Friday, May 8, 2009

5 comments Ten Things I Think I Think Peter King Has Not Thought Of: Man-Roid Edition

There is a lot going on in the journalistic world today. It is interesting because when someone like Manny Ramirez gets busted for using "steroids" it just so happens every columnist writes an article about it and they all sound incredibly similar. I just want one player to be clean. Just one, and that's all I ask. I am also at the point now that I am almost numb to a player being busted for steroids. I am not numb to columnists writing the same column they have written for every other athlete busted. They may as well have a format they use in Microsoft Word where they just change the names and the drug, then turn the column in. Obviously steroids is cheating but I do get a little bit tired of columnists acting like every new offender is the worst one yet. When athletes screw up like this, it is fresh chum in the water for journalists. Bill Plaschke is the first to irritate me today.

1. Plaschke.

Manny Ramirez dropped a bomb on Mannywood on Thursday, leveling the Dodgers' spirit, stripping the Dodgers' psyche, and blowing up the Dodgers' safe.

I am at the point where each article indicting these players is not a major concern of mine and I don't overly care to read it. I really want to know what MLB is going to do about this, and more importantly, what CAN they do about this? Nearly every great hitter of this era is being busted for using steroids. At some point Bud Selig and his baseball friends have to have a plan, other than just testing the players for steroids and hoping they are clean. I wish journalists would quit taking shots at the players who get caught and start talking about the environment in MLB that allowed this to happen. Not because I don't think Manny did something wrong but because something has to be done, this is quickly becoming a crisis.

He must come clean for the media who will relay his message to the fans who he has turned to suckers.

What do you want Plaschke? Fucking blood spilled or Manny to cry at a press conference? He is not appealing the suspension, that should indicate he is admitting to it.

The bigger question is not how much can we kick Manny Ramirez over this but who exactly is clean now? The more and more we look at things, Ken Griffey Jr. is fast becoming the best slugger of this generation. We are assuming he is clean. Is that a safe assumption? Both A-Rod and Manny were good sluggers at a young age with natural "talent" so we fell for them being clean as well. I hope we didn't do the same with Griffey.

Now I think about watching the ball jump off his bat while driving in 53 runs in 53 games with the Dodgers last summer and think, absolutely, his increased coordination and endurance screams of steroids.

I love it when the same journalists who were celebrating Manny's accomplishments 6 months ago now act as if they had the slightest idea he was using steroids. It just makes me roll my eyes like a 14 year old girl.

A more potent defense would have been an official appeal of the suspension, but that didn't happen, and that tells you everything.

Yet Plaschke still needs Manny to come out and admit he did use steroids. Why do columnists want players to suffer publicly and cover it up by pretending they become role models if they admit it publicly?

They not only accepted his explanation, but congratulated him for it. "The fact that he did take responsibility . . . that was big," Torre said.

Um, no he didn't. See Step 1.

Here is something else that irritates me about mainstream journalists. They love to kick people when they are down and they love to watch that person suffer. Mostly they love to put players in a no-win situation. If Manny comes out and admits he used steroids and gives the time period he used them, the press will attempt to poke holes in his story like they did to A-Rod, or if he accepts his suspension quietly like some people would do, then Manny has not come clean. They want to hear him admit he used steroids. A quiet punishment is not enough for them.

They can celebrate what they have, a great young team in a lousy division. Andre Ethier, not Ramirez, leads the team in RBIs. Ethier is tied with Ramirez for the lead in home runs. Orlando Hudson has scored more runs and collected more hits. James Loney does little things Ramirez never did.

Great point by Plaschke. It takes 3 people to replace the production that Manny had for the Dodgers. At least he is not being negative about the loss of Manny but to expect Orlando Hudson to have more hits than Manny at the end of the year if they had played the same amount of games is a fantasy. Same thing with Ethier leading the team in HR and RBI's by the end of the year.

And, oh, yes, in the first inning against the Washington Nationals on Thursday, Matt Kemp hit a grand slam that had fans screaming, and Manny wasn't anywhere near the place.

They should celebrate that. They should build on that.

They should and they will...but that was one grand slam against the Washington Nationals. Nothing exactly to write home and tell mommy about.

This can no longer be Manny Ramirez's team. This can no longer be his city. Dead is the notion he can lead. Dead is the notion that he can be trusted.

