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Posnanski: Fair or unfair, Major League Baseball making example of Alex Rodriguez

Aug 5, 2013, 9:18 PM EST

WASHINGTON — Yes, there were lots of questions (at least 211 of them) Monday after Major League Baseball suspended a bunch of players and Alex Rodriguez for taking performance-enhancing drugs, but one question kept echoing.

Question: How many times over the last dozen years do you think Bud Selig looked jealously across the field toward those National Football League suits?

Think about how many different ways Selig has tried to tackle this PED scandal over the years.

– There was the PIDE (Pretend It Doesn’t Exist) Era. That led to disgrace, ignominy, a tainted home run record, another tainted home run record, another one after that, a dressing down from the U.S. Government, a few thousand yottabytes of bad publicity and an empty Hall of Fame ceremony. So that didn’t work too well.

– That was followed by the MCTIS (Most Comprehensive Testing In Sports) Era, where everybody seemed to think the game was dirty but the Commissioner bragged anyway about how proud he was about the way the game was cleaning itself up. This coincided with Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens trials that produced almost nothing, fewer home runs and absolutely no confidence that baseball had anything under control.

– Finally, we moved into the GAROD (Get A-Rod) Era, also known as Fryin’ Ryan, in which Selig and baseball folks put on their deputy badge, loaded the single bullet into the gun, did some investigatin’, and fired serious suspensions at former MVP Ryan Braun, good players Jhonny Peralta and Nelson Cruz, a bunch of other guys and, mostly, Alex Rodriguez, who they slammed with a 211-game suspension because, um, I think because it’s a primorial prime number.*

*Look it up! I did!

And what will be the reaction to this? Will people say: ‘Good for baseball! Cleaning up the game! I think it’s much cleaner now! I’m more of a baseball fan today than I was yesterday!’

No.

Will people say: ‘Good for Bud Selig! Yeah, maybe he was a little bit clueless or entirely negligent in the early days of the steroid scandal but he’s made up for that by punishing these cheating ballplayers and, especially, for coming up with some crazy suspension number for Alex Rodriguez that probably won’t hold up in appeal!’

No.

What will people say? Most of them will say nothing at all because they’re studying for their fantasy football draft.

Yes, how many times has Bud Selig looked across the way and grumbled bitterly about professional football. The NFL has 330-pound offensive linemen who can lift forklifts. The NFL has 250-pound linebackers who move faster than Porsches. The NFL has running backs who can sprint like Usain Bolt, then stop instantly like the Road Runner from the cartoons. And so on.

Meanwhile, if a baseball player hit four home runs in a week, Twitter is dancing with steroid allegations.

The NFL drug tests will get a few players here and there, though few stars. The punishments will be a handful of games. And generally speaking, nobody seems to care too much (or at all) about any of it. Some players have been hurt by players who were found to be using steroids – there seems almost no outrage about any of it. As more than one baseball official has muttered over the last few years: “How does football avoid all of it?”

The answers always seemed too pat to me. I’ve heard it said that the difference is record-keeping – baseball’s records are cherished while nobody cares about football records. I’ve heard it said that the difference is familiarity – fans feel like they KNOW baseball players while football players are hidden behind facemasks and under armor. I’ve heard it said the difference is the violence – football players have to endure so much pain and brutality, that it would be almost cruel to deny them PEDs just for survival.

MORE: Subdued A-Rod: ‘I’m fighting for my life’

I have another theory, but first it’s worth taking a moment to discuss Baseball getting A-Rod. It’s worth noting that for all the talk about steroids, MLB has rarely actually caught anybody. They never punished Barry Bonds (unless you believe the owners colluded to keep him out of the game at the end), never punished Roger Clemens, never punished Mark McGwire. Jason Giambi admitted using – no suspension. Gary Sheffield said he might have unknowingly used – no suspension. Andy Pettitte admitted using HGH twice … no suspension. The list goes on and on.

