• Cheater’s Guide to Baseball

    I can't help but recommend this book to anyone and everyone who likes baseball... and even those who really don't. A funny book about all the cheaters in baseball? What can be better than that during the steroid era?

    Pre-order your copy of Cheater's Guide to Baseball by Derek Zumsteg of USSMariner.

Off Topic: No. 5 is No. 1

Posted by Jason A. Churchill on September 27, 2006

With the Seattle Mariners out of contention, baseball can be somewhat boring at times. It can get a little bit tedious riding out the schedule until the postseason begins, but there are still some things to watch during the final week.

The race in the NL West is a good one. The Dodgers and Padres are both playing like worthy playoff combatants and giving their division a better name. Both teams are wildcard contenders as well, with the Philadelphia Phillies the main competition with four days remaining.

The NL Central is not over, however, and this is where No. 5 comes into play.

Albert Pujols is the greatest hitter I have ever seen, and honestly, it’s not close. I remember laughing after Edgar Martinez base hits back in the mid-90s. Gar was sensational, stroking liner after liner into the gaps, frustrating pitchers and prompting Dave Niehaus to spew four affectionate words back in 1992, the year Edgar won his first of two batting titles.

“I love that man,” shouted Niehaus, as Martinez roped his 50th double of the year.

Pujols has everything Martinez ever had, and then some. He’s 26 years old and getting better every season. The former 12th rounder possesses blue-chip plate discipline reminiscent of Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio. His batting eye is as good as there is in the game, reminding Yankees great Phil Rizzuto of the stories he heard as a child about how unbelievably great Joe Jackson’s batting eye was.

Pujols’ manager Tony LaRussa summed up his first baseman last spring with this:

“There isn’t any combination of words,” said LaRussa.

No, Tony, you are wrong. The six words you just muttered, will do just fine, thank you.

There really isn’t a way to describe what Pujols has done in six years as a big leaguer. He’s breaking records left and right, hits anything and everything, lefies, righties, fastballs, curves, sliders, change-ups, screwballs, knuckleballs, whatever, and is the absolute master of making adjustments between at-bats.

Case in point, Wednesday night versus San Diego.

Pujols faced Cla Meredith on Monday, fanning in a key situation to lead San Diego to a big win. Meredith, a hard-throwing submariner started off Pujols with a fastball away for strike one, came inside for ball one, then got Pujols chasing for strike two and whiffed him on a fastball in.

But remember, Pujols put that in his memory bank, and opened the safe tonight in game three of their series with the Pads.

San Diego led 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth, two were out and two were on for the Cards. Bruce Bochy went and got Meredith to face Pujols – and only to face Pujols.

To reset the scenario, note that St. Louis has lost seven straight and their lead in the Central has dwindled down to two games in the loss column and Houston is as hot as any team in baseball.

Pujols strolls to the plate and Meredith confidently buzzes a fastball on the outer half for strike one… and I swear you could see Pujols winking at himself as he re-established his stance in the box. He knew.

Meredith’s 0-1 pitch was a submarine fastball middle-in and Pujols turned the cowhide into mincemeat. Busch Stadium’s Big Mac Land got another souvenir and the Cards took a 4-2 lead.

The man has no holes, no weaknesses, not at the plate. You have a 100 mph fastball? Pujols can hit it, and hit it hard. 95 mph heater with a great 80 mph change? So what. Phat Albert will look change and drive the fastball out 430 feet to right field.

There isn’t a pitch in the strike zone he can’t hit, no matter the velocity, the pitch sequence or the location – in, out, up, down.

He doesn’t swing at bad pitches, covers the entire plate like Butterbean at a free Thanksgiving dinner giveaway, and his incredible raw power and bat speed give him the tools to hit baseballs 500+ feet at 140 miles per hour.

For Mariners fans, we’ve never seen anything like this, and while that sounds, well, wrong to say because we’ve had Edgar, Junior and AROD, but Pujols is a better hitter today than any of those three ever were.

