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Sounds like baseball is a good caper to get into then.

Where does it sit in terms of popularity then? I assume American Football is most popular, is Baseball more or less popular than Basketball?

And with salaries like that, again I assume that Baseball follows the (unsustainable?) European model where the clubs are businesses who can do what they want rather than the American model where the clubs are franchises owned by the league in order to maintain some kind of level playing field?

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Sounds like baseball is a good caper to get into then.

Where does it sit in terms of popularity then? I assume American Football is most popular, is Baseball more or less popular than Basketball?

And with salaries like that, again I assume that Baseball follows the (unsustainable?) European model where the clubs are businesses who can do what they want rather than the American model where the clubs are franchises owned by the league in order to maintain some kind of level playing field?

Probably accurate there...

That said, it's become very regional: New England, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, and maybe San Francisco, Cleveland, Detroit and Seattle care about it. Everywhere else, because the clubs in those cities (who charge extortionate prices for tickets (the Yankees cheapest game ticket in the new stadium is something like $80) own their own TV networks that generate tons of cash) go crazy buying the best players, the fans might go every so often for a night out with the boys, but beyond that they don't get that involved.

World Series games last October were getting 7-shares (7% of TV sets on at a given moment tuned to the game), while the southeastern college gridiron final (college gridiron is nearly as stratified as baseball or football) drew an 11-share nationally.

Baseball does have some token gestures to parity: there's a luxury tax on clubs that spend more than a certain threshold with the funds from that tax going to the poorer clubs (only the Yankees and Red Sox have ever paid this tax). But what's ultimately needed is a salary cap in some form, and as long as the players union in baseball is as powerful as it is (or perhaps until a few clubs start going under), it's never gonna happen.

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A-Roid

In 2003, when he won the American League home run title and the AL Most Valuable Player award as a shortstop for the Texas Rangers, Alex Rodriguez tested positive for two anabolic steroids, four sources have independently told Sports Illustrated.

Rodriguez's name appears on a list of 104 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball's '03 survey testing, SI's sources say. As part of a joint agreement with the MLB Players Association, the testing was conducted to determine if it was necessary to impose mandatory random drug testing across the major leagues in 2004.

When approached by an SI reporter on Thursday at a gym in Miami, Rodriguez declined to discuss his 2003 test results. "You'll have to talk to the union," said Rodriguez, the Yankees' third baseman since his trade to New York in February 2004. When asked if there was an explanation for his positive test, he said, "I'm not saying anything."

Phone messages left by SI for players' union executive director Donald Fehr were not returned.

Though MLB's drug policy has expressly prohibited the use of steroids without a valid prescription since 1991, there were no penalties for a positive test in 2003. The results of that year's survey testing of 1,198 players were meant to be anonymous under the agreement between the commissioner's office and the players association. Rodriguez's testing information was found, however, after federal agents, armed with search warrants, seized the '03 test results from Comprehensive Drug Testing, Inc., of Long Beach, Calif., one of two labs used by MLB in connection with that year's survey testing. The seizure took place in April 2004 as part of the government's investigation into 10 major league players linked to the BALCO scandal -- though Rodriguez himself has never been connected to BALCO.

The list of the 104 players whose urine samples tested positive is under seal in California. However, two sources familiar with the evidence that the government has gathered in its investigation of steroid use in baseball and two other sources with knowledge of the testing results have told Sports Illustrated that Rodriguez is one of the 104 players identified as having tested positive, in his case for testosterone and an anabolic steroid known by the brand name Primobolan. All four sources spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the evidence.

Primobolan, which is also known by the chemical name methenolone, is an injected or orally administered drug that is more expensive than most steroids. (A 12-week cycle can cost $500.) It improves strength and maintains lean muscle with minimal bulk development, according to steroid experts, and has relatively few side effects. Kirk Radomski, the former New York Mets clubhouse employee who in 2007 pleaded guilty to illegal distribution of steroids to numerous major league players, described in his recent book, Bases Loaded: The Inside Story of the Steroid Era in Baseball by the Central Figure in the Mitchell Report, how players increasingly turned to drugs such as Primobolan in 2003, in part to avoid detection in testing. Primobolan is detectable for a shorter period of time than the steroid previously favored by players, Deca-Durabolin. According to a search of FDA records, Primobolan is not an approved prescription drug in the United States, nor was it in 2003. (Testosterone can be taken legally with an appropriate medical prescription.)

