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Brother's Little Helper
2006-04-01 09:21
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

"Anybody who thinks you can go through the season normally and your body can just respond normally, after what we go through, is unreasonable," said Eric Chavez, the third baseman for the Oakland Athletics. "I'm not saying taking away greenies isn't a good thing, but guys are definitely going to look for something as a replacement."

..."Guys will always find something," [Al] Leiter said. "Even if they have to go to the local truck stop to get some No-Doz, they'll find something to get them through."

Over the past couple of months there have been a bunch of stories about how the new ban on greenies will impact baseball this year. I can't recall any of them being more concise or thorough than Jack Curry's piece this morning in the Times. I think this is one of the most interesting stories of the coming season and Curry does a fine job of spelling out the a-b-c's of the matter. Check it out.

Comments
2006-04-01 10:09:59
1.   rbj
I suspect east coast teams going to the west coast are going to have a significant drop off; especially the first game or two each trip. An 8 pm PDT game is 11 pm EDT, so they'll be starting off more tired.

And isn't one of the perks of being a ballplayer (and a reason to go through all the workouts) is to go to the bars afterwards and picking up a babe or two?

2006-04-01 10:23:24
2.   Fred Vincy
My guess is the effect will be minimal, but if it is what they are predicting the effect would be worst on old teams with little depth. Sound like anyone you know...?
2006-04-01 15:50:46
3.   Easyenough
I think it was Curry that quoted in an article a couple months ago someone speculating that a lot of players may go to prescription attention meds like Ritalin this year. It would be legal and supposedly packs the same punch and the scripts should be easy to get. Anyone who really believed in greenies is almost certainly going to go this route. And who's to say, maybe a lot of these guys do have ADHD.
2006-04-01 17:03:43
4.   Rob Gee
The thing I found most interesting in the Curry piece is the sight of Jeter with a Red Bull. The implication is he's finding something else to liven himself up.

Mr. Greenjetes?

2006-04-01 17:10:54
5.   mikeplugh
None of this is surprising. Forget baseball for a second. Our entire society solves all of its problems with drugs. You feel a little sick, there's a drug for you. You feel tired, there's a pill. You get nervous around pretty girls, we've got a patch for that.

The hundreds of billions of dollars that flow through the American pharmaceutical industry fuel a culture of drug dependency. The companies successfully market their products to ease public apprehension about using drugs, so it becomes mainstream and acceptable. Basically, the Pfizers and GlaxoSmithKlines of the world are no different than super charged pushers....

It's all going to come back to haunt us in the future. There are plenty of behavioral adjustments we can make (all of us) that will remedy our various ills. There are dietary changes we can make to be more healthy. There are patterns in our sleep that we can correct. I think it was "Dead Prez" that said: Let your food be your medicine, no excederin...".

Athletes should be the people most aware of all this, but the millions they make attract pimps and hustlers who want to give them easy answers. They know that their next contract depends on continued excellence, so they inject HGH and take The Clear. They pop greenies. They take one too many cortizone shots.

I think the ban is good and the next step is for MLB and the Players Union to stand up and help these guys see what's happening. Most of them are brainwashed though, so they won't care.

2006-04-01 17:59:57
6.   Schteeve
Mike, before you indict the pharmaceutical industry, please also remember that life expectancy and quality of life have both been dramatically increased because of pharmaceuticals. Sure there are abuses, and sure people slef medicate, and rely on pills and potions when they could probably do without. But when a woman gets breast cancer in 2006 there are a host of options that can beat the disease, thanks the the pharma companies.

As for baseball, they'll find some other upper that isn't banned. This seems to me to me a tempest in a tea cup.

2006-04-01 18:34:09
7.   joejoejoe
Alternately, a tempest in a pee cup.
2006-04-01 23:19:41
8.   mikeplugh
What you say is true Schteeve, but let's break the two parts of the pharma biz in half. There is the research and development side and there is the dollars and cents side. Virtually every pillar of our society bows to the dollars and cents side of things.

The R&D side of the pharma business is preoccupied with designer drugs that they can market and sell to "make our lives better", but what are they actually focused on? They check the market and see what's in demand. They weigh what's feasible in light of resources, timing, and so on, and then they decide what to make.

The dollars and cents side controls the agenda, and until that is changed we won't get as many qualitative breakthroughs in science that say, cure cancer, but instead quantitative products that address fictional or made up problems.

It's a clever deception.

2006-04-02 08:59:54
9.   markp
Mike
Exactly. And as far as developing cures, someone much wiser than me once said: "there's no money in the cure. The real money is in the treatment." (I think that second sentence is even closer to the truth when treatment is changed to "illusion of treatment.")

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