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Juiced: Major issues in the Major League

Americas pass time takes a turn for the worse:

NewsWeek

There's supposed to be no crying in baseball. But there was Mark McGwire in Washington last week, fighting back tears, his voice choked with emotion, telling a congressional committee investigating steroid use in baseball how he, well, couldn't really tell them much.

Mark McGwire, "I'm not here to talk about the past." The only other player to indicate he might not answer some questions was baseball's No. 1 pariah, Jose Canseco. McGwire's stance became even more conspicuous when three other sluggers, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and Frank Thomas, all denied—unequivocally and under oath—having used steroids. "I have never used steroids, period!" said Palmeiro.

If it was a bad day for the players—McGwire's performance could disrupt what should have been a cakewalk into the Hall of Fame—it was no less ugly for baseball's brass. During the course of the 11-hour hearing, Major League Baseball was derided like some street gang for its "code of silence" and had its testimony critiqued as "theater of the absurd." Connecticut Republican Christopher Shays said baseball's "arrogance" in resisting the inquiry had produced more bipartisanship than he had experienced in 18 years in Congress.

Though baseball's leaders were unfailingly polite and attentive, none of the outrage and distrust evidenced by committee members seemed to make much of a visible impression on them. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and the rest remained steadfast in a trifecta of views that would seem both improbable and impossible to reconcile: that they weren't aware of a steroid problem in the '90s; that the problem was never as big as some, like Canseco, have made it out to be, and that baseball's testing program has made huge progress in combating its steroid problem.

While baseball and Congress seemed to view most everything differently, there was genuine consensus on one matter. Everyone conveyed heartfelt sympathy for the several parents who testified about how their sons had committed suicide after steroid use.

Read the rest of the story here.

What do you all think about the problem in baseball? What should be done? What about sports in general?

I believe baseball did not su

I believe baseball did not suffer from the whole steroid scandel but actually gained. Attendance is up, and people are still hitting homeruns. Its amazing how fast we as Americans forgive the athletes of Americas pass time. Jose Conseco disgusts me, in fact I never liked him, even when he played. He has the nerve to say that steroids are actually good for people! Just an excuse to say that it was ok for him. Anyway, I have much more to say, but I will wait to see what all of you think. I think this is a good change for the pulse. There are not many sport conversations, and I would like to see what all of you think.

Mark McGwire

I think the biggest loser in all of this was Mark McGwire, but he was kind of in a lose-lose situation. but by him pleading the fifth on the questions, he basically told the world that he had done steroids without owning up to it. I'm glad he was sure to point out that he does not condone steroid use by anyone else, and that he has donated money to help families avoid the problems that come with player steroid use. This could seem very hypocritical, but I think it's good for him. Sometimes you can learn alot from hypocrites, because, although they don't practice what they preach, they know the implications of what they preach.

Steroid use among professional athletes is or has been a definite problem. A good indication there is a serious problem is when the president mentions it in his State of the Union address, and a prophet mentions it in his conference address in the same year.

What should happen to the known steroid users with records in the record books?

Take away the records.

They were attained using illegal substances. Period. End of story.

1)Baseball has just recently instituted its steroid policies. When some players were using the drugs the policies were not there. Consequently as unethical as it is, they were not breaking the rules. You can't break the rules if there are no rules.

Uhh... It was ILLEGAL. If a player can't obey the law, take the record away.

2)How do you prove that someone has taken steroids when they set the record? Other than your word vs. my word rhetoric, nothing can be done. That is not good enough to accuse of using and taking away records.

Blah blah blah...people get sent to prison on less evidence than we have available to prove that Bonds and Co. were on steroids.

3)Although taking steroids is against the law, the MLB is a private organization with its own diciplinary actions.

C'mon man, get real...MLB is a "private organization" not a nation state. Its players are expected to obey the laws of the nation in which they reside. They haven't, and their law-breaking has led to astronomical records. Take the records away!

4)Other than the self-admitted Jose Canseco no other player can be proven that he was taking steriods when he made certain records. No record should be taken away on an assumption, or belief. I believe in an 'innocent untill proven guilty' policy.



5)All records in the books up to this point should remain. No MVP's, homerun records, batting records and pitching records should be taken away, unless one can be proven guilty of taking steroids since the new steroid policy has been in effect.

See my response to #2.



The records should be taken away.

Take away the records.

So lets say that you work for a some company. You go out and shop-lift fom some store some books that help you learn to become the best sales man in your company, you dont get caught, but latter you say after you quit your job, you once shop lifted. They cant come and take away some bonus you recieved for being the best employee. Its common sense really.

It's not common sense. It's a flawed analogy. Books are available to anyone, whether they are shoplifted or not.



Perhaps this one, while not perfect, works a little better:



You work sales. Let's assume that a 3rd-party company tracks your sales data. Let's also assume that you can hack into the outside server and program that computer so that each of your 7 sales counts as 10 on your company's quarterly report.



