Archive for performance enhancing drugs

Lance Armstrong is, and always will be, `Dope’

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , on August 23, 2012 by Cardboard Icons

The calendar says 2012, but with all of this Performance Enhancing Drug and “Doping” talk over the last two weeks, I swear it feels like 2010 … or 2008 … or even 2006.

1992 Impel US Olympic Hopefuls “rookie” card

Haven’t we been here before?  I know I am not the only one sick of this stuff.

Last week San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera received a 50-game suspension after testing positive this season for high levels of testosterone.  Two days ago, Oakland Athletics pitcher Bartolo Colon was hit with the same suspension for the same type of violation.

And on Thursday, news came out that Olympic Champion and Cycling Legend Lance Armstrong essentially gave up his fight against allegations that he “doped” during his career.  Armstrong maintains that he has been clean, but says the fight is taking a toll on his life and he doesn’t care what people say.

My stance?

I’m not sure I can say it more simply than this:

I DO NOT CARE IF THEY DID ANYTHING.

My stance on this issue of performance enhancing drugs or related activities has been the same since Day One.

Athletes didn’t physically hurt anyone other than themselves.

I still enjoyed their performances in the moment.

I’ll still remember their performances even if their names are stricken from record books or appear with an asterisk.

My personal views are mine.  That’s how I process all of this information and cope with the way this dope stuff has affected the way we view sports.

I understand and respect the opinions that are in contrast of mine.  I get that people are outraged, that athletes themselves are upset, especially those who did it “the right way.”

But sports have changed. Period.

It’s no longer one person against another in a pure battle of strength or wits.

People don’t compete simply for the love of their sport.

I choose to enjoy the performances for what they are in the moment.  Sure, I’d like to compare the stars of this generation with those from the past, but that can’t be done accurately in any sport for various reasons. The sooner we come to terms with this, the quicker we can stop focusing on the negative aspects and just enjoy these sports as forms of entertainment.

Want good, clean sporting competition?  Watch Little League Baseball.

Oh, wait…

Indictment renews interest in Roger Clemens collection

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , on August 19, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I am a Roger Clemens fan until the end.

News of a federal indictment against Clemens made the rounds Thursday morning, giving lots of people reason to bash the once-heralded Major Leaguer once again.

The first mention I saw of this was a Tweet from NBC’s Darren Rovell that suggested that Clemens’ wife, Debbie, would be dubbed “Miss Remember.”

Clever I thought, as I stood in line waiting for my Starbucks. But why Tweet that today?

No. 3: Roger Clemens

And then the floodgates opened, the news was being reported everywhere.

Admittedly, I laughed. And then I thought about all of the money I had spent on Clemens cards over the years. And while the cards are surely not “worth” what they were a half decade ago — when he was Mr. Cy Young and a first-ballot Hall of Famer — they do remind me of better times.

And it is because of what they remind me of that my Clemens personal collection will remain mine and likely will grow in the future.

Obviously the market for Clemens collectibles has all but died, save for a few holdouts such as myself.

But this also brings about a prime opportunity for Clemens collectors; more of his “rare” cards will be hitting the market soon, and more than likely at reduced prices.

Personally, I’ve wavered in my Clemens collection for the last five to seven years, but none of it has had to do with the allegations of performance enhancing drug use. This new news does make me want to return to building that collection, I’m still missing lots of singles since the early 2000s.

Did Clemens use PEDs? Probably.

Does that make me hate him? No.

Do I think he eventually gets into the hall of fame? Absolutely.

A few days ago I wrote this piece proclaiming such, while drawing some similarities to ne’er-do-wells from the early 1900s.

Bottom line is Clemens was one of the best pitchers in the history of the game, and he afforded me many great memories of the game I love.

Do I expect others to feel the same way about him? No.

You can hate Clemens all you want. You can call him a cheater. You can burn his cards in protest. None of this concerns to me. Just as my decision continue collecting his cards shouldn’t trouble you.

Did Upper Deck forecast the future with Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa?

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , on May 4, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

So while continuing my Purge this morning, I came across my Barry Bonds collection. It’s a binder consisting of about 150 cards with some cool inserts like serial numbered Diamond Kinds and the such. But the very first card that caught my attention was this 2002 Upper Deck Vintage Home Run Leaders error card.

This card didn’t exactly catch the same attention as the 1990 Topps Frank Thomas rare version that also lacks the player’s name his name. But in some ways I find this card equally as important, if not ironic in the least.

Did someone at Upper Deck not believe that Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Luis Gonzalez were legitimate homerun hitters? I’m sure this was a simple printing error — there is a corrected version with the players names — but in some romantic way, it’s fun to think that someone at UD had the foresight to eliminate the player’s names, almost as if they were leaving them off the official record. All three players shown here have been linked to performance enhancing drugs or at least been in the discussion.

Thoughts on A-Rod, steroids and baseball

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2009 by Cardboard Icons
2003toppsheritagenewageperformersalexrodriguez

2003 Topps Heritage "New Age Performers"

Am I wrong for not being passionate about the steroids issue?

This is the question I am asking myself  after hearing the news that Alex Rodriguez tested positive in 2003 for using two steroids. Some fans are furious; others see this as a no-brainer issue. For me, I’m intrigued, but not so much that I am ready to write some 5,000-word diatribe expressing my disgust for A-Rod and the game of baseball.

I guess the way I see it now is the same as I have seen it for the last five years — it happened, it is a part of the game’s history and we cannot dismiss the era completely. Continue reading

Card of the Day: 1987 Fleer Barry Bonds rookie

Posted in Card of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

uu87fleerbondsbgs85So yesterday as I awoke from an early evening nap, I happened upon a golden nugget from Yahoo Sports — a story about Barry Bonds and the legality of HGH, and the classifications of the Cream and the Clear as NOT being steroids at the time they apparently were used by Bonds.

I could not do the story justice if I were to recap its substance in just a few words here. And honestly, you’re better off reading the real reporter’s story — he’s the guy who put in the hard work; I’m just a guy with a blog.

But what I’m wondering is if this story could change the way people thing about the All-Time Home Run King, and what this could mean for Bonds in our hobby. Continue reading

Card of the Day: 1998 Score Rookie / Traded Barry Bonds

Posted in Card of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

bonds98Man, times were much simpler in 1997, weren’t they?

Roger Maris still held the single-season home run record, and Hank Aaron was the all-time Major League Baseball home run champion.

Collecting baseball cards was about baseball cards and not what was embedded within or what was literally written on them.

And for Barry Bonds, he still was considered one of the greatest players the game had ever seen … and there was no suspicion of him using performance enhancing drugs. Continue reading

Card of the Day: 1989 Upper Deck Mark McGwire

Posted in Card of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 9, 2008 by Cardboard Icons

In 1989, Upper Deck released the first pack-issued ultra premium baseball cards. These cards were different than their cardboard counterparts. The surface was smoother, the stock was brighter and seemingly stiffer, and on the back was an embedded anti-counterfeit device, the almighty hologram. Even the packs were different. No more wax. Now we were going to rip open “foil” packs, which further solidified this brand as the product to have. And while the best card in this set has, and always will be, card No. 1 (Ken Griffey Jr.), it is this Mark McGwire card that caprured my attention as a youth. Continue reading