Friday, December 03, 2004

Steroids and hemorrhoids

The Balco grand jury leak , this week, is the beginning of the end for America's past time.

Baseball, by far, is my favorite sport to watch and follow. I grew up in the NYC area, hence my undying allegiance to the New York Yankees. I have watched the Yankees through thick and thin, for 26 years. At five years old, I witnessed the Bucky Dent home run at Fenway. I lived through the 1980's teams that were, well horrible. I got the 90's run with Joe Torre at the helm. Diehard is an understatement for my allegiance. Just check out the inside of my right forearm next time you see me. It is tattooed with the interlocking NY and blue pinstripes.

This week, the Balco grand jury hearings were broke publicly by the San Francisco Chronicle. The first bombshell, Jason Giambi. The New York Yankee slugger, or lack of slugging Yankees first baseman, had his testimony brought public. In the testimony, Giambi admitted to using steroids that he received from Barry Bond's personal trainer. Steroids, Bond's trainer got from a company called Balco. He went into detail about what steroids he used and how he used them. Up until now, Giambi has denied the use of steroids adimitly. Last season, he was noticeably underweight and his body frame was much smaller. Giambi said, "I was only 4 pounds lighter going into camp. I just concentrated on my diet and got leaner so I could play first base every day." Giambi came down with a rare, and might I add, weird parasite this past season. He also was diagnosed with a tumor on his pituitary gland that he was mum about all season. Can you link steroids and his health problems? I would ask a medical professional, but if I had to have an educated guess, I would say yes. The health ridden, smaller, Giambi only appeared in 80 games for the Yankees this past season, batting a mere .208. This for a guy who usually hits 40 to 50 homers a season and bats around .300.

Barry Bonds has come out and said he didn't know the "clear" and the "cream", as they are being referred to, were steroids. The "clear" is a liquid, put under the tongue, and has been identified as the designer steroid THG. Balco VP, James Valente has been quoted as saying, "Bonds didn't like how the clear made him feel." The "cream" is a testosterone based balm applied to the body. Both the "clear" and the "cream" are undetectable in drug test's performed by Major League Baseball.

The New York Yankees are now discussing the termination of Jason Giambi's contract.

Baseball fans have endured a lot. Pete Rose was banned from baseball, and the strike year. Baseball had finally recovered fully from the strike, and fans and TV ratings were on the upward again. Now, steroids will unravel all that work. As a fan, it makes you feel cheated. Did McGwire really hit all those home runs naturally? Did Bonds break McGwire's home run record with sheer talent? Who else is marring the game with illegal steroids? Can the owners get past the union agreement on drug testing to punish these players. One analyst said, "Under the current agreement, Giambi could have gone to the center of Yankee stadium and shot up steroids in front of a sellout crowd, and faced no repercussions." Giambi was signed to a 120 million dollar contract, of which 82 million remains. Should the Yankees have to pay him? What if Giambi, off steroids, is a .208 hitter like last season?

Bud Selig, MLB's Commissioner, has his hands full. I am guessing this will be a wait and see game on the issue of steroids. I can only hope that MLB weeds out the offenders and we can get back to playing baseball. I tend to believe that the Players Union will have some heavy input on the issue, defending the players involved.

I am the kind of fan who watch's all 162 games the Yankees play. I endure the games naturally, and all I get out of it, is the enjoyment of my beloved Yankees winning a game. They do steroids, we get hemorrhoids. They make millions and we fans pay that millions. We want our moneys worth. Get this game back to an even playing field. Why do millionaire baseball players feel the need to cheat? Padding your stats, and achieving stardom should be done through hard work and natural talent. When you cheat, by taking performance enhancing steroids, the only people getting cheated are the fans who pay your salary. You should be ashamed of yourselves. If I was in your shoes, for the integrity of the game, I would retire. Save the league the embarrassment of this steroid scandal and restore the past time of this country to it's natural state. It is not like you haven't made enough money for your lifetime already. So, step down and save Bud Selig and MLB the trouble of having to win back the fans again. From the fans point of view, this is getting old. I wonder what all the past greats are thinking at that diamond in the sky, where they are playing baseball and showing off their natural talents? I am sure they are rosey cheeked and greatly ired with this situation.
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