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Bryant Gumbel accuses Bagwell, Nomar and Pudge of using steroids

Jan 21, 2010, 1:24 PM EDT

Gumbel.jpgI don’t have HBO so I missed this, but apparently on Tuesday night Bryant Gumbel ended his “Real Sports” show by reading an open letter* to Mark McGwire, taking him to task over his apology.  While it was silly because it (a) was premised on the notion that anyone should care what Mark McGwire thinks steroids did for him; and (b) assumes that, while he was a private citizen in California this past decade he had any obligation to explain to anyone what he did or did not take in his career, the criticism was nothing new. 

What was new, however, were the names Gumbel named at the end of the letter:

“In closing, guys, please feel free to share this letter with Bagwell,
Nomar, Pudge
and all those others who went from hitting homers to power
outages overnight. Tell ‘em fans are ready to accept what happened.
Tell ‘em we’re ready to move on. Tell ‘em that most of us get it…even
if they, like you, still don’t.”

So there you have it. Gumbel is now the first person to publicly accuse Jeff Bagwell and Nomar Garciaparra and Pudge Rodriguez of steroid use (correction: Pudge was named by Canseco in “Juiced”).  Would it shock me if any of them have taken steroids? No. But unless Gumbel is prepared to actually explain (1) how he knows they did; and (2) why, if he does know, he’s just now coming out with their names, I do hope he’ll spare us the sanctimony over people like McGwire waiting so long to “come clean.”  In other words, put up or shut up Gumbel.

In other news, I am waiting for comments from all of the writers who took the blogger Jerod Morris to the woodshed last year for writing that it was possible, based on a statistical pattern, that
Raul Ibanez had used PEDs.  Gumbel is just accusing without any evidence, so he’s even worse, right?  And if your answer is “well, we know Bagwell, Pudge and Nomar took ‘roids, so this isn’t so bad,” why the hell haven’t you reported it yet?

*If I were made dictator of the planet, one of the first things I’d do is to make the practice of “open letters” punishable by death.  You wanna say something to someone, write them a letter. You want to tell your readers or viewers what you think of someone else, tell them what you think.  Open letters are lazy-ass gimmicks with allow the writer to smugly pretend that they’re giving someone advice when he’s really being a passive-aggressive condescending prick. They’re the literary equivalent of “hey, I’m just sayin.'”  How about this: just say it.    

102 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Alfredo - Jan 21, 2010 at 8:47 PM

    I just find it hilarious that he doesn’t even mention Bonds.

  2. Kenneth - Jan 21, 2010 at 11:00 PM

    There has never been any serious accusations on Bagwell at all. Gumbel is an idiot if he thinks Bagwells went from 50 homeruns to 10 over night. Bagwell was one of the most consistent players of his era. We do know for a fact that his decline was a bad shoulder. That was genetics because his father had the same condition. That is why his body became smaller. He could not weight train because of it. Someone show me proof on Bagwell before saying he did it. I am a big Astros fan but it would not surprise me if he did juice up but there is no proof and really no cloud over him. I am stating what we do know and steriods is not one of them.

  3. stargatebabe - Jan 22, 2010 at 7:21 AM

    WHAT journalistic standards????????????????
    The media needs to stop this and yes, that includes EVERYONE! It’s not news anymore – it’s beating a dead horse!

  4. talex - Jan 22, 2010 at 11:33 AM

    Please name one case, just one, of any baseball player, any player at all, from the 60’s, 50’s, 40’s, 30’s, and 20’s who has ever been accused of taking PED’s? Just one. Tick. Tick. Tick. I’m waiting. Because in all of baseball history no one has ever accused, mentioned, brought forward evidence, whispered it, or said it happened from any baseball player playing in thea era. It’s a weak agruement when someone says someone from the pre-steriod baseball area “might” have been on steriods–how do we know they weren’t? as evidence that Henry Aaron, Roger Maris, or Babe Ruth might have been on steriods. You really sound stupid when you make this arguement as a steriod apoligist for a known steriod user like Bonds, McGuire, Sosa, Giambi, A-Rod, Big Papi, Manny, Nomar, and other roid users like Kevin Millar, Jason Veritek, Randi Velardi, Bret Boone, Paul Byrd, Mo Vaughn, Mike Stanton, and the rest of those losers!

