Originally posted by Kwyjibo
Whith all deserved respect (and I have a lot for you), this is one of those issues I could argue with you for eternity. Fair play is an ideal that
doesn't exist and never did (although I'm young and you should strike that last statement). The purity of the game is gone in your mind but it was
never there in the first place. I love the anti-hero, but no I don't think Bond's record will have the same emotional impact as Ruth or Aaron
(obviously). The illusion of innocence is impossible to ignore these days, but I would argue that it never existed in the first place. You think
Ruth would've taken enhancers if it was availabe (granted he didn't need them). In conclusion I think the way we think of sports "heroes" has been
overhyped for a long time due to our own latent misgivings. What that means I couldn't possible mean.
You already know my answer to this one. It's been the same all along, and it will remain the same.
When steroids and HGH came onto the scene, it was like when fighting with bows and arrows changed to fighting with machine guns and aerial bombs. I'm
not a biochemist--nor, I suspect, is anyone else here. I have no idea how bad the long-term effects of greenies and other forms of speed which are
not crank are, compared to the pernicious long-term effects of steroids and HGH, though I'm sure all of them are just terrible for you. But the issue
here is not their relative effects on players' health, but rather their relative effects on the game of baseball. And in that respect, there is no
way any RATIONAL person who does not have a pre-existing ideological AGENDA seriously could compare the two.
I could go on for 20 paragraphs--and, now that I look at what I've written, I pretty nearly did, lol--with a detailed recitation of what the
Steroid/HGH era has done to the record books. The tiny list of single-season performances with 100 or more XBH's doubled. One year, FOUR guys did
it, whereas pre-Steroid Ball (pre-1994), it had been done only 8 or 9 times ever. I concede part of that is due to Helton's playing in Coors Field...
which isn't to say he's clean.
The number of 50 HR hitters has gone from 10, where it had been since George Foster did it in 1977, to 24... with two more having a chance to join the
club in the final games of this year. One guy, the fraudulent Sammy Sosa, hit over 60 in a season THREE times and won exactly ZERO crowns in those
There's the innumerable ways in which Bonds' various feats are provably absurd. You've seen me seen me document them all, and conceded I'm right
about them. But in his defense: (1) He was a Top 20 player all-time before he joined all these other frauds; (2) he's being singled out for
persecution/prosecution, in my opinion, because he's an angry and dislikable black man, while literally hundreds of other players were taking steroids
before he was and the two giant frauds of 1998--neither of whom has/had 10% of his natural talent--should be prosecuted first; and (3) the people who
want to toss out Bonds' ENTIRE career and exclude him from the Hall of Fame really upset me.
Jose Canseco had a great and frankly HOF career when, by his own oft-stated admission, he was "no way good enough to play in the majors without
Through 1957, this is a complete list of the players who had ever slugged .700 in a single season: Babe Ruth (NINE times), Lou Gehrig, Rogers Hornsby,
Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams, Hack Wilson, Al Simmons, Mickey Mantle and Stan Musial. Nine guys.
FROM 1958 THROUGH 1993, WITH GREENIES AND OTHER AMPHETAMINES BEING USED EPIDEMICALLY, TO HEAR SOME TELL IT, do you know how many guys joined the .700
slugging club? Exactly ZERO. Nada. Zilch. Not a single one.
From 1994 through 2005, here is a list of the guys who have joined the NINE prior members of the .700 club: Barry Bonds (FOUR times, all after his
freakin' 37th birthday), Mark McGwire, Jeff Bagwell, Sammy Sosa, Frank Thomas, Larry Walker and Albert Belle.
So please, please save me the nonsense about how previous players have cheated. I KNOW THEY HAVE. But it's like saying almost everyone in my
generation smoked lots of pot (which we did), so why make a big deal out of all the young people who now use methamphetamine? As a criminal lawyer of
20, I can tell you with no doubt whatsoever that there is NO DRUG anywhere near as bad for anyone as methamphetamine. Any experienced cop or
prosecutor will say the same.
