Tag Archives: Bud Selig

The WBC, a Popularity Contest

Bud Selig is not impressed.

Let me preface this by saying that baseball is the king of my brain .  Batman may be my noggin’s silent protector but Baseball reigns supreme.  It should surprise no one, then, that I really dig the World Baseball Classic.  That said, I’m no dummy.  Despite Bud “Sisterkissin'” Selig’s best efforts, using everything from Greg Maddux to Aviici’s ‘Levels’ to increase buzz, the WBC is not nearly as popular as the higher-ups had hoped (both Maddux and that song are probably past the point of ‘sexy’ relevance to most fans now, but beside the point.  Also an intriguing band name – Sexy Relevance & the Semicolons coming to a blues house near you).  The move from ESPN to the not-as-established MLB Network certainly accounts some for the average viewership dropping from 1.6 million to 252,000 per game,  but not all (thank you SB Nation).  By the same token, however, the WBC is certainly a bigger success than “This <retch> Time <urp> it Counts <vomit>.”  That’s what it sounds like when I say that phrase out loud.

The WBC situation seems perfect. As much as I love baseball, I have to be honest – unless I am there, in a stadium, I don’t last much past 2 or 3 innings of random Spring Training baseball games. If, say, there is a particular young pitcher I’ve never seen in real time, sure, I might tune in… But those games become well organized scrimmages in a hurry. And mean little to the players who are often QUITE LITERALLY going through the motions in spring. Pitchers work on repeating their deliveries or a new pitch. Batters are seeing uncharacteristic pitches and are themselves working out the kinks. Not competitive baseball.

The lack of intensity is fine. Truly, I get it. But I must say, these WBC games are a treat at the other end of the spectrum. Say what you will about who is on the teams, by golly do they play hard. Did you see Andruw Jones react after the Netherlands beat Cuba AGAIN?! He was pumped and trash talking like a champ.

Got the old man FIRED up!

There is a gleeful mix on many of these teams between grizzled vets (see Mr. Jones) and young players excited to be playing on this competitive stage – some who will no doubt be in an interesting position not knowing whether they have a spot with the Big Club, knowing their performance matters not only for their country, but immediate career as well.

I had this thought and the tone of this post was initially going to be a get-more-scrappy-scrubs tilt. But after looking at the US roster, I no longer think that is the issue.  Sure, some folks complain about the lack of superstars on the WBC roster but I’m not so sure that isn’t a strength  of the competition.  Many of the players worked their way through the USA Baseball Program, which is kind of cool if you think about it – it’s own little farm system. Furthermore, the team actually has a nice mix of recognizable stars (a tainted Braun, Wright who’s becoming a legend, Joe ‘Great Hair’ Mauer) and major leaguers you want to root for, folks only the more passionate baseball fans appreciate (I’m looking at you, Willie Bloomquist).

Currently on sale for $600,000.

I’m calling out those out there who say there are’t enough stars on the team or whatever crap like that and this lack of pull leads to the lack of popularity in the U-S-of-A.  Pitchers are creatures of habit, I understand why someone like Justin Verlander might prefer his routine.  That’s the only area I will acknowledge the US could attempt to bring in a few more names – their starters.  But seeing as the pitches are limited, why bother?  Lack of recognizable pitching names is not what is holding the WBC from really gaining traction.

So why isn’t the World Baseball Classic a National sensation?  It is our national pastime, right?  Well that last bit is wrong.  Baseball is more like soccer now, I would argue, in that there are seriously devoted pockets all around the globe.  Baseball has succeeded in their attempts to take the game global.  Back to the initial question, then: why don’t we like this tournament more, as Americans?   I mean this answer in the least cynical way possible: we need to win.

not helping.

This notion could be bastardized in a number of exaggerated anti-American ways.  I do not mean it in any of them.  I mean it very practically.  As a nation, we assume that since we have the MLB, that we should win the damn thing!  Losing is disheartening!  Despite the percieved lack of stars, we have more stars, right?  Where Italy has Lorenzo Avagnina (giggle), we have Adam Jones, heck we have Shane Victorino.  These guys are All-Stars!  How can Amurrrica lose to a bunch of Jabronies!?  Here is where those two initial questions tie together.  Baseball is played worldwide.  And guess what?  Unlike basketball, there are a BUNCH of countries that are really good at this sport!

