Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Barry Bonds is Unethical?

Over at the Hardball Times there is a well-written, albeit illogical, rationale regarding why teams did not sign Barry Bonds for the 2008 season. THT writer John Brattain has spent much of the season putting together a series of asserting that MLB has intentionally avoided Barry and done so wrongfully.

To start, I will reaffirm everyone that I am an official Barry Bond apologist. I always thought the needle-throwing incidents, while humorous, were inappropriate and appeared to align with jealousy and envy over anything else. That is, I simply do not feel that the chance that Bonds did steroids was worthy of the scrutiny that he received (keep in mind, this 'chance' has increased exponentially in the last 4 years, although it still is not confirmed with any legitimate evidence).

Barry Bonds is still a phenomenal ballplayer. If the court of public opinion had not already drawn up their verdict regarding Bonds' alleged steroid use, the 2007 season should have went a long way in guiding Bonds to innocence. I mean, how many 43 year old ballplayers put up a wOBA of .429? A non-park adjusted rate that would have been good for number six in all of Major League Baseball had Bonds qualified. Keep this fact in mind.

All that being said, in similar fashion to John Brattain, I do feel as though Bonds would have helped a number of teams in the 2008 season. His impending trial would not have affected how many games he played, at worst giving Bonds some much needed time off from the baseball world.

While there is a legitimate reason to believe that the fans of the teams Bonds could have helped would have been disappointed regarding the signing of Barry Bonds. But how many of them would have truly turned their backs on their favorite MLB franchise? How many of them wouldn't have come pouring in through the turnstiles in the midst of a postseason race in August and September? How many of them would have rejected the playoffs because of speculation?

If, of a teams fan base, more then five percent were truly against the Bonds signing so much so that they would bail from following the team, I would be surprised. While it may take some time to warm up to Barry, even in the worst of lights, his game would have created enough buzz to forget, at least temporarily, why people hated the best player of all time.

Back to the article at hand. Jack Marshall is labelled an 'ethicist', a questionable moniker if there ever was one. This, in my opinion, is the equivalent of the faux pas it would have been for a professional snowboarder to call himself a 'pro' a decade ago. This is like religions battling over who is going to be saved. This, is an interesting profession, and comically un-ethical.

Getting to the article, the author asks, "Are baseball commentators really so disconnected from the ethical imperatives of the game?" He mentions these 'imperatives' later, but they are a joke. He claims that these 'imperatives' are obvious due to one case, the Red Sox potentially avoiding the drafting of Clay Buccholz due to a high school incident. I don't think I need to remind everyone how that turned out. Yes, the Red Sox still drafted Clay and he has vaulted up the clubs prospect rankings.

Now I'm not a 'logicist', but has the author not heard of negotiation tactics? Is he also 100% certain that this is factual? Could this not simply been one of the 'cons'? Nope, not according to the author. It is an open and shut case in his opinion.

It's too bad jumping to conclusions is ethical.

The author also fails to properly report facts. "Can anyone imagine a pro football team hesitating for one second from drafting a promising prospect because of something like this?"

Yes, there is a penalty for teams drafting players with a 'history' if that player gets into trouble with his drafted team. There is also a strict personal conduct policy in the National Football League. What does baseball have?

The author asks another question, "Do they really not grasp what signing Barry Bonds, for any amount of money or no amount at all, would have meant?" To which he himself never really answers, maybe I can piece some sort of logic together.
"[S]igning Bonds in order to make the playoffs would have been a dubious and foolish deal for any team, even if one buys the questionable assumption that he would have played well enough to hold up his end of it."
'Questionable assumption'? Based on what? Yes, Barry would have been 44 years old in 2008, but is this author really trying tell me that it was likely that Bonds would fall off the map as a designated hitter? We would be talking a fairly substantial fall as well. That is, Bonds' non-park adjusted wOBA of .429 would need to plummet nearly 100 points in order for him to be worse then the league average designated hitter.

The author then points to the Mitchell Report as his evidence why teams were justified in avoiding Barry. We do recall that the major sources in the Mitchell Report were essentially drug dealers, right? Either way, as a lawyer and an ethicist I find it depressing that the author is: a) taking the opinion of a drug dealer, and b) acting upon Napoleon Law (guilty until proven innocent). How ethical is it to circumvent due process and figure that a person is guilty based on a tiny amount of evidence?

