Steroids in Baseball Don’t Matter

This is written by site contributor, John Ramey. Ramey works at KNX 1070 in Los Angeles as a sports anchor and web editor. He’s also an accomplished musician. He has been known to contribute passionate articles to LBS when the moment strikes.

Alex Rodriguez took performance enhancing drugs now banned and punishable by the rules of major league baseball.

As a baseball devotee and a human being, I implore you to take a breath.

This, nor any other performance enhancing behaviors of other players, is cause for concern. Here’s why:

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A-Rod Truly Is A-Fraud

This guy is so sickening. It was bad enough that he lied face-to-face to Katie Couric and the American public on TV, but the fact that Alex Rodriguez feels he needs to cheat to get better shows his lack of confidence and how insecure he is about his ability. Is it really that much about the money? Why, if Alex was that talented and supposedly that hard of a worker ever since his high school days, would he need to cheat to get ahead? Was he not already one of the best players ever? Was he not going to make enough money? Just like he cheated on his wife, he cheated on the game I love and the game he supposedly loves. Well screw Alex Rodriguez — he definitely doesn’t love the game the same way you or I do. If he did, he wouldn’t stoop so low as to cheat it. Why do you think he chokes in the playoffs and in every big spot? It’s because the baseball gods know. The game knows. The game rewards the pitcher that trains cleanly and without steroids. It punishes guys like A-Rod for cheating, embarrassing him in the biggest situations.

It’s too damn bad, just too damn effing bad that not enough of these selfish mothers out there don’t appreciate and love the game the way you or I do. If they did, they wouldn’t have been blinded by the dollar or the need to compete to cheat it. 104 players testing positive for performance-enhancers out of 750 in the majors, that’s 14% at the least. What an effing joke. And to think guys felt they needed to take steroids just to keep up, to compete at a level playing field? What jerkoffs. To think there isn’t a trickle-down effect all the way to the high school level is ignorant. To think that the kid who got cut from his high school team wouldn’t consider juicing to make the team is ignorant. To think the kid on J.V. wouldn’t consider using to make it to varsity is ignorant. To think the kid on varsity trying to make it to D-III isn’t considering using is ignorant. Same for the D-III kid trying to get to D-I ball, and the D-I bench warmer to D-I starter, and the D-I starter to getting drafted in the minor leagues. Every single player from 16-46 thinks they need that extra boost to not only get better, but to be on an even playing field. And that’s the freaking problem.

If steroids and these performance-enhancers were good for the body, they’d be legal. But they’re not. They’re despicable substances that alter the balances in your body and cause people to roid rage, commit suicide, and die young. You think it’s a coincidence all the Steelers players are dying before the age of 60? Think again. It’s not all the Cheerios they were eating in the morning that’s killing them.

If people can’t see the reason steroids and performance-enhancers are bad, if people are overlooking how bad it is for A-Fraud and 103 other players in 2003 to be cheating was, then they are effing clueless. Any wonder why the economy is in the crapper and Wall Street fell apart? The same reason most of these major leaguers took steroids — they wanted to make more money. Greed is killing this country and there’s no sense of honor, dignity, or integrity left. How can you flat out lie to the American public on national TV having known that you failed a steroids test? How much more of a fraud can you be?

A-Rod can have his $252 million contract. Those players could have their jobs in the league. Bobby Estalella could have his gig as a backup catcher in the majors, and Jason Giambi can have his MVP and millions of dollars. All I know is that at the end of the day, some of these players could have invested with Bernie Madoff and wind up with their millions all gone. They’d be like me and you. The only difference is I’d be able to look myself in the mirror knowing I still have my dignity, honor, and integrity. The difference is I know I never had to cheat at my job to get ahead. You can never take away my integrity, but for A-Rod, nothing will ever change that he is indeed 100% a fraud.

A-Rod Lied Face-to-Face on 60 Minutes

Remember these famous last words? “I have never used steroids. Period. I don’t know how to say it any more clearly than that. Never. The reference to me in Mr. Canseco’s book is absolutely false. I am against the use of steroids.” Yeah. How’d that work out for you Rafael Palmeiro? Apparently Alex Rodriguez is trying to join his former Rangers teammate by living in lying infamy. Check out this interview A-Fraud conducted with 60 Minutes in ’07:

You’re putting me in a tough spot … these are my teammates, my friends. Oh yeah? This is YOU we’re talking about. Who’s the fraud now, huh? This would put a black eye on the game? You’re the one putting the black eye on the game. Did you think you were just going to scoot through this without anyone finding out? Maybe this is why he’s supported Barry Bonds throughout the negativity. And I’ll always say it — be leery of anyone who defends a juicer; it probably means he’s juicing, too.

Recorded Conversation Shows Anderson Injected Barry Bonds with Steroids

Anyone who read Game of Shadows and paid attention to various court documents that have come to light recently knows that Barry Bonds has admitted to taking steroids. It’s common knowledge that Bonds took the cream and the clear provided by BALCO — both were steroids. So the issue isn’t whether he took steroids, it’s whether or not he “knowingly” took the steroids, which if he did, would result in a perjury charge. We also know that the federal government is pursuing this case and that they have a ridiculously high success rate when they pursue such cases (over 90%). With some court documents being released, now we know why they’re chasing the case; one transcript of a conversation shows that Bonds’ trainer Greg Anderson injected Barry with steroids. Here’s the evidence in the form of a conversation between Anderson and Bonds’ assistant, Steve Hoskins, who recorded the exchange when they were talking about cysts developing from steroid injection:

Anderson: No, what happens is, they put too much in one area, and what it does, it ‘ill, it ‘ill actually ball up and puddle. And what happens is, it actually will eat away and make an indentation. And it’s a cyst. It makes a big (expletive) cyst. And you have to drain it. Oh yeah, it’s gnarly …

Hoskins: He said his (expletive) went … that’s why he has to, he had to switch off of one cheek to the other. Is that why Barry’s didn’t do it in one spot, and you didn’t just let him do it one time?

