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 Post subject: Oswalt:A Clean Players Opinion
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:28 am 
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Like his good friend Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt shares a strong bond with former Astros teammates Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens. Yet although he’ll give Clemens the benefit of the doubt until he’s proven guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs, Oswalt agrees with Berkman that admitted PED users like Alex Rodriguez and Pettitte have stained all baseball players.

“Only the guys that have been proven guilty, their numbers shouldn’t count. … I love Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens just like brothers. I’ve played with them for three years. They’re great teammates and I would love to have them on my team this year, but the way I feel I feel like they cheated me out of the game just because of the way they enhanced themselves but I’ve done it by working out.”

Moreover, Oswalt hopes baseball will institute two record books, one for players like Rodriguez, Pettitte and other admitted or caught steroids users, and another for other players who haven’t been linked to PEDs.

A day after Berkman told the Chronicle that he’d love it if all the dirty players are exposed Oswalt admitted that he was so proud of his teammates’ candor that he sent him a text message thanking him for speaking out for all the clean players.

“I feel the same way,” Oswalt said via phone from Mississippi a day after Rodriguez admitted taking steroids. “I feel that going out there natural against these guys that are taking the drugs is not fair to me. They’re already All-Star players and they’re taking drugs. That’s not fair for me. They’re cheating.”

The ultra competitive Oswalt’s anger over the steroids era was quite evident in his voice.

“They may have beaten you in the game where naturally they may not have been able to,” he said. “It may have cost me a win or my club not getting in the World Series. I don’t think it’s fair from my standpoint.

“Their numbers shouldn’t count. They should have their own record book, and it shouldn’t count. All the guys before us they’re cheating them. These guys from the past are in the Hall of Fame, and these guys (who are on steroids) are breaking their records. It shouldn’t count. It’s not fair."


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 Post subject: Re: Oswalt:A Clean Players Opinion
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:45 am 
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So much time is wasted on the users, why don't we talk about guys like Oswalt, who have to sit by and watch their lively hood be affected by cheaters? I mean seriously, if there were pills that you could take at your business that gave you a definitive edge, the catch being your health was put at serious risk, would you take them? Going one step further, if you decided not to, would you harbor any resentment against those that did keeping in mind that you'll be passed over for promotions, their work will always out perform yours, and you'll never rise to the top of your profession?


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 Post subject: Re: Oswalt:A Clean Players Opinion
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:47 am 
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Argentum wrote:
So much time is wasted on the users, why don't we talk about guys like Oswalt, who have to sit by and watch their lively hood be affected by cheaters? I mean seriously, if there were pills that you could take at your business that gave you a definitive edge, the catch being your health was put at serious risk, would you take them? Going one step further, if you decided not to, would you harbor any resentment against those that did keeping in mind that you'll be passed over for promotions, their work will always out perform yours, and you'll never rise to the top of your profession?


Thats why I posted this and why I feel its refreshing to read this point of view. Im getting tired of the "its no big deal, everyone uses" argument.


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 Post subject: Re: Oswalt:A Clean Players Opinion
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:49 am 
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Kingston wrote:
Argentum wrote:
So much time is wasted on the users, why don't we talk about guys like Oswalt, who have to sit by and watch their lively hood be affected by cheaters? I mean seriously, if there were pills that you could take at your business that gave you a definitive edge, the catch being your health was put at serious risk, would you take them? Going one step further, if you decided not to, would you harbor any resentment against those that did keeping in mind that you'll be passed over for promotions, their work will always out perform yours, and you'll never rise to the top of your profession?


Thats why I posted this and why I feel its refreshing to read this point of view. Im getting tired of the "its no big deal, everyone uses" argument.


Agreed. But we seem to be in the minority. Oh, and don't forget my personal favorite, "It wasn't illegal at the time".


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 Post subject: Re: Oswalt:A Clean Players Opinion
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 11:35 am 
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If players like Oswalt felt like this, why didnt anyone come out earlier and say it?

Is there blame on the players for cheating? Yes

But the biggest blame should be on Selig, MLB, and the owners for letting happen as long as it did...

While it may have been illegal since 1991, but not enforced until 2004, something should have been done earlier...Thats like going down the freeway where the speed limit is 65, but all the traffic is going 75 or 80...It's illegal but you're just trying to keep up so not to get passed or wrecked

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 Post subject: Re: Oswalt:A Clean Players Opinion
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 11:53 am 
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I agree with Dan...and yes, I do agree with you guys that we should focus on the guys who are clean. My opinion is not one of condoning what these guys did and saying, "oh it's no big deal". My opinion is and always will be that baseball should be disgraced that they turned their back for so long on this issue. And now it is yet another black eye for a sport that as far as I'm concerned doesn't need another. Free agency has gotten out of control, competitive balance is out the window, and heck they even screwed up the all star game. Now this.

