Baseball’s Most Unbreakable Records

Merriman is a proven steroid user. Why is there no public outcry to have him banned from football?

In the NFL, players caught juicing get suspended 4 games and return to action. Football fans continue to embrace the player and seem to forget overnight that he was caught breaking the rules. The NBA doesn’t even test for steroids. I have no doubt that there are past and present players in that league that have used an illegal performance enhancer at one point or another. Especially when they are re-habbing an injury. Basketball fans don’t seem to care much about the juice. So this begs the question……Why do people get so angry about steroids in baseball?

Some people are just plain idiots. However the main reason people get hot about steroids in baseball is the numbers. I understand that. Other sports do have important records. But no other sport perceives numbers to be sacred like baseball. So many people get pissed off when they find out many recent sluggers were possibly artificially enhancing their home run totals. If you’ve read any of my other posts then you would know that I believe most steroid bashers to be illogical hypocrites. But I’m not pro-PED. I wish the era of illegal substance use in baseball never happened. But no matter what we do it will always be there. Erasing history, tainted or not, just isn’t right. Nazis burn books and totalitarian regimes try to hide and manipulate history. I’d like to believe that here in the US we are better than that.

Altering the public's perception of history is what Nazis do.

So let’s keep all the records set by alleged juicers. No asterisks, erasing their totals from the record book or denying them the Hall of Fame. In the future we’ll tell their story and make sure that no one ever forgets that PEDs likely enhanced their numbers. You may be saying “but Barry Bonds doesn’t deserve to be the home-run king”. Yes he was an arrogant piece of trash that used illegal substances but he is the All-Time Home Run king. You can’t blame him for MLB’s lack of effort to eliminate PEDs from the game. You don’t like it tough. Maybe you should try embracing Josh Gibson as the all-time leader. Or better yet, embrace Sadaharu Oh’s 868 HR’s he hit in Japan. Maybe that will hold you over until Albert Pujols breaks the record or you decide to stop acting like a child about the HR list.

Sadaharu Oh

Don't want to embrace the US HR champ? No problem embrace Oh!

Moving along, if you’re pissed about the tainted HR totals then it’s time to start embracing other records. Chicks dig the long ball but there’s much more to baseball than HRs.  For example look at the list below.

Single Season

Triples: Chief Wilson 36 in 1912

Batting Average: Nap Lajoie .426 in 1901

Wins: Jack Chesbro 41 in 1904

Hitting Streak: 56 Joe Dimaggio 1941

Doubles: Earl Webb 67 1931

Extra Base Hits: Babe Ruth 1921 119

Runs: Babe Ruth 177 1921

Total Bases: 457 Babe Ruth 1921

Career

Triples: Sam Crawford 309

Wins: Cy Young 511

ERA: 1.82 Ed Walsh

Doubles:792 Tris Speaker

AVG: .366 Ty Cobb

Sam Crawford

Wahoo Sam's Triple record is more impressive than the HR record

These are some absolutely insane numbers. Isn’t batting .426 for a season more impressive than 72 HRs? How about 36 triples in a season? If we as fans held these numbers to the same high regard as HRs then players would strive to break these records.

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Banks Calls out Sosa: Game Show Idea

Ernie Banks has decided it’s time for Sammy Sosa to come clean about his PED use. In case you missed the story here’s a link.

I say great idea Mr. Banks. However I think we should start a Game show out of this.

If a player that played from  late 60’s-80’s calls out a player from the 90s to come clean about PED use then the player doing the calling out of the alleged steroid user must do one of the following in front of a live audience:

  1. Come clean about his own use of amphetamines or any other illegal drug
  2. If he honestly was 100%  clean then he must get a known user from his era to come clean

Once one of the above conditions has been met, the player from the “Steroid Era” must then come clean about his own Performance Enhancing Drug Use.

Also, all contestants must take a polygraph to make sure that there is no cheating going on.

Prizes awarded to all contestants include: I’m a Cheater T-Shirts or I’m a Snitch Belt-Buckles and either a free hookup from a speed dealer named Paco or a free hook-up from a guy from my gym that knows a guy who’s cousin has a buddy that can get you the juice.

Two more things the show must have: half-naked girls and lots of beer.

The media coverage of the “Steroid Era” is already a circus so this game-show couldn’t hurt.