Pujols is a combination of Teddy Ballgame, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. You can make the argument, and win it, that he’s almost certain to be the greatest right-handed hitter of all time, once he hangs up the spikes.

He’s four years from 30 and has four straight 40+ homer years and has never slugged under .561. Think about that for a minute. He’s six years into his career and his worst single-season slugging percentage is .561.

His career OPS is 1.046 and his career natural OPS through games of last Sunday is 277 points higher than the league average during the six-year span. He’s never struck out more than 93 times in a season. Only once, his rookie season of 2001, has he fanned more times than he walked. He’s drawn 90 walks this season against just 49 strikeouts.

Yeah, he has 47 bombs and 49 whiffs. Amazing.

I’m not going to dive any deeper into sabermetric stats that back up how great Albert Pujols is with a bat in his hand, but I have to share this quote from one Mariners fan in response to my statement that Pujols was the best hitter the game has seen in 50 years.

“I love Edgar,” he said. “But Pujols makes him look like Alvaro Espinoza.”

What’s truly incredible about that comment is, it’s damned near true.

So while you are out there looking for something to keep your baseball jones going this upcoming month, pull for the Minnesota Twins, whoever is playing the A’s and Yankees (unless they play each other, in which case you root for ties) and for good baseball… but keep both eyes on Albert Pujols. He’s the best hitter this game has seen since Mr. Coffee met Marylin Monroe, and he might just do something to amaze you.

In fact, chances are, he will.

Don’t miss it.

Advertisements

49 Responses to “Off Topic: No. 5 is No. 1”

  1. TheMsfan said

    bloomquist fruto and kaun for pujols

    get it done bill

  2. Goose said

    I remember last year in the NLCS when he took Brad Lidge deep in the 9th in what would eventually be the winning runs. One of the most awesome displays of hitting I have ever seen.

    The man is a god among boys and it will be an honor to tell my grandkids how I once saw the greatest hitter that ever played this game hit.

    I would trade Felix Hernandez for Albert Pujols in a heartbeat. Hell I’d even throw in Jeff Clement. And if that isn’t enough you might just talk me out of Brandon Morrow too.

    How is it that the Cards have him AND Chris Carpenter and yet only have about a half dozen more wins than the Mariners?

    Assuming the guy stays healthy throughout his career, he may very well give Sadahara Oh a run for his money.

  3. Matthew said

    Barry Bonds during his “peak” was the greatest hitter I’ve ever seen, and Pujols doesn’t even come close IMO.

  4. Kelly said

    Barry Bonds’ otherworldly success in ’01-’03 was better than Pujols, but I can’t give him the title given the steroid usage. With Barry at the plate, you actually felt the odds had been tilted the wrong way, where you were more suprised when the pitcher won the battle, and the OBP supported the feeling. The man got on base more often than he got out and he had prodigous power as well.

  5. killa3312 said

    I still remember reading an article in the St. Petersburg Times not too long ago talking about how Benny Latino, a former scout with the Rays, begged the Rays to take Pujols. Instead, in typical Rays fahsion, our front office tried to change him into a catcher and came away less than impressed from a private workout. Oh, what could have been.

  6. Jerry said

    I gotta agree with Matthew,

    Pujols is a freak. By far the best hitter in baseball at this point. And, at his age, he could actually improve. Given a normal career path, he should be in his peak between now and 2011 or so. That is scary.

    But what Barry Bonds did between 2001 and 2004 was a few orders of magnitude better than Pujols’ current production. During that period, these are Barrys WORST numbers: .328/.517/.749 with 45! That is are his lowest numbers in each category. In 2001 he hit .328/.515/.863 with 73 HRs. In 2004 he hit .362/.609/.812 with 45 HRs. That is a 1.421 OPS! The low HR total in 2004 was because pitcher walked him 232 times. He was intentionally walked 122 times that year. That is absolute total dominance. No hitter has ever command that type of fear from pitchers. Not Pujols. Not anyone.

