Archive for the ‘steroids’ Category

1/13/13: The Astros And Drugs

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

I was gonna write a little blurb bout Jonathan Singleton getting caught using that Performance Detracting Drug, Mary J Wanna, or should I say, Mary J Ida-Wanna, but I done wrote that all before last year when maroon Jordan Schafer got caught. Honestly, how swear word STUPID can you get? The Astros were almost certainly inviting him to ST and I would bet were considering calling his sorry ass up if Brett Wallace failed and now he has to not play for 2 months.

Either he has an addiction problem or is is too stupid to be believed – Mary stays in your system for MONTHS and you can have a positive piss test.

The Astros best prospect.

They don’t care about it or test for it in the MAJORS but for whatever reason, the minors cares about it even in the offseason and screwing up your entry into the MONEY is beyond stupid. Made a mistake. The usual blubbering apology – prolly look like one of my Dogz after getting caught pullin over the trash can.

NOW

to me, the big news, fortunately ignored because after all this IS Houston, bereft by the media, is that BOTH Biggio and Bagwell said that Bonds and Clemens belong in the Hall and that Bonds was the best player they’d ever seen. The Jeff Pearlmans of the world and all those gutless unnamed BBWAA voters who don’t have the guts to show their ballots to the world, well, you KNOW they are gonna use this as a tacit admission by the Killah Bs – and not vote for them again.

This stuff has simply GOT to stop. Not only is there like ZERO reason to state that either one of them was without question one of the many roid users from 88 – 04, but there is like ZERO reason to insist that they either took steroids from the beginning of their careers or to insist that neither of them could play baseball above the AA/AAA level without it, which is what I’m reading. In his rookie year he had a 139 OPS+ fer chrissakes. We all know that a guy being skinny as a pole doesn’t mean he’s not shooting up, unless he puts on muscle and then it is positive proof unless he is Junior Griffey. Baggy did indeed hit 39 homers in 110 games in 94, but then again, in 94, EVERYONE was killing the ball. Either all hitters and no pitchers were shooting up, or the BALL itself was juiced.

But let’s be real – the ONLY reason that steroids suddenly became Teh Evull/Cheating is because the Home Run Record fell. Nobody cares that the previous Amphetamine Era players broke record after record because they did not put on weight. Too many people/writers like to pretend that amphetamines do not enhance performance, which is why even freaking cold medication is banned from the Olympics. Pete Rose broke the hits record, Hank Aaron broke the (gasp) Sacred Home Run Record, Nolan Ryan blew through the K record. (Anyone else ever wonder why on earth Nolie-poo is never on the suspect list? I mean, because throwing a baseball in the mid 90s while pitching no hitters is something ordinary pitchers can do at age 46…)

The insistence that steroids cause a nobody to turn into a great home run hitter is beyond absurd. And let’s be real here – NOBODY cares about guys who used steroids unless they hit a LOT of home runs or were named Roger Clemens). It’s why you get people shrugging off the players who have actually been CAUGHT using steroids.

It’s why people would condemn any sort of steroid use in any player even if he was given them BY A SPORTS PHYSICIAN under strict supervision to heal seriously damaged muscle. I would bet just about any amount of money that no one except Jeff Pearlman would have a problem if any ballplayer toook ANY substance that permanently improved his performance as a baseball player AS LONG AS it did not increase the size of his muscles.

For example, let’s suppose that player X uses, say, saline nose spray and finds out that spraying it in his nose improves his ability to focus on the spin of the ball and that after using the spray for a year, the ability is permanent.

Did he cheat?

Let’s suppose that player Y decides to fix Vitamin C and does weekly butt injections because he found that it strengthened his wrist tendons and back tendons, allowing him to have significantly increased butt, I mean BAT speed. Besides him being an obvious homosex (I mean seriously, isn’t that why everyone is so UPSET that androgen injections are, for whatever reason, taken in the BUTT???!!!!! seeing as how you know how Those Peeple are) has he cheated?

Let’s suppose that player Z lines his jock strap with aluminum foil after giving himself an enema with capsascin powder because he finds that this significantly enhances his alertness and focus and enables him to run faster, field better and singles those balls where the fielders ain’t.

Should any of these guys have to announce his new discovery that gave him this great advantage to either other players or to the media? All of those things used are available over the counter to anyone who wants them, including toddlers. Has anyone “cheated?”

Now youse guys might could laugh and say something like IGGNERINT WIMMEN!!!!! but the point is that each one of these guys was specifically TRYING to find something to make himself a better player, some little edge, NONE of the substances he used were illegal (like androstenedione, the Clear, vit B-12). is trying to find any sort of edge not prohibited – is that a bad thing?

Should we punish/suspend all the guys who wear those metal necklace thingys because they REALLY believe that they ENHANCE PERFORMANCE by using cosmic rays/magnetic fields/radioactive spider juice? You can’t prove that metal necklaces have anything whatsoever to do with performance enhancing than you can with Human Growth Hormone, but it doesn’t stop everyone from screaming about it and demanding blood tests.

The difference between the two is that people (wrongly) think that HGH has anything whatsoever to do with increasing muscle SIZE and strength in healthy young males and that metal necklaces can’t.

12/6/10: Jeff Bagwell, Steroids And The Hall Of Fame

Monday, December 6th, 2010

As we all know, Jeff is up for election to the Hall of Fame this year, for the first time. For reasons unclear to me, he is on the Steroid Suspect List – not Sammy Sosa high (and there is absolutely zero evidence to put Sammy on there except that he hit home runs) – but there just the same.

The previous post I wrote about this subject (Bryant Gumbel demanding that Bagwell just admit he used roids) is THE most clicked on entry since I started writing this blog over 6 years ago. Yes, including every entry written during the playoffs and World Series. I got LOTS of comments, most of which I had to delete for libel and/or bad language – most of which said something like, cmon you idiot female, why deny it, your HEEEEro used and you KNOW it and you won’t admit it because you are an Astros fan.

sigh

I don’t have ANY trouble admitting that someone used if I have even the slightest shred of PROOF. For example, I freely admit that Miguel Tejada lied about using. Miguel Tejada used steroids. There. I said it.

Lemme guess – that is not good enough because he is “an Astros Icon” – like that is something that makes me completely unable to say he used steroids if he did.

sigh

What is the evidence that Bagwell used?

