Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A League Of Their Own

Like every good American, I was watching the World Series on Saturday night, primarily because the college football games were ending and because I wanted to see what was becoming a monumental display of hitting a baseball. Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals was putting on a show with his bat. He hit three home runs, batting in six runs. All of these were tape-measure jobs that seemed to leap out into the Texas night like fireworks. It was an exhibition. I made a point of sharing it with my son, and later my wife, who asked "Was it steroids?"Initially I was shocked. How cynical could this woman be? Degrading our national pastime with such talk. Here's this stunning achievement, and all she can do is imply some sort of conspiracy. How about a little simple appreciation for the physical feat? Under pressure with a worldwide television audience? Can't she just pause long enough to be impressed by the spectacle? Not every professional athlete is fueled by stimulants and bovine growth hormones.Then I noticed a face peering out from the Cardinal dugout. A little older, and perhaps a little wiser: Mark McGwire. One of the original Bash Brothers. The guy who hit seventy home runs in a season. The guy who whiffed mightily in front of Congress when he was asked about taking steroids to enhance his performance on the baseball diamond. He later got around to crying about it to Bob Costas.I guess it would have been better if he had talked to Tom Hanks. There is no crying in baseball. But thanks to guys like Mark, there will always be plenty of questions.


Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Mac is actually the Cardinals' batting coach. But for the first time in his MLB career, Pujols did not break 100 RBIs (he had 99) this year or bat .300 (he batted .299), so you can assure Kristen he's probably not cheating. Pujols is however trying to get more money for his new contract starting next year - he turned down a nine-year, $200 million offer from the Cardinals in February, presumably because nobody should be expected to try to raise a family on such a pittance.