Friday, November 24, 2017 Elyria 29°


Coughlin: End of the sports world is near


On the same day former baseball player Matt Williams admits he did wrong, Dennis Rodman insists he did nothing wrong, and Notre Dame is trying to figure out what went wrong.

That can only mean that Armageddon is just around the corner.

Matt Williams, one of the most civil human beings I ever met in baseball, has joined the list of those who took the needle. Yes, classy Matt, who played third base for the Indians in 1997, acknowledged that he took human growth hormone, steroids and other drugs for a short time in 2002, well before baseball declared them illegal in 2005.

Williams, who is now a broadcaster for the Arizona Diamondbacks, explained that they were recommended to help heal an ankle injury.

That`s the usual explanation for human growth hormone. Indians` pitcher Paul Byrd said he used HGH to treat a tumor on his pituitary gland. Byrd also had a shoulder injury in 2001 while with Kansas City. Jason Grimsley, the one-time Indians pitcher who was involved in Batgate (he stole Albert Belle`s loaded bat from the umpires` room),  pitched in a Major League game only nine months after major surgery, thanks to the magical healing powers of HGH. Grimsley and Byrd were teammates in Kansas City at one time. As for Williams, the juice didn`t help. He retired a year after he tried it.

This stuff doesn`t come cheap. Byrd spent $25,000 for his various doses. Matt Williams` bill for two shipments totaled $11,000. If this is typical of the pharmaceutical industry in this country, I can understand why senior citizens are going to Canada to buy their medicine?

The list of ballplayers is getting longer. Two more along with Matt Williams were exposed Monday in the San Francisco Chronicle. I`m sure they all had legitimate physical problems - good reasons for pumping the chemicals into their bodies. Many of them had doctors` prescriptions. Oddly, many were from the same doctor - a Florida dentist whose license was suspended for fraud and incompetence.

Something else is odd. Most of their shipments included syringes - needles. These players are injecting themselves. Most people go to doctor`s offices for injections. I understand that diabetics learn to give themselves insulin because they do it daily, sometimes more than once a day. It`s a necessity. They have no other option. If they can`t do it, they die.

Baseball, I guess, is life and death.

We`re approaching the moment in time when players who use steroids and HGH are non-stories. The story will be the guys who don`t.

* Dennis Rodman, that lunatic former basketball player, says that he wants to coach a team in the WNBA. That`s the women`s pro league. Rodman, whose glory days as a player were in Detroit, now lives in Miami. He modestly listed his credentials:

"Any of my teammates can tell you that my knowledge of the game is second to none. My team would learn the skills that made me the player that will send me to the Hall of Fame. Our players would be in top physical condition. We would lead the league in rebounding, have a defensive-minded identity and we`d run the triangle offense."

You don`t really expect a comment, do you?

* There is one other worrisome development. Only 14,000 turned out for the Massillon-Canton McKinley game, lowest attendance since the 1930`s, because both teams experienced their worst seasons in years. McKinley finished 3-7 and Massillon 6-4.

It wasn`t pretty in Stark Country, high school football capital of the world.

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