Baseball Players on Steroids

Baseball and Steroids, Runs, Hits and Lots of Errors

The first thing a new season’s manager needs to tell the players is the difference between human growth hormones (HGH), bovine growth hormone (bGH) and no hormones – and it has nothing to do with utters. He needs to tell the players some side
effects of steroids are reversible but other effects are never changed in the minds of the public.

By taking steroids and bGH a player can inflate his statistics and his body.  I don’t mean to pick on Mark McGwire but to use him as an example In 1996 McGwire hit 50 home runs with 390 official times at bat – every 7.8 times he was at the plate. Babe Ruth did that eating candy bars and "light drink." When listening to McGwire’s infamous performance before House Government Reform Committee in March 2005 there were short pauses while viewers smothered their faces with laughter. McGwire didn’t hit 135 home runs in two years eating bonbons.

Originally the baseball was made so you couldn’t hit it easily, high, or far, so 60 home runs a season hitters are usually pituitary freaks. But we want our players to be made by nature not in the lab. Remember when baseball players were small? (For example: PeeWee Reese). Joe DIMaggio was only 6 feet 2 inches and weighed 193 pounds. Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? There is a generation out there that thinks DiMaggio invented the coffee maker.

Like Joe DiMaggio, baseball players are symbols – of what things were what things are and what things will be. I guess we, as fans, get what we deserve. I just prefer not to see a some great ballplayer pumped up on steroids riding in a convertible waving to a frenzied crowd.

Spitball Pitch Baseball sports art painting

Spitball pitch definition (thank you Wikipedia)

A spitball pitch is an illegal pitch in which the ball has been altered by the application of saliva, petroleum jelly, or some other foreign substance. The pitch causes the ball to move atypically due to the altered wind-resistance and weight on one side of the ball. Alternative names for the spitball are
spitter, mud ball, shine ball and emery ball, although technically, an emery ball is one where the ball has been abraded in much the same way that the original cut ball had been physically cut. The altering of the ball's state by the use of artificial substances such as sun block, dirt or degradation by fingernails or other hard substances is illegal tampering.

Spitball Questions

So, there is a question to be asked:  Anybody throwing spitball pitchesanymore?  Not many as there are so many cameras on the pitcher it is hard for the pitcher to disguise putting some sort of crap on the baseball. Another question to be asked:  How does a normal “spitballer” get the “spit” or the doctoring onto the ball.  Some players would put some sort of odd substance on their uniform or body between innings then wipe it onto the ball.  For example, some put petroleum jelly or sunscreen or hair cream on their head then wipe it onto the ball (Try doing this unseen by cameras and zoom lenses).  Umpires would come out and check the uniforms and body of players.  One player put Vaseline on his pants zipper knowing that the umpire was not going to check there. If the pitcher has a great friend on the infield the friend can always put some “spit” on the ball and throw it to the pitcher.  But that can be a bit messy when the pitcher catches the ball. 

Like any good thief a good spitball throwing pitcher hardly ever caught so we don’t know how often the pitch is thrown.  Most pitchers overestimate their ability to throw a spitball pitch and when questioned by the umpire stutter nervously, and breathe irregularly.  They start looking around as if searching for an easy exit.  So, to be a good spitballer you have to have the dexterity hide your handling of the ball to manipulate it to get the “spit” onto it.  To see if you are dexterous enough, using india ink, write the Lord's Prayer thrice on a piece of paper the size of apostage stamp. This is going to test your honesty to the lord and dexterity, and, of course, if you can do both, then you don’t need or want to throw a spitball.

About the painting

"The Spitter" spitball sports art painting by artist John Robertson is 50" x 70" acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Image Jim Thome designated Hitter Philadelphia Phillies baseball art

Art Baseball painting Jim Thome designated Hitter Philadelphia Phillies. The 41-year-old slugger is a solid bat off the bench. As I am an older guy it is good to see an old guy still swinging the bat. The baseball image of Thome is about 8" x 10" on a 11" x 14" drafting film. Ink, watercolor and acrylic.

Baseball Art – First Baseman Albert Pujols Los Angeles Angels Painting

Portrait art. Painting of trophy baseball player Albert Pujols. He is in the Los Angeles Angels lineup, playing first base and batting third. Painting is 8" x 10" acrylic, watercolor and ink on 11" x 14" drafting film.

Sports Art Derek Jeter Baseball Art

Derek Jeter Joins The 3,000-Hit Club On Saturday July 9th in the afternoon, Derek Jeter became just the second player in MLB history to homer for his 3,000th hit. And no all-star game for him as he says he has"emotional and physical exhaustion" from his pursuit of 3,000 hits.
Baseball art - Painting of Derek Jeter by Sports Artist John Robertson is 11” by 14” oil on Drafting Film

Cleats Required – Sharpened Optional

Artist John Robertson Baseball sports painting
of a player sliding into home plate.
5 feet by 2 ½ feet acrylic on unstretched canvas
(painting is a detail from larger painting 5 feet by 8 feet)
Top ten things to think about when stealing base.
A second baseman guarding the base should have the cleat scars he deserves
Caught between two bases go for the one nobody is at.
Get used to the dust.
Hesitating is like a dead cat hunting birds.
If you don’t have two steps on the pitcher – forget it.
Before stealing a base take a pain killer
Hell is trapped between a first and second baseman with a ball.
Always be faster than the ball being thrown.
Getting caught is part of the game.
It is no disgrace in being thrown out – but it should be.

Play Well or Sit in the Dugout

Artist John Robertson Baseball painting of a catcher
5 feet by 2 ½ feet acrylic on unstretched canvas
(painting is a detail from larger painting 5 feet by 8 feet)
When I played in Baseball’s Little League (around 55 years ago) I played catcher. This seemed like the most interesting position to play and still does fascinates me. Although I have painted a few catchers my favorite catcher was/is Yogi Berra. I liked the way he played baseball aggressively. And I liked the non-sensible, or what a lot of people thought were philosophical quotes.
One of the things Yogi said about Little League said "Little League baseball is a good thing ‘cause it keeps the parents off the streets and the kids out of the house." One of my favorites and one of his most famous quote was what Yogi said after Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris hit back-to-back home runs . Yogi said, It’s déjà vu all over again." And another favorite of mine is apropos to my age (I’m in my sixties) Yogi said." The future ain’t what it used to be."