    It is too bad that Bonds has so many issues. You have to wonder how different it would have been if he would have been clean. Obviously, steriods are a huge issue with him, but I have to wonder if he would have far surpassed Pujols clean. Bonds was a freakishly good hitter before the time that everyone figures he started taking PEDs. The guy has had an OPS over 1.000 every year since 1992 – which is another freakish stat in itself.

    I don’t think that we will ever see another player put up offensive numbers like that again. Totally unprecedented.

  7. Nighthawk180 said

    I totally agree with Jason on this one. He has been my favorite hitter ever since he first came onto the scene. All the intenional walks only helped barry get his averages that high. Granted when he hit the ball it was a homer anyways but look at Pujols. How he adjusts in abats and never strikes out ever. TWO MORE STRIKE OUTS TO HOMERUNS!!!! 49K’s to 47HR’s Thats insane. Not to mention his career batting average is .332 and only gets intenionaly walked on average 14 times a year. He also averages 41 HR a year. That is sick just flat out sick. Hands down the best ever. Period!

  8. Matthew said

    That’s pretty ridiculous to call Pujols the best ever. In fact, it’s insane.

  9. Nighthawk180 said

    Okay based on what?

  10. Jerry said

    “How he adjusts in abats and never strikes out ever. TWO MORE STRIKE OUTS TO HOMERUNS!!!! 49K’s to 47HR’s Thats insane.”

    Bonds did this a few times. In 2002, he had one more K than his HR total. So he beats Pujols in that one. In 2004, he bested that, hitting 45 HRs compared to just 41 Ks. Bonds was even more insane.

    “Not to mention his career batting average is .332 and only gets intenionaly walked on average 14 times a year. He also averages 41 HR a year. That is sick just flat out sick. Hands down the best ever. Period!”

    I don’t see how you can fault Bonds for being intentionally walked. It reflects his absolute dominance. It also reflects the teams these two guys play on. Bonds has always been the only scary guy in his lineup. Pujols has played with Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds hitting behind him. Can you imagine what his HR numbers would be like if Bonds had that type of protection?

    The batting average issue is totally overrated, but Bonds hit .328, .370, .341, and .362 between 2001 and 2004. What isn’t overrated is OBP. Bonds beats Pujols hands down in that category.

    Bonds has averaged 42 HRs over his entire career. Pujols run is really impressive, and he could end up being among the best ever. But Bonds has been doing it a lot longer.

    Really, there is no way that you can compare these two players. Bonds is hands-down better in nearly every significant statistical category.

    The only way you can give Pujols the nod is that he seems to be clean. That is a big issue. If you want to argue that Pujols is best ever, you have to basically remove Bonds from the conversation. And a lot of people would agree with that.

  11. TheMsFan said

    Awful funny you use the word peak sir

    I didnt know that peaks come at the age of 38

    thats not a peak, thats a prick from the needle of the many, many steroids Barry Bonds has taken

    ill NEVER recognize him as the best, because he needed to cheat to be the best

  12. Going just by his statistics in his first few MLB seasons, Albert Pujols is the best hitter in baseball history. Whether he can keep it up…we’ll have to see…

  13. Nighthawk180 said

    Jerry you have some valid points. I should take back what I said but at the same time I still believe what I said do to the fact that Bonds cheated and he became a power hitter later on in his career. Pujols has come in and dominated the plate from the start of his career. Bonds was/is good but in the long run if pujols can maintain his stats I think he will be better. Like you said Bonds has always been the most feared batter in his lineup which in turn would you rather face bonds or winn? That would explain his outragous OBP numbers. People would try pitch around him to try and get the easier out. That means yeah your good but walks dont go towards offical atbats. Take pujols he averages 198 or so hits a year along with the homers, doubles, walks (not bonds walks but a decent amount) and K’s just about as much as bonds. He’s 26 years old. It’s just nuts. Bonds is one of the best dont get me wronge but at the same time steriods make you stronger which gives you the avantage over the pitcher because you have enhanced reflexes. You still have to hit the ball but it gives you that split second extra which is all the time in the world in baseball.

