Archive for 2004

…. Opening assault

The funniest part of the Giants 5-4 win over the Astros last night happened while Jimmy Williams was on the mound talking to Roy Oswalt just before Bonds’ 659th home run. Listening to Gwynn and company expain that Williams had no choice but to take Oswalt out, and then trying to come up with some kind of reasoning for leaving him in as the manager left the field; I couldn’t understand why no one mentioned that Williams probably told him to do the old unintentional intentional walk.

Of course, Oswalt’s pitch, and Bonds’ power display only guarantees that Barry won’t see another pitch over the plate for a month, but it sure was exciting.

…. emails and details

Greg posted an interesting question on my recent steroids post, so I thought I’d bring it to the front page.

So are you saying that it’s OK to take otherwise illegal performance enhancing drugs as long as they are not included on the to-be-tested-for list for the simple fact that some lab whipped them up after the agreement was made?

First of all, lawmakers can hardly keep up with creation of these performance enhancing agents, so it’s questionable as to whether they are, in fact, testing for things that are illegal. But, anyway, no, that’s not what I am saying.

What I am saying is that it is wrong to treat Bonds like Al Capone. It is wrong to assume Bonds was guilty of doing anything with no proof other than sportswriters’ insinuations and circumstantial association. It is wrong to hold that there is widespread abuse of steroids with no evidence, and then enact more laws and regulations that trample on the rights of American citizens.

And while I’m on the subject again, let me remind you that these laws affect you and I as well, by the way. By criminalizing more and more things, the government creates ways in which more and more people can be incarcerated. America already has the largest prison population in the history of the world, and a huge number of the prisoners are in jail for breaking laws related to criminalized personal behavior, many of those are for marijuana related charges.

How does putting someone in jail for stuff like that improve our lives? How does it protect society? Who pays for all of these people in jail? Who pays for all the lost productivity in our country? Right now it is illegal to possess or use steroids, what is the point of making it more illegal?

Call me a cynic, but I feel it’s naive to just accept that Congress or some lawmaker is doing this for cause. The politicians are jumping on the politically correct, “I’m tough on crime” bandwagon, and from my perspective, (which I like to believe is a fairly well-informed one), they are wasting my tax dollars and time, and they are intruding into the personal rights of Americans.

Barry Bonds has the right to be treated the same as you and I. Are you telling me that it’s OK to ask you to submit to a drug test because you wear a Grateful Dead T-shirt to work? Because that’s the same logic that Verducci is using when he writes that Bonds is obviously using performance-enhancing drugs. “Oh, he’s too good, too muscular, too strong. He must be cheating.” What the hell kind of crap is that?

…. For real?

So, last night’s Boston @ Baltimore game was Opening Night? Today’s Cubs @ Cincinnatti is Opening Day? So, what did we call the Yankees and Tampa Bay in Japan, Opening International? Jeez.

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Anyway, the Orioles beat the Red Sox and Pedro the Terrible, 7-2, and Pedro threw and awful lot of change-ups. Yankee fans, (like, say, me and my dad) found great, mean-spirited pleasure in watching him lose. Johnny Damon does look like Jesus, by the way.

…. New sheriff in town

OBM pal and terrific writer, Dan Lewis, has started a new site called Armchair GM. There is no doubt that Dan is one of the top “out of the box” writers available, so for OBM readers, his is a must have kind of site.

He is also featured in my Smart Guys, and now he headlines More Sports. Go, now.

…. Bad mojo

In this AP Report I found at ESPN, it turns out that the urine samples (the ones that were used for MLB’s survey tests) that were supposed to be destroyed, weren’t. And now, the federal investigators want to re-test them for designer drugs like THG.

So now we have a full-blown witch hunt, and there is absolutely no concern whatsoever for all the ways this is wrong. The Players Association dropped the ball by not making sure the testing process was handled exactly the way it was spelled out in the agreement, (an egregious miscalculation given the little regard for the players rights and/or needs MLB has shown throughout history). MLB will be in violation of the agreement with the players the instant it makes those tests available (What if the players decide to vote to strike over this?). Designer drugs like THG were not included in the scope of the survey test, consequently, there is no way such a test should be allowed.

