Comments

The last twenty comments in true blog fasion, with the links to their authors and the player commented upon.

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Roger Clemens Boston Red Sox
Hey, Amaros.

I agree with most of what you just said. And I've said some of it myself. Like I said before, if you don't want to put on your boots to wade through all this muck, I can't say I blame you. So I'll repeat some of it.

If baseball is interested in stopping steroid use, I agree with donbru two comments back (even though he's under the mistaken impression that we disagree). Set up a system of punishments, police the matter internally, and make a serious effort to stop it. Of course, this should have been done 10 years ago. If the federal authorities are interested in fighting this as a drug problem (and, like you, I don't think they are), then they should treat it as such.

Dragging Congress into this was just stupid. One of the posters (I think it was Jobu), pointed out a poll where 95% of people thought Clemens was guilty prior to the McNamee hearing. That about jibes with the polls I saw before the hearing. In the polls I saw AFTER the hearing, that number actually dropped about 3-5%.

So, yes, despite everyone here beating their chests to the contrary, Brian McNamee and Congress did the impossible: they made Clemens look better. Sure, Roger Clemens looked like shit on Wednesday. But that surprised no one. Before the hearing most people didn't know who the hell Brian McNamee was. After the hearing, about 3-5% of the public figured out that McNamee was a lying scumbag who buried material evidence in his backyard and has probably committed more serious crimes than Roger Clemens and was a bigger part of the drug problem in baseball than Clemens was.

I think where we might disagree, amaros, is that letting the sunlight in on this has been a good thing.

donbru and jobu seem to think that the lame admissions of players that they did HGH is good enough. So Andy Pettitte did HGH twice in 2002, right? And he never did it again? Yeah, if you believe that, I've got a moon orbiting around Jupiter I'd like to sell you. I'm not a pharmacy expert, but I suspect you have to take HGH more than twice for it to have any lasting effects.

And, yes, donbru, a more rigorous drug program within baseball will have some effect. But the chain of supply doesn't start with baseball players, unless they have some sort of pharmacology lab I'm not aware of. So you will have to have some cooperation with law enforcement to go after the bigger fish if you're serious about fighting the steroids problem.
Mike Gianella MikeG
Feb 17 '08
Daniel Cabrera Washington Nationals
Funny you should mention Mazzone. I was thumbing through the Baseball Preview issue of the 2006 SI yesterday (clearing the deck for MORE MAGAZINES), and the second lead story included a profile of Mazzone, explaining how he was going to straighten out the Birds, starting with Cabrera.

Lead story, by Tom Verducci: The Game is Good, Clean Fun Again.
Alex Patton Alex
Feb 17 '08
Even Mazzone couldn't get through to Cabrera.

That leads me to believe he could be a lost cause.

Keith Cromer Slyke
Feb 17 '08
Kevin Mulvey Minnesota Twins
Not sure what other options you have, Mike, but I don't see him making any impact in 2008.
Keith Cromer Slyke
Feb 17 '08
Roger Clemens Boston Red Sox
One last note re MikeG, then I'm done: there's a straw man argument here that no one's making except you: namely, that the point of this whole exercise is to go after the drug dealers. No.

Mitchell's report was about the ball players, not the dealers. It also was not about throwing people in jail for steroid use. It was about letting some sunlight disinfectant in on what's been a sordid, ugly and just plain bad-for-baseball decade or so, culminating in the McGwire-Sosa-Bonds farce.

If Roger goes to the can (unlikely) it will be for perjury, not steroid use.

It's easy to forget, but Bill Clinton didn't get impeached for a blow job from Monica; he got impeached for felony perjury in front of a federal judge in a sexual-harassment lawsuit brought by Paula Jones. He escaped conviction by the Senate, but was forced to pay Paula Jones $800,000, forfeit his law license, and was disbarred by the Supreme Court.

Scooter Libby didn't get convicted because he "outed" a CIA agent -- no one did, and no charge to that effect was ever brought against anybody. Instead Fitzgerald indicted him for perjury in front of a federal grand jury. Although his sentence was commuted by the President, his conviction stands, and Scooter Libby is now a felon.

