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1 The Hawk   ~  Feb 18, 2009 5:47 pm

Interesting. I never thought the majority of players were doing it, but I thought a lot were. I wonder if like Jeter we can take 103 out of 1200 and assume that's the extent of it. I kind of doubt it. Really, I'd love to know how pervasive it was. Or is. If it was truly something like 103 out of 1200, I think that reflects more poorly on A Rod, and everyone else in that small minority.

2 FreddySez   ~  Feb 18, 2009 5:59 pm

If that was Jeter's stab at "talk about this once so I won't have to address it the rest of the season," I think he's going to be disappointed with the results.

"We're his team" isn't an answer to "Are you and Alex still friends?" I happen to think it's a silly question, but it's going to keep coming up nonetheless.

How hard would this have been:

"Alex and I have been friends for a long time. We've had ups and downs that people have heard about, and others that have remained private. The only thing that makes our relationship different from anyone else's is that ours is constantly dissected in the public eye.

"That relationship has room for me to disapprove of what he did, it has room for me to support him in his efforts to make amends, and it certainly has room for me to embrace him fully as a teammate as we set off on another season of baseball.

"I take my role as a leader on this team very seriously, but we're all adults here, and no one on this roster needs me to tell him what to think or say. The Yankee way is to make our statements on the field, and about six weeks from now you're going to hear us all loud and clear."

BTW Derek I bill $250 an hour for stuff like this. Send the check c/o Bronx Banter...

3 rbj   ~  Feb 18, 2009 6:01 pm

[1] Canseco put the number around 50%. He seems to be the most credible person on this issue, sad to say. It was only 8.8% of the players too dumb to cycle off for an upcoming test or didn't have good enough masking agents.

4 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Feb 18, 2009 6:02 pm

Wow..a lot of comments to skim through in the previous posts!
Diane, Loved that rules list. Does the profanity ban come into play if we just have to drop a Blowfly quote? :)

I guess the media need to justify their salaries but the amount of attention A-Rod is getting compared to the obviously wide-spread problem of baseball players drunk-driving is interesting..seeing Jim Leyritz busted again is infuriating. Having known a victim of a drunk-driver it amazes me that steroid use makes these guys into the Devil but a DWI gets them a slap on the wrist (LaRussa, Joba, etc )

Prediction: by the All-Star Game when A-Rod has 25hrs this story will be close to forgotten..

5 monkeypants   ~  Feb 18, 2009 6:03 pm

[1] Yes, the fewer who juiced (the total number, as you say, we will never know), the worse it makes those who juiced look, because it takes away the "everyone was doing it" claim. Also, if only a small percentage juiced, then the fact that a relatively significant number occupy spots in the top 15 all time HRs, second most wins in the last 40 years, the #3 all-time K leader, approximately 16 MVPs, and a handful of Cy Young Awards, might raise more eyebrows.

If, of course, only a very few really juiced.

6 monkeypants   ~  Feb 18, 2009 6:06 pm

[4] Prediction: by the All-Star Game when A-Rod has 25hrs this story will be close to forgotten..

I hope you're right, but I fear you are wrong. A-Rod has entered into that rare territory where everything he does is scrutinized, spun negatively, and seemingly never forgotten. Indeed, I suspect that if he has 25 HRs by the ASG, the question of 'roids will rise up again, and we will see clips of 'HA' and 'slappy' and every other "controversy".

7 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 18, 2009 6:11 pm

Perhaps we expect to much thought from people who spend most of the day, the year and their waking life concentrating on playing sports as opposed to touching base on various subjects. I believe few athletes can balance thoughts outside of the immediate need to focus on their jobs and their family. There's really no need to be disappointed in what they say if you look at it that way. We expect entirely too much candid intelligence from people where the level of intelligence and candidness is counter-intuitive to their functions.

Perhaps Jeter's been right all along: don't commit to anything you don't really have time for, and don't write a check your behind can't cash.

