Thursday, 22 August 2013

PED's and Baseball

Earlier today, recently suspended Ryan Braun released a statement apologizing for his steroid use during the 2011 season.

"Here is what happened. During the latter part of the 2011 season, I was dealing with a nagging injury and I turned to products for a short period of time that I shouldn't have used. The products were a cream and a lozenge which I was told could help expedite my rehabilitation. It was a huge mistake for which I am deeply ashamed and I compounded the situation by not admitting my mistakes immediately."

Does this make much of a difference as far as the situation of PED's in baseball? Not in the least. It's good to see an athlete come out an apologize for making a mistake, but what difference does it make at this point? Braun burned his own bridges with many other teammates, friends, and those at the MLB offices, and it's up to him to build them back, as he points out in his statement. At this point, who really cares about whether the products were for an injury or whether he was trying to enhance his playing ability? The damage has been done, and there isn't much more you can say.

As far as the situation of PED's go, not much feels different despite thirteen players being suspended for their involvement in the Biogenesis case. This is a big move by Major League Baseball, as they continue to move towards PED-free baseball. The impact of the suspensions definitely there, it just doesn't seem like enough. Fifty games for a suspension may seem like a lot, but in reality it isn't even a third of the season. If the MLB really wants to make people realize how serious they are on the topic, it should be through Alex Rodriguez.

Smaller suspensions like fifty games aren't enough to stop players from juicing, as players continue to get caught despite suspensions. Larger suspensions need to be handed out to show the severity of cheating, and by winning an appeal over Rodriguez is a good place to start. Suspending through to the end of 2014 is good, but to really make a splash, something like a lifetime ban would really turn people's heads. Is it possible they would overcompensate with something like that? Possibly. But A-Roid is 38, and nearing the end of his career. What difference would it make anyways?

What do you think about the Braun statement and the state of steroids in the game?  

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Is It Too Late for the Blue Jays?

I'm sitting in a Montreal hotel room, doing my daily ritual of watching the Jays game, as do many Canadians. After coming off the rush of an 11 game winning streak, there's been a revived sense of optimism amongst Jays fans, and the lingering sweetness from the streak is still there. Is it enough though? There's always the bombarding of "it's too early to say anything," and "anything can happen." I get it. After all, the Oakland Athletics had pretty much the exact same record as the Blue Jays at this point last year (1 less loss) and they went on to win their division. But in the AL East, nothing ever comes this easy. Ever since the Jays 11 game winning streak ended on June 24th, they've dropped to 3-7 in their past 10, dragging them back below .500, the only AL Easy team under .500, and they're looking to lose another one tonight. The inconsistency of going on hot streaks every now and then isn't going to make them a playoff team. A team wins by constantly being able to perform at a high level, and not just for certain patches at a time. Yes, they've been hot recently, but what else? Without the streak, they haven't been playing at a high level, no way around that. The only consistency for the Jays this year has been the bullpen, but when has a team ever been carried to the World Series by their bullpen? If the starting pitching is constantly having to rely on them, along with no support from the hitting, it isn't going to produce a winning team. They have all the talent they need, despite having some key players injured. Hopefully luck will change and they will go to their expected winning ways, but for now it isn't easy for us fans to watch.