Insight News

Dec 21st

Of steroids, mice, and men

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a-rodIt’s not that hard to tell when a human being is out of balance physically.  If a person has an eating problem, whether gluttony or bulimia, it ain’t hard to tell much of the time.  When people smoke too much, their faces look weathered and they become Barry White sound-a-likes.  And when people get muscularly swollen-up, and they haven’t been to jail, you have to question how they managed to go from a normal example of pique human fitness, to: “DANG!”

During this whole steroids era situation, I have honestly been waiting for the day that Alex Rodriguez a.k.a. A-Rod would be exposed for his partaking of the “homerun juice.”  Rodriguez was certainly born with enough physical gifts to take him to the Baseball Hall of Fame, but of course the biggest problem with humans since the beginning of time is: It’s never enough.

A-Rod has now come out and admitted that he, too, used steroids in the past.  Finally! What took so long?  In his case I feel bad for him because he got called out only after trusting the government and giving an anonymous fluid sample so they could gauge roughly how many in baseball were part of the “juice party.”

Because I’ve been heavily involved in sports as an athlete, it may be easier for me to recognize abnormal physical and performance growth, but I’m sure plenty of non-athletes can tell as well.  As a young boy I remember waiting with bated breath for the 100-meter race between Ben Johnson and Carl Lewis in the 1988 Olympics.  Between the perfect swollen muscle frame, and the way the he left Lewis in the dust (in the worst way) after the first two steps of the race, something about Johnson just seemed a little too amazing.  It wasn’t until just now that I thought about how Johnson robbed 14-year-old me of the fantastic memory of seeing my favorite childhood icon victorious in his most vigorous racing challenge.  Recently I also found out that the most embarrassing moment of my track career was the result of my competitor being on steroids (though I still blame myself).

After everyone got done hammering on Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, and Barry Bonds (who is still getting hammered on, though thankfully baseball is reaping what they sow or picking on him), I sat twittling my thumbs waiting for A-Rod’s name to surface.  It was amazing to see the commissioner use Rodriguez as a poster boy for the supposed “post-steroid era”.

“Ssscccrrrrrrrrrrttt!!!” (record stops)

Ok, so I’m writing, and I get to this point in the article, but now I see that a pitcher named Roy Oswalt has come out and said that he believes A-Rod’s (and the other “roid-rager’s”) records should be eliminated.  Ooooooooohh!  Now that’s what I’m talking about.  Let’s all thank God for giving me something more fun and interesting to turn this into.  The whole conversation about “who used steroids?” is old.  We know of some, we’ll find out more.  Now what?  What do we do with the records that occurred under the influence of steroids? (After one millisecond of pondering) TOSS EM OUT!!  McGwire, Sosa, Clemens, and whoever else got busted out, should have their records erased, or adjusted!  TOSS EM OUT!  That’s what they do in track and field.

Though it would be painful for baseball to toss out the written history of the home run orgy that took place in the 90s and early this decade, it is the only way to bring strict resolution to this whole ridiculous episode.  A-HA!  Major League Baseball (MLB) doesn’t want to throw out the records or bring an end to this episode.  First of all, that would mean less media frenzy.  You know what they say?  More media, more money.

Second of all, for MLB to throw out the records would mean that they would have to acknowledge full complicity in wrongdoing from the top down.  Bud Selig, the Commissioner of MLB, and the other ownership and executives, whistled, shuffled their feet, stared at the ground, and kept their hands in their pockets while the steroid era developed and flourished.  Actually, I take that back. They kept one hand out so they could call the TV networks to help feed the frenzy.

My jaw hit the floor when Ben Johnson dusted off Carl Lewis in the Olympics, but it wasn’t real.  The memory lives on, but we waste no time trying to cover it up with an asterisk by the record (as baseball suggests they will do), because what we know is that Johnson just wasn’t that good.  All of these steroid studs are not as good as the numbers reflect.  And though many people long and wish to see real action figure superheroes come to life, it shouldn’t make anyone cry to see the records of Bonds, McGwire, or any of the other Bigfoot impersonators, expunged from the record books.  The housing feast was not real, and it has come back to reality in tragic form.  An asterisk won’t help that situation.  An asterisk won’t help the budget shortfall in California, which threatens 10,000 government jobs.

A day out on the lake fishing is good enough.  A day out for an afternoon baseball game with a loved one is good enough.  Hank Aaron and Roger Maris were certainly good enough.  And now that the “juiced up” chickens and bank loans are coming home to roost, perhaps we can all take a moment to reflect and get back in touch with what greatness is.  Often times, and actually the vast majority of the time, greatness is just simply “good enough.”

“Hey Kool-Aid!”  Please yell that out, and if a pitcher (of any kind) comes busting through your wall, please take a picture with your camera phone and call Insight News immediately!


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