Barry Bonds DID NOT Fail 2001 ‘roids Test February 14, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Steroids.
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Breaking news from ESPN: Per federal investigators, Barry Bonds failed a steroid test in November 2001, a couple of months after hitting his record-breaking 73rd home run. Personally, I hate Barry Bonds–his arrogant aloofness, his dishonesty–and it really sucks for him. He deserves it, though, for his lies and cutthroat tactics to get around this. Karma sucks, don’t it? At least we can safely put an asterisk next to that…except that Mark McGwire’s “feat” now becomes the “record”. In my mind, though, Roger Maris will forever be the HR king unless proven differently.
However, just to make a point, this case started in December 2003. We just get this is February 2008. We can expect something like this to take this length of time, or maybe a little shorter, with Roger Clemens.
UPDATE, 02/15/08 9:15 AM: Haha…not yet. The report was erroneously filed, ans it referred to a November 2000 test, not 2001. Damn…
Clemens, McNamee Spar Before Congress February 14, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Andy Pettitte, Brian McNamee, Roger Clemens, Steroids.
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Yesterday, Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee gave their sworn testimonies to Congress, and the egocentric Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Cal.) et al. Andy Pettitte’s testimony proved to be very damaging for Clemens, as Pettitte claims that he and Clemens spoke in 1999 or 2000 about Clemens’s use of HGH. Clemens snidely replied to Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), “Mr. Congressman, Andy Pettitte is my friend…I think Andy misheard” and later “I think he misremembers our conversation”. Brian McNamee, on the other hand, was grilled as a “drug dealer” and some of his statements were found to be lies. As Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) found lie after lie of McNamee’s he said, “We don’t know what to believe,. I know one thing I don’t believe, and that’s you.” Particularly damaging to McNamee is his dishonesty, police offer/drug dealer past, and his involvement in a 2001 sexual assault case in Florida.
Someone is lying–there is no doubt about that. Clemens’s credibility is damaged with his accusing everyone else, and his wife’s own admitted HGH use, and his instinct to over-prove himself. McNamee’s credibility is damaged with the phone call, as well as the reasons stated above. My instinct tells me that, despite his murkiness, McNamee tells the truth, and Clemens is lying. More than that, my crystal ball tells me the syringes and needles say all. Why McNamee would wait so long–besides the fact that he even kept it–is besides me, but Clemens was still using McNamee’s services until December, some time after the report came out. The Yankee fan (yet underdog fan) in me wants Clemens to win, but it’s just too much of a burden of proof.
In side news, Andy Pettitte also admitted to using HGH in 2004, supplied by his father, Tom Pettitte. The younger Pettitte was recovering from elbow surgery and wanted to protect his father (recovering from multiple cardiac conditions) from the media frenzy, explaining his omission of this fact. Tom Pettitte obtained the HGH from a gym where Koby Clemens also trains, according to the NY Daily News. That year proved how much of a competitor Andy was–he was throwing 85 or 86 MPH, and, even with a damaged elbow, through his curveball and cutter through the pain (that is, if he even had one that day). This just further damages the “family and religious man and competitor” image–sad.
Now, all of this gossip aside, I’d like to know why this matters. Why does America’s tax money go for an egomaniac congressman looking to make headlines and investigating things that happened 5-10 years ago? This isn’t even a business/fraud issue–baseball is exempt from many of the antitrust/business laws of which other industries are subjected. Fair, America wants to know–but let them do it at their own peril. The thought behind this is that someone will come clean with the threat of perjury, and some one is still committing the crime. No one will ever know for sure what happened, unless someone admits their lies. This is about as fruitless as trying to figure out who killed John F. Kennedy, which I curiously and amateurishly attempted to do (to no avail).
Clemens Drama Recap January 10, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Roger Clemens, Steroids.
