Thursday, May 7, 2009

Let's Give This Thing Another Go...

For any of you that were kind enough to visit this blog in the past, I realize that I completely dropped the ball on updating it, or really having it function in any way, shape or form. The job I've been at for the past year demanded a lot of time, too much time, really, to justify extensive blogging, and I just let it drop off.

That said, in the next month or so, I'll be moving back up to NY, and returning to school, so I figure now's as good a time as any to get going again. Come back!!!

Enough about my life...
This is not Mets-related, but today, one of my favorite players of all time had his name added to the ever-growing list of steroid users (or PED's, call it what you will). For all of his shortcomings in the past, his questionable motives, his fake injuries, etc., I've always loved Manny. The AL team that I love (though I have a harder time with them these days, mostly based on the demeanor of the run of the mill Red Sox fan) came into it's own with his arrival, and won 2 world series with him at the helm of the batting order, and boy was it ever fun. He really was like a little kid; he would whine and do things that just drove you over the edge, but then he'd come back, give a goofy smile, and you'd forgive him just like that. Plus, he'd hit deadly pitches 500 ft to the opposite field on 0-2 counts. I agreed last year that it was time for him to go from Boston, but I enjoyed his antics in LA, and while I'm not a fan of the Dodgers, they're among the few teams that I don't call my own that I can tolerate, and root for at times, based on Brooklyn, Strawberry, LaSorda, Manny, and most of all, Scully. I had come to accept his spot in LA, and barring a head-to-head clash with the Mets, I'd root for him there. I was, for the record, among the 99.9% of Met fans desperate to see him signed this offseason, and somewhat angry with Bernie Madoff for hurting that cause.

And now, he's joined the club.

My initial phases of reaction were similar to how I've felt about most of the big name players who have been exposed that I didn't already dislike, i.e., Clemens, Bonds: Surprise, spiked with a twinge of subconscious excitement over a huge new story. Doubt. Belief. Complete denial, and investigation into whatever excuses were given; in this case, the whole possibility that he was merely using some other form of Viagra to keep Manny being Horny was the cop-out. Doubt again, and then acceptance. That, for me anyhow, has been the usual steroid allegations cycle, but in this case, there is a great deal of gloom that has followed that stage of acceptance. Now this era truly is tainted, at least to a great extent. If you stacked up 20 names that defined the 90's and early 2000's, Ramirez, Clemens, Rodriguez, Sheffield, McGwire, Sosa, Tejada, Giambi, Pettitte, Bonds, Canseco and others yet unnamed are all on that list. I'll be stupid and hold out on Piazza, as that is still unproven. What do you do with all this? What can you say? They're falling like comets.

I have no idea, really, what with the records, the wins, the history, but one thing is crystal clear to me, and I never thought 5 years ago that I would say this:

Jose Canseco was right, and he may have saved baseball. All the names he has indicated keep bleeding out, and while I initially thought it was snakish of him to name names, I see his point: no one listened to any complaints about steroid use until A) he brought the media attention to it, and B) he named big names. You can say, "steroids are a problem" and a couple folks may turn they heads and nod in agreement, but when you say, "Roger Clemens used steroids", everyone listens, and they talk about it. Then the media talks some more, then Bud Selig's head becomes slightly less engorged in his rear end, then congress jumps on it, then all of a sudden you have (somewhat) comprehensive testing in baseball, and the sport emerges from a cloak of suspicion into a more or less cleaned-up state. Manny positive or not, his suspension only reinforces that there ain't too many folks getting away with this s**t anymore.

Maybe Jose Canseco is a jerk, maybe not, but you can't call him a liar or a crook anymore, and all of his screaming may have brought our game back to its truest form.

The New York Mets, on the other hand, seem to be on the way up, for a change, and as we speak, they have a 1-0 lead in a 2 game series against Philly, just swept the impossible Braves, and are leading the 2nd game of that Philly series 5-1, behind 3 home runs in the park that doesn't allow them, one each by perhaps the most prominent members of the recently much-maligned "core", Beltran, Wright and Reyes. Maybe Omar calling the boys out lit a fire?

Who cares? They look good, let's keep it up.