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Compelling first-hand story (if you're not completely sick of steroids)


Boy Howdy

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Very interesting read over breakfast this morning.

Here's an excerpt:

Naulty, a former reliever for the Yankees and Twins, is haunted by his steroid use. He can't shake the thought of how many lives he affected with his choice to use the drugs. He thinks of the players whose jobs he took through his juiced-up performance.

"My choice has impacted hundreds of people," Naulty said in an interview with The Post.

The one person he thinks about the most is Mike Trombley. The two pitchers' lockers were next to each other in Twins spring training in 1996. They were competing for the last spot in the bullpen.

Near the end of spring training, Naulty was told he made the team, meaning Trombley was bound for Triple-A.

"He was the guy sitting there saying, 'Why is this happening?' " Naulty said. "I was throwing 96 [mph]. He threw 87-90, but they wanted 96 instead. There's no way I could have thrown 96 without drugs.

"When Mike Trombley gets sent to Triple-A, the dominoes fall all the way down to rookie ball where someone gets released. That's what has penetrated my soul."

And the link for the whole article:

http://www.nypost.com/seven/12182007/sports/naulty_has_remorse_for_roid_use_896897.htm

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PEDs didn't create the cut-throat nature of professional athletics.

PED abuse exists largely because of it.

And the cut-throat nature of professional baseball is largely created by the lack of a salary cap that was attained through the players strike. In general, I think it's safe to say that players care more about money than winning. So, ultimately the players got themselves into this mess but they certainly have reaped the rewards through enormous contracts. Part of me sympathizes with these guys that are coming out and apologizing but most of me believes that they deserve the heartache. Mostly because they wouldn't have done it had they not been called out.

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And the cut-throat nature of professional baseball is largely created by the lack of a salary cap that was attained through the players strike. In general, I think it's safe to say that players care more about money than winning. So, ultimately the players got themselves into this mess but they certainly have reaped the rewards through enormous contracts. Part of me sympathizes with these guys that are coming out and apologizing but most of me believes that they deserve the heartache. Mostly because they wouldn't have done it had they not been called out.

The NFL has a salary cap, but I would still say that there is cutthroat competition to make the 52 man roster. I don't understand how a salary cap is related to that :confused:

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And the cut-throat nature of professional baseball is largely created by the lack of a salary cap that was attained through the players strike.

Man, I don't think that's true at all. I think the cut-throat nature of professional baseball is as old as professional baseball. I don't think it has anything to do with roids or salary caps or anything modern. Both roids and huge money (for players) are new things, and I agree with you that they're both powerful things. But I think it's completely wrong to blame the cut-throat nature of the business on the union for not swallowing a salary cap. I think that just says that you hate the union, I don't think it has anything at all to do with baseball being a cut-throat business.

Just ask the ghosts of the Baltimore Terrapins. Just ask the cities like Baltimore who got screwed decades earlier by "syndicate baseball". I bet Drungo has examples of super-cut-throat things that go back even farther than that. I think the cut-throat nature that spans the long history of baseball mainly falls into 2 categories:

  • 1. Players fighting for their jobs vs. other players. The big money aspect for ordinary players is new, but the cut-throat competition isn't.
  • 2. Owners fighting anybody (including, but not limited to, the players) who tried to mess with their absolute control of their own little monopoly.

For the owners, it's been cut-throat about big money for way, way longer than ordinary ML players have had any big money. It's only very recently that anybody stood up to them. AFAIK, the players union is the very first example of *anybody* standing up to the owners' cut-throat habits without getting completely steamrollered. Which is exactly why the owner's hate the union.

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Maybe I'm thinking too much in absolutes here but I would think there would be more competition to make an MLB roster than an NFL roster simply because of what you could make as a rookie in either sport. This would potentially lend it's hand to more extreme cut throat tactics, PED's. With a cap in baseball I doubt the rookies get the salaries or arbitration numbers currently being tossed around.

Once in the game the MLB guys want to get the huge contracts that the NFL guys can only dream of so there's extra incentive to hit more HR's than you did the year before. NFL players don't have that extra incentive if they are already making top dollar by NFL standards. Maybe PED's are used in football (I don't watch it much), but I would be willing to bet that it's more prevalent in baseball overall.

Try this analogy, becoming a doctor is more competitive than becoming a mechanic because of salary. What industry do you think is more cut throat? Oversimplification I know.

Let me know if I've made any sense.

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Maybe I'm thinking too much in absolutes here but I would think there would be more competition to make an MLB roster than an NFL roster simply because of what you could make as a rookie in either sport. This would potentially lend it's hand to more extreme cut throat tactics, PED's. With a cap in baseball I doubt the rookies get the salaries or arbitration numbers currently being tossed around.

Once in the game the MLB guys want to get the huge contracts that the NFL guys can only dream of so there's extra incentive to hit more HR's than you did the year before. NFL players don't have that extra incentive if they are already making top dollar by NFL standards. Maybe PED's are used in football (I don't watch it much), but I would be willing to bet that it's more prevalent in baseball overall.

Try this analogy, becoming a doctor is more competitive than becoming a mechanic because of salary. What industry do you think is more cut throat? Oversimplification I know.

Let me know if I've made any sense.

I think pro sports is especially cutthroat because of opportunity cost. These guys are extremely talented in athletics, but if they don't make it in pro sports, in most cases their salary is likely to be very low because they don't have much on which to fall back.

As for the money, here are the average player salaries in the four major American sports leagues.

NFL - $1.4 million.

