Category: Dailies

Moving Forward

Another Red Sox win to celebrate! This season has so far been a huge emotional boost, right when I needed it. I’ve mentioned before how baseball has always been there to get me through the rough times and these past few months have been no exception. With my brother and my husband in the hospital at the same time… but in different states… the Sox giving me something positive on a (nearly) daily basis was my life saver. Thankfully things are calming down, somewhat… for now.

My hope is that things continue to get better and it gives me more time to put towards my blog. I also want to make this blog a little different than most other blogs by not being someone who merely states what happened in the last game or beating to death topics that are covered in mass amounts by writers everywhere. I figure you have already seen or heard about the last game and probably have already come across the topic of the moment. This doesn’t mean I won’t sound off on topics I feel strongly about if they are also being covered heavily in other blogs and the media, just that I don’t want this blog to become a mundane repeat of everything else out there. I want to include things that will be creative and informative… fun as well as educated. Feel free to offer suggestions. I’m always open to new ideas.

I also wanted to shamelessly plug a Web site… Willow’s Book Corner (www.willowsbookcorner.com). You will find something for everyone, great selection at the low prices you find from Amazon (it’s an Amazon affiliate site). There is also breaking news and sports news as well as free online games (addictive for someone like me), and owned by a Red Sox fan. Support a fellow Sox fan, check it out.

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Congrats to Verlander

A huge congrats to Tigers RHP Justin Verlander for just pitching a no-hitter to the Brewers tonight. It was a sight to see, many of his pitches were jaw-dropping to watch!

Also, the Sox are leading the Rockies right now 2-1, bottom of the 8th!

Go Sox!

Bonds cheating? YES!

I know I haven’t posted lately, my life has been very hectic with my brother’s declining health and the health problems of my husband as well. However, after reading a particular story, I had to sound off on this. There is no doubt in my mind Barry Bonds is cheating, and it comes in the form of a MLB approved drug!

From this article on the official Giants Web site;

Bonds said that he had stopped taking prednisone, which is prescribed to treat arthritis. "Normally I take my prednisone; I haven’t done it all year," he said. "Normally I take it to keep the swelling out of my body as I got older. I forgot about it. We all forgot about it."

Prednisone is a corticosteroid — not an anabolic steroid, which are at the heart of baseball’s performance-enhancing drug controversy that has enveloped Bonds.

Now, as someone who has taken Prednisone long-term I found this to be very interesting. First of all, Prednisone has many negative side effects on your health. It can cause thinning of the skin, Glaucoma, Diabetes, vascular problems, weight gain, water retention, Osteoporosis, sleep problems as well as mental instability. These are not even considered "possible" side effects… more like these will happen if you take it long-term. For this reason, Prednisone is usually not prescribed for just anything. The most common reason for Prednisone long-term prescribed use would be auto-immune diseases, organ transplants, and Cancer. Short-term use (in dose packs) is used for allergic reactions as well as some short-term illnesses such as Pneumonia. It would never be prescribed by an ethical doctor for aging, such as Bonds mentioned. For another thing, Prednisone is dangerous because if usage is stopped suddenly, the person will go into steroidal shock and can die if they have been on it for awhile. So, why would Bonds be taking a potentially dangerous health altering hormone?

To understand the issue, you must understand what Prednisone does to the body and mind. The benefits for an athlete are astounding, and my husband and I have even joked before about how many would potentially abuse this drug if they knew of it’s power. It can make a person who normally couldn’t get out of bed because of pain levels feel like they could run a marathon (I know, it happened to me). It gives you a psychological boost… a high like found with Amphetamines. It does away with fatigue and… temporarily… makes pain a distant memory.

So the question really is… just why exactly would Bonds be taking this if not for MLB approved performance enhancement? This sure seems like a legal loophole to use steroids. Bonds in no way has a serious enough illness to be prescribed long-term use of Prednisone, and no doctor acting in an ethical manner would ever prescribe it for the reason Bonds stated. This is the perfect drug to abuse if a player wanted to combat mental or physical fatigue. It’s astoundingly cheap (at the most, $10 a month… for someone without insurance).

Prednisone also drains the body of Calcium, people taking it are asked to take larger than normal amounts of Calcium supplements. The arthritis Bonds would be speaking of would be Osteo-Arthritis, which is not inflammatory. It is caused by wear and tear… age. Prednisone would not be prescribed for non-inflammatory arthritis as it’s sole function for prescribed use is to combat inflammation.

Is this reason enough to say Bonds is cheating? From a long-term user of Prednisone… I say yes, without a doubt. Other people may disagree, and if so I welcome your opinion on the matter, but my experience with this drug is enough for me to feel confident that Bonds is indeed using a potentially harmful medication solely to prolong his ability to continue his career, and is doing so with it prescribed unethically for this purpose. I question the integrity of any physician willing to go against ethics and prescribe a medication for something not medically needed and to be abused by any athlete. In my mind, the only difference between the "potential" use of anabolic steroids and his use of Prednisone is the fact that MLB allows Prednisone use. The reason… an advantage in playing ability… is the same either way.

