Tagged: steroids

Chasing the D-backs; A Tribute to Dodgers Fans

chase_field_480x200.jpg
God-awful title, I know. I am horrible at plays on words. And this is going to be a huge entry, so if you’ve got stuff to do, put this blog on hold and finish whatever you’re doing.
So on Friday, we made the six-hour trek from Los Angeles to Phoenix. First of all, if you’re going to this, for the love of God please make sure your A/C compressor is functional. If you don’t you’ll positively die when it gets up to 120 degrees on the open desert between LA and Blythe… and even then you’ve still got two hours to go. Also, I beg you to stop at every gas station and just fill ‘er up, because there’s nothing between them except some nasty rest stops. And finally, enjoy the drive.
I enjoyed the drive, anyway. Being the geology megadork that I am, I listened to my iPod (Bose QuietComfort 2 headphones are the bomb diggity) and mentally identified every formation we drove past and speculated about the makeup of the mountains. Because I’m that cool. Not cool was the rise in temperature I felt in the middle of nowhere IN TRAFFIC. Yes, there is traffic in the middle of nowhere. Don’t ask how. It existed.
Drive aside, Phoenix itself was… hot. We were actually in the suburbs, so the only time I spent within Phoenix was at Chase Field (more on that later), but it was hugely hot. At night it wasn’t so bad, still up in the hundreds but at least the sun wasn’t beating down like it was during the day. Either way, I could live there as long as I had A/C.
On Saturday, we went to Chase Field to catch the Angels/D-backs game. I was cheering for the D-backs because I’ve always had soft spots for Danny Haren and Brandon Webb (don’t hate me) and I really freaking hate the Angels and their damn rally monkey. Lately I’ve learned that I am the No-Hitter Killer–Doug Davis had a no-no going that afternoon, and so did Jason Hammel this afternoon. Alas, they were not to be and both pitchers lost (more later). I wasn’t so much watching the game because I wasn’t very attached to the outcome, but rather I spent most of my time there people-watching and admiring the stadium.
Chase Field… I know Tom wasn’t a huge fan when he visited, but I have to admit, it’s probably my favorite ballpark I’ve been to. That’s not a big number (Minute Maid Park, Astrodome, Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium [of Anaheim], and… yep, that’s it, Coors Field was just a tour so I’m not counting it), but I really, really liked it. The lower concourse was so incredibly open and as you walked around the outfield you could see everything that was happening on the field. There was seating everywhere they could fit it, and even up in the upper deck I had a great view, especially since the seats were tilted towards home plate.
The giant videoboard was absolutely magnificent. It was wider-than-widescreen and the video was beautiful. They had to put some random things in around the video and the linescore to fill in space, but even so, it was gorgeous. One of the things I didn’t particularly appreciate was the fact that miscellaneous boards were sprinkled EVERYWHERE. It took me two innings to find the strikeout count, and another half inning to find the pitch count. The out-of-town scoreboards hang on the walls. Other than that, it was awesome.
I didn’t eat anything while I was there, having eaten a turkey sandwich before leaving, but they let us bring food inside. Non-alcoholic drinks are also allowed in as long as they’re unopened (sealed). I went in search of an ice cream helmet since my friend’s little sister collects them, and I found a vendor near 328 who was just the cutest, sweetest thing. He gave me way too much ice cream and even held onto it while I ran to the nearest ATM to get cash. Side note–Chase Field means Chase ATMs, so thank you for not making me pay outrageous fees! Anyhow, he was blonde and extremely adorable so if you’re sitting in the top deck of Chase, be sure to drop by and say what up?!
I loved the stadium and was sad to leave in the seventh inning when the niece and nephew grew impatient. Speaking of kids, Chase Field had a great playground called The Sandlot. I didn’t go down there myself but apparently the kids loved it. All in all, I absolutely loved the stadium. Maybe because it felt like home. Who knows? For whatever reason, I adored it.
We left at five to drive back. It was cooler but I’d suggest leaving the driving for after the sun’s gone down because it gets really hot really fast. Our car made it despite the heat in the Valley, and we brought back enough Blue Bell to feed a small family for a month or two. If you’ve never had Blue Bell, try it if you’re ever anywhere they sell it.
In other news…jason hammel getty.jpg

