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Quote Of The Day - Jose Canseco Is Owed An Apology Ediition

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, Files
"Let me start by telling you this: I have never used steroids, period. I do not know how to say it any more clearly than that -- never. The reference to me in Mr. Canseco's book is absolutely false. I am against the use of steroids."
Baltimore Oriole first baseman,Rafael Palmeiro, testifying before Congress March 17, 2005, on allegations he used steriods. In this season where he joined the all-time greats in the 3,000 career hits club, today he was suspended for violating Major League Baseball's steroids policy.


Semi-related: Everything you thought you knew about steroids is wrong [LA Weekly]


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Comments (23)

Shouldn't that be "... I... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

Shouldn't that be "... I am against the use of steroids by others."?

I DID NOT have oral relatio... (Below threshold)
George:

I DID NOT have oral relations with that bottle, Ms. Anabolic.

I'm curious, has anyone con... (Below threshold)

I'm curious, has anyone considered perjury charges against him? I understand it doesn't necessarily PROVE that he lied then, but I bet a case could be made if someone tried.

Quit pickin on him. He acci... (Below threshold)
Mark:

Quit pickin on him. He accidently took steroids. Just like sometimes people smoke dope but don't inhale.....or they just forget and stuff secret documents in their pants.

What a LOSER!... (Below threshold)
LOSER:

What a LOSER!

What's really said is the s... (Below threshold)
Mark:

What's really said is the some news outlets are reporting that MLB knew about the policy violation TWO MONTHS AGO! They held off saying anything because he was chasing 3000 hits. What a crock! MLB should be ashamed and Selig should be tossed.

You want example of MSM hyp... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

You want example of MSM hype, bad reporting and just plain lack of common sense? Then you've got it right here. Let me explain.

Let's get one thing perfectly clear from the start: Raffy was suspended for using a banned substance UNDER MLB's steroid and banned substance policy. Those banned substances include Steroids, steroid precursors and designer steroids, as well as masking agents and diuretics. Trouble is, MLB and the MLB Players Association does NOT supply players with a list of what those banned substances are and in what products those banned diuretics and precursors. In fact, players have to ask MLBPA for the list. Furthermore, if a player has a question about a potential substance in a product that his picked up from his local GNC store for example, he then has to go to his team trainer and team doctor to see if the product is legit. Case in point: Minnesota Twins' pitcher Juan Rincon's suspension earlier this year:

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/sports/11565088.htm

My problem with making players resposible for policing themselves is this: Fine. You want to ban something, you want to enact a policy on a group of people, then YOU (MLB) provide the parameters of what that policy entails (aka: a list of banned substances). But this policy of turning players into label-readers at the local GNC store (is that fair to Latin or japanese players who DON'T speak a lick of English when most labels are in English?) while not providing them with a list of what those banned substances may or may not be is essentially like saying "you'll know the law when we've told you that you've broken it." And that, putting it nicely, is garbage.

But how did the MSM report it? Well, not very accurately.

Ray Ratto on ESPN yesterday:
"In the wake of MLB's announcement that Rafael Palmeiro tested positive for steroid use..."
(Uh, no, Ray, that wasn't what Raffy was suspended for; Raffy was suspended UNDER the policy which includes a multitude of substances.)

Buster Olney on ESPN:
"...under baseball's new drug-testing policy to be connected directly to steroids..."
(Wrong, Buster.)

Then Raffy specifically said in his phone interview yesterday: "At the outset, let me say that under the rules of the basic agreement and the order of the independent arbitrator, there is an order of confidentiality governing the specifics of this case." To Buster calls that "A total smoke screen." (Wrong again, Buster. Under the basic agreement in the arbitration process, Raffy can NOT talk about specifics. You're asking him to effectively break the law of the policy in order to satisfy your curiosity and assumptions.)

George Vecesy, NY Times
"Palmeiro has been detected with some form of steroids in his system..." (Again no, George. We actually have NO idea what he WAS suspended for!)
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/02/sports/baseball/02vecsey.html?

We don't know what the substance was because under the policy it's not allowed to be revealed. So how the heck does George know? Simple. He doesn't. But he sure THINKS he knows. Sorry, George, that doesn't amount to a hill of beans.

To crucify Raffy in this overhyped, ill-reported media witch hunt, to taint his career, to delegitamize his sure Hall of Fame status is preposterous. Should Raffy have been more careful in what he ingested? Sure. Should Raffy have asked someone about the product he took? Yes. OK, so what if he bought it over the counter at GNC thinking it was an OK product--after all, it IS sold over the counter to the general public. But where's the list of substances? Was the product mislabeled? Whatever the case, Raffy was suspended for it.

