Friday, September 07, 2007

Shoot Me Up A Winner, Bobby

The New York Daily News is reporting that in 2004, Cardinals catalyst and one of the rare feel-good stories of the summer, Rick Ankiel, received a 12-month supply of human growth hormone from a Florida pharmacy. For Cards fans, this has to feel like they were just shown an alternate version of The Natural in which Roy Hobbs' pain becomes so severe that he has to shoot up with morphine before each game; and eventually, he robs a drifter for a fix, beats him to death with the Savoy Special, and finds himself sentenced to life in prison. (Actually, I think I'd watch that movie.) I wouldn't be surprised at all tomorrow to tune into Deadspin and see that its creator and ardent Cardinals fan, Will Leitch, has mimicked MGoBlog's response after the Wolverines lost to Appalachian State and replaced the entire site with pictures of kittens.

Of course, Ankiel will either deny the allegations or more likely, give some version of "I can't comment at this time, but I look forward to clearing my name." Meanwhile, Cardinals fans will rally around Ankiel as long he continues to hit homers. Even those who acknowledge his guilt will likely point out that this all occurred before major league baseball had banned HGH. If that excuse sounds familiar, it's because it's exactly what Giants fans will tell you if you bring up the name Barry Lamar Bonds. Of course, the difference between the two is that Bonds was actually a good player before he started using performance enhancers- tho neither one of them was able to hit home plate with a throw when it counted in the playoffs.

Fortunately for Rick Ankiel, even if he is proven beyond a reasonable doubt to have received this shipment, a figure from another sport has provided a unique rationalization for such a purchase. You may recall that the NFL recently suspended former Bears assistant coach and current Cowboys quarterback coach Wade Wilson for five games after they learned that he too had received a shipment of HGH. Thursday, Wade Wilson revealed that while he was using the drug as a performance enhancer, it was for a much different type of performance than its typical use. Wilson was experimenting with HGH to treat impotence that was brought on by his diabetes and is not treatable by conventional methods. He purchased the substances from a "Florida rejuvenation clinic" for between $3,000 and $4,000. Wow- that is one expensive erection. If only he had seen the private pictures of Vanessa Hudgens- he would have been able to save a few bucks.

So maybe that was the case with Rick Ankiel. Maybe he had a little trouble lifting his bat and called on the fix-all hormone of champions. I know Rafael Palmeiro is wishing he'd thought of it.

By the way, while searching for a corresponding photo for this post, I came across this image, which I had to include because while not quite fitting, it made me think of the following exchange:

-I can't inject you with window cleaner.

-I don't mind. Hey, what does it do anyway?

-It causes your brain to die last.

-I don't mind.

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