Dear. Big Papi

July 31, 2009



I am not a fool, there is literally no one in the game of Major League Baseball that I would be shocked to hear took steroids in the early part of this decade.  With the exception of Derek Jeter, you ask me about pretty much every superstar in baseball, and force me to gamble my mortgage on whether or not they liked a good needle in their ass, I’d probably bet in the affirmative.

That being said, it didn’t hurt me nearly as much as many when your name was leaked as part of the 104 players who tested positive in 2003 (note to everyone involved in MLB: unless all 104 names are just announced, this black mark on baseball will keep creeping up (second parenthesees – is it ok to use “black” mark, or I am going to be suddenly summoned to a meeting with our President with my favorite six pack?)).  But please, Mr. Ortiz, I beg of you, just handle this the right way.  So far, so good with your “wait til I get all the facts…I do want to address this with my team and the public.”

Your legacy has not been tarnished in my eyes.  Your walkoff hits against the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS will still be legendary…it’s just that the legends will be part of the Steroid Era.  It is what it is.




I had a conversation at dinner last night.  The question was, if you were Ortiz, how would you react?  There was a flurry of, well, if we were Ortiz we would know if we were guilty or not.  At which point my brother looked at me as if I had asked him how to spell the word “and”.

You have handled this controversy, thus far, as well as could be expected given a crappy set of circumstances in a town that loves to either love or hate it’s baseball players.  My sister-in-law pointed out that Manny has it a little easier – LA journalists aren’t as hawkish towards their players.  Given your scenario, keep hitting three run home runs doing your charity work, and people will move on.  Someone else’s name will be leaked and the attention will shift.  Not that I’m condoning drug use, but 2003 was a don’t ask/don’t tell gray area of steroid use.

This bizarre, marketing/paper selling name dropping scheme is getting annoying.  First off, the federal government being involved in substance use and abuse in baseball is a little confusing and seems over the top.  Doesn’t the government have better things to worry about?   There is this little skirmish going on in the Middle East … and some famines, genocide, epidemics, pandemics …

I don’t think the entire list should be published, but I do think that the leak should be determined and shut up (yes, I’m the master of the obvious).  It is not only tainting the sport and the era, but the sensationalism is making the sport, the athletes and the fans all seem cheaper.

Steroid use was not regulated in 2003.  You agreed to anonymous testing in an effort to determine if drug use should be monitored and are getting screwed over 6 years later.  It sucks and I’m sorry you and the other’s who were tested aren’t being treated with the respect you deserve.



HE SAID: Tour de France

July 14, 2009

The Tour de France is without a doubt one of the most grueling athletic competitions in our world today, and for that matter in our history.  What the athletes must go through in order to even finish it, let alone win, is a testament to their toughness, athletic prowess, sheer determination and above all the will to put themselves through hell.  That being said, I could care less.

Maybe if it was a continuous race I might be more interested, but the way it is timed, over 23 different stages, with all the times added up has just never led to me dying to watch the final few stages to see who comes out on top.    I am not here, however, to condemn those that do have a genuine love and passion for this race (as someone who can watch a 9 inning baseball game every day for half of a year, I have no right to claim some sort of sports watching superiority over anyone, it’s just my personal preference).  The posers however, the people who really don’t know jack shit about the Tour de France/cycling in general, but read a fucking headline or two so they can chat about it to seem cool, they are the ones who piss me off.

Only knowing the name “Lance Armstrong,” or being able to ask “Do you know who won the time trial today?” does not make you a cycle enthusiast, it makes you a complete and utter douchebag.  This would be synonymous with the Red Sox fan who couldn’t name anyone but the superstars, or the Yankee fan that only asks Sox fans, “Who gives a shit about recently, how many World Series have you won overall?”  No one likes these people, so what makes people think they will be appreciated by the cycling fan base when they come up with gems of insight like, “Boy, Lance really killed it in the mountains today…and his age, just, wow!”


That was actually said to me at a bar Friday night when Sportscenter was on.  I decided to press him for some more info by asking two simple questions, “who is he trailing” and “what team is he riding for this year?”  There was a muttered response about “I think some guy from Italy, oh and not the Postal Service” before the conversation quickly turned to how well Jon Lester threw for the Sox that night.

I guess  I understand that it is probably ingrained within us, the need to try to impress others.  And maybe I’m different than most, but I would have been a lot more impressed if the guy had just been honest and answered, “honestly I have no fucking clue…just read the bottom line on ESPN 2, sorry for being a dbag.” Hell, I probably would have even bought the guy a beer (nothing more expensive than PBR, though).

SHE SAID: Tour de France

July 14, 2009

I feel like this shouldn’t be titled Tour de France, because really what you’re griping about is people who make a seemingly insightful comment only to have nothing to back it up with.  And really, while the other night at the hopping Vermont bar it might have had to do with the Tour, in reality, your beef has nothing to do with the tour specifically … and yes, I’m protective because bike racing is getting reamed on in a lot of ways and I don’t like adding to that unnecessarily.

Now, just to clarify …

You’ll watch multiple seasons of a show with characters stranded on an island being chased by “the others“, you’ll sit on your couch all day on a beautiful Sunday watching hours of television, you play in multiple leagues in the same fantasy sport … but the Tour can’t hold your interest.

Sure, like a baseball game, each second of the Tour is not gripping.  It is an event that is interesting far beyond, or even in spite of, Lance Armstrong.  And the most interesting story isn’t always the winner, but often times about the team, the lesser known battles for King of the Mountains, best young biker, etc.  There is a lot going on in the weeks spent biking around France.

As far as the guy at the bar the other night … as long as someone is at least uttering factual or true one liners, who cares.  Are we going to start giving out pop quizzes before someone can make a comment about something?  Might not always be a terrible idea given the amount of misinformation on many subjects out there, but in this case, someone can be in awe of Lance’s domination of the event or his attempt at a come back without knowing what team he’s on this year or who he’s trailing.  It’s possible to be impressed without having meticulously read each and every article pertaining to Lance.  Might even be better for Lance that not everyone is reading every article about him because it means that somewhere someone might have a favorable opinion of him.