Tag Archives: A Rod

Hank Aaron, The True Home Run King, Is Dead Wrong About Steroids!

5 Aug

Read somewhere online that Hank Aaron wants the 2003 list of steroid abusers made public.  I greatly respect Mr. Aaron.  I have taught my kids that he’s the true home run king, which of course, he is.

Despite all of this Hank Aaron could not be more wrong on this point.  Players only submitted to the tests because they were assured that the results would remain confidential.  That promise enabled the test to happen and to illustrate the extent of baseball’s performance enhancing problem.  The test served its purpose and that should be that.

But, of course, that is not that.  The names have been leaking out in dribs and drabs.  It’s frustrating for fans and the players alike.  Outed players like A-Rod & Big Papi get to bare the brunt of the backlash while others who were just as guilty get to slide by unnoticed.

It’s not fair, but neither is life.  Fact is that you only make it worse by releasing all the names.  How many more reputations will be tainted and lives damaged?

Yes, I’m as disgusted as you at how bad baseball let the steroid problem become.  But, baseball knows it has a problem and has taken positive and effective steps to try to clean it up.  It seems to me that by releasing the 2003 list, you risk alienating the players and their union and only make cracking down on PEDs harder.

But, what do I know?  After all, I’m not the home run king.

Advertisements

Mike Golic Could Not Be More Wrong About Baseball & Steroids!

18 Jun

I was listening to ESPN’s Mike & Mike this morning and was shocked at the stuff coming out of Mike Golic’s mouth.  Truth be told, I’m a Golic fan.  I’ve generally appreciated his insights as a former player and respected his opinions.  Plus, he seems like a good guy.

This morning, Mike Golic sounded like an ignorant guy.  The topic was Sammy Sosa and performance enhancers in baseball.  Golic bought into the logic spouted by Bud Selig in an audio clip played by Mike & Mike.  In the clip, Bud makes the astounding claim that baseball took care of its steroid problem years ago.  Selig further goes on to site how under the new drug policy there have been very few positive drug tests.  He sounds annoyed that he’s got to answer Sammy Sosa questions, when after all everyone knows Bud has cleaned up the game.  And YEARS ago to boot!

Golic swallowed it all hook line and sinker.  Pretty naive for a big man…

Baseball, despite what’s its commissioner would have you believe, is still grappling with its performance enhancement issue.   Manny just tested positive.  Bonds and Clemens continue to have legal problems related to their alleged steroid usage.  In addition, Sosa’s positive test wasn’t all that long ago.  It was in 2004 if memory serves and he hasn’t spent the intervening five years publicizing it.  In fact, it’s been the opposite.  Sosa, a cheat who was caught corking red-handed, has always maintained that he never succeeded due to anything other than his own perseverance.  He claimed this two short weeks ago again and said that any claims otherwise would be swiftly and aggressively disputed.  Funny how he’s being so silent now.

The fact is, and Golic should know it, these things simply take time to come out.  People won’t admit it unless they’re really pressed or pandering for dollars like Jose Canseco.  As recently as 2004, over a hundred players were caught juicing.  Only two so far have been exposed – Sosa & A-Rod.  The other guys are all keeping quiet.

And if they caught over a hundred, how many others cycled off in time to avoid making the list?  The fact is that in all sports some athletes will always do whatever they can to get an edge.

Sure, there’s testing now and it’s tougher than many expected.  But, anything can be worked around and with scientists always hard at work to find that next profit center, you can be sure there are guys playing today who are using stuff baseball is just not testing for yet.

So, yes, there’s been progress.  But contrary to Selig & Golic, this isn’t over.  A new era has begun.  Baseball, which was for so long complicit in the takeover of its game by drug taking cheaters, has now been forced kicking and screaming to try to police the game and ensure a level playing field.

Welcome to the real world, Mike Golic…

Dan Rooney Could Be This Blog’s Man Of The Year! Plus Nonsense About A Rod & Twitter!

18 Mar

President Obama today named Steelers’ owner Dan Rooney as the US Ambassador to Ireland.  Fitting that it was on St. Patrick’s Day.

Congrats to Dan Rooney who epitomizes what this blog stands for.  Passion for sports and politics.

