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View Full Version : Steroids: an anonymous veteran bigleaguer tells all


MRKARNO
03-16-2004, 11:10 PM
http://insider.espn.go.com/insider/magazine/story?id=1759757

Very interesting article. I think that this is how most non-steroid using bigleaguers feel.

Rex Hudler
03-16-2004, 11:15 PM
Originally posted by MRKARNO
http://insider.espn.go.com/insider/magazine/story?id=1759757

Very interesting article. I think that this is how most non-steroid using bigleaguers feel.

Great, post a link few can read.

MRKARNO
03-16-2004, 11:26 PM
Did you actually try the link? It says insider, but I dont have insider and I could read it and the insider icon wasnt next to the story on ESPN.com

Rex Hudler
03-16-2004, 11:44 PM
Originally posted by MRKARNO
Did you actually try the link? It says insider, but I dont have insider and I could read it and the insider icon wasnt next to the story on ESPN.com

I stand corrected. The Insider part of the url scared me off.

Jjav829
03-17-2004, 12:05 AM
That's some good stuff.

Interesting section:

This dissension first surfaced last spring, when 16 White Sox, led by Tom Gordon and Paul Konerko, briefly threatened to boycott the testing, believing the penalties were too weak. Now, in the wake of the BALCO investigation, the voices of discord are growing louder, with such veterans as John Smoltz and Kenny Rogers speaking out for tougher standards. The union leaders, Don Fehr and Gene Orza, have staunchly defended their stance against more comprehensive testing and harsher penalties, stating and restating their objection to what they characterize as an invasion of privacy.

First time I've ever seen two players specifically named as leading the protest. We can only hope players like Smoltz and Rogers continue to speak up and that more players push the testing either publicly or privately.

MRKARNO
03-17-2004, 12:11 AM
I dont really think Fehr and Orza truly represent what the players want, but that they really just want to ensure that their union is the most powerful of all time.

santo=dorf
03-17-2004, 12:17 AM
Originally posted by Jjav829
First time I've ever seen two players specifically named as leading the protest. We can only hope players like Smoltz and Rogers continue to speak up and that more players push the testing either publicly or privately.

I could've sworn I heard the uproar was led by then-team representative, Kelly Wunsch.

kermittheefrog
03-17-2004, 12:37 AM
It's really a shame that the players have to chose between their privacy and fairness.

ChiWhiteSox1337
03-17-2004, 01:05 AM
Yeah. That was a really good read and now I'm dying to know who said that.

WhiteSox = Life
03-17-2004, 01:51 AM
Very interesting and enjoyable article. I really liked it.

:: looks to both sides cautiously ::

Okay, I gotta let you guys know. I received, from a 100% credible source, who the player is.

I couldn't believe it, either, but when I saw it, my jaw dropped. This will literally -

What! No!! NO!!!

Let go of me... Stop, you sons of... AAAH!!!

Damn you, Fehr!!!

Edit: The following post was made in complete jest and has no authenticity to it whatsoever. WhiteSox = Life never existed and was merely a figment of your imaginations. Please enjoy the following baseball season, and remember: Major League Baseball - The Sport That Cares About Its Players And Its Fans.

jabrch
03-17-2004, 02:09 AM
I believe it was Orza who said that steriods are no worse than smoking cigarettes.

DOPE

guillen4life13
03-17-2004, 10:32 AM
Great read. Thanks.

Frater Perdurabo
03-17-2004, 10:38 AM
I think on many levels it is correct to say that those who are fighting the idea of steroids testing have no balls.

sas1974
03-17-2004, 12:05 PM
Originally posted by santo=dorf
I could've sworn I heard the uproar was led by then-team representative, Kelly Wunsch.

I seem to remember it that way too. Maybe they just used his name in those reports bc he was the rep.

sas1974
03-17-2004, 12:07 PM
I can't wait until this erupts and it's finally all out in the open so we can move on. I want my game back!

