The rise and fall of Rafael Palmeiro
April 19, 2016 11:14 AM   Subscribe

(I'm not a big baseball fan, but found this article a compelling and interesting read)
posted by k5.user at 11:15 AM on April 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

This guy had one of the sweetest swings in all of baseball. So sad to tamper with that by trying to turn your upper body into that of a He-Man action figure.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:24 AM on April 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

So sad to tamper with that by trying to turn your upper body into that of a He-Man action figure.
But did he do that? One positive test and multiple negative tests in an era where almost everyone was doping, I'm not so sure he deserves the opprobrium.
posted by Floydd at 11:38 AM on April 19, 2016 [3 favorites]

Huh. I didn't know he'd ever admitted even that much. Even in the linked story, he says Selig "shit on [him]" and that he told Bush "Baseball is going to suspend me on Monday" and "If I would have cheated this game...".
posted by Etrigan at 11:59 AM on April 19, 2016

As far as I can tell, he is still denying everything. I don't know if he is telling the truth or not, and I'm not sure it really matters. In a world where lasik surgery fixes your eyes to 20/20 or better, and where they take a piece of your leg muscle and move it to your shoulder, resulting in a shoulder stronger than what you started with, I'm not sure steroids are really that big of a sin.

Banning 'Roids is a fine thing for baseball to do, they are dangerous with possible long term issues, but acting like its use was career defining is something I'm not sold on.
posted by COD at 12:09 PM on April 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

It will be full accountability when he provides a full accounting. Accountability is not a magic word. It has a meaning. It's sad what happened to him as a result of what he did but if he wants to own it he still has a ways to go.
posted by srboisvert at 12:17 PM on April 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

i cant be the only one who reads his "i should have known better" as meaning he should have been more vigilant about the "tainted" b12 that "caused" the positive test result.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:20 PM on April 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

He would have been wiser to hide a little motor in his bat.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:28 PM on April 19, 2016 [4 favorites]

Wow, if only the people who wrecked our economy or the people who got us into foreign wars that killed and displaced millions of civilians felt one tenth as much guilt and shame as this guy does.

Relax dude. It's only a game. All the other sluggers of your generation took a little something too, and all the people who tut-tut about it now knew damn well it was happening and looked the other way. Enjoy your family and your life.
posted by zipadee at 12:30 PM on April 19, 2016 [6 favorites]

Before the wave of steroid revelations but when it was in the air, I remember being amused to see Palmeiro as a Viagra spokesman, because I think that among its many side effects, Viagra speeds up your reactions significantly, and reaction time is more crucial to a hitter than raw strength.

Viagra and Sildenafil probably should be banned substances in many different sports including baseball, tennis, hockey, and (perhaps especially) cycling.

However, I think Palmeiro was a scapegoat for an era in which most baseball players were cheating; hell, I wonder whether you could even have put together a full roster from players who weren't on steroids, back then.

I see him as a good man, and I wish him well.
posted by jamjam at 12:30 PM on April 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

He would have been wiser to hide a little motor in his bat.

Sosa tried both. It didn't end well.
posted by Etrigan at 12:32 PM on April 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

Sosa... probably has some issues.
posted by maryr at 12:43 PM on April 19, 2016

Sounds like Palmiero doesn't really accept yet that he screwed up. He may have made that statement Lyme Drop quotes above, but it feels very pro-forma: he took something, whether 'vitamin shots' or steroids, and seems to feel that he should now get a pass. Why? Because "baseball was my life, and I deserve the Hall of Fame!" or something like that? Because he had Bud Selig and George Bush's phone numbers?

Sorry, but no. I'm sorry it hurts his little ego that people booed him, but he was an adult who knew exactly what he was doing..... 'if you can't do the time, don't do the crime'.
posted by easily confused at 12:55 PM on April 19, 2016

Oh, geez, the comments on that article. (Yeah, yeah...) "Hall of Famer in my book!!!! As is Bonds, McGwire, Clemens, Sosa, Pettite, ARod...EVERYONE knew what was going on and didn't care at the time, he'll, Steroids saved baseball thru McGwire and Sosa! Bunch of hypocrites if your mad about it now!!!" 223 likes.

Part of me doesn't actually mind so much with baseball, which seems like it takes a bit more skill than simply doping to go faster and stronger, as in cycling. I know that's a vast oversimplification of things, but at least it seems like it's POSSIBLE to compete in baseball without pharmaceutical help, which is a laughable idea in cycling.

But damn, what a bunch of lying assholes.

(Either way, I still think baseball is boring.)
posted by St. Hubbins at 1:10 PM on April 19, 2016

"I take full responsibility, accountability for my mistake . . . I don't blame anybody but myself. I should have known better and I should have trusted no one."
That's duplicitous on his part. Since he still denies ever having knowingly or intentionally taking steroids, the "mistake" he's referring to is having "trusted" Miguel Tejada to inject him with Vitamin B-12. By issuing a statement where he "takes full responsibility," he's attempting to mollify those who are convinced that he did cheat, hoping that they will hear remorse and forgive him for the transgression that he's not actually admitting making.

There's not a lot of responsibility to accept when you're accusing your teammate of willfully sabotaging your career.

All that said, I still doubt that he ever abused steroids. All of the other known steroid abusers, from Sosa to Canseco to McGwire, looked like the Michelin Man, they were so inflated. By comparison, from the beginning of his career to the end, Palmeiro's physique was unchanged. What would the point of taking steroids be if he didn't bulk up?

Finally, to really muddy the waters, Palmeiro was definitely not above taking substances to gain an edge. He abused amphetamines before MLB banned them.
posted by LightStruk at 1:57 PM on April 19, 2016

What would the point of taking steroids be if he didn't bulk up?

One of the key aspects of steroid consumption is that they can accelerate recovery times. Baseball, being a grueling sport with few days off this would be an advantage even if he didn't use the juice to gain mass.
posted by srboisvert at 3:50 PM on April 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

I know it's not his fault, but I still it hold it against the guy for winning a gold glove in '99 after he was a DH for 128 games.
posted by thecjm at 8:05 PM on April 19, 2016

This guy had one of the sweetest swings in all of baseball

Nah, that was Harold Baines. /former Os nerd
posted by TwoStride at 5:27 AM on April 20, 2016

Jamjam, viagra may speed up reaction times, but I'm not sure it's going to help with baserunning.
posted by Cassettevetes at 7:14 AM on April 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

I don't know... might distract the fielders.
posted by Etrigan at 7:32 AM on April 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

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