So how can the World Baseball Classic truly catch on in America?  Simple.  As a famous American Philosopher once said, “Just win, baby.”

AL DAVIS

-V

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Filed under Baseball, Cajones, MLB, Opinion, Spring Training, World Baseball Classic

B.S. New CBA Between the MLB and MLBPA: The Good, The Bad, and the Acronyms

B.S. – Bud Selig’s – what did you think that stood for?

look. at. these. goombahs.

The MLB and MLBPA have reached an agreement and a new CBA is in place.  As seems to be the case with everything Bud Selig does, even the good is flecked with not-so-shiny ‘bad’.  The new CBA takes some legitimate steps forward, that cannot be denied.  And while I admit a certain degree of ignorance of the logistics of the deal’s finances, I’m no dummy.  Some parts of the agreement simply leave me shaking my head, wondering why if they comfortably put their whole foot in the water, why didn’t they jump in?  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let’s go to the scoreboard…

and the survey says.....

THE GOOD

Section X (that’s Roman Numeral ten, ijjits, not a division of mutants) is classified as “other.”  The section is a mishmash of topics, many of which, quite frankly, are not only pretty boring but wishy-washy as well (this is where several ‘parties agree upon’ and purposeful vagueness.  Very clever in terms of the reach of their control, very frustrating for us fans).

There are, however, two clauses that made me as happy as a schoolboy.

“Clause X(a) – Participation in the All-Star Game will be required unless the Player is unable to play due to injury or is otherwise excused by the Office of the Commissioner. Players Trust will receive an increased contribution and players will receive additional benefits.”

“Clause X(f) – Instant Replay will be expanded to include fair/foul and “trapped” ball plays, subject to the Office of the Commissioner’s discussions with the World Umpires Association.”

Baby steps, folks, baby steps.  While neither of these clauses goes quite as in-depth as I (and millions of others) would like, they are both steps in the very much right direction.  The mere phrasing “All-Star Game required” should be a good thing.  Not necessarily under this Bud Selig administration, mind you, but he’s not going to be around forever (barring some deal-with-the-devil soul selling that is eerily not out of the question).  One of the great frustrations if you truly love baseball and understand its history is the sometimes-crap All-Star experience.  Let’s put it another way- baseball’s All-Star extravaganza ranks second to Basketball (you know, the sport that just had the stupid-beyond-stupid lockout?) only because most players in other major sports didn’t even know there was an All-Star game for their sports (or in Tom Brady’s case, the weighing of going to Honolulu for one more game versus a private nude beach with his supermodel wife and family… well what would YOU pick?).  Point being, the baseball All-Star game used to be one of the best events in sports.  Time, technology and money have tarnished that.  So if the players won’t respect the history for history’s sake, make them.  When a commissioner with some cajones steps in, he’ll have this in his back pocket to build off of getting guys to play (and care, one would hope).

I spoke in my MLB Reboot posts about baseball’s reluctance to embrace technology and how it has held the game back.  While the clause in section X (I apologize, that really does sound like a totally badass secret agency) falls far short of robot umpires, virtual advertising (wait, we have that already) and digital foul lines, the vocalization of the need to incorporate replay specifically should signify that baseball wants to move forward.  Or at least avoid another blown perfect game… which they didn’t address… do they need a bigger catastrophe to implement replay for safe/out calls!?!?!  Is there a bigger blunder than an umpire ruining a PERFECT GAME?  Wow, I almost talked myself out of this being in the ‘good.’  I’m trying to remain positive and addressing this should be seen as a baby step forward.  Like I said, baby steps are still steps.  Most of us don’t make fun of babies when they make them.  We’re usually really happy.  So let’s just think of baseball and Bud as big ol’ babies…

s

KEEP YOUR PANTS ON, BABY BUD!

