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Barry Bond, Steroids and Major League Baseball

Copyright 2006 David Maillie

In the last 5 years the growing popularity and use of illegal substances (steroids) in major league baseball has created a public outcry and led to indictments, arrests and congressional hearings. Some have even put major league baseball on par with professional wrestling as it is now a drugged or ‘juiced’ game and old, lasting records by the greats like Ruth and Hank Aaron can easily be broken by lesser athletes on steroids and have become meaningless. Just look at Barry Bonds for an example.

Barry Bonds became depressed in the late 90’s as new athletes like McGwire and Jose Conseco were becoming more popular for belting homeruns. Bonds was a great athlete, but he was aging and just like his father was headed for retirement. Bonds and everyone else knew that Conseco and the others were taking steroids. It was inevitable that Bonds would start taking steroids as he was very jealous and had an insatiable appetite for being the leader – he could not stand being in second place to anyone and he saw the great results of McGwire and Conseco.

Barry Bonds started taking numerous types of steroids through his trainer Greg Anderson. His physique, career and baseball would never be the same. Bonds was better after the steroids than anytime in his career. The steroids had elevated his career and possibly made him the best player in baseball history as he has now hit 722 career home runs. Only a few of the greatest players in Baseball history have ever hit into this range. It is similar to what Tiger Woods has done in Golf and his chasing Jack Nicklaus with his 18 career major titles. The difference is that Tiger Woods is a real champion and doesn’t use drugs like steroids or cheat in any way. Kids can look up to him as a hero.

Tiger Woods worked and trained very hard – he is also human as he went through a lot dealing with the loss of his father. Tiger woods through his great game and ethics has elevated professional golf and its fan base to all time highs. Barry Bonds, on the other hand, has devastated major league baseball and its rich history. Records are not meant to be broken on a daily or monthly basis. Records are just that records of greatness, by actual heroes like Joe DiMaggio, Ruth, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle and Ty Cobb. They never used steroids and were great players both on and off the field.

What every professional athlete needs to understand is that our kids see them as idols, heroes and mentors. Its not about the money, its about the game. Ninety nine percent of professional athletes never become a great like Rod Carew, Michael Jordan, or Warren Moon, but they are all imprinted in our children. Everyone remembers the negatives like McEnroe and his emotional outbursts, Rae Caruth and O.J. Simpson whom have abused the legal system and their fame to commit murder, steroids, gambling and the expulsion of baseball legend Pete Rose. Don’t the leaders of these professional sports realize that they have tainted and in some respects ruined the future of sports like major league baseball.

To see immediate evidence of this all one has to do is look at the dwindling number of visitors to the baseball hall of fame in Cooperstown, NY. It used to be almost every young boys fantasy to see the outfit worn by Babe Ruth, the Ball that was signed by Reggie Jackson and his Yankee teammates, the stories of greatness and great hurdles and obstacles that were overcome by some of the legends. Rare baseball cards by players with strict standards like Honus Wagner whom had his cards pulled as he did not want to be associated with cigarettes and tobacco. The meaning of baseball’s rich history has greatly suffered and will continue until something drastic is done.

Athletes like Barry Bonds that cheat and use illegal performance enhancing drugs should be banned and immediately removed from baseball and other sports. They should receive punishment worse than Pete Rose and should be stripped of all records, titles, and history in the game. Let someone who worked hard, overcame adversity and great obstacles, and never cheated and had great ethics, standards and was a true hero be the one to determine their fate – someone like Hank Aaron. Hank Aaron set records, great records, the hard way and they are being tarnished by the likes of Barry Bonds and others. Hank Aaron, like Herschel Walker, overcame a very poor upbringing, racism, lack of resources, etc… and through sheer determination became one of the greatest athletes ever.

It is time to stop the commercialism and get back to the basics of these sports. We have forgotten what the game really means. There is a reason why in Brooklyn they still remember the Brooklyn Dodgers. Lets not let the great game of baseball be ruined by people like Barry Bonds – they must be removed from the game, their history completely wiped out and start anew. This is the only way to retain or rescue the image of professional baseball.

Baseball betting: will the Cubs start winning or will Dusty get dusted?

The Chicago Cubs are on a mini two game winnings streak at the expense of the inept Washington Nationals and is this cause for optimism, or do we throw in the towel for the 98th year on the Cubs.

