Tagged: steroids

Fireworks In Philly – How FOX Sports Tried To Ruin The 4th Of July

Before I get to FOX Sports, I have a game re-cap for you.  Jamie Moyer, the oldest player in the major leagues, took the mound today against the New York Mets for his 600th career start!  P5314936 Moyer.jpgCongratulations Jamie!  What a milestone!  Moyer was outstanding in his effort and allowed only 1 run in 6 1/3 innings.  Not only is Jamie an amazing baseball player, he is an even more amazing human being.  Jamie dedicates countless hours to charity work with The Moyer Foundation and is ever-present in the community; a true role model for children and people of all ages.  It is refreshing to see such success come to a person who really deserves it.

Jamie got the win by a score of 4-1.  Shane Victorino and Pedro Feliz were the Phillies offensive stars of the game today; Victorino went 3 for 4 with an RBI; Feliz had 3 hits as well.  Even Jimmy Rollins joined the party and collected 2 RBI on a double.  SO nice to see Jimmy creeping back to life!  It is also a big relief to see Ryan Madson begin to pitch his way back to normal.  In to relieve JC Romero, he recorded 2 quick outs to retire the Mets in the 8th inning.  Then Brad Lidge came in for the 9th, saved the game, and all is as it should be…at least for today ;O)

This gives the Phillies a series win at home for a change, and more importantly, an opportunity to sweep the Mets!  I will be at the game tomorrow and bring back news and photos.

Trade??

In some very odd news, Paul Bako, our back-up, back-up catcher (not a typo) has started 3 of the last 4 games.  This has given me some reason to speculate.  Could Carlos Ruiz be on the trading block with the Phillies desperately seeking pitching?  If they are in the middle of negotiating with another team, it makes sense to sit Ruiz as they would not want him to get hurt while making decisions.  With Chris Coste as a solid back-up and Lou Marson waiting in AAA, this may not be such a strange move.  Another possibility is that Ruiz is hurt again and no one is talking.  Then again, maybe Charlie Manuel was just feeling a bit silly this week?  We shall see as the week progresses.

Why FOX Sports Sucks

Can someone please explain to me WHY my Phillies – Mets game today was interrupted multiple times so that FOX sports could should gratuitous footage of Manny Ramirez at bat in San Diego?  It was Manny’s 2nd game back with the Dodgers since serving a 50-game suspension for violating MLB’s drug policy.  Can I get a big “WHO CARES??” from the peeps, please?  Thank you.

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Seriously, it was not Manny setting some amazing record; not Manny greeting aliens from a spaceship for our first extraterrestrial encounter; not even the President of the United States giving an important speech…Manny’s 2nd game back after a STEROID suspension.  Heck, not even the 1st game back (even so, I would not have cared to see that either).  Has FOX Sports reached an all-time low in trying to get ratings?  You betcha.  It was like them interrupting a blessing from Jesus Christ himself to show a drive-by shooting.  What exactly were they expecting to happen?  That Manny’s head would explode?  Or, he was going to announce the cure for cancer?  Now THAT would have been news.

And yet, on this most important day in America where we celebrate the freedom of our great country, we are subjected to this ridiculous, infantile Mannywood hype by FOX Sports.  On the 70th anniversary of Lou Gehrig retiring from baseball while suffering from a fatal disease…we get Manny-Insanity.  On the day Jamie Moyer celebrates his 600th career start as a pitcher, are we shown historical footage of the eldest current player in baseball…a person who is a great humanitarian as well?  No…we get dreadlock fever.  

 Truly disgusting.  FOX Sports – you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Moyer & Manny Photos by Jenn

 

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Ibanez Rocks New York

Raul Ibanez brought the pain to the New York Mets last night with a 3-run shot into the bullpen in the 10th inning.  The Phillies win the series in New York, 2 games to 1 and come home with a 7-3 record on this most recent road trip.

