May 22, 2013
Who is Shyster?
Or you can search by:
Most Recent Comments
Sam Zell’s Nightmare Continues (11)
William S. Stevens: 1948-2008 (22)
Teixeira’s Options (18)
Cole Hamels Meets Talk Radio (23)
Appropos of nothing (4)
Shyster's Daily Circuit
Joe Posnanski Blog
Cot's Baseball Contracts
It IS About the Money
Baseball Think Factory
MLB Trade Rumors
Way Back and Gone
Bats -- NYT Baseball Blog
The Biz of Baseball
The Daily Fungo
The Common Man
Jorge Says No!
Baseball Over Here
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Darryl Strawberry on steroids:
"Hell yeah I would have used them," Strawberry said. "Are you kidding me? I mean, c'mon. Some things are part of what athletes go through and they happen ...We're competitive creatures, and we have tremendous drive, a high tolerance, all these things. I'm not saying that it was the right thing to do. But if that was going on in the 80s, that probably would have been in my system too."
Straw: they were around in the 80s. It's just that you were too coke and boozed up to notice. We do appreciate the candor, however.
You know, Strawberry has a book about his wild years coming out soon. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that his admissions about how his out of control behavior and wasted promise negatively impacted pennant races for his teams won't get nearly the tut-tutting by the sporting press that has greeted A-Rod and Bonds' efforts to help their teams, however misguided they may have been. I mean, A-Rod may have been giving the Rangers an unfair adavantage, but didn't the unfair advantage Strawberry gave to the 1987 Cardinals, 1989 Cubs, and 1990 Pirates cause more damage? Unlike the Rangers, those teams actually won something.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 3:38pm
Remember John C. Odom, the minor leaguer who was traded for ten bats last year? It was all worth a chuckle at the time, but there's nothing funny about it anymore:
Bat Man" or "Bat Guy" or "Bat Boy" — that's what they called him.
No one can know that obviously, but the story makes a convincing case that the whole ordeal contributed to the decline of a guy who was already on the borderline to begin with.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 4:23pm
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Things to read while wondering whether the fact that Britney Spears albums and concert tickets are actually selling is a sign that the economy isn't as dire as we thought it was:
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 5:52am
Jason at IIATMS has a major post up this morning about how the baseball press missed the steroids story. There are many good points there, and the most comprehensive cataloging of reporter mea culpas on how they missed the story that I've seen to date. At the moment, however, it is this passage that has me thinking:
But the real crux of this discussion lies at the feet of the reporters covering the teams. As with anything, what did they know and when did they know it...and why didn't they say anything as soon as they learned of something? Questions we'll never really know the answers to. Some writers, Buster particularly, have been self-critical. Others less so. What started out as a search for some of Buster's notable admissions and self-admonishments, brought me to an article that's two and a half years old, but as relevant as ever . . .
I'm not willing to be as sympathetic. Yes, I'm aware of the long tradition of baseball writers looking the other way, but I think it's a poor excuse for journalistic failure. And it was a failure, brought on by the fact that, unlike any other genre of journalist, sports reporters are essentially expected to be beholden to the subjects they cover. Maybe sports isn't as important as politics or international affairs or the economy, but wouldn't we all be better off if the same standards, or at least something close to it, were applied to sports reporting that apply to those beats? Wouldn't we know more? Wouldn't it cultivate a deeper interest in the games we watch?
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 7:00am
The Padres are responding to the bad economy:
The Padres' much-maligned $9 beer vanished with an ear-ringing bang yesterday as the team cut, slashed and exploded prices on tickets, food and drink.
Only 50 cents? Looks like I won't be retiring my hip flask just yet. This is much better:
The “5 for $5,” available at every home game, includes a regular-sized hot dog, peanuts, popcorn, cookie and soda for $5. For an additional $5, fans can swap the soda for a 16-ounce draft beer.
Still, my plan when I visit my brother in San Diego this year will remain the same as it is every time I go out there: fill up on fish tacos at Rubios, then head to the ballpark.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 8:00am
A must-read feature in the Philadelphia Daily News today, relaying one anonymous players' experiences with steroids:
ONE TIME, the former major league pitcher recalled, the package that arrived in the mail looked like it contained pastries. The label even said something like Johnny's Bakery on it. Puzzled, he opened the box. Sure enough, he found cookies inside.
