Tag Archive | "Steroids"

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A great show coming at 2 p.m. today…

Posted on 12 February 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

This blog is a great way to give listeners to “Limited Access” (our new show name if you haven’t heard) some heads up about what’s coming on the show each day. Today, we have John Rallo, Tom Verducci and Jim Schwartz booked onto the program already. It is shaping up to be a classic and I can’t wait to get started!

Every Thursday at 2 p.m. my old childhood buddy and MMA expert Rallo comes in for a UFC and mixed martial arts segment but we’ll also mix it up a bit and today is no exception with the Verducci visit.

Schwartz is one of my best friends in sports and he just took the Detroit Lions head coaching job and has been blowing me off (including changing his cell phone number!) ever since I got the initial text saying he got the job. I will crank up the Judas Priest and be giving him a very hard time for his all of friends and family in Arbutus who also haven’t heard from him. Old Schwartzie must be drinking from the 0-16 firehouse in Detroit. And I have to be kinda nice because it was his connection that got me to Bruce Springsteen in Tampa two weeks ago. I might even go so far as to offer to wear a piece of Lions swag to support his endeavors to bring a winner to Motown. Schwartz has been a regular visitor to the program ever since he left and has faithfully called in every Friday for six years. Until, of course, going AWOL on us when he got the Lions job. I can’t wait to hear his excuse. LOL. I promise you some classic radio from 4 til 4:30 today!

And Tom Verducci’s appearance at 2:30 today (along with Rallo, who loves baseball as well) should be an instant classic. If you haven’t noticed there’s a major “turf war” going on between MLB, ESPN and SI.com now that Sports Illustrated has decided it will be one of the last bastions of real “journalism” and bust guys like Alex Rodriguez when they’re lying about steroid use. And Verducci just DRILLED Peter Gammons’ “backrub” of ARod on Monday night’s “insightful and remorseful” ESPN apology tour that had exactly ONE STOP — with Gammons, who backed down from any real line of questioning.

The lesson here? When Scott Boras and ARod sit down for an “interview” (much like Peter Angelos) the questions and the answers are all pretty much “scripted” and there’s very little journalism going on and more “fraternizing” and “corporate partnership” happening. Everything Howard Cosell always wrote about was true. I love his books so much and they’re always on point, even 25 years later. It’s a big corporate game to make money and Verducci is one of the last great journalists left in the business who will write the truth. Ditto Selena Roberts, who has also had to defend her own integrity throughout this process while ARod blames her for his problems.

I have massive respect for that Verducci does at SI.com and I’m sure it’s made him QUITE unpopular with Bud Selig and the “establishment” of MLB in New York. (Maybe Selig will take his press pass like Angelos took ours?) If you doubt what I write about the filthy business of censorship of journalism in baseball, check out Deadspin’s account of Scott Van Pelt’s “suspension” after rightfully lambasting the eneptitude of Selig. ESPN has given Van Pelt some “quiet time” after he pointed out that the emperor has no clothes.

ESPN — unfortunately — has become part of the problem instead of the solution in regard to MLB because of their “servitude” to their business partner. Sounds a lot like our friends over at CBS Radio and 105.7 The Fan, doesn’t it? Oh, that’s right, ESPN Radio is one of their partners as well?

I wonder what Scott Van Pelt would say if he COULD say what’s really on his mind. He went to the University of Maryland’s Journalism School. I’m sure most of what they “taught” him there he’s found to be useless in the real world of Bristol and ESPN and MLB and big business.

Don’t worry…I’ll still be feisty at 2 p.m.

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Dirty, Dirty, Dirty…Is It A Shame? And Whose Shame Is It?

Posted on 07 February 2009 by Mark Suchy

SI.com is reporting that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for two types of steroids in 2003 as part of a voluntary, sealed agreement between the MLBPA and the Commissioner’s Office to help determine the extent of performance enhancing drug use in the sport.  These tests were discovered by Federal Agents as part of the ongoing investigation into the BALCO case in 2004.  1,198 players were tested randomly in 2003, and 104 tested positive.  Including ARod.