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- Sunday, the 6th–Appears on 60 minutes: He looks very fake and scripted, though he strengthens his case through some of the things he says (including willingness to testify to Congress under oath)
- Monday, the 7th–Sues McNamee. Loses cool at press conference; plays recorded McNamee call: Suing McNamee offers more credibility to his case, because, reasonably, he wouldn’t put himself under that much scrutiny unless he had the truth. Losing his cool at the press conference shows his frustration with the issue, but potentially also frustration with having to respond with potential lies. Playing the McNamee call also helps his case, but it is a little “sleazy,” as said Rep. Henry Waxman (D), and while there are legit questions as to why Clemens wasn’t angry with McNamee on the phone, he wouldn’t have wanted to be charged with coercing a federal witness. McNamee also sounded weak and confused, so he lost a lot of credibility.
- Wednesday, the 9th–Hearing postponed to Feb. 13th: Congress is building its case against someone, and digging information. This makes the hearings a lot more interesting.
I am really tired of writing about this crap. This is all a lot of hearsay that, in the end, doesn’t matter. I almost didn’t make this post. Next.
Clemens Admits Getting Injected… January 4, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Roger Clemens, Steroids.
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…but with larcodine and B-12, according to his 60 Minutes interview with Mike Wallace. He said he took them for his knees, and that they were legal. Brian McNamee’s lawyer responded with:
Brian has a master’s degree in sports medicine. He knows the difference between lidocaine, B-12 and testosterone. What he injected into Roger Clemens wasn’t lidocaine or B-12. It was testosterone.
The moment that could be a PR killer in the future
when if, in fact, Roger Clemens is found out to have used steroids is when Wallace asked “Swear?” in regards to Clemens’ non-use of steroids. “Swear,” he responded (Source).
I’m just getting sick of this stuff. It will be a never-ending back-and-forth of posturing between lawyers. As Peter Abraham posted on his blog, (paraphrasing) it will be up to us to come to our own conclusions.
This per Anthony McArron (NY Daily News) from Hank Steinbrenner. Hank believes that Andy Pettitte provides enough veteran leadership in the rotation. The steroids scandal must have something to do with it. The Yankees didn’t need him back, anyway.
In the same interview, Hank mentions that Santana talks are ongoing, but refused to give many details. He said that the same offer was on the table, and that he believes “the Twins know ours is the best offer”. In short, things have stagnated. We don’t need him, anyway, especially if he doesn’t go to the Red Sox. Think about it–he’s asking for huge years and a huge extension coming a down year, and he’s 29, so he won’t be a spring chicken by the end of a deal. We don’t need to have that payroll or luxury tax, either.
No real news, if you ask me.
Roger Clemens Denies Using Steroids December 21, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Roger Clemens, Steroids.
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The statement from yours truly, Roger Clemens:
“I want to state clearly and without qualification: I did not take steroids, human growth hormone or any other banned substances at any time in my baseball career or, in fact, my entire life. Those substances represent a dangerous and destructive shortcut no athlete should ever take.
“I am disappointed that my 25 years in public life have apparently not earned me the benefit of the doubt, but I understand Senator Mitchell’s report has raised many serious questions. I plan to publicly answer all of those questions at the appropriate time in the appropriate way. I only ask that in the meantime people not rush to judgment.” (Source)
I would love to believe him, but the evidence all points the other way. At least he wasn’t named in Jason Grimsley’s report, who was with the Yankees at the time that Clemens allegedly used steroids.
Mitchell Report–Reaction, Analysis, and More December 21, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Andy Pettitte, Chuck Knoblauch, David Justice, Mitchell Report, Roger Clemens, Steroids, Yankees Dynasty 1996-2001.
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Last Thursday, MLB’s so-called Mitchell Report was released. It named 86 players accused of using steroids, these names coming from clubbie Kirk Radomski, trainer Brian McNamee, the FL pharmacy raid, and the BALCO raid. While these were the recommendations (those with (CBA) label indicate a need in a change in the CBA to permit these changes):
1. The Commissioner ought to create a Department of Investigations. (CBA)
2. The Commissioner’s office should more effectively cooperate with law enforcement agencies. (CBA)
3. The Commissioner’s office should actively use the clubs’ powers, as employers, to investigate violations. (CBA)
4. All clubs should have clear, written and well-publicized policies for reporting information relating to possible performance enhancing substance violations. (CBA)
5. Logging packages sent to players at Major League ballparks (CBA)
6. Background investigations of prospective clubhouse personnel
7. Random drug testing of clubhouse personnel
8. A hot line for reporting anonymous tips
9. Top draft prospects should be tested prior to the Major League Draft
10. The design and implementation of the educational program should be centralized with the Independent Program Administrator
11. Spring training programs should include testimonials and other speakers and presentations
12. Explain the health risks in context and provide education on alternative methods to achieve the same results
13. Players need to understand the non-health effects of buying performance enhancing substances from street dealers and “Internet pharmacies”.