Attention TV Networks: That’s you MLBTV, SpikeTV, FoxSports Alaska, Versus, HBO, ComedyCentral, PBS,  BBC or whoever (I don’t care what network it is as long as I get paid) the show is available. Contact me if  interested. Better make it quick, HTV in Vietnam is showing very strong interest in the show. And if you can’t beat their offer of 3 bags of rice then don’t even waste my time.

The overlooked History of Illegal Drugs in Baseball

Too often people are sheep when it comes to discussing performance enhancing and or illegal drugs  in our beloved pastime. Way too many fans ignorantly believe our beloved pastime was pure before Jose Canseco and his bash brother twin  Mark McGwire rose to prominence. Is it the fan’s fault for being blindly led by media figures into believing that the stars of the steroid era were the evil villains out to ruin baseball? No. I think much of the blame can be placed obviously with MLB itself. However the biggest mis-leader of the sheep is the MEDIA.

Let’s face it, baseball has been dirty for several decades. If this is a shock to you then you need to turn off ESPN and do some research. And since you’re here I’ll lead you in the right direction…..Amphetamines (AKA Greenies). Beginning in the 60s and lasting all the way up to their 2005 ban, illegal amphetamines were the most widely abused drug in baseball. Pete Rose and Hank Aaron are two of the biggest names that have confessed to amphetamine use. In addition, Willie Mays and Willie Stargell have been linked to both the use and selling of those illegal little green pills.  The use of amphetamines were so rampant during the 70s that it is said that there were 2 coffee pots in team clubhouses. But one of them wasn’t your standard decaf. One of the two pots was not laced with amphetamines. Plus, teams were lacing everything with them. So even if a player from the 70s says he didn’t take them then there is still a very good chance that he took them without even knowing about it.

If this is news to you then you are probably now saying, “So what? Speed is nothing compared to steroids.” I’m not going to debate which substance is the greater performance enhancer because I do believe steroids enhance performance more than amphetamines. However it’s interesting to note that home run totals dropped more after the amphetamine ban than they did when steroid testing began. It’s also interesting to note that Hank Aaron claimed to have only used them once while slumping in 1968. After 1968 he had an immediate resurgence at the plate. Was he taking amphetamines on a regular basis after 1968? Most likely he was. Would any of us believe Roger Clemens if he said he only took steroids once? Hell no we wouldn’t! The point I’m getting too is it impossible to speculate on how much a substance enhanced a player. It is quite possible that without the aid of speed Hammering Hank never would have became the All-Time Home Run Leader. But there is no way to prove that one way or another. It’s just speculation. we can speculate as much as we want but we’ll never know how good a player would have been without the aid of an illegal substance.

Could Aaron have reached 715 without a little extra help?

It’s also important to note the difference in media coverage today. Could you imagine there was 24/7 sports coverage in the 60s and 70s? If there was then Hammering Hank and every other player would have been criticized like the players that have been linked to steroids. Just think about all the talk that would have swirled around Aaron in his pursuit of the Babe’s record. Every sports reporter would question whether or not he was on amphetamines. All the talk would be about whether or not he should be honored as the true HR champ.

It’s funny how much technology changes society. Today’s media coverage is unreal. I just wish the aging members of the mainstream media would not overlook the figures that were icons during their youth. The fact that they give those players a free pass while crucifying today’s players is ridiculous.

Steroids in Baseball: The Great Hypocrisy

With McGwire’s recent steroid admission this blog experienced a dramatic increase in traffic. SO I thought it’d be a good time to republish a piece that summarizes my thoughts on steroids in baseball.
Of course he juiced but why deny him the Hall of Fame?

Of course he juiced but why deny him the Hall of Fame?

Sammy Sosa recently said “I will calmly wait for my induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Don’t I have the numbers to be inducted?”  However it looks as if Slammin Sammy will be the latest casualty of the steroid era not to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds all have the necessary numbers to reach the Hall of Fame but they likely will never receive a spot in Cooperstown. Why? Here’s the reasons why voters say they are not worthy.

1. They are Cheaters: They cheated themselves and the game. They broke the rules and cheaters just don’t belong in Cooperstown.

2. They gained an Extra Edge:The substances they took were illegal and gave them an extra boost that led to inflated numbers that they likely would not have achieved naturally.

