Howard Bryant (ohmy) Sat 6 Aug 05 05:50
<hotwired>, I'm not angry about the posts. Far from it. I was, however, frustrated by the notion that I believe that anyone who goes on a hot streak 'must be on steroids.' The inclusion of Giambi, Tino, etc. was what did it. Those guys, as far as we know, don't belong in the discussion, because they weren't found to have Winstrol in their systems. This may not sound like a compliment, but it is, and in my book, a very big one: your last post sounds like Donald Fehr. He has been accused of being obstructionist, but he is very, very smart man, a very precise man, who does not want the conversation to be reduced to sound bites or perceived conventional wisdom. He wants facts, or some form of data that can elevate the discussion. And right now, it does feel as if the conversation has stalled on two major fronts. The first is your point about how they help baseball players. I have always wondered if it is possible to answer this question beyond A) the fact that they are proven to boost certain physical qualities important to a baseball player. and B) During the past 11 years a high enough number of players have believed they help enough to use them. As of now, the analysis of the testing has not yet been focused on for a few reasons. The first is that at this point, the government still does not fund a great deal of research for steroids. There are only four federally funded scientists to understand the effects on the brain. The testing of the tests for long-term reliability is a story that actually needs to be done. There really are two separate conversations that need to take place: the science of steroids and the political handling of the steroid story. I focused on the latter. The other part of <hotwired>'s post that resonated with me is the question of if there is 'anything culturally or ethically different now than before and why should I care?' I think that is the most vexing question of the whole thing, because it can be broken down across so many different criteria. People watch for so many different reasons; We had a talk once about the whole 'level playing field' argument, which really disturbs him. He brought up Lance Armstrong, Secretariat and I think a set of twins into the discussion. 1. Was it a level playing field that Secretariat's heart was supposedly larger than the competition? 2. or that Armstrong has a system that oddly pumps more blood at a faster rate than his competitors? 3. or what if you have a set of twins, but one of them has a larger lung capacity than the other. I understand his point. The "playing field" is never level, which obscures the steroid element. there is question of "why do we watch," which might be the murkiest of all. At some level, it all comes back to the individual who must decide the effects of these substances, and this story on why they care about and believe in the game. and then there is the WOD, which John Hoberman is so adamant about as a motivation, that this has become a political discussion instead of a scientific one. In any case,I apologize for the long post, and flash of temper, but I do agree that we need more information (or more reporting, or more time) to achieve that next level of conversation.
Stephanie Vardavas (vard) Sat 6 Aug 05 15:21
So what about those dozen positive tests? When will we be privileged to learn about them?
Howard Bryant (ohmy) Sat 6 Aug 05 16:34
I wonder if we ever will. Then again, who knows. In honor of Valerie Pflame, the MLBPA is considering filing a grievance about the stanozolol leak to the NYT.
Gail Williams (gail) Tue 4 Apr 06 14:46
I've been thinking about this conversation lately. I enjoyed the book and urged others to read it, but I couldn't read the chapter on Barry, oddly enough. My mind kept wandering to thoughts like "how do parents explain this to young kids who are fans?" and other phenomena. This year two Chronicle writers published "Game of Shadows," during Spring Training, with grand jury leaks and allegations by Bonds' jilted mistress. All the more discouraging to me as a Giants fan and a fan of the game, but fascinating in a sort of shakespearian tragedy way. A few nights ago I heard Joe Morgan cite "Howard Bryant's 'Juicing the Game'" but I wasn't sure what his point was amidst the ballgame patter. It was nice to hear that he respects this book, as I do.
Jim Klopfenstein (klopfens) Wed 5 Apr 06 06:17
I'm not sure what point Morgan was trying to make, but I've heard _Juicing the Game_ mentioned by commentators arguing against the contention that _Game of Shadows_ is the motivation for the official MLB investigation. These commentators argue that it is the fact that Bonds is approaching the record that is driving the investigation (which seems correct to me, too). Their point is that there have been other authoritative books, such as _Juicing the Game_, and no investigation.
Gail Williams (gail) Wed 5 Apr 06 10:17
That's probably what Morgan was saying.
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