Author Topic: Thoughts on Steroids  (Read 1326 times)

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Offline Dave B

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Thoughts on Steroids
« Topic Start: September 22, 2005, 09:11:19 AM »
It is convenient that steroids are bad for you and thus are made illegal.  They make you stronger than you can be by other means.  People (fans) feel this artificial strength cheapens the game. That is why they dont like Bonds' records/potential breaking of records. Hank Aaron did it and he was sknnier. So you could argue he was more talented. He didnt have as much raw strength to make up for not hitting the ball squarely.

What if there were the means to get "steroid big", but safely?  Would people have a problem with someone essentially born to be 190lbs, becoming 240lbs and mashing HR's?  Protein, Creatine, and whatnot make people bigger than they would be otherwise. Maybe not 190/240, but 190/215. Working out makes people bigger than they were born to be.

Where do you draw the line as to what is "artificial" strength? I'd argue that ANY supplement is artificial.  Is weight lifting artificial?  Doesnt seem like something that would happen during the normal course of the day, unless you sought it out.

If someone went from 190 to 240, without illegal steroids, would you recognize their talent?  If so what makes Bonds different? He is still as talented as that guy but got his strength from elsewhere (albeit illegally).
What if Bonds' genes or metabolism prevented him from being 240 no matter how much he worked out and ate?  Is the other guy to blame for having good genes?  Does Bonds need to do steroids to even the playing field in that case.

Frank Howard was 6'7" 270 lbs.  He was lucky.  Whats wrong with somebody not that big, somehow becoming that big and hitting HR's.

Some people are naturally bigger than others, do we have to make weight classes for HR's and other stats?
Do we need separate leagues?

I the future there could be things that are as effective as steroids, that are perfectly safe.  Are records achieved by those people going to be cheapened. Probably not. So why are Bonds' achievements cheapened?
This subject is much more gray than people think.  Like I said it is convenient that steroids are unsafe and illegal, because they work too good.

Offline tomterp

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Thoughts on Steroids
« Reply #1: September 22, 2005, 09:30:12 AM »
Steroids are very dangerous and pose inordinate risks to those who take them.  It is very unfair to players who understandably don't want anything to do with these witches brews, to have to make the choice of either taking them or not being able to compete.  

So to me, it is basically an arms race to get better armed than the next guy.  None of this makes the game more enjoyable for fans, it is just a way of keeping up with the Bondses and McGuires and Cansecos and Palmeiros.  

There has to be a level playing field for ALL players, that permits legal AND safe ways of boosting performance.  Lifting weights and conditioning should be encouraged as positive player development.

A player should not have to face the decision to risk his future health and well being in order to compete with others who have already made the devils choice.    

Can I tell you exactly what should be permitted (ie protein shakes, etc.) vs. prohibited?  No, I don't have enough knowledge but others do.  It is entirely possible to draw a firm line, what is permitted and what is prohibited, and have a robust enforcement effort to keep the game honest.

And when elected commissioner, that will be my most urgent priority (in addition to scrapping the DH, and re-aligning the divisions to be 6 x 5).

Scot

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Thoughts on Steroids
« Reply #2: September 22, 2005, 09:35:09 AM »
Steroids are just the most recent drug in decades of performance-enhancing drug use in MLB. Are they more effective than previous drugs? Maybe. Are they more dangerous? Maybe. I agree that they should be banned, and I have no problems with suspending players who fail drug tests. But this isn't a new problem in baseball - amphetamines have been used in baseball for decades, and they provide many of the same performance enhancing effects of steroids (not so much in the muscle accumulation way, but in dealing with fatigue and helping bounce back from injury).

Scot.

Scot

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Thoughts on Steroids
« Reply #3: September 22, 2005, 09:41:53 AM »
Quote
And when elected commissioner, that will be my most urgent priority (in addition to scrapping the DH, and re-aligning the divisions to be 6 x 5).


I'm curious to hear how 6X5 divisions would work out, in terms of scheduling and playoffs.

I'd like to see re-alignment along the lines of 4 divisions of 8 teams each. Top 3 teams in each division make the playoffs, with #2 and #3 playing a best-of-3 for the right to face the #1 team in a best-of-7 for the division title. Best-of-7 LCS, followed by a best-of-7 WS. Play each team in your division 14 times a year; each team in the other division in your league 8 times a year for a total of 162 games (no intrleague play).

