesn't break the record. As for me, I will not celebrate or acknowledge the breaking of Aaron's record, Bonds career HR records will always have the steroid asterisk attached in my mind. I will have to hope A-Rod can last long enough to have a legit career HR champ. Bonds will always be the "Scourge and Blemish" on the game of baseball, IMHO!!
2007-04-26 13:39:14
167.   Scanman33
164-Thanks for the answers, Bob.
2007-04-26 13:40:25
168.   Benaiah
162 - Man that is really tough, sorry about that. Obviously I am being flip here, but this is one of those subjects that is pretty loaded (like telling drunk driver jokes or something). Cigarettes kill a lot of people, and that isn't very hilarious, however, I want to live a world where you can make a funny AIDs joke.

Unlike many subjects, I guess I feel qualified to joke about this because I have smoked a few butts in my day, and will smoke some more in my future. I probably smoke 1-2 a month, if that. Not good for me, but not like what happened to your mom. There is a tipping point (Gladwell said 4 a day in "The Tipping Point") where cigarettes go from guilty pleasure to "life destroyer."

2007-04-26 13:40:35
169.   Bob Timmermann
I know the rule sounds axiomatic but Rule 4.11 states:

"The score of a regulation game is the total number of runs scored by each team at the moment the game ends."

The Dodgers and Angels had a tie game in spring training last year when the umpires pulled the "inning not completed" rule completely out of thin air.

2007-04-26 13:45:22
170.   ToyCannon
To answer Jon about the Christina/Christine names I just read a quick column by Christina on BP and in it she mentioned how she had been in contact with Christine before the Time article. Is is possible that she choose Chistine to pay homage to Christina for being her Jackie Robinson? No question that what Christina did has made the path for Christine much easier.
No matter the answer the fact she choose such a comparable name will result in some misidentifications by many people in the future. I hope Christine does not have orange/red hair.
2007-04-26 13:45:49
171.   ToyCannon
BP's Joe Sheehan on Jeff Kent as a HOF
2007-04-26 13:54:12
172.   Humma Kavula
149 Re: smoking out of the hole in the throat... I believe that's not out of a John Waters movie, but Kenneth Branagh.

I believe Andy Garcia does that in "Dead Again." I also believe that it warped my fragile teenage mind.

2007-04-26 13:56:10
173.   Benaiah
172 - I had a character to it in my first screenplay. The character was loosely based on Charles Bukowski and had terminal cancer but was going on one last bender before he passed on.
2007-04-26 13:58:03
174.   Humma Kavula
I also seem to recall an anti-smoking ad in which an elderly woman does it, but I haven't seen it in years and can't really remember. It's possible that I dreamed it.
2007-04-26 14:05:20
175.   mgd
I like to compare Barry Bonds to Ken Griffey Jr. Unlike Bonds, Griffey especially early in his carreer, gave it his all on the field, but disdained off-season conditioning or pre-game stretching. This may correlate to the frequency of his injuries. Bonds doesn't have Griffey's likeable personality (especially from Griffey's younger more carefree days with the M's), but that's an unfair standard. Bonds is who he is. He's worked very hard to become a true master/artist at hitting a baseball. He may well have reached such prowess without steroids, as he was darn good circa 1998 (reportedly his last clean year). Its a shame that he fell into the steroid trap, but if he had even half the likeability of Griffey (and the honesty of Giambi) most of us would have shrugged it off and, as baseball fans, been able to enjoy the hitting clinic Bonds puts on everytime he steps to the plate.
2007-04-26 14:06:26
176.   ToyCannon
My ex-father-in-law smoked out of his hole. I married his daughter right after his surgery so I never heard his real voice. He died of cancer about 15 years later. Career Navy guy, they got him at age 17 and he was never able to kick the habit. Terrible shame because he loved to talk. I only know one person who was an enlisted person who didn't come out with a serious smoking habit. Course he's still in so they may get him yet.
2007-04-26 14:15:45
177.   jasonungar07
Have you guys (local) seen those anti dope commercials that are like little drawing of people. Even the little dog was pissed his owner was getting high.
2007-04-26 14:21:41
178.   trainwreck
I would change my name to Bunny La Joya.
2007-04-26 14:22:17
179.   nick
Either "Barry cheats" or "asterisk" would be metrically similar chants, and perfectly apropos--"sucks" as all-purpose epithet says more about the fact that sports fans at heart are 14 yr old boys than anything else. What ya gonna do?

