Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Palmeiro Notes...

Palmeiro is the story of the day, of course. I have a number of thoughts:

-I can't get over how much people are surprised at this. How did anyone think that those players would say anything in front of Congress except that they did not use steroids? Some people seem to have bought his testimony, which is absurd. Until baseball players are tested every week, without exception, we'll never get past this. But that will never happen as Bud Selig will do anything to keep baseball popular, and offense is still sexy. They'll only do what they have to to satisfy the public's demands. Until they get tougher, I'm just not interested in watching.

-I think this leads to a number of tough issues across sports. Why haven't we seen a great outcry against football players, which I suspect are as juiced, if not more, than baseball players (and then, why am I excited about football but not baseball? - I think I take baseball more seriously)? Does each sport get to draw it's own line of what is acceptable? Do sports fans just accept this?

-Jonathan, I've got to disagree with you on a couple of things. One, I don't think steroids saved the game, as it would have come back eventually without it. Two, this may be a great year for baseball, but I haven't been able to take any of it seriously. For me, any player who is having a good season is under legitimate suspicion. It makes the game feel fake, and I don't enjoy it. Finally, I think MLB is playing around with this. Ten games is less than Kenny Rogers got for pushing that cameraman. Ten games is a joke. I'd put it at 60 games for the first offense, one year for the second, and a lifetime ban for the third. That would drive the message home.

-What can Congress do if he lied under oath to them? It seems that the drug test was from a while ago, which means it could have been from before the Congressional testimony. Could he be sent to jail for this? If the test was after he testified, as much as it stinks, I don't think there's any case against him in this case. He technically could have used steroids only after the testimony (although I'd bet he simply didn't get caught).

-If the drug test really was from several months ago, does it really take that long to test it? I took a drug test today for a new job, and they're supposed to analyze it in less than a week. Does it take longer to test for the drugs that MLB is trying to find?

-I'm tired of pundits saying that steroids don't affect your hand-eye co-ordination. They do. Your fast-twitch muscles are more effective. A baseball players on steroids has a split-second longer to decide if they should swing or not, which makes a big difference. Using steroids in baseball gives you a significant advantage on top of the advanced training methods used today. What we need are some true experts who know what steroids can and cannot do, but since we haven't studied those affects, we know little about them.

-On a different note, it's good to see the Predators' Den is back up and blogging. It's still the best place to get Preds blogging, even as we make a few attempts. I hope Jason keeps it up. Considering that the team will lower ticket prices while increasing salary, they are scoring some major fan-friendly points. Now that I'm starting to settle in, we can begin planning for the L&N Line night at a game!


At 8/02/2005 08:55:00 AM, Blogger Chris said...

I'll agree with most of what you say here, but your view of baseball is awfully alarmist, as if the few bad apples in the system mean everyone is implicated. I think I'll stay with the "innocent until proven guilty" maxim with everyone who has not tested positive thus far.

As for Palmeiro, I think unless there's some oddball reason that comes out of the blue to save him, I think his entire career is fiction.

At 8/02/2005 10:46:00 AM, Blogger Jonathan said...

I too agree with you for the most part, Mike, I just don't think I quite take it to that degree. My "Steroids saved baseball" comment is a stretch I know, and you're right that the fans would have come back. It's just a theory to throw out there and let everyone play with a little.

As far as my grudge against the Palmero story; my point was proven this morning. I have XM radio which comes with about thrirty news stations or so. The ten sports stations were talking about Palmero this morning, and the other twenty which consist of CNN, FOx News, and the sort, were also talking about Palmero.

It's ridiculous to think that a story like this deserves that kind of coverage. I can already see the cover of "Time" and "Newsweek."

Palmero's whole career might be fiction, as Chris attested. But I like him will stick with the innocent until proven guilty. I mean do you really think Maddux has been on the juice and that his three thousandeth strike out is a fluke? I'm not saying you're wrong, Mike, and I can see where the skepticism is coming from, but I guess it just hasn't deterred me from enjoying the game.

At 8/02/2005 03:52:00 PM, Blogger Mike said...

I wasn't that excited about the season because of the steroids thing, and it wasn't helped at all by being so busy with school. When school ended, the Reds sucked, and that had a lot to do with it continuing. I'm just not that interested this year, which is unusual, and steroids are a large part of it. Now, the English Premier League starting on the 13th... THAT I'm excited about!

I think this gets the coverage it does because we live in a society that is largely legal in nature, and this is proof of... something. Not quite sure what yet, and I am wanting to know his story before I completely condemn him. Most of us have known that players were on the juice for some time, and that the baseball powers that be were doing nothing about it. Now it appears we have someone, and no one can close their eyes anymore. I hope this leads to more pressure, leading to longer sentences.

At 8/02/2005 06:50:00 PM, Blogger Kennelworthy said...

It's proof that Palmero is an IDIOT. And that's coming from an Orioles/Rafael fan, too.

New rule proposal: take all steroid-using athletes and place them out back for the garbage pick-up.

What I don't get is this: even in the midst of people crying "foul" and claiming Palmero shouldn't get into the Hall of Fame...there are still many crying that Pete Rose should be let in.

Let me get this straight....betting on a team you manage is cheating...steroids is cheating...but the two are not equal. To me, the guy who juices up, the guy who bets on the team he manages, the guy who knowingly scuffs a baseball on the pitcher's mound, and the corked bat guys....they're all cheaters. Why do we have to have degrees of cheating?

