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Jan 13, 2010

Mark McGwire doping admission may not help Hall of Fame shot

TORONTO (Reuters) – Mark McGwire’s admission that he used steroids during his Major League Baseball career will probably not boost his chances of gaining entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame, experts said on Tuesday.

McGwire, who has been listed on the Hall of Fame ballot for the last four years, has earned roughly 20 percent of the vote each year, well short of the 75 percent minimum needed to earn a plaque in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Sep 2, 2009
via Environment Forum

Cloudy days for green stocks

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The federal stimulus bill hasn’t been a ticket to prosperity for clean energy investors.According to Environment America, a federation of state-based, citizen-funded environmental advocacy organizations, over 4 percent of the $787 billion dollar stimulus package passed in February was ear-marked for clean energy projects.Yet the Reuters Business of Green Index, a basket of 14 green stocks, has fared poorly over the last three months, down over 20 percent against the S&P 500 Index.Why isn’t the stimulus bill, which appears to be helping many stocks, not having the desired effect in the greentech and clean energy sectors?”What happens in Washington for the time being is nowhere near as relevant as you might think,” said Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov.He notes that green stocks are heavily dependent on the solar industry, 90 percent of which is outside the United States:”Even though there is a large array of clean tech stocks to invest in, the most attractive green stocks and the certainly the largest ones are in the solar stage. And solar has been doing quite poorly because there is quite simply an overcapacity in the global solar industry.”That has put pressure on prices, margins and earnings. Not surprisingly, solar stocks have fared poorly.Suntech Power Holdings, one of the 14 green companies selected by Reuters, had lost 13 percent of it’s value in August when it reported second quarter earnings. Shares of China’s Yingli Green Energy and U.S. panel maker SunPower Corp were down about 17 percent, and First Solar‘s stock was down nearly 15 percent in the same period.Not all of the news is cloudy, but Molchanov says it’s not time to put away the umbrella just yet.”The good news is that sentiment has gotten so negative that it probably doesn’t take much for it to start improving and expectations for earnings are generally pretty low. So that’s helping, but the overcapacity in the market is not going away in the foreseeable future.”

Aug 7, 2009
via Left field

Fixing baseball’s embarrassing problem

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“The cat – mmrrrooowwwrr – is out of the bag!” – Seinfeld’s Cosmo Kramer upon the realization that his first name had finally been revealed.Alex Rodriguez (click link for video), Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez are among the players linked to performance enhancing drugs. The cat, is most definitely out of the bag.When MLB players agreed to participate in a 2003 test survey to see if baseball did indeed have a PED problem, the players were assured that the results would be kept confidential. However, after the results were seized by federal agents during the BALCO investigation, some of the names that tested positive have been outed.The question now, is what to do? Instead of a new name being leaked every few months followed by the inevitable, ensuing debate on what needs to be done to fix the problem, it’s time for baseball to deal with this once and for all.How about this for a solution — after the conclusion of the 2009 World Series, Major League Baseball needs to hold a one-week grace period. Any player who has ever taken a banned substance during their professional career is allowed to come forward, admit to their foolish behavior and all will be forgiven. The ‘guilty’ will not have their records erased, or even asterisked. Their past indiscretions will not affect Hall of Fame eligibility. Their status will not be questioned by the media after this date. One week of hell for the player and then it’s over.Too easy, you say. Why would any player admit to this when they’ve been able to skate by so far?Here’s the catch. At the end of this grace period any player found using PED’s in the future, or if a positive test from the past surfaces, that is it. LIFE TIME BAN! No exceptions, no reprieves. You lose all rights as a ball player. The offending person is banned from ever playing, coaching or even being the team’s mascot.To make this work, MLB will have to set-up special PED division. It will have an up-to-the minute list of banned substances and experts on hand for consultation. If a player wants to take cold medication or some form of creatine powder, they should be able to contact this office at any time and get an immediate ruling on a product. If this PED division ok’s a substance, a player can take it knowing that they’ll be fine. No more excuses from players saying they took a banned substance unknowingly.Is this solution perfect? Of course not. But baseball has to act, and act quickly.

Jul 22, 2009
via Left field

Terrell Owens hasn’t met a camera he didn’t like

Terrell Owens’ new reality show on VH1, “The T.O. Show”, debuted on Monday night and the reviews were not kind. One media member simply called it “a train wreck”, while television critic Jonathan Storm used more colorful language saying, “The T.O. Show is so shallow mosquitoes couldn’t breed in it…”Neither the reviews of the show nor the fact Owens allowed cameras to follow him around are a surprise. Ever since he entered the NFL with the San Fransisco 49ers, Owens has been a lightning rod for controversy and has seemingly loved every minute of it.T.O. plays the role of the petulant child extremely well. (Which is surprising since he’s also written a children’s book on the value of sharing). He hasn’t learned to differentiate between good and bad attention. But he has learned how to get it, which has ranged from the good, to the bad to the bizarre.Owens will suit up for his fourth NFL team this year in Buffalo as a member of the Bills. For all of his talent, is Owens worth the sideshow he creates? Or as a fan, would you rather have a slighty less talented player, who simply plays football?

    • About Josh

      "I am currently an online editor for .com, .ca and .uk, primarily overseeing the sports, entertainment, technology, green business and Life! sections. I have worked at Reuters since 2002, starting as an intern. During my Reuters career I have worked as a general reporter, and on the ROC and Front Page desks. I graduated from Humber College in 2002 from the post-graduate journalism program."
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