Tuesday, July 16, 2013

3 comments Yes, What WOULD Happen if an Exhibition Game Were Ruined by Steroids??

Bob Nightengale is very concerned, you guys. What would happen if steroid users played in the All-Star Game and made the difference in the outcome of the game, thereby making a difference in the outcome of which team gets homefield advantage in the World Series, thereby deciding who wins the World Series, thereby tainting baseball forever until we are all forced to stop watching sports entirely because we no longer believe in the magic of the game anymore? Do you want Evereth Cabrera to destroy sports as we know it? I thought not. Let's read about Bob ringing the alarm bell for all of humanity.

Just the thought turns your stomach, doesn't it?

Another holier-than-thou column about PED's? Yes, it does.

By the way, this column is entitled "Tainted players* dull All-Star Game." And yes, there is an asterisk beside "players" because there will be an asterisk next to the 2013 All-Star Game due to all the cheaters who participated in the game. That's Bob Nightengale for you. 

Well, brace yourselves: We could have a tainted player win the All-Star Game MVP Award again.

And here I just got done crying about Melky Cabrera winning the All-Star Game MVP award last year. I would even still be upset about the player who won it the year before that, if I could remember his name without looking it up.

It happened last year when San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera took home the trophy and a little more than a month later was suspended for 50 games for violating Major League Baseball's drug policy.

And because Cabrera helped the Giants secure homefield advantage in the World Series by helping the National League win the All-Star Game. Because homefield advantage was the deciding factor in the World Series where the Giants swept the Tigers. The Tigers would have had a chance to win the series if they only had gotten to start the series off at home rather than start the series off in San Francisco.

And now the possibility of a repeat exists.

(Shudders violently) Somehow MLB has to make sure the All-Star Game is an exhibition and doesn't count in the regular season standings at all.

They are Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers, Jhonny Peralta of the Detroit Tigers, Everth Cabrera of the San Diego Padres and Bartolo Colon of the Oakland Athletics, and they are at risk of being suspended by MLB at the conclusion of its investigation.

The odds of Bartolo Colon being voted MVP of the All-Star Game are not high. In fact, only six pitchers throughout All-Star Game history have been voted MVP and only Pedro Martinez has won the award as a pitcher since 1986. So let's not worry about Colon winning the All-Star Game MVP award.

I realize I'm not in enough of a panic here, but if any of Peralta, Cabrera, or Cruz do have an impact on the game then it doesn't really bother me. These guys are at risk of being suspended, but until they are suspended they should be free to participate in the All-Star Game. The All-Star Game, no matter how much MLB wants the game to "matter" is an exhibition game. It doesn't count in the regular season standings or statistics for these players. It determines homefield advantage in the World Series, but that's a contrived result of the game and is not necessary. I guess I don't take the All-Star Game seriously enough to get worried about the All-Star Game MVP being accused of using PED's.

Now, it would be ideal if MLB could announce its findings before next Tuesday's All-Star Game at New York's Citi Field, preventing any dirty player from defacing the showcase, but that's not going to happen. MLB investigators say they aren't quite done. They need more time. They aren't about to rush the process and risk a mistake just to avoid a potential embarrassment.

And God forbid MLB take the time to investigate Biogenesis and the claims that MLB players used PED's. In a situation like this, making sure an exhibition baseball game isn't ruined takes precedence over ruining a player's reputation by rushing through investigative work. Like I always say, it doesn't matter who gets convicted of a crime, just as long as someone gets convicted and quickly. It's just a player (or players) reputation at stake. Reputation is much less important than an exhibition All-Star game.

Yes, it's just that circumstances have left MLB exposed, so we are left to hope that the same guy who wins this year's All-Star Game MVP isn't back in the headlines in a couple of weeks with the rest of his Biogenesis buddies.

It would be the end of baseball as we know it. Which "as we know" baseball is as a sport filled with players who are mostly clean of steroids, but also as a sport that seems to be able to (eventually) root out the cheaters. A PED-using player being named MVP of an exhibition game is a small price to pay for fully investigating Biogenesis and determining which players are and are not truly linked to Biogenesis.

He tested positive for testosterone just before the All-Star Game. Yet since he planned to appeal, he was permitted to play in the game.

Fucking due process. They should have just hung Cabrera or deported him. Amirightorwhat? 

If Cabrera wasn't cheating last season, the Giants might not have made the playoffs, let alone won the World Series.

This is pure speculation. The Giants won the World Series without Cabrera, so I find it difficult to say the Giants didn't deserve to win the World Series with or without Cabrera on the active roster. It seems to me the Giants proved they were the best team in baseball last year by winning the World Series without Cabrera. Maybe Bob Nightengale believes Cabrera gave the Giants team super-special PED assistance telepathically and that's how they won the World Series.

And if Cabrera wasn't cheating, maybe he no longer is even in the major leagues, let alone playing on a two-year, $16 million deal signed with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Jeff Francouer is still hanging around the fringes of the majors. A switch-hitter like Melky Cabrera who is in his late-20's with decent speed and is able to get on-base at a .330-.340 clip is going to stay in the majors. Again, Bob Nightengale is purely speculating and not even speculating in an intelligent fashion.

It sure makes you feel warm and fuzzy knowing that even if you get caught cheating, you still can get rewarded. Look no further than Texas to realize the insanity of this drug culture.

The only way a player could not get rewarded for being caught cheating is if the first offense resulted in a lifetime ban from the game. If that's what Bob Nightengale is suggesting without actually suggesting it, then he needs to just actually suggest this rather than be shocked that talented baseball players get a second chance after being caught using PED's.

The Rangers just brought back Manny Ramirez from the baseball graveyard, signing him to a minor league contract at age 41. The irony is that he's their insurance policy in the event Cruz is suspended,

Nothing like a cheat to replace a potential cheat.

