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David Brown

Old-school Bob Gibson 'probably' would have done steroids

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Most responses to baseball players using performance-enhancing drugs tend to be either hysterical or "meh." Hall-of-Fame right-hander Bob Gibson, whose reputation suggests he would have gnawed off an opponent's limbs to win one of his starts, gave an intellectually honest answer about steroids in a recent ESPN radio interview (AUDIO — skip to 7:45).

His most provocative line: "I probably would have a tendency to say, 'Let's just try this and see what it does to me.' "

Call Bob Gibson an enabler, or a cheater in his heart if you like (then duck), but he just raised the most reasonable point on the issue so far. That's not all Gibson said, either.

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• "They had the 'Black Sox scandal.' ... Guys have always been cheating, period. It just takes a little different form today."

• "I'm just glad they didn't have steroids when I was playing. You know, I don't know what I would have done."

• "It's very difficult to go out there and perform when you know the guy next to you is taking steroids, or some kind of drugs, that make you play better — and not do it yourself. ... To let this guy get an edge on you, I can't see anybody wanting to go out there, knowing that this other guy is taking drugs and hitting .300 and hitting 500 home runs, and here I am, trying to behave and trying to do things the way it's supposed to be done, and I'm not hitting very well, so ... I probably would have a tendency to say 'Let's just try this and see what it does to me.' "

• "I don't know if I can really criticize the guys. ... Whoever the first guy was who started, that's the guy I'm going to criticize. For the rest of them, they're following suit."

• "I don't think it's 'OK.' I'm not sanctioning it, but I understand why it happens."

• On whether users should be allowed in the Hall of Fame: "Oh, yeah. I think so."

Testify, Pack Robert.

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