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Steroids Were Banned In 1991

The Houston Chronicle's Richard Justice always has something interesting to say in his blog.  Yesterday he cleared up a common misconception about steroids being banned only in recent years:

"Commissioner Fay Vincent sent the clubs a memo in 1991 reminding them that players were forbidden from taking any illegal substance. He specifically mention steroids in the memo and encouraged the clubs to take a get-tough policy on players thought to be using steroids.

What could a team have done if it suspected a player of using steroids? Probably nothing.

Vincent simply wanted to be on the record as letting the clubs know that steroid use was against the rules and that they shouldn't be afraid to confront a player.

There was no testing for steroids until 2003 (after being part of the 2002 labor agreement).

The notion that Bonds wasn't breaking any rules is ridiculous. He was. He knew he was."


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Speaking of misperceptions...

Since when does sending around a memo count as making a rule?

Wouldn't the MLBPA have a little something to say about this?

That "rule" is worth less than the paper it was printed on.

The Memo wasnt the rule. The memo was alerting teams that there was already a rule in place banning steroids.

Seriously people,
WHO CARES ANYMORE? Just let it go! Bonds is an abusive, mean, vicious person that should be kept out of the Hall on his personality alone. I know that won't happen, but baseball fans and the sport itself should just forget Barry and the self-righteous mockery he has made of the sport. He is still the same selfish punk he was when he was a kid and his daddy spoiled him rotten. It sure does make me appreciate Griffey, Jr. a whole lot more.

Talking about Bonds anymore is a waste of time. He will never change. Cheater today, cheater tomorrow. Jerk today, jerk tomorrow. He will act the same way he always has on his deathbed unless the Almighty changes his heart. - Very Doubtful

This is old news... if you read what Buster Olney put out last year you would have known this already.

heres the link to the story... a good read

I still think its comical that the media has made Barry the fall guy in an attempt to protect their favorites.

Sure, it may be old news, but a lot of folks were not aware.

I agree Monger.. that came across wrong. I wasn't telling you it was old news... but that article just now coming out (in Houston) makes it seems like this is brand new.

If you read some of the apologists, especially coming out of the Bay Area, I think this article is extremely relavent. Many of them insinuate that Barry was doing nothing wrong because steroids were not against the rules of baseball at that time. That misinformation has grown rather wildly to the point that you could even hear sports radio hosts in Chicago echo the same sentiments. How unfortunate that people like that would rely on information from heresay rather than researching fact.

"What could a team have done if it suspected a player of using steroids? Probably nothing."

and thats why this is irrelevant. to me it just makes them look worse for ignoring the problem they obviously knew about for a long time.

also everyone already knew bonds did some steriods. they are doing a great job of trying to dodge the real issue of how rampant was steriod use. at this point i could care less what bonds did, i want to know how high up this went and what players were using to what effect. not the history of one user. where is this search on mcgwire? how much did some lesser players gain on roids? its convient to blame bonds but to me thats just ignorant. his use was a direct result of those that came before him. not to mention a waste of time that could be being used to actually get mlb's testing up to par.

I think Selig is going to screw this whole thing up if he decides to investigate bonds its gonna open up a pandoras box. He can't just go after bonds (however big a prick he is) and if you start lookin I bet you find most of the stars from that period were using.

In regards to the Griffey Soriano trade I dont get why the Reds dont let Freel play second base for them full time. Good speed good average good on base why not just let him play. Also if they trade griffey is Freel able to play CF?

It doesn't change the fact that he's the best player ever

Kyle --
Just because you don't care doesn't mean other people shouldn't. I'm sure there are plenty of things and people in your life you care deeply for that we don't, but I won't try to convince you to stop caring as you are trying to convince us. If you do not understand why we would care about this issue, it's isn't worth our time explaining it to you, just as it shouldn't be worth your time getting all upset about not understanding.

Greg --
The names of people who write something go under the article, not above.