8 monkeypants   ~  Feb 18, 2009 6:13 pm

[7] So, you're saying that we would be less disappointed if we lowered our standards?
Really, I am not disappointed by a lack of candid intelligence from athletes. I am disappointed by lying and canned statements--from anyone.

9 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 18, 2009 6:14 pm

[4] Not for nothing Jazz, but you might want to ask Jim Leyritz about his soft slap, but for the most part you seem to be right...

10 monkeypants   ~  Feb 18, 2009 6:18 pm

[4] Having known a victim of a drunk-driver it amazes me that steroid use makes these guys into the Devil but a DWI gets them a slap on the wrist (LaRussa, Joba, etc )

Apples and oranges. PEDs = on field issue, therefore scrutiny from league and sports media. DWI = off-field criminal activity, therefore scrutiny from legal system. Defrauding the government on taxes or beating your girlfriend is of course more serious than gambling legally on baseball, but the latter is against the rules for MLB players and keeps you out of the HoF. You need to consider the context.

11 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 18, 2009 6:20 pm

[8] Yes, you would. Just so you lower the ones you expect for athletes. Not all athletes have chaffed under high expectations, but let me ask you this, honestly? Would you be more disappointed if you found out the Police Commissioner admitted to some form of corruption (like accepting bribes or using public funds for private use), or is all of A-Rod's indiscretions to date the epitome moral bankruptcy? How should these be prioritized and what is the reality?

12 monkeypants   ~  Feb 18, 2009 6:24 pm

[11] We're talking past each other. I would be more disappointed if the police chief were caught committing corruption (surely bribery of the police chief is worse than, say, throwing a spit ball). But I am equally disappointed that when each--the police man and ballplayer--are asked a question, they will both likely lie and dissimulate, to the capacity of each.

Even the dumb can be honest and frank, if not articulate.

13 Simone   ~  Feb 18, 2009 6:24 pm

[2] I strongly suspect that Jeter didn't make that statement because he chose not to lie. He is not friends with Alex Rodriguez. This team has enough liars.
One comment that Jeter made was telling. He pointed out that Alex was cheating himself using PEDs. Like Cashman, Jeter refuses to pretend that what Alex using PEDs wasn't cheating. If Jeter chooses not to be one or join the moral ambivalent then more power to him.

Also, all this talk that steroids weren't banned in baseball when Alex used isn't true. In 1991, Faye Vincent send out a memo stating that the baseball policy that using or possessing any illegal or controlled substance is against MLB rules. He specifically mentioned steroids. And even if Vincent hadn't issue that policy, federal statutes (1988/1990) state that it is illegal to acquire a prescribed medication from anyone other than a physician register with the FDA so all these guys were breaking the law. So find another argument to justify the cheating.

Where all this outrage against the media was when they were persecuting Bonds? It's Alex's turn.

14 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 18, 2009 6:25 pm

[10] Okay, I see you've answered the question already. Is baseball really so important that it outpaces government and corruption because we expect our athletes to be honest? I don't find these two areas that easy to separate unless you realize that baseball is a game, and government is life. But then to a lot of people, life is a game, too. Huh.

15 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 18, 2009 6:27 pm

Never mind, Monk, you're right. Woosh! I just look at baseball as less a priority in my life than say a government that can alter my life in more direct ways.

16 Dimelo   ~  Feb 18, 2009 6:51 pm

[13]Where all this outrage against the media was when they were persecuting Bonds?

I sure didn't see too much outrage around these parts, rather at the toaster when the banter lived and breathed there.

I agree with you 100%. I don't understand why people are so mad at the media, Selena Roberts, or whomever, they didn't force ARod to take the roids, they didn't force ARod to give varying stories about why he took the roids, etc.

I agree with one thing though, how the information was leaked is kind of shady but at this point what can you do? The cat's out of the bag already. Plus, I asked this question, I heard Kirk Radomski say on WFAN that it was teammates of Alex who were the four sources. If that's true, that's really effed up and adds more juice - pun intended - to the story.

