A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

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A lot of people are looking to put an asterisk or something next to whatever records Bonds ends up with. There is no avoiding that Barry and any other major leaguer who took steroids did something very very wrong, but the fact remains that Major League Baseball had no rules against steroids prior to 2003. Basically, anyone taking steroids prior to that new collective bargaining agreement were not doing anything illegal in baseball terms. Andro, which I believe is now banned by baseball, was not banned when McGwire assaulted Roger Maris' single season home run record*. There was no asterisk placed next to McGwire's record that I know of. Using steroids is definitely cheating in my book. Unfortunately, baseball has had cheaters since the day every single one of us was born. Whether it be people corking their bats (Sammy Sosa, Albert Belle, Graig Nettles, Chris Sabo, HoJo, etc.), Mike Scott using sandpaper to scuff the baseball to get more bite on his splitter and one a CY Young award as a possible effect cheating, Gaylord Perry putting Vaseline on the ball, Joe Niekero getting caught with a file in his pocket, Whitey Ford scuffing the ball with his wedding ring, having his catcher cut the ball with his belt, or even used a 'gunk ball' in the 1963 World Series, Rick Honeycutt using tac to scuff the ball, etc.

Players have been trying to gain an unfair edge since the inception of sports. Prominent players that were inducted to the HOF in fact. Should Whitey Ford be taken out of Hall of Fame because it is well documented that he cheated? I think people take the old time cheating of scuffing the balls, etc. and kind of laugh at it. The Vaseline ball is something of joke and almost funny. Cheating is cheating there is not differentiation of it. Steroids are a drug, but were not banned until recently which is just a crazy notion in itself. Baseball has always been very lax on drugs and the fact remains guys like Steve Howe, Darryl Strawberry, and Doc Gooden were allowed to repeatedly violate the drug policy. People have also argued that Babe Ruth's homerun total should have an asterisk because he did not play against African American players and therefore did not play against the best of the best. That was not Babe Ruth's fault, but you can also make the argument about watered down pitching that is all over the league these days. No time or era is going to fair and equal and there are always going to situations that call certain records into doubt.

Whatever records Bonds gets should be allowed to stand without asterisks. He was one of the greatest players every to play this game before he started taking steroids. In 2004 the guy still walked 232 times to 41 strikeouts which steroids did not assist in. In 19 seasons he only topped 100 K's once and that was in his rookie season which is amazing for this high strikeout era we are in. He had 445 homeruns before 2000 and was well on his way to being an elite player among baseballs most elite in the history of the game prior to juicing. I place the blame on baseball as well as the players. The sad part is, they were operating within the framework of the rules of the game when they were ingesting steroids. Baseball turned a blind eye until recently and provided a safe haven for these activities to go on with the players having no fears of any repurcussions. The Baseball Players Associations has always vehemently been against random testing since it infringed upon player's privacy and violated their rights to basic freedoms. There are bigger issues than the players doing it and they are for the most part a product of the system that allows it, which certainly does not excuse their actions. Baseball needs to adopt a hard line on drug use like the Olympic Committee does if they want to be serious about curtailing drug use. If you are prepared to hang the guys doing steroids, you should be prepared to hang the reported 80% of all baseball players doing some sort of amphetamine prior to games. Cheating is and has been a generally tolerated practice over the years and until baseball really puts it's foot down, it will continue. I would love the game to get cleaned up, but I know that wherever there is a competitive sport, there will be people trying to get an edge. The talks of all these asterisks need to end until you can prove to me that no one before Barry has cheated.

* * *

  • JT Snow reacting to the Sammy Sosa corky-gate mishap last season.

    "There are other problems in the game," Snow said. "What's in the bats? But what players put in their bodies, that's a bigger issue."

  • The Mets are still in contact with Pedro Martinez's agent Fern Cuza. However, Cuza also mentioned that they have spoken about one of his other players Odalis Perez

    "His name has come up a few times" in talks with Mets officials. "I don't think it's a primary focus," Cuza said. "I think it's a backup issue."


    More on why Perez would not be a move that would greatly improve team tomorrow. Adding him to the rotation is more of a lateral move at this point and I'd rather take my chances with Heilman.

  • The Mets are going to pursue Carlos Delgado during the Winter Meetings in Anaheim this upcoming week. I personally still like Richie Sexson more, but one of the things that makes Delgado more attractive is that I do not think the Blue Jays offered/will offer him arbitration and I believe the D-Backs offered/will offer arbitration to Richie Sexson.

  • The Yankees are determined to play hardball with Jason Giambi.

    The Yankees are basing their plan of attack on Paragraph 7 (1) of the uniform player's contract, which says that a club may terminate a contract if the player should "fail, refuse or neglect to conform his personal conduct to the standards of good citizenship and good sportsmanship," and on Paragraph 3 (a), titled "Loyalty," which says: "The player agrees to perform his services hereunder diligently and faithfully, to keep himself in first-class physical condition and to obey the club's training rules, and pledges himself to the American public and to the club to conform to high standards of personal conduct, fair play and good sportsmanship."

    If A-Rod has that line about fair play and good sportsmanship in his contract, can they void his contract because he fem-slapped Bronson Arroyo in an attempt to cheat? If a player shows up to spring training having not worked out and is overweight and injures himself because of that, can his contract be voided due to the fact he is not in first-class physical condition? It doesn't look like they will win since it is a loose interpretation, but the entire idea remains silly. Fact is, the Yankees knew. How could their trainer not know? How could the team not know? How can the differentiate Sheffield and Giambi? Cheating is cheating. They want to get rid of him because he is not producing, not because he took steroids. They now want out of the contract. Rest assured if was putting up 2002 numbers, he'd be on the team with them publicly backing him up. The Yankees truly disgust me. They can preach class and professionalism all they want, but they are slimy pieces of shit and this further proves that.
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