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Author Topic: The case against Lance Armstrong  (Read 22097 times)
ghost
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Reply #35 on: June 14, 2012, 08:29:29 AM

When you can't keep the participants from rampantly cheating, I think that makes it pretty silly. Your solution to just let them dope is even sillier.

Well baseball and football must be clownshoes silly, too.  

Because for one thing it's not impossible to keep people from doping. MLB, despite the problems with the steroid era, has dramatically cleaned up the sport. 

You have no way of proving that.  Cycling is the most highly tested of all the sports and has some of the highest penalties.  Doping is still rampant.  To assume that just because MLB stepped up testing that the problem has been taken care of is just absurd.  Hell, even the MVP of the national league was doping last year, he just got the charges dropped because of a technicality.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2012, 08:32:17 AM by ghost »
Nebu
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Reply #36 on: June 14, 2012, 08:29:33 AM

Doping creates a gap between the common fan and the athelete. We want to believe that these people are great at what they do, and that we could do what they do if we had such talent. We don't need to have the inherent knowledge that the only way to be great is through drugs. Not only is that a terrible message for the next generation, but it's a terrible message about the human condition that we aren't good enough on our own merits anymore. It's the type of drug culture with prescriptions crap we're already falling into, and we don't need to just throw our hands up in sport.

Actually, I hadn't thought about it from that angle.  We want athletes to be superhuman, but in a reachable sort of way.  I have to say that you've changed my perspective a bit and I appreciate it.  

"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
Paelos
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Reply #37 on: June 14, 2012, 08:35:00 AM

I'm glad, as I do really enjoy sport as a whole, in all it's forms. It sorta makes me sad when I hear about the doping thing.

CPA, Sports blogger, Mount and Blade enthusiast
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ghost
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Reply #38 on: June 14, 2012, 08:36:52 AM

Yeah, but there's already a gigantic gap between the athlete and fan.  I'm not sure how doping changes that.  I know I'll never be able to hit a 90 MPH fastball no matter how many steroids I take.  

What misses on this point is that if you believe the reports that are out there and as many as 75-90% of players are doping to some level then testing is a complete sham.  If it doesn't work then you're simply having a random cull of the unlucky or getting rid of those too stupid to cheat correctly.  It's just another part of a big lie.  

Addendum-  I just wanted to add that I don't advocate doping and would love to see it out of our sports.  The big issue is that the testing doesn't work (for whatever reason) and I, as a fan, feel that I am owed a little honesty from what I am following.  I personally love cycling and I know that they are all doping.  It doesn't really change my perspective too much because I know that it's a level playing field.  I suspect that its the same thing with baseball.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2012, 08:40:11 AM by ghost »
01101010
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Reply #39 on: June 14, 2012, 08:40:56 AM

Doping creates a gap between the common fan and the athelete. We want to believe that these people are great at what they do, and that we could do what they do if we had such talent. We don't need to have the inherent knowledge that the only way to be great is through drugs. Not only is that a terrible message for the next generation, but it's a terrible message about the human condition that we aren't good enough on our own merits anymore. It's the type of drug culture with prescriptions crap we're already falling into, and we don't need to just throw our hands up in sport.

To a point though. Taking the NFL as an example, there are very few people in the nation that have the physical attributes to even be considered a potential. When I was at Miami, there was no doubt who were the football players in my class - they are built significantly differently from the general population. Seeing Kellen Winslow sit down in his seat and eclipse the kids sitting behind him... and he wasn't even my biggest student. Some people are just genetically constructed in ways the general population will never reach, even with drugs... unless they are hallucinogenics.

"I want to watch it all burn in an orgy of smashed Coke machines and weasel rape." - HaemishM
Paelos
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Reply #40 on: June 14, 2012, 08:42:45 AM

Testing's not a sham. RANDOM testing is the sham. The processes involved with some of the organizations and their testing methods can be the sham.

Test em all, I say. We're talking about trillions of dollars in sports revenues for professional sports all over the world. If you want to commit to cleaning up the sport, it's not hard.