Today, I went to go see the Rockies take on the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Here’s what I learned:
1. I can’t do no-hitters. Every time one has begun in my presence, it fails completely. Jason Hammel and Doug Davis, for example.
2. I sunburn really easily. OW OW OW.
3. Troy Tulowitzki is hella hot. I know I knew that already, but suga honey iced tea, Christ on a bike, good God almighty hot damn.
And here are some stories:
1. Mark Strittmatter (please tell me that’s correctly spelled/first named or I’ll feel like an idiot) is awesome. He was asking kids trick questions and giving them a ball if they got it right and he asked the kid next to me: “say silk five times. What do cows drink? Nope, water!” So I figured, my friends have all done all of those to me. I told him to ask me one and he said if I got it right he’d give me the ball, but if I missed he’d give it to the kid. So he asked, “What do people in Kentucky call their capital? ‘Louissville” or “Louieville”? And I said, “Trick question! ‘Loo-vull!” “Nope, Frankfurt!” We both cracked up. I looked at him and said, “Mark, I’m coming up to Denver in August. I WILL GET YOU!” He laughed and when he got back to the bullpen he started telling someone else (pitching coach?) about it and they both laughed. Then when they were going back to the dugout I yelled “Mark, I WILL GET YOU!” and he cracked up again. I LOVE THAT MAN. And I WILL GET HIM.
2. Someone tossed me a ball. I’m ashamed to say that I couldn’t figure out who because I couldn’t see his number and I don’t watch enough games to know our bullpen’s faces. But it’s all rubbed up and kind of grassy so I think it might be a game-used ball.
3. There was a really cute, sweet usher down by the right field foul pole. We talked a lot. He was so sweet!
4. Spilly came out to sign. Here’s what you need to know about Dodger Stadium: getting away team autographs is nigh impossible. There are these baseline box seats that are really expensive and you can’t even go down for autos without a ticket, so those block off eight rows all the way over to the foul pole. So he went over to sign for kids in DODGERS SHIRTS and I waved him over toward me while wearing my TROY TULOWITZKI AUTHENTIC JERSEY and he just waved back! I yelled “No, Spilly, come over here!” and he waved me towards where he wa
s going with a smile, I yelled back “I’M NOT RICH!” and he laughed… and nobody signed for me. ****.
And here’s the conclusion:
What a pitching duel. That aside, I HATE DODGERS FANS SO MUCH. I had a whole section behind me (I was in the front row) yelling “TROY TULOWITZKI SUCKS” and “**** THE ROCKIES.” Because I was in right field I was right by Hawper, and the guys kept yelling “BRAD HAWPE YOU SUCK” and I yelled right back “SORRY YOU’RE JEALOUS OF HIS #2 IN THE NL BATTING AVERAGE!” I neglected to mention the “SORRY YOUR BEST HITTER WAS A HUGE CHEATER” because really, they were so drunk off their ***** I don’t think they would have cared–Dodgers fans don’t care anyway (more on that later). So basically, the only Dodgers fans I ran into that weren’t ******** were the ones I’m related to. The end.
Pointless Ramblings:
– The trip to PETCO Park was delayed from Monday until Thursday, so I’ll be there tomorrow/today (depending on your time zone; I should be sleeping).
– I’m so fricking sunburned. WOW.
– I love my suitemates. Facebook rocks.
– People need to realize they can’t have it both ways. You can’t denounce cheating and in the same breath cheer for Manny or Roger or Barry, or, I hate to say it, Andy Pettitte (we all know how much I loved him once upon a pre-juicing time). You can’t get mad when other teams’ players dope but allow your own players to do it. Grow up, people. If you’re going to support it, at least be honest. I’ve had several Twitter conversations about this.
– I hate the trade deadline.
first image courtesy of diamondbacks.mlb.com
second image courtesy of Getty Images

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I guess I don’t know…

a-fraud.jpg…who to trust anymore.

A-Fraud is just that–a fraud.

All of us who were hoping that he would bring baseball out of the steroid era were proven wrong when he admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs today to Peter Gammons.

If he had vehemently denied it, we never would have believed him.  Even now, when he’s saying that he used PEDs between 2001-2003, should we believe him?  Obviously, he could be lying–it’s not too hard, there was no polygraph, and the guy from Lie to Me* wasn’t there to do his job (haha).

I was always deluded enough that I thought that if a guy used steroids, he would be big, like Barry.  That he would look disgustingly muscular, like a brick wall.  That was wrong, obviously.  And now I’m starting to doubt everyone.

