The H(GH) is O

It's the biggest shocker since this morning's sunrise:

About two hours after former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell released his findings [about steroids in baseball], two congressmen at the forefront of Capitol Hill's involvement in the steroids issue asked Mitchell, baseball commissioner Bud Selig and union head Donald Fehr to testify at a House committee hearing next week. [...]

California Democrat Henry Waxman and Virginia Republican Tom Davis [...] want to know "whether the Mitchell report's recommendations will be adopted and whether additional measures are needed," they said. The legislators called for a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on Tuesday.

Because nothing says "government reform" like, uh, making sure a private professional sporting league enacts no-warning year-round drug tests on its athletes? Meanwhile, Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) thinks the proper role of government is to pressure baseball commissioner Bud Selig to resign:

"Certainly, a lack of leadership and oversight in MLB enabled these abuses to continue," Stearns said Thursday. "After 15 years of slow action, a new commissioner is needed to guide the league out of this era of drug abuse."

So what does nanny-boo John McCain say?

"It's now time for Major League players to step forward and accept both meaningful restrictions as well as punishments if any of them are guilty of using these enhancing substances," McCain said about the players listed in the report.

"So it's time now for the players union to step forward and say 'ok, we'll save the game and the reputation of the game and cooperate with meaningful and tough punishment and testing procedures, so we can prevent this from ever happening again.'"

I wonder if John McCain has ever used a legal drug (like, I dunno, Vicodin) illegally (i.e., without a legitimate prescription) during his eight decades on the planet? That is, after all, the legal extent to which the vast majority of players named in the Mitchell Report would be potentially culpable, if the collection of hearsay evidence, signed checks and occasionally damning eyewitness testimony Mitchell gathered is to be believed.

In any case, we now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if you give a former Senate Majority Leader $2 million a month for more than a year and half, force clubhouse lackeys to testify under threat of $100,000 fine, and have federal prosecutors grant vastly reduced sentences to drug convicts in exchange for cooperating with Mitchell's private investigation, you can indeed produce circumstantial evidence that Nook Logan (career home runs: 2) and nearly four score others may have taken legal supplements without a prescription to help them recover more quickly after working out, many during a time when such supplements were perfectly acceptable according to Major League Baseball's own rules. And as a direct result, your teenage daughter might eventually face drug testing if she plays sports, once Congress goes through another thrilling round of reforming government.

One of the named players says WTF? here. Some of reason's past steroids coverage here.

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  • ||

    If Mitchell urged Selig not to punish the players listed in the report, a question: other than for purposes of public slander, why release the names of the players at all?

  • highnumber||

    The name of Jim Parque's baseball academy: Big League Edge

    Um, not commenting on steroids and HGH being right or wrong, or on Parque's truthfulness, but, boy, oh boy, I feel sorry for Letterman and Leno.

  • Billy Beck||

    All those presumptuous assholes can say anything damned thing they want, and it doesn't matter to me one whit:

    I say that everybody who doped is fired from my personal pantheon, and Bud Selig will go down in history as the very picture of derelict responsibility.

    Fuck 'em all.

  • ||

    Why don't they just nationalize all the major sports leagues and make it official?

  • ||

    Matt, shame on you for not including a link to the great skit referenced in the title:

    The H is O

  • ||

    I believe that was McCain's wife Cindy who got caught stealing for prescription and got a slap on the wrist.

    http://www.salon.com/news/feature/1999/10/18/drugs/

  • ||

    Hey, thank God we spent millions of dollars on this shit instead of something frivolous like the National Debt.

    Next up. I propose a resolution saying Christmas is Wonderful!

    Oh... they already did that too....

    Okay... Kittens are wonderful. And sunny mornings. And boobies!

  • Bingo||

    So are we nationalizing the MLB now? This is completely ridiculous.

  • ||

    So are we nationalizing the MLB now? This is completely ridiculous.

    Name 5 politicians in DC that will admit that. I'll start it off.

