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Archive for the ‘steroids’ Category

Changing Sox & Fallen Heroes

Posted by athomeatfenway on November 23, 2012

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It’s bad enough when the team that hired you as a batting coach has to defend itself just because you were an obvious juicer in your days as a player.  It’s still worse when in the first 6 years on the HOF ballot the Knights of the Keyboard gave you woeful support levels of 23.5%, 23.6%, 21.9%, 23.7%, 19.8% and 19.5%.  Not even close.

 

But you know you’ve hit bottom when the memorabilia from your playing career goes unsold or yields pennies on ebay.

 

Here is the title on a lot that just ended un-bid on the undisputed champion of internet bidding sites:

 

“Mark McGwire 1998 Ticket Stubs Home Runs #60,61,62,63,66,69,&70 Cardinals L@@K”

 

Only $65 was asked.  As mentioned, there were no bidders.

 

In the pre-Mitchell Report days, the asking price for these stubs would have been more like $500.

 

A quick search of McGwire items offered in the last 30 days on ebay shows that about 3% of them sold, and at bargain prices.  100 assorted MM cards went for $6.22.  A 1985 Topps rookie secured $3.49.  A new-with-tags Majestic Diamond Collection Cardinals McGwire home jersey went un-bid at $14.95.  Even at 90% off, no one wants to be seen in Mark’s uniform.

 

It’s a long way from the obsessive days when all Cardinals games were nationally broadcast as we breathlessly waited for the Maris record to be surpassed.  In those days, a single pack of 13-year-old 1985 Topps cards brought $30, just for a long shot chance there would be a McGwire rookie inside that pack, a card that was then valued at $125.

 

Collectibles are funny things.  A wise man once scoffed at the foolishness of paying good money for momentoes, like rookie cards, things with no inherent value.  Another wise man once said that people will always collect the past.

 

They were both correct. But You can’t get as much for the items that are connected to sure fire HOF’ers who have fallen from grace.

 

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

 

Further in the realm of the fallen are my current Red Sox, the team I never will abandon, though the names on the uniforms will change.

 

How the names have morphed in recent years.

 

In an effort to drop a few pounds I printed out some motivational thoughts and went to tape them to my shaving mirror.  I saw something taped there that I had not considered of late.  It was a 3 square inch newspaper cut detailing the 2007 Red Sox roster.  I believe I taped it up that April.

 

Starting pitchers included Beckett, Matsuzaka, Schilling, Tavarez and Wakefield.   This was an interesting year.  Beckett would win 20 and finish 2nd to Cleveland’s CC Sabathia for the Cy Young.  Schilling would put the finishing touch on a 20 year career with a 1.19 ERA in the World Series.  Matsuzaka, in his American debut, would muster 15 wins with a 4.42 ERA in 32 long, long outings as a starter.  Knuckles Wakefield would sport a 4.76 ERA but get enough bat support to record 17 wins, matching his career high.  Julian Taverez, who seemed poised to be the John Burkett of 2007, went 7-11 (5.15) in only 23 starts, leaving 12 starts for a young man named Lester who beat cancer and would go 4 – 0, and pitch shut-out ball for 5 and two-thirds innings in the World Series.

 

Consider the prospects for the 2013 starting staff and their 2012 records.  Lester, 9 – 14 with a 4.82.  Buchholz, 11-8 & 4.56.  Doubront, 11-10, 4.86, but pitching very well in his last 4 starts.  Morales, 3.77 in 9 starts.  Bard, atrocious in 10 starts.  And John Lackey, Mr. Question Mark himself.

 

The 2013 starting pitching is at best incomplete, and at worse, worrisome.

 

Unfortunately the position players do not sport the offense needed to support this starting staff.  Gone from the 2007 World Champs are Manny, Youkilis, Lowell, Lugo, Crisp, Drew and ‘Tek. In their place, Gomes is in left, Middlebrooks at 3rd, no one is at first yet, shortstop is undetermined, Right fielder Cody Ross is not signed, and we have Salty behind the plate.

 

Is there any reason yet to believe Boston will not duplicate their 69 – 93, last place performance of this year ?

 

Well, things are a brewing amongst the position players.

 

Middlebrooks may be the 3rd baseman of the future.  Xaender Boegarts may become the X factor in 2013.  Johnny Gomes might hit 30 home runs in Fenway Park.

 

And John Lackey may rebound at age 34.

 

But I doubt it.

 

The only thing I see for sure is more change.

 

Patience, fellow Farrell Men (and women).

 

Damn that sounds weird.

 

I guess I hate change.

 

Go Sox.

Posted in BASEBALL, Boston Red Sox, RED SOX, steroids | Leave a Comment »

JOSE CAN I SEE…..your navel ?

Posted by athomeatfenway on May 14, 2011

Bet you Jose soon makes the wrong kind of headlines.

