Friday, July 31, 2009

Give it a rest

Oh, please--please tell me you're joking with this crap:

When it comes to the sham that is the Boston Red Sox's championship legacy during the 21st century, it's about the New York Yankees.

It's always been about the Yankees with the Red Sox.

More specifically, it's always been about Yogi Berra's quote for the ages regarding the Red Sox toward his Yankees: "They'll never beat us."

And they haven't. Not legitimately. Especially not given the latest news that David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez formed an artificially inflated duo to slug the Red Sox to those World Series titles in 2004 and 2007.

Ortiz confirmed through the players' association that he tested positive for drug use in 2003, and sources told the New York Times' Web site that Ramirez did the same. So Ramirez is at least a two-time loser. He served a 50-game suspension earlier this year for violating baseball's drug policy.

All of this means several things. It means the Bloody Sock becomes just a bloody sock. It means Theo Epstein looks more like an opportunist than a whiz kid (in addition to acquiring Ortiz, he grabbed reliever Eric Gagne, another steroid guy). It means those contributing to Fenway Park's record for consecutive sellouts at home are among the bamboozled. It means the rise of the Red Sox Nation is headed for a dramatic collapse, even sooner than I predicted in this space a few weeks ago.

Calm down, Poindexter. No one's talking collapse just yet.

The idea that any title, record, statistic or victory is legitimate or not due to the taint of the steroid era rests with your non-Commissioner of Baseball, the venerable Bud Selig, who will not touch controversy. He will not deal with any issue that might cause money to evaporate from the grubbing mitts of the owners who empower him to keep their money from even getting close to the evaporation phase of existence.

Here's what we should do--invalidate everything or nothing, and then shut up about it. The 2000 Yankees are nothing to be proud of either, by the way:

When the Yankees won their third successive World Series and fourth in five years in 2000, Torre, their manager, was hailed as an automatic entrant to the Hall of Fame. Now, however, it develops that the Yankees' 2000 team was loaded with players who used performance-enhancing drugs before, during or after that season.

Between the Mitchell report and unsealed affidavits filed by law enforcement officials, the count has reached 10, including Clemens, Denny Neagle and Jason Grimsley. Others named included Andy Pettitte, Chuck Knoblauch, Mike Stanton and David Justice, but the use for which they are cited occurred after the 2000 World Series.

It may be far-fetched to question whether Torre could be tainted by the steroids fallout, but there are critics who say baseball should do something about records possibly enhanced by steroids use, so why should a team be any different from a player? If you want to question many of Bonds's 762 home runs and Clemens's 354 victories, look at teams' achievements, too.

According to the Mitchell report, Clemens used steroids in the latter half of the 2000 season. Neagle played for the Yankees in the latter half of that season and, according to Mitchell, used human growth hormone.

Sports blogging really could use some cleaning up. It's as if they don't think people can actually read. This notion that a comparison of the rivalry of the teams of the 1950s matters a whit today is phony nostalgia, nothing more. Baseball is more than phony nostalgia and hazy memories masquerading as profound analysis. Should we pine for the 1909 season, and what it means to today's Pittsburgh Pirates to know that the lofty achievements of that season's team--a first place finish and a championship--mean nothing as they unload players?

Come on. Find something meaningful to write about.

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