Take me out of the ball game

Nick Baker

Last week, we were treated to a spectacle that should be the first of many of its kind: A bogus, orchestrated media circus act, live from the House that Loot Built.

This latest newsworthy fraud in Major League Baseball, Alex Rodriguez (or A-Roid, as I will be referring to him from here on out, as you should, too) held a press conference under a permanently erected media tent on the third base side of the new Yankee Stadium to discuss and “apologize” for his use of a substance called “boli.”

It was as phony as Sammy Sosa telling us he couldn’t speak English well enough to testify about his juicing. It was as pathetic as Mark McGwire telling us he was not testifying to discuss “the past.”

A-Roid claims he “didn’t know they were steroids,” but added he knew he “wasn’t taking Tic-Tacs.”

Then why the hell were they coming from some back-alley Dominican pharmacist?

Whasamatta? Been taking English lessons with Sammy Sosa? Do you not understand the word “banned”?

A-Roid said of his actions: “When you’re young and stupid, you’re young and stupid.”

Listen up, you jerk. Michael Phelps was young and stupid. He made an error in judgment. You made a judgment to make an error. Own up to it.

He had a bong in his mouth for one night, not a needle full of steroids stuck in his ass twice every six months for three years. Phelps was stupid. You are a cheater.

Now we may never hear from said cousin (his real name is Yuri Sucart and he’s probably living fat somewhere on Hispaniola watching his cousin’s shenanigans), and for a second we will forget about the question of how the hell he got the juice into the United States.

But greater media minds than my own have been able to reasonably conclude that this “boli” that Cuz was running across the border was possibly Primobolin, Dianabol or Bolasterone. Which ever happened to be A-Roid’s flavor; they are all steroids.

And you know what? Whether your “past” is another way of saying “the time when I was a cheater,” or even if your English is too poor to use the word “cheat,” if you took steroids you are a ratfink and deserve the same designation in baseball history that Nathan Bedford Forrest deserves in American history.

The books, going back 15 years (including the all-time and single-season home run records, Mr. Bonds), ought to be raised on the mast of a ship carrying such irreputable swine as McGwire, Sosa, Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, Andy Pettitte, Jason Giambi, Miguel Tejada and whoever else and shipped out to middle of the ocean.

The league is a veritable breeding ground not only for cheaters, but for a wide variety of spotlight-craving agents and front-office scum.

Major League Baseball has gone from the quintessential American sport to an increasingly repetitive and uncreative melodrama. Roger Clemens is a washed up old fart. I don’t care who he signs with for whatever exorbitant amount of money thrown his way.

At least football players keep things fresh with guns and strippers.

In recent years, I have been moving closer and closer to telling my old friend Major League Baseball that its services are no longer needed. This week, I finally snapped.

Major League Baseball is a sham, a dinosaurs’ league, and – God-willing – someday the dinosaurs will die and the sport can be great again.

MLB Commisioner Bud Selig makes $18 million a year to let steroids fly under the radar because they filled seats after a nasty 1994 players’ strike.

Last year there was a cry for an instant replay system to verify questionable calls. The response by baseball brass and talking heads such as ESPN’s Peter Gammons and John Kruk was that this would take away from the game’s human element.

Well, in case you guys missed it, we have had those wacky moving pictures since the 19th century. I’m sorry you want to play a game that hasn’t changed since the Civil War, but give me a break. Thank God somebody stepped in and said we needed it for the playoffs.

Or, we could look for a second at the disparity of wealth and the salaries doled out in each city. The game has gone to hell in such classic sports towns as Pittsburgh and Baltimore. And rooting for teams like the Toronto Blue Jays or the Baltimore Orioles must be like rooting for Grenada when the U.S. invaded.

Some are probably thinking, “Baker, you hack, you’re just a bitter Cleveland sports fan. I’m sorry you root for losers, but don’t ruin everybody else’s good time.”

I’m not having a good time. I’m taking my ball and bat and going home.

So come April, I will root for the Indians, win or lose. When the Yankees come to town, I will use every obscenity I have ever heard to describe them. If the Tribe makes a playoff run, I’ll most certainly be enthralled.

But when “Baseball Tonight” rolls around on my cable TV, you can be damn sure I will change the channel. Baseball can keep its sideshow. I’ve had enough.

Nick Baker is a junior magazine journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].