Sections VIII and IX are both Health and Safety related.  Mandatory HGH testing?  Check.  Elimination of low-density maple bats?  Check.  No visible tobacco products?  Well… whatever.  Just talk to your kids, folks.  Don’t blame the athletes for your brats’ bad habits.  Honestly, these sections are simple and effective.  Did I mention everyone will be using new helmets designed by Rawlings to protect against higher-speed pitches?  This section was a definite victory for baseball in all senses as it looks great PR-wise but also makes logical sense for preserving the games integrity and safety.

Section II outlines the new playoff routine and the move of the Houston Astros.  I like the new playoff idea.  Listen to any player, current or former, and they will say that at the end of a 162 game season, a grueling patience-testing ordeal, the last thing you want to do is have a one game play-in for your postseason lives.  The new layout, with two wild card teams playing one game to decide who moves on is awesome.  It will make the final scramble all the more dramatic as teams desperately try to win out so as to set up their rotations and rest.  It also sets up all kinds of kooky scenarios where a team with a hot pitcher finds itself in the division series and surprises everyone.  I’m glad I waited to respond to this new set up, as the idea has really grown on me.  The old wild card system diminished the importance of actually winning your division (just go back and look at Wild Card World Series winners if you don’t believe me).  This new one reclaims that importance and then jumps over it.  Trust me, after all that hard work, no player wants to hinge his playoff hope on a single pitcher who’s had a stellar second half (I’m looking at YOU Josh Johnson) not continuing his hot streak.  Give this layout time.  I think it will surprise people.

THE NODDING-BUT-IT’S-WAY-ABOVE-MY-PAYGRADE

All the jibberjabber about free agency, arbitration, draft slotting, and international players.

People smarter than I all over the interwebs and other media sources have broken down the more monetary aspects of the CBA (I know, that’s a dumb statement, the CBA was all about finances, really.  Hush.).  It’s hard for me to grasp how these changes will affect the league.  On the one hand, the new arbitration rules won’t allow geniuses (that is sincere, he punished this loophole) like Alex Anthopoulos to do things like trade for a low-level but high-ranked catcher, not offer him arbitration, then get a nifty sandwich pick.  This was a fun loophole, but I understand why it needed to go.  The CBA also allots a cap and taxes on investing in foreign players.  I’m okay with this (for now) but like I said, not being privy to the functions of baseball financially (say that 5 times fast), I find it hard to project this positive or negative going forward.

THE BAD

I’ve read some places that this CBA is a net loss.  I would argue with that contention.  However, no one can deny that there is a problem in baseball that this CBA did not fix.  Try as they might, the powers that be of the diamond still can’t figure out this parity thing.  Sure, every couple of years a feel-good story comes along, but the reality is in baseball there are the haves and the have-nots.  This is an odd concept to digest as we’re talking about tens of millions of dollars, but relatively, more money=more quality players = more wins.  Hem and haw all you want about drafting smart, building from within yadda yadda yadda, but there is something flawed in baseball financially.  At least to me, an ignoramus, it seems.  Comparing the NFL to the MLB is like comparing dogs and Cadillacs, but look at the numbers.  We laughed about Ryan Fitzpatrick signing a 6-year $59 Million contract.  Now look at J.D. Drew.  Sigh.  All I’m saying is, the NFL’s system of paying, capping, and distributing lends itself to more teams at least feeling like they have a chance.  Baseball’s money problem is still a mess.

Another issue, and really my only other BIG issue, with this CBA is the capping on spending for draft picks.  I know what you’re thinking – “Wait, Will, you are completely contradicting what you just said about the MLB needing to fix how it spends and allocates money!” – well, sort of.  Given the nature of the MLB, simply instituting a salary cap would throw the league into chaos.  It’s a broken system, but it’s the system we have.  That being said, the only way to combat the flaws was with the draft.  A wise, smaller-market team could overpay young players and keep them in more affordable contracts as they became legitimate MLB-ers.  Or they could flame out, as was more often the case.  But the point remains, paying above recommendation helped more teams, in theory, than it hurt.

