Archive for July, 2006
I’d like to make a quick point regards Timothy’s last (much more reasoned and calm) comment:
…. Obviously this witch hunt on Bonds is ridiculous. Bonds doesn’t deserve to be indicted no more than I deserve to be indicted for all those beers I drank when I was underage. It is pretty stupid that the government is making such a huge deal about Bonds.
My opinion, however, is that Bonds is a cheater. If he would just retire, there would be no witch hunt. I don’t claim to know everything. But I think one would have to be pretty dumb to not admit that the majority of signs point to the fact that Bonds took steroids. And he did not just take steroids, he abused them. Look at his head. You dont jump up two hat sizes in a year at the age of 35. Sorry, it just doesnt happen. Bonds is a fantastic player. By chasing this home run record, he is making a mockery of the record to begin with.
I’m going to ignore the ignorant comment about Barry’s head, and focus on the issue of the home run record. What Timothy’s saying, and I’ve heard this pretty much everywhere, is that Bonds should just give up, retire from baseball, and we’d all let him be. That is absurd, almost to the point of being the kind of thing a child would believe. Barry will find himself at the center of a shitstorm until the mainstream media and the US government (or should I say, IRS Agent Novitsky) end the vendetta against him. Until that happens, Bonds has no incentive to retire, there is no “win” for him if he walks away.
In fact, his only way to “win” at all involves sticking it to everyone who is rooting for him to fail, to be indicted, to get injured again. For Bonds, the only thing to do is continue to try and get back to the World Series, and to try and catch Aaron.
I’d also like to note that Timothy’s tired refrain that Bonds is a cheater, that he’s “making a mockery” of the game also falls into the “provably false” folder. Baseball had NO drug poilcy prior to 2002, so regardless of whether you think using PED’s is wrong or not, it wasn’t against the rules of the game to do so. In point of fact, amphetamine use was rampant for going on four decades, and everyone knows that virtually everyone used them. So, Aaron, Mays, McCovey, Frank -fucking- Robinson and Bob Gibson can all shove it up their asses. They used speed, WE KNOW THEY DID, and so whatever “records” they and fans like Timothy think they are protecting against being mocked are just as suspect as anything Bonds or McGwire did, (who absolutely competed against plenty of pitchers who were using too).
You don’t get to say one thing is worse than another because it suits your bias, Lupica. Baseball did nothing, absolutely nothing about the use of PED’s for four decades. Focusing on Bonds because he’s a dick is called prejudice, it’s only barely less offensive than focusing on him because he’s black.
Unbelievably, the Giants find themselves in first place, after last night’s tight, 4-3 win over the Padres. The Giants are now on their first five game winning streak of the season, as they go for the sweep in today’s finale.
Of course, they’re in first place in the league’s weakest division, but, first place is where you want to be regardless. Without checking, I’d say it’s the first time they’ve been in first place this late in the season since ’04, maybe even ’03.
Schmidt struggled, but won his first game in more than a month, and the hitters did just enough.
…. There was, however, some potentially sour news for the Giants. Leading off the fifth, Moises Alou beat out a grounder down the third-base line. But on his way to first, he strained his left hamstring and left the game. Felipe Alou said the initial estimate is that his son will miss 2-3 days — the Giants have an off day on Monday.
Moises sure seems to be made of glass, doesn’t he?
UPDATE: Well, that was quick. ;-D
Reading all of the latest “Selig should suspend Bonds” articles, got me thinking, (a scary thought, I know).
…. The government has obtained significant evidence about Bonds and steroids, according to documents and interviews. During the Anderson contempt hearing, federal prosecutors said that in a 2003 raid, they had obtained a “mountain” of documents indicating that Bonds’ trainer had provided banned drugs to elite athletes.
The Chronicle has reported that in 2003 Anderson was secretly recorded while discussing the “undetectable” drugs he was giving to Bonds, and the government now says it too has a copy of that recording.
Both BALCO founder Victor Conte and his vice president, James Valente, told federal investigators in 2003 that Bonds received undetectable steroids from BALCO, although the men later renounced their statements.
Bell, Bonds’ former girlfriend, told the grand jury that in 2000 Bonds told her he was using steroids. And Bonds’ former business manager, Steve Hoskins, has told federal investigators that he has personal knowledge of Bonds’ use of banned drugs, according to Hoskins’ lawyer, Michael Cardoza.
Reading all of this horsehit, here’s something that’s just occurred to me; Selig should suspend Barry Bonds. That’s right, Selig should suspend Bonds. He should invoke the best interests of baseball clause and sit Barry down. Selig feels that Bonds lied to his face, more than once, that Bonds is essentially laughing in his face as he chases Aaron, making a mockery of the game and all of the new drug testing policies. Fine. Be a man, and suspend him.
