Results tagged ‘ Steroids ’

Terra Infirma

haiti_earthquake.jpgThis has been a week of upheaval in both the physical and existential sense of the word.  We continue to be bombarded by images of Haiti and even today a new quake brought new fear.  And in the US, both minor and major tremors shook us as McGwire admitted what we had always suspected and the Democrats lost what was supposed to be a sure thing.

In times of upheaval people search for solidity, for something they can cling to as their world is dashed to pieces.  For Haitians this is an ongoing search as even their government and their public services have fallen apart.  And for baseball fans, even though we knew what McGwire was up to, we go back to the basics and try to rediscover again why we love this game.

For the Democrats, they are in much the same spot as the Haitians.  I remember standing on the lawn between the capitol and the Washington Monument a year ago as President Obama gave his historic inauguration speech.  But a year later his star power has faded to the point that a virtual unknown was able to take the seat held by Ted Kennedy, the Liberal Lion, for nearly the past five decades.

The real question before all of us is what happens next?  Is it possible for Haitians to go back to living a normal existence when even the ground betrays them?  Can we trust any of our baseball heroes anymore or do we have to assume that they are all lying?  And does the promise of a universal health care system fade away for another 20 years until we once again realize how broken and rigged the current system is?

Upheaval forces us to answer difficult questions.  And whether major or minor, these answers take time.  Me, I’m a realist and always have been.  I expect people to take the easy route.  In another two weeks, Haiti will disappear from the news and we won’t hear about it again until the next time a disaster strikes.  Despite the nearly universally accepted realization that health care is broken, our leaders will shy away from making us taste the bitter medicine and unfortunate people (who, luckily for the politicians, don’t tend to vote) will continue to fall through the cracks.  And Mark McGwire, a self-confessed liar and cheater, will continue to make an exorbitant salary as a hitting coach while Pete Rose is banned from baseball.  That, my friends, is reality.

-A

The Upside to the Backside

In important news that has come out this week not involving Mark McGwire (Really? Steroids? Huh, I never would have guessed), apparently Ryan Howard may be the most healthy player in baseball. Don’t believe me? Well, how about the BBC?

There’s only one major downside (as opposed to backside) to this. Now, instead of picturing this like the article asks you to do:

jennifer_lopez_behind.jpgYou’ll have to picture this instead:

ryanhoward.jpgOuch.

-A

Obligatory McGwire Mention… and Some Other Crap

mark mcgwire steroids.jpgMark McGwire Quotes (that I made up):

“I didn’t want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Lou Ferrigno.  I wanted to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno COMBINED!  ON ‘ROIDS!  ARRRRRGH!”

My talent comes from the ‘man upstairs’ and lemme tell ya, the ‘man upstairs’ is F***ING JUICED!  ARRRRRGH!

Yeah, I take Viagra, but just to stay healthy. It doesn’t help me bang hot chicks for hours and hours and hours at a time!  ARRRRRGH!”

Other Crap:

My duplicitous and oft abrasive colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, has been busy conjuring up all sorts of facetious baseball scenarios, one of which embraces the Selig-spawned, Selig-spun “world” World Series, proposing to pit the Major League Baseball champion against the… the… Japanese baseball… league champion?  What?

bud selig close up.jpgUh, excuse me, Mr. Krause, but… uh… insanity called, they want their madness back.

First of all, this is a Bud Selig ploy – a major league trick to make you think he’s actually working towards the betterment of the game.  Preposterous!  The World Series is called the friggin’ World Series because it boasts the two best baseball teams in the WORLD.  No Japanese champion can hang with the MLB champion.  If they could, then all those Japanese players would already be playing in the MAJOR LEAGUES! 

Ah, such treachery.  It saddens me to see Mr. Krause, someone so smart and so spry, take such a gigantic dip into the crazy-pool.  But wait.  Yes… it gets worse…

Some More Crap:

…Because somehow Mr. Krause got it in his head that once Albert Pujols’ contract is up with the Cardinals in 2011, that the perennial MVP candidate will be out to find a new, more financially sexy organization to call his home.  Mr. Krause even mentioned the possibility of seeing A.P. wearing an old English “D” across his chest!!!

Total f***ing horse****.

Sorry.  Had to go there.  Ahem…

Like the Tigers always have Ty Cobb, so too will the Cardinals always have Albert Pujols.

Don’t worry, Al… at least you will always have the image of Alan Trammell in a Tigers uni, forever.