There are good reasons Baseball did not suspend any of these people by the way – but it still paints a picture. And the picture is of a bunch of kids trying to sneak into the ballpark without paying, and the helpless ticket guy (representative of MLB) trying to grab as many as he can, while shouting in a funny Irish accent: “You … little … squirts … get back here … oh … when … I … get … my … hands … on … you!” And in the end the guy catches one, holds up him by the scruff of his neck, and says, “I’ll make an example of this one, I will.”

So Baseball wants to make an example out of A-Rod, and he’s the obvious choice because almost nobody likes him. Well, he brought that on himself. He’s pompous, a bit delusional, strange, certainly a cheater, certainly a liar, and anyway not good enough anymore to have many Yankees fans in his corner.

When a governing body can unload on a wildly unpopular figure they tend do so with gusto and fury and all measure tossed out the window. So Baseball floated the crazy idea of a lifetime ban, cut off negotiations with A-Rod’s people, talked about keeping him off the field in the best interest of baseball and then slammed A–Rod with a suspension four-times longer (and many millions more expensive) than the others. None of it exactly seems “fair” – the guy used steroids to become a better baseball player, like many others; he didn’t torch a village — but when it comes to A-Rod, how many people care about fairness?

“Hit Da Roid!” the New York Daily News cover advised Rodriguez.

“Just Go!” the New York Post said a bit more succinctly.

So, at the moment, most people figure to side with Baseball no matter how big a suspension they give A-Rod. If they ruled that A-Rod should be imprisoned in the Tower of London, it would probably get 73 percent approval rating. But now the court shifts away from public opinion. The appeal process will probably take a while, allowing A-Rod to play. Baseball’s case against A-Rod might rely heavily on Biogenesis’ Tony Bosch, who isn’t exactly Walter Cronkite in the credibility department. They will have to make a strong case that what A-Rod did was SO much worse than what the others did. Maybe they have the goods. Maybe they don’t.

In other words, it could all still lead to another pie in the face for Bud Selig and baseball.

And this stuff never happens in football – at least not with performance enhancing drugs. My theory on that: There’s a fundamental difference in the way many people watch baseball and football. People watch football as pure spectators. Oh we get into the game. But I know of very few people who watch a football game and think, “Oh, I could see myself out there.” People may gripe when a quarterback takes a bad sack or a receiver drops a ball over the middle or a linebacker misses a tackle. But you don’t often hear them say: “Oh man, I could have done better than that.”

But in baseball, many people are more than spectators. Here in Washington at this Nationals-Braves game, for instance, I just saw Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche botch an easy ground ball. And the thought popped into my head before I could stop it: I could have made that play. Of course, I couldn’t have made the play – but I will never convince my mind of that.

I never once see a receiver have the football and his body forcibly separated by a kamikaze hit from a safety and think: “Oh, I would have held on to that.”

That’s baseball. There’s a closeness to the game that baseball fans feel, a connection to the field, a memory of a diving catch made in Little League, a lingering feeling of a softball home run, a sense that if one or two things had gone right that it might be me out there. The players out there are stand-ins for our own baseball fantasies. We want them to entertain our delusions. That’s not necessarily fair, but that’s the game.

  1. proudlycanadian - Aug 5, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    Nice criticism of Bud Selig. Originally an ostrich with his head in the sand, he has morphed into a caped crusader in his advance age.

    • zekeo1 - Aug 6, 2013 at 4:07 PM

      A fraud and a whore. Selig basked in baseball’s glory when PED were “fashionable”. A rod deserves punishment but to make him out to be the face of steroids is crazy.
      By the way isn’t it about time that Pete Rose got some slack. AT least what he did did not affect games when players were cheating.
      They should give all the players tests tomorrow and clear the air once and for all

  2. michaeljacksonisback - Aug 5, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    That wasn’t an article it was a book report!

    • cohnjusack - Aug 5, 2013 at 10:10 PM

      This is actually on the short side for a Posnanski article.

      He likes to go into depth and get into the complexity…and it’s a wonderful thing. I’d much rather read 5000 words of thoughtful, intelligent writing than someone saying “Why don’t people care about this shit in football. It’s fucked up man.”

      • tfbuckfutter - Aug 5, 2013 at 11:11 PM

        In some ways I really like Joe’s writing.