In considering this utter travesty, I am reminded of Allan Barra’s interview of Marvin Miller regards the subject of random testing:

MMI have to say that it constantly amazes me how willing members of the press sometimes are to agree with the baseball owners that players should no longer be treated as citizens. I have to say I’m appalled when I pick up the New York Times and read a statement like “the rampant use of steroids will continue because the Players Association opposes mandatory testing.” How exactly was that conclusion reached and on what historical evidence is it based? I’m amazed at how willing some columnists are to simply waive a player’s civil rights because he happens to be a professional athlete. Has anyone really thought this matter through? Have you given some serious thought to what random drug testing, if applied, might be?

AB: I assume random would mean at the owners’ discretion.

MMIt seems to me that it would mean that or nothing at all, or how would it be random? What that means is that no player could, for instance, plan to go on vacation or out of the country or even out of his house overnight without the approval of Major League Baseball, because how would the player know that the random test wasn’t scheduled to occur while he was away? And if you didn’t limit random testing in some way, it could be used to harass any player who management chose to single out. If you had a big-salaried player who you felt wasn’t producing, you could harass him into wanting to leave through constant random drug testing. Not to mention how a player’s reputation might be sullied by this kind of practice.

Random drug tests. Continued expansion of laws and regulations into private decisions. Private ciritens rights being trampled. It’s a witch hunt, plain and simple; and I’d like Mik Lupica and his buddies to keep in mind that eventually, they’re gonna come after you, too. They’ll keep finding more and more ways to control citizens lives and decisions, until eventually, we’ll all be on Prozac and Viagra and beer; milling around like sheep.

…. Some Big Corporation

The Giants played their first exhibition game at Pac Bell yesterday, and many fans found it laughable that the team spent $1 millon dollars changing the signage at the ballpark. I will never refer to it as anything other than Pac Bell, the name worked, and more importantly, I will not suppport any and all mass corporate take overs of any kind.

…. New and Improved

Well alright, the great experiment is under way. I am proud and excited to announce the addition of three new writers to the previously solo act known as OBM. The new guys are:

Greg Hunnicut

Aaron Loomis

Doug Purdie

Aaron and Doug you probably remember, both have written guest pieces for me before. Greg has his own site called Three Dog Blog in which he covers everything. When he’s here, he’ll be covering baseball, (duh).

Anyway, look for some of their work in the days ahead, and I’m sure they’ll introduce themselves. Exciting times.

…. Odds and ends

OK, so I’ve gotten enough writers to consider for my expansion project. Thanks to all who’ve replied.

OBM is under consideration to be featured in a magazine that will be available in the suites at Pac Bell this season, something I am really happy about, especially as I move towards making OBM a more complete Giants source. Thanks to my new friend Carol for thinking so highly of me.

I am still working on my move, so posting will be touch and go when I get back to CA, hopefully my sattelite internet setup goes smoothly.

Oh, I forgot to mention that the Baseball Crank has a real nice piece on Established Win Shares for the NL West. Go, now.

…. New friends

Check out Brian over at Top of the 9th. He’s headlining in my More Baseball right now. He’s got some interesting stuff for you.

…. Just an idea

As many of you may have noticed, OBM has been going through some difficulty posting daily for much of the last year, due to technical and, for the most part, internet access difficulties. I have started to get the feeling that this is an issue that needs to be addressed, and as my life and work demands are not going to change in the near-term, the way to do so is to inject some new life into what I’m doing here. The question of how to do that seems, to me, to be fairly obvious, as evidenced by the success of the web-site consolidation that’s been going on amongst so many of the best writers out there.

Well, I’m not going to jump in with anyone else, as I feel pretty strongly about the OBM brand, as it were. Instead, I am extending an invitation for one or two writers to join OBM. I envision a scenario where as many as, say, three of us would post about the Giants or baseball as we see fit, on any subject, whenever the mood strikes us. I’m sure there would be some details to be hashed out, but I believe the format of the site will support such an approach, and if not, well, at least we can say we tried.

Anyway, I don’t care if you already have a site or are just thinking about starting one, send me an email if you’re interested, and we’ll see if we can’t flesh something out that works.

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All commentary is the opinion of John J Perricone unless otherwise noted.
None of the opinions expressed should be construed as being endorsed by the
San Francisco Giants, Major League Baseball, or any other organization mentioned herein.

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