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One PED-fueled, record-breaking felon is good. The other PED-fueled, record-breaking felon is bad

Mar 17, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

pete rose getty Getty Images

My favorite thing about PED hysterics is how they totally freak out when one compares PED cheats to spitballers, bat-corkers and amphetamine poppers, claiming it to be apples and oranges and an illegitimate exercise in moral equivalency. Yet they themselves  love to compare gambling on baseball to PED use. And do so in an effort to absolve the gamblers.

Not all gamblers of course. They’ll tell you that the Black Sox scandal remains the worst thing to ever happen to the game. Shoeless Joe Jackson should be let off the hook because he was in “Field of Dreams” and stuff, but the rest of them cast a dark, dark shadow. Oh, and of course they make a special exception for Pete Rose. They love Pete Rose and will do anything they can to minimize or ignore his transgressions.

We’ve seen lots of this before. The claim usually goes that, yeah, what Pete Rose did was bad, but the PED cheaters are way, way worse, so we should now view him in a new light. Usually there is an effort to equate his gambling on baseball (and tax evasion and association with drug dealers and, oh yeah, his PED use, which enabled him to break the all-time hits record) as merely an understandable product of his competitive nature. And as evidence of that they’ll claim — despite the absence of evidence and despite the irrelevancy of the claim — that Rose only bet on the Reds to win. And then, when they’re done doing that, they will pivot to A-Rod or Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens to tell you how comparatively evil they are.

The latest to do so is Bill Madden of the Daily News. Who is no fan at all of Barry Bonds coaching at Giants camp last week. Indeed, he is so upset that he has made a series of assumptions and leaps, telling us what he is sure people he did not interview for his column are thinking. Neither Giants GM Brian Sabean and managing partner Larry Baer “were anywhere to be found,” at Giants camp last week Madden says, strongly implying that they disapproved of Bonds’ presence and didn’t want to be associated with it. Which is ridiculous given that both Sabean and Baer gave comments last week strongly supporting the decision to bring Bonds back as an instructor. And that, absent their approval, Bonds would not be there. I suppose Madden could have called those two to ask them to comment again, but if he did so it’d negate a few sentences of his little temper tantrum of a column.

But the worst part of it all is not that bit of disingenuousness. It’s the Keith Hernandez-caliber stretch it takes Madden to make the comparison in the first place. Indeed, it’s the very headline and premise of the piece:

It was indeed a strange coincidence that Bonds should end his seven-year exile at the same time Rose’s ban for betting on baseball is now coming up on its 25th anniversary . . .

source: APNo, it is not a strange coincidence. It’s two completely unrelated things which say nothing and mean nothing to one another. Their being thrown together in this column is 100% a function of Madden trying to beat his pro-Rose and anti-Bonds drum, not some necessary comparison that can or must be inevitably made by virtue of simple observation. This is a quintessential example of the sort of dog-wagging narrative-building one often sees from the more hacky elements of the sporting press. The ones who make it more about themselves and their preoccupations than the events they are endeavoring to describe and critique. And if you think this isn’t about Madden and his ink-stained brethren, think again:

And no doubt with the Hall of Fame in mind, Bonds was all nicey-nice with the reporters he held in contempt during his playing days, reminding me of the famous line by legendary New York baseball writer Frank Graham, about ’20s Yankee outfielder Bob Meusel, who shunned the writers most of his career until finally deciding to oblige them in his last season: “He’s learning to say hello, when it’s time to say goodbye.”

Rose, meanwhile, is “one of the great ambassadors of baseball,” according to Madden. It’d be really interesting if Madden could cite any of Rose’s great acts of baseball diplomacy. Personally, I’ve read three different books about the guy and I can’t recall any ambassadorial accomplishments. Maybe that refers to his delicate handling of the paternity suit he was slapped with in the late 70s? The expert negotiations he led prior to his tax evasion conviction? His summit meetings with the steroids dealer with whom he shared a home for a time? The sage way he handled his home plate collision with Ray Fosse, which seriously disrupted the latter’s career? Pete Rose may not be in the baseball Hall of Fame, but if there is an ambassador’s Hall of Fame — say, in Geneva — I figure he must have a plaque there.

Of course none of that is here nor there, and Madden knows it. His distaste for Barry Bonds and his affection for Pete Rose are all you have to know in order to know where he’ll come down on all of this. To know that he hates one great but drug-fueled superstar who broke one of baseball’s signature records thanks to PEDs and was later convicted of a felony yet loves a different great but drug-fueled superstar who broke one of baseball’s signature records thanks to PEDs and was later convicted of a felony. If you can’t see the differences there, well, you’re just not as enlightened as Bill Madden.