Lip Man 1
03-17-2004, 12:47 PM
What I think would be interesting is if it came out that the individual clubs like the Giants, Cubs, Cardinals or whoever knew (through their 'official' trainers) that certain players were taking them but did nothing . (Remember 'chicks dig the long ball...')

That's why I think MLB officials are spouting off things about this but when push comes to shove, they won't do a damn thing because I personally think they did know about it and looked the other way since they were advocating home runs as a way to get the fans back after 1994.

Now that would be ironically funny!

Lip

MarkEdward
03-17-2004, 03:59 PM
Originally posted by MRKARNO
I dont really think Fehr and Orza truly represent what the players want, but that they really just want to ensure that their union is the most powerful of all time.

Exactly. That's why the MLBPA just offered Fehr a three year extension on his contract. (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/story/172176p-150159c.html). Jeez, baseball players are smart. If they don't like the job that their leaders are doing, they'll kick them out of office. The players aren't bound to Fehr in any way, shape, or form.

Anyway, I'm a big fan of "Player X" articles. These articles are a great way of spreading innuendo and hearsay without naming any names. However, I'll assume this is a real player giving this interview. Let's see:
The vast majority of us are not using.
OK. Ken Caminiti stated about 20% are using. Didn't David Wells say 40% were using? Didn't Jose Canseco say 80% were using? Who's right? Why do these numbers fluctuate so much?

Aside from this, the player then goes on to state that a good percentage of players want stricter testing. Assuming this is true (and I'm still a little skeptical), why don't these players come out and take a stance? Throughout this article, he seems to be inferring that there are a few "big shots" in the union who do not want testing. Are these "big shots" union leaders (Fehr, Orza, etc.) or current players regularly accused of using (Bonds, Sosa, Giambi)? If it's the former, then the players can easily kick these guys out of office... except Fehr was just offered a new contract, so the players can't be too angry with the way the leaders are handling the situation. If it's the latter, well, this group seems to represent a small but powerful minority (alleged superstar juicers). Excuse me for being dense, but I don't see how this small group can have so much supposed power. I mean, for every "juicer" who wields power (like Giambi, Bonds, or Sosa), there are other superstar-quality players who can't really be accused of using steroids (Pedro Martinez, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez). Shouldn't these players be speaking out against the steroid users who allegedly hold the MLBPA's power?

In summation, I really can't see the leaders of the MLBPA "hushing" the voices of the younger, less vocal players. What incentive does Fehr have for not listening to the voices of those he consults? It goes against all rationale.

MRKARNO
03-17-2004, 04:02 PM
Originally posted by MarkEdward
[B]OK. Ken Caminiti stated about 20% are using. Didn't David Wells say 40% were using? Didn't Jose Canseco say 80% were using? Who's right? Why do these numbers fluctuate so much? [B]

The numbers fluctuate so much because baseball players are bad at percentages when it's not spelled out for them. How many times have we heard that baseball is 90% mental and 50% physical or players who talk about giving 120% etc.?

rahulsekhar
03-17-2004, 04:08 PM
Originally posted by MarkEdward


In summation, I really can't see the leaders of the MLBPA "hushing" the voices of the younger, less vocal players. What incentive does Fehr have for not listening to the voices of those he consults? It goes against all rationale.

So the crux of your comments are that you believe the ESPN story's either a)made up or b)from a guy with incorrect info?

It's pretty simple:

1) If there are some high profile, high salary guys using who don't want REAL testing, and

2) If Fehr's focus is on opposing and beating the owners any which way he can, and

3) If in any case - having guys put up record sized #s inflates contracts, which is the MLBPA's primary goal

Then it is quite easy to envision a scenario where the union leadership sides with the users and quiets down the pro-testing contingent. Then the pro-testers are left with 1)vote out Fehr despite his getting them serious financial gains over his career and the fact that that would weaken the union with CBA negotiations coming up or 2)remain quiet, don't get badgered by vets who either want to keep Fehr or are anti-testing.

Pretty simple to see how that could work, especially when you're talking for the most part about early 20-somethings struggling to make it going up against acknowledged superstars who they look up to.