    1) Ron Paul

  • ||

    Dammit, I was just joking when i suggested that this was just a warm up for the music industry. Now I fear the joke may be on all of us. Why not make the recording labels drug test musicians. It's entertainment, just like pro sports. MY GOD, CHILDREN IDOLIZE MUSICIANS AND LISTEN TO THEIR MUSIC. ALL THE TIME!!! THEY MUST BE PROTECTED BY THE VILLAGE®!!!

  • ||

    J sub D makes an excellent. The sooner we rush this crap to its logical conclusion the sooner people will wake and realize the hell they've brought on themselves.

    Why stop at entertainment? Shouldn't we all be role models for the young 'uns? Let start government-mandated random drug testing for every man, woman and child in the country. At least once a week. And post the results online.

  • Balloon Maker||

    I have one comment: Fuck Roger Clemens.

  • Mad Max||

    "The sooner we rush this crap to its logical conclusion the sooner people will wake and realize the hell they've brought on themselves."

    I'm not sure if that would have the desired effect. A lot of our current policies represent the bottom of someone's slippery slope. The punch line of yesterday has become the public policy of today.

    Consider the hysterical predictions back in the 1930s by the opponents of Social Security. National IDs! People will become numbers! How the liberals of the day mocked these paranoid mutterings. Now, the use of social security numbers as personal identifiers for all sorts of unrelated purposes has become routine.

    Check out Volokh's discussion of slippery slopes at

    http://www.law.ucla.edu/volokh/slippery.htm

  • ||

    Mad Max, you make a good point. That's why this is a rush job. If we do this crap slowly over time, people adapt and accept it as normal. Until one day we're living in a Brave New World and there's not a damn thing we can do about because the only guys with guns are the feds.

  • ||

    Consider the hysterical predictions back in the 1930s by the opponents of Social Security. National IDs! People will become numbers! How the liberals of the day mocked these paranoid mutterings. Now, the use of social security numbers as personal identifiers for all sorts of unrelated purposes has become routine.

    Don't be paranoid, we only want every resturant to have a no smoking section.

  • ||

    None of this would be a problem if they just made steroid use mandatory. jesus, were any of the Royals players on here? I hope so, god knows they need it, and if they are not they need to get players in who are.

  • ||

    "Certainly, a lack of leadership and oversight in MLB enabled these abuses to continue," Stearns said Thursday. "After 15 years of slow action, a new commissioner is needed to guide the league out of this era of drug abuse."

    The good congressman forgets that the whole purpose of MLB is to make money for its owners. Under Selig, the league has seen record attendance and been able to fleece taxpayers for several new stadiums. Why would the owners consider drug use by individual players more important than that?

  • ||

    kcjerith,

    I saw a couple of guys who were with the Royals at some point in their careers but that's it. Maybe that's why they've sucked for a while now. Though Jose Guillen was on there so maybe they finally figured it out.

  • ||

    Another thing that bothers me is that these fuckfaces, in all their righteous indigination, have effectively demanded that it be against the rules to get the best treatment possible for an injury. If you blow out your elbow, and using HGH increases your chances of a full recovery, what moral issue is there in an athlete taking it?

    Beyond that, for all the bluster, a vast majority of fans is obviously untroubled by players use of steroids, HGH, etc. The say so by attending the games. Who has actually benefited from all this besides miserable sportswriters and other scolds?

    One last thing, I'm officially tired of the hearing about the kid who committed suicide after using steroids. I feel bad for his family but I don't know what we're supposed to do about it. I know people like to pretend that "if X never existed, everythng would be OK" but if steroids caused most users to suffer such severe depression, shouldn't there be many more cases like this, given the number of steroid users out there?

  • ||

    Any Presidential candidate that ever used any "illegal" substance must be tarred, feathered and ran outta town before Iowa/New Hampshire. Hearsay evidence is good enough for me.

  • Billy Beck||

    "Who has actually benefited from all this besides miserable sportswriters and other scolds?"

    Well, even if they're not offing themselves, there are kids all over the country who think this is a good idea. So... at least there's that.

    [/snark]

    I cannot fucking believe the people who are actually in favor of this shit. I don't know you assholes, and I don't want to.