Steroids and HGH are baseball's methamphetamine. And the fact Bonds and others have "clean tests" is a laughably dishonest thing to say. THERE
NO TEST FOR HGH. A guy I played poker with on the Internet, a former not-very-good Phillie pitcher now in Japan, told me virtually every
MLB player is on HGH because "you're at a huge competitive disadvantage if you're not." Yes--him, too.
Now, WOULD Babe Ruth have used that crap? I don't know. Frankly, I doubt it, although I think he pretty clearly would have used greenies to help
deal with his all-night drinking binges and screw-fests. (I've read 3 Ruth bios and know a lot about him, as well as many other players from
1900-1950.) So yeah, he WOULD have cheated, given the opportunity, in my belief, but not with these things they take now.
But so what? I can think of a couple of people who, in the course of my 53 years, have wronged me SO grievously that if they'd been standing in my
living room laughing in my face at the time, I probably would have taken out my gun in a rage and shot them dead. That doesn't make me guilty of
murder (actually manslaughter), and it sure as hell doesn't make Ruth, Gehrig (who was a nauseatingly straight arrow), Foxx (a real drunk), Greenberg
(6'7" or 6'8"), Cobb, Speaker, Wagner or the execrable Hornsby cheaters. They were a lot of other things, and if given the opportunity, many of them
might have done what the frauds from 1994-present have done.
BUT THEY DIDN'T, and to say that Babe Ruth, one of the game's ultimate lawbreakers, would have broken that particular ethic if given the opportunity
is: (1) speculation coming from people who don't know the man 5% as well as I do; (2) not necessarily true and in fact, probably false; and (3)
irrelevant, since he didn't do it.
Moreover, the "cheating is cheating" notion is nonsense that appeals only to those desperate to validate the b.s. that has occurred in the past 13
seasons. If you want to validate Bonds in particular, there are a million ways to do it: he was a major Hall of Famer when he was clean; the fact
he's been the king of the cheaters is attributable to the fact he was a vastly better natural player than the other cheaters; and, in my belief,
steroids and HGH do NOT prolong your career, so he would have had all these extra years--and a ton more plate appearances, because of 80% fewer
walks--had he not cheated, which would have given him some very fine career stats anyway... just not absurd ones.
But the fact is, Bud Selig and company--desperate for funds after the shutdown THEY forced in 1994--have been willfully blind and complicit in a fraud
of enormous proportions. There are pages you can go to on the Internet and study teams' year-by-year stats. I checked the Braves' stats for 20
straight years. There was a period in the early 90's when they suddenly went from having 2 to 4 players per year with double-digit HR totals, and
usually only 2 that were meaningfully over 10, to having EVERY starter over 10. In one year, just BOOM, it suddenly happened. If you believe that's
real, put your next dislodged tooth under your pillow.
There are two times in baseball history when the record book has been under the kind of attack to which Hitler subjected Eastern Europe and England in
1939-1940: First, in 1920, when the live ball came in and Babe Ruth, that year, broke basically every meaningful record that was not related to
batting average; and second, from 1994 to the present, when the above-described annihilations of the record book have occurred.
SO PLEASE! Give up these lame analogies to greenies and other amphetamines that have been used since the 1950's! There is a difference between
stealing a peak at someone else's answer to Multiple Choice #8 on an exam and bringing the answer grid to the entire exam to class with you. And THAT
is the degree of difference between the "baseball crimes" of using speed vs. using PED's like various steroids and HGH to make yourself into a small
Who cares whether or when Selig said it was illegal? The steroids have always been federal crimes. And anyway, ANYONE knows using that sort of
garbage to transmogrify their body to, say, the incredible degree Bonds did his is grossly unethical--not to mention extremely dangerous, as his and
other players' heart palpitations can attest, to say nothing of the late Ken Caminiti.