Now comes the word over the internet that Jose Bautista, currently on a pace to hit over 50 home runs again & batting .350 was hotly pursued by the Red Sox in 2009 and 2010 before he blew up with 54 home runs last season.

Did the Theo have the inside scoop that Jose was chugging Dominican milkshakes and would start hitting a homer every 10 at bats instead of every 30 ?

How long will it take for this guy’s bubble to burst into an ugly steroid scandal?

He is 30 years old.  Before age 29, he hit 59 career homeruns over the equivalent of 3 full seasons. 

Picture a typical MLB season of .238 BA with 19 home runs.  That was Jose production pace  when he was a part timer on 5 different MLB teams (2004 to 2009).

Picture a typical minor league season of .285 BA with 17 home runs.  That was Jose’s pace in the bushes from 2001 to 2008.

The current numbers are just not credible.

This of course compels one to ask about his potential, his age, and whether or not he has been injecting HGH into his navel.

You might suggest that Rico Petrocelli had a similar power blip in 1969 when he hit 40 homeruns after never having hit more than 18.  But that doesn’t really work as an argument because  Rico was still young and growing at age 26.  And his home run rate improved from 1 in 29 AB’s (pre-1969) to 1 in 18 at bats in his best homer years (1969 to 1971).  Not a crazy improvement.  Credible.

Or you might say that Cecil Fielder blew up like Bautista when he came out of nowhere to hit 51 home runs in 1990, never having come close to that power in previous years.  But the fact was that prior to 1990 his Toronto Blue Jay coaches gave him few at bats, choosing to play Fred McGriff ahead of him at 1st base and Rance Mulliniks before him at D.H..  Guys with a shape like Cecil struggle to buy clothes off the rack, to squeeze into an airline seat, and to get at bats. 

Well, back in the day that was true.  After the 2010 season at age 26, his son Prince had 192 home runs in 2,958 at bats.  At the same age Cecil had 31 dingers in 506 career at bats.  Things have changed.  Cecil was a victim of discrimination against Big Daddys.

Bautista’s power surge is about as legitimate as Brady Anderson’s 50 home runs in 1996.  Which is to say it is i-l-l-e-g-t-i-m-a-t-e. 

In 15 seasons, Brady hit more than 20 home runs three times:  21, 24 and 50.

In 1996, Brady hit 1 homerun every 12 at bats.   For the rest of his career he hit a dinger every 37 at bats.

Come on.  It just doesn’t happen without cheating.

In the first 85 season of the 20th century the 50 HR level was reached 17 times.

In the 24 seasons since the dawn of PEDs, it has been achieved 25 times.

There is no proof yet.  But I’d be testing Jose Bautista every week. And checking his navel for needle marks.

Posted in BASEBALL, steroids | Leave a Comment »

Jose Canseco es muy macho in the boxing ring. How about Sarah Palin ?

Posted by athomeatfenway on December 24, 2009

Jose Canseco es muy macho in boxing ring

Canseco is muy macho in boxing ring (AP photo)

Readers have been asking for photos of Jose Canseco from his recent appearances in New England.

I’ll share two here.

I snapped one of Jose on Sat., Nov. 9 at the Greater Boston Sports Collectors Convention, in Wilmington, MA., where he was signing autographs for $20 a pop.

Canseco was late to the gig.  He was cordial and business-like as he signed from behind a pair of sunglasses that I imagined hid the lines that could tell a tale of debauchery and orgy from the night before.

The man has a reputation to live up to.

He was actually 90 miles West of Boston in Springfield, Massachusetts,  in a boxing ring the prior evening.  He won a decision over Pittsfield, MA. Native, Todd Poulton.  On the same card, believe it or not, civil rights icon Rodney King won a TKO over former hoopster Derek MacIntosh.

All of this was conducted under the auspices of something called the Celebrity Boxing Federation.

I’m not making this up.

You may already know that Jose boxed former child actor Danny Bonaduce to a draw in January.  A lovely body tattoo shirt was donned by Jose for that donnybrook.

You may also already have heard that Jose was knocked silly in the first round by former Philadelphia Eagle kick return specialist Vai Sikahema in July.

His reported appearance fee of $35,000 helped salve the wounds of the beating by Sikahema, who is 7 inches shorter and 40 pounds lighter than the former Bash Brother.

Now comes the news that the CBF has offered Kate Gosselin (Jon & Kate +8) a payday to rumble with one of Tiger Woods ex-paramours.   The CBF hopes to fill the card with Jon Gosselin’s 22-year-old ex-girlfriend, Hailey Glassman, pugilistically matched with another one of Tiger’s former flames.

It’s such an ugly concept you can’t turn away.   Learn more at celebrityboxing.tv, if you dare.

