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December 14, 2007

Is there any doubt?

I was feeling a little pessimistic at the beginning of the week. Would anyone do anything stupid enough to earn the coveted Knucklehead McSpazatron of the Week award?

Sunday was pretty calm in the waters of sports and stupidity. Darren Sharper continued his string of horrendous tackling, but I can't equate that to actual stupidity. Really, though, have you seen him try to make an open field tackle? His method usually consists of just trying to bang into the player with his shoulder. And usually the player just keeps on running. In fact, I'm not sure I have ever seen him actually wrap someone up. As Cheesehead Craig has pointed out to me many times, if it isn't an interception he isn't that interested.

Monday? Arthur Blank, the owner of the Falcons, made his rather unfortunate comment about Michael Vick and fried chicken, but that still didn't float my boat (hats off to COD for the nomination).

And as another reader has pointed out, Bobby Petrino made a strong showing by throwing loyalty and honesty out the window and resigning as Falcons coach before the season has even ended. That even had Dickie V. upset! But again, that wasn't enough for me.

By Thursday I was a little worried. Who would do something stupid enough to get the KMOTW? Would anyone rise to the challenge?

Holy crapola. At around 1:30 PM Thursday afternoon I found that I didn't really have much to worry about. Unfortunately now I have a problem of having way too many nominations. Of course, I am talking about the Mitchell Report.

Who isn't to blame in this debacle? Bud Selig certainly isn't without blame as he and his cronies raked in the money during the so called "Steroid Era."

Donald Fehr is also to blame, maybe even more so than Selig. Remember how much he fought against drug testing in the first place? In 1991 MLB banned steroids, but they didn't begin testing until 2003. And then it was only once a year with no penalty for the first offense. Who is to thank for that? Donald Fehr and the MLBPA. Fehr got what he wanted though: skyrocketing salaries. Too bad all the players he was trying to help and protect are now under a ginormous microscope of distrust and derision. Good call there, Donald.

Fans are also to blame. Were we really that ignorant? Could we really look at Mark McGwire, or even Marty Cordova, and think, "Yeah, someone can definitely get that big just by lifting weights for just six months." Maybe we were just indifferent. Whatever the case, we were happy ... happily naive.

But I am a big believer in personal accountability. At the center of this mess are the players, and ultimately they alone made the decision to make themselves into walking pharmacies.

Like most people I was surprised by the inclusion of one player in particular. In the 2000 World Series this player made the bizarre move of throwing a broken bat back at a stunned Mike Piazza. We all wondered what the heck got into him to do something so stupid and random. We joked, "Boy, does that ever look like 'Roid Rage'!! Ha Ha!" Well, it isn't a joke anymore.

Behold, the Knucklehead McSpazatron of the Week:

spongeroger.jpg

I've been reading a lot about the inclusion of Clemens in the report. Some people are saying the report is flawed and wouldn't hold up in any civil court. Some people have even justified Clemens possible use of steroids by saying that he was only trying to keep up since he was pitching to players that also used the juice. Some people are upset that Clemens has no chance of redeeming himself in the court of public opinion. Let's just take a look at what we know so far:

  1. Clemens is mentioned more than 80 times in the report. Some will claim the testimony of McNamee is all hearsay and while that may be true ...
  2. Jose Conseco corroborates these accusations in his book Juiced. Say what you will about how crazy Canseco is, there are now two people claiming Clemens took steroids.
  3. His statistics also miraculously improved when he supposedly started juicing up. According to the Gothamist:
    In the report, Brian McNamee details helping Clemens use steroids sometime in the summer of 1998. Coincidentally, from June 30, 1998 until the end of the year, Clemens went 12-0 throwing 132 innings and striking out 169 batters with an ERA of 1.77. Before that Clemens had thrown 102.2 innings, striking out 102 with an ERA of 3.77.

    Clemens is accused of using steroids again in the "latter part of the 2000 season". Here it is harder to divine the results, but it is worth noting that Clemens had an ERA of 4.33 before the All-Star Break and an ERA of 3.15 after it.

    Again, it was the 2000 World Series that Clemens made his infamous bat toss at Piazza.

  4. Finally, is there any doubt that the Yankees, as an organization, had a problem with steroid usage? 22 players from the Yankees, the most of any team, are featured in the report. Not only are the Yankees despicable when it comes to their player payroll, they are a bunch of steroid using cheaters. The Yankees are a blight on baseball, pure and simple.

Two witnesses, remarkable statistical improvements, a culture of steroid usage both within baseball and especially on your own team. I don't know ... if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck.

Congratulations Roger. Not only are you the dominant pitcher of the Steroid Era, you are also my Knucklehead McSpazatron of the Week.

Posted by snackeru at December 14, 2007 5:56 AM

Comments

i think MLB in general should have been awarded this week. letting this fester for nearly 20 years by all parties doing little to nothing has simply been embarrassing. Perhaps you could issue a life-time achievement award to MLB.

you point out that 22 players from the Yankees are named, but also consider that the one source who 'named names' worked in said Yankee clubhouse. If Rod McCormick or Rick McWane had been quoted extensively in the report - we'd all be wondering just what the hell is going on in the bowels of the Metrodome.

I believe the 88 or so players named have or had ties to all 30 major league clubs... so let's not try to pin this all on the Yanks... as much as that would be!

Posted by: barry at December 14, 2007 4:32 PM

Is it too late to nominate Dwight Smith? What a dumbass!

Posted by: Snyder at December 14, 2007 7:29 PM

I believe that McNamee testified that he himself injected steroids into Clemens' ass. That's not hearsay. If he had said, "Clemens told me that he had injected steroids into his own ass," that would be hearsay. Since McNamee is talking about sticking the needle in Clemens' ass himself rather than reporting what someone told him about steroids being injected into Clemens' ass there's no hearsay involved. McNamee has direct knowledge about Clemens' ass and what's been stuck in it.

Posted by: SBG at December 16, 2007 11:58 AM

I already got a nomination for next week:
Charley Walters, for saying that Clemons should still go to Cooperstown.
Heck no, none of the people named should be there. IF they get in, then Pete Rose should definately get in.

Posted by: CTM at December 16, 2007 8:34 PM

I would have gone with Bobby Petrino but Roger Clemons is a good choice.

Posted by: Freealonzo at December 16, 2007 10:02 PM

Thing is, nobody is calling Jose crazy anymore. His book was the first big blow to the "Steroid Era" and an awful lot of it proved to be right.

The guy was treated poorly at the end of his career and he's done the ultimate F-U to MLB. He took MLB down with him.

As odd as this sounds, MLB and it's fans owe a huge debt of gratitude to Conseco. If it wasn't for his book, the info explosion of steriods and other items would not have seen the light of day this quickly. The future will see his book as the watershed moment of baseball getting itself cleaned up.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at December 17, 2007 6:28 PM

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