December 3, 2004
YOU MEAN IT WASN'T FOR TETANUS?:
Doping Scandal Breaks Open: Lab founder says he gave drugs to sprinter Jones. Use by sluggers Bonds and Giambi is reported. (Alan Abrahamson and David Wharton, December 3, 2004, LA Times)
The founder of a Bay Area nutritional supplement lab said he provided a wide variety of steroids and other banned substances to Marion Jones, calling the multiple Olympic gold medalist a drug cheat, according to an interview transcript released Thursday. [...]
Posted by Orrin Judd at December 3, 2004 9:29 AM
Late Thursday night, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on its website that San Francisco Giant slugger Barry Bonds told a grand jury last year he used two banned substances given to him by his personal trainer — one of the BALCO defendants — but that he did not think they were steroids.
Bonds is lying. He is one of the most intelligent hitters of any era, it is no possible that he didn't know what drugs were being administered to him. His feats were within the realm of human possibility, but he was doping and should be excoriated. The fact that he is a viscious racist -- a black Ty Cobb in that aspect -- will make his public demise all the more just. His entire statistical record should be expunged from the books to protect the health of future ballplayers and those who emulate them. Commissioner Selig cannot suspend him under the current labor contract, but he can destroy his legacy. This should be done immediately and emphatically.
Good to see your head come out of the sand.
Despite what the talking heads on ESPN said Thursday, there's no reason why Major League Baseball shouldn't asteresk Bonds and any other major leaguer impicated in the steroid scandal. Given Bonds' ego and his temproment, that little * next to his records would drive him crazy for the rest of his life (though the ideal diss would be if, come the day he does break Aaron's record, it happened on the road and the scoreboard operator flashed a giant asteresk on the Jumbotron as Barry rounded the bases).
I needed evidence, not hearsay, to attack the reputation of the greatest hitter of all time. I have seen people completely change their bodies with weight lifting and a careful diet over a few years. Given his years with access to the best training methods and equipment and his storied training regimen, his development was well within the realm of reason.
In addition, there are exponentially more ballplayers who use steroids and do not develop into stars, Jeremy Giambi being a good example. Steroid don't improve your batting eye.
As a fan, a fan with a son who is an outstanding 14-year old travel player who worships Bonds, I am dismayed and bitterly disappointed that this adultering, doping, racist mofo cannot be thrown out on his ear and barred forever from the great game of baseball. Sorry for the self-reference.
Not that I'm upset, but I guarantee Commish Bud Selig does not have the stones to go out on a ledge and backhand Bonds into oblivion. Wimpy pedantic syphilitic Bud Selig had better say something very g** d**** strong TODAY for the good of young ballplayers. This is worse than the DH, but the inbred incontinent incoherent lickspittle that is Bud Selig is all about the DH. He'd be a good Catholic Bishop. Not that I'm mad.
What's the evidence for Bonds the racist? I know his reputation for arrogance, etc., but I had not heard racist. (And, trust me, I am not one who believes Blacks can not be racist. They can and many are.)
Steroids can definitely improve one's batting eye, in the sense that they can improve one's hand/eye coordination.
Steroids have helped the careers -- and fattened the wallets -- of countless players who aren't even big sluggers. I saw a quote in SI a few years ago by a pitcher who said, more or less, that when 180 lb. middle infielders started hitting opposite field home runs, that was the sign that nearly everybody was on the juice.
Sure, guys can get bigger by working out without being on the juice. But to get bigger AND retain the fine hand/eye motor skills needed to hit 95 mph fastballs is very, very hard to do. Near impossible, I'd imagine, and I'd also imagine this is why baseball players never bulked up before the last 15 years; it carried a big cost. Designer drugs changed all that.
I doubt Bonds is really racist. He had a Swedish bimbo for a wife for several years. It is not surprising if he plays the race card however as it suits his needs. This makes him no different from most Black people in the public eye.
You need actual proof before you censure him though. The word of some sleazeball trying to get out of the hoosegow is not enough.
OJ: in high school, fresman year, saw scrawny guys go out for swimming and football; two years later, they were huge and ripped; this was mid-70's. Steroids would have gotten them there in a year, but it's certainly possible for the weak to become strong, and the strong to become very strong, without steroids. It just takes longer.
Moe: Giants fans have endured Bonds' ridiculous racist idiocy for more than a decade; he's claimed Boston is too racist for self-respecting black guys to play there; he's said numerous times quotes to the effect that the Man doesn't want him to (a) be successful, (b) re-break Ruth's mark, (c) survive the false steroid accusations. My take on BBonds is that he blindly hates white guys across the board. Apparently, his "good friend," and hookup, was living out of his car while dealing to Barry, Barry saw no reason to alleviate those living conditions because, to paraphrase, "black men need to hang on to their money and cannot be giving it away to white people."
Jeff: I have never seen any information that indicated improvement in coordination from steroids. The positive side of athletic steroids use is that they increase the acquisition of muscle mass over short timelines, and, in women, increase the upper threshhold of muscle mass acquisition (by turning them chemically into men). But steroids will never turn inept hitting infielders like Mario Mendoza or Johnny Lemaster or, for that matter, Drew Henson, into home run hitters. Infielders like Ernie Banks and ARod are not flukes, they are simply the best athletes on the field and very strong. Defensive distillates like Pee Wee Reese could not start for any modern day baseball club.
Boys (15-21) can change themselves in the gym the way you describe. It happens all the time. Fat men and lazy men can do it, too. But already conditioned athletes? Probably not.
Jim G -
This article seems to indicate that steroids make your hands faster, which would be a huge advantage in hitting. Many other speed/power advantages are noted.
I recommend the whole article, it's very interesting. And sadly, it includes many quotes from the late Ken Caminiti, including one about depression from lack of testosterone production, which sounds like it might have been a factor in his fatal return to drug use.