Friday, March 10, 2006

Also not worked up over steroids

Wherein if you do have your panties in a wad over steroids, you are living in the past. Steroids are ye olde skoole

Patrick Reusse interviews some older ballplayers and finds they're not too worked up over Bonds:
You might expect that by now veteran players would have tired of having the game take broadsides because of Bonds' involvement with the BALCO criminals. For the most part, you would be wrong.

Rondell White, the Twins' new designated hitter, is an 11-year big-leaguer. He comes off as a gregarious, level-headed gentleman, but with no willingness to express public resentment over Bonds and BALCO.

"Leave Barry Bonds alone -- that's what I say," White said. "He's trying to get on with his life. I saw him dressed up like Paula Abdul in spring training ... did it for charity. He's trying to have fun.

"Barry Bonds is one of the greatest players who ever lived. Leave him alone."

Shannon Stewart, a nine-year veteran, walked into the conversation. Told the topic was the latest evidence of Bonds and steroids, Stewart shook his head, then said to White:

"The truth is, there were so many guys taking steroids for a few years, and they couldn't hit like Barry Bonds. In my opinion, a guy hitting with a corked bat is taking a bigger advantage than someone who was on steroids.

"If Bonds was doing all of this ... you still have to hit the ball. He still was going to hit 40 or 50, with or without steroids."

Tony Oliva, a coach for the Twins in spring training, has had his numbers from a 13-season career that started in 1964 dwarfed by the ludicrous production that took place in baseball's steroids era [roughly 1994-2003]. The expectation was Tony-O might be willing to express outrage at Bonds and the other users of illegal substances. Wrong again.

"I hope baseball can soon stop talking about steroids," Oliva said. "What I do know is the ballparks are smaller and the ball is harder. I know those are two reasons for more home runs. Maybe steroids were the third reason. I don't know.

And we also have Dan LeBatard's Steroid story a case study of situational ethics:
We're so arbitrary with our judgments in sports. Kirk Gibson hits a famous home run doped up on cortisone, a steroid, and we cheer for the artificial courage that muted his body's screaming. Not a performance-enhancer? Well, it certainly enhanced that performance, which wouldn't have been possible without medical help.

...Brett Favre being addicted to painkillers while on an unprecedented streak of consecutive starts? That's somehow a testament to his strength. Bonds being addicted to being better than everyone else? That's a testament to his weakness.

And we are outraged and dismayed that, in between the commercials for Levitra and anti-depressants, Bonds would have the audacity to bring the pharmacy to the field.

Preach it, brother Dan. And I think it's possible that Favre's lifetime addiction to painkillers is potentially more harmful than a few steroid side effects Bonds may have suffered (I'm guessing some of this stuff is in the book).


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