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February 22, 2008

One Column For The Price Of One

Barnsley

It’s been three weeks since the Patriots gagged away the Super Bowl on a house blitz. I’ve kept down food for six days now and the green/red contrast isn’t blurring anymore, so Doc. Eakin gave me the a-okay to get writing again. She was wonderful, thank you, Doctor! Whenever I clamp down on a wood bit, I’ll think of you. Here’s what you may have missed:

-The NBA has seen been blown around by trade winds in the past two weeks, but the end result is the same: the Western Conference is strong. The addition of Pau Gasol to the Lakers makes LA a playoff favorite; their late game lineup of Derek Fisher/Jordan Farmar, Kobe, Lamar Odom, Gasol, and the returning Andrew Bynum may be the strongest in the league. There are questions about depth, but in a thirty team league depth, like chemistry, only matters if you absolutely lack it. Speaking of chemistry, Shawn Marion, who freely admitted he’d prefer to be a top dog on a terrible team, can now spread his team play and joys on the charred, crippled remains of the Miami Heat. With Shaquille O’Neal now manning the post for Phoenix, the big beneficiary of this deal is Amare Stoudamire. Back at power forward he terrorized the Lakers for 37 points and 15 boards Wednesday night. Jason Kidd’s return to Dallas is a win-now move which will put more pressure on Josh Howard to boost his 20 PPG average. The Spurs (Kurt Thomas), Hornets (Bonzi Wells), and the Jazz (Kyle Korver a few weeks ago) also made deals, lifting the fortunes of the top six teams in the West. To be fair to the East, the Cavs got Ben Wallace’s corpse! (more…)

January 15, 2008

Ankiel SMAASH!

Filed under: Baseball — Tags: , , , , — Perich @ 9:33 am

The furor over steroids in professional baseball continues to rise. Roger Clemens categorically denied his steroid usage in a 60 Minutes interview. A fan is suing the New York Yankees, claiming that Yankee players’ reported use of steroids is akin to “consumer fraud.” And the hearings on Capitol Hill continue.

Roger Lets You Know Who CaresRegarding steroids, I agree with the Boston Metro’s Sarah Green: the competitive advantage conveyed by steroids is so profound that making them legal would be the same as making them mandatory. If you played “clean” in a steroid-happy league, you could not compete. And given the wreckage that anabolic steroids level on the human body, this would destroy the sport of American baseball.

But what about HGH?

HGH, or human growth hormone, is the output of the human body’s pituitary gland. Your body produces it naturally. Your body also produces less of it as you grow older. Some studies suggest that dosing HGH once you’re past your forties may combat the aging process.

The Mayo Clinic advises that HGH increases muscle mass and reduces body fat, but doesn’t necessarily translate into increased strength.

Get these results to Mitchell - stat!CNN reports that some doctors campaign against HGH usage, citing research that links growth hormone in mice to increases in cancer. But those results have not been documented in humans yet.

Of course, as with any popular scientific breakthrough, a number of scams have arisen to profit off the name. You’ll find websites touting HGH in pill and cream form, despite the fact that it’s only effective when injected. And HGH is still not completely legal – doctors have had their licenses stripped for not running thorough diagnostics before prescribing the hormone.

Read through all the conflicting reports, though, and one conclusion stands out: the downsides of HGH are not as bad, and definitely not as well-proven, as the downsides of steroids. Using steroids is a stupid and destructive way to ruin your body in the name of a paycheck. But HGH is not the same kind of monster.

I’d like to believe that Major League Baseball and their Congressional overlords can separate the hype from the facts. Human Growth Hormone clearly isn’t the same kind of poison that anabolic steroids are. We hope that, if MLB wants to ban HGH, they’ll do so only after the hormone’s effects have been better documented.

We hope, anyway.

June 4, 2007

[Business Day One] Saving The Drama For One’s Mamma

Lou Piniella Yelling at an UmpMay has been an interesting month in the world of sports, and June is shaping up to be the same. Sure, the Stanley Cup Finals are going on, the NBA finals are just starting, and baseball is nearing midseason, but that’s not what’s making it all so interesting. The really compelling thing is the media coverage, which has trended towards sensationalism more than I’ve ever seen in the past. For me, May was a watershed month. For the first time in my adult life, I looked at SportsCenter as a television last resort instead of an integral part of my television day.

I’m at my wits’ end and I don’t think I can take this anymore. Sports reporting has had little or nothing to do with actual sports for over a month. Beat writers are finding stories about sluggers canoodling with ex-strippers, dugout fistfights, and the racial impact of black guys hard-fouling white guys. Oh sure, they throw a highlight in of an actual play on ESPN or make mention that a game was played in the papers. But I haven’t been able to sit down and watch a clean, “sport first” television show since sometime in April.

Well, if that’s the evolution of coverage in this over-saturated media of ours, so be it. I have to adapt with the times. And I think the first step towards that is taking stock of the top stories. I’ve picked six that have received most of the sports coverage over the past few days, and I’m going to score them in three categories: Coverage Level, Entertainment Factor, and Sports Value. Scale of 1 to 5.