I suppose Madden might say I’ve made his point for him. That there is no difference, so why can’t Rose coach too? Such a claim wouldn’t pass the smell test for me given how clearly Madden wishes that Bonds were not allowed to be anywhere near a baseball field. He’d have them handled differently just like baseball is handling them differently, only he’d reverse who is banned and who isn’t. For my part, I’m having a really hard time seeing how either Bonds or Rose could do much harm as a guest hitting instructor. Hell, it’d almost be worth it to see Rose squeeze into a uniform again. Hopefully his 1970s-style double-knits.

I doubt we’ll ever get there. But if we do, it will be because of baseball’s consideration of Pete Rose and Pete Rose alone. It will not require some intellectually dishonest and transparently personal argument about how bad the PED guys are.

110 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. unclemosesgreen - Mar 17, 2014 at 8:12 AM

    The full quote regarding Rose’s ambassadorial creds reads “… Rose, who, as a player, was universally regarded as one of the great ambassadors of baseball…”

    Also suspiciously absent from being interviewed for this piece was Ray Fosse.

    No player from the 20th century brought the game into greater disrepute that Pete Rose. Bill Madden just out-hacked his own hacky-sack self.

    • braddavery - Mar 18, 2014 at 12:10 AM

      How come this isn’t a big deal? Craig clearly misquoted Madden and the misquote was used against Madden in Craig’s smear piece. I get Craig’s point on the overall issue here and I agree with a lot of it, but at least be honest about what you are so upset about and don’t make things up to help your cause.

  2. woodenulykteneau - Mar 17, 2014 at 8:14 AM

    And that the beloved guy is white and the hated guy is black is juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuust a coincidence.

    • nymets4ever - Mar 17, 2014 at 8:18 AM

      lol @ the race card.

      • unclemosesgreen - Mar 17, 2014 at 8:23 AM

        The Unclean Card!!! Unclean!!

      • jm91rs - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:08 AM

        Please don’t let unclemoses get in on a race discussion.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:54 AM

      You would think by now that black people would have learned to be liked more. Sheesh!

      /s

    • tysonpunchinguterus - Mar 17, 2014 at 10:13 AM

      Didn’t Rose break the record previously held by a hate-filled racist? And didn’t Bonds break a record held by a beloved black man? I’m not sure this is a case of loving or hating someone because of race. Bonds was never all that nice to the media so writers tend to hate him.

      There were complaints about McGwire when he started coaching, too. I suppose there could be an anti-Ginger bias in the media but I’m still leaning towards the steroids. And if there are Ginger-haters in the BBWAA, they probably love the fact that Bonds broke his single-season record.

      • anxovies - Mar 17, 2014 at 1:57 PM

        The media prefers Mary Ann?

      • chinahand11 - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:52 PM

        It’s the ginger haters, Tysonpunch. God they are everywhere.

    • drewsylvania - Mar 17, 2014 at 5:11 PM

      Racism is in our genes. Those who think “race has nothing to do with it” are almost always wrong.

      • anxovies - Mar 18, 2014 at 12:27 AM

        As are those who think that race has something to do with everything. I think that we are at a point where most people with lives that count for something base most of their decisions on something else.

  3. rbj1 - Mar 17, 2014 at 8:30 AM

    I used to love reading Bill Madden in the Daily News in the 1970s – 1980s. But then I grew up.

    I suppose Madden might say I’ve made his point for him. That there is no difference, so why can’t Rose coach too? Such a claim wouldn’t pass the smell test for me given how clearly Madden wishes that Bonds were not allowed to be anywhere near a baseball field. He’d have them handled differently just like baseball is handling them differently, only he’d reverse who is banned and who isn’t.

    Which rule is it that has been posted since the 1920s, that if you violate it even once, bands you from baseball permanently? And which rule is it that recently has been enacted that you have to violate it three times to ban you and it used to be a behavior that if not outright encouraged (the jury is still out on that) was tolerated?

    Hey Bill, release your expense reports so we can go over them with a fine tooth comb.

    • chinahand11 - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:54 PM

      Madden is the type of reporter who uses “Then why did he have that look on his face? Not saying he is a liar but … ” Yep, facial expressions or body language, anything to fit his narrative.

  4. paperlions - Mar 17, 2014 at 8:30 AM

    Matt Williams used steroids and is the manager of the Nationals. I have no problem with that, in part because I realize that if no former PED users were allowed to coach or manage and we knew who all of them were, well, let’s just say that there would be a lot of guys out of a job; and in part because I don’t see how using PEDs during one’s career is really relevant to whether or not they are employed to coach or manage now.

    The obvious problem here is that hacks like Madden have vitriol for one PED user that is a guest instructor for 1 week of camp while completely ignoring the other user who is the manager of a team. There are a number of possible reasons, but none of them are good ones.

    • unclemosesgreen - Mar 17, 2014 at 8:41 AM

      Hacktastic hackery is the best heuristic in this case. It satisfies every requirement of Occam’s Razor.

      • paperlions - Mar 17, 2014 at 8:50 AM

        Yeah, but there are plenty of other options that could be the basis for the hackery: race, Bonds is a dick, Bond broke a cherished record. Hackery in and of itself is not a motivation to hack; the hack is always driven by something else.