Jose is not the first athlete to use his fame to make a buck in a manner lacking dignity.  Babe Ruth was employed as a wrestling referee in the 1940’s.   Pete Rose sang to us that “a Man wants to smell like a man” while flogging Aqua Velva.  Joe Louis, Mickey Mantle & Willie Mays all worked as greeters in Vegas casinos.

He is not the first.  He won’t be the last.

As for the CBF, we can expect to see any imaginable combination of famed combatants.

Here are a few I would like to see:

Battle of the Major League Bellies:  George Wendt vs. Wilbur Wood.

Management vs. Labor:  Outcast Marvin Miller vs. HOF President Jeff Idleson.  Or Idelson’s Grandfather, whichever Idelson is 90.

The Guilty vs. Sons of the Righteous:  Pete Rose vs. Steve, Bruce & Martin Feller.  May their justice be swift.

Height vs. the Mighty Might: 6 ‘ 10” Randy Johnson vs Pocket Hercules, who is 4′ 6″ & lifts 700 lbs.

The Freak & The Narc: Tim Lincecum vs Acting D.E.A head, Michele Leonhart.  Another bust would do her career wonders.

Party Crashers & Bashers: Tareq & Michaele Salahi tussle with Prince & Chanel Fielder.  The name of that book was “Skinny Bitch”, yes ?

Battle of the Hounds: Tiger Woods & David Letterman on ‘roids in the ring in a race to text their gal pals.

Lastly, Sarah Palin going rogue against the liberal lefty, Bill “Spaceman” Lee.  I can see Lee extending the post match peace pipe now.

In America, anything can happen.  Sometimes it makes you shake your head; sometimes you just laugh out loud.

Love the Tatty shirt, Jose.


Behind the Foster Grants.

Posted in BASEBALL, Jose Canseco, steroids | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

A-Rod Outing Good for Baseball

Posted by athomeatfenway on February 10, 2009

Reporter Roberts outed A-Rod

Reporter Roberts outed A-Rod

“Sunlight is the best disinfectant”  (Brandeis)

The biggest apple on the tree is a rotten.

 

Hardly anyone is surprised.  Look at the bulging neck, bustin’ biceps, and pants- poppin thighs that coincided with increased power numbers.

 

Young A-Rod had the potential to be a .350 hitter with 27 to 30 HR’s per year.

 

Now he is among the top 5 all-time producers of 50-HR seasons.

 

Never was believable.

 

Without Sports Illustrated’s Selena Roberts and David Epstein, we’d never be sure.  Hats off to them.

 

There are over 100 other lesser stars that are also steroid cheats.

 

Let’s hear who they are.

 

While TV’s talking heads rant about A-Rod’s stats and how unfair it would be to out the other cheaters, let’s give thanks that expediency has been served.

 

Turning in the big guy could be a productive step toward getting steroids out of the game permanently – if responsible people take action.

 

We have got to know the rest of those names.

 

The Commissioner & Union (on an opium jag) together could….

…call on S.I. & the Feds to expose the rest of the names

…amend the record book.

…receive $1 Million per team to develop an effective HGH test

…receive $ 1Million more per team to creative an ongoing PED test development fund

…let the BBWAA worry about who gets into the HOF.  Trust in them to keep out any tarnished qualifier including A-Rod, Clemens, McGwire, Sosa and Bonds.

 

Bob Hohler wrote the story in the Boston Globe about SI’s outing of A-Rod.

 

When I asked Bob what he thought of the MLB and the MLBPA potentially clearing the air, Bob replied that the Union is “more interested in protecting their stars than outing them.”

 

Bob Hohler is right.  Odds are that great efforts will be made to suppress the rest of the info.

 

The players would sue the Union for damages if they revealed the names.

 

And in truth, the Commissioner won’t lead the way either.  He won’t disrupt the money machine.

 

That leaves it to the Selena Roberts and David Epstein’s of this world.

 

Independent Journalism with significant readership can drive change.

 

We cannot count on guys like John Heyman to do the politically difficult work.

 

Nor can we rely on Sean Casey, Al Leiter – and all the rest sitting in front of the brand new cameras of MLB TV.

 

Peter Gammons at ESPN – can we count on you to drive the process?

 

Tom Verducci – reporting stalwart, craftsman  – can you turn on your new employer and speed the process ?

 

I hope someone will.

 

How about it, Selena & David ?

 

 

 david-epstein

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in A-Rod, NEW YORK YANKEES, steroids | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

ROGER CLEMENS GOES DOWN !

Posted by athomeatfenway on February 15, 2008

It wasn’t easy watching the Congressional hearing yesterday. The man was a near lock for the HOF before he went to the needle.  The man struck out 20 in a game  — twice !  The Man won multiple Cy Youngs.  The Man was a hoss.   And now, the hoss is at a loss for a ticket to Cooperstown.  Permanently.

