"...Once upon a time I had a name and a way...But to you I'm nothing but a number..."
Well, here we are again. The big news this week was the announcement by The Miami New Times that a bunch of high profile athletes, including many in MLB are heavy into PEDs based on access to patient records obtained from the now-defunct clinic Biogenesis of America. And, Alex Rodriguez is prominent among them. Again.
Weirdly, a lot of follow-up chatter surrounding Rodriguez concerns committing insurance fraud so that the Yankees get under the salary cap, ARod gets his money and keeps his reputation, and MLB avoids yet another black eye. Everybody wins except the insurance company, which will probably just pass along that loss to the likes of you and me, anyway. So, then, everybody wins except you and me. Sweet. And, folks, I really do mean A LOT OF CHATTER about pulling off this insurance fraud. Lots of otherwise reasonable folk seem to think this is a good idea. Here, let me Google that for you.
Let's face it. We are getting exhausted. Just the other day WiHalo led off the daily HaloLinks with a "Do You Care?" He, himself, does not. I suspect that it's hard to care, but I also suspect that it's hard not to. It's easy to rationalize ourselves away from admitting how hard it is to actually care or not care, but the fact that there is no solution to this is all the proof I need to know that everything about it really is hard.
But here is what we all should know:
1) The inclusion of resources beyond those an individual is born with has been, is, and will always continue to be leveraged by at least some athletes in order to obtain a competitive edge.
2) Organizers will always be pursuing the ability to identify and proscribe these resources. This is because organizers wish to limit participants to natural abilities as a function of public image concerning the staged competition, and because they find a human need to impose authority and assert control. This will always create conflict (as we are going through this week). Such pursuit will predominantly be reactive, because pro-active efforts must overcome ever increasing obstacles.
3) As technology accelerates, the gap between the natural peak performance of an athlete, and an artificially enhanced level of performance for that same athlete, increases over time.
4) Because of the pressure to perform in the immediate term, any possible dangers of the use of artificial resources will not be known until it is too late to undo the damage.
In simpler English, what all that means is that it's gonna happen, it's going to get more dangerous, people are eventually going to get seriously hurt, the organizers are going to find it easier to make money off of it than to regulate it, and all this occurs to satisfy the fanatical interest of people like me. And because I know that, I do still care. For me, it's too hard not to.
What I don't know, and what I know that I don't know, is what to do about it all.
Meanwhile, What's Happening With The Halos?
- So we all know that the Angels farm system is in serious need of restocking and rebuilding. This ain't something that will happen overnight, but it looks like Dipoto has his eye on the ball there. We start with the overall review of the situation in Part 1 of 2, from Alden Gonzalez - official team voice. It's good to know that we are working to rebuild our scouting presence in Latin America, too. Meanwhile, Dipoto appears to be doing what he can running around with an active pen and fresh, warm, minor league contracts hot off the printers. Yesterday you heard about Bill Hall. And you might have also picked up on the Robert Coello signing. But you probably missed out altogether on Dipoto's trip to the local thrift store, where he stocked up on some real deals! Even better, notice that Dipot's search goes well beyond national boundaries!
- Meanwhile - cough! cough! - Joe Sanders is still out there, playing the field, looking for a place to land. Left hander, serviceable, loves the franchise, loves the fans...just sayin'....
- C.J. Wilson has found Hollywood, and is now our Head and Shoulders spokesperson. So, of course, now he wants to direct!
- Angels Fan Cruise 2013 has returned to port, and Marcia Smith of the ocregister has posted pictures, capturing pattimelt dining with Dennis Kuhl, no less!
- Once Upon A Time Jerry Dipoto plotted to erase from my brain the faith that I hold in his perfection. And he did this by attempting to burden our pitching staff with the ongoing disaster that is Carlos Marmol. This is the same Carlos Marmol who now finds himself entangled in accusations of abuse by a 24 year old woman. Whether guilty or innocent, it's a good thing we are avoiding the whole controversy.
This Date In Baseball History: Week: Today must be National Giants Day up in San Francisco. 1913 - The Great Jim Thorpe signs with the New York Giants to play baseball, too!.........1914 - the Giants then take young Master Thorpe and march off into the Egyptian desert to face the Chicago White Sox in the very first baseball game ever played there..........1954 - The Giants and Braves complete a 6-player blockbuster trade, one which sends THE Bobby Thomson to the Braves. Thomson breaks an ankle in spring and sits out the entire following season............1973 - The Special Committee on Negro Leagues announces the addition of Monte Irvin to the HoF. Irvin was the first black player for the Giants..........1985 - The Giants trade THAT Jack Clark to the St. Louis Cardinals. Clark will hit his first-pitch 3-run home run off of Tom Niedenfuer and flip a 5-4 impending loss into a 7-5 NLCS victory, making Tom Lasorda look embarrassingly mortal..........2002 - Kenny Lofton signs a 6-year deal with the Chicago White Sox. Half way through the season he will get traded to the Giants, so he can do this..........