As I stated in another post the owners, GM's, managers, and other players knew this stuff was going on. It was happening in some cases right there in the clubhouses yet nobody said anything. And as Dan said, yea they had a policy in place but no enforcement. How stupid. But anymore I'm not surprised by stupid decisions in this sport.


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 Post subject: Re: Oswalt:A Clean Players Opinion
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:10 pm 
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nad69dan wrote:
If players like Oswalt felt like this, why didnt anyone come out earlier and say it?


Don't know. Probably a bunch of different reasons. Was/is there any whistle blower protection in MLB?

nad69dan wrote:
But the biggest blame should be on Selig, MLB, and the owners for letting happen as long as it did...


The owners were happy to turn a blind eye as the money rolled in, as was the players union. Now both are stuck with the burden of fixing the problem without jeopardizing fan committment, a job I think next to impossible. There are really two options that I can think of 1) force mandatory blood testing and apply punishments commensurate with the crime 2) keep things as is and continue to lip service the fan base about how stringent the existing rules already are. Owners and players, much like water, always take the path of least resistance, so I know which option I'm putting my money on.


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 Post subject: Re: Oswalt:A Clean Players Opinion
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:44 pm 
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Argentum wrote:
nad69dan wrote:
If players like Oswalt felt like this, why didnt anyone come out earlier and say it?


Don't know. Probably a bunch of different reasons. Was/is there any whistle blower protection in MLB?

nad69dan wrote:
But the biggest blame should be on Selig, MLB, and the owners for letting happen as long as it did...


The owners were happy to turn a blind eye as the money rolled in, as was the players union. Now both are stuck with the burden of fixing the problem without jeopardizing fan committment, a job I think next to impossible. There are really two options that I can think of 1) force mandatory blood testing and apply punishments commensurate with the crime 2) keep things as is and continue to lip service the fan base about how stringent the existing rules already are. Owners and players, much like water, always take the path of least resistance, so I know which option I'm putting my money on.


I dont know about any protection, but Oswalt is probably trying to take some of the bad media coverage off his team because of Tejada, Clemens and Pettitte all being former Astros in recent seasons...

I understand the owners turning a blind eye for $$$ since MLB didn't really care...and MLB didnt seem to care either as they and the teams were making money...

I guess if players thought it was that big of a deal, someone would have come forth without the intentions of writing a book and making money off the deal, and maybe a superstar who the fans loved could have stepped up and took one, knowing his career and image would be tough to black ball...like a Ripken or a Gwynn

Its a tough situation I'm tired of hearing about...They need to get a system in place and just let the past be the past

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 Post subject: Re: Oswalt:A Clean Players Opinion
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:53 pm 
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nad69dan wrote:
...They need to get a system in place and just let the past be the past


If the system is efficient, I'm all for letting the past be the past.


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 Post subject: Re: Oswalt:A Clean Players Opinion
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:55 pm 
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Argentum wrote:
The owners were happy to turn a blind eye as the money rolled in, as was the players union. Now both are stuck with the burden of fixing the problem without jeopardizing fan committment, a job I think next to impossible. There are really two options that I can think of 1) force mandatory blood testing and apply punishments commensurate with the crime 2) keep things as is and continue to lip service the fan base about how stringent the existing rules already are. Owners and players, much like water, always take the path of least resistance, so I know which option I'm putting my money on.


This is why baseball, more than other sports, always seems to be in a mess regardless of whether they are making money or not. Other sports manage to make money without the constant negative attention. With baseball...the powers that be just don't seem to get it.


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 Post subject: Re: Oswalt:A Clean Players Opinion
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:56 pm 
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So I wonder if Tejada goes to jail, will the Astros need a SS for the year?

cough**cough**Jack**cough**cough

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I say keep the $50 and ban him anyway...

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 Post subject: Re: Oswalt:A Clean Players Opinion
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:34 pm 
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I can understand Oswalt's point about having to compete with players on 'roids. That does put him at a disadvantage, although he's managed to do ok for himself.

But I completely disagree with the part about "the numbers shouldn't count" or there should be two sets of records, or anything like that.

There is no definitive way to tell who used and who didn't, which drugs, for how long, who corked their bat, etc. Therefore it's pointless to try. What happened on the field is in the record books, period.

There are steroid users in all the other pro sports too, but nobody says those records shouldn't count.


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 Post subject: Re: Oswalt:A Clean Players Opinion
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:42 pm 
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nad69dan wrote:
So I wonder if Tejada goes to jail, will the Astros need a SS for the year?

cough**cough**Jack**cough**cough


dude are you trying to kill me??? I choked on my water laughing so hard about this.

I'm sure we could get their top 3 prospects for Jack... :roll:

Wait, do the Astros even have prospects?


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 Post subject: Re: Oswalt:A Clean Players Opinion
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:42 pm 
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nad69dan wrote:
So I wonder if Tejada goes to jail, will the Astros need a SS for the year?

cough**cough**Jack**cough**cough

Except the 'Stros gave up what little of value they had in their farm system to acquire Tejada in the first place.

