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Thread: Ankiel's feel-good story doesn't feel right anymore

  1. #1
    Senor Votto Degenerate39's Avatar
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    Ankiel's feel-good story doesn't feel right anymore

    Ankiel's feel-good story doesn't feel right anymore

    By Jeff Passan, Yahoo! Sports
    September 7, 2007

    Sometime over the last month, as Rick Ankiel launched home runs and put a defibrillator to his career and thrust the St. Louis Cardinals back into the playoff race, the irony of his new nickname must have dawned on him.

    The Natural.

    It's funny and sad now, of course, in light of the New York Daily News' bombshell late Thursday that linked Ankiel to a 12-month prescription of human growth hormone in 2004. The author of baseball's greatest story this season the one guy in whom everyone, Cardinals fans or otherwise, wanted to believe was allegedly just like Barry Bonds: seeking glory through needles.

    The continued marriage between Major League Baseball players and performance-enhancing drugs came as no surprise, with the fallout of the latest scandal, stemming from the federal raid of Signature Pharmacy in Orlando, bound to extend its tentacles to baseball. The name, though that was a shock, and a disappointment, too, because it reinforced the notion that baseball players, even those who evoke such wonderment, must be viewed through a prism of skepticism.

    Performance-enhancing drugs have weaved themselves into baseball's culture, and extracting them has proved messy every step. The New York Times on Wednesday reported that the players' association was resisting overtures from George Mitchell, the lead of baseball's investigation into steroid use, who wanted to speak with 45 players, most still active.

    Make that 46. Ankiel had captivated baseball with an incredible month that crested Thursday, when he hit two home runs and drove in seven runs to bring the Cardinals within one game of National League Central-leading Chicago and Milwaukee. Already his comeback to the major leagues as an outfielder after he flamed out spectacularly as a pitcher, losing his control and never regaining it, was inspiring enough. His success was movie material.

    Even though the Daily News report said Ankiel stopped receiving HGH before MLB banned it in 2005 and that he got the eight shipments over a 12-month period when he was still a pitcher it colors and tempers and dampens his accomplishments just as Bonds' link to performance-enhancers renders his all-time home run crown questionable.

    When records are no longer records, does that make lesser accomplishments not accomplishments at all? It's the dichotomy fans must navigate, the fork in the road with equally tenuous paths: Appreciate athletes for their performances while accepting they could be on any kind of cocktail or shun professional athletics altogether for its duplicity in allowing performance-enhancers to infiltrate their games?

    "If it's true," Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty told the Daily News, "obviously it would be very tragic, along with everything else we've had happen to us this year."

    In spring training, manager Tony La Russa was charged with a misdemeanor DUI. On April 29, reliever Josh Hancock was killed in a single-car crash with a blood-alcohol content of .157, nearly twice the legal limit. Cardinals utilityman Scott Spiezio left the team in August to deal with substance-abuse issues. Potholes pocked their road to repeating as World Series champions, and Ankiel's emergence had begun to fill them.

    Certainly he knew the possibility of his name surfacing from the rubble of the Signature raid, which makes you wonder guilt consumed him or hubris emboldened him. Athletes whether Ankiel or Bonds, Rodney Harrison or Shawne Merriman, Floyd Landis or Justin Gatlin, and on and on, ad nauseam understand the consequences of performance-enhancing drug use. Not physical problems; those are debatable. Simply the black mark that tarnishes the person's reputation and, worse, heaves collateral damage on the sport.

    Baseball, as an institution, wants steroids to go away. Sure, there will always be enablers, like doctor William Gogan, who, according to the Daily News, provided Ankiel then, by all accounts, a healthy 24-year-old with no need for an artificial testosterone boost with the HGH prescription. In the 1980s and '90s, baseball personnel turned their heads as players injected themselves La Russa among them, with admitted user Jose Canseco starring on his Oakland A's teams.

    And some may say this is baseball's just desserts for such actions. Yet how many times can a punch-drunk boxer get pummeled until he crumbles? The problem for baseball is, no referee exists to stop the match.

    So expect more names to emerge, more legacies to fall, more stories on pharmaceuticals instead of far home runs. Busch Stadium crackled with life as Ankiel smacked his eighth and ninth homers Thursday, and after the Cardinals' 16-4 victory, La Russa started to wax on how Ankiel was a "marvel."

    "It is kind of amazing," he said, "isn't it?"

    Actually, no. Not anymore.

    Not in the least.
    Didn't see this one coming
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    Re: Ankiel's feel-good story doesn't feel right anymore

    LaRussa associated with a player using performance enhancing drugs?! Say it ain't so!

    You would think after Henderson, Stewart, Canseco(s), and especially McGwire, we'd learn.

    I hope history is incredibly unkind to this cheating creep.

