Steroids


How Should We Judge A-Rod’s Record?

As Alex Rodriguez became the youngest baseball player to reach home run number 600 in the history of the game, it is important to note the different transformations the game has gone (for good or for worse). Throughout all that however, medical advancements have been made, players have started training much more intensively and took better care of their bodies along with the addition of performance enhancement.

Should baseball strike out all pitching records if the pitcher involved had gotten Tommy John’s surgery? Certainly that wasn’t available back in the early- and mid-1900’s so that’s got to be a competitive advantage. With all the video accessories available to help teams scout and prepare for their opponent was never available in the early days of baseball, why isn’t that a competitive advantage that wasn’t available to other players/teams of the early years?

To me the record books are very clear, Hank Aaron held the all-time home run record for 30+ years but records are only kept because someone someday will come along and break it. Barry Bonds did that and he is without a doubt, the all time leader. A-Rod hitting his 600th today became the youngest all time to reach that mark and even though Babe Ruth did it in far less at bats (something around 2,000 less ABs) it does not mean he is the fastest, just the one with least at bats. It doesn’t entitle him to some record because he simply just did not hit enough home runs and that is all that needs to count for an all-time king.

One day A-Rod will go on to beat Bonds’ record and will eventually become the all-time leader but there is no legitimate reason to deny him the record. He tested positive in an era where testing wasn’t mandatory and there was no punishment for using it when he did. You can claim that he may have used it afterward (and he might have) but he never tested positive again so that’s what you go on. For all the allegations Bonds faced, he never tested positive on a test and he certainly never got any benefit of the doubt from the media who loved to hate him.

There is no reason for an asterisk because this is the era we are in and there is no way to distinguish who did and didn’t take enhancements. If you want to get completely ridiculous, Baseball can decide to remove every single statistic of everyone who played in this era but then where do you decide when the era started? What about players who were already playing before the ‘era’ started? When does the ‘era’ end and will we even know it ended? There is no realistic way of determining who to remove and who to keep and who’s to say there weren’t ‘cheaters’ well before this era?

You can start debating who achieved what record in how many games and that argument will never end but as the game evolves, the only thing that remains the same is how the game is played – 9 innings, 2 teams, 1 winner. So in whatever manner the record is achieved, using whatever form of medicine or technology, the record should stand because there is no uniform way to judge one era against another. The ones who come afterward will always have the advantage due to scientific and natural advancements made in everyday life and that is something all baseball purists or traditionalists will one day have to accept that.


Diamond Destruction: Offical Kick Off

This project of writing my own is something that I have kicked around for quite some time but I think this summer and fall will be when I can devote a strong amount of time into completing this.

The book is called “Diamond Destruction: How Greed, Media And Steroids Ruined Our Game” which discusses how I fell in love with the game of baseball that I didn’t know as a younger child and have gradually seen both the fans over sensationalize athletic “heroes” and expect far too much from people who are playing a game for a living while there are athletes who can never really appreciate their fans. I have been writing this with the objective of trying to figure out if high salaries really aren’t the problem, how stories are often sensationalized in a 24-hour news era and what impact did the use of steroids really have on the younger baseball crowd that has grown up in this era. I think it is important to judge the mindset of a growing fan base of our national pastime and something that we should never forget or take for granted.

I pitched my project proposal to KickStarter and after it was accepted, I set up the page with a target goal and rewards for each level of contribution. If you have an interesting idea but are lacking some support, make sure to check out that site and it can certainly be very rewarding.

I didn’t know the game until I was nearly 10 years old when I moved from Pakistan to Canada and now the United States for the past decade. Graduating from College with a degree in Mathematics in about a week, I would love some financial help in publishing a book on baseball that I have been working on in my spare time. All proceeds will be used strictly for book-related purposes including designing a cover. If you can’t give right now, please let me know if you can contribute with some information that you think might be helpful and as always, feel free to spread the word around.

The book is called “Diamond Destruction: How Greed, Media And Steroids Ruined Our Game” which discusses how I fell in love with the game of baseball that I didn’t know as a younger child and have gradually seen both the fans over sensationalize athletic “heroes” and expect far too much from people who are playing a game for a living while there are athletes who can never really appreciate their fans. I have been writing this with the objective of trying to figure out if high salaries really aren’t the problem, how stories are often sensationalized in a 24-hour news era and what impact did the use of steroids really have on the younger baseball crowd that has grown up in this era. I think it is important to judge the mindset of a growing fan base of our national pastime and something that we should never forget or take for granted.

I didn’t know the game until I was nearly 10 years old when I moved from Pakistan to Canada and now the United States for the past decade. Having just graduated from College with a degree in Mathematics, I would love some financial help in publishing a book on baseball that I have been working on in my spare time. All proceeds will be used strictly for book-related purposes including designing a cover.