It wasn’t MacNamee who landed the telling blow, though.  It was Andy Pettitte and his wife.

The hearings resonated with prior scandals.  I couldn’t help but think that Brian MacNamee is to Roger Clemens, as Paul Janszen is to Pete Rose, and as Greg Anderson is to Bobby Bonds.  A self-centered star using an enabler to break the rules.   

There’s an ugly societal dymanic that allows the Superstar to bulldoze the rules while getting the benefit of the doubt.  We could be a bit more careful with our adoration, trying to focus it on the Phil Rizzutto’s, Dustin Pedroia’s, Gene Tenace’s, Jorge Posada’s  and Troy Tulowitzki’s of this world.  Give me a skinny player who can play over his head.  Or a slightly chubbed-out Tony Gwynn look-alike.  I’m starting to look sideways at anybody with an acutely mesomorphic build.  And we’ve got a few on my beloved Red Sox.

May Roger, Debbie and the four K’s accept the truth in short order, admit what has happened, and find peace in the support that will flow.  There’s really no point in being vindictive.

That said — I’m afraid that The Rocket has dishonored the game enough to be permanently barred from the HOF.

 I have complete faith that the BBWAA will never elect Roger.  I am somewhat old school in these matters; I want Clemens, Rose, Bonds & McGwire BARRED from the HOF.  But the BBWAA is way, way beyond old school.  The scribes have memories like elephants.  There’s no chance Roger gets in.

 It’s a sad day for Baseball.  But, we fans will move on and flourish.

I trust that Baeball has not been entirely depleted of its Good Guys.  I believe, as you may, that money has not corrupted every Player and Owner – but, surely has corrupted many.  I believe, as you may, that people that have been raised to have Integrity can earn the bucks and play legit and clean for the love of the game, honoring the life lessons, moved by the remarkable way that Baseball connects us, teaches us.   Folks like you who care about the game deeply are the very proof that Baseball will cleanse itself and survive.

Posted in Barry Bonds, BASEBALL, congress, RED SOX, roger clemens, steroids, Uncategorized, yankees | Leave a Comment »

Roger Clemens : time for action, Bud.

Posted by athomeatfenway on December 22, 2007

Dear Commissioner Selig,

You have established a proud legacy, though you don’t get much credit for it.  Your reign has seen the creation of 16 mind-blowing MLB ballparks.  You’ve overseen the expansion of the divisions & playoffs. Under your stewardship,  Baseball revenue has increased to $6 Billion per year.   You have continued development of Latin American players, the world wide promotion of the sport, reached record attendance of 78 Million, and an average team attendance of 2.6 million. 

Even  Pittsburgh drew 1.7 million, a gate that creates about $76 Million before even one beer commercial is aired.

The steroid era is not your fault, Mr. Commissioner.  Steroids are soley the Players’ fault.  Steroids were undertaken & spread throughout Baseball by the players.  And when the problem became too grand to ignore, the Union blocked progress with aggressive, able Lawyers.  And that has made all the difference in the world.

 So, what to do with Roger Clemens ?  Whatever you do, you need to do the same to all others like him.

1.  Complete the investigation on a player-by-player basis.  Make a determination of guilt or innocence, and the degree thereof.

2.  Banish players or dealers/trainers, strip awards, and censure on an individual basis.

3.  Remind Hall of Fame voters that Integrity, Sportsmanship & Character are election criteria that should guide their decisions on a level equal to Championships, Statistics & Records.

 4.  Advise Hall of Fame voters to block the election of men of low character, men whose cheating goes beyond gamesmanship.  Pay no mind to those who would allow a steriod cheat in because the Hall has already welcomed racists and others of low character.  Two wrongs do not make a right.

 5.  Earmark $30 Million ($1 Million per team) for the development of an effective HGH test and apply it, along with other drug tests, on a weekly, mandatory basis to all MLB players.

6.  Publicly request that the Union accept a clause in every contract that states use of Winstrol, HGH and all other banned or illegal performance enhancing chemicals will result in the forfeit of all salary and bonuses.   Play it in public, let Don Fehr and his brother’s be exposed for what they are.

Make them forfeit the MONEY.  That will stop steroid in its tracks.  Money has been the reason the steroid train jumped the tracks to begin with.

Again –  Make them forfeit the MONEY.   The MONEY is their GOD.  Think Roger may have been motivated by the $150 Mill he has earned since allegedly starting to juice ?

Roger could be innocent, there’s a slim chance of that.  So, give him the benefit of the doubt along with a full investigation.  Make the determination, then banish, strip awards, and censure on an individual basis to the degree warranted.

Baseball may have fallen down again.  But it will get up and it will walk straight again if you take action, Commissioner.   And that will be some legacy to leave.

Posted in Barry Bonds, BASEBALL, Bud Selig, Commissioner, RED SOX, roger clemens, steroids | 7 Comments »