Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Headline: Docs: HGH alone doesn't help athletes;

A Nation Cries Out (maybe): Then why, oh why do these ballplayers do it?!

Response: Have you ever met a ballplayer?

Let's remember folks, baseball is full of guys who believe in the rally cap. Who won't step on foul lines. Who won't talk to a guy throwing a no-hitter. Who don't change their underwear for a week if they have a hitting streak going. Who eat chicken every night for eighteen years. Who play amazing baseball for six months but then refuse to shave for October lest they suddenly forget how to hit. Who draw crucifixes in the batter's box. Who jam their toes into the ground and remove their batting gloves before every pitch. Who talk to baseballs. Who think that being featured on the cover of certain magazines will kill their career. Who believe in curses, momentum, ju-ju, and the whammy.

In short, baseball players are nuts.

It's totally understandable, then, that if patient zero in baseball's PED explosion (Canseco? Tom House? Brian Downing? Napoleon Lajoie?) says he took HGH and then played well, several dozen other guys are going to follow suit without the benefit of double-blind experimentation. These are guys who would eat scrapple, dance jigs, and join political movements of dubious provenance if someone told them it would raise their average a few points, so it's no surprise that they'd take HGH.

In other news, I have this feeling that no one will mention the inefficacy of HGH during tomorrow's Congressional hearings. After all, baseball players don't have the irrationality market cornered.


Anonymous said...

I love that point. Jim Caple, while describing his experience in a fantasy camp in a fun little zany ESPN article, actually made the most profound point about PEDs that I've yet heard. It's long, but I hope you don't mind if I quote it all:

"The last time I played baseball competitively was on a Minnesota town ball team in the mid-90s, and after pitching seven-plus innings the first day of games at fantasy camp, I swallowed aspirin and ibuprofen as if they were M&Ms, occasionally forgetting how many doses I had taken or how far apart. And I wasn't the only one.

When suspected steroid users claim that they assumed the substance they took was B-12 vitamin or flaxseed oil instead of steroids, I used to roll my eyes and say there is no way an elite athlete earning so much money would put something in his body without knowing exactly what it is. I'm not so sure now. At one point, a player offered me a pill from his prescription bottle and said it would relieve the pain in my shoulder. He said it was a triple dose of ibuprofen, but the sad fact is, he could have handed me just about anything -- and as long as he said it would either make my shoulder stop aching or help me play better, I would have swallowed it and held out my hand for more.

And this, remember, was just for a meaningless fantasy camp game. Lord knows what I would have been willing to take if there were multimillion dollar contracts available."

Eric Toms said...

Sure, monkey see monkey do.

I've long thought many players didn't know what they were taking nor did they care. They cared about one thing only, the results.

I betcha there have been 100's of conversations along the lines of.
" Man, you look pretty big, are you takin anything? "

" Yeah, I'm taking ____, it's awesome. "

" Can you get me the hook up? "

" Sure ".

These guys don't know stanozalol from deca durobilin from winstrol ( I know I misspelled the first two ). This is where the Anderson's & Radomski's & McNamee's of the game come in.

Anonymous said...

I remember when Darren Erstad was wearing a magnetic bracelet because Steve Finley was big into that. Doesn't get much gayer than that.

Anonymous said...

PONCH said...
"I remember when Darren Erstad was wearing a magnetic bracelet because Steve Finley was big into that. Doesn't get much gayer than that."

Except for equating homosexuality with wearing a bracelet.

Anonymous said...

Well, of course that's not what I meant at all, sej. Wearing a bracelet is rad, regardless of race or sex or orientation. Wearing a bracelet because you hang out with a dude in tight pants who is really into bracelets and he gives you a bracelet to wear, which you then do because your friend is really into bracelets and so now you are too because you have heterosexual man love for your friend and think his ideas about magnets and possibly astrology are interesting and maybe even a little sexy...sej, my friend, that is rock hard gay.