Don’t Believe the Hype

I don't like to give credence to rumors by putting them on the site, but since this one is pretty pervasive I'll make an exception: Roger Clemens. I don't believe it, and the people I asked who know about these sorts of things don't believe it. Of course, that doesn't mean it isn't going to get talked about, or that people aren't going to jump to their own conclusions. One person said to me yesterday that Clemens "fits the profile" of the kind of person who uses PEDs. Does he? How many older power pitchers have tested positive? None. What he fits is the stereotype of the kind of player people think would use. Couple that with the fact that he's a guy that lots of people love to hate and you've got a guy who's being put on trial in the court of public opinion, a court where "innocent is proven guilty" is ignored in favor of the much lower standard of "I think he did it, therefore he must have." This kind of crap really pisses me off. One unfortunate side effect of the players who have tested positive is that every player who fits the stereotype gets smeared as a possible user; pretty much any older player with power or a guy who showed up at camp lighter than he used to be gets saddled with the "cheater" label. The way people take as given that these guys, or any number of other players, are using steroids disgusts me. For many people, fans, bloggers, and "professional writers" alike, one mention of steroids is the only opening needed for the worst traits of their humanity to come out. It always amazes me how people can state as fact that so-and-so is a steroid user, often weaving elaborate conspiracy theories to deflect attention from the fact that there's no actual evidence. What proof is offered? None. It's simply a situation where innuendo, personal agenda, and a desire to be a part of the conversation add up to libel. Yes, libel. Look it up. I didn't want to get off on a rant here, since I've pretty much stayed out of the steroid discussion over the last few years because I don't have anything constructive to add to it, but I guess I couldn't help myself. I think this latest round of rumors is witch-hunting at its worst. I don't think Major League Baseball is going to announce anytime soon that Roger Clemens has failed a drug test, and I don't think it's because there's some sort of baseball-wide conspiracy theory protecting him. And I'm not interested in getting into the "well, if he does test positive, what does it mean for his legacy/the Hall of Fame/the future of the game" BS. If a positive test result is announced, then we'll talk. Until then, I'm not going to speculate and I wish other people would follow suit. I know that's a futile wish, but a guy can dream, can't he?
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Comments

I believe the pitcher to look at is CC Sabathia.

He's huge!!!!

Like I have statd many times, I can really care less about steroids.

Baseball has had cheaters throughout their history. and Will continue. From HOF Gaylord Perry using a spitball to HOF Ruth using a corked bat to future HOF Sosa using a corked bat to HOF crednetialed Palmeiro using sterdoids. I can go on and on (Canseco, Giambi, Caminitti, pitchers using sandpaper, Tavarez and others using pine tar, George Brett using pine tar, players popping greenies, etc.)

Unforutnately it is an accepted part of baseball culture and lore and hopefully the steroid testing is starting to break that idea up, but until then, so many players have and are cheating and nobody knows who is.

It is unfortunate, but I really not care too much.

I don't care for these kind of rumors, but they will continue to grow as long as the players maintain their wall of denial and silence. The refusal of all players (including the clean ones) to step forward and tell what they know about PED use in baseball has come back to haunt them.

Frankly, they brought this on themselves.

What do you mean "what they know about PED use"? Are you calling on players to come forward and call out players who are using?

Christian-- That is an interesting thought. When Kennesaw Mountain Landis laid down the law about gambling in baseball, aside from calling out the players who were doing the gambling, he also stated that any player who "has knowledge" of any gambling/fixing and didn't come forward would also be held accountable. (See the closing minutes of "Eight Men Out"). If the steroid issue is being looked at as harshly, then perhaps players should come forward.

(Aside) Christian, you probably already knew this, but it seems like the Chicago Tribune is sourcing stories from all-baseball.com.

Payroll

The full story is here:
Salaries

Note: I think you need a login (free) to see the stories

Why shouldn't they come forward with what they know? Using steroids is illegal and it's highly unethical on the players part who allow the people to continue using them to say the least. It is also at the point where they are borderline accomplices. It's illegal. Why should they not come forward and "narc" on the ones breaking the laws of the United States?

