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Bartolo Colon’s success is really bothering some people

Jun 17, 2013, 8:49 AM EDT

Bartolo Colon

Bartolo Colon has pitched magnificently this season. He leads the AL in wins, is sporting a 2.89 ERA and is pounding the strike zone like crazy, allowing only one walk per every nine innings pitched. This, apparently, is something baseball should be embarrassed by. Why? Because he tested positive for synthetic testosterone last year  Paul Gackle of the San Francisco Examiner:

If the deadline for submitting the All-Star Game rosters were today, Colon should be a shoe-in to make the American League pitching staff, which would be colossal embarrassment for the commissioner’s office. It would suggest one of two things: PEDs don’t, in fact, enhance athletic performances, so what’s the big deal? Or he’s still cheating and he’s beating the system.

But let’s be clear here. Gackle is not seriously entertaining the former option:

Baseball wants us to believe that it’s capable of tidying up the sport, putting an end to the guessing game over who is cheating and who is clean. It caught Colon, Melky Cabrera and another 18 players connected to a Miami-area clinic, and those players reportedly could be suspended in the next few weeks. Colon’s season is, however, raising more doubt over whether testing can keep pace with the evolution of PEDs.

Let’s be clear, I’m not accusing Colon of cheating. He could be another rubber arm, like Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson, as far as I’m concerned. But I will say that his performance is evidence that 50-game suspensions won’t cut it if baseball really wants to crack down on PED users.

No, he is accusing Colon of cheating. By definition he is, for the direct conclusion he draws from Colon’s success this year is that baseball’s drug testing doesn’t work and that Colon’s success is an embarrassment and then spends time comparing Colon to Pete Rose and the game-throwers of the Chicago Black Sox and proposes suspending players for two years for PEDs.

Look, I have no idea what Bartolo Colon is doing to be successful in 2013. But It’s not like he wasn’t a top-flight pitcher for many, many years before shoulder problems derailed him. A late-career bump — especially one that isn’t accompanied by some massive increase in velocity and an uptick in strikeout rates — is not anything historically unprecedented. The notion that he’s back on banned substances and eluding drug testing is not impossible, but it is an argument that requires more evidence than other possible explanations such as “good pitcher has good season” or “synthetic testosterone is not some magic super power-bestowing substance,” or “throwing pitches in the strike zone and relying on your defense is good strategy.”

Gackle has no interest in marshaling any such evidence, however. He, like so many others, is merely interested in turning a somewhat complex matter of science and biology, turning it into a matter of good and evil and thus taking the laziest possible approach in order to get his column inches in.

  1. breastfedted - Jun 17, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    What a surprise, another Craig piece defending the use of PEDs. What a clown.

    • dondada10 - Jun 17, 2013 at 9:07 AM

      Craig never once defended PED use in this article. Rather, he’s lambasting shit journalism.

      • skeleteeth - Jun 17, 2013 at 9:33 AM

        What’s more concerning is that there are 8 other people that share ted’s disdain for rational thought and measured opinion.

      • baseballici0us - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:45 AM

        @dondada10: Thumbs up
        @tit-headed-ted: http://www.troll.me/images/calculations/great-scott-you-are-a-douche.jpg

      • itsthemasterplan - Jul 21, 2013 at 9:17 PM

        Sorry, but the only $#!& journalism I see is in this blog post by Craig Calcaterra. This is the same sort of willful ignorance that made it possible for Sammy Sosa to have THREE 60+ home run seasons in four years without a single mainstream sports “journalist” so much as making a peep about PED use.

        Now we see a guy who has already been caught cheating having a spectacular season at 40 years old, which is exactly the kind of thing PEDs have done for baseball players, especially pitchers. Or do you think Roger Clemens was clean when he was winning Cy Youngs in his third decade as a major league pitcher? Do you think Barry Bonds just naturally turned into a beast at 40 years old? Are you a big Ryan Braun supporter?

        If sportswriters were journalists, we’d see some actual investigative journalism. In other words, some real work involving real sources, real documents, real probing to give us facts about PED use in baseball.