As Nixon learned the hard way, it's the cover-up, not the crime. Sometimes there's not even any crime, only the perjury. Doesn't matter. Clinton and Libby got off easy -- a lot of people are in jail for perjury.

In other words, this is a baseball problem, not a law enforcement problem. Clemens will likely never be convicted in court, but it's obvious that he's been convicted in the court of public opinion.

Is Clemens a schmuck? You bet. But not for steroids.

As Red Sox fans of a certain age will tell you, it's because he's a whiny, wingeing pussy, who took himself out of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series with the game and the series on the line, and was never anything but an inordinately selfish putz who finally got his World Series ring by hooking up with the Yankees at their apogee.

Great stuff? Yes. Great pitcher? When it didn't count.

Great human being? I think not.
Michael Walsh Amaros
Feb 17 '08
The stats don't lie. Take a look at RC's last 4 years with the Red Sox, and then see what he did afterwards. As a Red Sox fan, I can tell you that he was fat, unmotivated, just plain out of shape those last years. He tried to hold Duquette hostage for a huge contract and Duquette told him to get lost. Then Clemens got in better shape, and started using the PEDs after Toronto paid him. I hope he never makes the HOF.

A great pitcher, but a liar and a cheater, and a lazy bum his last 4 years with Boston. As Bob Dylan told us, you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
Scott Shea SJS
Feb 17 '08
MikeG,

I think you have missed the whole point about why MOST people are pissed at Clemens. They are mad because he thinks he is above the law and can say anything, and do anything that he wants, BECAUSE he is ROGER CLEMENS.

You are using the same logic that some of the administrators use at the school where I work. They don't want to suspend students for chewing gum. Teachers also don't want to suspend students for chewing gum, but when they refuse to serve detentions for the teachers after many reminders and phone calls to the parents, should the teacher just excuse the inappropriate behavior and let the students make their own rules. Clemens is the student who has broken the rules and just doesn't want to serve the detention, because he is ROGER CLEMENS.

I don't see many people asking for Pettitte, Giambi, LoDuca, Grimsley, ....etc. to go to prison for taking HGH or Steroids. They are only asking for Clemens to tell the truth and admit that his legacy may have had some help along the way.

You are wrong about how getting Clemens to admit he took HGH or Steroids would help to get rid of them in MLB. It would probably lead to a much tougher drug testing agreement between the union and ownership. That could deter plenty of players from taking the stuff. It could also deter other players because the thought of them being thought of as cheaters throughout history could be a big price to pay for some of these egomaniacs.

Also, you keep saying that in a criminal case this and that would be thrown out. You are right, BUT this is not a criminal case!!! It may become a criminal case about perjury, but not about the act of taking HGH or Steroids. Clemens is the only one who will have brought about the criminal charges IF it gets to that point. I have yet to hear many, or anybody, ask that charges be filed against Pettitte, LoDuca, Sosa, McGwire, Palmero, ...etc... for taking seroids. Bonds has an indictment against him for perjury and tax evasion, but not Steroid use.

I hope Clemens never decides to become a professional poker player, because his tells would be the thing to bankrupt him.

Donny Brubaker donbru
Feb 17 '08
Daniel Cabrera Washington Nationals
Living in Maryland, I've watched Cabrera since he made his debut in the big leagues. He's very frustrating, because in any given start he can be dominating. But, he's got very long legs and loses his mechanics quite a bit. Not only does his landing foot come down in different places within the same game and even the same inning, it varies pitch by pitch in some games.

I think it's a timing and tempo issue with his kick. Perhaps he has poor balance. But, because his lower body is always out of whack, his arm slot is not consistent. Without a solid base, he's never going to get that power arm to be as scouts think could happen.
Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Feb 17 '08
Casey Kotchman Florida Marlins
Maybe Kotchman's no Vladimir Putin. But I think Jeff's on target: I see Kotchman as more of a high average hitter who might hit 15-20 HR at some point but, then again, might not.
Mike Gianella MikeG
Feb 17 '08
George Sherrill Atlanta Braves
I've got him at $10. At the moment, I agree with Jobu. I love trading these guys in March for something less ephemeral. Many moons ago, I had Robert Person at $10 in March and traded him for two offensive freezes. Person melted away in April or May and I got about $26 worth of stats from $18 worth of salary.
Mike Gianella MikeG
Feb 17 '08
Kevin Mulvey Minnesota Twins
Should I take him in the Sportsline expert reserve auction that's going on right now? So far I've got Lofton, Dotel, and Santiago Casilla with four rounds to go. I've got a shallow rotation and need arms that are high reward/high risk.

