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Big Idea Open Thread
2005-03-14 19:17
by Will Carroll
Notes:
Scott Long is now blogging at NSFWsports.com.
Will Carroll can still be found at Baseball Prospectus.

I'm watching "Big Idea with Donnie Deutsch" on CNBC now. I'd like your comments. I'll talk more about my experience and thoughts on the show later.

Comments
2005-03-14 19:36:47
1.   TFD
Ouch!
2005-03-14 19:38:29
2.   Will Carroll
Ouch? Could you give me a bit more please.
2005-03-14 19:42:43
3.   DrTom
In the last little bit I just caught, you certainly sound like the voice of reason in the group, which (I would think) would help the sale of your book, and get you on some more such shows. Congratulations! But as we all know, sounding like someone who knows what he is talking about (or even, heaven forbid, being such a person) doesn't mean people will listen to you. And the fellow who can tell guilty people just by looking at them (as, apparently, can all bodybuilders) --- well, isn't that an old George Carlin routine about escaping jury duty? I half expected him to make that Spike Jones-style popping noise George punctuated that bit with on the album.

Whoops, gotta go - I'm sure the Congressman will really add a lot...

2005-03-14 19:43:25
4.   TFD
Uhh..Don't want to go into too much, but Donnie clearly had an agenda, and the bodybuilding guy is/was a little (!) off the wall. I'll send the rest off-line.
2005-03-14 19:46:01
5.   DrTom
Does the NFL get a pass because all men over 5 feet tall and 100 pounds think we could play pro baseball if we just got a couple of breaks?
2005-03-14 19:47:00
6.   DrTom
It does seem a little dangerous to pretend we know why someone killed themselves. Counterfactuals ("If Johnny didn't take the juice, he'd be alive today") sound nice, but are awfully tough to deal with.
2005-03-14 19:51:13
7.   TFD
Great, great point on the research dollars. I think I said this before, but until MLB is willing to start spending literally tens of millions of dollars/year trying to stay ahead of PEDs, nothing will change.
2005-03-14 20:07:15
8.   TFD
[TiVo switches to Daily Show]

...baseball leads the show...Stewart skewers Waxman...then the rest of Congress..."syringe implanted in ass-meat"...Big Arms Guy...

It is John Stewart's world, the rest of us are just living in it.

2005-03-14 20:34:36
9.   Anthony
Man alive, did Deutsch make up his mind before the show even started or what? He was irritating me moreso than usual.

I thought you did a good job, Will. You took your time to consider each question, and got your idea across as much as they let you. Can't really ask for more than that.

RE #8: The Daily Show has gotten much better the last couple of months. It's eerily similar to Pedro Martinez: un-freaking-touchable in '99-'00, down a few levels by '04. I wonder if Pedro will bounce back this year like The Daily Show?

2005-03-14 21:41:26
10.   Jon Weisman
It's funny, I was telling someone last week how I think the Daily Show had hit a little post-election pothole. The correspondents, except for Colbert, seem to be operating more on schtick than substance of late. Stewart still rules, though.
2005-03-14 21:54:33
11.   onetimer
Interesting. You made the claim that steroids aren't per se bad if they're supervised by medical professionals. I thought those who made such claims didn't have the facts.

Deutch was absolutely right to call you on the fact that you do not object to the use of steroids in baseball because they are merely entertainers (your words). I wasn't aware that was your position until then.

2005-03-14 22:59:34
12.   Will Carroll
I love the idea that someone comes to my blog to tweak me. Guess what - doesn't work any more. If you want to use my words, use them in context. If you aren't aware of my position, you aren't reading closely enough.

And you certainly aren't listening. I said that steroids, if legal, should be medically supervised, which is infinitely preferable to buying them from uncontrolled Mexican sources or an underground lab. You'll forgive my lack of clarification on the format, where three guys had ten minutes.

2005-03-15 06:30:04
13.   briankopec
Recipe for disappointment:

Take 1 partially lucid bodybuilder

Add a pretty boy talking head with dubious topical expertise

Mix in a single-minded moderator with an agenda

Pour that over Will Carroll and then air for about 12 minutes.

Hmmm...that's a bit harsh. It wasn't THAT bad. It's just that the format certainly wasn't ideal. Plus, it's a bit tough when 3/4 of the panel add nothing to the discussion.

The best part of the night was when Jose Canseco's lawyer appeared and my first thought was, "Is Jose paying him in cash or in juice." 30 seconds later, the lawyer was admitting his past steroid use. Who knew that I shared the gift of clairvoyance with the bodybuilder?

2005-03-15 07:07:17
14.   Rob Cook
I thought Jay from Cold Pizza actually backed you up on a couple things, Will, but it was pretty clear to me (and apparently everyone else) that Donny had his mind made up going in.

What really irks me about all the Canseco interviews- including last night's- is that the interviewers want Canseco to say that his life's been ruined by using these drugs. Which is anything but the case: he had a borderline Hall of Fame career, made loads of money, and had access to some of the most beautiful women in the world. How exactly did steroids NOT work for him?

The truth is painful sometimes, but that doesn't mean it needs to be covered up to further an agenda. Sadly, rhetoric and appeals to emotion, rather than logic, education, and honest talk about drug use, has always been the norm, and I don't know what can be done to change that. But I give you credit, Will, for trying to raise the level of the debate.

2005-03-15 07:34:17
15.   illinination
Caught the show last night, Will. Love the way you called out that bodybuilder who was convinced he could tell who was on steroids by simply looking at them. I'd never seen Donnie Deutsch before. Wow, what a horse's patootie. I rolled my eyes when he tried to correlate that Mean Joe Greene Coke commercial to the issue of kids and steroids.
2005-03-15 08:10:00
16.   The Ex
Will, I think you lose credibility when you suggest that steroids have no effect. I don't buy the Jeremy Giambi and Ozzie Canseco argument. I agree that steroids will not make a AAA player a star, but even if being stronger has no impact on your performance, feeling better will have an impact. Success in baseball is often a matter of slight differences in mental approach, ability to adjust, and ability to handle adversity.

Many players get worn down over the course of a season and feel tired or get niggling injuries. If steroids help them feel better that could be a 5% improvement in performance which will show in the results. I think your "no one has proved steroids help" line to take away from your credibility.

On another note Canseco is changing his line on steroids. On 60 minutes we was pimping steroids, they work great, they make me feel better, etc. Last night it was "see a doctor", "only take them under doctor's supervision", looks like his lawyer has been advising him to tone things down.

2005-03-15 08:52:34
17.   briankopec
Asserting that "no one has proved steroids help" is not at all the same as saying that "steroids have no effect." I hope we can agree on that point.
2005-03-15 16:01:30
18.   CubsFanatic
Great job last night, Will. Your retort regarding MLB's hiring of the body-builder as opposed to testing for steroids was terrific. And I agree wholeheartedly that steroids do not aid a ballplayer the way some fans believe - Ozzie and Jeremy are two wonderful examples. Yes, steroids are a form of cheating, but to what extent? I defer to the "they don't help you hit a fastball" argument.

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