        Instead, we have morons at places ranging from Sports Illustrated to Bleacher Report making unsubstantiated allegations, and hacks like Calcaterra taking some imagined high road while remaining equally ignorant and lazy. The closest we’ve gotten to investigative journalism is ESPN hacks grudgingly writing about Biogenesis and the most recent PED scandals after two decades of steroids dominating the sport.

        Epic fail, all around. Don’t even go there about $#!& journalism unless you want your glass house to shatter around you.

    • cur68 - Jun 17, 2013 at 9:09 AM

      What a surprise: you turn up with another stupid comment. What a clown.

    • unclemosesgreen - Jun 17, 2013 at 9:13 AM

      braindeadted back typing with his thumbs. Wonderful.

    • Liam - Jun 17, 2013 at 9:16 AM

      Looks like those clowns at hardballtalk did it again. What a bunch of clowns.

      • number42is1 - Jun 17, 2013 at 9:31 AM

        Quite possibly the most obscure Simpsons reference to date. WELL DONE!

      • schm1471 - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:50 PM

        Don’t praise the machine…

      • tuberippin - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:49 PM

        A very cromulent response.

  2. waiverclaim - Jun 17, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    Pretty funny that the pro-Giants writer doesn’t want Colon in the ASG, its not like their World Series home field advantage and win last year wasn’t directly connected to a convicted PED abuser winning it for them.

  3. sdelmonte - Jun 17, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    Simple question: if you have been caught, are you subjected to more testing afterwards?

    • dondada10 - Jun 17, 2013 at 9:08 AM

      Even if you’re not caught. Joey Bats up in Toronto said he got tested 7 times during his 50 homer year.

      • cur68 - Jun 17, 2013 at 9:12 AM

        ^^^^THIS

        Success = More Testing. More so if its: Cloud of suspicion + success + advanced age for a ballplayer = save all your pee and wear short sleeves (save’s rolling them all the time for the blood tests)

        He’s a urine and blood sample factory by now. Good thing The Dugong’s a hefty dude. He’s got it to spare. If that was Charlie Furbush or Chris Sale they’d be anemic and dehydrated by now.

      • 18thstreet - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:09 PM

        they should make the negative tests as public as possible. I’m as suspicious as anyone, but it would be nice to see that Bartolo Colon has passed X number of PED tests, the most recent on [date]. I’m not sure why MLB and the union doesn’t do this.

  4. waiverclaim - Jun 17, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    This is just another SF Chronicle pro-Giants/anti-A’s piece by the way. They run them pretty much constantly. If Colon was on the Reds this article would not exist.

    • Matt S - Jun 17, 2013 at 9:03 AM

      It’s the Examiner, not the Chronicle. And yes — it is possible that if he pitched for another team, a local San Francisco newspaper may not bother to write a column about him. But what’s the point?

      • Maxa - Jun 17, 2013 at 9:17 AM

        The point is that the article is motivated by competitive enmities rather than substantial evidence that Colon is using PEDs.

      • waiverclaim - Jun 17, 2013 at 9:54 AM

        Oh my bad on the Chron/Examiner error, but can you blame me for forgetting that the Examiner was even still in business? SF’s version of the NY Post, totally useless.

  5. heyblueyoustink - Jun 17, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    Either way, Colon is having a craptastic year.

    • waiverclaim - Jun 17, 2013 at 9:53 AM

      Its no different to Barry Zito, except Colon has slightly better stuff.

      Just throwing strikes and not overthinking anything actually works.

      • clydeserra - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:09 PM

        it is very different from Barry Zito. Like you said, Colon throws strikes.

  6. unclemosesgreen - Jun 17, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    The question of the sustainability of Colon’s success is weighing heavily upon some of us – burgie is up at all hours of the day and night poring over his fangraphs page and shaking her head. How can it be? Can he keep it up? (rubs her eyes – goes to make coffee.)

    • indaburg - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:00 PM

      Too funny!

      One thing I don’t ponder. Is his performance PED related? Not my concern. I just look at performance on the field and the numbers. I’d rather not falsely speculate.

  7. paperlions - Jun 17, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    So…now PEDs help pitchers throw strikes and make hitters hit the baseball at defenders, but don’t help pitchers throw the ball harder or miss bats? Damn, there is no end to what PEDs can do.