This raises a few questions in my mind, most of which are troubling or have no answer, which could be even more troubling.  Such as:

Alex Rodriguez used steroids?  Why this doesn’t come as a surprise to me is troubling.

104 players total tested positive in ’03?  I would very much like to know the rest of the names.  But clearly, Rodriguez is the big fish here.  Something tells me there are plenty of journeymen included, as previous testing results have shown.

Why does all of this produce more of a yawn from me than shock or outrage?

That is clearly the issue at play here.  Years and years of watching records get smashed, players get bigger and 40 yard dash times get lower has produced a very jaundiced eye, both individually and collectively, to the lifelong sports fan.  We can question it all we want, but the hard truth is that what we pay to see is not clean, not genuine, not within the capabilities of “pure” human performance, and not going to change anytime in the forseeable future.

Ever heard of Human Growth Hormone?  And yes, there is no test available without drawing blood.  Which violates privacy laws for every professional leagues’ bargaining agreements.

So I am preparing to hear plenty of stories regarding HGH in, oh, sometime around 2020.  And honestly, not one of them will surprise me in the least.

Have we reached the point of oversaturation when it comes to reports like this?  When a “bombshell” such as ARod using steroids arrives, what does it say about me as a sports fan that I shrug my shoulders instead of being genuinely shocked?  I suppose it says, more than anything, that I accept the fact that cheaters have long prospered in sports as well as life.  And that everything I watch, every game I attend, is populated by people who will do anything in an effort to gain a competetive edge in order to gain financially when that next contract is negotiated.

The truth is that there is no moral to the story.  Because morality is absent in the conversation of cheating.  And that is what this is, cheating.  Nothing more, nothing less.

So Arod is a cheater?  AFraud?  Wow.  I would never have suspected.

Quite frankly, I’m worn out and that makes me a bit indifferent to stories such as this.  Call me a crank, call me a cynic, and you’d be justified in doing so, but take a moment and scroll back through your mind to McGwire/Sosa in ’98, Bonds from ’99 on, football linemen who weigh 340 pounds and run 4.9 second 40 yard dashes, and you’ll get a bit exhausted by it as well. 

There is no end in sight to these matters.  That is the ultimate, and saddest, truth of the whole story.  And if you can honestly answer these questions, then perhaps you accept that what you see isn’t genuine and earnestly gained:

Does it matter to you as a sports fan at all?

AND

Why do we continue to watch?

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A-Rod, Clemens and Steroids

Posted on 11 January 2008 by raybachman

I was reading an issue of USA Today’s Sports Weekly and came across an article about the Mitchell Report. There was a list of 22 players that responded to the report. Out of the 22 that responded, 11 of the players said that the report was true and that they made a mistake. 6 of the players said that the report was a lie. 4 of the players had no comment and 1 player said that the he bought something from Radomski but never used steroids. Roger Clemens was 1 of the players that strongly denied the report.
Where am I going with this? If 11 guys said that the report was right on, then I’m willing to bet you that the report was right on. To the players that didn’t comment. If you were innocent why wouldn’t you comment? You get the point.
A few years back Jose Canseco said that 80 percent of baseball was on steroids/HGH. Everyone laughed at him. He named people like Palmerio, Tejada, Giambi etc. For the record, I don’t remember anyone suing Canseco for calling them out.  Looking back at Canseco’s comments now, I think it’s safe to say that he was telling the truth. Now Canseco is saying that he was surprised that Alex Rodriguez’s name wasn’t mentioned in the Mitchell Report.
Is MLB protecting their Golden Boy? Not A-Rod!!! Not the guy that is going to break every baseball record, I believed Canseco before and I believe him again. Wait and see if something doesn’t come out about A-Rod down the road.

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Give Me A Break

Posted on 18 December 2007 by raybachman

Brian Roberts tried steroids once. Do you believe that? I don’t. Could he be telling the truth? Yes. Sounds like a bunch of B.S. to me — kind of like the guy that gets pulled over and says, “I only had one beer.”