In case you thought it was hilarious that the author tried to suggest that Bonds wouldn't help a team, you might want to cover your eyes for this next doozey.
"Cynics may scoff, and Barry himself couldn’t care less, but baseball is the one professional sport that carries with it a duty to the American culture. Character counts in America, and baseball is bound by history, tradition and its role in legend and myth to make certain that character counts on its playing fields as well. Baseball players, as Bill James quite accurately stated, are paid to be heroes. The sport does not have the raw physical display of football, or the speed of basketball, or the simple-minded appeal of soccer. What it does have that no other professional sport even values very much is integrity, or at least an appreciation that integrity is important."
Carries the duty of American culture? I think the author means Melanophobia, right Houston?

Let's skip through the bulk of that quote as much of it comes off as ignorant and comical. But let's tough on 'integrity'. Is the author really trying to tell us that the baseball executives, journalists, and fans of the 90s truly thought steroid use was 'ethical'? There was no integrity at the height of the steroid era, there was a campaign to encourage hitters to take more steroids.

It has been well documented that teams shifted their focus towards weight training in light of the home run explosions. In Howard Bryant's Juicing the Game the author has multiple sources suggesting teams use to provide amphetamines for its players. Baseball has integrity? Since when?!?
"But the Mitchell Report, released a year ago, was a crystal-clear announcement that the sport was banishing its ethical ambiguity on the matter of performance-enhancing drugs."

Crystal clear? Taking the word of a man with a gun to his head is 'crystal clear'? I'm sorry, but I really cannot understand how one can make that conclusion. What the Mitchell Report did was name some names and force it down the public's throat. For a couple years prior to the Report, baseball had been attacking its steroid problem head on. Not a whole lot has changed since the Report, at least nothing that is 'crystal clear'.

"Cheating was not cool, and cheaters were not welcome. The conduct was officially inconsistent with the values and best interests of the game (as it had, in fact, always been), and the owners, players, teams and fans were hereby expected to heed that fact."

How is Bonds a 'cheat'? Did he break any rules? Did he do something out of the ordinary? Let's agree that he did PED's, was this against the rules of baseball? Were they throwing the book at Bonds' peers while Bonds invariably threw his teammates under the bus? What logic can one have to assert that Bonds 'cheated'? How would one define 'cheat' or 'to cheat' in order to conclude that Barry in fact did cheat?

The fact is, Bonds did not 'cheat', he simply was an amazing player would benefited from baseball turning a blind eye. This isn't like a student copying off of a peers test when the teacher isn't looking. This is like driving over the speed limit and then slowing down in areas where police officers typically park. This is like not properly counting your change at the grocery store not noticing that the cashier gave you an extra 50 cents.

According to the author,
"A team could employ one of the many mediocre, borderline or journeyman players whose names appeared in the Mitchell Report without making the implied statement that it was endorsing and rewarding a cheat."

Well, according to the author, it is because Bonds broke records. The author asserts that Bonds did so on the back of PEDs and PEDs alone. It would come as no surprise if the author believes Bonds was using in 2007, and probably still is today.
"[H]is career stood for the proposition that steroid use could turn a great player into a super-human juggernaut, shattering all previous limits; that they could allow players to improve dramatically when historically athletes began to decline; that the drugs could lengthen their careers, make the players become more valuable to their teams, and earn them millions more dollars than they would have earned otherwise—and they could get away with it."
A 'great' player? Lance Berkman is a 'great' player. Chipper Jones is a 'great' player. Barry Bonds was historical prior to any steroid allegations. He was historical prior to even becoming a feared home run hitter. Had Barry Bonds retired after the 1999 season he would have been a Hall of Fame no-brainer, and would have went down in history as one of the best hitters of all time.

What did the steroid use do? Honestly, we don't and won't ever know. In 2006 and 2007 Bonds was 42 and 43 years old. During these years, which are labeled as 'post-steroid', Bonds was still in the upper echelon of hitters in all of baseball. Wait?!? Players aren't supposed to do that sort of stuff, he must have been still using.

As we can see from Bonds' age 42 and 43 season, clearly his career would have been long no matter what. In fact, there is a legitimate argument to be made that steroids have shortened his career. I mean, isn't rapid degeneration of muscles, joints, etc one of the main reasons steroids aren't prescribed more frequently?

Also, isn't there a legitimate argument that steroids took money out of Bonds' pocket? Think about it. While Bonds was making a lot of money, how much more would he have made if there wasn't a Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, or juiced up pitchers?