3. It’s a matter of Integrity: We just can’t forever enshrine people like that in baseball’s sacred Hall of Fame.

Those are three most common reasons why people believe anyone that juiced isn’t Hall of Fame worthy. Right now, I want you to honestly think about why you do not believe that these players belong in the HOF. More likely than not your reason(s) fall into one of these categories. If that is the case then guess what?

YOU ARE A HYPOCRITE!

Don’t believe me? Take 5 minutes of your time to read the the remainder of this posting and think about it unbiasedly.

1. They are Cheaters

Would Perry be in Cooperstown without cheating?

Would Perry be in Cooperstown without cheating?

So in your opinion, even though there was absolutely no penalties in baseball for what they did, they are cheaters and don’t belong in the Hall of Fame. Okay. I respect you for taking such a strong stance against cheaters. Then again, what about Gaylord Perry? Or even George Brett? Perry was a notorious cheater that would not have had HOF worthy numbers without doctoring the ball and sneaking substances under the bill of his cap or throwing the occasional spit ball. Yet he’s in the Hall. George Brett was busted in the notorious pine tar incident. He’s a very minor example of cheating and I chose him for a reason. He cheated and was caught. Doesn’t that make him a cheater and put him in the same category as Perry? Should we ban everyone that has ever cheated? Baseball has a long history of cheating. Players have always tried bending and breaking the rules in order to gain an edge over their opponent. Baseball culture has always lived by the adage that “if you ain’t cheatin you ain’t tryin.” But now all of the sudden we don’t like cheaters? Okay I can respect that but only as long as every player that has ever cheated in one shape or another is removed from the hall as well. After all, we wouldn’t want lil Timmy to get the wrong idea about right and wrong.

2. They gained an extra Edge

Even the great Willie Mays has been linked to PEDs.

Even the great Willie Mays has been linked to PEDs.

They say: Players that use illegal substances to gain an edge have no place in baseball or Cooperstown.  If that’s so then why is there already at least 2 decade’s worth of amphetamine users in the Hall? Amphetamine use was rampant and accepted in baseball during the late 60’s well into the 80’s. Willie Mays, Pete Rose and Willie Stargell are just 3 of literally hundreds if not thousands of players that used amphetamines. Why is there no media outrage about the “greenie” era of baseball? Players were popping those illegal little green pills like candy. Amphetamines boost a player’s energy level and enhance focus. They are a Performance Enhancing Drug. They may not directly lead to increased muscle but they did allow players to do much more despite fatigue. They without a doubt enhanced players numbers in some way shape or form. The media likes to make everyone think that baseball was pure before the Bash Brothers but that’s nothing more than a fairy tale. Amazingly, amphetamines were not banned in baseball until 2006! Yet another incident of MLB ignoring and profiting off of a PED. Could you imagine what it would have been like if the media was everywhere 35yrs ago like they are today? Perhaps Mays and Stargell would have been blackballed from the HOF and Rose would have 2 wrongs to account for. Steroids likely enhance numbers more significantly than the greenies but all I’m saying is they both are wrong and enhance performance. Yet, one is accepted/ignored and the other one isn’t. That makes absolutely no sense.

3. It’s a matter of Integrity

Cobb was a great player but was he a man of integrity?

Cobb was a great player but was he a man of integrity?

This is my personal favorite. “These juicers are low down pieces of garbage and don’t belong there.” So you want your Hall of Famers to be “Men of Integrity”? The definition of integrity is: Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code. Sounds great doesn’t it. We don’t want immoral or unethical people in the HOF. Right? If that’s the case then why do we have so many unethical people in the HOF? Racists, Drunks, Abusers of Women, Cheaters on the field and in Marriage guess what they are there. For example take Ty Cobb, a man of little integrity. He intentionally spiked opponents, drank too much and was definitely a racist. Cobb did one thing well. And that one thing was baseball. He was one of the greatest players of all time despite not being much of a likable character. On his plaque all of his phenomenal baseball achievements are listed. We remember him as one of the best players of his era but we don’t forget that he is not a role model for our children. It’s fine if you want to view all the alleged juicers as poor people of no integrity. Just don’t overlook the fact that in an era of juicers they were still the best of the best.