Isn’t it funny how all of the guys that are getting named in the Mitchell Report only did it once or twice? Andy Pettitte said the same thing. Some of the other guys are saying that they were prescribed HGH or steroids by their doctor. Some guys are saying that everyone else is lying. Not only are these guys drug users, but they are also liars. We have common sense. Please stop insulting us.

Kyle Boller is starting again this week. I’ve seen his act for five years now. God forbid that you see what Troy Smith brings to the table. Is Smith ready? Probably not. Take a look at him anyway. Let him get out there and run around. I know that some of the players on the team would rather see Smith out there. If the team is going to rally around the guy, then get him in.

I was at the Ravens-Dolphins game on Sunday. Man, it sucked having to walk out of that place.

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Players should police themselves

Posted on 14 December 2007 by russletra

A few years ago, Jim Palmer unwittingly indicted Brady Anderson for taking steroids. It was in the middle of a mundane Oriole broadcast, and Jim, probably in some “stream-of-consciousness” effect, claimed that the blip in Brady’s home run production in 1996 had to be the result of steroid use. After all, he had 16 homers in ’95 and 18 in ’97. What else could account for the 50 dingers he hit in 1996.

Brady Anderson was the first name I looked for after the Mitchell Report was made public. According to The Sun there are “at least 18 current or former Orioles” mentioned in the report. (I guess the report didn’t have the time or inclination to check if there were more than 18.)

Ok. Brady wasn’t on the list. That doesn’t mean he didn’t take steroids. Maybe he paid cash. Maybe he avoided the three main sources Mitchell used to make his report. Howie Clark, on the other hand, must have used his credit card, come in contact with Mets batboy Kirk Radomski, or maybe conducted business with the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative (BALCO).

The report admits that “Other investigations will no doubt turn up more names and fill in more details”. So the bottom line is; Maybe Brady’s homers were ‘roid aided or maybe they weren’t.

What I can draw from this is that performance enhancing drugs are mere “fine-tuners’. An athlete must have the God-given, extraordinary skills to participate in the major leagues. Even with these skills, the Howie Clarks of the bigs can’t compete with the Brady Andersons. Clark could tell you, steroids won’t help. After all, he has a total of 25 major league homers. If steroids made that much of a difference, Clark would have more than the two homers he hit last year for Toronto.

Here’s the sad fact: Peer pressure resulted in the proliferation of performance enhancing drugs. The guys that were borderline took it, so the guys that were good took it to keep their place. In turn, the guys that were great, took it. The bottom line? Brady is better than Clark. Bonds is better than Justice. Clemens is better than Grimsley.

Steroids don’t matter; At least as far as who is better than whom.

Then, why should we care. If they’re all souped up, the playing field is level. Go ahead Barry, hit another into McCovey Cove.

Well, here’s why we should care. Those high school studs know going in that they need to “roid-up” in order to compete. Either take a chance at competing at the highest level and pollute your body with chemicals that will have far-reaching consequences, or drive a truck.

That’s a tough choice for an 18-year-old kid. Take the junk and have what is perceived as a really good shot at making millions of dollars playing ball, taking your choice of girls after the game, and having everyone wear your jersey. So what if my heart explodes at 50. That’s a long way off.

This is not good thinking. Who’s to blame? The owners, the men who pay the boys to hit baseballs harder, higher and farther. Yes. That’s one group. But the other, is the players association.

I believe that there is a majority of athletes who want to compete, but don’t want to jeopardize their long-term health. These athletes are card-carrying, dues-paying members of the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Why aren’t they demanding that Donald Fehr institute steps that will admittedly give up some employee privileges in return for ensuring that all athletes are playing on a healthy playing field?

Just a thought …

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BORING … let’s move on … waste of time

Posted on 13 December 2007 by KZ

The long awaited Mitchell report … MUST SEE TV … it was IRAN-CONTRA for those that are old enough to remember. What a waste of time …

The report could have been one page … how about this …

There are many major league baseball players over the past 15 years or so that have bought, taken and administered steroids and HGH, it’s a problem that MLB, the owners and the players’ association allowed to happen. All parties must work together to rid baseball of these enhancement drugs so the past is not repeated and once again bring honor to America’s game.

