Friday, March 18, 2005

"Cork+Roids=500"

The title of this blog is taken from a sign I spotted at Wrigley Field about two years ago, after Sammy Sosa was found to have supposedly corked his bat. I remember feeling kind of sorry for Sammy, kind of skeptical too, but mostly just feeling incredibly indifferent to the whole "scandal."

Fast forward about two years to the current steroids hearings that took place yesterday in the U.S. Congress, a subject to which I have also been largely indifferent. In fact, I didn't even hear about the hearings, nor Jose Canseco's controversial book about the subject of steroids in baseball, until today when I was flipping channels while waiting for the child I babysit for to wake up from a nap. The hearings surprisingly drew me in: maybe it was the idea of seeing steroid pumping athletes in suits or maybe it was the dearth of TV options--the only other programs on were soap operas and "Matlock." Either way, I was quickly engaged in the hearings, and especially with observing the visible tension that existed between Jose Canseco (the one who got caught, as I've been told) and the other players on the panel (Mark McGwire, Curt Schilling, Sammy Sosal, and Raphael Palmero...Frank Thomas was there on videofeed, but for some reason, only at the beginning) and the variance of answers between Canseco and the rest of the ballplayers.

The most useful comment made by anyone during the hearing came from the U.S. Representative who pointed out that he hopes the Congress investigates other travesties in America that afflict youth, like poverty, and he hopes the American people know that Congress does more than just investigate the salacious news like steroids in Major League Baseball. (I'm guessing this man was a Democrat, since sadly, Republicans seem to have a vendetta for people who find themselves in poverty).

Other key moments:

Most shameless moment: Some Republican Congresswoman from South Florida grandstands by lionizing Raphael Palmero for being such a great role model who "fled an evil, Communist dictatorship" and made a good life in America. That's neither here nor there lady, we're talking about steroids in baseball. Clearly, she wanted to shore up her Cuban-American vote by self-aggrandizing. She didn't even ask a question to the panel.

Best understanding of the real issue: Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) implicates a culture of succeeding at any cost for a problem that exists not just in baseball, but in the corporate world, the political world, and so forth. We live in a society of people who want to acquire unimaginable power (why?), make a fast buck, etc. This is a mentality that promotes any means necessary to a greed-filled end, and these are societal values many should reexamine.

Most awesome mustache: Raphael Palmero; kind of a Tom Selleck meets '70s disco look.

Worst hair: Curt Schilling

Most annoying player on the panel: Amazingly, it wasn't Jose Canseco...not even close. Congratulations Curt Schilling, you're It again. With your grandstanding about your Zero Tolerance Committee followed by your unwillingness to be forthright about how much scrutiny it will take to get steroids out of baseball and sports in general. Oh, and that little quip about how only Democrats would be interested in regulating MLB was just toolish. Plus the guy's so huge, he's either a 'roid addict or he lifts weights in his sleep.

Worst name of baseball player's wife: Once again, Curt Schilling wins this since his wife is named Shawnda.

Most bitter: Jose Canseco, but at least he was honest. (Oh, what getting caught will do to a person).

Most likeable panel member: Sammy Sosa...Wow, that was a bad panel if Sosa elicits sympathy!!!

Anyway, back to more important things, like the Jacko trial (kidding).

1 comment:

Gonzalo Del Rio Villasenor said...

yeah, Palmero did have a kick ass mustache! I didn't watch everything, but Mark McGwire definetely screwed up his baseball hero image. You know, the more I think about it, the more I like Jason Giambi.