The other day I joined my friends to prepare our fantasy draft for the upcoming spring, however we always have a tough time agreeing on what metrics to use, and sometimes its tough to just pick a sport to focus on, so we use our imagination.
Which player has the best haircut?
Best looking wife?
This year we finally decided to draft the best alleged Steroid Users of All Time so that we could create and manage a fantasy group of former heroes to boast and laugh about. Almost as soon as we determined the scope of our challenge, I ran right to the drawing board to create my draft list. We had a random drawing and I know I'm picking fifth; here's how I rank my top five players based on things we know and also those colorful things we can assume as the drivers of public opinion.
No. 1 - I think it has to be Barry Lamar Bonds. ESPECIALLY with all this news coming in to light about the failed drug tests, Government witnesses and recorded conversations with Greg Anderson. This type of hype is just like CC Sabathia's performance for the Brewers last year; he's guaranteed to jump way up your Fantasy Baseball draft even though he was already a Cy Young type of guy.
Barry has been fighting a legal battle off the field and has ripped off a string of some of the best lies we've ever seen. An example to refresh your memory, Barry says he thought he was using flax seed oil, but Barry, didn't you notice that your head expanded 3 hat sizes in one season? At age 42?
You can't make this stuff up.
Aside from the blatant lying that nobody believes, he was an absolute stud while using said juice. He's the Career Home Run king, and he hit 73 Home Runs in one season. Lets be honest with each other as fans (even if Bonds wont), there are a TON of guys that have taken steroids and have been just OK.
If he simply pulled a "Pettitte" or a "Giambi" and owned up a little bit, he'd probably be the DH for the New York Yankees right now - instead, he stuck with the denial, which is why he's such a notorious steroid user and so high on the list. Pettitte, and Giambi, if you just stuck to lying, you could have been on this list too, but you told the truth. Tough luck.
Bonds is the mold of this fantasy group - great performance on the juice, great denial, and great attention leading up to draft day.
No. 2 - Lance Armstrong
Lance gets high marks for similar reasons to Bonds; he was completely dominant while on the juice, and he denies it vehemently. Passionately. The problem with Lance is that you have to separate his heroic efforts in beating testicular cancer from his cheating, and this line often gets lost on people. For me, to be honest with ranking the best steroid users of all time I've had to search for signs of cheating that have had nothing to do with cancer.
One clear example is when Outside the Lines reported that Lance Armstrong told Greg LeMonde, "If you ever tell anybody about this I will make your life a living hell."
He's considering a comeback now - which we can believe to mean that he didn't really retire, he simply took a timeout because the heat was coming. But now, not only has the heat died down a bit, but the "stuff" has probably improved and he can create a great story with a clean run at the Tour De France. He can't comeback and lose because then he'll be a fraud, he has to win; he's older too, so he's gotta have some great steroids in the cupboard.
This will be great to watch. But for now, you can't deny his roid credit when he threatened Greg LeMonde for challenging his appearance in a tight yellow shirt.
No. 3 - Mark McGwire
If John McGraw were alive today he would suggest that the Oakland A's in the 1990's looked like a bunch of white elephants...on steroids. The Bash Brothers were the studs of steroids, and they were on the prowl for drugs as if in a scene from CHiPs (guess which one was Ponch). Now the elephants on their sleeves look like the players themselves and when Mark went to the Cardinals, he was a spin off of the bash brothers and he finally had the stage to himself.
With Sammy Sosa pounding home runs and pounding supplement needles, Mark was determined to not look back and he gave Barry Bonds a goal to overcome. So the performance is there and the denial is incredibly memorable, in the form of taking the fifth amendment privilege which in legal terms might have prevented self-incrimination, but in the court of public opinion was a respect black hole.
Now, let's pause for a moment because Jose Canseco performed well on the juice and also brought his name to steroid prominence with his book. I should remind readers that an all-time steroid user never comes clean in this league.
Jose not only came clean, but he used a book to disclose the names of every man who injected his buttocks, very much like a Heidi Fleiss spin-off.
No. 4 - Ben Johnson
I could probably wait for the snake draft to come around again to draft Ben Johnson, but I secretly rank him this high...the dude beat Carl Lewis in the Olympics. That takes a lot of balls, no matter what they say steroids do to them.
So there's two things here, beating Carl Lewis, and making it as far as he did in a much stricter testing setting, the Olympics. The Olympics are like the ultimate challenge for underground doctors, cross refer to the German Women's Swimming teams of the past. Those scientists had some serious devotion. Ben got himself a temporary Gold Medal, instant notoriety at a quadrennial event without going to jail, well done.
No. 5 - Slammin' Sammy Sosa
Sammy would have gone much higher, but his form is just sloppy. First of all, the credentials are there, great performance, hysterical denial in a public forum; check and check.
What detracts from his ranking are a couple things that a great Steroid, no, an All-Time Steroid user shouldn't do. A), he pulled his back out from "sneezing" and missed some playing time. We all know that "sneezing" is the perfunctory causation excuse for all marginal physiological side effects of steroids. Everybody knows that already so its not a great denial. Just like Giambi with the stomach parasite line. Nobody buys it Jason, you're an admitted user so just get yourself off the list unless you want to bring a strong denial or maybe even threaten Greg LeMonde.
Worse, he double-cheated when he corked his bat. HOW THE PAUL BLART MALL COP do you cork a bat AND take steroids? That's just making a mockery of the Steroid world. If you aren't good enough with just steroids and lying about steroids/bilinguality, then corking a bat isn't going to put you over the top. Bat corking does not a top steroid user make.
Illegal foregin substances are to be used strictly in the body. You don't double-cheat.
You're up next, who will you draft?