You’ll notice that it seems like half our staff is on vacation this week; I, myself, am sitting at the beach but feel compelled to send a few links during a relatively quiet week in sports. August slows much of the world down a bit, at least for the first two weeks or so. Don’t worry: Preseason football will break that monotony very soon.
In the meantime, we’ve had several post-trading deadline deals in baseball (Anderson Hernandez? Greg Veloz?), for fellas like Chad Gaudin. Oooo, a 5.13 ERA. I’ll let River Avenue Blues and others in the previous link elaborate on the Yankees’ desperation for pitching. A “player to be named later” deal, by the way. What’s amazing is that the Yankees are willing to pay Gaudin $650K for the rest of the year, but then also send about $250K to the league to cover additional luxury tax considerations. He’ll end up being the 5+ ERA long reliever with the highest cost in MLB history.
Moving to the NBA, in lieu of the Sports Brethren, steroids emerge in The Association and Rashard Lewis of the Orlando Magic is suspended 10 games to start next season. His response: “I’m skinny as hell. Does it look like I take steroids?” Our response: Is this really surprising? Just about every semi-successful athlete in the world works out at one of five athletic complexes in the offseason, for one of about 10 trainers. Until recently, nobody really cared about what supplement they were taking. It was part of the routine. Another side plot, here, is the relative “shock-factor” of sports with steroids. Baseball has certainly the highest shock-factor to date, though that is waning by the day. My personal assumption is that everybody but Cal Ripken and hopefully Ken Griffey was using them (a revelation on Cal, needless to say, would be devastating for the game). We’ve seen steroids in NFL, but nobody really cared. It’s in many ways a brutish game, designed to be that way, and we love it for that. Steroids? Not as big a deal. The NBA appears to fall somewhere in between. For one, it’s a game where agility, speed and flexibility are imperative. Strength certainly important, but in a different way than football and to a certain degree, baseball, too.
In my opinion, the spectrum of steroid shock factoid spans from the MLB with the highest (“you’ve ruined the game”), toward the NBA in the middle (“eh, little disappointing, but I’ll get over it”), then NFL and NHL in the ”okay, great: who cares?” category. How ironic and odd in the complexity and diversity of our responses. The only sport that would be more devastating then baseball would be golf. If Tiger comes out tomorrow with an admission of steroid use, who knows what happens.
Finally, again, we’re in a slow week, so I’ll give some page space to foolish college draftees like Michael Crabtree. Gotta love it when the “cousin/advisor” gets involved, as Fooch has pointed out on Niners Nation. Crabtree is apparently ready to sit out the entire season if he doesn’t get the deal he wants. But, wait… Breaking News… That was Crabtree’s cousin/advisor Eugene Parker who made the proclamation, not his agent David Wells (my only interest here is that if baseball’s David Wells was Crabtree’s agent instead of this other imposter – how hilarious would that be). Otherwise, I’m done. I could go on for a little while longer, but I just really don’t care. I’m tired of stories like this. Ridiculous.
Enjoy the weekend.