        He’s intelligent, and thoughtful and verbose, and always comes at the subject from an interesting or at least unique angle.

        Which is why he is very poorly suited to a blog, the purpose of which is brevity.

        I want the information, concisely worded, and with a bit of opinion mixed in. And then I want to read people agree or bitch and bring their own spin on the subject.

        I don’t want a history lesson. If I want that I will buy a magazine (not likely) or a book on the subject.

        So I actually do respect Joe immensely….but not in this context.

      • dan1111 - Aug 6, 2013 at 6:16 AM

        Are Joe’s posts always going to be accompanied by comments pondering whether the post was are too long or not?

        Everyone who is concerned that there is too much content should at least refrain from contributing to the problem!

      • forsch31 - Aug 6, 2013 at 9:09 AM

        I’d rather have a thoughful 1500-word blog post that actually examines the issue with a modicum of intelligence than an online reenactment of the Jerry Springer Show any day of the week.

        The way you describe it, blogging is about pandering to the lowest common denominator. The reality is that the writer sets the tone, and there are no “rules” to blogging.

    • southofheaven81 - Aug 7, 2013 at 8:56 AM

      DURP REEDING!!!

  3. chill1184 - Aug 5, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    Alex Rodriguez = MLB writers’ Two-Minutes of Hate

  4. sdelmonte - Aug 5, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    Wow. Even Joe’s gotten all sanctimonious about this subject.

    At least we still have Craig.

  5. timburns116 - Aug 5, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    It’s easier than that, Joe. It’s the Baseball media. Much as they hated Ted Williams and worshipped DiMaggio, they will eat their own. NFL media types are part of the team. NFL players beat their spouses, commit suicide, take PED’s, and are generally thuggish miscreants (which says something, because baseball players ain’t no angels), but the football fan and the football media don’t care.

    There is more interest/outrage about PED’s in an average MLB press box as there is in any baseball stadium or in all football stadiums in a given day. If we could somehow escape the ridiculous and childish approbation of the baseball writer, especially the older ones (who conveniently ignore greenies and cortisone from an earlier, more pure, age, then the sport would better off.

    Also, Bud Selig, the worst commissioner since Bowie Kuhn, could retire and baseball could put someone who is not so…..stupid/evil both?)

    • foolmaker - Aug 5, 2013 at 10:35 PM

      You know what though? The NFL’s number is going to be called. Maybe soon, maybe not for another decade. The PED’s, the crimes, the concussions. All of that is going to catch up to them. Some report is going to come out or some player will die, and the national media turn on them hard. Especially the concussions. With the way our society is becoming so health sensitive, all those years of ignoring the problem is going to cause hell for the NFL.

      • 18thstreet - Aug 6, 2013 at 7:30 AM

        Thumbs up, with a footnote that you don’t have to be especially health sensitive to care about brain injuries. And once we discover that the NFL knew how common they were, and covered up the evidence, they had better hope it never goes to a jury.

    • brucefan1 - Aug 5, 2013 at 10:54 PM

      I hear that tim!

      Since when did baseball reporters go from being impartial REPORTERS of the FACTS to self-appointed GUARDIANS of the game. In their smug imaginations, nothing happens in MLB unless it first meets their approval. (Or at least TODAY’s version of their approval!)

      Could it be they’re overcompensating for dropping the ball so badly in the early days pf the steriod era, when many turned a blind eye and/or covered up what they could plainly see was going on. Too late fellas; your complicity is etched in stone in the mind of baseball fans.

      Tell ya what, players should not be only ones denied entrance into the Baseball Hall of Fame because of their involvement in the Steroid Era. Imho, NO reporter who didnt blow the whistle EARLY and OFTEN about PED use should EVER be allowed induction into the “Writers Wing” of theHOF.

      (And Bud should never be allowed in either – for celebrating the early cheaters until, and only until, he was FORCED by Congress to disavow them.)

      • wurst2first - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:29 PM

        Since basically forever. The earliest baseball writers had free reign to mythologize the game and its players how they saw fit, and what we’re seeing is the current culture of baseball media kicking and screaming against reality (and the free flow of information) slowly stripping them of this “right.”