But NOOOOOOOOOO … we had to name names … two-thirds of the players named we have never heard of and the other one-third we either already knew or suspected.

Roger Clemens … shocking … come on people!

This report is a joke … because you named so few MLB players and the many of the people named are no longer playing or dead … now the debate of who did and who didn’t will continue …

Sorry, color me disappointed.

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GIBBONS, AND RUMORS THAT BETTER NOT BE TRUE

Posted on 07 December 2007 by Allen McCallum

 

It turns out that Gibbons was telling the truth all of that time when he continued to deny using steroids. Indeed he wasn’t.  He was using HGH all along. Gibbons simply adds to the long list of humiliations the Orioles have suffered during this decade of discontent.

Almost from his first spring training in Baltimore when he earned the nickname Popeye, people have suspected Gibbons of using performance enhancers. He is the classic example of why enhancers are used. An average…or below average athlete who may need something to help him get over the hump. One big season, and a couple of exciting career moments, are turned into a long term, multi-million dollar contract that will provide for him, his children, and probably his children’s children. If you had the chance to do it, wouldn’t you consider it?

Yes, all of the orioles 1st base/ outfielders/ DH’s have distinguished themselves in this off-season. Millar, Huff, and Gibbons have damaged their credibility, and have turned off a fan-base that is looking for anything in the Orioles to embrace. IF there were any three players who I would say the Orioles could just release it would be these three players, and that is before you include the off-season mishaps.

At least Gibbons knew enough to be humble in the moment, apologize for his actions, and not appeal the suspension. Another situation where an athlete vows that there is more to the story and you will understand when the truth comes out, with no follow through would have not been good for anyone.

RUMORS

Two rumors that involve the Orioles have surfaced in the last 48 hours which I pray are not true. The first involves Tejada going to the Astros for players such as Adam Everett, and Chris Burke. While Everett is a quality defender, the Astros are looking to move these players because they can’t hit. Chris Burke has been such a bust that even after Craig Biggio retired, the Astros went to free agency and blocked Burke (a player that they have been waiting for for some time now) with the signing of Kaz Matsui. If they can’t hit in the National League, in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the game, what are they going to do in the AL East? Can anyone say under the Mendoza line?

The other rumor involves Roberts going to the Cubs for players sush as Matt Murton and Sean Marshall. Matt Murton? Matt Murton?? …. Matt Murton??? Come on now! I know that McPhail came from the Cubs, but COME ON NOW!!! McPhail needs to find a way to trade with a team other than the Cubs. There is a reason why they are current team with the longest run without a championship.

If the rumors are true, the Orioles could have moved Ramon Hernandez in a deal for Lastings Milledge. If McPhail picks up Everett Burke and Murton for Roberts and Tejada after passing up Milledge and several other names thrown in by other organizations, you would immediately have to wonder if we have the right man at the wheel. Right now they are just rumors, and I hope that is what they will remain.

JONES TO THE DODGERS

The Dodgers are following their Los Angeles counterparts in signing another center fielder a year after overpaying for one in the previous off-season (Matthews and Pierre respectively) Andruw Jones only signed for two years. If he is a bust it won’t kill them. The money is far too much. He is still one of the best defenders, but he isn’t what he once was. They are bringing him in for his pop. The problem is that his pop last year was nothing like what it was the previous two seasons. On top of it, Dodger Stadium isn’t a hitters haven. Given the cost, I would have to say that the Dodgers will regret this move. A $12 – $15 million dollar per season price tag, and I might have a different opinion. The good news from an Oriole perspective is that it may make it a little easier to pry Matt Kemp from the Dodgers in any potential deals now that they have Jones.

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Barber Shop Topic of the Day

Posted on 12 September 2007 by roblong

Today, I want to examine a fan’s perspective on performance enhancing drugs. I’m just curious if we still care. With some many athletes getting “popped” from so many different sports, are we becoming immune? Do you still have the same reaction today, that you had three years ago? Are performance enhancing drugs becoming a way of life in professional sports?

Let’s talk about it. E-mail me at rob@wnst.net, or call 410-481-1579 from 2-6pm today.

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