CPA, Sports blogger, Mount and Blade enthusiast
Braves by the Numbers, my sports blog
ghost
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Reply #41 on: June 14, 2012, 08:52:26 AM

They essentially test them all in cycling.  It's still random, meaning that you don't know when you'll be tested, but they all get tested.  It doesn't work.  There's a limit to how much you can actually do testing.  You can't reasonably draw blood or take pee every single day from every single player in every single sport.  There are biological and monetary limits to make it reasonable.

The example of cycling is an interesting one, in a lot of ways, because it shows exactly how bad a testing situation can get without solving any problems at all.  It's probably as comprehensive of a system as you'll ever see in sports.  So why does it fail?  Who knows?  Designer drugs are probably part of the issue, but knowing the tests and the limitations of those tests is also a large part.  I also suspect that the administrative folks in charge of the TdF and world cycling don't want to lose their star cyclists to doping charges.  It's bad for the sport.  I fully expect corruption to be rife in these types of testing protocols.  Do you really think that MLB wants Barry Bonds nailed for doping?  Not a bit.  Baseball was probably at its post Vietnam war pinnacle of popularity during the McGwire/Bonds/Sosa days.  I, as a fan, would almost prefer not to know. 
01101010
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Reply #42 on: June 14, 2012, 08:55:16 AM

Testing fails because those that make the drugs have to know how to detect them/what to look for.

"I want to watch it all burn in an orgy of smashed Coke machines and weasel rape." - HaemishM
Paelos
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Reply #43 on: June 14, 2012, 08:58:18 AM

ghost do you really want me to go over the history lesson of what happened in the Tour de France prior to the 1960s when they just allowed doping? Because you probably already know it, and frankly, it's horrifying.

There's a reason they put in testing.

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ghost
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Reply #44 on: June 14, 2012, 09:01:59 AM

ghost do you really want me to go over the history lesson of what happened in the Tour de France prior to the 1960s when they just allowed doping? Because you probably already know it, and frankly, it's horrifying.

There's a reason they put in testing.

It's not really all that different from what you see today.  Racing is an inherently dangerous sport.  And are you on about trying to protect the athlete from personal harm now?  I thought it was about making the fan think they can do what Roger Clemens can do. 
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Reply #45 on: June 14, 2012, 09:03:15 AM

Fans don't want to see a horse die on the track either, ghost.

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ghost
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Reply #46 on: June 14, 2012, 09:12:02 AM

They don't, but they still go to the horse races.  That's why they put up the little barrier when they shoot the horse in the head.  Horse racing is also extremely dangerous (and, in a not completely unrelated fashion, full of doping as well).  There we have yet another example of how testing doesn't work. 
Tale
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Reply #47 on: June 14, 2012, 08:59:57 PM

I followed Lance Armstrong's comeback very closely. I work for a media organisation that covers cycling, I attended his first comeback race at the Tour Down Under (he actually said hello when he passed me while training one morning, and I rode back among his team from one of the stages), and I followed his Twitter account that whole year.

What was most revealing is that their lives can be interrupted at any moment by a doping control. He tweeted about every single one. He would wake up in the morning and they'd be at his door. He'd be getting on a team bus and they'd turn up wanting blood. He'd go to the store and they'd be there and test him. It happened on many, many days. He also deliberately spent the whole comeback year on camera, with very little privacy.

So if the allegations are true, masking agents would have to be 100% effective for every drug involved, in 499-odd out of the 500-odd tests. And the doping operation and masking would have to be managed perfectly using only his private moments.

I've read his autobiography and he's an asshole. A wonderfully motivating asshole, but the kind of driven individual who is difficult to be around (see his multiple marriages). Through sheer force of arrogant words, he increased my motivation, made me a better climber and improved my pedalling technique.

That kind of guy does attract intense haters. Just saying.

