Thursday, June 11, 2009

Shoot the messenger

By John McMullen

(The Phanatic Magazine) - Raul Ibañez has every right to be angry.

Ibañez, who is having a career year at age 37 but has never tested positive
for performance enhancing drugs, was recently the topic of a blog discussion
that examined his hot start and questioned whether or not it was due to the
use of PEDs.

Midwestsportsfans.com managing editor Jerod Morris penned a lengthy piece on
Monday titled, "The Curious Case of Raul Ibañez: Steroid Speculation Perhaps
Unfair, but Great Start in 2009 Raising Eyebrows."

"It's time for me to begrudgingly acknowledge the elephant in the room: Any
aging hitter who puts up numbers this much better than his career averages is
going to immediately generate suspicion that the numbers are not natural, that
perhaps he is under the influence of some sort of performance enhancer,"
Morris wrote.

To me, it was more than fair.

A day later, Ibañez struck back:

"It demeans everything you've done with one stroke of the pen....You can have
my urine, my hair, my blood, my stool - anything you can test," Ibañez told
the Philadelphia Inquirer. "I'll give you back every dime I've ever made" if
the test is positive."

Powerful words.

Perhaps more powerful if I didn't see Rafael Palmiero deny his steroid abuse by waving his finger at Congress like his was Bill Clinton denying a blowjob. Or, if Roger Clemens didn't claim everyone in the free world "misremembered," his travails with steroids during his appearance before Congress.

Simply put, the Phillies' slugger has directed his anger in the wrong direction.

Instead of pointing the finger at some "42-year-old blogger writing in his
mother's basement," maybe Ibañez should blame his peers and his own union for
creating the atmosphere he currently plays in.

No MLB player is above suspicion at this point

Coming into last night's game, Ibañez was tied for the NL lead in RBI (55),
leads the league in runs scored (48), total bases (153) and slugging
percentage (.682) and ranked second with 20 homers, three shy of last year's
total and 13 from his career high in 2006. Ibañez was also hitting .325, 37
points better than his career average.

Imagine if Anton Chigurh from the Academy Award winning film "No Country for Old Men" was an all-knowing baseball god instead of a ruthless killer.

Instead of deciding your fate with a coin flip, this version of Chigurh would
ask you one question.

Get it right...you live. Get it wrong...you die.

The query?

"Has Raul Ibañez every used PEDs?"

I want to live so I know what my answer would be...

How about you?
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