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‘Radio Free’ Montone: Welcome To My Internal Dialogue

John Montone

By John Montone, 1010 WINS

If you’re one of the millions of listeners who wakes up each morning to 1010 WINS, you’re likely familiar with the voice, and tone, of the station’s intrepid reporter John Montone.

Best known for his no holds barred, man on the street reporting, Montone has been getting in the faces — and ears — of New Yorkers for what seems like an eternity.

Montone is ready to add to his repertoire and bring his unique reporting style to print.

So please take a look and listen to John’s new venture: Radio Free Montone — a weekly blog where Montone takes you behind the scenes of news radio in New York City, and gives his observations on reporting in the greatest city in the world. 

NEW YORK (1010 WINS)  — Hi, this is John Montone. Welcome to my internal dialogue.

Alex Rodriguez is a cheater. That is a fact and it is accepted by pretty much the entire sports universe — baseball executives, writers, broadcasters and fans.

A cheater?

Yes, a repeat cheat. He shot chemicals into his body, substances designed to make him bigger, stronger and faster. And they gave him an unfair advantage over his clean-living opponents.

Okay, I don’t like A-Rod as much as the next guy doesn’t like A-Rod, but why are anabolic steroids any different from say cortisone? We hold those who ingest testosterone and human growth hormone in contempt because they are “performance enhancing drugs.” Well, sure, they are. But for the pitcher with elbow tendonitis, cortisone is not only performance enhancing, it’s performance enabling. Without a shot, he might not be able to lift his arm much less fire a cowhide sphere 98-miles per hour.

And remember Jim Bouton in, “Ball Four,” writing about players in the 1960s popping amphetamines, known in the locker room as “greenies.” For major leaguers exhausted from coast-to-coast travel and games almost every day, “greenies,” certainly enhanced performance.

Yes, they’re now banned by MLB but for decades good solid citizens of the game lived on them. So there.

Come on, Montone. You’re not comparing a relatively mild stimulant with a drug that turned Barry Bonds into a human Transformer with a honey-dew for a head?

Well, yes, I am.

And, yes, I’m still talking to myself. That’s because sports reporters have not raised the other side of this issue. The “Dirty Dozen,” caught in the Biogenisis case broke the rules and they should be punished, banished and booed.

Well, we can listen to the lemmings or we can dare to ask, “Are the rules reasonable?” Rather than roid rage and shrunken testicles, maybe we should give medical professionals a chance to explain how these chemicals can be used in sensible doses to allow adult athletes to train harder and heal quicker.

Look I spent years watching scrawny Bud Harrelson turning acrobatic double plays and remember roly-poly Mickey Lolich who once said that when fat guys watched him pitch they’d point to his massive gut and ask their wives to bring them another beer. So maybe it was more fun rooting for guys who looked like the rest of us.

But like fifty cent ballpark franks, those days are gone. Gone too are the days when Bobby Thompson hit the “Shot heard ‘Round the World,” to win the pennant for the New York Giants and then after the World Series went back to selling life insurance on Staten Island to support his family.

With millions — tens of millions of dollars at stake — today’s professional athletes are in the weight room twelve months a year. And to get bigger and faster and stronger they will take vitamins and supplements and yes, steroids. There’s no going back.

Thanks for listening.

Now it’s your turn…please, feel free to disagree.

John Montone 1010 WINS News

Got a problem? Mouth Off To Montone!