Why the rest of the names cannot be released

It’s a major post, so I don’t want to save it for “Exile”:

Why the rest of the names cannot be released.

With all due respect to those people in the “release the names already” camp, anyone who is advocating for such a thing is both (a) selfish; and (b) ignorant as to what really has occurred here.

And in case you missed it last night: the leaker is the only one who should be outed here, and that only as a precursor to his own criminal prosecution.

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Comments

  1. bigcatasroma said...

    Did anyone else see Nomar’s take – that players, who weren’t juicing, requested their names be placed on the 2003 list, so as to get enough names to cross the 5% threshold for compulsory testing?  MLB claims that is untrue, as urine was mandatory for the “anonymous” testing, but an interesting theory nonetheless . . .

  2. Jack Marshall said...

    Thanks for this, Craig…I think the call to release all the names is a pretty good IQ and ethics test…which means that Ozzie and Bob Ryan, to name a few of many, flunk. I thought Fehr’s statement about the NY Times actively encouraging and seeking illegal leaks was fair, if futile.

  3. Jack Marshall said...

    Everything Nomar does is self-serving—-I assumed he was positioning himself in case his own name gets leaked soon. His statement doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me otherwise.

  4. Dan said...

    Craig, I also think you are missing another cruicial point.  Those 100 or so other names that may or may not be released are just the dumb steroid users who knew the test was coming and didn’t care.  Lest we forget that there are probably thousands of other users and abusers who didn’t get caught on that test, who weren’t in the Majors yet, who were taking undetectable HGH.  People want to make this a black and white issue when there is just no way that is ever going to happen.  Personally I’d love to see the names on the list, but I’d still know that was just a sliver of the people who were using.  I just don’t think the general public is smart enough to realize that.  And that’s why it doesn’t matter if the names are released or not.  It would be another incomplete list like the Mitchell report.

  5. Jack Marshall said...

    The public isn’t THAT stupid…it knows that the 2003 list is a snapshot in time, and that it is far from complete. But it would sure “make a difference” to the players on the list if it were released…and that’s enough reason not to release it.

  6. MJ said...

    Craig, I also think you are missing another cruicial point.  Those 100 or so other names that may or may not be released are just the dumb steroid users who knew the test was coming and didn’t care.

    This isn’t necessarily true.  The world of supplements isn’t regulated by the FDA; therefore, they don’t have to list every ingredient contained in the product.  Hopefully players are now more diligent in getting their supplements tested (see Romero, JC), I doubt it crossed anyone’s mind in ‘03 to be concerned with what they were taking.  Not to mention picking up supplements in the DR was probably commonplace in ‘03 (Ortiz) and is far less prevalent than now.

    Labelling all who failed as “dumb” or “arrogant” or “selfish” (cough Olney cough) is wrong.  I’m sure some thought they might not be caught, and some thought that enough wouldn’t get caught to trigger the 5%, and some were just “dumb”.  But it’s not fair to label them all with such comments.

  7. J. McCann said...

    Maybe this is obvious, but the players who are part of the gang of 103, where they each individually notified?  And if so how and when?  Right when they failed or only after the Feds seized the list?

    I don’t see the point in releasing the list.  I suppose if the union voted to release it, that might be the only legal and ethical way to see it.

    But if the whole list never gets out, I figure some players will come clear 20 years from now when they write an autobiography or something.

  8. TL said...

    Great post Craig.

    First let me say releasing the names like ripping off a band-aid won’t close the door on this steroid issue. But for those who believe that, they may think its smart to do so but sometimes the right thing to do is not the easiest thing to do. Releasing the names would be easy; it is not right.

    These players did not relinquish their rights by signing a multimillion dollar contract to play a game for a living. There is a faction of people, in media and fans, who resent these players and don’t care that these leaks are unconscionable.

    Many people resent the different rules athletes are afforded when it benefits the players. But they have no problem implementing a different set of rules for players when its time to judge, punish and lambaste the players.

    I’m a law student and I’ve toyed with the idea of labor law. Marvin Miller has a lot to do with that.

    Did you read his thoughts regarding why the leaks continue? From Rhoden’s article in the NYT he believes its to keep interest in order to keep the Bonds case going.

    “Marvin Miller, the retired players union executive director, said that the outing of big names — A-Rod, Sosa, now Ramirez and Ortiz — has more to do with the government’s failure to get the evidence it needs to convict Barry Bonds of perjury. To justify spending millions, names drip out.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/31/sports/baseball/31rhoden.html?_r=1

  9. largebill said...

    Bronson Arroyo has some good comments that people should keep in mind as they consider these releases.  Arroyo openly says he wouldn’t be surprised if he is listed as players weren’t that careful about what they took back then and a lot of supplements would test as positive including many that the players wouldn’t consider steroids.

  10. Tim Kelly said...

    bigcatsroma, I had mentioned in a different post a while back about how I remembered a story about the White Sox of ‘03 making some noise about refusing the test in order to artificially inflate the “positive” tests over the 5% threshold.  I suggested perhaps that, if true, some names on the list may be of conscientious objectors as opposed to true users. 

    But if I remember correctly, Craig put that issue to rest by saying that the list of 104 is a list of positive drug test results assigned to a number and that a separate list tying the player names to the numbers is needed to associate a player to a positive test.  This seems like it would rule out Nomar’s scenario or the White Sox one I remember…

  11. Michael Martin said...

    The question I have is, what needs to be done, or said in light of all this, for us all to move on?

  12. Tim Kelly said...

    The question I have is, what does it mean for us to “move on”?  Does that mean we never talk about this again?  Case closed, nothing to see here…

  13. ChrisKoz said...

    This one is an absolute forehead slapper:

    john john-1172144

    The writer just don’t get it, he’s comparing oranges with apples. Writer, we as fans pay these guys salaries, we pay to see them play, so please don’t

    compare divorce proceedings with roids in baseball…

    Reply#25 – Fri Jul 31, 2009 4:34 PM EDT

    Wow….just…wow.