Sure, the Players Association will appeal the suspension, and almost certainly win the appeal, but why should Selig care about that? Baseball suspends and fines players all the time knowing full well that the appeal proccess will alter or reduce the penalty. Selig should suspend Bonds for 50 games or something like that, and then put the onus on the PA and the arbitrator who will inevitably be brought in to handle the legally bargained process of reviewing whether his actions are defensible or not.
A real commissioner would have already done it. This isn’t Kobe Bryant being accused of rape. This is something directly related to the actual playing of the games; for crying out loud, the poster boy of performance enhancing drugs is trying to pass the all-time home run hitter. This is a big deal, arguably the biggest deal imaginable.
So what’s stopping him from just drawing a line in the sand? It’s simple, really. He’s a used car salesman. He fell into this job, just like he fell into the Brewers. What business success, what true and real accomplishments has Selig had in his life before baseball? He sold used cars.
Not exactly the kind of thing that prepares you for the vagaries of the multi-national, multi-billion dollar a year world enterprise that baseball has become. At this point, with all that’s transpired, with all that we “know” and all that we think we know, Selig should say, “enough” and just suspend him. I don’t agree with Selig on much, and I don’t think he’s even close to the best man for the job, but at least I’d have to respect him for taking a stand on something, anything.
I know I’ve argued that Bonds’ hasn’t done anything deserving of all this vilification and damnation. This isn’t about Bonds, this is about Selig. What is he waiting for? This isn’t a perfect world, and he isn’t going to get a perfect opportunity. He should push his chips all-in, and let the cards play out.
I find myself with a strange bedfellow this morning, one Ray Ratto of the SF Chronicle:
…. the trade deadline is creeping up on teeny slippered feet, and with hunting season in full swing, the Giants have yet to establish to anyone’s satisfaction who or what they are. Some of it is injury, some it is talent shortages, and some of it is the list of false positives they are allowed by the general mediocrity of the National League West, but the truth is the Giants are an odd lot of occasionally matched parts — not good offensively, with decent but not dominant pitchers, and in all a team with no winning streak longer than three games or a losing streak longer than four. They are specifically and exactly what you see in the standings this morning — a team barely over .500, and giving no indications that it will ever stray much above that line.
Thus, while the rest of the nation focuses on the left fielder and his date with the CourtTV set, the Giants continue to struggle to understand themselves. Indeed, Saturday’s game was a rare view of what can happen when it all goes to hell at once.
Well put. I dare say Mr. Ratto echoes my earlier post on the subject:
…. The Giants are unwatchable. They are a train wreck, a debacle. It’s not that they are old. It’s not that they’re slow. It’s not that their record has been at or near .500 all season long. It’s not that Bonds is done. It’s not that they are wasting some damn good pitching, losing ground when they should be gaining.
It’s all of it. It’s Sabean and Magowan and all of the bad decisions they’ve made over the past three or four seasons, (which, by the way, have really started to pile up). It seems like every team in the league has at least one or two exciting young hitters they call up who are lights out. Not the Giants.
Should they make a move, or should they play it out? Who can tell. Bonds’ recent stolen base spree could be an indication of an improvement in his health, which in turn, might be an improvement in his bat. It also could be a precursor to a career-ending recurrence of his knee woes.
Again, the age of the team puts management in a very difficult position. Knowing that older players tend to decline as the season progresses, and knowing that these old-timers have had a hard enough time staying in the lineup as it is; makes projecting what’s going to happen from this point forward damn near impossible. So how can Sabean trade anyone? He could trade away more prospects, (perish the thought!) only to watch the Giants lose 12 of 15 over the next three weeks.
But that’s what you get when you build a team older than most beer league softball teams.
45-44 at the All Star break, after last night’s desultory 3-1 loss to the Dodgers, the Giants couldn’t seem to gain ground as the first half came to a close.
Jason Schmidt pitched well enough to win (again), but hasn’t since his 16-strikeout gem, which makes me wonder if he (and Felipe) left a little too much out there going for history. He also pitched well enough to lose, a common result over his last six starts. Yes, the Giants haven’t scored much for him in those starts, but he’s been behind early in 4 of those six starts, and these Giants aren’t built for the come from behind wins.
Anyway, the Giants had 37 wins at the break last year, so we’re talking about an 8 game improvement with Bonds at half strength, Moises missing two months, and Matt Morris struggling to get back to .500 after a 2-7 start to his season. All in all, that ain’t too shabby. Health remains the Giants biggest concern for the second half push. If Moises can stay in the lineup, the Giants should be able to stay in contention in the NL West. Whether this is a championship contender is still in doubt, but at the least, they are a solid team, (albeit, boring as hell to watch).