major league baseball

A Last Request & Equine Spelling Lesson

 

The Lone Ranger and Silver were riding in the plains one day and were ambushed and captured by Indians out on patrol.

He was brought back to the village and presented before the  Chief.

“So, YOU are the great Lone Ranger.  Well, well, well.  I’ve heard about you.  White outfit…is that a Saville Row shirt????   Black mask, no identity and one very smart horse.  Not like Mr. Ed  smart, but still smart.”  

The Lone Ranger said nothing.

“It’s Harvest Festival Time and in between the Great Wheat Collection Gala, the random cocktail parties,  the Heap Big Parade on Saturday morning  followed by the Miss Feather Beauty Pageant and Debutante Ball at the club that night, we’ve got to get in at least one human sacrifice.   And uh, tag Kimosabi…you’re like “it”.   You’ll be put to death to ensure that the Gods give us another year of great crops, an even lower tax strata for all our people and of course, a higher return on our Hedge funds. The market kind of sucks  lately.  Have you noticed that?”

The Lone Ranger still  said nothing; just continued to listen as the Chief stood up and adjusted his crooked gilded framed degree from Cornell on the teepee wall.  

“But I’m a just man–fair and balanced–like FOX.  We’re a civilized people.  Before we kill you, as Chief of this tribe, I’ll grant you three final requests.  Sound like a plan?

The Lone Ranger nodded.

“So, what’s your FIRST request???’

The Lone Ranger thought for a moment, pensively biting his lower lip.   “For my first request, I’d like to speak to my horse, Silver.”

The Chief nods and Silver is brought Before the Lone Ranger who whispers in
its ear.  The horse whinnied, then galloped away.

Later that evening, Silver returns with a beautiful, scantilly clad blonde woman on his back. 

As the Indian Chief watched, the blonde entered the Lone Ranger’s tent and ends up spending the night.  

The Cheif finally dozed off, but it wasn’t easy.  There was much activity in the neighboring tent all night long.   At one point, the loud,  raucous lovemaking awakened the Chief.  

He angrily thought he should kill the horny White Man right then and there.  You see, earlier he’d taken the last Ambien in his ‘script and the tribe’s Medicine Man told him that would be his last one for some time.  He wanted to ween the Chief from all sleeping aids.   Teh fact the he’d seemingly wasted that last pill enraged the Chief–plus,  he knew he’d be an absolute BEAR if he didn’t get his eight hours, plus the fact that he was awakened in the middle of some intense REM angered him.    But compassion took over and he figured “Nah”.  The Lone Ranger was also a condemned man and that reality gave him pause.

The Chief decided to let the masked man have a little carnal fun on his last days alive.

The next morning the Indian Chief waited for the blonde to exit the teepee in that typical “walk of shame”.  Her hair was a mess, shoes in her hand and make-up smeared like a pissed off Pawnee before a War Party.   He entered the Lone Ranger’s tent and told the exhausted man that he was very impressed.

 “You have a very fine and loyal horse.  The steed is everything his legend says about him, but be that as it may, we still have to kill you in two days.  So, what’s your SECOND request???”

The Lone Ranger wasted no time and again asked to speak to his horse. Silver is brought to him and he again whispered in the horse’s ear. Just as before, Silver seemed to listen to what his master told him and he immediately ran out of the tent and disappeared over the horizon.

Later that evening, to the Chief’s surprise, Silver again returned, but this time with a  voluptuous brunette, more attractive than the blonde. She entered the Lone Ranger’s tent and spent the night.

Again, the tent was rocking all night long.

“Hhhh’mmmm, that’s one fine brunette!.  She reminds of the babes I saw down South on Spring Break back in’48.  Ivy League girls are nice, but the chicks from the SEC kind of rock!!”,  the Chief thought to himself as he listened to the sounds of the incessant “Ooohs and aaaahhs; the ‘ Oh God! Oh God! Oh God!’ and the “Hurry up now and move your hind leg!” that he heard coming from the tent beside his throughout the entire night.

Hind leg???

