The SF Chronicle’s Bruce Jenkins suggests that we “hold your after-the-fact rip jobs on Brian Sabean”. Which isn’t a problem for me — I’ve never been remiss to point out SF’s ballpark (and much of Sabean’s resume) were built on the back of Balco Barry’s biceps (link courtesy Repoz and Baseball Think Factory).
The Yankees had put Brian McNamee on their payroll, according to the Mitchell Report, at Roger Clemens’ request. The Mets had Kirk Radomski. Somewhere, within the confines of every clubhouse, lurked at least one reliable source for steroids. Players were so certain they were in the clear, they actually wrote checks to the Radomskis of the world.
Now you’re Stan Conte, the Giants’ trainer at the time, and you’re plenty upset. You don’t want anyone in the clubhouse offering drugs, training methods or anything else within your domain. You’ve ridden this out for a while, but now you’re sick of looking at Anderson, Harvey Shields and the rest of Bonds’ ubiquitous entourage. You’ve learned that other players are discussing steroids with Anderson. You bring it up to Brian Sabean – and freeze-frame the moment right there.
Just what the hell is Sabean supposed to do? The Mitchell Report has chastised him for not reporting the issue to Major League Baseball, but think about it: The entire continent of baseball was “looking the other way” at that point. Bonds’ achievements and gate appeal were paying huge dividends at the cash register. He was the Giants, more valuable than any teammate, executive or investor.
You’re expecting Sabean to tell the commissioner, “Listen, Bud, we’ve got a massive steroid problem out here”? Surely you’re joking. I’m with Gary Radnich on this one: Whatever price the Giants are paying now – even if comes to suspensions for Sabean and Peter Magowan – they secretly believe it was worth it. Bonds meant runaway sellouts, and relevance.
In the wake of Clemens’ inclusion in the Mitchell Report, a noted baseball writer said we’ll “never look at him quite the same way.” What? That’s exactly how we always looked at him – at least around the Lounge. He was a psycho who couldn’t beat Dave Stewart, in a million years, and knew it. He lost his composure in an idiotic tirade against umpire Terry Cooney, getting himself tossed out of a crucial playoff game in Oakland. He once baffled manager Joe Morgan and his Red Sox teammates by angrily punching a wall with his pitching hand, nearly breaking it. He was completely out of his mind during the Mike Piazza incident during the World Series. Steroids? Not necessarily. But it was reasonable to assume he was always high on something.
You need to use Google cache to learn exactly what Paul White said about Jay Jaffe. But suffice to say, Jay’s response has the enemy waving the white flag.
The Mets and Aaron Heilman have avoided arbitration, with the Notre Dame product signing a one year, $1.2 million deal. Sadly, there’s no arbitrator Heilman can turn to if he wants to crack the starting rotation in Flushing.