Melky Cabrera

Well, he was juicing. Yea, I’m upset, he was on my fantasy team. :evil:

First off, if any of you have read the book “Juiced” by Jose Canseco, it’s a great book, and I’d recommend it if you haven’t. In it, he says he could take a below average player, get them on the right steroid regimen, and turn them into a power threat at the major league level. He also said that many people say you must still hit the ball, so steroids don’t help all the way, but he said that they sharpened his hitting eye as well, something clearly improved on Cabrera.

Now, if steroids help this much, and have this effect, what percentage of players are still using? Melky was clearly on a good regimen, how many other “breakouts” could be attributed to steroids, and what are the benefits/consequences of taking them that these players are risking.

The real answer to your question is obvious. It’s just that no one wants to admit it; they want to be star-struck fans who believe in a pure game.

Reality is much colder.

I’m not going to point out specifics, but let’s just say for the millions of dollars at stake, many people are willing to do whatever it takes to get a piece of it - and their dream.

I feel like MLB, the media and sports agents are to blame and the players are the scapegoats…Total crap. Yes they do have responsibility for their actions but if as Kyle points out, all these others are enriched off of the feats of these “cheaters” how come they don’t lose money and get suspended also? So the media act all shocked (Not that they didn’t go to the bank on the McGuire/Sosa HR duel or anything)…MLB acts all stern and “above it” (As Sammy and Mark saved their sport…they loved it…and of course Sammy just had those ham sized thighs…so out of proportion…and don’t get me started on Bonds) and the agents were getting bigger and bigger checks as their veterans stayed longer in the league…All won except the players…and they are still the scapegoats…Bud Selig needs some prison time and ALL TV networks need their contracts pulled and the agents need to be regulated…THEN I’ll get upset when I hear a player “did” something to enhance their performance.

Hit the nail on the head with that one JD.

Great post JD

Canseco is a grade A idiot…I think he would have said aliens came from space and gave him magic space drugs if he thought it would sell a few more books. That does not mean there isent truth in his book. Everything he says I take with a shaker of salt. My biggest problem with the MLB policy is it is rife with holes. Certain substances are fine, others will get you suspended. Tons of players are popping handfulls of pain pills constantly, getting shots of cortison (spell?) to mask pain (allowing them to recover and play when they otherwise wouldnt). If the issue with steroids is their ability to make a player perform beyond their natural ability what is the difference between a pitcher taking something to help him recover after starts and a good hitter with bad eyes getting laser surgery and ending up with vision that is better than 20/20? Sure, there are other means to improve ones sight, but, they present other obsticals and will not improve vision to that level. If it is the legality issue does that mean a player taking a substance on Monday on his own is a scumbag and taking the same thing on Tuesday with a prescription is fine? Does that mean that a player who lives and plays in a state that allows medical marijuana use could get a doctor to sign off on that for back pain and be fine? By the way, if the answer to that question is “no” that just points out the hypocritical nature of the policy. I think the policy is far from perfect and the idea of this issue being black hat/white hat is a simple minded one that was force fed to everyone by self rightious sports writers and angling politicians.

My junior year of high school I had a class called Exercise Physiology. Basically an intense exercise class.

He was a giant man. 6’5 nearly 300 pounds. He played at Penn St. in the late 90s I believe and one year in the NFL. Before going into MMA.

He talked about how they are so many products out their that are bad for you but aren’t banned.

I forgot what he called the product, but I’ll call it product X. He said he took this one time. It gave him a crazy amount of energy to workout, but then he passed out afterwords. Dangerous right? He said he didn’t take it again and he saw that it got banned. No shocker there. A couple months later there was a product similar to it. Lets say product y.

Product x does the same thing as product y, but product y is a ‘new and different’ product because the company that makes it changed one or two molecules in it, so it could be classified as a new product.

Companies will do that all the time, so they can avoid having there products banned.

It will never be possible to keep up with new products that are slightly different than previous banned ones.

A possible solution would be having players have to log any supplement or drug they take. And then testing those drugs to see if they are unfair to use or not.

I don’t know if that could work, that just came to me and I thought I would throw that out there.

About the article.

He did make the show, but couldn’t get the time of work(he was at the time teaching at my high school/middle school health classes and my exercise class)

This past year he quit and got a new job because he was ‘riffed’ and I believe his new job is better. I’m not sure if he still doesn’t MMA stuff, I haven’t heard much about him since he left the school.

-white shorts

-white shorts

might be the same video not sure. second video has sound. He’s a huge man.

He also went to my high school. Probably the best athlete ever to come from my school.

Jimster…thats a scary dude. The problem with having players or a team trainer log stuff is they would probably only log stuff they know is ok. My problem with it is the way it is now is hypocritical, always will be to some degree I guess.