  14. Pujols is only 26… and every avenue I go down, I come back with a clean bill for Pujols on the banned substance issue.

    Bonds’ best years were CERTAINLY juiced years, but even if you throw that out, those were indeed his peak years, even if his age doesn’t suggest that they should have been.

    Pujols is freakin’ 26… 26!

    He’s two years from starting the prime five years of his career.

    All arrows point to Bonds being juiced.

    All arrows point to Pujols being clean.

    You figure it out.

  15. Re: Matthew

    Bonds was juiced, and you know it. That’s the reason he doesn’t even qualify.

    If Bonds was not as guilty as the butler, he’d be the greatest PLAYER of all time.

  16. Jerry said

    I agree with you guys about the steroids.

    And Pujols is an absolute freak. To be that good at such a young age….wow. I am not in any way trying to downplay how good he is.

    But I do think that it is a bit early to be annointing him the best of all time. The fact that he is only 26 could mean that he will keep getting better. Right now, it doesn’t seem like much could slow him down. But things happen. I would wait until the guy has 10 years or 500 HRs before we start talking about hte best player ever. A lot of guys have played this game over the years.

    We still haven’t gotten into guy like Ruth. Obviously, it gets more difficult, because you have to look at what a player did compared to everyone else at that particular time. But Ruth put up Pujols numbers back when the best of the rest were hitting 15 HRs.

    Again, Pujuls is impressive. But there have been a lot of good players in the history of the sport.

  17. I don’t think he’s ALREADY the best, he’s just on his way to being the best right-handed bat ever.

    He’s 26, has six years of service under his belt and has 250 home runs and 750 RBI…

  18. taro said

    “Pujols is only 26… and every avenue I go down, I come back with a clean bill for Pujols on the banned substance issue.”

    Few months ago Pujols personal trainer from before he was drafted was linked as a name in the HGH scandal.

    Thats nothing conclusive, but when a guy is too good to be true, he usually is. Certainly Pujols is built like a bear and came out of nowhere to become the greatest right handed hitter of all time.

    Until baseball starts testing for HGH and all types of steroids, we can’t crown a “clean” superstar.

  19. Matthew said

    Bonds was juiced, and you know it. That’s the reason he doesn’t even qualify.

    I’m not going to to argue with this sentiment. It’s understandable. I just don’t adhere to it. You show me a failed drug test during a time when steroids were illegal in baseball and I’ll agree. Until then, I refuse to make judgement calls like that because it’s such a slippery slope, so, to me, at this instance, Bonds is way way better than Pujols.

  20. killa3312 said

    The only thing that makes me suspicious about Pujols is the fact that, as Matthew said, he practically came out of nowhere to become this great player. Usually, you hear about phenoms ahead of time and know in advance they’ll be great… that wasn’t the case with Albert. And while he put up nice minor league numbers, NOTHING indicated he would be this good. I believe Pujols is clean, but you’d have to be blind to the fact if you didn’t think this was fishy.

    Rarely do you ever see that many scouts wrong about a player. Afterall, he fell to the 13th round.

  21. The reason Pujols came out of nowhere isn’t becxause he got good all of a sudden it’s because he came from A ball to the big leagues. There was no chance to see him ranked in BA’s top spot or anything.

    And for those who are being naive as hell and talking about the fact that Bonds never failed a drug test, um, hello, he admitted to using steroids — the cream and the clear – remember?

    He just says he didn’t know he was using anything illegal while doing it, which is a crock.

    There isn’t any doubt he used banned substances. The only doubt, if you want to give the benefit of that, is whether he knew what he was using or not.

    This is public knowledge.

