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March 11, 2006

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Jim E.

"I see no obstacle at all to rescinding Bonds' MVP awards and re-presenting them to the second-place finisher."

No problem? Didn't Sosa finish in second place one year?

Dwilkers

Sportswriters are just like any other media folks. They want to write stories that get read and have people talking. Of course they knew what was going on, they're the only ones that have access to the clubhouse outside the fraternity.

Not that I disagree with you on this or the previous Bonds post TM, except perhaps for putting some responsibility on the fans. Personally, I think that a guy (or gal) that goes to a baseball game hoping to see a towering homerun instead of a squeeze play, a pitcher's duel, or a triple isn't really a "fan of the game" in the traditional sense.

This is about far more than Bonds. It is about the owners looking away and raking in the dough on ticket sales knowing what the players were doing. Its about the writers pumping up the story. Its about the players making poor decisions.

Money, stardom, media fawning. Hey, sounds just like Hollywood.

MTT

TM,

It seems everyone knew and no one knew.

My roommate in medical school (1985) played Division I NCAA football for one of the most recognized programs in the whole country. He said that his teammates took just about anything and everything to play, including anabolic steroids.

My brother-in-law played college baseball and football (1986), and at one time was a pro-prospect. He took steroids, as did about half or more of his teammates.

Just last month I attended a fantasy baseball camp. Our coaches were former pro players and most are still involved in the major leagues in some or another way (broadcasting, coaching, scouting, etc.) Amazingly, when asked about steroid use about half said they had no knowledge of anyone using, the other half seemed sure that a lot of guys then and now "juiced."

Lastly, I work part-time, full-time in the San Francisco Bay Area. On KNBR, the flagship radio station for the Giants' baseball, various shows' hosts regularly say they believe that Bonds is "juiced" but very few if any of the fans who call in seem to care.

Baseball got what it wanted out of Bonds, and so too, Bonds in return.

Bonds is guilty of lying and likely breaking the law. And you're right, Baseball, the sports writers, and the fans are all complicit in allowing it to go on for so long.

larwyn

Late last night I was tuned to HBO to watch "Deadwood", as I was also reading the blogs Bill Marh's (can't allow my mind to even give him benefit of remembering how his name is spelled) show came on.

Pete Rose was on regarding Bond story - only really caught Mahr (?) talking about players in Willie Mays era using cocaine/blow.

So for the masochists out there, this is merely a heads up that you can find out what Rose and Mahr think. And as an added bonus - Gloria Steinham is also a guest.
Really, don't miss TV in a nutshell.

TM

No problem? Didn't Sosa finish in second place one year?

I'll bet he did. Maybe they shoud go with a no-prize if they want to make a statement.

My guess - for pretty much the same reason that the writers dropped out of the college football polls, they won't touch this - they want to report the news, not make it.

Now, a strict application of that logic would mean they should quit awarding the MVPs in the first place, but why am I looking for logic?

coolpapa

Dwilkers-

"Money, stardom, media fawning. Hey, sounds just like Hollywood."

Or Washington DC.

Other Tom

I'm with Dwilkers on this one. If they could train a gorilla to hit a baseball and the result was 650-foot homeruns, today's fans would jam the stands--and Bud Selig and the owners know this. When you dance with the devil, the devil doesn't change--you do. They enjoyed the dance for ten years or so, and now they aren't sure what the hell to do with what they have created. By the way, I just read that the BALCO grand jury is still in session, so a perjury or tax evasion rap is still a distinct possibility.

Rob Luke

Barry Bonds, we know, took steroids. And so, we know, did Mark McGwire, Jason Giambi and Rafael Palmeiro. And so, we suspect, did Sammy Sosa. How about Jeff Bagwell? Who else? There's plenty of muck to spread around.

barry  Dauphin

Let's get back on topic, everybody.
Should we send Joe Wilson to investigate Barry Bonds? Afterall, isn't this a story about obtaining banned substances?

bandit

Take a look back at the real record holder - Roger Maris. Only 3 guys ever hit more homers ina single season and they were all juicers.

DO

Baseball writers have no authority to establish rules or enforce compliance. They can only follow the league's lead. I'm guessing that quarterbacks receive more MVP votes now than before the NFL instituted rule changes that made the game more high scoring.

What baseball writers could have been doing was bringing attention to a real problem that wasn't being effectively addressed. An article accusing Bonds of steroid use would be inappropriate, but articles noting the suspiciouns of those speculating that the record-breaking performances were chemically aided would have signalled that the writers thought it was a big deal. How many of that kind of article? I don't know.

What's critical now is for MLB to take a position so that there can be some closure. Otherwise, there's handwringing with every new allegation. To me, it's obvious what the league's position should be.

We messed up. It was our job to establish and enforce the rules and to foster a culture of compliance. We failed miserably on this front for many years but are doing it right now. One not insignificant consequence of this failure is that damage has been done to the record book. Unfortunately there is no going back. It would be unfair to develop new rules and apply them retrospectively even if we could determine who had violated these newly established rules and who hadn't. To investigate individual cases would be equally unfair. Some have speculated that nearly half of our players were using steroids during this time (though I certainly hope those speculators are wrong). It is a conundrum, though one of our making. The position of MLB is that all past baseball records will stand, and that the current steroid policy will be vigorously enforced.

Any thoughts?

MTT

DO,

I think you are correct.

The records will stand.

New and stringent enforcement will be instituted.

The issue will be of legacy.

Yes, Bonds will hold many records, some of which will be thought of as having been achieved through doping. But will Bonds be voted into the Hall of Fame?

That's the money question.

My guess, if there is an investigation or if Bonds is indicted for any of the above mention illegal activites, no.

How about Rafi? Doubt it.

I don't think Maguire will make the Hall, either.

But the records will stand.

Tainted as they are, they will stand.

Kir

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Boycott Barry

thanks for posting an excelent article. True baseball fans, no matter how long they've suspected steroid and HGH use by players, are the victims here.

Anyone who has facilitated the use of steroids or helped maintain secrecy about the issue is just as guilty as the players who used them.

True fans have a place to go for the latest on the steroid scandal and what they can do to let their feelings be heard: www.BoycottBary.com -- for the good of the game.

Dr BLT

If you haven't heard the latest from Smash Records, here it is:

Well, while Barry Bonds has been busy breaking records, I've been making a record, about him and all of the other steroid "enhanced" baseball players:

The Bases are Loaded (And so are the Players)
Dr BLT
words and music by Dr BLT copyright 2007
http://www.drblt.net/music/BasesHornMix.mp3

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