That’s Not A Steroid Problem…THIS is a Steroid Problem.

Reason brings up some excellent points about athletics, police, and steroid abuse.

Given that police officers carry guns, night sticks, and tasers, and that they have the power to use lethal force when necessary, one would think our politicians would be more concerned about illegal use of a drug known to contribute to fits of rage and violence among law enforcement than use by a bunch of baseball players.

One would think.  As far as I’m concerned, you can throw in football players, weight lifters, cage fighters, and especially professional wrestlers into the “who cares?” category.

This stems from a story in the New York Daily News was written after

…27 NYPD officers cropped up on the client lists of a Brooklyn pharmacy and three doctors linked to a pro sports steroid ring.

I’d never really thought about cops on steroids, but it seems like the type of job that would foster steroid use to me.  Of course, I haven’t been beaten down by a juicer with a badge recently either.  I just assume that there is a certain percentage of people in all lines of work who use steroids (and heroin, and meth, and marijuana, etc.).  Could it expain some instances of excessive use of force or brutality?  Possibly.  But I wouldn’t go jumping to those conclusions any more than I would for people in any other line of work.

It’s probably fair to say that I’ve known at least one person who was on the juice since I was 16 years old, but I’ve never seen what I’d call ‘roid rage.  The violent assholes I’ve known who were juicing had always been violent assholes and probably always will be.

He Plays, err, Blogs the Right Way

All the recent talk locally about proper link attribution prompted me to finish a post I started a while back about blogging and baseball. “Everything I need to know about blogging I learned from watching baseball”? Eh, don’t really like that title too much. Plus it sounds like link bait, and I’d never do that. 😉

But I do like the notion of “playing the game the right way”. To me, that’s just about the highest honor you can give a baseball player. In a lot of ways, the same things relate to blogging:

Persistence pays off–show up every day

Cal RipkenIf you go by the numbers, Cal Ripken Jr may not look like a Hall of Famer. His batting average isn’t spectacular(.276), he didn’t hit an incredible amount of home runs (431) given the number of games he played (3001). Ripken instead sealed his legacy by being a great shortstop and showing up to play every day for a very long time (2131 consecutive games). Some days it was miserably cold, and he played. Some days it was miserably hot, and he played. Some days he was injured, and he played. A lot of days he was just plain old, and he played. While Cal’s numbers may not be all that impressive, the fact that he was so reliable is.

Be consistent and reliable for your readers. Show up every day (or week, or whatever your posting frequency is), and bring the best game you’ve got. You may only be able to outsmart, outwrite, and out search engine optimize half of the bloggers out there. The other half you will have to outwork!

Try to be the best at what you do, and the rest will take care of itself

The Wizard of OzzieFor position players, Hall of Fame credentials are usually decided by offensive numbers. Ozzie Smith is a rare exception. Why? Because his defense (13 Gold Gloves) was exceptional. With his unreal abilities at the shortstop position, there’s no telling how many runs Ozzie was able to save for his team on defense. The fact that he wasn’t always an exceptional producer on offense is overshadowed by the fact that he is the all time best on defense.

Very few bloggers are good at all aspects of the game. Concentrate on what you do best. If you are a great writer, write. If you are a great layout designer, design. If you are a great programmer, program. If you are even average at your deficiencies you can be successful. If you are excellent at your strengths, you’ll have no problem finding experts in other fields who recognize your greatness and want to be associated with you.

Cheating may get you there, but there’s a price to pay in the long run

Bonds CheaterHe-who’s-name-will-not-be-mentioned-here hit an awful lot of home runs. Very few people I know think his record is legitimate. Even fewer think very highly of him as a person. He’s basically ruined his own legacy by cheating to create it.

Don’t cheat. Learn the ropes. Hell, even learn a few tricks. But don’t cheat. Any short term gains you get won’t be worth the price you’ll have to pay in the long run. As a blogger, you need to be trusted, even if “trusted” means that people know for certain they will find nothing at your blog but a hilarious curse word laced story. Don’t spam for links. Don’t promise something that you can’t deliver. And by all means don’t steal content.

