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Thread: Another take on the steroid question

  1. #1
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Krauthammer doesn't normally write about baseball, but raises several interesting points...Busyman might appreciate this.

    Hot dogs and beer

    Jun 2, 2006
    by Charles Krauthammer

    WASHINGTON -- Leave it to the good people of Philadelphia, whose football fans once famously booed and threw snowballs at Santa Claus, to come up with the perfect takedown of the most inflated (in more ways than one) superstar in contemporary sport. With the visiting Barry Bonds at the plate and needing just two home runs to tie Babe Ruth's iconic 714 lifetime homers, the banner was raised: "Ruth did it on hot dogs & beer.''

    The target of this concise discourse on the roots of greatness has been booed lustily in every Major League city he's played in outside his hometown of San Francisco. The fans' displeasure lies in Bonds' alleged use of steroids. The use of "alleged'' here, though mandatory, is forced and legalistic. After all, Bonds has admitted that he used "the clear'' and "the cream,'' substances he claims he thought were flaxseed oil and some kind of emollient, only later to discover that they were actually steroids.

    The idea that an athlete of Bonds' stature, for whom the body is both temple and bank vault, would be mistakenly ingesting substances is implausible, made all the more so by the evidence dredged up by two San Francisco sportswriters detailing Bonds' (alleged) gargantuan consumption of every performance-enhancing drug from steroids to human growth hormone.
    Click here to find out more!

    But why should we care? What is really wrong with performance enhancement? We say we are against it because it diminishes striving, devalues achievement, produces a shortcut to greatness, etc. But in many endeavors we don't really care about any of that. Medical residents at hospitals have been known to take Ritalin to keep themselves alert on overnight shifts. If it enhances their thinking in the emergency room, what's the objection?

    Many public speakers, performers and even some surgeons take beta blockers to literally still their hearts and steady their hands. I've never seen a banner at the opera complaining: "Pavarotti does it on pasta.'' And what about the military, which pioneered some of these performance-enhancing studies to see how they could help soldiers survive the most extreme stresses? Isn't that an unqualified good?

    Performance enhancement turns out to be disturbing only in the narrow context of competition, most commonly in sports. And the objection is not cheating nature, but cheating competitors. It's basically a fairness issue.

    When everyone has access to technological improvements (graphite tennis rackets, titanium drivers, more tightly wound baseballs) the sport may be transformed, but the playing field remains level. When technology is enhancing the equipment, fans become quickly reconciled to the transformation. (And it can be radical: the transition from bamboo to fiberglass totally changed the pole vault.) But when technology enhances the physiology of the athlete, we tend to recoil.

    Interestingly, however, not always. What about Lasik surgery? Tiger Woods had it and said it made his game stronger than ever. I have yet to see a banner at the Masters saying: "Nicklaus did it by squinting.''

    Vision enhancement is even more helpful to baseball players trying to follow the flight of a ball approaching at 90 mph. Hitting requires hand-eye coordination. Bonds turns his arms into tree trunks, and boos rain down. Change the physiology of the other part of the equation -- the eye -- and no one cares.

    Why? Because Lasik is legal, common and available to all. Steroids are not. True, baseball had no steroid ban until 2005 (an informal policy began in 2002), and management looked the other way. But since 1990, nonprescription use has been illegal in the United States. Most players didn't use steroids. Many considered it cheating.

    So is Bonds a villain? No more than the other highly pumped sluggers such as Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa who only yesterday were the toast of the nation. Bonds' sin appears to be that he did it better and longer than others, and did not break down physically as early from the side effects.

    But that's only part of it. No one cared terribly, no nasty banners were hung, when he surpassed contemporaries like McGwire. The deep distaste that arises now is that he is challenging two sacred figures of the past: the great Ruth and the elegant, pioneering Hank Aaron. When the competitor is historical, playing in a totally different technological era, the playing field is decidedly unlevel.

    Bonds (allegedly) used artificial enhancers. They were internal and physiological. And they were taken clandestinely and illegally.

    Three strikes.

