37 thoughts on “Schuerholz has suspected Braves of steroids use”

  1. How about “everyone who batted at least 197 times for the 2003 Braves, with the possible exception of Robert Fick and Andruw Jones”?

  2. MLB created the mud, and has profited mightily from it. Since GMs are now openly saying they suspected some of their own players, I think we have the right to speculate. They do have a good deal of my money, after all, no?

    Plus, the topic sort of invites speculation…

  3. Klesko may not have been on steroids, just prescription drugs. I had dinner with him in 1994 and he was taking painkillers for his back and washing them down with double bourbons. He was a big guy then with a bad back and I suspect his recent lack of power has more to do with that than roids.

    He’s always been a big strapping guy, but never had bulging muscles like Giambi or Bonds, so I would be surprised.

    Boone may be one of the guys. Think about the guys with very short-term stays in Atlanta or home-grown talent that got traded away unexpectedly (Jermaine Dye anyone?).

  4. My first reaction was Klesko, but I bet JS was referring to Sheff. It would make sense since he has been exposed to the magic cream.

    Speculation is legit.

  5. Julio has been accused of using steroids.

    I recall Chipper admitted trying them early in his career, but didn’t like it.

    Sheff admitted using “the cream” while with the Braves.

    I’m going to be critical here of JS. Name names or shut up. Some innocent player is going to suffer for comments like this.

  6. Based on injuries, personality, and quick fadiing, how about these ex-braves as candidates: Jose Oliva, Mark Whiten, Rudy Seanz, John Hudek, & Terrel Wade.

  7. Julio responded to steroid allegations: “I am on the juice… the juice of Jesus Christ.” Gotta love that.

  8. Just because I wish he was not on the team I will say Brian Jordan. That is why he has been injured so much. He took steroids to have the only halfway decent seasons of his career and they took a toll on his body. And Lemke too. Didn’t he have one 20 home season in the minors and never again. Must be the roids.

  9. At least we finally have an explanation for the disasterous Joyner-Sanders-Veras trade.

  10. Julio on steroids…I got a huge laugh outta that when he was first mentioned by someone. What a joke. No one who took steroids could have a body in the shape his is at his age. It would have fell apart years ago. Legitate speculation is one thing, but accusing anyone who has done anything at extraordinary is counter productive.

  11. I’d say Scheurholz can’t name names without test-positive proof. To do so would be reckless on his part. Obviously, those guys are no longer here, so they’re not his problem.

    I would say yes on Terrel Wade. He’s gotta be the most pshychotic pitcher I’ve seen tis side of John Rocker. Seanez maybe, but he wasn’t some firey guy. Speaking of Rocker, I would say yes on also.

  12. Of all those mentioned, Javy is the one I would least like to find out actually did it. I remember before the 2003 season he talked about a new flexibility training regimen he was doing, and his swing that year did look improved — very loose arms and shoulders, the prettiest right-handed swing in the game. Seems like packing on muscle would decrease flexibility while increasing strength, so I don’t know. That’s the shame of all this, of course — we might never know just what it was we were watching. I don’t think many people much care about the crime aspect — it’s the perception of an uneven playing field that offends.

  13. Never thought I’d see “genteel” and Rocker mentioned in the same sentence together.

  14. Hey Ryan, if all JS is saying is that he confronted a player that he suspected as using steroids — as opposed to making the assertion that “so-and-so used steroids” — I don’t think he needs to worry about legal trouble. So long as the confrontations actually took place, truth is a defense in any libel or slander complaint. Of course, I could be wrong. Any lawyers in the house?

  15. Yes, truth is a defense. In order to win a libel or slander suit you must demonstrate that statements made were 1) knowingly false 2) harmful to your reputation.

  16. No way will JS name names. Please note that the two players who’ve been mentioned by name by former officials of their respective teams include one man who is retired and profiting from the revelation, and another who is dead. If Schuerholz brings a new name into the discussion, that player may well rat out every current and former Brave that might also be involved.

    Just like that we would be labeled the worst offenders, not because it’s necessarily true, but because everyone will know the particulars. How willing do you think free agents will be to come work for a GM who would do that? And wouldn’t anyone named who is still a Brave try his best to get out of here ASAP? I think it’s good that Schuerholz said what he said, but to go any further would damage his ability to do his job going forward.

