Fire Jim Tracy

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Methinks Thou Dost Protest Too Much

ESPN just ran the clip of Barry Bonds threatening to expose "athletes" from the "19th Century." I did not know that steroids were hallucinogenic. A Breakthrough!

UPDATE: Just watching more of the Barry Bonds show. In its own self-absorbed way, just as absurd as Canseco. "We can go back into the 1800s and basically asterisk a lot of sports." I can see why he doesn't talk to the press very often.

UPDATE 2: Here is a link to's story about the Bonds Press Conference. If you can bear to read it.

UPDATE 3: And the transcript.

UPDATE 4: Barry also wants to go after "18th" Century figures. Maybe James Madison stole the Second Amendment from Jayson Stark.


  • I just saw the Bonds press conference. A very strange piece of performance art, that one was.

    Mixed in with the rambling and just barely disguised hostility seemed to be a tacit endorsement of steroid use: they don't make you hit the ball, they don't make a great player, I was ALREADY a great player (I think that deserves emphasis).

    To top off the evening was Bryant Gumbel on RealSports with Bryant Gumbel (Hi, I'm Bryant Gumbel) saying that the "alarmists" who want to change the records because of steroid use are ignoring that the Babe didn't play against blacks, Musial didn't have to put up with air travel, the Mick didn't have to hit against closers, etc, ad nauseam. Gumbel strongly implied that Bonds is not deserving of scorn. I can't see how he is deserving of anything else.

    By Anonymous Suffering Bruin, at 2/23/2005 12:59:00 AM  

  • Bonds has been issuing non-denials for many moons. He was using the qualifier "knowingly" two years ago to set up the weak defense he's attempting to use. It, and any defenders he might have left, are absurd in the extreme. If he's already a great player, why use steroids? The chicks dig big heads?

    The steroids issue is not difficult. Steroid use by some players forces other players to consider taking medical risks to play baseball that should not be an inherent risk of playing MLB. In other words, we should not be prepared to force players, as a barrier to entry, to make a decision regarding steroids based on the behavior of others, particularly if it's really true, as the pro-steroid crowd argues, that steroids are not medically proven either way. Major League Baseball not only has every right, as a private employer, but has every reason to protect players not from steroid use, but from being unfairly coerced into using substances that may or may not have harmful long-term effects. This is obvious.

    If steroids do not actually harm you, then they should be distributed through MLB, they should be out in the open, and everyone should have an opportunity to use them or not. What kills me is when the pro-steroid crowd breathlessly concludes that there is a lack of medical evidence regarding steroids, then advocates MLB should become some sort of clinical trial for the concept, complete with normally unwilling participants who may or may not be coerced by perceived or real competitive advantage.

    There is much nonsense generated by the media regarding this issue (although none of it seems to be the fact that most of the "rumors" turned out to be premature facts). To this I agree. And I sense that the counter-reaction is in fact a reaction to the nonsense, and it is, in most part, a healthy counter-reaction. But the counter-program to nonsense is not more nonsense. There is no "privacy" interest here - it goes out the window (if it ever existed, which for private contractors, is a tenuous concept anyway -- the Fourth Amendment doesn't cover non-governmental entities for obvious reasons) when Player A's juicing forces Player B to react. There is an incidental public reaction when a punishment is meted out, but that is simply a result of MLB's public stature -- that is something that anyone who plays MLB assumes the risk of -- whether they take steroids, get a DUI, or get a venereal disease, perhaps the ultimate of private matters, but which inevitably finds its way into the public discourse.

    Whatever Bonds does will bring a muted celebration, and deservedly so. He'll have his records, and the Hall of Fame -- and the tepid response of a populace who know how he achieved it. The latter seems to be all the "punishment" worth giving out, and if Bonds doesn't seem to recognize that he's being punished, well, that's four-year-olds for you. If I wanted a reaction out of my daughter every time, I would get one, but at what cost?

    By Blogger Steve, at 2/23/2005 02:36:00 AM  

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