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1.22.2009

With Brothers Like This, Who Needs Enemies?

Hot on the heels of the news that Laura Bush will get a 1.6 million dollar advance for her memoirs comes the story that Mark McGwire's estranged brother Jay has written a book detailing the slugger's involvement with steroids.

This story also broke this week: the 44th President of the United States was inaugurated on Tuesday.

Duh, right?

Take a look at that picture of McGwire and make your own conclusions. Dude looks like he was taking bovine DNA injections. You could pull a sizable roast off one of the man's traps.

I read an article outlining home run production over time. The number of dingers hit each year steadily increased until--wait for it--2008, when Bud Selig pulled his head out of his ass and implemented strict drug testing provisions in MLB. Surprise, surprise, there were 800 fewer bombs hit in 2008.

So what happened to all the power? Well, marginal athletes (yes, we're looking at you Brett Boone) who inflated their numbers with pharmacology found they couldn't hack it without the help. They lost their jobs. Guys who were cranking forty round-trippers three years ago hit half that number in 2008.

Barry Bonds couldn't get a job.

Jay McGwire is having a hard time finding a publisher. It turns out he has "credibility issues." Sheesh. Sounds like he's perfect for the folks writing memoir nowadays. I think it makes sense that the market has dried up for this kind of thing. Outside of reading the skin-puckering details of all that syringe work, who needs a book like this to tell us what we all knew already:

McGwire was a cheater. So was Clemens. So were Bonds and Sosa and Palmeiro and more than half of the roster of my beloved Baltimore Orioles.

I've heard Mark McGwire is a nice man. I've heard that he's quiet, and contrite (although he's never fessed up about his drug use). He's turned down opportunities to coach (LaRussa asked him to become a hitting coach). He might be a nice guy, but he's no hero. He should never go into the Hall of Fame. He should always be held accountable for the injuries he's visited on America's pastime.

Rant over. Just writing this gets me geeked for Spring Training. I'm driving down to Lauderdale for the weekend to catch a couple of Orioles games (we signed Markakis) this year just before we have our little girl.

Can't wait.

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