  17. speculation and suspection are the key words here . i’m sure he never saw an individual actually using steroids, so all the info was heresy. therefore he could not possibly name names,right? plus, it was years ago and they would have a hard time proving his accusations to be true. he doesnt want to be involved in a mess like that. in my opinion, i think it would be idiotic to say any names.js is smarter than that.

  18. Allen,

    I am a lawyer but not a libel lawyer. If JS was to publicize the fact that he thought so and so used steroids but he was wrong, that would be libelous because it’s an untruth that injured the guy’s reputation. The fact that the confrontation took place is irrelevant. I definitely think the player would have a valid lawsuit.

  19. Hey MWS, since you have bravely exposed yourself as a lawyer, can you tell me if this is right: doesn’t the plaintiff have to also prove malice in a libel action involving a public figure? I read somewhere that this is what Rafeal Palmerio is going to have to do, because he’s a public figure.

  20. JS said this morning on MLB on XM Satellite that he can’t police when he doesn’t have the authority, and that caused him a lot of frustration.

    In some cases , it’s obvious who used steroids (Canseco, Juan Gonzalez, etc), and GM’s are close enough to the players to know with some degree of certainty. What JS probably did was get rid of many of those players who ignored him. Others maybe got wise and cleaned themselves up.

    It’s funny how Canseco claimed Pudge used steroids. Do you think a professional athlete with the nickname Pudge could be on steroids? Maybe Big Macs with extra special sauce, but not steroids.

  21. Allen is right – but this is not limited to a public figure. According to precedent, a person such as Palmiero in this instance would have no case. According to New York Times v. Sullivan (1964), where Sullivan felt a magazine ad slandered him, malice must be proved. The simple fact that anyone (Canseco, for example) merely made a statement is not enough – as long as he believes it to be true. Basically, it would have to be proved that Canseco knew that Palmiero did not take steroids…Talk about the burden of proof…In the Sullivan case, the judge instructed that “mere negligence was not evidence of actual malice and would not justify an award of punitive damages.”

    Therefore, even if Canseco had no idea what he was talking about, malice would still have to be proved.

  22. Thanks Matt. So JS’s silence is probably for the reasons that Ryan or Sansho described, but not for fear of being sued. Well that subject is about spent. Anyone excited by Mondesi’s homer off a college pitcher yesterday?

  23. Matt, that is correct. That’s what I was getting at when I said a statement must be “knowingly false”.

  24. Allen,

    I disagree with Matt. First, I believe the standard is not malice but a malicious disregard for the truth. In other words, if you have no reason to believe something is true, but spread the story anyway, that would be reckless disregard.

    In Canseco’s case, with respect to McGuire, for example, he said that he actually injected him with steroids. This is either true or not; if it’s not true, Canseco can’t claim that it was a mistake.

    But you also have to remember that newspapers are most likely held to a different standard than individuals. NYT v. Sullivan was explicitly about a newspaper. I think courts are likely to let a newspaper get away with more because of the assumption (right or wrong)that it’s important to give newspapers free rein. I suspect that with Scheurholz, he wouldn’t get that break if he started voicing suspicions about particular people without any basis in evidence. And it’s different for a newspaper to say, we were told this story that so and so was taking steroids as opposed to JS saying, I thought the guy was taking steroids but had no independent evidence.

    Moreover, when you say he can’t be sued, that’s not true. He can be sued; Palmeiro might lose but he could certainly file and action and bring Canseco’s name through the mud. I would be real surprised if such a suit was dismissed before trial.

    All in all, I think JS would be pretty smart not to name any names. He MIGHT win but why would you take the chance.

  25. “newspapers are most likely held to a different standard than individuals”

    Both have first ammendment protections – one of the press, one of freedom of speech. If anything, newspapers are held to a more stringent standard, since they have such a greater impact on society.

    “I believe the standard is not malice but a malicious disregard for the truth.”

    A malicious disregard for the truth, by definition, is a deliberately harmful ignoring of the truth. Malice, in its most basic sense, is simply harmful intentions. That being said, is a “malicious disregard for the truth” not malice? I fail to see much of a difference between these two.

    You are correct to say that Canseco’s statement on McGwire, if false, would be a malicious disregard for the truth. Actually claiming that he injected McGwire brings the statement to an entirely different level of accountability – he moves from witness to participant. My example of Scheurholz is purely from a witness standpoint, and a malicious disregard for the truth would be impossible to prove in court. The same goes for Palmiero and Conseco.

  26. What about Jason Schmidt? His numbers are awfully super-down from previous years. Makes one wonder…

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