This stuff getting framed as some sort of morality play sort of cracks me up. My grandfather played a couple of different levels of pro ball way back when (1930’s up to the start of WW2) and he talked about players taking “poppers”, speed basically and cocaine to deal with long road trips, no first class flights then…or flights at all in the leagues he was in. Also talked about some guys being addicted to pain killers even guys that would inject themselves with God knows what before games. None of that makes what goes on today ok, but, this notion that people try to hang onto about “the purity of the game” is and has always been total nonsense.

As Kyle said there are guys pursuing their lifes dream, to be so close to either reaching the show or getting that huge contract and fear losing it is a huge motivator. Some guys do stuff they never thought they would. At the end of the day it is a business at that level. Some guys start taking this stuff to try and make their high school team or a college team. I think for most guys the notion of the game being special starts to wear off when they stop being told they are special at the game, no matter at what level of play this occurs. This goes for most artistic ventures (I do consider high level athletics akin to an art form). That crash of disappointment when you are just “another guy” can be harsh. The later it happens the harder it can be to accept because of the time and emotional investment of just not the player but his friends and familly. Ego plays a major role also. For some guys it is just about the window to make money.

Another thing that spurs this sort of thing on is cultural. In America we live in a quick fix culture. Take a pill and you can eat whatever you want and lose weight. Get hair transplants and women will find you attractive ect. We need to look no further than the fact that the most damaging drug in our nation (alcohol) is not just legal but is celebrated by our culture.

Well said.

A follow up on the logging what they take. They could, in theory test them, and if they have anything else in their system, they could get in trouble.

I don’t know, it doesn’t seem that do-able. Oh well. You can only trust yourself and what you choose to do. That’s what it comes down to.

I feel like MLB, the media and sports agents are to blame and the players are the scapegoats…Total crap. Yes they do have responsibility for their actions but if as Kyle points out, all these others are enriched off of the feats of these “cheaters” how come they don’t lose money and get suspended also? So the media act all shocked (Not that they didn’t go to the bank on the McGuire/Sosa HR duel or anything)…MLB acts all stern and “above it” (As Sammy and Mark saved their sport…they loved it…and of course Sammy just had those ham sized thighs…so out of proportion…and don’t get me started on Bonds) and the agents were getting bigger and bigger checks as their veterans stayed longer in the league…All won except the players…and they are still the scapegoats…Bud Selig needs some prison time and ALL TV networks need their contracts pulled and the agents need to be regulated…THEN I’ll get upset when I hear a player “did” something to enhance their performance.[/quote]

Amen.

If they REALLY hated Bonds, they would have done something about it before it was a problem. They needed Bonds - not only as the guy to create interest in the game, but as the fall guy, too. They vilified him.

Talk to any player in the game about Bonds who knew him. They’ll all tell you he was professional through and through, and while maybe not a “good guy,” he never disrespected anyone in the game.

Players are at fault for sure, but there is plenty of blame that isn’t being assigned correctly. That’s for damn sure.

“If they REALLY hated Bonds, they would have done something about it before it was a problem. They needed Bonds - not only as the guy to create interest in the game, but as the fall guy, too. They vilified him.”"

True enough. Like the NFL preaching about making the game safe while showing 5 guys getting their heads knocked off on every commercial for NFL Ticket.

The part that really saddens me is that those areas where the chances get slimmer and the focus isn’t there…the use of perfomance enhancers is totally through the roof…just to show a one case order of magnitude…my son was on a team in the Fla. CC system (One of the best most competitive leagues in the country) which is now the “State College System” and he and one other guy on the entire 25 man roster were the only ones not juicing. So from that perspective one can extrapolate a humongous issue…just out of sight, that has totally unknown ramifications…This is the atmosphere and “conventional wisdom” which has been created…and daggone it…if it increases a possible chance and has no immediate repercussions, well when will that get fixed???
The hypocracy needs to get smacked right between the eyes…it starts and ends with Selig…he is a bad man…with power.

JD…I agree about Selig.

It is scary to think about these young men putting their future health at risk and for what? Chasing some impossible dream? To keep pace with their buddies in the weight room? Sillyness.

A lot of the onus with high school aged kids has to fall on their coaches. If a kid is doing the usual 1 1/2 hour 3 or 4 day a week lifting program and is putting on weight by the 10s’ of lbs obviously something is up. All districts Im sure have rules against the use of this stuff but there have been zero tests, at least where I live. I am always more suspicious of a young guy who is built like Adonis with almost no body fat than I am a pro…the pro has unlimited access to trainers, nutritionists and, in theory, the best equipment and information in the world. Most high school kids have access to a local gym and either an unmotivated high school coach or some local trainer. Most have access to their friends and thats about it.

JD, again, I think some of this is a biproduct of our society. We are sold drugs everyday, many of them inflicted on children (adhd drugs ect), with no idea what the long term effects are. I agree there are major, major issues out there regarding this stuff and young people.