Oh, wait.

alan trammell cubs.jpgHate me ‘cuz I pull back the curtain, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(McGwire image courtesy of Coffee with Adam)

Are You of Interest?

clemens_testify.jpgIs it good or bad at this point to be a citizen of or coming from a “country of interest?” If you look at the upside, you get to enjoy the feeling that comes with the friskiness of a full body pat-down. On the downside, well, you get the feeling that comes with the friskiness of a full body pat-down.

If you tend to think that this smacks of profiling, congratulations, you are now able to recognize the obvious! Of course this is profiling. There’s a reason why fourteen countries are on the list and there’s a reason why it’s a specific 14 countries. It’s the same reason why any PED testing scheme should focus on people who suddenly change shape (I’m looking at you, Giambi), people who are performing at very high levels after sickness or late in their career (this means you, Armstrong and Clemens) or people who’s production suddenly and inexplicably increases (yeah, Sosa, you’re on the hook for this one). If you’re looking for fire, it’s not a bad idea to try checking out the smoke.

Now, I’m not saying that I agree with the idea of profiling. Basing any kind of scrutiny or regime on just someone’s ethnicity or some other factor is not going to stop anything in the long-run. Timothy McVeigh wouldn’t have been caught by this nor would the Unabomber. There’s no real substitute for random testing, good intelligence and rigorous processes. Short-term, though? Something has to be done.

The real issue is that when problems are identified, whether it be security lapses or inadequacies in testing, knee-jerk responses tend to be the flavor of the day. The reality is that we need to find the balance between being authoritarian and being lackadaisical. Would a pat down have necessarily stopped the alleged Northwest flight bomber? Who knows but I’m guessing probably not. Would a fully implemented randomized testing program have kept Barry Bonds from the home run record? It’s hard to say. But it’s a place to start.

-A

A Triumvirate of Candidates to Succeed King Bud

lenin mickey mouse jesus.jpgBy now everyone knows that the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball will get a fresh face in 2012 (conveniently, that is the year we’re all gonna die anyway).  But just in case those thousand year old destruction theories are not accurate, let us start to think about who might be able to save baseball from another passive, tyrannical reign after King Bud Selig has gone fishing.  Because as my oft cantankerous colleague, Mr. Krause, points out, King Bud dropped the ball.

To me, there are only three viable candidates.  They are presented here (above right).  In bronze.  I think.

Two of them are dead and one of them is forever young (albeit in 2-D).

Verily, they would all be adequate replacements at the top of the grandest game on earth.

- – -

Candidate #1:
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
Bolshevik Leader, Marxist, Revolutionary, Head of State

What’s wrong, Matt Holliday?  Five years guaranteed at $16 million ain’t enough?  Fine then.  Mr. Holliday, you’ll be making the same salary as Wilson Betemit… if Wilson even has a job.  Luxury tax?  There ain’t no luxury tax.  Proposed salary cap?  Yeah, propose this: everybody makes the same amount of money.  No matter what.  You don’t like it?  Then die.  Die.  Just die!

- – -

Candidate #2:
Mickey Mouse
Talking Rodent, Steamboat Captain, World Icon, Clubhouse Leader

Woo-hoo!  Baseball!  Woo-hoo!  Baseball!  Woo-hoo!  Pine tar!

- – -

Candidate #3:
thumbs up jesus.jpgJesus of Nazareth
Son of “God”, Hipster, Smooth-Talker, a.k.a. The Christ

What shall it profit a man if he gains the homerun record but loses his soul to ‘roids?  For everyone who refrains from untucking his shirt after winning a game (talkin’ to you, Brewers) himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.  I say, I’ve fed his sheep. Now I’ll tend to them, … tend to my sheep.

- – -

Tend… these… sheep.  Somebody.  King Bud didn’t do a great job at tending his sheep.  Somebody.  Somebody just tend these goddamn sheep!

Please.

And while you’re at it, don’t hate me.

‘Cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(Top image courtesy of Transgressor)

Waffle House

Belgian_Waffles.JPGAfter spending the last three days in Brussels, it isn’t a stretch to say I have waffles on the brain. Frites and moules, too, of course, but mainly waffles. I mean, if you can’t get a good waffle in Belgium, where can you find one?

Well, after further consideration of that question, there are two answers that pop into my head. Major League Baseball and American politics. Let’s start with politics.

Of course we all remember the 2004 election and John Kerry’s famous non-answers that led to his being described as a waffler. I’m no fan of George Bush but right or wrong or just plain misguided, at least the guy could give you an answer. Kerry was so far inside his own head he practically turned inside out.

