Monday Morning Manager…the strangest week ever

Let’s review since we last met….

* The Rangers sign Eddie Guardado.

Monday_Morning_Manager.jpg* Ben Sheets needs surgery, scuttling a two-year deal with the Rangers.

* Jason Jennings re-signs with the Rangers.

* Alex Rodriguez reportedly tested positive for steroids and suddenly the national spotlight is thrust back on the 2003 Rangers, a team that most would prefer to forget.

* The Rangers sign Brendan Donnelly.

* The Rangers – with no announcement, no fanfare, no nothing – sign Andruw Jones. One day Jones is unemployed, the next day he is the No. 2 CF on the Rangers depth chart. Oh well.

Shrug. Let’s just say that Bill Nance, proprietor of the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill, is two thumbs down on the last one. But you’re right, nobody asked him….

1. What is your reaction to the Alex Rodriguez news and do you believe that he was doing something wrong.

2. How big of a setback is that for the Rangers to lose Sheets after he agreed to a two-year deal?

3. What is your take on the signing of Andruw Jones?

4. Do you expect Jones to be the Rangers Opening Day center fielder. Yes or no.

5. Is the Rangers bullpen better off this week with the additions of Guardado and Donnelly.

 

42 Comments

1. My reaction is that we have another beat-down story, and I’m weary of the discussion.

2. It’s disappointing, but I never really expected him to contribute anything this season.

3. Utter disbelief.

4. Heck no.

5. Sure.
-briant

I’m having to come out of my hole of depression after hearing all this Ben Sheets news. I’m still hopeful we can sign him to a cheaper deal and let him do his rehab with us and be available around August and pitch for us again next season.

1. It was pretty big news. Nothing really surprises me anymore when it comes to steroids, but A-Rod was one of those guys that I just didn’t expect. I’m interested to see the others on the list. The thing that baffles me is why keep the evidence? If you are the players union and you are trying to protect your guys then why leave the evidence behind? A-Rod needs to come out clean and recognize that as bad as it sounds just like Roger/Barry/Mark, he won’t be in the hall of fame.

2. Let’s not talk about it. It’s huge and depressing and I don’t know what else to say about it. He was going to be the ace of this squad and now we are going to have to rely on Millwood and Padilla and the young guys.

3. Great under the radar signing. Nothing is wrong with a heated competition in the spring. If all perform then you have trade bait for a pitcher. I love that he picked us over the Yankees. He’s had 2 bad years. It will be interesting to see if Rudy can get him back to where he was.

4. Yes. I have the feeling that Hamilton is moving to Right Field and that will open up Center for Jones. Byrd can play all outfield positions. I don’t know what that means for Nelson Cruz but I expect Andruw Jones to make a comeback and do enough to get the nod as the starter.

5. Terrific low risk signings for the Rangers bullpen. It gives the Rangers options and depth going into the season. The Rangers bullpen doesn’t look half bad now that Eddie and Donnely are in the mix.

1. I find interesting that there were names attached to supposedly anonymous tests, and that Sports Illustrated’s “source” didn’t give them any of the other players names from those 2003 tests (or maybe SI just chose to only write about ARod). I think it’s “wrong” for teenagers in High School and College Athletes to use PED’s/steroids. And again: I think it’s wrong that SI and its source are only revealing ARod’s name – there were other players who tested positive – why aren’t we reading about them? I think it’s wrong that baseball owners and the MLBPA stuck their heads in the stand and ignored the issue until the media and US government pressured them into finally doing something – which most agree is at best a weak and watered down plan.

2. My definition of a setback is when a player already on the roster and in the rotation you were counting on is injured or has a down year. While a healthy Ben Sheets might’ve been a good addition to the Rangers rotation, he wasn’t part of the plan of building from within that we’ve been watching since last season – so it’s not a setback in my opinion. Just a nice idea that didn’t work out.

3. Low risk – high reward possibilities.

4. No. I think Josh Hamilton will the opening day CF and Nelson Cruz will be in RF – however, as the lone dissenter among Ranger fans – I think by May 15th – Andruw Jones will be in CF, Josh Hamilton in RF and Nelson Cruz on the waiver wire. I still think Nelson’s performance at the end of last season was an outlier – and that he’ll return to being the Nelson Cruz of the .230 Batting Average (in 440 AB’s) before last season.

5. Again low risk – high rewards – but still just a possibility. Guaradado was good in specific situations last season, as long as he’s not over used – yes, he’s still a decent reliever. Brendan Donnelly – who knows?

http://emcmlb.blogspot.com/

1. Steroids = Bad. So I do think he was doing something wrong. However, I think it is a horrible injustice to all of the players who could potentially be implicated by the tests run by MLB in 2003. If they were supposed to be anonymous why were the records not destroyed after the statistics were gathered by the League? The MLB and MLBPA need to just go ahead and list every player who has the possibility of being linked to this so they can clear the air.

2. Not a setback at all. If they had signed him it would have been a huge setback. If he had injured himself in Spring Training or during the regular season it would be a huge setback. This is a no harm no foul situation. It would have been awesome to have a healthy Sheets at the front of our rotation, but you were right, something seemed fishy for there to be no competition for him. That being said go sign him to a 3 year deal, with little guaranteed money and big incentives.