  6. irvin12589 - Aug 5, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    This turd deserves a LIFE LONG BAN! Pete Rose got it for something far less. WHAT A JOKE!!!! Selig it’s time for you to step aside. Haven’t you done enough to damage baseball.

    • Reflex - Aug 5, 2013 at 10:13 PM

      Pete Rose is one of the guys who introduced PEDs to baseball. Think before you speak. If you think steroids are worse than gambling, then what do you think of a guy who both gambled on the game and pushed young players into trying steroids?

      http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=steroids&num=2

      • jwbiii - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:08 AM

        Thanks, Reflex. Good article. It’s a rather long winded summary of the state of PEDs in baseball as of November, 2006.

      • Reflex - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:52 PM

        I dislike the PED users and I could care less if they are held out of the hall. But at the same time I can’t be blind enough to put the individual damage they do to the record books and less talented players above the damage that gamblers like Pete Rose do to the integrity of the game itself. Both are crimes, but betting on outcomes is far far worse to the game, and Rose absolutely should never be celebrated as a Hall of Famer(and to be honest, I don’t think Shoeless Joe should be either). Celebrate their accomplishments, but keep the men themselves away.

        As for Rose, it adds ammo to what is already an open and shut case when people are reminded that he had a huge role to play in introducing PEDs to the game. Especially when he sanctimoniously attempts to convince people that PED abuse is worse than his crimes. It is not, and he was also part of the problem he is claiming is worse.

    • rbj1 - Aug 5, 2013 at 10:15 PM

      What the G-d damn hell are you talking about? Betting on games in which you have a duty to perform is an automatic lifetime ban. There is no debate about betting to win or lose, it’s banishment. Has been for Pete’s whole life. Period. First time under current rules is 50 games. I’d give an extra 15 games for his implication that the Yankees want him gone to save money. It’s true, but an employee can’t ding his employer without evidence.

      Engaging in conduct that brings into question the integrity of the game is far worse than trying for an unfair advantage.

      • irvin12589 - Aug 6, 2013 at 8:22 AM

        How does Steroids not bring into question the integrity of the game? He A. Lied B. attempted to intimidate witnesses and force them to not testify C. Lied for 4 years! He’s garbage.

      • timburns116 - Aug 6, 2013 at 9:15 AM

        Irv, it’s not the “integrity of the Game;” it’s the “integrity of the game.” In other words, gambling affects whether you, the fan, are watching a competition in which both sides are trying to win. No matter what one thinks of PED’s, there is no question the players taking them did so to do well and try to win.

  7. nbjays - Aug 5, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    Great article, Joe, as usual. As cohnjusack has already said, when an article is thoughtful, intelligent and elegantly written, the length doesn’t matter. Your posts usually fall into that category.

    As much as I despise A-Rod (which is probably more than the average person), I can’t see Bud’s 211 game suspension standing up to any scrutiny by a competent arbitrator. Unless MLB has iron-clad evidence that he peddled steroids among his peers with the same reckless abandon as a drug dealer at a high school, I think that number gets reduced significantly. Unless, of course, the arbitrator is an A-Rod hater too.

    To me, the big unanswered question in this is: Exactly what do Bud and MLB think they have accomplished here? (aside from tarring and feathering the most hated guy in the game)

    Do they think that this rash of suspensions holds up or verifies their vaunted drug testing program in any way? Keep in mind that, among this latest Biogenesis bunch, no one was actually caught by failing a drug test; they were all caught by a reporter doing some investigating and getting lucky.

    Do they think that they have now gotten all the rats in one fell swoop? Do they really think that Biogenesis was and is the only source for PEDs in baseball and now that they have cleared it out, everything will be sunshine, roses and PED-free ballplayers?

    Yes, this whole affair has generated more questions than answers (at least in my mind), and as much as Smug Bud would like to think it has made him the Savior of Baseball, I see it as mostly smoke and mirrors (and misplaced optimism).

