Today’s Column — Enhanced Performance

As spring training begins, I feel I have to set the record straight.Today, I regret to announce that, for many years, I have used performance-enhancing substances to gain unfair enjoyment of the national pastime, baseball.

According to this statement, I’m truly sorry. My conscience must be detoxified.

On many occasions, I have ingested genetically modified meat products, some injected with growth hormones, chemical additives and unknown fillers. These products were administered in patty and link form.

I admit, on several dates between April and October, preparing these products on a charcoal grilling device. At times, I inadvertently but unintentionally, inhaled delicious aroma.

And, in most instances, a strong-smelling balm and or salve containing ground mustard seed and spices was applied to the meat product as a flavor enhancer. In some cases, it was applied without my expressed consent.

The use of these products has given me an unnatural layer of bulk, making it far easier for me to sit, virtually immobile, during an entire nine-inning baseball game. It’s given me an unfair advantage over fans with the energy to move.

I also admit drinking, from time to time, a fermented liquid concoction of roasted malt, hops and other ingredients. This substance was usually used to wash down the aforementioned meats.

The fermented liquid made my assessments, perceptions and understanding of baseball far superior to those of my fellow fans. It broke down natural inhibitions that would otherwise have kept me from widely sharing those comments. In short, it gave me an unfair advantage over other fans in terms of raw expertise and sheer volume level.

I take full responsibility. But I also blame the media.

I was able to buy a readily available satellite radio, at a very low price, that broadcasts every baseball game. This highly addictive device actually carried the official MLB logo.

I was also able to easily subscribe to a satellite dish service, also heavily marketed and readily available, which greatly enhanced my viewing performance. My remote-clicking finger grew strong and nimble. I saw ads enticing me to use fermented beverages.

I became hooked on Internet baseball coverage, sapping my work productivity.

Still, I’m to blame. And I’m sorry.

Basically, my conduct has broken faith with the great fans of the past, slicing ties of tradition between me and olden-days, sepia-toned fellows, who got “base-ball” scores from telegraph offices, lived through Prohibition and ate boiled beets.

Any new baseball records I’ve witnessed on my giant TV, while eating sausages big as my arm, swigging mega-hopped microbrew, should be recorded with asterisks. Big, bloated asterisks with cheese sauce. Yum.

And I vow to change.

My brats will be free-range and my fermented beverages will be consumed in moderation. I’ll throw a few beets on the grill. Maybe even a rutabaga. I’ll submit to a strict regimen of cholesterol testing.

I made mistakes. But it’s a new season, and hope springs eternal. Now, could someone please help me up?

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