Thursday, November 8, 2007

Say it isn't so Matt !

Growing up as a kid, I loved to play baseball. I was in Little League for eight years. In the major league, my team, the Mets, coached by my Dad, won the championship! One of the best memories I have. I don't remember following a specific MLB team, mostly because there was no home team to root for. In high school, I stopped playing because my mom wanted me to play tennis. Tennis season was at the same time as baseball season. However, by then, I was a fan of the Cincinnati Reds. I'm sure I started rooting for them because my best friend liked the L.A. Dodgers. But I got to love the Reds and the "Big Red Machine". Guys like Pete Rose (yes, I believe he should be in the Hall of Fame), Johnny Bench (great catcher, not so good third baseman), Tom Seaver, Dave Concepcion, Ken Griffy (Sr., not Jr.), Cesar Cedeno, George Foster, and don' forget, the manager, Sparky Anderson. When my son was old enough, he played Little League as well. I really enjoyed watching him play. I think I was more nervous than him sometimes. Then in 1988, Arizona got baseball. The Arizona Diamondbacks played their first season. They lost a lot of games, but they were my team! Devon White, Jay Bell, Travis Lee, Karim Garcia, and my all time favorite Diamondbacks player, Matt Williams. He was old school. He played the game the way it was meant to be played. When he hit a home run, he dropped his bat, lowered his head, and ran (not trotted, ran). He once was seen in the dugout scolding another player for not running after hitting a home run. He had respect for other players and for the integrity for the game. He played for the love of the game. In turns out, Matty was a steroid user and possibly a dealer. In 2002, he bought a substantial amount of HGH (Human Growth Hormone) and Steroids. He claims he bought it to help heal an ankle injury, and not to hit more home runs. He also says he only used it for a month, didn't like how he felt when using, and quit. I am willing to buy the ankle theory (I know, but it's Matty!). But he bought it from a dentist! In another state! A dentist that later lost his license because of that very thing. In 2005-2006, he bought a large amount again. He claims it was for health reasons! His wife put him up to it! Nobody can prove it, yet, but it sounds to me like he is, or was, dealing. Now, when he was a player, using HGH and steroids was not against the rules of baseball. But they were illegal in this country! The integrity of the game that he guarded with every fiber is gone. My heart broke when this story hit. My favorite player has lost all that he worked so hard to instill in others. He has cheated the game he so dearly loved. Everything he represented is lost. I can't believe it. Matty, say it isn't so!