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Air, Water, and the Cubs

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The annual Air and Water Show is in town this weekend, and so are the Cubs, so it was with a pronounced eye-roll that I read Dave van Dyck's article in the Trib.

A Blue Angel jet
Air Show jets spook players at Wrigley

A squadron of jets sent a jolt through players and 41,619 fans Friday at Wrigley Field.

In the second inning, just as Pittsburgh's Charlie Morton was ready to pitch to Ryan Theriot, five jets appeared over the stadium from behind home plate, exiting at center field before turning around and buzzing from left field to first base for an encore.

The article then goes on to quote Derrek Lee, Randy Wells, Sam Fuld, and Kosuke Fukudome who all admitted to being surprised or momentarily shocked by the jets. Kosuke was specifically quoted as saying, "I wish somebody had told me about that. I wasn't sure what was coming at first."

You mean to tell me no one made an announcement in the Cubs clubhouse? I think it's embarrassing that any of the Cubs players were unprepared for the jets. Most Cubs fans know that the jets always buzz Wrigley when they're at home over the Air & Water show weekend. I went to the game yesterday specifically to enjoy the flyovers. Shouldn't some one in the Cubs organization be filling the players in on this little tidbit?

Heck! Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, and Carlos Zambrano have all been here long enough to know about the Air & Water show tradition. They should have told their teammates, and the rest of the team should have been expecting it. I'd much rather read an article next year about how all the Cubs players were expecting the jets, but the opponents had been caught off guard. That's how you have a home field advantage.

Posted by Byron at 6:46 PM | Bookmark and Share | | BallHype: hype it up!

Bronson Arroyo, honest, selfish, or both?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bronson Arroyo, the Reds starting pitcher, is making news by publicly declaring that he is taking diet supplements that are not on the approved list of supplements that have been tested by MLB.

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo, who last month admitted to using a now-banned supplement earlier in his career, says he uses a number of over-the-counter supplements not on Major League Baseball's approved list, according to a USA Today report.

With the much more stringent anti-enhancement rules in MLB, Arroyo's admission is a rare moment of media-honesty from a MLB player. I can't decide if I'm proud of Arroyo for making his own decisions and publicly stating that he's willing to take the risk of running afoul of MLB's substance abuse policy, or if he's being a selfish ingrate who's risking his team's performance by recklessly taking supplements that could easily land him a 50 game suspension.

The first thing I'll say is that I like Arroyo's honesty. It does a couple of things for me:
• It gives the sports world something interesting to talk about. (Sports is entertainment.)
• It advances the discussion about what is and isn't appropriate as a supplement.
• It serves as fair warning that Arroyo could be on the receiving end of a 50 game suspension in the near future.
• It defuses the potential "steroid" bomb before it explodes.

However, since there are both sports fans and participants, I think I'd be pretty ticked at Arroyo if he were my teammate. Not that the Reds are going anywhere anytime soon, but a 50 game suspension to a starting pitcher is not a laughing matter. Anyone who breaks the substance abuse rules is placing their own performance above the team's. No matter what he says about the comprehensive nature of MLB's approved supplements list, Arroyo would be wiser to stick to the approved list until he's tested his own array of supplements. Afterall, Arroyo admits he was probably on the 2004 substance abusers list because of a spiked supply of Andro. If it can happen once, it will happen again.

Posted by Byron at 4:13 PM | Bookmark and Share | | BallHype: hype it up!

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