Pilkerton's Prognostications

This blog contains some of my past articles for the school newspaper and other musings I feel like posting. Beware liberals!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

My balls are juiced


With the Superbowl behind us, sports fans enter into the most boring and unproductive month in all of organized sports.
While it is true that February offers us such gems as the NFL ProBowl and miscellaneous NBA games, we basically see this month as a stepping stone towards March Madness and then onto the baseball season.
For us poor, desperate, sports fans, spring training has come a bit early this year thanks to one has been on a lonely mission: that man, Jose Canseco.
Jose Canseco, a former baseball all-star and current baseball whistle-blower is coming out with a new book in which he describes the rampant use of steroids in baseball over the past 15 years. Coincidentally, it was approximately 15 years ago when Jose Canseco actually did anything athletic so one must look at this book with some reservations due to Canseco's notoriety as an eccentric and publicity hound.
That being said, we must also not dismiss Canseco as easily as we did when our favorite New York team acquired him for a half hour one summer a few years ago. With all of the reports about steroid use and BALCO inundating the sports media, we are forced to give Canseco?s claims a second look.
The most blasphemous claim in Canseco's book is that he allegedly injected baseball demi-god and the savior of the post-strike era, Mark McGwire with steroids while they were teammates in Oakland. Baseball society looks at this accusation as particularly troublesome.
Mark McGwire was a huge man and admitted to taking a substance called Andro, which has since been banned, but not actually called a steroid by any of the rulemakers in the league. Painting McGwire as a steroid user would blemish the post-strike era in baseball because McGwire and Sammy Sosa (who also bulked up suspiciously after entering the league as a lanky 20-yearold) are credited with bringing the fans back to baseball after the strike with their dynamic race to eclipse Roger Maris' homerun record. I personally believe that McGwire could have been taking steroids, but Canseco?s claims lack any witnesses or substantiation by former teammates. One would assume that someone else would come forward with information as troubling as McGwire being a steroid user.
The topic of steroids in baseball is a slippery slope because until recently steroids were not tested for in major league baseball and it was simply impossible for baseball to keep up with all of the designer performance enhancing supplements that were being created to elude any testing procedures that were threatened. In the case of Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, and Gary Sheffield, BALCo supplied them with creams and other supplements that they say they were not aware of being steroids in the classical sense.
It is doubtful that any of these players, Bonds especially will ever be able to shake the specter of steroids from their legacies, but Canseco claims more than a few superstars were participating in such activities. Canseco argues that he knows that as much as eighty percent of major league baseball players have or are using steroids and the culture of baseball almost demands they do so in order to compete with the thousands of other players that are waiting to take their jobs from them.
Canseco went as far as indicting President Bush in his new book. President Bush was once part owner of the Texas Rangers franchise and Mr. Canseco claims that he turned a blind eye to any illegal use of steroids in the interest of winning baseball games and that every owner in professional baseball follows the practice of turning a blind eye.
The jury is still out on Canseco's claims and whether or not he is telling the complete truth is almost a footnote on the facts that exist in baseball today. The fact of the matter is that steroids have been a problem over the past several years and that the league will have to back up its newly instituted regulations. Mark McGwire has yet to make any public statements in response to Canseco's claims and we won't ever know the truth on that one so talking about it is almost pointless. Everyone has a shadow cast over them now that the shit has hit the fan and baseball will have to rebuild its relationship with the fans.
I honestly don't care whether or not baseball players are using steroids, homeruns are entertainment and we should allow these fools to kill themselves aspiring to entertain us if that's how they wish to use their money and live their lives.
I say give them more and let us genetically alter the professional athlete to create sports unlike the world has ever seen. That is just my opinion of course and I doubt if any sports personality is going to agree, but deep down, I doubt I'm alone in seeing the irony of these players being paid millions to kill themselves. Let us laugh at Jose Canseco and how he's jealous of successful athletes and let us also not dismiss him, the most dangerous people are those with nothing to lose.
This should keep us interested just long enough to get us in to March where we can turn our attention towards college basketball and then to baseball, welcome spring and viva la steroids.


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