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Hank Aaron says PED punishments need to be increased

Aug 30, 2012, 12:32 PM EDT

1961 Topps Hank Aaron

All respect to Hank Aaron, but his status as the guy who was eclipsed in the record book by a steroids-fueled dude doesn’t render this sentiment any more rational than when someone else says it:

“I think it’s got to be a little bit more severe as far as penalties are concerned,” Aaron said. “I think 50 games is not enough. I’d like to see 100 games really. I think the second time, they need to just ban the player from baseball.”

The penalty is already nearly a 1/3 dock in pay and play. No other sort of cheating is penalized with anything close to the current level of PED penalties. Indeed, the suspensions given to players and managers who have physically assaulted people on the baseball field have been far less historically.

Unless Aaron or other proponents of tougher PED penalties have information that everyone else is lacking, we do not have an epidemic on our hands that requires addressing. We have people violating a rule on occasion, just like people occasionally break the law. And when someone is found to have, say, robbed a convenience store or cheated on their taxes, we don’t immediately call for doubling (or more) the penalties in place.

Seriously: if someone can point me to something — anything — that suggests (a) that there is rampant, undeterred PED cheating going on now; and (b) that doubling the penalties would combat it, I’m totally on board. But absent that, this sort of thing is kind of pointless. It’s a solution in search of a problem.

  1. alang3131982 - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Not to mention, why is using PEDs worse than other forms of cheating such as scuffing a ball? Can anyone prove that PEDs work better than scuffing a ball? If not why do you assume PEDs help players more than that?

    It’s just comical the way people assume PEDs work without one shred of proof.

    • davidpom50 - Aug 30, 2012 at 4:33 PM

      You’re right, there’s not ONE SHRED of proof that PEDs add muscle mass! Wait, there’s plenty of proof of that? Oh… well… that muscle mass can’t influence what happens in a baseball game! It’s not like physics has conclusively stated that the force applied to a ball by a bat will be increased by the square of any increase in velocity! Wait, that’s basic elementary science? Oh… BUT!! Greater force on the ball certainly wouldn’t increase the velocity of the ball away from the bat! Wait, still elementary physics. Crap, this is harder than I thought. But what’s velocity got to do with the baseball results? Oh, it’s also been proven conclusively that velocity off the bat is directly and closely correlated to BABIP and slugging percentage? Well… but… that would mean steroids definitely give an advantage to every baseball player who can ever make contact with a pitch! That can’t be right.

      • alang3131982 - Aug 30, 2012 at 5:04 PM

        What if PEDs gave a pitcher the ability to throw the pitch harder? You’re telling me that steroids only help people hit the ball harder? They dont help fielders chase down batted balls? They dont help pitchers throw better?

        If they do help pitching and defense, how do you then know that they help with hitting more? If you dont know that they help hitters more than fielders/pitchers, then you cant say that PEDs disproportionately aid batters. No one knows exaclty how certain PEDs help players when it comes to hitting a baseball. Muscle mass is not the only factor in hitting a baseball.

        So, if you want to say that HR records are all a result of PEDs, you’ll need to prove to me that either no fielders/pitchers took them or that PEDs help hitters way more than fielders/pitchers.

        Again, if you have any proof of HOW MUCH PEDs help someone hit, please let me know. Is it good for 10 more HRs a year? If so, why didnt Melky hit more HRs? Did he take the PEDs that were for more singles?

      • davidpom50 - Aug 30, 2012 at 5:23 PM

        I said nothing at all about steroids ONLY helping hitters. It’s just an easily followed train of thought. Getting in to pitchers is murkier, but they definitely also gain an advantage in velocity from PED use. Both the PED using pitcher AND the PED using hitter have advantages over every clean player. Unless your argument is that every single player uses steroids, then it falls flat.

