Thursday, August 04, 2005

Never. Ever. Period.

Speak Raffy…please speak.

I’m just sitting here on the edge of my seat waiting to hear what this once ‘Sure-fire’ first ballot Hall of Famer is going to say. It better be good, because quite frankly I feel like he’s been lying to us and now I want some answers.

Remember when Rafael Palmeiro looked at the Congressional committee and pointed his finger that he had never taken steroids? I also remember that he kept saying for several weeks after Jose Canseco’s book came out that he was looking into legal action against his former Texas teammate. HaHa – somebody not only cracked the egg they dropped all of the yoke on his quaff.

The Orioles slugger tested positive for stanozolol, a person with knowledge of the sport's drug-testing program told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity. This irritates me too. The sport prohibits disclosure of test results without authorization and we all know that Raffy didn’t authorize this…stanozolol is strong stuff – it’s the same stuff that sprinter Ben Johnson was on when he beat Carl Lewis in the 1988 Olympics and then handed over his Gold Medal when he was busted. So if Major League Baseball officials can’t keep their mouths shut then they should hire an outside organization to do the testing.

The positive test came a little more than three months after Raffy sat in front of Congress but before he recorded his 3,000th hit in early July. This is very interesting to me because it means that he reached the 3,000 hit milestone after he knew that he had tested positive for steroids the source said. Only Henry Aaron, Willie Mays and Eddie Murray have also had careers of 3,000+ hits and 500+ homeruns…and now Palmeiro.

In my first blog column I wrote about steroids and how it was effecting baseball. I aslo outlined several players that Canseco said he knew used them. Here’s my little piece of that column talking about Palmeiro’s homerun surge after becoming a teammate of Jose:

Rafael Palmeiro had seasons of 8, 8, 14, 26 and 22 before the 1993 season when he hit 37…then in a strike shortened season he hit 23 and then in 95 & 96 he hit 39 in each. Followed in 97 with 38 and then these: 98:43 99:47 00:39 01:47 02:43 03:38 04:23
Pretty funny how when all the talk of roids came out his numbers fell back down…?

"I am ready and willing to answer each and every one of them." -Rafael Palmeiro referring to questions about his positive testing

People are now debating about whether or not he should be a Hall of Famer…I don’t know, I really don’t. I wouldn’t vote for him the first year, no way. I’m not even sure that I would vote for him in his first three chances. His career and statistics were boosted and padded by the juice. I read Canseco’s book and I believe him – why would he put his neck out there if it wasn’t true? And how come none of the guys he says in the book never sued him? Because they all did it. Juan Gone, Pudge, Raffy, Big Mac…all of them. Canseco even pointed the finger at Bret Boone. I believed it then and believe it so much more now that Boone in the last season and a half has been terrible.

I’m not asking all of these guys to start raising their hands or sit in a circle and say, “Hi, I’m Jason Giambi and I’ve used steroids.” What good is it going to do now? If you get busted part of your punishment should be to speak to teens and minor leaguers about the dangers of steroids and how it has negatively impacted their careers with a black cloud.

I’m pleading with these guys to be clean now – stay off of them and play the game like Frank Robinson, Mike Schmidt, Tom Seaver and all of the greats that ran across the white stripes.

Monday, August 01, 2005

To My Last Bite

I could hear the chants of “Kooo-bee…Kooo-bee…Kooo-bee!” I was in the kitchen and about to sit down in front of my television for some good sports on my favorite channel, ESPN. It wasn’t Kobe Bryant or even Cobi Jones…it was Takeru Kobayashi who the fans chanted for. Kobayashi, Sonya Thomas, Eric Booker, Rich Lefevre, Cookie Jarvis, Levi Oliver and the rest of the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE) took to ESPN for the Alka-Seltzer US Open of Competitive Eating.

ESPN on a Saturday night? Watching these people shove food down their own throats was amazing and also disgusting. Each round they went one-on-one with another competitor devouring different kinds of foods. Cheese fries, salad, pasta, potato skins and big party platters.

My biggest problem with what they do is that ESPN and people are calling this a sport. How and why? I understand what they’re doing is difficult – but it’s not a sport. Maybe they should stick to calling it a ‘competition’ or even an ‘eating challenge’. Kobayashi won in the finals to defeat the “Black Widow” Sonya Thomas easily after she moved into the finals. These people travel all over the country and world to face off in different eating challenges…rice balls, baked beans, cabbage, hot dogs, hamburgers, Marconi and cheese…and on and on.

I didn’t have any problems when ESPN started having the X Games – those people do some incredible things. The Great Outdoor Games too – good stuff. But the IFOCE? C’mon – it’s a joke. I’d rather watch a repeat of Kenny Rogers shoving a cameraman or Roberto Alomar spitting in an umpires face.

Bottom line, the IFOCE is not a sport and ESPN (The Worldwide Leader in Sports) shouldn’t broadcast it and call it such.