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Great Moments in Anti-Steroids Melodrama

Jun 6, 2013, 11:02 AM EDT

Helen Lovejoy

Steve Wulf of ESPN.com should win an award for this “here are all the reasons you should hate the Biogenesis players” column. My favorite bit:

Morals. It’s just plain wrong. Yeah, Gaylord Perry threw a spitball, and Ty Cobb sharpened his spikes, and King Kelly used to take a shortcut from first to third. But the use of clearly prohibited banned substances is cheating of a much more profound nature. The decision encompasses at least five of the Seven Deadly Sins: pride, envy, greed, gluttony, sloth. (Lust and wrath may be in there, too.)

I sense no irony about him as he equates PED use to sins that will lead to literal damnation. Nor do I sense any with this gem, which seeks to explain why the sinning is so bad:

That’s why the members of the Baseball Writers Association of America will feel tortured for years about leaving the best players of a generation out of the Hall. And that’s why MLB is trying to make sure it’s not two generations.

Thoughts, prayers to all of those tortured members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. They are the real victims in all of this.

  1. zzalapski - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    Man, Lupica better step up his game if Wulf is going Old Testament like this.

    • heyblueyoustink - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:26 AM

      ” The path of the righteous man….”

    • bigharold - Jun 6, 2013 at 12:41 PM

      Lupica has no game.

      Sanctimonious ranting is the opposite of “game”.

    • trollingforjustice - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:55 PM

      “A penitent man will bow before the sword”…Indiana Jones

  2. screename529 - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    I enjoyed the part where he asks if the Yankees should forfeit their 2000 and 2009 titles because of Clemens and A-Rod. As if no other championship teams the past 20 years (including other Yankees teams!) has ever had a suspected steroid user on their teams.

    • neoshweaty - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:11 AM

      That’s a good point. I wonder which of the last 20 or so champs has been the cleanest.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:14 AM

        I’ve seen someone try to figure this out before. You can never know for sure, but the winner was the 2005 White Sox.

      • bigharold - Jun 6, 2013 at 12:43 PM

        “…the winner was the 2005 White Sox.”

        Winner as in fewest PED dependent players or most?? I’d love to see there rational for that assumption.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:15 PM

        Probably Frank Thomas’ long-standing vocal opposition (going back to the mid-90s) and the fact that none of the key players on that team had ever been linked. Doesn’t mean they were all clean, but they were the ones that nobody knew used.

  3. specialkindofstupid - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    I’ve decided to change my stance on the steroids issue in baseball. Since we can’t be sure who is and isn’t using them, I think we should ban for life every player currently in the major and minor leagues. Also, any players currently in college or high school should be prohibited from ever playing. And all international players ages 16-45 are banned as well.

    What would this accomplish? Well, nothing, but a few of us here might actually get to play in the big leagues if such a thing happened. I call dibs on “first baseman for the Braves.”

    • raysfan1 - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      Dibs on bullpen catcher for the Rays!

      • paperlions - Jun 6, 2013 at 12:55 PM

        Way to aim high dude! Keep that dream alive!

      • raysfan1 - Jun 6, 2013 at 1:10 PM

        It’s a cushy job, but somebody’s got to do it!

      • indaburg - Jun 6, 2013 at 6:24 PM

        You can do it, raysfan! Seriously. Walk up tomorrow, put on some gear, they’ll let you.

    • paperlions - Jun 6, 2013 at 1:02 PM

      Sadly, I would be banned for testing positive for stimulants…because, man, that shit works.

      Obviously, I have a desk job, and work tends to spill out to all parts of the day. The only time I reliably have to work out is first thing in the morning, but energy then is lacking. I take a pre-workout OTC supplement that I am sure would not pass an MLB drug test…and man, this shit is awesome, I get a good workout and have better bounce back the next day than when I don’t use one….but it is bad, evil, and amoral, so I don’t recommend anyone else do such a thing.

    • bigharold - Jun 6, 2013 at 1:10 PM

      Dibs on Yankee utility infielder. Old, slow, one armed and a bad back, .. so I’m just trying to stay on the roster and get some ABs.

      • nbjays - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:21 PM

        And if you were on the roster this year, chances are good for you to be carrying the whole team at some point, bad back or no.

  4. neoshweaty - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    Let’s see how many of the comments are along the lines of you being a “steroids apologist”.*

    *I’m not an apologist but some of the sports writers really go crazy whenever allegations come out and it would be nice to have more even handed reporting as I believe hardballtalk has. Of course, going against the circlejerk is a bad thing so let’s call everyone an apologist.

