...but probably I won't, because David Axlerod and Chris Matthews are likely more deserving. Braun, however, might get the sports award. The "Hebrew Hammer "accepted a 65-game suspension from Major League Baseball for using performance enhancing drugs, then lying about it. A quick look at the case shows us last year he was handed a fifty game suspension for the same thing, but got off because some idiot at the med-lab contractor MLB uses couldn't be bothered to read "Shipping Directions". He rejoiced, claiming to all that justice was served and that he was innocent of all charges.
Move ahead to this season. The worm selling the stuff to ball players turned "state's evidence" to MLB in return for immunity from prosecution. Suddenly, Braun and a host of others- unfortunately including the A's Bartolo Colon who admitted his crime and served HIS suspension- came back on the table. On June 29th, MLB called in Braun and went over with him and his people the evidence against him. He continued to deny everything- right up until his people told him that they weren't going to weasel out this time. So he crawled back on his belly to MLB, hoping to get a deal that wouldn't lose him part of next season as well- he would have no doubt lost the first 100 games next year. So yesterday he "agreed" to serve the suspension without pay the rest of this year and any postseason his team, the Brewers, might get to (find that filed under "snowball's chance").
So yet another generation of young baseball fans get taught it's all right to lie until you're caught, just like the one that saw Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, and Roger Clemens lie in front of Congress. And for what?
Is there a difference between a PED player and a honest one( outside moral fiber)? Let's look at last year's case, Melky Cabrera. Melky not only did the drugs, but invented a fake website to make himself look innocent. For his efforts, he lost a chance at a World Series trip, the end of last season, and his job with the Giants. His statistical return?
Last year at this point, with juice, he had 11 home runs, 49 RBIs, and was hitting .356- which was 1 homer and 45 points higher than he'd ever hit in any FULL season. This year, in Toronto, 3 HRs, 29 RBIs, and a closer-to-career average .278. So yes, for a middle of the road player, it made a BIG difference.
But what I can't figure is a guy like McGwire, who'd had Hall Of Fame numbers BEFORE juicing. McGwire averaged for his career a full-season average of 50 HRs, 122 RBIs, and a .263 average. If you remove the three obvious juicing years, he still averages 44 HRs, 114 RBIs, and a .255 average. So why bother? It's all about the money, my friends. He was towards the end of his career, looking to score more big dollars. And three years of obvious juicing netted him an average of 67 HRs, 145 RBIs, and a .283 average! Not very blatant, eh? And then lies about it to a whole generation of young fans in front of Congress. And THEN gets hired by the Cardinals as hitting coach! Now, I am not accusing him of spreading his juice to his team; however, it makes you look askance at stats like the Cards' dominance with runners in scoring position, the constant stream of good new hitters they get, the seamless way Carlos Beltran stepped in for Albert Pujols ( and the way Pujols fell apart when he went to the Angels) and you cannot help but wonder.
At least Jose Canseco admitted what he did. Did it make a difference with him? His twin brother Ozzie was also in the major leagues (albeit for a vastly shorter time). Jose averaged 40 HRs, 121 RBIs, and a .266 average. Ozzie? 0 HRs, 27 RBIs, .176 average.
The you have Roger Clemens. Refuses to admit the PEDs, refuses to admit an affair with Mindy McCreedy (and while I'm not saying that Roger's denial contributed to her suicide, he sure didn't do that poor, whacked out girl any favors). So if you already did the deed, already made your ill-gotten gain, why lie about it?
So you can still get into the Hall of Fame.
Well guess what. You need a 75% vote to get into the HOF. Last year, prominent juicers McGuire, Palmeiro, Clemens, Barry Bonds, and Sammy Sosa got an AVERAGE of 22.4 %. Lying did you NO GOOD. Although I'm sure Bonds, with his hatred of the media, probably enjoyed only getting his 36.2 %, the others probably scratched their heads wondering why they got shunned. Because it's all about ME.
Did Ryan Braun need to juice? Last year he juiced his way to 41 HRs, 112 RBIs, and a .319 average. This year, he was on a pace for 29 HRs, 96 RBIs, and was hitting .298. Sure there's a difference there, but where in helped his team (RBIs) it wasn't all that much. Where it glorified HIM (HRs), it was significant. Add to that denying it until he was iron-clad caught, and you have yet another fine example to our young fans to just go ahead, cheat and lie.
In fact, there might be just one place in sports to find integrity anymore...
At least the bleachers were full....
Anyway, a quick look at the AIHL while I'm here. Adelaide split a pair of shootout games. They beat the Mustangs 6-5 with Wehebe Darge getting the only shootout score; Sunday they lost to those same 'Stangs when Pat O'Kane got the only goal in the shootout to give Melbourne's second team a 7-6 win.
In the mean time, Perth- who lost star Mike Forney just as Adelaide did the Ouellette brothers- split a pair. They stunned Newcastle 6-2 on Saturday behind Brian Berger's hat trick; Sunday they fell to those same North Stars 3-2. Melbourne's top squad, the Ice, had a rather rocky weekend squeezing out a 4-2 win over luckless Canberra (despite a 52-28 advantage in shots); then getting slammed 6-3 by Sydney's Ice Dogs on Sunday. The Dogs had a two win weekend, winning 3-0 Saturday against their fellows from Sydney, the Bears. Simon Barg had two goals in each game.
So the Ice Dogs (11-5-4) pass the North Stars (11-5-3) by 1 point into first place, 40-39. The Ice, at 12-4-2, hang two points off the lead. Perth, the 'Stangs, and Adelaide are all within nine of the lead.
Here's some more assorted pics:
|I think I forgot this one before...|
|New bridge coming along nicely.|
And that was a bunny rabbit. Excuse the focus, but as the old fisherman's joke goes, I had a "jerk" on the other end... of the leash.