3. Meh. This is another reclamation project for the Rangers. Upside is big, downside is minimal. If he can get back to being a gold glove center fielder, then he would be worth a great deal more to this team (who doesn’t really have an above average defensive center fielder, or one they want out there everyday, at least) than his contract dictates. If he shows up in Spring Ball and plays terribly, they release him and his small contract.

4. No.

5. Is it better after adding Eddie? Yes. After adding Donnelly? Who knows. I think Eddie should be fine this season. According to him his arm feels good, which is nice considering he might be Everyday Eddie again this season. Donnelly is a wild card. If he has come back from TJ surgery and is effective then I think it is a good signing, if not then you get rid of him after a few weeks (by April 27). Low risk on both players, and with a bullpen as thin as ours already is, they need all the arms they can get.

The steroids news is another black day for baseball. Sad indeed. I read about all the Rangers’ signings over the weekend. They’ve been a very busy team!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

1. If he tested positive, then yes he was doing something wrong. Although, since the incident happened so long ago, I have a hard time getting worked up about it.

2. You can’t lose what you never had. I think I’d feel worse if Sheets had signed and THEN we lost him to injury.

3. Completely confused. We already have a packed outfield. I don’t understand this signing at all.

4. No. I think Hamilton will start in CF and move to right later in the season. I’d be fine with Byrd in CF.

5. I don’t know if it’s necessarily better, but it’s certainly a little deeper, which is always a good thing.

-Micah
http://www.baseballismybf.com

1. Steroids have been in the majors since the 60′s and there was no testing until 2004. Everyone turned a blind eye when Juan and Pudge showed up to camp with 30lbs extra muscle. I was more suprised to hear only 103 failed the first round of testing…I’m sure there was plenty of lead time to give players a chance to cycle. Steroids are a fact in all professional sports. With no testing, I don’t blame any of the athletes for cheating. So no, I was not suprised that he was doing something probably more than half the athletes were doing at the time.
2. I felt if Sheets sighed with us this year, he would have sat most of this year out anyway. Now with the surgery, we can at least get the same use out of him at a much lower price.
3. It’s a no lose situation. If rebounds from last year, then we have an all-star center fielder. If not, then there will be a big star to go catch in OK City.
4. No
5. Much deeper at least. Glad to see Eddie back.

1. We can’t uninvade Iraq. I’m tired of sanctimonious sports writers such as TC who seem to continually rag on baseball while overlooking the drug usage and felonies by NFLers. Could we please focus on the present and equal treatment of all under whatever laws applly in the present?!?
2. Disappointint for Sheets, but hardly a setback to the Rangers who never had him on the roster.
3. Well, everybody has been saying we need more pitching–oh wati, he’s and outfielder isn’t he. Hmmmm.
4. In one word–”yaneverknow”.
5. Guardado should help again.

1. While anabolic steroids have been around since the 1930′s there is no evidence that baseball players used them until recently. Mind you I said anabolic steroids not androstene which are two entirely different things. I don’t know wh was using and who wasn’t but I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all. Baseball is going to have to make up it’s mind how theey treat these allegations. One thing is sure Litke (james Litke of the AP) has it right today when he says the lying is worse than the using. He points out Andy Pettite and Roger Clemens are example of how to do it right and how to do it wrong respectively. I hate Evan Grant’s “Ingector’s Row” comment this week…I really looked up to some of those guys.
2. I think we need Sheets. We didn’t need him injured though. I applaud Daniels and Ryan for trying.
3. Jones will be our centerfielder…we will trade two outfielders prior to the end of spring training. If Byrd has a huge spring he’ll be the first to go. If Golson or Boggs hit they will join him…and don’t rule out a David Murphy trade…he was injured and is somewhat questionable even though I like the heck out of him
4. Yes
5. Eddie, Eddie, Eddie

1. I just don’t see something from 6 years ago being that big of a deal. Especially since it was only one guy named out of 104 alleged positives. Sounds like SI has sunk to tabloid reporting. I thought he would be a help to this team when he was coming in but his actions over those three years definitely proved to me he was just all about himself all the time. So, as unfair as the SI story propbably is, A-Rod set himself up for it and the circus is just getting started.

2. Like several others, I don’t hink it can’t really be a setback if no gain was ever realized. The fact that there was no buzz or real pursuit over this guy spoke volumes. The team ought to try and sign him anyway and have him go through rehab and see what happens.

3. Cheap insurance that may pay off huge.

4. No way.

5. Guardado was a no-brainer. Donnelly always pitched well against us so if he is healthy this is another great move. Given the way the Sheets deal died you have to assume the same level of medical eval was done on Donnelly.

1. John Hart put all these guys (Palmeiro, Canseco, I-Rod, A-Rod, etc) together in an environment that promoted statistics and fame over morals and ethics. He was the same at Cleveland. If anything, I’d say this is more an indictment of Hart’s Switzerian methods than of A-Rod succombing to the environment in which he found himself.

2. That has not yet been determined… if he comes back and signs a deal that has him pitching for a couple of years for Texas, we’re fine. It does hurt that he can’t pitch this year, though.