Can he write a sentence longer than 10 words?

I was a little surprised at Manny Ramirez testing positive for steroids but what concerns me more is that there is probably a whole list of players that tested positive for steroids and I think the public needs to know who they are. A-Rod's privacy has already been violated and I think the only way baseball can start over is if they release the names of those that tested positive on the list of 103 and go from there to ensure the game is clean from here on out. This will never happen because Bud Selig apparently prefers a slow bleed rather than just trying to fix the problem.

2. Bill Simmons wrote a pretty good article about Manny. As usual, he does make the article, as good as it is, about him and how this will affect him. Overall he is still self involved, but he brings up some pretty good points about Red Sox players in 2004.

Most of his articles I have liked the most lately have been of the sentimental kind. I don't think that I like that I like it when Bill goes into Reilly territory, but apparently I do.

He ignores me and starts rattling through our 2004 lineup with creepy precision. He points out Nomar Garciaparra's remarkable 1999 and 2000 seasons, his subsequent tendon injuries and how his career played out so blandly afterward for reasons that remain unclear. My dad points out the Sox traded Nomar midway through the 2004 season. Technically, that debate shouldn't even matter. Score one for Dad.

"But what about Trot Nixon and Bill Mueller?" my son says. "They missed a bunch of games every year with injuries, put on weight when they were skinny guys, peaked quickly and were never seen again. Same for Mark Bellhorn, right? That's suspicious."

As I mentioned in the comments yesterday, I do have a little bit of a suspicion Nomar was a little bit of a dabbler in steroids but I really don't think the other players were necessarily guilty of the same thing. That's the problem though, we don't know who is guilty and who is not. Full disclosure of those who tested positive and then a strict ban for players who are found guilty today is the only way baseball will get its credibility back.

That's the way I see. Baseball has to come clean instead of turning against the players when they are found guilty, when each new revelation happens every two weeks.

This column Bill wrote will end up being the same way everyone feels if baseball does not try and be more proactive when it comes to revealing who did steroids and when.

3. If anyone did not get a chance to read it, and I know everyone probably already has, here is the original Jason Whitlock article about Selena Roberts.

I haven't had the opportunity to read the excerpt in Sports Illustrated this week but I am looking forward to it.

4. First there is news Brett Favre is coming back, now he may not come back. I don't really care what he does, he just needs to make a decision. Gregg Doyel agrees with me, which is scary for me. Of course he does it with more harsher language that is designed to get an extremely positive or negative reaction from the reader, but that is just the way he does his thing.

That Brett Favre isn't merely another great athlete struggling with the decision all great athletes have to make, eventually, about retirement. That Brett Favre is actually a liar, a fraud, a creep who for some reason -- and I think it's a lack of intelligence, I really do -- cannot stop burning through his hard-earned goodwill any more than a chain smoker can stop burning through Camels.

I don't really think Brett Favre is a creep. I do believe he is a liar who is burning through his goodwill incredibly quickly.

But they loathe Minnesota in Green Bay, so that's where Favre wants to play. It's incomprehensible, but there it is. He wants to be a Viking. He wants to take those 16 years he spent in Green Bay, winning three MVPs and one Super Bowl and hundreds of thousands of loyal fans, and flush them down a purple commode.

I find it incredibly weird that Favre does want to play for the Minnesota Vikings this year, as if they are the only team that really needs a quarterback. Granted he has a relationship of some type with one of the coaches but he just so happens to pick one of the biggest rivals of the team he spent 16 years with to play for? I don't believe in coincidences.

I don't like it when columnists rip steroid users over and over again, but Favre just keeps asking for the constant crap he gets from the media with his actions of hypocrisy and flip-flopping.

The Favre love is unfathomable enough, especially given the way he has lied his way out of New York and into, perhaps, Minnesota.

It's not even Favre love from the fans but the Favre love that comes from columnists. It is insane how not everyone can see through him and his actions.

And so Favre asked, again, to be released.

Which means he's not retired.

The funny part is that now he has apparently flip-flopped on the Vikings and said he may not want to return to football. Make a fucking decision and stick with it!

So now he gets his wish. He gets to pursue Minnesota. But we see you, Brett Favre. You're like a stupid fat kid who hides behind a tree and thinks nobody can see him. We see you, Favre. We see your gut poking out from behind that tree. Go play for the Vikings, but don't expect anyone -- not even your apologists -- to ever see you the same way again.

