Thursday, February 26, 2004

The Fan's juices are starting to flow. Spring Training is here. The Alex Rodriguez trade and Greg Maddux signing have kept baseball in the news. Gammons is writing again and some genuine controversy swirls around the game. Ah! Isn't Spring a wonderful thing?

Let's start with the controversies. First, talk of steroids blew up further today as Turk Wendell and teammate Denny Neagle accused Barry Bonds of taking steroids. Bonds of course responded that those pitchers should accuse him to his face. Bonds has a point as in most arenas in life, such accusations would be grounds for slander. Jason Giambi's name also came up. What good do those pitchers do the game by coming out with such statements?

Dusty Baker makes a good point in that such speculation leads to a kind of McCarthyism where accusations become more viable than actual proof. There is still the ideal that a player is innocent until proven guilty floating around in the air somewhere. Unfortunately, it is not floating in the thin Colorado air where Neagle and Wendell pitch.

The accusations made by Neagle and Wendell also smell a bit since they were made by pitchers about batters. The two are already anathema to each other. The pitchers point out that Giambi and Bonds now have super human bodies. It is possible to work hard in the gym and get that kind of body. But why didn't they point at a pitcher? Schilling is much more buff than he used to be. Would that make him a suspect? The whole thing smells until proof is offered concretely. Until then, this is a non-story until someone can explain how much difference steroids can make hitting a 99 mile per hour fastball.

The other scandal that broke today was reports that the Seligs raked in high salaries while crying poverty and begging for funds for a new stadium. The Fan is the biggest anti-fan of Bud Selig on earth. The man is the anti-Christ of baseball. Yet, this, along with the steroid flap is a non-story. So what if the owners and executives made money? How is that different than what goes on in business? What does Steinbrenner make?

Justice in business is determined by the investors and customers of that business. The Seligs haven't a clue on how to bring a winner to Milwaukee. That lack of baseball savvy will lead to a lower price for the team when they manage to find a buyer. Until then, their losing ways lead to less fans in the seats and less demand for their televised product. Let them make what they want. Their payment is lost investment and huge losses while countless fans stay away in disgust.

By the way, have you ever noticed how much Bud Selig looks like Bill Gates? Have you ever seen them together?

There is a lot of other baseball stuff to talk about. A post is building on how intelligent it is for the Cubs to invest three years in Greg Maddux or the Tigers to invest four years in Ivan Rodriguez. There will be a lot to talk about the divisions and how the teams shake out this year. All of the teams are currently tied for first place. Over three hundred players are with new teams. Spring is the best! And I can't wait to share it with you.