The Sports Broadcast

A blog about sports broadcasting from the great state of Florida. They report. I decide.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Busted

Yesteday was a bad, bad day for the sports world.

First, it broke that Jason Giambi had testified before a grand jury that he used steroids through BALCO after his 2001 MVP season after having used them earlier in his career. His brother Jeremy did as well according to the testimony. Never mind the fact this was an illegal leak of sealed grand jury testimony. But it was a bombshell. Suddenly, it became less likely that Jason was only suffering from a mysterious intestinal parasite. Then, BALCO owner Victor Conte, determined not to go down with the ship, unloaded his memory banks and indicted a large amount of track atheletes, Marion Jones most significantly.

Then, the coup de grace came today with leaked information about Barry Bonds. He too apparently took the same things Giambi did in 2003, only he claims he didn't know what they were. He says he did not think he trainer would ever give him illegal substances and had only asked for something to relieve his fatigue and pain. He said he quit using the stuff Anderson had given him because it didn't do anything for him.

With the Giambis, the news was big, but along the same lines as when Ken Caminiti revealed he used steroids. Jason had been good, but only MVP-worthy for a year (like Caminiti). His profile only was higher because he played for the Yankees. The fact that Jeremy used them didn't register because he never was anything good on the major league level.

With the track news coming out, it too was not a big shock since it has been known for some time now that the track world is highly corrupt in the field of doping. With Jones, it only seemed a matter of time before it was revealed that she had been doping as once the testing got harder for the Athens Olympics trials, she could not even make the team.

Bonds was the big fish. Bonds was the guy that a lot of people wanted to get. People now will read only the headline and not the article, and assume he's been doping for years. Or they will read the article and automatically assume he's lying. I mean, how could such a jerk become so good? Wasn't Michael Jordan a nice guy? Gretzky always could flash a smile for anyone. Babe Ruth called a shot for a sick child. The Hammer is always congenial in interviews. No, the guy who is surly towards the media buzzards must be a bad guy. He's got to be taking something, right?

It actually is possible to believe Bonds' story. At age 39 with all those years of playing, he probably does suffer from chronic pain and fatigue. It comes with the pro athelete territory. It also is possible to bulk up legally as Barry has over the past decade and a half with modern knowledge of nutrition and weight training. Dedication is all that is required. However, John Q. Public doesn't want to believe that because on the whole, John Q. Public doesn't want to put in the time at the gym or hire a personal trainer to achieve similar results, or at the very least get in shape. So instead people cry "steroids!" because it's easy and Bonds is an easy target. It also does appear that, knowingly or not, he did use a steroid.

Notice, though, that he admitted to getting something in 2003. That's two years after his 73-HR year. That's after he became Ruthian Barry. Just as he was dedicated to weight training, he is even moreso dedicated to studying the game. His father played and won a batting title, and Hank Aaron is his godfather. I think he has some good people to consult when it comes to hitting. He also has the best eye in the game. Don't believe me? Would you believe Tony Gwynn? Through the first two months of the season he swung and missed fewer than 10 times. Forgetting everything else, that's simply not something steroids can give you.

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