  8. Old Gator - Jun 17, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    Gowachin guilty!

  9. barrywhererufrom - Jun 17, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    I wish this PED stuff would go away. When I say this I wish the habitual offenders would go away. The idea as a Yankees fan that A-Rod is looming to come back disturbs me. We get to see guys like Colon and A-Rod play and in Colon’s case he has been successful. We can’t get excited about their success because it may be tainted and that sucks for the game..

    • waiverclaim - Jun 17, 2013 at 10:20 AM

      I wish we let all athletes use PEDs the way we lets them use greenies for 30-odd years without a single outraged fan making comment.

      • valarmorghuliss - Jun 17, 2013 at 10:38 AM

        People who compare greenies to anabolic steroids, are complete and utter morons.

      • waiverclaim - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:00 AM

        You are right, greenies are amphetamines, and much worse for a person’s health than adderal or some joint recovery elixir.

      • paperlions - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:16 AM

        People who dismiss the effects of amphetamines are complete and utter morons.

        Amphetamines have more dangerous side-effects than steroids

        Amphetamines immediately enhance focus, concentration, and energy level with no effort on the part of the user. If you take them before a game, you will have much higher energy levels and will be far more focused than if you did not.

        If you take steroids, you must go through every increasingly strenuous workouts to gain benefits. Those benefits fade quickly when you stop taking them, and those benefits may not make one play baseball better. If you take steroids and do not workout, you get no benefits.

        When MLB started testing for steroids, power numbers did not go down. When MLB started testing for amphetamines, power numbers did go down. Steroids have been used in baseball for as long as amphetamines. Of course, there are no stories of bowls of steroids being in clubhouses for people to take at will.

        There, I just compared greenies to steroids and did so in an factual way. Please feel free to provide evidence that:

        1) Anything I stated is incorrect

        2) That amphetamines do not help one play baseball better

        3) That steroids do help one play baseball better

        4) That the benefits of steroids are greater than the benefits of amphetamines.

      • cur68 - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:23 AM

        @valarmorghuliss: you are SO right! Amphetamines hand you and immediate advantage and it is clear cut, too. Steroids? Months in the gym. Uncertain results. Ball shrinkage. And, as all those lifelong minor leaguers will tell you, there’s no guarantee it’ll work, even!

        Also, amphetamines produce erratic behaviour, are associated with stroke and heart attacks, and people dose the same regardless of body mass. Freakin’ dangerous, that shit.

        Anabolic steroids? Behaviour change? The literature says: maybe. Effects vary.

        Danger? Maybe. Effects vary. Its hard to say. And so on.

        So yeah, greenies, baseball’s favourite drug, are nowhere near the same as anabolic steroids so there is no comparison.

      • vivabear - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:27 AM

        3) That steroids do help one play baseball better

        Evidence: Sammy Sosa’s career 1996-2003.

      • waiverclaim - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:38 AM

        @paperlions

        I disagree with your claim that steroids have been in baseball as long as greenies. Greenies date back to the 1950’s, while steroids started in the 1980’s.

      • raysfan1 - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:04 PM

        Waiverclaim,
        Dianabol, an anabolic steroid, first hit the market in 1958. Sports Illuatrated published an article about PEDs in sports in 1960 (my favorite part of that article is a passage stating that Tour de France cyclists were using cocaine as a PED back then). Ken House has stated he used steroids in the 1970s. Multiple players used Brown-Sequard solution in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, particularly the Hall of Famer Pud Galvin.

        (Brown-Sequard solution’s active ingredient was animal testosterone.)

      • paperlions - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:08 PM

        Steroids use in baseball dates back to at least the 1960s. The idea that olympians and other well publicized athletes were using steroids and that baseball players just totally ignored the potential advantage is naive. In SIs multi-part cover story on drugs in sports, there are plenty of reference to their use in baseball. The biggest difference is that players didn’t work out then like they do now, so the physical effects were less noticeable.

        I am guessing that may be one reason people don’t seem to care about amphetamines but go ape-shit about steroids. People that use amphetamines don’t LOOK any different.

      • paperlions - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:15 PM

        Steroids use in baseball dates back to at least the 1960s. The idea that olympians and other well publicized athletes were using steroids and that baseball players just totally ignored the potential advantage for decades is naive. In SIs multi-part cover story on drugs in sports, there are references to their use in baseball. The biggest difference is that players didn’t work out then like they do now, so the physical effects were less noticeable.