But the ultimate question is this: How bone stupid would Raffy have to be to take consciously steroids a mere 2 months after pointing his finger to Congress and say "I never took steroids. Ever." Rafael Palmeiro is not a stupid man. I think it's utterly within reason and belief when he says, "I'm here to make it very clear that I have never intentionally used steroids. Never. Ever. Period. When I found out that I had failed a test under the new drug policy, I filed a grievance and challenged the suspension on the basis that I had never intentionally taken a banned substance."

The MSM reporters and sports talk show hosts burning Raffy's career at the stake are the only stupid ones here.

Another blow to Buster's la... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Another blow to Buster's lame argument for Raffy to "come clean" and tell his story now. I advise Buster to review Attachment 18, item 7 from the 2003-2006 Basic Agreement, titled, "Confidentiality of Evaluations and Treatment Programs" which specifically prohibits players, agents, team personel and affliates from publicly disclosing a player's test results.

Shoddy reporting and commentary. Olney is a moron.

RE: Peter F.'s post (August... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: Peter F.'s post (August 2, 2005 03:58 PM)

I could understand privacy issues limiting disclosure by one player about other players, but couldn't a player tattle on himself? Surely that's not punishable. Wouldn't "coming clean" by Palmiero on Palmiero, if his transgression was innocent, mitigate much of this furor and salvage his reputation? Methinks a purely innocent offense would not garner such stonewalling or carefully crafted reparsing of "intentional" use.

AnonDriv.:It's act... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

AnonDriv.:

It's actually not "stone-walling". In reading the Basic Agreement, Palmerio had the right to appeal his suspension, which apparently he's been doing for the last 2 months since he tested positive.

Here's the actual wording in the Basic Agreement:

7. CONFIDENTIALITY OF EVALUATIONS AND
TREATMENT PROGRAMS
The confidentiality of the Player’s participation in the Program is
essential to the Program’s success. Except as provided in Section 8, the Office of the Commissioner, the Association, HPAC, Club personnel,and all of their members, affiliates, agents,consultants and employees, are prohibited from publicly disclosing information about the Player’s test results, Initial Evaluation, diagnosis, Treatment Program (including
whether a Player is on either the Clinical or Administrative Track),prognosis or compliance with the Program.

It goes on in more detail, which you can find at mlbplayers.com. Look under Article 18, article 7 for more specifics regarding confidentiality. But, in short, if Palmerio or (now) Franklin were to go public with his story while there are questions still surrounding his appeal, he would be inviolation of the Basic Agreement contract signed by all MLB players in 2002. I'm unclear as to whether or not which could undermine the entire drug testing policy and cause a complete unraveling of the agreement itself, but I have a sinking suspicion it just might.

Anon, you would be amazed (!) at how long the list of banned substances is, especially when you include the list of substances banned by the government which MLB asked to be included into the new policy. How every player ISN'T testing positive right now is pretty scary considering the number of legit products out in the market.

Regardless of whether the offense was innocent or not, no one can discuss what substance he was caught using. In his statement yesterday Palmerio said as much. He said: "At the outset, let me say that under the rules of the basic agreement and the order of the independent arbitrator, there is an order of confidentiality governing the specifics of this case."

And here's what he had to say about his case: "The arbitrator did not find that I used a banned substance intentionally -- in fact, he said he found my testimony to be compelling -- but he ruled that I could not meet the heavy burden imposed on players who test positive under the new drug policy."

But it boils down to this: When reporters write that Palmerio was caught “after testing positive for steroids” it's just flatout misleading if not dead wrong. They can't possibly know what substance produced the positive test! Not unless there was a "leak" like there was in the BALCO case. And I've seen no evidence to support that premise.

Sorry it took so long to repsond. :-)

RE: Peter F.'s post (August... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: Peter F.'s post (August 2, 2005 06:53 PM)

Thanks for the thorough response. I was only expecting a link. ;)

I'm not that interested in the media's response though I can see how others, Palmiero specifically, would be. I also appreciate your POV.

Certainly his right to privacy and defense of action in view of appeal is reasonable and fair since it was a mutually agreed upon contract from both unions. No, the chink in that armor is his reticence to disclose further his transgression post-sentencing. He was found to have violated the substance abuse policy and so the appeal phase has concluded. He is now in the penance phase. Certainly the rules change a little... as in some now won't apply. But I'm not going to peruse the entire contract for dotted i's and crossed t's. It's just not that important for me since this is more of an issue of ethics and integrity than strict letters of law.

Ultimately, it would do a world of good for him to describe his personal violation (and his alone) as explicitly as possible to resurrect the diminishing stature of his legacy. Personally, I do not believe his story; however, I am fully prepared to review the facts and change my position if he would simply disclose what he knows and not return the muddled responses of which I'm aware. Playing dumb really doesn't help his cause and he should get out in front of this as much as possible lest the story leave him behind. Cooperstown will start erecting fences for the Palmieros in short order until this gets cleared up. Legalese will only facilitate their construction.

