Midwest Sports Fans had a story a few days ago that lead to speculation about Raul Ibanez and performance-enhancing drugs. The story was thorough and well thought-out. The writer tried to convey both side of the argument and gave interesting facts that support both sides of the opinion. Jerod Morris, the writer of the post on Midwest Sports Fans, is getting wrongly accused of throwing out accusations that he believes that Ibanez is on something illegal. If people would just read the entire article, and not just snippets, they would leave with the opinion that Morris doesn’t know the answer himself, but understands why someone would think something is fishy. This isn’t really a story about Ibanez as much as a story about the past ghosts that will continue to haunt Major League Baseball players until they allow blood testing for testing. Until the public have 100% certainty that players are clean, it will always be the elephant in the room.
On the otherhand, I love Ibanez’s response to the post. If the alleged accusation was a Stephen Strasburg heater, he hit it out of the park. He is taking the approach that I wish Bonds, McGwire, or any other player should have taken. I do admit that Ibanez’s “mother basement” line was out-of-line, but I do acknowledge his passion for proving his innocence. I want him to go a step farther. I would like to see him ignore the player’s union and accept an independent drug-test, the kind that would be as strict as the Olympic-testing.
This story is very unique. You don’t see a blog causing a stir, unless your Deadspin, let alone this kind of exposure. It proves that bloggers are increasing their reach and gaining more notablity in mainstream media. I love it. I do think that about 85% of sports blogs are poorly written and are just out to slam sports figures, but there are some great ones out there.
Before I finish this post, I would like to submit my opinion on Ibanez. I believe he had something to prove. He has never been on a contender before, most of his career was with Kansas City and Seattle. The motivation to do well and finally win a championship was there this year, more than past seasons. He also knew that he was in a line-up with Utley, Howard, and Rollins, the pressure isn’t going to be there, as he has bats around to protect him. My last point would be that he went from the American League to the National League. History tells us that players who take the leap over to the National League do better. I think all these factors add up to Ibanez’s hot start to the season. We have to remember that the season isn’t even halfway over. Many players have had just as good 2nd-halfs, but it flies under the radar usually, since most fans just look at the season average and totals.
I would like to congratulate Jerod Morris for the great article. The response is a little mixed as a whole, but this will go down as the top blog post of 2009.