- Created on 06 June 2013
Well, here we go...
It appears, according to the accounts of Tony Bosch, you and I have been cheated.
Bosch, founder and head of the now-defunct South Florida Biogenesis Wellness Clinic, will sing as though he is auditioning for Motown founder/owner Berry Gordy to secure a recording contract, as he tells Major League Baseball about his relationship with performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) and dozens of baseball players, including New York Yankees shortstop Alex "A-Rod" Rodriguez, Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan "Hebrew Hammer" Braun, Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Melky "Milk Man" Cabrera and other notable major leaguers, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.
In fact of the 15 players he is said to be naming, 12 are from Latin-American nations where using PEDs seems to be the norm.
However, using PEDs as a MLB player is prohibited by MLB, meaning the players named by Bosch all could be suspended for up to 100 games if found guilty of using performance enhancers.
Time after time we hear of this issue. And we'll undoubtedly hear about this issue again.
"The obvious reason players use 'juice' is to get a competitive edge on their opponents and teammates," says HayWood Media's baseball analyst Brian Woodall. "The younger players juice to get that edge over the older players, the older players juice to get that edge over the younger players. It's a vicious, never-ending cycle."
When will athletes learn that juicing is not only a no-no in professional sports and in international competition, but that it is also unhealthy?
"Though it does build-up the muscles, juicing can cause long term damage. Causing damage to the body's own ability to produce testosterone," said Dr. Chandra Stone of the V.A.M.C. in Lexington, Kentucky. "Juicing over a certain period of time will cause the brain to shut down, thinking the body has produced the testosterone needed, when in fact that's not the case. Juicing will also lead to the shrinkage of the male testicles and diabetes. And of course diabetes leads to blindness."
I don't care how much money is able to be made as an athlete, nothing is worth putting yourself in poor health.
If as an athlete you are unable to compete at a certain level with your God-given talent then you weren't meant to be a competitive athlete at that level.
Maybe you weren't meant to be an athlete at all.
- Created on 06 June 2013
In the aftermath of All-Star catcher Brian McCann's 1,000th hit Monday night, the six-time all star and five-time silver slugger was asked in a pre-game interview with Major League Baseball, "Is this the best Braves team you've played on??" His answer was a resounding yes.
In the series finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates the Braves showed glimpses of why they have been so successful this season: quality starting pitching, the long ball and excellent production outside of the starting lineup.
Atlanta swept the Pirates in a three-game series after a 5-0 victory Wednesday afternoon. Bench players Evan Gattis and Gerald Laird hit back-to-back homers in the sixth to propel the Braves to a five-game win streak. Rookie Julio Terran pitched eight solid innings with 11 strikeouts giving up just one hit.
The notion that this Braves team is the best since McCann's inaugural 2005 season isn't without merit, but it is hard to fathom. McCann has played with the likes of Andruw Jones, Brian Jordan, John Smoltz and Braves legend Chipper Jones.
"I just feel like offensively, defensively and pitching, this team has a lot more talent," McCann said. "We're off to a good start but only time will tell."
The talented pitching McCann mentioned was on display Wednesday afternoon when Braves prospect Terran came just four outs shy of pitching a no hitter against the Pirates. Even though the season hasn't concluded, players are in agreement with McCann's statements.
Eleven-year veteran Laird said this team is one of the most talented organizations he has ever been apart of as well. The Braves catcher has played with the Texas Rangers, St. Louis Cardinals and the Detroit Tigers, who made a World Series appearance last year.
"The [Tigers] had a lot of power but this team can beat you in so many ways. Definitely one of the most talented I've been a part of," Laird said.
So is this the best Braves team in the past ten years? No. But they do have the potential to be.
Over the years Braves' President John Schuerholz and Braves' General Manager Frank Wren have brought excitement to the city of Atlanta with blockbuster trades and offseason acquisitions. This year was no different when Atlanta executives brought together the bash brothers duo of Justin and B.J. Upton.
The Braves have already been off to one of the hottest starts in team history, posting an 11-1 record in the beginning of the season. Atlanta's rookie sensation Evan Gattis ranks second on the team in home runs (13) and was awarded his second consecutive National League Rookie of the Month Award. Braves outfielder Justin Upton leads all N.L. outfielders in fan voting for the All-Star Game and leads the major leagues in home runs (14). Upton's 12 home runs in one month has already drawn comparisons to Chipper Jones when he won a batting title in 2008.
Atlanta's starting pitching has been stellar throughout the season too. Since the 2012 All-Star break the Braves have two pitchers (Kris Medlen, Mike Minor) ranked in the top three of ERA leaders in MLB.
From top to bottom the Braves starting lineup creates problems for any pitcher but their bench has been heralded as one of the best in years.
"We are just deep at every position," said Uggla, who has been apart of the Braves since 2010. '"W have guys that can step in at anytime and produce."