3. Great, great, great. A stroke of genius by JD. If he proves himself healthy and, with Rudy’s tutillage, he’ll likely have 20-30 HRs by the trade deadline. He could be turned for a haul similar to what the Angels got for Tex this past year. Downside? There ain’t no downside. Young players (Borbon) are being told they have to force their way onto the ML roster. What’s bad about that? And, if Andruw is done, he’s gone. Thanks for the attempt.

4. Not no – hell no.

5. Both have proven they can pitch in pressure situations. The youngsters in our bullpen will have solid role models to emulate.

1. I still find it interesting that A-Rod’s name comes up when everybody else’s results were anonymous. I don’t know either way I will wait for all of the facts to come in before forming my opinion. If A-Rod had been using it is hard for me to tell his body hasn’t changed much from day one. He really isn’t much bigger now than he was as a rookie. I am not an A-Rod apologist I think he is a rat because of the way he whined himself out of Texas. I hope it is not true because he is probably going to break Bonds Homerun record some day soon. I would much rather A-Rod have that record than Bonds. Since he is a former Rangers Great.
2. At least we did sign him and then this happened in spring training. I still would sign him to a 2 year deal and have him healthy for next season. But this opens up an opportunity for a young picther to show what they can do. So for that I am excited to see what happens.
3. Wow. That is all I can say if this works out and Rudy can help him get his swing back. This might be the Free Agent signing of the year. I hope Andruw can at least be the player he was his last year with Atlanta 27 homeruns and 90 something RBI’s I would take that in a heart beat with our lineup. I have always liked Andruw Jones. When healthy he is a hall-of-famer caliber player. Defense and hitting very good in his prime and maybe teamming up with Rudy will get him back to that level. I always have faith in Rudy. If he can’t turn Jones around then nobody can.
4. If he starts hitting immediately from day one in spring training he should be the starting center fielder and move Josh to right field I like that. But we will have to see. I do think Andruw will make this team but I don’t know if he will be starting in center field on opening day. I hope for hte Rangers sake he does play that well. That is a nice problem to have to many guys that can hit.
5. Bringing back Eddie was a good ove he pitched very well for the Rangers last season in a setup and closer role. So i like him back in the mix. Brendan Donnelly has been good in the past an hopefully a year after surgery he is ready to go again and can be the guy he was a few years ago he was nasty. So I don’t think the additon of these 2 guys will hurt it can only help.

1. He’s admitted to using banned substance as I write this, so yeah. I think it’s an era tainted by banned and unheard of PED’s and that it was and probably still is way more pervasive than those of us who love the game want to admit. I’m not absolving Alex of anything, but there were a lot more guys, and I’m sure many pitchers doing it as well. I still think the guy is the most talented ballplayer of my lifetime.

2. It would’ve been a bigger setback if they’d actually signed him. I’m totally fine with giving at least 3/5 of the rotations spots to young pitchers.

3. Maybe Rudy can fix his swing, but I don’t think he’s a CFer anymore. I don’t think he’s been a premium defender for several seasons now. Weight and bad knees have taken their toll.

4. No. CF will be manned by Josh Hamilton until Julio Borbon forces his way up in July/August.

5. Yes. I like Donnelly. I think he’s got a better shot to make the team than Turnbow. I’d like to see a repeat performance out of Eddie. His shoulder and age are question marks, but I was all for bringing him back.

1) He cheated and i don’t believe he has stopped. HGH isn’t being tested for he probably has just changed to that.
2) Big if Sheets had been healthy then he helps the staff and the team.
3) Jones can be the RH DH all day long until he hits .204. Atlanta didn’t just let him walk because of the money. He may be rejuvenated by playing DH. I will take Atlanta’s assessment over ours anyday. I don’t want anything interfering with Cruz’s development. The guy performed at the end of last year and appears to have taken that next step. Don’t mess it up.
4.) No DH, unless Jones has lost about 45 pounds he can’t play CF out there.
5). If Donnelly is healthy he will help and i like Eddie.

Now on to the other issues: Hicks “betrayed” by A-Rod? Laughable to me. If A-Rod had of been the only Ranger player using then maybe i buy it that A-Rod “betrayed” him. As of this point, we are at ground zero and had a lot of Ranger players at the time using steroids. Canseco, Gonzalez, Pudge, Palmeiro and A-Rod. While it wasn’t against Baseball’s rules, it was and is against federal and state law to obtain a them illegally. Obviously there is no integrity in baseball. I personally want the names of the other 104 players that tested positive. I also want blood testing for HGH and stiffer suspensions. A-Rod is going to suffer for his bad choice and probably cost himself the hall of fame. Where is the sense of right and wrong? Integrity? Well it isn’t against the rules so i will gain an advantage so i can make more money. These things just weren’t done in the 50′s and 60′s we had a moral compass a sense of what was right and wrong. It wasn’t if you won or lost but how you played the game. Sadly it seems that we are in a society, not just baseball, that functions on Stokely Carmichaels , Black Panther Mantra, “By any means necessary.” At least Peter Edward Rose played to win. These guys just play for personal glory. I hope the Yankees never win. Why only release A-Rod’s info? Just over two years ago, people were condemning Jose Canseco as a liar, and how he breached the clubhouse. Now Canseco may have done it for the money, but it darn sure reads now as non-fiction….

