Thursday, February 24, 2005

Thoughts From A Fan

I know. It's been everywhere. But, I can't resist. This will be my "airing it out" blog.

It is difficult to look at certain players in ANY camp and not notice that "they look a bit smaller." But one must, because they do. Now, perhaps, they all got together and said, "Let's all go on a diet so that the public cannot tell who roided and who did not." This, however, is highly unlikely. One thing is for certain. I wish that I could drop 20 pounds over the next two and a half months.

But, while we are on this very tired subject allow me to throw something out there that the mainstream media HAS NOT been discussing. I will type this slowly so that they'll be able to follow this blog...PITCHERS WERE DOING IT, TOO!

I understand that the batting stats went through the roof...but...isn't it possible that some guys (Sturtze..remember his attack against Kapler?... and others) found 5+MPH on their fastballs thanks to enhancement. Isn't it possible that some fading pitchers were able to hang around? That some younger pitchers were very strong?

I wonder if we'll see a reduction in the "Tommy John" surgeries now that (using physics here) the pressure on a lot of elbows will be less.

Irony? How about all the talk (during the HR race, and overall power surge) of the "ball being juiced"?

Is it strange to anyone else that the 'roid rage came of age just following the strike?

By the way, the other night on ESPNClassic, I watched a report from "60 Minutes" from a few years ago. An ex-DL from the Atlanta Falcons was talking about steroid usage (among other drugs in the NFL). Want to hear how players got around the testing? This shows what people are willing to go through for this stuff. When called, players would fly to "Testing Areas" with their doctors. Minutes before being tested, players would urinate, then have their doctors catheterize other people's "clean" urine in to their bladder. Thus, their test was clean!

I think that clears this out of my system. I was just tired of hearing of Bonds (who should not be allowed in the Hall of Fame until Rose is), Canseco, and others.

That's it on roids...


  1. That is a good point on pitchers. Apparently there was an article in one of the bay area papers that included an interview with Dave Stewart where he speculated that it was not just hitters. Then on the local talk radio (and here they actually have a show that is pretty intelligent) it got talked about a bit - with FP Santangelo (recent former MLB player).

    They said it was likely and even started throwing out names. Number one on their list was Gagne (although that might be the Dodger hater speaking in the Bay Area). Also included were Clemens, Kerry Wood, Percival (I'm not so sure on that), Brad Lidge (hmmm plays with Clemens), Ben Sheets, and the revived Jaret Wright and Jose Lima. I'm sure we could come up with some more. The telltale sing they talked about was Gagne went from 93 mph to going home and "working out with some of his hockey buddies.." and now he hits 98-99.

    Pretty nasty stuff about the urine. Yuck.

    As for Rose and Bonds, that is a tough comparison. Rose walked through the clubhouse door every day. And Rule 21 is posted in the door of every MLB clubhouse (in both english and spanish). Bonds case is a bit different. Aside from the legality of the issue, he had 3 MVPs and 400 HRs long before he bulked up. I think it needs addressing and he may not be a first ballot HOFer, but the issues are different to me.

  2. Right about Bonds. But we all argue whether or not someone like Palmiero deserves to go to the Hall. Maybe Bonds would have retired a few years ago and never approached these types of numbers. Also, his numbers from strike on were amazing. Better than his first few years.

    Rose bet on baseball as a manager, right? He never admitted to it during his playing years. So, why is he penalized for that? I could see if he lost a few game 7s as a manager (throwing games to win a bet). But that guy was unbelievable. It is also widely accepted that he was addicted to gambling. He couldn't help himself. Bonds could certainly have stopped himself from using roids...

  3. So GYS Founder may call me Thomas for continuing along this tangent, but regarding Pete Rose...

    Yes, he claims he never bet on baseball while he was a player. But why should we believe him? For over 10 years he insisted he never bet on baseball at all, and then changed his story -- if you ask me he's probably as much a compulsive liar as a compulsive gambler. And I'm not sure how he worded his denials, but since he was a player-manager for a while, that introduces a pretty big loophole ("I only bet on baseball while I was managing").

    But whatever, innocent until proven guilty, and the Dowd Report found nothing on him when he was a player. But I say betting on baseball as a manager -- which he's admitted to -- is still very bad for the game. He (claims he) never bet against the Reds, but he bet on them sometimes. But what's the difference? If you sometimes bet on your team, then all the times you don't, you're basically saying you don't think your team will win. Moreover, one big part of being a manager is recognizing that the season has 162 games, and each one is equally important. If you bet on only some of them, they stop being equally important, to you at least. There are a number of decisions the manager must make about winning the current game vs. being in good shape in the long run -- use of the bullpen, IP by the starters, resting the top position players, etc -- and if gambling affects such decisions (even if only subconsciously), it affects the integrity of the game.

    I'm not saying Rose isn't a HOF'er -- I keep going back and forth on that -- I'm just saying what he did was really, really terrible for baseball.

  4. I concur with everything Jesse (nay Earl) says about Rose - right down to going back and forth about whether he belongs in the Hall.

    The thing that is probably most damning is how defiant he was. Then he "admitted" it, but even his admission was to make a quick buck and there was no contrition. Had the guy been more sincere in his admission he very may well have been scheduled for induction this summer.

    It should be interesting how baseball handles him now. They already have the steroid "scandal." If they allow Rose in the Hall any time soon, baseball will probably catch major flack about being lenient on Rose after being lenient on all the Steroid users. But they also might think that they need a feel good story.

    Getting back to Bonds, who knows when he started using. If you pick the Strike year, which seems early in terms of when he really started bulking up, you still have some amazing numbers.

    The year before the strike (his first season in SF ad they were still playing at the stick) he hit 46 HR, .336 AVG, .458 OBP, and slugged .677. Very heady numbers. And he was still skinny.

    After the strike year, Bonds at the still young age of 30 had hit 259 HRs and won 3 MVPs. Plus his average and .OBP for his career were amazing. Of course his numbers did spike - but not until the 2000 season. So yes, I agree it is very bad for him to have been an obvious steroid use, but that guy was damn good from the beginning. Hall of famer - absolutely. Maybe his "punishment" will be that a lot of writers will leave him off their ballot the first year.

    Or, to bring us back to the original topic, maybe it does not matter. Hitters were doing it. But so were pitchers.

    And what about this when comparing generations:

    Ruth, Gherig, et al - did not have to face latin and black pitchers.

    Mantle, Williams - very long travel via train, no modern amenities.

    Mays, Aaron - no relief specialists, closers, etc.

    The point is, every generation had differences. Not to condone "cheating" but just makes it hard to argue one should make significant distinctions between the players who have dominated their peers.

    I can not wait for the first real games to start. Hell even exhibition games. Anyone know when the first Sox game is on NESN?

    Peace and baseball.

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