But that’s not the larger, more concerning point.  The real issue isn’t the players who will be coming through the MLB Draft and MLB system but rather the players who will eschew the league, dropping baseball overall.  In a slow game, sometimes you need a little flash, you need an athlete.  Many of the top players, or even just the very good ones, are athletes in other sports.  Guys like Carl Crawford, who could have played college football OR basketball, may back away from the less-appealing paychecks the MLB may immediately bring.  Being good at a major college program in another sport could prove to be a much more lucrative decision for some of these guys (like Bubba Starling this past year).

Mark my words – baseball is going to see a decline in the overall athleticism in the draft picks coming through.  It may not be this year.  It may not be the next.  Taken at net value, the MLB will hurt from the fact that they can’t attract the same athletes as they used to.

THE VERDICT

Sadly, I’d say it’s a tie (so Buddy Boy should be thrilled).

The restructuring of the luxury tax and other monetary considerations repeatedly cites “modifying” the 2006 version of the CBA, which basically amounts to putting lipstick on a very, very ugly pig.  It worries me that, for the decidedly good aspects of the deal we should all get behind (safer bats, better Wild-Card system, All-Star game participation), the stinky odor of competitive inbalance still lingers in the game.

It is great to see baseball taking steps to make the game safer and eliminate things like HGH and skipping out on All-Star games.  It makes me both glad and worried to see that while the CBA addresses the issue of replay- but doesn’t take it far enough.  The CBA, looked into properly, is a great point-counterpoint debate sparker.  Bud Selig is undoubtedly beginning to grow more concerned with his legacy in the game.  Things like ties, steroids, and Scooter the talking baseball will always leave their scars.  Time will tell if this new CBA’s good eventually outweighs the bad.

Enjoy that Arrested Development clip – classic.

-w

P.S. – This has nothing to do with the CBA but good lord, if you haven’t read the article yet over at Deadspin about Dan Lozano, Albert Pujols’ agent and the subsequent threat by his lawyers, you MUST READ.  I’m not sure why this isn’t a bigger story yet, but it is stupendously awful, dirty, and weird.  Enjoy.  Then be sad that he’s probably looking at an unprecedented payday when Pujols signs.

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Filed under Baseball, Cajones, Duck Duck Goose LLD., MLB, Opinion, Posted

A Gritty MLB Reboot (part 1 of 3)

HUH? A WHAT? BE QUIET, MATLOCK IS STARTING!

This piece is part of an 3-part installment (badass, I know), also reproduced at the Emerson Sports Business Society website.  After it goes up on their site, I’ll let all of you read my brilliance here as well.  To build buzz and stuff and get readership up into the double-digits!

Sports, lest we forget, are a form of entertainment.  These men (and women, easy does it WNBA fans) get paid millions upon millions of dollars to do something millions if not billions of us enjoyed doing as children, albeit at a higher level.  Actors live in a similar way.  Yes, these stars make their companies and owners countless dollars, but that is a larger, different issue.  Let us stick with the thread that sports are a form of entertainment.  Baseball is forever stuck in the dark ages.  Rules take decades to be modified.  The slightest alterations to the history and tradition of the sport are instantly vilified.  Technology and society have advanced at an exponential rate in the lifetime of professional sports, yet baseball’s trajectory remains staunchly linear.  Replay, computerizing human decision-making processes, bigger seats (honestly, even the new parks smush you together like Economy seating on Hooters air); the list of things that could be ‘upgraded’ in baseball goes on and on.  I love the history of baseball.  I love the traditions and unwritten rules.  When Alex Rodriguez ran across the pitchers’ mound after a foul ball, I was vigorously offended.  But you don’t need numbers (declining TV ratings, declining Attendance figures) to tell you that the game has become stale for many.  It’s time to get with the times, Baseball.  You are an entertainment industry, and there is an increasingly effective (in a monetary sense, at least) way to inject a little life into an entertainment concept.  I am of course talking about the remake.  The reboot.  The dark re-telling.  Baseball, it would seem, needs a gritty reboot.  Say what you will about the quality of these remakes and reboots compared to the original, but they make money and they create buzz.  The trend is apparent. And MLB needs a buzz of excitement like retirement home sock hop.