Also, why is Cashman so peeved at how ARod has gone about this? Even he agrees that ARod has done a 'terrible job' - in Chris Russo's voice - addressing this.

The way this stuff came out was messed up, but I find that anger to be somewhat misdirected, I don't blame Selena Roberts because apparently the NY Times was in on the story too. Roberts just beat them to the punch. So it was going to come out, either by Roberts or someone in the Times. I don't find the media to blame at all in any of this, they are simply following the story a lot of people want to talk and read about. Is that so bad? Or is it bad cause our superstar 3rd basemen has been exposed?

The chicken has come home to roost. I could care less about PED, but if you do them and you get caught, then guess what..you have to suffer through the consequences of your actions.

17 Nutball Gazette   ~  Feb 18, 2009 7:32 pm

My prediction is A-**** will fold under pressure, He will hit 18 Home Runs hit .175 and Strike Out 237 times and make 56 errors in the field and lead the yankees to a 48-114 record.

18 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 18, 2009 7:37 pm

[17] I predict that afterward, the MLB will fold the Yanks and disperse all the players 30 y.o. and under in a dispersal draft, force the older players with contracts $12 million a year and more to retire and the rest will be declared free agents.

19 rbj   ~  Feb 18, 2009 7:44 pm

[6] A-Rod has entered into that rare territory where everything he does is scrutinized, spun negatively, and seemingly never forgotten.

A-Rod entered that territory long ago, and not only has he sold off the time share, he's bought the biggest mansion there and is currently adding on to it.

As to Bonds, there are other factors in play, the newness off the steroid story and the fact that he's denied it. A-Rod at least 'fessed up right away. And I am now having more sympathy with Bonds, in that the feds are leaning on his trainer's wife and her mother to get some cooperation. To me, that stinks and is a real waste of DoJ time and money to go after.

Lastly on this issue, I do think A-Rod knows more, but he does not want to name names. And if he answered a question with "I'm not going to name names", the next day some gloryhound congressman is going to subpoena his butt to Capitol Hill, putting him in the option of 1) refusing to testify, which could lead to prosecution, 2) denying under oath, leading to perjury charges, or 3) naming names and making him even more of a pariah. Lots of other guys know who was juicing, why don't they come forward?

And Alex, I enjoyed your tales of your old barber. Today I went to get my haircut at the regular place. Usually there's an older Indian (Hindu) woman who cuts it and she does a great job. But it appears she's not there anymore. Instead there was a young girl who had some bad scissors. Result was a bad haircut. It's tough to find a good barber.

20 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Feb 18, 2009 7:56 pm

[9][10] Point taken!

So is anyone following the WBC or do I need to head to the Tokyo Talk Yakult Swallows blog in Japanese??

21 rbj   ~  Feb 18, 2009 8:01 pm

[20] I'll follow. When's it start?

22 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Feb 18, 2009 8:27 pm

[21] Over here March 5-9. Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan. Am hoping to go see a few games if I can, SRO most likely. The Japan-Korea games last year were insanely over-the-top emotional..all the historical baggage, etc. Also, a lot of Korean players play in the Japan League so there was a lot of cross-over.

23 Shaun P.   ~  Feb 18, 2009 8:33 pm

[13] Simone, my understanding is that the effects of Vincent's memo in the early 90s are equivalent to if you or I sent out such a memo. If Vincent wanted to really make PEDs against the rules of MLB, he needed a testing regimen, and the only way to have gotten that was to collectively bargain with the MLBPA. He never did so, and so his memo is meaningless as far as the MLB rules go.

You are correct that, under the controlled substances act that Congress passed in 1990, possession without a valid doctor's prescription is a crime. However, in legal practice, use is almost never enough to prove possession that violates the statute. For example, a ballplayer who used a PED obtained in the Dominican Republic (where there is no controlled substances act) did not violate US law. So there is definitely some gray area here.

