A conversation about MLB, on the field, off the field.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Satan's arrival in Arizona is imminent ( Bonds )

With the arrival imminent of the satanic Barry Bonds to spring training, let's take a look at back at some of the commentary re Bonds, steroids, Balco etc. on this blog the past handful of weeks.

January 31 07

Does MLB honestly believe that there will be a fan backlash as a result of Bonds breaking Ruth's record? Or are they just wacking his pee pee to appease the fans? I think the latter, this will be the biggest story in sports this year. I believe no publicity is bad publicity. I'll be shocked if attendance is down in 07. Bet your ass, finger waggling moralists across America will be flocking to their home parks in droves when Barry comes to town to express their contrived outrage.

Speaking of steroids, Sammy, one of the incredible shrinking men, signed with the Rangers. I heard somebody say recently that he is the size of a jockey. Will he make the team? I say yes unless he stinks in spring training. I can only conclude that the Rangers think the novelty will put some butts in the seats, and if he gets close to 600 that will generate a lot of interest. Sammy is still a celebrity. Will he be scorned like Barry? No, because the fans soak up all that false humility that Sammy exudes. Baseball been berry.......I love the fans......bs. Barry's the opposite, I'm the greatest and I don't give a shit what you think. I prefer Barry.

Why did the Jason Grimsley HGH scandal die? Because Caucasian ( in the extreme ) American sports legend Roger Clemens had his name linked to it?

This about steroids but not necessarily Barry. Many baseball fans, including me, wonder why our game is ridiculed far and wide over performance enhancing drugs while the NFL receives in comparison very little criticism. Stephen Brunt in the Globe & Mail has an excellent column on this subject today. He quotes one of his readers on this subject "Baseball is the game of American myth. Football is the game of American reality." Wonderfully stated.

Feb 10 07

MLB and Bud Selig are so petty with Bonds. They reject Bond's contract on some insignificant " promotional appearances " clause, they leak that he tested positive for amphetamines, they leak that he blamed a teammate ( and name the teammate ) to add embarrassment. Bonds is dirty, get in line. At the power hitting positions I would argue it's been, by in large, a level playing field for a number of years, i.e. Juiced.

Has there been no interest in Bonds from anybody but the Giants because teams think he will hurt their gate or are they afraid of pissing off Bud Selig?

Read today that what Bonds is really pissed about is the leak about the inclusion of language that allows the Giants to terminate his contract if he is indicted. I don't blame him for being pissed about that. If you are bargaining in good faith you don't continually leak details which are embarrassing to the other party.

Peter MacGowan is spineless, he tacitly allows MLB to leak all the anti Bonds info they please by not standing up to Selig on Bonds behalf.

Feb 11 07

David Steele in the Baltimore Sun points out what a stark contrast it will be, the stage managing of Bonds 756th in comparison to McGwire's 62nd. I hope Bonds hits #756 on the road just to hear and see the reaction. Sanctimonious asses.

So much is made of everything happening off the field with Bonds, but when you get down to winning and losing, the Giants need Barry big time. It would be next to impossible to find a power hitter at this point in the season and the Giants have nobody else. What would the middle of their order look like without Bonds? Winn, Durham, Feliz? Ryan Klesko? The NL West is wide open, the Giants with Barry have as good a shot as anybody else.

I don't remember a pro athlete in my lifetime who alienated every sector of the game as completely as Bonds; teammates, media, PA, ownership, fans.

Why didn't Jason Giambi get crucified by the NY media over his grand jury testimony / admissions?

Feb 13

Steroids in the baseball news again today. This from the AP, the PA "asked a federal appeals court late Monday to revisit its December decision to allow investigators probing steroids in sports to use the names and urine samples of more than 100 players who tested positive for performance enhancing drugs."

If the PA doesn't win this court battle the players will have gotten screwed. We all know the owners and players agreed the results of these tests would remain anonymous. The PA agreed to the testing in 03 to determine whether or not testing with penalties would be introduced in 04. Because there were more than 5 % positive tests ( approximately 100 out of 1400 + ) said testing with penalties was introduced for 04.