1 – he got bigger

You’re kidding me, right? That is too stupid. In the mid 90s after the strike, EVERYONE started lifing weights like crazy because, let’s be honest here, everyone thought that bigger = better, roids or no roids. Bagwell was known to be an avid weightlifter – that does NOT make him a roider. I turst that no one is going to insist that no adult male who lfts weights for several hours a day for months is capable of adding muscle weight without using roids. Even FEMALES can add muscle weight by lifting without using roids. And Bagwell did not exactly change from scrawny to Ahnold overnight (see Lenny Dykstra)

2 – he had big forearms

Please. He wasn’t exactly Ted Kluzewski. Or even Steve Garvey.

3 – He was on the same team as Luis Gonzalez and Ken Caminiti.

Good grief. Caminiti started using in 96, 2 YEARS after he left the team. Luis Gonzalez left in 95. Are people insisting that Luis was using in 95? He didn’t hang with Baggy and they weren’t workout pals. So even IF Gonzalez started using after he went to the Cubs, that has like WHAT to do with Bagwell?

4 – He was a first baseman and he hit home runs and Mark McGwire was a first baseman who hit home runs and HE used so if McGwire hit home runs and used, then Bagwell must have.

Uh hunh.

Then exactly WHY is Frank Thomas not being tarred with that brush? He was a first baseman, hit home runs, and gained weight after he hit the majors at age 22. Oh, because he was outspoken against using? I see. That must be significant because no one who has ever loudly spoken out against something has been found to be guilty of doing exactly what he/she was speaking out against, right? (See whatshisname the minister who loudly opposed gay rights/gay marriage and was discovered to have hired male prostitutes.) Anyway, Baggy isn’t the speaking up kind of guy. Check what he said to the media – all stuff like – we gotta play em one day at a time. Well, I was just up there lookin for a pitch to hit.

5 – he stated that he took the LEGAL, over the counter in any store supplements creatine and androstenedione. Mark McGwire took andro AND he took roids so therefore Bagwell MUST have done roids if he took andro.

Yes, because shooting up with dangerous illegal drugs is the same as taking stuff you buy in a GNC. Neither of which were against any rules. Or considered “cheating” by anyone. And there is exactly ZERO proof that the use of oral androstenedoine by young healthy adult male athletes does absolutely ANYTHING to grow muscles, increase endurance, sharpen focus, or improve athletic performance in ANY way.

6 – He hit home runs in the Astrodome but he didn’t hit any at AA, therefore he must have been shooting up.

In 1991? Back when he was “skinny”? You’re kidding me, right?

7 – Cmon you dumb female. He played during the steroid era. He was good AND he hit home runs. AND he had to retire early because of arthritis. Therefore, he MUST have done roids.

Retiring early because of arthritis means you did drugs? You mean like Sandy Koufax? Oh, no, NOT like Sandy Koufax because Sandy didn’t hit home runs. Ah, I see. Anyone who is not been designated as “clean” for absolutely NO reason, who hit home runs, who lifted weights LIKE EVERY OTHER PLAYER, must be guilty of shooting up.

Sorry, this is all too stupid. There is no more reason to believe that Bagwell did roids than anyone else and tarring everyone with the same brush, regardless or evidence, is mere petulance, frippery (nice big words, eh?) and sour grapes. Bagwell is not associated with any known steroid distributor, he didn’t pay for steroids with a check like our old friend Miggy Tejada, he didn’t work out with known roiders, he never had a positive test (including the infamous supposed secret 2003 list – then again, Barry Bonds wasn’t on that list either and we all KNOW he shot up.)

Fact is that Bagwell, “short” career and all is most certainly a Hall of Famer. To say that he can’t be because he was never the “best” at his position is like complaining that Duke Snider has no business in the Hall because Willie Mays was better.

Three Astros Minor Leaguers Busted For (Supposed) PEDs

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

I was checking up on the stats of Danny Meszaros, our 48th round pick in 08, who has inexplicably against all odds, especially in THIS Organization, made it to AAA as a relief pitcher. I saw that he was on the inactive/suspended list and was shocked, wondered why, then found out that he, along with AA players SS Marcos Cabral and Catcher Jonathan Fixler tested positive on a drug test for a substance called methylhexanamine. (Rehabbing pitcher Chris Blazek was suspended last week without any public explanation – as of yet).

I was wondering why on earth guys are being picked up for this stuff – as a LOT of guys have been suspended for this substance this year, and one of the Oakland Athletics’ minor leaguers is formally protesting, as he states that this substance is apparently part of legal, OTC supplements and its name is not listed as an ingredient.

I never heard of it, didn’t sound like any sort of steroid, so I checked the Wiki. This stuff is a nasal decongestent (like Afrin). Seriously. It apparently is a naturally occurring substance in geraniums. Geranium oil, or “flower oil” is, at this time, apparently considered a natural supplement/food and is added to OTC supplements. It is supposed to be some sort of minor stimulant – not up to ephedrine – and apparently looks something like some other sort of banned stimulant. It is part of News Zealand “party pills”, apparently – which may or may not, uh, enhance (ahem) athletic performance.

I have a very hard time with this adding absolutely ANYTHING which has any resemblance whatsoever to some other sort of banned substance to a banned list, ESPECIALLY if it is not ever listed on the ingredient list of legal OTC supplements OR any list handed out to any player in any level of pro baseball. This silliness is most likely a consequence of the infamous THG, which was actually not labeled or identified as a “steroid” at the time it was (supposedly) administered to Barry Lamar, The Most Evil Man In The World, who spoke the truth when he said he never took a steroid – at the time he (supposedly) took it, it was NOT legally labeled as a “steroid.”

I will note that this “slippery slope” stuff with steroids stops at pregnenolone and progesterone, both of which are direct precursors of testosterone, for the simple reason that neither has any sort of anabolic effect on any muscle besides the uterus. Just as no male is going to take a uterus-growing chemical to improve HIS baseball performance, no baseball player is going to take a “party pill” to improve his, either. You will notice that caffeine, taken in ANY quantity, has not been banned from OB. It is reasonable to demand that any substance which could be called a “stimulant” be proven to be at LEAST as stimulating as caffeine. Unless, of course, it is banned because its side effects are toxic – that is, more toxic that caffeine.