You go on to set unbelievable sales records (as one of the better sales people at your company you now have an even greater advatange). You get bonuses, trips, etc.



Several years later it is discovered that you had hacked into the outside system. The 3rd-party company may not press charges for your hacking (which is a crime) but I wouldn't be surprised if your company wants those bonuses back or even takes you to court for defrauding them.

Please give me some examples. Barry Bonds is a stand up citizen, Jose Conseco is quite the opposite. His word vs. Bonds in court wont stand a chance. Its called 'Hearsay', rumors, they dont stand a chance in court.

Uhh..."chance in court"? Bonds has already ADMITTED that he took steroids. Of course, you may choose to believe him that he had no idea they were steroids. After all, arthritic rubbing balm and flaxseed oil are able to build muscle mass so quickly you wouldn't believe it.



And Bonds isn't the only one. The BALCO investigation has Giambi under oath admitting steroid use. McGwire all but admitted use during his congressional testimony. And the list goes on...

boca

Bonds never said he took steroids, Giambi said he took THG, a substance similar to andro and creatine that is not a true steroid in the sense that we think of but definatly a precurser to steroids. But the bottem line is I dont beleive that taking away past records solve any problems. Good thoughts but I dont think we will ever agree boca.

Lenient policy

The current penalty in baseball for steroids is the following;

The agreement contains revised disciplinary penalties for positive test results, with first time offenders now being suspended for ten days. Second-time offenders will be suspended for 30 days. Third-time offenders will be suspended for 60 days. Fourth-time offenders will be suspended for one year. All suspensions will be without pay.

That can be found here.

What do you think about the current steroid policy in baseball? Is it to easy on the players, should baseball be more strict? Maybe olympic strict? What do you think? What other policy could replace it? Lets see you pulsers talk some sports!

that link isnt working but if

that link isnt working but if you search under the site "steroid policy" you will find it. sorry guys

MLB and steroids

Man, this issue is huge. I was thinking about why it is huge, and really it's because it is all inclusive of SO many things: 'the love of the game', fame, money, records,future generations of players (maybe this is you, or your child, or possibly your future child). It seems that even if you don't like sports, you can get caught up in this issue because it entails within it the classic 'right' or 'wrong'.

I personally don't know what should be done. I think that Selig dug himself a huge hole by not addressing this issue years ago (he had to know it was going to surface!) Obviously he was worried about the effect it would have on baseball (probably more monetarily than anything). But now he is like a deer in the headlights, trying to come up with something that seems pleasing to the current players as well as the past ones (fans included).

Should their records be taken away? That's a tough one, because like rydogg said, it wasn't in the rules until recently (though I think everyone out there knows there is some level of 'this isn't right' to it). I know that any of those records, to me, will be forever tarnished! I will never look at those records and say, 'Barry Bonds was the greatest'...or 'Big Mac truly was the best that year', etc. (And please note that this is coming from a person from Sacramento, who's all time favorite team is the Oakland A's. the A's are my American team, the Giants are my national team. I actually had a 'bash brothers' poster on my wall when I was little. I always wanted to be on the A's when I played little league softball. And I, like many, cried tears of dis-belief when Kirk Gibson cranked his homerun!) Still...I've lost a lot of respect for McGwire and Bonds. They can stand and say all they want that they didn't use (or plead the fifth, or tell the media to stop hounding them as a way to avoid the issue,) but all you have to do is look at the pictures over the years. There comes a time when you can most likely pin-point when they started using. Even McGwire looked amazingly smaller when testifying in court than he did when playing (and breaking records)...but still bigger than this first few years in the league.

So records taken away...maybe not. It's a HUGE diservice to those who first set those records steroid free...HUGE!!! But anyone who honors those athletes will always honor them as the real record holders, no matter what the books say. As for the Hall of Fame, some friends and I were talking about this...and the Hall of Fame should be off-limits. If Pete Rose can't get in for breaking the rules that had nothing to do with his performance as a player...then these players better never get in either since they are doing something illegal that does effect their play! And if it is a matter of 'their word'...then give them a freaking lie-detector test (I can just see Bonds reaction to it now!) But if they are innocent and have all these people on their backs about it...take a test and set yourself free (unless they are scared something, already known, might leak out that way.)

I just think the whole steroid issue is a sad thing for the game of baseball. I don't care what the current attendance at games are, or if baseball now gets more time on ESPN, etc. I've played softball, and watched baseball since I was 5...and steroids don't belong in the game! What do they accomplish anyway? They effect mainly one record - Homeruns. I don't go to games to watch the homeruns. They are only one aspect of the game. To me, I would much rather see a stolen base (especially home), or a nice double play, or a sweet diving catch, or the nicest placed bunt to advance a runner (again, from 3rd to home is the best)...i'd much rather see those than a homerun anyday. Those things take a whole lot of skill (rather than a beefed up body) and win my respect far before a homerun does. Doesn't anyone remember what it was like when Ricky Henderson was on base and took a huge lead off? Or to see someone like Chipper Jones get up and you wonder which part of the field he would hit it to this time? I'd love to see Bonds make an ESPN top ten play for one of those things rather than a homerun...but something tells me it will never happen!