  • Matt Moore||

    I agree completely with the conclusions of your post, but it's not entirely true that steroids "were perfectly acceptable according to Major League Baseball's own rules." As soon as steroid use was made illegal under federal law MLB made sure that wrote out that using any drug illegally was against the rules of baseball. And they made it clear to teams that they were definitely including steroids.

    They didn't ban steroids by name, and of course, that rule was pretty much meaningless without testing. But I think it hurts your larger case to have that slight inaccuracy in your post.

  • ||

    I cannot fucking believe the people who are actually in favor of this shit. I don't know you assholes, and I don't want to.

    I cannot fucking believe the people who are actually getting hysterical about this shit.

  • ||

    So are we nationalizing the MLB now? This is completely ridiculous.

    In theory at least, it is the special antitrust exemption that Congress granted MLB that justifies their "oversight". All the owners have to do is announce that they're waiving that exemption, and Congress has no basis in law to pester them like this.

  • Billy Beck||

    "...this shit."

    That's baseball, mister.

    Whaddya some kinda fuckin' communist or what?

  • Billy Beck||

    Some kinda soccer-ass licker?

  • ||

    Some kinda soccer-ass licker?

    Soccer ass-licker? Hmmm... if by soccer you mean something like this, this or this then perhaps so...

    Warning: at least one of those is probably NSFW... depending on where you work, of course.

  • paulie||

    Okay... Kittens are wonderful. And sunny mornings. And boobies!

    Especially that
    last one
    .

  • ||

    I Was watching this shit on ESPN and when they mentioned that Taylor Hooten kid , I turned to my wife and said " I hate this fucking kid and his parents" and changed the channel.

  • grylliade||

    Dammit, I was just joking when i suggested that this was just a warm up for the music industry. Now I fear the joke may be on all of us. Why not make the recording labels drug test musicians. It's entertainment, just like pro sports. MY GOD, CHILDREN IDOLIZE MUSICIANS AND LISTEN TO THEIR MUSIC. ALL THE TIME!!! THEY MUST BE PROTECTED BY THE VILLAGE®!!!



    Hey, then we can put asterisks by the titles of every song put out by every musician after the ban! That will explain to future generations why the music they're forced to listen to sucks, while that old stuff from before 2010 RAWKS! I mean, how can you compare someone who doesn't use drugs to Led Zep, or the Beatles, or any number of other musicians who . . . um, partook.

  • ||

    After wasting even more time watching and reading about this report, I've concluded that Mitchell had wasted two years compiling nothing until he got lucky with the Radomski bust. He then chose to flesh out his report with hearsay accusations. Some beacon of integrity.

    I have had fun watching all the hysterical reactions. All the "I'm never watching baseball again" shrieks from fans, and finger wagging from sportswriters. It's funny because everyone knew from day one what the end result of this report would be. There wouldn't be a Mitchell investigation if players weren't using steroids.



    I Was watching this shit on ESPN and when they mentioned that Taylor Hooten kid , I turned to my wife and said " I hate this fucking kid and his parents" and changed the channel.

    What I hate is the archetype that represent, they're the "official human face of the issue, immune from questioning because to do so makes light of their horrible personal tragedy". Every issue like this has one. They're there to make unchallengeable emotion appeals, wag their fingers at those "responsible, however tangentially" for their suffering, and give money quote about the validity of any laws, rules or other remedies.

  • ||

    I propose a music ratings system whereby after the name of each band is a little icon to denote what drug the band member took so that parents can make an informed decision regarding the music they allow their children to listen to. Something like say

    ! = Alcohol
    @ = Marijuana
    # = LSD
    $ = PCP
    % = Cocaine
    & = Amphetimines
    * = Barbituates
    + = Hallucinogenics like toads and mushrooms...
    ^ = Other
    ( = Heroin
    ) = Morphine
    [ = Quaaludes
    ] = Whiffits
    { = Valium




    So, when you see a record label it would look someing like

    The Beatles!@#
    Pink Floyd!@
    Rolling Stones!@#$%^&*()[]{}

  • ||

    I am guilty of this: contempt of Congress.

    a lack of leadership and oversight in MLB Congress enabled these abuses to continue

  • Russ 2000||

    I Was watching this shit on ESPN and when they mentioned that Taylor Hooten kid , I turned to my wife and said " I hate this fucking kid and his parents" and changed the channel.