The low percentage of positive tests boggles me. 100 out of 1400 is 7%. Am I to believe that in a typcial MLB game, 7% or 3.5 out of the 50 players on the rosters are taking performance enhancing drugs? That figure seems ludicrously low to me. Are the cheaters really that far ahead of the regulators? I know there is no test for HGH and perhaps that contributes to the low figure but I have to think that the bulk of pharmaceutical cheating is amphetamines & roids.

Once spring training games commence I will be on MLB.com a lot until the end of the season, that's where I read most of the boxscores. I find the beat writers on MLB.com are also well informed. The one problem I have though is their reporting of off the field issues. For example, today there is a typical off season story, "Top 20 topics for Spring Training". There is only one mention of Barry Bonds, "Bonds won't be the only one in the spotlight as Giants camp
opens in Scottsdale, Ariz. The other Barry, Zito, just crossed the Bay....." Come on, the Barry saga isn't one of the Top 20 spring training stories? How much media will be at the Giants camp the first day Barry arrives?

Feb 15 07

Josh Peters from Yahoo had it right in his December 21 article, http://sports.yahoo.com/top/news?slug=jo-balco122106&prov=yhoo&type=lgns Troy Ellerman has confessed to being the source of BALCO Grand Jury leaks. I never took this article seriously. Maybe it's because I'm a Canuck, but this combination of Professional Rodeo and practicing law, well....Rodeo? If your Victor Conte you have to know things don't look good when your legal counsel is also part of PROFESSIONAL RODEO. Am I just a smug, chauvinistic Canadian?

I still don't think we know the whole story, there is some unpleasant history in Professional Rodeo between Ellerman and a PI, Larry McCormack, who tipped off the FBI to Ellerman. Bonds' attorney also doesn't believe that Ellerman is the source of the leaks because he didn't have access to all the information that was leaked. Is Ellerman to BALCO as Lee Harvey Oswald was to JFK? Should I retire my bong?

I've always wondered why a Grand Jury investigation into BALCO. No doubt Conte, Valente, Anderson et. al are guilty as sin. But pro ( and amateur, Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery ) athletes across North America are being supplied with steroids, why BALCO and not one of the others? Grand Jury investigations are not the result of happenstance. I started to go all Oliver Stone when President Bush got up on his soapbox about steroids in a State of the Union address, and there was that self serving show in front of Congress with parents of kids who had died from steroids being trotted out to shame pro athletes. ( Screw off, if your teenager is on steroids have a look at the values you have taught them, not to pro athletes ). But I read this article http://www.usatoday.com/sports/2007-01-24-ryan-balco-cover_x.htm in January about the lead prosecutor in the BALCO investigation and I think the genesis of the witch hunt is no more complicated than a failed jock looking to get even. Thanks again to Biz of Baseball for linking to the story.

Feb 18 07

Murray Chass reminds us that there is a new U.S. Attorney atop the Grand Jury investigation into Barry. The new guy will have to decide whether to continue efforts to indict Bonds or drop it and move on.

How loyal is Greg Anderson to Barry Bonds? He is presently in jail for a second time for refusing to testify to the grand jury about Barry. He was incarcerated November 20 and earlier last year was jailed for 57 days.

Murray Chass asked Anderson's lawyer, Mark Geragos, about speculation that Barry will look after Anderson financially for refusing to testify and going to jail. The lawyer's response; “There’s no truth to that,” Well, what else is he to say?

I am so sick of reading that it has yet to be proven definitively that Bonds is / was juiced. BS. My point is, yeah, get in line. Everyone, fans, reporters, players, owners, agents, PA, has known for years. What is the source of all this contrived outrage?

Of course Bud Selig is saying nothing about MLB's official plans ( if any ) for #756. He could still get lucky, by which I mean, indictment or injury.

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