14. Prominently display posters about performance enhancing substance use prevention .
15. The program should be independent.
16. The program should be transparent.
17. There should be adequate year-round, unannounced drug testing.
18. The program should be flexible enough to employ best practices as they develop.
19. The program should continue to respect the legitimate rights of players.
20. The program should have adequate funding. (Source)
Now, there are a lot of recommendations here, and that’s really good for the league, but no one would care if there weren’t any names listed in the report. Eighty-six baseball players from the late 1990s until now were accused of using steroids or HGH. Of those 86 players, 22 are/were current and former Yankees. Those Yankees are (in alphabetical order) Ricky Bones, Kevin Brown, Jose Canseco, Roger Clemens, Bobby Estalella, Jason Giambi, Jason Grimsley, Glenallen Hill, Darren Holmes, David Justice, Chuck Knoblauch, Josias Manzanillo, Hal Morris, Daniel Naulty, Denny Neagle, Andy Pettitte, Gary Sheffield, Mike Stanton, Randy Velarde, Ron Villone, Rondell White, and Todd Williams (Source). To my understanding, only Clemens, Justice, Stanton, Knoblauch, Pettitte, White, Giambi, Grimsley, Williams, Canseco, and Naulty juiced while with the Yankees.
Each of these players have different steroid tales. Some were hard-core juicers (allegedly Clemens, Estallela, Canseco, Giambi etc.), others were one-timers or two-timers (Pettitte, Hill, Williams, etc.) and some deny it (Clemens, Justice, etc.). The 86 players in the report are about 1% of the major league players from that time period (1998-2007). It is known that many, many more players used steroids and/or HGH. So, despite steroids being thoroughly unhealthy, and, with HGH, illegal to take without special circumstances, the playing field was largely level at the time, as many people were juicing.
The whole point of banning steroids in sports is to have a level playing field. But, as we know from the steroid era, steroids were the level playing field. Ethically, of course, I am against using steroids, because it is healthy and theoretically doesn’t level the playing field, but isn’t it symbolic that arguably the best hitter of all time (Barry Bonds) and the best pitcher of all time (Clemens) used steroids? Yes. It means that many, likely a majority, of players with inferior skill levels were also using steroids.
Steroids were a fact of baseball life in the 1990s and early 2000s. These players made a mistake. It’s easy to say everyone should be punished, but every case is individual. Per Andy Pettitte, he was trying to rehab his elbow, and only took it twice. Per Glenallen Hill, he never took the case of HGH sent to him by Kirk Radomski. Of course, many were trying to gain a theoretical edge, which is to catch up to what the first steroid users were using.
The steroid cycle is a vicious cycle started by the first juicers who did want to gain an edge. Many others followed to catch up. Not everyone here is a bad guy, just someone who wanted to make a career for himself. It’s unfair to the other fringe players who didn’t get a chance while the steroid users did.
At the same time, no one forced anyone to take steroids. Each individual player had the choice to take steroids or to not take steroids. Each player made the decision to hang out with the juicing crowd or to hang out with the right crowd. Steroids could have been a one-and-done thing by some random fringy pitcher from the ’70s. But it is the natural human desire to be great that has brought many down. Then again, America is forgiving country, and we should forgive, forget, and move on, even if the media won’t.
