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A-Rod's Apology: Can We Still Love The Texas Roidngers? Print E-mail
by Mike Fisher    Tue, Feb 10, 2009, 11:43 AM

   Just when I was ready to be re-courted by baseball and the Texas Rangers – waiting for the doorbell and the heart-shaped candy box while dabbing … on my erotic zones – they show up on my doorstep. … with a protruding forehead, their shoulders morphed into two huge pimples, and testicles the size of Reece’s Pieces.

    Oh, Texas Roidngers, how can I love thee?

    In the wake of A-Rod’s doe-eyed apology, the Top Ten Things I Think I Know I Think about the Rangers and ‘roids?

    1 Nobody wants to say this. So I guess it’s on me. Canseco, Sierra, Pudge, Juan, Rafael, Caminiti, A-Rod … Does anybody really think it stops there? Does anybody really think it EVER stops? I don’t want to get sued, so allow me to tiptoe here: Find me other guys in the last decade of Roidngers clubhouses. Find me other guys in the organization, in the minors, who:

a)      Weighed 180 one year and 210 the next;

b)      Hit 11 homers one year and 30 the next;

c)      Rarely got hurt;

d)      Played effectively to an abnormally advanced age.

    Find me those guys. Look over the shoulders and beyond the freakily muscle-bound Rangers. Look at the middle-infielders with sudden power. Look at the pitchers throwing 95-mph into their 40’s. Look at the unusual suspects. And you will see that they should be suspects, too.

   Listen, the human body is capable of incredible things. There are a million reasons for the development of athletes in the last half-century. But when a man is built like Greg Luzinski but he moves like Ozzie Smith? That’s worth at least a raised eyebrow.

    I’m going to tiptoe. Your imagination needn’t.

   2 That is, of course, if you care. I personally kind of like the way the NFL does this. Players do what they wish. They do so largely under medical supervision. If they get caught they serve a suspension. If they suffer health-related consequences 10 or 20 or 30 years from now, those consequences are theirs alone.

   3 Baseball’s Last Honest Man: I said it in 2005 and I say now. Jose Canseco.

   4 Ex-Ranger Sammy Sosa’s approach remains the most creative of all. Essentially, “Beisbol ben bery, bery good to me.’’ This man went before Congress and could barely speak Engly.

    5 No, the A-Roid story doesn’t kill baseball. In fact, in small-market towns like Kansas City, where the Royals figure to be out of the playoff race by July, the Yankees coming to town will be a major financial shot in the local arm. There’s almost a “Terrell-And-Tony-Effect’’ here; on the one hand, the Cowboys are thinking about cutting Owens and are begging Romo to focus exclusively on football. On the other hand, T.O. is about to star in two TV shows and Romo sells lots of T-shirts.

    6 Ironic, isn’t it, that whenever those Roidngers launched another HR – a record 230 of ‘em in 2002 -- the clever game-presentation people out at The Ballpark cued up the theme music to “The Natural’’?

     7 Also notable: The 2002 Roidngers, with their pill-studded lineup, lost 90 games.

     8 To me, it lessens the effectiveness of an apology if the apology comes only after a person’s been caught. Example: Yes, you are glad your wife “apologized’’ for cheating on you. But you are a bit chagrined that her apology was delivered as she heard you walk into your bedroom to see her straddling the tennis pro.

     This “apology’’ was a crafty one. A-Roid hand-picked his interviewer. He characterized his journalistic accuser as a “stalker.’’ He admitted to steroid use previous to 2003 but not after. And why does that matter? Because 2004 was the first year that it was technically against MLB bylaws to be a user.

    And then there is the “I was stupid’’ angle. On the one hand, he’s right; most baseball players I know faked their way through high school (if they even attended) and are not especially savvy. But this one? He was smart enough to get himself a $225-million contract.

     A-Roid is so smart that he even acknowledged the record contract in his apology. In fact, he actually blamed the $225-mil contract, and the pressures of having signed it.

     It’s the money’s fault.

     Nevertheless, I assume A-Roid will be at the Yankees pay window on the 1st and 15th every month. I mean, he isn’t that mad at his money.

        Meanwhile, what do you say we keep our eye on the ball here? Blaming interviewer Peter Gammons for failing to address this or that isn’t even close to being the story.

     9 I still hear the naïve ponder all this by saying things like, “It doesn’t help hand-eye coordination’’ and “It doesn’t help a bad player become a good player.’’

     Yes it does. Yes it does. If only because steroids help an athlete’s recovery time, they help everything.

      I’ve told the story before about the Class-A baseball team I know of from that era on which everybody did steroids. Did they do it to become Barry Bonds? Not immediately; they were at Class-A, so they did it to move to Class-AA, is all. I’ve also told the story of the local 5-A high-school football team that is rumored to have institutionalized steroids to such a degree that all their players, by the time they are seniors, have muscular bodies that seem to have been produced by an assembly line. How does one high school have so many 5-10 wide receivers all with the same exact uncanny arm thickness?

     It’s not just A-Rod and Big Mac and Bonds, people. It’s Gary Matthews Jr. and Chad Allen and David Segui and Randy Valarde, too.

     Who are Gary Matthews Jr. and Chad Allen and David Segui and Randy Valarde?

    More members of the Texas Roidngers.

     10 While we’re all fudging and fibbing here, let’s bring Texas Roidngers owner Tom Hicks to the podium.

      “I'm shocked,’’ says Mr. Hicks.

       No, sir, you are not. I know you to be an honorable man and I know you are not stupid. And therefore you cannot be shocked.

       When “Juiced’’ came out a few years ago, I recall having an on-air conversation with Tom Grieve, one “face of the Rangers’’ (a player, exec and broadcaster) who made a sort of “we-should’ve-known’’ admission. Good for Tom. Because anybody who looked could SEE it. And anybody who didn’t look – from Hicks to Hart to Showalter to Johnny Oates to the media to a certain future Leader of the Free World – didn’t want to see.


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written by Steve heath , February 11, 2009

I'd feel a lot better about A-Rod's apology if he had donated about $100 million to charity. When his current contract is over, he will have made a cool half billion. I would guess at least a $100 million can be attributed to his enhanced performance through steroid use. I don't know what he gives to charity, but it should really be a lot.

I think if this economy keeps going down, a lot of Sport franchises may have to declare bankruptcy to get out from under these incredible long term contracts. Mark Texeria just got $200 million? Boy, somebody is really stupid. Advertising revenues will dry up, and in this economy, I don't think many Americans are going to be willing to upwards of $150-$200 to take their family out to a ball game to see a bunch of steroid filled multi-millionaires play ball.

I think the character of professional sports will change in the future, as America will. I hope it will change for the better.

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