Personally, I think that the overhysteria about “supplements” is an extension of the BITGOD (back in the good old days) Syndrome – translation – well, Lou Gehrig and Stan Da Man didn’t work out or drink or smoke or chew tobacco or eat/swallow anything but food that every other person ate and nothing should change whatsoever since that time.  Of course, these people have no trouble with ballplayers having career saving surgery or lasix on their eyes to improve their baseline vision - instead of having to stop playing baseball as they did BITGOD.

It is bad enough that steroids can no longer be used UNDER A TEAM PHYSICIAN’S SUPERVISION (meaning that they are administered by them and levels monitored) to heal injuries and speed up recovery time FROM INJURIES, as these are well documented MEDICAL uses of those chemicals. It is bad enough that asthma medications, used by people with long standing asthma, are banned from some sports. But insisting that any substance with any sort of passing resemblance to some other banned substance also be banned without first having to demonstrate that that substance has any effect WHATSOEVER, is ridiculous. ESPECIALLY if it is concealed in a naturally occuring product which is neither on the nono list or specifically labeled as such.

These guys are now permanently labeled as Bad Guys who “cheated” and this is not right.

The Last On The Wifebeater; Unrelated Comments About McGwire And Steroids

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

As I said in the last post, I certainly do NOT expect professional athletes to be sin-free little choir boys/mama’s pweshuus boys. Not by a long LONG shot. I think that the Lance Berkmans and Morgan Ensbergs are the rare exceptions to the rule of the behaviour of wealthy professional athletes (and if I were to discover that they are/were serial adulterers, card cheats, liars, thieves, alcoholics or even steroid users, unfortunately, I wouldn’t be shocked at all, very VERY sad to say. Disappointed, sure, but hardly shocked.) But there are SOME things (ahem) which are acts which I can’t and won’t agree to overlook as long as the player does well for my team. Those acts include rape, murder, arson and beating/killing smaller, helpless creatures such as children, women, dogs (and no, I am not talking about hunting and shooting animals for food.) I don’t care a bit about using any chemical whatsoever, legal or illegal, before it was banned by MLB – more on that later…

Some of yall have emailed and commented that I can’t KNOW what happened that night in Boston when Myers was arrested for beating his wife.

Correctamundo. I wasn’t there at the time, didn’t witness the action, have not had contact with anyone who did and am unable to locate video evidence or the police report in its entirety which was filed on the matter.

And there is one OTHER, even more important thing I can’t locate. Let me elaborate…

Baseball players are a very tight knit bunch. These men live and work together, fly together, eat together, train together for 7 months a year. If they come up through the minors together, they live together, eat together, take long bus rides together, and men most certainly DO talk to other men. They talk about their hopes, dreams, fears, conquests, feats, families, religion, beliefs, loves, hates. In short, they are in many ways like army guys in a platoon. Sometimes, the other guys know each other better than their wives, parents, non-baseball friends.

Everyone remember a few years back when Shawn Chacon, uh, expressed his displeasure to Ed Wade at being lied to and disrespected by Cecil Cooper, then into only his 3rd month of managing? Anyone remember what Chacon’s TEAMMATES said? I sure nuff do. Roy Oswalt, Lance Berkman and Mark Loretta ALL said, and ON THE RECORD, to the media, fit for printing, broadcasting, that although it wasn’t OK to hit your GM, that Chacon was a good person and a good teammate. Not one player defended Cooper, whose, um, ahem, actions, started the whole thing. Not one player even mentioned Cooper ON THE RECORD.

That told me PLENTY. And what it told me was that the other guys on the team had Chacon’s back. (Chacon was a guy who had just joined the team, a guy that none of the other Astros had played with before, too.) And that his actions were, um, understandable and reasonable, even if not justified. And that Cooper was not respected by THEM, either. What ballplayers DON’T say is just as important as what they DO say.

And what does this have to do with Brett Myers?

I spent most of yesterday and the day before googling for quotes from other Phillies players at the time Myers was arrested for beating his wife. I had heard from some people who know the Phils players and Phillies team (sorry, anonymous sources) that Myers was not liked real too much by his other teammates. But, that is so much talk, seeing as how they want to remain anonymous, so I thought it would be best to see what the people who know Myers best, namely HIS OWN TEAMMATES, said on the record to the media.

You know what? I can not find ANY quotes from ANY Philies player saying something like – there is NO FREAKING WAY that Brett would have ever hit a woman. Or – there must be some kind of mistake because Brett is a great guy. If your teammates aren’t defending you to the media, there is a reason. They sure as heck could have written to one of the Phillies bloggers, if they HAD said that sort of thing to the media and they wouldn’t write/broadcast positive comments. SOMEONE would have agreed to broadcast/print it, just to get the pub.

If, by the way, anyone reading this can find SOME quote from one of Myers’ teammates saying that he is a great guy who would NEVER hit a woman, please send me the link, I will post it and say up front that I was wrong.

But to me, the silence of Myers’ teammates is even more damning evidence than the multiple eyewitnesses or even the police report, which mentioned Mrs. Myers’ swollen face. They know all right. Oh yeah. They know.

So, until this disgusting piece of inhumanity is off my team, I will not mention either his name or exploits. When I discuss any game he pitches, I will not talk about him, but will discuss the performance of everyone else. As far as I am concerned, Myers does not exist. I mean this. And I mean it even if he pitches a perfect game or hits 4 home runs off any give ace in a game.

Some people have commented/emailed me to say – perhaps Myers is a changed man. Perhaps. But then again, there are two kinds of changed: the first is that he is the same person he always has been, but because of fear of police/being thrown out of baseball, he has managed to control himself enough to not hit his wife. The other change is a change of HEART – sincere repenting the evil of his ways.

Unfortunately, the first is far more common than the second, which I think really only happens with either some sort of severe life-changing event or one’s own impending death. People DO repent, it really DOES happen, and it is accompained by real grief because they have finally managed to see something from the perspective of someone else – they have inwardly walked that mile in the shoes of another and seen from within. And that seeing has allowed them to understand what their own actions have done to others and how it has harmed their own souls.

If Myers has not hit his wife since the Boston incident out of fear of repercussions, well, it is good that he has managed to control himself, but he has not CHANGED. He’s like the alcoholic who is a binge drinker and goes on the wagon. But that person is STILL an alcoholic and inside, really means to drink again, and won’t admit it to him/herself or others.