> It is also at the point where they are borderline accomplices

See, this is what I'm talking about. No, they aren't "borderline accomplices." Use of steroids by some players in MLB does not implicate other, non-using players.

It doesn't implicate them as being steroid users, but they have a responsibility to protect the so-called integrity of the game. Right? And to do that at this point means you have to narc on those using. This is just from a baseball standpoint. From the legal standpoint, they have a responsibility as citizens to do so.

I don't see any difference between those using and those who allow it to continue. GMs, owerner, managers, coaches and some players all allow it to continue. If you know who uses and say nothing, you are as responsible as the one who is using.

There is now a system in place, collectively bargained by the players and management, to identify and punish players who are breaking the rules and therefore damaging the integrity of the game. All indications are that, since the implementation of this plan, use of PEDs has decreased. What would be gained by having players narc on their teammates?

"Mere presence at the scene of a crime and even knowledge that a crime is being committed are not sufficient to establish that a person either directed or aided and abetted the crime."

Christian, I agree that it is probably a little unfair to speculate about Roger Clemens and Johnny Damon being involved with steroids when the only basis for their involvement is scanty rumors and hearsay.

However, I would say that speculation is far from libel, particularly because all statements are expressions of opinion, and there has been, at least from my person, neither reckless disregard for the truth of my speculation nor knowledge that my speculation is verifiably false. With that said, most of us (including myself) have been merely speculating on the RUMOR that Roger Clemens has possibly violated the drug policy. Few have actually even stated an opinion, e.g. "I believe Roger Clemens did steroids," etc.

With that said, I think the case is entirely different when there is some evidence, scant as it may be, that a player was involved with steroids. Mark McGwire, for example, though he has not admitted to steroid use certainly has been implicated by Canseco's book and he didn't help himself (legally or in the court of public opinion) by his tight-lipped non-denial denials. By refusing to comment on the situation, he and others like him have, in my mind, lost the right to have their privacy and their careers respected by an "innocent until proven guilty" claim. Unless they are ready to explain their involvement or non-involvement with steroids, even with a flat denial, rather than be evasive, they open themselves up to rampant and, at times, reckless speculation.

If you know that a crime has been committed, what is the right thing to do?

Comparing cork bats and spitballs to steroid usage is like comparing jay walking to grand auto theft.

I know people who are coke users. I choose not to rat them out because I don't believe it's any of my business. If I were dragged into to court, or asked by a detective, I'd tell the truth. But I don't think it's my responsibility to try to get them caught. Again -- none of my business.

However, I don't think speculating on internet boards about clemens is wrong. I happen to have some questions about how he's been able to do what he's done, and I don't think it's wrong to pose them, particularly when the steriod issue is so big right now. And because we have no way of knowing everyone who is or isn't using, to say that the use of some doesn't implicate other non-users is off the mark. The use of some DOES implicate that others might be using. If we know for a fact who the non-users are, then yes, they aren't implicated. But if we don't ask questions about what we don't know, then what is baseball's motivation to tell the truth and clean up the sport?

What about Carlton Fish and Nolan Ryan? Both were effective into their mid 40's at demanding positions.
Were they PED users?
Sometimes you just have to understand that genetic anamolies come along and they are not chemically enhanced.

Since (I believe) I originally dropped the bomb about this little rumor yesterday on TCR, I feel compelled to chime in. Christian, your observations about the unfairness of mindless, petty speculation regarding guys that "fit the profile" of a steroid user are dead on. It's an unfortunate byproduct of the testing era, and it's easy for innocent guys to get lumped in with the guilty, which is a sad and unfair thing.

However, this is different.

My source for this rumor is connected and has reason to know these things. (He is not affiliated with the Cubs in any way.) He called the Palmiero thing before it happened, and he hasn't falsely called any positive tests (that is, he's 1 for 1 I guess). I hesitated to even post the rumor because (1) I don't have any personal knowledge about its truth and (2) I could conceivably be putting my friend at risk if it is indeed true and the leak could get traced back to him. In retrospect I shouldn't have posted it -- I got a little carried away by the magnitude of the news. So, I was relieved to find out that the rumor was already "out there" when I made my post and I wasn't breaking any news at all, because it took the edge off of those factors.

