Clearly established is the fact that perhaps nothing is what it seems these days. From Alex Rodriguez gallivanting around the Dominican streets with his cousin scoring steroid sauce because he was “young and stupid” to Larry Craig simply taking a timeout in an airport restroom because he needed to “relax”, we, as US Americans, would be doing ourselves and our country a great disservice by not postulating the underlying motives and behind-the-scenes shenanigans that make up our anti-apotheoses of leadership.
Guilty until proven innocent?
Why not? This is America after all. We do what we want, when we want (see Iraq, Guantanamo, “W” for more information).
Baseball, democracy, Erin Andrews being all hot and sexy… these are as astutely American as a Paris Hilton reality television show; so it should be no surprise when they eventually fall victim to our insatiable desire for dirt.
So why not celebrate the fecundity of our backpage headliners… bring them together, assemble a stellar nine to barnstorm the backwoods, villages and small towns of this great nation?
Well, I have thought about it and I am all for it and I am doing something about it, damnit.
Marion Barry — CF
At the top of the lineup we need speed; and who better to give us speed than a bonafide crackhead? Believe me, folks, Barry will get on base — perhaps even manage to free-base — all the while giving pitchers (and Washingtonians) nightmares better fit for an episode of The Wire.
Eliot Spitzer — 2B
He’s scrappy, he’s fast, he leaves his socks on. With a name like Spitzer (see Roberto Alomar), Eliot’s the guy I want at second base. As patient in the number two hole (wink, wink) as he was hypocritical during his gubernatorial reign, Eliot is a surefire shot taker whom I definitely want on my team because he knows where to buy all the hot chicks.
Kwame Kilpatrick — 1B
The bigger, the fatter, the sloppier the man, the better the first baseman. Well, at least that is how they do things in Detroit. And Kwame, though once a sharp dresser, now looks a bit haggard after those 99 days in jail. The fact is, defensively liable players often end up at first base. On the plus side, Kwame is a big target and he has the agile hands of a 14 year-old text messaging champion.
Bill Clinton — 3B
No one knows his way around third base better than Slick Willy. Besides, this position requires a bit of flash peppered with a sprig of charm… not to mention an oh-so-faint cheating character. Of course, there are doubts that Clinton could handle the duties of a clean-up man (refer to the stained blue dress) but if we know anything, we know that Bubba is always full of surprises.
John Edwards — SS
Protect a cheater with a cheater: enter John Edwards.
Rod Blagojevich — DH
Now here’s a guy who comes to play, pays to play, forces others to pay to play, whatever; he’s a player. Widely known as a bit of a primper, Blago manages to fill the flashy DH role better than most. His only drawback: if you take him out of the game he will continue to run his idiot mouth.
Roland Burris — RF
Admittedly, the only reason Roland has a spot on this squad is because he’s in tight with the DH; but by now we all know it didn’t take long for Burris to wield his own personal bat of corruption and make a stately name for himself. And let’s face it: Burris has quick feet, able to change his story faster than you can say Chicago Democratic Machine.
George Ryan — LF
Bringing up the rear of our team’s famed corrupt Illinois politician trifecta (CITP) is the always forlorn oft uninteresting George Ryan. He’s fat. He’s slow. He’s a left fielder. But the man knows how to sell contracts, licenses and leases on behalf of his team, so it’s always good to have a guy who can get things when you’re on the road half the season.
Dick Cheney — C
The scowling shot-caller. The calloused captain. The man who hides behind a mask. With the entire field in front of him and myriad opportunities to talk s*** behind people’s backs, it is quite evident that Cheney was born to catch. More fierce than a misguided, misled, mishandled bombardier, he’ll chat the opposing hitter up as much as possible, flashing his hunting rifle from time to time to gain a psychological edge. Arrrrggghhh.