  14. Ahmet Hamdi Cavusoglu said...

    Guts and intelligence? That’s being modest. Yes it a shame that drugs have ‘tainted’ the quality and validity of a national past time just as caffeine and antibiotics has ‘tainted’ the quality and validity of work in the world. In all seriousness, these people have had their rights violated! And the shame is that so many people feel that you can violate peoples rights … because those people are not themselves. (Craig’s excellent and needed point) Thank you for being sensible. It’ll be a sad day if that entire list became leaked or worse, a national government drags out these people and leave them out to be stoned publicly … wait, that’s already starting to happen. Keep up the fight and the sharp legal opinion.

  15. Jack Marshall said...

    Yes, the players have a right to agreed upon anonymity and due protection of sealed material. No I am not trembling in terror at the federal government trying to shut down drug-peddling steroid shops, star pitchers who send their trainers out to buy steroids from AIDS patients, and millionaires who lie to grand juries. There is no “right” to lie under oath; there is no “right” to cheat for financial and personal gain to the detriment of others. I love and cherish you libertarians for creating needed ballast against those who would overreach, but your world would be the Wild West, and I can do without that.

  16. Mike B said...

    I’m one of those “lawyer types” that, when first heard of ARod and later Sammy’s outings, was angry not at the players but at the leak.  I still maintain that when that shady lawyer is caught, he should be severely sanctioned.

    But as a baseball fan, I’m beginning to see a method to his madness.  By revealing these names, big names, little by little over such a protracted period, he is changing the atmosphere in the sport and the media.  Where would we be, in terms of dealing with steroid culture in the sport, if that list were a non-entity?  Still talking about Clemens’ useless defamation suit?  Instead, players are afraid.  And baseball higher ups are going to be forced to address -something- as opposed to just sitting back, making an occasional condemnation (“drugs are bad!”), and waiting for it to blow over.  Bronson Arroyo’s admission hit turned on a lightbulb in my mind.  If more players come out, a la “I am Spartacus!”, maybe we can finally be done with it.

    I should say that if I had every vote in the BBWA, known and suspected steroid users would be just as welcome to the Hall as anyone else.  Pitchers were juicing too, and I’m convinced it was a fairly level playing field.  But the sanctimonious BBWA, as much to blame for the current mess as dealers, the player’s union, or MLB, doesn’t share my views.

    I guess my point is that I don’t see ROIDING as the evil that others do.  But since I’m the minority and it has to be dealt with, the dick that’s leaking these names might be serving a greater good in the end.

  17. Jack Marshall said...

    Mike B. Holding the position that illegal drug use in support of performance in sports and breaking a sport’s rules are unacceptable and should disqualify a player for special honors is not “sanctimonious.” It is called sticking to principles, asserting that values matter and that sportsmanship is still an ideal worth pursuing. You may disagree with that; you may like to apply any or all of the (invalid) rationalizations to claim otherwise (others who have cheated have been honored; “everybody did it,” etc.) and this is fine with me.

    But those who reflexively attach “sanctimonious” to anyone who argues for high ethical standards are essentially taking the untenable and societally destructive position that arguing sincerely for values is inherently offensive and wrong. Not “cool,” perhaps, but values DO matter, they ARE worth holding our public figures and paid heroes to, they are worth teaching our children and enforcing in our culture, and using santamonious—-“hypocritically and excessively pious,” to cow those who have the guts to assert so is name-calling,intellectual intimidation, and a cheap shot. I object to it. Cut it out.

  18. Mike B said...

    Jack,

    I’m going to refrain from addressing all the points in your response, because I think both of our positions are supportable and essentially speak for themselves.

    But your specific objection to the use of the word sanctimonious in describing the response of the BBWA to the steroid “crisis” surprises me.

    Don’t you think it’s at least a little true that the outrage in the media is at least somewhat the result of, for lack of a better word, the guilt of those same media members for turning a blind eye?  Using your definition, hypocritical and -excessively- pious, the word seems spot on.

  19. Jack Marshall said...

    Mike…in a word, Yes..I do. But I personally get accused of sanctimony for simply laying out where I think the ethical lines should be drawn, and questioning whether “I don’t care” is a responsible position. There is plenty of true sanctimony out there—-the Globe’s Bob Ryan’s hit-piece on Ortiz is a good example—-and as long as we agree on a properly narrow application of the word, I withdraw my tirade.

  20. Bryan Packard said...

    Craig,

    Excellent post.  I have to admit that I was squarely in the “release the names already” camp until reading this post.  Up until then I had never considered how badly the rights of the 104 were being trampled.  It’s hard for me to regard these cheaters as victims, but the fact remains that even the guilty in this country have rights.  You are very persuasive when you argue that releasing names is a huge violation of these rights.

    I would like to argue, however, that at least some of us who advocate, or used to advocate, releasing the rest of the names are not just selfish or ignorant.  There is a growing sentiment among some baseball fans that we are going to find out who all 104 are, no matter what anyone does.  MLB, the player’s union, and the federal government are all unable or unwilling to find the leakers and punish them.  Since those that are doing the leaking are having their own agendas met, and are facing no recourse for breaking the law, there is little or no chance that they are going to stop (kind of puts them in the same boat as the ‘roiders, doesn’t it?).  My own personal feeling was, if we are going to find out anyway, let’s just find out all the names now instead of dragging the whole thing out.  I see now that not only would that not accomplish anything, but it would be an injustice as big as ‘roiding itself.  So, the big question becomes: what now?

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