Saturday, August 15, 2009

Friday baseball post

I'm with Steven Rubio on this week's fun topic, which is that Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo bragged to USA Today about all the various supplements he takes.

The whole PED issue, in baseball at least (I don't really know enough to speak about any other sport) is a mess and a joke. I don't know that it's not "wrong" of players such as Rafael Palmiero to have used steroids, but I have no idea why Palmiero, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, and Barry Bonds are considered outcasts and cheaters for (presumably) using steroids, while Hank Aaron, Willy Mays, and every other player (with the likely exception of Dale Murphy) over the last fifty years almost certainly drank the very special coffee available in all clubhouses until a couple of years ago. Nor do I understand why Bonds and Clemens are scorned for (presumably) taking a pill or using a cream that allowed them to return to the workout room sooner and work even harder, while Greg Maddux walked into an office and walked out with surgically enhanced vision. I'm serious; I've asked a lot of people to make an argument, and what they say is more loopy than a Newt Gingrich lecture.

So, good for Arroyo. I'm a baseball fan; I want to see great baseball players doing great things on the diamond. I think it's terrible that I was deprived of the last year or two of the Barry Bonds's career, and perhaps another year of Roger Clemens -- the greatest hitter and greatest pitcher in my lifetime -- because a bunch of reporters and self-appointed guardians of some insipid idea of purity ran them out of the game. It's disgusting that the great Mark McGwire, one of the most fun players to watch in the batter's box ever (and a top-five all time first baseman) isn't in the Hall of Fame yet.

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