Off Base
This is Barry's Brain on Drugs

November 18 , 2007

Yep, this is what it's come to. You see the huge fried egg mush of a life Barry Bonds has cooked up for himself? Do you?

Ya see the scramble Major League Baseball's in today, this very minute? Well, this is the sport's brain on drugs.

It's Barry's brain on drugs, primarily, but it's Sammy Sosa's brain on drugs too. And Mark McGwire's and Rafael Palmeiro's and Gary Sheffield's.

What we have on are hands here is Troy Glaus' brain on drugs, and Gary Matthew's, Jr.'s, and Matt Williams' brain on drugs. Ismael Valdez didn't have much of a brain to begin with, so we'll leave him out of it for the moment.

Paul Byrd? Yeah, his is a top-shelf brain on drugs if ever there was one, with the Cleveland Indians coming up fast from the rear. What in the world happened to that organization? What a bunch of clowns they turned out to be.

And I'm telling you right now, the criminal indictment of baseball's current home run leader is not going to be the difference maker you might wish it to be. Really, it's not. There is no critical mass coming. Not yet. Bonds on trial is not the deterrent baseball requires. George Mitchell's report probably won't do the trick either. And the United States Congress? Please.

Players are going to go right on taking all kinds of substances, clubs will continue to sign them to big-figure deals, and the commissioner's office will continue to show in no uncertain terms that they still don't get it. (BTW, don’t you just love the term "commissioner's office," like it's a bunch of chairs, a sofa and a desk tossing out directives, such as they are.)

The disaster experienced by baseball so far simply hasn't been tragic enough to lead to solutions, "lead" being the operative word. I'm sorry to bring you down here, but there's considerable sadness yet to come.

It's going to take a bunch of heart attacks, cancers, and unrecognizable central nervous system diseases to truly slap the sport's face silly. Maybe some birth defects too. This is incredibly serious stuff going into the backsides of our athletes here, and all we're talking about are asterisks and the ratio of Federal case trial victories to plea bargains begged for by caught-red-handed defendants.

You people have simply got to get yourself together now. Because we're going to see stroke and tumors and a series of unexplained early death. This is not something I'm looking forward to saying "I told you so" about, but just as sure as I'm standing here, the opportunity to do so will be there.

Who do I mean by "you people?" I'll tell you who I mean by "you people." Look, of course Barry Bonds is a Gigantic piece of bleep. Like, duh. But there's more than enough guilt to tinge practically everyone in baseball. Everyone.

Teammates and managers who looked the other way runneth over big-time. Agents, general managers and club presidents who saw victories and dollar signs in their charges eyes are culpable too, as are trainers and doctors, and unbelievably in at least one case, dentists. Dentists!

That's who I mean by "you people." You people. Fine, let's throw in a large contingent of the media too.

If this sounds like a lecture to you, I suppose it is. So sue me. I'm just sick and tired of reading and writing about jackass ball players, and their jackass agents (one in particular), and the cadre of jackass co-dependents around them doing everying imaginable to bleep things up. Yeah, you people.

I'd much rather be talking about Cy Young Awards and MVPs and the fact that pitchers and catchers and Michael Barrett report in less than 90 days. I don't enjoy the finger pointing one bit.

In fact, I'm thinking, wouldn't it be nice that if somehow, someway, the exercise of finger pointing in baseball could be reserved for discussions about a legendary home run hitter calling his shot, and whether it actually happened or not? Tell me that wouldn't be something…

This is Your Brain on Drugs TV Spot: Here's a link to the two famous commercials, as dramatic and telling today as ever, from the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. Enjoy...

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

On the bright side, props to Alex Rodriguez for sticking it to Scott Boras to the degree that he could. Very, very cool of A-Rod. Heroic, even.

But before we go all warm and fuzzy, counting down the 245 round-trippers A-Rod needs to pass Bonds, let's consider that the minute the jury calls its shot on Barry, Henry Aaron will be officially restored as home run king by that office we mentioned earlier.

Of course, that could take years. In the meantime, what do you say Mr. Aaron borrows a page from Minnie Minoso, and suits up next April. Surely, Hank could get to 763 against today's pitchers. Jake Peavy's good for at least one grooved fastball. So there you have it. One down, seven to go…

Dodgers Doing: Good news, bad news. Joe Torre has rounded out his coaching staff nicely, with the addition of Ken Howell, and the subtraction of Rich Donnelly. Is it me, or was Donnelly the absolute worst third base coach ever?

Good news. Torre won't have Mariano Rivera with him come Spring Training. If he was serious about Rivera being welcomed as a Dodger, Torre really did show the lack of knowledge about his new club he warned us about a couple weeks back. Takashi Saito is far and away the superior reliever at this point in time, the best in the National League, and works for about one-forty-fifth of the price.

Bad news: Chan Ho Park is back in Dodger blue. Wow. Park is Brett Tomko, minus the stuff.

Good news. Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp are still Dodgers, and there's still a chance that the brilliant idea of trading one of them, with Juan Pierre sliding over to left field, was just a really scary rumor, originally spread as a prank for Halloween…

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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