MarkEdward
03-17-2004, 04:11 PM
Originally posted by MRKARNO
The numbers fluctuate so much because baseball players are bad at percentages when it's not spelled out for them. How many times have we heard that baseball is 90% mental and 50% physical or players who talk about giving 120% etc.?

Those are just stupid cliches players spout to give reporters a quote.

Once again, four different players have given four vastly different answers to the question "how many players are on steroids." Player X says very few, Caminiti says a quarter, Wells says half, Canseco says three-quarters. Even if players are bad with numbers, why do the numbers fluctuate so much? Shouldn't there be some consensus?

MarkEdward
03-17-2004, 04:33 PM
Originally posted by rahulsekhar
So the crux of your comments are that you believe the ESPN story's either a)made up or b)from a guy with incorrect info?

I'd assume it's made up (not like I have any evidence to back that up) or from a player who has no understanding of what the current players' thoughts are on the matter.

It's pretty simple:
1) If there are some high profile, high salary guys using who don't want REAL testing, and

OK...

2) If Fehr's focus is on opposing and beating the owners any which way he can, and

Ah, here's where we may disagree. Fehr's focus is to respect and and fight for the best interest of the player.

3) If in any case - having guys put up record sized #s inflates contracts, which is the MLBPA's primary goal

Well, that's one of the MLBPA's goals. However, if we are to believe Player X, only a few players are using. So let's assume the users are the great hitters.In my hypothetical situation, this small minority is making 10$M a piece. The vast majority of players are not using and therefore are the lesser hitters. These players are only making, say, 2,000,000$ a piece. Wouldn't the union be concerned with getting the salaries of those "lesser" players up? Briefly, I think the MLBPA would favor the whole over the individual.

Then it is quite easy to envision a scenario where the union leadership sides with the users and quiets down the pro-testing contingent. Then the pro-testers are left with 1)vote out Fehr despite his getting them serious financial gains over his career and the fact that that would weaken the union with CBA negotiations coming up or 2)remain quiet, don't get badgered by vets who either want to keep Fehr or are anti-testing.

Once again, if there is such an outrage over the way Fehr was handling the situation, why was he just given an extension?

Pretty simple to see how that could work, especially when you're talking for the most part about early 20-somethings struggling to make it going up against acknowledged superstars who they look up to.

Well, like the article said, there are some veterans speaking out in favor of testing. So it's not like youngsters are the only ones that seem to be against the policy.

Ouch for Shingo.

rahulsekhar
03-17-2004, 04:47 PM
Originally posted by MarkEdward
I'd assume it's made up (not like I have any evidence to back that up) or from a player who has no understanding of what the current players' thoughts are on the matter.



Considering that ESPN would be at a pretty big risk if this were unfounded given the high profile nature of this article and the topic, I would think they'd be pretty careful about making sure it's well sourced. Since it's also a "vet", and he's primarily discussins what he's seen/heard, I disagree that he's got no understanding of current players thoughts


Ah, here's where we may disagree. Fehr's focus is to respect and and fight for the best interest of the player.


That's what his focus SHOULD be, I dont' believe I'm the only one who sees that his long-term struggle with ownership may have clouded his view somewhat as to what's in the best interest of the player.


Well, that's one of the MLBPA's goals. However, if we are to believe Player X, only a few players are using. So let's assume the users are the great hitters.In my hypothetical situation, this small minority is making 10$M a piece. The vast majority of players are not using and therefore are the lesser hitters. These players are only making, say, 2,000,000$ a piece. Wouldn't the union be concerned with getting the salaries of those "lesser" players up? Briefly, I think the MLBPA would favor the whole over the individual.

Except that the MLBPA has repeatedly shown that their view is that increasing the top level salaries has an upwar drag on the rest, especially in the context of the current arbitration system.


Once again, if there is such an outrage over the way Fehr was handling the situation, why was he just given an extension?

Easy answer: Younger players are much less likely to push hard for a major change, especially when challenged by older ones. Vets believe in Fehr as their leader, and are much more concerned with his salary accomplishments than drug testing. They also may not want to make a major change like this and show a break in the union with CBA negotiations coming up.