As a Yankee fan I'm glad we have no single all-purpose equivalent of "Yankees suck" for the Red Sox--we're telling them that they aren't important enough for said chant, which strikes me as the right attitude to have toward the "hated rival"...

Phil Hughes start tonight--if he disappoints, I'll expect commenters here to start coming up with fantasy packages including Gonzo, Pierre, etc--

2007-04-26 14:22:56
180.   gibsonhobbs88
175 - But it's because he is so surly and disagreeable as to why he is so reviled. If he appeared at all contrite or humble at least part of the time the public would be more forgiving. He is a talented ball player who could do all facets of the game in his younger days but his persona is so disagreeable that he makes it nearly impossible to root for the jerk. All rivalries aside, if he had stayed with the Pirates but still had the same attitude toward fans, teammates, et al I would feel the same way about him. I mean, I appreciate other great players in the game, love watching Pujols hit, even when he crushes my beloved Dodgers. I tip my cap and say he's a great player, why are we even pitching to him with the game in doubt.I always had the upmost respect for Bob Gibson, Hank Aaron, Mike Schmidt, George Foster(who used to murder Hough's offerings) back in the 70's. None of those fostered the overall negative feelings that Bonds exudes on a daily basis.
2007-04-26 14:26:37
181.   Jon Weisman
I can't believe Alyssa used the dreaded phrase in her lead.
2007-04-26 14:27:19
182.   trainwreck
I used to hate Bonds because he was a Giant, but over the years all the abuse he has taken has made me indifferent to him and even at times feel sorry for him. I know a lot of it is his own fault, but he is still a human. I do not think a person that plays baseball for a living deserves such scorn.
2007-04-26 14:28:02
183.   s choir
169 But if it's not a "regulation" game (meaning, rain-shortened or extra innings), that rule doesn't apply.
2007-04-26 14:29:05
184.   underdog
179 I like the idea of an "asterisk" chant... "Asterisk... asterisk..." That would distract him out there, too, because he'd have to think about it. Count me on that bandwagon.

Good luck to Hughes tonight. Hope he does well. Be nice to see them get a real pitching prospect out there rather than the Karstens of the world. There probably will be someone on here creating a Hughes trade no matter how he does, but don't worry, the last thing the Dodgers need is yet more fine pitching prospects. They need hitting. (If you want to talk A-Rod we'll listen. ;-)

2007-04-26 14:32:49
185.   s choir
183 oh wait, I'm wrong.
2007-04-26 14:35:55
186.   still bevens
179 What about the "1918" chants? Obviously isn't relevant anymore, but I remember hearing it all the time in the playoffs.
2007-04-26 14:37:07
187.   bhsportsguy
Quick send Brandon Wood back down, he's 0-3 with 2 strikeouts already.

At least Brandon will get a trip to Chicago and stay in a nicest hotel room he ever has as a professional baseball player. MLB per diem too!

2007-04-26 14:37:52
188.   trainwreck
I absolutely hate cigarettes and the only way I can tolerate the smoke is if I am drunk or in a casino (because I have no choice).
2007-04-26 14:38:59
189.   Greg S
181. She's dissing you! BLOG WAR!

Actually, when she says it, it's somehow hot.
I've said too much.

2007-04-26 14:43:05
190.   Jon Weisman
184 - Since the asterisk is such a nonsensical idea - precisely because it singles Barry out in the face of evidence that so many have used - I would hate to see that chant gain footing.
2007-04-26 14:44:01
191.   trainwreck
Alyssa took a hit with me when she made that Moneyball comment, but her asking for Laroche makes up for it.
2007-04-26 14:48:23
192.   underdog
Really? I still like it - but agree it, in fairness, it should have been used with McGwire, too. I sort of like something whimsical vs. something wholly uninspiring, but that's just me. Maybe people could just recreate the sound of crickets chirping out there in left field, to get that silent treatment effect but more amusingly? I'd be up for adding cartoonish crickets to the PA system.
2007-04-26 14:50:59
193.   Marty
My Marine dad was a 3 pack a day smoker til he died. A friend's dad was a Navy vet and would light his next cigarette from the butt of his old one, essentially constantly smoking.
2007-04-26 14:51:21
194.   Curtis Lowe
Barry is a physical representation of a dark time in baseball. It seems like the game is coming into its own again after a period of lameness which was the 90s.
2007-04-26 14:51:24
195.   trainwreck
I think fans should start a "Darryl" chant at Barry.
2007-04-26 14:51:26
196.   regfairfield
I like to make sure very few people understand the smack I run. "Hey Rickey, I knew a guy who wore a helmet too!" both confounds and entertains.
2007-04-26 14:51:51
197.   screwballin
Will Carroll pointed to this eye-opening article a few weeks ago:

What's the difference between steroids and HGH? For starters, we know that a baseball player can beef up on steroids and improve his athletic performance. But most clinical studies suggest that HGH won't help an athlete at all….So far, no one has been able to connect the increase in lean body tissue caused by HGH with enhancement of athletic performance. Unlike steroids, growth hormone hasn't been shown to increase weight-lifting ability; in the lab, it has a greater effect on muscle definition than muscle strength. And it doesn't seem to help much with cardiovascular fitness, either.

2007-04-26 14:52:12
198.   underdog
Ack, I finally broke down and read Alyssa's latest, after reading everyone talking about it here. Yeah, that first paragraph needs to be deleted. Bad Alyssa, bad! She certainly raised some valid points of concern on that list, though.
2007-04-26 14:52:46
199.   Greg S
195- If I'm not mistaken, that's exactly what they were doing last night. Seemed a little strange to me.
2007-04-26 14:52:51
200.   trainwreck
HGH does help your eye sight and recover faster from injuries.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-04-26 14:53:02
201.   jasonungar07
Well tonight is my first game live since we beat the cards in the playoffs in 04. I banned going cause of ticket prices and such until we win a playoff series. I am also lazy and prefer to just chill at home and watch.

So how is parking situation now for those who have been going and where was that free parking/shuttle again???

2007-04-26 14:55:06
202.   underdog
Okay, so there's a guy who walks up and down the streets near where I work in SF's Civic Center - maybe some of you who live here know what I'm talking about - who chants (and sells) "body oil." I'm not kidding, he's selling body oil on the street. Every afternoon we hear him from our office, "Boddddyyyy oillll..."

Anyway, this is probably amusing only to me, bu t given the general consensus that Bonds did use some kind of substance on his skin - "linseed oil" or whatever - I wonder if we could just hire this guy down on the street to chant "Boddyyyyyyyy oilllll" from the stands of Dodger Stadium when the Giants are in town.

2007-04-26 14:55:13
203.   screwballin
190 it singles Barry out in the face of evidence that so many have used

My response to the argument that Aaron never used steroid is that he also never had to hit off a pitcher who used steroids.

2007-04-26 14:57:25
204.   trainwreck
I do not remember that guy, but did you hear the guy with no legs who rode the skateboard got hit by a mail truck and died? Very sad. He was a fixture in SF.

You were thinking of flax-seed oil by the way, which is something I take and it does not help build muscle at all.

2007-04-26 14:57:47
205.   ToyCannon
I guess Colon is back, 11 k's in 7 innings. Some may make fun of the fact it was against the DevilRays but those would be mistaken as the DevilRays have had one of the most potent offenses in baseball this year.
2007-04-26 15:02:55
206.   Greg S
203. Right! And Ruth never faced black players and DiMaggio never saw a split fingered fastball and A-Rod never slept on a train between games and Clemens benefited from training that wasn't available to Feller. Steroids is just one of the many reasons that comparisons between eras can only go so far.
2007-04-26 15:02:58
207.   Jon Weisman
203 - But your response doesn't address the fact that you'd have to put asterisks next to tons of names in the records, including, arguably, every name before 1947.
2007-04-26 15:05:48
208.   Curtis Lowe
207- Comparing the effect that african americans had on the game and steroids is stretching a bit.
2007-04-26 15:06:02
209.   KBL

There is no free shuttle. You can park outside the stadium along Academy Drive. I plan on leaving for the game at 5:30 from Pasadena, and that should be plenty of time to park outside, walk for half a mile, and to save $15.

