My Favorite Player

I have three things to say about Alex Rodriguez.

1. He did this to himself. He isn’t very cool. He’s too rehearsed. He probably shouldn’t have chased big money contracts to Texas and then New York. He shouldn’t allow celebrity actresses to feed him popcorn from a bag, Constantine or, rather, middle school, style. He shouldn’t have done this. He shouldn’t have taken PEDs. He shouldn’t have lied about it. He shouldn’t have taken PEDs, again. He shouldn’t keep lying about it. He has no one to blame but himself.

2. Alex Rodriguez was my favorite player. Only a few months younger than me, I followed every rumor about him as I played out my own modest baseball career. That he hit over .700 in high school. That he was a tall, rangy shortstop, a mutant combination of Barry Larkin and Cal Ripken, Jr. It really doesn’t seem that long ago that I was still identifying him as the kind of athlete I would want my kids to be like. Polite. Diplomatic. Great. And, you will never hear me call A-Rod a fraud. God made him one of the best baseball players that ever lived. He’s probably the only PEDs abuser who was actually worse for having taken them. A-Rod was lithe not hulking. He hit to all fields not just with power. He was a shortstop. Not a third baseman. Where PEDs gave us a sort of exaggerated version of every other offender, in A-Rod’s abuse, I truly believe we got something less.

3. We will look back on this time with some embarrassment. I’ve said it before. We cannot expect to live in a world with clean sports. It’s not going to happen. Within 100 or 200 or 500 years our entire society will participate in genetic modification of some kind. Sports will not be immune from this phenomenon. The demonization of our athletes from this time period will be remembered as petty. You won’t be around to see it. But, it will. Now, that’s not to say that the athletes of this generation weren’t wrong to cheat and break the law. But, our sanctimony about it will eventually look small. Guaranteed.

I’m on vacation this week and may not be able to record anything new.

But, in light of the breaking news regarding A-Rod’s 211 game suspension for steroids, I thought it was fitting to reprise my lament for our “National Pastime’s” general decline.

a rod high school

Performed by theipoetlaureate. Music produced by djclutch.

Today’s retread blong here:

(Not) Good Times


Deer Blind

For those of you who don’t own any camouflage, wooden duck calls, or lawn gnomes, a deer blind is a kind of small, single or double occupancy, hunting shelter, typically elevated, that disguises the gunman from Bambi. I guess the simple advantage of a long-range firearm and scope is apparently not enough imbalance in the transaction.

It’s also what we are, apparently. Deer blind.

Because, if the Deer Antler Spray Bowl doesn’t convince you that GMAs (Genetically Modified Athletes (trademark pending)) are the future, I don’t know what will. I actually think the clinical term is “Antler Velvet Liposomal.” It sounds like a Belk cologne. Or maybe a delicious cake.


Ray Lewis, the Baltimore Ravens pro-bowl linebacker, is alleged to have sprayed a deer antler hardener under his tongue to accelerate the recovery of his torn triceps, as well as drunk negatively charged water and maybe re-eaten his own once-digested ear wax. It doesn’t matter whether or not he actually did. Even that the idea might have materialized in someone else’s mind just for the purposes of falsely accusing him of it is enough lunacy to prove the point. Athletes, and the scientists and handlers that would cater to their success, will do anything to gain competitive advantage. Witches brew, monkey brain, water aerobics. (Don’t laugh. The Y has a brutal class.) But, as it turns out Deer Antler spray might be rampant, one of those industry secrets for which the rest of us are just now getting a late pass.

So we can either continue deer blind, so to speak, or we can accept that so long as there are people running and jumping and tackling each other there are going to be people injecting animal parts into their human parts. I mean, surely it’s one of the Seven Seals or Bowls of the Biblical Tribulation that the demure and gentlemenly Vijay Singh, of all people, is quoted as saying something to the effect: “I didn’t know that antler extract was banned.” Whhaaat?? Vijay’s on the antler sauce?

I’m just telling you. This is a no win deal. But, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, I think the saying goes. So, for today’s blong, I’ve detailed my recommendations for staying in peak competitive form, well into your early 90s. Now, you might grow a lion’s mane and a small schnauzer tail but you’ll be able to dominate neighborhood H.O.R.S.E for years to come. Your fingernails might fall out as well. But, you’ll be able to throw your curbside trash can 150 yards. You’ll have no elbows. But, you’ll do 500 pushups at at a time — with your tongue. You’ll smell like panda. But, your teeth will win an olympic medal in three events. You’ll grow wings and a scorpion stinger.

Performed by ipoetlaureate. Music produced by djclutch.

Today’s blong here:

Deer Blind