Baseball thoughts ...

It's about time.

Today Major League Baseball players and owners agreed on a stiffer steroids policy that's comprised of a 50-game suspension for a first failed test, 100 games for a second and a lifetime ban for a third.

Too bad it's too late. How and why it took Don Fehr and his boys so long to understand what owners were asking -- I will never understand. Yeah, I'm as passionate a baseball fan as the next -- but dang it, guys, this is the intergrity of the national pastime we were talking about. It's hallowed records, images and the influence players have on younger players ...

Jim Litke adds: Look at a timeline of events beginning with the Mark McGwire-Sammy Sosa home-run chase in 1998 and you'll find enough tips that were missed, bungled or purposely ignored to fill up another "Naked Gun" sequel. (more...)

Yes, I can be satisfied with the comfort of finally having a drug policy that MLB should have instituted three years ago when the first steroids testing came in to play. But I think I speak for most fans when I say I'm not sure I'll ever forget the sour taste of having to muddle through last year's clouded offseason, the now infmaous testimony to congress and the increased suspicion that followed.

* * *
As a Cubs fan I'm biased, so it's no surprise I shook my head today when I learned Derrek Lee did not win the NL MVP. But Albert Pujols!? He was the least deserving of all the top candidiates.

So he led an injury-laden Cardinals team to the playoffs ...

Bah! The Cardinals still had great pitching (Hello!? Chris Carpenter just won the NL Cy Young), on top of a batting lineup that was stacked even without Scott Rolen. And Pujols' numbers still weren't as superior as Lee's and Andruw Jones'.

Lee led all three in doubles (50), slugging percentage (.662) and batting average (.335) and he finished second with 46 homeruns. And without Lee's play, it's highly unlikely the Sosa-less Cubs would have been in postseason contention through August.

Meanwhile down in Atlanta, Jones led the league in homeruns (51) and RBIs (128) while leading a Braves team filled with rookies and helping them to yet another division title.

Sure, Pujols is undoubtedly and consistently one of the best players in baseball. But let's not give him a pitty MVP just because he's been second to Barry Bonds for all of his short career.

* * *
And finally today...
Orioles won't bring back Sosa, Palmeiro

uh, ya think? ... last month I called for the two to retire.

1 comment:

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