      • unclemosesgreen - Mar 17, 2014 at 8:54 AM

        True, paper, but in this instance I choose not to speculate on Madden’s specific hack motivations. Haters gonna hate, hackers gonna hack.

        And hey – Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Everyone’s green today.

      • paperlions - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:10 AM

        I agree.

        I would just like to know why the hackers, as a group, have singled out Bonds when we KNOW that 1000s of guys used steroids (and many more than that used amphetamines) from the 1950s through the early 2000s. Heck, we know that Rose used both in his pursuit of Cobb’s record, but no one cares.

      • unclemosesgreen - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:33 AM

        I honestly think Bonds gets the bullseye for two main reasons: 1) he’s the greatest ballplayer to lace them up since Babe Ruth and 2) he was a serious jerk to the writers.

        Amongst writers, #2 is not to be forgiven.

      • paperlions - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:56 AM

        I agree….I’d just love to see one writer be honest about that for once. Instead, they already act like only a few players were using steroids and single out those guys while ignoring the 1000s that didn’t get caught or that weren’t any good at baseball.

      • unclemosesgreen - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:59 AM

        Oooh, just don’t hold your breath while you’re waiting. We’d hate to lose you. Or even to see you turn blue on the greenest day of the year.

      • paperlions - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:02 AM

        No danger in that….it is more likely that I’d suffer a case of the vapors if a hack was honest about the basis of his opinion.

  5. deadeyedesign23 - Mar 17, 2014 at 8:47 AM

    Boy it must be nice to be able to prop up the occasional argument from moron sportwriters as a strawman for all of your apologetics for PED use.

    • nymets4ever - Mar 17, 2014 at 8:59 AM

      You nailed it, haha. Now watch Craig conveniently ignore this comment.

      • unclemosesgreen - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:04 AM

        Speaking of losing brain cells, here comes poor dim Harry to haha. Pick a loser handle and stick to it, eh?

    • unclemosesgreen - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:01 AM

      It must be nice to keep banging your personal drum instead of commenting on any specific aspect of this post. That way you get to pit your strawman against your own made-up scarecrow. No matter who wins the straw-fight in your mind, everyone who reads your comments loses brain cells. Get a life.

      • babyfarkmcgeezax - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:14 AM

        You’re still around here, unclemoses? After smacking your PED-supporting ways with facts and intelligence last year I thought you would have given up the Internet.

      • unclemosesgreen - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:22 AM

        You have less than no power here, babytroll, and the next time you use facts or intelligence will be the first.

        Someone actually wasted enough time to write a scholarly paper about your lonely, pathetic existence.

        “On February 8th, 2014, University of Manitoba’s Erin Buckels and two of her colleagues published a psychology paper[15] on the personalities of trolls on the Internet. According to Slate’s summary[17] of the paper, Buckels tried to investigate whether people who are prone to engage in trolling can be characterized by certain personality traits that woud fall in what the researchers refer to as the “Dark Tetrad”: Machiavellianism (willingness to manipulate and deceive others), narcissism (egotism and self-obsession), psychopathy (the lack of remorse and empathy), and sadism (pleasure in the suffering of others). According to the paper, their study found significant correlations between exhibition of sadistic traits and trolling behavior.”

      • babyfarkmcgeezax - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:34 AM

        So being anti-cheating is the qualification of a troll in your view? Standing up for the standards of American sports journalism when Craig writes a questionable headline, like the time he actually thought we would know where his popcorn is… is trolling? Your pathetic, nasty ways that have you resort to petty name calling when your posts are ripped by facts and intelligence are more troll-like than anything I’ve posted, at least in a reality-based universe.

      • unclemosesgreen - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:40 AM

        Calling you a troll isn’t name-calling, it’s calling you by name. Instead of lying about it, you should embrace it. That’s what you are. Be that.

    • paperlions - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:11 AM

      Please learn the definition of strawman or just stop using it.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Mar 18, 2014 at 8:54 AM

        Taking arguments that a handful of people believe and propping them up as a common position to argue against is a strawman. Gambling and Pete Rose (X) is not related to Barry Bonds, etc and steroids (Y). It’s non sequitur.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:26 AM

      I don’t think you know what “strawman” means.

      • yahmule - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:39 AM

        He’s an unrepentant idiot, but this was a strawman argument. You called complaints against steroids “hysterical.” You also claimed that everybody who doesn’t directly equate steroids with other forms of cheating in baseball also compares steroids disparagingly in comparison to gambling.

        The whole post was a hot mess, but I realize you weren’t actually shooting for a persuasive argument as much as just ladling the daily chum in the water.

