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Houston Astros blog by a long time fan. Go Astros.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Is Viagra A Steroid?

Rafael Palmeiro was suspended for ten days for using steroids. That is how the rule goes. If you use steroids, you have broken the rule. If you don't study for a test you will fail it. It doesn't matter if you forget about the test or if you blow it off completely. You will still fail the test. Even if you study the wrong material, "unknowingly", you will fail the test. You can have an excuse. But that doesn't change your grade. So to Rafael Palmeiro- you might have an excuse, but don't think it changes your grade. The fact is that you played the game with the aid of an illegal substance. You failed the test and no one cares how you got there. No one cares if you forgot you had it or if you unkowingly studied the wrong material. No one cares. Because your legacy has been permanently tainted. Suppose you really are telling the truth... someone slipped Tubernepherine or whatever you took into your daily vitamins. You had no idea. You accidentally ingested the steroid, but you are an innocent guy. But your statistics aren't innocent. Your statistics were illegally enhanced. Accident or not, that statement is completely accurate. Your statistics were illegally enhanced, through a banned substance. And as for your Hall of Fame arguement... Rafael, quite frankly, as a player who has finished in the top 5 in MVP balloting only once, and has been known to do commercials for Viagra... It is safe to say that statistics are about the only thing you have going for you. And after this little scandal, not only has your image taken another hit and your "legacy" been tainted, but your precious statistics- your alleged ticket to the Hall of Fame- have been proven to be impure. This is my final example as to how wrong I believe Rafael Palmeiro to be. Suppose a little four year old kid picks up a crayon and writes all over the wall. The mommy comes in and puts him in timeout for ten minutes. The kid is thinking, "what the hell, I didn't even know I was doing something wrong". It is likely that this little kid failed to grasp the concept and weigh the consequences. But what he did was still wrong. Rafael Palmeiro is, AT BEST, a kid who didn't know what he was doing and wrote all over the wall just as he writes all over his coloring book. But he took his steroids, unknowingly, just as he takes all of his vitamins. And then there is the little kid who knows damn well what he is doing...

On to the Astros, who have swept the Phillies, beat up on the Mets, and are having their way with Arizona. If Ezequiel Astacio pitches the way he did tonight for the entirety of his stint filling in for Brandon Backe, I have a feeling Mike Burns is going to get optioned to Round Rock and Zeqe will stay up with the big club. Apart from Astacio's shutout perfromance the Astros shelled out 8 runs, including a monster homerun from Morgan Ensberg. Read ESPN.com if you missed the game, I don't have much to say about it. Hopefully we manage a sweep over Arizona tommorrow and carry that momentum to San Francisco. Obviously, any NL West team is easier to beat up on than the majority of the other NL clubs. Currently, all of them are under .500. Plus, Noah Lowry and Brett Tomko are not the scariest names to see. Jason schmidt is having a relatively poor season. And besides are pitching can hang with the best of them... The only question is if this offense can score runs on the road. Taking a look at this entire season, the offense hasn't really struggled at home. The pitching hasn't really struggled at all. So the poor road record is naturally a result of the team's greatest weakness- a struggling offense away from Minute Maid Park, where the offense has seemed to be good enough. Two ways to fix the problem is to ask the hitting to improve, or to ask the pitching to become even better. That is probably the reason you see a player like Jamie Moyer being chased by Tim Purpura. You might say, what the hell, the rotation is fine, what about the offense? Well it is simple if you take a logical approach... Think of it like a scale. Everyday game, one team gets on one side of the scale and their opponent gets on the other. The weight is made up of each part of the team. The offense, defense, pitching, and bench. The heavier team weighs more and wins more. They outweigh their opponents more often than not. When a club is improved, the club weighs more. But it doesn't necessarily matter where the is being put, as long as it is on your scale. The obvious exception to this logic is the need for a team to be balanced within oneself. If 95% of the money is in pitching and the entire lineup is well below replacement level, there will be a problem. A balanced team could weigh as much as a team with a Cy Young quality pitching staff and a Double A lineup. That is a clear exception and just doesn't occur at the major league level though.

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