When it’s not working out, you have options

Rick AnkielI can’t tell Rick Ankiel’s story better than John Hutcheson. Short story–Rick Ankiel was a big league pitcher. He lost his stuff. He tried to get it back. He failed. Repeatedly. He went back to the minors and learned to play the outfield. He returned to the big leagues in 2007 as a Cardinals outfielder.

When something isn’t working out for you as a blogger, don’t be afraid to try something new. You’ll have to work at it, and you’ll have to learn something new. But since when are those bad things? And you’ll still be in the game.

By the way, Ankiel hit a three run homer in his first game as an outfielder.

When the someone comes after you, be ready!

In 1980, Dave Winfield charged the mound on Nolan Ryan and gave him a beat down. No one tested Ryan’s skills at the sweet science again until 1993. There was no reason to–the guy throws 100 mph. If he wanted to hurt you, you’d already be hurt. But in Nolan Ryan’s final season, he hit Robin Ventura in the arm, and Ventura came after him. This time, Ryan was ready, and the insuing butt-kicking Ventura received let everyone know that Nolan Ryan is not a guy you want to mess with.

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If you establish any kind of success as a blogger, someone is bound to come after you. While you can’t get them in a headlock and pummel them six times until Pudge Rodriguez comes out to rescue them, if you pay for hosting for you own domain, you need to make sure that your site is secure and your data is backed up from day one. Also, monitor your incoming links to make sure they are on the up and up. Don’t let someone else make you look spammy.

By the way, Ventura was ejected and Nolan Ryan completed the game without giving up another hit.

Conditions will change, and fame can come from anywhere

In 1922, the St. Louis Cardinals traded Cliff Heathcote to the Chicago Cubs in between games of a double header with the Cubs! If not for this fact, who would ever remember Heathcote?

Things change very quickly online. Who knew anything about social networking three years ago and the way it would change things? If you’ve produced quality content before the change, the same content will be just as valuable after the change. Keep doing what you do and continue to learn about how that fits in with the current environment. You’ll be surprised to find that some of what you consider to be your most unremarkable stuff is what people end up knowing you for.

By the way, Heathcote went 2-4 in the second game.

Last but not least…

Give credit to your teammates

In post game interviews with pitchers who have just thrown a perfect games or no-hitters, they generally thank two people–“God and my teammates”. This isn’t just lip service. These guys know they would not have been able to reach this achievement without a lot of support from other people (and elsewhere). The best even call out their teammates by name. Even that guy-who’s-name-I-won’t-type was big enough to thank the teammates he’d had throughout the years, and this was the closest he’s come to speaking to some of them.

Make sure you site your resources. Most of the time they will be people just like you scraping to get their blog seen and read. Know that you can help them most by giving them relevant anchor text in the link.

Can you tell I am was a Cardinals fan?

More Evidence That Ricky Be The Greatest

The WSJ Numbers Guy, Carl Bialik, talks about the impressive numbers that Jose Reyes is putting up this year in stolen bases and the growing success of stealing in general.

It’s no surprise that Jose Reyes has stolen 63 bases and been caught stealing just 15 times, for a success rate of 80.8% — Reyes is leading all of baseball in steals.

That is impressive, and I’m not taking anything away from Reyes. But think about this…Ricky Henderson had the same success rate as Reyes, 80.8%, over a 25 year career! Additionally, while Reyes is leading the majors this year with 63 SBs, Ricky stole 130 bases in 1982!

Ricky also holds the records for most career steals (1,406), most runs scored (2,295), most postseason stolen bases (33) and several other records.

Ricky would probably still hold the record for career walks if not for Barry’s help from “the cream” and “the clear“. Ricky earned his walks by working the pitch count, and still holds the record for unintentional walks (2129).

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again–Ricky is the greatest. If you don’t believe me, ask him.

Why Can’t a Guy Like This Run For Public Office?