2007-04-26 15:08:12
210.   KBL
Oh, and I am bringing my own hot dogs to the game, so I can use the condiments. That is sticking it to them!!!
2007-04-26 15:09:21
211.   Jon Weisman
208 - Well, yes - banning African-Americans was much worse and had a much more pronounced effect on the game than steroids.
2007-04-26 15:09:36
212.   Greg S
207- Are you sure? Which was bigger? I'm sure I don't know.
2007-04-26 15:10:55
213.   Greg S
211- Bigger overall effect sure but on the raw statistics? Who know which had a bigger effect?
2007-04-26 15:14:10
214.   ToyCannon
I broke down for the 1st in many a game and purchased a steak sandwich from the outside grill on the 3b loge level. I figured since I don't pay for parking I could splurge. It was good, not 12.00 good but the tomatoes and lettuce were fresh, the P Chips were good, and the steak had some flavor.

Every game I go to I see more changes that make more sense. Last they didn't allow you to turn right as you exited the Sunset entrance onto Scott road. This makes a difference because cars would try to turn right and have to wait for pedestrians to cross the street and they would back up the right lane. Now that they can't turn right the lane keeps moving. Little things like that.

2007-04-26 15:14:21
215.   Curtis Lowe
211- So you're saying the banning of steroids is like the banning of a race?
2007-04-26 15:15:59
216.   trainwreck
mmmmm steak sandwich (drooling sounds)
2007-04-26 15:17:57
217.   LAT
I'll weight in with no particular insight. I think you just have to let Barry march forward, break the record, retire and fade. The reason you can't to anything else is #3 above: given how widespread that substance use was among both hitters and pitchers, he shouldn't be singled out.


Okay, you nailed those guys but now where to?

Nomar? Gagne? Rocket? Ganzo? IF I had the ability to know exactly who used, I would keep them all out of the Hall, but I don't and no one does. Not to mention that Bonds would have qualified for Cooperstown even if he never met Victor Conti.

Finally, truth be told the only guys getting screwed are Aaron, A-ROD and Pujlos. Everyone else knows Bonds, while the best player of his generation, would not have broken the record without the PEDs. Aaron loses his his esteamed place in history but he probably would lose it to A-Rod or Pujlos anyway. Now A-Rod and Pujlos will have to go a little further to get it. I'm guessing Bonds ends this season around 763ish. The real question is does he retire or go for 800. Barring injury I think he goes for and gets it. (Sorry to say)

2007-04-26 15:20:18
218.   ToyCannon
I'm with Jon on this, when I get home it would easy to show the impact that players who were not allowed to play had on the game from 47 on. Probably very easy to say the that the greatest 100 players from 47 on were at least 50% unable to play before 1947.
2007-04-26 15:26:34
219.   Jon Weisman
215 - No. You're being awfully literal.
2007-04-26 15:26:58
220.   KBL

I am sad because I never even thought of that possibility, and I think you are correct.

2007-04-26 15:27:36
221.   Curtis Lowe
218,211,207- So you're saying the players before 1947 who are in the HoF should have asterisks because they didn't compete against a certain race.

And because of MLBs ignorance all the players racist or not should be asterisked?
Or only the known racists.

So should all players during the RoiD era be asterisked? Or only the known Roid users.

Seems to me these two situations are light years away from eachother. Racism and drug use are completely different things.

2007-04-26 15:29:04
222.   underdog
204 Oh man, I hadn't heard about that. Quite sad, indeed... So many sad cases around these parts.

Right, flaxseed oil, thanks.

I'm sure players just use that and a spoonful of castor oil and that's all the supercalifragilisticexpealidociousness they need.

2007-04-26 15:29:34
223.   Jon Weisman
219 - Actually, I don't know if you're being literal, but I feel that my point is clear - I think both had an effect on the game and I think it's unmistakable which had the greater effect.

1) A pitcher having to face Barry Bonds on drugs vs. Barry Bonds clean

2) A pitcher having to face Josh Gibson vs. having to face the worst white player in the game.

See the difference?

2007-04-26 15:29:52
224.   screwballin
217 Finally, truth be told the only guys getting screwed are Aaron, A-ROD and Pujlos.

It's curious to me that Pujols and A-Rod get a waiver here somehow. If we are OK with assuming the guilt of other great hitters, why do they get a pass?