        Obviously, every player has their own baseline level of talent, and obviously every body reacts to drugs a little differently, so obviously I can not tell you how many HRs PEDs are good for. Please don’t ask obviously stupid questions in an attempt to confuse a very clear issue. PEDs conclusively add muscle mass at far greater levels than exercise alone. Muscle mass conclusively makes a baseball player better than that same baseball player without that muscle mass. SUre, if a guy can’t hit a curveball without the juice, he probably can’t hit a curveball with the juice, but when he hits a fastball, he will hit it harder and that will lead to a higher incidence of hits and extra bases.

        If you want to argue that you don’t CARE if players juice, that you think the health risks they take are their own, that the increased performance makes the game more enjoyable, and the rules should be changed to allow it, then make that argument. You won’t get much sympathy, but at least you’ll be making an honest argument, not just spouting bullshit.

    • American of African Descent - Aug 30, 2012 at 7:28 PM

      The bulk of this comment is right on. Why should we punish PED users more than someone who scuffs the ball or uses a corked bat?

      Of course the last sentence “[i]t’s just comical the way people assume PEDs work without one shred of proof,” is complete and other malarkey. If all PEDs did was help you recover faster, that would be enough to affect statistics. (Why? Because if you recover faster, you are more likely to perform better later in the season when everyone else is swooning.) But PEDs also do all of those wonderful things David highlighted.

      Of course, I also don’t care too much if people juice. But I also realize that it does affect performance.

    • georgebrett - Aug 31, 2012 at 1:14 PM

      LOLOLOLOLOL,

      are you kidding? Really, are you kidding?

    • drowsmist - Aug 31, 2012 at 1:18 PM

      That’s bull. Scuffing a ball in time you can see, the umbs have a feeling about the way it breaks and in time it’s caught on too. A guy on PEDs hits a HR that beats you a game, that should have been a long fly out. Hits a hard line drive, scores a run that should been a soft grounder.And he’s in the oine up day after day. He’s helped beat your team maybe 5 times, towards the end of the season you miss out by 3 games, Same with a pitcher, those fast balls just got faster.
      Now do you really think all those HRs in the 80′s and 90s that Bonds and the others hit were because of a god given talent? To you really believe all that mass that Bonds gained in one year was due to an off season in the weight room? .Do you deep down in your heart of hearts really believe that PEDS do not work? Well, id you do, then there oh about 800 guys here that have some very good land, a few bridges, some gold mines just drooling to sell you. Tell you what, lets give the Astors some PEDs and see what happens? Sounds fair to me.

  2. mybrunoblog - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    In my book Aaron can basically say whatever he wants. His remarkable HR record was stolen from him by someone with an unfair advantage. I have never seen or heard Aaron publicly say one negative thing about Bonds or show any bitterness. That is classy.
    The Hammer is all good in my book.

    • manifunk - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:42 PM

      His remarkable HR record was achieved partly with the help of amphetamines, which he acknowledged in his own book.

      This is the height of hypocrisy and jealousy, the nadir of class.

      • alang3131982 - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:53 PM

        Also, what are the chances greenies are better for performance than PEDs? Anyone know? No, right.

        And, oh by the way, people were doing steroids in the 60s, so there is clearly a chance MLB players were taking them during Aaron’s career.

      • shawndc04 - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:36 PM

        Umm, here is what Hank said about using amphetamines:

        I was so frustrated that at one point I tried using a pep pill ”a greenie” that one of my teammates gave me. When that thing took hold, I thought I was having a heart attack. It was a stupid thing to do”. 
        _____
        Try doing better research before you make a blanket assertion.

      • Alex K - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:40 PM

        shawndc04- The only thing that matters is he took them one time. That means he was open to the idea that he would take something if he thought it would help him.

      • alang3131982 - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:43 PM

        So he took amphetamines. he cheated.

      • paperlions - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:30 PM

        ….and let’s be serious here….how often did someone that said they just tried something once actually only try it the one time?

        Even the upstanding citizen Andy Petitt used the “just tried it once” thing, until evidence came to light that it was clearly more than once, and then he admitted to exactly the number of times for which there was evidence.