Ibanez has been the biggest surprise of the year for this team, bringing the defense to match his offense.  In the 4th, Ibanez played a hot shot off the wall and nailed David Wright at 2nd who was trying for a double.  From all the way back on the warning track, not only did Ibanez get the ball to Chase Utley without a hop, he placed the toss perfectly so Utley could make an easy tag. 
Thumbnail image for Ibanez Hulk.jpgThis guy has been like the Incredible Hulk for the Phillies (or the Ibanez Hulk), tossing opponents around as if they were small woodland creatures instead of professional ball players.  While leading the majors with 58 RBI’s, slugging percentage (.674) and he is also second in homers with 21, Ibanez has put this team on his back and intends to carry them to the promise land.  Could chants of “MVP!” from the fans at the ball park be far behind?  Just wait; it’s coming.

And the starting pitching continues to improve as well.  Jamie Moyer had another quality start against the Mets, going 6 innings with 3 runs on 8 hits and did not walk anyone.  He looked a bit frustrated at times, but he is the master at buckling down and getting it done.  The bullpen had another great outing too.  Clay Condrey continues to turn heads with his 2.27 ERA and last night he pitched 2 scoreless and hitless innings.  Chad Durbin and Scott Eyre took care of business in the 9th and Ryan Madson saved the game in the 10th.

But just when everything is about to click….the Phillies are getting ready to butt heads with the Boston Red Sox who are coming off a 3-game sweep of the Yankees.  The Phillies have been extraordinarily bad in inter league play historically; will 2009 be different?  Or will the Sox derail the train in Philly?  We shall see…

Save A Pet


Thumbnail image for utley_150x180.jpgIf you are going to the game tonight, stop by the Save A Pet charity booth which will be located at the first base gate and run by the Phillies Wives.  You can adopt an animal in need, donate toys and blankets, and/or purchase a calendar for which the proceeds go to benefit the SPCA.  Phillies players were photographed with either their own animals or adoptable pets from the SPCA and the result is a very adorable calendar.  You can also
buy the calendar online if you are not able to get to the game.  I may need to get about 10 copies… :O)

“Minor” Steroid Issue

Pablo Ozuna signed a Minor League contract with the Phillies on Jan. 22 and has since been playing 2nd base for the AAA Iron Pigs.  Yesterday, he was suspended 50 games for violating the league’s drug policy with an elevated testosterone level.  Prior to this year, he spent a short time with the Dodgers in 2008 and 3 years with the White Sox before that.  The Phillies are the 5th team he has played for.

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Utley photo: Phillies.com

Ibanez Is a NICE Man – Leave Him Alone!

I nearly cried when I read the Philly.com article where poor Raul Ibanez had to defend himself against an irresponsible and moronic blogger.  Apparently, some idiot came out in his blog stating he felt that Ibanez must be taking steroids and that this was the only explanation for his outstanding year. 


I will not post the link to that blog here because I do not wish to give that guy any support.  The nerve of him; not only does he seek to slander the name of a good man, but he gives responsible bloggers everywhere a bad rap.

Do we all get annoyed and rant sometimes?  Sure.  But generally speaking, we rant about the truth, not some idea we have made up in our heads.  If your team had a bad game, feel free to say so.  The facts are the facts, a loss is a loss.  And if we make jokes to lighten the mood (like I do, A LOT), they are solely for entertainment purposes and not to hurt anyone.  But for goodness sake, do not spread rumors and report unverified and even worse, totally speculative information and present it as news!

Poor Raul; he does not deserve that.  Just because we are immersed in an era of baseball where steroids have run rampant, does not mean that all players have joined in.  Does hard work and dedication no longer pay off?  Or are we to instantly attribute all good play to steroids?  Sure, we have been disappointed by a lot of players, but that does not give anyone the right to make such accusations.

And that is my informed and totally honest rant of the day :O)

‘Phillies Memories’ DVD Review

I wrote a review for the new MLB DVD, ‘Phillies Memories’ which was posted on Phillies.com today.  The DVD is only $19.95 and is very entertaining and informative, covering all 126 years of the Phillies.  Please read the review and feel free to pass on any comments.  I did make one typo…let’s see if anyone figures it out ;O)  Maybe I should take steroids to enhance my performance?  (FYI – This is a JOKE – just in case some idiot takes that to a new level of stupidity :O)

Facebook / Twitter

Technology; you cannot escape!  Just thought I would note that if anyone would like to be my Facebook friend, send me an email and I will send you the link.  I have received letters from many, many readers in the last few months since I posted my email address and I appreciate the feedback very much!  I am always open to finding new Phillies friends to talk baseball with!