Yes the story has been told far too many times about the last Chicago Cub’s team to win the World Series in 1908 and most sportsbooks have them at 50-1 to win the October Classic, while their South Side neighbors the White Sox are 3-1 to repeat.

Yesterday things got so bad at Wrigley that a drunken female fan through a ball from the stands, that just missed taking the head off of slumping Jacques Jones.

The Cubbies now invite flame thrower Kerry Wood back to the nest on Thursday and considering that have been without Wood, Mark Prior, Wade Miller and Derrek Lee, for an extended period, 12-22 is not that bad.

Wood seemed to be realizing his potential when he made the All-Star team in 2003, finishing with a majors-best 266 strikeouts and a 14-11 record. But he went just 8-9 in 22 starts in 2004, spending nearly two months on the disabled list.

Last season he was 3-4 with a 4.23 ERA in 21 games. Wood made three trips to the DL, missing about three months, and even pitched out of the bullpen for the first time in his career, making 11 relief appearances, because of shoulder problems.

Wood’s rehab was pushed back after minor knee surgery in early March. He made two minor league rehab starts and threw 85 pitches in five innings for Triple-A Iowa on May 12.

The Cubs so have a starter hitting over .300 with Todd Walker the closest at .298 and Juan Pierre has been awful from the leadoff spot. His on base percentage of .276 is downright embarrassing and multi-million dollar a year players Jones and Aramis Ramirez have combined for just 34 RBI’s.

They travel across town this weekend and hopefully they learn a thing or two from the White Sox and maybe Dusty should takes some notes on how to manage by Ozzie Guillen!

Baseball and Steroids- The Controversy

There has been a lot of controversy about steroids in baseball. Does it enhance performance and what are the side effects. Are records today the result of steroids. And are athletes harming themselves.

First of all, we need to understand what is a steroid. And why do players use it. Anabolic steroids are a synthetic version of the male hormone testosterone. Testosterone in it’s normal state promotes and boosts muscle development and growth. When it is supplemented with steroids, you have an increase of muscle mass, reduction of body fat, and enhanced endurance. It is used by athletes to try to have the edge on the competition. It is believed that by using a steroid in baseball it will cause you to hit the ball further. And longer.

What are some of the side effects? They range from psychologically to physically. From a psychological standpoint, they can range from a feeling of well-being to depression. Mood swings. And even rage. Sometimes called ‘roid rage’. Other adverse psychological effects can include intense aggression and violence.

From a physical standpoint, you can have all kinds of changes. You will have increased muscle mass and increased endurance, but the side effects can include a plethora of problems. The worst being liver damage, and cancer. You can have acne, excessive hair growth or loss. Testicular atrophy (shrinking), etc.

What is the reward vs. risk? The reward being a quick avenue for increased muscle mass, increased performance, and increased endurance. A feeling of invincibility. The risk is permanent physical morbidity and psychotic episodes that include aggression, violence, and rapid mood swings. Also feelings of depression and suicide. Is the reward worth it? Absolutely not! Yet it is abused by athletes today for the quick gain of fortune and fame. It is believed that by using a steroid in baseball it will lead you down the path of fortune and fame.

There has been a lot of controversy whether Mark McGwire or Barry Bonds or Gary Sheffield and others have used a steroid in baseball. There is the infamous BALCO incident where there are accusations that Barry’s long time friend Greg Anderson was supplying Barry with an untrackable steroid, sometimes called “the cream” or “the clear”. Which raised a lot of questions in the baseball world. Did they use a steroid in baseball and is there proof it enhanced their game? We can draw several conclusions from this.

First off, is there any proof that a steroid in baseball has enhanced the record book with unfair records. At this time, no. We have to remember a couple of things before trying to point fingers, etc. Barry Bonds went on to have an unbelievable season setting a single season record of home runs that will probably never be surpassed in my mind. This happened from a guy that usually averaged around 35 homers a season. Can you explain the sudden jump in home runs? Probably not. But you can make the assumption that he has matured to the top of his game and that he had a dream season.

Now, let’s look at Roger Maris. When Roger went on to hit 61 home runs from a guy that usually never hit that many. Did everyone in the world suddenly start saying there must be a steroid in baseball that he is using? Or he must be doing something to enhance his game. No they did not. They assumed that he just had a magical season that only comes around ever so often. Can we draw the same conclusions about Barry, and about Mark? Yes, we can. Could it be that they had magical seasons? Absolutely.

