I read this the first time and laughed. And then I looked up at the humorless picture at the top of the column and realized that this is no parody. Greg Doyel is Very. Very. Serious.
The Home Run Derby is tonight, and it’s the perfect advertisement for baseball. Busch Stadium in St. Louis will be sold out, because fans dig the long ball. This thing is so popular that it will be broadcast live on ESPN. The Home Run Derby will even have its own corporate sponsor.
Apparently the sponsor is State Farm.
It should be Stanozolol.
You know — the anabolic steroid . . .
. . . This thing is filthy. The symbol of the Home Run Derby should be a syringe.
I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of your contrived cynicism. But at least I can ignore you. Geoff Baker, on the other hand, is gonna have your ass:
I wonder who will be pegged a cheater from this year’s crop …
Eventually, in months or years, someone from this year’s group of eight Derby sluggers will land on the wrong list of names. That’s damn near a lock. The most scrutinized player in this Derby is Albert Pujols, whose offensive numbers have been superhuman since he debuted in the big leagues in 2001 … when the Derby featured Bonds, Sosa, A-Rod and Giambi. And Luis Gonzalez. And Bret Boone. And Troy Glaus, who showed up on the Mitchell Report. That’s seven presumably dirty players in the eight-man field of 2001. Who was the lone clean schmuck? Todd Helton. He didn’t make it out of the first round. Of course.
So anyway … the guy from this year’s crop could be Pujols. Could be Brandon Inge, who is slugging 100 points above his career average and on pace for 37 home runs, one year after he hit .205 with 11 homers. It’ll be somebody, unless the cheaters are finally starting to wise up to the point where they realize they shouldn’t be flaunting their ill-gotten power gains at the Home Run Derby, for God’s sake. Would a bank robber hang out in the Wachovia parking lot?
Doyel-to-English translation: (a) one of this year’s guys is cheating, and it could be Pujols or Inge, because they just stink like dirty stinkin’ roiders; but (b) no one will probably ever be caught cheating because those stupid idiots are too smart to be cheating at the Home Run Derby where, as the rest of my whole article makes clear, is where everyone cheats all the time; and (c) if anyone needs me, I’ll be up in the garret burning with enough intensity to set fire to the world.
Can someone please tell me what I’m doing wrong? I’ve been writing about baseball for over two years now, and it simply hasn’t made me angry and bitter yet. This worries me, because everyone else who does it seems to be that way, and they all get paid to do it. Maybe I just need to hit the keys harder or have someone punch me in the neck while I’m writing in order to cultivate the requisite rage to get a full time job doing this.
Grrr, hate.! Grrr, betrayal! Crap. It’s not working. Maybe if I listen to Joy Division and think of the girls who broke my heart . . .
(thanks to Sara K for the heads up)