Sports Goggles

Posts Tagged ‘Paul Byrd

“Playing Ball” Major League Baseball’s Way

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jackiesjersey.jpgWith all that was going on last summer it was difficult to deal with some of the larger issues of and problems with Major League Baseball. This spring and summer it is time to make time to dig in an explore MLB and baseball, in general, much more deeply. The following is the first of many articles and commentaries to be written this spring and summer on our National Pastime.

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I smelled a rat in Major League Baseball’s summer of 2007 but could not find its carcass. There was something terribly wrong with MLB and baseball, in general. Everywhere I turned there was a scandal. Most had to do with “performance-enhancing drugs” (PEDs) like steroids and human growth hormone (HGH), but there were others like Tony LaRussa’s drunk driving charge and the specter of Ken Caminiti’s cocaine-induced death and his flat statement that perhaps 80% of MLB players were using PEDs. There was a rebirth of public knowledge of baseball’s private war with amphetamines used largely to recuperate from long hours of air travel followed by playing a baseball game some 12 hours later. But amphetamines are dangerous drugs and I wondered how many MLB players had a bottle of them at home.

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From Bonds to Clemens, from Ankiel to Taylor to Tilghman: We Missed the Moment and Now We Must Pay

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Months ago when the Rick Ankiel-HGH news broke I wrote that his being outed represented – potentially – a watershed moment in sports and sportswriting. It was the moment when the subjects of race and racism, of PEDs in football, and constructive criticisms of all sports, especially the NFL, could be broached by a large enough portion of the U.S. populace to bleed into America at large. The treatment of Ankiel by mainstream sportswriters and by extension, Barry Bonds, would initially shape the tenor of conversation.

And it did.

Apologists for Ankiel came out of the woodwork from every corner of the nation. The public’s heartstrings were tugged at using the tried-and-true up from the ghetto to riches story and flipping it for a white athlete. Ankiel’s growing up with a dope fiend father and making good in the “Bigs” was half of a press mantra tag teamed with Ankiel being the “feel good story of the summer.” Writers expressed sorrow for having to report the news that Ankiel was involved in the Signature Pharmacy-anti-aging clinic HGH investigation.

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Reading Jayson Stark-ly: Looking at Roger Clemens Through PED-Colored Glasses

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pettitte.jpgToday Jayson Stark wrote a response, of sorts, to the criticism that his most recent column generated (including this article). To be blunt, today’s column is equally pitiful. This time, he’s sticking up for Andy Pettitte; he needs to stop. It seems for all the world that Stark needs a high, hard one under the chin to back him off the keyboard for a few days. 

I just wonder how, after his weak defense of Clemens was posted and after the pillorying he took for it, he was afforded the opportunity to write about Pettitte. Fool me once, shame on ——- yew. Fool me twice ————-  yew cain’t get fooled again…. Uh, yeah you can. Just read Stark’s commentary.

(thanks des)

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Jayson Stark played the “Journalism 101” card as an excuse for why he believes Barry Bonds used performance-enhancing drugs. More importantly, he uses the same excuse to suspend belief that Roger Clemens used PEDs. What is the golden rule, the crux of the biscuit of J 101?

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