    • paperlions - Jun 6, 2013 at 1:08 PM

      As far as I can tell, “steroid apologist” = well reasoned perspective on the effects of steroids on baseball as well as the moral implications of it.

      Talking on the phone while driving is far far far morally reprehensible than a baseball player taking any kind of PED. In one case, you put the lives of yourself and others at risk. In the other, there is a small chance that you may get a little bit better at baseball.

  5. nategearhart - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    The more I see stuff like Wulf’s article the more I’m convinced that smelling salts companies must be making a killing off baseball writers.

  6. alang3131982 - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    I’d just like any sort of evidence from the people who think steroids/HGH are a new level of cheating — how is this worse than scuffing a ball, intentionally hurting someone, cheating across the base paths?

    • The Dangerous Mabry - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:26 AM

      Well, for some reason, MLB certainly seems to agree with it, at any rate. They don’t care to do anything if they have visual evidence of someone throwing a spitball, but they’ll do anything they can to make a case against someone who may have used a banned substance based on hearsay.

      • nbjays - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:37 PM

        While conveniently forgetting that during the mid-1990s, the steroid users brought more money and fans back to the game after the strike than anything MLB management could have done.

      • 18thstreet - Jun 6, 2013 at 5:17 PM

        Following up on NBJays, the steroid controversy, is no longer a useful thing for the league, PR wise. So, yes, they cashed in on. But that ship has sailed.

  7. largebill - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    “Thoughts, prayers to all of those tortured members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. They are the real victims in all of this.”

    Craig,

    Based on your past comments about faith & what not, I’m sensing this sentence might have an element of sarcasm to it. ;-)

  8. cur68 - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    I think its fair to say the Ole Sarcasm Font’s gonna get a fair ole workout with this one. Y’all owe me $69.69 in Canadian Funds.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:52 AM

      That’s like $2 in real money right?

      • cur68 - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:59 AM

        Seen the exchange rate lately? Its 1 : 1.03. Guess which side of the border it favours?*

        *hint: its really cold there and the economy is underpinned by Seal Blubber and Maple Syrup.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 6, 2013 at 12:01 PM

        Guess which side of the border it favours?*

        The one that can write proper American. Come on America’s Hat, let’s do this

        /gauntlet

      • cur68 - Jun 6, 2013 at 12:13 PM

        Watch it, man. If we have to come over there again it won’t be so restrained like back in 1812. This time we’ll annex Florida. The economy there is kept afloat by itinerant Québécois anyhow: no one would notice anything.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 6, 2013 at 12:20 PM

        This time we’ll annex Florida. The economy there is kept afloat by itinerant Québécois anyhow: no one would notice anything.

        Is that a threat or a promise? And good lord do I not have the Bugs Bunny sawing off Florida .gif?

      • bigharold - Jun 6, 2013 at 1:00 PM

        “Watch it, man. If we have to come over there again it won’t be so restrained like back in 1812.”

        Don’t you guys have history books up there? We, “Merica”, won the 1812 Canadian war of aggression. There was a big battle in New Orleans, .. Shirley you heard the musical oral history by Johnny Horton? We won, they lost, …. January of 1815, … I’m pretty sure that was why George Washington invented Marti Gras. It was like the victory party after the war. Everybody got drunk, beads, .. it was great. They still have it to this day. Except it was moved to right after the Superbowl I think so as to give the locals a chance to let their livers recoup.

        Come on, .. don’t you guys know nothing?

      • cur68 - Jun 6, 2013 at 1:30 PM

        Typical. Just because you are big you think you can re-write history. Canadian War Of Aggression, eh? Good one. While we’re re-naming stuff, lets just go with “The Charles Darwin Evolution Myth”, eh?

        And don’t call me Shirley.

      • bigharold - Jun 6, 2013 at 1:43 PM

        “The Charles Darwin Evolution Myth”, eh?”

        See you gots me all wrong.

        I’m certain Darwin’s theory was right. The Human race began in what is now called Africa. My ancestors in particular were the pale ones off squatting under a shade tree until one said;

        “Geez it’s hot here. Lets take a walk up to Ireland and wait for someone to invent Guinness.”

        I’m not only a history aficionado but I’m deep into Science as well. I’m like a history, science, baseball savant. I’m a regular renascence man!

