Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Sir Lancelot No More

You knew it had to happen sooner or later, but they've finally found a charge to lob at our newest golden boy, Lance Armstrong. The Tour de France claims it has evidence that a banned substance showed up in a blood test from 1999. It was probably a bad jinx for Lance to go bike riding with Herr Shrub in Texas last week, but in this newly emerging era of super invasive scrutiny, what with all the drug tests, retina scans, chip implants and surveillance cameras---we are all bound to fuck up, in THEIR EYES, sooner or later. Lance is just the latest victim in this tar and feather police state mentality, which feeds a 24-hour news cycle and helps sheild our warmongering Big Brother from serious observation by keeping us all conveniently distracted while the bombs keep a dropping and innocent people keep a dying. Bread and circuses indeed!

As I've stated previously I don't care if Lance Armstrong or Barry Bonds or anyone else have taken steroids or any other so called "illegal substance" at any time in their storied careers. It is none of my business or anyone else's. As to the assertion that it is harmful or detrimental to a given sport, I'll just say that both Mr. Bonds and Mr. Armstrong have carried their repsective sports on their shoulders for quite awhile now, and however they ultimately achieved success is their own damn bidness! An individual should be allowed to do what he or she wants to with their own body! That is a principle right of personal liberty-----self ownership.

Would you say that I am taking unfair advantage of my Mormon brethren because I can consume copious quantities of caffeine and stay up late at night working at the Bit & Spur, while they'd droop and yawn in their lethargic state of semi-coma at 2:15 AM? How about a face lift to land a part for a Hollywood movie? Lip injections? Lyposuction? Eye color surgery? Breast implants? Yikes!!

Why can't adult athletes take any drug they want to? Why is that bad? Who is it hurting? Willie Mays took uppers in the 50's and 60's to keep sharp during long grueling road trips, and Babe Ruth didn't. Does that besmirch the accomplishments of the Say Hey Kid?

Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire's "juiced homers" helped revive a game that had sunk so low in attendance that there was talk of contracting the league in the mid-90's. Who cares how they got it done? It is useful to remember that they are ultimately entertainers, and Lance and his "juiced" buddies, are merely selling Cokes, the Postal Service and the country of France for millions of thirsty onlookers. This ain't about the fate of nations. It's just something you peep at on the telly for crying out loud!

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20050824/D8C6AQ400.html

24 comments:

Sinister Steve said...

Just as it SHOULD be a persons right to put anything into their body it is MLBs right to say you can't use a certain substance. I'd rather see a level playing field created by not allowing players to use steroids than players having to use steroids to be on the same level as those that are. MLB is, after all, a workplace and if their employers want to ban a substance that is their right.

As for someone like Bonds carrying a sport on his shoulders, I am of the opinion that the Bonds and Sosas of MLB have made a mockery of the sport. It was nothing more than adult league softball which is on the level of kickball.

beamis said...

My understanding is that these substances weren't officially banned, somewhat reluctantly I might add, until fairly recently and it was a gray area for awhile before that.

I agree that the rules of the road, once set, should be observed by those who voluntarily participate in a league or guild with set rules of conduct and sportsmanship.

I think the drugs can help enhance individual results in the same way that sports medicine, weight training and nutrition can contribute to overall athletic success, when applied in the proper proportion to training.

If they are banned, don't use 'em, but it's dumb to single out drugs as a singularly evil device to achieve success.

Thanks for checking in SS.

Skeeter said...

The thing about baseball is you still have to have the skill to hit, catch and throw the ball to begin with.
Players have been juicing for a long time before the ban was in effect, and it took Big Mac and Sosa to break Roger Maris' record some 30 years later....come on.
You don't need big muscles to catch a damn baseball. Throwing is a different story, but if your range of motion is reduced, more muscles don't help you.

It is MLB's right to ban it.

I hate the fact that congress get's involved with this crap, just sickens me.

Ballplayer's should be able to take what they want, but muscles don't make the ball player in my opinion. If it did, Platz, Ferrigno, Schwarzenagger, would be on first, second and third.

Sinister Steve said...

The fact that it took 30 yrs to break 61 and then 3 players smashed it numerous times tells me that "muscles" do play a part. Then you have to add in the fact that many players have shown up to spring training 20lbs lighter. I think it is safe to say these juiced up players have a definite advantage. It is more than strength; it also involves recovery which is why you will see a lot of pitcher get busted for steroids.

Devastatin' Dave said...

Skeeter,

Nice Platz reference.

Hank Aaron played at 180lbs and look what he did.

Skeeter said...

SS,

Of course muscles play a part, but I don't care how big you are you have to have the skill first. You can't take "skill" pills.

Like anything else in this world records or goals are hard to break, not so much because of the physical difficulty, but because of the mental difficulty.
The main thing that all the players afterwards, smashing 61 homeruns is they saw it could be done.
Also weren't there changes in the baseball, making a harder ball, therefore it goes further when hit?
Also pitchers are throwing faster than ever, so more speed on the ball (hehe speed-ball.. GOD I hate Bruce Springsteen!) means more homeruns.
I'm not saying muscles make no difference, but you can get sufficient strength to break records without shooting up.

Devastatin' Dave said...

Here's my problem with the recent Lance Armstrong test. They did the test recently, but with samples from 1999. I have a hard time believeing that you can store blood for that long and still get a valid test result. I'm calling bullshit on the test.

Sinister Steve said...

Players saw the record broken at 61 by Maris yet it still took 30 yrs. The difference in performance from guys like bonds and sosa, in my opinion, is directly attributed to steroids. Bonds had never hit 50 but all of a sudden he hits 73. As for guys throwing harder that is debateable. Probably just better devices to measure speed. As for smaller ball parks and harder balls; those advantages have been offsetting by the fact that a hitter faces 3-4 pitchers a night instead of 1 or 2. Throw in the fact baseball is now integrated and international and there is no advantage (outside of performance enhancing drugs)to playing in 1997 over 1923 when it comes to hitting home runs.

Sinister Steve said...

Every playing in the major leagues has skill and there are probably a million more that dont play in the majors that could. Skill is not an issue here.

Riggs is Crazy said...

This Lance Armstrong stuff is BS. The French hate him b/c he's American. Viva la Lance.

I'm with SS on this one. Bonds and company have made a mockery of baseball. the only other thing I can add is F**k you Hans Blix!

Skeeter said...

Skill doesn't matter? First off I'm talking about the skill of a pro ball player and a Joe Shmo like Dave, not pro against pro.
But even so, Then tell me why Cecil Fielder couldn't hit over 61 home runs. Why? Because he didn't have the same skill that Sosa or Macguire had. He was huge, though. How about the Big Hurt? Again huge, no record.

In Maris' time they didn't have the same conditioning and weight training that they have now. Hell Mickey was killing his liver every night and everybody smoked cigarettes. Imagine what Maris could do without a pack a day and the conditioning these guys get. Sosa and Macguire would be toast, even with the steroids.

As far as Armstrong. Screw the French. The guy just worked his ass off and dedicated his life to achieving the best. He gathered only the best teams to help him win. They're pissed about his comments on French media and French people in general.

Sinister Steve said...

Do you know if Fielder was or was not on steroids? If he was maybe that the reason he hit 50 instead of 25. If he wasnt maybe he would have hit 80.

Baseball is repetition. You look at any roster and you will see 90% of the players are from the southern portion of the US or are Latin American. That is because they can play 12 months a yr, not because there are unskilled players in the North.

If you dont think steroids matter please explain Brady Anderson to me. Please explain why Sosa is hitting 210, Pudge has dropped 20lbs, Bonds all of a suddend cant heal, Bagwell is in decline, pitchers are throwing 89 and not 92, Juan Gonzalez has vanished. These guys arent hard to pick out. They are hitting 380 with 40hr at the all star break and look like they escaped from the WWE.

Jeff Bagwells brother is Buff Bagwell of the wrestling fame. Im gonna say he was dirty.

Jason Giambi and his brother are not 40 homeruns apart in skill or talent. Just 40 cc's

Devastatin' Dave said...

I repeat, George Foster in 1977 had the most impressive offensive year of anyone since Maris/Mantle in '61. He did it clean, with a black bat and magnificent sideburns.

SS,

Throw in Bret Boone, too.

Skeeter said...

If Fielder was on roids why didn't he hit 80 hr's if it plays so much a part of things?

Once again, pay attention SS:

Steroids improve muscle mass..to that extent, the skills an athelete might have that are benefited by increased muscle mass will only enhance those skills, it stands to reason.
Now I can see a juicer making a home run out of a flyout to left, but he wouldn't get that far UNLESS HE HAD SKILL.
The numbers you quote only serve to make my point. Sosa's hitting .210 now he's off the juice? I can't hit .210 in the majors....you can't hit .210 in the majors...I wonder if 10% of the population can hit that in the show. In other words he's still got skill.

Sinister Steve said...

Gosh Damnit Skeeting hitting 210 in the majors isnt skillful. Thats my point. This guy 2 yrs ago was hitting 330 with 60 hrs. Now all this stuff comes up and he is hitting 210. It was because of steroids. You would be surprised how many people could hit 210 in the majors. They are called minor leagues NOT on steroids. As for fielder just because he was big doesnt mean he was on steroids. I honestly dont know about home. I do know that he was a guy who went from Japan to leading the majors in HR's. If he WAS on steroids he probably would that is probably what allowed him to hit 50 instead of being in Japan. Barry Bond I can guarentee was on roids and he magically hit 73 home runs after never hitting 50. That is a 33% increase. Give that increase to a punch and judy hitter and they are now hitting 320.

Anyway you look at it it is a banned substance that give a huge anvantage to those who use them. Now that may be okay with the fans or with you but i promise you the guy sitting in AA playing by the rules doesnt think to fondly of it.

Audie said...

Math check: That's actually about a 50% increase, not 33.

And Bagwell's in decline because he's old.

Sinister Steve said...

Bagwell's deline started in 02 which would have made him 34. Hardly old in today's game. You are right about the math though.

Audie said...

Oh yeah. I thought he was 39, but that's Biggio.

Skeeter said...

SS,

I see your point about the Minor League players.
I know if someone takes steroids it messes up everything in your body. When you go off steroids you can get depressed, your mind and body will be messed up so for that fact I agree steroids can have an effect.
I was trying to make the case that bigger muscles don't necessarily make you a better ball player. I can't name anybody, but I'll just bet you there are big guys in the majors, taking steroids and they can't hit for shit. Unless steroids improves hand-eye coordination.

Devastatin' Dave said...

My guess with Bagwell is that after he saw what happened with Ken Caminiti(who has since died)he dropped the roids.

Sinister Steve said...

There's no reason to not believe Conseco anymore. He admitted himself that he would have been an average major leaguer, at best, if not for the roids. His confession is what will keep him out of the Hall of Fame.

As for Biggio he stays out of the mix because he is a smaller guy. If you look at him though, he is built like a body builder. He has also put up some of his best years at an advanced age.

I still believe some of the worst abusers are pitchers. Anyone who has ever thrown even 6 innings will tell you they can barely lift their arm the next day. A lot of these guys are bouncing back way to quick to not be using.

That being said, I have to question what Clemens is doing. Way to dominant for a 42 yr old. MLB will protect him though.

beamis said...

Why protect Clemens?

Sinister Steve said...

Because he is the opposite of the big hitters. MLB needs guys like him (the pitching version of Bonds) to keep down the big numbers they let get out of control.

I firmly believe they set up Palmero. Washed up player gets 3000 hits and then busted for steroids. By busting a guy like palmero MLB wins because they don't look biased when in fact he will probably retire anyway.

MLB doesnt want a 3rd party giving the test because it wants to protect its stars. Clemens is a star and looks to have another 5 yrs. Palmero, steroids or not, is done, but is seen as a superstar. Clemans is seen as everything that is right with baseball. Busting him (if he is using) would signal to Congresss this is out of control and MLB cant take care of its own house.

Busting Palmero on the other hand keeps Congress at bay and gives the impression baseball will go after anyone.

Really the only difference is the fact that Palmero is a slugger and Clemans is a pitcher. People aren't hip to the fact that pitchers are using. They expect it out of the sluggers.

Just my opinion

Marmoo said...

This just in.....

Banned Substances Found in Lance Armstrong's Hotel Room.
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By MICHELLE FAUL
The Associated Press Wednesday, August 3, 2005; 11:00 PM

PARIS -Lance Armstrong's record setting seventh Tour de France victory, along with his entire Tour de France legacy, may be tarnished by what could turn out to be one of the greatest sports scandals of all time.

Armstrong is being quizzed by French police after three banned substances were found in his South France hotel room while on vacation after winning the 2005 Tour de France. The three substances, toothpaste, deodorant, and soap have been banned by French authorities for over 75 years.

Armstrong's girlfriend and American rocker Sheryl Crowe is quoted as saying "we use them every day in America, so we naturally thought they'd be okay throughout Europe."

Along with these three banned substances, French authorities also found several other interesting items that they have never seen before, including a backbone and a testicle.