jesse
@ February 12, 2009


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"What Alex did was wrong and he will have to live with the damage he has done to his name and reputation. [...] While Alex deserves credit for publicly confronting the issue, there is no valid excuse for using such substances, and those who use them have shamed the game. [...] It is important to remember that these recent revelations relate to pre-program activity. Under our current drug program, if you are caught using steroids and/or amphetamines, you will be punished. Since 2005, every player who has tested positive for steroids has been suspended for as much as 50 games."
Bud Selig became the acting commissioner of baseball in 1992, after a vote of no-confidence by the owners forced out former commissioner Fay Vincent.  Under Selig's watch, Major League Baseball was unable to come to terms with the player's union during the 1994 season, resulting in a strike that subsequently wiped out that year's World Series. 

The following season, attendance and TV ratings plummeted, and stayed low for years.  At the same time, strange things were happening on the field.  Balls starting flying out of the yard at a ridiculous pace.  Here are some statistics:

  • 18 times in a season has a player hit 55 or more home runs in a single season - 12 of them happened since the strike. 
  • The top 12 - twelve - most prolific home run hitting teams of all time played since the 1994 strike.  
  • 41 times has a player hit 50 or more home runs in a season - 23 of those seasons were in the last 15 years
Inexplicable statistical blips showed up on the home run tallies.  Brady Anderson hit 50 in 1996, in between seasons of 16 and 18 - he hit 206 in his entire 15 year career.   Greg Vaughn hit 355 home runs over a 15 year career, and 50 of them were in the 1998 season, a year after hitting 18.  Oh, and then there is this:

barry-bonds.jpgOh, and this.

sammy-sosa.jpgWhen Alex Rodriguez says about his steroid use: "Back then it was a different culture," he isn't just making excuses.  When you drive to work tomorrow, are you going to strictly obey the speed limit, or are you going to drive as fast as you want? Forget what the rules are, or what the sign says: if everybody is doing it, why can't you do it? If the authorities look the other way, or only one in every 200 people speeding get a ticket, then why not do it?

Alex Rodriguez did steroids because EVERYBODY did steroids.  Shit, A-Rod showed restraint by waiting until 2001! And EVERYBODY did steroids because the other players, the coaches, the insufferably holier-than-thou and incredibly full of shit sportswriters, and the administrators of the game looked the other way.  They had to look the other way to avoid looking at Barry Bond's enormous forehead.  The steroids brought the home runs, and the home runs brought back the fans.  So they all looked the other way, because the game needed steroids. 

Bud Selig, you were the commissioner of baseball through all of this.  You could have done something about it.  Forget about the player's union standing in the way of testing - guys were doing steroids in the clubhouses! Don't tell me you couldn't do anything! You. Were. The. Commissioner. YOU COULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING. But you looked the other way, because the homers brought people back to the game that you nearly destroyed by allowing the players to strike. 

You are a disingenuous asshole. The only one who should be ashamed is you.

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What's the point you're trying to make about Barry and Sammy? That they both had unfortunate choices in facial hair early in their career? Or that said Ricanstaches were apparently obliterated by Nandrolone and THG?

Well, I guess there are a couple of different conclusions you can draw, but I was more interested in the fact that old Sammy and old Barry had heads that were approximately 50-100% bigger than when they were younger. Barry's head in particular looks inflated like a hot air balloon.

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