Sports

Here's One Cuban Worth Celebrating (Real Winners Do Use Drugs Edition)

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Via AOL comes news that Mark Cuban, bazillionaire owner of the NBA Mavericks, gives a high-five to performance-enhancing drugs in pro sports in an imminent issue of Men's Health:

If it's not bad for your health and it'll enhance your performance, why should you not be allowed to take it?

It makes the game more interesting. It just makes sense. But it doesn't make sense in the context of the current controversies over drugs in sports.

More here.

That's something to think about as supercharged Barry Bonds approaches Hammerin' Hank Aaron's home run record in baseball–and Cuban's own heavily favored Mavs deal with the fact they sucked ass in the playoffs this year.

A couple of years back, I noted, with reference to baseballer Rafael Palmeiro, that it's a thin line between steroids and Viagra.

And Aaron Steinberg defended steroid use in Reason here.

And Matt Welch stood up for Barry Bonds here.

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  1. I agree with Will.
    Go ahead – start your own league.
    No steroids in mine.

  2. I hate to admit this, but I hope that Hank Aaron beats Barry Bonds with a bat. Just badly enough to protect his record. Maybe it’s because I’m a Braves fan, or maybe it’s because I like the idea of Aaron holding the record more than I like the idea of Bonds holding it.

    I know Reason’s all pro-enhancing drugs and all, but what if the enhancements really get out there? Like bionic arms or something? Can’t consumers vote with their remotes for the non-enhanced league? Naturally, I oppose government intervention. Unless President Bush wants to beat Bonds with a bat, that is.

  3. George Will had a great column this weekend on Bonds and Aaron.
    Money quote:

    When Bonds hits his 756th, real fans, who know how to read the record book, will yawn, confident that Aaron’s record will remain the real one until Alex Rodriguez, who has 175 more home runs than Bonds did when he was Rodriguez’s age, breaks it.

  4. Prediction: George Will, in a mania at least partially induced by wearing bow ties too frequently, will shoot Barry Bonds. Fortunately for Mr. Bonds, tight ties also cause extreme myopia, allowing him to hit 756 while sitting in a wheelchair, wearing a shirt that says, I ? al Qaeda.

  5. Think it’ll be Arod and not Pujols?

  6. Are any of The Ultimate Warrior’s acheivements less valid because of steroid abuse?

  7. “”””The staff of scientists at GSSI conduct a wide variety of tests on athletes in order to discover more about how athletes’ bodies respond to nutritional interventions. The information gathered in these tests is then used in the consideration and development of new …. nutrition and hydration products.

    The equipment housed within GSSI’s four laboratories enables the resident scientists to conduct a wide range of testing procedures that can deliver scientifically accurate data that is used to help athletes perform at their best.”””

    Does this sound like a performance enhancer that should be banned?

    To read more go here http://www.gatorade.com/products/

  8. Kudos to Cuban.

    Steroids are simply not that bad for you. The case against them is typical drug war hysteria.

    And considering how much they can improve your physical appearnce or in some cases make you millions of dollars a year, anabolic steroids are by far the most sensible drug for most people to use.

  9. There’s another reason athletes use steroids aside from “performance enhancement” – to help recover from injuries more quickly. Is that a bad thing for fans, to have their star player back a week earlier from an injury?

    And the point TrickyVic is making is one of my major ones about steroids – when do advanced training techniques, advanced diet maintenance, etc get banned. Afterall, guys like Aaron didn’t have access to them, so isn’t it unfair for current players to have access to them? Doesn’t that skew the record books? And what about changes in the height of the pitching mound over the years?

    Are you seriously telling me that ARod has not benefited from some advanced training techniques, computer modeling of his swing, for one?

    I understand if you want to be a purist in whichever sport you like best, but there is no such thing as a “pure” form of any sport unless you could somehow control every single variable.