I wish I could be more specific about why I believe this to be true, but I can't. My only guidance to everybody on TCR now is that you should not discard the rumor now because so many idiots and jackasses are running around spreading it on the radio, in elevators, etc. I have very little doubt that it's true. What I have no idea about is when the news might break -- my source has (understandably) clammed up and is a little nervous right now.

None of you really know me so I don't expect anyone to take this at face value. More importantly, it is of course possible that my source is simply wrong and that this rumor is baseless.

But, it's not.

Cheating is cheating. There may be several different degrees, but it is ALL wrong and been going on in baseball FOREVER. But you are right taking steroids is worse than a spitball.

It another 20 years though it will be something else that will come out to help players that will be cheating. What will it be???

Yes, that's one possibility. Another is that they are chemically enhanced after all. Neither is a proven fact.

We don't know for sure, and now that we do know steroids are being used, we need to ask questions like this until the sport is cleaned up. Baseball knows what it has to do if it wants to make the speculation stop. It has find a way to PROVE to the public that its players are clean.

It's important to keep in mind that steroid use was not always a prohibited activity: for a large portion of time, comparing steroids to spitballs would be comparing jaywalking to taking a nap or eating a taco. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but with the exception of the minors, whoever juiced was working within the legal framework of the game. They might not have been within the legal framework of the country--I have no idea what parts of the Controlled Substances Act applied to steroids at the time, but I don't really care for that law anyway, so others can discuss implications on that front.

The players' job isn't to police the game or maintain integrity, unless they think it'll help them cash pension or managerial checks. The owners are the ones with, presumably, a bigger interest in the medium- and long-term stability of the game and its revenues. They had the power to get the rules changed, they took their time to do so, and they're still doing a bad job if it's true that MLB sat on Palmeiro's test for months.

The idea of innocent until proven guilty applies only to receiving punishment. It has nothing to do with opinion. For instance, look at OJ. He's never been proven guilty, so he's innocent, right? But I'm not going to change my personal opinion based on what an obviously confused jury decided.

And 433 -- I read somewhere that Bud Selig denied that Clemens tested +. Would he really do this if it was true? What's he going to look like when he has to announce it later?

I still think Clemens uses something. But I'm more inclined to think that this testing + thing might not be true.

I guess we'll find out.

Justin -- interesting about Selig's denial -- if that's true, I agree that would be a key indicator that it's not true. I hadn't seen that though -- in fact I was thinking that the fact that there hasn't been an official denial of this pervasing rumor was telling, because MLB hasn't hesitated to squelch false rumors.

Carlton Fish? Is he related to Charlie Tuna?

I can't find the quote from Selig, but I don't think he specifically denied that Clemens had tested positive. I think what he denied was that the MLB was holding back a bunch of positive results because there were "big names" involved.

Bob-
Carlton Fish was backed up by Abe Vigoda.

I can't find the exact quote either. I'm trying to locate it. I read it on the ESPN board, but now I can't find it.

this was posted in the previous thread, but here's a link

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/spor...

[Re: Clemens]
He has been so close to perfect that he has become the object of a silly series of rumors. Talk-show gossip has him as one of the 50 or so big-leaguers who have tested positive for steroids.

There's just one problem with those rumors. They're not true.

"They're absolutely not true," commissioner Bud Selig told me Thursday. "I don't know where this stuff comes from. I know this kind of stuff is out there. This isn't journalism's finest hour. Some people ought to be ashamed."

Clemens got a rousing ovation as he walked off the mound in the seventh inning. The crowd of 29,844 knew watching Clemens isn't like watching anyone else.

Too bad it ended badly. Too bad it's this kind of season.

I think we can put an end to the discussion now, right? No way Selig comes out with that and reverses direction in a few weeks or so....

Richard Justice the Houston baseball writer. Check out his column at the Houston Chronicle Website.

Selig says the rumors "are absolutely not true." He goes on to say, "I don't know where this stuff comes from. I know this kind of stuff is out there. This isn't journalism's finest hour. Some people ought to be ashamed."