And speaking of repentance, I suppose I have to talk about Mark McGwire and steroids and all the staged teary eyed stuff.

I absolutely HATE steroids. Not because I see them as far more evil than beating your wife, but because too many self-righteous reporters really REALLY believe that steroids turn Alex Sanchez into Mark McGwire.

What? Oh – Alex only hit 2 home runs in the 2 years he took steroids (and was caught)? Bad example…

Where was I? Oh yeah. Mark McGwire would not have hit home runs if he had not taken steroids. And if he EVER admitted he used, it means he used them from the time he was a child, seeeing as how he had acne even back in high school and college and any man who has acne can ONLY get them from shooting steroids (don’t ask me how women get acne because it destroys the myth.)

Look – it is like this – steroids are ONLY about home runs. Who are the reporters who are furious and indignant and calling for heads being lopped off any baseball player with a positive test who did NOT hit home runs? Are there any? Where are the reporters who want Wally Joyner’s statistics erased from the records? Where are the reporters who are demanding that Paxton Crawford’s statistics be expunged from minor league records? Actually, the reporters don’t WANT to talk about Paxton Crawford, who has stated that he used steroids and that he believes that they DESTROYED his career.

None of the media are demanding that the statistics of every single ballplayer with a positive steroid test, who admitted use, even ONCE, who was named in the Mitchell report, or even Jason Grimsley, be completely expunged from the record books and everyone else’s stats be adjusted accordingly (don’t ask me how they could determine if actual GAMES were won or lost.)

Nope

Because they don’t actually give one single solitary damn about anything but The Sacred Home Run Record. And neither do the fans, for that matter. And I have absolutely ZERO respect for that attitude. No, less than zero.

Let me tell you what this is REALLY about. Revenge. Yes, revenge. The media wants a lot more than a simple pound of flesh from two men – Sammy Sosa (who has not ever been connected in any way with steroid use, except to hit lots of home runs, bring an interpreter to Congress with him and to peak at the unheard of age of 27) and Mark McGwire. Why?

See, I remember all the fawning, moaning drool they belched out all OVAH the airwaves and papers about McGwire The Magnificent Man and Sammy Sosa The Lively Latin who were Saving Baseball. They were worse than the worst groupies I have ever seen. And trust me, I have seen a few (check out the looks on the faces of the girls videoed in some of those old rock videos. They look like they just have seen God in Heaven and they gonna be seated at His right hand. Uck.) That was bout every media guy there was. They couldn’t for ONE second let it enter their fairytale addled heads that perhaps the rumors about ballplayers (especially Canseco and McGwire) were true – maybe they WERE doing drugs. NOOOOOOOO, the He Roes were Pure and True.

Tell you something – they are all like CHICKS, yes CHICKS who won’t nevah SHUT UP for even one second about how wonderful/fantastic/incredible their perfectly perfect in every way man is. Until, that is, they find out that he is screwing their sister, mother and best friend. And he is leaving them for an 18 year old perfect blond with genuine huge boobs and he’s telling everyone that he never knew how wonderful a REAL woman was, being stuck with the cow he stuck with all that time.

- And honey, do they EVAH want massive, serious REVENGE. Absolutely not ONE thing would do except McGwire, Sosa (and probably Clemens and Bonds, on general principles of they hate them too) to commit suicide over their massive perfidy, leaving a suicide note admitting that they wouldn’t have even been able to so much as swing a bat if not for steroids, that they only used them for the SOLE purpose of cheating The Sainted Babe, I mean that whatshisname asterisk 61 guy, out of The Most Sacred Record Of History. Oh yeah, and asking to have their dead heads put up on a pole to warn The Children of what happens to home run hitters who fool the gullible media.

How many have said that OK, well McGwire confessed, but he didn’t really mean it. Or that he needs to give dates and exact substances. Or that he has got to rat out his teammates and friends.

Good grief. If the media knows that teammates and friends were doing steroids too, why all the screeching at McGwire, saying he shouldn’t even be allowed to be a hitting coach? His crime was buying illegal drugs for personal use. Yes, a felony. But no one is complaining about his being a felon, they are complaining that he “cheated.”

There was NO rule against ML players using steroids (the memo applied ONLY to MLB employees, which ML players are NOT.) It was therefore NOT cheating as it was not against the rules before 2004. The word “cheating” actually refers to cheating The Sainted Babe out of His record, as well as cheating on the media. Sort of like Tiger Woods cheating on his wife with an endless string of sluts and prostitutes. And just like a cheated on wife of a rich man wants her revenge in the form of lots of cash and denying the man any access to his own children, the media wants to do whatever it possibly can to destroy McGwire, the man who hit too many home runs.

What really grinds my ass is that not only does McGwire get the entire wrath of the supposed steroid haters, but the media don’t have the guts to go after both Selig and the owners, who were obviously complicit in the entire affair. There were NO problems with Sammy and Mac drawing enormous crowds and endless attention to baseball after the owners had Selig cancel the 94 baseball postseason in an effort to elicit public sympathy for cheating the players out of money that rightfully belonged to the owners.

And in fact, in spite of all the whispers, in spite of all the talk, in spite of the Andro scandal, NOBODY gave a hoot about steroids until Barry Lamar Bonds, The Villain, got into the act in 01. If you say I’m wrong, please provide links to investigative reports published by the media regarding steroid use of baseball players back in 98. I can sure nuff provide links to Tom Verducci (among others) gushing about how WONderful it is that ballplayers now lift weights and to tons of mainstream media columnists screaming at the reporter who asked McGwire about the bottle of andro sitting in plain sight on his shelf, refusing to even consider the possibility of additional usage of illegal substances in Our HEro.

Please don’t tell me that The Public cares about roids. When players who tested positive (not just suspected/accused) came back from their 50 game suspension, they were cheered as if they had just saved 50 babies from a burning building (see Guillermo Mota, Manny Ramirez and J.C Romero.) The Public more than obviously couldn’t care less that college and pro football players are roided to their eyeballs. They care about The Sacred Home Run Record.

Period.

It is time to leave Mac alone and let him be a hitting coach.

Either that or treat every single player WITHOUT EXCEPTION who used steroids the exact same way Mac has been treated. But it won’t happen for the simple reason that they didn’t hit enough home runs to bother with.