Larry Craig — P
Bringing up the rear, ahem, Larry Craig is one of those subversive anomalies of the baseball-politico reality. Sure, he can pitch; but he can catch too, which makes him all the more valuable to a team going long and far down that dirt road called destiny.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
If you are one to eschew the daily fear mongering and perpetual bad news infecting our world today, then I highly recommend you avoid reading the Chicago Tribune first thing in the morning. Unfortunately, for me, the Tribune has become that thing I love to hate. My self-inflicted aggravation is just one of the many results.
But today, I came across a titillating article by Stacy St. Clair which boasted and celebrated the harmony, the togetherness, the complete reciprocal adoration between Barack and Michelle Obama — our nation’s first couple. Reading it made me feel good.
As the day went on, news broke of Alex Rodriguez — our collective fallen hero — and his stunning confession of guilt regarding his usage of banned performance enhancing drugs in 2003. The image of Rodriguez discussing the issue with Peter Gammons flickered on my computer screen. I was overwhelmed with sadness.
My thoughts immediately went back to the Obama article and I couldn’t help but ask myself: Is anything what it seems anymore?
Alex Rodriguez put on a great front. Despite Jose Canseco’s self-righteous smear campaign and associated agenda, I never once questioned Rodriguez’s proclaimed innocence. At no time did I suspect Rodriguez to be tainted in even the slightest of ways, for A-Rod was our hero. He was the one targeted with pulling us out of the steroid era forever. He was the one endowed with replacing Bonds as the all-time homerun king. He was the one who seemed like the most talented, most gifted, most touted ballplayer I have ever witnessed play the game.
What you see is not always what you get.
John Edwards seemed like a family man.
Pete Rose seemed like the consummate all-American baseballer.
Eliot Spitzer seemed like a hard-nosed crime-stopper.
The Wizard of Oz seemed like an all-powerful wizard.
And it turns out they were all just… like… us:
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Much like Ayn Rand posed the immortal question “Who is John Galt” in “Atlas Shrugged,” politicos across the United States have been asking “Who is Joe Six-Pack” ever since the governor from Alaska (and Ayn Rand’s intellectual red-headed step-child) popped on to the scene.
Well, we here at RSBS have some good news. We now know who Joe Six-Pack is and even have video evidence of his heroics. That’s right. Matt Stairs is this previously unidentified individual. Seriously, look at the guy. How is he a baseball player? I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this guy before working down at the mill with John Edwards’ father.
Now, I know people say these kinds of things about baseball players all the time and talk about their weight and all that. But Matt Stairs is the most ordinary looking person I’ve ever seen. The best part of last night’s pinch-hit home run was when the camera followed him into the dugout and focused on his bald head as he changed from the batting helmet back to his cap. Here’s the thing. If I ran into him at my local CVS I wouldn’t say, “Hey, that’s Matt Stairs.” No, I’d wonder what this denizen of the fly-over states was doing in my posh DC drugstore.
But, this is all part of what makes baseball the American pastime. Ordinary looking guys like Matt Stairs can be heroes into their 40’s and we can imagine ourselves in their place. It’s the sporting equivalent of p0rn. And Joe Six-Pack, just like p0rn, is one of those things you know when you see.
Michael Phelps and a few other American athletes have voluntarily
submitted to a higher level of drug testing in an attempt to head off
any questions about their impressive victories. If the US Olympic team
can do this, why hasn’t baseball taken similar steps to get rid of the
drug stigma surrounding the game today?
In a way, Major League Baseball, behind the leadership of Bud Selig and an overwhelmingly grumpy push from the US Government, has taken similar steps to get rid of the drug stigma, Mr. Krause. I’m not sure if you heard about it this past winter, but the Mitchell Report made quite a stir all over the baseball cosmos, and got a great number of ballplayers thinking “Hey, maybe I shouldn’t put this crap in my body anymore.”
