Tag Archive | "Steroids"

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Selig’s resignation long overdue

Posted on 15 January 2010 by dansoderberg

In order for Major League Baseball to move forward out of the “Steroid Era” Commissioner Bud Selig must resign. In fact, if he had any integrity Selig would have resigned after the release of the Mitchell Report in December of 2007. Allowing Selig to lead baseball’s post “Steroid Era” cleanup is tantamount to having Pete Rose and Tim Donaghy lead a probe into gambling in sports. Would you put a fox in charge of hen house security?

Selig benefited as much if not more than any player and if anyone is banned from MLB it should start with him. Banning a player after tacitly encouraging them to cheat and then benefiting financially from the cheating is the height of hypocrisy.

Selig’s fingerprints are all over the “Steroid Era”. The Mitchell Report detailed a pervasive steroid culture throughout MLB that began shortly after Selig’s tenure began. In fact, if not for the shattering of some of baseball’s most hallowed records and the burning glare of a Congressional spotlight baseball still wouldn’t even test for steroids.

I’m not saying Selig is solely responsible for baseball’s steroid problems, but it did occur on his watch. For someone charged with acting “In the best interests of baseball” this used car salesman has done nothing of the sort. Bud and his ownership buddies watched their profits and franchise values swell along with the biceps of their sluggers. Just as the players used steroids out of greed and the quest for glory, the judgment of MLB’s leadership was clouded by the piles of cash stacking up around them.

Mark McGwire issued his grand admission this week. As a further example of Selig’s incompetence, rather than condemning McGwire for making of mockery of the single season home run record Selig commended Big Mac’s honesty. Bud should resign out of embarrassment and to clear the path for a legitimate cleanup of the sport he professes to love.

Baseball should appoint a real commissioner (ie: not an owner), enact a zero tolerance policy for steroids (Players union be damned) and remove any player who admitted to steroid use or failed a drug test from the Hall of Fame ballot. Sorry Big Mac, Raffy, Barry Bonds and Manny. As an added step, MLB should develop a reliable test for hGH or until a reliable test is developed for hGH it should be removed from the list of banned substances. If you ban it and don’t test for it you are simply repeating the mistakes of the past and morphing the “Steroid Era” into the “hGH Era”.

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Comcast Morning Show Live Blog (1/13/10)

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Comcast Morning Show Live Blog (1/13/10)

Posted on 13 January 2010 by Jack McManus

9:51-

Ian Eagle is the next guest. Drew congratulates him for having the best comment of the year. Eagle said that Baltimore is not used to playoff baseball, that’s not a low blow, its a fact. Eagle next talks about the Ravens upcoming game with the Colts. He agrees with Drew that regardless of the outcome of the game, the national media will focus on the Colts’ decision to rest their players at the end of the regular season.

eagle

9:27-

Mike Wilkening of Pro Football Weekly is next up. he begins by talking about the interesting matchup between Arizona and New Orleans. He states that the Saints have lost their reputation of invincibility with a bad losing streak to end the season. He also talks about the success the Cardinals have had in the playoffs. Moving on the Ravens, Wilkening explains that the team had an excellent game plan coming into New England. Wilkening also talks about the Bengals’ quick exit from the playoffs. Instead of placing a lot of blame on Carson Palmer, he explains that the offense needs to become more balanced and add a deep threat to compliment Chad Ochocinco (Johnson?). In regards to possible upsets this week, Wilkening states that the Dallas Cowboys have the best chance of going on the road and defeating the Vikings.

9:09-

Rick from Parkville calls in. He first mentions that the Terps have recently picked up a solid linebacker commitment. Next, Rick talks about how the Ravens need to keep Peyton Manning off the field. He also mentions that the offense needs to get into a better passing rhythm.

flacco

7:53-

Pat Kennedy is next up with Drew. He states that there is a difference between a poor record and playing badly. He has seen progress recently and calls the next 5 game stretch very important. Kennedy mentions how he has shifted his lineup so the team has a bigger frontline. He explains that with these improvements hopefully the team can win some more close games.

7:50-

Ed in Park Heights brings up another point in the argument over whether or not the Ravens should have kept Matt Stover. He states that Dannell Ellerbe, who was one of the last players to make the team could have been cut if the team kept two kickers.