Scot.

Offline tomterp

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Thoughts on Steroids
« Reply #4: September 22, 2005, 09:42:41 AM »
Has anybody been able to locate the list of banned substances?  I Googled it last week, thinking it would be easy, and could not find it.

Scot, aren't amphetimines banned already, under the current drug policy?

I think the andro that McGuire admitted taking is also now banned, though not at that time.

Scot

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Thoughts on Steroids
« Reply #5: September 22, 2005, 09:56:26 AM »
tom:

Nope, amphetamines aren't covered by the current policy (in the majors, anyway - the minor league policy covers a lot more compounds, and might cover amphetamines). The major league policy is pretty much steroid-specific.

Scot.

Scot

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Offline Dave B

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Thoughts on Steroids
« Reply #7: September 22, 2005, 10:02:26 AM »
Tom,

So youd be fine if the case were that everyone is 6'5" 250 lbs, with no detrimental health effects, shattering records?

Offline tomterp

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Thoughts on Steroids
« Reply #8: September 22, 2005, 11:02:18 AM »
Quote from: "Scot"
Quote
And when elected commissioner, that will be my most urgent priority (in addition to scrapping the DH, and re-aligning the divisions to be 6 x 5).


I'm curious to hear how 6X5 divisions would work out, in terms of scheduling and playoffs.

Scot.


6x5 would mean that one team from each league would be playing interleague at any given time, pretty much on a rotational basis. I'm comfortable with the current playoff structure, seems to be about the right number of teams getting in.  

It's unfair now that some teams compete in a 4 team division, which makes it easier to win a division than teams competing in a 6 team division.  

I am not a huge fan of interleague play, but not vehemently opposed, either.  I look forward to playing Angelos' team next year.  

RE your 32 team league, I just don't think there are any decent expansion cities left, so don't think it's viable to have a 32 team MLB at this point.  Vegas would be a huge flop, IMO.

Offline The Chief

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Thoughts on Steroids
« Reply #9: September 22, 2005, 01:18:44 PM »
Dave if you want to go back to the days of "normal guys" playing baseball then I'm afraid you're watching baseball about 60-80 years too late.

Yes creatine and similar substances make people unnaturally strong, but to my knowledge they do not post the significant risks to the body and the mind that steroids do.

Also, you need to take a closer look at guys like David Eckstein.  The guy is a runt by modern baseball standards, or hell, by ANY standards.  At 5'7" and 165 lbs, he would hardly be considered intimidating in any sport.  And yet he has a career .281 average and 8 homeruns this season.  He is also an excellent position player.

In my humble old-fashioned opinion, this is the kind of guy a player should strive to be if he isn't "born huge".  Use what you've got, and work your ass off to earn your spot.  I believe our own Jamey Carroll has a very similar attitude, and while his numbers are not quite comparable to David Eckstiens, he is a major league ball-player nevertheless, and I guarantee you he got there by busting his ass and working hard every day to be there, not by popping some pills or sticking a needle in his ass.

I have infinitely more respect for these two men than I EVER will for Barry "juice-me-up" Bonds.

dotsandloops

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Thoughts on Steroids
« Reply #10: September 22, 2005, 01:26:13 PM »
Quote from: "Scot"
tom:

Nope, amphetamines aren't covered by the current policy (in the majors, anyway - the minor league policy covers a lot more compounds, and might cover amphetamines). The major league policy is pretty much steroid-specific.

Scot.


I don't think they'd be off-limits for a whole baseball season, major or minor.  Many people are on prescription amphetamines for pretty much the same benefits that they give everybody else (hyperfocus, mental stamina, physical energy, increased awareness and alertness).  Banning speed would mean that everyone with a prescription would either have to go without for the season or that everyone with a prescription would have to file paperwork with the league bureaucracy.  Prescriptions are easy to get, so it wouldn't make much sense except as a PR move to show that they're cracking down on performance-enhancing drugs.

Meth is one thing, but drug tests can't distinguish between the amphetamines (and even pure methamphetamine (Desoxyn) is sometimes prescribed).  Steroids, on the other hand, are very rarely prescribed for long-term use, and generally for conditions that would keep someone from playing.  Basically, there's a legitimate medicinal use for amps in baseball, but not steroids.

It'd be interesting to see what their speed policy is, though.