Top 10 active MLB games without a World Series appearance

As we try to turn away from steroid implications and indictments and all of the black clouds surrounding Major League Baseball, we can’t forget that there are games to be played. Yes, the 2009 season is almost upon us. And with Ken Griffey Jr. signing with the Seattle Mariners this past week, where his great career began, it’s worth noting the Top 10 in active players who are not only ring-less, but have never appeared in a World Series game. (Note that we only counted those who are still active or at least played through the 2008 season.)

1. Ken Griffey Jr. (2521 games, 20 seasons)—He’s played for some great Mariners teams, but his Reds’ clubs the last decade or so were mostly awful. Junior had a shot with the White Sox last season after being traded, and didn’t make it. Can he play long enough for Seattle to become competitive again?

2. Frank Thomas (2322, 19)—Really, the Big Hurt has never sniffed a World Series? Well yeah, he was with the White Sox for 16 years and the team won it all in 2005, his last season with the team. But that October, Thomas was injured and left off the postseason roster, and then signed with Oakland in 2006.

3. Alex Rodriguez (2042, 15)—Does anyone else think it’s not coincidental that A-Rod has never reached the Fall Classic? Dude is a world-beater in the regular season but never seems to match or exceed his capability in the postseason.

4. Carlos Delgado (2009, 16)—Delgado began his career in Toronto right after the Jays won two World Series titles, and while he’s been close with the Mets a few times, he’s still looking for that “brass” ring.

5. Ray Durham (1975, 14)—Ray Durham has been a steady player, but all those years with the Giants (after they were NL champs in 2002) didn’t help his chances to reach the big stage. A late-season trade to Milwaukee in 2008 got him close, but the Brewers lost to Philly in the NLDS.

6. Jason Kendall (1833, 13)—Nine seasons in Pittsburgh says all that there needs to be said.

7. Bobby Abreu (1799, 13)—Abreu left Philly, and the Phillies won two division titles and a World Series. He put up decent numbers with the Yanks, but being A-Rod’s teammate didn’t help matters any (see above).

8. Mark Grudzielanek (1772, 14)—Grudzielanek began his career in Canadian baseball purgatory (Montreal) and has played the last three seasons in American baseball purgatory (Kansas City).

9. Vladimir Guerrero (1750, 13)—This dude has absolutely mashed his entire career, but playing eight years in Montreal ensured a late start in postseason experience. He signed with the Angels two years after they won it all, and is on a very talented team that always seems to underachieve in the playoffs.

10. Miguel Tejada (1713, 12)—Tejada won an MVP award in Oakland and has put up some monster numbers. His link to steroid use, along with A-Rod’s, has not exactly put him in a good light, but it’s still a bit surprising that he’s never made it to the big dance.

Source: Baseball Reference

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Congress to look into steroids in horse racing

Gary West of the Star-Telegram writes that a congressional subcommittee has conducted an inquiry into “Breeding, Drugs and Breakdowns” in the sport of horse racing.

In her opening comments, Illinois congresswoman Jan Schakowsky said, “It seems greed has trumped the health of horses, the safety of jockeys and the integrity of the sport.”

Some might point out that not every segment of the industry was represented. Nobody was there Thursday, for example, representing the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association or the Association of Racing Commissioners International. Most of all, nobody was there to represent the typical horseman who spends so much of his time and resources caring for his horses as though they’re part of his family.

And some might wonder why the Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection Subcommittee of the House of Representatives was spending its time on such things. But it would be a mistake not to answer the wake-up call.

“We want you to regulate yourself,” Rep. Stearns said, as if addressing everybody connected to the sport. And the implication was clear: If horse racing doesn’t address its problems, if it doesn’t regulate itself, then government will.

My initial reaction to seeing this was doesn’t congress have better things to worry about? But these horses aren’t making a conscious decision to use steroids and other drugs – humans are making those decisions for them. So maybe it is worth it for congress to step in and take a look at what’s going on in the underworld of horse racing, especially if these animals’ health is in danger.

Interview with Chris Bell, Director of “Bigger, Stronger, Faster*”

The following is an interview I conducted with Chris Bell, director of the film, “Bigger, Stronger, Faster*.” For the synopsis of the film, as well as a review and discussion, click here.

Among other topics, I asked Bell what drove him to make the film, what he wanted viewers to take from it, and how his family (who are prominently shown throughout the film) reacted when they saw it on the big screen. For more information about “Bigger, Stronger, Faster*,” visit the film’s official website.

Click here to read the entire interview.

Read the rest after the jump...

DVD Review & Film Discussion: “Bigger, Stronger, Faster*”

Synopsis from official website: From the producers of Bowling For Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11 comes a new film that unflinchingly explores our win-at-all-cost culture through the lens of a personal journey. Blending comedy and pathos, Bigger, Stronger, Faster* is a collision of pop culture, animated sequences and first-person narrative, with a diverse cast including US Congressmen, professional athletes, medical experts and everyday gym rats.

At its heart, this is the story of director Christopher Bell and his two brothers, who grew up idolizing muscular giants like Hulk Hogan, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and who went on to become members of the steroid-subculture in an effort to realize their American dream. When you discover that your heroes have all broken the rules, do you follow the rules, or do you follow your heroes?

Click here for a review and disccusion of “Bigger, Stronger, Faster*.” Also, be sure to check out the interview I did with Chris Bell, the director of “Bigger, Stronger, Faster*.”

Read the rest after the jump...

Convicted steroids dealer David Jacobs found dead

David Jacobs, a convicted steroids dealer who just agreed to share information with the NFL about which players received banned substances, was found dead in his Plano, Texas home Thursday morning. A woman named Amanda Jo Earhart-Savell was also found dead; police are not saying whether the deaths were a murder-suicide.

On May 21, Mr. Jacobs met with NFL security officials to share information about steroids use and their football players.

Mr. Jacobs has publicly accused ex-Dallas Cowboys lineman Matt Lehr of buying large quantities of banned substances, but has never for the record named other football players who received the steroids he manufactured.

Mr. Hockeimer said this of the meeting at the time:

“The general topic was his knowledge of steroid and human growth hormone use by current and former players. They were thorough in their questioning. David provided them with documents corroborating what he was telling them.”

Mr. Hockeimer would not say which players were discussed. But he said Mr. Jacobs provided documentary evidence of claims he was making.

Let’s hope the media doesn’t immediately draw comparisons with the Chris Benoit double murder-suicide and start assuming things before facts are released. The whole steroids issue is an incredibly touchy subject in America and the media has way of immediately linking the drug to why people act in violent ways. As soon as the Benoit story broke, the media assumed he murdered his wife and young child because he was on steroids. Everyone should let the facts come out before drawing any conclusions.

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