      • shyts7 - Mar 17, 2014 at 1:18 PM

        Craig, I think most people can eat some alphabet soup and crap out better articles than your steroid articles. Pick a new subject. Every week it’s the same crap about steroids from you. You are the only “journalist” (and I use that term loosely) that keeps beating a dead horse. Give it a rest.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:14 PM

        You are the only “journalist” (and I use that term loosely) that keeps beating a dead horse.

        This must be the only website you ever read if you think he’s the only one doing this. Not Fox News and Benghazi, not the NYPost and their years of “Plan 189″ for the Yanks, not any of the NY papers and Arod, etc

      • raysfan1 - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:40 PM

        …not to mention that every blog post about PEDs is commentary on some reporter’s or columnist’s article, so yeah, nobody else writes these articles. *eye roll*

      • deadeyedesign23 - Mar 18, 2014 at 8:50 AM

        I assure you i do, just as much as I know you know what “click-bait” means.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:57 AM

      I believe it was Madden who created the BS strawman argument here, and a blog about baseball is entirely right to call him out on it.

  6. bkertz - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:03 AM

    I thought I put that darn soapbox away.

  7. genericcommenter - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:06 AM

    Barry Bonds shows up and a jetliner vanishes around the same time. Coincidence?

    • nymets4ever - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:15 AM

      It didn’t vanish, it’s just blocked from view by Barry’s ginormous PED-fueled balloon head.

    • ptfu - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:21 AM

      I thought we were blaming A-Rod for that. History’s Greatest Monster™ has been conspicuously absent recently…what’s he been up to?

      • Old Gator - Mar 18, 2014 at 9:08 AM

        Not surprised he trademarked himself….

  8. nymets4ever - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:08 AM

    Damn. You steroid lovers get pretty aggressive at the slightest sign of someone speaking out against your balloon-headed heroes. Haha

    • paperlions - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:13 AM

      Right, because asking why all steroid users aren’t equally hated = loving steroids.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:20 AM

      Feel free to speak out against them, but try to use logic and reasoning rather than emotional and lies (like Madden et al).

    • indaburg - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:57 AM

      Nice work, nymets. You saw that people were having trouble with the definition of strawman, and you gave us a perfect example. Very well done!

      • Francisco (FC) - Mar 17, 2014 at 10:31 AM

        Hey Sally what’s up? Missed you on draft day!

      • indaburg - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:49 PM

        :-) Miss you guys.

      • Francisco (FC) - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:52 PM

        Wish you were there, ask The White Rabbit to forward you the emails. The Cur Dog is already in FWM (Full Whine Mode) because I have one of his favorite players.

      • indaburg - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:27 PM

        Lol too funny.

        I’m playing a public league and managed a coup of Carpenter and Zobrist. Amateurs. ;-)

      • Francisco (FC) - Mar 17, 2014 at 4:17 PM

        I hope that was Matt Carpenter and not Chris Carpenter… you DID check the initials right?

      • indaburg - Mar 17, 2014 at 5:47 PM

        Oh, sh! t.
        ;-) Yes, I checked!

    • largebill - Mar 17, 2014 at 12:47 PM

      Do you have trouble with reading comprehension?

      The problem we have with Madden’s sloppy column is the comparison of Rose to Bonds as though entirely different “crimes” committed long after Rose’s transgressions somehow excuse Rose’s behavior despite having no correlation whatsoever to the offense for which Rose was suspended. Honest supporters of Rose acknowledge his situation should not be helped nor hindered by anything Bonds (or any other player) might have done.

    • drewsylvania - Mar 17, 2014 at 5:23 PM

      Do you even remember what you wrote in your previous sentence?

  9. Fantasy Football Consultant - Mar 17, 2014 at 10:05 AM

    Bonds being the greatest since Ruth is hilarious. He was a 300 hitter at best until his rood explosion. Lazy in the outfield. He was an all star no doubt. But without the ped’s he was Eric Davis …. Too bad most of you grew up when you did it seems to have everything to do with your opinion

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 17, 2014 at 10:44 AM

      He was a 300 hitter at best until his rood explosion. Lazy in the outfield. He was an all star no doubt. But without the ped’s he was Eric Davis

      Bonds career thru ’98:

      .290/.411/.556 – 164 OPS+ (11th all time)
      411 HR, 445 SB (only 400/400 person iirc), 403 2b with 3 MVP’s and 1 2nd place finish

      • tysonpunchinguterus - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:18 AM

        I’d still take Mays over Bonds. 2 MVPs; 2 2nd-place finishes; RoY in ’51; 660 HRs; .302 BA; 3,283 hits; led the NL in HRs 4 times, triples 3 times, SB 4 times, BA once & OPS 5 times. 12 Gold Gloves and MVP votes in 13 consecutive seasons. And he did all that despite losing time due to military service early in his career.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 17, 2014 at 12:10 PM

        Ok, but that’s not that argument FFC was making. I’d take one of the top 10 best players in MLB history’s entire career over someone else who we’re arbitrarily cutting out his post 33 playing career. However, we can do that for Mays too:

        Bonds – .290/.411/.556; 164OPS+, 403 2b, 411 HR, 1364 R, 1216 RBI, 445 SB (78%)
        Mays – .313/.388/.589; 161 OPS+; 354 2b, 453 HR, 1379 R, 1290 RBI, 267 SB (77%)

    • asimonetti88 - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:07 AM

      “But without the ped’s he was Eric Davis”

      The highest Eric Davis ever placed in MVP voting was 9th. Barry Bonds won 3 MVPs prior to 1998.

