Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Whole Lotta Cheating Going On

I am certainly in no position to judge if Mark McGwire was sincere in his acknowledgment that he used performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) because in times like these I give the person the benefit of the doubt.

McGwire, while talking to Bob Costas (on the Major League Baseball network), didn't think the PEDs were why he achieved the home run totals he collected. He wasn't thinking that because he used the PEDs to allow his body to heal faster which made it possible for him to return to the lineup and continue to add to his totals that there was any relationship whatsoever. That it gave him a chance to get some at-bats he otherwise would not have gotten and when you hit a home run in (let's say) every 7 or8 at-bats your totals do have a tendency to increase at a most impressive rate. And as we all witnessed, they most certainly did.

McGwire thought his hard work and physical gifts made it so he didn't need the assistance PEDs would provide. He wasn't thinking that by playing more he would get a chance at more at-bats therefore increasing his offensive contribution. McGwire felt like he had the hand-eye coordination and ability to hit a baseball before he took the steroids and that his taking PEDs was only to heal his injury. In his mind he wasn't cheating, he was doing what was necessary to build his body back up so he could play some more AND that was the approach he was sticking to.

I truly believe he felt like this was acceptable since major league baseball did not monitor what players were using to help their healing process. In fact, within MLB, it wasn't illegal to use PEDs. And, to a degree, when the powers that be turned their heads away from the inevitable "cheating" it created the epidemic that was baseball for that period (also known as the Steroid Era).

Jose "Canary" Canseco will float around and offer his opinions on the subject every time one of the big boys of the game has something to say. Just as when or if Barry Bonds has his say, Jose "Canary" will be right there with his comments because of his book he feels it's his obligation.

And in McGwire's apology, did you get the feeling his former manager (at both Oakland and St. Louis) Tony LaRussa sort of came up with something the public would have to accept because Tony wasn't going to admit he had no clue about what was going on. Tony was going to come off like the best goombah this side of the military serviceman who took a bullet for his foxhole buddy. (According to an article in the NY Times, McGwire and his associates put a lot of thought into how they were going to handle this since Mark decided he wanted to be a batting instructor for LaRussa's Cardinals this upcoming 2010 season.)

You know what Mark McGwire's sniffle fest said to me. It said that rules are meant to be broken.

Lies and alibies. It's kind of funny how some people come off so disingenuous and yet they think it's best for everyone. They spent so much time rehearsing what it was they thought the listening public wanted to hear that when it was all said and done you, the listener, feels cheated.

A whole lot of cheating going on. Both on the field and when it comes time to admitting you weren't playing by the rules, even if those rules weren't etched in stone. Only women can get away with playing by whatever rules they so desire and that's because enough men need the poontang that they don't care about those things that might get in the way of them getting it (poontang).

And so, once again, rules are something not everyone needs to follow. This is and always will be a world of Haves and Have Nots. It's a matter of choice not obligation. If you can get got without following a rule then go get it. But if you are under observation and do not have the leeway to stray mindlessly then you had better follow the rule for if you do not it will do you in.

Kevin Marquez

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Win is NOT Dead

In the November 30, 2009 issue of Sports Illustrated was an article entitled Geek Chorus that had a picture of the long-haired Tim Lincecum inside of a time machine type contraption.

In the article the writer (Joe Posnanski) says, and I quote: Lincecum proves that other numbers better assess a pitcher's value and so the win is dead.

But in actuality it takes a whole team to get a "win." The pitcher does his job simply by keeping his team in the game. And when his team is scoring 1 or 2 runs (every time a particular pitcher is on the mound, i.e., Matt Cain as well as the aforementioned Lincecum) it makes the pitcher's efforts that much more impressive.

In cases when you lose 2-1 or 1-0, too much emphasis is put on the loss. Because you cannot win unless your team scores runs AND if you are a starter you must complete at least 5 innings.

Wins will always be important because that is what it takes to get your team into the post-season and if you win -at the right time- it captures the World Series title.

How about the statistic of how the team fares even if the starter wasn't the one who was credited with the win?

Or the blown save?

Putting things in the proper perspective you can see that the win is NOT dead but it can be a little overrated.

Kevin J. Marquez