7:34-

Brendon Ayandaejo joins Drew early this morning. He starts off by talking about how he will be recovered in plenty of time for the start of next season. Ayanbadejo next discusses how the Ravens will try to contain Peyton Manning this weekend. On the offensive side of the ball it is important to once again run the ball and control the clock. Ayanbadejo also chimes in on the steroid debate that has been renewed by Mark McGwire’s admission of steroid use. He believes that so many players used performance-enhancing drugs it is almost an even playing field.
brendon

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Increased Strength an Unfortunate Steroid Side Effect

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Increased Strength an Unfortunate Steroid Side Effect

Posted on 13 January 2010 by Thyrl Nelson

This just keeps getting better and better. The Mitchell report pretty much confirmed what we all knew about baseball already, what we all feared about baseball already. Still, with all of the steps that have been taken in regard to policing the game over the last 5+ years, I doubt there are many who believe that the game is anywhere close to truly clean. And yet, as the so-called confessions of user after user would have you believe, somehow we’re still supposed to be debating whether or not steroids even help you at baseball. At least Mark McGwire would be willing to debate it.

 

Do steroids make you good at baseball? The short answer is no. But there are no short answers here.

 

Does money make you more attractive? Again the short answer is no, yet the number of ugly rich guys sporting arm candy is way out of line with those who are broke.

 

Do dressing well, and being better-groomed make you better at your job? Again, no, but time after time promotions are handed out with those being among the heaviest of deciding factors.  

 

So again, the short answer to all of these questions is no, yet we have real world evidence that supports these notions. None of the above mentioned activities guarantee a person the end result described above, but all will go a long way toward supporting whatever other requisite skills a person already has, and help toward the desired end result.

 

Maybe the fact that none of Mark McGwire’s revelation would be news to the average baseball fan was lost on McGwire and his likely soon to be fired PR machine. All we were really tuning in to see was how much he’d be willing to say, and how truthfully he’d come off. After all, since the outings of most of those who have faced them haven’t been much of a surprise to anyone, the only real satisfaction that the fans who have been paying salaries to these players year after year get, is from seeing these guys forced to own up to and defend their actions, or even better is when they continue on their course of denial.

 

There was Raphael Palmeiro, who staged his memorable denial before ever being caught, then failed to deliver on any real admission or excuse once outed officially. There was Roger Clemens who advised us that because he hadn’t turned into a mutant we should think him clean. Clemens has since brought a rash of people down with him, presumably kicking and screaming. And there was A-Rod, who owned up to his use, but was sure to distance his use from his time with the Yankees and his MVP seasons. It’s funny how guys always seem to find their way back to good old-fashioned hard work and genetics when their short cuts don’t work.

 

So when the McGwire headline broke, I was intrigued, mildly at least. When the subsequent crawl went across my screen stating that he not only admitted to using it, but also admitted to using it during the best years of his career, I was proud of him. And then I watched the interview,

 

Surely even McGwire couldn’t believe the nonsense that followed what otherwise would have been the best steroid admission so far. McGwire justified his use as a means of staying healthy, even though all evidence at the supposed time of his first usage (1989-1990) pointed to steroids as a likely contributor to muscles breaking down over the long haul, the exact opposite effect of what McGwire was looking for.

 

Still, McGwire believes that with or without steroids he would have been the same home run hitter, and then in practically the same breath offers that steroids prevented his body from breaking down during a 162 game season. Somehow I fail to see the logic that allows 70 homeruns to be possible with a broken down body at the 81 game mark or thereabout. But somehow McGwire would have us believe that he’d have done it. 

 

Here are a few more questions I wish Bob Costas, or someone would ask McGwire:

 

You had to be lifting weights while taking PEDs right? Did your numbers not go up in the weight room as a result? And if so, would you argue that increased strength was simply an unfortunate side effect of your usage?

 

Did you intentionally leave out the Andro in your locker as a red herring to offer for the press?

 

Do you believe that the rise in homerun totals during the steroid era and subsequent decline is a coincidence?

 

Do you think you belong in the Hall of Fame?

 

Do you think we’re all stupid?

 

But before we judge McGwire too harshly, maybe we should ask a few questions of ourselves too. Like what do we ultimately hope to accomplish by holding these guys accountable?

 

If we’re just trying to punish them, then fine, but let’s just admit that. The lesson we teach our children is that cheaters won’t prosper. Isn’t that the goal?

 

Because if we’re really willing to face the truth, it may simply be this, steroids do what they’re supposed to do, and if prescribed and regimented correctly, they do it really well. Deep down we keep waiting for someone to admit that; but is that really the message that we’re ready to send to our kids? Maybe in McGwire’s ridiculous comments, and Bud Selig and Tony LaRussa and the rest of the baseball establishment’s unilateral endorsement of his heart felt comments, we can draw the conclusion that they think they’re doing us a favor. As we continue to see, people try to justify crazy actions with even crazier rationalizations. And the hits just keep on coming.

 

 

 

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WNST.net Says It All – Not A Single Mark McGwire Blog …..

