Friday, December 14, 2007

Mitchell Report Analysis

Here are the players named in the Mitchell report:

Chad Allen
Mike Bell
Gary Bennett
Larry Bigbie
Ricky Bones
Kevin Brown
Ken Caminiti
Mark Carreon
Jason Christiansen
Howie Clark
Roger Clemens
Paxton Crawford
Jack Cust
Brendan Donnelly
Chris Donnels
Lenny Dykstra
Matt Franco
Ryan Franklin
Eric Gagne
Jason Grimsley
Jerry Hairston
Phil Hiatt
Matt Herges
Glenallen Hill
Todd Hundley
Ryan Jorgensen
Wally Joyner
Mike Judd
David Justice
Chuck Knoblauch
Tim Laker
Mike Lansing
Paul Lo Duca
Exavier “Nook” Logan
Josias Manzanillo
Cody McKay
Kent Mercker
Bart Miadich
Hal Morris
Daniel Naulty
Denny Neagle
Rafael Palmeiro
Jim Parque
Luis Perez
Andy Pettitte
Adam Piatt
Todd Pratt
Stephen Randolph
Adam Riggs
Brian Roberts
F.P. Santangelo
David Segui
Mike Stanton
Ricky Stone
Miguel Tejada
Derrick Turnbow
Mo Vaughn
Ron Villone
Fernando Vina
Rondell White
Jeff Williams
Todd Williams
Kevin Young
Gregg Zaun
Rick Ankiel
David Bell
Paul Byrd
Jose Canseco
Jay Gibbons
Troy Glaus
Jose Guillen
Darren Holmes
Gary Matthews Jr.
John Rocker
Scott Schoeneweis
Ismael Valdez
Matt Williams
Steve Woodard
Marvin Benard
Barry Bonds
Bobby Estalella
Jason Giambi
Jeremy Giambi
Benito Santiago
Gary Sheffield
Randy Velarde

I'll have more on some of these players as I read through the entire report. It's 400 pages so it could take a while.

What should happen to the players whose names are on this list? Nothing. Because the information in the Mitchell Report is selective, and not at all comprehensive, it would unfair to punish only those who happened to buy steroids from the suppliers who got caught and ratted them out.
But Jay Gibbons and Jose Gullien did get 15 game suspensions so perhaps we could see similar punishments for other active players.

Also, there is no reason for criminal prosecution of these guys. The same people who complain that our tax dollars are being spent on prosecuting Barry Bonds now want the law to go after these guys.
First of all, the standard of proof needed to convict someone is much higher than the standard used to include someone on this list.
Second of all, Bonds is not being prosecuted for using steroids, they're going after him because he lied to a federal grand jury. If the Feds let such a high profile figure get away with that it dilutes the power of all federal grand juries.

The men on this list, as well as McGwire, Sosa and countless others who used steroids cheated...the fans out of the thing which most hardcore baseball fans like myself hold most deaR about the sport, the sanctity of the records and numbers. These players have robbed me of the chance to discuss many of baseball's hallowed numbers in reverent terms with my son. And even worse, the problem of what to do with baseball's history books seems like a problem without a solution. Retroactively expunging the records and entire careers of the cheaters is capricious and ineffective because it might leave records to other cheaters who just didn't get caught. An ineffectual asterisk is not appropriate because it's either too specific (once again it wouldn't nail all the cheaters, just those who got caught), or too broad (if applied to the entire generation).

But Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens still deserve to be in the Hall of Fame because they were great before they started juicing.

The fate of a nation of baseball fans turns it's lonely eyes to Alex Rodriguez. Other than elite performance A-Rod bears none of the other hallmarks of a steroid user. He did not undergo a significant physical change, nor drastic swings in his performance.

I don't want to hear anything from any player on this list about them being wrongfully accused. In all, the players on the list comprise no more than a quarter of baseball's total steroid cheats since the 1980s. So how are we to believe that the few that got fingered by a reliable source are wrongfully accused?

That said, this report doesn't, in many cases prove that players used steroids, it's merely an as comprehensive as possible accumulation of everyone who has been linked to steroids.

