Fenway's Shame: Big Papi

So it looks like yet another name has leaked off of THE LIST. The 103 names should have been destroyed immediately, except the people in charge of the MLBPA were not too smart. They're all foam, and no beer. Bud Selig and his cronies are definitely in the same boat. So at the confluence of stupidity between the MLBPA and the Bud Selig's office, we find ourselves at the onset of yet another steroids "controversy".

David Ortiz, as I and many others had suspected, is one of the 103 players who tested positive for PED's in 2003. Surprise, surprise!! It looks like the player who was one of the most feared left-handed sluggers from 2003 to 2007, did all with the help of PED's. He Reversed The Curse in Boston, he brought them two World Series Championships in 2004 and 2007, he won an MVP award, and made multiple All-Star Game appearances, and all of this took place after he was cast overboard like dead wood by the Minnesota Twins. How!?! Does Minnesota have no eye for spotting legendary power hitters? Do the Boston Red Sox have a crystal ball that can see the future? A closer look at his numbers points to a more scientific (medical) explanation for his rise to legendary status in Boston.

Ortiz played in Minnesota from 1997 to 2002, where he hit a mere 58 HR's over that six-year span. In Boston, starting in 2002, he would hit 20, 31, 41, 47, 54 and 35 HR's each consecutive year until 2007, right around the time MLB (or Congress) started to crack down on PED users. Granted, in Minnesota he was forced to miss all but a combined 25 games in 1997 and 1999, and then half of the season in 2001 due to injuries to his wrists knees, but that does not explain the ridiculous power surge after arriving in Boston. He went from being a very forgettable player with brittle wrists and tattered knees in Minnesota, to being a fan favorite who could demoralize any pitcher in the game with just one swing of his bat while with the Red Sox.

If you ask me, it is plain as day that Big Papi was on something other than his famous mango salsa. Something he swore he never did, and as of today, will not comment on the allegations. That is not something anyone would expect from an innocent man.

As for Manny Ramirez, it's really no surprise. When he tested positive this year for a steroid masking agent, I was convinced he had been juicing for years prior. The reports of him and Papi juicing in 2003 were more confrimation than revelation for me. What does surprise me is that he continued to cheat in 2009, after all that has happened with Congress and the implementation of MLB's new PED testing policies. But that is just another case of Manny being Manny I guess...

The sad thing is this list of 103 names should have been burned and MLB should be on its way to repairing its image of being pone giant locker room injecting itself in the ass with who knows what. Since the list was not destroyed, it should be made public, so that everyone can see it, rather than having one or two names spoonfed to us as if we can't handle it.

So lets see tha damn list. Lets see who else belongs along side Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Troy Glaus, Rafael Palmeiro, Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, Jason Giambi, and the rest of these shamers. Is it Curt Schilling? Luis Gonzalez? Alfonso Soriano? Roy Halladay? Vlad Guerrero? Tell us. We can handle it. It's Schilling, isn't it!?!?

Fruli Strawberry Beer

Fruli Strawberry Beer is a very unique tasting fruit beer brewed in Ghent, Belgium. The beer is crafted by blending just a little over two parts Belgian white beer and one part strawberry juice, in a 70/30 ratio. The result is a light, crisp and refreshing beer that tastes more like a sparkling wine with a dash of fruit roll-up. In other words, it is delicious.

The fruit juice disarms the white beer of its traditional tartness, and you are left with a very refreshing, natural tasting juice flavor. You do not experience the effervescence or the aroma of any white beer at all., which is something I would normally be very upset about.

As delicious as it tastes, the sweetness does become a bit too much if you were to have more than one of two of these in a sitting. However, it would make for a great wake up call to your taste buds at the start of a night of drinking, as an after dinner companion for your dessert, or by itself. This is one case where you can have too much of a (very) good thing.

Fruli Strawberry Beer
Rating: 8.0/10.0

Back on Top

Start spreading the news... The Yankees are back in first place. Even after losing 8 of 8 to the Red Sox. Even after getting trounced 22-4 by the Cleveland Indians at home . Even after losing their starting left fielder for the season, starting and backup catchers, starting third baseman, No. 2 pitcher, lefty releiver, and their setup guy for significant amounts of time, they still fought their way to the top of the American League East. As of the morning of July 23, 2009, The New York Yankees are 2 games ahead of the Boston Red Sox.

But how did they get there? Its a two part answer: Better pitching and A-Rod.

The pitching has been a lot better since mid May, but thats not to say its been great. With Wang's first three starts absolutely inflating the staff's collective ERA and WHIP like a supnova, it wasn't too much to expect an improvement. CC Sabathia a documented slow starter, had a terrible April, but since May he has started to slowly find his groove, although there have been some shaky starts peppered in the mix. AJ Burnett has been solid, after he too had a very rough April. Since the start of May he's posted a 3.53 ERA. He's really started to shine in his last 7 starts, he's had only one loss, a no-decision, and 5 wins. Over that same stretch he's posted a 1.95 ERA, and has been the best starter on the team. And if we're talking pitchers, I have to mention Phil Hughes who has been lights out in the bullpen.