  22. taro said

    “The reason Pujols came out of nowhere isn’t becxause he got good all of a sudden it’s because he came from A ball to the big leagues. There was no chance to see him ranked in BA’s top spot or anything.”

    True. The guy definetly is a natural born hitter. But was picked up late in the draft and completely off of everyone’s radar.

    I’ve always been suspicious of Pujols what with his cartoonish build, his goody goody image, and him literally coming out of nowhere to dominate the game from day one. When his personal trainers name was mentioned in the police reports, I was suprised at all.

    Don’t get me wrong. Pujols is a great, GREAT hitter. An all-time great. But lets not go selling him as the “clean” superstar until the testing tightens up.

  23. taro said

    Also to add:

    Pujols is a humanitarian, a winner, and from as far as I can tell a very decent guy.

    Hes a great face for baseball regardless of how hes getting there.

  24. drdetecto said

    The debate about Pujols vs some other inner-circle HOF’er is fine…

    One of the best baseball pieces I’ve read in a long time, is the point. :- ) Especially enjoyed the recount of the duel with Meredith.

    A++ for style and substance both. And a good reminder of why we’re baseball junkies… once you get it in your blood… heh.

    Good on yer Jason.

  25. taro,

    We can’t go out and assume Pujols is dirty, and we absolutely cannot lump him in with the suspicious group, because he’s never tested positive for anything.

    Bonds admitted it. Giambi admitted it. McGwire lied to congress, Sosa’s numbers plummeted just as the testing process got even remotely inclusive but Pujols is and has not… any of the above.

    You can doubt his innocence, but there is no basis to that doubt whatsoever.

    Innocent until proven guilty may not be the way of Major League Baseball on the steroid issue, particularly in the public eye, but all signs point to Pujols being clean… so until something – ANYTHING – suggests that he isn’t, ya know what? He’s clean, and that’s the only fair and proper way to see it.

    Not everyone that is GREAT is on the juice… you think MJ was a roider? Johan Santana? Joe Montana? Jerry Rice? Roger Craig? Ricky Watters?… okay sorry, I got off on a little 90s Niners rant there, but you get the point.

    Pujols is just great, as far as any public view can tell, and it’s irresponsible to even suggest otherwise, when there is no reason to do so.

    Baseless suspicion is worthless.

  26. drrrew said

    “Pujols is only 26… and every avenue I go down, I come back with a clean bill for Pujols on the banned substance issue.”

    I understand he’s never tested positive and by no means am I stating he is a user. That being said Jason Grimsley and Albert Pujols have long had the same trainer, Chris Mihlfeld. There were claims that Mihlfeld’s name (this was denied by Mihlfeld and his attorney) was one of the main redacted names included in the Jason Grimsley report.

    Albert Pujols starting working with Chris Mihlfeld while at Maple Woods Community College and was described as “really kind of a pear-shaped kid, heavy from the waist down…after spending a year at Kansas City’s Maple Woods Community College, where he met strength and conditioning guru Chris Mihlfeld and started the process of building an Adonis-like upper body.” (http://www.810whb.com/scripts/archives/getstory.asp?article=12344&string=noSearch)

    None of that says that Albert Pujols ever used, talked about, asked about, and even saw steroids. He is however linked, through his trainer that he’s used since a teenager, to another player who has used performance enhancing drugs.

    I don’t think it’s fair to assume that every player that does great things must be on steroids. I also don’t think it’s fair that some players who are pricks (yet have never tested positive) get absolutely crucified while others who might have a good guy image seem to get a free pass. I hate hate hate trying to write something in defense of Barry Bonds. I hate even more attacking one player because he’s a jerk when it’s seems likely that hundreds if not thousands of ballplayers did exactly the same thing.

  27. The same trainer has David Eckstein, too. Nuff said.

  28. taro said

    “Pujols is just great, as far as any public view can tell, and it’s irresponsible to even suggest otherwise, when there is no reason to do so.

