inkwell.vue.249 : Howard Bryant, "Juicing the Game"
permalink #101 of 106: Howard Bryant (ohmy) Sat 6 Aug 05 05:50
<hotwired>, I'm not angry about the posts. Far from it. I was,
however, frustrated by the notion that I believe that anyone who goes
on a hot streak 'must be on steroids.' The inclusion of Giambi, Tino,
etc. was what did it. Those guys, as far as we know, don't belong in
the discussion, because they weren't found to have Winstrol in their

This may not sound like a compliment, but it is, and in my book, a
very big one: your last post sounds like Donald Fehr. He has been
accused of being obstructionist, but he is very, very smart man, a very
precise man, who does not want the conversation to be reduced to sound
bites or perceived conventional wisdom. He wants facts, or some form
of data that can elevate the discussion. 

And right now, it does feel as if the conversation has stalled on two
major fronts. The first is your point about how they help baseball
players. I have always wondered if it is possible to answer this
question beyond 

A) the fact that they are proven to boost certain physical qualities
important to a baseball player. 

and B) During the past 11 years a high enough number of players have
believed they help enough to use them. 

As of now, the analysis of the testing has not yet been focused on for
a few reasons. The first is that at this point, the government still
does not fund a great deal of research for steroids. There are only
four federally funded scientists to understand the effects on the
brain. The testing of the tests for long-term reliability is a story
that actually needs to be done. 

There really are two separate conversations that need to take place:
the science of steroids and the political handling of the steroid
story. I focused on the latter.

The other part of <hotwired>'s post that resonated with me is the
question of if there is 'anything culturally or ethically different now
than before and why should I care?'

I think that is the most vexing question of the whole thing, because
it can be broken down across so many different criteria. People watch
for so many different reasons; We had a talk once about the whole
'level playing field' argument, which really disturbs him. He brought
up Lance Armstrong, Secretariat and I think a set of twins into the

1. Was it a level playing field that Secretariat's heart was
supposedly larger than the competition?

2. or that Armstrong has a system that oddly pumps more blood at a
faster rate than his competitors?

3. or what if you have a set of twins, but one of them has a larger
lung capacity than the other. 

I understand his point. The "playing field" is never level, which
obscures the steroid element. 

there is question of "why do we watch," which might be the murkiest of
all. At some level, it all comes back to the individual who must
decide the effects of these substances, and this story on why they care
about and believe in the game.

and then there is the WOD, which John Hoberman is so adamant about as
a motivation, that this has become a political discussion instead of a
scientific one. 

In any case,I apologize for the long post, and flash of temper, but I
do agree that we need more information (or more reporting, or more
time) to achieve that next level of conversation.
inkwell.vue.249 : Howard Bryant, "Juicing the Game"
permalink #102 of 106: Stephanie Vardavas (vard) Sat 6 Aug 05 15:21

So what about those dozen positive tests? When will we be privileged
to learn about them?
inkwell.vue.249 : Howard Bryant, "Juicing the Game"
permalink #103 of 106: Howard Bryant (ohmy) Sat 6 Aug 05 16:34
I wonder if we ever will. Then again, who knows. In honor of Valerie
Pflame, the MLBPA is considering filing a grievance about the
stanozolol leak to the NYT. 

inkwell.vue.249 : Howard Bryant, "Juicing the Game"
permalink #104 of 106: Gail Williams (gail) Tue 4 Apr 06 14:46

I've been thinking about this conversation lately.  I enjoyed the book and
urged others to read it, but I couldn't read the chapter on Barry, oddly 

My mind kept wandering to thoughts like "how do parents explain this 
to young kids who are fans?" and other phenomena.  This year two 
Chronicle writers published "Game of Shadows," during Spring Training, 
with grand jury leaks and allegations by Bonds' jilted mistress.  
All the more discouraging to me as a Giants fan and a fan of the 
game, but fascinating in a sort of shakespearian tragedy way.

A few nights ago I heard Joe Morgan cite "Howard Bryant's 'Juicing the
Game'" but I wasn't sure what his point was amidst the ballgame patter.  
It was nice to hear that he respects this book, as I do.
inkwell.vue.249 : Howard Bryant, "Juicing the Game"
permalink #105 of 106: Jim Klopfenstein (klopfens) Wed 5 Apr 06 06:17
I'm not sure what point Morgan was trying to make, but I've heard
_Juicing the Game_ mentioned by commentators arguing against the
contention that _Game of Shadows_ is the motivation for the official
MLB investigation.  These commentators argue that it is the fact that
Bonds is approaching the record that is driving the investigation
(which seems correct to me, too).  Their point is that there have been
other authoritative books, such as _Juicing the Game_, and no
inkwell.vue.249 : Howard Bryant, "Juicing the Game"
permalink #106 of 106: Gail Williams (gail) Wed 5 Apr 06 10:17
That's probably what Morgan was saying. 

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