    • thefalcon123 - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:07 PM

      Not making any accusations about Aaron at all, but I am pointing out once again the absurdity of pointing to an increase in home runs as proof of steroid use (obviously, there is other proof with Bonds…that goes without saying)

      Barry Bonds HR/AB, age 30-34: 13.24
      Barry Bonds HR/AB, age 35-39: 8.22

      A 37.9% increase

      Hank Aaron HR/AB, age 30-34: 17.55
      Hank Aaron HR/AB, age 35-39: 11.82

      A 32.6% increase

      Perhaps Babe Ruth fans should say that his remarkable HR record was stolen by someone with an unfair advantage. In Aaron’s case, moving to one of the most homer friendly ballparks in baseball history.

      • dondada10 - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:43 PM

        Aaron stole the record from Ruth because he moved to a more favorable park? Are you familiar with where Ruth played his career?

      • thefalcon123 - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:45 PM

        So we’re in agreement:
        Roger Conner should be recognized as the one, true home run king

      • georgebrett - Aug 31, 2012 at 3:35 PM

        Almost every ballpark today is TINY compared to when Babe Ruth played and even when Aaron played

      • thefalcon123 - Aug 31, 2012 at 4:31 PM

        For the record, the point of my post is to in no way disparage anybody. Every player plays under slightly different circumstances and should be measured against his competition. That being said:

        “Almost every ballpark today is TINY compared to when Babe Ruth played and even when Aaron played”

        This is extremely, extraordinarily not true.

        Until 1923, Babe Ruth played in the Polo Grounds, where is was *258 feet* down the left field line. Yankee’s stadium famous short porch in left, less than 300 feet in Ruth’s time, was built in large part to aid the Babe’s home runs.

        While it’s true Atlanta Fulton County Stadium was pretty normal dimension wise, there was a reason so many home runs were hit there (including three Braves smacking 40 homers in 1973 alone).

        “With an altitude of more than 1,000 feet above sea level, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium was (until the Colorado Rockies entered the major leagues) the highest park in the majors, which results in many homers and the nickname “the Launching Pad.”

        Here are the Braves Home/Road HR splits from 1970-1973
        1970: Home 92, Road 68
        1971: Home 96, Road 57
        1972: Home 86, Road 58
        1973: Home 118, Road 88

        Other examples include the notoriously tiny Baker Bowl and and the 290 foot wall in League Park. Ebbets was 301 down the right field line and tiny in the alley…but God help you if you were a right handed pull hitter with the 384 down the left field line. The Dodgers spent 3 years at Memorial Coliseum where it was 251 down the left field line and 320 in the alley.

        Older stadiums were typically much deeper in center field, but usually much shorter down one of both lines than they are today.

  3. vallewho - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    I’m curious if Hank has said about taking “greenies”…Not sure if he has said anything on the record regarding that. It’s my understanding that they were popular in baseball during his time.

    • georgebrett - Aug 31, 2012 at 3:37 PM

      You can buy a GREENIE in a supermarket. And today a Red Bull is no different. Yes, there are illegal greenies, but a diet pill or even Sudafed will give you the same effect.

      • vallewho - Aug 31, 2012 at 6:42 PM

        And in 30 years they will be selling testosterone treatments and HGH at Walgreens, CVS and such…

  4. schlom - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    Brian Cashman would have thought that Aaron was on steroids, his career year with the bat was at age 37! http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/a/aaronha01.shtml

    So why should we listen to him?

    • ugglasforearms - Aug 30, 2012 at 7:28 PM

      Looking at those stats I was rather impressed to see that Hank never struck out 100 times in a season.

  5. vanmorrissey - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    I would be more suspect if the tests never found a failure. Now that they found them there’s an outcry? But isn’t that the point of testing, to find out who’s doing what, penalize them according to the CBA agreed upon between the union and management, and move on? It’s not like there’s 2-3 players on a team which would be about 10-15 %, it’s more like less than 1 %. How many dudes were greening up in Hank’s day?

