The steroid era in baseball will taint the sport forever. That is the sad reality only emblazoned by the Mitchell Report.
I was not really surprised by the information that was in the report. For anyone who has followed the game for the last 15 years, I believe that the report only validated what most already thought. Below are some of my observations:
In some ways this report is unfair. It is based largely on the testimony of two individuals who provided steroids and HGH. No doubt during this era in baseball there were more than two suppliers. Thus, many players who used, likely went unreported. Also, anyone in the report is likely presumed guilty. Granted, guilt is likely in most cases, but what if one of the witnesses had an ax to grind with a player and decided to get his revenge through his testimony.
I blame the owners - They put themselves ahead of the game! They got rid of Fay Vincent who was an excellent commissioner and actually warned of illegal drug use prior to being relived of his duties. (technically he resigned, but he was pushed out the door by owners) Vincent was for baseball, not the owners or the players. The owners inserted Bud Selig who is a total waste of space and breath as commissioner. He is for the owners... not baseball!
I blame the players - they put themselves ahead of the game! They did not police themselves and they cheated. Yes the temptation to do whatever it takes to keep your job and excel in performance is beyond what the "common" man may experience. But, it is still wrong! Integrity was lost and all of baseball has now come into question.
One example - I won't break it down for you here, but Roger Clemens career was in decline until... yep, he was reunited with a certain trainer that he allegedly gave him steroids. The next few years he returned to being the dominant pitcher in the league. (If you have nothing better to do, compare his stats between 1993-1996 & 1997-2001. Then look at dates in the report). If you have been a Bonds basher, then to be consistent you must also question Clemens and his marks. Maybe I am being unfair(See point one), but this is where I am today.
History takes a hit. Most die-hard baseball fans also lean heavily on stats to help define the history of the game. As Vin Scully once said something like, baseball statistics are to a fan what a light post is to a leaning drunk. They are more for support than light. Well, that light post has been toppled. Records no longer mean what they used to mean. The .285/25/120 season was at one time All-Star worthy; not so much anymore. Measuring one players season or career numbers with another has lost some meaning.
I agree with Mitchell that it is time to move on. The steroid era will always be part of baseball history. But the game is still a great game! (Even if my dear wife does not understand this). It is time for the game itself to take priority over the owners, players, dollars, television, and corporations. Too much to ask for? Probably, but hey the Rockies made it to the series this year. Who would have ever believed that!
I was at game four of the World Series. It was amazing! Even though the Rockies lost, it was one of my top sports moments ever. I tried several ways to get tickets, but just about when all hope seemed gone, a ticket arrived. Two bonuses were that I "only" had to pay face value, and my friend Dave had the ticket right next to me. We attended the first ever Rockies game together, went to Spring Training together, so it seemed appropriate that we would take in the Series together. The pictures capture some of the magic and you will notice that both Dave and I went to the Super Rally Cap.
The Rockies amazing run continues. Last night, when Torrealba hit his sixth inning three-run homer, I jumped up and down and I'm pretty sure I hurt my Achilles tendon. It was worth it! I will give it a good test today on a long run.
ONE WIN FROM THE WORLD SERIES! At no time during the season did I anticipate writing those words in reference to the Rockies.
What a great way to start the series. Only three wins away from making the World Series.
Jeff Francis has has two excellent starts in the playoffs. He is not overpowering, but he really knows how to pitch. He reminds a bit of Tom Glavine.
All of the Rockies hits were singles and they still scored five runs on one of the top three pitchers in the National League.
I now officially take back all of my mid-season criticism of Brad Hawpe.
If I adopt a son, I may name him Kaz.
The Arizona fans are some of the worst in all of sports. No, not just for throwing trash on the field. THEY DID NOT EVEN SELL OUT THE GAME!! Plus from reports I read, many fans who did have tickets came disguised a empty seats, and the PA guy had to continually remind the fans to cheer and get excited. What a joke!
It seems like every decision made by Hurdle works right now. Activating and playing Tavares proved to be the right move.
Some concerns about tonight's game. The Rocks are a much better team against right handers, and tonight they face the southpaw, Davis.
Grilled up some dogs and bratwurst last night. Never tasted better!
The odds just became longer for the Rockies to make it to the World Series. The Sports Illustrated Jinx is tough to overcome, but not impossible. In fact according to this report from a few years ago it only works 37.2% of the time.
A local radio station is running a Baseball Movie Championship.
Thinking it over, here are my top 10 baseball movies, or at least my
ten favorite. Let me know if you think I have missed your favorite.
The Sandlot - Brings back awesome memories of little league.
Bull Durham - Authentic portrayal of Minor League ball and Big League dreams.
61* - Great performances and compelling insight to Mantle and Maris.
Pride of the Yankees - Classic that everyone should see.
Bang the Drum Slowly - Watched this again about a year ago and still cried buckets.
A league of Their Own - I am not exactly sure why, but I love this movie.
Field of Dreams - Passion, baseball history, and pursuing a dream are a winning combo.
The Natural - I would like it more if not for so many cheesy parts.
Bad News Bears (1976) - I was 11 when this came out and I had to convince my parents to let me see it.
Cobb - Good insight about this cantankerous personality. Way
back in the day, my grandfather actually pitched to Ty Cobb. He struck
All Star Game
I watched the All Star Game last night. Is it just me or has the game lost most of it's appeal? I remember as a kid anticipating the game each year and being glued to the TV to take it in. Not so much anymore. So what has happened?
Interleague play has diminished the anticipation of great pitcher/batter matchups because they now happen throughout the year.
At the risk of sounding old, it seem like the modern day player has lost the ability to be competitive and also have fun. The games from back in the day seemed to have both elements. Today fun is equated to not taking the game seriously and being competitive is equated with selfish pride.
The attempt to make the game more competitive by awarding the winning league homefield advantage in the World Series is a horrible idea that led to this.
For several years I have played Fantasy Baseball. Up until last year, I have usually taken first place with the occasional second or third place effort. Well, last year I came in last place! It hurt my pride and I vowed to come back stronger this year. Well the standings below will give you an idea of how that plan is working.