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Mike Schmidt is not yet convinced that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens took steroids

Feb 21, 2013, 11:30 AM EDT


Mike Schmidt says an awful lot I agree with in this interview with Jim Salisbury of  He doesn’t like it when people are accused of using PEDs without evidence and he hates the guilt-by-association that is so common when the topic comes up. What’s more, he has no problem with Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens being in the Hall of Fame.

Yep, we’re really on the same page here. But I don’t think even I’d go this far:

“I would not have a problem with Bonds or Clemens,” Schmidt said at Phillies camp. “Here we are convicting them of PED use and we don’t know anything more than we read.”

Schmidt said he’d need to see “a legitimate failed test” to bar a player from election to the Hall of Fame.

“I don’t think anyone that failed a legitimate test should be in,” Schmidt said. “But I’d need to see a legitimate test to know if what we’re talking about was actual fact.”

I’ve read Game of Shadows. I think it’s safe to say that Barry Bonds took steroids, and I think we can say so without a test result.  Clemens may be a bit more dicey, but I don’t think I’d choose to die on Roger Clemens Didn’t Take Steroids Hill in these PED battles we tend to have.

But really, I’d rather err on the side Schmidt is erring on than to fall in with the “eyeball test” crowd.

  1. Stacey - Feb 21, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    I like Schmidt’s attitude better than someone like Goose Gossage.

    • brianabbe - Feb 21, 2013 at 6:02 PM

      Even though Gossage has the audacity to criticize PEDs yet admit he’d take them had he played today. Hmmmmm.

    • fanofevilempire - Feb 22, 2013 at 7:09 AM

      how about the Mitchell report, the one where no Saux player was mentioned.

  2. chadjones27 - Feb 21, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    And you can trust him, he has a mustache… oh wait…

    • Francisco (FC) - Feb 21, 2013 at 12:02 PM

      Noooooooo! The ‘stache! why has thou forsaken us?!?!

  3. officialgame - Feb 21, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    Sometimes a body of evidence leads to a logical conclusion.

    • badintent - Feb 22, 2013 at 5:30 PM

      MIke got beaned several times. Now the effects show up.Post child for MLBPA lawsuit against MLB for concussions…………………They saw the NFLPA ‘s lawsuit for the same thing.

  4. Innocent Bystander - Feb 21, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    Did he give any guidance on known amphetamine users?

  5. raylangivens2 - Feb 21, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    Now I know how Casey Anthony got acquitted, some people need a video tape of the crimes before they see guilt.

  6. DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 21, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    “I’ve read Game of Shadows. I think it’s safe to say that Barry Bonds took steroids”

    So…..having read the Ryan Braun appeal, do you feel “it’s safe” to say he took steoids? Just curious what exactly you do believe.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Feb 21, 2013 at 12:39 PM

      I have not “read the Ryan Braun appeal” nor have you or anyone else.

      Nor have I ever said that I believe that Braun didn’t take anything. What I have said repeatedly is that there is a drug testing protocol in place and when it is not followed, the results of said tests must be discarded and punishment must not be imposed. Because procedure matters.

      There is this idea out there that I deny that players use PEDs. What I actually do is form my opinion about such things based on the evidence at hand rather than to assume I know facts which are unknowable.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 21, 2013 at 12:50 PM

        Ahhhh….trying to get me on “read the Ryan Braun appeal”. Okay, since we are owning our words here, lets try this:

        “Think Braun is still dirty? Fine, but then at least admit you don’t care about drug testing”

        I speak for many when I say I think Ryan Braun failed his drug test due to PED’s being in his system, and I care about drug testing. And I find it ironic you use the eyeball test (Bonds/Game of Shadows) on some occasions, and yet paint a broad slander on others who do the same (Braun)

      • Craig Calcaterra - Feb 21, 2013 at 1:00 PM

        The appeals process is part of the Joint Drug Agreement. In forming your views on Braun you are saying that the appeals process is meaningless. That’s totally your prerogative, but it necessarily means that you place your own beliefs about the matter above the drug testing program. For my part, I do not know what Braun did or did not put in his system. If you believe you have superior information, good for you.