    Baseless suspicion is worthless. ”

    No, I don’t think anybody that ever been good has been on steroids. Cmon now, we both know thats pretty rediculous. You’re trying to peg me as an unreasonable person here.

    Furthermore this isn’t politics, this is public opinion. Pujols, just happens to be one of the guys that I’ve been suspicious of for a while now.

    When this came out, it just raised my eyebrows an inch higher:

    http://www.deadspin.com/sports/baseball/kc-trainer-responds-denies-affidavit-cameo-179686.php

    http://www.deadspin.com/sports/baseball/so–weve-got-some-affidavit-names-179400.php

    None of this means Pujols is guilty of HGH intake of course, but I wouldn’t go around selling him as the sports “clean” superstar until MLB starts testing for all types of steriods as well as HGH.

    He could be clean, but there is enough evidence (circumstancial and concrete) to be suspicious of him.

  29. Evidence to be suspicious?

    Well, ok, since you know so much about this, I suspect you are on roids, too.

    That’s idiotic.

    Wait for something somewhat concrete before disputing his innocence.

  30. taro said

    You need concrete evidence in the court of law, but not to form an opinion. First hand experience with performance enhancers, watching Pujols, an reading recent developments is enough for me to make an educated guess. Again, not saying hes a user for sure but theres enough there to be suspicious.

    But then again, maybe I’ll just wait for one of your “inside sources” to confirm or deny it. Judging from how great your track record has been and everything.

  31. Opinion does not equal evidence of any kind, taro, nor does it equal you being welcome here.
    You don’t like me? Get lost, why are you even here?
    As for the “enough to be suspicious” comment, well, you are just wrong. If that were the case, every single big leaguer should be automatically suspected of being on the juice, because it’s available to all of them. Every last one of them.
    So unless you want to suspect every player, you need more than that. Sharing a trainer with someone known to have taken steroids doesn’t make you guilty, he’s just as likely to be clean as you are.
    Back to the snide remark… seriously, act like an intelligent adult, even if you aren’t one and the evidence here suggests strongly against it, or go the fuck away.
    That isn’t a request. I’m TELLING YOU, that you have those two choices.

    Pick one.

  32. taro said

    Whoa….. where the fuck did that come from man? You don’t sound very happy for a guy with a radio gig , a quality blogg, and a decent looking future in the biz. And don’t worry dude, you’ve disrespected me more than a couple times now,,, that’s why I nudged you in the soft spot in the first place – think about it,, I don’t hate you but I can’t think of a good reason to post anymore if this is how you feel you need to run your little section of reality. I’ll still enjoy reading your blog, and I’ll still be rooting for you to get bigger in the biz (even though you prob don’t believe me), but I’ll be avoiding the comments section from now on. I suggest taking your anger out on Hargrove, or on the bag in the gym, or both like me, and not on your readers. Goodbye now and take it easy.

  33. If you commented respectfully in the first place, you wouldn’t need to get lost.

    Think about that. YOU started this, not me. This is my house. if you don’t like the rules, make like Joel Pineiro and enjoy your history here.

  34. taro said

    Stephen A. Churchill? lol Its all good; I’ll probably still drop a comment every once in a while.

  35. Just don’t attack anyone, taro, especially me… other than that, I don’t have any issue with anything you said, and if I did, at least it’d be baseball related, which is as acceptable as anything around here.

  36. wishhiker said

    I recall all the jokes of illegal substances. When someone was caught, it was usually laughed off. Not only did they find these illegal substances on the pitchers mitt, cap, chest (anywhere they could hide it) Ex-infielders now tell stories about carrying whichever lube or scuffer to doctor the ball as it was passed around the infield. I never heard anyone getting seriously offended about people speculating whether Nolan Ryan juiced his pitches. No one cared because talking about the cheaters has been a lighthearted part of the entertainment for over a century. Enter Steroids: All of a sudden the cheating’s not so funny?

