August 7, 2009 Column
Tweet of the Week
Tweet of the Week
From @str8edgeracer AKA Texas Rangers closer C.J. Wilson
Orlando Magic forward Rashard Lewis tested positive for an elevated testosterone level. Now the NBA has brought the hammer down, announcing the athletic, three-point marksmen will have all of his home runs cleared from the NBA record book.
"The public must know that the NBA takes this very seriously," said commissioner David Stern. "We will not have our record book or the proud history of this game be sullied by those who break the rules. If only baseball had been as proactive and forthright from the start."
Lewis, who played an integral role in helping the Magic upset Lebron James' Cleveland Cavaliers last year in the Eastern Conference Finals, tested positive late last season and then again during the Finals.
"Thankfully, the outcome of the season is in no way tainted," said Stern, "because Rashard didn't hit any home runs during the playoffs. I'll admit that we dodged a bullet there."
Stern stressed that fans can rest assured that the NBA and the outcomes of its games have never been in any way compromised.
"We have internal security mechanisms in place that are the best in professional sports," said Stern. "That's why we have only had one rogue ref and one PED user. Ever. End of story. So, anyway, did you guys hear what Jose Canseco said the other day about a baseball Hall of Famer being on steroids? Wow. Baseball has some problems."
Lewis hopes fans can forgive him.
"Luckily I play in the NBA so I'll probably never hear anything about this," he said. "But I'm not going to attend any major league baseball games for a while. I don't want to get booed."
DROP: Jake Peavy, P, White Sox Peavy is one of the best in the game, but he hasn't pitched in almost two months and likely won't get back on the mound until late August. By that time you'll get, what four or five starts out of him at the max, and even then he'll be rusty for half of them. So there's little to gain by holding Peavy on your roster all this time for the slight chance of five good starts come September. If you have him, drop him. Also, if you don't have him, pick him up. Peavy is one of the best in the game. He hasn't pitched in almost two months, so when he gets back on the mound in late August, he'll be rested and ready. You'll get four or five starts our of an ace and even if he's rusty for half of them, a rusty Jake Peavy is still better than most of the pitchers out there. He's worth locking up a roster spot now for the chance at five good starts come September.
News Who is Cliff Lee?
Cliff Lee may be the reigning American League Cy Young award winner, but he's far from a household name. Now that he has been acquired by the World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies, it's time to ask
Who is this guy? Here are some facts about Cliff Lee.
Lee was born Clifton Phifer Lee in Benton, Ark. in 1978. At age 5, Lee decided he would go by "Cliff." He also decided to tell people that he was not given a middle name.
The left-hander played one season for the Arkansas Razorbacks in 2000 and was named 2002 Hog Nation Minor League Player of the Year by hognation.net. However, Hognation.com chose to ignore his fine season and instead continued to run risque pictures of obese women in American flag-themed lingerie.
In 2008, Lee's 22 wins were the most by an Indians pitcher since Gaylord Perry won 24 in 1972. The Indians commemorated Lee's feat by awarding him with the belt-sander that Perry used on the mound throughout the '72 season.
In 2002, Lee was part of the trade that sent Brandon Philips, Lee Stevens and Grady Sizemore from Montreal to Cleveland in exchange for Bartolo Colon and Tim Drew. Colon insisted Drew be included in the deal, as he was his personal chef/guy-who-would-run-to-Burger-King-at-midnight-for-him-to-get-a-few-Whoppers.
Lee won the AL Comeback Player of the Year Award in 2008. Lee was eligible for the award because in 2007 he went 5-8 with a 6.29 ERA and was plagued by acute suckitis. Yet he overcame the disease to win the Cy Young a year later. A movie about the inspiring comeback is already in production.
Lee and his wife, Kristin, have two children: Jaxon and Maci. Here is a photo of the family. Let's see a young, blonde wife. Two cute children, a boy and a girl. He's ridiculously wealthy. It's all too good to be true. What are you hiding, Lee? An ugly cat? A toilet that runs in your guest house? A musty odor that lingers for a day or two each year when you open your beach house? Back hair? Out with it! Stop living a lie, Phifer! We're onto you.
Today I was informed by a reporter that I was on the 2003 list of MLB players to test positive for performance-enhancing substances. This happened right before our game, and the news blindsided me.
I want to talk about this situation and I will as soon as I have more answers. In the meantime I want to let you know how I am approaching this situation.
1.I have already contacted the Players Association to confirm if this report is true. I have just been told that the report is true. Based on the way I have lived my life, I am surprised to learn I tested positive.
2.I will find out what I tested positive for.
3.Based on whatever I learn, I will share this information with my club and the public. You know me I will not hide and I will not make excuses.
4. Upon learning the specific drug I tested positive for, I will dig up a list of legal supplements I took in 2003 and insist that one of them must have been tainted without my knowledge.
5. I will threaten a lawsuit suing the maker of the supplement, although that will only be for PR purposes; I will never actually follow through on the suit, as it will have no merit.