  5. deepthicket - Jan 22, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    Gumbel does not know anything now that all of us did not know when the whole world was wildly celebrating the McGuire-Sosa HR duels in prime time. But they were “saving baseball” so the fact they were juiced and we ALL knew it, from Bud Light Selig on down, was ignored. Anybody who said then that the whole thing was a disgrace (like the Maris family) was pilloried and ridiculed. The pundits expressing shock and outrage now were cheerleading vigorously when it mattered, so please stuff the hypocrisy and worry about your own failings.

  6. smackallica - Jan 22, 2010 at 12:10 PM

    Latex, you’re still spelling steroid wrong.

  7. Greg - Jan 22, 2010 at 1:08 PM

    Maybe it is time to start suing these reporters who make false accusations or accusations without proof. These writers seem to forget that they made alot of money off of the home run bogus era. They were just giddy about writing what Mark & Sammy were doing & it was all gravy. Now when shit it the fan & it all comes out, why is it we are only angry at the players? From the Commish down to the lowly scumbag reporters were in on it. Theyall covered it up, because rating were up on all levels. Bogus ass creeps like Bryan & Jeff get called out for being fakes. If I was one of those guys he mentioned I would be all over his sissy ass.

  8. jeff - Jan 22, 2010 at 2:22 PM

    Anybody scratch their head about Brady Anderson’s 1996 season?
    Guy averages 19 home runs per year suddenly hits 50. Quick hands that year.

  9. Ross - Jan 22, 2010 at 3:16 PM

    They haven’t been accused because there is absolutely no way to bring forth any evidence. It’s not like they have a urine/hair/blood sample from Babe Ruth from 1921 just sitting in a freezer for later testing. Therefore, since steroids existed in those “golden years” with no way to test for them in the human body, it is possible that *anyone* could have been on them without ever getting caught and without anyone ever knowing. Hence, your argument is baseless.

  10. BobbyF - Jan 22, 2010 at 4:44 PM

    Did they exist. Did anyone use them. Babe Ruth and the other players from that era didn’t have the bodys of steroid users. They looked more like beer and hotdog users. A theory has been advanced that is where the Babe got his power; from a steady stream of over the counter beer and hotdog use. This has neither been proven nor disproven. However, in the spring of 1925 the Babe collapsed, suffered a series of convulsions, and was operated on for an intestinal problem. He missed almost half of the 1925 playing season. Many other players of that era are also accused of consuming great quantities of food and alcohol in order to mimic the Babe’s success. None of them was as successful at this as the Babe.

  11. Ross - Jan 22, 2010 at 5:17 PM

    Anabolic steroids as we know them today? No. Research didn’t really start on that train until the 1930’s, but steroids in general? Yes. Other performance enhancing drugs? Yes. Did they work as well as what’s available today? No. Did they use them? We have no way of knowing, and that’s the point. People want to point back to players of previous decades and say “They did it clean!” Nobody knows that, nobody can prove it one way or another, and cheating is as ingrained into baseball as lying is to government officials. Since these methods of cheating were available, it doesn’t take a leap in logic to state that it’s *possible* that *some random player* was using during those decades. Therefore, pointing to any single player from these eras and categorically stating that “They did it clean!”…well…you don’t really know that. Nobody knows that, and nobody will ever be able to definitively know that. It’s a sad truth, but it’s one people need to come to grips with. It’s just like any other form of cheating. Some are doing it. Some aren’t. Some filed the baseball before the pitch. Some didn’t. Some who did got caught. Some didn’t. Some never will. I’d be willing to bet that some other BALCO-like company has already found some other magic elixir that will be undetectable for the next 5-10 years and a handful of players are already taking it in multiple sports. It’s a never-ending cycle of cops-and-robbers and it’s been playing for a long, long time.

  12. riscifiguy - Jan 22, 2010 at 5:29 PM

    Lets shut down the discussion and and put all these half assed writers out on the street where they belong.

  13. louk - Jan 22, 2010 at 7:36 PM

    Anyone who thinks that Sheff, Pudge and the rest of the boys didn’t indulge in steroids and/or HGH is kinda’ out to lunch…

  14. PSUGrad9095 - Jan 22, 2010 at 9:19 PM

    This is precisely why I think that the other 103 names that tested positive should be released by MLB. First, I will guarantee there are other high profile players on the list. 2nd, it gets it all out in the open, and clears those NOT on the list.

