Steroid Scam, Haka Hoo-hoo

Steve Murray
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Wednesday - September 19, 2007
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Random thoughts from a random mind.

* So the district attorney of Albany County, N.Y., has no faith in Major League Baseball’s ability to assist in the investigation into an Orlando pharmacy that may have been involved in an illegal steroid distribution ring. SI.com and the New York Daily News cited anonymous sources saying Rick Ankiel, Troy Glaus and Jay Gibbons had all received shipments from the company. The New York Times reported that as many as 10 more names may surface during the investigation.

How could David Soares, the D.A., make such an outlandish claim?

History, my dear Watson, history.


Apparently Soares learned something in law school. Mainly that those covered in guilt tend to be less than forthright with the truth. MLCBrode the home run rage to unprecedented heights of wealth and popularity for the game, all the while claiming no one had ever heard of steroid use in baseball. Even though historical numbers were being obliterated while Brady Anderson goes from 16 home runs in 1995 to 50 the next year. And this should effect Selig’s credibility? Sure, he hired an old friend to investigate steroid use who has only talked to one player and no owners, front office people, managers or coaches. This means Selig’s not trustworthy?

“Mr. Giambi made his admissions, and the first reaction of Major League Baseball was to belittle him,” said Soares as quoted by Yahoo.com “And when he came to provide information, no action was taken.”

He’s got you there, Mr. Commissioner.

* The Haka brouhaha is rather ridiculous. Many before have done worse - recall Miami in the 1980s and Vinne Testaverdes’fatigues prior to the 1987 Fiesta Bowl. Now the WAC has decided that a cultural dance is threatening to the fragile physique of 300-pound athletes whose favorite hobby is getting punched in the mouth for 60 minutes each Saturday.

This was even more confusing leading up to last week’s game against a team housed in a city where vice is a source of pride and where immoral and maybe illegal behavior is part of an advertising campaign. That being said, it does not give the Warriors license to relive the boorish behavior of the past. If the team wants to continue doing the Haka prior to games, the school must ensure that there are no repeats of the Alabama game where a few players decided to add a middle finger gesture to their choreographed routine. Performing the dance as a celebration of culture is wonderful. Insulting it by adding offensive gestures and then hiding behind its popularity is flat out wrong.


* Bill Belichick should be thankful that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell determined his fate and not some F-1 racing enthusiasts in Paris. The day before Goodell slapped the Patriots’ coach with a $500,000 bill, the Federation Internationale De L’automobile fined the McLaren race team $100 million and stripped it of its points in the Constructors’ standings for allegedly using secret technical documents belonging to Ferrari. To put things in terms Belichick would understand, McLaren got caught with Ferrari’s 780-page play book. But that’s not all. McLaren crew chief Ron Dennis and five other team members are being investigated for “allegedly placing a mysterious white powder on the gas tanks of the team’s (Ferrari) cars before the Monaco GP, in a supposed sabotage attempt,” according to the Associated Press. Makes the hooded, unpersonable, gruff Belichick seem almost quaint.

Ah, those crazy Europeans.

* Now that Terry Ryan has resigned as the Minnesota Twins’general manager, the rest of baseball’s small market money men can breathe a sigh of relief as the man who made them look bad now moves to a less stressful position. No matter your rooting interest, the Twins had to be respected. Faced with a payroll that only Kansas City and Tampa could envy, and playing in a city lacking the high glitter night life favored by so many face-time-obsessed modern athletes, they still managed to be a dominant force in their division. True, Ryan never won a world title in the 13 years he held the position, but he did produce four division winners in the last five years. And with Torii Hunter and Johan Santana looking to cash in on big deals, it’s a perfect time to let someone else worry about it.

* It seems that history is repeating itself in the Pacific Northwest as the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft will miss the entire season with a knee injury. Trailblazer fans have to be wondering if they haven’t been hit with a billy goat/Bambino-style curse of their very own.

Still, if Greg Oden follows in the long line of talented, but injury prone Portland pivot men, the team can at least bask in the glory of being featured in yet another episode of, “Top five reasons you can’t blame ... ” on ESPN Classic. If things really work out, Oden could follow another Trailblazer by leading them to an NBAtitle before suffering a massive physical breakdown only to be surprisingly named to the Hall of Fame.

Can you say Bill Walton?

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