Baseball


Hello Baby Boomers

There is a great clip about Baseball…if you love the game like I do…you should watch it.

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This is another article that can also be accessed if you copy and paste the entire address below into your web browser.
http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/sports/2008/02/09/smith.negro.leagues.cnn

Enjoy…or should I say “PLAY BALL…”
~The Baby Boomer Queen~

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Linked to HGH Purchases
Steroid Report Names Star Players
Panel: Baseball Union, Commissioner and Owners Share Blame

From NEW YORK, A 21 month investigation into use of performance enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball concluded Thursday a culture of secrecy and permissiveness gave rise to a “steroids era” in the game that included some of its biggest names, most prominent among them superstar pitcher Roger Clemens.

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The long awaited report by George J. Mitchell gave a detailed account provided by a onetime team trainer who told the panel that he injected Clemens, a seven time Cy Young Award winner regarded as the greatest pitcher of the last half-century, with steroids and human growth hormone while he was with the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees. Clemens was one of 91 players named in the report, a list that included 33 all stars, 10 most valuable players, and two Cy Young winners.

Roger Clemens, a seven time Cy Young winner, was singled out in nearly nine pages of the report.

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The report criticized team officials across the league who did little to police their own clubhouses and high ranking officials in management and the players’ union which, the report said, had little motivation to interfere with the surging popularity and economic growth experienced by the game over the last decade. It spread blame for the rise of the use of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone in baseball among the players, team officials, the union and Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig.

“Everyone involved in baseball over the past two decades, commissioners, club officials, the players association, and players, shares to some extent in the responsibility for the steroids era,” the report said. “There was a collective failure to recognize the problem as it emerged and to deal with it early on. As a result, an environment developed in which illegal use became widespread.”

Among the most prominent current and former players fingered in the report were Barry Bonds, Miguel Tejada, Gary Sheffield, Andy Pettitte, Rafael Palmeiro and Mark McGwire.

“Players who used [performance-enhancing] substances were wrong,” the report said. “They violated federal law and baseball policy, and they distorted the fairness of competition by trying to gain an unfair advantage.”

Clemens’s attorney said the pitcher denied the allegations in the report. “He just emphatically denies everything in there,” said the attorney, Rusty Hardin.

The panel headed by Mitchell, a former Senate majority leader and federal prosecutor, was commissioned by Major League Baseball in March 2006 to address the steroid issue. The report runs 311 pages, plus attachments, and cost, according to two baseball officials, more than $20 million.

Much of the information in the report was old, and merely rehashed previous media reports linking various players to ongoing law enforcement investigations. But the cooperation of two clubhouse insiders, former New York Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk J. Radomski and former Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees strength coach Brian McNamee, who testified to injecting Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone, brought about the report’s most stunning revelations.

Mitchell also criticized baseball’s leadership, chiefly Selig and union counterpart Donald Fehr, for “a collective failure to recognize the problem as it emerged and to deal with it early on.” As a result, the report says, “an environment developed in which illegal use became widespread.”

After the report was released, Selig repeated previous assertions that baseball leaders did all they could do to fight the steroid problem, but said he accepted Mitchell’s findings, including those that focused blame on himself.

“If we were naive and missed some signals that [we] should have caught, I’ll accept that responsibility,” Selig said in an interview with a small group of reporters late Thursday afternoon.

However, Selig also shifted the blame partially to baseball’s powerful union, with which the league must negotiate most aspects of the drug testing policy. “Do I wish we would’ve done more, quicker? Yes, and we would have. The things we were allowed to [implement] unilaterally, we did,” Selig said.

Fehr, who heads the players’ union, told reporters he had not yet had a chance to read the report. However, he took issue with the perception that the association dissuaded its members from cooperating with the investigation, which lacked the subpoena power to compel players’ testimony.

“I did not encourage them tacitly or explicitly not to cooperate,” Fehr said. “I gave them advice as to what the legal lay of the land was and urged them to seek their own counsel.”

The House Oversight and Government Reform committee, which held a hearing into the steroid problem in baseball in March 2005, scheduled another hearing for Tuesday and asked Selig and Fehr to testify. Selig, however, said he has a scheduling conflict and that the date is being reconsidered.

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“The Mitchell Report is sobering,” committee chairman Henry A. Waxman [D-Calif.] and ranking minority member Thomas M. Davis III [R-Va.] wrote in a joint statement. “It shows that everyone in Major League Baseball bears some responsibility for this scandal.”

Mitchell’s report made several significant recommendations that baseball should take to keep pace with the evolving development and marketing of illicit performance enhancing drugs, including adopting a program that is transparent and overseen by an independent entity, and which includes year round, unannounced testing.

