Off Base
A Colossal Bunch of Assholes

December 16, 2007

Yep, assholes is what they are. Every last one of them. Lyin', obnoxious, bleeping, selfish, stupid, cheating, criminal assholes. Let's call them "85 Men Out." Losers all.

So colossal is this bunch of assholes, the only conceivable way to distinguish one asshole from another, it's clear to me, is by determining the degree to which each of them is an asshole. That is, we must decide the measure of the ass in relation to, not just the average ass, but to asses in the aggregate.

(No, this is has nothing to do with the literal size of the ass, in inches, which of course, would be an unfair knock at Bill Madlock and Cecil Fielder.)

Look, George Mitchell said it perfectly with his opening line: "Everyone involved in baseball over the last two decades – commissioners, club officials, the players' association, the players – shares to some extent in the responsibility for the steroid era."

Translation: They're a colossal bunch of assholes. Colossal. Assholes.

Take for example, Rick Ankiel. Asshole. Barry Bonds? Big asshole. Roger Clemens? Big asshole. Lenny Dykstra? Asshole, and ooh what a surprise that one is.

Don Fehr, big asshole. Eric Gagne, big asshole. Todd Hundley, big asshole slash bad baseball player. Useless. A lot of good it did him. Paul Lo Duca? Monumental asshole!

Gary Mathews, Jr., asshole; Andy Pettitte, asshole; players union, really big asshole. Adam Riggs, asshole. Bud Selig, really big asshole. Do you get the gist here? Do we really need to complete the entire alphabet? You do know there's an X-Y-Z, don't you?

Senator Mitchell said it exactly. Exactly. It's just that he opted for class and decorum with his words. No constraints like that here, thankfully. They're a colossal bunch of assholes! A colossal bunch of assholes!! Colossal assholes!!!

Hey, did you catch the commissioner's Bill Murray impression? You remember, from SNL, with Murray playing film critic on Weekend Update. "I haven't actually seen the movie." Selig hadn't actually read the report. Unbelievable.

Had he applied himself for a few hours, and actually read the thing, instead of just being "briefed" like it's an NIE or something, and assuming even the slightest bit of independent thinking, Selig might've gathered that the single most key keyword which sums up the whole damn mess better than any in the whole damn English language is this: Selfishness. That's what the Steroid Era comes right down to. Selfishness. S-E-L-F-I-S-H-N-E-S-S.

This isn't about winning and it's not about personal best. It's got nothing to do with competition, nor getting an edge. Team? Please. Forget about security for the family. This is about selfishness. Me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me. Gimme, gimme, gimme. Drugs, drugs, drugs.

Consequences, what consequences? Birth defects for the kids, a deadly heart attack at the ripe old age of fifty? Stroke, cancer and central nervous system diseases the likes of which we've never seen? Who the hell cares? Pass the damn drugs.

Yeah, I suppose baseball will make an improvement or two, to go along with the progress, such as it is, that's been managed to date. It's just too bad that standing in the way is the same old cast of characters – "vehemently" denying ballplayers, their agents, and of course, lawyers – when what's really needed is an army of cops, drug counselors, therapists, medical doctors, interventionists, 12-step program participants, a rabbi, a priest, and while we're at it, a rowboat. Paddle optional.

Say what you will about the Giants and Yankees, and as suggested by a front page headline in the Los Angeles Times, the "complicit" Dodgers. No argument here. But at least in L.A.'s case, the primary evil-doers are out of the organization.

The Cleveland Indians went the opposite direction, actually re-signing Paul Byrd just days after the veteran pitcher was linked to drugs. The Kansas City Royals did the same with Jose Guillen, as if there wasn't enough baggage with that guy to begin with. We're talking a Samsonite warehouse full.

While they probably don't deserve it, let's give the Washington Nationals the benefit of the doubt, and assume they were out of the loop about Paul Lo Duca. Say they had no idea of Lo Duca's checkered past before handing him $5 million last week. Not particularly believable, but let's just say. And btw, there is a lot more to Lo Duca's degenerate rap sheet than just the drugs. A ton.

But whatever. What's done is done. The Nationals ought to stand up and at least attempt to play hero now. Just give it a try; fake it till you make it, and all that crap. Tell Lo Duca to get lost. Don't say it as nicely, but tell the bleeper to get lost.

Terminate the deal immediately, citing the morals clause built into every baseball contract. If the union wants to cry "foul," fine. If the union screams for arbitration, fine. If the union sues, fine. Tell them to knock themselves out, and pursue any type of legal recourse they can think of.

Invest Lo Duca's salary on legal fees defending your righteous position, and if there's anything left over, send it to a Partnership for a Drug-Free America, or some other worthy charity.

Drag things out as long as it takes, and if it comes right down to it, release the guy at the most inopportune time for him to latch on elsewhere. If all else fails, pay him if you have to. Just do the right thing. Don't give him another uniform to disgrace for as much as a single solitary inning. This is an incredibly bad guy we're talking about here.

As for the Dodgers, they might want to stipulate that Ned Colletti and Joe Torre, at the very least, failed to recognize what was going on right under their respective noses in their previous jobs, and apologize. No more drugs at Chavez Ravine, from here on out. Period. Exclamation point. End of discussion.

Any other club that wishes to follow suit will be saluted here. Yes, even with genuine reform, you're still a colossal bunch of assholes. But there's value in slimming your way down to a reasonable size…

Talkback: If you like what see here, tell a friend. If you don't like what you see here, tell two friends. Or talkback...

Who Goofed: Perhaps the next time a major scandal rocks the sport to its foundation, the Dodgers might want to put in a little notice to the mail room. Season ticket renewal forms went out the very day of the Mitchell Report, postmarked December 13. I got mine the following day. Lame.

Enhance Your Performance: Or at least, enhance the performance of your portfolio. is a (human) growth enterprise. Invest a thimble full of venture capital today; make major league minimum tomorrow. Investors wanted. Inquire

Statue for Sandy: The Koufax in bronze campaign continues. Please Vote “Yes on 32.” And tell a friend…

Remember, glove conquers all….






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