"The more we talk about less important things, the less we talk about more important things."
ghost
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Reply #48 on: June 14, 2012, 09:46:27 PM

I don't think most people understand how thorough the cycling doping control tests are.  If Armstrong was doping and passed 500 some odd tests clean (ish  awesome, for real) then he either had some inside help (see the suggested bribes) or a damned good masking agent.  I would bet on the inside help.  The sport of cycling loved Lance Armstrong because it got US money involved. 
Tale
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Reply #49 on: June 15, 2012, 03:06:34 AM

Beyond all of this, he's medically extraordinary. As most people already know, he had a near-terminal case of testicular cancer that metastasised in his brain and lungs, which means he lost a testicle and had the most intensive chemotherapy.

He had some sperm frozen before the chemo, which is how the three kids with his first wife were conceived. But the most recent two kids were conceived naturally... Totally unexpected, as it was presumed impossible for his remaining testicle to produce healthy sperm after the chemo. This could lend weight to the allegations of testosterone use, but even if that's what made it happen, it's quite amazing (as is winning seven TdFs, with or without drugs).

"The more we talk about less important things, the less we talk about more important things."
Cyrrex
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Reply #50 on: June 15, 2012, 04:24:40 AM

For my part, since I was the first one who called it a "silly bike ride" or whatever, here is what I meant:

It is a sport.  By it's very nature, it is silly and unimportant.  I don't say this to belittle it or other sports (I fucking LOVE sports), I say it because I could fucking care less if they are doping, because nothing that comes from the outcome of any sporting event should really be that important to anybody.  I could care less if they are smoking pot and drinking beer in the clubhouse of a baseball game.  I don't care if your Power Forward is jacked on cocaine while he is playing.  I don't care if Lance's team car pulls up behind him during his climbing session and injects HGH in his right buttock.  I still consider Ben Johnson the second fastest man to ever live.  You know, because he ran faster than anybody else until Bolt came along.  Don't care, don't care, don't care.  Just the thought of having someone like Clemens or Bonds testify to congress makes me stabby.  What the fuck?  The government is spending how much money to go after people who are doping?  For the love of Christ, why? 

It isn't important.  Cycling is being ruined because of the investigations into doping, not because of the actual doping.  Like many, many, many others, I no longer watch it because I no longer want to here the bullshit drama.  I don't care what these guys are doing to their own bodies, and obviously they don't either, so why not let them all do it and just shut up already?

(these comments not directed any poster, my anger is at the issue in general)

Lastly, let's get this one out of the way:  baseball statistics and records, when comparing era to era, are the dumbest in all of sports.  Quite aside from the differences in athletic sciences, training, genetics, etc....you have the problem that they are quite literally not playing on a level playing field.  The fields themselves are in different proportions, the weather and altitude have a significant effect on the flight of the ball, equipment advances, the type of grass is probably even way different then what they used "back then".  Hell, you cannot even fairly compare statistics between the NL and AL in the same year.  Different strike zones.  DLs and pitchers.  Baseball statistics are bullshit, more so than probably any other sport I can think of.

Never, ever assume someone that short and fat has their shit together. - Schild
DraconianOne
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Reply #51 on: June 15, 2012, 04:43:11 AM

Test em all, I say. We're talking about trillions of dollars in sports revenues for professional sports all over the world. If you want to commit to cleaning up the sport, it's not hard.

True events: many, many years ago when I was a regular track & field competitor, I volunteered to run 400m Hurdles for my club at a competition. I ran my heart out, got a pb, got the 3rd fastest time in my country for that year and still came last in that race. As I was lying on the ground near the finish, trying my best not to pass out, an official came over to me and told me I had to take a drugs test. I said "Do I fucking look like I'm on drugs?" He laughed and told me that they randomly selected the lanes before the race of people who would be tested rather than base it on the athelete.

Yeah, cool story bro.

Point is that the governing body for some sports covers athletes/sportspeople of all levels. Even these days I have an athletics competiton license and am subject to the same competition rules as elite athletes. Under UK Athletics rules - and I quote -
Quote
If you are competing in the UK, no matter what level you are, you can be tested in-competition and out-of-competition... in essence, any time, any place.
It doesn't matter that these days I plod around long distance races rather than sprint or jump at national/international level. It doesn't matter that I don't get paid or that the events I do attract no media or crowds or make big revenues. In theory, I - and many other amateur athletes - are eligible to be randomly tested.

