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Sammy Sosa....POSITIVE


Moose Milligan

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McGwire had a contract offer in hand from the Cardinals to pay him $11M-$12M for the 2002 season (I forget the exact amount) and he returned it unsigned because his knees just weren't in good enough shape to play anywhere near every day. The Cardinals knew that, but figured his ability to draw fans into the ballpark -- especially selling season tickets -- was worth more than they were offering him.

I don't think that McGwire's retirement had anything at all with getting out of baseball before the steroid testing began in 2003; he just wasn't willing to accept money for playing every day (or nearly so) when he knew his body wouldn't allow him to do it. In that sense, McGwire had more integrity than most ball players, who would gladly have taken the money even though they knew they wouldn't earn it.

That's why I think there might have been more behind McGwire's refusal to testify about steroids before Congress than most fans assume. Since McGwire was no longer playing and was never tested for steroids, he would have been at a lot less risk for adamantly denying steroids use than Palmeiro or Sosa were. The Feds had already investigated allegations that an Oakland dealer had supplied McGwire and Canseco with steroids and apparently hadn't turned up anything beyond rumor. (If they had, it would have been in the Mitchell Report.)

The stock reasoning is that any illegal behavior by McGwire while he was playing was already past its statute of limitation, but that his lawyers advised him not to testify because any perjury he committed before Congress would have opened up a new, five year window during which he could have been indicted and prosecuted. I readily concede that's a possible explanation, and it's certainly the easiest one, but it's really no more than a hypothesis. There could be any number of other reasons why McGwire refused to testify.

I have so much respect for you and your posts, and certainly your undying devotion for the Cardinals. I honestly mean that.

However, if you think that Mark McGwire is completely innocent in all of this steroid nonsense, then I don't know what to say. I've given my feelings on steroids too many times to mention, and it doesn't really matter to me who was a user and who wasn't. Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire to me were the most obvious ones. I don't think many would disagree with me for whatever that's worth.

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I have so much respect for you and your posts, and certainly your undying devotion for the Cardinals. I honestly mean that.

However, if you think that Mark McGwire is completely innocent in all of this steroid nonsense, then I don't know what to say.

I don't "think that Mark McGwire is completely innocent". I'm honest enough to say that I don't know, but that the evidence isn't all that compelling that he did use steroids, regardless of what has come to be an accepted belief.

I've given my feelings on steroids too many times to mention, and it doesn't really matter to me who was a user and who wasn't. Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire to me were the most obvious ones.

If you're arguing that Bonds and McGwire couldn't have hit 73 and 70 home runs respectively in 162 games without some help from steroids, then you're also arguing that Babe Ruth couldn't have vaulted from 29 home runs in 1919 to 54 home runs in 1920 without help from some kind of PEDs.

Bonds and McGwire had the benefit of better nutrition, much better weight training methods, smarter batting instructors (did teams even have batting coaches back then?), and cleaner baseballs. Ruth was also hitting against pitcher who could pitch inside and throw at his head with relative impunity. If Ruth could have hit 60 home runs without the assistance of chemical enhancements, it's ridiculous to claim that modern ballplayers couldn't repeat his feats. Obviously, we're not talking about something super human; just rare.

So why is it "obvious" to you that Bonds and McGwire used steroids? Because they added an incredible amount of muscle mass? Charles Atlas did that back in 1920, presumably just through body building exercises without the benefit of steroids. McGwire was notorious for the intensity of his workouts; if Atlas did it, why couldn't McGwire or Bonds?

No one has come forward and confessed to supplying either Bonds or McGwire with steroids. I doubt if any star players went down to Tiajuana to buy their own drugs; if they used steroids, then some trafficker supplied them. That trafficker (or traffickers) probably also supplied steroids to other athletes. If the traffickers did enough volume, they probably came to the attention of the Feds. If they copped to plea agreements, they would have needed to convince the Feds that they had named all of their customers, and those statements probably would have been made available to the Mitchell Report investigators.

In the case of Bonds, we can be fairly sure that near the end of his career, he got his drugs from BALCO, even though Greg Anderson refuses to testify to that arrangement. We don't know if Bonds obtained steroids from other sources earlier in his career, before he entered into the BALCO scientific doping program. We do know that Bonds tested positive for steroids while he was with BALCO. We also know that McGwire didn't, simply because he didn't take any tests. That Bonds used steroids is established, but that doesn't prove that McGwire did.