Posted on 12 January 2010 by Rex Snider

Well, I’ve waited nearly 24 hours for Mark McGwire’s name to appear on this homepage. As I write this blog, we’re 26+ hours and counting – with no devotion to the guy who shattered Roger Maris’ single season homerun record, a mere decade ago.

They’re talking about it on CNN …..

They’re talking about it on Fox News …..

And, of course, they’re talking about it on ESPN …..

But, here, where REAL SPORTS FANS hangout and gather their daily diatribe of coverage between the baselines and sidelines, not a single ‘NST blogger gave Big Mac any print. And, the topic hasn’t dominated our airtime, either.

The relevant question is WHY ??? As sure as we know pro rasslin’ ain’t real ….. and, as sure as we know Paul Tagliabue doesn’t own any Ravens gear – we’ve also known Mark McGwire was a steroid user. We just KNEW it.

And, on the day following his admission, of sorts, there is very little dialogue and banter about it.

I think the reason is pretty clear – Baltimore’s sports fans don’t care. I’ll suspect you deemed Mark McGwire’s achievements as “ill-gotten” a long time ago. Regardless of what he says – or doesn’t say ….. your mind is made up, and rightfully so.

Maybe this story is a big beal in St. Louis or Boston. Heck, it might have some importance in Los Angeles or New York – or Chicago – or Atlanta – or Philadelphia – or Minneapolis. But, it’s obviously just a mitigating piece to the daily sports news, in Baltimore.

Yep, a couple distinctive, indigenous reasons are probably impacting a story like McGwire’s – as it relates to Baltimore.

ONE – this town’s football team is preparing to play it’s most meaningful game of the season – fresh on the heels of last week’s most meaningful game of the season.

TWO – and it honestly hurts me to suggest this – my hometown might be falling out of love with baseball. And, like a wife or husband who’s the victim of so many years of disappoinment and turmoil, we simply harden to the existence of anything related to something we no longer love.

I’ve got an uneasy feeling in my stomach. It’s a feeling of angst and inevitability wrapped into one.

When the Ravens lose their next game – OR win their 5th in a row ….. the clock will start, and nearly SEVEN MONTHS will pass before another meaningful contest is played by a team from Baltimore. If you think this raw, chilling weather sucks, just wait a short while. It’s gonna be a SUCK SUNDAE, with a cherry on top, real soon.

Baltimore’s fans haven’t been excited or attuned to Major League Baseball’s standings, storylines or salacious scandals for a few years. We’re beyond disgruntled. We’ve grown indifferent, and that’s a telling result for the discerning eye.

A team located closer than Ocean City has appeared in two consecutive World Series matchups. How many of us drove up to see them over these couple seasons? Oh, that’s right -we’ll go to THAT SAME CITY to watch a bunch of guys fight in a cage. But, baseball ??? Nah …..

And, don’t tell me baseball fans don’t travel. Do you know what Yankees and Red Sox fans get for Christmas? You guessed it ….. tickets to Camden Yards.

We don’t care about Major League Baseball’s annual awards. Who’s the defending AL MVP?

We don’t care about Major League Baseball’s statistics. Who hit the most homeruns, in 2009?

We don’t care about Major League Baseball’s Free Agents. Who’s coming to Baltimore? Umm …. seriously, WHO IS COMING TO BALTIMORE?

We honestly just don’t care.

It’s really not about Mark McGwire. He’s just a byproduct of the game’s era of dysfunction and deceit. McGwire has nothing to do with this town’s woes.

A fair share of steroid users have played baseball here. But, their presence didn’t cause our indifference. Perhaps, their effort and contributions lent to the problem ….. but, it wasn’t the performance enhancing drug usage, per se’.

We know the reason(s). It’s LOSING and BEING TREATED POORLY. After a decade of both, I just don’t think people have much left in their hearts. We’re stuck squarely in the middle of a LOSING LIFESTYLE, as it regards baseball.

Terrible, isn’t it?

So, when Mark McGwire and his honesty, or lack thereof, don’t really resonate in this town, I’m not surprised. In fact, ‘ole Big Mac can get in line with every other baseball story to hit Baltimore over the last few years.

To be honest, he could feasibly grab a first baseman’s mitt and head to Sarasota, in five weeks. After all, it’s not like the team has a better option on the roster. In fact, this reality is a perfect example of why people just don’t care.

God help us when the Ravens season ends.

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Steroids: It’s more fun when they don’t admit it

Posted on 08 August 2009 by Drew Forrester

David Ortiz leafed through the book of steroid excuses and pulled out the easiest, simplest one for his explanation on how he tested positive back in 2003.

“I bought some over the counter supplements and vitamins,” he said today in New York.