Selig said he would adopt all the recommendations that he can implement unilaterally, such as the appointment of an investigative arm to look into possible drug usage that is not signaled by a positive test, and vowed he will “be reaching out to Don Fehr, to urge him to join me in accepting” those recommendations requiring union approval.

Mitchell also recommended that Selig forgo disciplining those players named in the report, except for the most “serious” cases, arguing, “a principal goal of this investigation is to bring to a close this troubling chapter in baseball’s history and all efforts should now be directed to the future.”

Selig, however, said he would reject this recommendation and vowed to examine each named player on a case by case basis to see whether there is sufficient evidence to pursue suspensions. Those suspensions likely would mirror baseball’s policy at the time of the players’ alleged usage.

“You have to find out what the conduct was, and when that conduct occurred,” said Rob Manfred, baseball’s executive vice president for labor relations.

Mitchell’s investigation was hampered by the players’ lack of cooperation; only two current players, Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi and Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Frank Thomas, agreed to be interviewed by Mitchell and his investigators, and Giambi consented only under pressure from Selig following Giambi’s tacit admission of steroid use in a USA Today story.

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But the probe received a huge boost from Radomski. Radomski pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges that he used his clubhouse access to distribute steroids to players for nearly a decade, and as part of a plea deal agreed to assist Mitchell’s investigation. Radomski sat for four separate interviews with Mitchell and his team of investigators and provided Mitchell with corroborating evidence that included copies of canceled checks and telephone records.

One person who purchased drugs from Radomski was McNamee, who, according to Mitchell, became a “sub-distributor” who provided drugs for Clemens, Pettitte and former Yankee Chuck Knoblauch. To avoid being charged, McNamee agreed to cooperate with both the Radomski investigation and Mitchell’s investigation. McNamee said he personally injected Clemens with performance-enhancing drugs beginning in 1998 through the 2001 season.

However, unlike with Radomski’s direct clients, no paper trail exists linking Clemens to the purchase of drugs from McNamee, who, according to Mitchell, continued to draw income from Clemens as a personal trainer into 2007.

Mitchell’s report shed little new light on the allegations against Bonds and the other players reportedly implicated in the federal investigation into a steroid distribution ring run out of the Bay-Area Laboratory Cooperative [Balco] near San Francisco, but Mitchell’s report details the grand jury evidence against those players, as leaked to two San Francisco Chronicle reporters.
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Thank you The Washintobn Post and Staff writers Dave Sheinin and Amy Shipley who contributed to this report.
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Pharmaceuticals kill…

~The Baby Boomer Queen~

Barry Bonds’ career, all but over after indictment…? …sports…baseball…

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Barry Bonds is effectively suspended. And Bud Selig didn’t have to do a thing.

No team will sign Bonds as a free agent now that he has been indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice by the federal government.

If any club was even considering Bonds it will quickly abandon the idea, knowing his availability would be in question, his presence a crippling distraction and marketing nightmare.

It’s over, folks. Bonds’ playing career, and maybe any chance for him to reclaim his name.

Bonds, 43, could play again if he is found not guilty, but by then who knows what kind of condition he might be in? And who knows if any team would still want him?

For baseball, the only negative is that the indictment didn’t come last off season, before Bonds broke Hank Aaron’s all time home run record. Bonds was also a free agent then, and the Giants resigned him for one more season, a business decision they surely would not have made under the present circumstances.

Finally, Bonds is in a corner.

If he is found guilty, he can forget about the Hall of Fame, which instructs voters to consider character, integrity and sportsmanship, subjective standards that surely would be influenced by jail time.

For years Bonds’ supporters defended him, with some justification, by saying that he committed no crime and never tested positive for steroids.

Both premises are about to be challenged. The indictment alleges that Bonds tested positive for steroids in November of 2000, three years before Major League Baseball began its testing program. The test might have come from the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO). Bonds was a BALCO client.

To convict Bonds, the government must demonstrate that he lied to a grand jury investigating BALCO when he said he never knowingly used performance enhancing drugs. The author of Game of Shadows made that argument rather convincingly, though not in a court of law.

Which isn’t to say that Bonds will be found guilty.

Perjury is difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, and Bonds’ lawyers will fight the government at every turn. The only way Bonds can become a sympathetic figure is if it appears he is being persecuted. Bonds’ lead attorney, Michael Rains, already is playing that angle.

Judging from Rains’ past comments and post indictment news conference, his strategy could turn into as much of an attack on the prosecutors’ conduct as their case. Rains kicked off the battle for public opinion Thursday night by criticizing prosecutors for releasing the indictment to the media before informing Bonds and his defense team.

“Now that their biased allegations must finally be presented openly in a court of law, they won’t be able to hide their unethical misconduct from the public any longer,” Rains said in a prepared statement. “You won’t read about those facts in this indictment, but now the public will get the whole truth, not just selectively leaked fabrications from anonymous sources.”