Comparing these respective baseball crimes is like comparing grand theft to kidnaping for ransom. Please note I didn't call using speed
"shoplifting," nor did I call using the garbage of McGwire, Sosa, Brady Anderson, Kent, Sheffield, Palmeiro, innumerable others, and finally Bonds (a
VERY latecomer) "murder."
Baseball "murder" is what Tris Speaker and his teammates, most notably pitcher Smoky Joe Wood, did in Game 6 of the 1912 World Series, and it's why I
believe--even though it's so late in time now and even though Speaker is inarguably one of the 10 greatest players ever--Speaker should be removed
from the Hall of Fame. Throwing Game 6 of a World Series, much less doing so when you know you must face Christy Mathewson in Game 7, well, THAT is
But these steroids and HGH? They're the next rung down on the ladder, and those with a felt desire and/or political agenda to bash the baseball past
about which they usually know very little...? They need to look at this in an honest, logical light. Any objective review of the record book makes
it pellucid, from the records onslaught of the past 12 years vs. the non-onslaught from 1950-1994, that there's no statistical comparison between the
effects of amphetamines and the effects of steroids/HGH.
And the question of whether Cobb, Speaker, Wagner, Hornsby, Collins, Ruth, Gehrig, Foxx, Ott, Greenberg, Musial, Ted Williams, Mays, Mantle, Aaron,
Campanella and Banks, plus Young, Mathewson, Johnson, Alexander, Grove, Hubbell, Feller, Spahn and Koufax would have used HGH and steroids, if given
the chance? Absolutely moot and irrelevant. Would Caligula have dropped atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? (Of course. And every other city,
too.) Would "The Iron Chancellor," Otto von Bismarck, the genius who inspired Prussia's King William I into taking the steps that led to German
unification from 1862-1870, have taken the ultimately suicidal step of invading Russia in WWII? (Of course not.) Would a rational, fair, just,
proper and non-activist Supreme Court agree with EITHER the current Supreme Court's b.s. or the infamous "Warren Court" of the 1960's on much of
anything? (Of course not.)
And how relevant are any of those questions and their obvious answers? Not at all. PLEASE think of those things before engaging in the idle
speculation about what players from 1900-1950 would have done, IF they'd had access to the garbage which has ruined baseball for the past 13 years and
put an indelible stain on the record book.
For myself: I sit here, hoping against hope that Howard is legit, that Pujols is legit, and that the past 10 to 12 years of Clemens' career have been
legit. I mean, he DOES look like a pitcher's version of Bonds, doesn't he? He has two more ERA titles than every other pitcher in the history of
MLB, except Grove, and he's within two of the master. And he puts up Adjusted ERA figures that are unthinkable at his age, and throws at speeds that
are impossible. Wouldn't you love to see him with his shirt off? He's my #2 pitcher of all-time, and when his career ends I'm open to the
possibility he should pass Grove (though that will be a tough sell, given the huge ballpark difference). But ya gotta admit the whole thing smells
awfully fishy... and so far, pitchers have come out of all of this scot free, even though the pitcher I played Internet Poker with said they're the
guiltiest of all.
I've loved the game passionately my whole life, and I can barely stand to watch it. Every time some 5'10" second baseman hits the ball 15 rows deep
over the opposite field fence, I want to vomit. The one good thing is this: It's gone on long enough that the guys like Kent, who had several
undistinguished years and then suddenly exploded into a bigtime player (a dead giveaway), are pretty much gone or one their way out.
Here is what I wonder: What will happen when they DO develop tests for HGH and whatever other designer cr@p the players come up with to take its
place? What will happen when only the natural strength which weightlifting, swimming, biking, etc., provide will have to suffice, and these
"wonderful" stats disappear, and a lot of "superstars" have their stats shrivel up immediately after REAL drug testing is forced down Selig's corrupt
There will be no denial then. The playing field will be level and it will be like baseball in the 1970's and 1980's, except that the small strike
zone and some small parks will make it not quite so tepid. But the public will know what's happened.
