Sheez, for one Saturday a whole lot went on yesterday, huh?
* We got Big Papi’s press conference
*Â The Josh Hamilton is human photos came out
*Â The Sox lost their third in a row to the Yanks and their fifth in a row overall and fell to 5.5 games out of first place
I’m going to start with Hamilton.Â I’ve been quite vocal with my displeasure of the way MLB and all the sports news outlets have handled him from the beginning.Â The promoting of him as some sort of super hero just because he fought his addictions and came back to play professional baseball bothered me.Â The guy was no better than any other player in MLB – everyone has their stories and most everyone has a demon or two.Â But no, we had to hear about how wonderful he was 24/7.Â Hell, he didn’t even win the home run derby in 2008 yet HE was the main story.Â Wonder if Justin Morneau is enjoying a little schadenfreude today?Â I’m not.Â I feel sorry for Hamilton.Â He has human failings like everyone and his got plastered all over Deadspin yesterday.Â If any other player in MLB had photos like those released would they have to hold a press conference to apologize for them?Â Hell, ARod was seen with a stripper while he was still with his wife and the media didn’t question him about it.Â Stories were written about how it was no one’s business and about how boys will be boys (which I think is bullshit but that’s for another rant).Â What Hamilton did should have been between him and his wife (and maybe his team if they have provisions in his contract about not drinking or doing drugs).Â The reason it became a story for the media to pounce on is because THEY built him up to be something he wasn’t.Â Granted, they did it with his help.Â He sat for that special the MLB Network ran on him and talked about how he’s a man of God and clean and devoted to his wife (ironically that was aired if not taped AFTER his indiscretion Deadspin publicized yesterday) and encouraged people to look to him as a role model.Â Guess what?Â He isn’t.Â He’s a guy just like any other and he has his failings and weaknesses.Â He isn’t Superman and he isn’t someone you look to and say “isn’t he so much better than the others?” because he isn’t.Â So leave him alone.Â Let his wife and his team deal with him.
Okay, I’ll admit it.Â There is one small, evil part of me that said “I told you so” when this came out.Â See, I’m human too!
Two of my friends sent me messages that said the same thing about yesterday’s game.Â Essentially,Â “Clay pitched well.Â That’s something to take away from this” and that’s exactly what I’m doing.Â The team needed Clay to come up big and he did.Â It’s frustrating to watch the team lose the way they are but if they have to put Kevin Youkilis in left field and your best option in the bullpen was Enrique Gonzalez, well that’s a sign that things aren’t going too well.Â The assholes at Fox kept talking about how this was a different Yankees team than the team that the Sox beat for 8 games. Well guess what?Â It’s a different Sox team that the Yankees are seeing.Â I’m not ready to call it a season just because of these struggles and if you are I sense you’re reading the wrong blog.Â Nick Cafardo has today’s “the sky is falling” article at boston.com
Speaking of boston.com, they have a poll up asking what folks think of Big Papi’s press conference yesterday.Â Let’s see if you can figure out how they feel over there (or how they want the fans to feel) by the way they phrase the responses (I cut and pasted this – so typos belong to boston.com):
Which of the following statements best summarizes how you feel about David Ortiz after hearing him say he never took steroids (some statements paraphrased from commenters)?
I believe him. Ortiz was telling the truth all along. Shame on all those who didn’t give the man a chance to talk. Shame on all of those who don’t believe in heroes.
So now the union tells us that many of the players who tested positive maybe didn’t test positive? I’m thoroughly confused and I don’t think I’ll ever get any answers. Moreover, I don’t know who to believe. I’m sick of this.
I think David Ortiz is lying. I think he took steroids. It’s not just a concidence that his numbers spiked at EXACTLY the time ended up on ‘the list’. His comments Saturday mean nothing.
As of 9:35 this morning, 5432 people have voted. 33.4% chose the first option (believing Papi). 38.7% think he’s lying and 28% are “sick of this”.