Last but not least, as a person who has attended interview and interrogation as a part of my job i will tell you this. In the school they teach you that one of the ways that you can tell if a person is being “deceptive”, lying in my book, is that they will look down and to the left with their eyes when being questioned about a matter. If you watch A-Rod during this interview where he “reportedly” came clean. It is ridiculous how often he looks down to his left with his eyes. This is based on statistical data and is something that the police use as an indicator of deception. Another is the polygraph test. So maybe we can get him on the polygraph and see just how forthcoming he has been. I hit more homeruns than when i was on steroids, come on. I am sorry for my Texas years. Ha ha, ha. At least he is getting some good advice and trying to put this behind him. Since Hicks was so betrayed, how about suing A-Rod under his personal services clause and trying to get back $75 million dollars. Lets get it on…..

Anyone who is a Texas Ranger fan should be outraged by the crazy “confession” by Alex Rodriguez. First, d’god unless you know whether or not he is right/left brain dominate and you have established his behavioral norms, you cannot detect deception. But, Rodriguez was being deceptive by telling part of the truth. It’s an old trick used by kids when they get into trouble. They give up as little info as they can get away with and they hope that makes the problem go away. His “confession” was very well planned and orchestrated most likely by the baseball antichrist.
What I don’t like is him assigning all of this to the “Texas years”. So in the 6 years at Seattle he never even heard of anyone using anything? He was naive? Playing stupid is another tool of deception. We do seem to be at ground zero but does anyone believe it’s only the Rangers? He threw us under the bus and that really gets under my skin. It’s all of baseball. Canseco, Clemens, Pettite, Giambi, and now A-Roid have all been implicated or admitted and they all played for the Yankees. That doesn’t make the Yankees ground zero. It’s all of MLB.
When he comes to Arlington this year, we need to show what we think by everyone getting up and walking to the concourse. Then, every time he touches a ball there should be a chorus of boos until the next pitch is thrown. The sad thing is, many are going to forgive him because he admitted what he did. However, he may have admitted, but he assigned responsibility elsewhere. He said that no one is to blame but himself, but that was after blaming everything including $252 million dollars. I’m left to ponder this one last question after watching Tom Hicks on the news. Why did he feel the need to “ask” Alex if he used performance enhancing substances? Mr. Hicks, you didn’t make the money you have because you’re that stupid. Obviously, you believe we are. The truth is right there for everyone to see. You simply have to listen to every spoken word.
Slippy, the facts are in….what say you now?

I meant walking to the concourse during every A-Rod at bat. (We still love to watch the game!) I would suggest standing and turning our backs, but that would present a safety issue for those in the foul ball zone. We fans really need to make a strong statement that we are tired of this. Can you imagine the news video of thousands of fans walking out during each A-Rod at bat? We could start a trend in ballparks throughout the nation. If there are any other “reasonable” suggestions of what we can do, count me in. For those wondering about the other 103, A-Rod has placed himself in the position to be the poster child. He has gained more than anyone else. Whatever I do would be to honor the Jim Sundbergs, Toby Harrahs, Buddy Bells, Steve Buecheles, Mark McLemores, etc. in MLB who played the game with fire, desire, and achieved to the best of their natural abilities.

Hefe, the sad thing about all of this is that none of these guys really needed performance enhancers. Okay, maybe Bret Boone did, but Ruben Sierra was a 5 tool stud before he “beefed” up. Palmeiro had a “sweet” swing. Juan Gonzalez was a stud. Pudge’s bat was only a plus to his natural game changing defense. Canseco was still a 30-30 guy on his natural ability and Mcgwire was a prototypical power hitting first baseman, Barry Bonds, A-Rod, and so on and so on. We loved them without the juice. That is what is so sad about the needless destruction of the integrity of the MLB. Fire Bud Selig! Kinda makes me love our current group of Rangers all the more. I hope none of them lets us down. Blalock and Young are really the only two that could show up on the other 103 and break our hearts. Let’s hope not.

In a comment I made earlier (pre-confession) on the A-Rod mess, I said that he put himself in this position. I’ll stick by that. The whole “trying to live up” to the contract bit is at best a sophmoric attempt to disavow any real personal responsibility and to work the sympathy angle. People have seen enough of his style to see through that. What is sad though is this is never going to end, it will be talked about or mentioned by the opposition broadcast teams in every game he plays from now ’til he is done. Then we’ll have the perennial “Should he be in the HOF/Asterisk?” drivel for at least 5 years.

Meanwhile, A-Rod enjoys the fruits of the contracts that pay him (gross) at a rate over 4 times the average annual US per capita Gross Domstic Product (GDP, 2007) per game.

What kind of message does that really send to the young players of tomorrow about PED’s?

As for public displays of dispproval…

Everyone in the stadium should stop making any noise during his AB’s. No talking, no music, no anything. Just a roaring silence. Even the NYY bandwagoneers will likely shut up just trying to figure out what is going on.

