Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Quick Post- Procrasting a paper of course

This will probably be one of my shortest posts, which is good cause I tend to ramble. Anyhow, regarding this A-Rod nonsense, I don't know about you all but I am sick of it. I am just sick of the lies. Tell us the truth if you must speak, and be done with it. This is my last post about him but these are the few points I came up with as I was contemplating this on my way to my night class.

1.) I hear everyone (mostly A-Rod himself) mentioning how he was naive and young. Really though, he wasn't that young. This is not an 18 year old- the guy was 25. Regardless, he made a mistake. People around you were using it. You wanted the edge. You did something stupid. The end. But no. It never ends, now we have my cousin Vinny thrown into the mix and the importing of the steroids from the DR. Not surprised by that really.

2.) This is my favorite excuse. Well 103 other guys name are on the list, he wasn't the only one. Very true. I actually was listening to ESPN radio on my way to class and I heard all these callers making excuses for A-Rod based on that notion. Everyone else was doing it, blah blah blah de dah. Guess what people. Yes, everyone else was doing it. Yes, a lot of people using probably haven't bee caught. But guess what??? HE DID GET CAUGHT. Now this is really no comparison to steroids, but I'm sure a lot of you out there have been caught for speeding, not stopping at a stop sign, or talking on the cell phone, or all of the above (ahem...) Anyhow, the excuse of, well officer, everyone else speeds, it wasn't just me, doesn't cut it. It doesn't matter that 10 guys in front of you were doing the same thing. That stinking officer pulled YOU over and now you have to face the consequences. That's life. (This whole spiel is starting to make me feel guilty now hmm..) I will just use the notion that speeding is nothing compared to steroids.

All in all, when we look at the larger story, this is what it is. A guy that we had all hoped was clean, wasn't clean. He cheated just like everyone else (let me clarify, just like many of the players. Not fair to label everyone as cheaters). Its extremely disappointing, especially for the fans who had hoped to see a light at the end of the steroid nonsense. I don't care how many or who else did it. He cheated, and in the end he will have to live with that decision. But for now, I think we all have to move on, myself included. It is the beginning of a wonderful season and I just cant wait to see the new guys we have acquired and the team in action.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Pictures that I have taken from past years in spring training

Al Leiter, one of my favorite players in baseball!!

March 2007- Mariano, Veras, and.....

George Steinbrenner. This was taken in 2006 I think. He signed one of my spring training programs.

El Capitan

2007- A-Rod and all the guys before the game started

A-Rod and Melky.

Tampa- The Place to Be in Februrary and March

Here are some of the pitchers in Tampa. I think it is from my trip in 2006.

It's that time of the year again. Today is the official start of spring training in which the pitchers and catchers are required to show up at the beautiful complex in Tampa, Florida. It has been a long off season and it is at this point that I begin thinking of reasons why I must get to Florida. This will be my 6th year coming down to Tampa for spring training and I am more excited then ever.
There is a trick to that trade that you need to know when heading down to Tampa. I have visited Tampa in February and March and the atmosphere is completely different, depending on when you for. First and foremost, there aren't generally games the team plays in Feb. This may be different this year because of the World Baseball Classic. The practices are free to the public. That is the positive aspect in going to training in the month of February. You can enter the field free of charge and watch the players in any seat that you would like. The downfall is that the practices are short and the players are just working on certain drills

When you go to Tampa in March, you are able to watch a lot more baseball. The players generally come out to the fields around 10ish for a game that starts at 1pm. I generally get to the field about 5 hours before game time. I enjoy meeting other Yankee fans and there is generally a lot of fans waiting at the complex, so it can be hard to find a spot around the fences. The only thing that I cant stand is that there is a security guard at every level of the field. If you do not have tickets for that seat, then you can not go down and watch the players and get autographs. There is also a few security guards that take their job entirely too seriously and they tend to walk around yelling at children while riding on that big scooter thing that has one large wheel (not sure what its called)

Legends Field (or GS Field) consists of three field. You cant entire the main field until 1.5 or 2 hours before game time. Generally, most of the players practice on the two fields that surround the main field. If your going, and you want autographs, try your best to place yourself behind the fence where there are little openings. This is where you can hand the players the things that you want them to sign. If you aren't around there, you will have to throw them the objects. There are a lot of big guys around, and they will push and shove you until they can get their own autograph. I have been pushed and shoved more times then I can count.