    Exactly. The kid had a terrible inferiority complex, most likely fostered by his parents when he was a toddler, and they get to use the steroid shield.

  • ||

    Libertarians never have been able to come up with a solution to arms-race problems, so they have to argue "it's not a bug, it's a feature."

    Athletes shouldn't have to mess with drugs to compete.

  • Dynamist Dan||

    I've never understood Reason's crusade on behalf of baseball's steroid users. I don't see anything wrong with a private business prohibiting a performance-enhancing drug with dangerous side effects because it doesn't want its employees faced with the opportunity cost of their competitors taking the drugs. With the Nook Logan comment, I think you overlook the healing effects these drugs seem relied on for, this may explain how Roger Clemens, a bigger name than Logan, extended his career so long. It does seem suspicious that the best two players since WWII, Bonds and Clemens, both had unusually long careers and both were unusually dominant extremely late in their careers. Why should all players incur a cost on their relative performance if their unwilling to sacrifice their health?

    Despite what you may glean from Law & Order, hearsay and circumstantial evidence are perfectly viable. The hearsay in the report is not the kind that is prohibited in court, party opponent admissions are admissible evidence. It is a witness relating what the subject of the proceeding said, it's like an eyewitness describing what they heard instead of what they saw. Hearsay is prohibited when it's in multiple degrees, Johnny says that Sally said that Clemens said he used steroids. Circumstantial evidence is how we solve most of the mysteries in life, it hardly should be scoffed at.

    Dave stands up in a bar and tells everyone that he's going to go to Jack's house and beat him up. There are a single set of footprints in the fresh snow from the bar to Jack's house to Dave's house. Jack tells police that he was beaten up by a man in an American flag jacket and a Springsteen mask. Police follow the footprints from Jack's house to Dave's house, break down the door which is locked from the inside and barricaded. They find an American flag jacket and Springsteen mask on the floor next to a passed out Dave. Who beat up Jack? That's all hearsay and circumstantial evidence.

  • ||

    Athletes shouldn't have to mess with drugs to compete.

    Athletes WILL CONTINUE TO TAKE DRUGS to gain a competitive advantage. Forever. Does anyone disagree?

  • Russ 2000||

    Athletes shouldn't have to mess with drugs to compete.

    They also shouldn't have to lift weights or watch their diets to compete.

  • Subtle But Significant Differe||

    Some of you are mixing up recreational drug use with performance-enhancing drug use. Recreational drug use is perfectly fine because it doesn't harm someone else. The problem with performance-enhancing drug use in sports is that it forces players to choose between their health and falling behind their competitors. Saving the kids may be a pretty poor reason to keep steroids out of baseball, but this is a pretty good one

  • Russ 2000||

    Some of you are mixing up recreational drug use with performance-enhancing drug use.

    How can there be a mix up? ALL drugs are performance-enhancing. Well, maybe not cyanide.

  • ||

    I've never understood Reason's crusade on behalf of baseball's steroid users. I don't see anything wrong with a private business prohibiting a performance-enhancing drug with dangerous side effects because it doesn't want its employees faced with the opportunity cost of their competitors taking the drugs.

    Speaking for this libertarian only, I don't give a rat's ass what the MLB collective bargaining agreement says regarding banned substances and testing.

    I do, however, get righteously steamed that the the fucking CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES is concerning itself about contracts in the entertainment industry.

    Dynamist Dan, what other sections of the entertainment industry should be browbeaten by congress to perform drug testing on their entertainers/employees? Movies? Television? Music? Broadway? Street mimes? Fuck, this is so stupid, on so many levels, it boggles a rational mind.

  • Valjean||

    People will continue to cork their bats to gain a competitive advantage, that doesn't mean baseball should start allowing corked bats.

    The difference between taking steroids and lifting weights/watching their diets is that steroids have a significant negative impact on a person's health.

  • ||

    The problem with performance-enhancing drug use in sports is that it forces players to choose between their health and falling behind their competitors.

    Psychedelic drugs and the music business. Next objection?