However, if I were an opposing manager…

Intentionally walk him every time he comes to the plate, regardless of the game situation. Kind of hard for him to pad those stats with no bat in his hands…

Ok I’m about to get on my soap-box and chase a rabbit-trail. It hacks me off when everybody just assumes that Juan Gonzalez did steroids. He never “blew up” like sosa, mcgwire, or bonds. His head never get bigger. He was at his biggest in 93 or 94 at the age of 23/24. There is absolutely nothing unusual about that as guys grow until the age of 25 all the time. And it’s just as possible for a person to get big without steroids as it is for somebody like palmeiro to take steroids and have a stomach. Plus Gonzalez is a vegetarian for crying out loud. I’m sure many will claim that “steroids shortened his career” but many forget that Gonzalez almost never got signed as a 16 year old because he had a bad back then. Basically I’m sick of the general hate shown toward arguably the greatest player in franchise history. It’s rather pitiful. Sure he was moody and misunderstood at times but nobody is perfect. Give the guy a break he had a terrible life growing up and basically watched his brother die from drug over-doses. Why would a guy like that do roids? He also built a pharmacy in Puerto Rico where he currently pays for anyone who can’t afford it to have prescriptions filled. He’s not the huge jerk that the local media constantly makes him out to be. Even the Rangers seem to refuse to acknowledge what he did for the franchise. All those banners hanging at the ballpark of current and former players…You’re telling me Marlon Byrd is deserving of a banner, and Juan Gonzalez isn’t? Seriously?

Even our lovely owner Tom Hicks felt the need to “call out” Gonzalez for taking steroids even though he has absolutely no proof. He also proceeded to claim that Gonzalez’s 2 year 24 million deal for the 02 & 03 seasons was his “worst signing ever.” Really Tom, ever heard of a guy named Chan-Ho Park? Let’s see 24 million over 2 years to arguably the best player in franchise history or 65 million over 5 years for the Hoe. Hicks just took the low-rode because he knew Gonzalez would be an easy scape-goat. It’s not like Gonzalez was going to give a statement regarding Hick’s comments. Hicks knew it. Granted, Gonzalez was hurt for about half of those 2 years, but to hear Hicks talk, Gonzalez did absolutely nothing. In 03 Gonzalez finished with 24 HR 70 RBI and a .294 AVG in 82 games before getting hurt. He was easily on his way to another 40 HR 100 RBI season. If nothing else you owe the guy for what he did for the franchise. What Hicks did would be similar to the owner of the Astros coming out and saying that “Re-signing Jeff Bagwell was the dumbest thing I ever did.” Bagwell made $18 million in 2005 and played in only 39 games and frankly was terrible. He did not even play in 2006 and he made over $19 million. Yet, you don’t see that happening because Bagwell is loved and respected by his fans and owner. Something Tom Hicks obviously knows nothing about. All this does is show just how low Tom Hicks will go. The fact is without Gonzalez, the Rangers would have never made the playoffs ever. Like him or not, he deserves a little respect.
Ok, I’ll get off my soap-box now.

I agree Juan Gonzalez was one of the Rangers best ever.

1. What is your reaction to the Alex Rodriguez news and do you believe that he was doing something wrong.
His wrong is playing for the Yankees. May the “Curse of the A-Rod” live on.

2. How big of a setback is that for the Rangers to lose Sheets after he agreed to a two-year deal?
HUGE.

3. What is your take on the signing of Andruw Jones?
Let us hope the Rangers have the same luck as with Sosa and Bradley. I would have gone for Adam Dunn.

4. Do you expect Jones to be the Rangers Opening Day center fielder. Yes or no.
NO.

5. Is the Rangers bullpen better off this week with the additions of Guardado and Donnelly.
Yes – now sign Jamey Wright.

gdawg, are you forgetting Gonzo’s luggage going into Canada that neither he nor his “assistant” claimed? That wasn’t his veggie shake in there. It was illegal substances. And, Juan Gonzalez did get huge. Take a look at all of his baseball cards. I don’t remember anyone commenting on him being a gym rat at the time. Having a bad back is all the more motive to take something that might help a little. I will agree with you, Juan has always been misunderstood and the language barrier has been a big contributor to that.
You can’t discount what any of these guys do in their communities. But, because he built a pharmacy, youth ballpark, or whatever, does that mean he is exempt from the things he was implicated in? I guess that means that it’s okay to rob a bank or steal as long as you give part of the loot to a worthy cause. That may be an extreme example, but in my book, sin is sin. There is no scoreboard there. And, once again, he was going to be a great player without performance enhancers. And, I’m afraid you are right, without the enhanced Senor Octubre, our Rangers probably still don’t have pennants to fly. All the more sad for us long suffering fans.

ssarltx, I love that idea. A deafening silence and we don’t even have to leave our seats. I’m in!
I’m left to wonder, would the south winds at Arlington Stadium have turned 20-25 homeruns a year from Jeff Burroughs into fly outs if Jeff had been juicing? Maybe we could’ve had our pennant sooner and the late Joe Lovitto would’ve become all we wanted him to be. Sorry, more sarcasm from a very frustrated fan.