Let’s dance:

(more…)

May 7, 2007

[Business Day One] Shining Armor

Filed under: Baseball,Business Day One — Tags: , , , — Serpico @ 3:43 pm

Roger Pinstripes“The Yanks got Clemens today,” my friend Dan mentioned casually as he took a sip of his Pabst Blue Ribbon.

I was watching a replay of a Ryan Howard at bat that was being shown on a TV over my right shoulder. My head jerked back around, and I stared mouth agape at Dan for a moment.

“Dan, if you’re lying to me, I’m going to be very upset with you.”

“No, seriously, they announced it today. During the game.”

It was 10 p.m. on a Sunday night at Bukowski’s Tavern that I learned that Roger Clemens is once again a Yankee. With the news little more than half a day old, it is far too early to consider this one of my “Where Were You When” moments. Ask me again in October and I’ll let you know how significant Dan’s utterance was to my sports fandom. But there’s a lot of time between now and then, and I need to get something on paper while this story is still fresh.

So let’s tackle the Why, the Who Cares, and the So What of these tidings. (more…)

March 26, 2007

Monsterleague Baseball Draft Day Breakdown

Ok, so even though peiseresque already mentioned this in brief, I thought I’d type up a brief list of notable draft picks for our own little league this past Sunday. I can’t give you all my thoughts – I’m still potential trading partners with the majority of this blog – but here are some thoughts I’d be willing to share with anybody.

#8 Matt Holliday, OF Colorado Rockies – Willis, San Dimas High School Baseball

I am still infuriated to an unfathomable degree that Willis made this pick before I could. This guy was around #30 in a lot of the mock drafts I saw going around, but because of the way our league is scored and the stats our league favors, he was going to make a great under the radar pick. Or so I though. Then again, since Willis and I have similar methodologies in picking players, I shouldn’t be too surprised. But still: fuck you Willis.

#39 Daisuke Matsuzaka, SP Boston Red Sox – peiseresque, East Village Unemployed Performance Artists

A week or so before the draft, I was talking to fellow league-member Brett about when the Red Sox’s brand new pitcher was going to be drafted. Given the amount of homerism in our league, my guess was that it would be Round 3, specifically by Charles and Diane’s team (who finished 13th last year). So I was slightly surprised that peiseresque was the one to pull the trigger. It’s a calculated risk – will he put up as good numbers as same-round draftees Bonderman and Zito?

#118 Jason Varitek, C Boston Red Sox – Greg F., BlueBombers2000

Every round, as a joke, I said I was drafting Tek as my homo homer pick. But even for me, Tek’s falling stats and power would not let me take him this early – 8th round. I couldn’t take him next round either – I had Jemaine Dye as a 9th round keeper – so I would’ve definitely picked him up in round 10. J.V. has been working on his offense during spring training, but whether that winds up in quantifiable results remains to be seen.

#143 Frank Thomas, DH Toronto Blue Jays – Brett, Radiant Arkham

I just find this pick amusing because Bobby had him last year and during the offseason was trying to unload him for some draft picks. He went in Round 19 last year, and Bobby had originally posted on the league board that was he looking for Round 10. I thought that was unreasonably high (indeed, Bobby later said that this was a typo; it should have said “Round 10s”), but even when it was dropped to Round 20 he got no takers. Regardless, the Bobby trade would in effect have cost two draft picks (Round 18 and whatever round that would’ve been given to Bobby); the question is whether Brett got an advantage in taking him in Round 9. He’s still a huge injury risk in my book, but he puts up very nice numbers while active.

#176 Roger Clemens, SP unsigned – Mike L., The REAL Comptrollers

Heh. Will he or won’t he this year? Angry Ed made a killing by signing Roger in Round 8 last year. Will Mike have the same luck? I have no insight into Roger’s ego, so who knows?

#213 Dan Wheeler, RP Houston Astros – RJ, Homerun-Hitting Honeymooning Homos

The RP position was really shallow this year, and by the time I decided to draft my second reliever I was stuck with the Astros setup man. The guy has an amazing OBA and ERA, and during spring training posted much better numbers than Lidge. So long as he keeps his numbers, he should suffice. Because the alternative could be:

#251 Seth McClung, RP Tampa Bay Devil Rays – Serp, The Somerville Crooners

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

#258 Kyle Farnsworth, RP New York Yankees – Angry Ed, Angry Miserable Fucks

I really love Ed’s team concept – all “angry” players. And what better player for that team than the guy who wound up on the DL after kicking an electrical fan?

And finally, my favorite out of all of my picks:

#300 David Wells, SP San Diego Padres – RJ, Homerun-Hitting Honeymooning Homos

The man formerly known as Beer Truck is now known as DIABEETUS.

That’s all, folks! It’s gonna be a long, awesome baseball season!

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