- Created on 05 June 2013
Despite a few nagging injuries to key players, slumping all-star caliber outfielders and uncertainty in the bullpen, the Atlanta Braves continue to find ways to win.
Atlanta is poised to run away with the National League East in the month of June after a 5-4 come from behind victory in extra innings over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
B.J Upton homered in the sixth inning to tie the game 4-4 and in the 10th Andrelton Simmons had the first walk-off hit of his career sending the Turner Field crowd and his Braves teammates into a frenzy.
Whether its Brian McCann, Upton, or more recently Simmons, the Braves have begun to put all the pieces together to create the formidable team everyone expected to see at the beginning of the season. This is what the National League East has feared since April, a healthy Atlanta Braves team clicking on all cylinders.
"I think this shows how dangerous our lineup can be when everyone is contributing," said Simmons, who is hitting for an average of .256 in the leadoff spot.
Braves' pariah B.J. Upton has transformed into a savor in recent games. Upton's game-tying two-run home run Tuesday night was his second home run in three days. Sunday night the Braves' outfielder also had a walk-off hit to win the game against the Washington Nationals.
"I still got to get better, I have to cut down on the strikeouts and I'm working on getting more quality [at bats]," said Upton.
Upton, Jason Heyward and Dan Uggla are all hitting below .200 but yesterday's game could be a sign of good things to come for the Braves. Heyward had his second consecutive multi-hit game and Uggla finished the night 2-for-3, drawing two base on balls including a walk in the 10th to set up Simmons' late inning heroics.
"We have guys that step up when they are called upon and everyone has been able to pick up the slack," Uggla said.
The Braves bullpen, who will miss Eric O'Flaherty and Jonny Venters for the year, pitched four scoreless innings, allowing the Atlanta hitters to break through against the Pirates, considered the second best bullpen in the major leagues.
The Braves bullpen leads the majors with a 2.61 ERA and have a three-way tie for fifth in saves (18).
"Our pitching staff has stepped up, they have done a great job of keeping us in ballgames throughout the season" said Uggla.
Atlanta has posted a 4-0 record in June and extended its N.L. East lead to seven games. Atlanta will face only two teams (the San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks) with a record over .500 in the month, which could put the Nationals even further behind the streaking Braves.
"We won't know who the better team is until it's all over, right now we are just trying to win games and play well as a team," Uggla said.
- Created on 06 June 2013
Invest Atlanta has announced -- in partnership with StadCo, the Atlanta Falcons' stadium development company, and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) – its role in ensuring at least 31 percent participation by female and minority-owned businesses in the construction of the new multipurpose stadium.
The Equal Business Opportunity Plan formalizes commitments made by StadCo to foster inclusion in all aspects of the design and construction of the new stadium. After robust negotiations, Invest Atlanta and GWCCA accepted the plan and will actively monitor participation and compliance. Invest Atlanta will carry out its compliance responsibilities with technical assistance from the City's Office of Contract Compliance.
"The participation of female and minority-owned businesses in this high-profile project continues Atlanta's unique and historic tradition of providing full and fair access to economic development and contracting opportunities to all responsive and qualified businesses," said Mayor Kasim Reed, who chairs the Invest Atlanta board. "Our commitment to female and minority-owned businesses is part of who we are as a City and as an economic development agency."
The plan details measures to engage female and minority-owned businesses in the pre-solicitation, solicitation and construction phases. For example, the general contractor will host meet-and-greet sessions for female and minority-owned businesses and hold pre-bid sessions.
"We are pleased to see StadCo's commitment to including female and minority-owned businesses," said Brian P. McGowan, President and CEO of Invest Atlanta. "This plan delineates everyone's role to make sure this important aspect of the stadium project is carried out appropriately."
To be counted towards the 31 percent participation goal, each female and minority-owned business must be considered a Georgia Certified Contractor or Vendor, requiring certification by the City's Equal Business Opportunity Program as a Female Business Enterprise (FBE), an African American Business Enterprise (AABE), an Asian (Pacific Islander) American Business Enterprise (APABE), or a Hispanic American Business Enterprise (HABE).
Female and minority-owned businesses seeking instructions and application information regarding the City of Atlanta certification process may access http://atlantaga.gov/index.aspx?page=130.
A copy of the Equal Business Opportunity Plan for the new stadium project is available on www.newatlantastadium.com.
- Created on 05 June 2013
On Thursday, Atlanta Falcons cornerback Robert McClain and safety Shann Schillinger will trade their playbooks for children's books during a Read with a Falcon event at the Gainesville Library in Gainesville, Ga. McClain and Schillinger will read children's books and sign autographs from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. The library is located at 127 Main St. NW, Gainsville, Ga., 30501
Read with a Falcon is an online summer reading program that allows youth of all ages to take part in a special story time and reading opportunity alongside Falcons players and cheerleaders at www.atlantafalcons.com/readwithafalcon.