The option that you believe Ortiz ends with “Shame on all of those who don’t believe in heroes”.Â Either some moron who comments at boston.com wrote this or some idiot like CHB or Tony Massarotti came up with th wording.Â So we can’t believe that Ortiz is telling the truth unless we believe in unicorns and fairies and the idea that baseball players are heroes?
Fuck you boston.com.Â Seriously.Â There’s no doubt in my mind, based on all I’ve spoken to and all I’ve read over the last, not quite, 24 hours, that the sports writers from the Globe probably make up the majority of the 38.7% who voted in this poll and think he’s lying.
Me?Â I believe him.Â Why not?Â He could have come out and said there was no way he could have tested positive regardless of the stories.Â He could have denied it outright or said he only used it once or apologized and not tell us what for.Â Instead he admitted to using vitamins and supplements and not paying attention to what was in them.Â This is believable.Â Why isn’t it?Â Because people want Papi to be a “bad guy” or a cheater?Â Because he has to be lying since others lied?Â It’s telling to me that the union chose to come out now and sit by Papi’s side and try to explain things when they hadn’t done that before.Â Is it because Papi is more likable than Alex Rodriguez?Â Or is it because ARod admitted to using steroids for all that time and you can’t really defend that yet the union believes Big Papi as well so he was the better option to use for their coming out party?
What the union had to say yesterday was huge – Michael Weiner had a lot to tell us, regardless of the Globe’s wish to ignore it.Â Broken down, it comes to this:Â there were legal supplements out at the time that could have resulted in a positive test result but even so, the 104 names on the dreaded “list” didn’t all test positive.Â They’re looking at 83 (according to them – not 104) positive tests off that list.Â And that’s TESTS not players.Â Of those 83 tests, there were multiple positives from the same people.Â So 104 players didn’t test positive for PED use and get put on that list.Â There were 96 positive test results that triggered the 5% needed to implement testing in 2004 and of those 96, 13 of them were disputed.Â So, essentially, “the list” doesn’t mean anything unless there is a result of what the person tested positive for next to every name.Â If the lawyers leaking the info about the list know the names don’t they know what they tested positive for as well (or just why they’re on the list if not for a positive test?)?Â Why isn’t that information being leaked?
The LA Times today has an article about this in which the writer trashes Papi by saying he lied and hid behind “using supplements”.Â Then a few paragraphs down the same writer says that Ortiz’ response is plausible and possibly the truth but we’ll never know unless more information from the lists is released.
See, that’s the real issue for the sports media.Â They don’t care whether Papi is telling the truth, they want the entire list released so they can rip these players apart one by one.Â It’ll keep their papers in business months longer than they might be.Â Don Henley wasn’t kidding when he wrote the song I referenced in today’s entry’s title.Â I used to be one of those people.Â I wanted the list released just to rip the band-aid off in one motion.Â But for what?Â If all the names on there haven’t tested positive (and we know there are names that AREN’T on there of players who have most likely used PEDs) why are we outing these men?Â Why the blood lust for something that isn’t going to turn out the way we want it.Â Papi doesn’t want the list released and he’s already been outed.Â Why put other players through the crap Papi went through just to get them to say “I took supplements and didn’t know they’d test positive”?
My stance on PEDs has changed somewhat.Â It started with, of all people, Jay Gibbons and continued with JC Romero.Â I believe Alex Rodriguez to be a lying, slimy human being so PEDs or not my opinion of him will remain the same.Â But Big Papi really brought it home for me.Â And, again, I believe him.
Maybe I have to believe him.Â Maybe I’m being blinded by my affection for him and what he’s done for this team?Â But his story is believable and I believe it as do many others.Â I don’t care what boston.com or the Boston Globe thinks or wants us to think.Â I have my own mind and I saw and heard him myself.
Because the universe likes to mess with my mind on occasion, I missed the Futures games yesterday.Â But it was a gorgeous day for baseball and in spite of the PawSox losing (the Sea Dogs won!) I understand it was a great day at the ballpark!
Lester v Pettitte tonight at 8 on ESPN.Â Be prepared to watch with the volume off!
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