It is comical to thing that MLB is stricter in its testing and enforcment than the NFL is.

Well said JD and fearsome.

I can totally relate to what your saying about your son JD, when I was in College I knew a program whose HC told their third string catcher the only way you’re going to see some at bats is if you juice, he then promptly gave the guy a card with a number to call.

I knew a few guys in our conference that were using kits because they thought it gave them the edge, it really does run deep.

Furthermore when I was playing pro we had a guy come over from another organization and the first real discussion I had with him was about what he was on and why he was taking this over that and why and how this product wasn’t detectable because of this reason and why you take growth over juice etc, etc etc. The guy knew what he was doing and how to do it.

It really is a quick fix culture and a get to the top of the dog pile regardless of what it might cost you down the line.

From ownership down including agent’s and media everyone involved in the game knows what’s going on and thinks that it is needed.

It’s a tough culture to be a part of when you’re trying to do it clean and naturally, I can see how some guys could be pursueded to start taking something to “help” get them to that next level.

Kyle you were spot on about Bonds.

When I played my podunck baseball, no one on my club was using (publicly) since none of us had anywhere to go. Hell, the hardest thrower on the team was barely topping 88!

Whether PEDs are good or bad is not even the issue. The issue is that the environment of baseball makes it an economic reality that they WILL be used. By almost everyone.

There is one group of people that you can count on to not be using, or at least have a low chance of it - the day-in day-out superstars of the league in today’s game. They are tested so often and they have so much to lose that they will generally not flaunt it, unlike days past.

Everyone thinks: “Oh wow, Jose Bautista is using!” But I tell you what - the guys with the highest rates of illegal PED use are the utility infielders and the last reliever off the bench who are hanging on for dear life in the show, AAA, AA, whatever. Because to them that thin margin is the difference between a paycheck and working at Best Buy.

Exactly Kyle well said

[quote=“kyleb”]When I played my podunck baseball, no one on my club was using (publicly) since none of us had anywhere to go. Hell, the hardest thrower on the team was barely topping 88!

Whether PEDs are good or bad is not even the issue. The issue is that the environment of baseball makes it an economic reality that they WILL be used. By almost everyone.

There is one group of people that you can count on to not be using, or at least have a low chance of it - the day-in day-out superstars of the league in today’s game. They are tested so often and they have so much to lose that they will generally not flaunt it, unlike days past.

Everyone thinks: “Oh wow, Jose Bautista is using!” But I tell you what - the guys with the highest rates of illegal PED use are the utility infielders and the last reliever off the bench who are hanging on for dear life in the show, AAA, AA, whatever. Because to them that thin margin is the difference between a paycheck and working at Best Buy.[/quote]

I’m sure every player that has a breakout season is tested. Example: Jose Bautista, Melkey Cabera

I don’t think those guys can get away with it for a whole season. I’m sure they are ‘randomly’ drug tested. Or not maybe the commis likes the attention baseball gets with these meatheads. I don’t Jose did, he’s just not that big.

I remember Rafael Bentcourt got caught when he was on the Indians. He would normally sit at 92-93 and all the sudden on came came in hitting 96-98. It couldn’t have been a week later he got suspended for juicing for like 15 games.

The temptation is there. It would be hard to turn down ‘easy’ results.

I heard an interesting interview yesterday with the guy who fronted Balco labs (cant remember his name) yesterday about the Melkey situation. Melkey said he was using a patch. The Balco guy said a couple of telling things. He said per the agreement with the players association MLB tests players when they arrive at spring training and can test up to 30% of MLB players during a season although they usually test quite a bit less than that. Also, per the agreement they only test at the teams facility before games. So a patch that is used to aid in recovery (synthetic testosterone) could be applied after a game, left on for several hours, removed before the player goes to bed and will have been absorbed or cycled out by the time the player arrives at the stadium the next day. Bascially he called it a basic IQ test, not a read PED test. Melkey said he fell asleep with the patch on. A couple of things. Something like this that is a quick dose of the synthetic that aids in healing and recovery seems stupid after a normal baseball game. As an outfielder Melkey is probably running hard 5 to 6 times a game, a few more times as a hitter. Melkey certainly doesnt look like a workout warrior type and this type of patch isent for aiding in workouts anyway. So, it stands to reason he is using it to deal with nagging injuries. The fact that the MLB agreed to test 30% of players (remember they usually test about 10% account to the interview) and they test before games means it is basically a wink-wink kind of deal. MLB needs its stars to stay on the field AND they need the appearance of a tough policy.

I’m sure the only reason the MLB tries to seem like they are against this stuff is the fact that it’s illegal to own that kind of stuff without a prescription.

I’m sure they don’t care if they get the stuff but they have to be opposed to it because of potential legal problems.

They also have to be against it because of the long term effects. If a bunch of players took them and they all lost their left leg after 20 years of using the stuff. The MLB would face a lot of lawsuits.