August 24, 2005

Robinson:Erase stats after failed drug tests!: Frank says you should erase all of Raffi's stats now that he faill the drug test! He thinks that this should be done to anybody that fails the tests.

posted by daddisamm to baseball at 08:39 AM - 39 comments

I agree with Frank, in theory, but in reality it would be hard to sort out who actually used and when. I know this is kind of a dead horse, but it is nice to get some new opinions on the subject......

posted by daddisamm at 08:41 AM on August 24, 2005

Erasing stats of steroid users would probably end up knocking Barry Bonds down to around 200 career homers. Maybe he'd retire, then. Maris would still have the season homer record, what with McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds all out of the books. People who paid money dealing with the home run balls of these guys would be faced with bankruptcy. It will never happen, of course. Baseball should have policed itself better a long, long time ago instead of having the attitude, "No harm, No foul."

posted by dyams at 08:51 AM on August 24, 2005

I think we need to look at this another way. Say the kid next to you got the highest grade on a test and you got a D because he set the curve so high. Then the teacher finds out that he cheated. Would it be fair to allow the student to keep his A+. I am sure that 99.9% would say NO. So then why do we think it is ok for pro athletes to cheat and then get to keep the fruits of the "CHEATING." I think that most people are so blinded by the portrayal in the media now days that they cannot even break this stuff down into what it really is just like cheating on a test.

posted by mcstan13 at 08:54 AM on August 24, 2005

I agree, mcstan, but you still have to remember somewhere in this whole debacle that baseball is a TEAM game. Go ahead and take away all Palmiero's stats. Who cares except for him. The real damage is all those stats led to the teams he played on winning many games, and possibly altering division races and outcomes. That's what really matters and you can't go back and erase those.

posted by dyams at 09:11 AM on August 24, 2005

I wish I could find the article I read yesterday talking about steroids in sports . In this piece was a quote by Jim Haslett who said in his days as a player many used steroids , it was common , and he believes that every lineman used them . This being said the writer asked , does this mean we need to smash the busts of all HOF players from that era , including all the Steelers from the 70's Super Bowl teams . You can't change history but you can fix the now and the future .

posted by evil empire at 09:30 AM on August 24, 2005

mcstan, I think the equivalent for removing all stats for those who test positive for steroid would be this: if a kid cheats on a test and gets an A+, every grade he has had since he started school becomes an F. I don't think MLB should change their rules retroactively. This is the first year that there is any penalty for performance-enhancing drugs. Penalties should apply now and in the future, not in the past.

posted by bperk at 09:42 AM on August 24, 2005

Erasing stats would necessitate going through the record books and changing the outcome of games -- if you take away one of Raffy's homers, that's one less homer his team had in that game, which changes the final score. A team can't have a run that wasn't scored by anybody (okay, that's probably not technically right, but you catch my drift). What do you do about playoff games? Say they nab all the 'roiders and start pulling stats. Eventually you end up with two teams that weren't in the World Series playing on paper for the championship. Suddenly Boston is forced to fight the Curse again. Games are played out by statisticians years removed from the action. May as well take away Maradona's "Hand of God" goal now that he's copped to the intentional hand. The game's a draw; now let's try to game out what would have happened in the next round. Let's not get into whether or not soccer is for pussies; it's just a demonstration of how useless changing historical statistics is. Robinson has a good point, albeit a total non-starter.

posted by Hugh Janus at 09:54 AM on August 24, 2005

Robinson has a good point, albeit a total non-starter. Someone send him as email: sounds like he'd make a perfect member.

posted by yerfatma at 10:40 AM on August 24, 2005

Maybe I missed something over the last ten years, but when was Mark McGwire busted for using banned substance? What he used was not banned at the time and when it became banned, he stopped using it. Sure he had to quit after that becaue he was useless, but it was not a banned substance. And by the way, I would like to see how many men in congress got tested last year for things like speed, pot, booze (DUI), child prostitution you know things that are illeagal. This is a big joke. Also, as long as there is a players union that can undermind the commish (Kenny Rogers) MLB is just a day care that pays its kids LOTS fo money.