Well, like the article said, there are some veterans speaking out in favor of testing. So it's not like youngsters are the only ones that seem to be against the policy.

True - hopefully more of them do so and MLBPA is pushed to do what many think is the right thing with better testing policies. Today's announcement that THG was added to the banned substances list is a sign of that, but whaddaya wanna bet that no retroactive testing will be done to see how prevalent THG usage is today?


Ouch for Shingo.
Double or triple ouch for the Sox. On the bright side, as somene noted on today's game thread, at least it looks like there's an opening in the 'pen for Scho.

MarkEdward
03-17-2004, 06:26 PM
Originally posted by rahulsekhar
Considering that ESPN would be at a pretty big risk if this were unfounded given the high profile nature of this article and the topic, I would think they'd be pretty careful about making sure it's well sourced. Since it's also a "vet", and he's primarily discussins what he's seen/heard, I disagree that he's got no understanding of current players thoughts

Well, ESPN also has Phil Rogers and Peter Gammons writing for the web site. Their articles are filled with "baseball insiders" and "unnamed sources." I just don't see why "Player X" should feel the need to hide his identity. First, he says that many agree with his opinions, so he shouldn't be worried about becoming an outcast. Second, he says he's a veteran, so does he really need to worry about what current players will think of him?

That's what his focus SHOULD be, I dont' believe I'm the only one who sees that his long-term struggle with ownership may have clouded his view somewhat as to what's in the best interest of the player.

Well, Fehr struggled with the owners because that's what a majority of the players wanted him to do. Again, I'd argue that Fehr's various disagreements with the owners have little to do with his own personal self-interests.

Except that the MLBPA has repeatedly shown that their view is that increasing the top level salaries has an upwar drag on the rest, especially in the context of the current arbitration system.

Hm... that may be their line, but I don't think it fits in with reality. Arbitration is based on service time. When Alphonso Soriano's arbitration case was decided earlier this year, the decision had nothing to do with Barry Bonds' 2003 salary.

Easy answer: Younger players are much less likely to push hard for a major change, especially when challenged by older ones.

But, according to Player X, a majority of the veterans also want stricter testing policies. To me, X doesn't seem to believe that there's an age gap in testing policy beliefs, so to speak.

Vets believe in Fehr as their leader, and are much more concerned with his salary accomplishments than drug testing.

Obviously we have no way of knowing this, but I'd believe that a majority of players are concerned with salary over testing policies.

They also may not want to make a major change like this and show a break in the union with CBA negotiations coming up.

Good point, but the current CBA doesn't expire until 2007, and now would be the best time for the players to show their feelings.


True - hopefully more of them do so and MLBPA is pushed to do what many think is the right thing with better testing policies. Today's announcement that THG was added to the banned substances list is a sign of that, but whaddaya wanna bet that no retroactive testing will be done to see how prevalent THG usage is today?

Well, first of all, I believe this would violate various ex post facto laws. If a player used THG when it was legal, and now stops using it because it's illegal, should the player be punished in any way? Second, I don't think THG stays in one's system long, so testing for it retroactively would be a relatively futile exercise.

Double or triple ouch for the Sox. On the bright side, as somene noted on today's game thread, at least it looks like there's an opening in the 'pen for Scho.

Baseball Primer has a prediction tool called ZiPS. Here's Takatsu's line: 43 IP, 5.02 ERA, 14 BBs, 27 Ks, 7 HRs. Yikes.

By the way, sorry for editing the bold in your posts. It was just easier for me to format my post without using the bold tags. I'm not doing it to demean your ideas or anything like that.

row18
03-17-2004, 08:48 PM
I for one never but too much stock in "anonymous" sources, if you said something, be big enough to put your name on it, I KNOW ROIDS ARE BAD FOR THE GAME,USER AND FANS, put come on, if he's talking about character, be man enough to speak your mind Smoltz and Rogers did it, as far as I'm concern the "anonymouos vet" is using too.