Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – If you’re going to pursue this from a naturalist point of view, is the sports-going, ESPN-digesting public going to be okay with baseball players that can’t hit the kind of homeruns that you can hit today, that can’t have — you know what’s funny about this, or what’s interesting to me is that records like DiMaggio’s hitting streak, for example. We don’t know, we can probably guess, though, that Joe DiMaggio back in ’58 or ’57 when he had that hitting streak, that DiMaggio was probably not on an alphabet soup drug. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Shawn, you’re first. How are you doing?
Caller Shawn: Hi, Mike, how you doing today?
Mike: Good, thank you.
Caller Shawn: I can comment pretty well on the performance-enhancing drug issue. I’m a physician but I’m very involved in athletics. Mike, you hit it on the head. These guys have been on this stuff for years, years upon years, and more particularly there’s a huge industry now in medicine, more particularly sports medicine, for designer steroids. In other words, how do you come up with a pharmacological process to always beat the drug test? These guys, they’re all on this stuff, whether it’s tren, which is a new thing right now, or transdermal tren, which is a very used steroid, or short-acting testosterone. In other words, they inject themselves and the half-life is maybe 24 to 48 hours and it’s non-detectable. They take these injections before their workouts. Or they’ll take transdermal steroids or steroids that were initially meant for cattle. They’re all on this stuff. These guys are 240, 250 hitting each other with remarkable amounts of strength. This stuff is so prevalent. I could tell you information, and quite frankly you probably wouldn’t be shocked, but it’s incredible.
Mike: You can look at the size and build of your average NFL player today, especially the guys that have to be really fast and strong like linebackers, you can just look at their build and stature today compared to the beer belly build and stature of the Dick Butkus era or going back a little further to get a good physical side-by-side comparison and go: Those guys are about twice as big as the 1960s and ‘70s and early ‘80s linebackers were. What’s going on here?
Caller Shawn: In the ‘70s and ‘80s, they all used. They were using dianabol, which is an oral steroid, pretty strong but not nearly as strong — if you look at the ratio of steroids, these steroids are about 100:1 as strong compared to the dianabol or d-bol they were using in the ‘70s and ‘80s, but they were using it in the ‘70s and ‘80s. They were all using methyltestosterone as well. They were all on this stuff. It’s remarkable how people nowadays try to deny extreme use of anabolic steroids. I know two or three NFL players that take one gram of testosterone a week. Normal testosterone replacement dose would be 200 or 250 milligrams a week. These guys are taking one gram a week. You may want to read about this. There’s a relatively new steroid out there for about ten years called trenbolone acetate or trenbolone enanthate. There are new formulations now which you can beat testing. That’s what all these new baseball players are on. They’re all going to get busted in three to four years if the MLB and NFL chooses to test for it. To me it’s sort of an asinine process because it’s always going to be behind the horse. I agree with you, legalize this stuff. They’re all on it, every single one of them is on it.
Mike: So legalize it, normalize it and make it so that we know you’re using or we know this particular substance that this particular player is on may enhance this or that or the other. This also gives full disclosure. Andrew, I want you to jump in here. Doesn’t this give full disclosure when you’re getting ready to trade for someone? Wouldn’t you want to know what they were on or what they had been on? That would have a lot to do with their longevity, wouldn’t it…
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AG: Yeah, but the argument is always made, if the professional athletes are going to do it, what’s going to stop the collegiate athletes and then the high school athletes from using? Five years ago it was creatine. We can’t have college athletes using creatine because then we can’t have high schoolers use it because they don’t know how to properly hydrate themselves. It just becomes a slippery slope in terms of where does the end use of these performance-enhancing drugs, where does it stop, particularly when you have 16-, 15-, 14-year-olds now going to seven-on-seven camps, five-star basketball camps? They’re committing to college programs in ninth grade or whatever.
Caller Shawn: Andrew, that’s a very good point. Let me throw this back at you. What has caused more deaths, taking testosterone or taking aspirin? That’s where you can consider performance-enhancing drugs for life. What has caused more death, aspirin or testosterone?
Caller Shawn: Absolutely.
