Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Come On, Sammy-WTF?

Stop this right now, Sammy. Please. You look like a fucking clown.

I understand-everybody does at least one thing that others would consider strange. It's your life, and if you're not hurting anyone else with malicious intent, then I say feel free to live as you wish. But really, what the fuck is this?

The dude already has his millions. Steroids or no, his story is pretty incredible, especially given the fact that I've visited the Dominican Republic many times and have seen the poverty some of these people live in up close. It is ghastly.

If you're dirt poor, there is literally no way out for you on that island. Others may disagree, but take my word for it-if you grew up shining shoes as a kid and make it to the major leagues to become a star like Sosa did...well, you have to take your hat off to him. Besides, he wasn't doing anything anyone else was doing and Major League Baseball looked the other way while it was (and probably still is) going on.

He has to be credited for breathing life back into baseball after the disastrous lockout, and anyone who witnessed The Summer of '98 will never forget the excitement in the streets of Washington Heights as finally one of their own was in the spotlight. He was greeted as a hero when he went back to the DR that year, and rightfully so. He gave hope to a lot of people that have very little of it. Let's not forget any of this when you take his full story into account.

But this really isn't ABOUT baseball. It's about something so ridiculously vain and sad that even I can't believe it. We can forgive some of the excesses of Dominican professional baseball players, who to a man all come from grinding poverty. Pedro Martinez with his yellow Lamborghini, riding on roads ill suited for anything but the sturdiest ATV (or army-issue tank, for that matter). Albert Belle, who constructed a gigantic moat around his house. And even Sosa, who instructed his architect to build the interior entrance of his mansion exactly like the mahogany staircase in the movie "The Titanic". All three thousand square feet of it. And that's just the ENTRANCE.

Supposedly Sosa isn't really welcome amongst the Dominican elites, the old-money blue-bloods who are for the most part Caucasian in appearance, as are the majority of the upper-crust in every Latin American country. It is reasonable to expect that someone as prestigious as he would want to become a part of that society, after all it is HIS country we are talking about.

But he is looked down upon because he was a shoeshine boy from the streets, with no education and no breeding to speak of and made his money as a "pelotero", which is held in high regard only by the lower classes, the ones who see baseball as THEE ONLY WAY to a better life. It's his background these people find low-brow and objectionable, not just the color of his skin, the texture of his hair or the color of his eyes.

In this particular case everything he stands for is held against him. And straightening his hair, wearing lime-green contacts and bleaching his skin isn't going to change that. He just winds up looking like a jive-ass turkey with serious racial identity issues. I'm kind of hoping this isn't the case, but the explanations offered so far seem utterly without credibility.

He is supposedly undergoing skin rejuvenation treatments. He is supposedly using a European night cream meant to help repair the damage done by years of playing in the sun. Others have cynically remarked that he is suffering from Vitiligo from all the steroids he's ingested over the years.

Whatever it is, he looks like a buffoon. Not just for the skin bleaching (who was the doctor that supervised these treatments? Dr. Mengele?) but for the terrible hair straightening and the abysmal colored contacts. At this stage of the game, does anyone really think colored contacts look natural? I've yet to see anyone wearing them that look even remotely authentic.

We love you just the way you are, Sammy-a lying, steroid abusing, I don't speak english in front of Congressional Committees, fun-loving doofus who entertained us when we were ready to turn our collective backs on our very own national pastime. You, along with the other steroid puppy Mark McGuire saved baseball whether anyone wants to admit it or not. That is the truth. Probably the only grain of truth in this proud man's stunning career.

But it just goes to show you how silly WE are. We can forgive THIS transformation-

But not THIS one?

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