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December 06, 2004 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-12-06

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - December 6, 2004 - 3B

Say it
ain't so
Barry
Plea se.
GENNARO FICE
The SportsMonday Column
I f you look closely at my photo
directly above, you can see
that my hat features the silhou-
etted batter representative of major
league baseball. On the other side
of that cap - my daily headwear
of choice for the past three years
- lies an orange, intertwined "SF"
representative of my favorite profes-
sional sports team.
Ever since the summer of 2000
- when I had season tickets in the
right field "Splash Landing" bleach-
ers of brand-new Pac Bell Park (these
were the good old days, when this
San Francisco ballfield's name just
rolled off your tongue) - the Giants
have held a place in my heart that I
thought was reserved for only NHL
'94 (the Genesis classic) or a fresh
pepperoni-and-black-olive pizza.
So after the San Francisco Chroni-
cle broke the story that claimed Barry
Bonds admitted to a grand jury that
he unknowingly took steroids, my
friends were convinced that I would
have to be under suicide watch for a
few weeks. But, I quickly convinced
them that they didn't have to seize my
belt and shoelaces. While the Chron-
icle's scoop created a national media
frenzy (something so big, it managed
to finally bring an end to TV's over-
cooked "basketbrawl" coverage), I
knew that this breaking story hadn't
really changed anything, for Bonds or
for myself.
Barry, I'm sticking with you.
This admission of steroid use has
;many folks discussing the long-term
implications for Bonds. One of the
,big questions that talking heads
continue to debate is whether this
confession will cause Bonds's name
to feature an asterisk in the record
books. But in my judgment, the name
;already held an asterisk mystique
long before this story.
Although Bonds is innocent of
intentional steroid usage by court-
toom standards, he's been guilty
in the court of public opinion for
many years.
Like his bulk, Bonds's steroid
tumors have increased every year
since he joined the Giants in 1993.
Abram,
Nrown out
INJURIES
Pontinued from page 1B

for Graham at this time," Amaker
said.
Although Brown's time off the
pourt is temporary, it comes at a
telatively critical time for the Wol-
Verines. He will miss several non-
conference matchups at home and
could potentially sit out of Michi-
gan's Big Ten opener against Iowa.
Brown has averaged 5.1 points
and 4.1 rebounds during his career
at Michigan.
This team has not had to exten-
sively deal with injuries in the past
few years, with the exception of
junior Chris Hunter's lingering,
but not debilitating, knee trouble.
Hunter missed three games last
season after re-twisting his knee
in a regular-season game against
Penn State last season.

CLUBSPORTsWEEKLY
Netters build skills, friendships

By Stella Binkevich
and Alyssa Trotsky
For the Daily
For the 42 girls on the Michigan women's club tennis
team, itsis the friendships and unity formed off the tennis
court that has allowed their program to excel.
Most teams hire coaches to take on the responsibility
of teaching teamwork and technical skills. But lacking a
coach, the team has successfully managed to take on the
position as a collective unit.
Weeks before the beginning of school, the seniors wrote
e-mails to re-energize the team for the upcoming year.
During the season, the team organized numerous events
to create tight bonds. The squad played its annual game
of whirly ball, attended concerts and a Tigers game and
played intramural football as a team.
So far this season, the social aspects of the team have had
a positive influence. The team is ranked No. 1 in its league,
and the girls have aspirations of maintaining that position.
For many of the incoming freshman, these activities
have been a great opportunity to meet new people.
"Not knowing many people at first, the club tennis team
has helped broaden my horizon and form a strong group of

friends," freshman Jenna Mattefs said.
As a result of all the social events, the eagerness to par-
ticipate in matches has steadily increased.
"Since matches are optional, no one is required to play
every match," Julie Van Helden said. "As soon as we start-
ed these social events, the team has been more eager to
participate in matches. Last year, we had to beg people to
play. But this year, we have to turn people away because
we are too full."
Team unity is also stressed through the structure of
practices. Instead of playing singles matches, the team has
started to center around doubles.
"Doubles allow the team to have more fun and not be in
such an intense atmosphere," senior Courtney Istre said.
"It focuses more on communication and.team work, which
helps bring the team closer. Also, doubles allow players
not to be so uptight and play for the love of the sport."
In order to continue the success of the team, fund-
raising is essential. Istre, the head of fundraising, has
planned many profitable events. During welcome week,
the team was paid to help with freshman convocation. It
holds ongoing bottle drives and, during the football sea-
son, asks for donations before games. Each player also
pays $30 monthly dues.

