LaRussa on Mark McGwire

So, what I’m wondering is this:

Tony LaRussa says Mark McGwire took no steroids. But Mark McGwire says he took andro, which helps promote the growth of the body’s own hormones at steroidal levels. The two years or so McGwire took andro his injury wracked body become suddenly quite resilient and he broke Roger Maris’ record.

McGwire stopped taking andro because of the hue and cry about it and soon had to retire because his andro-less body was unable to sustain the strain.

I know that doesn’t in any causal way prove anything, but shouldn’t it be talked about as much or more than the goofy anecdote about Brady Anderson’s 50 homer year? Wouldn’t it be interesting to hear McGwire’s take on this, or La Russa’s?

BTW, while I personally wouldn’t take anything that made my testicle shrink to the size of peas, especially if it made me prone to rages and zit-faced self-hatred (hey, been there and done that naturally a long time ago), it’s hard for me to see how the lines between allowed and disallowed performance enhancing techniques aren’t always going to be blurred. Banning the drugs seems like a simple thing, but it isn’t going to make the problem go away.

As Malcom Gladwell said to Rob Neyer last week, the reason Barry Bonds can say unequivocably that he doesn’t take steroids is because he doesn’t. Steroids are last year’s or last generations performance enhancer. If Bonds is taking something it’s something newer, something harder to detect, something that may be found naturally in the body. And no doubt when the testers figure out how to figure out what and how much of it there are, Bonds (or whomever is actually taking performance enhancing drugs, because we don’t really know) will have moved onto something else.

I’m not saying that everything should be mindlessly allowed, but there are a deep philosophical and practical issues that are begging for resolution. Banning whatever isn’t going to much difference at all without that.

Leadoff Notes

There’s something weird going on when Paul LoDuca and Jeffrey Hammonds both see lead off duty in the same week. Only Craig Biggio’s return to the top of the order (and subsequent homer) is keeping the universe from warping back in on itself.

No one knows what will happen if that happens, but some speculate that more and more people will laugh like Tommy Lasorda. Spare us that, Larry D!

I love reading my box scores online at night, but I’m always amused at what’s missing. Seeing this Milwaukee box my first reaction was: Did they bring the mercy rule to the majors?

It’s about time. MLB Boxscore: Milwaukee vs. St. Louis

Travis Phelps

Who the hell is Phelps?

Those waiting for the other shoe to drop on Yan are barking up the wrong tree. Phelps is a soft tossing know-it-all who may eke out a big league career because he is capable of adapting. As long as he’s not asked to blow people away.

He came in to pitch the 8th with a 3 run lead, did a good job and got left in when the 9th inning became a non-save situation when the DRays scored one in the 9th.

Phelps is not a guy to pick up as a replacement for Yan. MLB Boxscore: Tampa Bay vs. Oakland