Friday, December 14, 2007

Steroid Noise Annoys

The Hollywood Foreign Baseball Association announced its nominations yesterday for the Golden Syringe Awards, fully admitting some nominees were honored for lifetime achievement while some were being singled out for their current work. President of the HFBA Giorgio Miccioloni said, "We are stunned by the depth and breadth of talent. No doubt players from the past are greenie with envy, except for players of color active before 1947."

And the nominees are:

Brave Arms Most Likely Not To Award

Paul Byrd
Kent Mercker
Bart Miadich
Denny Neagle
John Rocker
Mike Stanton

Performance Enhancing? Drugs Award

Phil Hiatt
Nook "Nuke" Logan
Scott Shoeneweis

Drugs Made Me Jumpy, Right Alex? Award

Howie Clark

They Like Us Cause We're Gritty (and Whitey) Award

David Bell
Lenny Dykstra
Paul LoDuca
Hal Morris

You'd Drug Up Too If Halle Berry Dumped You Award

David Justice

Reactions were quick and from all corners. Many were amazed at those not nominated, wondering what a Sammy Sosa or Mark McGwire had to do to earn a little respect for what they willingly did to their bodies. Of work, that is. reports:

Former Mets first baseman and current TV analyst Keith Hernandez said he regards the naming of names as a necessary evil that will help repair the game and help baseball move past a tarnished period.

"I'm glad it's exposed," Hernandez said. "It's important that it's all out there. I don't believe they'd put those names out there if they didn't have strong, convincing evidence. I'm glad there are specific names. People should know. Anything that happened from the beginning of the '90s up to the present is forever tarnished. And that should be noted."

"After all, I retired in 1990. And anyway, what's the problem with players today. Can't they just do coke and be drunks like the players, the true menschen, back in my day? Geesh. I mean, even with the drugs you're never going to see F.P. Santangelo on Seinfeld. And not just because the show isn't on the air anymore."

Others were saddened to discover a recent governmental report shows these stellar performers don't have as much sway on youth as people might hope. The White House itself has released a Monitoring the Future (MTF) Study that "Shows Our Efforts To Reduce Youth Drug Use Are Achieving Significant Results [so much so we must write that all in caps]. The latest MTF study shows a remarkable decline in past-month youth drug use from 2001 to 2007. Use of any illicit drug dropped approximately 24 percent. Steroid use dropped by approximately one third." Miccioloni responded, "Clearly we're not doing enough. If youth stop using steroids while players are using steroids, we just don't have the influence we should have. We hope these awards will help say, 'If you want to be a throw a bat shard at somebody future Hall of Famer like Roger Clemens, you better get on the juice, kid.'"

Even President Bush chimed in, saying:

"I'm a baseball fan. I love the sport. I love the game. Like many fans I've been troubled by the steroid allegations. I think it's best that all of us not jump to any conclusions on individual players named, but we can jump to this conclusion: That steroids have sullied the game."

"What's more," the President continued, "we shouldn't judge any former team owners, since they were probably on drugs themselves and couldn't know what their players were doing, even if one of their players was a Sammy Sosa or a Jose Canseco. I mean, trying to figure out what player has steroids in him is like trying to figure out what country has nucular weapons. As president I can say what country is evil like that, but doing that for baseball, which I love, I can't."

Finally, Steve Phillips, ESPN baseball analyst and former general manager of the New York Mets, said, "What struck me was Selig's inability to say, 'Yes, I'm to blame as well.' I think it would go a long way with fans if he admitted blame." Of course this is very much news as it is the first time Phillips has been right about anything. Rumors have it that he was whisked off for his own drug test the minute he got done speaking.

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