Friday, December 03, 2004

Giamba Juiced

And now Bonds too! New shit has come to light, man!

Whoooa boy, we got a real pressure cooker going here...this is it, this is the real deal, this is not a drill. Whether they own up to taking steroids on purpose or not, two of the game's premiere sluggers have officially admitted to desecrating their bodies, which led to the ultimate desecration of the national pasttime. While both juice monkeys divulged information to a federal grand jury that they took the designer drugs, Giambi fessed up to it whereas Bonds took the easy way out, most likely lying about his reasons for taking such drugs. Neither is really worse than the other -- both men are complete d-bags that did to the image baseball players and baseball what the Enron and Worldcom brass did to corporate executives and corporate America. It's not as if this was a real surprise, but still, I'm slightly shocked that there's now bonafide proof in that pudding, Rudy.

Giambi is finished, done, let's focus on the greatest hitter of our generation, perhaps of all time. Barry Lamar Bonds didn't know he was taking steroids? He thought it was flaxseed oil and arthritis cream? C'mon, that excuse is about as believable as OJ's "night-putting" or Kobe's "She told me she liked it in the bum." I hope he's proven to be a liar and the feds indict him on charges of perjury. I like Barry, I'm one of the 17 people outside SF that actually likes the guy, but now that the cat's out of the bag, I'm turning on him faster than Mr. Fuji on Demolition at the 1988 Survivor Series (fuckin' Powers of Pain, you'll get yours). And we'll see what Victor Conte says on 20/20 tonight...if he implicates Bonds, the ballgame is over.

Here's the real question though: How do we proceed with Barry's assault on the all-time homerun record? I mean, isn't it officially tainted now like Soft Cell's love? I think my man "Dorsey" Levin said it best yesterday, before the Bonds bombshell broke: "I wouldn't be surprised if Bonds retires once his name is officially linked to steroids. Who in the world is going to give a rat's ass if he breaks the record once it's proven not only that he took 'roids, but that he lied about taking them? Are they really going to stop the game and have a ceremony for him on the field when he breaks Aaron's record? I wonder if Aaron would even show up to congratulate him."

Those are my sentiments exactly, Dorse. How the hell can we celebrate the breaking of the most coveted record in all of sports when we know for a fact that at least some of those homeruns were due to cheating? I'm very interested to see how MLB handles this, because this is a multimillion-dollar pursuit of a record -- there's plenty of cash to be made here: by Bonds, by baseball, by the Giants, by the home teams when Barry visits, by apparel vendors, by the fan who catches that ball, by kayak rental companies in SF, and the list goes on. This is a PR nightmare for baseball, but it's also an economic one. I don't envy Bud Selig...but then again, I hate Bud Selig, so I hope this ends up taking him down as well.

One point that has to be made, though, is that as bad as this is, what Pete Rose did was much worse. Much, much worse. These guys may be taking years off their lives for the pursuit of the longball, and they can affect the game with this new power...but Rose controlled the entire team when he was gambling, he had 25 players at his disposal to ensure wins and losses. He was the face of the league, he was Charlie Hustle, and the media and fans loved him. Bonds is viewed with constant disdain by the media and fans, and the schadenfreude this morning is off the charts. Like the 12/2/99 Gin, we need new charts (and thanks for indulging us Phish dorks yesterday!). What the dopers do is inexcusable, but gambling with the game's integrity is a far greater sin.

And one other note: I applaud ESPN for their coverage of this story. They're putting together great packages from their top guys, doing interviews with the right people like Tim Kurktjian and Buster Olney and talking to the SF Chronicle reporters who Woodward and Bernsteined this story. I've actually never been more impressed by the network's coverage of a hard news story. Finally, ESPN does right by me.

We all know steroids were part of this glorious game. But maybe now MLB has the right impetus to wipe the 'roids out of the sport once and for all. Eh, who am I kidding, I really don't even care. I don't. Or maybe I shoukd say, I don't want to care. I'm the opposite of most fans -- I love this game too much to let this get me down. I don't care that Gaylord Perry and others scuffed the ball, I don't care that Rose (and probably others) bet on baseball, and I don't really care about steroids. There are bad trends in the world, there are bad people in the know what we do? We iron out the wrinkles and we move on. We've had some of the best postseasons in history over the past few years, and that momentum is too important to let this situation fuck with that. So let's just move on, shut up about it, pretend it never happened and go to the ballpark to see the greatest game ever invented. Tickets for all, they're on Donnie.

A few unrelated notes:

1. I haven't been seeing enough live music lately. I came to this realization as I was standing in Grand Central for 30 minutes yesterday, watching Carolina Slim and two other dudes play some amateur blues outside the Shuttle. I stood there, really into it, kicking my feet a bit in a dancing wasn't great, but it did the trick. Lately I've been getting all my live music from the subways -- that's gotta change. Umphrey's McGee next Friday anyone?