Perhaps, but the stakes are high for the government in any high-profile case. After taking nearly four years to prepare an indictment, the prosecutors would look incredibly foolish if they stumbled at trial. They might not get a conviction, but it’s doubtful they will present a slipshod case.

One way or another, Bonds is fighting a losing battle. Even if he escapes relatively unscathed from a legal perspective, his standing with the public is so low that the majority of fans are unlikely to forgive him. Not that he seems to care.

No, he won’t recover like Martha Stewart, who agreed to a five month prison term when confronted with similar charges. Stewart went to jail and 2½ years later, she is again a popular homemaking expert, having revived her business empire seemingly overnight.

Bonds, thanks to his surly personality, has built no such empire, even though he was the Michael Jordan of his sport. Fans wonder if a conviction would result in Selig placing an asterisk next to his records, but there would be no need. Bonds is a walking asterisk, a constant reminder of an unseemly era.

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Thank you Ken Rosenthal, FOXSports.com
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There you have it sports fans…

But I think the question should be asked…is this a victimless crime…Is this something that should put him out of the Hall of Fame???

Is he not still an superb athlete? And a dual athlete???

OK, sports fans, this is time to be heard…what is your opinion?

Is he not still an superb athlete? And a dual athlete??

OK, sports fans, this is time to be heard…what is your opinion?

Most of you know my stance on Steroids.

But, I haven’t made my mind up about Barry Bond.

My Step~Dad says he is a cheater and a drug taker.

Are the steroids the smoking gun or is it society, who demands that athletes be better than all of the rest?

The above post is not necessary my opinion. I am still standing up for the 7TH inning stretch, on this one.

~The Baby Boomer Queen~

La Russa to return for 13th season as manager of St. Louis Cardinals

From ST. LOUIS, of course, Tony La Russa will return for his 13th season as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals after a difficult year in which his team failed to play .500 ball, a team official told The Associated Press on Monday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because an announcement had not been made, did not know details of the contract. An afternoon news conference was scheduled at Busch Stadium.

The 63~year~old La Russa had weighed leaving after a trying season in which the defending World Series champions finished 78-84.

The year got off to a rocky start before the season even began when La Russa was arrested for drunken driving in March near the team’s spring training complex in Jupiter, Fla. Cardinals reliever Josh Hancock died in May after a drunken-driving accident, and several players were lost for long stretches of the season because injuries, including Chris Carpenter, the staff ace who pitched only in the season opener.

Speculation that La Russa would leave was fueled further when the Cardinals fired general manager Walt Jocketty this month. Jocketty and La Russa have been close since the days when both were with Oakland. The Cardinals have not hired Jocketty’s replacement.

La Russa has led St. Louis to seven playoff appearances, six NL Central championships, two pennants and the 2006 World Series win over Detroit. His A’s team won the 1989 World Series.

La Russa is 1,055~887 (.543) with the Cardinals. He is third on the career wins list with a lifetime record of 2,375~2,070 (.534) with the Chicago White Sox, Oakland A’s and the Cardinals.

He was AL manger of the year in 1983, 1988 and 1992, and NL manager of the year in 2002.

La Russa’s three year contract expired after this season. His name came up as a possible replacement for Joe Torre, who left the Yankees after 12 seasons, though La Russa denied interest in the Yankees job. La Russa took over the Cardinals after Torre was fired midway through the 1995 season.
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Thank you AP News and JIM SALTER, Associated Press Writer
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Well, there you have it Cardinal fans…do the Card’s need some new blood…you tell me…

I am a huge Cardinal and Braves fan. So much for the play offs…

Take me out tho the ball game…
~The Baby Boomer Queen~

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In from SAN FRANCISCO, Barry Bonds hit No. 756 to the deepest part of the ballpark Tuesday night, and hammered home the point: Like him or not, legitimate or not, he is baseball’s new home run king.

Danny Moloshok, Reuters Barry Bonds raises his hands in triumph and watches as his 756th home run leaves AT&T Park on Tuesday night. Bonds now stands alone in the record books as the all-time home run king.
Bonds broke Hank Aaron’s storied record with one out in the fifth inning, hitting a full-count, 84 mph pitch from Washington’s Mike Bacsik 435 feet to right-center field.

“Thank you very much. I got to thank all of you, all the fans here in San Francisco. It’s been fantastic,” he said shortly after crossing home plate, his godfather, Willie Mays, at his side.

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Conspicuous by their absence were the commissioner and Hammerin’ Hank himself.

Though he was on hand for the tying homer three days ago, deciding to put baseball history ahead of the steroid allegations that have plagued the Giants slugger, Bud Selig wasn’t there for the record-breaker.

Instead, he sent two emissaries, Major League Baseball executive vice president Jimmie Lee Solomon and Hall of Famer Frank Robinson.