And even more recently, Joe Lieberman seems to have taken up the mantle with his seeming indecision on the necessity of a “public option” in the health care bill. Despite proposing a de facto public option in the past, he said he couldn’t vote for the bill this time around with the plan in it. Of course he attempted to parse his words in true Clintonian fashion but at the end of the day we all saw him for what he was. A waffler.

Those two guys don’t have anything on Bud Selig, though. He has been getting away with murder on his watch. Like a modern-day Nero, he’s fiddling (or waffling) as MLB is burning. The whole PED debate? It never should have been a debate. If MLB under Selig’s not-so-watchful eye had simply instituted a testing program similar to what other pro sports were doing, there’s no way that guys like Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa would have ever gotten away with their shenanigans. And more than that, we wouldn’t have to argue about the inclusion of asterisks in the record book.

Here’s what it all comes down to. Waffles may be delicious, especially when topped with whipped cream, strawberries and hot chocolate sauce, but they aren’t so great when they affect our lives and the things we care about. I’m pretty sure even a Belgian could agree to that.

-A

Drinking the Kool-Aid

kool-aid.jpgUntil 1978 Kool-Aid was synonymous with children and summer. No matter what chemically produced flavor it came in, the refreshing blend of water, sugar and artificial colors and flavors was sure to quench any thirst. Then, along came Jonestown and ruined it forever. Now Kool-Aid brings to mind cyanide laced beverages or the willing ingesting of something one knows or perceives to be wrong.

Sounds kind of like baseball.

Baseball used to mean transistor radios in the summer and guys hitting one out of the park for some sick kid. But then came the ’81 strike, the ’94 strike and the steroid scandals. Instead of cheering on their team, fans started to wonder what the players would ask for next, what the owners would do to screw the fans and players over and when the other shoe would drop and you’d find out that you’re favorite player had been getting ahead by using a little something extra.

Maybe that’s all behind us now, though. We seem to have hit a point where the Mitchell Report has played itself out. We know about the transgressions of A-Rod and all the other juicers and the fans seem to have moved on. The fans still get gouged but the stadiums are full. And even if teams like the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies buy up all the available talent, there are still surprises every other year or so.

Yep, maybe baseball really has turned the corner. Or maybe I just drank the Kool-Aid.

-A

Image from Skull Swap

White Like Me

sammy sosa is white.jpgYep.  This is pretty weird.  And I bet you are wondering what exactly is going on. 

So are we.

That’s why, once again, we pitted our trusty RSBS interns to the task of discovering why Sammy Sosa is turning white.  After toiling for about twenty minutes, here is the shortlist of what they found:

  • Ran out of shower gel, bleach does a good job, life is rough in the D.R.
  • Wants to be remembered as a member of the White Sox; this is a good way to make that happen
  • Saw the ghost of Sammy past (circa 1989)
  • Planning a trip to the Northside of Chicago and doesn’t want to be recognized. Why? Urine Trough Diving. That’s why.
  • Combine Oxandrolone with Dignotamoxi add a little Methyltestosterone and BAM! You’re WHITE!
  • Sun bathing below the equator has a reverse tan affect, much like eating after midnight turns you into a Gremlin
  • The white skin came free with the Humphrey Bogart toupee package
  • Tired of living in the shadow of Mark McGwire, hopes being brighter will help him stand out while still stuck in the shadow of Mark McGwire
  • Took a look at the man in the mirror and decided to make that change
  • Sick of seeing Karl Rove have all the fun

Skin rejuvenation?  More like how could you make your image more of an abomination!

Hm.  Sounds better when I read that last sentence out loud.

Nevermind.

Just don’t hate me.  ‘Cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(Image courtesy of Getty Images)

The Filibuster

A-Rod finally has his ring and the Yankee faithful are overjoyed.
However, do you think there’s any chance that this will make him less
of a dill-hole? This is a guy who has dumped his wife, dated Madonna,
admitted to being a big fat liar and had somewhat major surgery in the
span of about one year. Does one ring atone for that?

Tamara
Cedarville, OH
____________________________________

alex rodriguez open mouth.jpgLike my mama always said, “Once a dill-hole, always a dill-hole.”

Okay, that’s a lie.  My mom doesn’t know what a dill-hole is (perhaps neither do I), but it doesn’t matter because it’s true.

Let us remember that.