    If baseball (meaning the Commissioner, the owners, AND the players union) is really serious about the issue of PEDs, they will work together to implement a drug testing regime that is actually effective — something more substantial than one or two well-advertised tests a season — and a penalty system that is both fair and equitable but also has some teeth. For example, I would not be against a clause that denied future Hall of Fame eligibility to anyone caught and suspended for PED use.

    Anyway, just my two cents worth.

    • basedrum777 - Aug 6, 2013 at 9:06 AM

      Why are all the AROD sympathizers out in force?

      This guy duped 3 different owners (presumably) to pay him for abilities we have no idea he’s ever had.

      He got caught cheating in the 200 players first. Admitted to cheating in Texas (just one cycle). Then he “came clean” and continued to be a fucking cheating dickhead. Then he gets new shit from biogenesis, encourages more players to do the same, and then tries to buy the files from Biogenesis bc why not he’s already shit on everything that could possibly be good in his empty empty soul. He should be banned for life. Forever. He is a fraud. And he shouldn’t be allowed to view MLB games let alone play in them. Fuck Arod!
      Signed every Yankee fan who gives a fuck about the team.

      • timburns116 - Aug 6, 2013 at 9:17 AM

        Seems like you’re more interested in the current Yankees than in anything Alex did.

        Feel the same way about Petiitte?

      • nbjays - Aug 6, 2013 at 9:37 AM

        Rage much?

        What makes you think I’m an A-Rod sympathizer? The fact that I said Smug Bud’s 211 game suspension is a bit much considering the circumstances?

        Did you show this level of rage over Clemens? Bonds? Pettitte?

        Thought not.

      • jsco2 - Aug 6, 2013 at 11:42 AM

        basedrum777 – Your limited vocabulary amazes me. If those are the only words you have to express yourself, I really feel sorry for you. That kind of language should be banned from these discussions – just like the “users” should be banned from baseball.

      • brucefan1 - Aug 6, 2013 at 3:03 PM

        While you come off as total ignoramus to whom no one has any obligation to answer or to respect, I’ll try to educate you a little; no one here is an ARod sympathizer.

        If I understand certain comments correctly, the most people will say that sounds like support of him is that some seem opposed to the lynch mob mentality that seems to be pervasive in the media today, in this case in particular. No chance for defense, no being allowed to make his case, completely changing the rules because we hate the guy.

        Now, it’s obvious that a lot of guys seem perfectly cool with this approach, including LOTS of media guys. BUT some people are not. Those are the ones whose position you’re inadvertently elevating, Mr.777, as your crude attempt at an attack backfires in your face.

        Another thing many commenters seem to have trouble with is the blatant hypocrisy of a commissioner & a media horde who turned a blind eye to PEDs for years, now attempting to exonerate themselves by inappropriate unprofessional behavior in their quest for an easy scapegoat (and who’s easier than ARod!).

        They seem to have forgotten the old truth that two WRONGS do not make a RIGHT.

  8. sportsfan18 - Aug 5, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    Well done Mr. Posnanski.

  9. stevem7 - Aug 5, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    Certainly makes the case for why Bud Selig is the worst possible person to be the Commissioner Of Baseball.

    • ptfu - Aug 5, 2013 at 11:10 PM

      Sadly, Bud’s the only possible person who could be the commish. The owners won’t hire someone strong, courageous, able to think independently and willing to act in the interest of the entire game. The owners want someone who will do what they say, and who will act in their interests (as interpreted by them).

      Whenever Bud leaves office, the owners will replace him with a Bud-clone. There will not be another Kenesaw Mountain Landis or Fay Vincent.

    • tackandcover - Aug 5, 2013 at 11:46 PM

      Bud was asleep at the switch during the ‘roid plague of the ’90s. Now he’s all Mr Tough. What do you expect when a used car salesman becomes the Commissioner. Got to hand him one thing though, he sure suckered the citizens and politicians of WI into dropping almost a half billion for a stadium for his Milwaukee Brewer team. He then sold it for a profit not too short of obscene.

      • bigharold - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:12 AM

        “Bud was asleep at the switch during the ‘roid plague of the ’90s. Now he’s all Mr Tough.”