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    REDSBROWNSBUCKEYES
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    Re: Ankiel's feel-good story doesn't feel right anymore

    Quote Originally Posted by TheWalls View Post
    LaRussa associated with a player using performance enhancing drugs?! Say it ain't so!

    You would think after Henderson, Stewart, Canseco(s), and especially McGwire, we'd learn.

    I hope history is incredibly unkind to this cheating creep.
    and that same creep may be wearing a Reds uniform next year, could you imaging what Phillips could do with a little hgh.

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    Re: Ankiel's feel-good story doesn't feel right anymore

    Quote Originally Posted by 5DOLLAR-BLEACHERBUM View Post
    and that same creep may be wearing a Reds uniform next year, could you imaging what Phillips could do with a little hgh.
    Lord I hope not. I can't stand him. I want no part of LaRussa in a Reds uni. I didn't like him with Oakland and I don't like him now. He's too arrogant. And he makes his players take steroids. Ok, maybe not. But still...

    On a side note, as has been previously discussed in this forum, a few of the Reds players could use a little roid rage on the field in certain situations.

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    Re: Ankiel's feel-good story doesn't feel right anymore

    I think it should be pretty clear Tony ought not to be the Reds next manager.

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    Re: Ankiel's feel-good story doesn't feel right anymore

    Quote Originally Posted by HokieRed View Post
    I think it should be pretty clear Tony ought not to be the Reds next manager.

    And your reasoning?I'm no fan of Larussa,however if he can get this team winning on a consistent basis then i'm all for it.I would rather have Dave Duncan though,as he has the ability to work wonders with sub par pitching.
    Last edited by Jr's Boy; 09-07-2007 at 12:24 PM.

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    OOOOH YEEEAHHHH!! CarolinaRedleg's Avatar
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    Re: Ankiel's feel-good story doesn't feel right anymore

    Couldn't have happened to a better team.....well, unless it involved the Scrubs.

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    Re: Ankiel's feel-good story doesn't feel right anymore

    I read the article, but see no connection with La Russa. I heard that a doctor prescribed HGH to Ankiel, but did not see that mentioned in the article. I would like to believe we could determine whether LaRussa should be our next manager on his own merits.

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    always ask questions bigredmechanism's Avatar
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    Re: Ankiel's feel-good story doesn't feel right anymore

    how about rick peterson, the mets pitching coach? i know some guys have struggled as of late, but hes still one of the better pitching coaches in the business, and thats what we need, imo

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    The Future GoReds33's Avatar
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    Re: Ankiel's feel-good story doesn't feel right anymore

    Quote Originally Posted by AmarilloRed View Post
    I read the article, but see no connection with La Russa. I heard that a doctor prescribed HGH to Ankiel, but did not see that mentioned in the article. I would like to believe we could determine whether LaRussa should be our next manager on his own merits.
    Well put. Its not his fault his players need to cheat to beat the Reds.
    If you can't build a winning team with that core a fire-sale isn't the solution. Selling the franchise, moving them to Nashville and converting GABP into a used car lot is.
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    Re: Ankiel's feel-good story doesn't feel right anymore

    this is exactly how gossip spreads in high school and its pretty rediculous

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    Re: Ankiel's feel-good story doesn't feel right anymore

    Why would he need a years supply of hgh while he recovered. I wouldn't think that a valuable doctor would prescribe such a large amount. I understand using hgh helps with recovers, but i also don't hear about normal people (non-professional athletes) using hgh to come back from injuries.

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    Re: Ankiel's feel-good story doesn't feel right anymore

    While sad, i cant say im surprised. Hopefully they will stop comparing his comeback to joshes in the media. IMO, they weren't close then and there worlds apart now.

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    Re: Ankiel's feel-good story doesn't feel right anymore

    Take your pick: Larussa or Harang? Because I doubt they could be in the same clubhouse together.

    I take Harang.
    Who's on first?

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    Re: Ankiel's feel-good story doesn't feel right anymore

    The most damning piece of info is that he ordered a years supply at once, right before HGH was put on the banned list by MLB. No other reason to do that than to cheat.

    I actually was on HGH in my teen years, with legitimate Dr.'s prescription, and I added ten mph on my fastball was could lift 25% more when on it. It also lasted for years. Took around 6-7 year for the effects to start to fade away.

    Also, just because it was prescribed to him does not make it legal. The Dr. who gave him the prescription is under investigation for giving out prescriptions without good cause. That is how Ankiel's name came up.

    Anyone who criticized Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, et al had better say the same thing about Ankiel. HGH was banned by MLB when Ankiel bought it, it just was not on the official banned list. MLB has had for decades banned any and all performance enhancing drugs, period. It just took until 2004 for them to single out HGH.
    He broke the rules and should be punished.


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