Baseball History Notes for June 10, 2013

Braun

The big news of the week in baseball was an ESPN Outside the Lines report that Major League Baseball is seeking to suspend 20 or more current players for their involvement with the now defunct Biogenesis of America clinic. Tony Bosch, the company’s founder, agreed to provide MLB with documents to help their cases. Players including Ryan Braun, Alex Rodriguez and Melky Cabrera are all reported to be those in the crosshairs, with more details of the whole mess still to come.

The report indicated that suspensions could be as long as 100 games if MLB gets its way. However, want and reality could be two completely different things. The MLB Player’s Union immediately issued a statement declaring their intent to vigorously defend the players in the investigation, and will use their considerable power to minimize any punitive damage. It’s a situation that is highly unlikely to be determined quickly, but will probably play out in courtrooms and boardrooms for an indeterminable amount of time.

Regardless of the length of possible suspensions, the damage has already been done to the reputations of the players involved in the scandal. No matter how much you believe or don’t believe steroids and PEDs are cheating, the amount of lying and general scumbaggery (I made this word up specifically for this situation) on the part of these players has completely impugned their character. No matter how far they can hit a ball or fast they can throw a pitch, their greatest attribute as players and human beings has been irrevocably shattered. Continue reading

Who Exactly Has The Last Laugh?

Bonds

I’ll make this one short and sweet:  Steroid and PED users are disgraced.  It appears that most, if not all, of the users will never be inducted into the Hall of Fame.  So, how much was it worth to those players?  Was it worth throwing your reputations away?  What is your integrity worth?  Well now, let’s see: Continue reading

Baseball Notes for January 21, 2013

HartGamel

With just three weeks until pitchers and catchers start reporting to spring training locations, the baseball offseason is winding down, but it’s not ending with a whimper. This has been one of the more eventful offseasons in recent memory, with constant activity, surprises, and even some quality free agents like Kyle Lohse and Michael Bourn still available at this late date.

If the 2013 season can be half as eventful as this winter has been, fans should be in for quite a treat.

Unfortunately, this past week ended with some truly sad news about two baseball legends; considerably darkening this installment of notes. Continue reading

This May Be Jack Morris’ Year to Get Into the Hall of Fame

JMorris

On July 26, 1977, Jack Morris took the hill for the very first time at Comiskey Park against the Chicago White Sox. The 22-year-old Morris pitched four innings of relief and gave up two hits and two earned runs while striking out three in his major league debut.

Little did the people of the windy city know, that day, they were witnessing the birth of a career that would compile the most wins by a pitcher in the 1980’s, become one of the best big game pitchers in baseball history, win four World Series titles, and lead the Tigers’ staff for 14 years. Continue reading

My Week Using Steroids and Testosterone Gel

PED

I have always been under the belief that steroids and testosterone, while helping a player return earlier from injury, did little to aid in hitting a ball further and more frequently.  I used to believe that if you hit a ball squarely on the barrel of a bat, that the ball would travel over the fence regardless of whether or not steroids were being used.  After all, I’ve played baseball for much of my life.  I had never used steroids or testosterone gels, and I would hit a ball 350 feet with consistency (in my younger days).

As I enter my fifties, I was recently diagnosed with herniated discs and sciatica.  It has been a painful experience.  And while I no longer play baseball, I have taken up golf over the past few years.  Golfing has been difficult with herniated discs.  When I first went to the doctor, and tests were done, it was discovered that aside from my disc issues, I also had low testosterone levels.  That would explain feeling tired and sluggish.  The doctor prescribed steroids for one week to ease the back pain, and a well-known testosterone gel to help with my low testosterone levels.  That same week I played golf because my back was feeling better as a result of the steroids and gel.  What happened that week was eye-opening. Continue reading

Baseball Notes for December 3, 2012

Marvin Miller

So much went on in baseball this past week that this could easily be a 10,000 word article. I will spare you that and try to limit myself to touching base on only the stories I found to be the most urgent and interesting in the week that was. This will probably be just a precursor to even more action this week, as the Winter Meetings are now underway down in Tennessee. Buckle your seatbelts, kids.

***Former MLB union head and labor pioneer Marvin Miller died last Tuesday at the age of 95. Miller helped found the Players Association in 1966 and guided them through legal battles and obstacles, which ultimately led to free agency and exploding player salaries. His 16-year tenure as head of the union was easily the most productive of any of his colleagues in baseball or other sports. Continue reading

Baseball Notes for November 12, 2012

*** To say I loved the Red Sox signing catcher David Ross to a two year, $6.2 million free agent would be an understatement. He brings the kind of leadership, experience and defensive presence the Sox have lacked behind the plate for years. Although he won’t be a full-time starter he could play a significant role in changing the culture of managing the pitching staff and calling games.

*** The free-spending ways of the Los Angeles Dodgers seems to know no bounds. It was confirmed last week that they successfully bid $25.7 million for the chance to negotiate a contract with Korean left-handed pitcher Ryu Hyun-Jin. Continue reading