posted by jtrainhoopster at 11:37 AM on August 24, 2005

I think robinson gets a little carried away here. Let the court of public opinion decide where palmiero stands among the all-time greats. erasing his stats is a little extreme. palmiero will suffer enough for his mistakes in the future. personally, i think palmiero has one of the best swings of all-time and took advantage of playing in bam-boxes in baltimore and texas. i think without juice he still could hit .300 in his sleep and bang out 25-30 homers a year. how many raffy highlights can you remembe where he was blasting 420 ft. homeruns. he used his smooth uppercut swing to his advantage and banged a bunch of hanging sliders out of the park that could be classified as "wall-scrapers". had he played in a pitchers park like los angeles or shea he would not be anywhere near 500 homeruns.

posted by erkno11 at 11:54 AM on August 24, 2005

Also, as long as there is a players union that can undermind the commish (Kenny Rogers) Kenny Rogers' suspension was reduced by an arbitrator. Those are usually picked from a list that is agreed upon by both sides. The Players Union did not "get him off" he had every right to appeal his suspension under the CBA and he did. If you would like to blame someone for him getting his suspension reduced, blame the commish for being a pansy when it comes to taking care of everythin else, because that is all the arbitrator would have had to look at.

posted by jojomfd1 at 12:14 PM on August 24, 2005

Think of how the idea of removing cheaters from the record could affect world history, not just sports. Stalin rigged his elections, so can we have the last 75 years of Russian history as a do-over? Not to mention a few different Presidencies, pretty much the entire history of popular music, most of Greek mythology and, to a considerable degree, pretty much every religious text in circulation. And most of those things aren't tied to statistical analysis the way baseball is, so it would be a nightmare. Frank Robinson was one of the greatest ballplayers of all time, and he's no slouch as a baseball mind. He just didn't think this one through, is all.

posted by chicobangs at 12:15 PM on August 24, 2005

I agree, maybe my analogy was a little oversimplified. And yes there are other considerations. You may be right about Palmeiro because his stats do go so far back, but I think maybe some of you are overgeneralizing the effect. You do not have to wipe every trace of Rafeal Palmeiro from baseball forever (because your right you cannot change the past) however, you can refuse to give him credit for his individual accomplishments. (No HOF, No 3000 hit club, etc.) As for Jim Haslett, if you used and did not get caught then there is no way to argue, but if you are stupid enough to get caught then we CANNOT turn a blind eye.

posted by mcstan13 at 12:16 PM on August 24, 2005

But mcstan, people are doing that now. You don't need to strike his name from the baseball almanac to diminish those numbers in people's eyes. I'm just curious: is this steroid hysteria thing more about punishing people, or about stopping steroid use in the future?

posted by chicobangs at 12:19 PM on August 24, 2005

As an upper level Hall of Famer, Robinson's opinion gets reported and rightly carries weight. But I think his point is asinine and a little bit Stalinesque.

posted by cl at 12:47 PM on August 24, 2005

Oops, didn't preview that one. What chicobangs said.

posted by cl at 12:48 PM on August 24, 2005

To say that the players union did not get off is lame. That is like saying that a killer can appeal his life sentance and get 10 years because somebody else got off. the evidence was there and the arbitrator saw it. Plain and simple, that is why there is a Father figure (commish) in baseball. The players union crys to mommy (arbitrator) too much and players get off. Do the crime, do the time. And the whole thing with being able to play while you wait for the process (which lets players into big games) is crap too. I am a life long baseball fan, love the game, but when even players on my team do that crap I can't stand it. Kenny Rogers got off light and I like the guy. He is a hell of a ball player but again back to the whole role model thing, be a man and walk away.

posted by jtrainhoopster at 01:39 PM on August 24, 2005

Criminals and the state do not have a collective bargaining agreement. So try again

posted by jojomfd1 at 02:10 PM on August 24, 2005

No, not really plain and simple. First, one's a civil matter, the other criminal and thus not an arbitration-eligible issue (unless you can point me to hard and fast sentencing guidelines on stone tablets Moses sent you, there's no set guidelines for those either). Additionally, both parties agreed to the arbitrator and to be bound by him in advanced of the incident. Doesn't really work that way in your criminal example. On preview: jojo said it better.

posted by yerfatma at 02:11 PM on August 24, 2005

For the record, it does work that way. Have you ever heard of a conviction being overturned on a technicality? Look that was just an example. Also, the players union would walk if the owners or MLB said in the next CBA that what the commish goes and you can screw the arbitrator. It is a way for the players to get what they want. I am not against unions, I am part of one, but I am against people doing somehting wrong and not taking it like a man. It is not only Kenny, but other players.