The author then goes about an interesting scale called the Cognitive Dissonance Scale. In summary, this scale is a popularity index. For example, I love apples, but hate bananas. I find out apples are bananas and begin to like apples less, and bananas more.

What I don't see is how this relates to Barry Bonds.

The author is telling us that Mets and Jays fans (and other 'also ran' franchises) would feel better in October watching other teams in MLBs playoff then their favorite simply because of an accusation?

Let's put it this way, maybe I am in the minority, but October 2008 was half as enjoyable as October 2007 because the Indians were not in the post season. This, coming from an individual who simply loves baseball and doesn't spend an intense amount of time following a single team.

That said, there is very little the Indians could have done to get into the playoffs that would have pushed me to the brink of not cheering for them. Very little.
"I would not continue to follow or support the team if it embraced the warped ethics of Barry Bonds and the steroid apologists by signing him. I would, I am quite sure, actively dislike the team until a new regime took over, and it would probably never regain my previous level of loyalty or good will. Cognitive dissonance dictates that the team’s unavoidable decline on the value scale would also pull down others associated closely with it, such as its players, management, and major league baseball itself."
This is interesting. The author discussed the Clay Buchholz issue and seemingly had no issue with that. The Red Sox employed David Wells recently, and we all know how little Wells stands up for. What about the team acquiring Paul Byrd for the playoff run? I'm sure there are many other scenarios where players have had questionable ethical considerations, so why is Barry any different? Why would Bonds affect this authors fan-ship?

This is sounding more of personal vengeance then logic. Logic, would suggest that you stand up for what is wrong no matter what. Personal Vengeance is taking a stance when it suits you. One is ethical, the other is wishy-washy.
"Sure: some factors could raise a player’s score: cooperating with Mitchell (Giambi), apologizing (Pettite), minimal use (Paul Byrd), not being good or healthy enough to matter (lots of guys). But Bonds had many factors that deepened his negative score: greed, warping the records, encouraging other players to use by his success, arrogance, embarrassing the sport through his prominence, and more."
Greed? How was Barry greedy?

Warping the records? The ones he would have already 'warped'?

Encouraging other players to use by his success? Right, because Barry was at the forefront of steroid chemistry. Bonds was the first one to stick a needle in his backside. Bonds was only successful through the addition of drugs.

Arrogance? Oh, because Bonds doesn't like the media.

Embarrassing the sport through his prominence? The author is talking about the prominence which Bonds did not create himself.

Is it ethical to have a pre-conceived notion prior to writing a piece of this sort? The author asserts that a team adding Bonds would be making a 'questionable assumption' that Barry would add offensively, yet has nothing to back this up (ie his previous season in the Majors which was among the best in all of baseball).

This is a maddening article writen by a non-baseball mind about a non-baseball subject. It is depressing that such a legitimate site as the Hardball Times would post such a piece of garbage.

People are welcome to have their opinions, but have something to back it up. Has some logic and reason. Don't step into the pool when it is the thing everyone else is doing (ie hating Bonds and steroids) and step out when the story is under the radar (ie Paul Byrd and steroids). Be a man! go all in, or don't go at all!


Jack Marshall said...'s always fun to watch someone shout his ignorance to the heavens.

OK---here's what makes me an ethicist 1)It's my fulltime profession, and has been for 9 years...and my family is not starving to death 2) 26 bar associations, 18 other professional associations, 12 Fortune 500 companies, several national and local non-profits and charities, 9 major national law firms, the U.S. government, USAID and the Government of Mongolia pay me to run ethics trainings for their employees, develop materials, and consult on how to build an ethical culture. How did I end up in this profession? Oh, a major in leadership and character studies at Harvard, a JD at Georgetown law with a concentration in criminal law, work as a local prosecutor, then an executive of numerous organizations where I developed ethics standards. Then I developed an experise in the Federal Sentencing Guidelines and the Law profession's rules of professional conduct, a reputation for actually fostering better ethical conduct, an an audience for my ethics commentary on my website, "The Ethics Scoreboard." This led to regular appearances on ethics topics for National Public Radio, and local and national news channels. And I co-authored a book covering ethical issues with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Ed Larson. Oh---did I fail to mention that I'm an adjunct professor of ethics at American University? See, normally I don't trot out my credentials. Credential don't make one right. But anyone who knew squat about ethics would have been able to tell that I was applying basic ethical principles. Not you!

Oh...and it's "logician," not "logicist."

Now that that's cleared up, I'll come back later and discuss the rest of the weak and invalid arguments in your post. There are even some good ones buried in there too.

