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Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Great Moments in Bloggy EthicsSo, Marchman posts a link to a guy who claims to have a list of the 2003 drug test failures. Then Jay wonders whether Marchman posting the link is a hypocritical move based on stuff Marchman has said in the past about trafficking in this kind of stuff. I scanned through the list quickly, and then, just as I was trying to figure out whether I would be committing any ethical violation by linking to it, it disappears.
So to sum up: we have an intermittently invisible list of unsubstantiated names creating a hypothetical blogger ethics problem.
In other words, just another day at the office in the steroids era.
UPDATE: I was able to get the list again, but I personally don't feel comfortable reproducing it unless and until it has some sort of confirmation. If you're really curious you can work your way through the above links and try your luck with the wonky link to the actual names. My only comment: if the list is accurate, there are maybe 2-3 names on it that will raise an eyebrow but no one (I don't think, anyway) whose name on the list will cause anyone to alter their perception of baseball history or anything. I think the biggest surprise is the number of fat and out of shape guys listed. The sort of names who make you wonder whether PEDs actually do anything for anyone.
UPDATE II: It's been suggested by those who have seen the list that I am perhaps underselling the names on it. I think there's some truth to that. My point, though, wasn't that there aren't big names. There clearly are. It's that there are very few names who would surprise you if someone told you today that they used steroids. Only one seems like both a big name and a surprise in that regard. That's all I meant.
That said: I am not going to link it and I'm not going to discuss any names on it unless and until there is some confirmation. For what it's worth, though I'm not a reporter, I'm seeking some at the moment.
UPDATE III: Still not discussing names ON the list, but MatthewA makes a good point in the comments: Jason Grimsley's name is NOT on the list, and by all accounts it should be. We'll see what shakes out of all of this, but that omission is a major blow to the list's credibility.
UPDATE IV: Further basis for doubt, from reader Peter:
The list is obviously in Divisional order going from East to West, AL to NL - but testing was reportedly random, a few players at a time, and over the course of the season. So tests would be stored either in the order they were tested or in some other easily sortable data model - like alphabetical ordering, or something that made any empirical sense. This list is a guy who went through the rosters of each team, picked out the names he thought sounded good, and pruned it down to the number he wanted. And there aren't NEARLY enough fringe players here - we've heard repeatedly that the pressure is for people to take drugs to make the leap to the show.
Good point, though it's possible that either (a) the person who got it was working from a hard copy and sorted it or (b) the list was at one point compiled in team order for reporting back purposes, be it to union reps or the ballclubs, or what have you. That said, yes, prudence and skepticism is in order.
UPDATE V: I have spoken with someone who is definitely in a position to know about the veracity of the list and that person says -- definitively -- that the list is a fake. There are multiple names that aren't on it that would be if this was the real McCoy and vice-versa.
Case closed. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to beat the living crap out of the blogger who made it up. It's rough out here for a blogger, and we sure as hell don't need anyone else doing things to discredit the medium.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 8:57am
If you saw the names, please tell me one thing? Please, please tell me that Tony Pena, Jr’s name was on the list?
Because that would sum up what it’s like to have been a Royals fan for the last 15 years.
I don’t care about anyone else. I just need to know about TPJ. This could prove whether the universe is real, or just a figment of my imagination.
Posted 06/30 at 09:31 AM
Craig Calcaterra said...
Not going there, Ron.
Posted 06/30 at 09:33 AM
Craig…I was sent this list yesterday by a few sources and I passed on it.
Didn’t feel right.
Posted 06/30 at 09:39 AM
Having scanned the list, I suspect it is BS ... virtually all the players listed are somewhere between solid contributors and stars with almost none of the Manny Alexanders and other dreck that have been the majority of players subsequently outed.
Posted 06/30 at 09:41 AM
dlf is right on the head. I saw the list and quickly dismissed it, because I had heard of every player on it. Surely, there would have been some 25th men on a roster who were juicing (see: Ozuna, Pablo). Where were their names? No, this list was nothing more than speculation by someone.