Selig needs to get control and fast! Steroids takes away from 'the game' and is creating a whole new version of baseball...the homerun derby. It's sad. It breaks apart "teams" and creates a bunch of "I's"...Barry Bonds being the biggest one of them all (remember...I'm a huge A's and Giant's fan.) Why do you think the Yankees lost to Boston...they are a team full of "I's" all trying to get on ESPN highlights...and all Boston wanted to do was break the curse...as a 'team'!

It's sad that any sport has become suseptable to this...that people can't just be honest about it all. It's even creeping into college sports...it's ridiculous!

It's all ruining my childhood memories...!

Barry Bonds is a stand up citizen, Jose Conseco is quite the opposite

Have you ever seen Barry's interviews or the way he deals with the media? He is by no means a stand up citizen, or an honest man (on this topic at least).

Now as much as I'd like to disagree with you on the C"a"nseco comments too I cannot. He is a chump and a disgrace.

Growing up I thought he was the greatest thing ever. Check in my storage, I have about 5 billion Canseco cards, I even collected Ozzie Canseco cards when he made some brief major league stints. Me and my best friend followed anything and everything Canseco. I want to read his book but am afraid it will scar my childhood memories more than he all ready has. I loved watching him when I was a kid, and haven't really followed baseball since he retired, but the guy is a joke. He has no morals, and couldn't care less about anyone other than himself and MAYBE his daughter. The guy sold his MVP trophy! What a disappointing sports idol I picked when I was young.

In interesting news, I'm sure many of you have heard of the show "The Surreal Life" on VH1 where they house "has been" celebrities together in a Real World sort of way. I've caught clips here and there, pretty risque entertainment, but in pursuit of more money to pay off his debts Canseco will be on the show next season. PATHETIC

taking away records...

What should happen to the known steroid users with records in the record books?

It would be very unwise to take away records from players. I believe this for many reasons, and they are;

1)Baseball has just recently instituted its steroid policies. When some players were using the drugs the policies were not there. Consequently as unethical as it is, they were not breaking the rules. You can't break the rules if there are no rules.

2)How do you prove that someone has taken steroids when they set the record? Other than your word vs. my word rhetoric, nothing can be done. That is not good enough to accuse of using and taking away records.

3)Although taking steroids is against the law, the MLB is a private organization with its own diciplinary actions. The steroid offenders can serve time in the prison system if they are so convicted, but baseball chose to not punish such users during the time. Baseball cannot use present new rules and hold past players accountable for such rules. The players were under no obligation to obey such at the time.

4)Other than the self-admitted Jose Canseco no other player can be proven that he was taking steriods when he made certain records. No record should be taken away on an assumption, or belief. I believe in an 'innocent untill proven guilty' policy.

5)All records in the books up to this point should remain. No MVP's, homerun records, batting records and pitching records should be taken away, unless one can be proven guilty of taking steroids since the new steroid policy has been in effect.

In the end it comes down to this, the past is the past. We can't change it, but we can effect the future. I believe that baseball has to make changes. Taking away past records does nothing for the game except help break apart a sport that is already in a shaky position. The threat can be there for future offenders, but to take awy does absolutly nothing for the game.

the law and records

Uhh... It was ILLEGAL. If a player can't obey the law, take the record away.

So lets say that you work for a some company. You go out and shop-lift fom some store some books that help you learn to become the best sales man in your company, you dont get caught, but latter you say after you quit your job, you once shop lifted. They cant come and take away some bonus you recieved for being the best employee. Its common sense really. Plus it wasnt part of the "companies"(MLB) diciplinary action at the time. Hind-sight is 20/20, but you cant hold those players to a standard now for what they did then, when the standard never exhisted.

Plus the only one that we know has taken steroids is Jose Conseco. Go ahead and take away his records, I never liked him anyway...(sarcastic comment). So we would take away like two MVP awards from the 80's. Thats all, how does that help the situation? Should anyone who broke any law have any record they have taken away? By your logic of, "Uhh... It was ILLEGAL. If a player can't obey the law, take the record away" than any player should have any record they have taken away if they break the law. So should Kobe have his championship taken away because he raped a girl? 'He broke the law, take it away'... That just doesnt make sense to me.

Blah blah blah...people get sent to prison on less evidence than we have available to prove that Bonds and Co. were on steroids.

Please give me some examples. Barry Bonds is a stand up citizen, Jose Conseco is quite the opposite. His word vs. Bonds in court wont stand a chance. Its called 'Hearsay', rumors, they dont stand a chance in court.