A-Rod since his return mid-May, has been a very positive influence on the team. Just ask Mark Teixeira, who was batting .198, with 5HR and 15RBI in 96 AB's. Since A-Rod's return, Teixeira has hit .306 with 18 HR and 52 RBI in 258 ABs. A-Rod hasn't been too shabby either. After launching the first pitch he saw from Jeremy Guthrie into the left field stands at Camden Yards, he's slowly started to return to form. Lets not forget, this is a guy who had hip surgery in the before the season, missed all of Spring Training, the entire month of April and a chunk of May. Yet he's been getting timely hits, go ahead RBI's, and in the month of July he's hitting .305 with 7HR and 15 RBI. The rest of the batting order has become better with Alex in the game, and it has translated to the Yankees having one of the best hitting teams in all of baseball. They currently lead the majors in Runs scored, RBIs, Total Bases, OBP, Slugging and are tied for the lead in HRs. Here's to a strong finish to the month of July!!

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier - Marzen

The Original Schlenkerla Smokebeer (Marzen) is a German smoked beer, which hails from Bamberg, Germany. This old world style beer has a very robust smoke taste that hits you as soon as you open the bottle. As you fill your glass and raise it for your first taste, an aroma similar to smoked trout takes over. From your first sip, to your last, you will experience the very powerful yet pleasant taste of the smoked fish – trust me it’s delicious.

The smoke flavor comes from the old world method of drying malts. Schlenkerla uses beechwood logs in its malt drying kilns to give the beer that distinct smokey taste. The flavor of the smoke gets infused into the malts as they dry, and stays there as you drink it in its final form. Although it may be a bit of a strange experience at first sip, keep going, as it soon will become clear to you what makes this beer so great. Although this is traditionally considered a springtime beer, I've been enjoying it during our so-far mild summer in the Northeast without any trouble.

Disclaimer: If you love drinking Budweiser, think that NASCAR requires skill, or you have two first names, please do not waste this beer on yourself.

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier - Marzen
Rating: 9.0/10.0

CitiField of Shattered Dreams

This past weekend the Yankees swept the 3-game Subway Series at CitiField by pounding the Mets on Friday night 9-1 with CC on the mound. On Saturday, the Mets were completely silenced in a 5-0 one-hitter put together by AJ Burnett and the bullpen. Sunday night the Yankees squeaked by with a 4-2 win, in which Chien-Ming Wang got his first win of the season, and Mariano Rivera recorded his 500th career save as well as the first RBI of his career. For the season, the Yankees took 5 out of 6 from the Mets and reminded everyone once again why New York is a Yankee town.

I realize that the Mets are a team being held together by bubble gum and duct tape right now. Mets fans will not stop reminding me that Carlos Delgado (DL-May 11), Jose Reyes (DL-May 22), and Carlos Beltran (DL-June 22) were not in the lineup this past weekend. Nor will they shut up about how they’re pitching staff is also depleted; John Maine, Oliver Perez (LOL-really? Who cares!?), and JJ Puttz are all out with injuries. On top of that there are a handful Joe Schmoe players the Mets that are also on the DL. Yes, all these injuries hurt. Yes, the Mets might have had a record better than .500 going into Milwaukee tonight if some or all of those players weren't hurt, but enough with the blaming of the injuries.

Injuries are a part of sports, and although it is a fact that the injuries the Mets are experiencing are at the extreme end of the spectrum, it is also a fact that the injuries are not to blame for everything that has gone wrong in Flushing this year. Beltran has been out for less than 10 days. Reyes' long DL stint is not a direct result of his original injury, but rather a poor original diagnosis by the quacks on the Mets medical staff. Sheffield has not been awful in trying to pick up some the slack dropped by Delgado being out. So its not like they Mets' players have been missing all year. Besides, these are things every team has to deal with.

So injuries or not, it does not excuse the way the Mets played this weekend. The Yankees looked like they were playing against me and 8 of my friends. Did I mention none of my friends nor I have ever played professional baseball? It was just mental error after mental error. They shot themselves in the foot in the first inning of game 1 and game 3 of the series to set the tone for those games. In game 2 they did not even bother to show up to play. Although I am a Yankee fan, I've always pulled for the Mets and rooted for them to do well. I just didn’t think the Mets would just lie down and let the Yankees and us Yankee fans take over their new ballpark for three days straight. Beating the Mets this way is not fun. It’s like using a cheat code to win in a video game. Who does that!?!?

I think the main problem is the manager, Jerry Manuel. He’s a demotivator, plain and simple. He does not fight for his players on close calls, plays favorites, does not inspire his team, and I really believe the team is no longer responding to him as they should. This past weekend during the Subway Series, Manuel made some comments about how it would be hard for the Mets to score runs and that they’ll “need to catch a break here or there, or error or something like that to amass some type of threat at this point”. He went on to say that “we need to catch somebody on a bad day” to win.. Way to instill confidence in your team. Basically he’s saying the Mets can’t win unless a win is handed to them via sloppy play by the opposing teams. He’s waving the white flag like, and we’re not even at the All-Star break.

Seriously? Get rid of this guy! Wright is not the problem. Reyes is not the problem. Beltran is not the problem. Maine, Santana, Delgado, Castillo, Schneider, Pelfrey, Puttz, and Rodriguez are not the problem. Minaya is not the problem. The problem, right now, is Jerry Manuel. No question. Fire the uninspiring, gutless, robotic, poor excuse for a manager and Lets Go Mets! Who’s with me!??!?!

Brooklyn Pennant Ale '55

This English style pale ale, sentimentally named after the 1955 World Series Champion Brooklyn Dodgers, is brewed by Brooklyn Brewery in Brooklyn, NY.

This is a very nice tasting ale. It is amber in color as most pales are, but not overpowering in its hopiness. The pale hops give it just enough bite, while the taste remains crisp and clean. Its hard to go wrong with a cold Pennant Ale '55 on a warm summer day!

Brooklyn Pennant Ale '55
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0


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