Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after a massive amount of
evidence by the World Anti-Doping Agency painted him as a drug cheat. International Cycling president Patrick McQuaid said that "Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling."
Armstrong might be banned forever from cycling, but if he played baseball and failed a drug test,
he'd probably be welcomed back with open arms, and if he was really lucky, he'd probably be rewarded, depending on how good he was.
Last August, Oakland A's veteran pitcher Bartolo Colon got flagged for using testosterone
and was suspended 50 games as part of Major League Baseball's policy for using performance-drugs. Colon, 39-years old, was 10-9 at the time of his suspension which will run into the first five
games of 2013. He let his teammates down, as well as the entire franchise. The A's certainly
could've used Colon and his experience in the playoffs where they were bounced out by the Detroit Tigers.
Instead of saying sayanora to Senor Substance Abuser, the A's rewarded Colon in December
with a one-year, $3 million dollar contract which includes incentives. Is Major League Baseball
a great organization or what? That's what Colon must be thinking after putting his signature on
a multi-million dollar contract. Billy Beane, immortalized in the book and movie, "MoneyBall",
as one of the smartest men in the game said:
"In Bartolo's case, based on the production, he was cost effective and good. It's pretty hard to
find that type of pitcher at that cost on a short-term deal." We know Beane is a smart man when
it comes to baseball and this move has paid off in spades. Colon made the All-Star team and is
13-3 with a 2.55 ERA. Now, that is value.
But Mr. Beane, are you serious? "That type of pitcher"? You mean the one that pumps cheat
into his body that fuels 95-mile an hour fastballs? Good, Lord. What a great example for young
kids. Hey, go ahead and cheat, it doesn't really matter when you have teams like the Oakland A's
in baseball. If you get caught, it's no big deal, as long as you have lightening in your arm and
can eat up 200 innings a year, there is a place for you in the game and you just might just get rewarded with a $3 million contract.
If Armstrong played baseball, he could have kept all his records even if there was a "massive
amount of evidence" against him. That was certainly the case with Barry Bonds, wasn't it?
At the age of 37, his head grew to the size of the moon and his body morphed into that of an
NFL linebacker. He had never hit more than 49 home runs in his career, yet somehow, in 2001,
he managed to set the single-season record with 73!
Bonds went on to smash Hank Aaron's all-time record, but both of his records mean nothing to anybody except him because they were shattered with the help of PED's. Commissioner Bud Selig could have wiped Bonds' name from the record books, just as the head of cycling did with Armstrong, but he lacked the backbone to do it.
Rewarding steroid cheats is nothing new for the A's or sadly many teams in baseball. Oaklandsigned Manny Ramirez to a minor-league contract last year after failing not one, not two, but
three drug tests and being suspended for more than 100 games. Beane was thinking Ramirez
Too bad Ramirez couldn't muster any manpower after going off his female fertility drugs.
He subsequently asked for, and was granted his release. After a stint in Taiwan, Ramirez
returned home to sign a minor-league contract with the Texas Rangers. Toronto gave Melky
Cabrera a $16 million contract after flunking out in San Francisco, and the Mets were so
desperate for bat, they took a flier on Marlon Byrd, who served a 50-game suspension
while he was with the Chicago Cubs.
Alex Rodriguez, admitted he was a steroid user and was supposedly on the list of 104 players
who flunked tests in 2003. He will follow Ryan Braun to cheaterville sometime soon. Both
A-Rod and Braun will be back next year to collect a big chunk of what is remaining on their
$100 plus million dollar contracts.
Armstrong never failed a test and never admitted to using PED's, until like Braun, there was
so much evidence against him, he really had no choice to come clean. Armstrong was stripped
of all his yellow jerseys and has been forced to pay back a lot of the cash he earned from
racing and sponsors, plus he's still in litigation with several event organizers and the U.S.
Postal Service, which had been one of his major backers.
Lance, what the heck were you thinking? You could've cycled steroids in baseball and you'd
still be playing. Instead, you got into cycling and got cycled out of the sport even though you
never tested positive for anything.
In baseball, if you get caught cheating, you don't have to give back anything, can still collect
every penny of your contract, and still do the thing you love doing the most.
Baseball Fever. Catch it!