In practice it's never going to happen.

But either we test everyone every time, all the time or we segregate "elite" athletes from "normal" people (which would cause a bureaucratic and logistical nightmare) but again, where do you draw the line? Prevent "elite" athletes from competing against "normal" athletes? Have different competitions? Do you implicitly allow doping at amateur level beause there will never be any testing? Shit - how do you determine who's an elite athlete anyway? Or do we stick with random testing in and out of competition because that's the best compromise?

I passed my drugs test btw. I was always clean (apart from this one time when I did have about 10 cups of strong black coffee before an event...)
« Last Edit: June 15, 2012, 04:58:33 AM by DraconianOne »

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DraconianOne
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Reply #52 on: June 15, 2012, 04:56:13 AM

I still consider Ben Johnson the second fastest man to ever live.  You know, because he ran faster than anybody else until Bolt came along.  Don't care, don't care, don't care. 

You posted while I was still writing.

I do care. I absolutely do care. Johnson cheated. I don't care that he was on drugs (stupid fuck - how many times did he get caught?) but he cheated. He could have jumped the gun and gotten away with it or could have had more than 6 spikes on his shoes (which was in the rules back then I recall) or could have had his fingers over the line by an inch -  he cheated.

Lowest common denominator is that sports (games) have rules and changing those rules can change the game (pick up the ball in soccer and suddenly you've got rugby). Do you give the guy who took a bus during a marathon a medal because he got there before the next guy or do you disqualify him for cheating? You can debate the merits of doping or not forever but it essentially boils down to one immutable fact - doping in many sports is against the rules. It's cheating.

A point can be MOOT. MUTE is more along the lines of what you should be. - WayAbvPar
Cyrrex
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Reply #53 on: June 15, 2012, 05:34:40 AM

I still consider Ben Johnson the second fastest man to ever live.  You know, because he ran faster than anybody else until Bolt came along.  Don't care, don't care, don't care. 

You posted while I was still writing.

I do care. I absolutely do care. Johnson cheated. I don't care that he was on drugs (stupid fuck - how many times did he get caught?) but he cheated. He could have jumped the gun and gotten away with it or could have had more than 6 spikes on his shoes (which was in the rules back then I recall) or could have had his fingers over the line by an inch -  he cheated.

Lowest common denominator is that sports (games) have rules and changing those rules can change the game (pick up the ball in soccer and suddenly you've got rugby). Do you give the guy who took a bus during a marathon a medal because he got there before the next guy or do you disqualify him for cheating? You can debate the merits of doping or not forever but it essentially boils down to one immutable fact - doping in many sports is against the rules. It's cheating.

I'm not arguing that it isn't against the rules.  It is, and while such rules are in place then I guess they should be punished according to those rules.  To me, it's the rules that should change.

The Ben Johnson case is a good one to use.  The difference for me is that he achieved that result using his own physical person.  He did not jump the gun, he was not over the line, he didn't pay off the timekeeper.  The combination of meat, muscles, nerves, training, technique, stamina, etc., are what did it for him.  That he used chemicals in his body that helped him to build muscle better doesn't change much in my mind...he still did a shitload of work.  I don't seeing it much different than Carl Lewis winning the genetic lottery.  Can I call it unfair that he was born with certain genetic attributes that give him an unfair advantage over me?  That's not a level playing field!

Never, ever assume someone that short and fat has their shit together. - Schild
DraconianOne
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Reply #54 on: June 15, 2012, 06:17:14 AM

I'm not arguing that it isn't against the rules.  It is, and while such rules are in place then I guess they should be punished according to those rules. To me, it's the rules that should change.

That's fine - I don't share your opinion. I always was and always will be anti-drugs in track and field. If they ever changed the rules then I'd either only take part in drug-free events or stop being interested. As for the genetic lottery - is it unfair? Yeah, maybe - so what? This isn't Harrison Bergeron.