posted by jtrainhoopster at 03:41 PM on August 24, 2005

"Criminals and the state do not have a collective bargaining agreement. So try again" Yes they do it is called the automatic appeals process in many states. As well as the ability to ask for a new trail and so on. Working for the court system, I know a little somehitng about this.

posted by jtrainhoopster at 03:52 PM on August 24, 2005

In the court system != working for it. Arbitration is something both parties agree to beforehand. Discuss in regards to me committing a murder tonight and being tried for it.

posted by yerfatma at 04:00 PM on August 24, 2005

Frank Robinson was a great player, but suffers from Joe Morgan-itis. He speaks before he thinks, he overlooks his own flaws while playing up others, and has this idiotic believe that players were just "better" when he played. And like cranky old men all over the world, he's all piss and vinegar about distributing harsh vengeance thy name is the Lord style "justice" because it's no skin off their soon-to-be-6-feet-under teeth. Steroids are cheating in the sense that recently, they're being regulated and tested for in baseball now, but not in the past. And one could dismiss records for any number of reasons: players who get Lasix, players who use strength and conditioning exercises that didn't exist 20 years ago, players who established stat records without having to sully the game with all those uppity negros who wanted to play, players who never faced a fastball from a Dominican pitcher, or tried to strike out a Japanese phenom, etc, etc, etc. Oh, and Captain Hypocrite?

Robinson said that, when he played, he never saw a teammate or opponent use steroids. He said that some baseball players would take "greenies" -amphetamines that would provide a boost of energy. At the mention of greenies, Washington Nationals Manager Frank Robinson, a Hall of Fame player who is among the most astute observers of the game, tightened his lips in a half-smile and drew his thumb and forefinger together across them as if to keep his lips zipped.
Ut-oh!!! Looks like Mr. 586 homeruns is going to have to get a screwdriver and take that tarnished old plaque down off the wall of Cooperstown.

posted by hincandenza at 05:03 PM on August 24, 2005

I think they should wipe out the records of old-timers that run off at the mouth all half-cocked. To say that Rafael Palmeiro did not hit those homeruns is totally absurd, as stated above. The game and its stats are a living thing: 300 wins is a tougher milestone than it once was. With smaller ballparks, 500 homeruns is probably easier. 3000 hits is still a pretty big deal. But as these achievements get tougher or simpler accordingly, the fans and writers will adjust. Now that Barry Bonds has hit 700 homeruns, it's still a huge deal, just not as big a deal as it once was. At some point, some insane plate-discipline genius playing in a hitter's park will launch 800 dongs, and it'll blow our fucking minds if we're not too busy accusing the guy of abusing some sort of performance-enhancing substance/technique, etc. Someday, maybe 250 wins will be the benchmark for pitchers, 600 homeruns for sluggers. And steroids won't be an issue - they'll be something whose effect baseball nerds will argue about, like greenies, something from a time long past, when hitters were real men and pitchers threw devastating junk.

posted by rocketman at 06:10 PM on August 24, 2005

One day after Washington Nationals manager Frank Robinson said Rafael Palmeiro's records should be erased because of his failed drug test, Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling told WEEI radio's Dennis & Callahan show on Wednesday he agreed. When asked if he would just erase the statistics, Schilling said: "Yeah. I read something the other day about his career, his career numbers and how a lot of his career numbers coincide with certain dates and he obviously sat next to me in Washington [before Congress] and lied, so I don't know there's any way to prove that anything he did was not under the influence of performance-enhancing drugs."

posted by evil empire at 06:19 PM on August 24, 2005

Well, while we're on the subject of players whose behavior has a negative effect on the game, their records should be erased too.

posted by rocketman at 07:31 PM on August 24, 2005

I think the comment by Frank Robinson is not a good idea. 1st Performance enhancing drugs are not going to help make someone a .300 hitter. I don't care who you are...if you can't hit a 98 mph fastball, steriods aren't going to help you. If you can't hit a curve, steriods won't help. 2nd Homeruns and Steriods. Sure they might make your homeruns a little more towering but not much. Not enough to take a 20hr per year guy and make him a 50hr per year guy. Look at Barry's homers. The majority are bombs. He doesn't hit wall scrapers. So steriods aren't going to do anything to his homerun numbers the only guy steriods will help is the guy who hits a lot of long flyballs to the warning track. Steriods might let a few of those out. But not enough to allow him to take out any records. THe players who would benefit from steriods are the pitchers. The steriods will increase their stamina and cause their fastballs to have more pop. THey can be helped by them but a .300 hitter is going to become a better hitter because of them. He is going to become a better hitter because of time in the cage learning to recognize pitches( like Barry Bonds).