        And if you think whatever it is you think you know about Braun is equivalent to the evidence against Bonds as laid out in a meticulously researched book like Game of Shadows, you’re crazy.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 21, 2013 at 1:15 PM

        Let’s give some widely known facts, facts that Brauns team does not dispute:

        When the sample was tested, it showed Braun had a greater than 20-to-1 ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone, two hormones that should appear in roughly equal amounts. Anything above 4-to-1 is considered a positive result. His sample was then put through a second test, an Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry test, which determines whether the testosterone in someone’s urine was made by his body or an outside, or “exogenous,” source. It determined that Braun had exogenous testosterone.

        That is the “superior information” I claim to have. Brauns own team does not dispute that. Are you contending it is wrong? ?

        Brauns sample either was tampered with, it degenerated, or he failed becasue he had PED’s in his system.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 21, 2013 at 1:20 PM

        P.S. you have a flaw in your logic.

        “The appeals process is part of the Joint Drug Agreement. In forming your views on Braun you are saying that the appeals process is meaningless.”

        Yes, the appeals process if part of the JDA, and the appeals process is why he did not get suspended. I never said he should be suspended despite the appeal. I said I believe he took PED’s. Accoring to you, that belief means I do not care about testing (read your quote, you said “testing”, not appeals)

      • Craig Calcaterra - Feb 21, 2013 at 1:29 PM

        I am contending that I don’t know. I am contending that, for whatever reason, the arbitrator believed that the procedural errors were significant enough that even that evidence, which I will grant you looks bad for Braun in and of itself had to be set aside.

        I will also say that the integrity of the process is far more important than any one test. Indeed, I find the subject of whether Ryan Braun did or did not take testosterone to be pretty uninteresting, and I don’t think you’ll find many if any examples of me claiming that Braun was actually innocent or claiming that his actual guilt and innocence matter all that damn much.

        Now, shall I pull out my copy of Game of Shadows and ask you to explain why you don’t believe Barry Bonds doped? Or do you actually believe he did and are just playing games here because you’re still mad about Braun walking?

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 21, 2013 at 1:38 PM

        The only thing I said about Bonds was i find it ironic you use an eyeball test on him – now if you want try to paint that as me proclaiming he is innocent, go ahead. I did not, ,nor do I believe he is.

        As for being angry that Braun walked – such things happen all the time, and life moves on. But in much that same way I would have an issue with Johnny Cochran sayign I don’t care about the law because I think O.J. did it, I do take issue with people saying I don’t care about testing because I think Braun “did it”. You want to sit on the fence and say you don’t know, then sit on the fence. But don’t tell me that those of us who have an opinion “don’t care about testing”

      • albertmn - Feb 21, 2013 at 1:40 PM

        It is entirely possible to believe that Braun used PEDs –AND– to also think he should indeed have avoided the suspension of the testing procedures were not followed. If the procedure weren’t followed, he shouldn’t be suspended. But, his sample (which from what I have read, showed no signs of tampering) also failed the test. That allows some of us to believe the results were true and he used. It doesn’t change anything, but we are allowed to believe it.

        On a related note, these cases should be finalized, including appeals, before releasing any suspensions or other discipline. We should never have heard about Braun’s case.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Feb 21, 2013 at 1:43 PM

        If you want to call “Game of Shadows” an “eyeball test” feel free. It’s ridiculous to do so, but feel free.

        If you care about testing you should care about the entire process, including the procedures and the appeals.

      • Kevin S. - Feb 21, 2013 at 1:51 PM

        If I’m not mistaken, the reason the procedural errors resulted in an overturned suspension was because those errors could have lead to a false positive without any tampering actually having occurred. Basically, if you buy a gallon of milk at let it sit on your desk with the seal intact for two days, it’s still bad even if it wasn’t tampered with. I’m fairly certain that Braun won because he demonstrated the same sort of thing could have happened to his sample.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 21, 2013 at 1:55 PM

        Which is why I have never said “He should have served the suspension anyway” – the process determined no suspension, and I respect that.

      • davidpom50 - Feb 21, 2013 at 2:10 PM

        Craig, I don’t think Delaware is trying to make the point that Bonds didn’t use, I think he’s just trying to get a handle on how you form your opinions on such things. Similar to Braun, Bonds failed a drug test (in 2003) but avoided punishment because of the specificities of the CBA. Although the cases are not identical, if we’re applying a standard of “not punished, therefore didn’t use” (or “can’t possibly know if he used”) to Braun, why not apply the same standard to Bonds? Testing experts testified that the handling the courier used couldn’t have caused a false positive. There was synthetic testosterone in Braun’s urine. However, the procedure was not followed correctly, and the arbitrator decided that was enough to invalidate the test for purposes of punishment.