Thankfully only regular season and World Series games were affected by Nelson Cruz and Manny Ramirez's PED usage. If the All-Star Game had been affected in any way by their PED usage then that would be more than Bob Nightengale could handle.

The last time we saw Ramirez in the major leagues, he was playing for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011 before being suspended for the second time in four years for violating MLB's drug policy.

Now Ramirez is eligible to win the Comeback Player of the Year Award.

"That's a tragedy," says Hooton, whose 17-year-old son, Taylor, committed suicide 10 years ago July 15 after using anabolic steroids.

Obviously it is sad that Taylor Hooton committed suicide after using anabolic steroids. I won't ever say it isn't a tragedy. I want to get that out of the way now. I'm sympathetic towards that. But...

No, your son committing suicide is a tragedy. Manny Ramirez being eligible to win the Comeback Player of the Year award is not a tragedy. I'm amazed the father of a child who committed suicide would classify Manny Ramirez being eligible for a postseason award as "a tragedy."

"Come on, guys? How many strikes before you're out? What does it take?

Perhaps if you spent less time asking rhetorical questions and referring to non-tragedies as tragedies you would know it takes three strikes before a player is out and Manny Ramirez is on two strikes right now. So it would take another positive drug test before Manny would be out.

MLB can't stop Ramirez from seeking employment or a team desperate enough to give him another chance.

Even Alex Rodriguez, who has enough problems of his own, was incredulous last week when informed Ramirez had signed with the Rangers.

Alex Rodriguez is a cheater who deserves a lifetime ban from baseball in the opinion of Bob Nightengale...well, until Rodriguez says something that Nightengale agrees with and then at that point we should all listen to A-Rod's opinion that now has merit.

"I'm fearing the worst and hoping for the best," Hooton says. "A lot of people have drawn their own conclusions, but MLB hasn't completed the investigation. I'm very fearful, and I just hope the worst doesn't happen with Alex.

"We've done so much work with him over the years, and I'm just terrified about the possibility that these things turn out to be true."

Wait, what? Hooton, who clearly doesn't pay very much attention to what is going on around baseball involving steroids, does realize A-Rod has already been busted once before for using PED's, right? When Hooton says (which he did in this very article),

"We continue to send crazy messages to kids that these things are OK. That's the horror of the whole thing."

he is talking about Alex Rodriguez sending a message that it is okay to use PED's. Does Hooton realize this? I'm confused because he is hoping "the worst" doesn't happen with Rodriguez, but Rodriguez's use of PED's has already turned out to be true. What the fuck is Hooton talking about? A-Rod is the guy sending the bad message to kids in the opinion of Hooton, but Hooton still acts like A-Rod's use of PED's is still up in the air. We know. We know A-Rod used PED's and he has admitted it. The worst has already happened and if A-Rod is linked to PED's again then he will be just as bad as Manny Ramirez...the same guy Hooton said it was "a tragedy" that he could win the Comeback Player of the Year award.

Maybe I'm crazy, but Hooton doesn't seem to know who has used PED's in the majors and what the MLB drug policy is, but he sure has strong feelings about the use of PED's.

Well, the good news is that Rodriguez won't be in the All-Star Game, so there's no fear of him walking away with the MVP trophy.

That's fantastic news. Rodriguez's PED use won't affect "the kids" as long as he doesn't win the All-Star Game MVP award.

"When you have a chance to win the rings, make the All-Star Games and make the money," Hooton says, "it's just one more signal sent to these kids that their favorite athletes and idols use drugs.

These athletes smoke pot too AND cheat on their girlfriends/wives. I know, we need to get Congress involved on this issue too. I feel bad for Mr. Hooton that he lost his son, but I lose a little sympathy when a person's drug use is blamed entirely on his role models. That seems to be what it happening here.

"We have 1.5 million kids using steroids today, and our federal government is doing nothing about it. You wonder what it's going to take to bring all of this to an end."

Nothing. Nothing will ever bring PED usage by athletes to an end. It's a reality of sports. Also, the federal government is pretty busy right now so I would rather they focus on the kids who don't have a home, hot food to eat, or are led into a life of violence that leads to prison. Honestly, kids taking steroids feels like the typical "white person problem" that should be a priority, but not a top priority like Mr. Hooton wants it to be. There are much bigger problems that affect a much larger population of children the federal government needs to spend their (our) time and money on.

Maybe another dirty MVP will help. 

Dirty All-Star Game MVP. Melky Cabrera was the MVP of an exhibition game. Fortunately, I would bet few people even remember who won the All-Star Game MVP award from year-to-year. This is ignored by Bob Nightengale, much like any other factors surrounding Taylor Hooton's suicide are ignored to further the much simpler "PED's are bad" narrative.


Bengoodfella said...

And of course once I poo-poo the idea of a pitcher winning the ASG MVP award, Mariano Rivera wins MVP.

jacktotherack said...

There isn't a more tired story in sports than the MLB PED scandal, yet all the sanctimonious douchebags in the BBWAA continue to hump this story to death with their incessant fear-mongering (THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!) and moral indignation. I just don't care anymore. I don't care what they're taking, I don't care about the records they may break, and I sure as shit don't care to read the next asshole writer who decides to rehash the same column for the 12,346th time.

These guys have to stop at some point, don't they?

Bengoodfella said...

Jack, I don't know if they will stop. It's not that I don't care either, it is just I am tired of hearing it. Baseball has a drug policy and as a fan I have to trust the policy to work.

I try to look and determine if Player X is cheating based on his career numbers and then I don't worry about it. I consider Maris to be the record holder of the HR record, but if someone thinks it is Bonds then it doesn't bother me and I really don't think about it too much.

The idea an exhibition game could be ruined by the MVP being tied later to steroids is stupid.