The current state of baseball

I guess this is something I just need to say. I know there is no shortage of coverage of the MLB/DirecTV deal, but this not just about that. This is about my feelings on what baseball used to be for me… and what it has become.

Growing up in an abusive home, baseball was my escape as a kid. No matter what happened, I always had baseball to look forward to. It was my escape from the reality around me. For a few hours nothing mattered except what happened on the field. I used to lay my baseball cards out on the floor in front of me and sit and watch games on TV. Going to watch Cincinnati Reds games were heaven, and back then it was a frequent occurrence. I remember the magic of hearing those words "Let’s go to a game today". That’s back when you could afford to go to games. Before going to a single baseball game became something it took a year to plan and save money for. All those years ago, it was something you could wake up and decide it was a beautiful day to catch a game. For me, it was a reason to make it through everything I was dealing with. As long as there was a game going on I felt like I was part of something special.

Baseball is still what keeps me going. When things get unbearable with my health problems and I start to feel like I just can’t fight through it any longer, I can say "Just one more game". I just want to make it through one more Red Sox game, I want one last experience, one last chance at a few hours of hope and passion. After the game is over, I start again… "Just one more game". It gets me through life, one game at a time. Perhaps it’s not what most people would consider a life saving experience, but the important thing for me is that I’m still here. It does give me something to look forward to. No matter how bad things get in my life or with my health, I will always have the Red Sox to help me get through it.

I remember back when I was a kid, being a fan was an important thing. Back when MLB cherished the fan relationship. Back when MLB understood that baseball was an escape for those less fortunate, that baseball was how many kids learned about life and when fans were considered to be more than just the cash they provided. Back when players and managers helped in the community because they wanted to, not for PR purposes. Back when the good deeds were not major media stories, but something you knew about because you experienced it. I remember walking through Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati and being able to hug my favorite players. It wasn’t reported or recorded, it was something they wanted to do. These players had a profound effect on my life. Baseball took a kid living in a horrible situation and turned her into a person who understood honesty, integrity, loyalty and respect. I didn’t have anywhere else to learn these things from. Baseball was not just an escape, it was complete freedom… the freedom to be able to achieve whatever I set out to accomplish.

These days when I talk about baseball to my own kids and their friends I hear a lot of "wow, you went to that many games?" and "I went to a baseball game once!". I had looked forward to giving my kids the experiences I had as a child. I looked forward to being able to take them to games and giving them a chance to escape the complexities in life. A strong foundation of love for a game that could possibly someday be the one thing that keeps them going if they feel their life is falling apart. Instead I can only share stories of the past, and try to keep myself from falling apart when I see the hurt in their eyes when they ask to go to a game and I can only tell them that we don’t have enough money. The game that gave me hope as a child has become a game of disappointment to my kids. This is where baseball has gone. This is the game of the future.

MLB doesn’t like that the fans are speaking out about the deal with DirectTV. MLB thinks we are making a big deal out of nothing and just aren’t smart enough to understand complex business deals. I say that MLB doesn’t understand fans anymore… that they don’t understand baseball anymore. I say that perhaps they are right for going for more money now, because they will need it when the fans have been abused enough and decide that the game isn’t worth fighting for anymore. Then perhaps team owners will yell about the fans lack of passion and how difficult it is to get people to come watch the games. They will lose money and the blame will not be on MLB or on those owners who supported these deals, but the few die hard fans who have stuck through it all, willingly gave up every penny they could to support their favorite team and still find the magical escape in a baseball game, will again take the fall. Those of us who will continue to stick with baseball because it is such a part of our lives are in for a long-term abusive relationship.

As a kid watching baseball taught me that anything was possible. Now I see that everything is possible except watching baseball. Thank you  MLB.

Making a difference

I am a big supporter of charitable causes. I make it a big part of my life and encourage others to get involved in helping other in any way they can. I am a member of the Board of Directors for the organization The Miracles of Hope Network (http://miracles-of-hope.com) which I am very honored to be a part of. I also feature a new organization every week on my forum which can be visited from my web site http://www.dragonwillowproductions.com.

We also hear a lot about philanthropy work done by athletes, including the Red Sox, but how much of what they do is for public relations purposes only? Several players from the Sox are well known for helping charitable causes and I have no doubts that they would be just as active if the media attention was not there. They have a strong drive to help others and with the financial freedom to do so they have managed to make quite an impact on the world. There are also those players who set up foundations and never do anything with them, or mismanage them. They may do it for tax breaks or to help their image, but in the end they have failed to take advantage of one of the best chances to make a difference in this world.

I am grateful the Red Sox are an organization that include people active in making a difference in the community and the entire planet from the very top in the ownership team to the players as well as employees. I am honored to be a fan of a team that makes helping others a concern that goes beyond public relations.

Is there a specific player that you admire for their philanthropy work? Anyone in the organization that has inspired you to get involved in helping others? Let me know what has made the biggest impact on you.

Reason for sporadic posting

I just wanted to explain my lack of updating. I have a family member who has just been added to the list for a double lung transplant and I have been preparing to be able to leave at a moments notice. I will have to go out of state when I get the call so if posts seem scarce it may be because I am dealing with family issues.

I do hope to be able to catch up, so there may be several posts made on some days… don’t forget to scroll down and check.