        I am guessing that may be one reason people don’t seem to care about amphetamines but go ape-shit about steroids. People that use amphetamines don’t LOOK any different.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:01 PM

        Steroids use in baseball dates back to at least the 1960s

        Don’t forget, a quack injected Mantle with steroids, and he stopped playing in ’68.

      • raysfan1 - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:12 PM

        For those who might wish to look, the multi-part SI cover story paperlions referred to was publishe in 3 consecutive weeks in 1969–Jun 23, Jun 30, and Jul 7.

      • valarmorghuliss - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:10 PM

        Did I say Greenies were more or less destructive to ones health compared to Steroids? Nope, just saying they are apples and oranges. They are not the same, not even close. Just like Anabolic steroids is nothing like HGH.

        And if you really want to compare the damage of Greenies vs an oil or water based steroid. You can keep into a whole deeper mess if you want to, I know many who at 16 year old decided to grab questionable needles and stick it into them constantly while juicing and the mistakes made and results were scarier than those using amphetamines.

        Kids popped greenies right before a game and never touched them again, while juicing became a lifestyle for others.

      • grumpyoleman - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:58 PM

        Barry, Mark, and Sammy all would have hit 80 home runs using greenies and never touching roids. Don’t think so Tim.

    • ssazz - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      Man, I wonder how many HR’s McGwire, Bonds and Sosa would’ve hit if they’d just done greenies instead of wasting their time with anabolic steroids?!!!!?!? Those idiots!!

      • cur68 - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:42 AM

        Man I wonder how many HR’s Jorge Piedra, Carlos Almanzar, and Jamal Strong would’ve hit if they’d just done greenies instead of wasting their time with anabolic steroids?!!!!?!? Those idiots!!

        Hey! This is fun! You throw out more names of big hitters on ‘roids and I’ll counter with career minor league or cup of coffee guys on ‘roids. I bet you run out LONG before I do. Ok? GO!

      • ssazz - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:59 AM

        Why would I do that? Since I could come up with an even longer list, over more decades, of players who gobbled greenies and were cup of coffee guys or career minor leaguers anyway. What exactly is that supposed to prove?

      • raysfan1 - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:10 PM

        Yes, and Cur can also throw out names of big hitters who are well known to have used greenies with no connection to steroids. The point being that throwing names around is not evidence and is in fact meaningless unless all you wish to do is argue.

      • ssazz - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:32 PM

        Who is “throwing names around”? McGwire, Bonds and Sosa used steroids and their power numbers went up, to ridiculous levels, as a result. (causing Hank Arron to lose his career HR record in the process, and contributing substantially to Ruth losing his career BB record, amongst other sad residual effects) Are you saying it’s still an unresolved question as to whether they did in fact use anabolic steroids? Therefore you can’t throw their names around? Is the argument there is no correlation between Bonds beginning to take steroids and having 70 HR seasons in the late stages of his career?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:03 PM

        no correlation between Bonds beginning to take steroids and having 70 HR seasons

        There isn’t, because Bonds had one 70 HR season, and didn’t have a 60 HR season or 50 HR season. So, it’s not as simple as take steroids = hit HRs, and Bonds was on the Cream and Clear a lot more than just in ’01.

      • raysfan1 - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:24 PM

        No, I am not saying it isn’t established that the players didn’t use steroids. There was even an article in 1998 in which a writer noted a bottle of androstenedione in McGwire’s locker. “Andro” was a then-legal substance sold as a nutritional supplement, but is in fact a biologically active steroid. I thus knew he was using steroids in 1998. Canaeco’s use in the 1980’s was not secret either.

        What I am saying is pointing out that Bonds/McGwire/Sosa took steroids and hit a ton of home runs can establish an association but does not constitute proof that steroids in fact lead to greater numbers of home runs. Likewise, pointing out that Willie Mays, Mike Schmidt, Mickey Mantle, and Hank Aaron took amphetamines and hit a ton of home runs can establish an association but does not constitute proof that amphetamines in fact lead to greater numbers of home runs.

        Names are anecdotes. They are not proof.