... I don't think many would disagree with me for whatever that's worth.

It's worth absolutely nothing. There was a time when a large majority would have agreed with you that the world was flat, or that black athletes weren't smart enough to play quarterback.

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Another interesting item. CNN: Sammy Sosa's Foundation Is a Major League Fiasco HURRICANE RELIEF OR TAX RELIEF?

... there's no evidence that Sosa, who's halfway through a four-year, $42.5 million contract, has ever made a significant cash contribution to his own foundation. (Even rival McGwire pitched in $100,000 last year.)

By contrast, the McGwire Foundation:

The Cardinals kicked in $100,000 as seed money that first year [to the Mark McGwire Foundation for Children]. And McGwire has contributed a total of $3 million to the foundation,... When the last of those checks were collected, the stream of donations soon became a trickle. In 2001, incoming contributions were $13,349. In 2002, they dropped to $10,913. In 2003, they were $31,351. Last year, a single donation of $30,000 was made by the estate of William Pittello, a retired tire salesman and noted philanthropist from Grand Rapids, Mich.

Public filings show that from 1998 through 2004, the foundation distributed more than $2.7 million in grants, mostly to organizations that support neglected and abused children.... In documents reporting distributions for the past two years, only $79,000 was donated to organizations, all but $1,000 of it going to programs benefiting children.

McGwire's foundation apparently still has an intact endowment, but it's neither soliciting donations nor giving out much.

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As for the argument that those 104 players are entitled to confidentiality, I totally reject it. MLB and the Players Association entered into a Faustian bargain to conceal evidence of criminal behavior. Those players have absolutely zero right to confidentiality. You can argue that whomever was responsible for carrying out that agreement between MLB and the PA screwed it up, but that's like arguing that a bank robber deserved to get away because his get away driver stalled the car and couldn't get it started again.

No, it's more like a guy who was involved in some petty theft getting a plea bargain and then put in witness protection. Then somebody outs him as a guy in witness protection, 'cause you know, you have a right to know about criminal activity, so he gets wacked.

All these guys who agreed to confidential testing are slowly getting wacked. While those with access to undetectable (in 2003) designer drugs, or were just lucky enough to pass are off the hook forever.

Love how use of PEDs is so bad that it makes lying and breaking oaths and violating contracts and legal agreements ok.

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These guys should have known what was going on in 2003. No way should anybody have taken a "survey" drug test knowing that he was going to fail it. You have to expect leaks and if players refused to take the test it would be counted the same as a failed test and players wouldn't have to be held accountable for why the refused to take it. There were reports of players refusing to take the test to insure that real steroid testing was implemented and there is no reason why users couldn't do this as well.

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There will always be cheating in baseball.

Always have ,always will be.I don't care who took what.You don't know everyone who is clean and everyone who is dirty.

Just let me know what kind of cheating is acceptable in baseball.Spitters,cork bats,speed,stealing signs....what is ok and what should they be penalized for.

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I don't "think that Mark McGwire is completely innocent". I'm honest enough to say that I don't know, but that the evidence isn't all that compelling that he did use steroids, regardless of what has come to be an accepted belief.

If you're arguing that Bonds and McGwire couldn't have hit 73 and 70 home runs respectively in 162 games without some help from steroids, then you're also arguing that Babe Ruth couldn't have vaulted from 29 home runs in 1919 to 54 home runs in 1920 without help from some kind of PEDs.

Bonds and McGwire had the benefit of better nutrition, much better weight training methods, smarter batting instructors (did teams even have batting coaches back then?), and cleaner baseballs. Ruth was also hitting against pitcher who could pitch inside and throw at his head with relative impunity. If Ruth could have hit 60 home runs without the assistance of chemical enhancements, it's ridiculous to claim that modern ballplayers couldn't repeat his feats. Obviously, we're not talking about something super human; just rare.

So why is it "obvious" to you that Bonds and McGwire used steroids? Because they added an incredible amount of muscle mass? Charles Atlas did that back in 1920, presumably just through body building exercises without the benefit of steroids. McGwire was notorious for the intensity of his workouts; if Atlas did it, why couldn't McGwire or Bonds?