As for Aaron, he said all along he had no interest in being there whenever and wherever his 33-year-old mark was broken. He was true to his word, but he did offer a taped message of congratulations that played on the stadium’s video board.

“It is a great accomplishment which required skill, longevity and determination,” he said.

“Throughout the past century, the home run has held a special place in baseball and I have been privileged to hold this record for 33 of those years. I move over now and offer my best wishes to Barry and his family on this historic achievement.

Ben Margot, AP Barry Bonds took the Nationals’ Mike Bacsik deep for his 756th career home run, ending his long and controversial pursuit of Hank Aaron – who reigned as home run king for 33 years.

“My hope today, as it was on that April evening in 1974, is that the achievement of this record will inspire others to chase their own dreams,” he said.

A woman who answered the phone at Aaron’s home in Georgia shortly after Bonds’ homer said that Aaron was asleep.

With a long, satisfied stare, Bonds watched as the ball sailed over the fence and disappeared into the scrum in the first few rows. Then he raised both arms over his head like a victorious prize fighter, fists clenched, and took off.

His 17-year-old batboy son Nikolai was already bouncing on home plate as Dad rounded third and ran the final 90 feet to make it official. After a long embrace, the rest of the family joined in – two daughters and wife, Liz. And then there was Mays, who removed his cap and congratulated his godson.

Bonds saved his most poignant words for last, addressing his late father, Bobby.

“My dad,” he said, looking to the sky and choking back tears. “Thank you.”

Bonds had wanted to break the record at home, where he would be assured of a friendly crowd. They were all right, unlike in San Diego where some fans held up signs with asterisks indicating that his power was steroid-induced.

Bonds has always denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs.

He had already doubled and singled before hitting the solo home run. He took his position in left field to start the sixth, then was replaced and drew another standing ovation.

A fan wearing a Mets jersey wound up with the historic ball. Matt Murphy of New York emerged from the stands with the souvenir and a bloodied face, and was whisked to a secure room.

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Even with Bonds at the top of the chart, fans will surely keep debating which slugger they consider the true home run champion. Some will continue to cling to Aaron while other, older rooters will always say it’s Babe Ruth.

“It’s all about history. Pretty soon, someone will come along and pass him,” Mays said before the game.

Aaron held the top spot for 12,173 days after connecting for No. 715 to pass the Babe on April 8, 1974.

Bonds homered exactly three years after Greg Maddux earned his 300th victory at the same ballpark. It’s been quite a week of baseball milestones _ over the weekend, Alex Rodriguez hit his 500th home run and Tom Glavine won No. 300.

A seven-time NL MVP, the 43-year-old Bonds hit his 22nd home run of the year. Bonds broke Mark McGwire’s single-season record by hitting 73 in 2001 and while he’s no longer such a force, opposing pitchers remain wary.

Bonds and Giants management bickered in the offseason over contract issues. This big night was the main reason owner Peter Magowan brought back the star left fielder for a 15th season in San Francisco, signing him to a $15.8 million, one-year contract.

Bonds’ once-rapid quest for the record had slowed in recent years as his age and balky knees diminished his pace. He hit 258 home runs from 2000-04, but has only 53 since then.

While steroids have tinged Bonds’ pursuit, it was race that was the predominant issue when Aaron broke Ruth’s mark in 1974. Aaron dealt with hate mail and death threats from racist fans who thought a black man was not worthy of breaking the record set by a white hero, the beloved Babe.

Former commissioner Bowie Kuhn watched Aaron tie the record but was not present for the record-breaker, a slight that bothered many fans of Aaron. Selig is a close friend of Aaron’s and offered Bonds tepid congratulations when he tied the record.

“I think Hank is his own man,” Mays said. “I think if he wanted to be here he would be here.”

“When he hit 715, the commissioner wasn’t there,” he said. “You may not blame him because he wasn’t represented the right way.”

Bonds was destined for stardom at an early age. The son of All-Star outfielder Bobby Bonds and the godson of one of the game’s greatest players, Bonds spent his childhood years roaming the clubhouse at Candlestick Park, getting tips from Mays and other Giants.

“I visualized him playing sports at a high level. He was 5 when he was in my locker all the time,” Mays said.

In a matter of years, Bonds went from a wiry leadoff hitter with Pittsburgh in 1986 to a bulked-up slugger. That transformation is at the heart of his many doubters, who believe Bonds cheated to accomplish his feats and should not be considered the record-holder.

There are plenty of fans already hoping for the day that Bonds’ total – whatever it ends up – is topped. Alex Rodriguez may have the best chance, with his 500 home runs at age 32 far ahead of Bonds’ pace.
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Thank you, JANIE McCAULEY, The ASOCIATED PRESS AND AOL NEW
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I LOVE BASEALL

Congratulations Bary Bond

~The Baby Boomer Queen~