And before you ask me if I will feel differently about steroids if I find out that Kevin Bass or Terry Puhl or Nolan Ryan or Mike Scott or Jimmy Wynn or Jeff Bagwell or Craig Biggio or Brad Ausmus or even Wandy used them, I will say, not as long as they didn’t use after they were banned by MLB.

Actually, I wouldn’t be real too surprised if it came out that Hidalgo used – it got him 32 million but ruined his career. And I wouldn’t be real too surprised if it came out that Bagwell used – and it ruined his shoulder. Heck, there is absolutely NOBODY who could be revealed as having used steroids (before 2004) who would surprise me. I would bet that roid usage was as ubiquitous as greenies.

And I still don’t care.

But back to repentance – the all important question – Has McGwire TRULY repented?

I doubt it. And I don’t blame him a bit. He wanted to be a ballplayer, he took what he thought would prolong his career, would make him as good as he could be. I’m positive he is NOW sorry he even ever heard of the stuff, now that attitides have changed and spiteful writers don’t even think he should be allowed near a baseball field.

But the man done the crime, he done the time (been gone from baseball for almost 10 years)  he gone on TV and humiliated himself only to the point of not admitting that he had no baseball talent whatsoever and anything he accomplished was only the work of drugs.

Enough.

At least he didn’t beat his wife…

2/18/09: Miguel Tejada Isn’t Here To Talk About The Past

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Well, ol Miggy had to face the media music today and the guys from the Chron and Fox showed up and that was it. Miggy “apologised” for getting caught lying to Congress about knowing whether or not any other baseball players talked – that is TALKED about steroids.

tsktsk

But, the guy who received TWO shipments of steroids/HGH and said he threw them both away, when asked if he USED steroids/HGH, said ”I don’t have to talk about that,” Tejada said. ”I just want to talk about what’s going to happen from now on.”

Gee, I don’t see eighty kabillion media types from all over the country/ESPN moaning and crying about how this is the End Of The World like they have done with McGwire for umpty years. Gee, could it be that Tejada has degenerated into a Adam Everett type hitter without his “B-12″ so nobody cares? And oh, yes, Tejada last year had (-) 26 RCAA, same as Everett had in his last full year with the Astros.

And Drayton McLane finally admitted that he and Tal and Wade DID discuss the, um, possibility that Tejada was on the Mitchell report. What Unca DIDN’T say was that they figured that wouldn’t nobody care if he was. And nobody DOES care – as long as he keeps his BA over .270 and has all that “enthusiasm” out there.

Miggy will receive his “sentence” for lying to Congress – doesn’t look as if he has anything to worry about. Unless, of course, his name was right next to Alex Rodriguez’ on that 2003 report and he gets nailed for a SECOND charge of lying to Congress. Will be interesting to see if anyone besides Jeff Pearlman will be outraged. Say what you want about the guy, he is bout the ONLY mainstream baseball writer who is equally outraged with the nobody users as the Star users.

Footnote: in a recent AOL survey, fully 20% of the people who did the survey checked the box which said that Phelps should be banned from any future Olympics because he held a marijuana pipe. Not sure exactly what kind of performance marijuana enhances, but people are getting a little over hysterical about substances. In fact, Gary Wadles, the Olympic Drug Czar said something on the effect that a person who takes anything – that word was ANYTHING – thinking – and again, that word is THINKING – that it will enhance his/her performance, is cheating. Meaning Vitamin C, healthy food, cinnamon roles, dog poop – whatever.

Like Mary Poppins said about saying supercalifragilisticexpialidicious backwards – that’s going a little too far, don’tchu think?

Actually, NOW Miggy should know what to say -

soooooo

when the cat has got your tongue, there’s no need for dismay, just summon up this word and then you’ve got a lot to say -

but use it VERY carefully, cuz it can change your life….

2/11/09: Miguel Tejada Fought The Law And The Law Won

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

Miguel Tejada is apparently going to plead guilty to the charge of lying to congressional STAFFERS about not knowing other ballplayers doing steroids.

NOT because he lied to them about NOT USING them.

One more time – he is being punished for not ratting out his teammates.

This idiotic witch hunt is going from the absurd to the outrageous. Are they going to start Stalin style trials to get ballplayers to “confess” threatening them with federal prison if they refuse to rat out their friends and teammates for USING illegal drugs over 5 years ago, way past the statute of limitations?

And let me point out that harassing and threatening people with federal prison time for failure to rat out their friends for past crimes that can not be prosecuted and pose no danger to the public sets a seriously dangerous precedent.

For example, would any of you want to be hauled in front of a national audience and forced to tell – with the threat of federal prison time – if your close friend committed adultery – a fact that would be released to the press along with the name of the sexual partner for the express purpose of humiliating the persons so exposed?

sigh

If Tejada is in fact sentenced to federal time, as I understand it, his work visa will be revoked. I wonder if Drayton would then have legal grounds for breaking the contract and getting an extra 14 mill to put in his pocket. I wonder if the same holds true if Tejada receives only probation.

We’ll have to see tomorrow – the press conference is at 4.

sigh

I would really REALLY like this stupid witch hunt about who used steroids over 5 years ago to come to a halt. It does nothing but detract from the current game. I’m counting the seconds until ST starts and HOPEFULLY the baying hounds of the media will give it a rest for a while.

2/9/09: Juice-y News

Monday, February 9th, 2009

I am SOOOOOOO freaking tired of this.

Baseball news this offseason has been all about only 3 things

1 – those horrible Yankees have bought 3 new players at the cost of 400 something mill and now they have bought themselves a championship and we need a salary cap to make sure that ballplayers get paid a lot less (and owners get paid a lot more.)

2 – baseball players are overpaid. Look at even the utility infielders getting 400K a year. They shouldn’t be paid more than, um, us sportswriters. It is critical that the team owners get to keep even more of the income from MLB than they do – which has, by the way, been rapidly rising; 10 years ago, ballplayers salaries accounted for 58% of all MLB revenues and they now are 42% but that won’t shut the sportswriters up until ballplayers have to live under bridges or off their wives’ stripper earnings.

On the other hand, nothing is wrong with Bud Selig getting paid 18.5 mill a year.

And nothing is wrong with musicians/actors getting paid more than A-Rod per year.

