Material brought to you at the expense of McGwire and Kiffin
While I will admit to previous consumption of alcohol, I’m not willing to concede that this substance assisted me while I spent time at wedding receptions perfecting dance moves that have hopefully never been imitated.
I mean, those same convulsions have occurred after an early-morning shot of V-8.
Seriously though, it was both comical and maddening to hear Mark McGwire’s unwillingness to concede that steroids allowed him to morph into one of the most powerful creatures the game of baseball has ever seen.
As McGwire continued to speak to Bob Costas during his hour-long acknowledgement address on Monday night, I could only think that it might be time for Saturday Night Live’s producers to resurrect that “Really” skit they did about Michael Vick a few years back.
McGwire has the right to maintain his opinion that these steroids didn’t serve as performance or statistical enhancers. But as he minimizes their benefit by saying that he simply used them in a therapeutic manner to expedite the healing process, doesn’t he also show disregard for the determination many others have shown while dealing with the daily grinds of this game.
While watching Monday’s interview, I couldn’t help but think about Tom Glavine. Here’s a 300-game winner who arguably came close to maximizing the potential success he could gain through the game. But how much better might his troublesome left shoulder felt had he consumed these chemicals that allow the body to bounce back quicker than normal?
Over the past couple of years, Chipper Jones has said that he is disturbed about the fact that history will forever look suspiciously at the statistics that he and every other player from this era produce.
Like this is sad but true, so too is the fact that we’ve reached a point where very little surprises me when it comes to this subject.
Of course if you were to tell me that Glavine was structurally enhanced by anything more than the occasional shot of cortisone, then I’d probably respond with something like, “yeah and Lane Kiffin will become as USC’s version of Joe Paterno.”
Cy Young Trio: Some of you were discussing the fractured state of Atlanta’s Cy Young trio after Greg Maddux was hired as an assistant to Cubs general manager Jim Hendry.
While I understand why some of you wonder whether this was a slap in the face to the Braves, I didn’t see this as surprising. When he was still with the Braves, Maddux told me that the game’s business model had always led him to stay away from making anything other than Las Vegas his family’s permanent residence.
Maddux loved the Braves and his family loves the city of Atlanta. But his earliest ties are to the Cubs and his more recent dealings have been with Cubs GM Jim Hendry. Truthfully, I really don’t know how well he got to know Frank Wren, who joined the Braves in September of 1999 and was still the club’s assistant GM when Maddux went to Chicago after the 2003 season.
These special assistant roles are usually reserved for guys who have strong relationships and some kind of history with the GMs. With this in mind, I just think the better fit at this time was for Maddux to lock horns with Hendry.
My question is, does this arrangement provide any more reason to debate which hat Maddux should be wearing when he is inducted into the Hall of Fame?
Now to round up the update on the Cy Young trio, John Smoltz took time about two months ago to begin mending his relationship with the organization. Everything seems to be heading in the right direction on that front.
So while Smoltz might never again throw a pitch for the Braves, I don’t think he’ll feel the desire to stay completely away from Turner Field during his retirement years.
As for Glavine, I think he still has a right to feel just as infuriated as some of those Tennessee students and fans who have creatively found ways to destroy their Lane Kiffin t-shirts. But this guy is a class act I get the sense that his relationship with the organization will also be repaired in the near future.
Speaking of former Braves left-handers, Chuck James is expected to begin throwing for teams within the next week. The 28-year-old southpaw missed all of the 2009 season while recovering from shoulder surgery.
While the Braves might have a need for somebody like James to improve their organizational depth in the starting pitching department, the southpaw may still be upset about how they handled his shoulder which bothered him for more than a year before he was completely shut down.
Chris Resop spent the past season and a half pitching in Japan and now he’s ready to once again compete for a spot in the Braves bullpen. He has signed a Minor League contract and received an invitation to Spring Training.
The 27-year-old right-hander, who made 16 appearances with the 2008 Braves, is excited about his arm strength and the sink that he’s recently gained with his two-seam fastball.
Catch you later this week. Follow me on Twitter @mlbbowman