As for Twitter, I am listed as PhilsPhollowers.  Feel free to follow me :O)

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Photo by Jenn

 

Mets Mutilate Moyer

Jamie Moyer has historically not done well against the Mets; today, however, was a total massacre.  I’m talkin’ a George Romero, Stephen King, Wes Craven-type massacre.  Call it the “Nightmare on 126th Street.”  krueger baseball.jpgPulled after only 2 1/3 innings, Moyer gave up 7 earned runs on 7 hits, 3 of which were home runs.  And in the new Citi Field, home runs are hard to come by.  But the Mets looked like they were taking batting practice off Moyer as balls flew over the high outfield wall.  Apparently, Moyer did not attend the Charlie Manuel Spanish Inquisition.

So JA Happ took over for Moyer and totally shut the Mets down.  Oh yeah, tell me again WHY Happ is not a starter?  Please excuse the sarcasm ;O)  Happ racked up 3 2/3 innings, not allowing any runs.  A job well done!  Could the offense come back to reward Happ for his effort?  Ummmmm…no.   :o{

Shane Victorino extended his hitting streak to 16 games today, but the offense was mostly quiet again.  Ryan Howard hit a home run in the 4th that went about 420 feet, which was nice, but then the team went silent once more.  Jayson Werth woke everyone up in the 8th with a 2-run bomb; it was his 4th hit of the night and brought the Phillies closer, then trailing the Mets 7-5.  In his perfect night, Werth was 4 for 4 with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored.  The score held into the 9th inning but Pedro Feliz stepped to the plate and flied out on the 1st pitch.  The 1st pitch!  UGH!  Feliz swings at the 1st pitch probably about 80% of the time – pitchers know this.  Can someone give him a clue, please!  So then Miguel Cairo grounded out, Matt Stairs walked and Jimmy Rollins popped out to end the game.

If the offense could have pulled out a few runs last night, they would have won that game.  But tonight, when Moyer puts them in a 7-1 hole, they finally score, but not enough to overcome the deficit.  This short 2-game series was a real disappointment and another blown opportunity against a division foe.

Manny Being…A Moron?

So, I do not want to dwell on this.  Frankly, I am sick of the whole steroid issue.  Manny Ramirez was suspended for 50-games for taking the female fertility drug, human chorionic gonadatropin.  Ramirez says it was prescribed by a doctor for an undisclosed medical condition.  Well folks, the only reason a doctor would prescribe this drug to a man, would be to treat a lack of testosterone.  And what is the #1 reason among athletes for a lack of testosterone?  Steroid use.  So, enough said on that topic, although I would be curious to see if Ramirez can produce an actual prescription slip.

The Big Apple Has Gone Big-Time Nuts

Today, I logged on to the New York Yankees site to see about getting a ticket to the Phillies series at the new stadium.  I have been anxious to see the stadium; the Yankees are my “other” team so I was really hoping to get a look at what would someday be my dream World Series match-up as well.  However, I was shocked, appalled and utterly disgusted by what I found.  A basic seat beyond row 5, behind home plate in Citizens Bank Park in Philly costs $80.  It is the second most expensive seat in the ballpark.  The exact same seating location at the new Yankee Stadium is $900.  No, this is NOT a mistype – $900 dollars.  That is more than 11 times more expensive!  So, just for kicks, I looked up the same seat at the Mets new Citi Field: $695.  Holy Crap!

Ok, it gets better…the Handicapped seating in Yankee stadium: $375.  Wow!  Talk about raping the disabled.  How about the limited view seating?  toadily-insane.jpgMind you – you cannot see the whole field – $125.  OMG.  The bleacher seats, which are FAR away in centerfield, in CBP are $18.  Same seat for the Yankees: $125.  The Mets – $70.  And the most expensive seat in Yankee stadium – $2,625.  For ONE ticket!  STOP the insanity!  Oh, and by the way, these prices are actually reduced from what they were charging at the beginning of the season…no one was showing up to games, so the Yankees lowered the prices.  These are the NEW prices I have given you.