I’m as big a fan of Juan’s as there is, but to think he didn’t juice is very naive. Honestly, I believe PED’s should be legalized and regulated. This levels the playing field, makes it safer for the athletes, while not allowing only the cheaters to prosper. There are plenty of medical reports that show steroids cycled properly are not as dangerous as the public is led to believe. It appears the steroids were readily available in most clubhouses as Alex pointed out, not just a problem in Arlington. Be completely honest, if there were no testing for steroids, steroids were readily available, and it was evident that steroids have helped many a career, that you wouldn’t do steroinds as well. As they say, if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.

ghoang, if they are legalized, where does that leave the guys who choose not to use anything beyond their natural abilities? I wish I could give you an example of one, but in this era, we just don’t know. But, if they are legalized, don’t we create an environment in which if you want to play MLB, you have to juice to keep up with everyone else? I don’t like that at all. I think of guys like Bud Harrelson and Fred Patek. Great role player shortstops who could not even break a major league roster today if they were in their prime. The different types of players give the game its unique personality. I say let’s try and keep the game chemical free.

There were 750 players (30 teams X 25 players per team) in 2003. 104 of those 750 tested positive, that means 13 % of the league was using performance enhancers. Assuming that was spread among the 30 teams that means each team had 3.5 players on each team if we shared it equally. That is a pretty huge number. Now granted it wasn’t against baseballs rules at the time. So no harm, no foul right????? It is our own fault for glamorizing and putting these people up on a pedestal. The sad truth is that people with money have a different set of rules than we do. While A-Rod is gonna suffer publicly and probably won’t make the hall of fame. He can comfort himself with that 500 + million that he is going to have made over the life of his career. Baseball both the union and the league need to release the other 103 and start testing for HGH and anything else. It is ridiculous that MLB doesn’t protect its records and statistics. It is what made the game great. Bonds cheated and now has Aaron’s home run record, soon A-Rod will have it, what does it mean? Nothing. We are going to be looking at a hall of fame that doesn’t have the all-time hits leader, and hr leader inside. I choose to believe that A-Rod has just moved onto HGH. He hit 54 home runs in 2007 and won his second MVP. What was he on then? Those numbers are pretty similar to some in Texas where he said he was using Steroids.

A-Rod’s argument that he didn’t get much bigger has no weight. He was reportedly using a steroid that didn’t bulk him up. In other words he could conceal the fact that he was using it. He should just admit that hey i am a competitor and was looking for an advantage. I am sorry now and me and Sylvester Stalone are now taking HGH which is not being tested for. When they tell me they are going to test for that, then all i have to say is get a warrant. You are violating my search and seizure rights and right to privacy. If he really wants to come clean then lets go have a serum blood test, a urine test, a sample of the hair, then and only then will i believe he is clean. The hardest part for him is the fact that people know. He has cultivated an image well that just is that an image that just isn’t the truth. A-Fraud get it?

sullivanian, thanks for your response. I agree with you that if he did use steroids than it was wrong. I’m not saying that building a pharmacy and what-not makes up for that. But according to what I have read and researched regarding the Toronto incident in 2001, The Indians and MLB looked into the matter and nothing was ever proven. Gonzalez claimed the bag was his assistants (Presinal), while Presinal claimed the bag was Gonzalez’s. Presinal, however, refuted that the bag contained steroids. According to Angel Presinal, the bag contained Soladek, (a painkiller) Dolo-neurobion, (a vitamin B complex used in fighting the flu,) and Clenbuterol, (a stimulant similar to ephedrine, which is believed within the bodybuilding community to promote muscle tone and weight loss.) According to what I have read, these were legal at the time, but are now illegal in baseball. Presinal claimed these were available over the counter in the Dominican, and they are in fact available without a prescription in Puerto Rico. According to what I have read it was never proven that the bag did indeed contain steroids. And I realize that Gonzalez was bigger in 92-94 (he was in his early twenties) then in the rest of his career but he was not Sosa, McGwire, or Bonds big. He’s a naturally big guy, and he also never had any jumps or drop-offs in his statistics. And actually I have read before that he worked out quite a bit. I guess I’m just old-fashioned in that I would like people to be perceived as innocent until proven guilty.

Hicks should sue for the $75 million that he paid that would be a way to get A-Fraud’s attention. Baseball should initiate full body physical, blood serum, hair any and everything they can to the players. The integrity of the game is at stake. No integrity=No game. Soon and very soon a time is coming when people are going to start doing other things than worshipping athletes. I love sports, but i have grown tired of cheaters. I know Baseball isn’t the only sport that does this Football just manages itself better. Steroids is probably more of an issue in football than in Baseball, but you just don’t hear that much about it. Baseball should at this point test all 104 that are still in the game for HGH that is the popular one now…..

Call and ask one of Gonzalez’s 10 ex-wives, i am sure one of them will tell you if he used steroids. The bottom line is in the good ole U.S. of A. you are innocent until proven guilty. Nevertheless, i will tell you their are a lot of guilty people walking the streets to day, because of several factors. Principally because they have money… See O.J. Simpson who was guilty as hell of double homicide but nevertheless walked on that charge. So just because someone wasn’t convicted of something doesn’t mean that well they aren’t. Money talks and bull caca walks…as my papi likes to say…. Everthing is up for negotiation, trade especially if you have the cash. I didn’t use to believe that but after 15 years as a police officer i believe it, i have seen it and well it is the way of the world. This A-Rod thing is just something that is gonna make that SI writer’s career. Nothing will be done to A-Rod other than he probably doesn’t make the hof. He probably doesn’t care maybe he McGwire, Canseco, Bonds and Rose can open a restaurant called Cheaters and Bettors. He can write a book called how i made more in one day than you did in 30 years at SI. Or maybe he should just buy SI and fire that woman. He should definitely sue for releasing his medical records. But alas he won’t because he wants it to go away, but it won’t.

