Thursday, January 31, 2013

An Unfair Perception? PEDs: MLB v Other Sports

Here we go again...

Not just one, but two "stories" (and they might be just that, stories) linking professional athletes to performance enhancing drugs and/or hGH or a combination of the two. It almost seems as if the Miami New Times and Sports Illustrated were going head-to-head for headline grabbing.

Alex RodriguezFor the Miami New Times, they unloaded (and will continue to unload) information and evidence linking Yankees star third baseman Alex Rodriguez to a now-closed Miami area anti-aging clinic called Biogenesis. Within the article, other players were outed including players that already have or will serve 50-game suspension for violating MLB's policy on performance-enhancing drugs: Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon and Yasmani Grandal were among the names written in personal notebooks by the clinic's owner, Anthony Bosch. Also mentioned are Nelson Cruz and Gio Gonzalez.

This story has been tabbed by many to be of the same scope as BALCO, and if this is the case (and has been promised by New Times), there is more evidence, and likely, more names to come. But that's where the issues arise and should concern baseball fans.

This isn't the first lab/clinic busted which is involved with the sale, distribution, delivering of PEDs, hGH, etc. to MLB players. Probably won't be the last either. It has been said that overall enforcement/oversight concerning these "businesses" (anti-aging clinics) is lacking. Kind of like the old saying: "While the cat's away, the mice will play".

With every anti-aging clinic that springs up and may eventually comes under investigation by the DEA or any other federal agency, MLB gets zero cooperation from the federal government per a report by Michael S. Schmidt of The New York Times. Unless a local TV station and/or newspaper picks up on the story and is willing, by some means, provide information to MLB, Bud Selig and his investigative arm are left completely out in the cold. MLB will meet with those involved in the New Times story, with lawyers in tow, of course.

MLB usually requests information from the DEA, but are told the case is still open; therefore, no information can be released.

MLB released a statement. ARod released a statement denying any association. Gonzalez took to Twitter with his denial. The Texas Rangers, Cruz's team, released a statement that essentially said "no comment". More on that in a bit.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ray, Colin and a Couple of Harbaughs

The Super Bowl matchup is set: the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers will square off in SB XLVII. Now we know there are two weeks (well, a little less than that now) in which to absorb as much as humanly possible about the teams and their players.

The main focus for each team?

Ray Lewis For the Ravens, it is undoubtedly Ray Lewis. While many are quick to praise Lewis for his NFL career, there are detractors which bring about events that transpired in Atlanta over a decade ago.  Honestly, I don't need to delve into those events.  After the Ravens defeated the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship, more than just Wes Welker's wife reminded us of what happened. (Since her statement, Welker's wife has issued an apology.)

Lewis is the face of the Ravens. I know there are those that will mention Ray Rice and Ed Reed, but make no mistake about it. The Ravens are Ray Lewis' team. Ever since the day he was drafted it was his team.

We will be lambasted with video, audio and written word of all Lewis has brought to the Ravens franchise. Some of us will quickly grow weary of such for as much as Ravens fans love "Ray Ray", there are those that despise him. The ring matters to him in this his last "ride". We will witness that last time Ray Lewis don a Ravens uniform.

Think what you will of Ray Lewis, the person. No one can ever doubt Ray Lewis, the linebacker, the football player.

For the record, this isn't a salute to Lewis.

And looking over at the opposing sideline, it can only be Colin Kaepernick.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Post Lance and Manti

Over the past few days, we've read and heard plenty in regards to Lance Armstrong and Manti Te'o.  So much, in fact, that some within the Twitterverse would wish they would simply vanish.  Not really vanish, but I think you get the point.  Not sure how you feel about either subject, but here goes mine...

With Te'o, I could honestly care less.  I mean I want to know the facts and all, but that's about it.  Maybe it's because I'm no longer the huge college football fan I once was.  I could also add that it's Notre Dame and that separates me even more here.  Even since Notre Dame Highlights quit airing on Sunday mornings on a local TV channel, I've not held any interest in them at all.

And the whole Brian Kelly thing still irks the crap out of me.

I'll admit it started out a little different with this.  I was curious at first.  When it quickly got to the point where sports talk radio became completely consumed with this story, I grew weary of the tale.

I did enjoy the Deadspin accounting of this.  It's not a short read by any means and it has almost 3.8 million hits as of the time of this post.  I did come away from that with an air of "what the..." that still remains.  I still had questions after reading it.  Hopefully, we could get another accounting of this.

Were you honestly expecting one from the University of Notre Dame?  Seriously, you were?  Foolish notion.  Two names and you Google them: Declan Sullivan and Lizzy Seeberg.  You'll be appalled and shocked at what you find and read.  Real deaths hushed, fake deaths promoted.

Everyone was quick to take a side on this.  Of course, that's common nowadays with the 24/7 news cycle.  No one was willing to wait to see what, if any, statement Te'o himself would make.  Well, the university made a statement backing Te'o, which was of no surprise.

We got that answer, kind of, last evening when ESPN's Jeremy Schaap had a sit-down with Te'o...and representative at side.

We finally get to hear Te'o explain himself, but we didn't get to hear Te'o explain himself.  I never expected a full-blown, bar the doors type of interview.  I didn't even expect something similar to Lance (as we'll see in a bit) or Tiger, but I wanted to see his reaction to questions.  I wanted to hear his voice give the account.

Wasn't happening.

Instead, we got an account of an interview.  Not saying I have a dislike for Schaap.  In fact, he is one of the WWL's personalities I do like.  We got his account and we are left to formulate our opinion from that telling.  That provides uneasiness to me.

That uneasiness will eventually go away like this girlfriend.

But Lance has given many an individual further reason to despise what he did.