A point can be MOOT. MUTE is more along the lines of what you should be. - WayAbvPar
ghost
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Reply #55 on: June 15, 2012, 07:10:48 AM

I am also against the use of drugs in all sports, but you have to consider the big picture here.  We use random or systematic drug testing to catch people who are using drugs and therefore are cheating.  So the purpose of the drug testing is to catch those that are cheating.  Any medical test, to be truly effective, should have few false positives and provide true positives for a very high level of persons. There are clearly incidents in the past 10 years in which you would consider the testing that is currently done in sport to not be effective.  What happened with all the prior tests that Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton took?  Floyd just didn't start on the stage of the TdF during which he failed his test.  Ryan Braun suddenly wasn't doping because of a chain of custody error?  Riiiiiight.  Even if these drug tests, when performed under proper laboratory conditions, can detect a high level of cheaters without providing a high level of false positives, there still isn't a high rate of detection in reality.  Why is this?  Well, you have masking agents, cleaning regimens and probably collusion/corruption between the competitors and those being tested.  The end result is that the test isn't doing its true job which is to provide a level playing field by preventing cheating.

Why is the level playing field important?  It has been estimated in some cycling articles that I've read that a cyclist gets an approximately 5% increase in their ability to ride.  Cutting 5% off of your time is the difference between being on the podium and being the guy running up Alpe D'huez in his underwear, wearing the crazy football helmet with the longhorns jutting out of the sides while wildly waving a UT flag.  A 1-5% difference in performance at these high levels can be the winning difference.  But when you look at cycling you have so much doping going on that it's impossible to win unless you dope.  I have come to the conclusion that Armstrong doped by simply looking at the circumstantial evidence.  His biggest competitors in prior TdF?  Vinokourov-  Doped.  Ulrich-  Doped.  Basso-  Doped.  Contador-  Doped.  Jalabert-  Probably Doped.  Beloki-  Probably Doped.  Pantani-  Doped.  Riis-  Doped (and was the team manager for Ulrich, who also doped).  Ulrich-  Doped.  Indurain-  Who knows?  Probably?  Do we have any clue what is going on in baseball or football?  I know that the use of PEDs has been suggested to be rampant in the USA. 

What you're creating with current testing is a series of winners that have doped in order to win, and the second and third place folks are almost undoubtedly doping to be able to keep up.  That means that the winners are simply the lucky ones that didn't fail the tests and the testing is doing anything but the target goal of creating a level playing field.  In essence (particularly in cycling) you are creating an uneven playing field by the very testing that is supposed to be keeping everything "fair" by culling out those that are stupid enough to get caught, unlucky or not in tune with cutting edge designer drugs.  The population has already created a more level playing field by itself.  Each and every one of the TdF races from Indurain on have contained a Doper on the podium, and they have all been spectacularly entertaining despite that fact. 

When you look at American sports (primarily baseball and football) you see testing regimens that are much less thorough.  We've seen some positives, yes, but their rate of catching folks is pretty low (and the deal with Braun was the result of spectacular incompetence).  I think it's logical to suspect that the use of PEDs didn't just drop off of a cliff when McGwire and Bonds and Sosa dropped out of the league.  It's also logical to suspect that many football players use PEDs simply because of their unnatural speed and strength.  It's not like people didn't lift weights like crazy 25 or even 50 years ago to train for football. 

Paelos (and others that support rampant testing in sport) want to have that warm fuzzy feeling that if an athlete doesn't test positive that he/she wasn't doping and that this somehow makes it more "real".  You can't trust the tests and therefore you can't get that security blanket that you're looking for.  This is why testing is a sham. 
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Reply #56 on: June 15, 2012, 07:45:49 AM

This is a fantastic article on this point, the steroid issue in baseball, the impact of testing and penalties, and the overall increase in pitching talent.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/8048897/the-age-pitcher-how-got-here-mlb

Quote
Want to guess how many fewer runs will be scored this season than were scored in the 2000 season, if teams continue sputtering along at their current pace? How about nearly 4,000. Right. We said FOUR THOUSAND runs. Want to guess how many fewer home runs will be hit this season, at this pace, than were hit in 2000? How about almost 900. Yessir, NINE HUNDRED. In that 2000 season, there were 571 times when a team scored at least 10 runs in a game. At the moment, we're on pace for a mere 248* -- a plummet of more than 56 percent. And just last season, Matt Kemp led the National League in home runs with 39. In 2001, you might recall, Barry Bonds also hit 39 home runs -- by the All-Star break.