Until the evidence comes out, we don’t know what any athlete is doing. What I do know as a former major leaguer is how difficult it is to perform at such a high level day in and day out. In my mind, whether they are doing steroids or not, you still have to hit the ball over the fence. You still have to make solid contact consistently. You still have to have great fundamentals. I think what has happened on the baseball field has been remarkable and we are lucky to be able to witness such great athletes perform daily.

Steroids in my mind take away from the game. Even though they provide a quick explosion of muscle mass and endurance, over the long run, they will harm you. They will cause psychotic events, and physical damage that will last a life time. The bottom line is simple. Play the game the way it is meant to be played. Play with honor and pride and dignity. And above all, leave steroids out of it.Using a steroid in baseball is simply not worth it.

Baseball Betting: How to Bet Basics

If you know nothing about sports and you still feel the urge to wager, baseball is the easiest sports to wager on. As opposed to football and basketball, where you are mixed up with the point spreads and other confusing calculations, in baseball betting you simply put your money on the outcome of the game. In addition, the baseball season lasts longer, which means more matches and bigger chances to go home with the winning money. Here is a step to step guide to baseball betting.

The main difference between baseball betting and other team sports betting such as football and basketball is that while the latter ones use point spreads, the former uses the money line.

What is a Point Spread?
Point spread is the most common betting type offered in football and basketball betting. The sportsbook spreads the odd of a certain match by subtracting points from the favorite team, which is the team most likely to win and adding points to the underdog, which is the team that will raise a lot of eyebrows if wins.

What is a Money Line?
In baseball betting, the sportsbook sets the odds strictly on the outcome of the match. In order to even the action, bettors would have to risk more money on the favorite and risk less on the underdog. This is called the money line.

For example, if the money line is minus 170 on the favorite and plus 150 on the underdog, then you would have to bet 170 dollars on the favorite in order to earn 100 dollars. On the other hand, if you bet 100 dollars on the underdog, you would win 150 dollars if they would eventually win the match.

The difference between the minus 170 on the favorite and the plus 150 on the underdog is known as the twenty cent line. If the money line was minus on the favorite and plus 150 on the underdog, it is called the ten cent line or dime line. The fifteen cent line is also common in baseball betting.

Sportsbooks also offer total bets and run lines in baseball betting.

1) Total Bets:
These wagers are based on the sum of the runs scored by both of the teams. For example, if the sportsbook sets the over under total of a match as 7, the over wins if the sum of the runs scored by both teams exceeds 7 and the under wins if it sums up to less than 7.

2) The Run Line:
This wager is the baseball variation of point spread. When you are betting on the run line, you are betting on whether one of the teams wins by more than one run, which is marked as minus 1.5 or stays within one run, marked as plus 1.5.

Conclusion:
Although the money line makes baseball betting simpler than football and basketball betting, it causes the payoffs calculation to be more complicated:

1) In order to calculate the payoff when wagering on the favorite you should add 1 to the favorite price and divide it with the favorite price.

2) In order to calculate the payoff when wagering on the underdog you should add 1 to the underdog price.

Baseball Betting: the White Sox send the Twins a crystal clear message!

I mentioned in this space recently that I thought Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire could be the first to get the axe in the 2006 MLB season, as his team is grossly underachieving.

There were reports of lack of discipline in the clubhouse and on the field last year and it looks like things have gone from bad to worse this year. On Sunday the Twins scored 7 runs in the first inning, to answer the 3 that the White Sox had posted in the top of the frame.

Then the Twins allowed the defending World Series champions to storm back for a 9-7 win and in the process get nailed on a embarrassing triple play in the 6th inning. With Nick Punto on second and Shannon Stewart on first, the Twins Luis Castillo popped up a bunt and a charging Paul Konerko made a shoestring catch.

How in the world could Konerko right himself and throw to first for a double play and then second baseman Tadahito Iguchi fired to Juan Uribe at second for a triple play. The first rule of thumb that a little league player is taught on a sacrifice bunt, is to make sure the ball hits the ground before taking off.

What is heck were Punto and Stewart thinking and why did Gardenhire not sit their butts down on the bench. Sunday’s game was also the first time in AL history that a starting pitcher (Mark Buehrle) allowed 7 runs in the first inning and won a game.

