5.17.2005

Dan Shanoff: The Baseball Quickie


FIRST IN THE BQ
It's the second month of the season, and it's clear what the big stories are: 'roids, 'roubles in New York, and 'reu. (That's Bobby Ab-reu, that is, who is hot hot hot right now, pounding balls like he was Biggie and they were forties.) But the real story might be those Pittsburgh Pirates, who have so far failed to be in last place. They're ahead of the Cubbies and the 'stros! (Being ahead of the Reds, though, is a no-brainer.) Lloyd McClendon is working some great magic over there, at least until he throws another base into center field. BREAK UP THE BUCS!

LEAD ITEM
TWO WORDS FOR YOU: STE. ROIDS.
But about those 'roids. Let's look at this issue. On the one hand, they are bad. On the other hand, they make players better. After all: they help players get stronger and faster and have better pitch selection and a shorter stroke. Could it be that steroids are actually...gasp...good for you?!?!?

No. They are bad.
It's clear that anyone who takes these scrotum-shrivellers is koo-koo bananas, loco en el cabeza, crazier than Grady Little in a roundhouse while having to pee in a corner. The only performance-enhancers allowed in the Shanoff household are Flintstones Chewables. Well, and Cialis. But no 'roids.

But at least I'm asking the questions around here. For those so-called "journalists" out there who won't: shame on them. (Yeah, that's right, I'll say it: WORST. JOURNALISTS. EVER.)

BOBBY ABS
Ballplayer.
Bobby Abreu is the best baseball player that you've never heard of. That's because he plays in Philadelphia, which is somewhere south of New York, where all the REAL ballplayers play. (Easy, you cheesesteak-loving types: it's a joke. Don't boo me like you famously boo'ed Santa Claus. Two words for you: IT'S A JOKE. I know where Philadelphia is.)

All Abreu has done is hit eight home runs in nine games. You think that's not such a big deal? Let me tell you, as a guy who has played a little ball: It is. Hitting eight ringy-dingies in nine games is like Wilmer Valderrama dating Lindsey Lohan, Mandy Moore, AND Ashlee Simpson.

TWO WORDS: IM. PROBABLE. Or, BEST. LUCK. EVER.

Because, seriously, outside stat-heads like me, and the good(?) people at Citizen's Bank Park, who the hell has ever heard of Bobby Abreu?

I'll tell you who: Alicia Machado, the former Miss Venezuela and Miss World. Somehow, Bobby Abs (isn't it cute when I refer to guys with their supposed Sopranos-style nickname?) managed to snare this babe, and they were engaged.

Until...
...pictures of her started to turn up on hardcore porn websites. (Of course, we can't show them, but we can show this:



If you think I'd mind getting some good wood on that and sending it 450 feet to deep center, then sorry, buddy. YOU'D LOSE THAT BET.)

Now, the engagement is off, and Bobby Abs is yanking it...into the stands. The baseball, I mean. As in: he's hitting home runs. Coincidence? I DON'T THINK SO.

OUT-ON-A-LIMB TIME
I know it's early, but it's time to make some of my patented predictions. Remember these at the end of the year, especially if I'm right. (If I'm wrong, I won't remember them, and will deny them vehemently.)

TEAM THAT WILL BE GOOD: St. Louis Cardinals.
TEAM THAT WILL BE BAD: Kansas City Royals.


Remember: you heard it here first!

DBQ'ED
It's time to take a stand.
Is it just me, or are ball-boys and ball-girls getting worse? Watch a telecast sometime, if you're not too busy watching reruns of "Seinfeld." (How is it that Michael Richards is out of work? Kramer: BEST. CHARACTER. EVER.)

Here's the all-too-common scenario.
Batter hits a foul ball down the first-base line. Ball-boy/girl/elderly man/my granny actually jumps out of the way. Two words: LA-AME.

The Baseball Quickie's position: Get some real fielders out there. It's time to bring professionalism and dignity back to being a ball-boy.

I'M AUDI 5000
Thanks...and make sure to read my colleague Roger Angell's piece about departed Royals skipper Tony Pena, "Heart of Blueness."

TWO WORDS: BEST. PULITZER. EVER.

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