Reid Fischer's World of Rants

Looking at the sports world through orange colored glasses

Posts Tagged ‘steroids’

Random Thoughts

Posted by mizzou1028 on February 12, 2009

– I am getting really sick of hearing about steroids and baseball.  We know players cheated.  We know there were more players hopped up on performance enhancers in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s than we’ll care to admit.  I actually applaud Alex Rodriguez for his honesty and coming clean, but baseball has a real problem on its hands that just won’t go away, ever.  It’s not as if Rodriguez is the only player that used.  Odds are he was hitting off home runs off of pitchers who were also using.  Obviously that doesn’t make it right, but it is impossible to know for sure which players used and which didn’t, and how much of an advantage those that used really got. 

– The fact is the steroid era encompasses much of recent baseball history.  Is it practical to wipe out records or to keep some of these players (like Mark McGwire) out of the Hall of Fame?  Be honest, how many Yankees fans are going to refrain from buying tickets at the new Yankee Stadium this season because A-Rod admits he used steroids?  None.  How many Yankee fans will cheer him if he hits 50 home runs and leads the Yankees to a title this year?  All of them.  One of baseball’s problems with this is that the fans don’t seem to be near as appalled as they are made out to be.  Ticket sales are way up, ratings are up, and MLB isn’t exactly a struggling operation.  When teams lose, that’s when fans stop going to the games.  A key player gets busted for steroids?  That doesn’t have near the economic impact as a struggling team, so MLB owners will continue to have this issue on their hands. 

– On the plus side, it’s hard to believe that pitchers and catchers are already reporting this week.  If the Rockies weren’t destined to be so awful in 2009, I might be actually be excited about this.  I just don’t think they got enough in return for Matt Holliday, and if Jeff Francis actually does have shoulder surgery later this month as rumored, the rotation is already in trouble.

– It’s also hard to get excited when the Yankees have an unfair advantage that allows them to buy whatever free agents they want.  MLB needs a salary cap in the worst way, but the players union will never agree to it.

– At least we have college basketball for another month.  Other than the NFL, this is my favorite sport.  The college game is so much better than the NBA in absolutely every way it’s not even funny.  For starters, it’s not about individual players.  The college game relies on a team working together.  This is much more fun to watch than an NBA game where an individual tries to take over while three of teammates are standing around watching.  Plus, it’s hard to beat an atmosphere where the crowd is actually into the game and cares about the outcome.  Not that NBA fans don’t care, but there is a big difference between passionate student sections and corporate yuppies that stroll in around the second quarter and leave midway through the fourth.

– I’m also excited about the college game because Missouri (my alma matter) is finally good again.  After a five year absence from the NCAA tournament, the Tigers are 21-4 and 8-2 in conference play. 

– Most of all, the college games are just more intense, competitive and fun to watch.  I am already looking forward to the NCAA tournament.

– It will also be an interesting off season in the NFL.  There are several receivers who could end up moving (including T.J. Houshmanzadeh and Anquan Boldin, and possibly Terrell Owens) plus there are several other big time free agents out there such as Julius Peppers and Albert Haynesworth.  Free agency opens on the 27th after the scouting combine, so we’ll delve more into offseason movement then.  It will be interesting to see which teams try to make splashes and which don’t, keeping in mind that big ticket signings don’t always guarantee success and in some cases quickly blow up in a team’s face.  Look at the Jaguars, who spent big money on Jerry Porter and Drayton Florence last offseason, and released them both this week.

– I will not believe that Brett Favre is actually retired until I see that he is not on the field playing for some team in week one.