Sure.  And I’m Brad Pitt’s stunt double in an upcoming film.

These guys crack me up. 

But, in all honesty, I kind of like it when these steroid users don’t actually admit to it – even when they’re caught.

If David Ortiz would have just told the truth today — “Yes, like a lot of other players in the early part of this decade, I gave into temptation and used steroids” — there’d be nothing left for us to wonder about HIM…we’d know the truth. 

This way, with his “over the counter” explanation, we can all continue to point at him and giggle.  Not only did he juice up, he got caught.  And then, when pressed for an answer, he sat there and squirmed his way through a ridiculous half-admission. 

Like the late, great Charley Eckman would say:  “It’s better than movies…”

I like Bronson Arroyo’s approach this week.  He got a head start on his flimsy excuse by pre-admitting he used an over-the-counter product back in 2002-2003 that MIGHT have contained small doses of Winstrol.  Winstrol, of course, is code word for: steroids.

I’m a Bronson Arroyo fan.  He sings “Plush” by Stone Temple Pilots better than Scott Weiland. 

He’s also a guy who used steroids and, I’m assuming, is on “the list”.  Rather than wait for his name to be published and have to come up with something on the fly, Arroyo got a head start by letting everyone know there’s a CHANCE his name might be on the list because…blah, blah, blah.

Quick question:  When’s the last time any of you out there took something that might have had steroids in it?  Yeah, me neither. 

Watching these players squirm and come up with out-of-this-world stories about steroids and how they-might-be-linked-but-shouldn’t-be-because-they-never-did-them is far more entertaining than the games themselves.

I’m sure Ortiz got specific directions from the Player’s Union prior to making his plea today.  “Whatever you do, David, DO NOT admit to using steroids,” he was probably told.  And, right on cue, Ortiz conjured up some story about going to CVS or Walgreens and buying some work-out supplement in an attempt to hit more home runs. 

The Player’s Union can’t have Ortiz ‘fess up.  They just can’t.  We want to hear it, but it’s not going to happen. 

Here’s a funny twist to this whole steroids thing:  A bunch of guys have been caught recently, either by the government or through the testing process that was supposed to be under lock-and-seal.  A few years ago, it was Jason Giambi.  Two years ago, Roger Clemens was in the news for his wild ride on the juice.  Manny Ramirez tested positive THIS year and was suspended for 50 games.  So far, of all the big names who have been pin-pointed as cheaters, only one has stepped forward, when caught, and basically admitted it — “you got me”.

Guess who?  Alex Rodriguez.

Sure, he fumbled and stumbled his way through an interview with Peter Gammons, but at least A-Rod gave in when the evidence in front of him was too much to deny. 

How’s that for irony?  The one guy everyone thinks is a Hall-of-Fame-Scumbag didn’t give the old “I bought some vitamins” b.s. when his name was linked to a failed test. 

They’re all cheaters, of course, A-Rod included.  But there’s cheating, there’s being caught, and, there’s coming clean.  It’s a vicious triangle. 

Today, though, Ortiz moved ahead of Rodriguez on the laugh-list, as he couldn’t even look everyone in the eye and say, “OK, you got me…but that was 6 years ago folks.”  He could have used A-Rod’s “loosey-goosey” line, even.  That would have brought out a laugh or two, huh?

At this stage, I honestly don’t care who’s on that stupid list.  I really don’t.  I don’t even care that they run and hide when the evidence is laid out in front of them for everyone to evaluate.

They’re all steroid users.

Clemens: User.  Ramirez: User.  Ortiz:  User.  A-Rod: User.

The “list” goes on and on and on.

I’d rather they keep lying about it, frankly.  By fibbing, they only confirm what I’ve been thinking about baseball players all along.  A large percentage of them are scallywags.  They’ve perfected the art of baseball excellence by deciding to take the easy way out.  For years, the joke was on the fans and the media.

Not anymore.

The joke, now, is all on them.

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Comcast Morning Show Wednesday Top 5: Athletes We Suspect May Have Used Steroids

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Comcast Morning Show Wednesday Top 5: Athletes We Suspect May Have Used Steroids

Posted on 27 May 2009 by Glenn Clark

As a note: we have NO EVIDENCE any of these athletes used steroids, and we are not accusing them. We just have a feeling they might have…..

(Editor’s Note: Lighten up, people. We’re having fun.)

Glenn’s List:

5-Kimbo Slice

slice

4-DeMarcus Ware

ware

3-David Ortiz

ortiz

2-Albert Pujols

pujols

1-Tiger Woods

tiger

Drew’s List:

5, 4, 3, 2-Every Major League Baseball Player in recent memory

mlb

1. Brady Anderson

brady

-G

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A Tale Of Two Drug Tests …..