It is I who no longer care what happens to Bonds

I dont care what anyone says......it takes a special player to hit 700 + HR's wheather their on steroids or not. I could care less. When I go and watch the braves play live(which is rare) I want to see Andrew Jones hit a homerun and John Somltz pitch a shutout. What type of drugs they do doesnt really matter to me. The bias against bonds is unbelivable, Palmero (sp?) did not get this type of treatment and he actully pissed hot. I dont know wheather he used steroids or not and dont really care...but I do think the media has finally found somthing that they can attack bonds with.....oh one more thing, where would baseball be today if Mcquire and Sosa did not get in the HR chase.......funney how the media has left Mcquire alone in all this.....

The reason the media attacks Bonds is two fold. One he is a jack-ass which makes him an easy target. Two is that he would have been a hall of famer without the drugs. I cant convince you that drugs are a problem if that is what you believe. But any real baseball fan realizes that baseball more than any other sport is about history. The records are a huge part of sports. When Babe Ruth first started blasting home runs it marked a new era for sports that was huge. Hank Aaron was a tremendous ball player for 20 years or so these guys are immortals. For there records to be wiped out because some guy wanted an extra edge is a shame.

The reason why Bonds is the worst case was that he had it. He was an all-time great before steroids. Sosa was a piece of crap who couldnt hit for an average before roids. McGwire was an injury prone slugger. And Palmeiro was a fringe player who put up good numbers but was never great. But Bonds was the only 400-400 player in the history of baseball. He had it all he was fast he could field hit for average and power but it wasnt enough. The man is a selfish piece of crap and for anyone like me who loves the integrity of the game he shouldnt even be mentioned. I admit that he was a hall of famer before steroids but that shouldnt make it any better that he used steroids. Here is an extreme example. There is a priest who is great for the community he does charity and helps everyone than one day he rapes a child. Should he get off any easier because he was a great guy before the horrible act NO. Bonds should not make the hall of fame. That is it you cant investigate because it would ruin the game. What you can do is take away the only thing Bonds cares about and that is his legacy


the point remains if it is all about history then why are you slipping right by the sosa-mcgwire home run race into blaiming bonds. its seems a little to convient. especially since most sources now have provide at least some info to support the fact that the roid race to set the new home run mark is what drove bonds to steriods anyway. bonds was an amazing player but the players you describe as subpar were upstaging him. at that point why should he stay clean. hes better than the guys and everyone hates him. they are on roids and everyone loves them. those high up in baseball are huge cowards if they try and pin this on bonds and ignore the fact that they were basically holding mcgwires hand as he injected baseball back on the map.

The only good way to handle these cases is an asterisk next to their name and accomplishments. Anyone who is found to be guilty should have their totals asterisked and taken away. The true homerun record is held by Roger Maris at 61!

I agree Steven that McGwire and Sosa should be targeted too. But they aren't playing anymore and Bonds is. The whole thing is a shame. I dont think you can do the Asterisk thing because every generation has had advantages and disadvantages and you do not know how many of those steroid driven home runs came off steroid driven pitchers. It will just come down to in 30 years this era will be know as the steroid era and there never will be a pure home run record:
Ruth didnt have to face black players
Gehrig had 8 more games then Ruth to break the record
Bonds, Sosa, McGwire were on steroids pitching in smaller ballparks, with diluted pitching because of expansion.

Baseball created this in the 90's. They wanted home runs to bring back the fans and they got them. Steroids are not the only reason that so many home runs were hit. The Ballparks were smaller and expansion made the quality of pitching less.

The best solution I have read so far would be for Selig and Fehr to just come forward and take the blame for the whole steroid scandal and let it die. Adopt even stricter testing so it doesnt happen again. That means blood testing and keeping the blood for future tests. Steroids tainted baseball in the ninetys and it is time to just try and bury it. If Selig starts investigating alegations he is going to find a lot of things he doesnt want to know.

As the HOF is concerned. The voters will just have to take all the stats with a grain of salt and it is a shame. Sosa, McGwire, and Palmeiro shouldnt get in. Bonds should be denied the first ballot entry he wants. Although he will probably slide through in a later vote.

"How unfortunate that people like that would rely on information from heresay rather than researching fact."