3 – and speaking of A-Rod, well, we ALL knew what a terrible horrible person he was because he couldn’t never say the right thing and besides, the Rangers offered him 252 mill for 10 years and he took it which makes both him and Scott Boras e-v-i-l. Because A-Rod SHOULD have stayed with the Mariners and forfeited his right to free agency and just took whatever salary they were willing to give him, just like Back In The Good Old Days Of The Reserve Clause When Ballplayers Had No Rights Except Not To Play At All – Before Free Agency “Ruined The Game.”

That’s when the media/fans started hating A-Rod. He committed the terrible, serious crime of taking the contract from the highest bidder. No one does that in real life. And it went downhill from there.

In spite of being a focus of media hate, A-Rod was the almost opposite of Barry Lamar, the other focus of media hate. Both have been portrayed, in one way and another, as bad human beings. Disliked by teammates (with A-Rod, this began immediately after he signed that contract – I never heard about this when he was with the Mariners) and also the best player in their leagues, the media always was determined to continuously find flaws in each man at the expense of extoling virtues.

Now, it seems that A-Rod has committed The Final Sin – he (apparently) used steroids BEFORE they were banned by the CBA in 2004. Now, columnists are howling for his head even more ferverently than they were previously, even demanding that the Yankees write him a check for the remainder of his 272 mill contract, which has 9 years to run so that he is permanently banned from baseball (ala Barry Lamar) to removing every single one of his stats (as well as Barry Lamar’s and Roger Clemens’ stats from the record books. Not even the Yankees can regard 272 million as spare change, but even if they did, they would simply be fools to remove the best player on their team (who, by the way, has been steroid-free since at least 2004.)

Naturally, the sportswriters have zero interest in removing the stat lines of JC Romero, Manny Alexander, Alex Sanchez, Matt Lawton or Ryan Franklin, to name a few. Using steroids is only an egregious sin IF you happen to be one of the best players of all times.

This is just too stupid.

Anyone else remember Ken Caminiti’s confession to Sports Illustrated back in 02/03 when he not only admitted his own use, but said that use was rampant, that a GOOD 3/4 of baseball players were ALSO suing? Anyone else remember reading that famous pitching coach Tom House said that he used back in the 60s and so did lots of other guys?

sigh

Nobody cares, because this is ALL about discrediting baseball players who have played in the juiced BALL era, from 1994 – 2005. Yes, the baseball itself was a bit different enough, would by machine instead of by hand, and bouncing at the highest end of MLB standards. Offense exploded in BOTH leagues and every single guy suddenly shooting up can’t account for that.

Sportswriters especially WANT to discredit ballplayers from the last 15 years because of their fantasy about wonderful, pastoral baseball played by sweet little choir boys who would NEVER have used a chemical to gain an advantage and whose only vice was incessant adultery (which is a wonderful thing to the writers, who wish they had legions of young females with lower morals wanting to fornicate with them) and of course, the players Back Then were “loyal to the team” (much as slaves were “loyal” to their masters) and had no interest in money but played ONLY For The Love Of The Game.”

It’s all about the fantasies – that and, as Pat Jordan once noted, back then, the ballplayers HAD to suck up to the sportswriters to get noticed, and getting noticed in the papers significantly increased your chances of staying with the team. In these days of stats and internet access, baseball writers no longer have the significant clout they once had (hence the hatred of the Buzz Bissingers of the world – Back In The Good Old Days, modern bloggers/commenters had to confine themselves to writing letters to the editor.)

And the fans themselves? Many consider using steroids before they were banned by the CBA to be “cheating.” Not sure why, exactly, except that they supposedly enhance performance. Yes, they do increase muscle size, but they sure as heck have no effect on hand-eye coordination or ability to judge the flight of the ball off the bat, or to improve the accuracy of one’s throwing arm, or even one’s ability to throw a baseball into the strike zone (see Steven Randolph) or the ability to judge WHEN to take an extra base or to steal one. Baseball is not simplistic, like running a foot race or swimming faster. And unlike football, losing control of one’s emotions is NOT conducive to victory, unless  a ballplayer is the type of person who concentrates better if he feels full of anger or hate.

No one complains about any other sort of chemical that enhances performance, such as painkillers or cortisone. And as to the complaint that testosterone-like steroids are now (since 1990) a controlled substance like morphine or cocaine, I would point out that absolutely no one vilifies pre-1990s ballplayers for using dexedrine – failure to use was referred to as “playing naked” and ballplayers who refused to use were scolded by teammates. I will remind you at this time that there WERE ballplayers back then who were opposed to their use (somewhat like Frank Thomas and steroids) and that dexedrine was a Schedule 3 drug since 1960, just like morphine and cocaine and now testosterone.

But who cares that Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays and Hank Aaron used these illegal drugs to gain a performance enhancing advantage? (And if amphetamines were not performance enhancing, why would they be banned by Olympic rules?)

Certainly not the sportswriters. Certainly not the fans. Who all scream about “doing it the right way” as if using illegal drugs to enhance performance Back In The Good Old Days was just peachy.

I’m really tired of this. I’m tired of the constant vilification of baseball stars – and ONLY stars, who used testosterone-like compounds prior to their being banned by the CBA. It is over, done with, dealt with, and now, I just want to talk about baseball. As for “hallowed” records – how about growing up and realizing that hitting/throwing/catching baseballs are NOT acts of heroism and that accomplishments in each particular era (dead ball, lively ball, pre-1900, high mound 60s, etc) are looked at under the standards of that era.

Enough of this, PLEEEEZE…

1/26/08: Athletes, Money And Sainthood

Saturday, January 26th, 2008

It is part of our nature that we human beings like to be entertained. We tell tales, we embellish the tales, we re-enact the events that led to the tales, we watch people perform physical feats that we ourselves can’t do and we fantasize about doing all sorts of things that we actually can’t do.

Unfortunately, we then start to demand that the entertainers be more than they actually are, which is just people – we demand that they be the stereotypes that we have imagined that they are. Too many refer to these entertainers as “role-models” for the young. I can’t imagine what on earth “role” they are supposed to be modeling.

When on earth did baseball players suddenly become these supposed paragons of virtue? WHY on earth did we suddenly suppose that baseball players are these paragons of virtue? Or even insist that they pretend to be?