    Why should we take the steroid issue so seriously. It was ‘the hitter’s turn’ to cheat. The biggest differences between the two is that;

    1:Doctoring a pitch was not directly detrimental to the pitchers health in any way.

    2:It was alot easier to check if the pitcher was scuffing or lubing.

    3:Sandpaper and Vaseline are not otherwise illegal in the US (although using them in the same sentence should be)

    4:An infielder isn’t more likely to throw a ball into the stands after fielding a pitch hit by a steroid user.

    Cheating has a very rich history in baseball from stealing signs and signals (always laughed off) on down the line. I think the average fan needs to realise this, put it into context and let others worry about steroids. The only major sporting event in the US proven to be thrown is the World series.

    Babe Ruth was caught using a corked bat in 1923 (I still think his pitching stats, including postseason records for pitching put him over the top as “greatest player”)

    I have never heard a debate that Gaylord Perry should not be allowed into the hall of fame because he cheated. Add the asterik I say. He was caught, multiple times. He not only admitted using illegal substances throughout his career but flaunted it…All laughed off.

    I think you’ve been watching the wrong sport if you expect there to be no cheating.

  37. There will always be cheating in some manner – in EVERY sport. Boxing, Tennis, Golf, whatever.

    Expecting there to be no cheating is ridiculous, of course. Someoneis always going to try and get the upper hand illegally.

    But fans should be able to expect that the game itself is going to do everything in its power to make sure cheating doesn’t happen. They won’t be perfect, but they can be damned close if they really want to.

    But that’s the issue. Baseball doesn’t want to be good at it, because than Bonds doesnt hit 73 homers and McGwire and Sosa don’t save baseball in 1998, and far less players hit 40-60 homers every year… how is that good for attendance?

    It’s a total crock, but it’s fact.

    But there is a difference between expecting cheating and accepting it. Sounds like Wishhiker accepts it.

    I don’t.

  38. Willmore said

    I’ve come to a point where I simply can’t get attached to a player. I really enjoy watching two players on the Mariners’ roster – Snelling and Felix. I hope they don’t use steroids, but I don’t know if they do. And noone does, except for them. This sort of suspicion is destroying a very beautiful game.

    Ignorance is bliss, and if they are using, I hope I never find out, because if I do, it would be a crushing blow, just like McGwire’s breakdown at the congressional hearing was a crushing blow to thousands of his fans that fell in love with him during that magical chace for the single season home run record. The San Francisco Giants fans and Barry Bonds fans in general, those that fell in love with him as a skinny black kid playing amazing baseball for the Pirates and breaking records as a Giant, those fans are all in denial. They refuse to accept the inevitable fact that Bonds is a cheater and a fraud. And I can’t blame them for it. It’s a crushing realization.

    I hope that the Mariners’ clubhouse is clean, but statistics show that my hope is misguided. Chances are that one the Mariners players is cheating one way or another. Is it Bloomquist ? Is it Mateo ? Is it Putz, Meche, or Sexson ? I don’t want to know. Every time Ichiro comes to bat and he stretches out that arm, his biceps show, and we understand that he’s not your average Japanese man, but a chiseled 5’9″ Japanese man-machine. Is he natural ?

    Baseball is a different sport. Baseball is a game of mental strenght, of reflexes, of human perseverance and talent. It’s not a simple game of who is stronger or faster or who can throw the hardest. No game that has Jamie Moyer and John Kruk for memebers can be that. Steroids skew the balance of the game from its purest form to a match of muscle. It allows players who are not meant to be in the majors to work up the difference in the weight room. This invalidates baseball talent. Now, it seems, all one needs is a syringe and enough work ethic to build a perfect body. After that, you’re set for a cozy job of a Major League first-baseman, and hello retirement in the Bahamas.