2007-04-26 15:31:07
225.   Jon Weisman
221 - I'm saying the world is too complicated to give asterisks. The baseball record book should reflect what happened on the field. It is not its role to make moral judgments.
2007-04-26 15:33:41
226.   trainwreck
I agree. If Alex Sanchez is on roids, how can you tell who is and who is not on it? The guys who gain large amounts of muscle and size are just the obvious ones.
2007-04-26 15:34:34
227.   Curtis Lowe
225- So judge the numbers not how the people got em?
2007-04-26 15:34:56
228.   Greg S
223- Your main point is crystal clear and not easy to mistake.
On the point of which was greater, I'm not as sure are you are but it's moot. Lot of things have had an effect and there's no point in putting an asterisk next to any of them.
2007-04-26 15:38:10
229.   blue22
224 - It's that angle that causes me to kind of dismiss the steroid situation entirely. Who knows who is and isn't, so it's very difficult to judge certain players too harshly.

Instead I try to appreciate what Bonds (and the rest of the transcendent players of today) and try not to worry about how they're doing it.

Ultimately, I think I'd like the players to be clean, but I don't lose much sleep over it.

I do think that Bud Selig is doing a tremendous disservice to the game by ignoring Bonds pursuit of the record. If he chooses not to acknowledge the record, I feel he owes the public an explanation as a representative of the game.

2007-04-26 15:38:38
230.   Bob Timmermann
Owen Wilson hit 36 triples in one season. No one has come close to that since?

Why did he hit so many triples? Because Forbes Field was cavernous at the time Wilson played and he could hit the ball there and run fast.

If Wilson had been playing in a smaller park, say Fenway Park, would Wilson have his unusual record?

What about all the crazy NL hitting records of 1930? What about 1893 and 1894 when pitchers were trying to adjust to the 60'6" distance?

The game of baseball has not and never will be played where the statistics don't have to be put into context.

2007-04-26 15:38:57
231.   Curtis Lowe
203- Aaron hit off the pitchers that pitchers took roids to try and be like.
2007-04-26 15:41:37
232.   underdog
So... how about that game tonight? Everyone excited? Huh?

Actually, I think LAT says it quite well in 217.

2007-04-26 15:44:26
233.   mgd
its fun, but imprecise to compare eras. stats are one thing to use, but we also compare personalities, historical backdrops, evolving social mores, etc.

bonds' attitude (and the public persception thereof) has interesting historical precedents, e.g., see ty cobb. there is a steroid era, and we are still in it.

2007-04-26 15:46:32
234.   Jon Weisman
227 - I don't know what more I can say to make myself more clear. In my opinion:

-No asterisks in the record books.

-Bonds belongs in the Hall of Fame.

-I don't like Bonds personally.

-I don't approve of drug use in baseball, but drug use has been a widespread part of baseball for decades.

-Don't change the record books. We don't take things out of history books that we don't like. History is history. That has nothing to do with whether you approve of what happened or not.

2007-04-26 15:47:20
235.   still bevens
232 Im waiting for Betemit and Furcal to come out of hibernation. I think if they start producing we can pin less of our hope on winning games onto the starting pitcher. Aside from Sunday, the reason we lost the last couple games was because our starters gave up 5 runs and we couldn't surpass that.

Im also praying to god that the top of our order starts to be more selective. The SF bullpen is god awful. There's no good excuse that Matt Morris made it to the 8th on Tuesday and Lowry pitched 7.1 innings last night.

2007-04-26 15:52:08
236.   bhsportsguy
Anyone want an extra ticket for the Tuesday night game against the prospect rich D-Backs?
2007-04-26 15:56:33
237.   nick
234 since in a way I started this, I should say I don't actually agree with the asterisk--I was just speculating re. an equally glib chant that would be less vulgar...I love watching Bonds hit, and, more generally, I think the people who make characters judgments of athletes based on the opinions conveyed by sportswriters are mostly dupes--but I tend to take an extreme aesthetics over ethics position re. sports--
2007-04-26 15:57:15
238.   nick
237 that should read "character judgments"
2007-04-26 16:00:35
239.   Curtis Lowe

I do not like Bonds.

I think if he is let in the hall he should have a plaque explaining that his accomplishments were due more to science than skill.

Steroids belong in our meat not in our athletes.

