Thursday, August 23, 2012

Unsvelte Doper

Bartolo Colon: Cheating Ain't Just for GQ Types Anymore


See that guy above? He's Bartolo Colon, a pretty damn good pitcher for the Oakland A's of the American League. Two-time all-star and also winner of they Cy Young Award (the Oscar for pitchers) in 2005 when he pitched for the Los Angeles Angels. He's also the second guy in a week--the other guy was a San Francisco Giants outfielder named Melky Cabrera--to be caught cheating by using synthetic testosterone to boost his performance on the field. (See NYT story here.) Such substances along with a whole raft of performance-enhancing and human growth drugs are banned by major league baseball.  I'm sure the ethnicity of these guys is purely coincidental. Cheating is an international opportunity employer. But I personally am chagrined to see a fat guy get caught cheating. We pudgy types have few athletic heroes to look up to, and I have to confess, I'm delighted to see my compatriot more well-rounded guys doing well baseball. Colon was one of the last of these guys around.

Before they started paying players multi-millions of dollars, the game used to have more pudgy types. Now these guys are all cut and trim and usually muscular from the very expensive conditioning regimes and personal trainers they use. Doesn't mean I approve of what Cabrera and Colon have done. Hell, no! They are both suspended for 50 games. I think the penalty for cheating ought to be tougher, but as it is, it probably means the end of Colon's career, and it could possibly be the end of Cabrera's, too when his performance unenhanced by drugs gets down to the journeyman numbers he had before 2011-12 seasons when he was presumably doped.
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