In conclusion, this is just another product of today’s oversensitive society. Generation after generation of baseball player has watched their elders bend and break the rules to gain an edge. It was only a matter of time before players turned to steroids. The fans and the media had always turned a blind eye or even embraced the things that players did to gain an edge. Yet all of the sudden, some people got their feelings hurt when they realized that players were achieving historic numbers unnaturally. The over politically correctness of today then labeled this latest edge as something that harms and corrupts the youth. The witch-hunt soon followed. All I’ve got to say is where was baseball at? Where was the media when writers were making money writing about the historic homerun chase of 1998? Where were the fans? Baseball should have started testing 20+ years ago. The media and fans should have voiced more concern over the unnatural bulking up players. No one did anything. Now people are fabricating reasons for keeping the best of players of the era out of the Cooperstown. We don’t have to accept or like what they did but the best players of an era deserve to be in the HOF. Especially, when there were no penalties for what they did.

Like I said before, if your reasoning for keeping steroid users out of the hall is one of the 3 points above then you my friend, are a Hypocrite.

The Pub’s 2009 MLB Awards

With all the Playoff Spots secured it’s time for our 2009 Awards (Note that we don’t do AL because they don’t play real baseball).

MVP: Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals: .328, 47HR, 134HR, 122R

There really shouldn’t be any debate about this. The guy is so good that he’s considered to be “slumping” when he drops out of the hunt for a triple crown.

Cy Young: Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals: 19-8, 2.58 ERA

This one is tough. Tim Lincecum and Chris Carpenter were great but they just didn’t record enough W’s for my liking. When MLB hands out this award I expect Lincecum to take it because Wainwright and Carpenter will be stealing votes from each other.

Rookie of the Year: Tommy Hanson, Atlanta Braves: 11-4, 2.89 ERA

This is another tough one. In the end though I went with Hanson. He lived up to every bit of the hype since his call-up 2.5 months into the season. Expect Hanson to be a perennial Cy Young candidate in the future. Casey McGehee and Andrew McCutchen were close runner ups to Hanson.

Manager of the Year: Jim Tracy, Colorado Rockies: 73-40,Wild-Card Winner

The Rockies looked like an underachieving cellar dwellers before Tracy was handed the job. However, once Clint Hurdle was fired and Tracy took over this team has been on fire. Is Tracy responsible for this remarkable turnaround? Hard to say for sure but it doesn’t matter because he was the guy managing the team when it happened so the credit goes to him.

Hank Aaron Wants Asterisks

Hank Aaron reportedly says PED users should be allowed in the Hall of Fame. However there should be an asterisk on their plaque. All I’ve got to say is:

Shut Up Hank!

Under your system that would mean that your HOF plaque would also get an asterisk by it. I know Hammerin Hank is getting old but I’m sure he hasn’t forgotten that he took amphetamines. Hank wouldn’t be alone. Several other HOFers also took the greenies. Say what you want about the difference between amphetamines and Roids but the last time I checked they both are classified as a PED.

All Star Game: Stan Musial Deserved More

Musial is one of the top5 hitters of all time but once again he was overlooked

Musial is one of the top5 hitters of all time but once again he was overlooked

The AL won once again. I really don’t care about that. However I, like many other Cardinal fans, am very upset that Stan Musial did not get honored more. We all expected it to be like what Ted Williams got in Boston a few years back. I assume that MLB called the shots and not the Cardinals. This was a chance to put the most under-appreciated player in the history of the game into the spotlight. It’s an absolute disgrace how the East Coast Media has skipped over this guy. They should have paraded the man around the stadium on the Clydesdales for a good 5 minutes. That way every baseball fan young or old that is not familiar with the amazing career of Musial would have to ask who is this guy? Fox could have ran his accomplishments across the screen and provided audio clips of historic Musial at bats and player commentary in the background. All I can say is I’m very disappointed.

Maybe the Man being as modest as he is didn’t want the Williams treatment. If that’s the case then I completely understand and retract my statement of disapproval. Ted Williams was as arrogant as they came Stan was a down to earth superstar. His personality is part of the reason the East Coast press never gave him his due.

Granted, he’s an elderly man with some health issues. So if that was all he could handle then once again I’ll have to retract my statement of disapproval.

I can’t even describe how disappointed I am. He was honred but it just wasn’t what everyone expected. In St. Louis, Barack Obama got more publicity than Stan The Man the All-Star Game? Give Me a Break!  That’s an absolute joke! I just hope to god it was not the Cardinals choice for the weak display. I can’t help but wonder if the Obama administration pushed Stan aside to keep the focus on their public photo op.

Update 7/15: Bernie Miklasz had a great article in today’s St. Louis Post Dispatch about the Dud Musial Celebration.