Is A-Rod Still Hall of Fame Worthy? 2

After Alex Rodriguez admitted to taking banned performance enhancing substances for at least three years in his very successful career, the question on everyone’s mind seems to be whether A-Rod should be admitted into baseball’s Hall of Fame?

I think it’s probably safe to assume the decision to induct “tainted” players will be well decided before Alex retires from the game. I don’t think he is going to be the measuring stick for Cooperstown because he still has another 10-15 years left before he would even be eligible if he plays out his current contract. That could probably work out in his favor because if he finishes the rest of his career “clean” it could certainly go a long way to cleaning up the mess he tried to hide for far too long.

I think that’s an advantage that he has on the likes of Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa that he still has a significant chunk of his career ahead of him and allow people to forget or possibly move on. I think it’s quite naive to assume people will easily move on but I think they are more likely to forgive if the athlete seems sincere and are willing to change their ways.

Another aspect to the hall of fame inductions is what happens if a player who slips through without ever being suspected of doping is outed afterwards as a steroids user? Surely you can’t revoke his induction but once you allow one player who has supposedly shamed the game, you have to allow them all.

It is a complicated issue that is not going away anytime soon because the scientists will always be several steps ahead of any test that the league and union agrees to but that is no way to go about running a league. Someone needs to come up with a sensible solution and someone needs to do it rather quickly.

With his press conference with the media scheduled for this week, one has to wonder how the greater player to play the game will be perceived? Andy Pettitte got off relatively easy after he came out and “honestly” answered everything the media threw at him. People were a little less but still forgiving nonetheless on Jason Giambi who apologized but wouldn’t say what he was apologizing for.

I think the start of Alex’s apology in an interview with ESPN was a great start but the moment he started to attack the reporter who broke the story is when he started to sound bitter and hurt any chance he had of looking sincere in his apology. He gets one and only one mulligan with this massive press conference the Yankees’ are holding for him at the start of spring training. If he completely tanks this one, the hole he digs will only get deeper from here, while on the other hand if he nails the grilling session he can make himself look a little bit more “respectable”.  

(I guess this wasn’t bad for a full length post that was written through mobile means).


A-Rod? A-Roid? A-Fraud? 1

Got a SI Breaking News text during my class (BioEthics of all classes) and certainly made the three hour class go my much better. (Official Sports Illustrated Story here)

Alex Rodriguez has usually stayed away from criticizing Barry Bonds or speaking out against it but his fans and Yankee fans have certainly made it clear who would eventually hold the “Clean” Home Run Record one day. So much for that. 

As if he wasn’t hated enough in New York, this certainly adds another flavor into the mix. I was listening to WFAN on my way back from Hoboken and a caller called in to say that the worst decision A-Rod made for his career was to come to New York. He has struggled to find his own identity since and one thing after another has really bogged him down from becoming the greatest player of all time – whether it was his marriage or relationship with the fans or steroids. I am certain Boston is quite glad this morning they lost the A-Rod battle to the Yankees on this one.

The Curse of the Yankees continues – alive and kicking since 2000.

In a candid interview with Katie Couric, New York Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez addresses the recent controversy involving the use of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs in MLB baseball.


Sports and Politics: Do They Mix?

We have seen Congress intervene on Major League Baseball’s steroid policy and now Barack Obama is talking about using his influence to finally get rid of the hogwash that is the BCS system. The two ideas could not have been met with receptions from different ends on the spectrum.

The intervention by Congress was met by questions of skepticism and outrage that shouldn’t Congress be doing other things like improve the economy and figure out a way to bring our troops back home. Yet when Barack Obama suggested on Monday Night Football right before the election and on 60 Minutes last night that there should be a playoff in College Football, all hell broke loose and everybody thought it was a great idea.

So why the double standard? Don’t get me wrong, I have been a fan of Obama for President since 2004 when he first gave the speech at John Kerry’s convention but just notice the different that a likability factor or personality factor carries with a person or a body of people. Congress generally has low approval ratings and them trying to mess with America’s pasttime was not going to improve any matters. On the other hand, a well liked President-elect recently getting support of nearly 55% of the American electorate weights on a topic (sports) that politicans usually tend to stay away and he has rattled some sticks.

I certainly hope that college puts BS bowl system away and institutes some sort of playoff format to truly decide a national champion. Maybe this is the President who can cause change all across the board from health care to a vast majority of Americans to improved tax situations for the middle class and even a playoff system for the college football fan.

Conventional wisdmon is out the door with Obama in the White House, and your priorities don’t have to be listed in 1-2-3… they can be 1-1-1. Why not be able to tackle more than one issue at a time and be more efficient?

You’re witnessing history folks, and I have a feeling the next 4 to 8 years are going to be stuff that gets highlighted in history books for all to read when we’re gone.