I'm not ashamed though. I still think the Rocket might be using some special fuel.

Rob beat me to it. But there it is.

It's probably not libel or slander because these statements are usually stated as opinion (rather than, for example, "I saw Clemens take steroids") and Clemens is a public figure, which means that the person has to either knowingly make a false statement or have a reckless disregard for the truth, which is a rather high bar. That doesn't mean Clemens can't sue, it's just not likely he'd get past the summary judgment hurdle.

Palmeiro probably would have had a good case against Canseco if Canseco can't show that he actually did do steroids, and it is interesting, as some have pointed out, that he and the Angelos legal machine didn't actually file suit (did they?). Now, of course, he wouldn't have a chance.

ESPN has to take some blame for this rumor going out of control. According to Neyer it was being talked about in the newsroom as of 3 ET yesterday. I don't think every net rumor makes it all the way to ESPN so this rumor had to have some reiable source behind it. They had 3 hours between the Neyer chat and the 6 ET SportsCenter to get MLB reaction on it. They could have killed it sooner.

Players shouldn't narc on other players using steroids. While using steroids is worse than corking a bat or whatever, throwing the World Series for gamblers is much, much worse than if the entire major league was on steroids.

Anybody hear if Murton was sent down yet?

BTW, according to Dusty, he has a team "full of kids" I could see the bullpen I guess, but as a team:

Williams:23
Zambrano:24
Prior:24
Novoa:26
Welly:26
Wuertz:26
Dempster:28
Ohman:28
Wood:28
Williamson:29
Rusch:30
Maddux:39
Murton:23
Patterson:26
Ramirez:27
Barrett:28
Lee:29
Nomar:32
Neifi!?>":32
Mulletsworth:32
Hank:33
Gremlin:33
Lawton:33
Burnitz:36
Average age is 27, and if you have 2-3 years of expereience, I will not refer to that player as a "kid." Patterson, Prior, Zambrano..etc.
I think that a pitcher should go to Iowa, and Murton should stay in LF.
Opinions?

Yeah, but how many times do we hears "it's an outright lie" or "there's not truth..." yada, yada, yada. Guess what? Two days later, it happens.

So I wont' take Bud's word either. I guess it comes down to this - if it is announced, then it is true. If we all sit here for days, months, years with no announcement, then it is not true. Everything else in between people killing time in their day (or in my case, until the Cub game comes on).

I posted this on the other thread but it seemed relevant here as well:

Believe it or not, I wouldn't DFA Macias. He has been, it pains me to say it, somewhat useful of late. If there is further injury to our infield, he might even prove more so.

I'd consider DFA'ing Hollandsworth. There's no way in hell (or at least shouldn't be) any way he's back with the team next year, and the Cubs might be able to get something for him in a trade. With Lawton, Burnitz, Patterson, Hairston, and Murton capable of playing one or more outfield positions, he has lost his utility.

um, except when you hear those things, it's in very general terms....

Bud was answering a direct question about Roger Clemens and iif it comes out later that he lied and Clemens is suspended, then how stupid would he look. It's one thing if he was talking in general terms, but that was a direct response about a specific question about a specific player. You couple that with the MLB and UNION press release on August 10th that also COMPLETELY DENOUNCED all rumors saying that "Reports of large numbers of positive tests currently unreported are totally false. Reports of big-name players having the reporting of their test results delayed are totally false," and Bud saying only one "young player -- as in, not a star -- was currently in the steroids system", I don't know how anyone cannot take that at face value.

Bud just suspended Palmeiro after he reached 3000 hits, about the only worst things he could have done was to suspend Maddux after he reached 3000 K's and Bonds if he ever passes Ruth and Aaron. I think it's fairly obvious that baseball isn't going to cover up for anybody.

"It's probably not libel or slander because these statements are usually stated as opinion"

Usually, but not always. I've seen plenty of articles/comments that mention in passing that so-and-so uses steroids. Not, "I think [player] uses steroids," but an unequivocal statement that he does. That's not opinion, that's a statement of fact.