    • zzalapski - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:15 AM

      Stick to fantasy football.

    • tysonpunchinguterus - Mar 17, 2014 at 12:40 PM

      Oh, he was definitely better than Eric Davis. A clean Bonds had already put up a Hall of Fame career by the time he started cheating. Eric Davis was good and had potential but even when healthy Bonds was better. Davis had some excellent seasons (27 HRs, 80 SB, .901 OPS, .277 BA in 1986), but he was never able to play more than 135 games in a season. It’s not a fair comparison.

    • jkcalhoun - Mar 17, 2014 at 12:43 PM

      Dude won 8 “lazy” Gold Gloves, the last one in his age-33 season. It’s true that in his late ’30s and afterward he played the outfield like a guy in his late ’30s.

      Also, I grew up quite some time ago. Saw Mays and Mantle, although not when they were young. Can’t figure out what you could possibly mean by that comment, except to claim knowledge or wisdom that everything else you wrote demonstrates that you lack.

    • drewsylvania - Mar 17, 2014 at 5:25 PM

      My GOD don’t procreate.

    • drewsylvania - Mar 17, 2014 at 5:26 PM

      Get thee away, you have the derp.

  10. Fantasy Football Consultant - Mar 17, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    But really I should check myself. To be someone who comments on websites. Smh.

  11. Jason @ IIATMS - Mar 17, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    The only think more inflammatory for Cincinnatians (is that right?) than bashing Pete Rose would be to bash Rose while also bashing their chili. Because ‘dems fightin’ words.

    • dparker713 - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:40 AM

      They must get in a lot of fights, because Pete Rose earned his lifetime ban and their chili sucks.

    • anxovies - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:21 PM

      My ex is from Cincinnati and the first time we went there for Christmas at her parent’s home they proudly took me to a chili parlor that was supposed to be one of the best. Being from New Mexico, where we serve chile in its most varied and delicious forms, it seemed to me like they were serving up dog food. The best I can say for it is that it is like bad Texas chile, without the kick. I guess I should have hidden my disdain a little better, they never invited us for a visit again.

    • Old Gator - Mar 18, 2014 at 9:20 AM

      My ex inlaws used to send me holiday cards. I pretended to be dead.

      But that’s not important. A vigorous defense of Cincinnati chili is important. First of all, it was probably a mistake to call it chili since in its original form it was a Greek pasta sauce, called “chili” only because its ethnic Greek immigrant popularizers added red beans to it. With key ingredients like cinnamon and in some cases cocoa, it has almost nothing but the beans in common with borderland chili. Even so, except for Gold Star – which has too much salt in it for me – it’s great stuff. Whenever I get to Cincinnati, at least once a year for the annual Over the Rhine Christmas concert at the Taft Theater and Sunday fan party at St. Elizabeth’s, I make a beeline for Fort Washington Chili for my Cincy-style chili and eggs breakfast, and to Blue Ash for my serious chili and pasta five ways (six if you count the oyster crackers) pigout. I love border chili too but this is different stuff, is all, and well done, it’s beyond delicious – an epiphany for the palate.

      Now, who wants to try to diss goetta? I’m ready for you, too….

      • Jason @ IIATMS - Mar 18, 2014 at 9:41 AM

        Gator, I’m willing to try under the guise that it’s not really chili. Just so long there’s no broccoli in in. That’s awful stuff.

      • Old Gator - Mar 18, 2014 at 10:42 AM

        You will be safe from broccoli. The elaborated version of the dish is the chili over spaghetti with diced fresh onion, red beans and shredded cheese. This is known as “five way.” It is traditionally eaten with oyster crackers on the side. A couple of small local parlors or cafes who make their own stuff also add chopped fresh garlic. I love garlic, but not with this stuff. I also love a local variation on the good ole SOS, which consists of Cincy chili over a couple of sunnyside ups on whole wheat toast with the onions and cheese sprinkled over the top. They make this for me up at Camp Washington Chili (which I erroneously called “Fort Washington” above), which, after sampling nearly all of the main parlors over the years, still strikes me as the best. Blue Ash comes in second with Park and Empress closely tied for third. The baseline is Skyline Chili which is OK and the only one widely available outside the Cincinnati area in canned or mixed form, though Gold Star also sells cans and packets (but I don’t recommend it). Skyline purports to be the “inventor” of the stuff but, if they were once better than they are now, then I suspect that franchising and industrializing has blanderized it.