        When you were practicing law, didn’t you ever lose a case where you were really sure your arguments were sound, where you had right on your side, but a judge saw things differently due to a technicality that didn’t change the basic facts of the case? Doesn’t mean you “don’t care about” the legal system, just means you lost one.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Feb 21, 2013 at 2:15 PM

        “if we’re applying a standard of “not punished, therefore didn’t use””

        I’ve never applied that standard. At most, re: Braun, I’ve said “not punished, therefore calling him a drug cheat and advocating for his MVP award to be vacated and holding this matter against him for the rest of his career and on in to his retirement is silly and irresponsible hyperbole, as is saying that because he beat the rap that the entire system is broken.”

        But if you’ve seen me anywhere saying that Braun’s successful appeal means he didn’t use, please let me know and I’ll retract the statement.

        And really people, if you’ve read Game of Shadows and still think that there is as much doubt about Bonds as there is about Braun, you probably need to read it again.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 21, 2013 at 2:23 PM

        Fine, I will read Game of Shadows, and I will hereby redact that you are basing your opinion of Bonds on an Eyeball test.

        But again, you simply can not say that those of us who have an opinion about Braun “don’t care about testing”. There really is no getting around it – Braun’s sample was tampered with, it degenerated, or he used PED’s. You say you don’t know. Soem of us have an opionn, and it does not mean “we don’t care about testing”. It means we think the guy got away with one.

      • davidpom50 - Feb 21, 2013 at 2:29 PM

        I think most people arguing against you are simply disagreeing with your statement, “Think Braun is still dirty? Fine, but then at least admit you don’t care about drug testing.”

        That’s a thing you said that is insulting and belittling. Just like with almost any legal case, disagreeing with one ruling is not equal to disagreeing with the entire process. There is plenty of evidence for reasonable people to come to the conclusion that it is highly likely that Braun used steroids.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Feb 21, 2013 at 2:33 PM

        That was a headline from a post. If you want to say it’s a bad headline, fine, I wrote it and maybe it is. But go read the whole post and disagree with my entire argument, not just the headline:

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 21, 2013 at 2:44 PM

        “But go read the whole post”

        You walked right into that into that one. What – you think I went back and found the post, and wasn’t waiting for you to say that?

        But hey, if you still want to crap on Braun — if you still want to say “but his testosterone levels were high, so he’s suspect” or “MLB has egg on its face because the testing failed” — fine. Do so. It’s a free country. But if you do so, admit that you do it because you simply don’t like the results here. And spare me any whining about the past, and about how Major League Baseball was so lax in testing for so many years before now. Because as is evidenced by your Ryan Braun reactions, you wouldn’t have cared regardless.

        You start with and end with all these things that you just know – you just know it by golly – that we doubters think!

        And please, don’t claim “Why, hells bells Martha! I never once thought about what the headline would imply”. You do a damn good job with your headlines, it’s why a lot of us read your posts, including me. They are not accidents

      • Craig Calcaterra - Feb 21, 2013 at 2:49 PM

        I assumed you did read the whole post. That link was for Davidpom50, who referred to it as my “statement” and possibly did not know that it was part of something larger.

        But for what it’s worth, I don’t back away from anything I say there. If you believe in the testing program, you have to take it all as a piece, not pick and choose the parts you like. You base your belief on the parts of the process you are aware of, as reported by Quinn and Fish. You have not seen the arbitrator’s decision (nor has anyone else) and therefore do not know what, exactly, he based it on. You are necessarily dismissing part of the process. A part that is just as important as the peeing in cups part.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 21, 2013 at 2:55 PM

        Then following your logic, you were not behind the plate, and did not see what Eric Gregg saw in 1997. You saw a 2 dimensional recreation of it.

        On behalf of the late Mr. Gregg, your apology is accepted

      • davidpom50 - Feb 21, 2013 at 3:00 PM

        Craig, I too read the whole article, and I think you wrote a damn fine headline. It sums up the article perfectly. And I still disagree strongly with the article. Just because we think that Braun got away with a positive test does NOT mean we don’t care about testing.

