Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I can't tell you how relieved I am...

that the Milwaukee Brewers and Cory Hart came to terms before the evil arbitration process caused bad blood between the two. As far as I am concerned, the 'Crew and Hart are made for each other. I'm not too fond of either one of them.

I have been trying to get to the bottom of my disdain for Corey Hart. I am not prone to hate people I've never met, so this really bothers me. After much soul searching (by "soul" I mean Google), this may be why I hate Corey Hart so much...

I wonder if the Brewers' Cory Hart wears his sunglasses at night too...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

HOF and Records for the Steroid Era

I've been inspired by Hank Aaron. His point of view of MLB records and their fall during the Steroid Era has me thinking. I am going to throw this topic out there for discussion, but first I would like to give you some quotes from Aaron regarding the all-time HR record:

"In all fairness to everybody, I just don't see how you really can do a thing like that and just say somebody isn't the record holder anymore, and let's go back to the way that it was." "If you did that, you'd have to go back and change all kinds of records, and the [home run] record was very important to me." "It's probably the most hallowed record out there, as far as I'm concerned, but it's now in the hands of somebody else. It belongs to Barry. No matter how we look at it, it's his record, and I held it for a long time. But my take on all of this has always been the same. I'm not going to say that Barry's got it because of this or because of that, because I don't know."

I completely agree with Mr. Aaron. The records from the Steroid Era should stand. Who can say what would have happened if steroids and other PEDs had not been introduced into the sport? Nobody. In the annals of history, everyone will know about Barry Bonds and his suspected (confirmed, if he is convicted of perjury) use of PEDs. Nobody will be looking at these numbers in a vaccuum. Everyone will know that Hank Aaron held the record without the cloud of suspicion. Someone will come along, years down the road, and take the all-time HR record from Bonds. He won't hold it forever.

The HOF is a different animal. Pete Rose was banned for gambling. The rules the forbid betting on games are there so that the results of the game aren't changed by some outside (or inside) force. I'm looking at you, Black Sox. Rose broke a rule that was to protect the integrity of the outcome of games. PEDs are designed to help a player change the outcome of a game. If it is found that Barry, in fact, used PEDs, he cannot go into the Hall unless the ban is also lifted on Rose. There's no other answer.

Just my two cents.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

No four sweeter words than...

Pitchers and catchers report.

After a long winter of dumb rumors and steroid allegations, we can get back to the sport. Don't get me wrong, there will still be dumb rumors and steroid allegations, but at least that will be offset by athletic competition.

This is the time of the year that we will get to hear insane predictions as well. I am hoping some sports writer comes up with something like "Tim Lincecum will win 30 games this year." For you fans of the NL Central, this is the time of year that someone (incorrectly) predicts the Reds to be the "dark horse" of the division. "Their players are due for a breakout year. This may be it." Blech.

Anyhow, I can't contain my giddiness. I'm even ready to get into the WBC. That's how desperate I am for baseball...

Monday, February 9, 2009

No Snappy Title Here

Anything clever that I could think of would have already been printed in a newspaper, on a website, or on a blog. Of course, I am referring to A-Rod's admission of steroid use.

This is a big thing for baseball, although I didn't feel it was totally unexpected. I've already seen the articles claiming gloom and doom. I'm calling you out, Ted Keith.

A-Rod controversy spoils entire 2009 campaign before it begins

That dog won't hunt, monsignor. Let me tell you why I respectfully disagree, Mr. Keith. I will pick apart your article a la FJM.

Baseball's new season has not yet begun, but it has already been defined: This will be the season of Alex Rodriguez.

OK. I'm ready for your arguments. Go.

As surely as 1998 belonged to Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa and 2007 to Barry Bonds, 2009 will be all about A-Rod. It will be about steroid questions, explanations and controversy, about being suspicious of a ballplayer's achievements instead of a celebration of them.

I think you are drawing a faulty comparison here and you even point out your mistake. Sosa, McGwire, and Bonds all broke long-standing records in those years you mentioned. People followed those home run chases for months. Why wouldn't you remember that for a particular year? This A-Rod thing is a (presumably) one-time announcement. Besides, your theory is shot to hell when the next big name comes out from the 104 "anonymous" tests.

One general manager contacted for this story was asked what impact the Rodriguez story will have on the game this year. He begged off the topic, saying he just wanted to focus on spring training.

If I were an owner, I would fire my GM if he wanted to run his mouth about some player on another team. Really, what did you expect him to say?

Indeed, of all the reactions that have been expressed in the aftermath of the news about A-Rod, the most disappointing of all is this: The Steroid Era lives on.

I would more correctly term this the "Discovery of the Steroid Era Era." Players will still test positive for steroids, just as they will still test positive for amphetamines. I would find it hard to believe that we will see a big name player test positive this season.

This is not the first salvo of a new battle but rather the latest one in an old battle that everyone had hoped was finally over.

You can hope in one hand and crap in the other and...I forget how that goes. Anyhow, if you thought the Mitchell Report was the end of it, you are a complete moron. I would stop reading SI because of you, if it weren't for that delightful Mr. Verducci.

Baseball will need plenty of unexpected good news on the field in the coming months, because there are few known events forthcoming that will be sufficient enough to divert the attention from the Rodriguez saga.

I'm holding you to this sentence, jack-ass. This isn't done. We will revisit this after the season.

...Rodriguez's presence on the Dominican team will only serve as a giant distraction, this time with the worldwide media on hand to chronicle and inflame it.

No arguments here. Sports broadcasters will probably beat this one to death every time the Dominican team is mentioned.

The Yankees are always good for several storylines that can distract from any controversy at hand, but this year the Yankees are the controversy.

Aren't the Yankees always the controversy?

The only thing worse than having '09 be overshadowed by this tsunami of negative attention is the knowledge that it may only grow worse in the years to come. Rodriguez's was the only one of the 104 names on the list of players who tested positive for steroids in 2003 to be revealed. The rest of the list is out there somewhere and it seems to be only a matter of time before other names surface, bringing with them new stories and new controversy all over again.

I already covered this, fine sir.

As Rodriguez inches closer to the all-time home run record this story will explode all over again, a most unwanted sequel to the drama that played out just two years ago: the game's best player chasing its most hallowed record with the twin labels of "cheater" and "drug user" riding shotgun on his pursuit of history.

This is a statement of the obvious. I'm sure anyone who follows baseball could have come to this conclusion. I'm sure most did. I want to meet the guy that reads that and thinks, "Hmmmm, I never thought of that."

Just as baseball readied itself to rise from its winter slumber with the dawn of a new season, it has found that its long, national nightmare is still far from over.

I thought you hoped it would be over by now. Have you changed your mind during the writing of this article?

Seriously folks, I would be pissed if I was A-Rod. The MLBPA promised him an anonymous test. The MLBPA should have destroyed the file that linked names to test samples a long time ago. Why would you even want to hold on to that? The test was done to gauge steroid prevalence in MLB. They accomplished that. Good. Now destroy the samples and results for heaven's sake.

I'm not condoning A-Rod's use, but MLBPA really F'ed up.

Someone owes A-Rod (and eventually 103 others) big time.