The beauty of this article is that it gets at many of the questions I and others have been asking about steroid use. Questions that the Mitchell Report -- which looks like a bigger whitewash every passing day -- never even attempted to answer. When and how did people start and why? How did players connect with their dealer in the first place? What, if any, heed did they take of side effects? What level of interaction did they have with other players with respect to PEDs? Did the drugs actually do for the player what he hoped they'd do? Was the moral/ethical component of all of this ever considered and to what degree?
Aside from sheer readability, there are a couple of major takeaways from this story. The first is that the "steroids users = evil, clean players = good" construct that most commentators have accepted and pushed is silly. It's a complicated stew of anxieties, pressures, and ultimately rationalizations that lead a player to PEDs, and casting it in black and white terms, while potentially satisfying, is ultimately useless if we really care of ridding the game of PEDs or, at the very least, learning about the impact they've had on the game over time.
A second takeaway can be found in this passage:
These days he's only a few pounds under his playing weight.
If we take this at face value -- and I don't see why we wouldn't -- the "look-how-big-he-was/look-how-small-he-is" parlor game is just as useless as the moralizing. Just as the Mitchell Report caught only the most reckless purchasers of steroids (i.e. guys who wrote personal checks to the stupidest dealers), the physique watchers of the world are paying attention to only the most over-the-top juicers. With each new revelation we are reminded how foolish it is to make any assumptions about a given player's drug use, but the notion that even guys sharing a locker room may not know what the other players are doing underscores how silly the guessing games truly are.
The final lesson: Despite baseball's best efforts to use the Mitchell Report to end the PED story, it's failure to give us any real information is manifest. The truth about this era, as I've said before, is going to come via journalism like this and ultimately scholarship. It's better, then, to hold our final judgments about this era -- judgments which will impact the Hall of Fame, the record books, and any number of other considerations -- until we can say we have something approaching the full story.
(link via BTF)
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 9:24am
To tell you how emotionally estranged I've been from the Braves lately, it hadn't even occured to me that there is competiton for the fifth spot in the Braves rotation, and it's between Tommys old and new. From Dave O'Brien's notes column today, after Glavine went on about how his shoulder was kind of sore:
I did toss out a question about Tommy Hanson and whether Glavine feels like he’s in competition with the young prospect to secure a spot in the rotation. Here’s his response:
Then, in a note whose placement after Glavine's comments doesn't seem accidental:
In other news, I thought you guys might want to hear what Don Sutton had to say this morning about his impressions of Tommy Hanson.
I don't think Bobby Cox has the stones to start Hanson and turn Glavine into a swingman or worse, but one wonders if that wouldn't be a better option for this team. At least if they want to compete this year, which I still maintain isn't really central to the front office's plan.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 12:34pm
In the wake of Neyer's correction of RJ Anderson yesterday, Tangotiger makes the point that every blog-hater misses:
Friend of The Book RJ Anderson made a post at 6AM this morning about Longoria probably having the best rookie season for 3B of all time. Less than 2 hours later, Repoz linked to it, where people noticed that Dick Allen was conspicuous by his absence. Rob Neyer undoubtedbly read that thread, did his own research and by noon (no timestamp on his post, but there are on his commenters) noted how Longoria’s Win Shares was simply unimpressive for RJ to have made such a statement. RJ took note of the comments and research and said “I completely missed Allen for reasons mentioned above. Inexcusable on my part.”.
He's absolutely right. My only quibble: Tom: it makes it much easier to comment on one-another's blog posts if you don't have your blog set up to thwart cutting and pasting!
(link via BTF)
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 1:30pm
Our long national nightmare is over:
The Dodgers have agreed in principle on a two-year, $45 million deal to re-sign free agent left fielder Manny Ramirez, a baseball source said on Wednesday morning.
Given the way this offseason has gone, however, I won't believe it until I see video of him working out with the team. Oh wait, this is the Dodgers, not the Braves. And of course, given that there's an opt-out, a strong season from Ramirez would mean that we get to go through all of this again next season!
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 2:21pm
What's shakin' in the neighborhood?
Click around, kids, there's a lot of good stuff out there.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 3:16pm