The MobTown Sports Beat Hall of Game is our weekly attempt to honor those in the world of sports who have imposed their will on the establishment through unconventional and/or underhanded means. We nominate five and pick one for induction.
Here are this week’s MobTown Sports Beat Hall of Game Nominees:
For those that were wondering if Japanese fire-baller Yu Darvish would live up to the hype, the first indications may have come in his first official appearance of the spring. After commanding a 6-year $60 million contract from the Rangers this off-season, many have been simply waiting to see the hurler in action. In his first spring appearance Darvish threw 2 scoreless innings, popping the catcher’s mitt to the tune of 3 strikeouts and reportedly featured as many as seven different pitches. If that’s not enough, there’s more. In addition to the positives in his stat line, Darvish also yielded a pair of doubles to the Padres, including a liner laced off the wall in center field by Will Venable. Judging by the translation of comments from his post game press conference however, Darvish was less than impressed with Venable’s contact, allegedly calling the shot wind aided and the contact not square.
If true, it appears that humility may be the only missing element in the Darvish cache. And if the spring precedents established by Darvish hold up, he should be fun to watch and listen to for as long as he’s active.
One of these days the world at large will get around to thanking Canseco. He did after all speak much more intelligently about the steroids infestation in Major League Baseball than we were ever willing to acknowledge at the time, and whether accidentally or not, Canseco’s actions, antics and willingness (or need) to tell all kept the problem of steroids in baseball in the forefronts of lots of minds. To some degree, both Canseco and Barry Bonds through their own efforts to cheat the system and capitalize on the system pushed those in power to actually fix the system. It’s hard to give him too much credit, as most of the aforementioned are nothing more than an unintended consequence of Canseco’s out of control way of life.
By now you surely have heard that Canseco has been removed from a Mexican baseball league because of his inability to pass a drug screening, not allegedly for using steroids, but instead because of a synthetic hormone that Canseco now needs to offset the lack of testosterone (that his body no longer produces sufficiently) as a result of years of steroids abuse.
For years as we’ve become more and more aware of the evils of steroid use, there has still been an undeniable and underlying truth that they really helped players perform and as a result cash in too. Talk of the long-term effects of steroids seemed speculative at best to those being tempted by its immediate benefits. Perhaps again, inadvertently Canseco is already walking us through the next part of the life lesson he’s been accidentally teaching us all about steroids and PED use, as we watch his once chiseled body break down.
We may never truly know how much of Canseco’s nutty behavior and mental capacity were affected by steroid use, as we’ve always simply seemed to except him as a lunatic. Maybe if Canseco could ever officially throw himself on the mercy of public opinion and stop embarrassing himself, we could accept and appreciate his legacy for what it was, and there is a legacy. Until then he can serve as our poster boy for what comes out on the other side of steroid use.