        Do I think steroids contribute to increased power? I would say that steroids enable one to tolerate longer/harder workouts and to recover more quickly in order to continue doing harder than normal workouts more frequently than otherwise possible. That in turn can be reasoned to result in incremental increases in strength and bat speed and thus possibly better power numbers. It is also possible that pitchers on steroids relying more on fastballs could theoretically give up more home runs when the hitter does make contact. Unfortunately, that remains theory because the scientific studies I’ve read are either inconclusive or not supporting that theory.

        Meanwhile, it does appear the ball was altered in the 1990s. We know body armor wear became popular, that expansion occurred, that pitchers were much more likely to be ejected for pitching high and tight than in earlier decades, and that most new parks were built to increase offense. Maybe those are all confounded and body building plus steroids is the primary culprit for beloved records falling. I tend to think they all contributed, along with amphetamines and MLB expansion too.

        I also think this mostly became a big issue because an unpopular player broke a major record, and– unlike other sports– a lot if fans are emotionally invested in the record book.

      • ssazz - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:27 PM

        @ church

        In the twelve seasons prior to Bonds juicing he hit 40+ HR 3 times. In the seven seasons after he starting doping he did it 5 times, including a 73 HR season. (while I’m certain seeing far fewer pitches to hit than at any seven year stretch of his career) The bulk of those seasons coming in his late thirties.

        How someone doesn’t see the correlation is simply beyond me.

      • ssazz - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:47 PM

        @ raysfan1

        I went to college in Pittsburgh in the late 80’s and watched, very often in person, pretty much every game Bonds played for the Pirates. No question as I watched him then I believed he was going to go down as one of the 5 best players to ever play the game. (even after they robbed him of one of his MVP’s and gave it to Terry Pendleton, as much because the voters didn’t like Bonds as for anything Pendleton did. and even though he was one of the biggest post season busts ever before he started juicing)

        But you’ll never convince me that his increase in power (let alone the increase in the size of his head) late in his career is more a product of the other factors you mention as opposed to steroid use. Not saying those factors don’t exist, they did, but they’re not the determining factor. The steroids were.

        As for people holding this opinion of Bonds more because he, as an unpopular player, broke a major record, than the fact he did it while using PED’s is one I reject completely every time I hear it. No matter how much body armor was allowed in the game, Barry Bonds was not going to have that season. Or break the all time HR record, tacking on all those 40+ HR season after the age of 35, without the use of anabolic steroids. That is what bothers people.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 17, 2013 at 7:43 PM

        In the twelve seasons prior to Bonds juicing he hit 40+ HR 3 times. In the seven seasons after he starting doping he did it 5 times, including a 73 HR season. (while I’m certain seeing far fewer pitches to hit than at any seven year stretch of his career) The bulk of those seasons coming in his late thirties.

        I’m well aware of what he did and didn’t do, it’s why I called you out on your “seasons” comment because I knew he never hit more than 49, hit 73 and then never hit into the 50s again. The problem is that you are seeing something that just isn’t supported by actual evidence. Player + Steroids != Tons of HRs. We can cite numerous players that never got close to what Bonds achieved. The simple fact of the matter is that thousands of players + tens of thousands of games = millions of permutations on what can occur in a given year.

        Why are people so convinced that Bonds only hit 73 due to HR*? Is it because his career high increased 149% from 49 to 73? Well what about Roger Maris? His increased 156% from 39 to 61? We know steroids were available in ’61 as were amphetamines. If the sheer evidence is the huge jump in HR, why isn’t there any concern over Maris? People use the same “sheer increase” to smear Brady Anderson, but there’s no proof there either?

        *I’m well aware Bonds took steroids, and I have personal knowledge of what they can do to a person. However, there’s a huge difference between looking good at the beach and hitting a baseball. There’s plenty of science and math out there that shows there were changes far more influential on HR rate than steroids. It’s not really up for discussion until those reports are refuted.

        How someone doesn’t see the correlation is simply beyond me.