I’m not sure where he stands on nonsense.  But, we like that too.  So here’s some more of that:

A-Rod – Crazy pictures from upcoming Details magazine came out today.  Do you have to love or hate this guy?  Is he misguided or mentally ill?  For what it’s worth, I’ve rarely seen an athlete gifted with so much work so hard to find ways to get people not to love him while not being a really bad guy. Anyway, here’s a link – you decide!  http://men.style.com/details/features/landing?id=content_8397

Charlie Villanueva– Speaking of crazy and nonsense… Villanueva tweeted during half time of a recent game against the Celtics.  The Bucks, fighting for their playoff lives, were not amused.  In fairness, he tweeted that he had to step it up and then did in the second half.

Not sure if Villanueva or the NBA looks dumber here.  Villanueva had to know it wouldn’t look good for him to tweet at halftime.  On the other hand, maybe the NBA is missing a golden opportunity.  If football coaches are forced to give sideline interviews at half time and hockey players do interviews between periods, than maybe the NBA should be encouraging all its players to follow in Villanueva’s footsteps.

Nothing like giving the fan an inside view after all…  Just ask A Rod!

WTF Is Baseball Going To Do About The Hall Of Fame Now? I’ve Got The Answer! (You’re Welcome!)

8 Feb

Baseball has some problems.  It may not be the biggest of its many challenges, but perhaps baseball’s most intriguing  problem right now is its Hall of Fame situation and I’ve got the answer.

Let’s rewind.  Remember when Mark McGwire captured America’s fascination by hitting home runs by the bushel?  Eventually, he even broke Roger Maris’ all time one season home run record.  Not only did he break it, but he and Sammy Sosa engaged in a riveting chase that brought many back to baseball.  McGwire was a class act the whole way.  He was terrific to Maris’ family.  While they might not have wished for Roger’s mark to be overtaken, the Maris Family couldn’t have asked for anyone to be more sensitive to them while doing it.

McGwire was a clear Hall of Famer.  He broke one of the game’s most cherished records with class.  He was going to end up among the top five or so home run guys of all time.  There was no doubt at the time that Big Mac was going to Cooperstown on the first ballot.  And from what we knew at the time, he deserved it.

Of course, it didn’t last long.  Soon enough we figured out that Big Mac was a big cheat.  Suddenly his treatment of the Maris Family didn’t feel so good anymore.  Then, to seal his fate, he struck out in front of Congress.  He looked foolish and very guilty.  Since then, Big Mac has basically been in hiding.

Since then, Big Mac has been no where near Cooperstown either.  In the few elections that McGwire has been eligible for, Hall of Fame voters have given him precious little support.  Based on the numbers alone, he should be in.  Now that we know that some portion of those amazing stats are artificial, baseball’s keepers of Cooperstown seem determined to keep Mark McGwire out.

Barry Bonds is currently having troubles with the Feds, who seem determined to get to the bottom of his steroid usage.  While not yet convicted, you’d be hard pressed to find too many people now who don’t think Barry cheated.  With one year out of the game, Bonds has to wait at least another four years before being eligible for the Hall.  Given the cloud he’s under and the reaction to McGwire’s candidacy, it’s not looking good for Barry to go in on the first ballot (which his numbers would merit) or perhaps forever.

Today, comes the revelation that the game’s best current hitter, A-Rod, tested positive for steroids back when he played for the Rangers.

So, in the next decade or so, baseball will be faced with what to do with Mark McGwire who was the closest thing to Babe Ruth in our time, Sammy Sosa who hit over 600 home runs,  Barry Bonds who broke Aaron’s career mark and now Alex Rodriguez who may yet pass Bonds.

That’s a problem, people.  How do you keep McGwire out but someday elect Bonds or Alex Rodriguez?  How can you have a Hall of Fame that doesn’t include those guys?  Who were truly the best clean players of this era?  We’ll never know and that’s yet another problem.

Here’s the solution.  Go the route of South Africa.  Baseball should establish a truth commission.  Players would be able to come before it and admit how they cheated.  Once they had done that, Hall of Fame voters would be instructed that they could not use allegations or rumor or even admitted abuse of steroids or HGH against those players.  Player who came clean would only be judged on what they did on the field, which would keep things simple.

If McGwire or Bonds or Sosa decided to tell the truth, than any one of them would only be judged on their numbers and gain easy access to Cooperstown.  If one of them refused to admit anything, that’s ok too.  It’s their choice after all.   But, voters would not be instructed to have to disregard allegations or rumors of cheating.

Players would have their fate in their own hands.  It would be up to them to decide if they thought coming clean would be worth the better shot at Cooperstown. 