Posted on 12 May 2009 by Rex Snider

In the span of 3 days, a couple pro athletes were suspended by their respective leagues, for failed drug tests. Manny Ramirez and Jeremy Mayfield are pro athletes. Manny Ramirez and Jeremy Mayfield are both on the outside looking in ….. and this is where the similarities end.

Lets be honest with each other – every sports fan in America knows Manny Ramirez and his antics. However, Jeremy Mayfield’s name is really only a staple within the ranks of NASCAR fans, as well as the purest of crazies in all sports. One guy is a modern day icon and the other could walk down Pratt Street without turning a single head.

Yet, Ramirez and Mayfield have both ran afoul of their sport’s sanctioning body and its drug testing program. To his credit, Ramirez hasn’t disputed the result – although, I don’t believe the male dysfunction excuses. Manny is just being Manny, as they would say.

Jeremy Mayfield’s situation is a bit less clear. NASCAR suspended him prior to Saturday night’s “Southern 500,” in Darlington, South Carolina. According to NASCAR spokesman, Jim Hunter, Mayfield’s urine specimen from a test administered in Richmond, a week prior, resulted positive for an undisclosed drug compound.

Hunter has confirmed the positive test result was not attributed to alcohol or a PED (performance enhancing drug) substance. And, Dr. David Black, who heads up NASCAR’S drug testing group confirmed the substance is not of the “prescription variety.”

Hmmm ….. we’re able to narrow the list of suspected drugs, huh?

While the specific situations of Manny Ramirez and Jeremy Mayfield serve as an embarrassment for Major league Baseball and NASCAR, respectively, each sport has a differing interest moving forward.

Major League Baseball is trying to rid its culture of guys who cheat the integrity of the sport and it’s legendary records and achievements. Whether an offender throws a ball or hits a ball, they’re robbing the history of the game ….. and negatively impacting the current competition.

NASCAR has a totally different set of problems.

The fear within NASCAR does not regard records, when drug use is considered. Indeed, there are drugs that can enhance one’s ability to concentrate – for short periods of time. And, I suppose steroids or HGH could benefit a driver, given the physical demands of handling a 4,000 pound monster at nearly 200 miles per hour.

Yet, the real concern is waged on drugs that impair the ability to drive a car. These substances – of recreational and prescription means, can most certainly inhibit a driver from making the right decision in a “split second.” Heck, we see the evidence of bad decisions – by SOBER drivers – all the time.

NASCAR has a real problem.

Forget steroids and their impact on the game of baseball. A “high” driver can kill himself and a few others. Now, that’s a crisis …..

I’ve met Jeremy Mayfield numerous times and each encounter has been pleasant. He’s affable, cordial and well mannered. Before Saturday, his two biggest claims to fame included an old Quaker State commercial that still has NASCAR fans jeering “Heyyyyy Jeremy” whenever he walks by.

Oh, and he’s the GUY who gained cult celebrity with the racing community, as he rattled Dale Earnhardt’s cage with a little of his own medicine, in the form of rough driving, on a Monday afternoon, in Pocono – nearly a decade ago. People still remember that race and win.

If there were ever an occasion when I’d like to find out a test result was mistaken, Jeremy Mayfield’s situation would be the one. He’s not greedy, nor selfish. He’s a likeable guy and “down to earth.” But, I’m pretty convinced of drug tests and their credibility.

Still, Jeremy Mayfield’s failed test is much more important than that of Manny Ramirez’s ….. even if the lesser impacting story is getting the most attention.

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The Wrestler Makes Me Reminisce

Posted on 11 May 2009 by Tom Clayton

When I was a child my favorite thing in the world was to turn on Monday Night Raw and watch my favorite wrestlers go head to head.  I remember great times like going to live events and having my dad get me backstage to meet the Big Bossman and The Bushwackers or watching on television when Stone Cold Steve Austin came out and attempted to drink Budweiser straight from the hose of a beer truck.

 

I haven’t watched wrestling in over a decade now; I have grown out of my love of the male soap opera.  Wrestling honestly hasn’t been on my radar in quite sometime but after watching Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler I was reminded of all the great wrestlers from my youth.  After watching Mickey Rourke’s stunning portrayal of the sad, broken Randy “The Ram” Robinson, I began to think about what has happened to the wrestling stars I used to worship.  What I found was that many of the wrestlers were living similar lives to Rourke’s character in The Wrestler; some have even succumbed to horrible addictions to painkillers and steroids and have died. 