That one perplexed the Chief, but again he thought,”Well, what the hell?  Let him have his fun since this is a dead man walking…or right now…screwing!”, he giggled at his own joke. Then that hind leg thing hit him.  That sure would explain how  the Lone Ranger and that horse are so damn close!!

The following morning the Chief waited for the brunette to leave, then entered the Lone Ranger’s tent.   “You are indeed a man of many talents and your sexual prowess and libido is very impressive for a Pale Face, but you’re still a goner,Dude. In fact, by this time tomorrow, your two legs will be tied to two of our fastest horses and I will personally slap both their butts and will be there as you AND the two horses take off in two different directions!!!”

All the Indians laughed at the Chief’s visual. 

“Sorry, but you know our ways.  That said, what will be your last request?”

The Lone Ranger responded, “I’d like to speak to my horse, but this time, ALL  ALONE!!”

The Chief was curious, but agreed and Silver was brought to The Lone Ranger’s tent and the Chief and his main men left.

Once alone, the Lone Ranger grabbed Silver sternly by both ears, looked him square in the eye and said, “Listen to me very carefully, you stupid ass horse. For the last time, I said, “BRING POSSE….with an “O“!!!”

Mark McGwire Finally Fesses Up to “Juicing”

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Yeah he admitted it, but is this really news to anyone?     

Insiders knew McGwire  used steroids off and on during most of the 90’s–including 1998 which was the year he surpassed Roger Maris’ home run record.   The media hinted at it.  Fans surmised as much.

In a flurry of tears and sobs, McGwire confessed all to an Associated Press reporter this past Monday.    He admitted that he began using steroids  between the 1989 and 1990 seasons, after helping the Oakland Athletics to a World Series sweep when he and Jose Canseco were known as “The Bash Brothers”.    He got back on the stuff after the 1993 season, when he missed all but 27 games with a mysterious heel injury.  He claims he was told that taking steroids might s hasten his recovery.

McGwire claims he ONLY did it for health purposes;  NOT for any type of strength purposes.

Yeah right.   Uh-huh.  Sure  and the check is in the mail.

I wonder how much of that record-breaking single home run season McGwire contributed to his “health”.   He now regrets that he ever used them.

A few years ago when steroid use was the subject du jour on Capital Hill,  he all but lied before a Congressional panel regarding his use of steroids.   He testified that he didn’t come to DC to talk about the past.  That was an interesting admission.  He essentially said in one breath, “Yes I did, but no I didn’t”.    It fooled no one.

But maybe…. just maybe  MLB looked the other way—for a while, anyway.   When Sammy Sosa and McGwire were racing to beat Maris’ record back in ’98, revenues went through the roof.    Baseball was front page news once again.   America’s past time had gotten a shot in the arm–so to speak.     TV ratings were, too.   Sales of merchandise from jerseys to foam fingers soared. 

But the problem became so widespread that it couldn’t be overlooked anymore. 

Even so, there are those out there who say this is much ado about nothing.  I’ve heard arguments from some avid baseball fans that steroid use actually did wonders for the game in terms of it being a spectator sport.   Because of steroids’ performance enhancing  properties, those watching in the stands and at home got far more bang for their buck.  They were able to see more home runs that went farther ever faster.    They got to see balls thrown at speeds so fast,  virtual contrails formed behind them as they crossed home plate.    

These same fans who see nothing wrong with juicing will say there’s no difference between shooting up a little Amdro in  Barry Bonds’ butt or your average beauty queen with silicone swimming in both of her surgically engorged boobs.  

I disagree.  

Boob implants will not affect a beauty queen’s responses in the Question and Answer portion of the pageant.   Her ability to assess the issues comprising her regal platform including  the promotion of world peace, eliminating global hunger and that “U.S. Americans are unable to do so with Osama people out there who don’t have maps such as in South America and the Iraq, such as” will not be affected at all.

Uh, on second thought….

Seriously folks, steroids build muscles and in muscles we find strength and it is with strength that Mark McGwire hit 63 record-setting home runs in a single season.   It was manufactured strength; ostensibly processed in a few beakers in some Bay Area lab and not acheived through grit,  sweat and effort and no, I DO NOT consider the clinching of butt cheeks at the moment the hypodermic needle breaks the skin to be  considered “effort” of any kind.