But let us also remember that in professional sports, just as in politics, the most important question when evaluating merit will always be the same: What have you done for me, lately?

In Alex Rodriguez’s case, does it really matter that 9 months ago all we were talking about was his wayward romp in the world of performance enhancing drugs?  Does anyone remember that he flat-out lied to the press?  That he stained the game?  That he forced difficult discussions between parents and their children about the dangers of illegal substances and cheating the most sacred of US America‘s games?

No.  Of course not.  He led them to a World Series crown.  If Charles Manson hit .378 with 6 HR and 18 RBI during the playoffs, he too would be lifted up on the city’s shoulders, carted off to the tune of “27th Heaven” just like A-Rod was.

Because that is how the world works.

I don’t think ethnic Albanians in Kosovo really put too much thought into President Bill Clinton’s oval office sexual exploits when they erected their tributary bronze statue of him in Pristina recently.  He ended their persecution, man!  He knocked Serb forces out of the game by hitting in the clutch, with proverbial runners in scoring position!

Likewise, Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War!  Nevermind all the money and resources he threw at guerrilla specialists in Afghanistan (*ahem, Osam bin Laden, et al*) to fight the evil Soviet regime!  HE ENDED THE GODDAMN COLD WAR, MAN!

And let’s face it, folks: cold wars suck.  I think we can all agree on that.  To Yankees fans, an eight year absence from holding the highest position in the baseball cosmos had to feel a lot like a cold war, and like my mama always said: “character doesn’t mean s*** in love and war.”

Okay, that’s a lie.  She never said that.  But she might.  She’s got opinions.

Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

**PROGRAMING NOTE**

As is customary at RSBS, the Filibuster will be put on hiatus until pitchers and catchers report.  Very special thanks to all our dear readers who’ve bombarded us with Filibuster topics this season!  We’ll ask for them again in February!  Until then, please enjoy RSBS‘ continuing pursuit of the ironically fantastic and creatively eclectic.  You’ll be in for some real treats!  I’d almost bet my life on it!

Things Scott Boras Says from Behind the Plate

scott boras behind home plate.jpgYep.  We’re sick of seeing his smug mug behind the plate on every pitch too.  So in an effort to oust his recurring playoff cameo, we sent our RSBS interns into Angel Stadium with a mega-fortified parabolic microphone to pick up all the juicy sound bytes Mr. Boras let slip during the game.

Here’s what we heard:

“Jesus, look at A-Rod.  How’d I let that guy fire me again?  That oughtta be my ****ing walking wallet!  Mine!  My lord, those labrums!  Look at those labrums!  Best labrums in all of sports!”

- – -

“Forget Teixera… Matt Holliday is worth Babe Ruth like money.  How much money did Babe Ruth make again?  What?!?  $80,000 a year was his best?  F*** that, Matt Holliday is so worth Mark Teixera like money.”

- – -

“Why aren’t there gold flakes on this f***ing hot dog?  Huh?  Who the hell brought me this hot dog without gold f***ing flakes!?!”

- – -

“Jesus Christ, I can’t understand a thing Manny says.  How do you say ‘take a goddamn shower for crying out loud’ in Spanish!?  Anyone?  Anyone?”

- – -

“Holy s***, Alex Rodriguez… maybe I can get teams to think Ivan Rodriguez is actually Alex Rodriguez.  Quick trip to the Dominican Republic, grab some stuff from A-Rod’s cousin… shoot up Pudge and BAM!  He’s lookin’ like Alex did in that hot Details shoot.  Did I just say that?  F*** you.  Don’t look at me.  Watch the game.

- – -

“Ha ha.  I just remembered that Adrian Beltre deal.”

- – -

“Why does everyone hate me?  Because I’m rich?  Because I’m powerful?  Because I look like a young Rush Limbaugh?  Ha!  My bowel movements are worth more than these worthless fans’ entire lives put together and run through a gilding press that I bought with my money.  Where the hell is my goddamned organic vodka gimlet!?!  Jesus!”

- – -

“Someone remind me to tell Kyle Lohse he has really f***ing made me look bad.”

- – -

“$tra$burg… $tra$burg… $tra$burg…”

- – -

“Jesus, if I were gay, I’d totally do Alex… ha ha, but, y’know, I’d of course make a big deal of it to the press first before opting out at the last second… then, when things calmed down a bit… I’d fire that b****.”

- – -

Now you know, folks.  You aren’t surprised, are you? 

Hate me ‘cuz I bring it, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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