Jack Marshall said...

And here's the first rebuttal, and an easy one it is: How many 44-year old players can even play the next season, much less play as well as the year before? OK, how about 44 year old players who have bad knees and who haven't seen live pitching in 9 months or more? You really think that it isn't highly speculative to assume Bonds could do what virtually no other player has ever done: play at a high level, in a new league, in a new role, at 44, having missed half a season? That's hilarious. It would have been remarkable, to say the least. One cannot assume the remarkable. Even a non-"logicist" should be able to figure that out.

Jack Marshall said...

Silly argument #2: the old, "innocent until proven guilty" misconception. As a lawyer and an ethicist, I know the difference between legal standards, ethics and common've got them mixed up. O.J. Simpson not only wasn't proven guily in a court--he was declared NOT guilty. Does that mean Hertz is conspiring against him by not hiring him for aother set of commercials? That I would be unreasonable to caution my daughter not to date him? NO! Why? Because we, quite reasonably, know he's a killer---just like we know Barry's a cheat, a liar and a felon. Bonds has to be proven guilty in a court to send him to jail. But it is completely reasonable and fair for employers, acquaintances and the public to make conclusions and act on those conclusions based on common sense anlayis of the facts as we know them...just as it is with O.J. And the facts as we know them make it extremely unlikely that Bonds isn't a steroid abuser.

You are welcome to conclude otherwise, though it makes you look naive and dim. But the fact that he hasn't been "found guilty" in court simply states the burden of proof IN COURT, before teh state can put him behind bars. Out of court, the burden is with Bonds' defender who ia arguing against the obvious implications of the facts...Greg Anderson, Anderson's contempt of court, Balco, the physicial transformation, the amazing late career improvement, "Game of Shadows," the leaked grand jury testimony, and so on. And mouthing an inapplicable legal standard doesn't do the job.

Brandon Heikoop said...

Jack, Really?

First of all my jab at your profession was clearly a joke, ie the reference to 'pro' snowboarders. It's like an oxy-moron. Settle down.

Second, 'logicist' was again, another jab and a joke. Although I find it funny that an esthetician is one who simply makes things 'look' better.

Third, how many 42 year olds on bad knees came back to improve on their age 42 season for their age 43 season? Can you count them on one hand? So to assume that Bonds would have sucked in 2008 (as you did) is to assume that what happened in 2007 and 2006 were flukes. It would assume that he suddenly would lose his amazing pitch recognition skills. It is to assume that the wear and tear of standing on a bad knee for an hour or so a night would have no affect on him.

Lastly, in regards to Bonds' guilty or not guilty I really don't care. I simply like to see due process take it's course. It is sad that one who teaches ethics (the study of right and wrong) has decided he is above the law of the land and can proclaim who is innocent and guilty based on the word of others.

Let's just throw the whole 'who am I to judge' out the window, right?

By the way, many qualified individuals do not know what they are talking about when they stray from their profession to another. Your 'opinions' on Bonds are more based on what you have heard then what you KNOW.

Jack Marshall said...

Well, I could have written that response down in advance, Carnak-style, and would have had it almost exactly right. You see, these are standard arguments of the ethically, and, in some cases, baseball-clueless. I don't believe for a second that your insinuations that I was a fake ethicist were a began belittling my analysis by making the argument personal---dirty pool. Indeed, unethical. The argument that Bonds was historically good at 42 and 43 and this is certain (if it isn't certain, then you can't argue with "dubious" as you did) to continue at 44 assumes away the aging process. Teams regularly do not bring back players who did well enough the previous season, because of advancing age and the assumption of decline.

Your record at hitting every ethics analysis fallacy in the book is superb, however: "who am I to judge?" is a classic, and essentially assumes away all ethical standards. Anyone and everyone should be able and willing to recognize cheating and judge it wrong. Those who can't and don't let the Barry Bondses of the world run amuck.

The bottom line is that once the Mitchell Report came out, I predicted in point and elsewhere that nobody would sign him, regradless of cost or need, in 2008, because the Report, unfair and incomplete as it was, had made an official statement that PED use was taboo, and users who wouldn't admit their sins, apologize, pronounce themselves repentent cheaters and accept full responsibility were outcasts, because baseball needed to re-assert its integrity. And that's what happened. The only alternative explanations those who resist attributing baseball decisions to ethical and cultural factors can muster is 1) the teams were stupid or 2) it was a conspiracy.