I think he should forfeit his MLB record for the most single season home runs.   Some would argue that McGwire surpassed the record–no matter how he went about doing it.  

Well yes he did, BUT  HE DID IT WITH THE HELP OF PERFORMANCE ENHANCING DRUGS!!!!!   Am I all alone here?   This is just patently wrong in my opinion.  It’s cheating and completely wrong…wrong…WRONG!!!

Roger Maris had his faults as a flawed mortal man sure,  but at least he initially set the home run record on his own accord.  He did it the old-fashioned way—probably while hung over,  AFTER drinking  Scotch, Gin and a steady ingestion of Mickeys (the bitter pill that is the resentment of a team-mate considered more popular with the fans and adored by a hero worshipping media).

As far as I’m concerned, Maris’ record  of 61 *  (frequently (and incorrectly) marked with an asterisk because he broke Babe Ruth’s home run record while playing a longer schedule…162 games as opposed to Ruth’s 154 game season) still stands.

McGwire has become his own asterisk.  

How Baseball Failed America

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(THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IN  2007.  FOR THE LATEST ON MARK MCGWIRE’S ADMISSION ON STEROID USE  (1/12/10) PLEASE CLICK HERE:

I will be the first to admit, I don’t know that much about baseball.

I’ve been to a number of games and yes, there’s an excitement in watching the pros do it bigger and badder than anyone else, but I have to tell you, I think this steroid controversy is killing America’s past time.

I’ve called Houston home for the past 18 years. I like it here and I’ve come to adopt it’s professional sports teams. I cheer for the Rockets, the Comets (when I’m in the mood to sit in a crowd of women wearing Aramis), The Texans, The Aeros, The Dynamo and yes, the Astros, too. By virtue of my involvement in Houston media, I’ve known several Astros players. Not biblically but catcher Brad Ausmus came into the station for a live interview once a week…I know Joe Lima and have been social with him and of course, Andy Petite and the legendary Rocket himself, Roger Clemens.

When I found out that both Pettite and Clemens had allegedly “juiced”, well it just pissed me off. My image of them and their accomplishments are now tarnished. I now look at their muscular butts that used to instill in me, more than a few dirty thoughts, as nothing more than pin cushions for steroid filled hypodermic needles.

Why? What happened in baseball? How did this happen? Abner Doubleday is rolling over in his grave. Are we talking about performance enhancing drugs just to stay competitive in the dog eat dog world of Major League Baseball?

What happened to the days when fat, out of shape, endomorphs stuffed themselves into uncomfortable uniforms and let gin and sweat and cattin’ around with dames fuel them to hitting the most homers in a single season????

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Some 30-plus years later, Roger Maris added shyness and sincerity to the mix and he was able to break Babe Ruth’s record.

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*61

See that number? It was fitting that in 1961, Roger Maris hit 61 home runs that season and in doing so, he beat Babe Ruth’s previous record. This was was an accomplishment that remained unequaled for 37 years.

Enter the Mark McGwire years.

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He was big, brawny, cocky and bound and determined to beat Roger Maris’ record.

And on September 8th, 1998, he did just that.

That evening, McGwire hit a pitch by the Chicago Cubs’ Steve Trachsel over the left field wall for his record-breaking 62nd home run, setting off huge celebrations at Busch Stadium. Memorably, the ball was freely given to him in a ceremony on the field by the stadium worker who found it.

A few years later, Mark McGwire’s record was then bested by Barry “I’ve Got A Rap Sheet That Reads Like A Scroll” Bonds, who has also been accused of steroid abuse and was recently indicted for perjury in his Grand Jury testimony about his use of anabolic steroids and their pervasive nature throughout Major League baseball.

Mark McGwire has never been formally charged with steroid use, but come on…we’re not THAT stupid.

I mean, take a look at Mark at the height of his career in 1998.

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I mean, look at those canned hams he had for forearms and thighs!!! And look at the expression on his face? All that anger? Lyle Alzado-esque ‘ROID RAGE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!