        Selig certainly has mishandled this Biogenisis. He could have suspended these guys weeks ago and been through the appeals process by now. Instead he let this drag on for weeks, .. a soap opera of epic proportions. But, in all fairness there is no way he could have accomplished anything in the 90s on steroids because the union would never have allowed it. In fact Donald Fehr refused to even discuss it. The only reason the union went along was Congress was making noise about looking into steroids and sports and they figured that whatever MLB wanted was going to be better than a Federal law that might well include criminal charges. Until the union relented, .. MLB could get anything done about testing.

        But, remember MLB’s testing didn’t catch these guys. Since the 2003 “survey”, which doesn’t count as a failed test, A-Rod has never failed a drug screening. These guys got caught because Anthony Bosch suckered Porter Fischer into investing into his snake oil business then Bosch decided to stiff him on a $4K investment. So, Fischer stole a bunch of records and gave them to a newspaper in Miami. It’s hard to consider the testing program that much of a success.

        Imagine, .. total up the potential loss of salary to the 14 guys who are being suspended is the direct result of Bosch scamming some clown of of four grand.

    • timburns116 - Aug 6, 2013 at 9:40 AM

      Bud’s entire professional career, from union busting Fay Vincent firer to causing the cancellation of the World Series to turning a blind eye to PED’s, to ruining the damn All-Star game, and the regular season with daily inter-league play (what can I say, I’m old), to now imposing extra-legal punishments on some players and not others…speaks to the fact that he is worst possible Commissioner.

      Unless, of course, you’re an owner. Bud’s dim intellect and refusal to most anything has allowed baseball owners to extort cities for revenue and his latest “actions,” according to sentiments tweeted from fervently anti-PED MLBer’s, seems destined to finally put a wedge in that Union that Bud has wanted to bust since the early 90′s. If I were an owner, I wouldn’t mind the buffoon

  10. zoemartin9 - Aug 5, 2013 at 11:14 PM

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    • ezthinking - Aug 5, 2013 at 11:55 PM

      Get lost douche.

    • KR - Aug 6, 2013 at 7:50 AM

      Oh, is that who I was watching in that video yesterday?

      • basedrum777 - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:29 AM

        Winner

  11. schniz61 - Aug 5, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    I wish the cattle would stop writing about A-Fraud. He should be treated like the stupid fan that runs on to the field. How about an article about the relevant players in the game?

  12. dumbassgreg - Aug 5, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    baseball made it choice the day steve wilstein wrote about andro in mcgwire locker he got attacked from reporters,fans,managers,players chicks digging the long ball ,everyone connected with baseball. the people I was hanging around at the time said that is a steriods guess baseball people are okay with a steriod. which they were for years.

    as for football. it only changes if on e of three things happen. the black males decide it not the new boxing stop sacrificing their health for money. i have heard bob ryan say the other two 2 . mothers refuse to allow their sons to play. 3. insurance companies refuse to cover.

    even if they do the game will go in secret locations off the land of usa. on barge at sea etc. many enjoy seeing other humans sacrifice their bodies for entertainment . goes back to gladiators has been part of human race since beginning of time.

  13. Stiller43 - Aug 5, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    “The NFL drug tests will get a few players here and there, though few stars. The punishments will be a handful of games. And generally speaking, nobody seems to care too much (or at all) about any of it.”

    Football players are given 25% of a season on their first offense, pretty similar to what MLB players get (a little less then a third a season).

    Baseball is a numbers sport, and also a sports of mostly individuals working towards a team goal.

    Pple know the HR record, hits records, etc…ask anyone the career rushing record or passing record (which were set recently)…almost nobody knows it.

    Baseball is mostly about ONE pitcher vs ONE batter that determines outcomes of games. Football, if one person dopes, it may mean nothing if nobody blocks for him… There are MASSIVE differences between football and baseball. The fact that you ignore/fail to see them is insane to me.

    This doesnt mean cheating is less bad in my eyes in either spot…all im saying is, its easier to affect individual performances with doping in baseball vs football.