There are three major reasons why steroid use flourished in baseball for so long. The players used them for financial gain, the league ignored the problem for financial gain and the media (this means you Murray Chass) looked the other way for no good reason at all. And the media is still doing it. You have a guy saying he shot Andy Pettitte in the ass with steroids and retarded monkey sportswriters are still defending Pettitte. The job of the media is to look at issues critically but the sports media is full of ex-jocks and jock sniffers who won't state the obvious for fear of being ostracized. No one on this list is unfairly targeted, they're cheaters.

Don't tell me that Paul LoDuca paid Kirk Radomski $3,200 because he took his car to be washed, picked up his dry cleaning and brought his 19-year old girlfriend to the clubhouse so she could give him a postgame blowjob. As valuable as those services are, LoDuca paid the guy for supplying performance enhancing drugs.

The best thing that could come from this report would be stronger testing, blood testing, similar to what the Olympics does. A program that tests for everything. If after so many of their brethren were outed, the Players Union still opposes such testing than the owners should impose it (to the extent to which they can do so) and force the players to strike over it. Also, there has to be random testing during the offseason, at least twice, for every player.

Now that we have a list of users it will be interesting to compare this list in 15 - 20 years to the list of ballplayers who died prematurely. Ken Caminiti is already on that list, let's hope none of these other guys join him, but maybe if they do people will finally wake up to the dangers of steroid use.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Subway Sluts

A website called offered $10,000 for the best video clip of pole dancing in public. This was the winning entry.

These Are Soon Going to Get Even Bigger

Congratulations to one of the Poop's favorite couples, Jessica Alba and Cash Warren. They are expecting a baby in late spring or early summer of 2008.

And while Alba's boobs will get bigger, so will this.

SCZA's Pets

In addition to Lola and Henry, the two cats who are now getting along, SCZA also has a new puppy in his life. It's his parents dog, but they're like brothers.
Joey is like a young Diesel (with a much less cool name). He looks like a young Diesel. He even destroyed a stuffed bone that said "kosher" on it like a young Diesel. I can only hope he brings as much joy to those around him as a Diesel. And that SCZA teaches him to run to his treats everytime someone says "Mets Win!" like Diesel.

Who Gets the Cash?

While doing some work on a bathroom, contractor Bob Kitts, found boxes stashed in the wall containing $182,000.
But since the money is from the Depression Era, the rare bills are actually worth more, as much as half a million, according to appraisers.
But Kitts and the owner of the house, Amanda Reece are in a dispute over who gets to keep the money.
Reece offered Kitts a 10% finder's fee, but Kitts wants 40%.
The legal case here is very interesting, because the money was left in the house, does Reece, who bought the home, also get the money that was inside the home.
Or does Kitts, who found the money, deserve to keep it?

This Cannot Be Real

No one can possibly have a name, this bad.

The NFL is Poop - Week 14

Living Well is the Best Revenge
Not sure if it was the two straight close wins, the talk that they were vulnerable, or maybe even the comments by Steelers safety Anthony Smith, but the Patriots played a great game (or at least a great second half) against the Steelers, winning 34-13. The game was close in the first half until the Patriots tried a trick play, lateraling to Randy Moss (who picked up the bad lateral) and flung it back to Brady, who flung it downfield to Jabar Gaffney who caught it for a 56-yard touchdown, burning safety Anthony Smith in the process.
I don't put any stock in the fact that Smith's comments fired up the Patriots or provided any extra motivation. If they did anything, they made Smith play differently, more aggressively, making him ripe to be attacked on a play like that one.
Belichick said: "The safety play at that position was pretty inviting. We've played against a lot better safeties than him, I'll tell you."

Dallas Does It Again
For the second time this year, the Dallas Cowboys putzed around for three quarters before coming back and beating an inferior team by one point. This time the Cowboys made only one turnover, but it was a crucial fumble on the 1-yard line by Jason Witten. Thankfully for Witten, he redeemed himself by catching the game-winning touchdown with 18 seconds left. If that hadn't happened and the Cowboys had lost, that fumble would have been a black mark on what was otherwise a career game, 15 catches for 138 yards.

Several tough decisions faced Jets coach Eric Mangini in the last few minutes of his team's loss against the Cleveland Browns. I'll go through them one by one and assess what Mangini should have done, though obviously, subsequent decisions may not have been necessary had he made different decisions in the first place.

3:02 left, Jets trailing 17-12: Mangini goes for a 2-point conversion. Right decision, even though if they had kicked and everything else played out the same it would have worked out a lot better for them. But Mangini had no way of knowing that.

