Tuesday, August 26, 2008

DOH-mer Of The Week- Pin Cushion Performances

Once upon a time, I admired baseball’s Paul Lo Duca. He was the heart and soul of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the spark plug that brought energy to the team. He was our Major League All Star, and I was shocked and angered when he was traded to the Florida Marlins . He’s been well traveled since wearing that Dodger Blue, also spending time in New York and Washington. And even after his name appeared on the Mitchell Report, I respected the man for not denying the use of human growth hormones, and apologizing for breaking the rules.

But I've suddenly lost respect for him, as he resorted to giving one of the more popular responses used by players that have been caught. Lo Duca says it was hard work that made him an All Star, and that he was not assisted by the “performance” enhancing drugs. And you know, every time I hear this answer, I think to myself…”Then why use them?!

Did Bonds and Sheffield use the “magic lotion” to promote healthier looking skin that glistened in the sunlight? Clemens wasn't a doper. He was a cutter, sticker, poker or whatever you want to call him, using the needle as an emotional release. Maybe Marion Jones wasn't injecting to improve speed on the track, but told that the growth hormones would either reduce the size of her cuspids over time or increase the size of her other teeth, making her grill more uniformed. There are plenty of excuses that can be made for steroid use as a necessity outside of sports enhancement, but you really can't explain the severe decline in performance once an athlete is busted.

It’s understandable that some players resort to the use of banned substances to speed up the rehabilitation of injuries, though it’s still an outlawed act. But according to the Mitchell report, a healthy Paul Lo Duca purchased the supplements less than five weeks before the Dodgers traded him to the Florida Marlins. He made another purchase 8 days after he joined the Florida team. How is this fact and not allegation? The DOH’mer made the purchases using checks in his name, as did many other jackasses of Major League Baseball.

I see no reason to use the drugs, if they don’t improve athletic performance. And what I also see is a DOH’mer named Paul Lo Duca, barely called up from the “MINOR LEAGUES”, trying to tell the public that his All Star status was a product of raw ability alone. The Mitchell report surfaces, and the one time All Star suddenly descends to the lower levels of the game. It’s pretty much the same as the quick decline of former league MVP Jason Giambi, after allegations of steroid usage began to swirl. What happened to some of the others on the Mitchell Report that were getting by on “raw talent”? Eric Gagne is another example. Now he's just a closer. But as a user, he was God. The before and after pictures show difference, and several studies have been conducted to solidify this fact. But I don’t need charts and figures to evaluate Paul Lo Duca. All I need are my eyes to see him sitting in a minor league dugout, while making claims that he didn’t need any physical aid.

The worst part of this is all the speculation that swarmed before the report was made public. Who was lying? Who was telling the truth? In the end, it appears only one man was truthful, though we all tagged him as a clown, and that man was Jose Canseco. And knowing this now, it has to make you wonder. Because though there is currently no direct link or paper trail that has surfaced, one name Canseco continues to throw out there is “Alex Rodriguez”.

... Is Jose still a liar?

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