March 11, 2005

"Holding a hearing on steroids in baseball without Bonds would be like an inquiry into the Titanic sinking without mentioning the iceberg.": Dave Zirin on the Congressional Hearings being conducted to cope with the problem of Steroids in baseball. He discusses why Bonds was not subpoenaed, and why Dennis Kuchinich is not to be trusted.

posted by LostInDaJungle to baseball at 12:59 PM - 18 comments

Have pity, my first FPP. Let me say, that I think Steroids in Baseball is just plain wrong, but I disagree with the reasons being floated around in the media. Is it to keep kids off drugs?? Well, if you go around saying Steroids helped Bonds hit all those Homers, and he isn't dead yet.... That a good advertisement for steroids in my book. If I was High Schooler who had Pro asperations, I'd be thinking, "Man, how come I never meet guys like this Conti...." Did steroids make Bonds a better player, apparently so. Will it make me a better player, apparently so. Will it kill me?? Not until after my HOF induction. Is it to preserve an accurate comparison between players of yeasteryear and today?? No, better equipment, new stadiums, better diet, and untold other factors have ruined that. It's because sport is suppoosed to be a match between to fairly pitted competitors. That's why we have rules in the first place, not just an objective. Now, both competitors could both be juiced and have it fair... Would anyone tune in to watch robots play Basketball?? Is there any joy in watching Shaq-Bot, built 50 pounds heavier than any other robot in the league, post up? At what point do they cease to be mortal men performing super human feats, and start becoming lab experiments who now have enough Anabolics in their system to do what they do? At what point do we stop investigating the limits of what a man can do, and start wondering what drugs Bonds used to hit 70+ homers?? Will Balco have an asterix by his records?? HR: 73 Balco* 2003 (*Achieved with the illegal use of Barry Bonds)

posted by LostInDaJungle at 01:12 PM on March 11, 2005

I think the Congressional investigation into steroids in baseball is pointless, but I'll watch what goes on for some good savagery. To see some people get ripped on both sides. I wouldn't exactly liken it to McCarthyism and a witch hunt though. They going to blacklist these pricks, doubt it. Anyone going to rat out the others, probably Canseco, but not anyone else. He'll be there to hand out copies of his book. The whole thing will be pointless. The really stupid thing about it is that the grand jury testimony is still sealed, to my knowledge, despite leaks. So why have somebody like Bonds or Giambi there? They can't discuss any of that really and they certainly can't talk about their testimony before the grand jury in the BALCO proceedings, as far as I know.

posted by chris2sy at 01:30 PM on March 11, 2005

For that Giambi link in my post try: hotcold1 to circumvent the registration thing...

posted by chris2sy at 01:46 PM on March 11, 2005

once again the Media is over reacting big time. There is just more than baseball people testifying. Given its Anit-trust excemption, MLb needs to pay attention to Congress. Everybody says that congress should give the new policy a chance. Great, its about time What about 10 plus years of the Basrball World (owner, Union and Players) looked the other way while illeagal drugs were used to enhance the game. Besides, who is kidding who? This policy game about because of threatened intervention by congress. Congress has a right to know a little about the past usage and why its being completely swept under the rug by everybody from Selig to Bonds who are saying, "Lets move forward!....... Its really funny when these so called sports talking heads try to carry on a conversation about congress and the law. They wind up sounding so silly. I say we should all just relax and let things wprk themselves out..

posted by daddisamm at 04:32 PM on March 11, 2005

I think we should all sit back, pull up a chair and watch the fracas unfold in all its unfettered glory. LIDJ, I'm with you on most points except that there is an importance in attempting to make steriods unpopular with kids. Pretty much because they fuck you up. It really isn't any more complicated than that from the ol' "Negative Impact on Society" angle.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 04:46 PM on March 11, 2005

Lost-in-the-jungle-of-your-mind, in some ways your STUPID illustration is unintentionally true ... 1 - the steroids issue IS a ship that should never have sunk (to the level of these IDIOTIC, grandstanding, witch-huntung Congressional hearings), 2 - this avoidable accident senselessly killed more than a thousand innocent people (and the steroid witch-hunt has senselessly hurt hundreds of players involved and their families), and 3 - the iceberg is NOT Barry Bonds ... its these STUPID hearings and these STUPID witch-hunting "fans" like yourself.

posted by joshuabolinger at 05:27 AM on March 12, 2005

Actually, I'm more worried about my Social Security. Does'nt Congress have more important thing to be thinking about? I would surely hope so.

posted by volfire at 09:40 AM on March 12, 2005

I couldn't make it to the end of that overwrought piece. The Counterpunch author acts as if this is the first time Congress has called a hearing to grandstand on an issue that's getting big play in the press. It happens all the time. Comparing it to McCarthyism, and claiming that "there wasn't a political hack in the Beltway who didn't bathe in the glow of Major League Baseball's resurgence" in the '90s, is over the top. Heaven forbid that the players and owners in baseball be asked to explain themselves before Congress.

posted by rcade at 09:55 AM on March 12, 2005

Actually, I'm more worried about my Social Security. Does'nt Congress have more important thing to be thinking about? I would surely hope so. That's my problem with this. Congress having the audacity to utilize time and money delving into something baseball itself doesn't even really want to deal with. With all the problems currently going on around the country, they choose to focus on steroids in major league baseball? Incredible!! And as for Barry Bonds not being involved in the proceedings, nobody else can stand talking to or listening to Bonds, and I guess Congress is no exception.