  • Dynamist Dan||

    Nowhere did I say that Congress should get involved. I'm absolutely appalled that they would.

    My issue isn't with drugs in entertainment. And I couldn't care less what recreational drugs an athlete uses, or anybody else. But I don't think professional athletes should have to choose between their health or being at a disadvantage to their competitors.

  • Darryl Stingley||

    The difference between taking steroids and lifting weights/watching their diets is that steroids have a significant negative impact on a person's health.

    Playing football has a significant negative impact on a person's health. Once a person decided to cut their life short by playing sports, the negative impact of steroids is eliminated.

  • Subtle But Significant Differe||

    I've smoked enough herb to know that it does not enhance my ability to compete in sports. It enhances plenty, unfortunately my athletic performance is not one of them.

    If a private recording company doesn't want to employ musicians that take psychedelic drugs, then I think they're entitled to that. I don't think the government should say that every musician must be allowed to take psychedelic drugs, just like I don't think that they should be able to say that nobody is allowed to take psychedelic drugs.

  • Dynamist Dan||

    Playing football has a significant negative impact on a person's health. Once a person decided to cut their life short by playing sports, the negative impact of steroids is eliminated.

    That's not quite how it works, steroids don't give your body a break because you've got other problems to deal with. In fact since some athletes have a shorter life expectancy, the relative impact of steroids is even greater than on other individuals

  • Samuel Langhorne Bonds||

    But I don't think professional athletes should have to choose between their health or being at a disadvantage to their competitors.

    They don't want to either. That's WHY they take steroids!!

    I need to throw this baseball at 90 mph consistently in order to get a non-steroided hitter out. But throwing that ball that hard repeatedly is going to ruin my arm. So I make the choice to either ruin my arm without drugs, take the drugs so my arm doesn't get ruined, or stop kidding myself that competing in sports is an important function.

    Look, the players pooled their knowledge and found steroid providers. All that's going to wind up happening as a result of this branch of the War On Drugs is that players will pool their knowledge and find doctors to write prescriptions for them. There isn't a single professional athlete that doesn't play with some kind of pain, so there will always be a medical justification for the prescriptions anyway.

    Or should we all end up like Richard Paey?

  • Russ 2000||

    I've smoked enough herb to know that it does not enhance my ability to compete in sports.

    But smoking herb enhanced your performance in other aspects of life. Probably cut down on stress, for example.

  • ||

    Nowhere did I say that Congress should get involved. I'm absolutely appalled that they would.

    If a private recording company doesn't want to employ musicians that take psychedelic drugs, then I think they're entitled to that. I don't think the government should say that every musician must be allowed to take psychedelic drugs, just like I don't think that they should be able to say that nobody is allowed to take psychedelic drugs.


    We have unanimity. Congress, grow up and do your goddam job! This grandstanding, (look at me while I chew out Bud Selig/Rafael Palmeiro on C-SPAN) makes you look like attention whores.

    BTW, MLB was coming down on steroid abuse with or without the irrelevant Mitchell report. I would have gladly done the whole thing for 10% of the 36 million that George Mitchell pissed away. Here is my report.

    Steroids are bad for your health.
    Steroids give the users an unfair compewtitive advantage.
    Many player use steroids.
    MLB and the MLBPA should do someting about it before steroid abuse harms the game further.

    HGH is bad for your health.
    HGH gives the users an unfair compewtitive advantage.
    Many players use HGH.
    MLB and the MLBPA should do someting about it before HGH abuse harms the game further.

    Where's my money, congress?

  • ||

    Most often used excuse to prohibit something:

    "Think of the CHILDREN!" Boo-hoo-hoo.

    Drawing the line of which chemicals are legal and which ones aren't will only grow increasingly arbitrary as biotech continues to explode.

    "Congress Draws the Line at code C-H-O-O-H-C-O-H-O"

    (ok, wasn't a chemistry major)

    Proof of Concept: I caught a glimpse of Cafferty on CNN bloviating yesterday about the evils afoot re: performance enhancement. Cut to commercial:

    "Ask your doctor if Cialis is right for you!!!"

  • ||

    But I don't think professional athletes should have to choose between their health or being at a disadvantage to their competitors.