Now, to reflect on the Yankees side, the Yankees were hit very hard. Many of the key players during the late-’90s Yankees dynasty were suspected and accused of using steroids, and that really taints the Yankee greatness of that dynasty. It’s impossible to take championships away and try to realistically figure out what would happen in the event that there would be no juicers in the Yankees dynasty and only clean players, or any other complex idea such as that. While we all want to be the first to put the asterisk on Barry Bonds’s home run record, we don’t know how many home runs he hit because of steroids. Might as well figure out who killed John F. Kennedy. This will be all the information we’ve got, since the Grimsley and Radomski affidavits will be largely the same thing.
Again, it’s best for us to put this in its rightful place–the past. Baseball has to prevent anything like this from ever happening again. It has to be a watchdog for steroids, and be stricter in punishments and policy. Let the clean era in baseball begin!
BREAKING NEWS: Villone to take Clemens’s Spot October 8, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Humberto Sanchez, Postseason, Roger Clemens, Ron Villone.
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According to the great Peter Abraham, Roger Clemens is out and Ron Villone is it.
Well, I called it, so I can’t complain. But if only the Yankees had a healthy Humberto Sanchez…(no chance he would have made the postseason roster at all).
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Had the midges not attacked, we would be leading this series. But let’s not talk of what might have been.
Had the Yankees lost last night, we would be eliminated and Joe Torre out. Again, though, let’s not talk of what might have been.
Roger Clemens started last night, lasting a mere 2.2 innings while giving up a run in all of them. His hamstring flared up, and there is some likelihood he’ll never pitch again (if he doesn’t, at least he struck out some one to end his career.) Phil Hughes then came in, and after allowing a fly ball double to Jhonny Peralta in the third, he threw a very solid 3.1 innings, striking out 4 and walking none, and allowing only one other hit. If Clemens doesn’t pitch in the ALCS, should the Yankees get that far, count Hughes for Game 3 and Ian Kennedy (remember him?) for Game 4.
However, the momentum changed in the fifth. With the Yankees cutting the Indian lead to 3-2, Johnny Damon steps up to the plate with Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera on base. He homers, and, seemingly out of nowhere, the Yankees have a 5-3 lead. Then, in the next inning, with the bases loaded on a questionable IBB for Hideki Matsui, Robinson Cano singles to right, but Trot Nixon lets the ball gets past him and all runners score. With the score then 8-3, the Yankees all but won the game.
Chien-Ming Wang will start tonight, and Andy Pettitte will likely start on Wednesday. However, with Clemens likely out for the rest of the postseason, the Yankees can add another pitcher to take his spot? The four candidates are Ian Kennedy, Chris Britton, Edwar Ramirez, and Ron Villone. It seems, after the first two games, the Yankees needed a long reliever, so that goes for Villone. Joe Torre’s preference for AAAA arms whom he tries to ride out, plus his changeup, states Ramirez’s case. Ian Kennedy gives them another starter, but he has never relieved, shouldn’t relieve with his finesse stuff, and we really don’t need a starter until the ALCS. Britton…well, I have previously written about him. The best bet is for Villone to make it, as he is a lefty, anyway.
George Steinbrenner on multiple topics:
On Joe Torre: “His job is on the line. I think we’re paying him a lot of money. He’s the highest-paid manager in baseball, so I don’t think we’d take him back if we don’t win this series.”
On A-Rod: “I think we’ll re-sign him. I think he’s going to have a good run the rest of the (postseason). I think he realizes New York is the place to be, the place to play. A lot of this (postseason) is laying on his shoulders, you know, but I think he’s up to it.”
On his health: “I’m doing all right. I’m fine.” (Courtesy of Peter Abraham)
Clemens to Get MRI, Probably Misses Next Start September 3, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Dinosaurs, MRI, Roger Clemens, Tommy John Surgery.
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Dinosaur Roger Clemens, suffering from elbow problems, will get an MRI in the next few days to see how it’s doing. The Yankees understood the potential elbow problems at the time of the signing (making the money more ridiculous) and Joe Torre says this is the product of the amount of innings he has under his belt. It’s not like Tommy John surgery should be considered, he is 45 and he isn’t going to pitch until he’s 47 anyway, which is when he would be back if that would occur. If this is something major, like Catfish Hunter, he should just retire.