      • bsbiz - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:42 PM

        Cur, we’d miss out on laughing at the crazies. That is worth fighting for.

      • raysfan1 - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:26 PM

        Cur, been to FL in the winter? Parts have already been annexed by Ontario.

    • indaburg - Jun 6, 2013 at 6:30 PM

      Please annex us. Florida surrenders. (We get universal health care, right?)

  9. elmo - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    Obviously they should cancel all the games, and every gametime the players should spend three hours in penance and quiet remembrance. Narrow is the way..

  10. dowhatifeellike - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    People keep trying to make it into a moral issue and it’s not. Before 1991 it was not against the rules. After 1991 it was. Very simple. It doesn’t matter what previous generations did – you can’t do it anymore.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:54 AM

      After 1991 it was. Very simple.

      Yes, it’s very simple because they weren’t against the rules after 1991. People need to stop bringing this up because they are 110% wrong. From the man’s own words:

      You wrote a famous memorandum to all MLB clubs in 1991 warning about steroid issue. It stated, in part: “The possession, sale, or use of any illegal drug or controlled substance by major league players and personnel is strictly prohibited. Those involved in the possession, sale, or use of any illegal drug or controlled substance are subject to discipline by the commissioner and risk permanent expulsion from the game.” Your whole basis for the memorandum was the violation of federal law. You’re a lawyer. And yet it was utterly ignored. Why? And, had it been heeded, how would the sordid history of the past two decades be different?

      The letter was ignored because it didn’t affect the players. They were thoroughly protected by collective bargaining. But I wanted to make a moral statement to them and legal one to everyone else. The union told them to ignore it. The only way a change could be made was through collective bargaining. The union argued that testing violated players’ civil liberties. The union had strong, bright lawyers who concocted a bulletproof legal argument.

      I knew the memo would be ignored. But even more surprising was that no one in the press covered it. It turned out to be right, though. Federal law, much later, would assert itself.

      http://www.sbnation.com/mlb/2013/5/31/4373908/fay-vincent-interview

      • dowhatifeellike - Jun 6, 2013 at 12:15 PM

        Incorrect, Mr. Outraged. The CBA, at the time, only protected players from testing. If there had been (as in this Biogenesis case) documented proof of purchase, that would have been actionable.

        The issue with Vincent is that he only pretended to care. His tenure was very lucrative for all involved and he didn’t want to rock the boat.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 6, 2013 at 12:26 PM

        If use was already covered, then why state it in the memo? Seems a bit redundant doesn’t it?

        And the “documented proof” in this case is handwritten notes in essentially marker.

  11. sdelmonte - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    So Wulf is quitting covering baseball effective today, right?

  12. beebopthearcher - Jun 6, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    …umm…from a moral standpoint, isn’t sharpening your spikes *way worse*? I mean, steroids you’re physically harming yourself. Spike sharpening, you’re physically harming others.

    Now, obviously, they aren’t the same when it comes to their effect on the game of baseball. But if Mr. Wulf wants to go by morals, don’t start off by citing a far worse example.

    • 18thstreet - Jun 6, 2013 at 5:24 PM

      I’d like to see a comprehensive list that starts with wiping out the back line of the batters’ box, ends with multiple homicides, and has “PEDs” somewhere in the middle. And then we could all rank whether it’s worse to bet on whether Steve Howe would use cocaine for a 9th time or to throw the 1919 World Series.

  13. brewcrewfan54 - Jun 6, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    I would prefer mu sports to be clean but lets face it, they aren’t. And they probably never have been. Its entertainment to me now. These guys are still the best players around and its still fun to watch.

  14. braddavery - Jun 6, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    People who care about entertainment and not sportsmanship should watch WWE wrestling, not MLB baseball. PEDs ARE not and SHOULD not be allowed in baseball, no matter how hard Craig tries to indoctrinate us otherwise with his endless pro-PED propaganda.

    • raysfan1 - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:29 PM

      Just for fun, please document a single instance of Craig, or any othe HBT blogger, actually advocating PED use/legalization. Thanks.

      • braddavery - Jun 6, 2013 at 5:43 PM

        Just for fun, why don’t you read the four daily posts Craig makes about PEDs in baseball and tell me what way he bends on the issue.

      • raysfan1 - Jun 6, 2013 at 6:09 PM

        Oh, I’ve read every one of them, so here is a short review for you:
        1) Going after the players and protecting the drug dealer will make a big show and not fix the PED problem (note that implies PEDs are a problem and thus something bad).
        2) Trying to discipline players solely based on Bosch’s word stands a good chance of failing in arbitration.
        3) The union will vigorously fight any such suspensions.
        4) Bosch is kind shady.