The Yankees have a beautiful field and it is great to scout the talent of the young guys that they have around. This year will be different without the big stars. No A-Rod or Jeter, and also when you look at the other teams, many of their big stars will be going too. I am disappointed I wont be seeing Vernon Wells and Alex Rios from Toronto, but I guess it will give me the opportunity to check out the young and upcoming talent.

BTW- Does anyone know how I can get the pics to go at the end of my post? I have been trying everything, and I cant figure it out :(

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A-Rod: A Man of Many Names

The news that A-Rod tested positive for steroids was an announcement that caught me off guard. While we have reached a point where its hard to be surprised by baseball players testing positive for steroids, I for some reason had developed this belief that A-Rod was one of the "clean" guys, to the same manner that many of us believe, and hope, that Derek Jeter himself is also clean.

At first I was surprised. Then as I thought more about it, I wasn't as surprised. I was, if anything, more disappointed with this news. I am someone that has a very strong opinion about the use of steroids and I have researched the topic as a thesis for one of my college courses. The thing that kills me about this also is when people say that steroids do not have effect on a players ability to play the game. Lets get the straight once and for all people. THESE GUYS ARE NOT RISKING THEIR HEALTH AND TAKING STEROIDS IF IT HAS NO BENEFIT TO THEM. Why would you take something that doesn't give you an edge. Hey lets just take steroids for the hell of it everyone, cause its the cool thing to do. Yea right.

This whole debate or discussion or whatever you call it has left me angry. It befuddles me how I hear people making excuses and justifications for the use of steroids. The biggest factor, one that I often hear people making, is that steroids weren't illegal to use in baseball until 2004 (or whatever year it as). This answer kills me because steroids have been ILLEGAL to possess in the United States since 1991. Hello people, it shouldn't matter if it was illegal in baseball or not; its against the law!

Regardless of it being the law or not, I am just sick of this A-Rod nonsense. I am sick of people making excuses for this guy, and all of these other players that have been caught using steroids. While I am glad A-Rod admitted using, well wait, he really never technically admitted to using steroids per se did he? He pulled another Giambi I suppose, in a more detailed manner than the ever vague Giambi was.

Lets just look at A-Rods so called "confession." This is based purely on my memory, so hopefully its as accurate as what I can recall.

1. The first minute or so he tells us that he is guilty of something. I don't recall him using the word steroid. But it appeared to be a big step. It was strange actually hearing this come from him though. It seems more real than reading it in a newspaper article.

2. As the interview progresses, it starts getting more interesting, and less believable. He starts mentioning the word "culture" about 12 times. He has also managed to call himself an idiot, stupid, and something else I cant recall. Ok, I agree, was stupid. We all make mistakes.

3. Now is where he starts to lose me. I really think Alex doubts our intelligence at times. Now hes claiming that the drugs he got were basically at a GNC. He is making insinuations that he had no clue what he was taking. That it was a variety of things and he was just giving what people were handing him. That statement to me is unbelievable. I can remember reading articles about how meticulous A-Rod is about what he eats and what goes into that body of his. That's strike one.

4. Strike two comes as he tries to tell us all that he was so "young and naive" and how he did it because he wanted to live up to his contract. First of all, Alex is no dummy, and he certainly wasn't young. The years he is claiming that he first began using steroids would place him around the age of 25 or so. Not nearly at a tender age of 18 or 19 when I would perhaps believe a young and impressionable player might succumb to the temptations of steroids without really knowing the consequence.

5. Do we all really buy that he started in 2001 and just suddenly stopped in 2003 when his neck began to hurt?

6. He goes on and on about how great it feels to finally be honest. Yet, to me it seems like a majority of this interview was lies. So much for honesty. Maybe he really tries to convince himself that he is being truthful, just like the interview he had with Katie Curic. I mean, just look at his comments about the Selena Roberts. He makes silly claims that he should know would be documented, and sets himself up again with more lies.

Are we all really this stupid? Or does he just hope we will be? I guess some people did fall for him. There is a point where we all do need to get over all this and move on. Its hard though as fans, especially if these players are guys that kids unfortunately look up to. In the end I blame Bud Selig and the players union who turned a blind eye. This was obviously prevalent for many years and all these people cared about was making money. Well, they got their money all right and I hope they are satisfied.