February 18, 2009

Sox with A-Rod

A buddy emailed a group of buddies and me the fact that the Sox are psyched they never got A-Rod, since all the recent fun has come to pass. Well, I agree of course, but I agreed on my joy of being A-Rod-less a long time ago...

I'll be honest - I've been glad ever since we won the 04 WS that we bagged the trade (or rather, the trade got bagged) - although the mental shift began with the Tek/A-Rod confrontation of that summer. Then the Slap-happy A-Rod down the first base line (notice the extra strength his wrist flexor muscles had, so as to knock the ball from the glove ;) in the playoffs helped confirm my tilt.

All things being equal, we sure would have a distraction right now -- but let's backtrack & say all things were equal... say A-Rod sucked his dog's anal cavity in the playoffs as he has in NY... then he and Boras pulled that stunt during a NY Yank-WS game. I say he would have never come back last year, due to Theo and the trio's playoffs-first & team-first mentality. And the fact that they would at that point have been getting negativce value from A-Rod in the playoffs (all things being equal).

Or, all things not being equal, let's say that Magglio Ordonez (remember he was in the deal to replace Manny) & A-Rod & the Sox had a different chemistry and the Sox brought in at least two WS, as they have already -- if great chemistry, maybe three. Then, things may very well be oooo-gly. Or, since he was on the Sox, and the Sox seem to have a better relationship with Bud Selig, Mitchell (obviously, being part of the team) and the inner circles machinations in MLB, whoever dropped A-Rod's name may not have dropped that name. At this point, there's no telling if it was done just as much to drop the bomb on Hank & Hal, as it was to make A-Rod invent cousins. If that was even a slight component of the dropping of the A-Rod dime, we still may be touting him as The Savior in these drug-riddled times.

I do think every team has a cadre of players from 98 to at least 06, that juiced -- much of the league has skated.

Funny too, because while I backslapped you, SGC, for the fact that the heavy-juicing stars of the Yankees haven't been able to bring it home this decade, they did win in 2000, and that team definitely had a contingent of injectors in their midst. Clemens, Grimsley, Giambi, etc. But, I don't take that WS away from them -- because while I think steroids does affect a player's individual numbers, I also think that the fact that much of the league as a whole was pumped full PEDs - across all teams - the literal and figuarative playing field was relatively level, i.e., the bar was raised bi-laterally.

P.S. - I think A-Rod lied worse yesterday in many ways than the first time, but it is what it is... A-Rod cramming his face in uniquely rank orafices and asking us to smell him.

P.P.S. - How's Jose Canseco looking now? I swear if this guy told me he injected the Pope, I'd be forced the believe him, while noticing that the fabled pontiff has bulked up a bit under those robes, that funny hat does look a bit smaller on the noggin, and he sure can deliver longer sermons these days.

February 9, 2009


A-Rod just about completes the cycle (pun intended). Just about anyone that is good to great over the last decade has his name tainted by at least the suspicion. You know who is the greatest living ballplayer since '96 - Derek Jeter; for his 'o', his 'd', and for his team-first at all costs demeanor, coupled with his someone slkinny look, and his now-dropping numbers (at an age all the 'roids freaks kicked into gear), he is the new genuine Yankee Clipper...

Over that period of time, who's the man everyone laughed at, ridiculed, and comes out 100% vindicated? Canseco -- when he tried to publish the second tome, calling out A-Rod, he said he was gonna do it in the 2nd book because of the passes A-Rod made at his wife. Everyone dismissed it as payback with no basis in reality. But he said he wasn't lying....

A-Rod later divorced his wife -- noone can think Madonna was his first time astray, just his highest profile lady in waiting (ok, Madonna waits for noone, but whatever).

So, I take Jose at his word in both instances.

I actually think Manny may be clean -- but a revilesome person; although Ortiz was cut by Minne, only to perk up in Boston, right? That'll be the scuttlebutt anyway. Nomar definitely did (remember when the best SS debate was Jeter, Nomar, or Tejada-also tainted in Mitchell Report -- we know it was Jeter now).

There should be some pitchers in there big-time, but just by body type, I'd wager the Yankees soft stuff will continue to assault the fan -- some of those mid-relievers of the last 10 yrs are stereotypical Roid-bodies. If they didn't do it, who's fault is our thinking that they did... it's those players who never said a thing... it's themselves (more on that below). Who wouldn't note that in his later years, surreal Mariano Rivera's fastball picked up 6 to 8 mph.

In a way, it's so obviously widespread, it's fodder for endless debate and conversation, but the only ones that will suffer will be the kids that aren't tested in HS & college who start using.

As for MLB, here's what I think...

It made everyone - without exception, a ton of money. Selig made more than Jeter last year. Top players offensive numbers went nuts, raising the popular interest in the sport. Vendors flourished, owners won fans and advertising, players gained sponsorships. Middle tier players & those just not using did not say a word because they were in it for their money. They may not be be the best players in the game because of the Roid freaks, but because of the gargantuann payscale, middle-tier still guaraned easy street financially. I guess the other loser in the equation are men who would've just made the majors, but didn't because the bar had been set so high.

But, to me, this is a blip on the game; a big blip, but a blip (blip, blip, blip, blip -- sounds so funny, no? Sorry,.. anyway). Who gets in tthe HOF? All? Noone from this era? To me, it's the judgement ofthe writer -- tis isn't a court of law... if they think the numbers were affected by PEDs, then no-go Coops. If they feel the person was clean, hello Big Hall. Why more difficult? Sure there will be debates on some people that were rumored, but let's leave that to debate at that time.

Some may say that's unfair to tie players that were clean and I'd say tough noogies -- they should have figured out a way to come forward when it was going on, instead of cashing those annual 9 mill checks as a mid to high tier player.

Besides, even though football has been testing much longer, there is no way it has the same stigma as that in baseball. Shawn Merriman is an incredible player, was caught, and suspended for 4 games -- or one quarter of his entire season. He still ended up coming in third in MVP voting. Third. I don't see the writers holding PEDs too strongly against him.

But, it's all about the numbers inbaseball -- once you start putting up the big stat numbers, you start getting the big dollar numbers, and everybody else does too. The public can't help but love the numbers -- we'd know if it wasn't on the up and up -- a clean player would tell, right?... and every player looks at each other and puts a finger on the side of their nose and says not it.

(And by the way, love him or hate him, the Shill has never said not it on this topic.)