Seattle Times on the Monahan thing

DMZ · December 31, 2007 at 11:22 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Me, when the Shane Monahan “the 98-99 M’s were rife with steroids” story broke:

It’ll be interesting to see if there’s any further investigation of this — I don’t expect the local papers to go after the story, since they’re dependent on the team’s goodwill for coverage

Boy, was that dumb of me. The Times ran a Baker/Stone piece on Sunday. Featuring Raul Ibanez!

I just wanted to call myself out for being a dork.


31 Responses to “Seattle Times on the Monahan thing”

  1. The W on December 31st, 2007 12:10 pm

    Yeah, great, they talked to the two poster boys for the franchise over the past ten years.

    I particularly laughed when I read the part where Ibanez said that Monahan wouldn’t know
    because he was barely around, up for a cup of coffee.

    Monahan was at big league spring training for three seasons (’98, ’99 and ’00) and was on the
    team for the entire second half of the ’98 season — that’s a helluva lot more than “A cup of coffee”
    and that was more than enough time to know what was going on in the clubhouse. Ibanez acted like it was
    a guy who spent a few days in the clubhouse instead of a guy who spent over six months there, including
    his time during the three springs…

    Looking back I can see why Raul is pissed — after Glenallen Hill was dumped midway through the 1998 season,
    Monahan was the starting left-fielder during the second half over another young player — Raul Ibanez himself.

    Think Raul was more than a little pissed off at the time that a guy who hadn’t paid his dues (Monahan) was
    handed the starting job instead of him? Ibanez was shuttled between Seattle and Tacoma during ’96, ’97 and ’98.
    Monahan got 211 at bats with the M’s in ’98, while Raul batted just 98 times in the bigs that year…

  2. JI on December 31st, 2007 12:16 pm

    I always thought the Glennallen Hill DFA was hilarious. You can’t tell me that they couldn’t have gotten anything in return for him at the time.

    But yeah, Monahan was there for half a season, it seems whether intentional or not Ibanez has forgotten about his time there in 1998.

  3. Ben Ramm on December 31st, 2007 12:18 pm

    I’m with “The W,” Derek. Calling yourself a dork, Derek, on these grounds is premature. In fact, the article seemed to be almost a PR-piece. It’s exactly the sort of piece I’d expect a newspaper wanting to curry favor with the team would run. It’s a press release that doesn’t have the team’s fingerprints on it.

    The quotes were embarrassingly defensive.

    “This will be my 20th year in the major leagues, and I don’t even know what a steroid looks like,” he added. “If I have to start relying on those things, after so many years in the game, then it’s time to pack it in. That’s the way I look at things.”

    This whole story seems to be an unmitigated mess of barely-reliable rumors. I draw almost no conclusions whatsoever from any of this mess other than: we’ll never really have any reliable list of who’s naughty and nice.

  4. awolfgang on December 31st, 2007 12:25 pm

    I thought the Moyer comment about not knowing what steriods look like was stupid on his part. Unfortunately both Moyer’s and Ibanez’s responses sounded eerily similar to other players who then were found out to be users. I think we’ve already seen that HGH was way more prevalent and even the “nice guys” like Paul Byrd and Pettitte got caught up in it. So, while I hope that everyone is clean, I no longer can give people the benefit of the doubt.

  5. DMZ on December 31st, 2007 12:27 pm

    That’s all true, and I think Ibanez earned his next extension right there.

    I’d have loved to have heard Moyer say “…but I sure know what it looks like when people use them! Wow, let me tell you about back acne…”

  6. joser on December 31st, 2007 12:36 pm

    Though if Raul was upset that Monahan was getting “his” job, and Monahan was using, then you would expect Raul to be more negative than he is. That’s really the tragedy of PEDs — not that they distort the game, since that tends to be balanced out by use among the competing teams, but that they can enable the unworthy to advance ahead of the more naturally worthy, and thereby force use among those that don’t need or want them in a sort of descent-to-the-bottom arms race (or, perhaps more accurately, buttocks race).