George Will’s column in yesterday’s Washington Post is about MLB umpire Bruce Froemming. There are several good stories told in this short column, but this one is my favorite:

A story for Froemming: Rogers Hornsby, who averaged.400 over five years, was facing a rookie pitcher who threw three pitches that he thought were strikes but that the umpire called balls. The rookie shouted a complaint to the umpire, who replied: “Young man, when you throw a strike, Mr. Hornsby will let you know.”

Baseball is a lot different than most other sports in that there isn’t really any subjectivity to the rules. Sure, umpires have to make judgements, but the rules are clearly defined. You never hear commentators say, “wow, they’re calling it really tight tonight” the way they do in football or basketball.

Then there is this:

Consider Sept. 2, 1972, when Froemming was behind the plate and the Cubs’ Milt Pappas was one strike from doing what only 15 pitchers have done — pitch a perfect game, 27 up, 27 down. With two outs in the ninth, Pappas got an 0-2 count on the 27th batter. Froemming called the next three pitches balls. An agitated Pappas started walking toward Froemming, who said to the Cubs’ catcher: “Tell him if he gets here, just keep walking” — to the showers.

Pappas’s next pitch was low and outside. Although he did get his no-hitter, the greater glory — a perfect game — was lost. Another kind of glory — the integrity of rules — was achieved.

This couldn’t happen (and rightly so) in football or basketball where officials are very hesitant to call things like pass interference or ticky-tack fouls in the closing seconds of a game. I think this is due to the nature of the sports. Baseball has a finite numer of situations and possible actions. It lends itself to a strict enforcement of the rules that other team sports usually aren’t afforded.

When I read articles like this, I’m reminded of how much I love(d) baseball–the sport, not MLB. It’s such a simple, complicated, and smart game.

It’s really sad that it has been pretty much ruined in the US.

Bonds Hits 756

With 500 home runs at 32 years old, here’s to a long and healthy career for Alex Rodriguez–the guy with the best chance of knocking Bonds off of this perch.

One Gorilla at a Time

All the talk about Barry Bonds has apparently quieted all talk about Chris Benoit. I guess the media only has so many minutes of each day it is willing to devote to steroid junkies?

Somewhere, a kid is saying, “see…steroids can help you do really good things too.”

The real question…will anyone ever be World Champion 16 times like Ric Flair? And is so, can they do so without the use of steroids? In my estimation, no way.

Concensus versus Truth–Global Warming, Babe Ruth, and Rickey Henderson

The other day, a friend sent me an article from the KNS  about recent temperatures in East Tennessee, presumably trying to convince me that global warming is real and that the temperatures and phenomena in this area for the past 20 years prove it.  All of this stemmed from a conversation we had a few days before about global warming, whether or not humans are causing it, and who (individuals or governments) should do something about it.  Disclaimer:  I feel it necessary to state at this point that this is not a post on global warming.

The guy who sent this article is one of the smatest people I know–easily in the top five amongst my friends, although that may not mean much :), when it comes to raw intellectual power.  He is well educated in the sciences, with an engineering degree from a university who’s program is respected nationally.  I think it is safe to assume that the scientific method is still taught and practiced there and was part of his training.

My surprise isn’t that he believes in global warming.  I am more intrigued that he is willing to argue the causes, which he believes to be humans, based on scientific concensus while completely dismissing facts proven by the scientific method.  He doesn’t dismiss all of the facts mind you, just the ones that don’t support his opinion.

Okay…no more global warming.  Let’s shift gears and talk about baseball and how these topics are related. Continue reading “Concensus versus Truth–Global Warming, Babe Ruth, and Rickey Henderson”

Professional Wrestlers Linked to Steroids?

Huh?! What?!

The hell you say!

Randy Orton, Ray Mysterio Jr., Edge, and Kurt Angle (Olympic gold medal in real wrestling) are all named.

Okay, taking steroids without a doctor’s prescription is illegal. Oh wait, the article says they had a prescription.

Either way, the gov’ment should do something about doctors prescribing dangerous steroids to people who don’t really need them. Maybe. But if they are going to go after them, I’d prefer they start with the “pain management” doctors prescribing Oxycontin. Continue reading “Professional Wrestlers Linked to Steroids?”