Mr. Bozackís Corner: 6/4/02

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Issue #50

†††††††††† I just saw one of the most awesome game 7s in my life. As much as it pains me to say this, I have to give mad props to the Lakers who always seem to find a way to win the close ones. I think their battle hardened experience is what won them the series over Sac-town. Anyway, a lot has happened since my last column, mainly: homosexuality, steroids and Star Wars.

††††††††††† STEROIDS

††††††††††† Iíve never seen sports writers get so obsessed, and angry about a subject, than they have been about the use of steroids in baseball. Okay, lets look at this topic logically without all the hysteria associated with it. Do I think over half the ballplayers in MLB use steroids or some type of supplement? Yes most definitely. The question is why are the writers so concerned about maintaining the sanctity of baseball records when the majority of fans donít seem either surprised or to care? †

Mark McGwire looked like a freak before he retired.
††††††††††† Iíll tell you why. Sports writers think they are the guardians of something sacred. They believe they are the protectors of the national pastime. As Iíve pointed out before, these guys are middle-aged bitter men who want to make sure that the records of their idols remain intact. Sure I think Sammy Sosa bulked up unnaturally, and Mark McGwire looked like a freak before he retired, and maybe that Barry Bonds is using something to make himself bigger than ever. But how do you explain Alfonso Soriano, or Luis Gonzalez or Junior Griffrey?

††††††††††† Part of the problem with blaming all the recent records being broken on steroids is that overlooks the effects of smaller ballparks, bad pitching and all year long weightlifting as additional factors. You canít tell me that this is the first time Tom Verducci (the author who wrote the Ken Caminiti article in Sports Illustrated) came across steroid use by a former player. But why now, why put out such damaging material at this point in time? Is it a way to discredit Sosa, or Bonds if they happen to break Hank Aaronís record? I donít know the answer to that one myself, but I am curious. The most bizarre thing I read in the SI article was the statement by Kenny ďMr. walk in the winning runĒ Rogers; that he doesnít throw as hard as he can because he is worried that it might come back at him even harder and kill him.

††††††††††† Kenny, you just suck! You mean to tell me you donít compete to the best of your abilities because you are afraid of getting hurt? Does Randy Johnson worry about throwing the ball as hard as he can and being hit by a line drive, does Pedro or Mariano Rivera worry? I donít think so. I think they compete to the best of their abilities because itís their job to do so. No wonder the guy nibbles at the plate and refuses to throw strikes. Why isnít anyone upset about Kenny Rogers admission that he is afraid to compete.

††††††††††† Listen, I donít really care whether players use steroids or not, because I donít know how much of a difference it really makes. I mean think about it, with all the supposed steroids out there why has pitching dominated the World Series and playoffs, and why are home runs down by 21% in the national league if everyone is juiced? Why, because you still have to hit the ball, baseball is still a skill sport, just being big and strong will help you in football, but is not going to make Rey Ordonez hit like A-Rod anytime soon.


††††††††††† Does it really matter whether a baseball player is gay or not? What, all of a sudden a guy is not going to be able to bunt the runner from first to second or hit a grand slam because heís gay? Please. Whatís sad about the whole sordid Mike Piazza affair is that in 2002, we as a society still have not advanced to the point that race and an athleteís sexual preference is unimportant in the whole scheme of life. I think itís even more idiotic for people to say, ďas long as a the first openly gay player is producing on the field I donít have a problem with it.Ē

††††††††††† What the hell does that mean? Homosexuality is only acceptable if a player is a .335 hitter who averages 35-50 homers and 110 RBI per year? Thatís fucking pathetic logic but Iíve heard several ball players and fans say exactly that. There have been rumors that Tom Cruise is gay for years, but people still flock to his movies. Anne Heche can be gay one day and straight the next and no one cares, but Iím suppose to care if Chipper Jones and Shawn Green are gay or not? Iím not naÔve I understand that what those people are actually saying is that it would be easier to swallow (no pun intended), if their favorite player who turned out to be gay was a superstar, but in reality thatís not gonna happen. Too much money is involved for any superstar to feel safe enough to come out.


Star Wars may have mythology, but Spider Man has Kirsten Dunst in the rain.

††††††††††† Now that Iíve seen both movies, I have to say, I liked Star Wars better, although I found the Spiderman movie the more lighthearted of the two movies. Hereís what I mean, Star Wars has the whole mythology thing and the old movies, which are considered classics. Each SW film has such high expectations attached to it that the movies themselves become an experience. Itís like a cult, you are either indoctrinated and want to be a part of the religion or you reject it.

††††††††††† With SW you already know what happens to most of the characters, its how they get there that is so intriguing. So what you get is a movie that is very somber, and takes itself very very seriously. Spiderman, on the other hand, was more enjoyable, because people did not know what to expect. Sure a lot was riding on the success of the franchise for Marvel comic heroes, but nothing like SW. Examples of upcoming sequels that have to deliver are the Matrix, Lord of the Rings II and Harry Potter.

††††††††††† I loved Spiderman because it was fun to see the character come to life and because Toby Maguire was the prefect Peter Parker. I liked Star Wars better only because this was the make or break film of the franchise and George Lucas delivered the goods. Iíve been a SW fan for over 20 years so I feel like I have more invested in the story. For example, after seeing Attack of the Clones, I felt sorry for the future Darth Vader and was able to better understand why he became the evil guy that he eventually becomes. Spiderman is new and fresh, the weight of expectations will not affect the product until the next sequel or when the third film eventually flops because the storyline is weak. There is no pressure on the people who write the Spiderman movies to maintain continuity with pictures that occurred 25 years prior to the latest edition.

††††††††††† BIG GAME PLAYERS

††††††††††† Finally, since everyone will be writing off the Nets in the Finals, I have to go with New Jersey. The Lakers can be had this year, why not by Jason Kidd and the boys. Also in the Stanley Cup Finals, Iím picking Carolina despite the fact that Detroit is the better team on paper. Whoever said Patrick Roy was a big game goalie must have been the same clown who said Andy Pettite is a big game player too. How can you be a big game player if give up 7 goals in game seven and have a 6-6 record overall in game 7s. Letís set the record straight about who is a BGP and who isnít.†

1: Mike Bibby is a BGP, the rest of the Kings especially Doug Christie and C-Webb are not.
2: Kobe & Shaq are BGP, Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker are not.
3: The Braves are BGPs when it comes to winning the NL East, but canít win the anything else.
4: Mariano River is a BGP, Armando Benitez not.
5: Reggie Miller is a BGP, John Starks is not.
6: Allen Iverson is a BGP, Vince Carter is not.
7: Derek Jeter is a BGP, Barry Bonds is not.
8: Tiger Woods is a BGP, Phil Mickelson is not.
9: Duke basketball teams are BGP, Syracuse not.
10: Michael Jordan is the ultimate BGP, Robert Horry is clutch but only because heís wide open. Then again Doug Christie was wide-open all night and he just kept missing. But still Horry is shaky, he canít win the game for you if heís being covered like Kobe can.

* Mr. Bozack rants each week about any topic he chooses for TwistedFans.com
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