        Because this is you:

        http://xkcd.com/552/

      • raysfan1 - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:03 PM

        Again you aren’t understanding me, ssazz. I’m not saying people got mad about Bonds breaking records because he is unpopular as opposed to his PED use. I am saying people were not really up in arms over PEDs until Bonds, an unpopular player widely suspected of PED use even before the BALCO story broke, broke those records. You went to college in the late ’80’s? That makes you only a little younger than me, and as I said earlier, Canseco’s steroid use was an “open secret” in the ’80’s; fans would chant “ster-oids!” at him from the stands. I also mentioned the 1998 article mentioning PED use by McGwire. People just didn’t get mad about it until Bonds broke records while using PEDs.

      • ssazz - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:08 AM

        Ok guys, I believe we’ve established by now that we don’t agree here. I don’t buy for a second the premise that if you remove the steroids from the equation, but still include every other variable you want. Whether in regard to the tightness of the ball, the extra armor, the size of the parks, or whatever else you want to factor in, that Bonds would’ve had the same numbers anyway. That steroids may or may not have played a role in his increased production, but we just don’t know because there is no “evidence”. It could’ve just as well been any number of these other factors and the anabolic steroids may have played absolutely no role whatsoever. It’s just bad luck that the two things happen to coincide at the same time in Bonds’ career. But one is basically uninformed or ignorant to then hold the steroids against him or question the legitimacy of his accomplishments as a result.

        You think I’m wrong in utterly disregarding that argument or line of thinking. And I think that argument or line of thinking holds no water whatsoever. We’ll agree to disagree.

        And btw nowhere did I argue that a player doesn’t also need to have talent to achieve on a baseball diamond.

        (also, church, you’re getting a little carried away with yourself. I said “seasons” in regard to Bonds hitting 73HR as hyperbole and exaggeration, not because I thought he’d done it more than once. I’ve followed his career since his rookie year.)

  10. The Dangerous Mabry - Jun 17, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Shoo-in, Mr Gackle. Not shoe-in. If you’re going to be a professional writer, that’s the sort of thing you should avoid.

  11. tmohr - Jun 17, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    I hadn’t realized it, but Fat Bartolo (listed at 5-11, 265 by BB-Ref) was pitching well in 2008-09 when healthy, and has pitched well ever since despite losing 2010.

    This forces me to conclude that the positive PED test was caused by a bad cheeseburger.

  12. ssazz - Jun 17, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    It’s pretty funny to see Craig accusing a writer of being “lazy” when he is clearly too lazy to even proofread his own posting:

    “Look, I have no idea what Bartolo Colon is doing to be successful in 2012″.

    Uh, isn’t this article about the 2013 season? We already know Colon was suspended for PED’s in 2012. (I won’t even mention how Craig clearly didn’t proofread his final paragraph either. But it’s understandable, as he’s too busy crusading against lazy writers!!)

    Also, nowhere in that article does Gackle “compare” Colon to Rose or the Black Sox at all. He makes a completely different and very valid point about the legacy of certain kinds of cheaters in the game as opposed to others and how that is a still unfolding quandary for MLB.

    Gackle seems, to me, to be addressing head-on the rather complicated question between “science and biology”. And MLB’s current policy in regard to dealing with both. Even though he quoted it, Craig completely misunderstood, or just chose not to answer the entirely valid question Gackle was asking? If Colon was suspended for using PED’s last season, but is pitching even better this year while supposedly clean, then why ban him last year? It would seem the PED’s he was taking gave him no advantage, or were having no measurable effect on his 40 year old shoulder or body anyway. Right? He’s even better without them! Makes one wonder why he even bothered then with trips to Biogenesis? Hmmm?

    Gackle is no more in charge of current drug testing policy than Craig is, so why should he be required to offer “proof”? Especially as he makes the point the cheaters will always try to be one step ahead of drug and testing policy anyway, by seeking out the most cutting edge and least detectable forms of PEDs. (Also, reducing the argument down to fluctuations in pitching “velocity” goes beyond missing the point). Gackle’s not making a charge, he’s acknowledging a very real question still hanging over the game whether others would choose to ignore it or not. Particularly, in this instance, in the form of 40 year old and recently suspended Bartolo Colon and his likely inclusion on the AL All-Star staff. He’s absolutely right to spend as many column inches as he wants asking these questions and voicing these concerns.

    • cur68 - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:36 AM

      Your name’s really “Gackle” isn’t it? That’s pretty funny, Mr. Gackle.