Scott Baker was the latest Twin to get roughed up for Minnesota, whose starters have a collective 6.51 ERA, the worst in either league! The Twins needed a strong start from Baker, especially with everyone else in the rotation not named Johan Santana still struggling to find their form. Before the game, righty Carlos Silva was sent to the bullpen temporarily to give him more time to straighten himself out.

Budding star lefty Francisco Liriano will fill his spot for now as the starters are an embarrassing 13-21.

In eight starts, Silva is 2-6 with an 8.80 ERA and 74 hits and 15 homers allowed in 46 innings. After going 14-8 with a 4.21 ERA in 2004, his first year as a starter, the righty pitched through an injured right knee and was picked as Minnesota’s most improved player in 2005. He went 9-8 with a 3.44 ERA in 188-plus innings and led the majors with the fewest walks, 0.4 — per nine innings.

The Twins are a horrible 7-14 in their own division and now head to Motown to face the surging Tigers, who are the most improved team in baseball. After that they face the Brewers in Milwaukee and a embarrassing road trip, could spell the end to Gardenhire’s regime in the Twin cities!

Backoff From The Baseball Coach

With the regulated top of any season of baseball, the parents have the high hope that their child is principal with the success of team. It with a degree is true. The success of the team depends on each player. The problems emerge between the prospects for the parents, the players and the trainer.

We each one have our own image of art of the self-portrait which is completely different probable with the way in which the rest of the world sees us. This also applies to our vision of our children. The crushing of the ball for the dad in back court is large, but it always does not transfer to diamond. By no means if any relative expects that the confidence of back-yard competes with on the execution of field. It is a bar which will obtain probably struck in addition to stands each time.

Coach of all the levels of experiment are more qualified position and play the players. The trainer has a ‘vision ‘ in the way in which all the parts will function out of tandem. As a relative, we must respect that in all the levels of play. This until catch held by anybody the responsibility to be a trainer of baseball when nobody other. A its responsibility which takes a substantial quantity of abuse.

I was pilot parents and the grandparents tear in bottom of a trainer during a play in an effort to leave the weaker players and to restructure the vision. Its solution lit completely. The every 5 to 10 minutes, it turned all the players jusqu to various positions, the jugs, gloves of baseball as moving and stop to put it except play.

They lost terribly, but as from this moment henceforth it was allowed to give lessons particular to the remainder of the season without badger of launderer. That functioned because while the ‘key the ‘ players were turned in the ‘right ‘ the position, they all made errors starting from the simple contagious errors with ‘why made you through with initially when the runner stole the third ‘.

It primarily had the loss (more than 30 to 0) a complete effort of the community. Because each one was responsible for the loss, those which gave particular lessons of the grandins obtained a taste that they could not spit outside.

Will this tactic function for each one? I do not have really any idea, but it is a solution which I will not forget soon.

The participation of relative is marvellous. Obtain implied, obtain in the play. Here some things to be maintained in the spirit as a relative

1 Don’t arrive at the field when the practice is supposed to start. If programmed time is 5:30, are there by 5:15. It reduced the effort of the conduit of precipitations and of the hour or thus of the programmed practice time is not wasted on the greetings and the jabber of jibber.

2 be useful, time the establishment lost the field or the exercise is right which lost. If one does not write to him, ask the trainer of what is the plan for the day and along what you can make to help of the things. The players want to do that just, play. Time with vacuum lost while the installation of the next drill of competence loosens the gained hearth of the precedent.

3 never correct, howl, discipline or differently decrease the authority of the trainer in front of the players or other parents. If you have concern or comments, put side the hour in your day of speaking with the trainer in private. It can be your prospect which needs the correction.

respect 4 each one. Trainers, assistances, parents, referees, players, teams of opposition, it does not import which or what are they compared to your team. Each one deserves the respect which should not be gained. The respect of others will have like consequence of others respecting you.

Consider what it is to play the baseball. What want you that your children carry with them when their days of play are relegated to the league of church. For me hope of I for, respect for itself, confidence in their capacities, identification of their limits, ethics of work of the practice and the concept to collaborate with a team and the perpetual friendships which it can bring.

A Training Guide to Baseball

Handling the beater or putting wood at the ball, is the key with the success or the failure of the club of ball and the individual.