All that aside - I think its clear that, at the very least, A-Rod tried to cheat (I'm not convinced that using the PEDs did anything to help him), and I find his explanation credible. (There were some things I was very naive, and stupid, about at ages 25/26/27.) A-Rod admitted to using and apologized for it, so I have no quarrel with him. I find the details irrelevant.

In any case, I was - and continue to be - outraged over the treatment that both Bonds and McGwire (and Sosa for that matter) have received from the media over the PED issue, not just A-Rod. The whole thing stinks, and unfortunately, to me, much of the smell is coming from the media, who attack the ballplayers at every opportunity, but do not put people like Jeff Novitsky, or the guy who leaked the sealed BALCO grand jury testimony, under anything approximating the same spotlight. Novitsky blatantly abused his powers as a government employee, and yet I almost get the impression that some baseball writers would gladly buy the guy a drink! I consider Novitsky's abuse of power to be a far worse act that anything any of the ballplayers is accused of doing (only because I believe that Bonds did not commit perjury; perjury is a pretty serious offense).

24 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Feb 18, 2009 9:47 pm

Anyone check out NoMaas' little post on Jon Heyman's article at SI.com?? hysterically funny..it's kind of fun having writers like that around to laugh at actually..

25 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 18, 2009 10:02 pm

"...you have to put one foot
in front of the other,
and the other one
down, down, down..."

I don't know; that might become relevant within the next few days >;)

26 Rich   ~  Feb 18, 2009 10:07 pm

I still think the majority of players were juicing, but that comment aside, Jeter handled the situation very well.

27 Rich   ~  Feb 18, 2009 10:41 pm

I depart from my comment above on one point. If Jeter, as a clean player, wants to drive home the point that the non-users have been unfairly tainted by the high profile users, he should lead an effort to pressure the MLBPA to agree to blood tests and perhaps freezing blood samples for future testing in the future when assays become more sophisticated.

28 seamus   ~  Feb 18, 2009 10:43 pm

First I want to say that 1 in 10 players is not a small minority. It is a minority of players, but 1 in every 10 is huge. But, given that the testing occurred in 2003 and players knew it was happening you gotta believe some stopped. So I have a hard time believing it is limited to 1 in 10. Then there is the people who may have quit earlier or who didn't quit but somehow got lucky on the tests. Where there is smoke (104 positive tests) there is fire. But 10% is significant imo.

29 The Hawk   ~  Feb 18, 2009 11:46 pm

[28] Well it's technically less than 10%, and if you think 10% isn't a small minority that's your right of course. But if you make it on a scale of 10, it's as small as you can have. I think 40% would be a large minority, 30% a decent-sized one, etc. Fairly reasonable, no? And since 104 is closer to 8 percent, I think it's safe to say it is pretty damn a small minority. If 92% are clean, I'd call that an almost overwhelming majority. 9 out of 10, ya know?

But yeah, probably not that low. You can probably double it at the very least.

30 Mr. Max   ~  Feb 18, 2009 11:53 pm

Wasn't the testing random? When did they test every single player before 2004? We have no idea how many were tested. It's 104/???

31 seamus   ~  Feb 19, 2009 12:16 am

[29] context is important. Most minority subsets in population sampling are very small percentage wise. You would expect a small minority of people in a subset conducting illegal or inappropriate behaviors to be a lot smaller than 10%. And yeah I'm being lazy and rounding...

32 Yankster   ~  Feb 19, 2009 11:09 am

My impression was that only a sample of players were tested and that of that sample, 103 tested positive - at a rate of about 8% which means about 1287 players were tested. If the sample was random, that's a pretty statistically meaningful sample size. At a 95% confidence interval, it would yield a margin of error of around 3%.

On the other hand, it seems likely according to reports since of banned over-the-counter supplements, that it's pretty easy to go into a GNC, buy a couple of supplements, and fail the drug test on multiple counts, which I'd hardly call immoral or cheating, and almost certainly useless as a performance enhancer.

That makes me think 8% isn't actually all that high. I bet the greeny level is much higher.

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