September 07, 2007

Also, Santa Claus Raped the Tooth Fairy While the Easter Bunny Watched and Laughed

You know, just when you think you're already disillusioned, that you can't really be unpleasantly surprised any more by the actions of public figures, let alone professional athletes... the world finds a way to prove you wrong.

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Rick Ankiel, who punctuated a storybook comeback from pitching woes by homering twice with 7 RBIs Thursday, joined the list of athletes linked to a Florida-based steroids investigation.

The New York Daily News reported Friday that Ankiel received a 12-month supply of human growth hormone in 2004 from a Florida pharmacy that was part of a national illegal prescription drug-distribution operation, citing records its reporters saw.

I should point out here that this story only alleges that Ankiel received HGH before 2005, which is when MLB officially, belatedly banned it, and that means it might have absolutely nothing to do with his current comeback. And you know what? That comeback is still remarkable, no matter what he might have taken. Nevertheless, once again I'm forced to remind myself that if a story seems too good to be true, that probably just means there's something going on that I don't know about.

To summarize:

  • Athletes that are not abusing animals or drinking and driving are either using performance enhancing drugs, beating their wives, cheating on their taxes, or dumb as a sack of nails.
  • Your elected representative is sleeping with either a hooker (Democrat) or underage male congressional page (Republican) while accepting thinly-disguised bribes.
  • According to polls your significant other likely has cheated, is cheating, or will eventually cheat on you.
  • Your dog only loves you because you feed it.

Have a great weekend!

Okay, okay. In other, less cynicism-inducing news (unless you're a fan of a small-market team, anyway), the Yankees won two of three from the Mariners and now lead the Wild Card by three games. That's not nothing, though whether it will be enough to survive a pitching rotation that includes two 21-year-old rookies and the remains of either an injured Roger Clemens or a free-falling Mike Mussina is still unclear. Personally, I think they're going to the playoffs; although a Yankee-hating friend of mine did paint a terrifyingly realistic portrait for me earlier today of a scenario in which they go through a 2-3 stretch, while Detroit wins five in a row, and are then eliminated from contention over the season's last three days by the Baltimore Orioles. Shudder.

Having swept the Braves over the past weekend, the Mets are in better shape, even though they did just blatantly doze through that last game against Cincinnati. They can afford to do that now, though -- all season the Mets' critics have said "oh, they think they can just turn it on whenever they have to"; but all season, the Mets have been able to turn it on whenever they had to. More power to 'em.

I feel bad about my earlier negativity and I'd like to leave this post on a more upbeat note, so please follow this link.

Or this one.


YFiB said...


the whole ankiel thing is a punch in the gut, but at least we can all bask in the electric glow of kitlers. (greatest tag ever.)

chin up, emma.

we're playing in KC today.

Anonymous said...

This is from JL25and3. I'm just too lazy to sign up for an account right now.

Ankiel was watching his eleventy-zillion dollar career unravel, with no clue what was wrong or how to fix it. I'm not a bit surprised to find that he was clutching at whatever straws he could find.

Everybody wants this story to keep on the heartwarming, Afterschool Special track. Ankiel can definitely retain his inspirational status, maybe even burnish it a bit - but he's got to manage it right, and immediately.

If he did take HGH, even once, he should hold a press conference and admit everything. Apologize to his teammates, his family, this great game of baseball, and all the children. Say he'll accept any punishment MLB doles out, and cooperate fully with investigators. Whatever his agent can think to add on, go for it; as long as Ankiel can at least look contrite, nothing's too over-the-top.

If he does that, it's just another segment in the biopic, like Ray Charles's drug use or Grover Cleveland Alexander's drinking (if you haven't seen The Winning Team, you must).

But if he waits until pressure and evidence start to build, then it just looks manipulative. He needs to jump out and make his mea culpas first, ahead of the curve. Then he can still be a poster boy.

Anonymous said...

Another awesome blog entry, Emma, especially the title. You had me at "Santa".

Only editorial change I would made is the repeated use of the word "remains" in the third to last paragraph.

Emma said...

JL, you're right -- everyone will forgive him if he just admits it, says that he was desperate, trying to to get back to baseball... and as long as he really did stop back in 2005, honestly, I don't care at all.

I do find it odd that nobody from the Cardinals said anything about it all day, though. Where's the press conference? The longer they wait, the more uneasy I get.

Anon, thanks! Good eye. I changed the second "remains".