    Put an asterisk beside his records? No. A home run is a home run and not one was challenged at the time. In any case, asterisks are removable. Bonds' records carry a taint that will long endure.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  2. Sports Club   -   #2
    Busyman™'s Avatar Use Logic Or STFU!
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    1. Barry Bonds is not the most inflated superstar. He was a hall of famer well before his alleged steroid use. If and only if all of baseball was using steroids, why is it that Barry has the records and they don't?

    2. Barry hasn't admitted to using steroids. (I think he might soon though but until then........)

    3. These questions posed are not new or interesting. It's the same stuff I've heard before.

    4. It is interesting that most of the hoopla came about because a sensationalist book and not because of BALCO.

  3. Sports Club   -   #3
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Quote Originally Posted by Busyman™
    1. Barry Bonds is not the most inflated superstar. He was a hall of famer well before his alleged steroid use. If and only if all of baseball was using steroids, why is it that Barry has the records and they don't?

    2. Barry hasn't admitted to using steroids. (I think he might soon though but until then........)

    3. These questions posed are not new or interesting. It's the same stuff I've heard before.

    4. It is interesting that most of the hoopla came about because a sensationalist book and not because of BALCO.
    I meant Krauthammer's point-of-view regarding the idea that "performance-enhancers" are only looked at askance when used on in the arenas of athletic endeavor.

    In every other case apart from athletic competition, they are regarded as almost universally positive.

    One thing he doesn't point out that I will:

    In no area other than athletics does the potential or inclination for abuse loom quite so large...absent the competitive aspect, there is no felt need for excessive use.

    The human condition, I think.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  4. Sports Club   -   #4
    Busyman™'s Avatar Use Logic Or STFU!
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    Quote Originally Posted by j2k4
    Quote Originally Posted by Busyman™
    1. Barry Bonds is not the most inflated superstar. He was a hall of famer well before his alleged steroid use. If and only if all of baseball was using steroids, why is it that Barry has the records and they don't?

    2. Barry hasn't admitted to using steroids. (I think he might soon though but until then........)

    3. These questions posed are not new or interesting. It's the same stuff I've heard before.

    4. It is interesting that most of the hoopla came about because a sensationalist book and not because of BALCO.
    I meant Krauthammer's point-of-view regarding the idea that "performance-enhancers" are only looked at askance when used on in the arenas of athletic endeavor.

    In every other case apart from athletic competition, they are regarded as almost universally positive.

    One thing he doesn't point out that I will:

    In no area other than athletics does the potential or inclination for abuse loom quite so large...absent the competitive aspect, there is no felt need for excessive use.The human condition, I think.
    Sorry man, I skimmed.

    Your paragraph in bold is like a "no shit" a wee bit. I'm glad I skimmed.

    Performance enhancement as a telephone technician wouldn'r help me a whole lot. I put in 8 hours of work at my pace. My pay doesn't go up based on better performance.

    Athletics have fame and money that can increase based on better performance.

  5. Sports Club   -   #5
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Quote Originally Posted by Busyman™
    Quote Originally Posted by j2k4

    I meant Krauthammer's point-of-view regarding the idea that "performance-enhancers" are only looked at askance when used on in the arenas of athletic endeavor.

    In every other case apart from athletic competition, they are regarded as almost universally positive.

    One thing he doesn't point out that I will:

    In no area other than athletics does the potential or inclination for abuse loom quite so large...absent the competitive aspect, there is no felt need for excessive use.The human condition, I think.
    Sorry man, I skimmed.

    Your paragraph in bold is like a "no shit" a wee bit. I'm glad I skimmed.

    Performance enhancement as a telephone technician wouldn'r help me a whole lot. I put in 8 hours of work at my pace. My pay doesn't go up based on better performance.

    Athletics have fame and money that can increase based on better performance.
    Honestly, I don't know why I bother with you sometimes...
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  6. Sports Club   -   #6
    Busyman™'s Avatar Use Logic Or STFU!
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    Quote Originally Posted by j2k4
    Quote Originally Posted by Busyman™
    Sorry man, I skimmed.

    Your paragraph in bold is like a "no shit" a wee bit. I'm glad I skimmed.

