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Wednesday, July 09, 2014

So You Think You Can Lance?: Why David Ortiz Just Needs to Stop Talking Steroids...


So, I watched The Armstrong Lie over the past week. The "documentary" released last year, in which Lance Armstrong mixes non-apologies with excuses and innuendo in his best attempt to come off as some sort of victim. And while the film was horribly slanted (the filmmaker admittedly started making the film as a fan in an attempt to chronicle Lance's comeback in 2009), and the only real reaction I got was laughing at all the clips of Lance attacking (and in many cases successfully suing) his plethora of critics. I do think Lance's case is a good one to examine when it comes to the recent media aided dust up involving Nelson Cruz and David Ortiz. And since the Red Sox have been dreadful of late, and their offense seems to have gone reverse Benjamin Button overnight, that's what I've decided to talk about. So enjoy...

Oh, and I saw Blue Jasmine recently, too. But you don't need to see that. Freakin' Woody Allen, always trickin' me into watchin' his slow moving nonsense with his star studded casts. He's like the Wes Anderson of this. Except, you know. With a penchant for pedophilia...allegedly.../he cheated on his wife with their adopted daughter. So, yeah...

...although I still do want to see Grand Budapest Hotel. So there's that...

And now there's this! Enjoy...

During the peak of the "steroid" witch hunt, and in the wake of Jose Canseco's "Juiced," I always cited Greg Maddux and Derek Jeter as the two players whose positive tests would result in complete loss of faith. Mostly because they were the two players who, at the time, most exemplified the hard work and dedication that sports have always allegedly been about. At least in the eyes of the fans. But I was wrong. Because even though neither of those players have had their names even remotely close to any pharmaceutical conspiracy, faith was lost long ago. And while it was baseball that got this proverbial ball rolling, it was Lance Armstrong, an inspirational cyclist, who made it impossible for any athlete to ever remain above reproach should their be even the slightest hint of smoke surrounding their actions...

It's that Lance was so likable that did it, too. That he was the ultimate wolf in sheep's clothing. Someone who appeared to be doing things for all the "right" reasons, when in reality he was merely a power hungry dick-box who was only in it to feed his own ego. Which brings us to Big Papi, and why he just needs to nut up and accept the fact that his name will be forever linked with the fact that he allegedly tested positive on an "anonymous" test back in 2003...

It's just the way things are, now. Certainly sucks if he's innocent of the charges (and with MLB's notoriously sloppy testing record, I wouldn't be shocked). But between the era in which David has played, and the numbers he's put up, the fact that there's any smoke and/or discussion surrounding his career performance just has to be considered part of the job. He can be upset, and he can sound off in the press. But the fact is, that because of Lance, it's no longer enough to merely make that talk go away with a combination of likability and charisma. If anything, after the ceremonious tearing down of perhaps sports' ultimate "golden boy", that may even make people question your motives that much more. OR at least attempt to scrutinize you more than they would have in decades past...

That's just the way it is. Lance ruined it for everyone. And I say "ruined" because, believe it or not, I don't mind cheating when it comes to my sports. I won't tolerate that shit in my personal life, and I certainly don't endorse it. But it doesn't really bother me as long as it's a reasonable ends to a reasonable mean. More or less, I'm a big "unwritten rules" guy. Not so much with baseball, where that's "old man speak" for IN MY DAY WE ALL COVERED OURSELVES IN PINE TAR FROM HEAD TO TOE! But I really don't mind the bending of the rules when the goal remains in line with the sports' basic intentions.

For instance: I don't mind when colleges give recruits "illegal" benefits in order to entice them to attend their school. But I do mind when it becomes public knowledge that tutors and teachers are giving the players a free pass. Basically, I don't mind it until it becomes blatant or a major distraction. It's a fine line, I know. And an attitude that, when held by the masses, probably encourages athletes to bend the rules. But even that doesn't matter, anymore. Because freakin' Lance Armstrong ruined it for everyone. FOREVER. Even ruined suing people for defamation. Used to be a sign that someone was innocent and willing to protect their name at all costs. Now it just looks like a power hungry d-bag pulling a power hungry power play...like a d-bag. So, yeah. Innocence lost blah blah blah...

Point is, is that since Lance Armstrong was exposed to the masses as arguably the biggest fraud in American sports' history, presumed innocence has truly gone the way of the dodo. As has the ability of suave stars to tip toe through the media circus and use their star power to refute any rumors. And anyone wishing to compete at the highest level of a sport that the media actually cares about (Lance's biggest mistake was making the American media care about cycling) just has to accept that as part of their profession. Especially if their name has EVER been linked to a positive drug test, dirty trainer, or anything that might otherwise arouse what is likely justified suspicion...

So, yeah. Papi. I'm sorry you get pissed when your name gets dragged through the mud, or brought up opposite other more well known and established cheaters like Nelson Cruz. But this!...(painful sinus adjustment)...is the business!...(painful sinus adjustment)...we've chosen! (Godfather II, obviously) Or at least the one we've found ourselves in. And while I'd love to suggest that you just sue everyone and scream your innocence from the rooftops, that's no longer a viable option. At least not for gaining credibility. So you're just gonna have to suck it up, utilize that aforementioned charm and charisma to deflect the questions, and get on with the business of winning baseball games. The latter being something that we all know will likely silence any critics that anyone is willing to listen to (see: Lance. Probably the best side effect of all this. For cheaters, at least.). I get that it's tough, because you insist on your innocence, and this is all the media wants to talk about because your team is terrible. But that's what you have to do. Lest you want your legacy to be that of a power hungry dick-box. Which, the more you talk about this shit, the more it seems you may be headed in that direction...

Hope that's not the case, Papi. And good luck dealing with the demons. Whether they're actually of your own making or not...

As for the actual Red Sox...



Boston Red Sox
Overall: 39-51 (10 games out of AL Playoffs?!)
Last Week: 1-5

This team can't do diddly poo, offensively...

I am, however, interested in how the front office will react should they continue to struggle. I'm all for bringing up all of the touted prospects and going with some sort of youth movement. But only if these guys are indeed ready to start their big league careers. Bringing them up just because you "can" and watching them hit in the low .200's while blatantly overmatched just isn't a sound strategy. Matter of fact, regularly running guys like that out there tends to do a number on their confidence. A trait that was likely a strength during their meteoric ascent...

Otherwise, I'd be on the lookout for the next big bat to come out of Cuba. Because Lord knows this team needs a young, big bat more than anything. And it seems that all the affordable guys that fit that description these days have made their way to our fine country from Cuba on a floating door. Unless that characterization is no longer politically correct. In which case I'll say what actually happens, and suggest the Red Sox grab the next highly touted Cuban slugger that gets smuggled into the country by a major Mexican drug cartel. One that the player likely owes a decent chunk of his future earnings under penalty of his and his family's death...

Yeah, right? All of a sudden a floating door doesn't sound like too bad of a gamble...


And with that, I'm gone. Catch you next week, friends...


#BAGSMUNMAN

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