Results tagged ‘ Steroid Era ’

A-Rod 600: Make Your Own Kind Of Judgement

Last week, Alex Rodriguez hit his 600th home run:

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Was there a big hoopla over an event that, 20 years ago, would have captivated the entire sport?  No, as long as you don’t count the number of at-bats it took him to finally blast-off again.

More interesting, though, is the lack of steroid-related snipings and gripings.  Where’s the outrage at “A-Roid” joining the same club as the Say Hey kid:

willie-mays-d2.jpg To me, this indicates what the future of the Steroid Era might hold.  Instead of the outrage that accompanied the feats of McGwire, Sosa, and Clemens, now baseball fans are taking a “make your own judgement” approach to the issue.  It used to be that we wanted to re-write the record books, but now we realize that the steroid issue is so pervasive that it cannot be successfully excised.  So, we make up our own minds as to who the record holders are.

I know who mine are:

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babe_crown.jpgNot a perfect system, by far, but perhaps it will have to suffice, like a scar reminding you of an old wound that will never quite heal.

The Ongoing Clemens Saga

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Not that I enjoy posting this sort of news on my blog, but the most recent development in the Roger Clemens vs. Brian McNamee case involves McNamee claiming that he injected Clemens multiple times (either in an apartment or right in the Yankee Stadium hot tub) during the 2001 with steroids and HGH.  Supposedly, the syringes McNamee handed over to the federal government some time ago even contain traces of Clemens’ DNA.

As I’ve said many times before, I think that Clemens is one of the most obviously guilty parties of the Steroid Era.  The only difference between him and pretty much all the others (McGwire, Sosa, etc.) is that Clemens (being a hothead his entire playing career) is fighting McNamee tooth and nail instead of just keeping quiet.  Thus, McNamee is now bringing out his big guns.

Of course, I don’t know what it says about McNamee’s character that he saved syringes that Clemens wanted him to discard, but this could be one of those situations where the ends justify the means.

Who Said Barry Bonds Has No “Appeal”?!

BondsTrial.jpgWhile I’m a little late on blogging about this news, it was announced a few days ago that federal prosecutors in the Barry Bonds case are appealing the judge’s ruling that Bonds’ positive steroid tests from 2003, as well as doping calendars put together by Bonds’ personal trainer Greg Anderson, could not be used as evidence that Bonds perjured himself.  This announcement was made shortly after Anderson again refused to testify against Bonds.  This new development will push the trial back into the summer months.

I know that many of you are probably sick of hearing about this kind of stuff during baseball’s ethereal-like Spring Training, but I feel compelled to discuss these matters due to the fact that they represent the biggest current problem in baseball right now.  Much like the 1919 Black Sox scandal, the Steroid Era has caused the game to lose much credibility, and thus must be dealt with in a very serious fashion.  I would like nothing more than to never write about the issue of steroids again, but unfortunately that may be long (if ever) in the future.

In an interesting comparison, I think that Bonds may very well be the “Shoeless” Joe Jackson of our generation.  Even though there wasn’t much concrete evidence that Jackson ever accepted a bribe to throw the 1919 World Series, he became one of the “Eight Men Out” nonetheless and was banned from the game for life just for THINKING about taking a bribe, essentially.  It could very well have been that then-Commissioner Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis made an example of Jackson, essentially declaring that not even the greatest stars could get away with acts that tarnish the game.

While Bonds’ case is a bit different, as he is much more quantifiably guilty than the Shoeless one, I believe he is also being made an example of.  I mean, there are many other players (weren’t there over 100 on the ’03 list?!) that the Fed could be going after, but instead they are focusing on nailing Bonds.  I’m not saying this is wrong by any means, as Bonds deserves to be punished if indeed he did perjure himself, but I’m just pointing out that the federal government is doing what current Commissioner Bud Selig has proven unable to do…play the “Judge Landis” card.

Notes:

-Just to let my readers know, I will not be blogging about individual Twins Spring Training games.  I know it is exciting that the boys of summer are getting after it again, but I’ve never really been able to get into evaluating essentially meaningless games.  Once the regular season starts, however, I hope to have some comments every night!

Union Man

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A day or two ago, MLB Commissioner Buddy-Boy Selig had a few harsh words for those criticizing his stand against steroids in the game.  Selig said that it “annoys the you-know-what out of me” to be criticized for the Steroid Era, and that he tried to institute a tough testing policy in 1995 but was fought by the MLB Players Union (led by Donald Fehr) every step of the way.

Now, while I can understand Selig’s frustration with Fehr’s Union, which has gotten completely out of hand with too much power the last decade or so, the commish seems to have forgotten one certain thing: the title in front of his name.  As commissioner, what Selig says is what WILL happen in baseball.  If he was frustrated by Fehr in 1995 while negotating the new bargaining agreement to avoid a longer players strike, why didn’t he just come to the public with the information?  He could have easily just held a press conference and told baseball fans that the Union is impeding my efforts to clean up the sport.  So much pressure would have been place on the Union at that time that they likely would have complied.  However, Bud instead chose to overlook the entire issue at the time (think all the U.S. Presidents before Abraham Lincoln overlooking that “little” issue call slavery) in order to gain a brittle trust with the Union.  That was his big mistake, and he is paying for it royally now.

So, when I hear Selig getting defensive about all the negative press he is currently receiving, I think he deserves every bit of it.  Only certain commissioners (Kennesaw Landis being first and foremost) have truly tried to do what was best for the game, but Selig is not one of them.  He THINKS he is (because he got the players back on the field in ’95), but really he just mortgaged the next decade to steroid issues.

The “Rocket” Fizzles!

roger_clemens_liar.jpgBesides all the fallout of the Alex Rodriguez steroid admission, which I will discuss on this blog in more detail in a later post, it was also recently announced that a federal judge dismissed basically all of Roger Clemens’ “defamation of character” lawsuit against former personal trainer Brian McNamee, who said in last year’s Mitchell Report that he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone.

For once, I think the U.S. justice system got things right!!  McNamee was promised federal immunity for his contributions to George Mitchell, and that is exactly what he is getting right now.  So, in essence, Clemens isn’t able to screw him over for just telling the truth.

As you will likely find out by reading my upcoming blog posts about steroids in major league baseball, I am a huge proponent of holding everyone (players, managers, trainers, commissioner Selig, etc.) accountable for the Steroid Era of 1994-2003.  Thus, I think that Clemens is getting EXACTLY what he deserves.  Whereas most players (Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa, etc.) have completely disappeared following steroid accusations, Clemens (because he is a jerk…just ask Mike Piazza about that) decided to lie through his teeth and fight it tooth and nail.  So far, though, he’s not winning and I’m all for that.

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