    Of course, if you’re a “nice guy” you don’t throw other guys under the bus — the “face of the franchise” has two cheeks, and your job is to turn the other one — but it would be interesting to know how much Raul knew at the time. He says he didn’t see anyone using steroids, and never had them offered to him, but that’s not the same thing as saying it wasn’t going on (which, notably, he does acknowledge with respect to greenies). He claims Monahan wasn’t around enough to know what was going on, but presumably Raul “in the same boat” wouldn’t either. Raul can’t have it both ways: either they both had limited knowledge, in which case neither can refute the other, or they did know what was going on, in which case we have Monahan claiming it was widespread and Ibanez carefully talking about only himself without addressing what might have been common knowledge. I will credit Ibanez with not indulging in hearsay; particularly in the current environment, sticking to just what you saw and know for sure is the smartest and safest option.

  7. JI on December 31st, 2007 12:37 pm

    Nothing would be more entertaining than to see Raul implicated in a Mariner clubhouse PED ring.

  8. Matthew Carruth on December 31st, 2007 12:55 pm

    I think Ibanez earned his next extension right there.

    I’ve been dreading the day it comes, but also vocal that it totally is coming and probably before April ’08. 2Y/$22M sound about right to everyone?

  9. msb on December 31st, 2007 1:07 pm

    somehow I can see Monahan hanging with the Segui entourage while Raul was over on the other side of the room asking Edgar about hitting and going to chapel with Dan…. as RJ seethes about the clubhouse music 🙂

    I think I have to try to remember to tune in wednesday morning– Seth Everett hates, loathes and abominates Segui, and it might be fun to hear him toss him under the bus once more.

  10. joser on December 31st, 2007 1:16 pm

    OK, I think we’ve hit our quota on “under the bus” for this thread and I hereby apologize for having started it. Also, since we begin a new year tomorrow, can we resolve to absolutely ban the following phrases from our discussions: “threw up in my mouth a little” and “over/under on ” (even when used correctly, which it typically isn’t). They’re way past their sell-by and are starting to smell.
    Any others?

  11. DMZ on December 31st, 2007 1:17 pm

    Way to throw those phrases under the bus there.

  12. Jeff Nye on December 31st, 2007 1:18 pm

    Any use of the word “chemistry”.

    We can kill two birds with one stone, that way.

  13. msb on December 31st, 2007 1:18 pm

    well, I don’t think they still do it, but when Everett was regularly hosting a show on the channel they actually did “Under the bus Thursday”, which is why it was on my mind…

  14. Mat on December 31st, 2007 1:25 pm

    Also, since we begin a new year tomorrow, can we resolve to absolutely ban the following phrases from our discussions: “threw up in my mouth a little” and “over/under on ” (even when used correctly, which it typically isn’t). They’re way past their sell-by and are starting to smell.

    Telling people how not to express themselves is a poor substitute for showing them better ways to express themselves.

  15. Jim Thomsen on December 31st, 2007 1:39 pm

    I love that Monahan hid behind his mom.

  16. CCW on December 31st, 2007 2:01 pm

    Here’s where I’m at on the steroid issue: I’m going to assume that the majority of players at least tried steroids in the in the 90’s. That includes guys that I grew up with and loved, like Edgar and Bone. It really doesn’t bother me, though. I don’t think it really says much about them as people, and in any case, they weren’t my heroes as people anyway… They were baseball players. Here’s a quote from Bill Clinton, on the steroid issue, which is really close to the mark:

    “First of all, keep in mind that, as I understand it, Major League Baseball did not adopt a clear, unequivocal ban on steroid use with consequences, like the Olympics has had for years, until recently … Well, my experience is, in politics and everything else, if you’re in a great contest with high stakes, people will do what it takes to win within the framework of the rules … It’s clear now that there is an overwhelming, perhaps unanimous consensus among the owners and the players and the representatives and the media that steroid use is not only bad for the players, it’s bad for the game and it’s wrong, and it should be banned, and there should be consequences for violating the ban …

    But I think we have to be careful looking back before that was the rule and even before that was the consensus … We need to remember that baseball itself was highly ambivalent about doing anything about this, facing the truth and having strict rules for years and years and years. So now we have the rules. Let’s go forward and enforce them. But I think … looking back and looking down on people and trying to claim that, you know, things that happened five, 10 years ago in their careers weren’t real because they did this — I think that’s a little hypocritical. Where were we then and why didn’t we ban it then if that’s the way we feel?”

  17. Jeff Nye on December 31st, 2007 2:21 pm

    Personally, I am just incredibly tired of the entire discussion, and wish it would just go away.

    It’s much less fun to be a baseball fan when the s-word injects itself into nearly every single discussion.