        If you think of it as sauce rather than as chili as you know it, that might help. When I make it at home using a recipe supposedly closer to the Camp Washington stuff, I use a lot more ground beef in it than would be traditional on its home turf.

  12. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 17, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    At the very least, one can say that Rose knew the stakes involved with his transgressions, while the PED-mania did not begin until after Mr. Bonds was already waist deep in it.

    I will start believing that PED mania is really about PEDs when I see picketers protesting the Yankees playing Roberts and Cervelli this season. Otherwise it just looks like certain writers/fans are grasping for any convenient cudgel to wield against players they decided they don’t like in the first place. And frankly, that is fine too. Hate who you want to hate. But don’t pretend it is a moral high-ground,

  13. chunkala - Mar 17, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    I think you’re right for the most part here (shocking, I know) but I think there’s one interesting issue to raise.
    I’m sure that you’re well aware of the fact that there are murderers and other felons already enshrined in HOF. But I just find it funny that had Rose not been managing at the time and waited 5 years to bet on baseball, that he would be in the HOF without the possibility of MLB removing him.

    • dparker713 - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:43 AM

      Just because no one’s plaque has been removed from the HOF, doesn’t mean no one’s ever could.

  14. willclarkgameface - Mar 17, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    Bill Madden is a dink. He’s going to put Bonds and Rose together much like any 3rd rate announcer will make up a stretch of dates in a season to prove a statistical point between 2 players.

    When the guy goes on MLB Network I have to change the channel. He’s got no feel for the modern game and has really remained out of touch on purpose because he feels that we need a representative of “the old way”. I’m tired of it. He sucks.

    • Old Gator - Mar 18, 2014 at 9:22 AM

      Here’s a pleasant thought: what would Dick Young think of all this?

  15. florida76 - Mar 17, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    Please show me amphetamine users who gained bulk as a direct result, and had such a late career surge like Barry Bonds. Greenies were helpful for alertness, but don’t compare with steroids in terms of muscle recovery, either.

    There are different levels of cheating, and I don’t know why this concept is so difficult to understand. The funniest thing is how the steroids=amphetamine myth is failing to gain traction, and it always will.

    Part of this is driven by the stats people, who don’t like the fact Barry Bonds has tainted numbers, and will never reach Cooperstown. History has spoken, folks. Bonds was a great naturally gifted player who might have be considered a legend, but he damaged the second half of his career with a horrible choice. Now Bonds is sowing the seeds of that bad judgment. Thank God, I’m not a Giants fan, it’s so embarrassing.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 17, 2014 at 10:49 AM

      Please show me amphetamine users who gained bulk as a direct result, and had such a late career surge like Barry Bonds. Greenies were helpful for alertness, but don’t compare with steroids in terms of muscle recovery, either.

      So when n=1, that means all users of N should experience the same results? Plenty of players have been busted for steroids and didn’t have 1/100th the impact Bonds did in baseball. Yes, steroids help muscle recovery and amphetamines don’t, it’s one of the biggest benefits of ‘roids. But something tells me that’s not the argument you want to make…

      There are different levels of cheating, and I don’t know why this concept is so difficult to understand.

      Of course there are. Like how cheating is doing something that’s against the rules, and what Bonds, McGwire and many others did wasn’t against the rules at the time. What Rose did was.

      The funniest thing is how the steroids=amphetamine myth is failing to gain traction, and it always will.

      This country is extremely scientifically illiterate, so this doesn’t shock me at all (see climate change denies, anti-vaxxers, etc).

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 17, 2014 at 10:52 AM

        Sigh deniers* not a banner day for my spelling

      • stercuilus65 - Mar 17, 2014 at 7:58 PM

        Your spelling is as good as your subtle and morally bankrupt connection of climate change with the Holocaust.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:45 PM

        morally bankrupt connection of climate change with the Holocaust.

        huh? When did I bring the Holocaust into this?

    • paperlions - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:10 AM

      Please show me the relationship between upper body bulk and HR hitting. Good luck.

      • stercuilus65 - Mar 17, 2014 at 7:55 PM

        LOL righhhhht

    • Alex K - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:23 AM

      You’re right steroids /= amphetamines. steroids < amphetamines. Amphetamines give you an immediate result by increasing alertness, energy, and focus without doing anything more than taking them. Steroids give little to no results without lots of weight training.

      Please tell me how doctoring the baseball is a lesser level of cheating than PED's.

      • Old Gator - Mar 18, 2014 at 9:24 AM

        Under Obamacare, baseballs which are not doctored must be used in batting practice.

    • raysfan1 - Mar 17, 2014 at 12:54 PM

      Yes, amphetamines don’t bulk a person up. That is because that is not what they were designed to do.