    • georgebrett - Aug 31, 2012 at 3:39 PM

      You can’t test for something that you don’t know exists. The curve will always be in favor of the player and today probably 50% of the players are ahead of the curve.

  6. delawarephilliesfan - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    Hank Aaron has spoke out against PED’s? Quick, someone sick Craig on him.

    Oh wait……

  7. ningenito78 - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    It’s just comical the way people assume PEDs work without one shred of proof.

    If you really are that blind I feel sorry for you. Sure, increasing the penalty probably won’t solve anything but the idea that you actually need more proof that PEDs actually help performance then you are a whole new level of dumb.

    • savocabol1 - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:18 PM

      Then why not let them all take whatever drug they want then?

    • alang3131982 - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:32 PM

      So what exactly do PEDs do for a player? And how do you know they help players pitch a baseball or hit a baseball or run or field. What if both pitchers and hitters are taking PEDs equally and they help pitchers more, what does that mean for hitting statistics? Do you know that PEDs help hitters more than pitchers?

      If not, how do you know that the rampant PED use drives offensive numbers?

      You dont…..And, if PEDs are a magical substance that improve performance, how come a ton of players that take them arent any good. For every Barry Bonds, I’ll throw out David Sequi, Freddy Galvis, G. Mota, etc. etc.

      So, by themselves, PEDs are by no means a magical elixir that turn players into HR champs. Again, I’ll ask how you know for certain that PEDs help people hit home runs in record numbers.

      • davidpom50 - Aug 30, 2012 at 4:40 PM

        Dear genius: David Segui played 15 seasons in the major leagues. That makes him a VERY VERY VERY good baseball player. If I took steroids, I would not be a major league quality baseball player. But I might have been able to hit the ball hard enough to make my high school team. And if the star player on my high school’s team took steroids, he wouldn’t have been a major league quality player. But he might have been able to hit the ball hard enough to get drafted. And guys who flame out at Low-A level ball might make it to AA, etc, etc, etc. Follow that logic all the way up to Barry Bonds, who was already one of the very best players ever. Might’ve been top 20 all time by the time he was in his mid-30s. Taking steroids made him the perfect baseball hitting machine, better than anybody ever.

      • alang3131982 - Aug 30, 2012 at 5:11 PM

        Right and you seem to be assuming that only hitters took steroids. There is no way of knowing how steroids help some players and dont help others.

        In addition, if pitchers took steroids and were helped how would that affect batting numbers? Do you know? If not, how are PEDs the sole reason guys started hitting more HRs?

        Did taking PEDs make Roger Clemens the perfect pitching machine?

        Dear Genius, you have no way of knowing how many HRs or what performance PEDs account for, no one does…

      • davidpom50 - Aug 30, 2012 at 5:25 PM

        See my response above. None of your arguments have anything to do with whether or not PEDs increase baseball ability. You’re either incredibly stupid or being intentionally obtuse to confuse the issue.

    • Alex K - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:36 PM

      There are more players that have failed drug test or been proven as users that were mediocre than players that were really good/great. So to question if they actually do anything isn’t even close to a new level of dumb, it’s thoughtful. Find a credible study that proves that PED’s make someone a better baseball player and I will change my mind. Good luck hunting.

      • thereisaparty - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:56 PM

        How do you know the talent level of these players before the usage of PEDs? Mentioning below average players who have cheated does not help your argument. We have no baseline. Maybe those drugs did help him improve his true talent level, allowing for a couple of poor MLB seasons instead of poor AA/AAA seasons.

        Also, if we are questioning whether or not these drugs work, should we stop referring to them as “performance-enhancing”?

      • Alex K - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:11 PM

        And you made my point. We don’t know how the drugs affect a player’s baseball talent. So we shouldn’t just assume they make people better at baseball..

        And using the term PED is short-hand way to acknowledge a vast variety of drugs that everyone understands. That is the reason I used it.