    Collective bargaining agreement, anyone. That's one of the reasons unions exist. Right?

  • ||

    The problem with performance-enhancing drug use in sports is that it forces players to choose between their health and falling behind their competitors.

    Bullshit; they can always fall back on their college degrees, and get a real job.

  • Dynamist Dan||

    Steroids aren't used for pain management.

    If it turns out that steroids have a positive net benefit on a player's long-term health, then I would encourage that they take them. I thought I made myself pretty clear that my issue with steroids is players risking their health so as not to fall behind steroid-using competitors. I have no inherent problem with drugs.

    The war on drugs is a government undertaking with which I disagree vehemently. Baseball's decision on drugs is a private business making a private decision.

  • Elvis Presley||

    In fact since some athletes have a shorter life expectancy, the relative impact of steroids is even greater than on other individuals


    That's the difference between use and abuse.

  • Russ 2000||

    Steroids aren't used for pain management.

    Yes they are. Recovery time.

  • To Each His Own||

    Bullshit; they can always fall back on their college degrees, and get a real job.

    Yes, we get it already, some of you think entertainers are only doing a real job if it's an entertainment you enjoy

  • ||

    Darryl- sports fans have short memories, don't they?

  • Not So Subtle Difference||

    Recovery time isn't pain management. Barry Bonds isn't Richard Paey.

  • ||

    Should the government ban knee and elbow surgery?

  • This is Getting Stupid||

    Knee and elbow surgery have a positive net effect on health, a very substantial one

  • T||

    Look, if I get millions of dollars because of my athletic ability, and there are drugs that exist that are known to enhance my athletic ability, I'd have to be pretty damn dumb to not consider their use, wouldn't I?

    The only way you'll get steroids out of professional sports is to get the money out. That will not ever happen. You can't convince people not to smoke weed and they don't get paid millions for doing something weed helps them do. How on earth does anybody expect guys who are paid millions not to find every loophole available?

    What saddens me is that nobody had the balls to tell Congress to go piss up a rope.

    Side note: who pissed in Jose Canseco's cornflakes that he is trying to take down MLB? What's his deal?

  • Russ 2000||

    who pissed in Jose Canseco's cornflakes that he is trying to take down MLB?

    Every MLB club that cut him.

  • ||

    Knee and elbow surgery have a positive net effect on health, a very substantial one

    And they can also, done *correctly*, make you a better football or baseball player.

  • ||

    The war on drugs is a government undertaking with which I disagree vehemently. Baseball's decision on drugs is a private business making a private decision.

    Except that the decision wasn't freely made, but done at the demand of congress amid threats of "Do it or we'll fucking spank you!". The owners didn't care, and most fans didn't care.

  • Dynamist Dan||

    T, the fact that there will always be players willing to sacrifice their health to succeed in their sport doesn't change the fact that professional athletes shouldn't have to choose between their health and falling behind their competitors. I support baseball's decision, as a private employer, to try to prevent their employees from having to make that decision. And as a customer of their business, I prefer that their employees don't take that unnecessary risk, it would decrease my enjoyment and value of their product.

    And they can also, done *correctly*, make you a better football or baseball player.

    I repeat once again. My issue with steroids is not that they make you better, but that they have a negative effect on health and since they make you better, players have to choose between their health and falling behind their competitors. I fully encourage players to do anything that makes them healthier or makes them better without hurting their health.

    Except that the decision wasn't freely made, but done at the demand of congress amid threats of "Do it or we'll fucking spank you!". The owners didn't care, and most fans didn't care.

    That's a fair point. Though I disagree that fans didn't care, the way the fans have treated Barry Bonds tells a different story. They love the game and they wouldn't abandon it immediately, but there were plenty of demands that they clean it up.

  • VM||

    Jayson Stark's and the Eastern Seaboard Programming Network's little golden boy got busted, and now they're all whining.

    fuck ESPN.

  • ||

    Don't be surprised when your jock-sniffing turns up bad smells, sports fans.

  • Live and Let Live||

    Why do people feel the need to denigrate others' forms of entertainment?