 

Eddie Guerrero

Known as “Latino Heat”, Eddie Guerrero was a champion in both WCW and WWE.  On November 13th, 2005 Guerrero was found dead in a hotel room in Minnesota ; the initial cause of death was acute heart failure arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease.  A Sports Illustrated article in 2007 revealed Guerrero was part of an HGH ring and had been taking Human Chorionic Gonadotropin and the steroid Stanozolol.  Guerrero was thirty-eight years old at the time of his death.

 

Curt Henning “Mr. Perfect”

Former WWE Intercontinental Champion Curt Henning was known to many of his fans as “Mr. Perfect”.  Henning was found dead in a Florida hotel room.  The cause of death was determined by The Tampa Coroner’s office as a cocaine overdose.  Henning’s father revealed later his sons addiction to steriods and painkillers directly contributed to his death.  Henning was forty-four at the time of his death.

 

The Big Bossman

Ray Traylor was known by his fans as The Big Bossman.  I remember when I was around ten my dad got me back stage at the Hershey Arena to meet Traylor. I remember how gigantic he seemed to me then but I also remember him being very cordial and friendly to me.  Traylor took time to sit with me and take pictures and sign autographs for well over an hour.  On September 22nd, 2004, Traylor died in his Georgia home from a heart attack.  The Big Bossman was forty-one at the time of his death.

 

“Ravishing” Rick Rude

Rick Rude was a five time World Champion.  Known as “Ravishing” Rick Rude, he was one of the most charismatic wrestlers in WWE history.  Rude suffered a heart attack on April 20th, 1999 while training for a comeback.  An autopsy revealed the cause of death to be a mixture of GHB and steriods, which Rude admitted to using to help “build muscle mass and relieve joint pain”.  At the time of his death Rude was forty years old.

 

“The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith

Smith was known for being one of the most muscular men in professional wrestling.  He also married in to the Hart family in 1994 but Smith died on May, 18th, 2002 after suffering a heart attack on vacation.  An autopsy revealed that past anabolic steroid abuse may have contributed to his death.  Smith’s Brother-in-Law Bruce Hart claimed “Davey paid the price with steroid cocktails and human-growth hormones.”  Smith was thirty-nine at the time of his death. 

 

 The List goes on and on of professional wrestlers who have died from heart attacks due to addictions of steroids and painkillers. 

 

While professional wrestlers are not considered athletes to the same extent as NFL or NBA players, they do put their body through a grueling schedule. Their bodies take as much abuse as most NFL players on Sunday; but wrestlers put their bodies through this abuse 300 days a year.

 

In February 2006 the WWE instituted The Talent Wellness Program after the death of Eddie Guerrero.  The program provides its talent with a comprehensive drug, alcohol, and cardiac screening.  Eleven current wrestlers were suspended after they had been discovered buying illegal steroids from a Florida pharmacy.  With the instillation of the program, hopefully the next generation of viewers won’t have to see so many of their childhood heroes die so prematurely.

 

 

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Ramirez no different than B-Rob and the other juicers

Posted on 08 May 2009 by Drew Forrester

So Manny Ramirez tested positive for steroids?

Really?

I’m shocked.

Not really, actually. 

I always assumed he was a user, just like I still assume Ortiz, Puljos and Delgado were juicing when they were putting up monster numbers.

Weren’t they all?

That said – and Ramirez has the ultimate story to tell about why he was using some kind of female fertility pill – I’m having a hard time piling on Man-Ram or any of these other cats who’ve been caught because I don’t see the difference between those guys and say, Brian Roberts, who ADMITTED he used steroids. 

No one seems to pile on when a guy comes out and says, “Yeah, I used.”

But we pile on when the guy tests positive.

That…I don’t get.

Do I think Ramirez used steroids?  Sure.  That said, is there a chance – the slightest of slightest perhaps? – that he’s telling the truth and the drugs he used were, in fact, provided to him by a physician who thought they were “clean”?

I guess. 

In Roberts’ case – and a few others who came “clean” after being “clean” – why is there no animosity pointed in their direction?

After all, they actually admitted they broke the rules and cheated.

I don’t care anymore.

Really, I don’t.

I’m starting to put a lot of stock in the concept that players should just be allowed to use steroids.

Like a horse using Lasix that gets noted in the Daily Racing Form (*Lasix), why not just put a big “S” on the player’s uniform in the form of a shoulder patch or something and let him swing for the fences or throw fastballs to his heart’s delight?

Why not?

Who cares?

The players are always looking to get the edge. 

They’re willing to do it at the expense of the game and, worst of all, they’re willing to do it at the expense of the players who DON’T cheat.

I don’t think Maddux, Jeter, Ichiro, Varitek or Markakis use steroids.