- You might recall from last week my paragraph recapping all the sabre blogger types that had been hired into MLB Front Offices to help drive personnel decisions. You might also recall how I noted that the number of BBWAA writers being courted for similar advice is something like zero. As in never. (And we're looking at you, Murray Chase!) I was surprised that nobody caught my most obvious boneheadedness of overlooking Bill James in my list. In fact, it should come as no surprise that my list might be missing quite a few other examples. This week I tripped over Tom Tango having been hired by the Cubs, which I did not know. These would be the same Cubs that WiHalo linked to yesterday, looking for even more sabre types to work alongside Tango, especially the kind that know how to communicate with normal humans (you have to read the posting to get that joke).
- Speaking of the deterioration of MSM types and their place in the world of sports information, spend some time gloating over the gargantuan muck pile that has become the Boston Sports Media asshats.
- Montreal Expos are becoming an Endangered Species. Nobody cares about snail darters anymore, so The Sierra Club needs a new cause. I suggest Save the Expos!
- If you are paying careful attention to Of Maicer And Men's running report on the ballot reports of HH'ers and Best Acquisitions, and especially the commentary, you should notice a heavy lean towards post-2001 Angel Baseball. At least, so far. Well, it's not an accident. All of Major League Baseball is getting seriously younger. You late 20 somethings and you 30 somethings may laugh and mock the lawn of this particular 50 something, but you are one click away from learning that YOU are now becoming the old geeks! And you probably don't even own a lawnmower...
- Hat tip to Hardball Talk, but it turns out that the Economist who piped up and rendered his professional opinion concerning the poor support for baseball in Florida and recommendations to what MLB should do...well...he just happens to be on the MLB payroll. Noah Pransky calls "shenanigans!", and rightly so.
- Speaking of money stuff, you probably read that the Dodgers nailed their TV rights deal this week. One surprise was that it was NOT Fox in the end, as the Dodgers took advantage of their opportunity to create a missed window of exclusivity for Fox, and it paid off big time for them. A lot of cable/satellite subscribers can look forward to a bump in their monthly bill so pay for that smile on Magic Johnson's face. What you might NOT have read about is that there appears to be some serious lawyering in everyone's future on this subject. Apparently, revenue sharing for the Dodgers was tied to some level of risk to be taken by the Dodgers in building out their network. But 100% of the risk is actually being held by TW so Blue could bleed green that was not expected, pushing the franchise closer to the red.
- Hey, maybe you didn't get an invite to the party, but the 50th Birthday of the widened strike zone was celebrated this week.
- The Washington Nationals reached back into American history of Presidential greatness, and have added yet another racing mascot to their own Mt Rushmore. Joining the pantheon is the illustrious William Howard Taft.
Who says baseball is an un-athletic sport?
You people all caught the Google Doodle honoring Jackie Robinson, correct?..........Somebody found a rare bible, and it turns out to be signed by somebody other than Gutenberg..........Mark Teixeira, seeing his stats steadily declining, is lining up his next career, and now we know why his wife insisted on New York..........Wow! Remember last season when Torii Hunter was sucking, and then he snapped out of it and took off and had his best season in years? And you know how you were thinking that it was because he was moved to the 2 hole between Trout and Pujols? Nope. It turns out that it was because he watched video of his NEW teammate, THE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER IN AMERICA!!!..........Methinks Bo knows Mike Napoli..........King Felix is looking at a contract extension that would put him in a defacto deal of 6 years, $139.5 mill, and that becomes "...a starting point for further discussions, and perhaps even a reasonable framework for a deal." And to think, the only sliders I bothered to master in my life come on platters alongside discount beer.
And now, being the full service weekend linkage institution that we are, here is the obligatory moment we take out of each Friday...for beer:
Friday: All weekend long Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach is running their 2nd Annual Pliny Fights Cancer Charity Event.
Saturday: Down in San Diego the Karl Strauss Brewing Company is doing a Changing Of The Barrels release tasting..........up in San Jose way the San Jose Cooperative BrewPub is holding a tasting event at The Drying Shed..........and in Sacramento there shall be A Celebration of California Craft Beer & Fine Art event the Fusion International Arts Fair
Special Saturday Event, ladybug style: Out in The Inland Empire, at The Inland Empire Brewing Company, there shall be a Beer & Food Festival. And, guess what?!, ladybug has been kind enough to locate a groupon deal for all interested parties!! Thanks, 'bug!