    Aaron Rowand has stormed onto the baseball scene like a meteor bazing through earth’s atmosphere. He has overshadowed Albert Pujols. I want to cheer. I watch sportscenter and my eyes light up with anticipation. I watch him swing, I see a defeated pitcher and the soaring path of a baseball crushed into the stratosphere. I watch it in amazement, but then the highlight ends and my cynical nature returns. I begin to doubt. I hate it, but in today’s baseball age, it’s inevitable.

    Some days, I wish we never new about steroid use in the first place.

  39. Willmore said

    And here’s further proof that noone is exempt from suspicion.

    Clemens, who was rumored to have taken steroids, but never publicly accused, well, he’s being publicly accused. As is Andy Pettitte and Miguel Tejada, per the Los Angeles Times, who finally got their hands on the David Grimsley affidavit.

  40. Goose said

    Heh, I believe Jason has been tooting the Clemens is a roider horn for quite some time.

    Tejada was involved with Palmeiro, so no surprise there.

    Roberts and Pettite is the first I’ve heard of though.

  41. wishhiker said

    I agree that baseball should try to keep clean. What I was saying is that before steroids most people laughed off the cheating that took place (aside from BlackSox.) Steroids is completely on the other side and I don’t see enough reason for the difference. Most people are upset about steroids. Is it just different people than were around in the spitball era?

    Few people got upset that Robin Williams was on Coke during his standup hayday. Performance enhancing in entertainment. And this one’s illegal too. Could anyone keep up with him? He’s still one of the greats with no asterisk.

    Why the difference? That’s all I’m trying to understand. Why is steroids much more offensive than other things that have skewed the balance of the game?

  42. RavingGoat said

    Honestly, I wish if Pujols were truly clean that he would submit to being tested for HGH. Until then, noone knows for sure.

  43. Willmore said

    You can’t test for HGH reliably, that’s the problem.

  44. Jason Churchhill is a class-act. I have found him to be nothing but gracious when I, with a very limited knowledge of baseball, wrote him with very primitive questions. Few know there is a price to pay to get to the point where he is recognized as one of the outstanding scibes we have in the Northwest. Jason has paid the price. Show him the respect he deserves.

  45. Wow, Don, thanks.

    I don’t deserve any more respect than anyone else here, however. If one laid down a snide remark at a poster, I’d do the same thing, and have.

    re: why roids?

    Because it’s scarring the record books and people care about the history of the game, that’s why.

  46. marinerswinws said

    I believe Pujols is clean, my reason beign the WBC. They do testing there and he was clean throughout the games while another pitcher was caught.

  47. Willmore said

    Once again, HGH is not tested for. The tests for it require blood samples, and are unreliable at that.

    Passing a test does not mean a person is clean. Bonds has never failed a test, or Sosa, or McGwire.

    There are no high-profile players being caught because masking agents are easy to develop and it takes months before new tests can be created to counteract the masking agent.

    In the end, the cheaters will always be one step ahead. Only those who can’t afford the ultra-expensive treatments will be caught. The only way to catch the cheaters is through investigation, like the cyclists who were caught before the Tour de France or how Grimsley was caught.

  48. wishhiker said

    I was requesting the perception of difference between steroids and other things that have scarred the record books.

    Doctored pitches have scarred the record books. No public outcry…

    Corked bats have scarred the record books. Again nobody is up in arms over it.

    Stealing signs has scarred the record books.

    These things at most are mentioned in passing when referring to players that it’s known they did them. People don’t seem to have the opinion that the rash of players who used a spitball (again, cheating) are scoundrels for messing up the record books. In fact most of the successful ones are celebrated after having been inducted in the Hall.

    Again Babe Ruth was caught using a corked bat and most people don’t even know it. It’s cheating and it scarred the record books. It seems to me that cheating is just a part of the record books at this point.

    Steroids are nothing new

  49. nemoforone said

    What about the possibility of pulling out of Iraq, letting Iran invade and lose resources fighting their own kind,
    and then come in and mop up the dregs?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: