Monday, February 09, 2009

Some admin notes, then A-Roid

A couple of things:

- I've changed the email address associated with this site to the much more obvious ''. I can still be reached at the previousl email address, at least for a while.

- I've joined the 21st century and entered the unfettered world of facebook. It's been an interesting weekend poking around on the site. I've managed to find some folks I'd lost track of, not to mention some interesting people who spell their names phonetically.

- I've also re-organized the Cardinals links to the right. I've gotten all the UCB links I could remember (and find while sifting through email) onto that list, as well as a few others, and purged the deadwood. If I've left anyone off, let me know soonest and I'll rectify the situation; if I've inadvertently deleted someone, let me know that too and I'll add you back on.


On to the fun.

Alex Rodriguez popped positive for steroids during the 2003 testing. This revelation was all over the news this weekend. Apparently someone leaked his name to the press. What I find mind boggling about this whole situation is the arrogance of the players union.

As you remember, the 2003 testing was done as a trial, under agreement between the Commissioner's Office and the MLBPA, to see how prevalent the steroid problem was in baseball. Individuals would be tested with complete confidentiality, their names never to be revealed. 104 people tested positive for banned substances; as a result, MLB instituted a mandatory drug testing program in 2004 which has gotten progressively more stringent since.

Why hold onto those samples? What was the reason, seeing as they had served their real purpose?

As has been pointed out in other stories, these samples (and the documentation linking them to individual players) would have never seen the light of day had it not been for Barry Bonds and BALCO. That gave the federal government the pretext to supoena those tests, results, and samples under their ongoing investigation against Bonds. However, the union screwed up; and instead of just getting their hands on the stuff pertaining to Bonds, the Feds got their hands on EVERYTHING.

Cue the panic in locker rooms everywhere. Especially now that A-Rod has been outed.

This is going to turn into the Salem Witch Trials and the blacklisting of Hollywood types during the Cold War. Players will be surmised to be guilty just because their name comes up in conversation about steroids. Remember how overblown the mere allegation of Albert Pujols doping was 3 years ago? He managed to fight that off. Players implicated in this round of innuendo will be guilty forever in the court of public opinion, even if they manage to prove their innocence beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Back to A-Rod. He's never been the most beloved Yankee, and he's reviled in several sectors of the league (most notably Boston). You think he's dreading his first trip to Fenway this season? You think those tickets just became the hottest ticket in Boston? Can you imagine the vitriol that will spew from the Fenway Faithful whenever he takes the field, in that and all successive games against the Red Sox?

I hope ESPN, or FOX, or ABC, or Lifetime, or the Spice Channel, or someone televises that first game. I can't wait to see what the notoriously pithy Red Sox fan comes up with to taunt A-Rod. A-Roid will probably be the tamest thing we see.

The 103 sleep in a cold sweat, fearing their names will come up eventually. On a personal note, God forbid Albert Pujols is one of the 103. I'm not sure my fan-dom for the great game of baseball could survive that nuclear detonation.

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