There is no great mystery about what makes to a boy a good bruiser. He must have:

1. A certain quantity of normal capacities
2. A control of the fundamental principles
3. Confidence in its capacity to strike

Normal covers of capacities of expression much. They mean the arms, the wrists and the hands forts; fast reflexes, good coordination, perfect sight and speed under development.

Independently how much of normal capacities a boy has, however, of him will not strike like him if if it does not control the fundamental principles and does not believe in its capacity to strike the ball while it comes by the zone from strike. The confidence of art of the self-portrait, naturally, comes from success. Moreover, success in the wadding in sheet comes from the practice. The following text describes the mechanisms to strike while they apply to the bowlers in general. While following the implied principles, the well coordinated boy could easily become the wadding in sheet hold the first role of his team; the average boy could certainly become a bruiser better than average.

While getting information about handling the beater there are some key points which you will have to know. Those include sectors of

The Position The Step Positions of arm and hand The Oscillation

The position required depends on the side which they support. If a boy is a droitier, it should turn its left side in the jug; the good so left-handed side.

The body should rather right and be slackened with the weight distributed even on the two feet. The hips and the shoulders should be level. The feet should be width of shoulder with share with the toe of the foot before even with the instep of the back foot. When the ball is delivered, beats heels should be to the top slightly, its slightly bent knees. Covers of step how the call should be struck. While the ball is delivered to the dish, the smooth paste should raise its foot before Juste above the ground and slip it ahead (towards the jug) approximately six inches. This stage, a part criticizes to strike, starts what generally names synchronization. All other movements which are a part of flow handling the beater of it.

Practical with this formula:

Loan?

Stage and torsion. Again with the starting position. Still, stage and torsion. Back. Stage and torsion. Back

Co-ordinate of positions of arm and hand with the position and the step. Droitier beats: place your left palm against before your right shoulder, little finger to the bottom, inch upwards. Advance the left hand approximately six inches and made a fist.

Left-handed person beats: place your right palm against before your left shoulder, little finger to the bottom, inch upwards. Advance the right hand approximately six inches and made a fist.

The elbow of the arm which is now prolonged through the body should not have almost any curve in him and there should not be any constraint on the arm. In fact the arm and the hand guide the beater by the oscillation. The opposite arm and the hand provide the power.

Make a fist with the power give it and place on the hand of guidance.

Thus raise the elbow of the arm of power it is of level with the top of the shoulder. There will be a certain constraint there. Drop this elbow slowly until there is no constraint. The elbow of the arm of power should come to a stop approximately two inches below the top the shoulder.

Maintain the elbows and the hands left the body!

Baseball Betting: 10 Simple Rules to Keep in Mind

Baseball can be a relatively hard game on which to place bets. We are going to go over a few of the things to look out for and be aware of while getting ready to place your bets for the ballgame.

1) Always betting on your favorite team is usually not recommended. If your team is on a losing streak, it may best to bet on the favorite. It is ok to bet on the other team.

2) Remember to always follow current stats concerning other teams as well as the team you follow. If you only know how your team is doing how can you make an educated guess?

3) Weather is a very important issue in baseball. If it rains before a game and the field is wet it can deter a good player from making the play that he could normally make due to the field being slippery and things of this nature.

4) Take into account that home teams that play in domes have an advantage over the visiting team that does not play in domes and vice versa.

5) Another very important factor is the pitchers. Always check who will be pitching the game. Teams generally try to match their best pitcher with the best pitchers form the other team. If a number one pitcher is overly better than the opposing pitcher, and the batters of the opposing team are not hot, then I would definitely take this into account.

6) Some teams have better home or away records so watching how the teams play at home and away and what games are being played are extremely important to follow and understand.

7) While checking stats, see whether players are playing well or whether they are in slumps, this can add to a teams overall performance in a game.

8) A night game over a day game is another variable to check when researching your bets and how it relates to a particular ball club.

9) Baseball players I think also relate their style and effort depending on where in the whole of the season they are located. If it is the beginning of the year and are not fresh, or are just trying to get their feel of their team, could make all the difference between a win and a loss.

10) Publicity. Find out what the PR is for the team, if there is a certain player that is receiving bad PR or the entire team can take all of the morale out of a good ball club and turn them around into last place.

Baseball is a complex sport, easier to understand when you grow up with it, but still loaded with many variables and factors that change on a minutes notice. So with a bit more experience and a little bit of patience, with these trusted rules, you will be able to win more of your bets while gambling on baseball.

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