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Steroids? Knock me down!


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Memo to diary. Find time to be shocked at the possibility that Bonds and Giambi have used steroids. Afternoon of February 7 looks good.

Jaywalking is most definitely a competitive sport, and a real fun one at that. I would do it competitively for a four-year $125 million deal, with appropriate incentives for more, of course.   The r

Wow! Do you think Sheryl Crow is using as well?

Hollywood -- can you sum this all up in 4 or 5 sentence? Preferably with some Latin thrown in?

O Sibili, se ergo,

Fortebus es inero.

O Nobili, demis trux

Si vatsinum, causan dux.

You worked on that one all night, didn't you.

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Just to keep things rolling, here's my gripe in a nutshell.

 

1. Back in the sunny days of McGwire/Sosa home run derbys, it was - or should have been - blatantly obvious that steroids were being used by some players. Even more so when Bonds blew up like a bloater fish. From Selig through the owners and managers down to the fans, everybody was having such a good time, they pretended they weren't seeing what they were seeing.

 

2. But when Bonds started closing in on the sacred home run record, and rumors about his steroid use became impossible to ignore, most fans decided this was a great stick to beat him with. Fans dislike of Bonds has played a disproportionate part in this whole story.

 

3. With Canseco's book out there and Congress involved, it quickly became apparent that some other names would have to go down with Bonds. McGwire, whatever, everybody knew. But wait, Palmeiro? Who else?

 

4. Suddenly Mitchell is involved and a bunch of top players are going down in flames. Pettitte???

 

5. Nevertheless, the media and the fans kept acting like this is a controllable situation, a few bad apples who need to be kept out of the Hall of Fame.

 

6. Then, hey, A-Rod, who is not as unpopular as Bonds but is another great whipping boy. Let's destroy his career, then we can get on with the game.

 

7. And still people turn a blind eye to the fact that around ten per cent of active players tested positive in the same test Rodriguez took. And to the fact that we just have no idea that any individual player has been clean throughout his career.

 

8. Is it really going to take a Ripken or a Jeter to be named for people to wake up and acknowledge that steroid use was generally tolerated in the sport for whatever the period was, that no statistics or records from that period are guaranteed clean, and that when it was happening nobody cared.

 

My solution, of course, is to draw a line under what happened and apply whatever policy seems best going forward. It's the scapegoating of individuals for a situation everyone tolerated, and the fantasy that a distinction can be made between tainted and untainted achievements for that period, which is turning my stomach (only metaphorically).

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There was a lot of talk here about the idea that prescriptions could be a potential loophole for players looking for ways to dodge baseball's drug restrictions. I did some research and the answer is yes and no. (The official name for these is Theraputic Use Exemptions.)

 

A few years ago baseball started testing for amphetamines, a banned substance. Since that time the number of players claiming attention deficit disorder and who have received permission to take prescribed stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall has risen from 28 to 106. It appears that ADD is reaching epidemic levels in MLB. The incidence is three times that in the general population. Only 8 players have exemptions to take other prescription drugs.

 

Assuming a 25 man roster and 29 professional teams that means 725 players are active.

 

14.6% have exempt prescriptions to take Ritalin or Adderall.

 

1% have exempt prescriptions to take other drugs.

 

It's obvious that ADD is being used as a significant loophole. It's also obvious that there is not significant abuse of the TUES exemption with regard to other drugs.

 

NY Times

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There was a lot of talk here about the idea that prescriptions could be a potential loophole for players looking for ways to dodge baseball's drug restrictions.

 

It's not being urged as a loophole.

 

The fact of the matter is, until a few years ago, BASEBALL DID NOT BAN PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING DRUGS. All baseball banned was taking prescription drugs without a prescription. So having a prescription wouldn't have been a loophole. It would have rendered the ban inapplicable, because it would have removed THE SOLE BASIS FOR THE BAN.

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