3:02 left, Jets trailing 17-12: Mangini goes for onside kick. Right decision, even if it hadn't worked out, which it did.

1:48 left, Jets trailing 17-12, 4th and 10 from the 20: Mangini kicks a field goal. Wrong decision, he should have gone for it. Normally, I believe in extending the game but in this case he needed one 10 yard play, which admittedly is not incredibly likely, but his other option was several other plays that each might have been more likely to work, but he would have needed all of them. The 4th down play was his best chance.

1:43 left, Jets trailing 17-15: Mangini tries another onside kick. Right decision. People who say they should have kicked deep are idiots. You have three timeouts left so you still have the chance to play defense, but you might as well try another onside kick.

1:31 left, Jets trailing 17-15: Jamal Lewis scores a touchdown. Wrong decision, if Lewis falls down at the 1 yard line the Browns kneel 3 times and win easily.

:37 left, Jets trailing 24-15, 1st and 10 from the 17: Mangini kicks a field goal. Right decision. You need two scores, kick now and give yourself some time to try something. Inside the 10, different story, but from the 17, you extend the game.

:32 left, Jets trailing 24:18: Mangini kicks it deep. Right decision. They tried to catch the Browns off guard and hope they could beat them down the field. But that kick went out of bounds so the element of surprise was lost. The Jets tried again (after offsetting penalties), using a conventional onside, but couldn't recover.

Mangini faced a lot of tough decisions and handled most of them well. But I think choosing wrong in that first key spot put his team in an impossible position.

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
At least Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Brodie Croyle gets to go home and fuck his hot wife, Kelli.

This Is Not What I Signed Up For
Atlantan Flacons coach Bobby Petrino quit on his team 13 games into the first year of a 5-year contract. Petrino's new contract with Arkansas paid will pay him $2.85 million over 5 years, while the contract he left was worth $24 million over 5 years. At least he's telling the truth when he says it's not about the money. But I don't believe he was telling the truth when he said he hadn't spoke to anyone from Arkansas until Tuesday, the day he took the job. Either that or his agent did all his negotiating for him.

This Has Happened Before
In 1976 Lou Holtz coached the Jets for 13 games, went 3-10 and left to become the coach at the University of Arkansas.

Game of the Week
San Diego Chargers 23 Tennessee Titans 17

The Chargers are keeping up their reputation as the toughest team to figure out. Whenever you think they are turning a corner, they aren't. And when you think they're dead, they aren't. It wasn't until 9 minutes were left in the game that the Chargers woke up and starting moving the ball on offense. Trailing 17-3 they scored a TD quickly, but the Titans killed 5 minutes with a long drive, giving San Diego only 2:24 to tie the game. And thanks to a favorable onfield call on a 4th and 5 pass to Chris Chambers (replays were inconclusive), the Chargers did score. After a failed overtime possession by each team, LaDanian Tomlinson sealed the win, and probably the division, with a 16 yard touchdown run.

Game of Next Week
Washington Redskins at New York Giants

With all the defeats the Redskins snatched from the jaws of victory this season, they still have an excellent shot at the playoffs if they can win their next 3 games, starting here, then against Minnesota and ending against a Dallas team that will have nothing to play for. The Giants have a magic number of 2 to clinch the first wild card in the NFC.

Cheerleader of the Week
Deryn of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.
Deryn has a Yorkie named Armani (stereotypical cheerleader) and her favorite TV show is Martin (stereotypical black girl). She is single but on several occassions in her bio expressed her interest in finding the man of her dreams. She carried a Strawberry Shortcake lunchbox when she was a little girl, she's a procrastinator and she says "really?" a lot. Her favorite color is black.

If The Super Bowl Were Played Today
New England Patriots 31 Dallas Cowboys 14
There is no chance in hell that the Patriots will be knocked out of this spot this year. The Cowboys on the other hand, sometimes they look like legit contender, sometimes they look disinterested. But they need two wins to clinch homefield advantage all the way through the playoffs.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Song of The Week

"Fallin" - Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys has always been an enigma to me because I love everything about her, except her songs. She has a great voice, a great gimmick, a great look, a great last name (not her real last name, took it from piano keys), a great image but I just don't like her songs.
Most of them are incredibly boring or stupid, especially her latest "No One" which is playing on at least one of the six stations in my car's memory at every point of the day. And now that she combed out her braids and has a blown out hairdo I like her even less. I hate artists that change their image to appeal to a mainstream (white) audience.
But through the sheer power of her voice alone, this song stands the test of time.

