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A weblog of baseball news and analysis

Friday, December 03, 2004
Report: Bonds admitted to using substances thought to be steroids.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Barry Bonds testified to a grand jury that he used a clear substance and a cream given to him by a trainer who was indicted in a steroid-distribution ring, but said he didn't know they were steroids, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday.

Bonds told the federal grand jury last year that Greg Anderson, his personal trainer, told him the substances he used in 2003 were the nutritional supplement flaxseed oil and a rubbing balm for arthritis, according to a transcript of his testimony reviewed by the Chronicle.

The substances Bonds described were similar to ones known as "the clear" and "the cream," two steroids from the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, the lab at the center of the steroid scandal.

Giambi's Confession.
Getting back to Giambi, according to his testimony, he did not start using steroids until after he won the AL MVP in 2000, thus I am unwilling to attribute his greatness as a hitter to his use of steroids. Quite the opposite, actually. Giambi confessed to first juicing during the 2001 season. Looking at his numbers, his production declined in each of the two successive seasons until he stopped using in 2003, at which point he was suffering from a knee injury often connected to the abnormal muscle mass that results from steroid use. By the time his miserable 2004 season arrived, he had developed a benign tumor that, according to The Daily News, was located on his pituitary gland, a side-effect associated with steroid use and the supplemental use of Clomid in particular. Thus it would appear that, if anything, the steroid use had a negative effect on his production, perhaps boosting it some in his excellent 2001 campaign, but slowly reducing his effectiveness in the years to follow. In his testimony, Giambi admitted that he didn't notice "a huge difference" in his ability as a result of the steroids.
(Clifford's Big Red Blog)

...Keep it continuous. "Why does Sabean overpay for guys nobody else seems to want? Why pay a 40-year old shortstop for an extra year, guaranteed, when you don't have to? Why guarantee three years to a reliever, regardless of how dominant, who has had a hard time staying in anybody's good graces for that long (four teams have had him and gotten rid of him in the last eighteen months)?...We couldn't afford to keep Ellis Burks. We couldn't afford to keep Bill Mueller, or David Bell, or Russ Ortiz. We couldn't afford to keep Jeff Kent. We couldn't affford to make a play for Vladimir Guerrero, or Sheffield, or any of the top free agents. But we can afford $35 million dollars for Vizquel and Benitez?" (Only Baseball Matters)

Seven-Step Deception.
Frequently over the past few months, it has been pointed out (by myself and several others) that, in keeping with the stated goal of a payroll around $90m, the Mariners realistically have somewhere in the neighborhood of $25m available to spend this offseason. Reported figures that have been spoonfed to the media, however, have significantly undershot this estimate, citing available resources of between $13 – 20m.

Which brings us to another lesson: making the common fan happy by satisfying deliberately lowered expectations.
(Leone for Third)

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