Except for Peter King and...............................

5. Gene Wojciechowski.

And even though I'm the resident ESPN defender of all things Favre

At least he admits it I guess.

I don't know whether the 39-year-old Favre has another season in him, but I'd like to find out. Because for all the Favre-related complaining and eye-rolling by his critics and skeptics, the NFL is more interesting with him than without him.

See your absolute love for Brett Favre makes you say shit like this. It's actually not more exciting with Favre in the league because we have to deal with constant drooling by announcers over his abilities and how much fun he has playing the game.

After all, the Packers manipulated the circumstances to limit Favre's playing opportunities in 2008. All's fair in trade clauses and retirement announcements.

Are you fucking kidding me? He retired, the Packers moved on, then he decided he wanted to play again, and the Packers thought that because he lied originally and they have moved on he should not be handed the starting quarterback job back, which is completely fair. Once Favre saw nothing was going to be handed to him, he started bitching about being traded, and the Packers weren't going to let him retire and force his way out of town, which is completely fair. They manipulated nothing, they did what was right for them and for their team. They moved on, which is what Favre should do.

If Favre is doing this to stick it to the Packers, then it's the wrong kind of comeback for the wrong kind of reasons. Despite their messy divorce, Favre and the Packers will forever be joined at the chinstrap.

I want someone to give me one reason he would come back to play for the Vikings that doesn't have to do with sticking it to the Packers. That is the entire reason he is coming back.

I can't stand these articles that say the world is better with Favre in it, because that is wrong. The world is a much better place without him lying and trying to stay in the headlines as much as possible.

6. Even Favre's ex-teammates in New York don't really like him.

To a man, the Jets said they weren't surprised by the latest on Favre, and many wished him well, but there were traces of bitterness. After all, he quit after only one season with the Jets, claiming he was finished with football.

That he did do. Actually this was a year long process where he got out of Green Bay and then just had to wait it out in New York so he could get in a Vikings uniform. Unfortunately for the Jets lying to them was all a part of the process.

Jerricho Cotchery said, "Before he came to us, the whole thing was he wanted to go to Minnesota. You kind of feel bad if you were the team he settled for."

Or made a pit stop in New York on his way to Minnesota. His acting was better at both retirement announcements than it was in "There's Something About Mary."

Another player, who requested anonymity, launched this salvo at the future Hall of Famer: "I'm tired of being part of his soap opera. If he really wanted to win a championship, he'd be right here. Let's call it for what it is: He wants to play for Minnesota so he can stick it to Green Bay twice a year. He's just being selfish. I'm not surprised."

That was probably Thomas Jones.

7. Mike Freeman decides he wants to take some shots at Dwight Howard.

I'm not saying Howard sometimes fails to play with passion but at halftime when team doctors took his temperature the thermometer read "meat locker."

Ba-da-boom! Everyone knows that playing without passion means you really are not trying.

There are too many times when Howard looks like Superman but plays like Clark Kent. Boston's 112-94 victory was one of those times.

See, I don't put the blame completely on Howard, because I also blame Stan Van Gundy as well. Contrary to some popular beliefs, I do watch NBA basketball and it seems like Dwight Howard never actually wants and calls for the ball, especially during the waning minutes of the game. Of course, the team also doesn't try to get him the ball, especially at the end of the game. At the end of Game 5, I think, against Philadelphia he touched the ball twice in the last 5 minutes of the game. The first time he immediately kicked the ball back out and the second time he committed a turnover. Either the Magic don't make an effort to get him the ball or he doesn't want the ball...maybe a combination of both, I am not sure.

Can Dwight Howard be an SOB? That's the question for this series and Howard's future.

I feel stupid wondering this too because I don't always buy into a player not being mean enough to be successful and we know he takes basketball seriously, but I feel like he is not the type of player who wants the ball and wants to take over the game. Again, this is hyperbolic, but I just feel that way about Howard and I could be wrong.

But in the last few years the criticism has become more relevant and poignant particularly after Howard was suspended for one game in the series against Philadelphia for his karate chopping elbow and following this second game against Boston.

The karate chop is not the best example of how assertive Howard should be, but somewhere along those lines would be sufficient. I would just prefer if he did not seem to defer to others late in the game and demanded the ball when he wants it.

