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Looking For Wins On UH Schedule

The Rainbow Warrior football team is being lightly regarded by the national magazines for the 2013 season. That shouldn’t come as a big surprise – all the magazines really do is look at last year’s record, see who’s lost and who returns, and then compare schedules. Well, UH finished 3-9, lost a lot of players and has a significantly more-difficult schedule than last year. The good news is that the season is not played on the pages of magazines, and perhaps UH will be able to sneak up on foes that may take them lightly. But the reality remains that UH is likely to be favored in only two games, both of them at Aloha Stadium: the Colorado State game Oct. 26 and the season finale versus Army Nov. 30. If the Rainbow Warriors are going to find success this year, they’ll have to become “upset specialists.”

Just when baseball seemed to mostly be about on-field exploits with great young hitters, fabulous arms and developing division races, out comes what may prove to be the largest of baseball’s steroid incidents.

The latest difficulty centers around Miami’s version of Balco, known as Biogenesis. Some 20-plus players have been linked to founder Tony Bosch, and baseball seems eager to chase down and punish the miscreants. The ardor that MLB is exhibiting in tracking down the performance-enhancing drug (PED) users seems proportionate to the lingering anger that many league officials felt when Ryan Braun was able to beat baseball in mediation after a positive test. The problem there was a flawed collection process, and the Biogenesis prosecution comes with its own set of problems.

Until recently, Bosch had refused to cooperate in any way with MLB, leaving its investigation stalled. Last March, MLB filed suit against Bosch, and despite most legal analysts believing MLB was a long shot to prevail in court, baseball made an offer to indemnify Bosch for any liabilities he may incur from his testimony, and to drop MLB’s suit against Bosch. So now MLB has a co-opted witness who stands to benefit legally and financially from his cooperation. And nobody yet seems sure whether Bosch has much in the way of documentation or his testimony will be a “he said, he said” affair.

Also MLB is hoping to count an association with Bosch and lying about it as two separate offenses, meriting 100 game suspensions even for first-time offenders, and they can expect the player’s association to fight that. Even if baseball prevails with long suspensions for many players, it is reasonable to ask what baseball actually has won.

They don’t appear much closer to eradicating PEDs from the game, and nobody in baseball seems to want to address the dirty little secret long apparent to many: The overwhelming majority of PED-users are Hispanic players from Latin countries. It is quite apparent that the youth baseball cultures in Latin countries are failing miserably to get the message out to their developing players. Baseball might be better served to address some of the grassroots issues that poison the well from the early ages rather than spending so much time using sketchy witnesses to track and punish past transgressions by major leaguers.