Run totals have dropped in every full season since 2006. Home runs have dropped in every full season but one (2009). And we've seen a massive plummet in homers of 450 feet or more, from 144 in 2006 to just 89 last year. Is anyone surprised by any of this?

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ghost
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Reply #57 on: June 15, 2012, 07:51:23 AM

Or it just means that the current designer drugs of choice tend to more beneficial for pitchers than for hitters.  The article suggests that the numbers are good evidence that they've gotten the doping problem under control.  I don't think you can make that leap. 
Paelos
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Reply #58 on: June 15, 2012, 07:56:05 AM

Or it just means that the current designer drugs of choice tend to more beneficial for pitchers than for hitters.  The article suggests that the numbers are good evidence that they've gotten the doping problem under control.  I don't think you can make that leap. 

I think you are intentionally burying your head in the sand. Were it a smaller sample size I'd agree with you. Over the course of 6 seasons? I'm less likely to believe it's coincidence, or simply BETTER pitching, or a better cocktail of drugs just for pitching.

Besides, did you read that article? He goes on to say that the information age of statistics we have on hitters now completely favor the pitching.

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ghost
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Reply #59 on: June 15, 2012, 08:12:05 AM

I read it.  If you were trying to use that as evidence that they've really cleaned all the PEDs out of baseball it doesn't hold water.  It's essentially correlation data which doesn't prove cause and effect. 
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Reply #60 on: June 15, 2012, 08:21:28 AM

There's no way to PROVE a negative like that. That's my point. All you can do is take a look at the evidence and draw your own conclusions.

I'm simply saying that taken at face value those numbers show a case where I'm more likely to believe that steroid use is down in baseball. I also think that if you weren't taking the devil's advocate POV, you'd agree.

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ghost
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Reply #61 on: June 15, 2012, 08:31:55 AM

Steroid use very well may be down, but we have no idea how far down it is.  Maybe it's still rampant and folks are just using it at levels that don't provide the boost that we were seeing in the early 2000s.  Maybe they are using other drugs.  Who knows?  I know that in the past baseball has had pretty clear evidence of rampant use (meaning not just the star players were using, it was more like 80%).  Numbers are now more at a baseline of mid 90's levels maybe?  Was there no use during the era that we're comparing our current numbers to?  Was there no PED use in the 50s, 60s, 70s?  We know that amphetamines were heavily used in sports in the past and are currently to some extent.  We also know that the reigning MVP of the NL was essentially caught for PED use only to get off by a technicality.
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Reply #62 on: June 15, 2012, 08:56:53 AM

There's no way to PROVE a negative like that. That's my point. All you can do is take a look at the evidence and draw your own conclusions.

I'm simply saying that taken at face value those numbers show a case where I'm more likely to believe that steroid use is down in baseball. I also think that if you weren't taking the devil's advocate POV, you'd agree.

I agree. Also

Quote
But it isn't just steroid testing that has transformed baseball. Without amphetamines, position players these days are wondering, by the Fourth of July, whether they're going to have the strength to make it through the season.

"You can definitely see it in the second half," says one NL executive. "These guys are cooked. They're OK through June. But then the weather starts to get hot, they've played 80-90 games, and then the grind, the travel, the schedule starts to get to them."

But as players often point out to us, it wasn't only the hitters who were juicing or popping greenies. Just check out how many pitchers have been suspended for PED use since 2005. Clearly, there's more going on here than just chemistry. So read on.