Maybe Howard will morph into Shaquille O'Neal (minus the love handles) and shock the world by grabbing this series by the throat and taking command.

Ok, Shaq did not always have love handles. Also, this is not completely Howard's fault. His teammates need to make an effort to get him involved, because he can't create his own shot like LeBron or Kobe can, and Van Gundy needs to make sure Howard wants the ball at all times. It also doesn't help that (I hate to say it) Howard's offensive arsenal is fairly limited. Of course, a lot of big men have this problem early in their career and he will probably develop more moves in the paint. I think it needs to be more of a team effort but Howard needs to step up his intensity just a little bit.

8. Wallace Matthews takes a break from writing about A-Rod to discuss a trade that never happened.

Right now, there is Johan Santana and there is everyone else.

You can take the "Right now" out of that sentence if you would like.

Every time you see him pitch, you wonder two things: How did the Twins not find a way to hold onto him, and how did the Yankees not find a way to steal him away from the Mets?

Most people would just watch Santana pitch and feel nice knowing they are seeing one of the best pitchers in baseball pitch. Not Wallace, he thinks of new and different ways to bash the Yankees for not trading for him. It's actually pretty worthless to think of every trade a team did not make and then regret it.

A year and a half ago, Cashman wouldn't trade Phil Hughes and Melky Cabrera to acquire Santana. Today, he couldn't get him if he packaged CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Alex Rodriguez, drove them from the Bronx to Flushing and offered to eat 90 percent of their salaries.

I guarantee you, no double dog guarantee you, if Brian Cashman offered that trade to the Mets right now, they would accept the trade within 5 seconds. Assuming they wanted to take on all that salary of course. Actually, I triple dog guarantee you this trade would happen and then Wallace would write an article about how bad the Yankees got taken.

Ok, the rest of what Wallace writes is a complete Santana puff piece and he gives him credit for pretty much everything, including saying the Mets don't score runs to just make it hard on Santana. It's actually pretty boring and a methodic way to write a column. Either way, rather than focusing on why the Twins did not keep Santana (which he put in the title and mentioned in the column and never actually mentioned again or gave a reason as to why they did not keep Santana) or why the Yankees did not trade for Santana, he should wonder why he thinks Joba Chamberlain should be in the bullpen when the Yankees need starting pitchers badly.

It's just a thought...

9. I don't always get DJ Gallo, so I don't know if he is kidding or being serious, but I am going to assume he is being serious.

He thinks Tom Brady's days as a great quarterback are numbered.

Brady will turn 32 years old during the preseason. This will be his 10th season in the NFL. He'll lead an aging offensive unit on a team that is considered the dynasty of the decade -- but hasn't won a Super Bowl in more than four years.

Four whole years? That is not a long time at all when you consider one of those years the Patriots went 18-0 and lost in the Super Bowl and Brady only played a quarter and a half last year. Let's take it easy on them.

New England's division rivals have improved dramatically since Brady last played an entire game 15 months ago.

Really? More than New England? The Jets haven't and I don't think the Bills that leaves the Dolphins. If Tom Brady is healthy, I would be surprised if the Patriots lose two games in their division. Maybe I am being too positive about their chances, but I believe this.

Four years ago, way back to a time after Brady won his last Super Bowl, he admitted to "60 Minutes" that football wasn't necessarily doing it for him. "Why do I have three Super Bowl rings and still think there is something greater out there for me? A lot of people would say, 'This is what it is. I reached my goal, my dream.' Me, I think, 'God, it's got to be more than this.' I mean, this isn't … what it's all cracked up to be."

Oh my God! That matches up with the timeline from when the Patriots last won a Super Bowl. I wonder if his heart was not in it when the team went 18-0 as well? He probably tried to get injured last year so he would not have to play football.

But in the past 14 months, those photos have really started to pile up. And this past weekend's tiny hat reached critical mass: Brady is no longer dabbling in a different lifestyle. He is living a different lifestyle.

He says all this because Tom Brady is wearing a tiny hat in public. Just because Brad Pitt dresses like whoever he is dating/married to at the time and runs around the globe adopting random children doesn't mean his movies are going to suck. Brady has had an entire year to do something that is not football, his heart is still in it. Would you rather he walk around in football pads all the time?

He's now Tom Brady, international fashion icon.