Neither are logical, reasonable or compelling.

Myk said...

This is funny...

" I don't believe for a second that your insinuations that I was a fake ethicist were a began belittling my analysis by making the argument personal---dirty pool."

- Ya Brandon...its almost as if you started your column by saying something like this:

I had been gleefully anticipating the 2008 baseball season for one additional reason than the usual ones: no more Barry Bonds. For an ethicist, the astounding volume of invalid rationalizations put forth to excuse, tolerate, or lionize Bonds during his last few years was a constant irritant, too often requiring website essays and calls to blathering idiots (“Hello, Rob Dibble!”) to try to keep the ethical rot from becoming too entrenched. With Barry finally gone, I foolishly assumed that I would be annoyed no more.


Teams regularly do not bring back players who did well enough the previous season, because of advancing age and the assumption of decline.

- Ummm, as pointed out Bonds was the 6th best player (if qualified) in the league at 43. This is a wee bit better than "good enough"


"The bottom line is that once the Mitchell Report came out, I predicted in point and elsewhere that nobody would sign him, regradless of cost or need, in 2008, because the Report, unfair and incomplete as it was, had made an official statement that PED use was taboo, and users who wouldn't admit their sins, apologize, pronounce themselves repentent cheaters and accept full responsibility were outcasts, because baseball needed to re-assert its integrity. And that's what happened. The only alternative explanations those who resist attributing baseball decisions to ethical and cultural factors can muster is 1) the teams were stupid or 2) it was a conspiracy."

- I'm still not understanding from an ethics stand point why Barry Bonds is the only player that was to be black balled by industry trying to prove their integrity. You tried to use Roger Clemens, but its pointless cause he never tried or made an attempt to come back.

However, you do admit that EVERY other steroid abuser has been welcomed back to the MLB after a suspension. The only ones who didn't come back were ones that weren't good enough to play in the MLB anymore.

How do you prove your ethical integrity by only holding these standards towards one player? Wouldn't that be like only putting OJ in prison for life...but letting every other murder go??

Basically, I think everyone who found your article laughable would agree that if you didn't come out looking like such a Barry Bonds hater you'd have at least looked somewhat credible...unfortnately you didn't.

Brandon Heikoop said...

"I predicted in point and elsewhere that nobody would sign him..."

There are hundreds of people that predicted that. In fact, the majority of people predicted said outcome. Congratulations! Here's your cookie!

Take a poll of the smartest minds in baseball and each one of them will be left scratching their heads how NO TEAM offered Bonds a contract based on what he did in 2006 and 2007. Had baseball not decided to make Barry a scapegoat, he certainly would have played for a number of teams in 2008.

But you predicted it. However, I ascertain that your baseball predictions are as off as your idea that Bonds would not have helped a team in 2008. Making a comment like that makes you look as though you are judging the issue with a bias. Not good!

Brandon Heikoop said...


Thanks. Spot on!

Marshall is a baseball 'fan' not an analyst.

The reason why this article struck a chord with me was because it was found on a site dedicated to the analysis of baseball. As an individual commented over at BBTF, the only good part of this article was that it is bound to spark a response from John Brattain, one of baseball's most intelligent writers.

Had this article showed up at FOXSports or ESPN or some other 'fan boy' website, I wouldn't have cared-in fact, I hardly would have noticed as those site are predominantly filled with this sort of biased garbage.

However, apparently (and I apologize to ethicist's the world over) in ethics you don't ask questions. Apparently in ethics everything is black and white and obvious. What is wrong in this immediate moment is wrong today, yesterday, and forever. No questions asked, no analysis needed.

Brandon Heikoop said...

"...because the Report, unfair and incomplete as it was, had made an official statement that PED use was taboo, and users who wouldn't admit their sins, apologize, pronounce themselves repentent cheaters and accept full responsibility were outcasts."

Jack, would you feel interested in entertaining me with a list of ballplayers from the Report that were eliminated from baseball who did not apologize for their 'wrong doings'?

My guess is that you were either too lazy, or discovered that there was not a relationship between 'apologizing' (or otherwise) for doing 'roids and being shunned from the game. Otherwise, why not use that in your article?

I mean, think about it, you used the Pacman argument (shot down - see Elijah Dukes) as well as the Buccholz argument (shot down - see he was still drafted), but why didn't you use other names of players who refused to admit doing roids and were eventually removed from the game? Seems a little fishy to me, if it is not as obvious as you claim.