I suppose I’ve been thinking about this ever since the sports media (and, unfortunately, the politicians) started screaming endlessly about steroids in baseball and how it is “cheating” and destroying the Sacred Home Run Record, among other things. I’m not real too particularly upset about steroid use or the revelation that ballplayers will use any edge they can find to get ahead, to be the best, to get back on the field, to keep playing until they drop – really, I never expected anything else and I guess I’m more than a little surprised that so many others expect all these pure goody 2 shoes type characters.

Jeff Pearlman recently wrote a column in which he described his effort to obtain an interview with the now retired Tim Worrell – he described each event which transpires over several hours while he sits and waits for Worrell to talk to him for a few minutes – he describes how Worrell sits, looks at his nails, passes gas, scratches himself, etc – all in all making Worrell look like one of the Gas House Gorillas whose only attribute is his ability to throw a baseball 90 something MPH. He was expecting who, Albert Einstein? Bart Giamatti? David Nieporent?

Me, I don’t really want/need all this excessive microscopic examination of every aspect of a player’s life/personality. I remember once one of my mother’s friends told me how she went to a nudist colony when she was young and all she could think was that she wished people would just wear their clothes so she didn’t have to look at all the faults and flaws now so apparent on every single body.

Ballplayers are just people – just men, and like my mama always said – when it comes to men you gotta take the good with the bad. I live with men. It’s the truth. We all just people and I understand that you really DO gotta take the good with the bad. That doesn’t bother me, but I realize that it has been terribly depressing to me that the media keeps shoving all the (what they think/say is) bad in our faces and screaming about it, as if ballplayers, alone among men, should be “role models” – sin free, paragons. What is the point of continuously pointing out flaws, other than irritating the fans? Why bemoan the fact that ballplayers, who are just people, after all, aren’t paragons?

I keep thinking about the old childrens’ story about the Emperor Who Has No Clothes On. And I think that the problem is that the media wants to tell stories to us that portray ballplayers as “heroes” -as if hitting a ball, throwing a ball or catching a ball is somehow an act of heroism, and that those self same ballplayers are messing up their stories by proving that they are just humans who have skills that the writers don’t. The ballplayers are making the writers look foolish for believeing or even trying to get others to believe that ballplayers are somehow better or superhuman humans.

I guess it is the sportswriters who feel they are exposed as having no clothes. It’s interesting that the story about the Emperor never tells what the Emperor does to the Child after the People laugh at him. I would guess it wasn’t pretty. And the media are having a field day with the “cheaters” who have exposed themselves as being ordinary men, not saints.

Me, I guess I’ve always known that money talks and everything else walks. I always understood that men bought teams to make money. I always understood that they wanted to use the efforts of the players to make as much money as they could at their expense – literally. I’ve always understood that you follow the money. I understood perfectly that the public wanted to see a lot of home runs and a lot of strikeouts and that the owners figured that out right quick and built smaller ballparks, commissioned juiced baseballs and, shall we say, didn’t exactly try to stop the juicing of the players as well. I understood that the players, grown men, decided or didn’t decide to do whatever was necessary to hit more home runs or throw a baseball harder.

In life, you get what you pay for and you really do reap what you sew. But this whole thing reminds me of the old complaint about females being “golddiggers.” Look – if the only real way a woman can survive is to marry because she is banned from any profession or job that pays much more than minimum wage, then she has to go get herself a husband. And if she was lucky enough to even HAVE a choice of men, well, why be shocked SHOCKED if she got herself the best possible contract she could?

sigh

Last week, I was re-reading Leviticus in the Old Testament and even thought some of the rules are, shall we say, um, out of date, most of them say things like (roughly translated) – don’t have sex with your wife’s sister, your parents, your farm animals, little kids, don’t cheat people, don’t murder people, basically don’t be a douche. Things really haven’t changed real too much in the subsequent 6000 or so years, and to expect baseball players to somehow be an exception to the general rule of humanity is ridiculous.

Anyhow, this now out of the way, I am going to go back to my usually more cheerful self and understand that all this idiotic steroid stuff is all about the owners trying to get more money out of the players, all about the politicians trying to avoid the real issues in this country (as usual) and all about the media needing storylines. And me, I keep reminding myself that it is only (thankfully) 3 weeks until pitchers and catchers report…

1/7/08: Roger Clemens Proclaims His Innocence, But It Doesn’t Matter

Monday, January 7th, 2008

WHY doesn’t it matter?
Because, unfortunately, to waaaaayyy too many people IF you are accused, no matter who by, you are guilty. Case closed.

Richard Justice, judging by this morning’s blog, is unconvinced because Roger didn’t do and say what Richard thought he should have said and done when Richard thought he should have said and done it. And, unfortunately, seems like most everyone agrees with Richard.

You see, Roger has failed to explain the motives of his accuser. He knows the motives HOW?
Personally, I thought he handled himself very well in his interview with Mike Wallace. Roger’s critics all think he should have thrown himself in front of a pack of vicious attack dogs like Skip Bayless/Mike Lupica who ALREADY have decided that Clemens is guilty of the crimes of which he has been accused and PROVED to them that he couldn’t be guilty.

Oh, yes, crimes. He is accused of committing CRIMES. Purchasing controlled substances is a CRIME. Of course, he could have obtained them by a legal prescription, but then, of course, McNamee would have just conveniently omitted having seen the prescription label. And, of course, it just so happens that the dates given by McNamee just happen to fall outside the statute of limitations for prosecution.

Then again, Mitchell, Selig, Congress and a whole lot of members of the media are interested in PERsecution, not PROSecution.

As for me, I think it is telling that Roger’s attorney waited until his investigators had some facts before he filed a libel suit – to me, it indicates that he has some FACTS, and as I have said, libel suits by or against public figures in this country are pretty rare, as the probability of winning one is almost zero. And as for McNamee filing a libel suit against Roger for claiming that McNamee did not tell the truth, well, that ain’t a-goin nowheres, as it is pretty near impossible to ruin the reputation of a drug dealer/rapist.

As for the claim that McNamee would NEVAH lie, especially in front of the feds/under oath because he would be facing prosecution if he did – well, seems it sure didn’t stop Rafe Palmeiro or Barry Lamar, now, did it? As for the really idiotic question – well, why would McNamee tell the truth about one thing and lie about another – well, that is the best, the VERY best way to get a lie believed, is it not? It is simply preposterous to insist that a person proves he is always telling the truth if he relates ONE true fact.