Seriously, where do these money-hungry, greedy, morally-defunct people get off charging these prices?  Is the state of New York on some higher plane of existence than the rest of the world?  And you know how I hate to cuss, but, WTF!  I am actually ANGRY over this right now.  Because now, unless I hit the lottery or some rich person takes pity on me, I may NEVER see the inside of new Yankee stadium!  And frankly, that is SO unfair to the millions of fans all over who just cannot afford these ridiculous prices.  Please join me in a collective, “ARRRRGGGHHHH!”

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Insane Toad – http://www.frog.co.nz/images2/toadily-insane.jpg

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As The Ankle Turns

The soap opera that is the Curse of Cole Hamels continues…  First, he hurts his left elbow in Spring Training and misses his Opening Day start; then in his last start, he gets hit in his pitching shoulder (left arm) with a line drive; and yesterday, he turns his left ankle while fielding a bunt that he knew ahead of time was going to be coming.  The batter turned and squared to bunt before Hamels threw a pitch.  So, is this man made of glass or is he just cursed on the left side of his body?  Will he ever finish a game in 2009?  Maybe we should cover him up in bubble wrap and then seal him in a hermetic chamber.  Just a thought…Hamels ankle.jpg

Cole tossed one warm-up pitch after the turned ankle and then, in obvious frustration, he tossed the ball at manager Charlie Manuel and walked off the field in dramatic fashion.  Cue the cheesy soap opera music…  The good news is, the MRI’s were negative and it appears to be only a sprain.  Hamels told the media he expects to be ready for his next start, but that remains to be seen.  After being very disappointed last year when he did not make the All-Star team, it looks like this year will be no different after this roller coaster start to the season.

The real shame of it all is that Hamels was off to a great start in these last few outings, only to be pulled due to injury.  Last night, he had only given up 4 hits and not surrendered a run before leaving in the 5th with only 1 out recorded.  Chad Durbin came in to take over for Hamels though and pitched a superb 3 2/3 innings of 1-run ball.  That run, an Adam Dunn solo shot, was the only hit recorded off Durbin.  Kudos to Durbin for saving the day!  What an effort to pick up his teammate!

Also doing a lot of the heavy lifting last night was Chase Utley; Utley took his revenge on John Lannan, the same pitcher who broke his hand 2 years ago.  In the 3rd, Utley took Lannan deep for a 2-run shot and then completed the humiliation with a solo shot in the 5th.  That’s what you get for breaking this super-star’s hand!

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Pedro Feliz hit a 3-run homer in the 3rd, continuing his hot streak.  Feliz is now batting .333.  And Raul Ibanez is relentless in his pursuit to call Philly his new home, blasting a solo home run in the 8th.  Ibanez and Utley are now tied for first place in home runs in the majors with Albert Pujols and Adrian Gonzalez; all four players have 7 homers.

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Congrats also to Jimmy Rollins who finally recorded his first stolen base of the season last night!  J-Roll was 1 for 4 at the plate and seems to be in the midst of waking up offensively and getting his batting average out of the gutter; it currently stands at .195, which should change very soon.

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And now on to our Fan of the Game:  This is Buddy from Philadelphia and he is a big Phillies fan.  Buddy was especially high on Raul Ibanez, as I heard chants of “Pat who?” echo throughout the outfield.  Well, we do still miss Pat Burrell, but Ibanez has left no doubt that not only will that role be filled, but he will give us a more consistent bat and so far, great defense as well.  Let’s hear it for RAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUL!

I have posted a Photo Album from the game; these will be a bit different than what you usually see from me as I had a seat in straight away centerfield at the top of the section last night.  A different, and much more distant, perspective for sure.