Record label link

Mitchell Report Set to Drop

The Daily News reports that Major League Baseball officials have their copy of the Mitchell Report and it's set to drop tomorrow on the rest of the public.
The report names somewhere between 60 and 80 players. That's a lot more names than have already been made public.
The Mets could be prominently involved because Mitchell got a lot of his information for Kirk Radomski, a former Mets clubhouse employee who after his 1985-1995 stint with the Mets spent the next several years as a steroids supplier.
What Mets could possibly see their names turn up?
Lenny Dykstra? Todd Hundley? David Segui? Mike Piazza?

Wikipedia has a very comprehensive list of players who have already been linked to steroids through a failed test or a media report. At first I thought the Mitchell Report would only be a compilation of that which we already knew or suspected, but if 60 to 80 names are in there, some of them are very likely ones we've not heard before.

Friiiiiiiiiiiiiiiied Chicken

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank inelegantly explains a major impediment to a potential Michael Vick comeback.

Obviously, people are now labeling Blank as a racist for this remark. But perhaps he knows Vick well and Vick does have a weakness for fried chicken, he should not be allowed to say so? Also, when did ascribing a fondness for a particular food become racist? Racism really means hatred for a group of people. There's nothing remotely hateful about saying black people like fried chicken. It's a stereotype, and probably an accurate one, but it shouldn't offend anyone. We have Italian restaurants and Mexican restaurants and kosher delis, and those foods are associated with certain ethnic groups, and there's nothing wrong with that. Black people have a lot more important things to worry about than whether or not Michael Vick likes fried chicken.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

When To Worry

The best time to start worrying about something is usually right after someone tells you not to worry.
To wit, this story from a former bunkmate of Matthew Murray, who police think shot and killed four people in two separate shootings in Colorado this weekend.
The first shooting was at a missionary school in Arvada, the second at a huge church in Colorado Springs.
The bunkmate shared a room with Murray when they were both prospective missionaries at the missionary school several years ago.
On at least one occassion, Murray woke him up in the middle of the night by talking. When asked to whom he was talking, Murray replied "to the voices. But don't worry, the voices like you."

Protect Your Most Valuable Asset

The maker of a new kind of athletic supporter, the Nutty Buddy, is putting his "money" where his mouth is by testing the product on himself in this youtube video.

That's definitely convincing advertising. Chris Sabo's cameo in this will definitely go down as this generation's version of Fred McGriff's appearance in the Tom Emanski ads.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Obscure Jerseys

A site called Straight Cash Homey has put together an impressive array of pictures of people in obscure jerseys.
And I think The Concierge made the site. What are the chances that two people in the tony New York neighborhood of Murray Hill would have a Vin Baker Bucks jersey? Btw, the Conch doesn't really live near Murray Hill anymore, he's 20 blocks downtown, but this could be an old picture.

Anyway, the site is cool because it offers a nice random trip down memory lane. Of all my jerseys, I really don't think I have any that are this obscure, and if I did I wouldn't wear them in public.

Story suggested by: Billy

Delicious With Matzo Ball Soup

Oy vey! Balducci's grocery store in the Village was offering a special on hams, on a sign that says "Delicious for Chanukah."
The error was made by a clerk who doesn't work in the meat department and has never met a Jew.
While I agree the story is funny, I do find it a little odd that so many people really have no idea what kosher means, even to the point of not understanding that pork is not, nor can it ever be kosher.

Story suggested by: Razor & Mrs. Poop

The Media Ruins Everything

The New York Times had to go and tell everyone about the Gate D Party that takes place at halftime of every Jets home game, and now it's ruined for everyone.

The Times reports (gleefully I presume), that no tits were shown during yesterday's game.

More fans and more security than ever crowded around Gate D, and some slutty females seeking positive affirmation from a group of drunk horny men were told by security that they were instigating, merely by having breasts in the proximity of all those guys who have never seen a pair before.

Eric McDermott, a 22-year-old student at The Ohio State University, exposed only her belly button, teasing the angry masses and getting herself booed. I imagine she's much sluttier back in Columbus.

Also, the MySpace page called JetsTits, which had been a source for the photos and videos of the Gate D Parties, has been removed.