Posted 06/30 at 09:43 AM
The list is a fake. It doesn’t include Jason Grimsley, whom we know failed the 2003 test because his court papers were revealed in 2006.
Posted 06/30 at 09:45 AM
A-Rod and Sosa are on the list, but there are only 103 names. Wasn’t the list supposed to be A-Rod plus 103 other people? Or am I remembering wrong?
I don’t buy this list for a second - not because of the names that are on the list, but because there’s no reason to believe that these people are important/connected enough to have it. I’m pretty surprised anyone is running with it, let alone Marchman…
Posted 06/30 at 09:45 AM
Jason @ IIATMS said...
If the list is legit, there are more than 2-3 names what would raise an eyebrow…
but having this released, if indeed it’s true, will be a good thing. Let’s get this over and done already.
Posted 06/30 at 09:49 AM
@lar: Another astute observation. It’s definitely 104 names total, meaning the list is missing a name outright. Not good for that list’s street cred.
Posted 06/30 at 09:59 AM
There is absolutely no chance that this BS list is valid. Sure is turning into a great internet prank but whoever typed up those names though.
Posted 06/30 at 10:01 AM
Did Jose Canseco have anything to do with the list?
Posted 06/30 at 10:06 AM
I wish people would just think rationally sometimes before posting or linking to stuff like this. The list is obviously in Divisional order going from East to West, AL to NL - but testing was reportedly random, a few players at a time, and over the course of the season. So tests would be stored either in the order they were tested or in some other easily sortable data model - like alphabetical ordering, or something that made any empirical sense. This list is a guy who went through the rosters of each team, picked out the names he thought sounded good, and pruned it down to the number he wanted. And there aren’t NEARLY enough fringe players here - we’ve heard repeatedly that the pressure is for people to take drugs to make the leap to the show.
you shouldn’t have to be a lawyer to have a little sense of prudence.
Posted 06/30 at 10:12 AM
I think it’s fair to assume this list to be false until some kind of hard evidence is put out to support it. But I do think this (probably) false list might possibly have the effect of causing the *real* list to be leaked as a way to “correct the record.” Now it’s still scandelous that the list wasn’t destroyed, but considering that it’s out there somewhere, and that the privacy of certain individuals has already been breached, it would probably be best if the list was made public. (Note: I am aware that what I wrote is an ethical minefield, filled with arguments that are tantamount to two-wrongs-make-a-right, and the-ends-justify-the-means and so on, and the only proper thing to do would be for anyone in possession of the list to destroy it immediately.)
Posted 06/30 at 10:14 AM
I read through the list and wrote a quick story on why I’m pretty sure its bogus. (I’m not trying to siphon traffic off this stupid rumors, its just that it would be too annoying to reproduce my reasons for thinking its fake in a comment.)
Posted 06/30 at 10:18 AM
It’s also odd that with the Orioles listed, Larry Bigbie and David Segui are not. They both admitted to taking substances, including the highly detectable Deca-Durabolin, in the Mitchell Report in 2003.
Posted 06/30 at 10:44 AM
Josh Fisher said...
Keith Law and MLBTR say fake.
Posted 06/30 at 10:54 AM
Jason @ IIATMS said...
The more I read/think about the names, and the comments here are helping, the more I think the list is totally bogus.
Posted 06/30 at 10:55 AM
Haven’t seen the list, but I’d agree with the “where are all the 3rd tier players trying to get a leg up?” arguement. Sure, A-Rod diluted the “you’re so good you don’t need them” arguement pretty badly, but who’s to believe that the 103(4) tagged were primarily from the upper eschelons?
Besides…where ARE the people who admitted to it?
Don’t wanna see it.
Happy Tuesday everybody.
Posted 06/30 at 11:06 AM
J. McCann said...
Remember that fake list from a couple of years ago? This is not that same list is it?
Posted 06/30 at 11:12 AM
Further evidence that it is bogus - Jeromy Burnitz is on the list twice
Posted 06/30 at 11:16 AM