Thursday, February 28, 2008

Steroids or Bust

The topic of steroids has been in the forefront for 5 years now. When is it going to end? At this point, does anyone really care? Steroids are prevalent in all sports. The major sport leagues who are having problems (baseball,football) have no one to blame but themselves. Baseball is the worst. Until recently, it wasn't even against their rules! It was against the law to use steroids, but not illegal in baseball. They had kind of a "don't know, don't tell" policy. Managers looked the other way and trainers provided the juice. Once reports started coming out about the use, only then did MLB react. But once again, they reacted poorly. They decided that they would adopt a tougher testing policy. But was it the toughest it could be? No. How are we supposed to think they are serious when they don't do all they can do? Enter Barry Bonds. The perfect fall guy. The closer he got to the coveted home run record, the harder people pushed. Only when he started getting close did MLB take notice. Through the last decade, you could literally see Bonds grow in epic proportions. "Don't know, don't tell". Then Congress got involved. The Mitchell report? The best comedy ever written. It named less than 100 offenders. You can't say cheaters because, remember, it wasn't against the rules. The ones who know, the players, won't talk other than to say that the abuse is much wider than anyone wants to believe. The Mitchell Report wasn't even close. The best thing MLB could have done was to admit they messed up, install the absolute toughest testing known to the world, and move forward. No matter how badly you want to change the past, you can't. Stop trying. We will never know who, what, when, how long or how it changed outcomes. Accept that and move on. Roger Clemens is the latest fall guy. Did he or didn't he? Does it matter? If it is proven one way or another, does it change anything? At this point, does anybody care? Stop the madness! Move on. The game needs closure. Let's celebrate the future, not dwell on the past.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Sun WILL Rise in Phoenix

It seems the whole world is talking about the Suns and the trade they made for "The Big Cactus", Shaquille O'Neal. Let's take a look: What we gave up (or unloaded): Marcus Banks and Shawn Marion. Banks was an experiment that never panned out. He was supposed to back up Steve Nash but didn't fit. So he and his contract are now in Miami. That was a good move. Marion made it clear in the preseason he wanted out of Phoenix. I say good riddance! Every new season brought more complaints and whines that he wasn't "appreciated". I don't deny that Marion was a great talent. He was in the perfect system. But he didn't want to be here. He would have left as soon as his contract was up. I think it is sweet justice that he went to the worst team in the league. What we got: The Big Cactus! (Shaq himself proclaimed this nickname). The biggest weaknesses the Suns had was the inability to guard the big man and rebounding. Their defense was better than they got credit for. Shaq will give them the presence in the middle they desperately need. Everyone is worried that Shaq will slow the Suns down. When is the last time you saw a 5 man fast break? Never. More times than not, Shaq will be the one to start the fast break. The Suns have plenty of players to finish it. As far as rebounding goes, the Suns won't give up as many offensive rebounds with Shaq on the court. This will translate into a tougher defensive team. Having a true center will allow Amare to play his natural position as a power forward. Having Shaq on the court will make Amare better and even more unstoppable. Shaq wasn't brought in to score points or to be the star of this team. With this trade, the Suns are a much stronger team. It will take time for the players to adjust to each other. Come playoff time the Suns will be the team to beat. The SUN will rise and set in Phoenix! Now, if we can just get The Big Cactus to make a free throw!