Friday, July 31, 2009

Welcome to the club

After watching the wall-to-wall coverage of the breaking news of David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003, I had to just sit back and laugh.

Not because baseball has been dealt yet another black eye. But rather because of the coverage it received my the majority of the national media on TV and the blogosphere.

When the heavily-Yankee laden Mitchell report came out a couple of years ago and when Alex Rodriguez was caught testing positive for PEDs in 2003, most of what was insinuated was that this problem was a Yankee problem. And most took great delight in shouting from the rooftop that the Yankee championships in the late 1990s are now tainted.

With Manny and Big Popi now on that list with A-Rod, all I've heard over the last day is how steroids were a baseball --wide problem.

No, really? (Sarcasm intended)

I said this before and I'll say it again -- if you think your favorite team does not or did not have players using PEDs you are naive. And, no, I don't think any championships are tainted by this. Unfortunately, it's just the baseball world we live in these days.

I guess it took a couple of big names not associated with the Yankees who tested positive for this for the pundits to come off their high horses.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What a mess

Leave it to the Mets to botch what could have been a positive move.

From all the reported incidents surrounding now former VP Tony Bernazard, his firing on Monday was just. A quick news conference from GM Omar Minaya announcing the move seemed appropriate.

When Minaya turned the focus onto New York Daily News beat writer Adam Rubin and the insinuation he broke the stories about Bernazard to get him fired so Rubin would have the opportunity to get the job is laughable.

It's not the first time a sports team or figure has accused the media of something underhanded. At times, we can be an easy target. Accusations are made from the professional level all the way down to the youth level. We all know of this.

But this latest Mets' dust up is downright comical.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Baseball takes a Halladay

Now that we're done with the All-Star break, it's time to take a quick look at our two Metro-area baseball teams and where they stand heading into the baseball's second half.

The Yankees are clearly having a better year than last season, but so, too, is Boston and don't look now, but here comes defending AL champion Tampa Bay. It looks like Texas might actually give Calif ... I mean Anah ... I mean Los Angeles (whatever you feel like calling the Angels these days) a race in the West, with Minnesota -- most likely -- taking the Central. The Twins usually do.

A lot will depend on who wins out on the Roy Halladay sweepstakes. If Boston lands the Toronto ace, you might as well cancel the rest of the season -- unless Josh Beckett and John Lester go to the Blue Jays in the deal. (Yeah, right!) If the Yankees get him, things get a whole lot more interesting in the AL.

I've heard reports that anybody from the Yankees to the Angels to the Red Sox to the Phillies to the Cardinals have the "inside track" in signing him.

That takes us to the fortunes of the Mets. If they get healthy and if they start playing to their potential, don't be surprised if the Amazins make a run at the playoffs. Don't laugh, outside of Philadelphia and Los Angeles, are there any teams in the NL that REALLY scare you.

That could change if the Cards somehow land Halladay.

If the Phillies get Halladay, the best the Mets could hope for is the Wild Card. But I guess you could say their fortunes are "iffy" at best.

Keep July 31 in mind. That's the trading deadline. A lot could be decided with one trade.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Remembeing Link

I was very sad to hear about the passing of Edward R. "Link" Crosby yesterday.

In my 20 years here at the Freeman, I got to know Mr. Crosby a little bit, from the time he announced Kingston Mariners games at Gruner Field when I was a reporter to the time he was a Freeman columnist and I was assistant sports editor to the times he would call me as sports editor to discuss something in the paper or something he had seen.

I couldn't agree more with my former boss, Ed Palladino, who described Mr. Crosby as the consummate gentleman. Mr. Crosby truly was that.

But what I remember most was his love and knowledge of my favorite sport -- baseball. Sitting at a Mariners game, Mr. Crosby and I would talk baseball until the next thing I knew the final out of the game I was reporting on had been recorded. He loved to test me with baseball trivia, which I will admit I failed miserably most of the time.

He was a warm, engaging gentleman.

I've had the pleasure of meeting many great people in this job over the years. Two I would put at the top of my list are Mr. Crosby and Saugerties sports guru Jack Keeley. Mr. Keeley passed away several years ago. And now Mr. Crosby is gone, too.

I bet there's one whopper of a sports discussion going on in Heaven right now.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Double standard?

OK, so let me get this straight.

Alex Rodriguez fails a drug survey test in 2003, the result is leaked to the media this spring and A-Rod subsequently has to admit he took steroids while he was a Texas Ranger from 2000-03. Since drug testing in Major League baseball began in 2004, the Yankee slugger has passed every drug test he has been given.

He misses the first six weeks of this season because of a hip injury that required surgery. Since his return he has been called a cheater and been treated as a pariah by fans and the media outside of New York.

The criticisms are fair and just.

Manny Ramirez, meanwhile, fails an MLB drug test this season and is suspended 50 games. He returned on Friday and is treated like a hero by the fans and media, who are simply willing to accept his transgression as Manny being Manny.

Is it just me, or is something not right with that?