Anderson: Oh no. I never. I never just go there. I move it all over the place.

In another part of the conversation, Anderson explains how easy it is to pass one of MLB’s administered drug tests by ostensibly using the cream and the clear (the same stuff Marion Jones used is the quote they gave). So after reading this, is there any wonder why Anderson’s in jail? Any wonder why he was refusing to speak? Any wonder why the feds are pursuing the perjury case? Any wonder if Bonds will be found innocent? You telling me he was getting injections and didn’t know it was for steroids? Uh yeah, I’m buying that like I’m buying some stock in Circuit City. Please.

Bud Selig Made Over $18 Million in ’07, 5th Highest Paid in Baseball

Try not to spit up on the monitor or gag while you digest the news that baseball commissioner Bud Selig made just over $18 million in 2007 according to the Sports Business Journal. Think about that disgusting number and consider that only four effing players pulled more cash that season than Buddy Boy. Yes, Selig out-earned everyone in the game save Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Roger Clemens, and Jason Giambi (all Yankees, of course). Only seven players will make more than that figure in this upcoming season, but it’s conceivable that Selig’s salary increased since then. How sickening is that?

For this guy to tell us that “This Time it Counts” he’s getting paid over $18mil? For him to allow All-Star games to end in ties and the same World Series game to be played on two separate days he’s getting that obscene salary? To show you how disjointed things are, Selig almost doubles the next highest earning commissioners — Roger Goodell and David Stern — even though Goodell’s sport earns more revenue and Stern’s is arguably as popular. And I shouldn’t even have to be defending guys making 8-figure salaries. But you want to know the worst part about Bud cashing in on over $18 mil? No doubt it’s this. That guy makes a million less and it’s ten 100k jobs or twenty 50k jobs for employees that wouldn’t have to be fired. Makes you think of all the bonus-babies on Wall Street with their golden parachutes. Yuck.

Poor Manny, Nobody Wants to Sign Him :(

It wasn’t long ago that Manny dropped one of the best lines by an athlete in recent memory. In October of last year, while Manny was crushing NL pitching, my stock portfolio was riding high, and gas was $4 a gallon, Manny proclaimed, “I want to see who is the highest bidder. Gas is up and so am I.” Unfortunately for Manny, the declaration of a national recession has curbed spending and free agents have settled for less than market value based on previous years. As fate would have it, Manny who loafed it in Boston to escape the bounds of a contract that would have paid him well over $40 million for two more years, now might not be able to score that kind of loot. His asking price probably hasn’t changed much, and he’s feeling left out:

Albert Pujols is encouraging the St. Louis Cardinals to sign Manny Ramirez.

“I speak with Manny every three days and he tells me, ‘Man, no one wants to sign me,’ Pujols said today during a news conference. “I’m not an agent or general manager, but I can’t understand how Manny has not signed.”

Plenty of teams would want Manny’s stick in their lineup, but I’m sure none want to meet his asking price. They’re probably still seeking nine figures and Boras having negotiated a nearly $200 million deal for Mark Teixeira means he’s probably inclined to keep waiting until the sticker price is met. No one wants to sign me? Yeah, at four years for $100 mil. Drop that to two years for 30, and I’m sure you’ll find plenty of takers. Perhaps karma is taking its toll.

David Wells Calls Out Joe Torre: J-Fraud

Alright, so I’ve already done my share of ripping Joe Torre for co-authoring his “don’t call it a tell-all” tell-all book. I reserved some judgment because I hadn’t yet read it, but still considered the entire gesture to be pretty poor on his part. No need to reveal some of the locker room gossip from the Yankee days. Well, there was an excerpt in SI that confirmed what I had read about the book — Torre harbors bitter feelings toward Brian Cashman for the way things ended. Anyway, once Torre spilled the beans you figured the players would start bad-mouthing him Jon Gruden-style. First in line as you might have imagined was David Wells. Check out what Boomer served up on The Monty Show on Sporting News Radio:

[Joe Torre] should be called J-Fraud. He managed guys like Jeter — guys that were very easy to manage — those everyday players. But when there were guys under the bubble that were struggling, or basket cases like me I guess, he didn’t want anything to do with us.

Joe, he wasn’t tough on guys, he just treated you like crap. If you weren’t in his little circle — the circle of trust — then he could care less about you. I’ve had quite a few confrontations with him. It’s like guys get to fly early … I had to fly with the team — it’s stuff like that. If you’re going to do it for one guy, you might as well do it for the rest, and that’s what he didn’t do with the majority of guys.

I’m not sure which players were given the preferential treatment, but I’m guessing it’s pretty easy to figure out. Boomer also said that the ’98 team was so close it was like they didn’t need a manager; guys always hung out together and went to restaurants together. Wells told the hosts that they could have managed the team that year, confirming what I’ve said all along. If players were going to come out and start bad-mouthing Torre now that he’s spewing all, no surprise it’s starting with Wells. I expect more to come. And I’m looking forward to more Roger Clemens testicle-rub down stories, too.