Posted by: toddzilla | February 15, 2008

Valentine’s Day? Naw…it was Pitchers & Catchers day!

At least it was P&C day for some teams including the Cubbies and that makes a darn good lead-in for some baseball talk.  So here’s some roundup type of blog action:

First up…Ryan Dempster has already ruined the Cubs season.  What else can I say.

Click on “more” if you want to read more boring baseball stuff…

Secondly, a few thoughts on the Clemens hearings.  As much as we hate to admit it, steroids saved baseball.  Post-strike, baseball needed something like McGwire and Sosa’s homerun race to save it.  I remember the excitement of watching the games then.  Heck, I remember the sense of “wow” when Cecil Fielder managed 51 homers years before.  But in 1998 Maris’ record was about to fall and we were so caught up in it all, that we failed to consider how in the world it was possible.  Now, we are discovering the costs.  In my honest opinion, baseball has probably been fraught with performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) for years.  Sluggers used them for power, pitchers used them for injury recovery.  Baseball is a sport built on numbers.  What other sports contains so many calculated stats?  Sure football tracks sacks and tackles, but do they track sack percentage when rushing from the left side?  QB rating is an attempt at calculated stats, but is overshadowed by baseball’s VORP rating (Value over replacement player), BABIP (batting average on balls in play), or even OBP (on base percentage).  Basketball maintains fieldgoal percentage, but most other stats are simply tallies.  Baseball makes people calculate so much!  It is a numbers game and part of its mystique is in its stats.  Which makes for a better hitter?  Batting for average or for power?  These types of numerically based debates are a hallmark of baseball and if their foundations (the numbers themselves) are flawed or corrupted, then where does that leave baseball?  If only there were some way to definitively determine who took PEDs, then I feel their numbers should be expunged or at the very least noted as part of baseball’s “Steroid Era” much like pre-20’s stats are “Deadball Era” and later stats are “Liveball Era” due to rules and ball changes and are compared with a grain of salt.  That’s enough of that…let me step off my high horse…

I gotta ask a few questions though…Why didn’t we question McGwire’s and Sosa’s newfound power (and bulk) earlier?  Why didn’t we ask ourselves how Clemens was able to dominate so late in life?  Did we really want to know that the emperor has no clothes?

More specific to the hearings this week…why in the world did the support for Clemens fall along party lines!?!  The Republicans seemed to go after McNamee (calling him an outright liar) and the Dems went after Clemens (calling him an….um…outright liar)?  Somebody tell me where that came from?  Does that make Republicans pro-drug and Dems pro-sleazy trainer?  Somebody please give me some insight into that.  I suppose we should go back in time to the early 80’s and and the 70’s when the ugliest thing about baseball…were the uniforms

whitesox1976a.jpg

In case you didn’t know…those are indeed the Chicago White Sox and, yes, they wore shorts for one game in 1976.  Oh, and we can’t forget this…

phillies.jpg

Yep…Phillies…1979.  If you love sports you gotta go to this site.

Okay, enough baseball for one post, but I would love to hear your thoughts on the Clemens hearings and the state of baseball in general.

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Responses

  1. […] MORE >> […]

  2. I was disturbed that the committee hearing was conducted across party lines. There were even members saying “our side.” It seems that Clemens, who is Republican I believe and a friend of the Bush family, was able to garner some support during his PR trip prior to the hearing.

    Speaking of the hearing, Clemens didn’t help himself when his best friend, another former player, and the trainer all disagree with his statements. Clemens looked like a politician sitting across a room of politicians. Maybe there is a U.S. House of Representatives race in Houston he can run for now that his baseball career is over.

    I still think the line of the hearings was the committee chairman saying that the committee did not want the hearings, which mean that Clemens’ did. I’ll take Using the Halls of Congress for Personal Gain for $200, Alex.

    By the way, the Cubies may do better than my Cardinals this year. Ugh, it’s going to be a long season.

  3. who cares about baseball… we want more baby stuff!!!

  4. Liz-I’m glad you like the baby stuff…leave me some comments so I know that! I love comments…I find self-verification through them. Everyone look at me!!!!! Comment on my blog!!!!! I’m begging you!
    I mean that.

    Shannon-I think that Clemen’s camp pushed for the hearings…but other than an PR attempt to clear his name by taking the non-McGwire vocal route, why do it? Now he may be setting himself up for perjury charges…except, how do they PROVE he took them?

    Is there some kind of connection with Clemens and Bush in Texas (Astros/Rangers)? thebiglead.com was going so far as to review Clemens donation records. Nothing came up though other than the Astros owner being a Republican supporter. I really want to know how/why the hearings fell along party lines like that!

  5. It makes no sense to me. I know President Bush (41) is an avid Astros fan and can be seen in the stands from time to time and that Clemens is a good friend of the current president. That being said the Republicans looked silly, especially the one from Indiana who called McName a liar only to have more information come out later that proved his point.


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