Just a simple opinion from a once-upon-a-time fan of both the player and the game.

AD:Without my geti... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

AD:

Without my geting too verbose (again), I really see your point. I'm also open to the possibility that he is guilty of taking steroids, but I don't think we'll ever get to know the facts thanks to the confidentiality portion of the B.A. because he's not allowed to discuss even AFTER the ruling has come down. Which explains his lawyer-written response from yesterday.

I don't, however, agree that Raffy is playing dumb. I think he's being as honest and as forthright as possible without violating the contract. He's also known to be a very smart and honest man. I have a freind who pitches for the Nats and knows Raffy a little, and he just doesn't see Raffy as doing something so dumb and so soon after being before Congress. It just doesn't jibe with his personality.

I'm all for testing. Let's do it. But let's be fair in how present the facts when players are caught, and that simply isn't happening.

I love baseball. I love the strategy, the slow and deliberate pace, the records and how the sport can sometimes mirror the values our society holds dear or brings into question—value and integrity being just two of them. And players should have those, I agree. I just don't want to see any player and his career villified in the press because of shoddy reporting and the misrepresenation of facts. Becasue that, too, is a matter of ethics, integrity and credibility. And it's just as important if not more so than the use of banned substances in baseball.

I'm not a lawyer, and I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything, I just want us all to have the facts honestly and without interpretation. Then and only then should anyone be commenting on the ethics and integrity of Rafael Palmerio.

Crud, I got verbose again, didn't I? LOL. Sorry...

in the meantime...its only ... (Below threshold)

in the meantime...its only baseball..who gives a crap?

RE: Henry's post (August 3,... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: Henry's post (August 3, 2005 01:22 AM)

in the meantime...its only baseball..who gives a crap?

Certainly not a unique sentiment. But it is significant in that it addresses the issue of fair play... or at least the hope of it. Most people, even those for whom baseball or sports is insignificant/irrelevant, recognize that fair competition in sport or life is desirable and a staple of our society. We pride ourselves on law and when that law is violated, there is a collective desire to validate our culture by punishing the perpetrator. Sport just serves as the billboard of that premise and one where we all advertise our beliefs.

Existential I know, but some consider baseball heavenly.

Mark: selig should be toss... (Below threshold)

Mark: selig should be tossed for other atrocities as well. steroids? eh, maybe this is just the San Francisco Giants fan in me, but really, this steroid thing is a waste of time.

i don't buy that crap about kids seeing bad examples in their athletes. parents nowadays are far worse examples. especially the ones who shunt the responsibility of raising their kids clean onto athletes who are just trying to give fans what they want.

and henry: "just baseball"??? i'm gonna pretend you didn't just say that you pigfucker. glad to have you back =)

It is obvious that this is ... (Below threshold)
moseby:

It is obvious that this is all a mistake. If Raffy was on steroids he'd have the tell-tale Mardi Gras float head.


You know like Giambi and Bonds...

Mos - maybe that's why he n... (Below threshold)
LOSER:

Mos - maybe that's why he needed the Viagra. Also he doesn't have the eyes bugging out of his head like Giambi.

It's not about 'bad examples'. It's about artificially raising the competition bar. If it were only a few LOSERS screwing up their lives that would be one thing but it's about amatures and never will be's sacrificing their health to try to compete. It's gotta stop.

OK. Then crack down on ste... (Below threshold)

OK. Then crack down on steroids in HS and college and and the olympics and AA-ball and below.

The competition bar is raised all the time. Artificially. From something as simple as a livlier ball to state-of-the-art batting cages, or massive databases on pitcher-batter matchups which would have been unheard of in Babe Ruth's time. The game has evolved-- all in the name of competition.

If you wanna make everybody equal in the name of fairness, then abolish the MLB and start up the ALB: Android League Baseball. We'd get to watch androids play ball while android umpires make perfect calls on every play.

Sound craptacular? Well yeah with each team completely equal and fair we'd have everybody at .500 at the end of 162. Wonderful. And then you'll have to enact some kind of pointless, lame-tastic NBA style playoffs.

What makes baseball enjoyable is the human element. and what makes the human element human is the inequality.

Go Giants,
Jihad Jimmy

ps- steroids do not a good hitter make. bonds is historically and mathematically the best because of his compact swing and ability to see the ball. Steroids don't give him the extra 5 feet to get the ball over the wall, not when he's crushing homers into McCovey Cove.