Oh, I know...so we can let in guys we like and keep out guys we don't. It's ridiculous. And all this in the face of Bonds....Barry Bonds, who took steroids and admitted it...who used the same tired "I did it unintentionally" excuse....he's not catching the same wave of hell that Rafael is...and it's all because of what? Bonds' admission is sealed testimony that leaked when it shouldn't have.

Should that make a difference? I don't think so. But I'm not some legal expert.

It reminds me of McNair's arrest. He gets pulled over and is found to be drunk and possessing a firearm. But months later, his lawyers find a loophole allowing them to claim in court that McNair should never have been pulled over in the first place. The charges are dropped...but it does not erase the fact that McNair was driving drunk with a loaded gun in the car (at least it doesn't for me). In my eyes he's still a drunk-driving gun-toting idiot. Just because there's a legal loophole does not mean he never did it...it just means he couldn't be charged for it.

In the Bonds situation....just because we weren't ever supposed to see the leaked testimony doesn't (for me) erase what he admitted to. And yet...with all these pundits and analysts who today are so eager to crucify Palmero...it seems as though the legal loophole prevents them from having the same exact opinion about Bonds.

Man, this really makes me not care about baseball too much. God help us if they crack down on this stuff in Football, because I bet you half the guys in the NFL would fail the test and let me down. Then i'd be left with hockey...the one sport that I don't think has a rampant-and-out-of-control drug problem.

At 8/02/2005 09:04:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

I think the hockey guys just drink a lot of Tang and Jolt cola. Those are some wound up dudes.

The only difference I see with McNair is that is his personal life outside of football. It's not something that really can hinder your respect for how good of a player he is. I mean Charles Barkley is a grade a asshole, but he was a hell of a basketball player.

When you bring up the steroids that does have to do with their playing ability. Although, one study will say it does, and one will say it doesn't. Who the hell knows? While what McNair was doing was by no means any worse or better than betting on sports or taking steroids, it doesn't affect my fondness for him as a player.

At 8/03/2005 10:24:00 AM, Anonymous John B said...

First, Let me say that I have taken steroids. I have researched and do keep tabs on steroids. Do I use now? No. i used once and will not use again. I DO NOT condone the use of steroids in sports or outside medicinal purposes. I know what they do, side effects, and what they look like. I know more than 99.99% of the "scare tactic" reporters out there. And yes, they do improve your performance based on what you take. There are hundreds of types of steroids. Some build huge muscle, some build endurance, and some cut fat. Some are extremely dangerous and some have very mild effects. BUT, taking any kind of roids will NOT help you hit a Clemens fastball, just hit it farther or with more power. I can speak from first hand experience, not just what I hear on the news. You have questions about them on this blog, let me know.

Now, Palmeiro. Do I buy the "I didn't know" BS. NO WAY. Do I buy into the fact that because he tested positive for Winstrol (Stenozolol) that he automatically ingested/injected it illegally. NO WAY. There are a lot of legal, over the counter products taht mimic steroids. They are called pro-hormones. While they were banned in february, there are still plenty out there and plenty that slide right past the regulations and banned list. What the companies do is take a hormone like Winstrol. Then they alter a chemical branch in the structure to make it slightly different. Now you can sell a form of Winstrol legally cause it is not the same chemical as the prescription only real Winstrol. Simple loop hole. Now, based on this do I believe his "didn't know" excuse? HELL NO!!! Many of these products say that they could cause you to fail a drug test. They are straight forward products telling you what they mimic, and what they do. If he did legally buy a supplement, he should have easily known what it was all about. It is on him. Real Winstrol or pro-hormone, he knew what the hell he was taking. But then again, why should we expect anyone to take personal responsibility. He should just go out and sue everyone for his dumbassedness (word?). The fact is he took something against the rules and should be punished for it.

Finally, let's talk about this whole roid/cheating thing. Is taking roids cheating? YES!! It is against the rules and also against the law (unless you have a scrip). But, too many reporters take the wrong angle on this. They want a "level playing field" and claim that roids "give you an unfair advantage". Fine, if that's what you stand behind then let's look at the following:

1. Nike has created new contact lenses that allow hitters to see the ball better. Several MLB players have been using these. they are not against the rules but it does create an unfair advantage above natural talent. All it does is add to natural talent just like roids. Is this cheating?
2. Tiger Woods and Greg Maddux have both had Lasik surgery and noticed dramatic improvement immediately. This gave them an artificial edge above their natural bodies and abilities. Is this cheating?
3. Players now use cortizone shots like crazy. Decades ago, if you had a sore knee, shoulder, etc, you sucked it up and played. Cortizone is an artificial substance that is injected into the body to aid in movement and possibly allowing a hitter to swing harder and through a better range of motion. This gives them an unnatural advantage by letting them move past their body's natural movement for that day. Is this cheating?
4. Finally, a rich private school has top of the line training room, the best equipment, and a top of the line practice facility. A poor inner city school has only a rusty bench, duct-taped equipment, and a rock filled lot for practice. Natural meanness and talent aside, does this give the private school an unfair advantage?

Basically, anyone who gets busted with roids or ph's deserves it! anyone who complains about an unfair or unlevel playing field is a fool. There are unlevel playing fields everywhere! Use the fact that roids are 1. illegal, 2. against the rules, and 3. potentially dangerous if not used correctly.

Hope ya'll welcome me to the blog and I look forward to having good conversation. Sorry for the extra long debut, but I love to debate this stuff and can go forever if the subject is good and I can get some good feedback and questions. In the words of Rome, "react to me!" LOL


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