2. Another wedding this weekend. People my age need to stop getting married. That shit is not cool, and it only serves to make my mother want to pry into my personal affairs. "Listen honey, the waitress in this restaurant the other night was gaw-geous, I got her numbah, you should give her a call." So if you're 25 or younger, no more engagements. None. Weddings rocks though, as I've said on here before, so I'm psyched for the weekend.

3. I think I'd like to move out of the House of Flying Daggers and move into the House of Sand and Fog. Seems like more safety to me. Less visibility in all that fog, probably more boredom, and I fuckin' hate sand, but all those flying daggers would scare the shit out of me.

OK, I'm done here. Out from Alcatraz.


At 12:49 PM, Blogger Army Archerd said...

I got too tings:
1. Don't think you can say this is "much" worse than what Old Petey Pablo did. All of these guys are Teddy Duchamp's and had an active role in ruining the game. If anything, Bonds lied to an entire nation of baseball fans who followed his HR quest, while Pete just fucked with Begeez and the 1 or 2 other Reds fans out there.

2. If you thought "X is the new X" was a great catch phrase, get ready for a floodgate of "I unknowingly took X." The guy's head blew up like a baloon and his muscles were growing at ludicrous speed, but he didn't know he was taking steroids? It's just so great...try it out. "I unknowingly raped a girl. I mean, she was screaming no and was punching me in the face, but I didn't know I was raping her." Hansel, so hot right now, Hansel.

At 1:15 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Bob, great stuff...I disagree on #1, but #2 is perhaps the funniest thing I've ever heard you say or write. And I don't mean that in a backhanded compliment way, I think that's just funny shit. But seriously, who hasn't unknowingly raped somebody? So maybe I believe Bonds after all. I belee him, man, I don't know why, I just do.

Always look out for #1, and be careful not to step in #2.

At 1:45 PM, Blogger ethan said...

here's a mind bender - what if all the pitchers were taking roids too (which is entirely possible because i bet roughly 80% of the players in the majors and minors juiced in the early 2000's)? doesn't that mean it was an equal playing field, so all those records can't be completely "disqualified"?

medical advancements are pretty much inevitable, just like weightlifting was (which changed the game more than steroids in my opinion) so i don't give two shits about the whole "babe ruth didn't" argument. comparing two players from different eras is nearly impossible, and it's all relative.

also, the players still had to perform. it didn't do much for jeremy giambi, so on some levels i don't think this is comparable to throwing games for profit.

on the flip side, all those guys broke the rules. it's no different than using a spitball or using a corked bat. if you can pinpoint every player that juiced, they should all receive some suspensions. but that's not possible.

basically i don't care too much about this (like ace said, very few things (maybe nothing) can make me look down on baseball - just the players). mlb just needs to have testing for all these "untestable" things, test randomly, test a lot, etc.

At 4:36 PM, Blogger poophopanonymous22 said...

i have to agree with both u ace, and ethan, on not really giving a crap. i mean, how bout this hypothetical, if every single player in mlb was on the juice, u cant tell me that u think barry would be just another player

in fact, come to think of it, i'm all for cheating, in all aspects of life, cheaters always win!!

At 10:50 AM, Blogger spanish miguel said...

What I don't like about the coverage of this story is that Barry Bonds is one of the best hitters ever with or without steroids. If the guy saw a freakin pitch or played in Wrigley or Houston or Boston he'd hit 100 or more homers. i can think of no one player in any sport, michael jordan, tiger woods, lance armstrong, zinedine zidane, included, who is SO much better than the 2nd best guy in pure skill (clutch-nicity, heart excluded) that the opposing team just takes him out of the game.

I mean, clearly Barry wasn't on roids last year, and he was as amazing as ever. And Giambi, according to his testimony, got WORSE (2003-2004) when he started taking steroids. So who cares?

At 9:10 AM, Blogger ethan said...

just for the record, giambi didn't start taking roids in 03. he stopped then (as noted by his marked drop in weight to start the 04 season). he has been roiding since the late 90's, but used the clear and clean in the early 00's (in his testimony he admits that he and his brother juiced before meeting greg anderson, i.e. he roided in oakland while putting up those contract-exploding seasons). take a look of a pic of that guy in college.

and while this is not a very solid argument (i have a (very loose) connection to brian harper (minny catcher for the twins in the 90's, current minor league manager)), back in 2002 (before the whole BALCO thing) i heard that giambi was taking undetectable roids and they were spreading around the league.

also, while i think the use of steroids dropped dramatically this past season (check out the power number decline), i don't think it's really fair to say that bonds "clearly" wasn't on roids this year. maybe, maybe not. but since the stuff is undetectable, couldn't his "you can test me every day" bit been more of a "you won't even catch me if you try"? again, maybe, maybe not.


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