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Rhymes With Bill
On Tuesday evening, news broke that Tony Bosch, late the proprietor of a defunct Florida company called Biogenesis, would testify about the Major League players to whom he provided steroids. Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun are among the most prominent players whose names appear in Bosch's files. Bill Littlefield attempts to place in context this latest episode in baseball's steroid era.
I’ve read that in the storied past some players turned to brandy,
As now their counterparts toss down their throats as if ‘twere candy
The pills prescribed for those with ADD they’ve never had.
This can’t be good , I’d guess, which means it’s more than likely bad.
I’ve heard that in the days when young Pete Rose was setting marks
For hits accumulated, whacking baseballs out of parks,
The hustle that he did it with was not precisely clean;
It came in pills called “greenies,” which I understand were green.
And it’s been said that “greenies” were available to those
Who wished to try the fuel that put the bloom on young Pete Rose.
Available as gum for chewing and tobacco, too,
The greenies got the players up and kept them up, it’s true,
And when the game began on time, and when the game was brisk,
The “greenies” worked, although I guess a rainout was a risk.
For if there was no game to play, the “greenie” buzz would creep
Into the heads of players and they wouldn’t get much sleep.
The Pirates of an era gone but not forgotten yet
Preferred cocaine, it’s said, and some were caught and sadly met
With punishments designed to show that baseball wouldn’t stand
For that which would besmirch its name across this baseball land.
Then came the steroid era, in which home runs numbered many,
And large and muscled fellows swaggered ‘round as big as any
Stoked, body-building paragon in freakish, bulging glory,
And it was hoped throughout the land that we had seen that story
Play out like all the stories of what players sought before…
But now we learn that era has not ended. There is more…
As many as two dozen more, some famous and some not,
Have all been tabbed as cheats by someone from whom these guys got
The steroids they believed would make them wealthier by far,
Than any maharajah, CEO, or movie star.
They had the genes, these fortunates, and all the drive as well
To make the Bigs and make opposing pitchers want to sell
Used cars, or maybe real estate, insurance, bonds or stocks,
For pitching to these hitters, who would often clean their clocks,
Was making pitchers feel that life had handed them the lemons,
Though some, perhaps, made lemonade, like aging Roger Clemens.
But wasn’t all that in the past, and hadn’t baseball rid
Its house of steroid users? Lots of people thought it did,
Until this latest round of accusations dark and grim,
From Tony Bosch in Florida, and now we'll hear from him.
The moral, I suppose, if there's a moral to be had,
Is greed is never-ending, and although that's very sad,
It's somehow even sadder in our days of constant strife,
To learn again that baseball's pretty much the same as life.
This program aired on June 8, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.
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