I was just listening to Richard Justice on XM radio and he reiterated what he wrote in his column. He also said that there is currently one player who has tested positive but who has not yet been announced, a player described by Selig as a "low-level" player. IOW, not Clemens, and not Johnny Damon (the other name popping up in rumors recently).

Right Ruz. I'd think that a libel/slander case against Canseco would be possible, although the concept of malice must also be proven.

That's why I always assumed Rose was guilty of gambling, because he never sued Dowd or baseball over their findings. If the people who Cancseco outed never sue, I'd assume they are also guilty. But again, that malice bugaboo might be enought to prevent a suit, I'm not a lawyer.

"I think it's fairly obvious that baseball isn't going to cover up for anybody."

I think that's exactly right. Although, with the Palmeiro scandal, they might be willing to delay for a while. Nonetheless, I think if Clemens (or, even less likely, Damon) were to be busted for steroids, we would find out about it. The idea that MLB would cover up for them just because they are Clemens and Damon is ludicrous as I stated earlier today in the previous thread.

I'll also say that, having read the comments of Selig and Damon and other reports of denials by MLB, I think it very unlikely these rumors are true. Surely all involved would be mum about it if there was any shred of truth to the matter.

Of course, I don't know whom 433's source is but it just doesn't seem likely that any major steroid news will come on the heels of all these denials.

Ranch: the legal standard is "actual malice", which basically means you either knew it was false or had no evidence it was true and lots of reasons to think it wasn't true. Describing yourself as an eyewitness or participant to events that didn't happen certainly qualifies.

The official announcement on Hairston is up now - he was activated and Murton was optioned to AAA. Disappointing, but expected.

Damon's comments are interesting-
``No way,'' Damon said. ``If I tested something positive for anything, then someone threw something in the (sample)."

Sort of what happen to Raffy huh? I got a mickey with a roid roofy in it.

That will be the new defense, "The gatorade at Yankee stadium was spiked!!"

Murton optioned.

Now Dusty won't have to be hogtied with all "these kids".

Brutal.

The Cubs Management is reckless IF they are going to "option" Murton to AAA...What has Hollandsworth done for the team recently...? Why not send Wellemeyer to Iowa...? The Cubs need all their BEST HITTERS as they have very little margin for error in the next few series. What if Cox was managing the Cubs right now...Would he "option" Murton to AAA...? I think we know the answer. Cox demands performance - from veterans and from rookies. Dusty needs to wake up and carefully make wise decsions in the days ahead.

Ok. This move sucks. Murton is performing faitly well in a platoon role. Where the f--- is Hairston going to play? Is Lawton playing that well? Is Patterson? Hollandsworth(less)? Burnitz...
Jesus....Great job, we know you're hitting .339, and have been patient at the plate, but we need another middle infielder/veteran blah, blah, blah.

This is pathetic, and doesnt make sense, regardless if Murton has to "tweak some areas" or if "we wish his arm was a little stronger."

Murton Shmurton and contact hitting left fielder with little to no pop in his bat. BLECH! Dime a dozen.

Why would you ever want to use Wellemeyer again uless you were ahead by about 10 runs...? He can't seem to throw strikes under pressure...If your in the Cubs Bullpen you need to be able to do that...It should be VERY CLEAR that Wellemeyer needs to go back down to Iowa to work on his command and control...The Cubs can't afford to gamble with a pitcher like him right now...We also need an offense that will be very productive in EVERY GAME...It's a no-brainer to keep Murton on your roster in the next 2 weeks that have A LOT of crucial MUST WIN games in them.

Murton will be back in 10 days or so. I also agree on paper it is not the best move, but I'm not so sure who else they could really send down...I'm not sure if we could send down Holly, I don't think it would make sense to send down CPat at this point, and we know Lawton isn't going anywhere

Dusty actually said some very nice things about Murton the otherday (aside from his throwing arm) but then mentioned something about how they've got other players on the roster that are paid a lot to play. The pessimist in me says that dusty feels he needs to play veterans to make sure they earn their paychecks. The other side of me says that maybe that was referring to an upper management/owndership dictate that expensive players aren't going to be sent to the minors.

Anyway, I'm curious as to what Holly's options are...but I do know Dusty likes his defence, so maybe that is why he Holly is still with the team...solely for a late inning defensive replacement with Lawton starting in Left.