That is, one could claim that the best hitters in baseball are those who hit the most home runs. However, when listing off the players they ignore Ryan Howard and Adam Dunn, you know, because they don't fit the argument. Or the opposite claim, 'because of Howard and Dunn, the best hitters are slap hitters'. You would again run into all the Juan Pierre's and Luis Castillo's of baseball.

By refraining to mention those 'outliers', your point is made, although wrongfully.

The same can be said about your argument about the ethics of baseball front offices. I bet if you polled general managers league wide, 'what is more important, a good club house, or winning?' there would be very few that choose the earlier over the later.

Or do you not agree?

Jack Marshall said...

How is any of that relevant to the discussion at hand? I have no idea, frankly, if every one of the players who resurfaced after the Mitchell report apologized or admitted their use. Neither do you: some may have done so privately, to the teams involved. The degree of steroid use described in the report is very variable, with lots of qualifiers. Baseball had union issues: it couldn't just dump players under contract. I'll concede that the section you quote, not from the article, was an over-statement, and careless on my part. But it doesn't change Bonds' situation one bit. Signing Brendan Donnelly to try to hang on for another season in no way glamorizes,justifies, or embraces steroid use. Hiring Bonds does. Why is that so hard for you?

Comparing Elijah Dukes---whose baseball career is one arrest away from ending and who is being traded around like a baseball card, to Pacman Jones is absurd. Are you really, really contending that baseball has employed anything like the number of crimminals, thugs and crooks that the NFL does routinely? So the details of my Clay Buchholtz example were what? If he's what baseball regards as a "bad guy," it's pretty impressive. That offense would probably not stop him from getting a law license.

Barry Bonds is U-N-I-Q-U-E in the steroid era, get it? Here's what I did NOT say: I did not say that if Bonds was still in his prime, with all the same PED baggage, some team wouldn't hire him, as bad as it would be for baseball. Sad to say, I'm pretty sure some team would...I'm also sure some teams would be revolted at the thought, just as some teams won't offer Manny Ramirez a contract now. And I'm pretty sure that a 44-tear-old Bonds without the steroid issues would have been hired by someone last season, though many teams would have still found him to be a bad gamble. If there had been no Mitchell Report and all else was the same, would some team have hired Bonds last season? Again, probably, I'm sorry to say.

But that's not what I was writing about! The cultural, ethical issues were the tipping point in Bonds' ACTUAL situation, symbolized by the Mitchell Report. I predicted it when the report came out, I heard ESPN and XM types all season swear that some team would hire Bonds, I told them they were wrong and why---and---surprise!---nobody hired Bonds! The best you can come up as the explanation is a conspiracy theory. Cognitive Dissonance, which I described fairly and clearly, accurately described what happened and provides a tool for analysis. You and others read a discussion of baseball culture and took it to mean "a good club house."


If you are typical, I wildly over-estimated the sophistication of the audience. For that, I am sorry.

Brandon Heikoop said...

While the average fan probably has no clue who Donnelly is, he was still hired despite a known user. In fact, Donnelly, not Bonds, is the face of steroids. Donnelly is the prototypical ballplayer who would be working at a grocery store if not for PEDs. Donnelly, not Bonds, showed other players, 'if I do this, I can make some money'.

RE: Dukes

Really? According to what? And he's being traded around like a baseball card? You mean the fact that he has been on two teams throughout his big league career?

I'm not suggesting that baseball employs the same number of criminals, but when was the last time I criminal got booted out of baseball for a year? The number lies between never and it hasn't happened.

RE: Buchholz

I don't think anyone would tab him as a player that is a 'bad guy'. I don't know enough about him, nor do I really care in a players personal conduct. That being said, his reputation as a highschooler probably had less to do with him being drafted with the 21st pick in the draft then did a $1M signing bonus demand. I'd have to check back, but unless he was one of the top 4 or 5 prospects entering the draft, he wasn't really deserving of it for that time and was asking for above slot money. It is no surprise that many small market teams would pass on him.

RE: Cognitive Dissonance

Can you explain why the Giants were one of the best drawing teams in baseball while having Bonds post Game of Shadows? If you are correct with CD, then the attendance figures when Bonds was playing, say the Rockies, would be the same as when the Nationals were playing the Rockies.

But the facts show you are incorrect. You have a nice theory, and CD may be relevant at times (ie the steroid issue altogether), but there is nothing to support your theory that Bonds would be bad for a teams PR. NOTHING!

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