While the drug screening program in baseball is still somewhat lax and random in its procedure, it is still light years better than what it was (non-existent) and does an adequate job by simply scaring people into doing the right thing. This is progress that at one time seemed improbable. Why? Because the don’t-ask-don’t-tell secret of performance enhancing drugs was bringing people to the ballpark. Whether it was the greenies of the 70s or the HGH of the 90s, fans were coming out to games in droves to witness the high octane occurrence of homeruns and 100 mph fastballs. You’ve said it here a million times, Mr. Krause, money is what makes the world go round and if shooting up brings it in then so be it.
Unfortunately, we US Americans sometimes have a conscious; and that’s the only reason why this phase has transitioned to a foreseeable end.
Are players still using PEDs? Probably. Are they using them as much as they used to? No. Not at all. Need proof? How about Richie Sexson, Eric Gagne, Paul Lo Duca just for starters. These guys are mere shadows of what they used to be while on the juice; because of that, I’m convinced that the biggest proverbial battles have already been fought and won.
Could more be done to ensure the sanctity of the game? Probably.
Will a more stringent array of tests similar to those of Olympians Michael Phelps and Dara Torres (both voluntarily) ever be instituted in Major League Baseball? I doubt it.
And here’s why: Player’s Union, Agents, Club Owners, the Players themselves. Try to get anything past these guys that could theoretically threaten profits and you’ll quickly realize you’re dealing with a much higher power than voluntary amateur athletes who compete for a friggin’ medal that everyone will forget about two months from now.
The difference between asking Michael Phelps to take a rigorous amount of drug tests to prove his purity and asking Manny Ramirez to do the same can be summed up in two words: Scott Boras.
Boras, evil incarnate, who single-handedly changed sports forever, will hunt down your children, cut off their heads and sell them to Colombian witchdoctors if it means he’ll get 10%. I guarantee you, if Boras represented Phelps (which would never happen whilst Phelps maintains amateur status), Andrea Kramer would be lucky if Phelps even acknowledged her existence after winning 8 gold medals.
Money. Money money money money money. Money. Money money money money. Money. Money money MONEY!
Of course, public relations and digesting the fact that hardworking US Americans actually do want to be assured that their national pastime isn’t being abused both factor into MLB’s stricter regulations; but MLB and its myriad components, from the owners to the players to Joe Blow who spent $48.50 of his paycheck to sit in the upper deck, will continue to do whatever they have to to straddle the precarious line between profit and purity.
It hasn’t been perfected in politics (see Bill Clinton, the Kennedy’s, John Edwards) yet, so it’s no surprise that baseball hasn’t a clue either.
I’m just glad that I can go to sleep at night knowing that I am PED free. A bulging forehead, weak libido and distending testicles wouldn’t be good for my image.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Dear readers, I may not be a religious man (unless you call screaming “goddamn it!” at the television every time Tony LaRussa goes to the bullpen being religious); but I do believe that the world has a certain order to it — a general plan of well-being that should never be tampered with or questioned. I may not like it, but in the grand scheme of things, there’s a reason why the Redbirds didn’t make any moves at the trade deadline. There’s a reason why Kenny Williams kept Juan Uribe on the Southside. There’s a reason why my counterpart, Allen Krause, is a bit delusional in his posts.
Knowing this, I know I shall not dare test the waters of fate.
So that is why I’d like to offer Hillary Clinton Campaign Communications Director Howard Wolfson a great big RSBS “EAT IT!“ for his crybaby rumblings of heretical hindsight and coulda-shoulda-woulda politics.
After Senator John Edwards’ extramarital affair became public late last week, Wolfson offered this statement:
“I believe we would have won Iowa, and Clinton today would therefore have been the nominee [had Edwards’ affair been public at the time]…Our voters and Edwards’ voters were the same people… They were older, pro-union. Not all, but maybe two-thirds of them would have been for us and we would have barely beaten Obama.”
