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Thursday, May 07, 2009
My Manny reactionThe NBC folks asked if I'd put it up over there, so anyone interested in what I think about all of this, check it out here. Short version: it's not all that dissimilar from what I thought when A-Rod was outed as a 'roider back in February.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 1:22pm
Over at River Ave. Blues they note a Will Carroll Tweet (can’t believe I just wrote “Tweet”) that says that “Manny was suspended under section 8.G.2 of the drug agreement. This provision allows for a suspension if a player tests positive for controlled substances, PEDs or stimulants not enumerated in the prior Section 8 terms.” Further, apparently this suspension was at the discretion of Bud Selig (aren’t they all though? Or is this maybe something unique to seciot 8.G.2 infractions?). Seems like either some schmancy new steroid or more likely probably HGH, but it might be interesting to see what it is.
Posted 05/07 at 01:35 PM
By “seciot” of course I meant section. Dern typos.
Posted 05/07 at 01:36 PM
Two more thoughts come to mind:
1) Imagine if the Yankees had signed Manny and had been the team of A-Rod and Ramirez? That on top of their losing ways, empty stadium, and draconian security practices would have made for quite the year.
2) How mad is Selena Roberts?
Posted 05/07 at 01:41 PM
Dave Foody said...
Seems Yahoo (via MLBTradeRumors) is reporting it was a non-viagra sexual enhancer… Performance Enhancing indeed!
Posted 05/07 at 01:48 PM
Nice job making the front page of MSNBC.com.
Posted 05/07 at 02:04 PM
Tim Kelly said...
I love the comments section here, the comparison to the CTB site in terms of comments is amazing.
Posted 05/07 at 02:29 PM
@ Tim: I completely agree. There seems to be significantly more anger/ignorance in the comments over at NBC.
Posted 05/07 at 02:31 PM
Craig Calcaterra said...
Yeah, it’s um, a very different world over there. I’d say more, but if I start, I probably won’t stop . . .
Posted 05/07 at 02:34 PM
“Imagine if the Yankees had signed Manny”
Seriously? Are we going to try and turn a Manny story—the same Manny who carried Boston on his back for a decade, and to their first championship in 86 years—we’re going to try to turn this into a comment about the *Yankees*? By *imagining* he played for them?
Posted 05/07 at 02:39 PM
Re: Over there…
I love Shyster’s content under the nurturing bosom of NBC, and if it advances his career/reputation, I’m all for it, but I’m with you guys: those are some angry knuckle draggers over there, man. Dang.
Posted 05/07 at 02:47 PM
Henry - Considering that most every steroid story since mid-March has been about the Yankees, and considering that there were numerous published reports about the Yankees potentially signing Manny Ramirez this offseason, and considering that the Yankees have been the center of quite a bit of (highly deserved) negative media attention already, it doesn’t seem entirely inappropriate or off topic to speculate on how much worse it would be for that team (and how this story might be even bigger) if they had signed Manny. I’m not entirely sure what your gripe is, other than maybe that you’re sick of hearing about the Yankees which is legit, but if my comment bothered you I apologize.
Posted 05/07 at 03:10 PM
Greg Simons said...
Royce - haven’t you read David’s recent comments about Selena Roberts, Viagra, and all that is wrong with the world? We’ve got a few pieces of work around here, too.
Posted 05/07 at 03:19 PM
Sorry for over-reacting. I agree—The Yankees totally deserve all of the negative attention they’ve gotten for the players they’ve signed who’ve used.
Manny is not such a player is all I’m saying. If there’s speculation to be done about the impact of this story on the AL East, it seems to me that it makes sense to start in Boston rather than the Bronx.
I’m overly touchy about this as what feels like the only Yankee fan in Maine. Interesting trivia I have been hearing all day, should help everyone come to terms with this: although A-Rod clearly took steroids while with the Yankees, we have absolutely no reason to believe that Manny dosed while with Boston. So say my co-workers. MMMMMMMM-kay.
Posted 05/07 at 05:54 PM
hasn’t manny had the rep as being a flake, but by god, he’s an awfully hard worker? i’d swear i’ve read that several times over the years.
clemens was such a hard worker. bonds was obviously a very hard working individual. mac was a hard worker. pettite started spending time with clemens to pick up on his work ethic and workout habits. giambi was a workout pig. canseco lived in the gym….
what do ped do? oh yeah, they let you work harder than the average bear. how simple.
kinda makes you wonder about fisk…ryan…steve carlton…hmmm…who else was legendary for being workout pigs? some folks will say, see how the steroids thing taints innocent folks?
show me an innocent folk. sad, but true. and the one common denominator? very very hard working folks…cuz after all…that’s what the drugs let you do.
Posted 05/07 at 07:20 PM
“Short version: it’s not all that dissimilar from what I thought when A-Rod was outed as a ‘roider back in February.”
Oh no, not again Craig!
Dead balls, spitballs, balata balls, rules changes, etc., everyone played on level playing fields (though the playing fields were segregated).