AG: I would use TRT or PEDs if I could get my hands on them without a doubt. I am under no illusions to what I would or wouldn’t do. If I could take a drug that would somehow boost my income potential within radio, I would take that in a heartbeat. I don’t blame these players whatsoever. I just know that the devil’s argument is if you take this drug and you’re a professional athlete and you’re on TV three nights out of the week, is my 16-year-old kid going to try to do the same thing and not have the medical knowledge or opportunity to do the necessary research into said drug, just to take something haphazardly?
Caller Shawn: Andrew, what about caffeine? Caffeine is used very predominantly by adults in the morning, and college students. The most amount of documented deaths, on the football field at least, in high school students, are people dying of heart arrhythmias from consuming caffeine to get a high. You can talk about everyday drug stuff and document deaths. I understand your point, but you’ve got to be consistent in the argument.
AG: I don’t disagree. There was actually a Washington Post article last week about how because greenies were used to be used in Major League Baseball all the time to get players up for the 162-game schedule, and those have been outlawed, that the amount of players just pounding these Red Bulls or Monsters or Rockstars —
Mike: What the hell is a greenie, like a green molly?
AG: I guess they were just like amphetamine pills, like uppers.
Mike: Shawn, we used to call these green mollies and black mollies back in the day.
Caller Shawn: They were actually taking phentermine, which is actually used for weight loss. I have to go but I’ll leave you with one thought. Do you know what one of the highest users of testosterone now is? You wouldn’t believe it. It’s actually in models, believe it or not, there is tons of hormone use now in the modeling agency with females. I have to go to the hospital, but excellent show. I listen to you every morning.
Mike: Shawn, thank you very much. I’m on PEDs right now. It’s called Folgers in your cup. I’m so addicted to it, Andrew, and you know I don’t work at XM without getting my coffee every morning. I’m so addicted to it that I had to buy myself an espresso machine so that I could dunk an extra ounce or two of heavy, heavy caffeinated espresso into the boilerplate community coffee that I use. It is actually called community coffee here in Louisiana. I agree with you. [mocking] “Mike, if there was some performance-enhancing substance you could take that would increase your income in the radio industry, would you take it?”
Let’s approach this from a conservative point of view and look at this through the lens of naturalism. If you’re going to compare the athlete of today to the athlete of yesteryear, then based on what Dr. Shawn just told us, and based on what we’re learning about baseball players, that comparison is unfair unless you’re going to move the homerun walls back 20 feet or 30 feet or whatever would necessitate that they would not be able to reach it with the ball. If you’re going to move the pitcher’s mound back ten feet so that you can make it so that they couldn’t get a fastball to the plate at 180 miles an hour. I think the comparison — and maybe there ought to be an asterisk in the record book — the comparison between the athlete of old before all this began and the athlete of today, I just think it’s ridiculous. You’re not comparing the same thing. You’re comparing people that had prowess and God-given talents and skills and used them and didn’t have the advantage of both the technology and of pharmaceuticals they have today. Let’s just get that one out in the open.
If you’re going to pursue this from a naturalist point of view, is the sports-going, ESPN-digesting public going to be okay with baseball players that can’t hit the kind of homeruns that you can hit today, that can’t have — you know what’s funny about this, or what’s interesting to me is that records like DiMaggio’s hitting streak, for example. We don’t know, we can probably guess, though, that Joe DiMaggio back in ’58 or ’57 when he had that hitting streak, that DiMaggio was probably not on an alphabet soup drug.
Mike: He actually was just a pretty good baseball player. Ted Williams, the last major leaguer to bat .400, who has even come close to the .400 mark? Did somebody bat .394 a couple years ago?
AG: Tony Gwynn has come close mid-‘90s, late ‘90s when he was playing for the Padres.
Mike: Didn’t he bat something like .388 or .392, something like that? I know he was flirting with it for a little while.
AG: Yeah, he got up there.
Mike: He got up there, but he couldn’t actually break the record. [mocking] “Mike, why do you bring that up?” I guess the point is, as the batters become stronger, so do the pitchers, and so do the fielders. You’re not really moving any particular position goalpost if everyone is doing it. You either ought to have, again, from a naturalist point of view and have full disclosure — as I said, this has an awful lot to do with honesty in trading and what have you. Of course, we are talking professional athletes here. See my conversation yesterday about Phil Mickelson. I don’t know how much honesty there is to go around.