JJ:"ps- steroids d... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

JJ:

"ps- steroids do not a good hitter make"

Right you are. And it would be nice, if somebody, anybody, could prove that taking steroids actually helps you hit a curveball or, for that matter, even hit the ball farther. Increased bat speed does not mean a hitter can actually make better contact with the ball or pick up the spin of the ball to help determine what pitch is being thrown. Steroids help with muscles; not judgement or concentration.

And even if some doctor wanted to conduct experiments on the athletes with steroids to determine how much farther will fly (if at all) would be so unethical, so immoral given the dangers that deny the very Hippocratic Oaths they live by.

I guess that means Howard Dean would be A-OK with it. LOL. Kidding...

JJ and PF:"ster... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

JJ and PF:

"steroids do not a good hitter make"

Then why do so many in the industry find the need to ingest/inject them?

Is it to make them see the ball better? Shuffle feet faster? Heal from injury quicker? Think more deeply?

Certainly, timing isn't enhanced by steroids unless the 'roid actually builds a particular muscle group or tendon attachment associated with swing. However, the power derived from a larger mass is simple physics such that when contact is made, the ball meets a bat driven by more momentum. Bigger muscles allows for a bigger bat which results in a larger mass moving through air at some elevated speed. A better analysis would be to compare the distance a ball travels when contacted rather than the number of contacts. But I digress. The statistics of baseball bore me to tears except when talking HOF.

I still fall back on the premise that if steroids don't help, then there should not exist the seemingly perpetual desire to use 'em.

AD:Again, agreed. ... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

AD:

Again, agreed. Why use 'em? The perception is not reality as many hitters, outside of Canseco and Caminiti, have said over and over again. It doesn't make you a better hitter. Yes, one reason could be to recover faster from injuries or maintain stamina and endurance. However, the side affects of prolonged use of steroids leads delusions, mania, irritability and, this doozie, homicidal rage.

http://www.steroids.org/psychiatric.htm

None of which are condusive to hitting a baseball; particularly over a long period of time, like in the case of Bonds' and Raffy's careers.

Even if a player was being administered steroids by a health professional who could supply the player with the proper dosage of the substance, the player would have to stop for an extended period of time to, hopefully, avoid/diminish the side affects. The term is called "cycling". But, administering steroids to a patient who does not need them for a medical reason, would be highly unethical. And even in Bonds' and Giambi's BALCO, as far as anyone knows, no doctor administered them steroids. It was a physical trainer who did NOT have a PhD.

Sure the bat meets the ball with greater force—how much greater is debatable and immeasurable (remember: human testing is out of the question). Just because you meet the ball with greater force doesn't mean it's going over the fence. Hell, it could just be a hard groundball out. Or a higher pop up. But it doesn't mean it's a home run or even a deep out.

Think about: I can swing a bat just as fast as Bonds' could. Does it mean I'm going to make contact. It doesn't mean I'll overcome the spin on the ball. Bat speed is a great asset, but it is just one of many things needed and required to hit a baseball.

Would steroids help Bonds turn on inside pitch better? Perhaps, thanks to increased bat speed he could. BUT, Bonds has always been able to turn on the inside pitch. (He looks for that up and in strike, that's why Barry is always pitched low and away. By the smart pitchers, anyway.) Might it help him maintain that bat speed as he gets older? Possibly, yes. For how long, no one can possibly know.

We do know this though: Bonds has passed every single one of his tests in the past 2 seasons, including this one. And he won a batting title and hit 46 dingers last year.

In short, there are too many variables involved in hitting to say with any certainty that steroids directly helps a hitter.

Now, if a pitcher is using steroids, I have a BIG problem with that. A pitcher delivers kinetic energy to the baseball via his muscles, thus he can increase velocity on the ball. Does it mean he throws a better curve? No. Better 2- and 4-seam fastballs? You bet it does. And it's measurable by radar, too.

I rambled on again. LOL. Sorry, I love the subject.

AD:Ack! Pardon my ... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

AD:

Ack! Pardon my missing words and typos. Just thinkin' and typin' fast. Still, ack!

it's like sammy sosa's cork... (Below threshold)

it's like sammy sosa's corked bat from last season. does sosa need the few extra feet gained by cheating? no, he crushes that shit. Does barry need a few extra feet? No, not even close.

Borderline players might be using, and really, I couldn't care less. I care about the republican-treatment that bonds gets from the media. Despite his commitment to the Giants and despite his efforts in taking us to the post season, I am one of the few in the SF Bay Area who doesn't like Barry Bonds.

But I'm one of the first to come to his defense to know-nothing baseball fans who are quick to criticize him about steroids. Steroids didn't make him the best hitter in all of baseball history. If that's what you think, go back to your weak-sauce bandwagon yankees/red sox fandom.




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