        Now, if you interpret that as pro-PED, that’s on you.

      • raysfan1 - Jun 6, 2013 at 6:12 PM

        Ok I met your challenge. Your turn to meet mine.

      • braddavery - Jun 6, 2013 at 6:32 PM

        You don’t get it. AT ALL. Craig relentlessly posts articles that put a negative spin on people who are against doping in baseball and he relentlessly posts articles that support others who display a “who cares” approach about doping in baseball. Then he adds his own disparaging remarks about those who speak out against doping and he gushes over anyone who displays a “who cares” approach about doping. If you can’t see it, you are either blind, dumb or being willfully ignorant to it. It’s propaganda, plain and simple. He sees it one way and he will do his damnedest to change others minds about PEDs in baseball.

      • raysfan1 - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:18 AM

        Back to my challenge for you– you will not find any instances of Craig openly stating PEDs are good (that was the challenge, not whether he spins anything), because in the 5 years I’ve read his blogs he never once has said plainly that he thinks PED are good or that there should be no discipline.

        I know there are a lot of people who feel baseball should punish PED users even more harshly than they already do. I’ve seen advocacy of anything from a one year to even lifetime ban for a first PED offense (some of those only mean steroids and HGH when they use the term “PED” but that’s a different story). They assert that will end the PED problem. Those who think harsher is the way to go will certainly read Craig’s work dating back to “Shysterball” and see him as soft on PEDs or even pro-PED.

        There are also those who disdain not following written procedures and consider them technicalities that should not prevent punishment. Craig, the lawyer, will never go for that and will thus be seen as pro-PED for that reason as well.

        If you fit either general description above, and many are, so I mean no disrespect towards those opinions, then I can certainly see how Craig would be seen as soft on PEDs.

        Now for a bit of my own view:
        Harsher punishments will not stop cheating. Olympic athletes get a 2 year ban for a first offense and 8 years for a second. Attempts to cheat are common anyway. Even minimum wage baseball players make more money than most Olympians, so the motive is too strong.

        The Mitchell Report was nothing but a show, throwing a segment of the players under the bus to make it look like MLB was doing something about the prevalence of PED abuse in the sport. We’ve had ample evidence of continued use anyway, Biogenesis now being the most glaring example. The Mitchell investigation made use of, and protected, a couple dealers at the expense of the players. Now, for Biogenesis, there are reports MLB is again willing to protect a drug dealer in order to get at some high profile players–again going for show over substance. If there is additional corroborating evidence, say in the records MLB has asked to have subpoenaed, great, hammer the players to the extent allowed under the CBA. However, actively protecting Bosch beyond giving him immunity from law suits (ie paying him, giving him body guards, and even trying to intercede with law enforcement) is what makes it clear to MLB is indeed more interested in the show than in getting rid of PEDs. No matter how its spun, the drug dealer is a worse criminal than the user.

      • braddavery - Jun 7, 2013 at 3:07 PM

        Yeah, I never said he was “open” about it. It’s just obvious and relentless the way he spins everything to get across his message. He clearly hates it when people speak out about PEDs being bad and clearly loves it when people actively disparage anti-dopers. As I said and will continue to say, the proof is right in front your face.

  15. deadeyedesign23 - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    This whole website is an exercise in pro-steroid melodrama.

    • bsbiz - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      I’m sure there are other places on the great, wide Intartubez that you can find something more to your liking.

    • raysfan1 - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:39 PM

      I issue you the same fun challenge as the one I just gave bradavery above…please find a single instance of a blogger for HBT actually stating PEDs are good or that they should not be banned. Include quotes and a link so we can confirm your find. Thanks.

      I won’t hold my breath though, blue isn’t my best color.

  16. joegolfer - Jun 7, 2013 at 3:14 AM

    Would love to see all the records from the known steroid users expunged, totally.
    ARoid used far more than he admits, as he had his cousin/”personal trainer” right up until 2009, despite claiming he used only one year around 2003 or so. His cousin was banned from the clubhouse because of his steroid connections.
    Didn’t Jose Canseco actually win an MVP as a user? If so, did Selig ever say that his award had to be rescinded?
    Selig seems two-faced, as he goes along with whatever side butters his bread.

    I’m really glad they’re trying to clean things up now though.

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