If you listen to the media the world is ending we are in a great depression and all are about to lose our jobs and starve to death. Then on the other hand their are sports figures that make $25 Million @ year are able to inject themselves with drugs that help them to perform. Maybe we will be able to eat these athletes once the caca hits the fan. Would it be safe to eat or i would i get manroid like madcow?????

And if hicks is so appalled by steroid use, why did he sign Donnelly, didn’t he test positive. Why acquire Hamilton? I am ten times more appalled by illicit drugs i.e. Cocaine. Where was his apathy when he signed Steve Howe? Rocker? The Texas Ranger players weren’t the only ones using steroids, but who is overseeing watching. Have some freaking integrity. If you now something is going on and turn a blind eye because it isn’t against the rules, but is against the law then you are just as guilty. I do not believe for one second that Baseball didn’t know, that Hicks didn’t know. Alex put butts in seats and if he would have brought a title here, it wouldn’t matter. So save it, Hicks and these other owners didn’t get rich by being naive, they are smart. Hicks knew what was going on and if you believe that he didn’t then well that is more of a problem than if he did. He has always prided himself on being an involved owner and i just don’t believe that he didn’t know. We are in a day and age when well you just can’t believe what people say. The fact that A-Rod said he didn’t know what he was taking is a “lie” he knew exactly what he was doing. He is an adult. I had a lot of pressure on me, bull… Your contract is guaranteed. If you broke both legs and never played another inning you would have gotten every dime. So it is hicks fault for giving you that $25 million a year. Well since you feel so guilty how about sending that 75 million for the three years plus the 21 million for the other three million back to us that is 96 million? Sounds like financial flexibility hickie.

I have enjoyed the chance to vent on this frustrating subject and I do respect everyone’s opinion. But, could we please drop the “innocent until proven guilty” blanket? That factor only applies to civil or criminal litigation which none of us are engaged in. This is the court of public opinion where anything reasonable flies. These guys were innocent until they injected or ingested. When you work in a high profile job and you live in a glass house like these well paid ballplayers are, it’s part of the program. It’s not unlike d’god’s profession in that they are held to a somewhat higher standard. And at the very least, if it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, and hangs out with other ducks……..well, you know the rest. With all of the creativity that flows on this blog, I would love to hear some other ideas of civil disobedience in the ballpark. So far, ssarltx has the best idea in my opinion. A very peaceful display of our dissatisfaction with the status quo. Maybe all those watching on T.V. could flush their toilets during every A-Rod at bat.
I agree with d’god about Hicks suing A-Rod. That would be a hoot, but I don’t think Mr. Hicks has the cahoneys to do it and MLB probably has something in place that would prevent such a thing. But it was a good idea and fun to think about.

Sullivanian, my point on the legalization of steroids is that it levels the playing field for all and is not just an advantage for cheaters. Anyone who even breaks into the majors has more talent than I can ever imagine. Great players will be great no matter whether they cheat or not. Simply taking steroids does not make you a great player. This is why you have never heard of most of the guys who have actually been punished for taking steroids. As for the tests performed in 2003, 104 players failed which to me means 104 players were not smart enough to take things that cannot be detected or are not smart enough to cycle off before getting tested. I’m pretty sure the percentage of cheaters is much higher, at least 50%. This is backed by those that have admitted to using.

ghoang, to me, that’s like saying we have a lot of people stealing flat screen t.v.’s and it’s not fair to those who don’t have them. So, to level the playing field, we are going to allow all t.v. watchers to steal their t.v.’s.
I’ll respectfully disagree with you and say that taking performance enhancers makes a great player greater.
So, if they are legalized, at what level should one start using in order to get on that level playing field? Little league, high school, college, A, AA, AAA?
In my opinion, legalization of performance ehancers is a “give up”. There is right and there is wrong. Any achievement should be based on one’s “natural” ability coupled with hard work. We’ve all see the guys who have the tools but don’t want to put in the commitment it takes to succeed. Why give those guys an extra option by doping. It’s just not right. We will respectfully disagree on that point.
Maybe A-Rod turned because he knew how much better he was than the other superstars based on his natural talent. Then, when they were matching his numbers by enhancing themselves, maybe he felt the need to participate to stay ahead of them. Personally, I think he’s just a rat and a sorry egotistical individual but I don’t mind playing the devil’s advocate for just once.

