1.The Mitchell Report. Lawd. Is it only fatuous NASCAR dads, baseball nerds like Bob Costas and George Will and moronic right wing politicos who are whining about this steroid thing? Last I checked--and this is axiomatic--chicks dig the long ball (and the mean arm). As Colin Cowherd mused on ESPN radio, the sacrifice bunt and the baseball strike, plus greed, corporate consolidation, hedge funds and CEO pay and the new uber-hype culture brought this about, not immoral evil players. Baseball's not called "The Show" for nothing (props to "Bull Durham" for that). Yeah, it's show biz, no less than Dancing with the Stars. Great minds think alike, Colin. Meaning that if you're going to punish these ballplayers then punish MLB, Selig and his gang of douchebag owners, NBC and Fox and even the craven cities, like the District of Columbia, building ballparks and screwing local residents and contractors and neighborhoods and lowering bond ratings. Look, EVERYBODY cashed in on this, and it's telling that the real story here is that ordinary journeyman players and minor leaguers are heavy on the list. How else can a dude with a mortgage and low prospects feed his family in this age of coddled, annointed superstars (hey it's like that in the book biz, too, cuz!)? If somebody came to you and said if you take pill, you'll make 50% more money...and your boss'll be happy with the results, too, wink wink...please kiss my ass if even a Mormon player (as my boy Keith Olberman pointed out) would pop that badboy! Gimme a break. Baseball's more popular than ever and, like so many "culture" wedge issues you see hags like Ann Coulter hiss over on Fox, if you're looking to blame somebody, look in the mirror!
2.Christmas. Guess what, Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck: even my liberal-commie-crunchy granola friends 'round here in the Peoples Republic of Takoma Park, Maryland (but 6 miles from the White House, like the Red Army closing on on der Furherbunker in May, '45) wonder where the f**k has Christmas gone! Seriously, stop your usual red-baiting and lies to keep the redneck and soccer suburb idiots distracted! Again, last I checked, it was BIG everything: Food, Oil, Retail, Pharma just trying to make more bucks who've de-Christmasized Christmas. You can't even quietly blame the liberal Jewish media mogul conspiracy (of course not the "good" Jews in your book, like the neo-cons Ha!). Can't blame the Muslims, either. There aren't enough of them, and frankly they don't care--like the Chinese who keep the carry outs open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (recall the movie A Christmas Story: "Deck the harls rif borrs of horry, far-ra-ra-ra-ra, ra-ra-ra-ra")
Frankly, I'm apalled that the Fox News brigade and fools like Beck and other facists have the balls to attack liberals for this when they know it's bullshit. OK...yeah...they do it all the time, but come on. Replace "Christmas" with the word "Holiday" is a marketing gimmick, plain and simple. You want to blame someone for shitting all over Linus's speech in A Charley Brown Christmas?" Again, look in the mirror. We are overweight consumer zombies to Wal-Mart, Citibank, Macy's, and 1000 calorie burritos at supposedly healthy Chipotle's (so much for immunizing them from suits on the basis of "free will"), etc etc etc and their institutional stockholders and their bloated CEOs. Sound familiar? See my paragraphs above on baseball. An illustration/analogy: whilst in Home Depot I asked a manager (based on an exchange I had with a sales associate who plainly had trouble with the Kings English) why the aisle descriptions were in English and Spanish. Was there an edict from the county human rights commission? A La Raza lawsuit? A boycott? "No," he said nonchalantly. "We just figure it'll bring more of them in, and make us more money." (emphasis added)
So keep your head down and watch the shrapnel. Spring training's four months away...oh and: Happy Holidays!!!