He doesn't give the stats on the page so I looked some up. (Although forgive me because I have no idea who does what. However, suspensions seem to have gone down considerably since the 12 in 2005) http://www.baseball-almanac.com/legendary/steroids_baseball.shtml

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Reply #63 on: June 15, 2012, 09:11:34 AM

To go a little further, runs per game stats over the years in the NL have moved around a good bit. 1999 and 2000 were the high water marks with teams averaging 5.00 runs a game.

Right now, the R/G are 4.20, and last year it was 4.13 in the NL. Those numbers mark the lowest it's been since 1992. The average from 1969 to 1992 for teams in the NL was 4.10 runs a game. The average from 1993-2006 was 4.66 runs a game.

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Reply #64 on: June 15, 2012, 09:30:21 AM

Again, your assumption is that there were no PEDs being used between 1969-1992.  Your statement that steroid use has gone down may be true.  It may have gone down from 90% prevalence to 75% or whatever the baseline was in the 1970s and 80s.  The idea that PED use started in the 1990s is simply absurd.

Here's a nice article for you from a former player that used steroids back in the 60s. 

Quote
House, a former pitching coach with the Texas Rangers and co-founder of the National Pitching Association near San Diego, is one of the first players to describe steroid use as far back as the 1960s.

He was drafted in 1967 by the Braves and pitched eight seasons for Atlanta, Boston and Seattle, finishing his career with a 29-23 record and 3.79 ERA.

House, 58, estimated that six or seven pitchers per team were at least experimenting with steroids or human growth hormone. He said players talked about losing to opponents using more effective drugs.
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Reply #65 on: June 15, 2012, 11:05:14 AM

I used 69-92 because it was the 12 team marker in the NL.

The R/G in 1938 to 1950 was 4.32 in the NL. My point is that the only instance in baseball in the last century that happened to have R/G at a 4.6+ level for that long a period of time was during 1993-2006.

I mean we are talking 100 years of baseball. At some point you're being obtuse about the issue, demanding some sort of beyond the shadow of a doubt evidence that isn't necessary to prove the point.

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Reply #66 on: June 15, 2012, 11:44:00 AM

Hey, guess what was more exciting back in 2000?  Baseball was.  Now, it is light watching a hernia operation on TLC.

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Reply #67 on: June 15, 2012, 12:01:44 PM

There are some other significant factors, though. Basically all of the post-steroid-era ballparks in the NL are significant pitcher's parks:

Petco Park (2004): 2011 park factor of .819 (Replaced the Q which was a pitcher's park as well but not as extreme as Petco)
Busch Stadium (2006): .896 (Replaced the prior Busch Stadium which was an extreme hitters park)
Citi Field (2006): .908 (Replaced Shea which was a very mild pitcher's park, not as extreme as Citi)
Nationals park (2008): .955 (RFK where they were temporarily housed after moving from Montreal was an even more extreme pitcher's park, but for the purposes of this discussion Olympic in Montreal is what we should be talking about, and it varied from neutral to extreme hitter's park during the steroid era (1.382 in 2003!))\

Marlins Park (new this year) is showing signs of being an extreme hitter's park so that's the first one to buck the trend I can think of.

Basically while Stark makes a reasonable argument he missed a *huge* chunk of what affects the numbers he's using to make his point and so we really can't draw any conclusions from it. The pitching environment in the NL specifically has become much friendlier since the so-called 'steroid era'.

EDIT: I looked a little more and it looks like the new NL parks that opened at or around the *beginning* of the steroid era (late 90s) were mostly big hitters parks, which exaggerates the numbers in the other direction. Coors Field, Miller Park, Chase Field... Probably some Baseball Prospectus dude with time on his hands will figure this out eventually but I'd bet a very significant chunk of the numbers being tossed around - maybe even the majority? - are due to park effects.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2012, 12:32:27 PM by Ingmar »

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Reply #68 on: June 15, 2012, 04:53:21 PM

I don't believe people who post about baseball in a cycling thread can relate to the fallout from a brash Texan dominating a world cardio endurance sport.

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Reply #69 on: June 15, 2012, 04:54:29 PM

I don't believe people who post about baseball in a cycling thread can relate to the fallout from a brash Texan dominating a world cardio endurance sport.

What does this even mean?

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