• Drawing Lines Where There’s No Right To

    Posted by on February 27th, 2007 · Comments (14)

    So, I’m reading this Times Union feature on the raid of a Florida steroids center (hat tip to BaseballThinkFactory.org) – as it caught my eye that the article fingers Gary Matthews Jr. as a user of PEDs – and then my mind starts to wander/wonder…

    First, to the Times Union report:

    ORLANDO, Fla. — A downtown pharmacy here was raided by a law enforcement task force on Tuesday, apparently as a result of a large New York state grand jury investigation into Internet drug sales.

    The unusual inquiry, led by Albany County’s district attorney, has taken New York narcotics agents and a federal task force deep inside a maze of shadowy pharmacies and Web sites that have reaped millions of dollars in profit by allegedly exploiting federal and state prescription laws, according to court records.

    More than two dozen doctors, pharmacists and business owners have been, or will be, arrested in the coming days on sealed indictments charging them with various felonies for unlawfully distributing steroids and other controlled substances, records show.

    The Times Union has learned that investigators in the year-old case, which had remained quiet until now, uncovered evidence that testosterone and other performance-enhancing drugs may have been fraudulently prescribed over the Internet to current and former Major League Baseball players, National Football League players, college athletes, high school coaches, and a former Mr. Olympia champion and another top contender in the bodybuilding competition.

    And, then, to the recent news on Johnny Damon -

    Yankees center fielder Johnny Damon rejoined the team Monday after a two-day excused absence to tend to a personal matter.

    Damon spent the weekend at home with his family in the Orlando area. He didn’t discuss specifics, but said the issue has been resolved. He said it did not involve his father or infant daughter, who was born in January.

    “Everything is great,” he said. “Fortunately a little personal matter that I had take to care of was in February and not in June or July or anytime during the season. I feel a lot better today than a couple days ago. Something was worrying me and I took care of it. It’s a non-issue now.”

    Orlando, Orlando….going once, twice…..

    Nah. It can’t be, can it?

    Man, would that ever stink. Forget that I even wandered and wondered about it.

    Comments on Drawing Lines Where There’s No Right To

    1. Garcia
      February 27th, 2007 | 12:57 pm

      I wouldn’t be surprised. He was often under suspicion in Boston, as was Varitek and Trawt. The reason Damon was under suspicion was because of his relationship with Giambi and the fact that a few big name players (Damon, Giambi, Tejada) from Oakland were suspected of doing some type of PED. Though Giambi was the only one who was actually caught.

    2. MJ
      February 27th, 2007 | 1:13 pm

      Unless Damon were actually suspended, why would it stink? Why, it would shatter your image of him as a squeaky-clean guy?

      They ALL used something or other to get an edge, as I would’ve done myself if I were in their position. Why do we even care at this point? Really, the steroids issue is soooo played out and the only reason people talk about it is because ESPN and the crackpots in our federal government won’t let it go.

    3. February 27th, 2007 | 1:19 pm

      ~~~Unless Damon were actually suspended, why would it stink?~~~

      More media focus. More of a zoo around the team.

      But, on the bright side, it would allow A-Rod some peace…as long as he doesn’t offer any opinion on it.

    4. MJ
      February 27th, 2007 | 1:21 pm

      Given what the team went through last year with the nonsensical and highly contrived ARod controversies last year, I’m sure the team can handle it. And Damon, being who he is, can handle it too. He’s a super-pro with the press and they love him enough that they won’t be as brutal on him as they’d be on ARod or another guy they don’t care for.

    5. Jaggie
      February 27th, 2007 | 1:39 pm

      Before I even read that article, I wondered the same thing about Damon’s absence. But when he returned, he specifically said that whatever the issue was will not be an issue in the future, so I don’t actually think it was a failed drug test or some kind of criminal involvement that could later be revealed.

    6. baileywalk
      February 27th, 2007 | 2:51 pm

      You’re making a bigggggg leap here. Damon’s personal matters could have been ANYTHING. We have no idea it was connected to this, and to even put it out there as a theory is somewhat inappropriate. If there was a triple homicide in Orlando at the same time, could we have assumed Damon was the killer? You could connect anyone to anything at anytime — but it doesn’t mean they were remotely involved in it.

      As for this actual bust… this is bigger than BALCO. This bust has baseball players, boxers, football players (specifically Steelers, Eagles and Redskins) and bodybuilders. Hell, it even has a host of a “popular cable television show.”

      If it turns out that Gary Matthews Jr. really was doing ‘roids — and it wasn’t his hitting coach who helped him break out of his career-long mediocrity — I can’t believe he would be stupid enough to use his actual name and have the stuff mailed to him.

      At this point, it’s hard to be surprised that athletes use steroids — they just do and it’s a fact of life.

      Maybe once and for all this bust will expose football as the true abusers of ‘roids — and their higher-ups will no longer thumb their nose at baseball.

    7. February 27th, 2007 | 3:28 pm

      baileywalk – I did title it “Drawing Lines Where There’s No Right To” for a reason.

    8. Garcia
      February 27th, 2007 | 3:38 pm

      ~~~this is bigger than BALCO~~~

      I don’t think so. I don’t know how you can get bigger than Romo, the track and field olympic stars, Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, and Gary Sheffield.

      ~~~At this point, it’s hard to be surprised that athletes use steroids — they just do and it’s a fact of life.~~~

      I agree. The story just isn’t that juicy any longer, no pun intended.

    9. baileywalk
      February 27th, 2007 | 3:39 pm

      Does acknowledging it make it less appropriate?

      “I shouldn’t go there with this — I have no proof — but Steve was out on the night the prostitutes were killed, and I saw him in his backyard later that night — hence, Steve murdered three prostitutes and buried them in his backyard. PURE speculation, but, hey, it could have happened…”

      I’m sensitive to baseless, pure-speculation rumors. I know you mean no harm, but the Internet is a crazy-powerful tool when it comes to propagating rumor/myth/non-truths.

    10. rbj
      February 27th, 2007 | 3:52 pm

      What with all the scrutiny coming down on steroids these days, those involved should be charged with criminal stupidity.

    11. February 27th, 2007 | 4:12 pm

      Hey, I thought that propagating rumor/myth/non-truths was what blogging was all about! ;-)

    12. Raf
      February 27th, 2007 | 5:29 pm

      If it turns out that Gary Matthews Jr. really was doing ‘roids — and it wasn’t his hitting coach who helped him break out of his career-long mediocrity…
      ===================

      From the good ship Mariner;
      “…at age 31, he has a career year, hitting .313/.371/.495 as an everyday center fielder. However, there wasn’t a significant change in his skillset – his walk rate declined slightly, his power was exactly where it was the previous two seasons, he didn’t hit any more line drives, and his HR rate actually fell. The improvement was completely and utterly tied to his ability to have balls fall into gaps where fielders weren’t standing.”

      In other words, luck…

    13. RICH
      February 27th, 2007 | 7:38 pm

      Well Steve, do you think he’s involved or do you prefer using innuendo?

    14. February 27th, 2007 | 10:42 pm

      ~~~Well Steve, do you think he’s involved or do you prefer using innuendo?~~~

      I have no clue. I’m just setting myself up to look like a genius if it turns out that he does, or, to look like a crack-pot if there’s no connection at all.

      Since many already take me for the crack-pot, there’s no where for me to go than up on this one.

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