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If Greenies Are Banned There Needs to Be Tradeoffs

By Mike Silva ~ June 6th, 2010. Filed under: Mike Silva.

Since steroids became a topic of conversation I always felt that amphetamines were the real culprit behind the pinball numbers displayed at a ballpark near you. Sure, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Mark McGwire had the talent to use PED’s and go from 40 homer players to 65 plus, but what about the reliever that threw 95 multiple days in a row? The 35 year old bench player that doesn’t seem to be slowing down in the heat of August? Players consistently putting up numbers in a baseball culture that includes wacky schedules and late night games couldn’t just do it with increased strength, but needed the extra boost that amphetamines provided.

Yesterday, Bill Madden of the Daily News discussed the drop in offense. If Jim Joyce didn’t flub we would have seen the third perfect game of the season. Ubaldo Jimenez has an ERA (0.78) under one as a starter in 80 innings. This includes 40% of those innings coming at Coors Field, where his ERA “jumps” to 1.29. Hitting a baseball is the single hardest thing to do in professional sports and the lack of a “pick me up” is starting to show.

One could argue that both hitters and pitchers should be experiencing the same problem, but remember you can see multiple pitchers in a game while a third baseman will get his 4 to 5 AB’s no matter what. Look at a recent road trip that saw the Mets go to Milwaukee and San Diego. I don’t ever remember those two cities being on the same trip in my 20 plus years watching the game. Later this month the Yankees are going to be at the Stadium against the Mets on Sunday, in Arizona for a Monday night game, and then Los Angeles after a day off. Right now the Sunday game is in the afternoon, but who knows if ESPN decides to change that up.

I never condoned the use of steroids, but amphetamines should never have been in the same category. If the league is going to abuse the players with a tedious schedule than why not use something that will help you get through the day. Should a player be banned for using sleeping pills if he can’t get to bed at night? You think the increase in Addarell by some players is a coincidence? What do you think those five hour energy drinks or Red Bull are all about? Everything is a pick me up, but some can be more dangerous to your health than others.

No, I am not saying “greenies” should be legalized, but perhaps MLB could recognize there game might potentially go down the route we saw in the sixties: all pitching and no offense. I love close games, but one or two run games nightly is not good for the product. Everything is about balance. Of course, this would require standing up to corporations who seem to believe TV ratings and set rules in place for times that maximize revenue. It’s all white paper nonsense, I doubt anyone really knows how this stuff works, so why not focus on what would put the best product out there instead of what time the advertising is convenient? Eventually bad product=no viewers which, if I am not mistaken, is bad for advertising dollars. If you allow the game to be run by the suits they will destroy it for their selfish purposes.

Maybe it’s time to evaluate start times, Sunday night games, travel schedule and the sort. Yes, the league will adjust by focusing on player development and youth, but the schedule is a grind. It’s a grind for the viewers, who have life responsibilities, imagine if you actually have to participate in the thing. Maybe it’s time for ESPN, FOX, and other networks to be part of the game instead of running the game. No one likes what they are producing anyway and I am sure there is another forum for them to promote their next sideline reporter dancer.

I am all for cracking down on any performance enhancing drug, but we need to give the athletes infrastructure to perform at their highest level. I believe the schedule and television start times are not conducive to that over the long term. Perhaps that is the next area the commissioner can appoint a blue ribbon panel. I might even volunteer to give the fans point of view.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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2 Responses to If Greenies Are Banned There Needs to Be Tradeoffs

  1. Stu Baron

    Even if greenies are banned, it’s hard to imagine players getting their hands on them anyway…when it comes right down to it, money (of which players have plenty) talks and BS walks…

  2. Stu Baron

    It’s hard to imagine players *NOT getting their hands on them anyway…

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