Monday, April 17, 2006

NBA action and steroids, fantastic.

I’ll be honest with you; I’ve got nothing this week. At least nothing I can write a whole column about. I might just write about things that annoy me or I might write about things that I enjoy this time of year. Maybe I will combine both of them and give you, dear readers, a little hodge podge. Let’s hunt.

The NBA playoffs are getting ready to start up. What does that mean? Well, it means there will be a NBA game on TV every night for six and a half months. The NBA postseason is so long that I don’t know how the top teams find any time to rest before the next season starts.

The off season for a player on the Detroit Pistons or the San Antonio Spurs is like two weeks. I do have to admit that an NBA player’s off season is longer than an NHL player’s or a NASCAR driver’s off season. A NASCAR driver has about a week and a half of an off season and the NHL has a 72 hour off season.

I like the NBA playoffs because there is so much bad basketball during the regular season that by the time we get to the second round, you can actually watch some meaningful, if not exciting, NBA action.

I have a feeling we are going to see the same NBA Finals we saw last season, which cannot make the TV people happy. You have two teams that are content to play a defensive style of basketball and are not flashy, are not from major TV markets, and have players that do not care if they are in movies or in commercials.

I believe the Detroit Pistons and the San Antonio Spurs will meet again for the championship. I do not believe the Pistons can be beat by anyone in the East, but I think that the Spurs may have a tough time with the Dallas Mavericks.

I like the Mavs. They have a ton of good players and a great player in Dirk Nowitzki. They like to run and score and somehow, after years of not being able to guard a dead dog, they are playing some hard nosed defense. If anyone can stop the Spurs it will be Dallas. In the end, I like the Pistons to take home the championship, a little revenge for last year.

On to baseball and I thought the steroid era was over. If that is true, then why are we getting a record number of home runs hit this season? Could it be that big, jacked up sluggers weren’t the only baseball players using steroids? I’ll admit that when I think of a baseball player using steroids, I automatically think of a hitter, not a pitcher.

Pitchers are just like hitters. They want any edge they can get over their opponents. Pitchers want to win and make the big bucks. Why wouldn’t some of them use steroids to “help” them achieve these things? You have to think that many pitchers knew or suspected that hitters were using. I have to think that some pitchers may have taken steroids to combat what the hitters were taking.

If this is true, then it would seem that pitchers, who were on steroids and who are now coming off steroids, would struggle with a loss of speed and velocity, especially middle relievers. Perhaps this is why there is such a surge in home runs this season. Either that or instead of the players, the balls are juiced.

As far as the investigation into steroids in the major leagues, I would hope that pitchers as well as hitters would be investigated. I also hope that hitters besides Barry Bonds will be investigated. If baseball really wants the truth, then they have to go back to the beginning of what many consider the steroid era. If that happens then maybe we can begin to cleanse baseball and help it get back to being the national pastime.

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