Rodriguez finished the 2003 season by winning his third straight league home run title (with 47) and the first of his three MVP awards.

Because more than 5% of big leaguers had tested positive in 2003, baseball instituted a mandatory random-testing program, with penalties, in '04. According to the 2007 Mitchell Report on steroid use in baseball, in September 2004, Gene Orza, the chief operating officer of the players' union, violated an agreement with MLB by tipping off a player (not named in the report) about an upcoming, supposedly unannounced drug test. Three major league players who spoke to SI said that Rodriguez was also tipped by Orza in early September 2004 that he would be tested later that month. Rodriguez declined to respond on Thursday when asked about the warning Orza provided him.

When Orza was asked on Friday in the union's New York City office about the tipping allegations, he told a reporter, "I'm not interested in discussing this information with you."

Anticipating that the 33-year-old Rodriguez, who has 553 career home runs, could become the game's alltime home run king, the Yankees signed him in November 2007 to a 10-year, incentive-laden deal that could be worth as much as $305 million. Rodriguez is reportedly guaranteed $275 million and could receive a $6 million bonus each time he ties one of the four players at the top of the list: Willie Mays (660), Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755) and Barry Bonds (762), and an additional $6 million for passing Bonds. In order to receive the incentive money, the contract reportedly requires Rodriguez to make extra promotional appearances and sign memorabilia for the Yankees as part of a marketing plan surrounding his pursuit of Bonds's record. Two sources familiar with Rodriguez's contract told SI that there is no language about steroids in the contract that would put Rodriguez at risk of losing money.

Arguments before an 11-judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Pasadena are ongoing between government prosecutors and the players' association over the government's seizure of the test results from the Long Beach lab. The agents who collected the material had a search warrant only for the results for the 10 BALCO-linked players. Attorneys from the union argue that the government is entitled only to the results for those players, not the entire list. If the court sides with the union, federal authorities may be barred from using the positive survey test results of non-BALCO players such as Rodriguez in their ongoing investigations.

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Jeter: I think so... mid-30s, takes care of himself, never been in a relationship for more than a couple of years. The list of famous women he's banged is long enough to raise questions regarding his publicists trying to deflect; according to wiki, his CV is:

* Mariah Carey

laradutta7ql.jpg

* Lara Dutta

JordanaBrewsterBlueDress.jpg

* Jordana Brewster

* Scarlett Johansson

gabrielle-union-gm_l8.jpg

* Gabrielle Union

* Jessica Alba

* Tyra Banks

Adriana-Lima--1_GQcover.jpg

* Adriana Lima

08vanessa_minnillo-710261.jpeg

* Vanessa Minnillo

JessicaBiel.jpg

* Jessica Biel

minka-kelly.21.jpg

* Minka Kelly

YANKEES SUCK! JETER SWALLOWS!

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Edit: Wrong thread!

Double edit: Nvm, it was the right one, thought it was the Women (NSFW) thread after I saw those pics haha...

Went to a game in California last time I was there, was an awesome day out but I didn't enjoy the actual game that much. Was really good to be there after watching things like it on the TV for the millionth time. Cant stand Hockey, Basketball or American football, but I could at least see why people liked going to baseball games.

One thing I will say however, these guys are not athletes, at least from what I could make out from it, they all had big fat asses and slouchy postures.

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Jeter: I think so... mid-30s, takes care of himself, never been in a relationship for more than a couple of years. The list of famous women he's banged is long enough to raise questions regarding his publicists trying to deflect; according to wiki, his CV is:

* Mariah Carey

laradutta7ql.jpg

* Lara Dutta

JordanaBrewsterBlueDress.jpg

* Jordana Brewster

* Scarlett Johansson

gabrielle-union-gm_l8.jpg

* Gabrielle Union

* Jessica Alba

* Tyra Banks

Adriana-Lima--1_GQcover.jpg

* Adriana Lima

08vanessa_minnillo-710261.jpeg

* Vanessa Minnillo

JessicaBiel.jpg

* Jessica Biel

minka-kelly.21.jpg

* Minka Kelly

YANKEES SUCK! JETER SWALLOWS!

I bet he told each and every one of them they were the "one"?

Sorry for quoting such a long post btw... actually.. no im not.