New Characters.

awwwww yeaaaaahhhh boyyyyyyy.....

Look around the MLB, at the Executives and Financial Backers.  Now look at me.  Now back to the men with the money.  Now back to me.  Sadly, I am not them (see what I did there?).  Jokes aside, the MLB executive is now a stale brand.  Sometimes bad is good.  The recent death of Al Davis brought light the career of a great man.  The stories coming out about him brought to light the accuracy of the notion that madness and genius lay astride a very fine line.  One of the most interesting businessmen EVER was MLB owner Bill Veeck.  Part Circus showman, part the shrewdest of salesmen, Veeck made everything about the ballpark and team experience was a little… zany, for lack of a better word.  One cannot hope to see another Veeck in the singular, let alone plural.  I speak more generally when I say MLB would be wise to try and recruit/inspire creative, wealthy young men with a little more panache.  Even Within the constraints of millionaires, this subset is a vocal minority.  The juiciest example of MLB resisting this type of change is the hesitancy to let Mark Cuban own a team.  Bud Selig, professional stick-in-the-mud.  It’s a no brainer!  Allow Cuban to take ownership of a team in need of a shakeup and see what happens.   The front office is the face of the franchise.  An interesting man in charge will hire interesting people, it is the transitive property of interesting (a principle I just made up).  The MLB needs more Brandon Phillips, more Dustin Pedroias, more Tim Lincecums and more Nyjer  Morgans (yes, I said it and I mean it).  I like the odd ones, the ones who seem a bit… off.  It makes their triumphs and failures all the more interesting.

Look for the rest of the piece in the days to follow!  Until then, enjoy the band called Wallpaper (this song is a JAM)

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Filed under Baseball, Cajones, MLB, Opinion, Posted, Random Thoughts

Jose Canseco and the Steroid Era

The Godfather of Steroids

An individual’s identity is in a fluid state.  Initially shaped by one’s upbringing and culture, self-perception usually falls in line with others’ opinions of one self.  Whether it is in a home, school, or state, the values of one’s surroundings imprint themselves on its inhabitants.  What about the individual who must cross these boundaries?  As the world has become more globalized, national identities have given way to transnational identities.  These new identities are not just a hybrid of multiple countries’ values, but are new and unique.

The transition from one culture to another can be taxing on an individual.  Being viewed as a foreigner leaves one feeling marginalized.  These marginal men are most often the ones who feel a need to adjust.  A successful adjustment can quickly snowball into a revolution.  Such was the case for baseball in the final decades of the 20th century.  One particular transnational man ushered in and became the epitome of a new era in the game.  Jose Canseco, the self-proclaimed “Godfather of Steroids”, used steroids to forge a new identity for himself.  This identity later spread throughout baseball like a plague.  The Steroid Era had arrived.

Although he defected from Cuba with his family at a very young age, Jose Canseco always felt like an outcast after his arrival in Florida.  He even acknowledges his insecurities, saying “They always depicted me as the outsider, the outlaw, the villain.  I was never ushered into that special club of all-American sports stars…After all, I was dark” (6).  In order to deal with the pressure of being of Cuban heritage in the United State’s national pastime, Canseco had to excel.  He did just that.  After being drafted out of Coral Park High School in the 15th round of the 1982 MLB draft by the Oakland Athletics, Canseco rushed through the minor leagues (3).  His prodigious power awarded him with the 1985 Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year Award (3).  The success continued in the majors as he was named the 1986 American League’s Rookie of the Year and unanimous AL MVP in 1988 (3).  Along with his bash buddy, Mark McGwire, Canseco launched mammoth home run shots as one of the “Bash Brothers” (3).  After his career came to an end in 2001, the six-time All Star and four-time Silver Slugger had racked up 462 home runs, making him the all-time leader in home runs among Latino players at the time (3).  The marginal man had made a name for himself. Who, or what, was to credit?