    • basedrum777 - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:31 AM

      Tell that to Adrian Peterson…

    • b453841l - Aug 6, 2013 at 3:53 PM

      I just had to log in to let you know how idiotic this comment is. My brain started hurting trying to follow your line of “reasoning.”

  14. yousuxxors - Aug 5, 2013 at 11:59 PM

    you know why no one cares about it in the NFL ? they catch people say that they are suspended under their program and tell the media to fuck off. baseball turns it into a huge lynch mob. football catches more people than baseball. the crimes people commit in football matter because they actually get suspended for it in football. the media doesn’t have access to football teams like baseball teams so you don’t get these entitled d-bags who think they are guardians of the story. football players are beasts like that not because of steroids. it because the best athletes in the country all go to football or basketball. they have gone away from baseball sadly. NFL handles problems properly while MLB does not. the NBA has the biggest freaks of them all then why don’t they get shit? lebron James does ungodly things on the court. hes juicing right? steroids have been around since the 60s but baseball fans can be sentimental. MLB shot themselves.

  15. anxovies - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    I looked it up Joe, but I still don’t understand. Why is it that if pn# + 1 or pn# − 1 is a primorial prime, there have to be larger primes than the nth prime? Help me out here.

    • nategearhart - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:42 AM

      You are finding the product of the n x (n-1) x (n-2) x…etc, then adding or subtracting 1, giving you a number that is larger than the nth prime, but that is also prime by assumption. So the primorial prime itself is larger than the nth prime.

      • anxovies - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:10 AM

        Ah man! Why didn’t I see that? it was right in front of me. Thanks.

  16. sophiethegreatdane - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    I call “narrative”. The PIDE, MCTIS and GAROD eras clearly overlap – by a lot!!

    Nice try though.

    • moogro - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:06 PM

      It was a fun parsing, but you’re right.

  17. stayclassyasheville - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    Sports is a billion dollar entertainment industry and everybody is getting rich from the labs that cook the drugs the athletes take, right up to the team owner. Nobody seems to want to protect the athlete from themselves because everybody is getting rich, EXCEPT the fans. The tests are always beatable. The PEDs are ahead of the testers. Fans are pacified by empty rhetoric from the authorities on the issue. Couple this tragedy with the fact that the stadiums are funded by taxpayers. It makes me sick!

  18. ningenito78 - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    Whew. That theory is deep and probably overly thought out. I think with football PED use is just an expected outcome of such a testosterone fueled sport. Plus the fact it feels like PEDs have less impact on football because every successful play requires a team effort whereas in baseball, one swing of the bat by one juiced up player changes everything. Some running back can juice himself into Zeus himself but if his offensive line can’t block he’s just a juiced up pile of person on the turf. The acceptance of PED use in football isn’t just a perception thing as much as just the reality it doesn’t have the same impact on the outcome of a game.

    • vlock1 - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:53 AM

      “juiced-up pile of person on the turf.”

      Quality turn of phrase, and accurate, as well.

  19. fiddytucker - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:37 AM

    Why are there not more articles about Alex Rodriguez?

    • nbjays - Aug 6, 2013 at 8:18 AM

      There are. Keep looking.

  20. rfaronson - Aug 6, 2013 at 3:57 AM

    I do think baseball colluded to keep Barry Bonds out. His last season, with 40 plate appearances too few to quality for most titles, he led the National League in OPS. Even calling all his missing plate appearances as outs so he qualified, he still led the NL in OBP. And he was 5/0 on the base paths. So he was old and creaky. He hit even better with the platoon advantage. You platoon him at DH or LF with a RHB to keep him healthy, and you would upgrade EVERY AL DH and most NL Left Fielders. So nobody would take a chance? It had to be collusion.

    The 211 game suspension is a $30,000,000+ gift to the Yankees for baseball taking so long to realize how dirty ARod has been his whole career.

    • clemente2 - Aug 6, 2013 at 3:46 PM

      The Rays decided not to win the World Series that year—Bonds at DH would have put them over the top.