Romero Sues

JC Romero is suing the company of the supplement he took that was tainted with an unlisted ingredient which caused him to test positive for steroids and resulted in a ridiculous 50-game suspension.  He is also suing the manufacturer and one of the people named in the law suit is Patrick Arnold, a chemist who has already spent time in jail after the BALCO scandal.  Just a few things to note here: Supplements are not regulated by the government and therefore, even if MLB approves of a supplement, it can still cause a player to test positive if it has been tainted in the manufacturing process.  Romero did get an ok from the MLBPA to take the supplement, but did not call some 800# to check again, and so MLB decided he was negligent.  He got the same suspension as would a person who actually took steroids.  Disgusting.

I have been thinking this over for the last few days now and trying to put those thoughts into words.  This has been an emotional ride for JC, his family, his teammates, and his fans.  As for myself, I know personally what an honest and forthright human being JC is and can tell you that not only is he innocent, but he is a victim here.  I hope he takes these people for all that they have and that this sets a precedent for other players who may be victimized by this system.  MLB needs to revisit their policies and create a fair regulation process.

There have been some questions about why Romero is not suing MLB.  What may not be widely known is that when he first tested positive, he was offered a reduced suspension, 25 games to begin immediately, if he agreed to waive his rights to an appeal.  However, he would have missed out on playing in the World Series if he took the deal.  Not wanting to let down his team and knowing he was innocent, he turned down the deal and chose his TEAM over his own personal well-being.  He knew that if he lost the appeal, he would get the 50 game suspension and lose out on more than a million dollars in salary.  And still, Romero did the right thing and should be commended for that.  This is a man who always does the right thing and yet, MLB punished him for it.  The reason he is not suing MLB is probably because as another term of going to appeal, he most likely had to waive his rights to future litigation.  A very sad an unfortunate set of circumstance; so again, I hope he slaughters these companies in court.

Next Up

So the Phillies will work on their 2nd straight sweep tonight, trying to beat the Nationals again starting at 7:05pm.  While you are watching the game, log on to VOTE for your All-Stars!  Vote a maximum of 25 times per day, per email address.  Get the Phillies to St. Louis!!  And as always, feel free to leave your comments and thoughts below.  Go Phillies!

Photos by Jenn

 

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Geoff Jenkins Released; 5th Starter Determined

P2242975 Jenkins.jpg

In a surprise move, the Phillies released Geoff Jenkins today, content with eating the over 8 million dollars they owe him.  The Phillies are trying to find another right handed bat to balance out the line-up and Jenkins is a lefty, so he does not fit into the plan for 2009.  However, picking up Jenkins to begin with was not a great move, which I stated way back when that happened.  His numbers were steadily declining with his age and the Phillies more than overpaid for him.  What I did like about Jenkins though throughout 2008 was his personality, his work ethic and they way he fit into a tight knit clubhouse.  Jenkins is a super nice guy with a great sense of humor.  He will be missed.  I have a few photos of Jenkins for you throughout this piece to remember him by.

And now on with my rant; Todd Zolecki has reported that the Phillies may now be interested in Gary Sheffield who was just released by the Detroit Tigers.  Let me state for the record that as much as I opposed picking up Jenkins in 2008, I am even more convinced that Sheffield is a far worse idea. 

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I’d rather have 2 Jenkins’ than one Sheffield.  And here are the numerous reasons why:

In 2 years with the Tigers, Sheffield played in a TOTAL of 18 games in the field.  Yes, 18 out of like 324 games; he served as the team’s DH.  Therefore, at 40 years of age, it is obvious Sheffield can no longer field.  Not to mention Sheffield himself said publicly that he wanted to go to the Rays, an America League team.  Apparently, he knows he can no longer play outfield and thus, prefers the DH role.  So, if the Phillies pick up Sheffield, are we then saying we believe Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth, who have been injury prone in the past, will stay healthy ALL year long?  Not to mention Raul Ibanez, who is 36 year old.  Someone please hire us a Geriatric Nurse, quick!

So you say Sheffield can hit?  Sure, 20 years in the majors and he stands at 499 home runs.  Great.  But his numbers in the last 2 years, as he has gotten older, have declined.  He hit .265 in 494 at-bats in 2007 and then hit .225 in 418 at-bats in 2008.  You cannot say he did not get his AB’s, because as the regular DH, he did.  How can the Phillies, or any other team, expect improvement if he gets to hit off the bench only once every 2-3 games?

