Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Juice III

Just one more post on this steroid thing and baseball. Alex Rodriguez, the focus of a piece a few days ago, publicly confessed in an interview on ESPN with Peter Gammons, that, yep, he did use a "banned substance" during his time with the Texas Rangers, 2001-2003. I've been discussing the matter via email with my son, a Ranger fan. (I brought 'em up right. Or conversely, I laid a horrible lifetime curse on them.) Here's an excerpt (my comments in blue):

I watched the interview too. He went from 'no comment' over the course of the weekend, received legal advice, along with some reflection on what happened with Barry by not admitting, and decided to do the interview. The court of public opinion is what matters here, since baseball isn't going to do anything about. The guys who've come forward, Giambi and Petit, are forgiven for the most part by fans by admitting to using steroids. A-rod is following their lead.

Well, Giambi was honest; he said that he used the damn things. I think Pettitte lied through his teeth. Used them to recover from an injury. Yeah, right. A-Rod, of course, as you point out was following the lead of lawyers and PR guys. I don't think he is smart enough to think up this course by himself.

This still bothers me to no end. A-rod was supposed to be our savior. He was the clean guy who could break the tarnished records Bond's set and make baseball right again.

Yep. That was the hype.

The whole situation disgusts me. I'm beginning to become totally numb to the whole thing. Really, is it a surprise though? And looking back on it, how could he not be juiced? Come on, a shortstop averages 52 hr over the course of those 3 years, and he averaged 39 the stretch before and after '00-03.

I don't think I can ever be numb. I love the game too much. I just hate what these guys have done to the game. This blotch can never be erased. None of them. None should ever be elected the HOF. Ever. And liars like Bonds and Tejada and Palmeiro should do some jail time. Just as an example for American youth of what happens if you cheat. Of course, that's an old guy's dream.

What truly angers me is that baseball's management and owners looked the other way while the game was being trashed. Greed. Greed. Bud Selig needs to have his privates slammed in a car door several times, as my friend Cecil would say. And then his ass ought to be kicked out of his job, and somebody who's not a feeble-minded tool of the owners should be installed as commissioner to kick ass and take names. The baseball commissioner should be a person who protects the GAME. That would be his only job. I'd like to think that this steroid crisis would be like the Black Sox scandal (which brought Kenesaw Mountain Landis as the first, and still the most powerful commissioner), and cause the owners to go after a savior for the game. But that's not going to happen either.

I must say, as a fan, I selfishly wanted to witness the greatest hitters of all time in Bonds, and then A-rod during an era I lived. I must confess, I wanted to believe he was clean. Now, the era of baseball I'm living through is dubbed the steroid era. Nothing is sacred anymore.

You're so representative of your generation. All of your big guys, all the big boppers, and not a few pitchers, too, turn out to have been juiced. It's all false. It's really a shame that baseball heroes have been taken away from your generation. I've read several commentators who are opining that this latest drug flap in baseball may finally put an end to it. I guess we'll have to see. I think the game's been cleaned up since the institution of tough testing in 2004. But the '90s and early 2000s were juiced up. That's why we need all the other cheaters' names out there. So we can know whose numbers during this era can be trusted.

However, without A-rod, we wouldn't have the latest top from Letterman. Some of these are really funny.

They are!

"Top Ten Messages Left on Alex Rodriguez's Answering Machine."

10. "Hey, it's Mark McGwire. Want to get together this week and not talk about the past?"

9. "Joe Torre here -- thanks for helping book sales"

8. "Could you find a steroid that keeps you from choking in the playoffs?"

7. "Are you worried this will taint all the championships you didn't win?"

6. "It's Bernie Madoff. Nice try but I'm still the most hated man in New York"

5. "Michael Phelps here. Got any snacks?"

4. "This is Sammy Sosa. Just pretend you don't speak English"

3. "Michael Phelps again. Did I call you or did you call me?"

2. "Hey, it's Rod Blagojevich -- I'll say you're innocent, if you say I am"

1. "It's Madonna. You got a phone number for Jeter?"

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