    Performance enhancement as a telephone technician wouldn'r help me a whole lot. I put in 8 hours of work at my pace. My pay doesn't go up based on better performance.

    Athletics have fame and money that can increase based on better performance.
    Honestly, I don't know why I bother with you sometimes...
    Pointing out that steroid use in athletics looms larger than other areas is CaptainObvious.

    Sure there are those that abuse steroids just to look good but there isn't much pay out in that now is there?

    Tell me what other area besides athletics would steroids have a chance at? There are military applications, I guess. I doubt a chef is going to pump iron to flip a skillet.

    ....since you're pointing out stuff and all.

  7. Sports Club   -   #7
    Busyman™'s Avatar Use Logic Or STFU!
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    Quote Originally Posted by j2k4 View Post
    ...will stay that way until further notice...

    http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercu...l/14968644.htm
    merged

    Oh and Barry Bonds still not guilty.

  8. Sports Club   -   #8
    Busyman™'s Avatar Use Logic Or STFU!
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    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The Colorado Rockies cleared the field in the ninth inning of Friday night's 5-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants after fans threw garbage following the ejection of Barry Bonds.

    Bonds was batting in the ninth when he began arguing with plate umpire Ron Kulpa about a called second strike. Kulpa immediately ejected the Giants' slugger, who got in the umpire's face and began yelling.

    "There were two unprofessional people out there at that moment," Bonds said. "He was very unprofessional and so was I. What happens on the field stays on the field and that's all I have to say about it."

    Bonds returned to the dugout, sat down and crossed his arms as fans responded by throwing garbage, including beer bottles, onto the field from all directions.

    "I don't care about that," Bonds said. "We're trying to win games, that's all. It happened, it happened. It's over with. Let's go get ready for tomorrow."

    The Rockies left the field and retreated into their dugout to avoid being hit while fans chanted "Barry! Barry!"

    Security came onto the field and so did a large cleanup crew, causing about 11-minute delay. Fans also threw things at the umpires as they were escorted off the field after the game.

    "Barry didn't like strike two. He thought it was down and I told him it was not down," Kulpa said. "It was a good pitch and I'd been calling that pitch all night. We talked about the pitch, Barry and I. It was getting heated. I warned him, and then he crossed the line and said something he shouldn't have said. After I warned him twice, and that point he was ejected.

    "I gave Barry a lot of rope in that situation. It was a big part of the ballgame. I gave him every opportunity to stay in the ballgame, and he crossed the line. When you cross the line, I have a job to do."

    Bonds hit his 723rd career home run in the seventh. He sent a 2-1 pitch from Jeff Francis over the wall in center for his 15th home run of the year. He is 32 homers from tying home run king Hank Aaron's record of 755.

    The 42-year-old Bonds hadn't homered since July 20 against San Diego, a span of 26 at-bats.


    I hope Barry keeps playing baseball to get those 33 homers for the record.

    He is a hall-of-famer easily and is part of the 40/40 club. He has stolen 40 bases and hit 40 HRs in one season (along with Canseco and Alex Rodriguez).

    Barry was a baseball legend before the steroid question even came up.
    Last edited by Busyman™; 08-05-2006 at 10:52 AM.

  9. Sports Club   -   #9
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    I have decided the steroid question is a non-issue, and, as to Barry Bonds, he should (in figurative terms) "drink up", and remain asterisk-free.

    Steroids for everyone!
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  10. Sports Club   -   #10
    Busyman™'s Avatar Use Logic Or STFU!
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    Quote Originally Posted by j2k4 View Post
    I have decided the steroid question is a non-issue, and, as to Barry Bonds, he should (in figurative terms) "drink up", and remain asterisk-free.

    Steroids for everyone!
    Too late.

    In the 70's and 80's it was cocaine and amphetamines. Villanova vs. G'Town anyone?

    My only issue with folks about Barry Bonds is that he hasn't tested positive for shit but a book makes him guilty. WTF kind of bizarro world is this?

    You also don't erase history. History is what happened, not what you feel happened.
    Last edited by Busyman™; 08-05-2006 at 08:10 PM.

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