But the whole "case" against Bonds is built on hearsay. The whole case is built on either anonymous people who claim to have heard Bonds say something (one of which has already been refuted by Griffey Jr., the rest aren't sourced directly so for all we know it's disgruntled people with a hatred for Bonds), authors who quote people (Jay Canizaro has already said that he didn't say the things that Jeff Pearlman claims he did), Conte who never saw Bonds with any of his stuff, but says he uses, and two main people, Bell, his former mistress, and Anderson, his former trainer.

Bell is a scorned woman trying to sue him for money first but when that failed, suddenly she has a steroid story to talk about once she got a book deal going. She is in a no-lose position - no one can argue with her stories of the conversations that she claims she had with Bonds. All the testimony I've seen from her are stuff any of us could have pull off of the Internet and repeat them word for word.

Anderson, while he was titled Bonds trainer was really his flunkie that he was pals with. They were such good friends that Bonds didn't bother to hire him as trainer until 17 years after high school. Bonds ordered him around and corrected him in front of others about how to do his own job correctly. He was jerky enough to Anderson that Sheffield in his SI interview asked him why he put up with such stuff. Anderson was so good that he didn't really have any good clients until Bonds hooked up with him and included him everywhere. So you have a 35 year old "trainer" with no other means of income and this BALCO is a means to making big money that previously he could only dream about.

Maybe he did deal drugs to Bonds. But if Bonds is as controlling as Bell says he is, I don't see Bonds allowing Anderson to breathe unless there is no link between Bonds and Balco. Bonds would be over to his house and order him to show him his paperwork and stuff and make sure Anderson don't make a mistake anywhere and implicate Bonds in any way. If he'll correct his "trainer" on the proper techniques to train, he's going to make sure his "business" isn't implicating him in any way. And there sure as hell wouldn't be any folder labeled "BLB 2003". Reporters are everywhere, you know, they dig through people's garbage for stuff, you gotta watch such sh*t.

Bonds wouldn't be smiling happily in an ad for Balco. He wouldn't touch that with a 1,000 foot pole. He wouldn't buy any vitamins at all from Balco to create an accounting trail that leads to him.

I see Anderson boasting to his bosses and potential customers that he's dealing to Bonds to boost his image to his employers, because he's a sad loser anyway, and when he hooks up someone on the Giants, he thinks its funny to put BLB on the folder and bill (to prove to his bosses that he's selling to Bonds). Bonds won't ever know...

That's why I think these books are hooey.

That said, I believe that he's probably taking something. He's already said that he has used Creatine, from what I remember. It is probably a matter of time to find something, but these books are not evidence enough that should convict him in the court of public opinion, what's going on right now is a witch hunt based on hearsay.

Wow, you are biased. You probably thought O.J. was innocent. Bonds now looks as if he could be labeled "Steroid Man"! Baseball should make a superhero video game around him. I see it now. He flys through the air like those people in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and he bashes people (sometimes criminals, sometimes reporters, sometimes fans, and sometimes he gets "roid rage" and either ends up accidentally beating himself up or a family member or mistress). I think it would be a wildly popular show. He could even have Mike Tyson as a sidekick. It would be great!!!!

I meant game...

biasedgiantsfanatic- Are you implying that Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, two respected journalists, totally created folder of data on bonds with the detail that they describe. The guy is a cheat and you as a Giants fan should hate him even more for cheating you. The guy was a guaranteed hall of famer and that wasnt enough. I hope he plays this year and damages his knee so badly he can never walk again. The man is a piece of shit.

Justin what point are tying to make.....from both sides of the story have been excellent discussion with valid points then you come across with what I think is a pointless post......

Call it the steriod era would be fine when you talk of records because we all know that baseball statistics are all generationaly based anyways.....its hard to compare Bonds with Mays or Mantle or Ruth. Can we say that Ruth would of hit as many home runs as he did now?

I guess im not a puriest but i digres to my orignal point. The casual fan really doesnt care about steroids and stuff.....there for when he/she takes his family of four to a SF game you think he rather watch a clean bonds go 1-3 with a single or a juiced bonds go 2-4 with a 450ft bomb. If im paying the prices of these tickets I want to see the star perform....

That makes sense billy. I dont really concern myself with the casual fan P.O.V since I am not just a casual fan

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