One day ago Robinson Cano was suspended from playing baseball for 80 games. A few of my followers on Twitter claim to have not been surprised by the recent news. New reports have surfaced saying the Yankees declined to re-sign Cano because they may have known he was using steroids. Perhaps the most surprising news (for me anyway) is that Cano was not exactly suspended because of testing positive for steroids. He was suspended for testing positive for using Furosemide, a diuretic sometimes used to hide the presence of other banned substances. Cano stated that he had taken the drug inadvertently and noted it was not a performance-enhancing drug. Major League Baseball does not care.
“I would never do anything to cheat the game I love”, Cano said in a statement. Players are commonly labeled “cheaters” by fans after testing positive for anything on the banned substance list. It doesn’t even have to be a steroid. Cano has already started his 80 game suspension and he will do some of it while on the disabled list (fracture finger). His tentative return date is August 14th. He is also ineligible for the All-Star game and can not play during the postseason (these rules were implemented in 2014). Cano joins the long list of players who’ve tested positive for banned substances including current Mariners Nelson Cruz and Dee Gordon. Some notable former Mariners who’ve tested positive are: Michael Morse, Jesus Montero, Ryan Franklin and Mike Cameron.
I think Cano is getting a raw deal. 80 games plus forfeiture of pay along with no All-Star game or postseason? I think that’s ridiculous. The average fan knows so little about steroids. Somehow taking steroids makes players increase their hand-eye coordination so they can swing the bat perfectly to record a hit. Steroids, of course, makes players stronger and faster but in no way do they increase skill. Steroids are not a magical pill where a player can inject steroids and all of a sudden become this super player. It takes hard work, dedication and discipline. Players who use steroids often spend more time in the gym, they eat healthier and work harder then players who are not using. Steroids basically assist with the recovery process so muscle groups can be worked out more frequently. This helps build bigger muscles in a shorter amount of time. Dee Gordon was taking testosterone and Clostebol, which helped reduce the amount of estrogen in his body as well as helped increase his testosterone levels. It gives athletes a slight “edge” as it’s a mild form of steroid and leaves minimal traces in the urine. Testosterone helped increase strength and for Dee Gordon that is essential on the base paths. But that doesn’t discount the amount work he has to do to gain that strength.
If you’re interested in learning more about steroids, and how they benefit athletes you can always watch this documentary called Bigger, Stronger, Faster. It’s the tell-all regarding steroids, the side affects, and how many sports athletes have been using them for decades. Steroids are obviously a taboo but being naive about them is ludicrous. Educating yourself on steroids will certainly open your eyes and get you to understand them a little better. You don’t have to change your opinion about them; if you hate them you hate them. If you think players are “cheaters” then so be it. I’m not here to try and change your mind. But if we dive deep into the heart of baseball and dissect the late 90’s (The Steroid Era) you have to admit that steroids saved baseball. The 1994 strike flat lined the sport, it decimated attendance and if it weren’t for Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco and countless other players who used and slugged home runs, where would baseball be today? The war on steroids is pointless.
My last point and then I’ll wrap this blog entry up. Athletes are trying to go the distance in a sports career. The average Major League Baseball career is roughly 5.6 years. A player has about an 11% chance of continuing on from his first year in baseball. Those odds are heavily stacked against him. These guys are fathers, husbands, sons, etc. They have families and bills and mortgages just like the rest of us. They are trying to compete in one of the most fiercest profession there is in the history of the human race. If you put yourself in their shoes, they are only trying to get the edge up on the next guy. They are only trying to stay competitive to continue their career. There is nothing dishonorable about that. Look at your own life and really think about all the short cuts you’ve thought about taking or all the times you’ve tried to get a leg up on your classmates or coworkers to earn the next promotion or score higher on a test. You’ll see that you and me and all these ball players are all one in the same. We are trying to survive the inevitable. But i digress.
This was the second time I saw Bartolo Colon pitch. And he pitched a gem. 7.2 scoreless innings at the age of 44. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The last time I watched Colon pitch was in 2012 when I went and saw the Mariners and the Athletics play in Japan. The Rangers were able to beat the Mariners by a score of 5-1. Typical of the Mariners to have sleepy bats until the 9th inning. Kyle Seager bashed a home run in the bottom of the 9th but it was all too late to start a rally by then. The Rangers had their number from the start. Colon was locked in and if it weren’t for the miscue at home plate, it would’ve been a solid 2-1 win Texas. That is all from Safeco Field.