      • bravesfaninbama - Aug 30, 2012 at 4:34 PM

        PEDs don’t “affect a player’s talent”. They affect their STRENGTH! If a hitter is stronger, that fly ball just shy of the warning track can turn into a HR. That sharp grounder to the third baseman’s left has a little more zip on it, allowing it to sneak through the 5.5 hole.

        Using Freddy Galvis or Marlon Byrd as an example of why PEDs don’t make a player better is ridiculous. Is every hitter on PEDs supposed to turn into Barry Bonds? Of course not. The already great hitter on PEDS can turn into something special, though. They’re called Performance ENHANCING Drugs, not Performance Creating Drugs.

        One needs only look at the list of most home runs in a single season to realize PEDs help home run hitters turn into all-time great HR hitters. The Top 6 go like this: Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, McGwire, Sosa, Sosa – and those 6 all happened in a 4 year period!

      • georgebrett - Aug 31, 2012 at 3:44 PM

        Bigger, faster, stronger.

  8. icanspeel - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    Ok a few players got caught out of how many? Very low % indicating there is an issue. If they think more may be using then they may need to improve the testing methods since the idea of being caught might scare someone more than the amount of games being suspended.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:18 PM

      Very low % indicating there is an issue

      Why? Why do you think there are more taking PEDs than are being caught? Is it a ‘feeling’ or a ‘hunch’ because there’s zero evidence other than anecdotal statements, or self serving statements like Conte’s/WADA’s, to indicate lots of players are using.

      • icanspeel - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:43 PM

        I never said I thought more are taking PED’s than being caught. I said ” If they think more may be using”

        The main question is, why do they want stricter punishment? It’s to prevent more from using right? So instead of stronger punishment another option is to increase the chances of being caught. That’s all I was saying

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 30, 2012 at 4:10 PM

        Are you serious? You said:

        Ok a few players got caught out of how many?

        What does your “out of how many” refer to, how many players there are total? The next statement says that it’s a low % indicating there is an issue. What does that mean?

  9. sincitybonobo - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    As of now, players are tested once in Spring Training (IQ Test) and once during the season- absent any extraordinary circumstances. If the test comes early in the year, a player knows he is in the clear for the rest of the year.

    Victor Conte claims there is a huge loophole in the testing agreement for the use of synthetic testosterone. Taken in precise doses, it can enhance performance without sending the epitestosterone / testosterone ratio into the zone of suspicion. Conte’s checkered past does not prevent him from being an authority on circumventing tests.

    The point is that if this loophole is as big as Conte says it is, the number of PED suspensions may be a far lesser number than the number of users.

    As long as a players’ e/t ratio is within a certain range, the testing makes no determination as to whether testosterone is synthetic or organic. As Conte has noted in radio interviews, a player could take a precise dose within hours of leaving the ballpark and upon returning, be at the upper level of said ratio without testing positive.

    A test that determines the presence of synthetic testosterone, irrespective of e/t ratio would close this loophole.

    • vivabear - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:52 PM

      Yep, a 4:1 ratio passes the test right now. Even though most healthy adult males have a 1:1 T/E raito.

      • sincitybonobo - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:06 PM

        Exactly. Say a player has a normal ratio of 1.25/1 and he can take a precise amount of synthetic testosterone that elevates his ratio to 3.25/1. Why exactly would he not do it? As long as this ratio is maintained, the nature of the testosterone would never be tested. Close the loophole. Cabrera and Colon didn’t get popped for anabolic steroids. It was synthetic testosterone.

    • georgebrett - Aug 31, 2012 at 3:52 PM

      Test once a week during spring, once a week during the regular season and monthly out of season and test everyone. Test during different days so the players have no idea when the testing will take place. Each time they test, keep 50% of the urine for a later test when more drugs have been known about. If a player gets caught, automatic 1 year suspension without pay and the team forfeits every game that player played in since the last clean test. Make the players accountable to their team and you’ll nip this in the butt fast. It will also get the owners more involved because of the loss of wins the player was a part of. In other words, said player will probably never get to put his spikes on again.

