Posts Tagged ‘Baseball’

Mark McGwire and Steroids

January 12, 2010

Mark McGwire’s admission of using steroids and human growth hormone (HGH) is no surprise.  Baseball knew about it and looked the other way.  I look back to how Jose Canseco was universally ridiculed years ago for saying that much of baseball was using steroids.  It turns out he was right.  People don’t like it when you speak the truth.

What’s surprising is that there’s no outcry about steroids in football. Obviously many players are using steroids or HGH, which is not detected by tests.  It’s true that baseball’s records are considered sacred, and people would probably be more accepting of football players using steroids, but steroids and HGH still give players a huge unfair advantage.

The average weight of an offensive lineman in the NFL is about 310 pounds.  Thirty years ago it was about 260.  Not all of that can be accounted for with improved weight training and nutrition.  When you see wide receivers with huge arms that look like they’re flexed when they’re not, and they recover from broken legs in less than two months to play again, it’s pretty suspicious. Thirty years ago you didn’t see any wide receivers like that.

In 2006 former Redskins tackle Jon Jansen said a large number of NFL players were using performance enhancers.  “When there is something out there that people believe is going to help them, we’d be very naive and foolish to think that if you can’t test for it, guys are going to try it,” Jansen said. “Right now there is not a test for HGH, and when they develop that, I hope the NFL will institute that in our drug policy.”  Jansen backed off his statements when he was told to be quiet.

So the NFL now is just as bad as baseball was in the 1990s.  They turn the other way even though a very large number of ex-players die decades earlier than they should.  For years the NFL ignored the problems of concussions, while former players came down with early dementia.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Steve Courson wrote in his book “False Glory” that coach Chuck Noll “conveniently and most definitely turned his head to it.”  The word is that the Steelers, who won four Super Bowls in the 1970s, were one of the first teams to use steroids.

Former NFL player and coach Jim Haslett said “It started, really, in Pittsburgh. They got an advantage on a lot of football teams. They were so much stronger (in the) ’70s, late ’70s, early ’80s,” Haslett said in 2005. “They’re the ones who kind of started it.”

Old Sports Media Guides and Sports Illustrateds

May 24, 2009

I sell used books, magazines, and media guides on Amazon.com.  In this blog entry I’m listing many of the sports media guides and old Sports Illustrated magazines I have for sale.  The average price is $7.  The old media guides – football, basketball, baseball, and hockey – are gold mines for information you can’t get anywhere else.  I have a lot of them from the early 1990s before the advent of the internet.  It’s very nostalgic to look through these media guides, as well as the Sports Illustrateds to remember how the teams and players were viewed back then, and to find information that is hard to find today. For example, pick a player from before the age of the internet.  You may be able to find out his stats, but unless he was a Hall of Fame type player, you won’t get the detailed information you would get in these guides.   

Some of the highlights are a 1992 Boston Red Sox media guide featuring Roger Clemens on the cover, a 1991 Houston Oilers media guide with Warren Moon on the cover, a 1991 Chicago Bulls media guide with information about a young Michael Jordan inside, a 1992 Pittsburgh Pirates media guide with information about a young Barry Bonds inside, a 1992 Seattle Mariners media guide with information about a young Ken Griffey, Jr. inside, and Sports Illustrateds of Magic Johnson, Cal Ripken, and Sugar Ray Leonard. 

Please check out my amazon storefront at  http://www.amazon.com/shops/mikefrandsen.

I also have a lot of classic books and art books for sale.

Baseball

December 4, 2008

One of the things I don’t like about major league baseball is that the small market teams don’t have a chance to win because the sport doesn’t have enough revenue sharing.  (As I write this, the Tampa Bay Rays made it to the World Series, but that was an aberration).  We complain that the NFL has a lot of turnover with its rosters, but the fact is that most NFL teams have a chance to compete every year because of revenue sharing, whether they are in New York or Green Bay.  You can’t say that about baseball.  In fact, it’s really disgusting how the Yankees constantly buy up all the great players.  They took Mike Mussina from the Orioles, Randy Johnson from Arizona, Roger Clemens from Toronto, Alex Rodriguez from Texas, and even Johnny Damon from Boston.  I usually don’t think it’s right to enjoy the misery of others (except in the case of the Yankees).  So every year they don’t win the World Series (eight years and counting) is a good year.  They won four out of five years before that, though, while teams like Pittsburgh, Kansas City, and Milwaukee rarely have a chance at a winning season.