Monday, September 10, 2007

After Rick Ankiel's 2 homer, 7 RBI performance last week, I was planning to write about him. He was, after all, the feel-good story of the summer. In case you don't know, the short version of the story is that Ankiel came up the the Cardinals in 2000 as a 20-year-old pitching phenom. Then, in the 2000 playoffs, he inexplicably lost his control and never got it back. It was sad to watch this kid suddenly have absolutely no ability to get the ball over the plate.

Ankiel went back to the minors and tried to convert to the outfield. It turned out that he could hit pretty well and returned to the Cardinals this season. He went on an instant tear and has 9 homers and 29 RBI in 26 games. It looked like an incredible story.

Unfortunately, this storybook tale took a turn to the dark side. Ankiel apparently ordered Human Growth Hormone from the same mail-order pharmacy as Patriot Rodney Harrison, who is currently serving a four game suspension. Toronto's Troy Glaus and Baltimore's Jay Gibbons were also customers of this questionable pharmacy.

How do we know what to believe any more? A great story like this turns into an apparent fraud. You never know who is going to be the next player caught up in the steroid web.

One thing about this I did find amusing. When Ankiel was confronted about this by the press, he claimed "doctor-patient confidentiality". What someone failed to explain to him is that the confidentiality exists to keep the doctor from talking about a patient's medical condition without his consent. The patient can say whatever he wants. If you don't want to talk about the HGH, Rick, just say so. Don't throw this pseudo-legal bull at us, OK?


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