Thanks, in part, to a tell-all
book written by sleazeball and former baseball player Jose
Canseco, the issue of performance-enhancing substance abuse
in the major leagues has reached incredible proportions
and resulted in a congressional hearing. In a bizarre demonstration
of this countryís convoluted authoritative structure, a
bunch of spotlight-loving elected handshakers called several
current stars and icons of baseballís past to testify in
regards to steroid usage in baseball.
We all know the tragic tale
of Mark McGwireís refusal to "talk about the past"
so I wonít harp on it. I would, however, love to see Big
Mac, Sammy Sosa and the rest of the boys hold an "informative
hearing" on the failures of Congress to work out the
problems with social security and invite the same representatives
to testify. In other words, mind your own fucking business,
Uncle Sam. I donít think many fans give a shit about the
steroid issue anyway. Letís face it, we all loved 1998 when
Sosa and McGwire both battled past the homerun record on
their way to baseball immortality. If a player wants to
risk shrinking their nuts to put on some muscle, good for
him. You still have to hit that ball, and thatís the trick.
It might go five or ten feet further, but steroids arenít
going to make you a good baseball player.
Whatís wrong with them? Theyíre
unnatural? So is Lasik eye surgery. Theyíre illegal? So
is punching your wife. We donít suspend players for that.
Itís cheating? No, bribing the ump is cheating. Steroids
are a supplement. How many Hall of Fame pitchers blatantly
cheated by scuffing the ball? The guy with the coolest name
in baseball, for one: Gaylord Perry.
As mentioned earlier, the
other ugly offseason specter was presented by the Suddenly
Sox fans, who started watching the playoffs during game
6 of the ALCS last year and ran out to buy an entire wardrobe
of Red Sox gear to show their enthusiasm. Well, their flames
may have been doused Sunday night as the New York Yankees
clubbed them around 9 - 2 in a lopsided opening day victory.
Lead by a strong showing from new aquisition Randy Johnson,
who baffled Boston hitters despite not having his best stuff
due to the cold, the Yankees quickly reminded the Red Sox
that 2004 was over. Boston looked hot at first, but the
wind was taken out of their sails when Hideki Matsui leaped
over the leftfield wall to rob Kevin Millar of a 2-run homer
that would have put them in the lead. Matsui also went 3
for 5 at the plate with a home run of his own. Now itís
up to the New York Mets to see if they can compete with
the Yankees for the attention of the stateís sport fans.
The Mets have learned from the Yankees that money might
not buy you love, but it can certainly buy you baseball
victories. They signed Carlos Beltran and Pedro Martinex,
the two biggest free agents of the winter, and seemed poised
to show the world they can... spend a lot of money and still
lose a lot of games. Mark my words.