Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · Boycott Major League...
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Boycott Major League Baseball

George Foster - December 9th, 2004
Like many others growing up in the 1960s, I looked up to my favorite baseball players as heroes. Major Leaguers of that era weren’t perfect, but at least players weren’t drug abusers and the game wasn’t a pipeline of illicit drug trafficking for its star performers.
When Jason Giambi of the New York Yankees allegedly admitted taking steroids to a grand jury today, he lit the fuse that will rock the game of baseball to its foundations. By the time you read this article, we will know more of the details. Public disgust for baseball might then far exceed what I am expressing here. Sports fans or not, we should all be outraged.
The San Francisco Bay Chronicle reported that Giambi told grand jurors how he injected a growth hormone in his stomach, testosterone into his buttocks, rubbed an undetectable steroid knows as “the cream” on his body and placed drops of another, called “the clear,” under his tongue. And his case is just the tip of the iceberg.
A couple of years ago All-Star pitcher Curt Schilling said he stopped patting teammates on the butt after a good play because too many complained. According to Sports Illustrated, Schilling realized some backsides were tender because that’s where they shoot the steroid needles.
Giambi, former win-ner of the American League’s Most Valuable Player award, is said to have purchased his drugs illegally from Barry Bonds’ personal trainer. Yes, that Barry Bonds. The same drug connection also allegedly supplied Olympic gold medal winners Tim Montgomery and Marion Jones. Previously, all have denied ever using anabolic steroids.
Until a few years ago, Barry Bonds was pretty lean as elite baseball players go. Once a 185-pound leadoff batter, Bonds is now a 230-pound hulk. Do you think it is a coincidence that Bonds has had three of the best years consecutively in baseball history since he buffed up?
Barry Bonds is either a freak of nature or major-league’s worst cheat. 40 year-old baseball players like Bonds are usually “has-beens” - if they are playing at all. Not only did Bonds break the all-time homerun record for a season with 73 two years ago, he is hitting the ball farther now than anytime in his career.
If Bonds is busted, what will happen to his hitting records? Probably nothing. Baseball didn’t even have rules against steroids until last year. Yet, if you thought the long baseball strike of ten years ago disabled baseball for a while, the stain from this scandal could squash the sport for a generation. The game many of us loved is now a sport of cheaters and druggies. Some current players estimate that 50% of all major leaguers use steroids. Others say the percentage is much higher.
It is high time for baseball to get out of the pharmacy business and hammer the drug users. The rules against drugs that are in place and the minimal drug testing done in the Major Leagues is not enough. Pete Rose was banned from baseball for gambling on baseball. Using performance-enhancing drugs is far, far worse than anything Rose ever violated in sports.
Why is steroid use so bad, you may be asking? First of all, those who take steroids are cheating. Most sports have rules against performance-enhancing drugs. Steroids provide an uneven playing field tipped against those players who are clean. Also, the most abused steroids are illegal inside and outside of baseball for over-the-counter use.
The physical side effects of steroid use are well known. They include heart attacks and liver damage, acne and baldness, breast development in men, and shrunken testicles. Football legend, Lyle Alzado, claimed steroid use is what caused his brain tumor that eventually killed him.
Maybe the most dangerous side effect of growth enhancement drugs is the one least understood - increased aggression and vio-lence. According to a 1998 article in Sports Illustrated, “roid rage” has contributed to the large number of bodybuilders jailed for killings compared with other athletes. The article was published after Bertil Fox, former Mr. Universe, was convicted of murdering his girlfriend and her mother on the island of St. Kitts.
Major League baseball players are mostly to blame for this scandal, but team owners and the sport itself have contributed. NBA basketball and NFL football have fairly rigorous drug testing and penalties to deter players from using them. Major League Baseball has not been inclined to punish players for steroids, though epidemic use in the league is an open secret.
The solution: two strikes and you are out. Independent testing must be done on a frequent basis. The first time a player is tested positive for outlawed drugs, he should be kicked out of baseball for a year. The second time... find another career, lowlife. You don’t deserve to play America’s formerly great pastime again.
For me - I am boycotting baseball until further notice. No more TV games, no more reading of box scores, and absolutely no more attending games in stadiums littered with these criminals.
The thrill is gone, baby. Until baseball cleans up its act, I want nothing to do with it.











 
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