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Random thoughts

Posted by mizzou1028 on February 14, 2008

Is it me, or there something wrong with the picture of Congress getting involved in steroids and more specifically the investigation of Roger Clemens?  Now, I certainly want to see baseball, and in fact all sports, be played on a even field as much as possible.  There is no doubt that steroid use was at least common if not rampant during the mid-90s and early 2000s in baseball, and there are a number of players who used and will not get caught.  That is a reality of the situation.  I would like to think that efforts have been made in recent years to clean up the game, and to make sure that no one is gaining an unfair advantage.  Particularly in the cases of Bonds and Clemens, it would be unfortuante if records were set while utilizing the advantage of steroids That being said, does it really matter at this point if Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens used steroids a decade ago?  What I’m most concerned with is whether the game is clean now.  It is fair to say that Congress’ involvement in this issue, at least to some degree, has helped MLB clean up its steroid policy.  But really, shouldn’t Congress have better things to worry about?  I couldn’t help but notice while watching some of the hearing involving Clemens that many of the politicans asking questions seemed to be playing to the camera as much as or more than Clemens and Brian McNamee.  Now I realize that one of the biggest reasons for Congress to get involved in this issue is MLB’s antitrust exemption, and they would certainly have an ability to revisit that issue.  I just think Congress should have better things to worry about than MLB and steroids; it’s not like the rest of the problems are solved and there aren’t things where Congress might be better served to spend their time.  It is unfortunate that MLB and the players union couldn’t police themselves, forcing Congress to step in. 

 As as side note, it will be interesting to see how Clemens, as well as Bonds, are affected when their time comes for Hall of Fame consideration.  We’ve already seen the issue adversely affect Mark McGwire, who was thought to be a shoo-in prior to not exactly giving himself a ringing endorsement at a Congressional hearing several years ago.  McGwire has only garnered 25 percent of the vote each of the first two years he’s been eligible.  It will be interesting to see if Bonds and Clemens, or anyone else who may be clouded by this issue, gets the same treatment.  I’m not sure if I believe Clemens or not, just as I’m not sure if anything will ever be proven against Bonds.  The point is that the issue will certainly continue to cloud these players and others. 

 ………………………..

As for some leftover thoughts on the Super Bowl, I think that game really reminded me why I love sports so much.  It’s not just because the underdog won the game, or because it was competitive or even because the Patriots got what many (including me) thought they probably deserved, which was to not be the first team in history to go 19-0.  It’s because of guys like David Tyree.  The Giants receiver had all of FOUR catches during the regular season for a total of 35 yards.  In the regular season meeting between the Giants and Patriots, he caught two passes for three yards.  He did not tally a catch and barely played in the Giants’ playoff wins against Tampa Bay and Dallas.  He caught one pass for four yards in the NFC Championship game against the Packers in the freezing cold at Lambeau.  He had a disastrous practice the Friday before the Super Bowl, with reports of no fewer than six dropped balls.  Yet in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, against a New England team that was on the verge of history, Tyree came up with not only a touchdown catch that put the Giants up 10-7, but also came up with what might ultimately go down as the greatest catch in NFL history, holding the ball against his helmet while Rodney Harrison was viciously trying to rip the ball away.  Not to mention the fact that on the same play Eli Manning escaped from what seemed like three sacks on the play.  Sports is all about guys like Tyree, who can shine under the lights when the pressure is on. 

Tyree’s performance and confidence was a reflection of the team’s attitude heading into the game.  Everyone got all over Plaxico Burress when he predicted his Giants would win 23-17 (which incidentally was much closer than my final score of 34-31, although I was one of the few who actually picked the Giants to win).  It turns out Burress was too generous.  The Giants’ pass rush really has to be commended, as it was clearly the difference in the game.  The Giants were able to do what many teams could not, which was put pressure on Tom Brady.  As the game wore on it became easier and easier to feel that the Giants might actually pull it off.  Even when the Patriots took a 14-10 lead with 2:45 to play, the Giants still showed confidence in their body language.  The poise they showed on that final drive, trailing an undefeated team, in the biggest game of any of their lives, reminded me of why sports is so great.  It makes me want to fast forward to early September so we can get the next football season underway.  Thankfully, there is the NCAA tournament and baseball season between now and then.  But the next time someone tries to tell me that sports is not a worthwhile endeavor, I will simply pop in a tape of the 4th quarter of the Giants-Patriots Super Bowl, to show them that every game is truly unique and you can never ever be totally sure of what we’re going see when a game is played. 

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