Saturday, August 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Which is more shocking: Sammy Sosa on drugs or a U.S. senator doing the wild thing with a campaign aide?

Which is more shocking: Sammy Sosa on drugs or a U.S. senator doing the wild thing with a campaign aide?

 

So while I'm away from the computer for an hour or so, I see there've been two huge stories -- stories so shocking that they're....OK, actually they're not in the least bit surprising:

1) This is your Sammy Sosa on drugs:

Sammy Sosa, who joined with Mark McGwire in 1998 in a celebrated pursuit of baseball’s single-season home run record, is among the players who tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug in 2003, according to lawyers with knowledge of the drug-testing results from that year.

2) A U.S. senator who condemned Bill Clinton's affair and spoke of the "sanctitiy of marriage" ended up boinking his married campaign aide:

Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) has acknowledged an extramarital affair with a campaign staffer in a statement released by his office. "I deeply regret and am very sorry for my actions," said Ensign. He is expected to announce the affair at a press conference at 6:30 pm tonight. The affair, which was with a woman who worked for both Ensign's re-election campaign and his Battle Born leadership political action committee, began in December 2007 and ended in August 2008. Ensign's wife, Darlene, said that the couple's "marriage has become stronger" and added: "I love my husband."

Well! As for Sosa, who wouldn't have guessed that the only man besides the great Roger Maris and the greatly discredited Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds to hit more than 60 home runs in a season was using performance-emhancing drugs? The guy had a body that looked like it was produced at the Monsanto pavillion at the 1964 World's Fair.

This means that of the 10 players who've surpassed 500 home runs in the last decade (out of 25 total), 70 percent, or seven, have been definitively linked to PEDs: Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, Alex Rodriguez, Raphael Palmiero, Manny Ramirez, and Gary Sheffield. The ones who have not: Frank Thomas, Jim Thome, and Ken Griffey Jr. Out of that select group, I think Griffey really stands out -- there's little reason to suspect he used PEDs, because of his physique, the fact that he hit many of his 617 HRs in the early 1990s before steroid use was widespread, and because in fact he was oft-injured when PED-use was peaking.

As for Ensign, despite his blatant hypocrisy, I'm not a big fan of jumping over every GOP guy who cheated on his wife; when it comes to morality, there's no reason to think that either party has the edge, although for some reason it does seem like more Republicans have found themselves in embarassing spots lately. (Although I'm less worried about what Ensign was up to than where someone like Democrat Jack Murtha has been putting his hands -- in the cookie jar).

Ensign should consider himself lucky: At least it didn't end up like the most famous -- albeit fictional -- Nevada senator to have an affair, that poor schlub from "The Godfather II."

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Will Bunch
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