posted by elwin at 11:28 PM on August 24, 2005

For the record, it does work that way. Have you ever heard of a conviction being overturned on a technicality? This is something completely different than a binding arbitration process. Strike two, try yet again. Working for the court system, I know a little somehitng about this. Did you prosecute OJ????

posted by jojomfd1 at 11:53 PM on August 24, 2005


posted by david at 01:01 AM on August 25, 2005

I am a strong supporter of the MLB strike!

posted by Stealth_72 at 02:44 AM on August 25, 2005

Erasing stats to punish these cheaters is virtually impossible, for the reasons many of the posters have cited. How about the good ol' asterisk, with the footnote stating that this player was found to have used performance enhancing drugs at some point in his career?

posted by jm_mosier at 06:40 AM on August 25, 2005

The difference between a .250 batter and a .300 batter is the ability to see a pitch and react. Steriods will not help reaction speed. Steriods will not increase vision. I read somewhere once that Barry Bonds can read the lable on the ball as it is coming at him at 98 mph, and he know if it is a curve, slider, fb, changeup - whatever, before it leaves the pitchers hand. This is why he hits for such high average. Steriods, I don't care who it is, won't help a player be able to do this. I do agree with your point on the ground balls but not to the effect of 20 to 30 points added to a batting average. You actually think that Barry is a +.300 hitter because of steriods? It is because of superior vision and good reflexes. Barry( and many other +.300 hitters) are able to tell that the pitch will be a strike or ball before it leaves the pitchers hand. Steriods don't help any of this. A marginal hitter doesn't become a good hitter because of steriods. And steriods don't necessarily bulk you up. There are the anabolic steriods that turn people into monsters but then there are other Performance Enhancing Drugs on the banned list that get pitchers able to throw 120 pitches without tiring. YOu take a pitcher that can throw 120 without tiring and put him next to a normal guy, the normal guy starts getting shelled at 100 pitches.

posted by elwin at 07:02 AM on August 25, 2005

I believe that those who had taken illegal drugs, should indeed get their records removed from the books. It is only just and right to do so. Nothing else should be worried about, not game outcomes, nothing. If they cheated then they have to pay for it. If they find you took drugs in the olympics, then they take back the medal. Same should go for this. Maybe after this, players will learn a good lesson. Shame on them who break the rules!

posted by ospreybilly at 08:55 AM on August 25, 2005

Elwin, that is interesting because Barry Bonds did not start hitting high .300's until he started hitting high numbers of homeruns. Maybe the extra power from roids allows those slow ground ball outs to become hard line drives that get through the gap. HMMMMMM

posted by mcstan13 at 09:49 AM on August 25, 2005

Nothing else should be worried about, not game outcomes, nothing. Well, if player stats are more important than games, why not just have home run derbys?

posted by yerfatma at 10:20 AM on August 25, 2005

If they find you took drugs in the olympics, then they take back the medal. Same should go for this. Olympic medals are most often taken away from athletes competing in individual events. Baseball is not played in a vacuum (unless it's played in the Metrodome), so a changed stat here is a changed stat there. Where does it end? But the larger point is, why erase the records? Why not leave it up to the fans of the game, present and future, to decide how much credibility the current era's stats have? It's clear that Raffy wasn't the only one. He's part of an unfortunate era that is, from now on, part of the long and sometimes dirty history of the game.

posted by cl at 10:53 AM on August 25, 2005 nhl hockey player admits using a form of steroid to make the team .

posted by evil empire at 05:44 PM on August 25, 2005

Anyone getting caught with roids in Major League sports should automatically get the boot. What kind of role models are these guys for our kids. It's just not cool.

posted by SKETTLER at 02:46 PM on August 26, 2005

The metrodome story is really solid facts...If they were manipulating the fanss how come no Twins has hit more than 30 HRs in the past 30 years. The place is air conditoned, your are going to feel air currents. Makes for a great story.....

posted by daddisamm at 01:08 PM on September 01, 2005

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