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Also, we should look at the point of Bud Selig starting a commission to investigate this. Baseball is a business just like anything else. If I'm caught using drugs or doing anything else illegal, my employer has a right to fire me. If an owner is aware of this activity by its athletes, it is up to the owner of the team to make that decision. Worst case scenario we have rational adults making rational decisions which may or may not be beneficial to their long run health. In sum, these athletes have a higher risk profile but are making a rational decision. They are trading off health and longevity for strength, agility, and hopefully money. (btw, some of the steroids in question, not just HGH do make athletes stronger and faster). Selig wanted to make a spectacle of these athletes instead of handling his own business. He had to bring media scrutiny and fear of possible future Congressional involvement into the matter instead of getting owners and players on the same page. He's passing the buck.

Pete,

Isn't the case that you made above the case for legalizing HGH, steroids, etc., and has little to do with how we or MLB should react to athlete X who may or may not have broken the (arguably silly) rules?

To ask a question about the rule of law ... every country has stupid laws on the books, would we say the rule of law exists in a community where those laws are arbitrarily enforced? Or does upholding the rule of law demand that everyone be equally subject to the stupid law?

My problem is the list of "implicated" players that have never tested positive.

My other problem is the belief by some that these drugs "caused" the athletic accomplishments we witnessed. Steroids didn't hit home runs, or throw strikes -- Barry Bonds did, and Roger Clemens did.

If this was 25 years ago and an elite athlete tore his ACL, he career was probably over. Now we can fix that through microscopic surgery and he can play again at the level he played before. "Tommy John" surgery is named such because a great pitcher blew out his elbow, doctors fixed it and he pitched again. Prior to that his body never would have recovered. Should we be in an uproar over the surgeries the same way we are in an uproar over drugs?

Let me repeat something, I do not advocate drug use, and I would in youth sports ban and monitor closely for abuse any sort of supplements. But at the professional level, we are talking the top 1% of 1% of the human population. We are asking them to tax their bodies to the limit day in and day out. Their bodies break down, they have to recover, so they can be pushed again. I ask again, if we did a random sample of ballet dancers world wide and found the use of pain killers and steroids to help sustain their performances would be be outraged?

No pill or injection threw those brilliant consecutive innings and won 7 Cy Young Awards, and no pill or injection hit those monster home runs. Moreover, we don't have a positive test in our hands in either case. We have allegations and testimony. The Mitchell Report is not a "legal" document, but it is destroying reputations. Bonds has some legal issues related to perjury, Clemens does not and the "implicated" list is actually my biggest problem with the Mitchell report as it is being discussed.

Sports writers think they can explain the accomplishments of elite athletes by pointing to drugs, but the reality is that sports success is a function of:

1. genetics
2. work ethic
3. sports specific intelligence

These athletes were born special to begin with. They are bigger, stronger, faster, more competitive, more poised under pressure, etc. than any of us can imagine ever being. Drugs don't produce that, genetic endowment combined with a work ethic do.

I am not sure I am effectively getting across my point. But then again I wrote my first entry close to midnight, and then this comment first thing in the morning. I am going to get a cup of coffee! Oh, is that a performance enhancing substance?

Pete

I am appalled that you have time for trivial ephemera like this when you could use the time to discuss the important ideas of DG Lesvic on redistribution.

Great post.

An even larget question is why does Congress care? Baseball players don't care. The owners don't care. The fans don't care.

Stop investigating the entertainment business and get back to creating money out of thin air!

Why isn't it called "hormone replacement therepy," and leave it at that.

http://www.cenegenics.com/

Barry Bonds cheated. What's so complicated about that? And why on earth would you defend cheating?

Is Bonds the kind of role model you want for YOUR children?

Good grief, man. Get off the spiked eggnog.

I enjoyed the post.

What struck me is how it has the same kind of structure and sentiment as Pete's defenses of Mises and Rothbard, the same ability to romanticize the virtues and excuse and elide the vices.

See Sally Jenkins in todays _Washington Post_. She makes a very sensible argument as far as I am concerned.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/17/AR2007121702194.html?sub=AR

Also see Russ Roberts discussion at Cafe Hayek and in particular his links to Art Devaney's discussion on the science of steroids and HGH.

Pete

See Sally Jenkins in todays _Washington Post_. She makes a very sensible argument as far as I am concerned.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/17/AR2007121702194.html?sub=AR

Also see Russ Roberts discussion at Cafe Hayek and in particular his links to Art Devaney's discussion on the science of steroids and HGH.

Pete

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Hola,

Compadezco, pero de nada no es posible hacer.
Nicolas

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