In criminal court you are innocent til proven guilty their must be probable cause for your arrest. In civil court it is based on a “PREPONDERANCE OF THE EVIDENCE.” Both of these are moot because A-ROD “CONFESSED” after being confronted with the evidence. It is my opinion that he got some good legal advice from Boras who advised him to go public and put it “behind” him. I like A-Rod as a human being and there were 103 others that were also doing it. That doesn’t excuse it, but i would like to see the other names. I have a sneaky suspicion that a couple of other current Rangers may be on it. The bottom line is A-Rod made a conscious decision to do this and even though he didn’t hurt anyone but himself he is going to suffer severely for what he has done. Buy hey, if Kobe can recover from the alleged sexual assault then A-Rod has a chance to rebound. I choose to believe that A-Rod and others have moved on to HGH which isn’t being tested for. Baseball needs to get serious about testing for everything. They need to tell these players you have 3 months to get clean then we are going to test you. If you test positive, you are suspended without pay. Then if it happens again, you are suspended for life without pay. Now if this happened to A-Rod he wouldn’t be hurt he is a gazillion aire. But at this point all we have is public disgrace which means something to that guy and others or they wouldn’t be hiding it in the first place.

D’god, I hate to get into this with you, but in both civil and criminal courts, one is innocent until proven guilty. You are referring to the “burden of proof” required by the accuser. I’m not sure where you were going with that. My previous statement was addressing responses to accusations against more players than A-Rod i.e. Juan Gonzalez who hasn’t confessed. But anyway, let’s talk baseball. I’m looking at a possible lineup of:
Blalock/Ramirez-DH
Salty/Teagarden-C
C. Davis -1b
Kinsler -2b
M.Young-3b
Andrus/Vizquel-SS
D. Murphy -LF
J. Hamilton -CF
N. Cruz -RF

If Andruw Jones lights it up in Spring Training, who does he push? I argued that moving Young to 3rd was better than moving him to 2nd and Kinsler to 3rd. If Jones is successful, (mind you, a good problem to have….maybe), we could see three position changes in the OF i.e. Hamilton to RF, Cruz or Murphy traded and the other to LF, Jones to CF. At best, Andruw Jones is just passing through so I don’t see it as very prudent to cause the Rangers to have to trade someone or shuffle the entire outfield for a short term solution. And, if he is a 5th outfielder, I don’t think he would be happy with that. And then there is Marlon Byrd. Someone has some tough decisions to make and they had better be right. Besides, Murphy is the new “Rusty Greer” type and I like him in left and I want to see a full season of Nelson Cruz unless he reverts back to his old ways then I’ll be satisfied if he’s gone by the All Star break. I guess Andruw is a cheap insurance policy since we don’t have anyone ready in the minors.

I don’t think Andruw will push anybody unless it’s out of the way for the buffet line, but IF he’s a starter I think he pushes Murphy. The lineup is overly lefthanded. I like Murphy, but the Greer comp is a little much. Murphy needs to be more selective if he’s going to play everyday. Greer was an on base all the time. That’s why he was a good 3 hole. Not only could he hit well, but he was on base for the power guys behind him.

You are right sullivanian, but again it is a moot point. Because he “confesssed” and there isn’t going to be trial. I wish baseball would just put the rest of the 103 names out there and say testing for everyone including the test for HGH. There needs to be some peer pressure to not use. Sadly their is too much money or at least in the past there was. If A-Rod is hitting 25 to 30 HR’s a year and is clean is he making 25 Million a year? Probably not. As a police officer for 15 years let me get cynical here with a dose of my reality. It is my experience when people get caught for committing any offense they are apologetic and remorseful. They do this to garner sympathy in hopes of avoiding a sentence or getting probation. So A-Rod took the road of many criminals and make no mistake about the fact that he possessed and purchased steroids which is a federal and state crime. So he is a criminal, he didn’t get the stuff for free. Now having said all that, the fact that he just got outed and won’t make the hall of fame is punisment enough for me. Once he is done he will be ostracized as Clemens is. So who now is the #1 boy for the game Texiera? Hamilton?

Jones is gonna DH if he hits in Spring Training. If you believe TR then if he has anything left he is gonna play center field and Hamilton is gonna play right. I personally believe Hamilton’s future is in right field and don’t have a problem with him playing over there occasionally to get some rest, but, I don’t like this one iota, if it is permanent, because afterall Cruz is the player we had to have in order to give away Cordero, remember? Cruz did well in his fall stay with us, i for one think it looks like he took the next step. To do anything to interfere with him playing everyday is COUNTERPRODUCTIVE! Give him a chance. Unless Jones has lost 45 pounds he can’t roam our center field. I would rather see Murphy, Byrd, Borbon or Gholson out there. The bottom line is our offense isn’t going to be the problem. This team is going to go as far as its pitching staff carries it. Remember we needed two starters and two relievers. There quotes not mine. We may have gotten the two relievers if Turnbow or Donnelly are healthy. But we didn’t get those two starters. But hey maybe we hit on a couple of pitchers from within. Feldman, McCarthy and Nippert for two spots with the other in the bullpen isn’t bad. Besides McCarthy is further along than Danks was, ha ha ha ha. What a joke.

1. He took a banned substance. I don’t care what “the culture” was. Avoid peer pressure maybe? Thats what they tell you when you’re a kid. Make better decisions Alex.

2. Huge. I was so pumped about that. Hopefully they can still reach an agreement. That was the worst blue balls ever.

3. Don’t really care. He’s fat and broken down. If he can regain anything good. If not, head to Kansas City.

4. If he isn’t fat.

5. Absolutely.

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