Monday, February 14, 2005

he Roid Rage

           Jose Canseco

Since December....the sports world has been all abuzz about the use of steroids in Major League Baseball over the past 15-20 years.   

Actually....the sports world hasn’t really been “abuzz”.  Just the people covering it.  Well, not all of sports...just baseball.  And some of them don’t really care. 

There lies the real problem with baseball.   They just don’t get it.  I don’t think any of them do.  They possibly have the best “game” of all of the professional sports....but they just don’t know what to do with it.  There is more strategy [and time to figure strategy] than any of the other sports.  It is a game where you have guys from the inner city....the fields of the midwest....the lands of the far east....and all around Central America in the same game.  What other league can state they have that kind of diversity on their playing field?   

While the NBA’s David Stern and the NFL’s Pete Rozelle and Paul Tagliabue are regarded as visionaries with their has been mired in a funk for 30 years.  Despite cancelling the 1994 World Series....the league is still the Players Union’s whore.  This is a league where one team can spend $200M on it’s roster while another spends $20M.  The biggest renaissance of baseball has come from cool-looking retro stadiums and a home run race that now looks like it was pushed along by a needle.

Baseball has had a major strike that cancelled the 1994 World Series.  We had an All Star game end in a tie.  We just had a series of player-fan tussles this past season.  About 1/3 of the teams in the league pretty much know they have no shot to make a run for the championship. 

And every big admission from a MLB wrong-doer comes “out of the closet” in a written manner.  They are probably smiling a bit since they no longer look like the biggest waste on thelabor the NHL is set to can its season.   

Jose Canseco, who has been talking about this book for about 5 years now, may finally be set to release it.  What has already been released....that shouldn?t the BALCO grand jury testimony to the San Francisco Chronicle.  With those two forms of written document....the steroid whispers and finger pointing is now a full blown attack.  Canseco [the biggest NARC since Kobe Byrant?s songbird deal on Shaq,  even names President Bush in there] and his book will be viewed by many as just insider gossip and sour grapes from a guy that no one wants around anymore.  However, the BALCO testimony is admitted guilt.  So while the Canseco book may get people wondering....the testimony will get people informed. 

The attack has already ?forced? Jason Giambi [whose testimony was leaked] into holding a press conference to apologize for.....uh.....well.....he didn?t really say.  MLB seems to be disturbed....but that?s about it.  I mean, you?ve only got Roger Clemons, Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire called out.  I mean, they are only three of the players that have lifted baseball back up into people?s consciences in the last decade.  

Lost in this, too, was the sudden death of Ken admitted steroid user.    
So, now this steroid issue will linger on.  The Canseco book will be released, bought and read by media types that will then do a witch-hunt to hold those mentioned in the book accountable.  If you think Barry Bonds was cold to the media before....imagine his demeanor after the first question about his testimony.  Questions will come about the validity of his race to catch Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron on the all-time HR list.  Were all his records a result of the steroids??  Or was it just talent??  Maybe a combination of both. 

The funny thing is that, many baseball fans don?t seem to care.  Yeah, baseball haters are pointing and laughing....but the fans don?t care.  I mean, to us, most of them are already freaks of nature to begin with.  That's why MLB can get away with their feeble attempts.  Joe AverageFan doesn't really care.  Joe likes to see home runs and high scoring games.  Joe likes to watch SportsCenter and see an hour of tape measure shots instead of sac-flies and stolen bases. 


A year ago, Pete Rose finally admitted to betting on baseball in his book.  Yeah...I bet most of you forgot about that.  A guy that many championed as getting a harsh sentence can now not find a break from even his staunchest supporters.  I guess we were better off wondering.  We seemed to like him better when our heads were in the sand. 


for more Sportz on baseball...check out the  Sportz Reds Baseball Bunch which will be heating up as the season moves along.

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