What else could they do?

Maybe get rid of macias? Hariston does everything Macias does but better defensely and obp.

No wonder the kids come up here looking like deer's in headlights. They have no chance.

deer.. I know I'm an idiot.

Scott, going into Colorado we need an extra arm....also we have had that many arms the entire year, I can't see any sign that they would change now.

Also, Welly has pitched once since his return...it was an absolutely atrocious outing...but I'm not sure if that in itself signifies that welly is worthless....if nothing else, if the cubs are down 10-2 on Sunday in the 3rd inning, he can come in to eat up innings.

Name another Cub OF hitting .339 with some sense of direction at the plate, Chad? Well...?
I am not comparing the 2 by any means, but how many HRs did Palmeiro have as a rookie? 8 in 1988, 8 in 1989...While Murton wont become a 35-35 HR guy, 15-20 isnt unreasonable.

..and Williams is getting skipped, so he could throw in the 'pen this weekend, so the "we need another arm" argument is weak...

"Name another Cub OF hitting .339 with some sense of direction at the plate, Chad? Well...?"
too small of a sample to look at BA alone...but he certainly does have potential.

As for comparing Murton's home run prowess to Palmeiro'sudden jump in homers....well, you may want to rethink that comparison in light of current knowledge as if nothing else, it puts into doubt many of Raffy's 500 Homers....but I get your point.

"It should be VERY CLEAR that Wellemeyer needs to go back down to Iowa to work on his command and control..."

But that's why Wellemeyer was sent down in the first place and that's what he did work on. I don't know. I'm willing to give the kind another chance or two. Probably not in a pressure situation, but still a chance.

Reading his comments after the Astro game, it sounded as if he was having a lot of difficulty in making the quick transition from the rotation to the pen. I'm beginning to think that Wellemeyer can actually be a pretty decent pitcher when he keeps his head in the game. However, his problem is that he is ULTRA delicate -- he's not a versatile, utility-type pitcher a la Glendon Rusch. Wellemeyer needs a defined role that he can stick to and plan for. If he keeps getting sent down to Iowa and putting in the rotation there, and then gets called up to be put in the pen here, how is that going to help? If he is sent down, he needs to be put in the pen in Iowa and the brought back up when he's adjusted to that role. Maybe that means relegating to him a reliever-for-life status. Maybe not. The point is, the recent treatment of him is not working and the Cubs need to find something that does.

Palmeiro problaby not a good example.
I prefer Murton to a young Sandberg.

You think that robust average was going to stay there? He had a hot start like many rookies do (pitchers haven't figured out the weaknesses yet) and has been going south ever since. Here, look at his last 6 games:

OPP AB R H HR RBI BB SB
08/07 @NYM 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
08/08 CIN 3 1 1 0 1 1 0
08/10 CIN 4 0 0 0 0 0 0
08/11 STL 4 1 0 0 0 0 0
08/15 @HOU 5 1 2 1 1 0 0
08/16 @HOU 3 0 1 0 0 0 0

So that's 4/20 which is .200 with an OBP of .250 WOW!

Well then Williams gives us 1 more arm for Colorado then we had before...which is probably necessary...It may not be a perfect argument, but it's hardly "weak". Given what the cubs have done all year long there was no real possibility the Cubs would have dropped an arm going into Colorado.

I getcha Jacos, Adam...I was just looking for an example, and that was the first one.
Also, good point on Welly...if he's in the pen here, put him in the pen at Iowa....

Yeah but Sandberg played a marvelous second base. At second, you can have a guy with out much production. Same with short stop. You need more production from left field. You don't need a good glove out there, you need a big stick. So what I'm saying is that Sandberg's numbers are HOF for a second baseman but for a left fielder....

Murton went 2/5 against Pettite, with his 1st HR....I don't expect him to hit .460, but you are missing the point.
Lets pick that small of a sample size, and then see how they're doing..geez...
He has still played well, and replacing him with a mediocre veteran, who is out of position in the OF, is just not right.

For the remainder of this year, Macias is going to outplay Murton?

