Sunday, March 07, 2004
posted by James - 11:33 PM
Don't we as baseball fans discount what Colorado 1B Todd Helton does because he hits in Coors Field?
Does Coors Field help Helton put bat on ball? No (unless you count the psychological factors of Coors Field on pitchers).
Does Coors Field have any physiological effects on Helton at all? No (except maybe the thinner air may be affecting sea-level athlete’s oxygen intakes).
Does Coors Field help Helton hit the ball out of the park and subsequently collect increased RBIs, runs and batting average? Yes.
Does Helton get any props when it comes to MVP awards or others? Nope.
Do steroids allow you to put bat on ball? Nope (unless you count the psychological effect on a pitcher facing a batter who magically added 40 lbs to an already impressive physique).
Do steroids allow you to use your workout sessions more effectively so you can add muscle more efficiently, leading to more power, stamina and the musculature to stay healthy longer? Yes.
Do steroids allow you to hit the ball out of the park and subsequently collect increased RBIs, runs and batting average? Yes.
So if Bonds is on some kind of performance enhancer (which might be totally legal according to MLB and Gov't rules), wouldn't that have affected the way people voted for him?
Can’t we conclude from this that steroids are the full-season equivalent of Coors Field without the lie and, as of right now, the penalty?
If Bonds tests positive at any time from here on out (we don't know that he wasn’t in the 5-7 % who already tested positive), this will taint his MVP awards. (Then again... I can't prove all of the top-10 MVP vote recipients weren't on the juice, so maybe it doesn't taint them.)
I can't fault him for taking these substances if they're legal... that's MLB and the MLBPA's fault for not dealing with this a long time ago.
But think of Bonds as any other entertainer... Would Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera be thought of as highly if you found out she used some kind of substance that made her voice sound better on stage?
Maybe not, but what if she lied about it to the public, accepted awards upon awards for her performances while using these substances, made thousands of young women idolize her and make everyone think that they had to sound like her to be successful.
And the substance might be illegal and not readily available to everyone - a very anti-competitive situation.
And we didn't find out until long after she retired, accepted induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, lost her voice and then her health and died.
Then we find out this substance helped cause her death and the death of others who used it following her example.
I know this is a long scenario (metaphor) using two people’s names I never thought would grace this blog, but this is why this is more dangerous than most benign physical shortcuts, such as plastic surgery (which anybody on this planet can get and can very well be dangerous).
I’m sorry if we’re all getting bored of this steroid talk, but it’s a preoccupation of mine as long as it involves someone I thought was the best player to ever play the game of baseball, which I see its integrity melting away day by day.
I wrote several articles back in the ’90s (before the HR record) calling Bonds the best player ever. I may be starting to change my mind and I definitely will if I find out he's ever taken steroids EVER!
This would constitute a lie to the American public and especially the young athletes who watched him add 40 lbs and make $15+ million dollars per year. That's a bad message and he could have said, "kids don't do what I did. Or you don't have to be my size to be a great player."
I have no proof he's ever taken steroids, but if he has at any time, he should suffer an ultimate penalty of permanent suspension from baseball, just like Pete Rose. Baseball would have to make an example of him. Lying should be painful.
Bonds still has to show how he went from never breaking 50 (before 2001 or since) to hitting 73. It seems the 40 extra lbs and mind your own damn business is his answer.
But he needs to answer how he did that when he spent his entire HALL-OF-FAME career before that at 180 lbs or so.
Why and how did he bulk up?
I think he did it to keep himself healthy as he aged, and the extra power was just an unforeseen benefit (he's never really had leg-health problems so carrying the weight isn't a problem), but Bonds is such a recluse and, dare I say, head case that his character has taken a major hit with the public and he's done nothing but make it worse.
I think he either takes or took a substance(s) like Andro... totally legal and within baseball's rules, but contrary to what he's said in the press.
He acts like a victim. He's not. In no way is he a victim... if you can't handle the celebration, don't make the big play.
He acts like there's nothing he can do. There is. Take a test. Screw the union. Stop hiding behind them. Take a test tomorrow and every day someone asks you to pee in a cup. What the heck is the Union going to do?
I'm tired of the Union making real issues with baseball into bargaining chips. They are destroying the game by allowing the disparity of revenues and steroids to dominate a time where we should be talking about the explosion of MLB's fan base both in the US and abroad and the amazing parity where no matter how much money those damn Yankees spend they haven't won squat since 2000, but instead we're talking about stuff the Union only wants to fix when it's in their best interest.
Furthermore, Bonds could subject himself to full Congressional investigation (sounds like something Bush and Ashcroft would waste our precious tax dollars on) where he would turn over every medical document, prescription, examination results, etc. and show the world what he does during every day in the offseason to keep himself in this kind of shape this late in his career.
Instead, he's hiding behind whatever protection he can get... and he's going to take the biggest fall along with Giambi and Sheffield (IF ANY OF THEM ARE GUILTY AT ALL). Baseball will make an example out of all them. Their records, awards, other accomplishments will stand, but forget the Hall-of-Fame and forget ever making another dollar from playing baseball in this country.
Steroids still aren't illegal (not by those slaps on the wrists), but they will be punished for subjecting baseball to this issue, getting convicted and then lying the public from their performances and/or their statements.
They'll have nothing left but their martyrdom and their stupidity.