Will baseball die? Will nobody ever give a damn again? And why should they?
October has always been my favorite month of the year. For about the third year in a row, I'm not even particularly interested in it. I'm more
interested in the bios I'm reading of long-dead players, including one who never even got to play MLB but was almost certainly the greatest catcher of
all time: Josh Gibson. In the half century that Griffith Stadium (home of the Washington Senators, including the second Senators team, for their
first season) was open, only three balls were hit completely over the distant LF bleachers and out of the park. One was Mickey Mantle's famous blast
off of Chuck Stobbs, often called a 565-feet HR. BOTH of the others were hit by Gibson, who's also rumored to be the only person to hit a fair ball
completely out of Yankee Stadium.
His life, truncated by a brain tumor that was probably brought on by his drug abuse, went from 1912-1947. They called him "the black Babe Ruth," and
although it's documented ad nauseam that Ruth hit scores of impossibly distant HR's, it's possible Gibson hit them just about as far.
Can you imagine what HE would have done on steroids or HGH? He--or, of course, Ruth--might have hit the ball 800 feet. Hell, here is a fact for
y'all, and it's a very well-documented fact. Babe Ruth's LAST major league HR came in a 3-HR game at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, when he was 40 and
completely washed up. He hit .181 in that fraction of a season, and must have been very sad to watch. But on this one great day, a week before he
quit, he got his last 3 hits, and they were all HR's. He hit the last one over the 375 FT. sign in right field, over the lower-deck bleachers,
over the high upper deck, over the roof and completely out of the stadium.
This had never been done before, and would not be done again for a
Robert Creamer, whose scholarly, unsentimental, objective and well-balanced bio of Ruth is widely regarded as the best bio ever written about an
American sports figure (buy it, folks; you won't regret it), wrote his magnum opus while many connected with that HR were still living, including the
pitcher. He did a lot of research into the HR and concluded it went about 600 feet. And that was Ruth's LAST home run, hit at a time when he was a
washed-up shell of his former self.
Now, Ruth's an unfair example. A Babe Ruth comes along every 500 years or so, just like a Wilt Chamberlain does, and in both cases they were men
playing against boys. Ted Williams saw Ruth's swing at a charity affair, years after Ruth's retirement and when Ruth's eyes were shot, and he said
you could still tell Ruth had a swing that came from the gods. In 1938, Ruth was in a HR-distance-hitting contest, 3 years after retirement, against
great sluggers still in their primes: Foxx, Ott, Greenberg, Gehrig, etc. HE WON, hitting the longest HR of the contest.
So perhaps Josh Gibson and Babe Ruth are unfair examples. And it really IS scary to think how far they would have hit balls if they'd used, although
I think there is a physical limit to how far a baseball can go, even if shot out of a cannon. But this notion that guys from back then WOULD HAVE
cheated if given the chance? Can it. They weren't given the chance and the real-life crimes of modern cheaters cannot be forgiven--nor mitigated one
iota--on the ground others might have done the same, if only they'd have gotten the chance to turn themselves into small mountains.
Nor can these huge modern baseball crimes be mitigated because of several decades of obviously far less effective, and thus far less severe, baseball
crimes. If you want to say that Mantle, Mays, Aaron, etc., deserve less credit for their own feats because they used greenies, you're probably right.
Perhaps I should rethink the fact I rank Willie Mays (my #2 player) ahead of Ty Cobb (#3), though the idea putting Cobb ahead of Mays sickens me.
But none of that legitimizes Bonds from 2000-2004, much less does it make me inclined to treat the CAREERS of McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro and so many
others seriously. If I did, McGwire would be my #2 first baseman of all-time, and would be crowding Gehrig for #1. As it is, he doesn't make my Top
10 and, if such a list existed, wouldn't make my Top 20.