You want Murton up there with two outs in the ninth? Not me. I would never put a rookie in to pinch hit.

August Stat:
4/22, .182 SLG, .217 OBP, .318 SLG in 8 games

Now that is a tiny sample, and I still think Murton has some good potential (although not as good as what people were saying when he was hitting .460 after his first 10 games). But I don't think this option will have a significant effect one way or another. The number of at bats he'd have before September 1 with Hairy, Lawton, Cpat and Burnitz on the team would have a tiny effect on the games. It may not have been the best move...but at least, Murton can play everyday in the minors, and then get a ton of playing time in September assming we are out of the race.

Wow, Chad, six games. That's impressive. Sample variance is a completely neutral concept having nothing to do with Scout's Honor, Moneyball, Ozzie Guillen or Billy Beane, and it's really going to pay off for overall understanding of the game if we can get everyone off their "X-for-his-last-30" fix. It's because otherwise educated and active baseball fans still prefer to think these terms means something that the rest of us have to suffer through John Kruk every time we watch highlights.

This also isn't about production from left field: it is about having the best possible combination of bench players. We have a surfeit of left/middle infielders. Jose Macias is 412 for his last 1588. Here are some facts about that number:

- it's big enough to be meaningful
- it, along with a complete lack of other offensive production, means he sucks

It doesn't matter what he's done in the last month, i.e. have his balls fall for singles. But we'll still have people who'll leap to defend some combination of Hendry, Dusty, and Macias, which is more of a curse than any damned goat.

*What about Carlton Fish and Nolan Ryan? Both were effective into their mid 40's at demanding positions.*

Nolan Ryan was on the '92 Rangers with Canseco, Juan Gone, Pudge and Palmeiro, so who knows?

And Adam, I agree, the Cubs are done, the practical significance is nil... but god damn, for all the talk about taking care of players' psyches, this is not the message you send to a guy that's had legitimate success in sporadic opportunities.

"Jose told they were Advil."-Nolan Ryan

*Damon: 'Roid rumor wrong*

Raffi: Well, I NEVER.

What's the point of printing denials?

I agree looking at 6 games or even 8 games as I did is WAY too small. but so is looking at the first 10 games or so and proclaiming Murton a hero and savior as many did here....

but going back 1500 at-bats to judge a role player/sub who gets 1/4 of the atbats of a starter is ridiculous in my opinion. the 119 at bats he has this year is plenty of indication as to what he will do in a continued limited roll with this team.

hell, 1488 at bats ago, Sosa was a powerful offensive weapon.

I used his entire career because there's no stretch where he's performed any better than this: he's literally made a living hitting this badly. There aren't any peaks or valleys like one'll find with a Sosa or Burnitz type.

For me it comes down to the fact that a .285 hitter with a .310 or so OBP who is a switch hitter limiting opposing late inning match ups, with an ability to play 4-5 positions on the field is a very wothwhile commodity for a seldom used player. I would never trust the guy for anything more than a spot start to give someone a rest, but off the bench and as a fill in, I think putting Macais up there in a late inning situation is as good, or better than all other options we have right now.

"What about Carlton Fish and Nolan Ryan? Both were effective into their mid 40's at demanding positions."

They were not putting up the best numbers in their career or in the history of the game either like Clemens.

Just a quick roid rumor update.

Like everybody else, I'm starting to believe it's false. My "source" has moved from nervous to annoyed today -- if I had to guess I'd say he feels duped by someone close to things (which may be a story in itself). It's odd how this developed, and my takeaway is that there is some complexity to this story that we may never know about -- more than just the typical baseless rumor.

I'll let you guys know as/if I find more info out. In any case, it looks like I'll be apologizing for spreading a false rumor (although I had the best intentions, as did my source!).

Are you all seriously justifying the demotion of Murton based off of six games? Come on. Look at what Holly has one in August! Murton is a better player right now than either Holly or Macias. With the addition of Nomar and Hairston back to the lineup, Macias' "abilities" are no longer needed.

There is little reason to keep either of them on this team.

I realise I might be out of topic but check out this collection of best song lyrics http://www.lyricshosting.com

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