        I think we have a difference of opinion about the purpose of testing. I believe guilt or innocence matters. You stated that you do not care about such things. I think it’s worth looking at times a guy got away with a positive test, figuring out how he got away with it, and closing loopholes (as happened in this case, when the protocol was re-written to clarify handling procedures and eliminate situations where it’s not possible to follow protocol)

      • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 21, 2013 at 3:16 PM

        In my mind it all came down to one word…a word that in my experience having a lawyer in the family(my late brother) I know is despised in the legal community…a word that you do not want to hear as a lawyer on the winning side…the word…


        Craig didn’t want any parts of the word(lawyer). However, those of us who are on the side that Braun juiced, but aren’t against the decision of the arbitrator at all, think he got off on it(non-lawyers).

        TECHNICALITY…it’s as dirty as any 4-letter word to a lawyer…unless it’s on the side of his/her client. Then…well…as my brother used to say…”Never a doubt baby!!!!”

      • antifreeze27 - Feb 21, 2013 at 4:40 PM

        I must say that even though you guys obviously have strong opinions on the subject, this might be the most civil and rational discussion I’ve ever heard or witnessed re: steroids in baseball.

        You would be amazed how the whole “I will provide evidence to defend my position and I expect you to do the same” can make one seem like a jerk to the average Colin Cowherd-listening and SportsCenter-viewing sports fan (Like most of my co-workers). I don’t get this high level of dialogue many other places.

        /in the “Braun probably cheated but I have no problem with the suspension being overturned because the process must be respected and followed” camp.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 21, 2013 at 4:58 PM

        @anitifreeze – yes, this has to be an HBT record no one calling anyone else a poopy-head

        I enjoy the prose here, I often learn somethign new or breaking, and is good to get the insight of others.

  7. hughhansen - Feb 21, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    His statements make it seem like he thinks anyone that did PEDs should not be in the Hall of Fame.

    That’s still a fairly radical stance. That keeps A-Rod out (I assume admitting it is as acceptable as a failed test).

    Also, by “PEDs” I’m sure he’s not including amphetamines, otherwise he’d have to exclude himself as well.

  8. heyblueyoustink - Feb 21, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    I think Schmiddy has been hanging out with Dutch too much.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 21, 2013 at 3:17 PM

      “Right on, Mike!!” Oh wait…that’s the wrong Mike I think LOL

  9. jcarne9014 - Feb 21, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    I am so tired of this whole steroids issue. Let them all in. There are likely guys already in who used. Who the hell cares at this point? Remember when the Sports page was about sports and not a crime blotter?

    • ptfu - Feb 21, 2013 at 7:47 PM

      “Remember when the Sports page was about sports and not a crime blotter?”

      The sports page has been a part-time crime blotter since at least 1909. Better get used to it.

  10. 2difshoe - Feb 21, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    Condoning criminal behavior…used to respect Schmidt, until this
    Why tarnish your reputation for those who cheat…not wise Mike Schmidt.

  11. anythingbutyanks - Feb 21, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    Is the HOF first and foremost a museum that tells the story of baseball through the narratives of the game’s greats, or is it a final material reward for greatness and an exclusive social club with numerous perks for membership? I have found it to be the case that what one believes the Hall to be or thinks it ought to be determines where one stands on the steroids issue.

    For myself, I mostly believe that the Hall is a museum that tells a story, albeit a story with amazing highs and agonizing lows. You simply cannot talk about baseball in the 90s for very long without talking about Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, Griffey Jr, A-rod and quite a few others. They WERE baseball in the 90’s, and so were steroids. So put them in the Hall and talk about their greatness and also about how the integrity of the game was severely challenged by PEDs. After all, if you don’t put these guys in the Hall, who from the 90s and 2000s is worthy?

    The Hall is a shrine, but it is NOT sacred.

    • Reflex - Feb 21, 2013 at 8:19 PM

      This here is the most convincing case I’ve yet heard for enshrining known cheaters. And it is historically consistent given the cheating that went on, often known like in the case of spitballers, and yet no one tried to block their entrance.

      I’m still against known PED users getting in, but you gave me some serious food for thought…

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