6. After that I will instruct those close to me to continue throwing out possible explanations in the press something like I unknowingly took a steroid while at home in my native Dominican Republic, where they are legal. Or that a rogue trainer injected me without my knowledge to help me recover quicker from an injury. You know, crap like that.
7. By this time, we'll be a couple of months down the road and people won't care as much as they do now, so I'll make some sort of vague admission about "mistakes" I have made and everyone will pretty much move on.
8. I will remain a hero in New England because home fans always protect their own, plus they really don't want to admit their '04 and '06 World Series titles are tainted.
9. I will retire in Boston, where I will live and continue to earn a good living doing card shows and public appearances because, really, who cares about steroids, am I right?
So that's what I am going to do next. As you can see, I will be very open throughout this entire process.
ADD: Garrett Jones, 1B/OF, Pirates Since joining the Pirates on July 1st, Jones has hit .323 with 16 RBI, 5 SB and a major-league best 10 HR. He would be an especially good pickup in leagues that charge for free agent acquisitions, as cash transactions involving the Pittsburgh Pirates are valid as tax deductible charitable donations.
Baseball was rocked again today with the report that another beloved figure in the game has been linked to steroids this time the tainted legend being former Dodgers star Jackie Robinson.
The commissioner's office has yet to comment on the report, but Bud Selig is said to be taking this latest steroids news especially hard, as Robinson was a personal hero of his and the commissioner recently retired Robinson's No. 42 throughout all of baseball for his efforts in breaking the sport's color barrier.
But now it seems Robinson broke several ethical boundaries, as well. At a recent sports memorabilia auction, a bidder purchased several of the second baseman's old uniforms. When he took the items home, he found curious substances in the pants pockets.
"On a whim I had them tested," said the buyer, Mark Looper of Los Angeles. "And sure enough, they were steroids. Very rudimentary steroids."
It seems Robinson, desperate to prove racists and doubters wrong and show that he could succeed in major league baseball, used contacts he had in UCLA's chemistry department to help him develop an anabolic steroid a steroid which several former teammates who wish to remain anonymous say Robinson took throughout his career.
"He saw what he was doing as more than just one man playing baseball," said a former Dodgers teammate. "He was able to justify it pretty easily in his mind that way. It's that way with all cheaters."
"Jackie broke barriers," said another teammate. "He was the first Negro player. And he was the first steroids-using player. I think this actually boosts his legacy. If it wasn't for the Negroes and steroids, baseball would have gone under years ago."
But whether right or wrong, the sport now has perhaps its biggest scandal yet.
"Maybe this is a good thing," said current Dodgers manager Joe Torre. "It can help us move past this era. Jackie Robinson did steroids, A-Rod did steroids, Manny did steroids. Everyone did them. It's no big deal. Hell, I did them for a few years just to try to fit in with and relate to my players on the Yankees."
Talks over the phonebetween Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro and Indians GM Mark Shapiro leading up to the Cliff Lee trade reportedly took a dramatic turn late Tuesday night when the pair found themselves engaged in phone sex.
“I’m not sure exactly how it happened, but it happened,” said Amaro. “We’ve been spending a lot of time on thephonetogether recently and I guess it’s one of those things like in any workplace where sparks can fly and two people can end up building an intense sexual tension between one another simply because of all the hours spent together working towards a common goal. It was late, we were on the phone, and one thing just led to another.”
“As the talks drew on, I was getting tired and I told Ruben that I wanted to get out of my work clothes and put on something more comfortable,” said Shapiro. “He asked me what I was wearing. I told him Dockers and a polo shirt and it turned out he was wearing the same thing. And before I knew it, my pants were down around my ankles and I was muttering: ‘Oh, yeah. You want me to pick up 100 percent of Cliff Lee’s contract, don’t you? Come on, you know you want it. Tell me you need another position player to make this deal happen. That’s right, make me work for it.’”
Amaro said he doesn’t think the incident says anything about the sexual preference of either executive.
"It was simply a voice on the other end of the line,” he said. “A welcoming voice that I had become accustomed to talking to. It was nothing more than a means to relieve stress and hopefully break down barriers between us and finally get a deal worked out that will bring a top pitcher here to Philadelphia. And to be honest, I enjoyed it. I hope to deal with Larry again in the future.”
But Shapiro isn’t so sure.
“For me, at least, it was extremely awkward when it was over. I felt used,” he said. “Doing something like that is totally unlike me. Especially to engage in that kind of behavior with another man. And a fellow GM, no less. I get a sense Ruben seduces everyone GMs, agents. I bet it's how he got Raul Ibanez so cheap."
While Shapiro is happy with what he got in return for Lee, and even happier that he was able to achieve orgasm in the process, he doubts he will be trading again with the Phillies anytime soon.
"There was a certain walk of shame when I got off the phone and told my assistants and the owner that the trade was done," he said. "They were happy with the deal, but I can tell I lost some of their respect in how I got it done. I need to value myself more in the future and not just whore myself out to any GM on the phone who wants to deal with me or compliments me on how big I am down there."