Sports Fodder: No incentive for players to stop using PEDs
August 17, 2012
Sports fodder for a Friday morning . . .
There is simply no good reason for major league baseball players to stop using performance enhancing drugs. The San Francisco Giants’ Melky Cabrera, a first-time offender, has to sit out 50 games. Big deal. If MLB was truly serious about wiping PEDs out of the game, they would give first-time offenders a one-year suspension and ban two-time cheaters for life. The rewards of using PEDs far outweigh the risks. Melk does a body good. But not as much, obviously, as testosterone. BALCO founder Victor Conte says more than half the players are still cheating. That might be a conservative estimate.
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How much will the loss of Cabrera hurt the Giants’ playoff chances? Well, take the best hitter out of any team’s lineup and it will hurt. But if the Giants miss the playoffs, it won’t be because Cabrera is gone. It will be because of an inconsistent pitching staff. Cabrera will be a nice and convenient excuse for Team BALCO if things go sour this year but the real reason will be a shaky bullpen and Tim Lincecum’s worst big league season.
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Colin Kaepernick could wrap up the San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback job Saturday night against Houston. The former Pack quarterback played very well a week ago against Minnesota, running for a team-high 92 yards, which included a 78-yard touchdown, and completing 5-of-9 passes. Kaepernick didn’t look good in the pocket but that’s nothing new. But get him out of the pocket and he turns into one of the more dynamic players in the NFL. The 49ers would be making a terrible mistake by sitting Kaepernick on the bench to rust away behind the likes of Scott Tolzien and Josh Johnson.
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Another Pack player that seems to be locking up a NFL job is wide receiver Rishard Matthews. The Miami Dolphins, who picked Matthews in the seventh round of the NFL draft last spring, just wiped headache Chad Johnson off their roster. But Johnson’s status probably doesn’t affect Matthews one way or the other. Matthews’ path to the NFL is as a kick returner. He returned two kickoffs and three punts last weekend against the Tampa Bay Bucs, included an impressive 45-yard kickoff return.
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The Washington Nationals seem to be determined to become the joke of major league baseball. The Nats, who have the best record in baseball and are likely headed to the postseason, insist they will shut pitcher Stephen Strasburg down when he reaches 160-plus innings. Strasburg, then, has just 21 innings to go, or about four starts. Isn’t the goal of every major league team and player to win the World Series? This might be the Nationals’ only chance to win a World Series in Strasburg’s career. All they have to do to nurse him through this season and postseason is to limit him to five or six innings or 90-100 pitches. Let him pitch just once a week. That’s what he did in college just a few years ago. Strasburg is young. He’s 6-foot-4, 220 pounds. He’s a horse. He can handle it.
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ESPN insists on continuing the Michael Jordan-LeBron James debate. Who is better? Are they kidding? A year ago James was the biggest choker in the history of the NBA. And, now, after winning just one title, he’s the greatest player in NBA history? ESPN, and their collection of idiots, is everything that is wrong about sports these days. They’ve turned college sports into a slimy, money-grab, big business. They over-hype everything and everyone east of the Mississippi because that is where their biggest audience resides. And they have a perspective that takes into account everything that has happened in, oh, the last five seconds.
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The over-under number of Nevada Wolf Pack football victories this season, according to some downtown Reno casinos, is eight. That sounds about right. The Pack has four games they probably can’t lose (Northwestern State, Texas State, UNLV and New Mexico), four they should win because they are all at home (South Florida, Wyoming, San Diego State and Fresno State), two that are a toss-up because they are on the road (Air Force and Hawaii) and two they will likely be the underdog (Cal and Boise State). That should add up to eight victories.