      However, amphetamines are PEDs. Their use violates the same JDA. Their possession without a prescription violates the same laws as possession of steroids without a prescription does. In other words, the use of the two is not “different levels of cheating” except to those who illogically equate different levels of efficacy (highly debatable, and the burden of proof is on you if you insist on asserting that, not just anecdotes) or different mechanisms of action as somehow different levels cheating.

    • anxovies - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:42 PM

      I doubt that amphetamines have any significant effect on performance in baseball other than helping a player recover from fatigue caused by travel and playing 162 games in 6 months. The fact that we didn’t see multiple players breaking home run records or similar feats in the 1960s and 1970s testifies to that. Everybody who followed baseball in the 1990s knew that something strange was happening when journeyman players started putting up numbers that would have made them batting champions in an earlier age. There was not the same suspicion attached to the 60s and 70s. In fact the 60s were the age of the pitcher, where offense took a back seat to a bevy of excellent pitchers throwing at a liberal strike zone from a high mound, and dealing inside pitches that would get them kicked out of the game today.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 17, 2014 at 4:39 PM

        The fact that we didn’t see multiple players breaking home run records or similar feats in the 1960s and 1970s testifies to that.

        Two people broke a record during the 90s/00s. And how come they didn’t keep breaking those records? Did they stop taking them?

        Everybody who followed baseball in the 1990s knew that something strange was happening when journeyman players started putting up numbers that would have made them batting champions in an earlier age.

        Name three journeyman players who we know took PEDs and put up batting champion numbers.

      • raysfan1 - Mar 17, 2014 at 5:06 PM

        The ’60s and ’70s were indeed pitching dominated eras. However, the records that McGwire and Bonds broke were set in 1961 and 1975; thus saying records were not set by multiple players in those decades is ridiculous. Please, let’s use facts rather than hyperbole in these discussions.

      • clemente2 - Mar 17, 2014 at 8:10 PM

        anx—wrong. The ability to concentrate while fatigued/hurting/in a field with screaming fans is of great value. Just look at the ADHD ‘diagnosis’ once amphetimans were controlled.

      • anxovies - Mar 18, 2014 at 1:05 AM

        Church: Brady Anderson 50 HR 1996. Richard Hidalgo 44 Hr 2000. Doesn’t really prove anything, Dick Stuart hit 43 HR in 1963 and Jessie barfield hit 44 in 1986, far above their other production. However, if your memory can drag you back to the 90s and early 2000s you might recall former Punch and Judy hitters suddenly banging out 20+ homers. Between 1998 and 2001, Ruth’s record of 60 HR, which was bested only once in the previous 70 years, was exceeded 6 times by players who it is pretty clear took PEDs. I suppose a very simple mind might argue that was a fluke.

    • drewsylvania - Mar 17, 2014 at 5:40 PM

      History doesn’t speak. History is written by people. Most often the victors.

      • Old Gator - Mar 18, 2014 at 9:27 AM

        Nietzsche makes a very plausible case in The Genealogy of Morals that it’s ackcherley written by the losers.

        Of course, he might have been suffering from the early stages of siphyllitic paresis when it wrote that. But it still makes for a nice…narrative. Right, Histy?

  16. lukedunphysscienceproject - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    This is very simple.

    Baseball writers are some of the most vindictive and thin-skinned people in the world. A player’s fate is not sealed by the totality of his actions on or off the field, but is greatly effected by his relationship with the baseball press.

    Always have time for them? Quick with a quote? Treat them with an acceptable level of deference? A quick insincere apology and you’re on your way.

    Surly? Condascending? Show any sign that you don’t consider the BBWA as the sacred keepers of the Legacy of Baseball, and you’re finished.

  17. frank433 - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    Pete Rose only bet on his team to win so it’s okay. I’m guessing PED users only took PEDs to help the team lose so it’s bad?

  18. cohnjusack - Mar 17, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    Funny how outraged people are about steroid user Barry Bonds doing coaching in spring training…
    …yet there seems to be a pretty huge lack of outrage about steroid user Matt Williams managing a team.

    Personally, I think outrage on either one is silly. They, not unlike countless others, used PEDs during a time when MLB was willing to look the other way. But why do we only choose to villainize those who set records?

  19. mikhelb - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    regarding the “coincidences” existing just for the sake of Madden’s “point”:

    Aren’t you doing the same thing by associating Rose’s friendship with a steroid dealer as a “bad thing” to make part of your point in your criticism? Dustin Pedroia’s brother is a paedofile and we can’t (or rather: should not) use that to create a “guilty by association” point the same as we should not use Rose’s friendships with X or Z people (nor his paternity lawsuit). Moral and character judgements are simply wrong because we are not absolved from the same type of judgements: we can not control the activities of our friends, maybe Rose didn’t like what his friend/roommate did but in the end they still were friends.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:29 PM

      It’s not guilt by association with Rose vis a vis the PED dealing friend, it’s a legitimate criticism when you figure that:

      A – everyone and their brother says Rose would do anything to get an advantage
      B – he already broke MLB rules by gambling, why wouldn’t he take the next step to using PEDs (since he was already using greenies)
      C – Rose was introducing his friend to his teammates as a PED dealer, like hey if you are looking for an extra step, I know someone.