The Patriots helmet is just another one of his eccentric hats.

I hope DJ Gallo is kidding. I really, really hope he is.

10. I think it is a testament to how dominant Roger Federer was at one point that Greg Garber now thinks he is unraveling when he makes the semifinals of an event.

In tennis, I find that sometimes the best thing a player can do is take a small break away from the grind of the Tour and then come back even better. Federer may need to do that but he is by no means washed up and I think he will still win a few more Grand Slam events.


Martin said...

Bill Mueller did nothing to make someone who really followed his career think that he did steroids. He was always kind of a lumbering but not big guy, who as he got older, kinda became roly poly, in ar much as a professional ballplayer who plays 3rd can. His hitting numbers had one season were he had an unusualy high batting average and slugging. It was his career year. The home run total was unusually high, 19, when he was usually a 10 HR a year kinda guy. His OPS+ was 140, when he was around 110 usually. He had had years of 121 and 125 though, so in my opinion, the one career year wasn't so abnormal. It wasn't a Luis Gonzalez/Brady Anderson abomination, but more a "1st season in Boston, pitchers didn't know him yet, and in that lineup in 2003, who else would you rather pitch too?" He was always a professional hitter with a good eye.

Plashcke is an abomination. He used to be decent 10 years ago. Now he writes everything as if he is granting the reader insight to unknown wonders. Three sentence paragraphs at a time. And when the hell did steroids increase co-ordination? WTF is he talking about? They are a strength enhancer, basicly in very simple explination. I've never heard about them being a co-ordination enhancer. anybody know differently? Bueller? Bueller?

Chris W said...

I don't have anything to add to this discussion sadly, but I had to point out that my verification word is, and I shit you not: "drofeeva"

Bengoodfella said...

I guess that is where I am starting to have a problem is that anytime a guy like Mueller has a career season everyone is just going to assume he was on steroids. Of course Mueller benefitted from being in that Red Sox lineup but I really doubt he was on steroids. That's my concern though, that everyone is going to be a suspect. I really wish baseball would take this steroid issue by the horns and quit wishing it would go away, because it is not happening. It's staying and there is nothing that can be done about the speculation if the public doesn't have proof some of these guys were clean.

Plaschke's short sentences drive me insane. The problem I had with that article is that he took the one game the Dodgers had without Manny and tried to make it seem as if there are others guys in the lineup who can do exactly what Manny can do. That is not true. Steroids or not, Manny is a great hitter. Maybe I don't understand enough about steroids but I know you have to have some talent to hit a baseball and steroids does not positively affect coordination or anything of the like. You can come back from injuries faster and they increase your strength.

Thanks for the update on the word verification Chris. You actually never have to comment, just tell us what your WV is and that will suffice. If I wasn't so lazy, I would log out so I had to have word verification every time.

AJ said...

Well I will defend Gallo here, he never has a serious article...he just makes fun of ridiculous things. In my mind, he is the best writer on that site, and I don't think it's even close. I mean he is talking about a tiny hat...He is just making fun of the media out there for jumping all over these guys for what they wear and what they do.

It's probably just me (though I doubt it) that thinks Howard is over rated. I mean the guy just can't make anything outside a dunk it seems. I've seen him attempt a bunch of little baby hooks from about 3 feet and seems to brick them more often then he makes...this is a guy that can out jump everyone on the court, he should be able to just softly lay that ball in, but he doesn't. It's just weird watching him play. It's just weird watching that Orlando team play in general actually.

Let me ask this question...if your best player on your team isn't the 1st option or even the 2nd option with the game on the he really your best player?

I didn't read Bill's new article, nor will I. Sounds like another homer piece on Boston sports...I've read 100's of those from him already, no need to read another one to know what he is going to say.

Bengoodfella said...

Hey, if Gallo is not serious, then I can handle that. That's why I asked in the article if he was really serious about this because it really sounded crazy. Tom Brady is only 32, that's not old and I am not sure what a tiny hat has to do with anything.

I don't want to call Howard overrated, because I am too scared of him to do that. I would say he just needs to perfect his offensive game a little bit more. He's never really had to do that and you are right that when he has to finish anywhere away from the basket or with a move he struggles a little more.

I just find it bizarre how other players shoot step back three point shots or the ball goes to Courtney Lee when the Magic need a shot at the end of the game. That is weird.