  18. Pete Livengood on December 31st, 2007 2:27 pm

    Better than hiding under the bus, I guess, Jim. 🙂

  19. Bender on December 31st, 2007 2:33 pm

    This is a joke. I’m sick of everyone denying they even have any idea what steroids are or look like or that they get used. Anyone who works out as much as Raul does should know what steroids are. I guarantee he takes some kind of supplement, and if he’s as much of a gym rat as he says he is, he knows you get performance boosts from drugs.

    This whole air of pure lily white innocence is getting old. Guys know that people do things to get an edge, and guys know that people are doing steroids in baseball. I am glad that Monahan said he did it, and I wish people would be more realistic.

    How stupid do Ibanez and Moyer think we are?

  20. joser on December 31st, 2007 3:18 pm

    Telling people how not to express themselves is a poor substitute for showing them better ways to express themselves.

    We’ve been trying that. It hasn’t been working. And I agree: “Chemistry” goes on the list.

    msb, you get special dispensation — you can go on using whatever phrase you want as long as you keep providing all those informative links. (I didn’t realize it was your post until after I wrote mine).

    I love that Monahan hid behind his mom.

    Old time hockey players were always doing that. Right after they pulled their sweaters up over their heads.

  21. Mat on December 31st, 2007 3:51 pm

    We’ve been trying that. It hasn’t been working.

    Considering that you’ve used “under the bus” in this very thread, and then less than an hour later suggested that we get rid of the phrase altogether, I would suggest you aren’t trying very hard or aren’t very good at finding suitable alternatives.

    I just think it’s a waste of time to artificially ban some arbitrary list of phrases. If they really are so far past their “sell-by date” then they will expire soon enough. And even if you do ban certain phrases from use, I’m sure you will quickly tire of whichever phrases crop up to replace them. But it’s certainly not my call to dictate how things go around here.

  22. Carson on December 31st, 2007 4:13 pm

    12 – You’re really killing the chemistry of the Mariners blogosphere with that attitude. The comments would obviously have a higher quality if you’d stop nagging at the rookies.

    Happy New Year to everyone. I’m going to have several beers tonight. I highly reccomend you all do the same to forget about 2007 (baseball wise, that is).

  23. Jeff Nye on December 31st, 2007 4:16 pm

    I thought I was displaying a Bloomquistian level of grit (there’s another candidate) by giving 110% (another!) in my comments about chemistry.

    In a more serious note: I don’t think there are many phrases that are going to get you moderated just by virtue of using them. Still, though, it’s good to be conscious of cliches and try to find better alternatives.

    Dave or DMZ, feel free to throw me under the bus for this comment if you want.

  24. joser on December 31st, 2007 5:50 pm

    Mat, the only person taking my post as seriously as you seem to be is, well, you.

  25. rd on December 31st, 2007 6:15 pm

    Well, Ibanez’s memory of this time period has always been a little hazy. Like how he didn’t remember that he had caught a game in the big leagues in 1999.

  26. SpokaneMsFan on December 31st, 2007 6:24 pm

    Joser, not that I was taking you incredibly seriously, and sorry I need to take posting links 101 but you may find this amusing if you take a second to copy and paste it.

  27. SpokaneMsFan on December 31st, 2007 6:25 pm

    Wow I actually posted the link, although I still have no idea how to condense it into “here” or something like that.

  28. Carson on December 31st, 2007 7:04 pm

    23 – And, people have a chance to educate others who are far too reliant on ESPN. If certain words or phrases are blocked, it only creates confusion and anger, and eliminates that opportunity to show someone a new view.

    Unfortunately, there are those who not only refuse to stop getting their opinions from John Kruk, but feel the need to come here and battle far smarter people (not me) without making an intelligent argument.

    Not that anyone was super serious about auto deleting certain things (or, were they?), but all in all, I think it’d be best to bite your tongue (or fingers), take a breath, and try to educate others.

  29. Mat on December 31st, 2007 7:09 pm

    Mat, the only person taking my post as seriously as you seem to be is, well, you.

    Then for future reference, I’ll be sure not to take your comments seriously.

  30. msb on December 31st, 2007 10:05 pm

    #19– fwiw, it was Moyer who said he didn’t know what a steroid looked like.

    what does a steroid look like, anyway? some clear liquid in a vial? small white pills that look like aspirins?

  31. msb on January 1st, 2008 9:42 am

    Geoff Baker responds to responses to the piece he & Stone wrote

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