Monday, April 04, 2005

Baseball: It's Opening Day!

It's Opening Day! And I'm going to post about steroids? Well, I wasn't, but two of the things I read today talked about it, and are worth repeating...

From Sports Guy's Sox vs. Yanks season preview:
Speaking of steroids, which team will be more affected by the steroids crackdown? Well, one team features the poster boy for the steroid crisis (Giambi), as well as someone who hung out with Barry Bonds and his trainer and "unknowingly" used a steroid cream (Sheffield). The other team has two goofy sluggers from the Dominican Republic who probably couldn't figure out how to make a cup of Thera-Flu for one another, much less inject each other with hormones.

And Salon's King Kaufman on the unlikely/ironic first player caught under the new testing policy:
It's a home run for baseball that it gets to show off its new testing teeth without causing a fuss among the fans. People aren't going to be complaining because Alex Sanchez isn't in center field for the Rays on Opening Day. And Sanchez's stature, playing style and anemic .364 lifetime slugging percentage also let baseball make an important point about steroids.

The surprise with which so many met the revelation that Sanchez was perp No. 1 shows how uninformed we are about this subject. Alex Sanchez? He's not a hulking slugger. He's not chasing home run records. What's he doing chasing steroids.

Almost all the steroid talk has centered around home-run hitters with comic-book physiques, but steroids can do more than just build huge muscles. All those sprinters and hurdlers don't look like linebackers, after all. Anybody can benefit from steroids, as Jose Canseco tells us. People around the game say there might be more pitchers on the juice than hitters.

It's in baseball's interest to make these points. Look, baseball can say, steroids aren't just about home runs. Now let's stop talking about putting asterisks in the record books

Good point.

Anyway, it's Opening Day, a joyous occasion. Since I never count ESPN's bogus Opening Days anyway, let's just pretend last night's game never happened.

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