Finally, Cooperstown should create an exhibit on baseball  in the ’90s and on that addresses steroids and HGH.  It should tell the full history of how guys like Sosa, Bonds and McGwire and even A-Rod ended up tainted by it.  It should note that we’ll never know what numbers are fully real and which are artificial, but that at least some of the game’s stars came clean when given the chance.

A-Rod Takes The Innocence Of A 42 Year Old Hetrosexual Male!

8 Feb

Yup, that’s me I’m referring to in the post headline.  I’m 42, male, hetro and have a pathological hatred for all things Yankee.  Yet, today A-Rod crushed my innocence.

How was this possible you ask?  Well, let’s start with Barry Bonds.  For some crazy reason, I bought that Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa smashed Roger Maris’ season home run legitimately.  Looking at both of them, I thought they were freaks of nature who benefited from the advanced training methods available to today’s multi-millionaire athletes as well as from the decline of quality pitching.  McGwire and Sosa had always hit bunches of home runs so it didn’t seem so strange they not only passed but obliterated the mark that had taken so much out of Maris.  Plus, for whatever I think of McGwire and Sosa now, it must be said that they both handled the chase for Roger’s record with a great deal of charm and class.  I bought it all.

Barry Bonds is a different story.  Bonds was, of course, more talented than either Sosa or McGwire.  He just didn’t hit as many home runs as they did.  Until, that is, he began to in his mid thirties.  Suddenly, Bonds’ totals were skyrocketing.  No one in the whole history of the game had gone from really great to all time freaking amazing great in his mid thirties.  Usually, players slow down as they age.  Not Bonds.  Bonds was busy breaking McGwire’s home run record.  Something wasn’t right.  Players don’t do what Bonds did at his age without help.  They cheat.  It’s more than obvious that Bonds juiced.  The Feds may never nail him, but most of America could sleep at night if they were on a jury that convicted him of steroid abuse.  I hate statements like this upcoming one, but we all know he did it.

Bonds cheating to pass Hank Aaron on the all time home run list personally offended me.  Hank Aaron is a gracious man.  Bonds, despite his legion of apologists, is a sour personality who really doesn’t seem to appreciate what the game has given him.  Hank Aaron endured death threats and all kinds of racism during the quest to pass Babe Ruth.  Hank Aaron did it the right way.  He didn’t cheat and he overtook the Babe with dignity.

On the other hand, Bonds would let nothing slow him down on the way past Aaron.  He added steroids to his training regime to keep up with McGwire and Sosa.  Then, as he was closing in on Hammering Hank, it all started to fall apart.  We started to hear about how Barry Bonds had been cheating.  His home runs were artificial.  They were fueled by steroids.  Bonds, wouldn’t let the controversy get in his way.  He just kept  knocking them out of the park.  MLB was weak and did nothing.  Bud Selig held his nose and attended the game in which Barry cheated his way past Hank.

You have to give it to Barry.  Nowhere along the way did he crack.  Never did he express regret.  He somehow held it all together and just kept stepping on home plate.  Too bad such determination couldn’t have been applied to a better cause.

If Barry Bonds had any conscience or class at all, he could have made the ultimate gesture.  He could have stopped.  He could have given up the chase, admitted he’d cheated and realized he didn’t want to pass a quality human being like  Hank Aaron in such a tawdry way.  Barry Bonds could have turned it all around.  I would have been writing about how Bonds had made a mistake, come clean, and punished himself by giving up the chase.  For me, that would have been enough to say let’s forgive and forget.  For me, that would have been enough to say he belongs in Cooperstown, since after all he was a Hall of Fame caliber player way before the ‘roids.

Of course, all of that is a dream, a fantasy.  The world doesn’t work that way.  Today, Alex Rodriguez taught me that.  You see, despite my 42 years on this planet, I still like to believe in things.  I believed in Alex Rodriguez.

Sure, I hated seeing him go to the Yankees.  And certainly seeing him up close now that he plays in my home market, I’ve come to see that he has some personality issues too.  Yet, I never doubted that Alex was clean.

The guy started in the game so young and never seemed very big, yet the homers were always there.  I believed he was something special.  I believed he was the best hitter of his generation.  I even heard sports talk hosts and journalists stating that he was obviously not a steroid guy.  Like Bonds, he had us all fooled.

