Monday, September 13, 2010

'Roids, Aging, & The Pride of the Goldpanners

It has been twenty years since this photo was taken, yet I saw it for the first time yesterday.  Why is this photo not more celebrated?

Anybody know where I can get a fake ID?

Perhaps, I'm exaggerating the comedic value of a photograph, as I've been known to do.  For example, look at the next photo of Orel Hershiser.  Am I the only one who thinks it's a hysterical picture, especially for a baseball card?  Who poses like that for a baseball card?  Who poses like that, at all?

"Hey ladies, ever cuddle with a bulldog?"

Still, I look at Giambi's big smile and slim frame from his 1990 Alaska Goldpanners photo and can't help but smile right back.  What a joke.  When I saw him, from about 75 feet away at Wrigley Field as a Yankee in 2003, he looked like a WWE wrestler.  I've had experience seeing WWF wrestlers up close from a backstage pass in the summer of 1995.

Anyway, we've all seen Giambi's long hair, tatts, and 'roided out biceps.  Why haven't ween scene more images like this on PTI, or something?

The shaved sideburn mullets were
all the rage in 1990 Alaska

What makes me wonder is how have we, as a generation, been affected by witnessing basically an entire generation of ballplayers age unnaturally, or supernaturally.  Unless you are old enough to remember people retiring in the early '90s, it's hard to know if anyone has aged "normally".  Of course, we hold on to hope for guys like Griffey Jr, Jeter, and Maddux did things the right way, but we saw a majority of players slow the affects of aging and skew the perceptions of aging ballplayers in general.

Bonds has had his skinny-Bonds and giant-Bonds differences pointed out many times.



Steroids didn't have to do with the pigment change, but Sammy Sosa went from being a skinny kid with a soul glo perm, to a 'roided up masher, and now he turned Michael Jackson White!

"Man, what language you talkin'? I'm Sammy Sosa."

Roger Clemens was 44 going on 34 in 2007.

Photo dated: November 2007
Mark McGuire is just a weirdo, who's neck looked stretched way too far at the end of his career, then shriveled up in his retirement.

"I'm delusional!"

"Please stop staring at my neck."

I'm not about to investigate more and open up a psychology or sociology textbook from my "college" box in my office.  Maybe there is no point to this feeling; I'm probably thinking very strangely and have no point.  It just feels like if more than 50% of ballplayers, or at least STAR players, were on steroids/HGH, then younger fans, as a generation, are missing something.  This younger generation of fans isn't being inculcated with the lessons of time and age that baseball fans of the previous 90 years were accustomed to seeing.  I'm probably making too much of it.  US sports fans conversely see the running back position in the NFL evolving to where their career spans are shortening to just a handful of productive years.  I'm definitely making too much of this. Who even worries about younger baseball fans?  They have their whole lives ahead of them, for crying out loud.

Enjoy the games tonight, folks.  That Oakland @ Kansas City matchup starting up in about an hour is bursting with Quadruple A flavor.

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