As if the pressure of being a foreigner was not enough, Jose Canseco Sr. constantly harassed his 5’11” 155lb teenage son every time he struck out, yelling such things as “You’re going to grow up and work at Burger King or McDonald’s! You’ll never add up to anything!” (2).  Canseco’s high school friend, referred to as “Al”, presented him with one solution to the fear of failure, steroids (2).  Originally distilled in laboratories from the testicles of bulls for men with low testosterone levels, steroids exploded into the world of sports after Russian weightlifters learned of their effects (12).  Now it was Jose’s turn to be the ambassador of steroids.

After making a name for himself with his new power, Canseco fell in love with the substance.  “Injecting was a near-religious experience…‘I needed steroids and growth hormone just to live’” (6).  During an interview with 60 Minutes, Canseco glorified the edge that he credits for making him a major league-caliber player (2).  He has no shame when he discusses his love for the drug, stating “I truly believe, because I’ve experimented with it for so many years, that it can make an average athlete a super athlete.  It can make a super athlete incredible. Just legendary” (2).  After telling CBS’s Mike Wallace “The national pastime is juiced”, Canseco claims to have even convinced the octogenarian host of the benefits of steroids (2). Canseco says that Wallace talked to him off camera for over an hour and that he “answered every question, and I did it gladly.  Everyone is interested in living longer and living better” (5).  Unfortunately, those words were especially true when it came to baseball.

In his 2005 book Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big, Canseco claims that up to 85% of major league players took steroids (3).  He specifically singles out some of his former teammates, including Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Jason Giambi, Ivan Rodriguez, and Juan Gonzalez as steroid users (3).  The wave of steroid use could not be contained.  As players got bigger and home run totals climbed, many players felt the need to join the movement.  In Game of Shadows, Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada talk about the impact players such as Canseco had on Barry Bonds.  Watching Mark McGwire shatter Roger Maris’s home run record in 1998, “Barry Bonds was astounded and aggrieved by the outpouring of hero worship for McGwire, a hitter whom he regarded as obviously inferior to himself…(Bonds) had been around enough gyms to recognize that McGwire was a juicer” (8).  What started as one man’s insecurities had transformed into a national craze, leaving many angry, or envious, players watching.

Steroids provided much more than just bloated players and broken records.  After the 1994 strike, fan attendance dropped by about 25 percent in the 1995 season (1).  Since one of the main sources of revenue for teams is ticket sales, “owners saw the need to take radical steps to win (fans) back…thanks in part to steroids, baseball got its own ‘Sports Center’ moment in the 1990’s, the rock ‘em, sock ‘em home run” (1).  Fans turned a blind eye to the tell-tale signs of steroid use.  At first it was Canseco, then Sosa and McGwire (and finally Barry Bonds) who mesmerized fans with their steroid-enhanced moonshots.  The power surge was welcomed by everyone after the bitter 1994 season.  The power slugger’s hero role was clearly established by the time Nike coined “chicks dig the long ball” (8).

The revitalization of baseball came at a precious cost.  First, it was the universal increase in injuries.  “Between 1998 and 2001, the number of days that players spent on the disabled list increased by 20 percent” (10).  The injuries these power hitters experienced could be hampering, but it was not until the Godfather decided to open his mouth that steroids truly crippled player’s careers.

Jose Canseco is now considered the poster boy for steroids in baseball.  He has not only admitted to steroid use, but has remained in the public eye solely because of his attempts to shed light on the shadows of the Steroid Era.  His 2005 book Juiced drew criticism from both fans and players.  Even his former manager Tony La Russa was a skeptic, saying “First of all, I think he’s in dire straits and needs money. I think secondly…I think there’s a healthy case of envy and jealousy” (2).  Some of the statements in Juiced are truly outlandish and deserve such criticism.   Canseco implies that he is the savior of baseball. “People like to credit Cal Ripken for helping save baseball or maybe Mac and Sammy for the great home run chase of 1998.  Well, you already know about the steroids I gave Mac, without which he would have been lucky to hit 25 bombs a year, but I also helped keep Cal’s streak alive” (4).  Canseco’s role in an age that revitalized the sport may have been significant, but he was no savior. He was an informant.