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Went to a game in California last time I was there, was an awesome day out but I didn't enjoy the actual game that much. Was really good to be there after watching things like it on the TV for the millionth time. Cant stand Hockey, Basketball or American football, but I could at least see why people liked going to baseball games.

For most of the continent, baseball is just that: a chance to go out with your buddies, get drunk on overpriced beer (though occasionally, if it's a game that they're not expecting a big crowd for, they'll promote it as a cheap beer night) and yell at the opposition (even though you may not even know more than one or two of their players).

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A-Rod admits steroid use

His voice shaking at times, Alex Rodriguez met head-on allegations that he tested positive for steroids six years ago, telling ESPN on Monday that he did take performance-enhancing drugs while playing for the Texas Rangers during a three-year period beginning in 2001.

"When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure, felt all the weight of the world on top of me to perform, and perform at a high level every day," Rodriguez told ESPN's Peter Gammons in an exclusive interview in Miami Beach, Fla. An extended interview will air on SportsCenter at 6 p.m. ET.

"Back then, [baseball] was a different culture," Rodriguez said. "It was very loose. I was young, I was stupid, I was naïve. I wanted to prove to everyone that I was worth being one of the greatest players of all time.

"I did take a banned substance. For that, I am very sorry and deeply regretful."

Rodriguez's admission comes 48 hours after Sports Illustrated reported that Rodriguez was on a list of 104 players who tested positive for banned substances in 2003, the year when Major League Baseball conducted survey tests to see if mandatory, random drug-testing was needed in the sport.

Sources who know about the testing results told SI that Rodriguez tested positive for testosterone and Primobolan, an anabolic steroid. In his ESPN interview, which his ex-wife Cynthia attended, Rodriguez said he did not know exactly which substance or substances he had taken. In 2003, there were no penalties for a positive result.

"To be quite honest, I don't know exactly what substance I was guilty of using," Rodriguez said.

He blamed himself and his $252 million contract he signed with the Texas Rangers in 2001 for his decision to use performance-enhancing drugs.

"Overall, I felt a tremendous pressure to play, and play really well" in Texas, the New York Yankees third baseman said. "I had just signed this enormous contract I felt like I needed something, a push, without over-investigating what I was taking, to get me to the next level."

Rodriguez added: "I am sorry for my Texas years. I apologize to the fans of Texas."

Rodriguez, who joined the Yankees for the 2004 season after a trade from Texas, said "all my years in New York have been clean." He also described the recent turn of events as the biggest challenge of his life but added it felt good to be honest about what he's done in the past.

"It's been a rough 15 months here for me," Rodriguez said. "I was stupid for three years. I was very, very stupid."

He also said: "The more honest we can all be, the quicker we can get baseball [back] to where it needs to be."

Rodriguez said he stopped taking substances after injuring himself at spring training in 2003 with the Rangers.

"It wasn't a real dramatic day. I started experimenting with things that, today, are not legal," he said, "that today are not accepted ... ever since that incident happened, I realized that I don't need any of it."

He said the culture earlier this decade of taking performance-enhancing substances was "prevalent." "There were a lot of people doing a lot of different things," Rodriguez said, noting that he wasn't specifically pointing out the Rangers.

Rodriguez said he was told by Gene Orza, the chief operating officer of the MLB Players' Association, that he might, or might not, have tested positive in the 2003 survey. That conversation happened during the 2004 season. A source told ESPN on Saturday that Rodriguez knew he had failed the test.

According to the Mitchell Report, all players who failed the test in 2003 were notified by September 2004.

Rodriguez said he didn't know for sure he had failed a test until Sports Illustrated contacted him last week.

Orza told The New York Times he did not tip off Rodriguez to a test at the conclusion of the '04 season. "It's not true. Simple as that," he told the newspaper on Monday via e-mail.

Rodriguez also said of his 2007 interview with Katie Couric on "60 Minutes," when he denied ever using steroids, that "at the time, I wasn't being truthful with myself. How could I be truthful with Katie Couric or CBS?"

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Well, it is never going to be quiet around the Yankees is it? After a perfect winter with the capture of CC, AJ and Teixera, we've had Torre's book and now this.

It's obviously not something you'd like to learn about your best player, but who can honestly say they're surprised anymore? Baseball is (at least was) as bad as cycling.

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