Archive for November, 2005
You know, I’m not much of a nice guy when it comes to the mainstream media coverage of baseball. I’ve ripped just about everybody once, and most of the time I’ve hit the nail on the head, (in my humble opinion). With that in mind, I bring you ex-Yankee Bobby Murcer and Murray Chass of the NY Times, speculating about a different kind of solution to the Yankees centerfield problem:
…. Maybe the Yankees could win with Crosby in center, but consider this trifecta:
¶Switch Jeter to center.
¶Move Rodriguez back to shortstop.
¶Sign the free agent Bill Mueller, late of Boston, to play third base.
…. I don’t want to seem like a guy who toots his own horn a little to frequently, so forget about the fact that I wrote the same exact thing in June, David Pinto wrote about it before me, and I’m pretty sure at least ten other bloggers wrote about it in 2004!.
And let me be even frank, my piece was actually a pretty in depth comparison of Yount and Jeter, a comparison Chass uses. I know I’m not a member of BBWAA, but shouldn’t Chass at least mention that he knows the idea was out there for the last year?
I find it hard to believe that Mike Lupica had nothing to write about this morning. I find it hard to imagine that the NFC East showdown between the NY Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles doesn’t have enough important issues and sidelines running through it, what with the T.O. saga, McNabb’s injury, Eli Manning, etc.. Or if that’s not interesting enough, I guess he could have written about the NY Yankees poorly thought-out decision to pursue Brian Giles to solve their centerfield problem, ignoring the fact that the Mets were shopping, and eventually giving away Gold Glove centerfielder Mike Cameron right there in front of them. Back to football, he could have written about how the Jets went from Super Bowl contender to lottery-bound in the span of about seven minutes. Ot how about the Knicks battle between Larry Brown and Stephon Marbury?
But with all that, and about a million other issues surrounding the 9(Nine!!) sports teams in the NY metropolitan area, Lupica decided that he needed to focus his attention somewhere else; somewhere as far away from where he lives and works as he could find and still stay in the United States. He decided that his lead story today had to be a re-hash of his never-ending Barry Bonds attack pieces.
…. Bonds, back now from one of the slowest healing knee injuries on record, isn’t going anywhere, at least until he leaves the game for good, leaves us with our doubts, or the firm belief that he did it, and might be still doing it. That he might be a step ahead of the testers the way he is a step ahead of all other players, with some concoction of human growth hormone, for which there still is no reliable test, and just enough testosterone that it doesn’t reach the threshold of a positive test.
We don’t know for sure and might never know for sure.
Unbelievable. I’d be interested to know how a columnist of Lupica’s stature gets away with this kind of crap. We’ll never know, but everything he’s done is suspect.
Here’s an idea; Bonds is innocent of any wrongdoing. After all this time, after Bonds’ leaked testimony, after a grand total of one person has come forward and directly accused Bonds of telling them about using steroids, after three years of testing, after the men who were in position to come forth and put Barry Bonds’ in the hot seat in exchange for their own freedom did not do so, after the US Government wasted probably more than $30 million dollars going after Bonds directly and indirectly…. After all that, Lupica and the rest of these Joe McCarthy’s have exactly what they had four years ago: innuendo, speculation and opinions.
Bonds is no angel. He’s obviously one of the prima donna’s in baseball history. He’s made lots of enemies in the media, and, boy oh boy, they’ve made him pay. At this point in time, he deserves more. He deserves somebody in the mainstream media coming forth and telling the truth. The truth is, after all this time and all the money spent and all the people trying to prove that he used steroids, they’ve got nothing.
As for Lupica and his think alikes, right now, they all look the same, a lot like Detective John Mackey at the end of Dolores Claiborne.
…. Look. It’s been 18 years. I don’t know what this has done to you, but let me tell you, it’s consumed me. I have lived with this every day of my life. Every day. I was wrong and I won’t do it any more. And if I can say that, my God, can’t you? (Selena St. George)
The Giants received two body blows in the last few days. First, Assistant GM Ned Colletti jumped ship to become the GM of the hated, despised, Los Angeles Dodgers, something akin to Josey Wales becoming a bluecoat. But, as bad as that loss is, I would guess that losing Colletti won’t be nearly as big a deal, though, as today’s shocker.
Losing Scott Eyre, arguably the team’s best pitcher last year, is a tremendous setback, and speaks volumes of what players in MLB think about the constant stream of horseshit decision-making, second-city whining about how the team can’t spend any money while selling amlmost 4 million tickets each year, and the failure of the coaching staff to anticipate and/or correct the numerous pitcher failures of the last two seasons.
In short, if a guy whose career was resurrected here doesn’t want to be a Giant, then it’s pretty likely that nobody does.
I’ve held off comment on the ridiculous renewal of Congress’ call for a uniform PED policy, and I’ve also avoided having an opinion on Matt Lawton’s failed drug test. 12 failed drug tests in a season in which probably 2000 were done hardly represents the end of the world as we know it, and really, I don’t believe that any law that interferes in established labor law would have very little chance of surviving the inevitable legal challenge by the Players Association, MLB, the NFL, the NFLPA, and so on….
As for the Sports Economists’ opinion, the idea that athletes could take charge of the situation seems pretty unlikely too. Boxers are solo performers, athletes in team sports would face the prospect of suing an opponent, say a guy who homers in a late inning comeback win, who then falis his drug test. But what if a teammate then failed a subsequent test? I’d say that team athletes face the same dilemma that the fans do: A player who is improving his performance by using PED’s is actually an asset to the team. As such, team sports athletes are just as likely to look the other way for a cheating teammate as they might be to cheat themselves.
So here’s my comment and opinion:
The pressure to use PED’s is enormous at the professional level of virtually all sports, especially the Big Three. The drive to win, the ambition to reap the largest possible rewards for your talents and opportunities, to be the best; all this and more conspire to make the highest levels of sporting competition the fullest realization of the idea of “survival of the fittest.”
Foolish, distracting efforts to moralize sports are ill-conceived, and hardly represent the real purpose of electing (and de facto approving of the elected’s appointees), these criminals.
The Giants finally received some good news after a season to forget, when the Gold Glove awards were announced; and new Giants Omar Vizquel and Mike Matheny were honored. Vizquel won his 10th, (second only to Ozzie Smith), and Matheny won his fourth (third in a row).
Congratulations to both players and to the organization. It’s about time Giants fans got some good news. More good news would be re-signing Scott Eyre and a first baseman with some pop.