  • ||

    My issue with steroids is not that they make you better, but that they have a negative effect on health and since they make you better, players have to choose between their health and falling behind their competitors.

    My issue with steroid hysteria is that, as steroids are driven underground, good information and quality product become more and more difficult to find (sound familiar?). A "properly administered" steroid program is not as harmful as a group of guys in the locker room swapping old wives' tales and shooting each other up with who-knows-what. And as far as "compulsion" goes, any competitive industry requires risk-based investments.

    And now, I and my unmodified steroid-free knees are headed for Bridger Bowl, where there is rumored to be a foot of fresh snow.

  • Dynamist Dan||

    My issue with steroid hysteria is that, as steroids are driven underground, good information and quality product become more and more difficult to find

    Steroids aren't driven underground, they're widely studied and used throughout the country. I encourage their legalization and I have no problem with any average Joe deciding he wants to get big and taking them. I just think an entertainment business should (not be compelled to) run itself so that its entertainers don't have to choose between their health and a level playing field.

    And as far as "compulsion" goes, any competitive industry requires risk-based investments.

    Yes, and any private business should be free to run their own affairs so as to minimize the unnecessary risks their employees have to take. Their business is a game with rules, this seems like a pretty fair one. Nobody is harmed by a rule prohibiting steroids in baseball, but a rule that allows steroids in baseball harms all those that must sacrifice their health so as not to fall behind their competitors.

    Legalize all drugs including steroids, but keep health-damaging, performance-enhancing substances out of all sports where their allowance would incur an unnecessary and substantial opportunity cost on all professional athletes.

  • Igo Kravchuk||

    Athletes shouldn't have to mess with drugs to compete.

    Who'd waste time and money watching a bunch of wussies compete?

    I'm glad Curt Schilling messed with drugs so he and his bloody sock could win a game.

  • GILMORE||

    This shit is so stupid.

    I saw mitchell on the news hour last night, and he made me sick with his sanctimonius rhetoric. He concluded with the idea that these baseball players are influencing the millions of children who try steroids. Many of the people 'named' in the report commited these alleged infractions when there was no actual rule about it at the time. the whole thing reeks of grandstanding. What next - shouldnt we drug testing actors so we know their performances are 'honest'? Baseball is entertainment. If anyone wants to sell it's "fairness", it should be MLB... i dont understand why government should be picking and choosing whether to care about pro wrestlers or multimillion dollar baseball gods. I also think its slimy to accuse people of crimes when there's no clear authority to prosecute - they cant *prove* it, and arent trying to, so why should these players respond? Doing so would assume that there is some legal compulsion to do so. Its cowardly and opportunistic.

  • ||

    The problem with performance-enhancing drug use in sports is that it forces players to choose between their health and falling behind their competitors.


    Players always have to make that choice. Pros don't succeed by being moderate in competition or in training. One example: both NFL and professional soccer players are significantly more likely to suffer from dementia, particularly early onset dementia, as a result of repeated head trauma that is absolutely intrinsic to their games. Many forms of training or competition wear out the body sooner than a more normal lifestyle. If you want a normal lifespan, pursue a normal career (or learn to golf).

    All that said, by the rules of the game PEDs are cheating, and MLB and other pro leagues are within their rights to police as best they can. I can't see what real contribution Congress can make to that, but expecting them not to stick their nose in would be like expecting the sun to rise in the west.

    And WRT to the Hooten kid, I feel as bad as anyone for the family but he knew he was cheating when he decided to juice. Maybe Mom and Dad should think a little harder about how they came to raise a cheater instead of trying to blame Mark McGwire.

  • ||

    One last thing, I'm officially tired of the hearing about the kid who committed suicide after using steroids. I feel bad for his family but I don't know what we're supposed to do about it. I know people like to pretend that "if X never existed, everythng would be OK" but if steroids caused most users to suffer such severe depression, shouldn't there be many more cases like this, given the number of steroid users out there?

    He probably played Dungeons and Dragons too, that evil game!

  • GILMORE||

    J sub D | December 14, 2007, 10:29am | #

    oh. I neednt have bothered posting. He already said exactly what i said.

  • ||

    Dynamist Dan is dead on right, (and he's pretty much kicking everyone's butt in the debate.)

