Thursday, December 27, 2007

Yo, Meathead!

Holy cow! Goodbye, 2007!

SEASONINGS: Pitchers and catchers report in 6 weeks or so! But even though I still want to hold on to football a little longer, a lot of the talk lately has been about baseball—the Mitchell Report, of course! What can we learn from the report? That steroids has pervaded the entire sport. That some great players used them to boost their stats out of this world. That some borderline players used them to make sure they stayed on the roster.

To me, Andy Pettitte was the biggest surprise on the list, especially since he comes off as an “Aw, shucks,” church-going choir boy who would never break a rule to save his own life. True, he said he only used human growth hormone one time, to help recover from an injury, but just being named in the Mitchell Report is enough to sow doubt, no matter what Pettitte claims.

Roger Clemens? No shock there. Even though the Rocket vehemently denies all the allegations, the proof seems to be in front of the public’s eye. How else to explain his superhuman ability long past the age when most players are finished? How else to explain his extra-beefy physique over the second half of his career? With the publication of the Mitchell Report, it seems obvious—suddenly, Clemens’s career arc mirrors that of Barry Bonds. It will be interesting to see how Clemens defends himself on national TV in the upcoming weeks.

And there really isn’t anyone else who is much of a surprise, although I was sad to see some other names, such as Miguel Tejada and Benito Santiago. They are a stain on the game if they are really guilty—and with the number of players named, how could at least some of them NOT be guilty?

I have to laugh when I hear people talk about taking away these guys’ numbers because they did the juice. The steroids era existed, and we all just have to deal with it. Taking away a player’s home runs changes a lot more than just the player’s own stats. It changes the scores of games, affects scoring statistics for the whole team, affects pitching statistics for the other team—and on and on. All we can do is hope that someone can come along and break some of these records cleanly. A-Rod comes to mind for the home run records, but Jose Canseco, whose credibility is pretty good right now, said he was surprised A-Rod wasn’t included in the Mitchell Report. What do we think about that?

Over in the NFL, the first five seeds are locked up in each conference, leaving the Titans and Browns on the edge in the AFC and the Saints, Redskins, and Vikings vying for the last spot in the NFC. How about the fact that the NFL caved in to the fans and the government and will show the Pats–Giants game on Saturday night? The game was only supposed to be on the NFL Network, but due to its significance, it will now be on both NBC and CBS, as well.

The big debate is over whether Tom Coughlin should try to rest his starters so that they’re fresh for the playoffs or seriously try to thwart the Patriots’ perfect season and risk injuring any of his best players. Coughlin says he’ll play the starters and try to win, but we’ll see. Once the Giants go down by three or four touchdowns, don’t be surprised if you see some of the second- and third-string players out on the field!

Happy 2008, everyone!

1 comment:

Big ED said...

Great piece Meat. I think that Clemens should just stop lying and come clean. It's the least he can do. If you look at the date when the trainer started giving him injections, it's plain to see that the steroids turned his career around. The facts don't lie -- the man is guilty and it's pretty obvious!