Bonds's 2003 grand jury testimony was leaked to the San Francisco Chronicle last week.

Lions spoil Navarre 's opener

But the grumblings vastly increased
at the end of the 2001 season. At the
age of 36, Bonds - who had never
hit more than 49 home runs - belted
a record-setting 73 four-baggers.
While Mark McGwire's home run
chase in 1998 was one of the most
celebrated runs in sports history,
Bonds received exponentially less
attention when he set the mark three
years later. And much of the minimal
attention Bonds gathered was laced
with a steroid buzz. Then, in Sep-
tember 2003, federal investigators
searched the home of Greg Anderson
- Bonds's personal trainer - and
raided BALCO Laboratories, taking
financial and medical records.
At this point in time, Bonds
became guilty by association. The
national public, which definitely had
never embraced Bonds because of
his arrogant antics, rallied around
these accusations with an "I-told-
you-so" mentality. The uproar
caused by these federal inquiries was
enough to mar Bonds's unbelievable
career. Whether a star-shaped figure
joins Bonds in the record book or
not, one of the games greatest play-
ers of all time contracted a lifelong
stigma from the national standpoint
after this September raid.
Last week's story didn't have
much affect on No. 25; nationally,
Bonds was looked upon with a dis-
graceful eye and pinned as a steroid
user long before.
I've supported Bonds the entire
way. Dismiss me as a mindless homer
if you'd like. But first, put yourself in
my shoes.
I'm a diehard Giants fan. So for
me, every lazy summer day is defined
by how the boys in black and orange
fare. And if you haven't noticed in the
last four years (during which Barry
has won four of his record seven
MVP awards), Bonds is the Giants.
These eyes have never seen a player

dominate a baseball game like Bonds.
I've argued many times that Barry
Bonds is the most dominant athlete
of my era. (Yes, my era includes
Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky.)
So, if I were going to dismiss Bonds
as a steroid user, and therefore root
against him, I'd be rooting for my
Giants to lose at least 120 games.
And, while Bonds doesn't top my list
of favorite athletes, I look back upon
the time I've spent watching him with
unparalleled joy.
So, even with these new develop-
ments, I'll continue to take the same
approach toward Bonds that I've
taken since the steroid rumors first
surfaced.
I must believe.
I must believe that Barry wouldn't
knowingly disgrace one of baseball's
most prominent families. (His father,
Bobby, was a three-time All-Star, and
his godfather, Willie Mays, is argu-
ably the greatest center fielder ever.) I
must believe that, like he said in front
of a grand jury in 2003 according to
the Chronicle, Barry unknowingly
took steroids for a short amount of
time, and they didn't have an effect
on him. I must believe that the player
who I have always believed to be
superhuman is not artificially ... well
... superhuman. I must believe that
all of the Giants' accomplishments
since 2000 (when I really began
living and dying with the team's
exploits) are completely pure.
And this is nothing new to me.
For Barry and me, last week's
headlines didn't alter our livelihood
too much. We've been dealing with
this steroids issue for much longer
than five days.
So we'll both continue to deny his
known steroid use, and I'll keep my
belt and shoelaces.
Gennaro Filice can be reached at
gfilice@umich.edu.

DETROIT (AP) - The Arizona
Cardinals (4-8) lost their third straight
game yesterday with their third quar-
terback in four weeks. Rookie John
Navarre, who hadn't taken a snap in the
regular season, threw four interceptions
and was 18-of-40 for 168 yards with a
touchdown.
Navarre, who jammed the ring finger
on his throwing hand on Arizona's sec-
ond series, said he tried to force plays
that weren't there.
"I've got to learn from it, take this
film, study it and correct my mistakes
and not repeat them," said Navarre, the
seventh former Michigan cuarterback
to start an NFL game over the past two
decades.
Navarre's bid for a win in his first
career start was thwarted by another
rookie. Detroit running back Kevin
Jones ran for 196 yards and a touch-
down to lead Detroit over Arizona
26-12 yesterday, ending the Lions' five-
game losing streak and keeping their
playoff hopes alive in the muddled and
mediocre NFC.
"We needed this real bad," Jones
said. "If we lost, we had no chance for
the playoffs."
Jones fell one yard short of Mel Farr's
rookie rushing record for the Lions - set
in 1967 - but surpassed Sanders' best
day as a rookie in 1989 by 12 yards.
"I'm just trying to get 1,000 yards and
get us in the playoffs," said Jones, who
has 703 yards rushing this season.