  10. savocabol1 - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    Why would you want someone to have the ability to fail a test? If they fail a test they are cheating. If they are cheating then they should be kicked out of the sport.

    I would love to hear all the pro-banning Pete Rose people on this. Because if you bet once on baseball you are out forever. There is no wiggle room like steroids.

    Which is worse?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:23 PM

      Which is worse?

      Betting on baseball, by far. One (betting) calls into question the very integrity* of the game, whereas the other is used to make someone a better player. The very ideal of professional sports, and yes it’s a bit naive, is that each person is competing under the same set of rules to achieve the same goal (win). If you throw betting into it, one person/team isn’t playing for the same goal, and no matter how many times Rose says it, there’s no way we can believe he never bet against his team.

      Taking PEDs is akin to scuffing the ball/corking your bat/stealing signs. It’s to give you an advantage over the other player/team. Those in the sports world believe it’s far worse, so they increased the penalties for being caught.

      *Please don’t confuse this with saying a clean game. I believe the game has never been clean, and never will be so don’t bring up segregation/greenies/etc in a rebuttal.

      • The Dangerous Mabry - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:46 PM

        It really doesn’t matter if he specifically bet against his team or not. If a guy bets on his team to win today, but not tomorrow, can we really believe that he has the best interest of his team in mind, or just that he wants to win today? What if he bet on the team tomorrow, but not today? Is he going to use his ace reliever to win today, or save him for tomorrow?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:07 PM

        Oh definitely, but some people don’t seem to understand how bad betting actually is. You can see it in their response that “he only bet on his team, to win” as if it’s almost altruistic that he did so.

      • American of African Descent - Aug 30, 2012 at 7:45 PM

        We actually don’t know whether Pete Rose bet for or against his team. He says now that he bet on the Reds, but only to win. But for years and years prior, he was emphatic that he never bet on baseball.

        What will Mr. Rose say ten years from now?

      • georgebrett - Aug 31, 2012 at 3:54 PM

        Betting for his team is no different than against.

    • Alex K - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:31 PM

      Betting on baseball.

  11. frank35sox - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    Let’s not be obtuse. No other form of cheating has a penalty even close? What do you say to our dear friends Shoeless Joe and Pete Rose? I bet they disagree.

    Furthermore, the benefit of their cheating was to lose games, not win them. And still there is nothing concrete that proves they ever tried to lose games either. Pete admitted to betting on his team to win, and Joe hit .375 with the series only home run (thanks Ray Kinsella).

    • georgebrett - Aug 31, 2012 at 3:55 PM

      What’s the difference between betting on your team to win or lose?

  12. randygnyc - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    I agree with Aaron, mostly. 162 games for the first offense. Lifetime ban for the 2nd. That includes any players currently cheating for the team I root for.

  13. GoneYickitty - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    Craig, I’m just not sure that I understand why you’re so hung up this issue. Surely you can’t think that the punishment is objectively 100% perfect right now. It reminds me of how the Republicans insist taxes can’t be raised on anyone as if somehow we’re just magically at the most perfect tax level imaginable. I understand your hesitation about the knee-jerk reaction, but you’re knee-jerking just as badly the other way.

    The question shouldn’t be what other sports do (MLB and the players union only have say over their own sport) but rather whether or not the current system is adequately accomplishing its goal. Why in the world would you want Manny Ramirez to come back after getting *caught* cheating not once, but twice? How is that just such a perfect situation to you that you so readily assail any thoughts that the system may still not be as much of a preventative measure as it was intended to be?

    I like pretty much everything else you write, but whenever you write about this issue it comes across like some weird religious faith.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:08 PM

      Surely you can’t think that the punishment is objectively 100% perfect right now.

      Why not? It’s a far longer punishment than other transgressions. And unfortunately we don’t know how well of a deterrent it actually is because we can’t prove a negative (how many people aren’t using due to the penalties). Is there any proof that 50% of the players are using but MLB is only catching 1%?