Any suggestions, in order of preference would be appreciated.
Mike Gianella MikeG
Feb 17 '08
Daniel Cabrera Washington Nationals
Maybe.

He's got a much better chance of turning into Bobby Witt.
Mike Gianella MikeG
Feb 17 '08
Roger Clemens Boston Red Sox
Roger Clemens is certainly a big fish in terms of linking a HUGE name to steroids/HGH use.

And, yeah, frog marching Roger Clemens and the 88 others named in the Mitchell Report to prison would give everyone a nice warm fuzzy at the end of the day. But it wouldn't do a damn thing about the people McNamee and Radomski got the drugs from, or anyone above them in the chain of supply.

Serious law enforcement efforts to stop illegal narcotics use move up the chain of supply, not down. A serious effort to stop steroids or HGH use in baseball would be pressing McNamee and Radomski hard to find out who they got the stuff from and name names. Then, as you point out below, the chain-reaction of little guys all the way up to the big guys would begin.

Destroying Roger Clemens is going to make a lot of people feel good. And why shouldn't it? He's a bombastic jerk who has done a lot to make people hate him. What makes it worse is that he doesn't seem to understand why people hate him.

But if the war on drugs in baseball is anything like the war on drugs in real life, throwing Clemens in jail isn't going to do anything to solve the problem any more than throwing the dumb pot smoking college kid in jail as a "kingpin" is doing to solve the problem.
Mike Gianella MikeG
Feb 17 '08
Jeremy Bonderman Seattle Mariners
I don't think there's any way that Bonderman goes for less than $10. I'm not saying we should have to pay that much for him, but Bonderman is one of these guys that everybody seems to love. A breakout is predicted for him each year - 2006 was nice, but still, he's never won more than 14 games or had an ERA less than 4. In the 2 AL leagues I played in last year, he was kept at $16 in one and bought for $20 in the other. With the lineup the Tigers have, he'll be bid up again. But with the elbow problem and his history of pitching poorly with men on base, he just isn't a sound investment. And I think that's why Alex has him so low.
Scott Shea SJS
Feb 17 '08
Casey Kotchman Florida Marlins
It's the mono he had in 06 that was late diagnosed that allowed writers to question his heart. He doesn't feel well, flu-like symptoms for so long- maybe he's afraid to play at the big league level. Oh, yeah, he's actually had mono for months, maybe it's not about desire, he was really sick.
Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Feb 17 '08
Because getting hit in the head and getting a concussion says what exactly about a man's heart?

He's no sleeper, but I think he could be a good value.
Jurgen Maas Jurgen
Feb 17 '08
Love his talent question is the opportunity. HE proved himself in AAA but were his stats more of a PCL thing? O's have nothing to lose so they should play him unless they think he isn't ready mentally. I would go up to $15 but would prefer to get him for $10. If he doesn't start the season in the bigs i would think he'll be there by May.
Rick Morray LuckyCharm2
Feb 17 '08
George Sherrill Atlanta Braves
Trembly's comments alone with Toz's stats are why I say I would bid up to 16. If an elite closer normally goes for the low $30's I'm willing to go teens for a guy with good stuff and a chance because the upside reward is huge. Buy Paps or Mo and there is no chance of big earnings. and where is sherril's competition?
Rick Morray LuckyCharm2
Feb 17 '08
fair assessments - has a golden opportunity this spring after getting out of the Pacific Northwest. Could prove to be a great trade in the end
Bryan Dionne Dionne74
Feb 17 '08
George Sherrill Atlanta Braves
Tremley has been quoted already this spring- Sherrill gets first crack at closer. Sherrill himself conformed it
Bryan Dionne Dionne74
Feb 17 '08

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