Sunday, June 09, 2013

FORGET THE GOOD & THE BAD...'s all about the druggies these days. It's been a few days after the latest Biogenesis news leaped back into the public eye, so all the sportswriters are taking their turn at the plate.

Mostly, it's a rehash of the same theme:  who is the worst character in the story;  Anthony Bosch, owner of Biogenesis, or the long list of "users," players we cheered for (or booed at) for years.Certainly neither of the two qualify for sainthood, so pick your poison.

As what may be a last ditch gasp, some players are asking the media and the public to wait until all the facts are out, suggesting that they will ultimately be exonerated. Perhaps they are just giving their publicity agents and  their spin doctors a chance to come up with some better excuses and explanations that they hope the public will swallow. That may end up to be a pretty big pill.

Frank "The Big Hurt" Thomas and other Hall of Famers have come out and said they don't want to see PED users put into the Hall. Supposedly, a number of current players have indicated to the Players Association that they want the use of PEDs stopped, no matter what the cost. Then you have people like William Rhoden of the New York Times, advocating the stance that the Players Union should back these accused players to the bitter end. In his words, "Do you want to be a part of a union that doesn't back you up?" I suppose not, but would you want to be a part of a union that advocates cheating and fights for cheaters?
A character in a John Macdonald novel once said, "People think if one side is evil, the other side must automatically be good. That's not always true."

While A-Rod may be the most famous name involved in this, Ryan Braun is certainly a close second in this drama. Braun, you may remember, beat a positive drug test by claiming an improper chain of custody. In his statement on the day he won his appeal, he spoke at great length about how the chain of custody was suspect and the various methods that were available to the testers to safeguard the samples weren't used. Not once did he claim that he was innocent  and didn't use anything illegal, it was all about the sample and the possibility of tampering. This position has infuriated everyone, from the Commissioner, to the players, and  the testers. If he is ultimately proven guilty, his punishment may be the most severe of all of them.  The baseball commissioner has one sweeping power to go so far as to ban, permanently from the sport, any activity which is not in the best interest of the sport.  I give you Kenesaw "Mountain" Landis and Joe Jackson and Bart Giamatti and Pete Rose.

The Yankees  are one big happy family. In the recent amateur draft, the Yanks picked the nephew of Paul O'Neil and Andy Pettitte's son, Josh.  Of course, Josh was chosen in the 37nd round, which means that some 1100 players were chosen before him. He does have a baseball scholarship to Baylor University, which he is expected to use. Why? Well, as Andy said, "The money isn't going to be there this time to make him forgo college, so he'll wait three years and enter the draft again." So much for family.

Is there a veteran player that's having a better season than 37-year old David Ortiz? A .317 batting average, 12 home runs and  45 RBIs, with an OPS (On base Plus Slugging) of 1.011. Nope!

The St. Louis Cardinals, who gave up Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman, and have lost pitcher Chris Carpenter, somehow lead the NL Central with the best record in baseball, 40-22 - .645.

Yesterday, the Yanks beat the Mariners, 3-1, behind 40 year-old Andy Pettitte and 43 year-old closer, Mariano Rivera. I don't know if that's a record for the highest combined age of a winning pitcher plus the closer, but it sure makes us 69 year-old retired folk feel good.

The Marlins beat the Mets in 20 innings last night. The teams used a total of 41 players including 16 pitchers. If ever two teams needed a rainout...

Ballplayers all have their own way of rehabbing. What famous Yankee infielder was seen partying at a racy Burlesque club recently? Nope, it wasn't Alex Rodriquez. It was Derek Jeter. (Sorry Annie-O)

" During the MLB draft, Commissioner Bud Selig repeatedly referred to it as the 2000 MLB draft, a mistake so stupid he’s just been named an honorary umpire."  -- Brad Dickson
" UNC leading scorer’s P.J. Hairston was charged with marijuana possession following a traffic stop in Durham, N.C. Really? You’re a Tar Heel and you do something illegal in Durham? About as smart as speeding near Fenway Park wearing a Yankees Cap."  -- Janice Hough
"Lori Birkeneder of Plantation, Fla., has collected more than 3,000 Barbie dolls, moving her up to second on the all-time list behind Derek Jeter."  -- Dwight Perry
"I think Applebee's has more stringent background checks that Rutgers University."   -- Colin Cowherd 
"What can you say about the Indiana Pacers' dismal performance in losing Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final? I haven't seen a bunch of guys look so bewildered on hardwood since my Grade 7 dance."  -- RJ Currie

"The San Diego Padres have a new postgame celebration ritual — dumping Gatorade on the sideline reporter. This is believed to be the first functional purpose for any sideline reporter in all of sport."  -- Brad Dickson
"Was there a lot grunting going on during the Maria Sharapova-Victoria Azarenka semifinal at the French Open? They sounded as if they were pushing a stalled Peugot across lanes of traffic in the Arc de Triomphe."  -- Steven Wine
"The reeling Miami Marlins called up veteran utility man Ed Lucas after 10 years in the minors. I wonder if he could tell the difference."  -- Greg Cote


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