    • stlouis1baseball - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:24 PM

      “Republicans insist taxes can’t be raised on anyone as if somehow we’re just magically at the most perfect tax level imaginable.”
      We are not at the perfect level by any means. They are already too damn high as it is.
      It is incredibly hard for me to understand how people seemingly refuse to educate themselves.
      I am NOT referring to you specifically GoneYickitty. Please know that.
      I mean…in general…people just appear to want to bury their heads in the sand.
      We currently have the highest (yep…#1) Corporate tax rate in the world. NUMBER ONE!
      And I am not going to even start on personal income tax. I am having a good day and I don’t want that to end. But I will state the current policies (as they are in place right now)…make it very difficult for small Business owners.

      • dprat - Aug 31, 2012 at 12:38 PM

        Well, this is something of a half truth. Yes, corporate rates are higher in the U.S. than almost anywhere. But many, many, many businesses somehow don’t actually pay that rate. When you look at what actually gets paid, our corporate tax rate is merely average.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/03/business/economy/03rates.html?_r=1

        So, tell you what… I’ll support a lower corporate rate if you’ll support eliminating tax loopholes and government subsidies to businesses. Deal?

  14. realgone2 - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    I’m pretty sure Hank’s thoughts on the matter trump what some douche bag blogger at NBC Sports has to say.

    • realgone2 - Aug 30, 2012 at 5:21 PM

      Did I mention I cannot stand Craig.

      • davidpom50 - Aug 30, 2012 at 5:26 PM

        And yet… here you are.

  15. stercuilus65 - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Gotta love Craig and his merry band of steroid apologists. Rock on fellas!

  16. sj39 - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    I hate cheaters. I can’t believe how many other don’t.

  17. muckey - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    PEDs aren’t spinach. You just can’t take them and they make you strong to the finish. You have to work out to maximize results. You show me one single player that took some sort of PED without working out and it made him a better player, then I’ll jump on the “PEDs are bad” bandwagon. But I’m of the belief that improving your body and health isn’t a bad thing. Steroids or no steroids, Bonds was the greatest hitter I’ve ever seen.

    • 66orioles - Aug 31, 2012 at 4:46 PM

      You are either very young or must have been out of town when either Ted Williams, Rod Carew, Mickey Mantle or Frank Robinson batted.

  18. historiophiliac - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    “A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.” Oscar Wilde

  19. davidpom50 - Aug 30, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    “No other sort of cheating is penalized with anything close to the current level of PED penalties”

    Perhaps that’s because other forms of cheating don’t have an ongoing benefit after the cheating has stopped like PED use? If a guy scuffs a ball and is suspended, he doesn’t get the scuffed ball back upon his return. If a guy juices, the increased muscle mass doesn’t magically fall off over the course of a 10 game suspension. That said, 50 games seems like plenty to me.

    • notsofast10 - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:42 PM

      Ask Lance Armstrong if his lifetime ban in cycling is more severe than 50 games.

  20. uuddlrlrbastart - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    Remember when testing first started and a first failed test resulted in a warning and it took 5 or 6 positive tests for a lifetime suspension, so everyone complained that the penalties weren’t stiff enough. So now we have 50/100/lifetime and at the time everyone seemed cool with that. But who wants to bet that if we went to 100/lifetime like Aaron suggests, that as soon as a couple of players test positive, he’ll be out there saying a first time test should be a lifetime suspension?

    In the end, it seems like there will always be people complaining until people stop testing positive. Which will probably happen never.

  21. friarjack61 - Aug 31, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Hank Aaron is correct. One chance; the second, out of baseball !

  22. 66orioles - Aug 31, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    Hank’s punishment should go one better. Not only should the player be out of baseball but also his name and stats.

    Anyone given the lifetime ban shall have his name removed from any official list or publications thus one who comes up for a cup of coffee will be able to show his grandson he really did make The Show while the cheaters will not have a thing or record with their name on it.

  23. materialman80 - Sep 5, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    You do PED’s you should be banned from baseball for life. No second, third or anymore chances. Your records should be removed as well.

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