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 Post subject: Re: Oswalt:A Clean Players Opinion
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:45 pm 
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Look at what Oswalt said. Even in the middle of his anger over the issue, he still gives Clemens a pass on taking steroids and he still says he considers Pettite a good friend.

For those of us who have been away from sports for a while, we need to remember how tight that locker room community can be. Yes, clean players watched other guys shoot up and tarnish the integrity of the game. But those guys weren't eager to say anything because there's a certain code about the locker room. What happens there stays there.

And of course we have the larger social implications of this whole thing which we haven't even started to talk about yet. At some point, we're going to have to sit down as a society and have a discussion about how badly our values have slipped. Baseball has always had cheating scandals. From the Black Sox to the sign stealing scandal that marred The Shot Hear 'Round the World to Pete Rose, baseball has always struggled with this sort of thing. But when did altering your body for a competitive advantage become so acceptable?


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 Post subject: Re: Oswalt:A Clean Players Opinion
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:48 pm 
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My belief is that we should see the list of names of all of the flunkees. Its only fair that we should know who they were so that we can cheer and enjoy supporting those that didn't. Its unfair to those that stayed clean and to AROD for being the only one on the list to be thrown under the bus.


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 Post subject: Re: Oswalt:A Clean Players Opinion
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:49 pm 
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Jeremy wrote:
Look at what Oswalt said. Even in the middle of his anger over the issue, he still gives Clemens a pass on taking steroids and he still says he considers Pettite a good friend.


I dont think hes giving him a pass, really, more like a benefit of the doubt til the evidence is in sort of thing. Actually, considering his friendships with Clemens and Pettitte, I found his comments to be quite condemning.


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 Post subject: Re: Oswalt:A Clean Players Opinion
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:52 pm 
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Jeremy do you really think that these players sat in the clubhouse and plunged the needle in front of the other players? You state that yes they did. What are your sources of this info? In your opinion the use of the juice should end a friendship? HHHMMM


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 Post subject: Re: Oswalt:A Clean Players Opinion
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:53 pm 
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Kingston wrote:
Jeremy wrote:
Look at what Oswalt said. Even in the middle of his anger over the issue, he still gives Clemens a pass on taking steroids and he still says he considers Pettite a good friend.


I dont think hes giving him a pass, really, more like a benefit of the doubt til the evidence is in sort of thing. Actually, considering his friendships with Clemens and Pettitte, I found his comments to be quite condemning.



I read it differently then, and that's cool. Two people can read one thing in two different ways.


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 Post subject: Re: Oswalt:A Clean Players Opinion
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:49 pm 
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nad69dan wrote:
If players like Oswalt felt like this, why didnt anyone come out earlier and say it?

Is there blame on the players for cheating? Yes

But the biggest blame should be on Selig, MLB, and the owners for letting happen as long as it did...

While it may have been illegal since 1991, but not enforced until 2004, something should have been done earlier...Thats like going down the freeway where the speed limit is 65, but all the traffic is going 75 or 80...It's illegal but you're just trying to keep up so not to get passed or wrecked


Dan -
Very rarely do I have such disparate reactions to a single post.
Your first point, IMO, is dead on right. If the players felt as though it was unfair for them to have to compete against guys who were taking PEDs, then there was a very easy method to fight against that and it was available to the players as a group. Specifically, the players could have agreed to drug testing. If they truly were concerned about this or felt that it was unfair, then they could have prevented it. Yet, they chose to oppose drug testing as if it was the holy grail of negotiating points. Consequently, by virtue of their collective bargaining stance, they facilitated an environment in which taking PEDs/cheating/juicing (however you want to characterize it) flourished.
Which leads me directly to the second point which I could not disagree with more. MLB tried to implement a drug testing plan back in 1993. It was vehemently rejected by the Player's Union. They were not going to agree to drug testing under any circumstances. And if my memory serves me correctly, the Player's Union vehemently denied that any type of drug use was a problem. It must be remembered that Selig, MLB and the owners are bound by the collective bargaining agreement. While you could certainly argue that Selig, MLB and the owners should have negotiated harder and insisted that a drug policy be implemented, it ultimately falls upon the Player's Union to agree to the terms. Does some of the blame fall on Selig, MLB and the owners? Absolutely. You cannot convince me that they knew nothing. IMO, they turned a blind eye in light of the renaissance that baseball experienced during the McGuire/Sosa HR race. However, I strongly disagree that Selig, MLB and the owners are any more to blame than the Player's Union and the players themselves. In fact, I place more blame on the union and the players. The union is charged with the responsibility of looking out for the player's best interests. And, let's face it, no one forced a player to stick a needle in his backside. It ultimately was the player's choice.
I'll never forget Gene Orza's comment that there is no proof that taking steroids is any worse to a player's health than smoking cigarettes. Now that it has been suggested that he was tipping off A-Rod as to when random drug tests were going to be administered . . . . un-freaking believable.

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