Final: Texas Rangers 5 Seattle Mariners 1
Total Lifetime Games Attended: 139
Total Baseballs Snagged This Season: 16
Total Lifetime Baseballs Snagged: 374
Total Lifetime Foul Balls Snagged: 1
Total Lifetime Home Run Balls Snagged: 0
I know Im beating a dead horse by blogging about steroid use in professional sports. I have been thinking about this for a long time, and I wanted to finally blog about it. A lot of people dont care if athletes use steroids. In fact there are quite a few people out there that encourage the athletes to use them so they can witness better performances on the field. Well, I think thats absolutely selfish. Its wrong, and it degrades the sport.
Remember this guy? Sure you do. Thats Mark McGwire. He broke the single home run record that was formly held by Roger Maris. We all remember that day. September 8th 1998. Steve Trachsel on the mound facing McGwire. There it went. Over the left field fence. Number 62. The lucky stadium worker that found it, in my humble opinion, should have made some kind of deal with MLB for finding that baseball. Or kept it. McGwire would finish the season with 70 home runs. Sammy Sosa finished with 66 that season. And we all know that three seasons later, this guy would break that 70 home run mark.
Yup. Barry Bonds shattered that record with 73. A remarkable season for him. Barry Bonds has so many awards to his name its not even funny. Hes played with two teams his entire career ( Pittsburgh/San Francisco )and hes played in 14 all-star games. Quite the player, you’d say. So when exactly did these two players decide to start taking steroids? Well, McGwire in many interviews this last January said he used them when he first got to Oakland. He also put the blame on Jose Canseco. Jose Canseco even wrote a book on the steroid use thats taking place in baseball. Canseco also stated in an interview on the Chelsea Lately show that he wasnt trying to “out” baseball players. He was simply trying to identify a problem in the league, and get other players to back him up on it. Well, it all backfired on you Mr. Canseco.
So in the end with Bonds, and McGwire, was their entire career a total wash? Should all of their statistics have an asteriks by it? Rafael Palmerio tested positive on August 1st 2005 for steroids. He went before a congressional hearing, and denied ever using them. Canseco stated that he personally injected Palmeiro with steroids. Oddly enough, our good friend Rafael is a member of the 500 HR, 3000 Hit club. Palmeiro isnt offically retired. He just hasnt played baseball since 2005. Whats he waiting for? This whole steroid thing to blow over? To make sure his stats will stick before he retires? Who knows.
The following players were connected to steroids, either use or possession, in the Mitchell Report:
Paul Lo Duca
Exavier “Nook” Logan
The following players were cited under “Alleged Internet Purchases of Performance Enhancing Substances By Players in Major League Baseball.”
Gary Matthews Jr.
The following players were linked through BALCO
So what has all this madness done to our beloved American sport? In my opinion it has ruined it. Although, the home run chase back in 1998 probably saved baseball from the horrid 1994 baseball strike, but since then I think its done some serious damage. A lot of these players on the list have come forward, admitted they were wrong, apologized, and moved on. I guess in a sense, I should too. But recently when I got my hands on the Mitchell Report I was heartbroken that a lot of these players that I thought would have nothing to do with steroids had taken them or at least were accused. Their accomplishments arent real to me anymore. Theyve cheated the game. Theyve used performance enhancement drugs to propel themselves to do above and beyond what they normally arent capable of doing. Dont get me wrong. You still have to be an athlete to play this game. You cant just be some shlub off the street, eat some steroids, and magically hit 70 home runs in one season. I think these guys are incredible athelets for being able to do what they do. But Id rather see them hit 70 home runs by working hard, spending extra time in the batting cage, and with the batting coach, and studying each pitcher before they face them. They probably did that…but steroids helped them throw, hit, and run faster.
So because these players can perform beyond their normal capabilities it increases their value as a player. People say ” oh so what. So he took steroids. He can hit 500 foot home runs now. He can hit over 60 in a season.” Sure. Thats great. We all love seeing home runs. But now are beloved favorite player thats sending bombs to the outfield now wants to be paid millions on top of millions because hes doing that. And it doesnt help that guys like Scott Boras are encouraging that. So you ask ” well, whats the problem?” Well, Ill tell you what the problem is. Now simple people like you, me, and the rest of the baseball fans out there cant sit in seats behind home plate. Or we cant sit in seats behind the dugout. Why? Because this guy injecting himself with trash, and hitting a thousand home runs a game is making so much money that they have to raise ticket prices. They have to charge $10.00 for a beer. They have to charge $30.00 for two hotdogs, and a soda. Thats the problem. For a family of four, they have to sit in the cheap seats on the 500 level deck because four tickets at the field view are $70.00 a pop. Get what Im saying?
But I digress. The only think that keeps a crowd from coming to the ballpark is a losing team nowadays. And Im fine with that. I just think its criminal for these players to get paid so much money, and the fan is the one that loses out. Anyone that comes to the stadium shouldnt be limited to where they can sit to watch the game of baseball.