  15. Mike - Jan 23, 2010 at 1:42 PM

    Everyone seems to be focused on the message rather than the messenger. We all have our own opinions, proof or no, about the use of steroids by major league players, but how this information is disseminated and discussed is almost as important as the story itself. If the story is put out in a slipshod and/or careless fashion, as this appears to have been, then the message gets diluted and overlooked. To me, the quality of the reporting enhances the seriousness of the discussion. This is a case in point. I’m not certain whether Craig Calcaterra wrote the italicized paragraph at the end of his article, but the words “lazy-ass…passive-aggressive condescending prick,” aren’t they descriptive of Bryant Gumbel? This guy may be the biggest fraud in all of sports media. All he does is pontificate about whatever is on his alleged mind. How, or better yet, why he still has a forum is inexplicable? Are there no producers and/or editors at HBO who monitor what this guy says and does? There seems to be no supervision on the content of his shows or the drab and dreary way he presents his stories. His sense of self-impotance is overwhelming. It seems to me HBO needs to go in another direction.

  16. TheObjectiveOne - Jan 23, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    I want to accuse Gumbel of being an overrated, obnoxious, arrogant, blowhard pompous ass.

  17. Swami4225 - Jan 23, 2010 at 5:57 PM

    Really??????????? You mean Pudge lost a gazillion inches and hit many fewer homers….you had to be BLIND not to see the differences…HELLO….ANYONE HOME ??

  18. Rob - Jan 24, 2010 at 12:19 AM

    It has been suggested that it’s irresponsible for a journalist to suggest a player used steroids based strictly on circumstantial evidence, but an alternate view is that it’s irresponsible NOT to suggest it. After all, some such players undoubtedly used steroids, and if we don’t accuse them all and assume they’re all guilty, some will escape accountability. Given the witch-hunt mentality that’s popular today, they should ALL be banned from baseball and denied election to the Hall of Fame. Bravo to Gumbel for calling out Bagwell, Nomar, and Pudge. Let’s accuse Griffey, Thome, Chipper, Sheffield, Delgado, and Andruw Jones too – just for starters.

  19. bob - Jan 24, 2010 at 11:31 AM

    misguided use of ‘errors of connection’ in any rsnt is tantamount to liable with malice
    I saw maris play in person for many years. he was a great athelete
    his ability to play the outfield with grace and glide was like dimaggio he never had to dive for a ball becasue he was always there . he had a gun for an arm and nobody ran on him . he was a true 5 tool player in the like of Clemente and mays my two favorites
    he was a football great in ND and could have played pro but chose baseball..his body was really like a linebacker of today
    his swing was short and compact and he pulled the outside pitch [ask Tracy stallard] one reason for the 61 was the fact that baseball expanded that year and a lot of double and triple a pitchers were in the bigs…and there were no closers then
    maris was the home run king the year before and he was the mvp
    he broke the thumb playing in 62 and never said a word he couldn’t get his top hand over and it truly affected his swing for the rest of his career
    the writers like Dick Young [ he ran seaver out of town] were merciliess and in treating maris Much lot of the BS repoted today about Maris comes from the Gossip innuendo and outright lies on Maris by young you can look it up my initial are RM and i am proud of it.

  20. zoidberg - Jan 27, 2010 at 3:22 PM

    Gumbercules? I LOVE that guy!!!!
    Who’s Bryant Gumbel?

  21. bartdog - Feb 4, 2010 at 12:03 PM

    It’s not the roids….It’s them “Juiced” baseballs….Remember them hiding the truth from us that way?

  22. need an editor? - Feb 9, 2010 at 1:51 PM

    I’ve definitely heard Bagwell’s name dropped in other reports. I don’t want to defend Gumbel, I could care less about him, but Bagwell’s name isn’t new to the steroid convo. And “Open letters are lazy-ass gimmicks with allow the writer”, shouldn’t that be …which allow the writer…???

  23. mike - Feb 10, 2010 at 1:06 PM

    Gumbel should know about this. He is an expert. He took roid and vastly improved his broadcasting ability. He also got fat and changed his name to Gregg, but at least he is now a decent broadcaster

  24. Ronkonkoma Chet - Feb 17, 2010 at 10:29 PM

    Isn’t Bryan Gumbel supposed to be dead already?

  25. ranger-dad - Feb 20, 2010 at 12:25 PM

    Wake up, 70% of MLB was on the juice at one point or another. Put it this way, if I told you that you will make an additional $3,000,000 a year on your next deal if you hit more homers what would you do? Oh did I mention that more than half the starting pitchers were on them, so how is it cheating if they all did it? Before you answer all high and mighty, remember that if you don’t take the juice your off the roster and making $50k in the minors for a year before they release you because 10 other guys will shoot up to take your job, you have no idea unless you have been in that position.
    Have you ever said I would do anything to be that guy? Well the reason that guy was that guy is because he did it.

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