Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Lightning 2.22.2009

  • Bursting the bubble of innuendo about trainer Angel Presinal:
Peering through the subterfuge about personal trainer Angel Presinal, the implication is that any kind of involvement with him at all by any player means that they were automatically using his apparent familiarity with steroids as basis for conviction of guilt, and it is----in the court of public opinion. The truth is that simply because the man knows about steroids and probably provided them with guidance in their correct usage to certain players, that doesn't mean he's on a level with Kirk Radomski and Brian McNamee as a dealer/enabler.
As someone who's done research into steroids; has friends who are serious, competitive bodybuilders; and has worked in gyms, I'm here to tell you that because someone has a certain knowledge about the usage of PEDs, knows where to get them and how to apply them, it doesn't eliminate any training knowledge they have or disqualify them from helping those who want to play clean. I know about steroids but have never used them and, truth be told, I don't think they're that dangerous if used correctly under medical supervision; it's not as cut and dried as is implied. had a story about Presinal posted yesterday----LINK. Reading between the lines through the gray areas and knowing what I know about personal trainers and steroids, here's what I think goes on with Presinal: he knows about steroids; he knows how to beat drug tests; and if a player asks about them, he tells them what the deal is. He neither recommends them, nor advises against them; if a player wants to play clean, he can help them get into condition without them; if they don't, he has the knowledge to help them there too.
Because a person has knowledge about a certain subject doesn't make them guilty. People believe that competitive bodybuilders are muscleheaded idiots, and some of them are; but they also have to know about nutrition; and I'm not talking about basic carbs, proteins, fats; I'm talking about everything about how each and every single thing a person ingests affects their body and performance; that includes water intake, how many calories to consume, how to gain and lose weight and be in peak condition on a particular day at a particular time. It's a science. So as the media tries to turn this Presinal into the devil incarnate and assume everyone who's had any dealings with him whatsoever is, by proxy, a steroid user, the fact is that they might be; but they also might not be; but you'd never know that by the ominous way in which he's portrayed.
  • When (not if) Manny signs with the Dodgers, he'll be looking for someone to blame for his "substandard" contract:
After Manny Ramirez finally rejoins the Dodgers, I've said all along that he's going to publicly fire Scott Boras for not following through on his promises to get him $100 million. Then there's going to be the sticky situation of an irritated Manny because he had to "settle" for around $25 million for one year. That's the thing with Manny: he seems to blame others (even those that are trying to help him) for his problems. Boras does deserve a chunk of the blame for what's gone on with Manny from the way he forced his way out of Boston and behaved like a fool; but Manny's not as stupid as people tend to believe; he shares in the responsibility as well. One thing that has to be worrying to the Dodgers is that Manny is going to show up in a bad mood because he didn't get the multi-year deal he wanted even if was the Dodgers who wanted him and paid him.
It reminds me of when the Oakland Raiders drafted Lester Hayes far later in the NFL draft than his talents indicated he should've gone (Hayes had a stutter which made people think he was stupid); he showed up to camp all angry because he was passed over by so many teams; Raiders coach John Madden had to explain to Hayes that it wasn't the Raiders he should've been mad at because they were the ones who did draft him. If Manny's on a one-year deal, it shouldn't be a problem because he'll still be motivated to give the big money another shot next year, but if they give him a two-year contract, who knows what Manny's frame of mind will be as he sits there and stews?
  • Circumstances could save New York Rangers coach Tom Renney:
The NHL is a league that tends to fire their coaches first and ask questions later and the Rangers coach Tom Renney is right in front of the firing squad for several reasons, not the least of being how awful the team's been lately. Even with that, he probably has tonight to get the team straightened out because of the accident of circumstance that two of the team's old-time players----Andy Bathgate and Harry Howell----are being honored at Madison Square Garden tonight. After the ceremonies, they're playing a rebuilding team in the Toronto Maple Leafs, whom they should beat; and if they don't, they're not playing again until Wednesday in Toronto against the same team which is plenty of time to make a change.
Not wanting to distract from a celebration is a strange way to save a coach's job, but these things happen and sometimes they turn out to be for the best. Many coaches and managers have been days, hours and minutes away from being sacked, and are spared for one reason or another out of sheer luck and turn things around. Firing Renney wouldn't solve the Rangers problem of not being able to score, but the players do seem to have tuned him out; and he's not blameless in this whole mess because his team plays a lackluster offensive style, has been hideous on the power play and he has a lot of say-so in the composition of the roster.
They're still in a relatively secure playoff position and there's no team in the conference that they can't get past in the playoffs, so a change, even if it's just for the rest of the season (the NHL also tends to fire coaches briefly, then bring them back sometime during the next season) might be a wakeup call. Team president Glen Sather is close with veteran coach Pat Quinn and he's a successful, respected coach; Peter Laviolette is still out of work; and the Rangers employ a "fixer" with a history of having his teams burst out of the gate when he takes over in Jim Schoenfeld. Then there are the less intriguing names like Bob Hartley, John Tortorella or Robbie Ftorek. One way or the other, Renney had better get the team back on the right track, because if they lose again and look like zombies, he'll be out. (Following is a great clip of Schoenfeld confronting a referee in the runway while he was coaching the Devils):

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