    Using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) is NOT like using recreational drugs, so please don't use that comparison. The INTENT of using PEDS is to impact OTHER athletes (in econ-speak, the cheating athlete is trying to create an "externality"). Game theory tells us that this "prisoners' dilemma" will force the other athletes to start using PEDs themselves. (And sorry, research shows that they are pretty much harmful at the therapeutic levels required for training benefits.) Just watch "A Beautiful Mind" again (or better yet, read it) to see how this works.

    And to Matt Welch, these PEDs were never "legal" unless they were ALL accompanied by a prescription--their use has been illegal under federal controlled substance laws that cover prescription drugs (and NOT recreational drug laws). And some of this usage has continued beyond the time when the MLB decided to act.

    As to cleaning up the sport, track and field has actually done a reasonably good job of late. The high profile cases in fact prove the rule--even the very best are caught and punished in the dragnet. A similar situation is happening in cycling now (which was even dirtier than track so even more of the top athletes are being shorn away.)

    To those who say "the athletes can't simply decide not to compete if they don't want to use PEDs", I say we're better than the Romans. I would hope that our morality hasn't fallen so far that we would simply just accept that we have gladiators in sports whom we don't care about. What next, "thumbs up or down" at sporting events? Yes, we must care about what we are asking ANYONE to do, especially if it's just for our entertainment--hell, we aren't even asking them to protect our country!!

  • ||

    stuck in 200 said:

    And WRT to the Hooten kid, I feel as bad as anyone for the family but he knew he was cheating when he decided to juice. Maybe Mom and Dad should think a little harder about how they came to raise a cheater instead of trying to blame Mark McGwire.

    That's an amazing comment--we expect a 16 or 17-year old minor to have the same decision making capability as a 30 year old adult. I thought we had laws protecting minors for a reason, but according to stuck at 200, there is no reason for these protections. I guess maybe we should start letting youngsters drive as soon as they can reach the gas pedal since they obviously have the same decision making capability and that it doesn't improve with age or experience.

    As you can see, I believe your response is purely a cop out. You are trying to blame ALL of kids' problems on their parents as though our culture has NO impact whatsoever on our children's actions, and somehow parents can protect kids from every single outside influence. Get real!

    Research shows over and over that peer groups are the single biggest influence on kids after about age 12. And this also has been shown as NORMAL HEALTHY behavior--it's part of the separation into individual identity. We'd all be "momma's boys" afraid to play in the NFL if this didn't happen. ;^) So accept the fact that Mark McGuire and Barry Bonds, and now Roger Clemens et al, implicitly encouraged Hooten to use steroids that essentially lead to his death. So yes, the MLB was culpable, and that's exactly why it (and all other high profile sports leagues) must clean up their acts.

    Sorry, I'm not usually much of a moralist, but in this case I see the direct impact of an externality that under any reasonable economic theory demands regulation. Yes, regulation (such as protection of private property rights) is justified in some cases.

  • ||

    So accept the fact that Mark McGuire and Barry Bonds, and now Roger Clemens et al, implicitly encouraged Hooten to use steroids that essentially lead to his death. So yes, the MLB was culpable, and that's exactly why it (and all other high profile sports leagues) must clean up their acts.

    A former elite athlete,

    How culpable is NASCAR for the teenage carnage on our highways? Kinda makes the MLB steroid brouhaha look pretty damned inconsequential, doesn't it?

  • Matt Welch||

    these PEDs were never "legal" unless they were ALL accompanied by a prescription--their use has been illegal under federal controlled substance laws that cover prescription drugs (and NOT recreational drug laws).

    Right. The drugs are usually themselves legal, but their usage without a prescription is not. That's what I said. It's like when I "borrow" a Vicodin from a friend, only I'm not doing it to give myself an edge in a professional sporting competition.

  • Russ 2000||

    Game theory tells us that this "prisoners' dilemma" will force the other athletes to start using PEDs themselves.

    But it's not the prisoner's dilemma as every participant has the option of opting out. And the participant's options aren't all necessarily considered "name your poison" whereas in the prisoner's dilemma the best option is still a negative outcome.

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