August 15, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Just say no kids.

“While We’re Waiting” serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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“It might not seem like a big deal, but a 1-0 count against Rivera is a much better way to start a plate appearance than 0-1. The at-bat, and game, ended on a 1-1 pitch. Maybe if the count had been 2-0 instead, Rivera grooves the pitch a little more and Aviles takes him over the fence. Who knows? That’s not the point, or at least the entire point. It’s not even that a call was missed, which happens and will again. It’s that Randazzo didn’t seek a second opinion during a questionable moment that could have altered the outcome of the game. Out of respect to one of the teams, he should have asked the other other umpires what they thought. And there might be one less postgame ejection in major league history.” [Brown/Big League Stew]

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“Myers was placed on the disabled list all the way back on April 21 with inflammation in his right elbow. Fast forward to June 5 and Myers is still on the DL. The question that has emerged since the injury is what to do when Myers returns. When he was initially placed on the disabled list, Corey Kluber took Myers’ spot in the rotation. Having seen Kluber before, fans had low expectations for the righty. However, Kluber has stepped in and provided a pleasant contribution for the Tribe while their $7 million man continues to rehab that elbow.

In Myers’ brief time before getting hurt, his numbers were anything but worthy of $7 million. In four games, he was 0-3 with an ERA of 8.02. Even more shocking is that he allowed 10 home runs in his 21.1 innings. In 2012 as the closer for the Astros and later as a reliever for the White Sox, he allowed eight home runs all year in 65.1 innings. It seems very clear that when Myers returns that he would be best suited going to the bullpen, where he proved to be a valuable asset just a year ago, and where the Indians could use a valuable asset right about now.” [Petrila/DTTWLN]

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“Except the return baseball got for its past deals was pretty paltry, all things considered. Brian McNamee and Kirk Radomski sang for the Mitchell Report investigators. And the result was a partial list of PED users. The lowest hanging fruit. The stupid guys who wrote personal checks for illegal drugs and used dealers who were well known among Major League Baseball officials. While this all made for a big splash in late 2007, as time has gone on we have learned that the Mitchell Report barely scratched the surface of the problem. PED use remained widespread, other, smarter drug dealers continued to ply their trade. And the end game of the entire exercise — the criminal prosecutions of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens — ended in abject failure.

It didn’t have to be that way. Major League Baseball was hell-bent on hanging a few big-name players out to dry. Major League Baseball decided that the most interesting and important thing about steroids in baseball was who used and who didn’t as opposed to what steroids meant, how they damaged the game and how they damaged its users. It did that rather than asking the real questions about PEDs. The ones that would make a difference. Questions about PED habits. Players’ introduction to PEDs. Questions about their actual impact. Questions about the culture of drugs in baseball that could, hopefully, provide answers about how to stop it.” [Calcaterra/Hardball Talk]

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“Some Cleveland fans might scoff at all the scoffing. After all, the Indians were 30-15 and riding high on May 23 in 2011 when things began to fall apart. Last year, it was May 24 when the second-half slide was initiated. This season, May 21 is currently circled as the date when the good feelings of the first two months began to fade in a brutal slump. It is up to the Indians to reverse the trend.” [Bastian/MLB.com]

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“Which has led to the universe of today, in which fans have made abundantly clear their views on players who have been connected to PEDs: They don’t care. Ryan Braun and David Ortiz are currently All-Star starters. Andy Pettitte is given an ovation every time he so much as sneezes at Yankee Stadium. No one even remembers that Mike Morse, Edison Volquez and Freddy Galvis were suspended for PED usage. Jason Giambi is a grizzled fan favorite who’s probably going to be a manager soon, for crying out loud. Fans don’t want it thrown in their face like with Bonds and company, and they’re for drug testing and the suspension of those who are caught, but in a default scenario, they’d just as soon simply watch the games, thanks.” [Leitch/Sports on Earth]

  • Harv 21

    Leitch makes some very good points about MLB, fans and PEDs. I’ve thought about how much national fan love surrounded the McGwire/Sosa homerfest that summer, and how we all ignored all of it – the freaky growing cartoonish bodies, the andro found in McGwire’s locker – because oodles of tape-measure homers is great summer fun. Seems to me the huge backlash against PEDs is because baseball fandom is so stat-based, and the drugs totally messed up our cherished historical comparisons.

    By comparison, NFL fandom is much more about Hail the Gladiators than records. Every young baseball fan knows the career home run king and hits leader. Football fans rarely mention the statistical career leaders in anything. Honestly, I’m most worried about PEDs in football because I’m worried that the players are killing themselves and each other on the field. Never give a thought to how A-rod’s internal organs will be functioning 20 years from now.

  • JNeids

    Time to let the cynical cat out of the bag…
    This is the problem with sports, or rather what sports have become. Now that we put athletes on the highest pedestals we can and their average pay keeps getting higher and higher, why not take PEDs if it will increase your chances at that glory and money? If you’re a nobody with little chance of ever reaching that level, what do you have to lose? If you get caught, you’re in no worse situation than if you didn’t try. And then we’re SHOCKED that someone would do whatever it takes to get to the top.
    On the flip side, I’ve never heard of a doctor or teacher get busted for PEDs.
    I grew up as passionate of a sports fan as there was. But lately, the ever growing obsession with sports has started to get to me. I still love sports, but I realize there are more important things in life. Unfortunately as long as the majority of people out there haven’t seen the light yet, the allure of doing what it takes to reach the top won’t dim anytime soon.
    /looking for world’s largest ladder to get down…

  • mgbode

    yes, I find it hilarious how these writers espouse MLB for how it handles PEDs and then will go back to praising the NFL and it’s “miraculous” recovery times and ability to play injured players in just a few short months.

