Tag Archives: Performance Enhancing Drugs

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.

Sandberg Says Sosa Shouldn’t Go To Hall of Fame! But, Why Is Sandberg In The Hall??

24 Jun

Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg said in a recent sports radio interview that Sammy Sosa shouldn’t make the Hall of Fame due to Sosa’s use of performance enhancing drugs.  Sandberg made the point that baseball’s Hall  lists integrity as one of the voting criteria for election to Cooperstown.  Rightly, Sandberg feels that Sosa and others like him who cheated the game should not be rewarded with sporting immortality.

I could not agree more with Ryne Sandberg.  It was brave of him to say it.  I’m glad he said it.

Then, I got to thinking.  Why exactly is Ryne Sandberg in the Hall of Fame?

In parts of 16 seasons, Sandberg hit 282 home runs with 1,061 RBI, a .285 batting average and a .344 on base percentage.  Not horrible by any stretch.  In addition, he managed to win about 30 Gold Gloves.

Still, a lot of guys had offensive stats like him and didn’t make the Hall anywhere as easily as Ryno.  And some worked at much tougher positions that Sandberg.

Sandberg contemporary Lou Whitaker played second for Detroit for 19 seasons.  He didn’t win an MVP like Sandberg, but he did win a Rookie of The Year Award and won a World Series unlike Sandberg.  Whitaker hit 244 homers, knocked in 1,084 runs, batted .276 with a .363 on base percentage.  Whitaker didn’t win the 300 Gold Gloves that Sandberg managed to win in just 16 seasons, but he did win three as well as four Silver Sluggers as the AL’s second basemen with the most pop in his bat.

It’s no slam dunk that Whitaker has a better Hall case than Sandberg, but they’re clearly in the same range.  Yet, Sandberg got in relatively easily and Whitaker has never gotten a serious sniff from Cooperstown.

And you don’t have to go much further.  Take a look at Whitaker’s double play partner all those years in Detroit.  Alan Trammell’s stats include 185 homers, 1,003 RBI, .285 and .352.  And this was all in an era in which shortstops didn’t need to contribute much to the offense.  Yet, Trammell’s vote total seems to decline every year and didn’t start out with much Cooperstown support to begin with.

We all know Joe Torre as a future Hall of Famer due largely to his managerial success with the Yankees.  Yet, Torre’s stats as a player don’t look all that much different than Sandberg’s.  18 seasons, 252, 1185, .297 and .365.  Torre has never threatened to enter the Hall as a player.

Frankly, Sandberg’s career stats don’t even dwarf Ray Durham, who in 14 seasons put up 192, 875 along with a .277 batting average and .352 OBP.  Ray Durham was a respectable major leaguer but he’s rarely confused with a baseball immortal.  So, why are even his stats within shouting distance of Sandberg’s?

I guess there’s a few answers for that one.  Seems to me that Sandberg was undeniably talented.  He won a lot of gold gloves and was beloved in Chicago.  His really good years were on a different level than most of the other guys on this list and that helped his legend grow.  The one MVP year didn’t hurt him at all either.

It’s not that Sandberg wasn’t a good player.  He was.  Chicago knows their baseball.  And again, he did pile up Gold Glove Awards year after year.

It’s that Sandberg’s prime if you really look at it was too short to have merited getting into the Hall so quickly.

On Sandberg’s page of baseballreference.com his page sponsor’s quote is that Ryno was the best Cub the sponsor ever saw. 

Guess he never saw Ron Santo, Ernie Banks, or Billy Williams to name just a few…  And by the way, Santo’s not in the Hall of Fame.

PS – here’s a link to Ryne Sandberg’s stat page:


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…

Andy Pettitte Still Doesn’t Get It!

19 Feb

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I promised myself I wouldn’t write yet another blog post about Yankee’s sort of ace Andy Pettitte.  I’ve already written twice about him.  I’m not the kind of person who likes to pile on.  When I initially wrote about Pettitte, I questioned why he got such a free pass on his HGH use and suggested that maybe there was more than he initially admitted to. My second post basically harped about the fact that I was 100% correct. 

And then I said, enough is enough.  No more Pettitte posts.  Despite it all, he does have a good guy rep and he has gone through a lot over the last couple of days.  So, Pettitte had some sympathy coming from me in spite of everything.  Honestly, I think the fact that my readership suddenly surged due to my being ahead of the Pettitte curve made me feel just a little indebted. So, I really wasn’t going to write another thing about the man.

Then, he holds his press conference.  And I just have to react to two things that he said because they both prove that he just doesn’t get it.

First, Pettitte was asked if he considered himself a cheater.  In complete denial, he replied that he didn’t.  He then rehashed the same good ol’ Andy act.  He said he wasn’t a cheater because he wasn’t trying to throw faster or get better.  He was simply trying to heal faster.  You know, for the team.  Cause Andy’s like that.  He’s a team guy.  Somehow this team guy can’t understand that healing faster IS cheating.  If everyone you are competing against isn’t also taking HGH (and in fairness many might have been) than you are getting an advantage and yes giving an advantage to your team.  He also completely disregards that HGH use is illegal without a prescription.  If he’s not a cheater, than why did he have to get the HGH through illegal means?  Andy’s not stupid. He’s just in self-denial.