No one has come forward and confessed to supplying either Bonds or McGwire with steroids. I doubt if any star players went down to Tiajuana to buy their own drugs; if they used steroids, then some trafficker supplied them. That trafficker (or traffickers) probably also supplied steroids to other athletes. If the traffickers did enough volume, they probably came to the attention of the Feds. If they copped to plea agreements, they would have needed to convince the Feds that they had named all of their customers, and those statements probably would have been made available to the Mitchell Report investigators.

In the case of Bonds, we can be fairly sure that near the end of his career, he got his drugs from BALCO, even though Greg Anderson refuses to testify to that arrangement. We don't know if Bonds obtained steroids from other sources earlier in his career, before he entered into the BALCO scientific doping program. We do know that Bonds tested positive for steroids while he was with BALCO. We also know that McGwire didn't, simply because he didn't take any tests. That Bonds used steroids is established, but that doesn't prove that McGwire did.

It's worth absolutely nothing. There was a time when a large majority would have agreed with you that the world was flat, or that black athletes weren't smart enough to play quarterback.

Like i said earlier, your undying devotion to the Cardinals is admirable. I respect and appreciate that a great deal.

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Anyone that did steriods or HGH is a cheat in my book. As a Dylan fan, I don't really care about Greenies. They have coffee and now red bull to give you that extra energy boost. Kids in my HS were even doing steriods during this time span. Why in the world won't I think that MLB were doing the same to get bigger/better. IMO it is MLB at fault more so then all these players. I don't know why in the world people on the team thought it was ok for all these players to take steriods. I feel for all those players that did it the right way and I know there is a lot of them that didn't cheat, but they will get lump in with the cheaters.

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You mean that MR isn't going to follow up with impassioned 12-paragraph defenses of every player from 1950-2005 who had greater than average muscle mass?

I believe that you and I have agreed in the past that the number of players who've been exposed as users of steroids is only the tip of the iceberg. McGwire, along with every other professional ballplayer over the last 50 years, is justifiably suspected of having used steroids. There's a big difference between reasonable suspicion and jumping to conclusions.

I've never claimed that McGwire didn't use steroids. What I have said is that the evidence that he's used steroids is pretty weak, and that I suspect the real story behind his congressional non-testimony may be a little more complex than the average fan assumes.

Last night, I had the dubious "pleasure" of listening to Tim Montemayor (The Monte Show, Sporting News Radio) on WBAL as I drove home from work. In addition to railing about the sad state of Cubs baseball and whining about Magic Johnson being the "public face" of Lakers basketball, Monte also apparently has decided that Albert Pujols uses steroids because "every other leading performer of the current 'steroids era' -- A-Rod, Manny, Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, Clemens, etc. -- has been exposed as a steroids cheat. Therefore, it's inevitable that Pujols will turn out to have used steroids too. It's logic like that which drives the fan opinions when it comes to McGwire. When I attempt to bring a little rational analysis to the discussion, I get stupid insults like "Love is blind".

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I believe that you and I have agreed in the past that the number of players who've been exposed as users of steroids is only the tip of the iceberg. McGwire, along with every other professional ballplayer over the last 50 years, is justifiably suspected of having used steroids. There's a big difference between reasonable suspicion and jumping to conclusions.

I've never claimed that McGwire didn't use steroids. What I have said is that the evidence that he's used steroids is pretty weak, and that I suspect the real story behind his congressional non-testimony may be a little more complex than the average fan assumes.

Last night, I had the dubious "pleasure" of listening to Tim Montemayor (The Monte Show, Sporting News Radio) on WBAL as I drove home from work. In addition to railing about the sad state of Cubs baseball and whining about Magic Johnson being the "public face" of Lakers basketball, Monte also apparently has decided that Albert Pujols uses steroids because "every other leading performer of the current 'steroids era' -- A-Rod, Manny, Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, Clemens, etc. -- has been exposed as a steroids cheat. Therefore, it's inevitable that Pujols will turn out to have used steroids too. It's logic like that which drives the fan opinions when it comes to McGwire. When I attempt to bring a little rational analysis to the discussion, I get stupid insults like "Love is blind".

Yes, I'm very much against labeling anyone a PED user without evidence. For all we know everything McGwire took was available at GNC.

But you walked right into this one. C'mon... the board's designated Cardinal Guy giving a 3,000 word dissertation on the innocence of the most muscle-bound, one-dimensional Cardinal slugger in history? You had to know the reaction would be similar to Rush defending Cheney or Olberman defending a Clinton.

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