Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
September 7, 2007
BASEBALL: Maybe Not The Natural

Rick Ankiel under investigation for using HGH. According to the New York Daily News' report on an ongoing investigation

Ankiel has not been accused by authorities of wrongdoing, and stopped receiving HGH just before Major League Baseball officially banned it in 2005, The News reported.

Of course, HGH doesn't work, or at least doesn't work other than in conjunction with steroids.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:28 AM | Baseball 2007 | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

King of Deadspin will in tears if true.

Posted by: abe at September 7, 2007 10:42 AM

Yeah, that story is a real disappointment.

This really casts a shadow on what is arguably one of the great sports comeback stories I can remember, period. Here's what I wrote about Ankiel when he first came up to the Cards last month, and the story had only gotten more incredible since—the guy had 7 RBI last night! In 23 games he's hitting .360 with 9 bombs and 29 Ribs. The Cards jumped on his back and climbed back into the race going 17-6 since his call-up.

As rotoworld said, this guy had such downfall—first mental, then physical—one can almost forgive the desperation he must have been feeling at the time. According to the story, he recieved one shipment, before MLB's ban on HGH took effect in 2005, and there is no indication he got any more after that.

What I'd love is for Ankiel to come clean, and make a heartfelt confession about what he was going through, and how he was willing to do whatever he could within the rules at the time to resurrect his career. Unfortunately, he can't do that because while MLB didn't ban HGH, he probably received it illegally. There's no way to know if he uses it now or anytime in between, because MLB does not test for HGH.

I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. For now. I'm also going to start getting used to the fact that just about everybody did some of this shit...

Posted by: Mr. Furious at September 7, 2007 11:32 AM

It sounds like he's probably technichally not in any trouble, as it was not banned at the time and he apparently had a prescription (his doctor would be more likely to be in trouble). It's disappointing, but I'm more enclined to forgive guys who do these sorts of things out of desperation, rather than guys like Bonds who could be in the Hall of Fame without them.

Posted by: Jerry at September 7, 2007 11:50 AM

I hear ya, Jerry. I saiid something similar at Pinto's place:

"Trying desperately to make it back to the majors after having a career-derailing mental issue, then rehabbing from serious surgery makes Ankiel a slghtly more sympathetic character than an egomaniac in his late 30s with a HOF career already under is belt"

Posted by: Mr. Furious at September 7, 2007 12:18 PM

As with Barry, he did not break the rules that were in place at the time. In '05 when HGH was banned, he did not renew his perscription. Also, isn't that when he was rehabing from an injury?

Posted by: maddirishman at September 7, 2007 12:37 PM

You are aware he went to a fake doctor and a fake pharmacy that is why the feds are in on it. Quit apologizing and admit he cheated. Steriods work he took a cocktail of steriods (HGH and a few other things) to get back to the majors.

Posted by: javaman at September 7, 2007 2:03 PM

Name the rule he broke. Since '05 he has been subject to the same testing as all other major and minor leaguers. Until you break a rule, you haven't cheated. If your city put up a new stop sign and a cop pulled you over and stated he was writing you a ticket for not stopping at the sign a week before it was installed...that would be Ok right?

Posted by: maddirishman at September 7, 2007 2:26 PM

That logic works if you remove common sense and even the laymen knowledge of steroids. Steroids work that is why people use them. HGH does not work taken alone, people who take HGH are using a combination of several other drugs and masking agents. Since MLB does not test at Olympic levels one can cycle steroids and use the correct masking agents and never test positive. Anyone who uses HGH takes other steroids and masking agents. HGH is not a magic bullet but it helps with taken in combination.

Posted by: javaman at September 7, 2007 2:54 PM

Commen sense does not factor in to professional sports. The arguement here is not should Ankiel have taken HGH and/or steriods. That is simple, NO!!!!! The question is what rule did he break and that question is just as easy to answer, NONE!!!!!! The problem here is that MLB and the players union for yers have buried their heads in the sand and hoped this would go away. Now it is coming back and biting them in the @$$. McGwire and Sosa should enter the HOF and when it is his turn Bonds should too (unless he is caught in the meantime). Every player that is caught should be dealt with severely. The problem is, still, you can not punish or hang a cloud over someone who did something that at the time was not against the rules. I detest Barry Bonds. I think he is a shinning example of what is wrong with professional sports. That being said, I acknowledge his achievements and believe he should be enshrined in the HOF as soon as he is eligible. That is just the way it is.

Posted by: maddirishman at September 7, 2007 3:12 PM

Actually the rule and law they all have broken is insurance fraud. All contracts are underwritten and can not be signed prior to a physical. So I am pretty sure he did not admit to taking any othose drugs during the physical. That is the little rock MLB does not want unturned.

Posted by: javaman at September 7, 2007 3:18 PM

Am I wrong or can there only be insurance fraud if there is a claim. Also, the insurance would be maintained by the team not the player. Therefore, the team would be the responsible party.

Posted by: maddirishman at September 7, 2007 3:48 PM

As with Barry, he did not break the rules that were in place at the time.

Barry Bonds most certainly did break the rules. People confuse the time when MLB started testing for steroids as the same time such substances were banned. That is not true. Steroids were banned back in 1991. Read the memo Fay Vincent set out that set the drug policy. It included steroids.

Posted by: Jay at September 7, 2007 3:49 PM

Until he tests positive, he is innocent.

Posted by: maddirishman at September 7, 2007 4:21 PM

This whole story -- not just Ankiel, but Bonds & Sosa & Palmiero, etc -- is completely tiresome. Enough.

Baseball players have always tried to get an edge, and they always will. See Ball, spit; Bat, corked; Pills, pep; Signs, stolen. We're not children, we can all deal with our shattered visions of gladiatorial honestly & morality. And if we have kids, we can explain to them that most pro athletes are pampered babies who never learned to do anything but hit a ball, or shoot jumpers, or lay a devastating block. Deal. With. It.

It's a professional business based on playing a game. I'm officially unconcerned going forward with who sticks what into his ass or arm. They can ingest whale hormones for all I care. Just give me a good product and exciting games.

Posted by: Mike at September 8, 2007 10:52 AM
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