Jason Hanson was 4-for-4 on field
goals and Dre' Bly had two intercep-
tions for the Lions (5-7), who took com-
mand of the game in the third quarter
and coasted in the fourth.
With a blend of speed, power and
crafty moves, Jones gave Detroit some-
thing it has been searching for since
Sanders abruptly retired five years ago.
The Lions traded up into the first round
to draft the former Virginia Tech star
30th overall.
Since Detroit decided to get Jones the
ball more - after having him share car-
ries with two others - he has provided
a desperately needed running threat. In
the last four games, Jones has 476 yards
rushing on 76 carries after getting no
more than 15 carries or 65 yards in any
of the first eight games.
"He's showing why we drafted him
and moved up to get him," Lions coach
Steve Mariucci said.
Jones, who had a season-high 26 car-
ries, put together Detroit's best game
on the ground since Sanders' 216-yard
rushing game in 1997. His highlight
against Arizona was a 74-yard run,
a record for a Detroit rookie and the
team's longest since Sanders had an 80-
yard run in 1997.
"They are giving me the ball, and I'm
getting better," Jones said. "It builds up
my confidence that the coaches feel I
can get the job done and keep feeding
me the ball."
A rookie also started at running back

for the Cardinals.
Larry Croom played for Emmitt
Smith, who was out with a toe injury
after starting every other game this
season. Croom ran for 49 yards on 18
carries.
"If you don't stop the run, you have a
hard time winning," Arizona coach Den-
nis Green said. "If you can't run the ball
yourself, you have a hard time winning."
Green chose to play Navarre instead
of healthy quarterbacks Josh McCown
and Shaun King and despite his rough
outing, he's sticking with him.
"I imagine John will start next week
against San Francisco," Green said.
Navarre helped the Cardinals take a
3-0 lead on their first possession, but
they lost the lead late in the first quar-
ter for good and Navarre was unable to
avoid mistakes.
Detroit's Joey Harrington was 15-of-
27 for 196 yards with one touchdown
and one interception and Roy Williams
caught four passes for 76 yards.
Jones gave the Lions a 14-6 lead mid-
way through the second quarter on a
2-yard run, two plays after they might
have turned the ball over.
Green wanted to review Williams'
45-yard catch because it appeared that
he fumbled before his knee was down,,
but the officials told Green he couldn't'
challenge it because the play was ruled
down by contact.
"We got a break there I thought,"
Mariucci said.

MLB won't penalize
admitted steroid users

NEW YORK (AP) - For all the fuss
over reported admissions of steroid use
by Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi and Gary
Sheffield, major league baseball probably
won't discipline them.
Instead of addressing the past, baseball
commissioner Bud Selig is more con-
cerned with pressuring players to agree to
more frequent testing before the current
labor contract expires in December 2006.
Already convicted in the court of
public opinion, the players who testified
before a federal grand jury are protected
from discipline because steroids weren't
banned by major league baseball until
Sept. 30, 2002, previously undetectable
THG wasn't prohibited until last March,
and human growth hormone still isn't
blacklisted.
And while baseball's labor contract
calls for penalties for positive tests and
criminal convictions, there's no discipline

specified for fessing up to past use.
"These articles say baseball is reeling
from these allegations," New York Mets
pitcher Tom Glavine, a players' associa-
tion leader, said yesterday. "To me, there
is nothing new. People have been talking
about the steroid issue for several years
now. What's coming out of the grand
jury testimony, I don't think there's any-
thing surprising. Yes, it's a big story. It
absolutely needs to be addressed. But it
shouldn't be surprising or earth-shattering
to anybody."
Dozens of major leaguers gather
this week for the union's annual exec-
utive board meeting, which starts
today in Phoenix.
"Obviously, the steroids issue is some-
thing that was going to come up in our
board meeting," union head Donald Fehr
said. "That would have been the case quite
apart from this."

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