You ought to either have a situation where there is blanket acknowledgement or unanimous acknowledgement and acceptance that we’ve done all the steroids, we’ve had all the seasons, all the attempts at records, all the fiscal and financial accoutrement that went along with all this. It wasn’t all that. It resulted in more debilitating injuries. That’s the other thing, there are more guys that are now crippled and crippled for life in various limbs and things they can’t do than there ever were before. We tried that.
What we ought to do is you’re only as good as you’re oath. I suspect they probably have to take something like this but there’s a wink and a nod going: We know you’re going to sign the oath, but we also know you’re going to cheat. There either ought to be a blanket ban on all of it — just enforce it by physical evidence on the field. Everyone can see that you’re cheating, dude. We know that you’re a cheater. The players can call these clowns out. You’re a freaking cheater. You’re on the dope, simple as that. Honest, virtuous man calling dishonest, non-virtuous man out. You’re on the dope. You signed the oath. You’re a loser. They ought to freaking whack you. Then maybe Team X says: Hey, we’ll take you. To me that would be one way to go. The other way to go would be to have unanimous consent that everyone is going to do it and you’re just going to turn in what you’re doing.
Andrew, you’re also very familiar with racing. You like the races, as do I. My family has been involved in the racehorse business since the 1970s. I still like going to the track. I used to have a trainer’s license in three states. I know just a little bit about this. When you look in the racing form or the program at Pimlico or Churchill Downs or whatever, there are a couple things you can learn about a horse. You can learn whether or not they’re on Lasix, can’t you?
AG: On the shake, yeah.
Mike: You’ve got to disclose that. You can learn whether or not they’re on what is known in the racehorse business as bute or phenylbutazone. You call it ibuprofen. The equine version of it is phenylbutazone. You can learn that. I think there are a couple of other things that horses can now be legally on and tested for. The same thing can be said of thoroughbred racing. You can’t win a parimutuel race in any state that I know of without your horse having to take what’s called a piss test. They test the first three or four in some states. If you win or come second or third, you go to, they call it the piss barn. Of course, it’s the state medical testing facility, but trainers and people on the backstretch call it the piss barn. You go in there, walk your horse. You give him a lot of water after the race until he or she’s got to go. Then they collect it in the bag, seal it up, dip it in liquid nitrogen, freeze it and send it off to a state testing facility. They’ll find out whether or not you’re doping or not. We know that there are thoroughbred racehorse records that still stand to this day that were set back in the 1960s and ‘70s. Secretariat has a couple of them. I don’t know if there’s that kind of doping going on in thoroughbred racing. My brother, who’s still a trainer, tells me that there are rumors that it is but that it’s not widespread.
Don’t tell me it can’t be dealt with and you can’t have disclosure. This, to me, would go back to if you have a society and a civilization of people that actually value and prize honesty and maybe truth and goodness. You could use my choice A. Since we don’t and we’re rotten individuals and Western civilization is crumbling all around us, we should probably just use choice B, which is just a little more truthful but at least you have some disclosure.
AG: You mentioned the conservative view on how you could approach PEDs. Would the libertarian view be different? What would be different in the libertarian view on it?
Mike: I think the libertarian view would say, [mocking] “Anything goes. It’s your body. It’s a free market for sports. You can do anything you want to.” So there would be no restrictions and no restraints. Maybe there shouldn’t be any rules either. Maybe I shouldn’t have any holding penalties. Maybe all sides should be counted, right? Maybe we should just have anarcho-capitalist football. How about that? He jumped offsides. So? Who are you to tell me whether I can jump offsides or not? I don’t know. I’m sure there are libertarians out there listening that would probably try and answer your question, or people that fancy themselves libertarians. The truth is, Andrew, I don’t even know what the libertarian point of view is anymore. It’s so confusing, I can’t tell who’s a libertarian, who’s libertine, who’s a conservative, who’s a neocon. I can tell you this: I can point out who’s honest and who’s not, or I have a pretty good idea, as do most of you.
End Mike Church Show Transcript