posted by dyams at 10:35 AM on March 12, 2005

im glad that congress is checkin out for illegal drugs its their job and i think its pathetic u need to use enhance drugs to make home runs i think they should kick these guys out of the mlb they disgrace the sport even though im not a baseball fan

posted by dhdefrag3x at 01:03 PM on March 12, 2005

im glad that congress is checkin out for illegal drugs its their job Just because baseball players supposedly use steroids it requires Congress to hold sessions for these "illegal drugs"? How does that tend to impact me or 99.9999 percent of the U.S. population? If they're so concerned about illegal drugs why don't they focus on the cocaine and marijuana that can be purchased someplace on practically every block in the country? I worry more about my kids' bus driver or the pilot of the aircraft I'm about to board and whether or not they're using drugs than I do about a baseball player using steroids. Baseball won't even kick a guy out who tests positive for the substances until several violations, plus attendance is great around the league, so Congress should tend to more pressing issues.

posted by dyams at 02:16 PM on March 12, 2005

Come on people get with the program here, the reality of the situation is this, a congressman is willing to expend large parts of taxpayer money to "find out" why steroids are being abused, why they are having an effect and then he'll make a decision to either push forward with the investigation or let baseball handle it themselves. Without Baroid Bonds and Sheffield, who are under gag rulings from a federal grand jury, there is no reason to hold these hearings. For if Baroid and Sheffield say anything contrary to their grand jury testimony, they can be held on perjury charges. Then they can kiss their careers gone, which tomy thinking isn' a bad thing. Baseball can only clean its act up, with stiffer penalties, no arbitration with mediators as to the penalties and full to disclosure to the public of the abusers names. If it happens again, then total banishment from basebal, ala Pete Rose, and expungement of all records past and present of the offender. What reality do I live in, that will never happen. STLHAMMER

posted by STLHAMMER at 06:38 PM on March 12, 2005

Without Baroid Bonds and Sheffield, who are under gag rulings from a federal grand jury there is no gag order for witnesses in a grand jury investigation. they are free to talk about what they said. it's the testimony itself that is supposed to be sealed. as for why bonds wasn't subpoenaed, maybe they don't want to have to deal with another stengel-like testimony.

posted by goddam at 10:42 PM on March 12, 2005

steroids are a way to gimmick up natural talent in sports. how about silicones gimmicking the female body to pull the wool over men's eyes?

posted by honest at 11:41 PM on March 13, 2005

I simply cannot understand one thing. Everybody use steroids or other drugs, the question is not about 'using', but it is about 'detecting'. Why, can't the sportsmen try to leave without drugs? Or I don't get the idea?

posted by Rodimus at 04:35 AM on March 14, 2005

Dag, Joshua got some issues. I don't mean to say we shouldn't be keeping kids off the roids, but that this type of attention doesn't keep them off. When you come out and say that all the best Atheletes use 'roids, it convinces the HS baseball player that he needs to use them too. Like so many things, the message here isn't that you shouldn't do it, it's that you shouldn't get caught. I don't think Legislators have any business in this, although Nixon and the NFL set a precedent for it back in the early 70's. Again, I like to see two men compete, not a trial to see if the athelete on the clear out performs an athelete on the cream. So I would think Baseball would have had more interest in keeping it's integrity. Again, will we write in the record books that Balco labs held the HR record twice, with a bit of help from Bonds and McGuire?? If Bonds and McGuire didn't need them as they claim, why risk the asterix? The message?? Hey kids, steroids work! Find a good one and it'll be a decade before we catch you. Also, with all the Raiders/Panthers players getting scoped now, doesn't that mean even if MLB had a testing program as intrusive as the NFL, no players would have been caught?? So I find it hard to place all of this at the feet of MLB. Simple sportsmanship demands that you have more respect for your opponent than this... What's wrong is wrong, caught or not. steroids are a way to gimmick up natural talent in sports. how about silicones gimmicking the female body to pull the wool over men's eyes? I don't know about you, but nothing takes the shine off of getting a girl home, getting her naked, and then seeing the deformed, scarred breasts that are the inevitable result of mammary magnification. Plus it makes me wonder what she really thinks of herself that she needed this... Baseball, much like Rocco Siffredi, needs to decide if they want their customers turned off by the gross physical details of someone who is obviously unnaturally enhanced. And these players, for whatever they think of their natural talent, obviously are afraid that they can't make it without the 'Roids. Sorry, I went fishing for that analogy....

posted by LostInDaJungle at 02:30 PM on March 14, 2005

Truest thing on this page: Joshua _definitely_ got some issues.

posted by yomama at 09:08 AM on March 17, 2005

I agree (mostly) with LIDJ. What's wrong is wrong, caught or not. The only thing I'm undecided on is whether congress should be getting involved. Yes, I agree they should be worrying about more important things, but that never stopped a congressman before; anything for some flashy media headlines and the possibility of bettering chances of re-election is fair game for our public servants in DC. Take a gander at the budget if you've any doubt. On the other hand, it seems like nothing else is working. Am I mistaken in thinking that using these drugs is illegal (as in, against the law; not just in opposition to baseball's stated "policies".) If so, prosecute'em! And if not, then congress should be involved, so that they can pass a law making it illegal. That, after all, is congress' job.

posted by yomama at 09:19 AM on March 17, 2005

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