MLB - $2.7 million.

NBA - $5.215 million.

NHL - $1.46

I think one thing that is clear is that the larger the roster size, the smaller the average salary. For example, in football most of the players are special teams guys that make significantly less than a million dollars. On the other hand, all of these leagues have a six-digit minimum salary, so I think that people will compete just as much for a roster spot regardless of the sport. some type of reserve clause that deflates salaries prior to free agency. And in all of those sports, some sort of reserve clause is in place that deflates salaries prior to free agency, so I don't see how the incentives are drastically different.

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But I think it's completely wrong to blame the cut-throat nature of the business on the union for not swallowing a salary cap. I think that just says that you hate the union, I don't think it has anything at all to do with baseball being a cut-throat business.

Yeah, there's some resentment there because you can see that these guys have it all and they still let this happen. Hate is a strong word so I prefer not to use that one but "irresponsible" and "deceiving" would be the ones I would use. Wasn't Gibbons part of the players union? Say what you will about the current owners but there's something basically wrong with a union whose representatives are being suspended for the use of illegal drugs, banned from baseball.

They wanted more control over their destiny as players and got it and in the end they f***ed it up, plain and simple. If they had fought against PED's as hard as they fought for their salaries I might give them a break but as it stands they are just as accountable if not more for MAKING this happen because, inherently they had to know before everyone else.

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I think pro sports is especially cutthroat because of opportunity cost. These guys are extremely talented in athletics, but if they don't make it in pro sports, in most cases their salary is likely to be very low because they don't have much on which to fall back.

As for the money, here are the average player salaries in the four major American sports leagues.

NFL - $1.4 million.

MLB - $2.7 million.

NBA - $5.215 million.

NHL - $1.46

I think one thing that is clear is that the larger the roster size, the smaller the average salary. For example, in football most of the players are special teams guys that make significantly less than a million dollars. On the other hand, all of these leagues have a six-digit minimum salary, so I think that people will compete just as much for a roster spot regardless of the sport. some type of reserve clause that deflates salaries prior to free agency. And in all of those sports, some sort of reserve clause is in place that deflates salaries prior to free agency, so I don't see how the incentives are drastically different.

Point taken, I was thinking about the number of roster spots as well for each sport. Probably has more bearing than anything else.

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Yeah, there's some resentment there because you can see that these guys have it all and they still let this happen.

Aaaahhh. Assuming by "this" you mean the PED scandal, then we're back to where some guys feel compelled to take them in order to remain one of "these guys" (i.e. the union).

As rshackleford pointed out above, players going to extraordinary means to keep other players from taking their jobs from them is as old as dirt.

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Aaaahhh. Assuming by "this" you mean the PED scandal, then we're back to where some guys feel compelled to take them in order to remain one of "these guys" (i.e. the union).

Exactly. That's why I think the only fair point-of-view is to say that's it's everybody in every role throughout baseball. The situation is all intertwined and interdependent. Nobody *planned* the thing. It just evolved, based on all the factors about who's playing, and who they're playing against, and who's paying how much money for doing what. It just ramped up without anybody being in charge of it. The problem is that nobody stepped in to stop it. The guy who's job it was to step in was the Commissioner of Baseball, and that was pretty much a joke. But it wasn't just him, it was everybody else too. But it wasn't a planned heist or robbery. It wasn't a massive active conspiracy to make it happen. It was just everybody reacting however they did to how the whole dang situation evolved. *Everybody* basically said "not my problem". *Nobody* didn't do that. So, it wound up being an informal conspiracy of *everybody* looking the other way. And then, when people did start to not look the other way, it got all tangled up with the 100+ year old conflict between owners and players. Nothing new about that either. I just don't see how you can blame anybody without blaming everybody. Nobody planned it, but everybody went along with it. Everybody.

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Exactly. That's why I think the only fair point-of-view is to say that's it's everybody in every role throughout baseball. The situation is all intertwined and interdependent. Nobody *planned* the thing. It just evolved, based on all the factors about who's playing, and who they're playing against, and who's paying how much money for doing what. It just ramped up without anybody being in charge of it. The problem is that nobody stepped in to stop it. The guy who's job it was to step in was the Commissioner of Baseball, and that was pretty much a joke. But it wasn't just him, it was everybody else too. But it wasn't a planned heist or robbery. It wasn't a massive active conspiracy to make it happen. It was just everybody reacting however they did to how the whole dang situation evolved. *Everybody* basically said "not my problem". *Nobody* didn't do that. So, it wound up being an informal conspiracy of *everybody* looking the other way. And then, when people did start to not look the other way, it got all tangled up with the 100+ year old conflict between owners and players. Nothing new about that either. I just don't see how you can blame anybody without blaming everybody. Nobody planned it, but everybody went along with it. Everybody.

Takes two to tango I guess, desperately wanted to point the finger at someone. I guess the instinct in me says go after the money makers but really everyone was making money in this thing.

So what are we saying here? That the players are the scapegoat because it certainly isn't the owners being suspended or fined and some of them have been implicated in this 300 page investigation report. That is to say, why isn't Theo Epstein being fined for taking a key role by encouraging the rules of the game to be broken? He knew that Gange was involved with steroids and still took him in as a player.

From what you guys are saying someone in his position should be just as responsible, but for some reason neither MLB or Mitchell see it that way. I guess this is why a lot of people are disagreeing with punishment altogether. It's not going down that way though so to me the system will be flawed unless they attack both sides of the problem.

I'm coming around guys, I'm alls grows up.

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