    I agree that baseball is more stat-based and it’s also a sport that has remained the most unchanged over time and the records being placed on a pedestal (basketball adding the 3pt shot & 24sec clock, football being a completely different game with passing becoming the main component).

    regardless, the question is if we should care about PED usage. should a person willingly take a risk of a shortened lifespan in order to play professional sports at the highest level? it’s a hairy issue with alot of moral and ethical quandries embedded in it (for the fans, players and owners).

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I think fans are just tired and numbed to PEDs. ESPN and the rest of the media are always talking about them… it seems like there’s at least one story on ESPN.com about PEDs every single day. As a fan, I’m tired of talking about them… I want them to go away and not be a part of sports anymore, but I’m just so much more interested in every other topic of conversation.

  • mgbode

    Ah, but doctor’s do use PEDs. Alot of them work long shifts (especially early-on) and will use stimulants to keep awake & sharp. Part of the reason to do it is to get those good reviews and work their way up the career ladder. Or, have you known anyone in medical or law school having to say awake and focused for extremely long hours?

    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/778843

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    Do you wanna know the terrifying truth, or do you wanna see me sock a few dingers?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=riNIjE-J4NQ#t=29s

  • mgbode

    DINGERS!!!!

  • boomhauertjs

    The Indians can be very stubborn about such things, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they try to force Myers back into the rotation to justify their $7 million investment.

  • JNeids

    (Spits out mouthful of coffee)
    You mean people take things to stay awake at work? I jest, of course, but if it helps create the world’s best doctor, that’s more valuable than the world’s best athlete. And maybe if they were paid accordingly, my health insurance bill wouldn’t be as high. (Or maybe it would be higher, but still…)

  • mgbode

    yes, but it goes back to the same question. if people are taking illegal drugs and it helps them be better at their jobs, then should we care or disregard the long-term ramifications as a personal choice?

  • JNeids

    After trying and failing to push “Reply” in mobile mode for two minutes, I had to switch to desktop mode to respond.

    I understand what you’re getting at and the hypocrisy of my statements, and without comparing the long term effects of both sides’ drug of choice, my overall point was that we are partially to blame for the growing use of PEDs. I don’t think a med student or resident is trying to stay awake longer to become the best doctor for the fanfare that comes with it, I’d like to think at least some of them are doing it to improve the services they provide.

    And for the record, I’m not a doctor, I don’t play one on TV and I didn’t even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

  • mgbode

    yes, I agree it is a societal issue.

    I disagree that even most med-students / residents are doing everything they are doing out of altruistic intentions (as you seem to imply). The allure of a $100-250K/year job can be just as consuming as that of the millionaire status of a top athlete. In fact, I think I could make an argument it is moreso consuming in that many of these students have entrenched themselves with a mountain of debt and now need the end-job in order to pay back that debt.

    but, we are getting further off the sports topic than we generally do here. I’ll allow you last word if you would like it.

  • MrCleaveland

    “Just say no kids”? Rick, why do you hate kids?

  • Harv 21

    Don’t expect a reply. He ate shoots and left.

  • JNeids

    Since you insisted…Word.

  • BenRM

    Count me as one of those who is both completely over the PED discussion AND thinks that PED use should be permitted in the case of injury.

  • MrCleaveland

    Ha haaaaaaaaa! Harv, that’s genius!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    CHICKS DIG THE LONGBALL!

  • mgbode

    forgot how dorky Maddux looked in those glasses:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ltD21rYWVw

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Also interesting that known or suspected offenders also never seem to go without interest and big paydays! The weak suspensions especially 50 games is a joke. Start hitting these guys more in the pocketbooks and maybe they’ll get the idea until then it’s just the cat chasing it’s tail. No surprise that it’s baseball under Bud’s (see Rudy Huxtable) watch.

  • Garry_Owen

    Hmmm. Law school. The only PED I observed in law school was lots and lots and lots of alcohol. Any enhancement that this may have contributed to performance is debatable (but even the professors were drunk).

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    IT’S HERE…IT’S DRAFT DAY FOR MLB! I wonder if Rizzo is getting ready?

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Maddog on line 3 for you!

  • Harv 21

    Oh, I hear that all the time. Unfortunately, never sans a healthy dripping of sarcasm.

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    If there’s a sweet spot for programming, there’s probably one for lawyering.

    http://xkcd.com/323/

  • Garry_Owen
  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/ WFNYRick

    I don’t get this one Harv.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/ WFNYRick

    Comma monster must have gotten me.

  • Harv 21

    based on an instant classic nerd book from maybe a decade ago, “Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation.” A gentle panda eats shoots and leaves. One that eats, shoots and leaves is maybe not so gentle.

  • MrCleaveland

    Rick obviously has a lot to learn about being a rebarbative, punctilious nerd. But we must show him the way.