Then again, maybe they ALL do.  Maybe. 

That’s how you have to think with every new name that surfaces.

Hey, I didn’t think Brian Roberts was a steroid user until he started his home-run barrage in 2005 and then I kind-of knew he was into something.

Turns out, I was right.

Roberts used steroids.  He admitted it.

Ramirez didn’t exactly admit it…he got caught.

In the end, there’s no difference.

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My Steroid Related Admission

Posted on 20 February 2009 by Thyrl Nelson

I Never Used Steroids, But I Definitely Would Have

 

Just once, it would be nice to see someone step up and admit to using steroids before being caught. We’ve heard our share of contrition and excuse making in the wake of players being outed, it’s about time someone stepped up prior to being caught and gave us a genuine take on the whole situation; one that we can believe.

 

Baseball needs a sympathetic figure; that much is certain. And each time that a “former” user is outed for taking performance enhancers, baseball as a whole loses another opportunity to move forward on this entire issue. But as long as players are being dragged into the public eye begrudgingly, and spinning their tales through the filters of attorneys, agents and PR machines, the court of public opinion will continue to convict those who desecrated the prestigious record book of Major League Baseball.

 

I for one, have never taken steroids, HGH or any other performance-enhancing drug, but am ready to make an admission. If I had been playing professional baseball between the years of 1990 and 2003, I almost certainly would have taken steroids. What’s more, I can’t imagine feeling remorseful about it.

 

The court of public opinion is a fickle one, but a few tried and true principles seem to hold. The first is that we want to forgive you. We love contrition, genuine contrition, and relish the opportunities to provide second chances to those who have seen the errors of their ways. Second, it helps if we liked you prior to whatever transgressions you may currently find yourself in the midst of. And perhaps most importantly, it depends on the level of your transgression.

 

If we can relate to the circumstances surrounding your situation, we’re much more likely to forgive your lapses in judgment. Drunk driving for example, is a crime that far too many of us can relate to, and therefore one that we’re much less likely to condemn over. Domestic abuse on the other hand, is something much less socially acceptable, and therefore tougher to get over. And dog fighting, in an extreme case, is not only a concept that’s extremely foreign to most, but also stirs the emotions that many people feel for their own pets. Therefore even though the risk to human life is much less than in the previous two examples, dog fighting may be impossible to get past. I suppose we’ll see on that one.

 

When it comes to steroids in baseball, I think that many of us have difficulty relating to players’ circumstances. But should we?

 

Obviously it’s tough to relate to mega millionaires, who work six months out of the year, playing a kid’s game. Few of us can relate to simply working the job that we’d always dreamed of growing up. As professional baseball players, they’re doing the jobs that most of us dreamed of growing up. And it’s certainly tough to garner any type of sympathy for guys, who are grossly overpaid even amongst other professional athletes, yet routinely play out their financial dramas in the eyes of the working public.

 

On the flip side though, I think we also can tend to lose sight at times, of the pressure that must come with having to do your job in front of millions of eyes every night, and replayed in the media daily. Or what it’s like to be in an industry where you’re sure to be washed up before 40, and in most cases long before that. I doubt that many of us can relate to working in an industry where less than 1000 actual jobs exist, or where the disparity between entry pay and veteran pay can be as much as 5000% or more. And I doubt that many of us could envision a needle that would make us that much better at our jobs.

 

What I can say is this; I know a lot of people, who will do a lot of things in order to get ahead in this world. I know people who will cheat at Monopoly. There are people out there today, selling their friends down the river, in order to get a leg up on a $0.50 per hour promotion. I play in D softball leagues, and there’s always at least one low B level team, playing D ball and smashing everyone. (Coincidentally, some of those guys are using steroids, and they don’t make any mosey for playing) There are kids risking their lives on the corners of this city everyday for chump change.

 

I also know that most people want to be good at their jobs, at least I hope so. On the low end, I suppose you have to be good enough at your job to keep it. Beyond that, excelling at your job should lead to promotion and more money. And whether we care to admit it or not, we’re all suckers for positive recognition. And a little bit of competitive spirit amongst the workforce will certainly lead to better production, in any business.

 

So imagine for a second, that you are a professional baseball player. The odds say that you’ll be lucky to last 5 years in the business, and in that time you could make between $1 million and $2 million. That’d be a nice start to life. If you make it to 30 years old in the business though, you’ll be looking more likely at making anywhere between $7 million and $50 million. That’s a heck of a spread based on where you fit in the pay scale, but in any regard it’s set for life type money.  And on the extreme, you see about 5% of players walking away from their careers with hundreds of millions of dollars, with the notoriety to continue to command income.