  21. jayscarpa - Aug 6, 2013 at 8:39 AM

    ARod’s suspension under the JDA is probably 50 games like the other guys. The rest of the penalty is imposed under the CBA. The commissioner made the determination that ARod’s conduct in impeding the investigation deserved a year’s suspension.

    No one knows what the evidence is so no one knows if one season is a fair punishment. There are plenty of scenarios in which it could be a fair punishment.

    It could be that MLB has nothing and is just making an example of him. We will see.

    • doncoffin64 - Aug 6, 2013 at 9:57 PM

      The entire suspension is under the JDA; using the “best interests of the game” clasue would actually allow the player to appeal *outside* the arbitration system. Penaties under the “best interests” clause can be appealed to the Commissioner–and then to a federal court. Do you really thnk MLB wants to getinto a situation is which it has to abide by legal rules of evidence? And have its witnesses cross-examined in public?

  22. jsco2 - Aug 6, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    I don’t understand why so many people feel that baseball is supposed to be special and above all of this. It’s illegal and it is ruining the game – let alone showing our kids how to cheat – just so you can make more money. What ever happened to “cheaters never win and winners never cheat”? Long gone!

    Isn’t it strange that our young people in track and/or bicycle riding are banned for life, their wins, records and everything about them is removed from the record books? Why not the same for baseball? Why should a Mark McGuire, or a Barry Bonds be allowed to remain in the record books whern everyone knew they were “using” – all you had to do was watch McGuire walk to the plate & you knew he was using – looked like some kind of monster. So why should he be in the record books replacing people like Babe Ruth or Hank Aaron? He shouldn’t!!!!!!!!!!!! Take the cheaters out of the record books. Get baseball back to our national past time and give our kids some decent heros to admire and look up to.

    Baseball needs to clean it up & if that means banning some of the “stars” so be it. Get it done!!

    • clemente2 - Aug 6, 2013 at 3:47 PM

      Aaaaaagh!!

  23. vstar1us - Aug 6, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    This is not a shock to the game, it is a disgrace to the game! We all know some folks lack the true talent to play any game on fair equal grounds, it is what it tells our youth it is ok to cheat to be better than the other guy. Most time the other guy never makes head lines but he plays the game for the love of it and yes money. Remember you still have to feed your family, and if you can do that and play the game without taking supplements you can always look at your family and fans with your head held high. I think A-Rod should look more than in the mirror, he should step away and find what he can do to make a positive impact.

  24. moogro - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    I think Pos + timburns116 = close to correct. I like the vicarious baseball player theory that Joe espouses, and that contributes to the helicopter-mother baseball press behaviour that tim describes. This also helps explain the unusual amount of animus surrounding Alex Rodriguez: packaged in football armour in an NFL milieu, he is already unattainable, exotic, impossible to identify with, distanced to pure spectacle. Politics of his body, including his behaviour, race and sexuality, don’t interfere with any kind of identification vis-a-vis the mainstream fan. Put him in a baseball costume, he immediately clashes with a long standing historical narrative about what a baseball player “means,” and you more easily compare yourself to him in his position. He becomes something like that talented but asshole-ish guy that rocked your little league, to a Classis American Success Narrative mismanaged, and everything in between.

    • clemente2 - Aug 6, 2013 at 3:58 PM

      Like it. Like it alot. Yes, very mismanaged–I assume because A-Rod is very difficult to manage, and has no clue himself. Perversely, A-Rod is vilified for wanting to be human, and not understanding he is not. The masks that Jeter and Jordan successfully wove could cover all sorts of eccentricities, yet the mask is all that matters. As to the difference with the NFL, do not undersell the success of the NFL narative that teams rather than players matter–look at the rules, the contracts, the elevation of coaches; Carlin was right that football is the military, and it is the team results, not the individual soldiers, that ultimately matter. In baseball, the individual results are the narrative, though team results are nice. So, awkward individuals (i.e., those that do not play the American Success Narrative well) standout in baseball, but are just oddballs in football.

  25. hitdog042 - Aug 6, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    211 wasn’t made up. 162 plus remaining 49. That equals 211. SMH

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