Sure, Wolfie. Sounds good. Easy to say now even if it is just loosely based speculation. Did you speak with all of the Iowa voters who cast ballots for Edwards? Did all of those Edwards supporters contact you personally to tell you they voted for him but would’ve voted for Hillary if they knew Johnny was out fumbling with a lady who wasn’t his wife? Really? Is that how you got all of this inside information? And what if you did win Iowa? Obviously, that means you would’ve swept every other primary too, right? No competition at all because winning Iowa makes you a lock to win the nomination? Uh, excuse me… were you even watching the primary? Uh… did you see how friggin’ close it was all the way to Puerto Rico?
Mr. Wolfson, I’m afraid such staunch statements do absolutely no good for a Democratic party that already risks the perils of division simply because your people won’t get on the winning team in the fight to make a difference in November. Referencing what could have happened if what happened didn’t happen doesn’t do a whole lot in the way of progression. It just makes you look like a whiny sore losing crybaby who won’t be satisfied until he gets what he wants; but, as you, I and the rest of US America clearly see: that just ain’t gonna happen.
This puling rant reminds me of a certain Northside faction who — to this day — continue to put all the blame on a fan for their 2003 NLCS shortcomings rather than simply admitting to being outplayed by a superior team.
This divisive tirade reminds me of a certain blogger (RSBS‘ very own Mr. Allen Krause) who — to this day — continues to put all the blame on the shoddy defense of the Tigers’ pitching staff for their 2006 World Series fall rather than simply admitting to being outplayed by a superior team.
Give credit where credit is due, people… and quit your whining.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
North Carolina Senator John Edwards has come out and pledged his full support to Barack Obama and his bid to become the next president of US Americans. This poignantly placed political pairing has finally come to fruition — just like I and 300 million other US Americans knew it would, which reminds me:
I would like to officially pledge my support to the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates by backing them in their World Series bid against the New York Yankees. I have a strong feeling (call it a hunch) that the likes of Bill Mazeroski, Don Hoak, Vinegar Bend Mizell, Harvey Haddix, Smokey Burgess, Roberto Clemente and Bob Friend have what it takes to trump a trio of Mantle, Maris and Berra any day — especially in a Game 7 — and I do predict that the Pirates (with my full-fledged, undying, unyielding support) will win this series in seven games. No more. No less. I truly believe that by coming out and supporting the 1960 Pirates at this time, they will overcome what has become known to the overlooked, blue-collar, everyday-white-working-class man as the “same-old-baseball”.
It all stops here.
And along with that, may I just propose that we stop the INSANITY here at Red State Blue State by 1) putting Mr. Krause in restraints 2) methodically replacing the skull that used to be connected to the rest of his body 3) forcing his eyes open a la the Clockwork Orange method 4) putting a 4×6 glossy matte finish photo of the ever-sexy Erin Andrews in front of his face for hours and 5) make him try and say she’s not hot. I dare ya.
If you’re a straight man and you have a pulse, there’s no way you think Erin Andrews isn’t eye candy. She’s gorgeous. She’s smart. She’s savvy. She’s curved in all the right places and she does not have a flat tush. Allen Krause’s outrageously offensive post is done only to get a rise out of his readers. Instead of offering in-depth analysis and proper postulations on the state of the game, he aims for the low-brow shock-jock style of riffing on things he knows are absolutely unfounded. Mr. Krause is the MLblogging equivalent of Don Imus and though his grossly distasteful statements draw him a lot of attention, it is exactly the kind of attention one needn’t have in his life, if he even values his life.
The only other explanation for his thwarted statement of blasphemy is something that… no. Let me stop myself. I won’t go out there on that limb and make such a bold accusation because I do not favor the Limbaugh-style of political dirt-digging, mudslinging and bell-ringing. But I will say, Mr. Krause has been talking an awful lot about how John Garland may well be the most attractive man in all of baseball. I will not comment on it any further…
But for those of you who aren’t convinced at how perfect Erin is… take a gander at this and please don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right…