Dealing with the Steroid Era and how could steroids have been good for baseball

Since we’re on a run of sports posts I figured I’d chime in real quick with a localish story of my own. Plus, when was the last time all 3 of us posted on the same day?

I guess today was unsealing day since some of Barry Bonds’ court documents were also released today. Nothing super shocking was released, just a doping calendar and a few incriminating tapes. All of which lead you to believe that (shock!) Barry took steroids, knew about it, and lied about it.

Full disclosure before we continue, I fucking hate Barry Bonds. A lot of people think it was because of the steroisd thing and it’s not. Frankly I’ve grown apathetic to the whole steroid thing, but more on that later. I hate Barry Lamar Bonds because he’s a surly dick. I could document it but, let’s face it, Barry’s assholishness is well documented. You don’t need my help.

Anyway, all of this shit happening rekindled the whole “Why is the government wasting time and resources like this when the economy is cratering?” debate. And it’s a fair argument. Who gives a shit if Barry Bonds lied? It wouldn’t make him the first person to do so and he definitely won’t be the last. I used the be one of the people on that side of the argument. But then they went ahead and prosecuted Barry anyway. Now? I want his head on a fucking platter.

Why? Because fuck it, we’re already doing it. That’s why. How much money has the government spent trying to get something to pin on the guy? That’s our tax dollars. Don’t you want some sort of return on that investment? I sure as shit do. I want to hear every embarassing detail about Barry’s life all played out in court and documented for the public. We desereve that much for Bonds on Bonds alone (As much as we give the Record shit for their various conflicts of interests, at least they didn’t do something like BoB…yet).

But then there’s the other, heavier questions. How will we remember this era? How will we be able to compare it to eras past? I try and not think about those questions. If you spend too much time thinking about that shit then sports stops being fun. And that’s what sports is supposed to be right? Our fun little escape from our increasingly depressing real lives. If you overthink it then you’re just escaping to another layer of hell.

That’s not to say you should ignore those big questions. I just choose to not dwell on them too much. I don’t like to think about how I’ll think of now 10 or 20 years from now because who gives a shit about what I think then? I’ll probably be an entirely different person by then. 10 years ago I was a Mormon who actually waited until 16 to date. If you had told me then that years later I’d look upon those years with utter contempt, be writing for a website filled with dirty curse words, and have a casual attitude towards pretty much every possible vice I’d have thought you were crazy. Trying to guess the future is a waste of fucking time.

As far as the era comparison goes, I’ll deal with it the way I deal with it now. Some people are going to just stamp this entire era as tainted and kill the comparisons and those people are no fun. Thanks to the federal government there’s plenty of information on the Steroid Era that you can get somewhat of a good idea as to who was juicing and who wasn’t. Sure, you won’t know for sure. But it’ll be a personal judgement call. I’ll look on Bonds statistics unfavorably because of his obvious drug use (and the being a cock thing). But guys like Nomar or Griffey? I don’t think they juiced so I’ll take their numbers at face value. It’s not a flawless system by any means. I have no real reason to believe they did or didn’t juice beyond what my gut tells me. And my gut tells me they probably didn’t shoot up.

Again, it’s not the best system, but over the years Moneyball has turned baseball into a mathematician’s dream. Taking away what some people think is the soul of the game and trying to calculate what some managers and scouts (and the A’s recent playoff record) say can’t be quantified by numbers. You can’t calculate greatness. If there’s one thing the steroid era did for us, it’s tainted those numbers and forced us calculate greatness with our guts. How it was meant to be.

And for that Barry Lamar Bonds, I thank you. But you’re still an asshole.


~ by El Duke on February 4, 2009.

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