      • ssazz - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:50 AM

        Nope, never even heard of him before clicking this link and reading his article. :)

        Elaine: What kind of a name is Paul Gackle anyway?

        Jerry: I think it’s Dutch.

  13. coryfor3 - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Oh yeah Craig- no big deal. Everyone has their career derailed by shoulder injuries and then out if nowhere revives their career in their late 30s-early 40s after having suspicious surgeries, testing positive for PEDs. Yep – I’m sure he’s clean and his career path is normal.

  14. chip56 - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    The other thing that Gackle’s pointing out is the simple fact that it will be embarrassing for MLB to have Colon pitching in the All Star Game. Much as it was to have the All Star Game MVP turn out to be a juicer himself and having Ryan Bruan test positive after being named NL MVP.

    • ssazz - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:01 PM

      Ding!

  15. chip56 - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    It raises the question of whether players who are busted for PED use should be ineligible going forward for awards like All Star appearances, MVPs, Cy Youngs and the like?

    I don’t see anything wrong with it though the union might given that there’s often compensation tied to individual awards.

  16. bmoreravens1012013 - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Fatboy shouldnt even be playing. Anyone who gets plucked for ped use is a coward and a dirty player imo. If MLB/ MLBPA stops dancing around it and start hammering these CHEATERS with full year suspensions , it would stop. It’s a total disgrace that this guy is allowed to pitch and its disgusting how its at other teams peril .Meanwhile the media barely says anything , i.e. David Ortiz….., then when one of them actually does have the courage to speak up, they get criticized for jumping to conclusions w/ out evidence….!!! Are you kidding me? You would think that they would learn after the steroid era , but no, MLB seems poised once again to get left in the dust by the other 2 major sports , especially football. I would be sick if Bartolo Colon beat my Orioles in a big playoff game, but MLB should be even sicker. # whatajoke

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:21 PM

      but no, MLB seems poised once again to get left in the dust by the other 2 major sports , especially football.

      Rants about PED use in sports, then brings up football with zero mention of the history of steroids in the league. Also, what other sport outside of football can touch MLB’s popularity or revenue? The NHL, which has shut down what, 2 or 3 times in the last 15 years? The NBA? Give me a break…

  17. maxabrams1704 - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Ya, god, how can we celebrate all these cheaters that have been caught red handed? Who would celebrate these people? Btw, how’s Andy Pettitte doing? And how is the media following him?

    • ssazz - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:01 PM

      Was Pettitte suspended last August for a drug violation? And what should the media be doing in regard to “following” Pettitte that they aren’t currently doing? Just curious.

  18. barrywhererufrom - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    I love the people who defend the steroid users. my favorite is it doesn’t give them an advantage. like strength has nothing to do with baseball. how about it making it easier to recover after a work out. and if there was no advantage why would so many players use them? Brady anderson,roger,clemens, pudge rodriguez, rafael palmerio, manny ramirez, barry bonds, ken camnitti..roids made,the average ballplayers all stars,and,the great ones
    legends.,it wont,make you,hit,the ball,but,it,will make you,throw and,hit the ball further

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 17, 2013 at 7:46 PM

      if there was no advantage why would so many players use them?

      There’s no such thing as God, yet people pray to him. Those “phiten” necklaces and bracelets are proven to not work, yet players wear them. Merely believing in something doesn’t make it right. Or else Kate Upton is on her way to my house right now…

      ,it wont,make you,hit,the ball,but,it,will make you,throw and,hit the ball further

      It’s possible, and it’s also possible that the effect is overblown. Since says it is, have anything other than anecdotes to say otherwise? Because we can also throw out people like Alex Sanchez, Jeremy Giambi, Ozzie Canseco, etc that were terrible even on PEDs.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 17, 2013 at 7:46 PM

        Since says it is,

        Sigh, should read “science says it is”

  19. joelwrobinson - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    Go A’s.

  20. baddogjosie - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    So, did Colon cause the sewage mess yesterday by trying to flush away the ‘evidence’?

  21. bh192012 - Jun 17, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    Bartolos PEDs:

    Players who defend well.
    Extra foul territory.
    Doesn’t crack under pressure, goes after batters every time.
    sometimes has cool marine layer.

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