 

Given some of the cut throat antics that have been known to take place in the average working place, with admittedly far less money at stake, it’s a wonder so many people are so appalled at the whole steroid issue. We are after all talking about a victimless crime. If there is a victim to be found, it’s the player himself, and that’s debatable at this point too. If I’m willing to take the health risks associated with the drugs, then what’s the big deal? Really, what is the big deal?

 

Am I supposed to feel sorry for the sanctity of baseball? As if such a thing ever existed. The reason why this is the steroid era, is because this is when steroids were available. If steroids had been available to players in the 1920’s, we’d be looking at triple digit home run records by now.

 

Am I supposed to feel badly for the guys whose jobs were being taken by the steroid users? Honestly, those guys were just hanging on no matter how you look at it. And with a fresh crop of rookies coming up every year, they were likely in that “5 years and out” group that we discussed earlier anyway.

 

Cheating, in my mind, is different. Altering balls or bats, stealing signs, bugging dugouts and the like are all forms of cheating that shouldn’t be tolerated. But taking a shot to help to improve your strength, alone will not make you a good baseball player. Heck, taking steroids without the right workout regimen won’t even help your strength. Steroids definitely don’t make you good at baseball, but they do make you better, and if used properly, much better. But there’s still a limit.

 

You could say that steroids simply help to make up for what genetics may have shortchanged you on. Obviously, steroids will only improve your game to the extent that they can improve your conditioning. If you were already genetically blessed, you certainly wouldn’t see the same proportion of benefits as someone who needed the help much more in the first place.

 

Try to imagine though, that someone walked into your office tomorrow with a pill that promised to make you better at your job. (This works especially well if you make commission or are paid for performance) Most of us would laugh it off. Most baseball players probably did initially too. There’s no drug that would make me better at my job. Right?

 

Odds are though, that there’s someone in your office right now, someone barely hanging on to their job in the first place, and someone desperate enough to listen. Maybe that guy would buy a bottle. He probably wouldn’t tell anyone but he’d buy one. But what if he set the world on fire the next month? Placebo effect or not, people would notice.

 

Maybe your guy would play it cool, and not tell anyone his edge. That would be the smart thing to do. But sooner or later, he’s bound to tell someone else. So now your guy has a small faction of others using his miracle pill and having success. It’s tough to tell exactly how much success, because not everyone is being honest about using it. Again, everyone loves recognition, no one wants to think that their success comes from a pill or a needle, and more importantly, they don’t want others to think it.

 

At this point, you’re certain that a number of people in your company are using this pill with success. Again, it’s tough to tell how much success, because no one knows for sure exactly who’s doing it. There are some people, who are using it overtly, and not all of them are superstars, but all seem to be at least better than they were before this pill came around. There are some other people who have shot up so dramatically in performance that you are sure they have to be using it, but you don’t have proof. And there’s a faction of employees still holding out and refusing to turn to a bottle to aid their performance.

 

Next, your company becomes aware of the drug, and because they’ve been told that it contains some illegal substances, and can be harmful to your long-term health, strongly advises against its use. They don’t however go as far as implementing a testing program. They don’t even actually acknowledge that the pill has aided in performance, they simply advise that their employees not use it.

 

You know what comes next; boom years for the company. All time sales records are being obliterated month after month and year after year, and everyone is happy. Everyone that is, except for those who decided against using the drug in the first place. Those who adhered to the company policy watched as management celebrated the achievements of those who ignored the policy. That is, those who were lucky enough to keep their jobs, many were squeezed out of the workplace and replaced with new employees who also seemed to be on the drug. Those who had been celebrated before this crazy pill came along were finding themselves pushed to the background. So some of them too gave in to using the drug. Who could blame them?

 

Need I remind you, that this isn’t the average office that we’re talking about? It’s Major League Baseball. And the employees aren’t making tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars; they’re making tens and hundreds of millions. There probably aren’t a whole heck of a lot of things that I wouldn’t do to hang on to a job like that.

 

Steroids in baseball are clearly a problem, and clearly something has to be done. But when it comes to the level of public outrage, I am surprised at the hypocrisy. It’s tough to put yourself in the shoes of a Major League Baseball player, or to contemplate a decision like whether or not to inject a needle full of oily syrup into your butt in order to be better at your job. But I can’t imagine that there are too many of us out there, those who have to drag ourselves out of bed each day just to make enough money to scrape by, that can say with absolute certainty that we wouldn’t.

 

I’ll say just the opposite. In fact, if there were a 10% chance that I could play one season, at the major league minimum by using steroids today, not only would I sign right up, I’d drag my… Well, you get he picture.

 

Peace,

T

(thyrl@wnst.net)

 

 

 

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