  10. highnumber – that article mentions a fact I didn’t even know about a subtle difference in baseball…that they used to use horsehide balls instead of cowhide. Now I’m sure you could create an experiment that would show whether or not there is any difference, and perhaps there’s not, but it just goes to show there is no such thing as a “pure” sport.

  11. Well, for most of Bond’s career baseball had no policy against steroid use, so I can’t hold it against him.

    That, however, doesn’t change the fact that the dude is 1) a shitty outfielder and 2) an asshole to fans. Those are the things that make me hope Hank Aaron beats him with a bat.

  12. I saw a television ‘documentry’ featuring several european bike racers and their doctor who were all using performance enhansing drugs that gave them some pretty serious illnesses.

    Good thing for them they were european where they made millions and the hourly folk get to pay for their healthcare. Here that stupidity would sap your finances (unless you live in an ‘enlightened’ State like CA or NY).

  13. “I know Reason’s all pro-enhancing drugs and all, but what if the enhancements really get out there? Like bionic arms or something?”

    It already has. Tiger Woods has had laser eye surgery to get “un-natural vision”.

  14. I don’t think body-enhancing drugs make spectator sports more interesting, except when it comes to injury recovery. I watch women’s football, so I’m obviously not that interested in seeing the most athletic bodies.

  15. Speaking of chemical enhancement, I’m surprised that Floyd Landis’s name didn’t pop up yet. To me, the greatest irony is, that if he did use the synth testosterone he sure proved how effective it is.

  16. “Tommy John” surgery has been around for 30 years now — “a surgical procedure in which a ligament in the medial elbow is replaced with a ligament from elsewhere in the body.” Pitchers get this surgery today when they don’t even need it, for performance enhancement.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommy_John_Surgery

  17. OT Prediction: The foiled terrorist plot for Ft. Dix will be framed as racist bias against immigrants*.

    *they were all in illegal status by the time they were arrested, but we should not usr illegal here. Perhaps no-longer-documented and never documented are more appropriate?

  18. No kidding, ^#…

  19. Timothy,

    Well that’s two votes for Aaron to take a bat to Bonds’ head. Should I start a petition?

  20. It already has. Tiger Woods has had laser eye surgery to get “un-natural vision”.

    Very popular with baseball players as well. Laser vision can produce better than 20/20 which makes hitting a moving ball a little bit easier to do.

    As far as I know, only atheletes that were wearing contacts prior to surgery have gone in for corrective laser surgery. Getting better than 20/20 is common, but not guarenteed. This issue will become another “crises” when individuals who already have 20/20 vision get surgery to get better than that.

  21. Hmmm. If I had heat vision, then I could incinerate the ball before it crossed the plate. I’d make a hell of a pinch hitter, with a guaranteed base for each at bat.

  22. carrick,

    I cant name any for sure, but I have heard rumors that MLBers with 20/20 have had the surgery. Seems risky to me, though, so it may be just rumor. Dr. G beat me to the Tommy John surgery comment.

    I figured that one isnt so bad because most pitchers will need it eventually anyway. The scary part is High School pitchers getting elective Tommy John done.

  23. Guy Montag:

    You really think that a European who makes millions goes to the same emergency room as working class folks? I guess it’s good to know that when you talk about Euro health care, you really have no clue how it works. You’re aware that there is private insurance, right? Right? (Nod your head yes). MAPFRE from Spain is just one example.

  24. Lost in the Barry Bonds debate is the question of whether or not pitchers are also juiced.

    If the pitchers are medically enhanced (either chemically or surgically) is it not “fair” for Barry to juice?

    Would Hank Aaron really be so good against modern opponents?

  25. If Babe Ruth played today, he’d lead the league in flabby bellies hit by pitch.

  26. I’m still waiting for the performance enhancer that makes baseball interesting to watch.

  27. ChrisO,

    It’s called beer.

    I find baseball to be the most interesting sport already, but I understand that some people do enjoy it more when consuming a cold one.

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