Friday, July 31, 2009

Baseball and Steroids

Okay now it's getting personal.

Yesterday came the report that beloved Red Sox hero David "Big Papi" Ortiz has been implicated in the neverending story that is the steroid scandal. I, for one, was not too surprised. When the full list of 103 names comes out I think many of the big name players of the era will be on it.

But here is what bugs me: the talking heads are beginning to pronounce that because Big Papi (and his team mate at the time Manny Ramierez) have tested positive that this somehow taints the Red Sox world series titles of 2004. This simply ridiculous and I will dismiss the arguement with a few simple points (although it is weak on many counts).

Simple points: There have been as many, if not more, pitchers implicated in the scandal as there have been hitters. So... if the both the pitchers and hitters are juiced then they cancel each other out. Right? No advantage to either side. End of story. If one still wants to "taint" the Sox achievement then I guess you also have to throw out the Yankess titles in the late 90's (Andy Petitte and Roger Clemons have failed tests). Also it is now generally accepted that the "Steroid Era" in baseball runs from 1992-2006. To be consistent I guess every title in that period must also be suspect. Yes? I mean surely one does not believe the only guys who were using were the ones who got caught...

And while I am at it I should weigh in on the Hall of Fame issue. Should players who have tested poistive be inducted into the Hall? Answer: A solid yes. Here is my reasoning. Anybody who knows or cares about baseball knows about the so-called steroid era. If you want to make a mental note of steroids guys and give them less respect, then go ahead. But the Hall is (or should be) all about career achievement. If you have the numbers you should be in. Period. And if you take a case like Barry Bonds it's adds another wrinkle. He definitely has HOF type numbers that he put up before the steroid era. What about that? Does one positive drug test cancel out everything? And then there is the fact that performance enhancers have always been around in sports anyway. There were guys taking speed in 60's and 70's. The spitball is cheating. Too much pine tar on your bat is cheating. There are guys in the HOF who have been guilty of these crimes. Arguably the greatest player in baseball history, Ty Cobb, filed his spikes to a point to scare guys and thus get an advantage when sliding into a base. Kick him out of the Hall?

Enough said.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Are The New York Yankees Evil?

I am very much into Major League Baseball and for those of you who care less I guess you can skip this post. There is so much about the sport to be admired I won't even begin to list things. But today there is bad news. Yes today the "Evil Empire" or as they are more commonly known, The New York Yankees, have regained 1st place in their division. The real surprise is that it took so long. The Yankees are the "best team money can buy" as evidenced by the payrolls listed below. I have listed only the payrolls of the top 5 compared and the bottom 5. To me the real disgusting aspect is that, with several teams toward the bottom, their whole payroll does not even make up the different between the the Yankees and their closest competitor, The Mets.

So the Yankees are in 1st place? Of course they are: They have purchased 1st place.

Baseball is, in my opinion, the greatest sport the United States has produced. But unfortunately, it's not the the best run. I believe it should have a "salary cap" like Pro Football. With a salary cap team the richest teams cannot get too far ahead of the poorest teams. It makes for a more competitive enviroment. And it is plainly more fair. In interest of full disclosure I should admit that I am a rabid Red Sox fan and the Sox are one of the richer teams. But hey, they're the not as bad as the Yankees! And of course Red Sox fans are over sensitive when it comes to the subject of the Yankees. They are under our skin like some festering pox. How bad is it? Well let this one example serve as my point. A couple years back I attended a Football game between the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills. About midway through the game a cheer began. It grew louder and unmistakable. The fans were calling out in loud voice..."Yankees suck. Yankees suck".

Yeah, I guess we have issues.

2009 payroll Top 5

Red Sox

2009 payroll Bottom 5