Steroids ravage the body. Because of some serious nasal injuries after a nasty car accident several years ago, I was on a steady regimen of Prednisone. That’s a corticosteroid, but a steroid nonetheless. I couldn’t run faster or hit baseballs into the stratosphere, but it changed me metabolically. My face swelled and I felt a little angry, definitely mannish. I had this urge to lift a city bus with one hand, while stuffing haggis in my mouth with the other.

So yeah, these steroids are some serious shit. Think what the anabolic ones must do? Take a look at McGwire’s face in 1998.

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Young…full of life, right. Chomping at the bit to rip a phone book in half or tackle a gazelle loping at full speed and eat it right there on the savanna.

Now, take a gander at the changes in Mark’s face, a mere four years later.

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Unless he’s badly lit and/or coming down off a major Sudafed bender, the cat looks like hell.

And “enhanced” things seem to be a part of McGwire’s persona.

And part of his wife, Stephanie.

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In her case though, I think it’s just a matter of the average person finding it impossible NOT to “stare” at the two mammoth “roids” on her chest.

In the late summer and early fall of 1998 as Mark McGwire was chasing the home run record, there were repeated rumors of his steroid use and if he was ever found guilty of abuse, the question was asked more than once…would, could that negate his record IF he should reach it? We kept hearing about this one substance in particular.

Amdro.

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The fire ant killer? That’s what I kept hearing. I always thought this stuff was deadly poison to humans, but apparently, it was causing them to kick ass on the baseball field.

Yep, Amdro…the fire ant killer.

Fire ants?

Baseball?

Suddenly that ridiculous raised pitcher’s mound made sense.

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The damn thing is a fire ant mound!!!!!!!!!!!

Turns out the stuff we’d all been hearing about was actually called Andro, short for Androstenedione, an anabolic (muscle building) “dietary aid”.

Gee..guess I misunderheard.

Seriously, all jokes aside.

What has happened in baseball is tragic.

Allow me to reiterate that by stating my appreciation for medical technology. It has allowed for tremendous advances. People are living with AIDS where as 25-years ago, they didn’t. Science has made incredible strides in cancer treatment and other maladies that before, were notorious merely by the number of victims they claimed. With that said, I applaud the invention and proper application of steroids. Medically, they’ve made all the difference in the world to many people but steroids’ use in performance enhancement?

Wrong.

If it’s ever officially proven that Mark McGwire was using steroids at the time he broke Roger Maris’ home run record, I think the title should be stripped. The same with Barry Bond’s when he broke McGwire’s record. It isn’t fair and this abuse trivializes the accomplishments of Babe Ruth and Roger Maris. That which served as the organic force behind their swings was manufactured in the heat of the game…it was true grit, determination and talent that were the compelling factors; not something manufactured in a lab in the Bay Area.

True, the game was different then. It is another beast today. Therefore, one must ask if it was the nature of fierce competition that compelled these men to seek their first injection? And if the initial reasoning behind shooting the juice was to be bigger, faster and stronger because breaking records ensure record breaking salaries, then what’s wrong with the game of baseball? Has it really come down to all business and no game??? Profiteering amid salary negotiating and merchandise licensing? We’ve know that the business of baseball has been out of control for years, but the recent steroid scandal seems to bring out it’s ugliness in vibrant Technicolor.

Personally, I lay the blame squarely on the freakishly enhanced shoulders of every juiced player. They are responsible for their own actions. They knew they weren’t getting B-12 injections.

But if we take a good long look at this situation, we must also ask this: do they share some of the blame?

Is society at fault? Have we–the baseball fan base–raised the brass ring to dizzying, almost unreachable heights? Have steroids become the only way to garner the strength to grab this proverbial brass ring? We, the fans, have an insatiable need for bigger, faster, meaner, higher.

If so, what does that say to the players? Have we helped make them feel that their best was no longer good enough? Even with minimal contracts to “non marquis players” that are worth a ridiculous 21-million dollars over three years?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes”, then maybe the title of this post is wrong.

Perhaps, I should have called it “How America Failed Baseball”.

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