I believed.  As much as Bonds sitting atop the all time homer list gnaws at me, I was content in my anticipation of the clean living A-Rod passing Bonds’ cheating ass in the next few years barring injury or unexpected decline.  It was poetic justice.  I’ve taught my kids that the real home run champ is Hank Aaron.  I was looking forward to teaching them about how A-Rod took back the crown that Bonds had stolen and restored baseball’s reputation in the process.  It was going to be a great lesson about how you can achieve things the right way.

So, today we find out that A-Rod flunked a test in 2003 and was on at least two steroids while he played for the Texas Rangers.  I feel like a fool.  I feel let down.

What do I teach my children now?

Thanks, A-Fraud.  Now we know Joe Torre was right the whole time.  And my kids will learn a whole new lesson from you.

Joe Torre Proves He’s A Fraud Too!

25 Jan

According to early newspaper reports on Joe Torre’s upcoming book, the former Yankee skipper says A-Rod’s Yankee teammates referred to him as A-Fraud.  Torre also reveals that A-Rod has a Jeter obsession and takes some shots at GM Brian Cashman and King George along the way.

All of the above may be true and well deserved commentary.  Here’s the thing though, this book is going to change people’s perceptions of Torre rather than his targets.  Long regarded as a class act, a book like this is going to take Joe Torre’s good reputation down more than a few pegs.

For the life of me, I don’t understand this move by Joe Torre.  I’m not a Yankee fan, but many of my friends and c0-workers are.  From what I’ve seen most were ready for a regime change.  But, it wasn’t that Yankee fans no longer liked Joe Torre, in fact it was quite the opposite.  New York fans are sophisticated and realized that like anything else Torre’s run simply had run its course.  The team just needed to hear a new voice after so many year’s of Torre’s.

When the Yankees forced Torre out by offering a contract they knew was way below what he was expecting, most Yankee fans were not happy to see Joe leave the organization.  Many expected him to no longer manage but to stay part of the Yankee family.  They were disappointed when Torre fled for the bright lights of L.A., but they understood and most sided with Torre over Cashman and the Steinbrenners.

Why?  Cause they thought he was a class act.

I wonder what Yankee fans are thinking now? 

Anyway, back to what I’m thinking.  I can’t understand why Torre would do it.  It can’t be for the money.  He’s making a seriously nice salary with the Dodgers.  So, it’s got to be that Joe Torre is majorly ticked off at the Yankees.

We’ve all been there.  It could be directed at your boss, a good friend or your wife.  You are just too angry or hurt and end up saying something that you know will end up hurting you more than the person you’re trashing. 

Today was Joe Torre’s turn to say something dumb and prove that Saint Joe is merely human.

Mission accomplished…

John Rocker – This Year’s Canseco?

13 Feb

Go to fullsize image

Why Should We Believe John Rocker? Two words. Jose Canseco.

As a true baseball hero once said it’s deja vu all over again. John Rocker, major league outcast andconfirmed nitwit, has come out with some startling accusations about Major League Baseball’s complicity in the steriod scandal it’s currently mired in.  Just like Jose, no one believes him.

Go to fullsize image\
Go to fullsize imageRocker claims that Selig knew Rocker had failed a steriod test back in 2000 and didnt punish him. He also says that as a Texas Ranger he was part of hallway conversation in which a team doctor and a doctor from the player’s association gave him and several teammates tips on how to best use steriods to avoid ending up like Lyle Alzado. He claims A Rod, Pudge Rodriguez and noted cheater Rafael Palmiero were part of that discussion.  The reaction has been predictable. Rocker is justifably not held in high esteem. So, people have jumped all over him. 

And they are right to do so on his Selig claim. Turns out, Bud is covered and John Rocker is simply misinformed on how such problems were handled way back at the turn of the century.

When Rocker tested positive, MLB’s agreement with the player’s union was that positive steroid tests would be kept strictly confidential. The commisioner should never have been informed and he wasn’t. According to policy back then, Rocker was referred for confidential treatment without Selig knowing anything.

OK, so that’s strike one against John Rocker. And now we’ll find out how the former pitcher hits when he’s behind in the count.

Will his second claim prove true?  Was baseball giving players advice on proper juicing?  What did A Rod, Pudge and others do with the advice?

We know Jose Canseco is a lot of things, an attention whore for one, but in the end he turned out to be a somewhat truthful voice in this big mess.

We know John Rocker is capable of being an intolerant bigot, but my gut tells me we’ll eventually find out he, like Canseco before him, is not a complete liar.

And when Rocker looks good, baseball should worry.