The second point that rubbed me the wrong way was when Andy Pettitte had the gall to say that others might learn from his example and all that he was “put through”.  I think he’s right that others may learn not to use illegal drugs, not to give themselves an unfair competitive advantage, and not to throw their dad under the bus while lying multiple times about their own stupid behavior.  So, Pettitte is right that his bad example may give smarter athletes something to learn from.

But, Andy, come on.  “Put through”?  Pettitte wasn’t put through ANYTHING.  He got away with illegal drugs.  And he still has many apologists singing his praises.  No one put him through anything.  He BROUGHT it all upon himself.  He used the drugs.  He lied about it.  He is responsible for the uncomfortable position he put himself and family in. Yet, he is blind to all of this.  He can’t see that any of this was his fault.

And despite all this blindness, he could see that he had to sign his Yankee contract just before The Mitchell Report came out implicating him.  In doing so, he obligated the Bronx Bombers to spend 16 million dollars on a guy they might not have paid that much had they known he was about to be a confirmed cheat. 

Go to fullsize imageAndy Pettitte.  Yeah, he’s a real team player.

Oh, and Andy.  Thanks for the hits…

Andy Pettitte is a Liar & You Heard It Here First!

14 Feb

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Yes, today it was confirmed that while Andy Pettitte may be a Christian, he is in fact a liar nonetheless.Of course, if you’ve been stopping by Full Contact, then you knew this already because you’d read this post:

In my original post on Pettitte, I railed against the notion that just cause Andy comes off like a nice guy & claims to be religious that his admission of using HGH only twice should be unchallenged.  I could not have been more on the money.

It turns out that Pettitte admitted to Congress that he in fact had used HGH again in 2004.  And for good measure, he noted that he got the HGH from his sick father.  What a hero.  Not only is he a cheater, but now he’s taking his father down with him.

Go to fullsize imageFor his admission of being less than honest with the Mitchell Report investigators, what do you think Andy Pettitte’s reward was?  Praise.  It’s incredible.  John Gotti died in jail, but Andy Pettitte is still Teflon.  Everyone keeps falling for this nice guy defense.

Go to fullsize imageHenry Waxman, a Congressman investigating this mess and apparently not such a bright guy, went so far as to say “Mr. Pettitte’s consistency makes him a role model on and off the field”.

Which Mr. Pettitte was he talking about?  Maybe he meant Andy’s dad.  I can only hope so because so far the last thing that Andy Pettitte has been in this situation is consistent. Unless you’re talking about the lying.

Not Even Congress Can Touch Andy Pettitte When It Comes To Drug Abuse!

12 Feb

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While Andy Pettitte has always been a notch or two below a front of the rotation ace on the mound, it’s becoming increasingly clear that when it comes to drug abuse no one can touch Andy Pettitte.  Pettitte is known as a good guy, people say he takes his Christian faith very seriously and because of that people trust that he’ll do what’s right.  I’m a Christian too and I’m not seeing it that way.Let’s examine…

Go to fullsize imageFirst, the Mitchell Report comes out and shock of shocks Andy’s name is on it.  Pettitte immediately comes out to confirm that he did in fact use HGH but only for a few days.  His public statement, which may or may not be true, is brilliant.  He’s either one smart cookie or he got himself a great group of advisers.

Pettitte’s explanation was effective because it got him out in front of the story.  He admitted he did it.  However, he was able to say that it was a for a short time only and for a very good reason. Pettitte’s spin or logic (you call it) was that he was injured and simply took the HGH to try to get back sooner to help his team.  What a team guy!

People loved his explanation because it fit public perception of him.  Not only was he doing the honorable thing in admitting it, but his motivation was for love of his team.  He wanted to help.  What people are missing is that he wanted to help anyway he could even if it meant cheating.  That doesn’t fit Andy’s public persona so people just throw that part of the story out.

Go to fullsize imageEqually infuriating to no now but me is that legions of fans, talk radio hosts and other assorted geniuses, have relied on Pettitte’s deep religious beliefs as a reason to believe that he’s telling the truth now.  I’ve got news, people.  Christians lie.  So do Jews, Muslims and Buddhists.  Human beings lie.  In a world where we’ve seen Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart have to publicly repent for their sins, in a world where Newt Gingrich now admits that he was cheating on his wife while pursuing his nemesis Bill Clinton for the Lewinski scandal, why do we so easily swallow that Andy Pettitte is so religious that he wouldn’t lie?

Go to fullsize imageFinally, today comes the news that Pettitte will now NOT appear before Congress with ex-pal Roger Clemens.  It seems that Andy has answered all of Congress’s questions to their satisfaction already.  As a reward, Andy will not be forced to say something potentially damaging in public about his former workout buddy.  I guess it wouldn’t be “Christian” for Pettitte to have to tell the truth about the Rocket and say something that casts the legendary pitcher in a bad light.

As a fellow Christian, it doesn’t strike me as very brave or morally right to duck a chance to truly set the record straight. Your mom and mine told us if we have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all.  I don’t think, however, that they were thinking about us talking to Congress about performance enhancing drugs.  I think a good Christian goes before Congress and tells all.  That’s what I think Jesus would do.  After all, he was all about  throwing your best fastball down the middle no matter what the consequences.