So, let me ask all yall this -
suppose you child/wife/gf/friend/boss comes up to you and correctly and truthfully tells you the time and date and his/her weight. Does this mean you will now believe every single word out of his/her mouth in the future unquestioningly?

hmmmmmmmm indeed…

Oh yeah. before I forget – if the idea behind persecuting Clemens/Bonds is because of their heinous influence on poor unsuspecting high school and college kids and we simply MUST get roids out of the skoolz THINK of the children their parents had NO idea that no normal kid puts on 40 pounds of muscle in a few months – well, if you REALLY want roids gone, then TEST THE KIDS!!! It’s like duh. Surprise test the high skool kids, surprise test the college kids. Kick them out permanently if they test positive. That will put a heck of a lot better dent in steroid use than harassing Clemens et.al.

Kids don’t look at how Clemens is getting poked at now. They look at the examples of Clemens/Bonds, then look at their millions and think – whoa, if I use roids, I can be as good as those guys. Which, of course, is plain stupid. It’s talent, and you can’t roid-up talent, as Barry Lamar Himself could have said. But then again, teen age boys are not exactly reservoirs of good common sense.

1/5/08: Back In The Good Old Days Ballplayers Didn’t NEVAH Cheat

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

Why are people so intent on changing or glamorizing the past?
I was thinking about this in view of all the hysteria about Roger Clemens and who did or did not use steroids over the past 30 something years and why that is horrible but Mickey, Willie and the Duke (and almost everyone else) using amphetamines is no biggie.

The answer, given by way too many baseball writers and talkers on sports radio, ex-baseball players and old guys, is that baseball was “pure” back in The Good Old Days. What on earth is PURE? How could any contest, played by young, aggressive males be PURE? And what on EARTH are “The Good Old Days?”

Answer -
well, personally, I think it is every person’s idea of the Garden of Eden. Yeah, regardless of religious beliefs, I think that people have this vision of the Real, the Ideal, how Things Were before the Debbil come along and messed things up. It certainly is not based on any sort of reality.

For example, take us females – well, not THAT way. Mennnnnnn. I keep hearing how females today work SOOOOOO much harder and are under SOOOOOO much more stress. Say WHAT????? They gotta be smoking something to say that – comparing myself to both of my grandmothers: I actually had a high school to go to, I had access to medical care and medicines, I didn’t have to get married when I was 14 or 15, I didn’t have to spend my adult life pregnant because I can choose whether or not to get pregnant because my husband doesn’t have the right to rape and impregnate me against my wishes, I don’t have to watch my children die from the terrible diseases that go around every winter, I don’t spend sunup to sundown with not so much as a day off for my entire life washing clothes by hand, making all the clothes by hand, cooking 3 meals a day for at least a dozen people, I don’t worry that we are going to starve if there is bad weather and the crops die – and I could go on. We’re fairly poor, but I live like a queen compared to my female ancestors of all colors and races.

As for baseball – I’m not sure exactly where people got the idea that Back Then, ballplayers were just sweet little innocent boys who played For The Love Of The Game and who Played The Game As The Game Should Be Played and it certainly wasn’t for money. Sure there were your Lou Gehrig goody 2 shoes mama’s boys. But most of the guys were a heck of a lot more like Ty Cobb and Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth – not in talent, but in appetite for alcohol, fornicating and winning by whatever means they could. Somehow, the hidden ball trick, or holding a runner by his belt or throwing illegal spitballs, or Ellie Howard cutting the ball on his shin buckle before throwing it back to Whitey Ford, or all the boys popping illegal drugs before the game because hordes of wicked females had kidnapped them from their monks’ cells, forced alcohol down their unwilling throats then raped them all night making them too sick and tired to play, are all pushed aside.

(Note – as for me, I never bought into the picture of pure, unwilling, righteous, aggressive, vigorous, healthy, competitive young males being dragged off kicking and fighting, totally against their will by gangs of evil, vicious females intent on the destruction of the will, morals and sperm stores of these poor dear boys. Of course, I never bought into the picture of idyllic femalehood, in which females are pure, innocent, untouched by icky things like puberty or males, until they are 18 or 20 years old, then living the carefree life of ease while children magically appeared out of nowheres and took care of themselves while the household chores all did themselves and no one died or got sick or had troubles. So I’m a skeptic/realist and believe that people are people and always were…)

I’m not sure why so many sportswriters have these absurd fantasies about baseball players (as opposed to, say, football players or basketball players or golfers) but their obsession with unreality borders on not quite sane. I would say that any competitive person in any competitive event looks for whatever edge he/she can find. Or as Jim Bouton once explained – pitchers would use something that took ten years off their life if it gave them another 5 MPH on their fastball. Which sounds honest, and accurate, to me. Of course I know that some people go to the ridiculous extemes, like Rosie Ruiz, who didn’t even bother to run the marathon she (briefly) won, but those people quickly remove themselves from competition.

Anyway, I guess this is why I simply can’t seem to get myself all hot and bothered about baseball players (or maybe I should say ONLY baseball players named Barry Lamar Bonds and Roger Clemens and Mark McGwire) using steroids over the past 30 or so years, just as I can’t seem to get myself all hot and bothered by Mickey Mantle and his contemporaries using amphetamines, just as I can’t get myself all hot and bothered by Ty Cobb sliding in with spikes high, just as I can’t get hot and bothered by the 19th century players hiding another ball in the outfield grass or grabbing a runner by his belt. If you don’t like the way people do things, then change the rules and enforce them, don’t obsess that non-existant halcyon times were destroyed by men who want money (as if they didn’t want money and power Back Then) to play a child’s game.

But I’m not picking on sportswriters and old men and their faulty memories – really I’m not. Us females are just as bad. For some bizarre reason, most females really REALLY think that there really REALLY is this perfectly perfect in every way Prince Charming who will ride in and make their lives perfect too. Then of course, when they finally realize there is no such entity, they get angry, resentful and even bitter because they conveniently pretend that the phrase “for better or worse” in the marriage vows refers only to OTHER people. There never was any such perfect person and there is no such thing as a perfect life and there never was, ever.

But, I think baseball is foolishly idealized the way it is because it really is the game of life. And people seem to harbor this hope that life could be perfect, as it used to be, before the