It is fitting that the man who made his career possible with the help of steroids is the same man calling out his fellow users.  As former players like Palmeiro, McGwire, and Sosa are ridiculed and then torn down in front of national audiences, Jose Canseco loves the spot light of being infamous.  Some reporters view that investigation into the use of steroids in baseball will “expose…dissect…humiliate” while others refer to players of the Steroid Era as “a Chernobyl generation that still glows with toxicity” (9, 11).  The man that proudly glows the brightest is the Godfather.

As the list of known former users grows, most recently with superstars Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, and David Ortiz, players and spectators are reminded of the ugly, recent past of baseball.  Commissioner Bud Selig has tried to spin every confession of steroid use as an example of how the game is being cleaned up.  After McGwire confirmed everyone’s suspicions this January, Selig stated “The so-called steroid era, a reference that is resented by the many players who played in that era and never touched the substances, is clearly a thing of the past, and Mark’s admission today is another step in the right direction” (7).  The new generation of stars seems to agree with the commissioner’s statements.  Philadelphia Phillies’ All-Star second baseman Chase Utley explains “I think I’m in a different position, because I came up in an era where there was testing.  It’s not allowed and if you get caught, you’re in trouble…So guys who come up at similar times that I came up in, it’s not even relevant.  It’s not even part of our game” (7).

Pressured by a demanding father and prejudice society, Jose Canseco used steroids to catapult him to stardom.  His success caught the attention of many of his peers.  Canseco has become the personification one of the most exciting and tainted eras in sports history.  Steroids may have revitalized the game, but at the cost of total loss of respect for the majority of players of the period.  As the public looks at the game with a raised eyebrow, players and other men involved with the sport try to ease the skepticism.  Commissioner Selig’s claims that the game is now clean are far-fetched, but the words of Chase Utley may be more truthful than many doubters believe.  It will be interesting to see what the future has in store.  As the game looks to overcome the stigma of the slugging 1990s, recent MVPs Dustin Pedroia and Joe Mauer will emerge as the face of the new generation.  Hopefully, a clean and honest generation.

Works Cited

  1. Bissinger, Buzz. “Home Runs Wanted. No Questions Asked.” The New York Times 5 May 2005: A35. Print.
  2. Bodley, Hal. “Canseco: Steroids Made Baseball Career Possible.” USA Today [McLean, VA] 13 Feb. 2005. Print.
  3. Canseco, Jose. “Biography.” Jose Canseco’s Official Website. 16 Apr. 2006. Web. 23 Apr. 2010. <http://josecanseco.com&gt;.
  4. Canseco, Jose. Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big. New York: Regan, 2005. Print.
  5. Canseco, Jose. Vindicated: Big Names, Big Liars, and the Battle to save Baseball. New York: Simon Spotlight Entertainment, 2008. Print.
  6. Curtis, Bryan. “Jose Canseco and Steroids, a Love Story. – By Bryan Curtis.” Slate Magazine. 18 Feb. 2005. Web. 23 Apr. 2010. <http://www.slate.com/id/2113745/&gt;.
  7. Donnellon, Sam. “Use Mac to Inject Awareness, Not Bury It; Baseball Thinks It’s Covering All Bases by Stating Drug Era Is Officially over — Wink, Wink.” The Vancouver Sun 29 Jan. 2010: F5. Print.
  8. Kakutani, Michiko. “Barry Bonds and Baseball’s Steroids Scandal.” Books of The Times [New York] 23 Mar. 2006. Print.
  9. Plaschke, Bill. “Shadows and Steroids: Baseball’s Dark Cloud Grows with Each New Barry Bonds Revelation.” The Vancouver Sun 8 Mar. 2006: F5. Print.
  10. Randolph, Ned. “Death of Cardinals Pitcher Raises Spectre of Drugs: Former Players Admit Taking Steroids but Clubs and Union Are Locked in Battles over Testing Policy.” Financial Times [London] 25 June 2002: 11. Print.
  11. Vecsey, George. “Manny Joins the Lost Generation.” The New York Times 9 May 2008. Print.
  12. Washington, Huel. “Sports Pace; When and Who Started This Mess About Steroids.” Sun Reporter [San Francisco] 17 Mar. 2005: 5. Print.



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