2007-04-26 16:03:42
240.   Jon Weisman
239 - I don't know how you can back up your second point - "due more to science than skill" - but at least we're resolved.
2007-04-26 16:04:45
241.   Ricardo
Your search - betemit + hit - did not match any documents.

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Furcal will play better but I´m not sure about Betemit, I lost my faith on him. I think that Grady should at least try La Roche out.

2007-04-26 16:09:41
242.   blue22
241 - I don't think anyone is sure about Betemit, but I don't think he's been given enough time to pass judgement. He's played pretty good defense, and gets on base a lot.

Unless LaRoche is absolutely tearing up Vegas Alex Gordon-style (the minor league version), I see no need to make any drastic changes right now.

2007-04-26 16:11:34
243.   Curtis Lowe
240 - Easy,

I go into the plumbing systems of the Pirates and Giants and collect haird samples from the older pipes. I analyze the samples and determine which ones belong to Bonds, I then create a timeline. I test the hairs for different things that would prove my point and then compare those findings to Bonds increases in performance throughout the year.

Then I would report my findings to you witha clever one liner.

2007-04-26 16:12:49
244.   chazmac138

Science does not enable you to make contact with a baseball traveling 90+ mph. Skill does.
I despise Bonds for the person he is first, the fact that he's a Giant second, and then the fact that he used substances third. The guy is one of the best all around players EVER. It doesn't bother me that he used "Roids" to eclipse a single season home run record. What he did prior to the "roidage" is proof enough that he was "the man". Now I have to go and put my head in a hole for defending one of the people of this world I hate the most. Next post, I'll be defending the two casts of "Flavor of Love"...........

2007-04-26 16:13:30
245.   KBL
How many of Betemit's walks have come with 2 out?
2007-04-26 16:16:43
246.   jasonungar07
I for one am excited about tonight.....thanks for the advice KBL. I'll see ya on Academy drive around 6:00!!

I got the 2001 eclipse spyder convertible. Black and Tan(top): like my drink.

If I don't see ya there, I'll meet you at the outside grill on the 3b loge level for a steak sandwich.

2007-04-26 16:18:52
247.   Ricardo
242 Yes you´re right and I´m wrong, maybe it´s better to give Betemit time to show what he´s capable. He was a top prospect for the Braves, wasn´t he?
2007-04-26 16:19:24
248.   Marty
230 Owen "The Butterscotch Stallion" Wilson?
2007-04-26 16:20:43
249.   jasonungar07
When I watch Wilson hit I actually have more faith in him than most of our hitters. He seems to work the count and hit the ball hard. He has just been unluck IMO. Sure he has his faults but I think we need to keep playing him.
2007-04-26 16:21:15
250.   Marty
RIP Jack Valenti
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2007-04-26 16:24:27
251.   underdog
I think it's good that Betemit's walking - vs. not walking, duh - but some of that is possibly due to batting in the #8 hole with the pitcher on deck. Still, he's shown some good selectivity and he looked like a good hitter last year, so there's some hope. But either he needs to make some adjustments, just as pitchers obviously have to him, work with Eddie Murray, and/or move to a different spot in the order to start showing more results. Or, for Alyssa Milano's benefit, more "meat."
2007-04-26 16:27:48
252.   Jon Weisman
New post on top.
2007-04-26 16:32:01
253.   Greg S
2007-04-26 16:33:22
254.   Bluebleeder87


2007-04-26 16:34:49
255.   blue22
253 - It's taking its sweet time showing up on the home page, but you can click on the "Hot From the Toaster" link on the upper right.
2007-04-26 16:45:47
256.   LAT
243. Someone's watching too much CSI.
2007-04-26 21:50:58
257.   popup
Does it matter if Barry is no longer taking steroids? For all I know, Barry is still getting an advantage from past steroid use. Barry's hat size has always been suspect; I think it still is.

I think that Barry and Marvin Bernard both used steroids. I don't think Marvin belongs in the Hall; Barry presents a more complicated problem. I would not mind a citizenship requirement for the Hall, but clearly Cap Anson and Ty Cobb are both in the Hall, so citizenship by itself should not keep Barry out. About the only thing I can say is that I am glad that I am not a Giants fan. If I was, I don't think I would be a Barry Bonds fan.

Stan from Tacoma

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