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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tom Brady, meet Alex Rodriguez, but only for one quarter of the season.

Tom Brady, New England Patriot quarterback, has been suspended one quarter of the 2015 NFL season for being involved in illegal altering of footballs in the National Football League (NFL) semi-final game against Indianapolis.

This quarter season (four games) suspension is in marked contrast to the full 162 game full season suspension imposed on Alex Rodriguez by the Major Baseball League (MBL) and that was reduced from the original 211 games.  Two things stand out.

1. Brady was found culpable for the illegal altering of footballs, not to be confused with the legal altering of footballs.

2. Most fans assume that all non-kicker football players use performance enhancing drugs (PED), which is the offense of Rodriguez.

Playing games with the ball: when is it cheating? Thursday, May 7, 2015

The New York Times:

Tom Brady Probably Knew Footballs Were Doctored, N.F.L. Finds By JOHN BRANCH ...

To me this is much ado about nothing.  I root for the New York Giants even though they play in New Jersey...

In the summer of 2014 I read an article in The Times, which shocked me.  Each NFL team supplies its own footballs for each game, including the playoffs.  More shocking is that each team is allowed to scuff  up, moisten and otherwise get those balls into a condition that is most acceptable to its quarterback.  I've been an NFL fan since 1960 and I had no idea that was the case until 2014.  I thought: how Mickey Mouse is that?  Maybe that's why the so called scandal of whether New England used footballs that were under inflated in the 2014 playoff seemed so silly.

The big issue that almost everyone is missing is that each team changes and supplies it's own footballs for games.  The obvious reaction should not be to micro analyse whether the Patriots had been evil but to call for the NFL to immediately and completely take responsibility for the footballs used in games.

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As I understand the sequence of events, the Patriots submitted a dozen or so footballs to the NFL game officials before the Indianapolis game, the officials approved and then returned the footballs to the Patriots.  This suggests that the inspection is a mere formality and that the NFL doesn't really care what teams do.  Indianapolis had the poor taste to protest at half time (Patriots led 17-7), which caused the officials to inspect the footballs a second time, inflate them to NFL specs and return the footballs yet again to the Patriots.  After that the Patriots clobbered Indianapolis and won 45-7.  In basketball that might be called "no harm, no foul".  But many people do not like the Patriots and Tom Brady.

Bud Selig's doctor allowed Alex Rodriguez to use steroids. Is that enough mitigation to commute A-Rod's sentence? Friday, July 4, 2014

A-Rod's Yankees have now played 83 games (42-41), which means that he has already served more than half a season.  Of the others suspended last season for using performance enhancing drugs (PED), including steroids, in 2013 Ryan Braun served 65 games and the remaining dozen, including Nelson Cruz and Jhonny Peralta,  each served 50 games.  Braun and Cruz are 2014 All Stars...

So, Selig's doctor allowed Rodriguez to use otherwise banned PED in 2007 and 2008.  Could that have led Rodriguez to think that enforcement of Selig's anti-PED policy was either inconsistent or not serious?

Bud Selig, end your personal vendetta against Alex Rodriguez.  Show some character and re-store him.  End his suspension now.  Let Alex Rodriguez play baseball.

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So when is a league serious about a rule and when does it just pay lip service?  Apparently, even for lip service stuff, if the league is embarrassed enough it may be forced to enforce its rules.

I think rules should be fair and followed and violations treated equitably.  I see far too little of that.

In the Yankees first 2015 game in Tampa on April 17 Rodriguez hit two hone runs.  Then last night ...

Monday, May 11, 2015, 7:10pm Tropicana Field
Attendance: 10,619, Time of Game: 2:48

Yankee 11, Rays 5

Alex Colme started for Tampa.  In six innings Colme allowed four home runs.  Rodriguez was booed when he batted in the first inning; A-Rod belted a mammoth home run.  Like Rodriguez, Colme had also been suspended for using PED.  Colme was not booed, not even for allowing four home runs.

Rodriguez later lined a long single, then batted again in the 9th and was hit by a pitch fired by Erasmo Ramirez.  I think it was intentional.  Tampa fans cheered.
Photo of Erasmo Ramírez

Barbarity should be banned. Wednesday, April 22, 2015

How did we get to this point?  How does any reasonable person in 2015 think that this makes sense? Am I the only one who has had enough?  Why do we tolerate this?

Intentionally hitting batters should be banned and pitchers who violate this should be suspended without pay for increasingly long periods and banned forever if they persist.  The players association should support it. They now support players being suspended for violations related to the use of performance enhancing drugs (PED) even if a player has not failed a drug test.  See Alex Rodriguez,Ryan Braun, Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta, and about ten more from 2013 alone.

PED use pales in comparison to batters being smashed (not plunked) with fastballs of increasing velocity. Possible damage: injured internal organs (including the kidneys), broken bones, brain damage, loss of eyesight, death.  Fans cheering this stuff is inexcusable.

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Somewhere the sun is shining.  Somewhere children shout.  But I don't know what the heck is going on.

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