November 03, 2005

And Then There Were Twelve

You probably caught the headline by now -- Yankees' outfielder Matt Lawton became the 12th player to test positive under baseball's new steroid policy.

Under normal circumstances, this would be the point where I'd get up on my soapbox and rip into Lawton, a player I've actually been rather fond of over the years, for taking a steroid normally only used on horses (that's no joke, by the way). But I'm not going to do that.

Instead, I'm going to say a simple -- bravo.

Why? Because in this absurd era of excuse-making and half-assed apologies, Lawton at least got one thing right.

"I made a terrible and foolish mistake that I will regret for the rest of my life," Lawton said in a statement over the phone to the Associated Press. "I take full responsiblity for my actions and did not appeal my suspension. I apologize to the fans, the game, my family and all those people that I let down. I am truly sorry and deeply regret my lapse in judgment."

I don't know how you react to something like this, but to me it's refreshing as hell. No mention of "I think a supplement I took was contaminated," "This has to be a mistake," "I didn't do anything wrong" -- Lawton flat owned up. Does he get a free pass for using steroids? No. He cheated. Is it possible that someone else wrote this statement and handed it to him, at which point he proceeded to read it in an insincere monotone? Yeah. But in a sport, and a set of circumstances, where a possibly uncountable number of players illegally bulk up to the size of cyborgs and rarely -- if ever -- admit to wrongdoing even when caught, there was something about Lawton's statement that was, for lack of a better word, human.
-This doesn't exactly fall under the category of breaking news, but let's be honest -- The OCC hasn't exactly been out on the streets grinding it out for the hot scoops anyways. So by now you've probably heard that A-Rod fancies himself something of a poker player, and has been warned by the Yanks' administration about frequenting illegal poker spots in NYC. How great is this? Speaking of cyborgs -- the way that A-Rod projects himself, he'd have us, the sports-viewing public, think that he's the nicest, classiest guy around. But we all knew all along that wasn't true, right? Now we've got confirmation. A-Rod has a vice! This is tremendous. He may still be completely bankrupt of charisma, but at least now he's got a bit of an edge. Not to mention that the notion of someone frequenting underground poker spots in NYC calls to mind the Oscar-winning film "Rounders" (wait, that didn't win an Oscar?!?!?!?) Picturing A-Rod hanging out with a Teddy KGB-esque character is almost -- almost -- enough to make me kind of like him. Actually, no it's not.

-Not necessarily Ali G's finest work, but an amusing set of NBA ads here nonetheless.

-Raffy, please don't go.

-Lastly, gotta make a quick plug here for new Hawks' center Zaza Pachulia. If you haven't treated yourself to watching him in action, don't bother -- the Hawks are dreadful. But should you happen to find yourself watching the wretched ATL squad play your favorite team late one night on NBA League Pass, keep an eye on my man Zaza. Not only does he look like a genetically mutated version of Antonio Banderas, but he plays like the second coming of Rony Seikaly. Most importantly, the League has not had a player with this kind of porn star potential in a long time. Viva la Zaza!


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