  20. frombalttosf - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    I think we all need to take a step back and look at the steroid era in baseball as just that, an era. It happened. Let’s all acknowledge it, treat it similar to the dead ball era, and move on. We have no way of knowing which players took PED’s and how they affected their abilities. Since there is no way to definitively quantify results, we are forced to accept all stats from that era.

    Side note – To everyone who’s ever been in College: Ever take Adderall to help stay up studying for a test or to write a paper? Works wonders doesn’t it? You think greenies are any different? Think that being able to immediately be amped for a game, focused, and on point doesn’t help you play better?

  21. cubsfan101 - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    Every time I come on Hardballtalk, I like to play a game. I don’t look at the author’s name on the post, but I try to guess who wrote it based on the title/subject/relevance. Craig is the easiest to distinguish, seeing as his articles are almost always repetitive, politically charged, or just generally irrelevant. Give it a try sometime, you’ll be surprised.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 17, 2014 at 4:43 PM

      There are five writers here, so you have a 20% chance just blindly guessing. Aaron/Craig post during the day with DJ tending to be the afternoon writer, and Matthew/Bill at night. Just on the time of day you can boost those odds to almost 50%.

      So you’re basically just complaining and yet you still are here reading…

  22. anxovies - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    I think it is a mistake to consider that placing bets on baseball is equivalent to taking a substance that artificially increases performance or throwing a game for money. The first is merely gambling, the latter two are cynical actions taken to subvert the game and cheat the players around you and the players who came before you. Rose got caught gambling and suffered the consequences, his reputation and livelihood were destroyed forever. Sosa, McGwire, Palmeiro, and other players known to have used PEDs, most likely including Bonds, were among the many who cheated the system. However, because they were members of a large group that undoubtedly used steroids, they more or less have been given a pass. Nobody has been banned and the guilty are well along the road to forgiveness (see McGwire and Bonds). Because MLB refused drug testing for so long It is impossible to sort out the records to exclude the users and any attempt to do so would cause chaos to the system of record keeping. I have always thought that the circumstances are grossly unfair to Rose, who was a single person as opposed to a large group, but so be it. At some point, probably shortly after his death, it will dawn on people what an extraordinary player he was and how trivial his offense was in comparison to the violations of others in the game, and he will be viewed in a softer light.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 17, 2014 at 4:47 PM

      The first is merely gambling, the latter two are cynical actions taken to subvert the game and cheat the players around you and the players who came before you.

      Obviously MLB agrees with you, that’s why they have had a statement up that gambling is the #1 prohibited rule and that if you are caught gambling, you are banned for life, while PED use is met with a three strikes and you’re out rule.

      Oh wait, that doesn’t mean that…

      When you set up a false comparison, and then make judgments off that comparison, the rest of your argument is just as faulty.

  23. stercuilus65 - Mar 17, 2014 at 7:54 PM

    “My favorite thing about PED hysterics”

    Pot meet kettle, ol craig seems to be the drama queen when it comes to PEDS as he craps out about three-four rants a week full of outrage…

  24. stercuilus65 - Mar 17, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    In the world of the outraged apologists jaywalking equals murder. I’m glad they don’t run the justice system.

  25. irishdodger - Mar 17, 2014 at 8:18 PM

    Just watched a doc entitled, “Bigger, Stronger, Faster” on steroids in sports. It was pretty thought provoking regarding PEDs in general…especially the health benefits vs the adverse events. I definitely do not believe they should be in the same class as narcotics when it comes to federal drug crime.

    Regarding Rose, was it ever proven that he bet on baseball as a player? I know he’s admitted to as much as a manager which should preclude him entry to the HoF as a manager (ala Lasorda, LaRussa, Cox, etc); but as a player he earned enshrinement IMO.

    That said, the PED abuser will likely be forgiven over time. How many admitted spit ballers post-dead ball era are in the HoF? Bat corkers? Sign stealers? What about Lasix surgery? Contact lenses?

    While we can’t deny that PEDs inflate numbers for good/great players; they are also not guarantee of success either. Case in point: Ozzie Canseco. Jose’s twin brother is on record as having admitted steroid use. He never got more than a cup of coffee in the Majors.

    • raysfan1 - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:26 PM

      I don’t know that anyone has tried to prove he bet on baseball as a player, although it should be remembered that he was both for a while. We also don’t know exactly what was admitted in the document he signed for Giamatti.

      That said, one can only get into the HoF once. Joe Torre, for example, although in primarily as a manager but was also borderline Hall-worthy as a player, yet he will no longer be considered by the “modern era” veterans committee because he is already in and his playing accomplishments will be touted along with his Yankees manager tenure. You cannot enshrine Pete Rose without also enshrining Pete Rose the manager.

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