Those who didn’t/don’t use PEDs are at a potentially distinct disadvantage when comparing performances over time. Being labled as “Steroids Era” player is an injustice to those who stayed clean. They would take exception because they did not use, as did Barry Larkin during his segment on MLBTV today, and would highly resent being guilty by supposition merely for for playing in the same time frame as those who did use.
You state with Manny we add one more (how many in total does that make, Craig, aside from an ambiguous non-number?) thus making your claim for the need to catagorize this as the Steroid Era and put it in some kind of context. I can understand the non-user becoming highly pissed off at that reasoning. Presumption of guilt just because a player did play in that era may be ok for you and many others, but I’m certain it wouldn’t sit well with a lot of opposed thinking type folk.
Do what you need to do for your own peace of mind. I’m ok with my reasoning. Gotta go now, one of the kids is becoming unruly… I don’t know which one so I’m gonna punish them all!
Posted 05/07 at 08:01 PM
Craig Calcaterra said...
Spitball—prove to me that Barry Larkin DIDN’T use. If you can’t, you see the central problem we face. And don’t give me “his word,” because we’ve been through that before with all kinds of players.
The problem is, posterity demands that we do SOMETHING with this era. There will be Hall of Fame votes. There will be histories written. Unless we plan to simply abandon baseball, some sort of context must be imposed. To do so, we have some choices to make.
1. We can assume that only those named in the Mitchell Report, those who fail tests now, and wild cards like Alex Rodriguez used. Of course, that would be terribly naive, wouldn’t it? Because really, you can’t plausibly say that only those who we’ve caught used. You think it’s unfair to assume the guilt of everyone. I think it’s just as unfair to assume the innocence of everyone. Until this morning, Manny Ramirez would have been in that group, wouldn’t he?
2. We can assume that everyone used and wash our hands of the whole era. That’s ridiculous, and if you feel that way you’re better off just abandoning baseball altogether.
3. We can assume many used—including many we’ll never be able to identify—punish those who are caught and, on the whole, downgrade statistical achievements the way we do with hitters’ stats in the early 1930s and pitchers in the 1960s. Suspect that maybe they weren’t as good as the stats indicate, and adjust a bit for context.
If you have another option, I’m all ears.
Posted 05/07 at 08:53 PM
here’s the option:
suck it up, and allow adult professionals to use the most up to date medical advances, equipment, nutritional information, technology, and yes, performance enhancers…to be the best they can be.
how hard is that? prohibition is a losing game, same as it was with alcohol, same as the war on drugs…it’s…unrealistic, and it’s darn unlikely to work. there’s just too much money at stake…
bud won’t go for it, cuz image is everything. right?
er…how’s that working out?
Posted 05/07 at 09:38 PM
Larking doesn’t have to prove anything. If you feel otherwise, please document here that you believe Larkin was, or was suspected of, using PEDs. And please document the names of others you want to lump into this catagory. If you are going to take such a stand, go all the way with it. And by the way, please show me those hard numbers on those who did. And please tell me it was a level playing field for those who didn’t.
Yes, this is not a court of law, and we can make assumptions. But we tread in a dangerous area, as we are now, ready to make an ass out of both of us.
Gotta run, the kids again. Time to punish all three for the transgression of one.
Posted 05/08 at 06:38 AM
Craig Calcaterra said...
Spitball—I can’t say that I have an ounce of evidence that Larkin was a user. But the same could have been said about A-Rod until a couple of months ago and Manny until yesterday.
My point isn’t to assume that Larkin used. My point is saying that we’ll never have definitive evidence on a whole host of players from this era, and many of the people who never tested positive for anything did, in fact, use steroids. We have to figure out how to deal with that fact. Personally, I think that assume everyone’s innocence who didn’t get caught is naive, just as assuming everyone’s guilt who played in this era and washing our hands of them is silly.
Middle ground, is my view. View the era through a soft veil of skepticism, realizing that we can make judgments on who is a Hall of Famer (I say Larkin is, just as I say Bonds and Clemens are), while simultaneously acknowledging that these guys may not have been as great as their raw stats indicate.
Posted 05/08 at 06:44 AM
Thank you Craig for this post, this site, and what you wrote at NBC. At least there are places that I can go where “cheating” past, present, and future can be debated with a bit of sense, in an open forum, and in its proper context (i.e. the sky isn’t falling).
If the media and fans want to hold baseball to a higher standard—vs. say football…good GOD like football is clean of PEDs?!?!?!?!?—I fine with it. I, like you, think that this shows that drug testing in MLB isn’t perfect, it certainly took too long to arrive, and it will always be tested by some players. But, know what?, it worked here. Manny broke the rules, he will be punished per the rules, and the game goes on. Very well.
There are too many great stories in the game right now (e.g. Royals, Blue Jays, Rays, etc) to allow one player’s error/cheating/stupidity/whatever to affect the sport as a whole. And, while this will be a story for a few days, the game will go one and fans will still come out. Yes, they’ll still come out, not because they (collectively) don’t “care,” but because people aren’t stupid and most also realize that the sky isn’t falling and that this whole PED/cheating thing is a bit more complicated than magic pills making Player X directly responsible for those two home runs the other month.
Have a nice weekend.
Posted 05/08 at 09:52 AM