You look at guys whose playing styles have changed very quickly.  Tulo, for example–great in 2007, flop for most of 2008.  Did someone take away his PEDs?  I hate to ask these questions, but they are flowing freely through my head.  Hunter Pence’s sophomore suckage?  All the boys I love most are under suspicion.

There were rumors about Jeff Bagwell.  Were they true?  What about the less obvious guys?  Anybody?  Do we really even have a way to know?

I think the MLBPA is at least partially to blame.  I’ve hated them for a while now.  I got tired of hearing about their collusion ideas when nobody would sign Barry (really?  because signing a guy indicted for felonies is ever a good idea?).  They fought against random testing because they said it violated players’ privacy rights.  Any employee at any company could say the same thing but guess what, if you don’t take the drug test, or if you fail it, you’re FIRED.  There are no tearful interviews with really old guys to fix your life.  No income, bad references, and if it was a bad bad drug, you might go to jail.

I don’t understand why celebrities always think they’re exempt from the laws that the rest of us have to follow–oh wait, it’s because they are.  They admit to doing drugs, they drive drunk.  And no matter what they’ve done, an apology on someone’s daytime TV show is always good enough to get them out of trouble.

We as Americans have to stop idolizing athletes for anything other than their physical prowess.  They do drugs.  They cheat on their wives.  Just like any other human being, when they admit to something, we have no way of knowing if they’re telling the truth.  I joke that I want to grow up and be Mrs. Tulowitzki one day, but would I really like to marry him?  Hell no.  Find me a guy who looks exactly like him, has the same dedication, graduated college and is Catholic, and I’m sold.  But a baseball player?  Nope.

Well, I guess this is the end of my long-winded rant.  One of my best friends just moved back to CO and keeps telling me how great it is, and I’m jealous and frustrated with scholarships and college.  It hasn’t been a pretty day.

Oh, and by the way, the title of the last entry?  A semi-parody of “Hey Stephen” by Taylor Swift.

photo courtesy of the Associated Press

Hey, Alex, I guess looks can be deceiving…

amd_arod-dugout.jpg…’cause I thought I saw a light in you.

I distinctly remember sitting in a sports bar in Austin cheering for A-Rod to get his 500th home run.  I wanted to watch the Astros/Rangers game but it was on KNWS, an independent Houston station that doesn’t get to Austin, and even though KNWS was unavailable, FSN Southwest was still blacked out.  Long story short, no Astros for me.

So we sat in a booth and I ate a salad and craned my neck to the side to watch the Yankees on YES and every time A-Rod came up to bat, my heart quickened.

I don’t think I had as good of a grasp on what a jerk he was at that point, but even if I had, I was still excited because I thought he was clean.

Yeah, I know, that’s what everyone has been saying since yesterday afternoon when Sports Illustrated released a story that claimed that A-Rod had used PEDs during his stay with the Rangers.  Unfortunately, it’s true.  We (or at least, I) thought he was legit.  Hoped he was legit.  But it seems he’s going the Roger Clemens Way with a denial and nothing else.  You’d think these guys would learn from Andy Pettitte–if you admit to it, even if you lie, you win in the court of public opinion.  Andy still has a job.  Roger doesn’t, and he’s in a very ugly place right now.  Same with Barry Bonds.

A-Fraud will keep his job.  The MLBPA refuses to release anything besides a “we’re not talking.”  We might not ever know.  But the more Ster-Rod argues, the more suspicious he will look.

This isn’t just a “keeping the game clean” issue.  This is a legal issue.  According to the SI story, “Primobolan is not an approved prescription drug in the United States, nor was it in 2003.”  As I understand, that means it’s illegal.  Also, according to the lawyers for the MLBPA, the use of any names other than those ten linked to BALCO is not covered by the search warrant and therefore illegal.  Somebody’s going to get in big trouble for this.

Unfortunately for Rodriguez, once again, this is a case in the court of public opinion.  No matter if his name is ever cleared or if the judge rules that the other 94 names on that list cannot be used, there will be some people who always view him as guilty.

If he is guilty, then I am ashamed that he was ever allowed to wear the Texas flag on his left arm.  If he isn’t, well, I hope he can prove it.

Bonus points to anyone who can guess where I got the title for this entry.

photo courtesy of the Associated Press