And then there is my favorite issue: personality.  Sheffield is the same guy who picked fights with Joe Torre and Derek Jeter of the Yankees; two of the MOST respected guys in baseball.  He called Torre a racist and then turned around and said Jeter  “ain’t all the way black.”  Hypocritical, if you ask me.  Not to mention, Joe Torre is one of the best managers in the game and wouldn’t hurt a fly. 

Not convinced yet?  How about the steroid allegations?  Sheffield admitted to using steroids, P2232711 Jenkins.jpgexcept that he says he did not know they were steroids.  How many times have we heard players say that now? 

Do you believe it?  Read the article here about Sheffield’s issues, and former relationship with Barry Bonds, and judge for yourself.  And even if the man is innocent, do the Phillies really need that kind of distraction in their clubhouse?  Again, I’d rather have 2 Jenkins than one Sheffield.

I do hope my rant has been a waste of time and that the Phillies do not go anywhere near the problem child, Sheffield.  But as in life and baseball, stranger things have happened.  Crossing my fingers and toes that this will NOT be the case here…

UPDATE:  The Phillies have contacted Sheffield’s agent.  UGH!  No word yet on what will happen next.

Also, in a day filled with weird news, the Phillies also just announced that Chan Ho Park has won the 5th starters spot!  JA Happ’s future is uncertain except that he, Gary Majewski, Jack Taschner and Bobby Mosebach will now compete for 2 bullpen spots.

 

(All Photos by Jenn)

 

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Sounding Off For JC Romero

With JC Romero’s impending 50 game suspension, Bud Selig came out yesterday and said absolutely nothing about it.  What he did say was how he’d like to be remembered as the guy who tried to clean up baseball and talked about how the criticism affects him.  In an article on MLB.com, Selig was quoted as saying, “I don’t want to hear the Commissioner turned a blind eye to this or he didn’t care about it,” Selig said in a telephone interview with Wallace Matthews of Newsday. “That annoys the you-know-what out of me. You bet I’m sensitive to the criticism. The reason I’m so frustrated is, if you look at our whole body of work, I think we’ve come farther than anyone ever dreamed possible.”  Selig also said that he would “would have to think” about suspending Alex Rodriguez, who admits to steroid use from 2001-2003.

He is going to “think” about it?  Romero.jpgIt is my impression that Mr. Selig “thinks” about very little these days, except for saving face on his part.  As for his sensitivity to criticism, perhaps he should channel that emotion into something more positive?  Say, doing the right thing instead of crucifying a man who has done nothing wrong for fear of looking soft?

The only thing JC Romero is guilty of is not dialing some vague 800# to triple and quadruple check on the supplement he took.  After Romero’s suspension, the drug company came out and apologized, saying the supplement would cause a false positive for steroids.  Then, a few days later, the FBI shut that company down for illegal practices.  Not to mention that the MLB Players union told Romero it was ok to purchase supplements, such as the one he took, at GNC.  He had multiple people check the label and all agreed nothing in it was a banned substance.

A 50 game suspension is the same punishment that would be given to an actual cheater;  someone like Alex Rodriguez, who DID take a banned substance.  And yet, Romero gets 50 games while Selig has to “think” about whether to suspend A-Rod?  Mr. Selig’s moral compass has clearly gone astray.

Not only does this hurt the Phillies as a team, but that is really the least of the issues.  What about Romero’s reputation and good standing in the community?  What about his family and friends?  What about the fans who support him?  Mr. Selig seems to take a stance of ‘screw them all, I will do whatever I want.’  Who is Selig accountable to?  Can the fans protest and have HIM suspended?  Why are some men held above the law of the land and others must pay for someone else’s mistakes?

Bud Selig has one chance to redeem himself and gain the credibility he so obviously desires; reduce the suspension on Romero.  Do the right thing.  Someone once told me that it was not hard to do the right thing; knowing what the right thing is becomes the actual challenge.  Once you know, it is easy to do what is right.  Mr. Selig:  You know.

 

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