Better Weather Ahead

spring training.jpg

Cheer up, Eagles fans.

Phillies pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater, Fla., on Feb. 17.

First workout is Feb. 18.


The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.


Thank God! I’m jonesing for some baseball, sunshine, the Tiki bar and breakfast at Lenny’s.

Hey evild**kbag27,

Just want to save you a post.

“World Champions!”
“World F**king Champions!”

As spoken by Phillies 2nd baseman Chase Utley during the 2008 World Series Victory Celebration.

Thanks for the reminder! What a great moment indeed.

Can’t wait!! Hope the weather gets warmer in the Sunshine state. Lately it hasn’t been any better than here in the DelVal.

I can’t resist letting you all know that I was walking around yeaterday and today in short sleaves enjoying the 60 degree sunny weather. Hope you are all enjoying winter….

Side note:
With Mark McGwire’s admission, how does that make the Zoner’s feel about the fact that he is eligible to work in baseball and Pete Rose is not? Personally, I was always against Rose’s elibibility but I am starting to think differently about that. Blatant cheaters can get gainful employment and be eligible for the HOF. Rose, who was probably the most competitive athlete I have seen in my lifetime, is shunned. My guess is that, if you asked the players who are in the HOF, they would prefer to have Pete Rose among them over Mark McGwire and his like. I always had somebody to boo when the Cardinals came to town (JD Drew, Scott Rolen), and now I have somebody else.

phan52: I agree. I think McGwire’s mea culpa was not really an omission of guilt per say. He didn’t seem to think that the steroids lead him to hit 70 hrs that went further than “humanly” possible. Ken Rosenthal wrote a great commentary on it (here’s the link It’s shame Rose didn’t at least have the option of being eligible for the HOF and just not get elected because he bet on baseball. McGwire (and probably Bonds) at least get put on the ballot. Doesn’t seem fair.

The hall is full of cheaters and all around ********. Ty Cobb, Pud Galvin, Willie Mays, Gaylord Perry, any of the tons of players who took amphetamines from the 60s through the early 90s. It’s a place where we put all of the greatest baseball players, not all the nicest, squeaky-clean baseball players. Rose, McGwire, Bonds, etc. all belong there, in my opinion.

OK, here we go:
Betting on baseball was against the rules. Pete knew it. Drugs were not, and players did it to gain an advantage at a time when there was no policing it. What Rose did had nothing to do with playing the game. He went outside the rules and is being punished for it. There were probably other players who gambled on the games too, but we don’t hear about them because they hit .200 and aren’t on any Hall of Fame ballot. Rose was a big target.

What about Tug McGraw’s legendary “7 Tylenol” games? Are they performance-enhancing drugs? What about the greenies that the Phillies players were accused of using through the late 70s? (that Reading doctor thing, if I remember correctly) If a player takes caffeine pills and plays when he otherwise couldn’t, aren’t they “performance-enhancing drugs?”

Baseball is rife with guys who tried to use some pill or drug to gain an advantage. The really sad part is that Bud Selig turned his head to the steroid issue.
Even the silly GNC nonsense that JC Romero went through qualifies, and he was suspended. Pick up a bodybuilding magazine and you’ll see pages of stuff designed to be “steroid alternatives.” Whether they work or not is another matter, but guys take them.

muleman: I agree with you…..just on the face of it it doesn’t seem fair.

muleman, a lot of it has to do with the era. I mean, Schmidt has admitted that he used amphetamines and that he probably would have done steroids if he played in the ’90’s or 00’s. But he would be a lock HOFer n any era. It must have been tough for superior players to watch a guy like Brady Anderson all of a sudden be in the HR race. They figure they have to keep up or stay ahead of clowns like that. Some guys who are accused of juicing still would pass the HOF test because they were superior before they ever did it, like A-Rod or Bonds. McGwire doesn’t pass that test. He is a one-trick pony who has poisoned the record book, yet he is allowed to work in MLB.
My point about Rose is that he is accused of ‘cheating’ in a sense because gamblers become susceptable to game-fixing. I think Pete Rose would rather cut his throat than fix a game that he is involved in. The only thing he had on his mind on a baseball field was finding a way to win.

Since when do “baseball rules” take precedence over the law? Steroids in the form taken by players in the ’90s were made illegal in 1992. In this regard both steroid users and Pete Rose are the same case, all engaged in illegal activity. Legally there is a sliding scale of proof needed to identify miscreants ranging from proof beyond a reasonable doubt applicable to criminal cases down to clear and convincing, preponderance, or substantial levels in descending order and applicable to all other cases commonly known as civil matters. Apologists want it both ways. On the one hand they claim all are innocent until proven guilty but, in the alternative, what the miscreants did was not illegal when they did it, at least under the rules of baseball. It is not unlike the defendant who argues that he was not at the scene of the crime but, if you do not believe him, it was self defense.

It bears repeating, what Pete Rose did and what the steroid using baseball players did from 1992 through 2004 was illegal. Additionally, all of their illegal activities either skewed the game or gave the appearance of skewing the game either of which distinguishes Rose and the players post 1992 from earlier situations.

I liken baseball fans of the Steroid Era to Greco-Roman wrestling fans who pay their admission and as soon as they take their seats Hulk Hogan appears for the first match.

The ‘Hulk’ comparison is a very good example of what went on, especially with the HR Derby clownshow of 1998. Anybody capable of critical thinking knew what was going on. I don’t think Bud Selig is stupid and he knew as well as anybody else. But they were finally putting fannies in the seats after the disaster of the ’94 strike, probably the lowest point for MLB since the Black Sox scandal. I blame Selig for the mess that became the ‘steroid era’.

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