Monthly Archives: August 2012

The Melkman Cheateth-UPDATED

I can’t say I am shocked to hear the news that Melky Cabrera tested positive for PED use today. Having watched Melky play for the Yankees, I always thought of him as a fringe starter at best.  When he left New York and put up a line of .255/.317/.354 in Atlanta, that seemed about right to me.

But then something happened.  Last season he hit .305/.339/.470 and then this year he hit .346/.390/.516.  It was possible that he suddenly figured everything out, but it also seemed highly unlikely.  Now we know.

It will cost him millions, it will also cost him his reputation and it won’t be the last time we hear about a player getting suspended.  There are things you see in baseball if you pay attention that make you wonder what exactly is going on. Last year a player, I won’t name them because this is entirely my speculation, hit more home runs in one season than he had hit in the other six years of his career combined.  That certainly made me wonder if he had been enhancing his performance.  There was a pitcher who suddenly threw five to seven mph more than he had ever thrown before. I understand that there are outliers in the world. Certain performances come out of nowhere and shock us, but I am sad to say that in the age of PED’s I won’t be fooled again.

UPDATE Here’s a link to a very depressing article about steroid testing in baseball quoting the infamous Victor Conte. Basically, the new synthetic testosterone boosters can be flushed out of your system in 4-8 hours and don’t trigger the test that MLB normally uses.

Heading Off A Cliff

Gary Bettman announced today that the NHL will lock the players out if they do not reach an agreement by September 15th. While there is still plenty of time before that deadline, it’s getting hard to see how any deal is possible.

I don’t think Gary Bettman and the rest of the owners have thought this through.  The 2004-05 season was scrapped because the owners insisted on a salary cap to give them “cost certainty”.  They got that cap, but apparently that wasn’t good enough.  Now they want to cut the players’ share of league revenues from 57% to 43%. They also want to cap contract length, eliminate salary arbitration and not allow unrestricted free agency until ten years. It’s hard to see how the players would want to even meet halfway on any of these issues because they gave up so much when they agreed to a deal in 2005, including a salary rollback of 24%.

Meanwhile, we the fans are once again an afterthought. Nothing shocking about that, but the NHL is pressing its luck here. The league has mostly recovered from the disaster of 2004-05, but I doubt they could survive another long lockout. Perhaps cooler heads will prevail and we won’t have to found out, but I am not optimistic. 


Tape Delay

There is something infuriating about the fact that in this day and age NBC continues to tape delay the Olympics.  I get it, they need to have something the fill those prime time hours.  But, why couldn’t they show the big events twice on weekdays?  They run Olympic coverage from 10AM to 5PM, so why not show the event once and then show it again in prime time?  After all, it’s not as if a huge portion of the audience already know the result when they watch.

Another thing that bothers me about the tape delays is that when they actually show the coverage they pretend first that it is live and second they chop it up into tiny bits between numerous commercials and inane feature stories.  You’ve made us wait to see this so just show the darn event!

But the biggest pet peeve of mine is the fact that they tape delay events on the weekends.  I would bet almost anything that more people watch TV on Saturday in the late afternoon/early evening than in prime time.  Yet, tomorrow we will have tape delayed coverage of the marquee events.

Yet despite my complaints, the ratings for the Olympics are enormous.  Shows you what I know!