Look, I know what you're thinking, and yes, it's true that I shed a bit of mass over the winter. It wasn't as much weight as you think though, just four pounds, I swear. Don't forget that I am coming off that unfortunate Carpal Tunnel injury. My personal trainer told me that I needed to lighten the load to prevent a recurrence of the injury and that's why I'm now leaner.
I don't expect my production to dip, but if it does, it would just be coincidence. The fact that there were less baseball stories written last year than in years past could be attributed to any number of things. Maybe the editing is finally catching up to the writing. All of those new "expansion" newspapers in the 1990's led to a watering down of the editing talent. It was probably natural that writers would overmatch the editors and produce more. Besides, these new keyboards are "softer" than the ones we were using a couple of years ago. I had them tested.
Sure, I admit that I bulked up over the years. But that was pure dedication to the writing game. I worked hard—I was at my desk hitting the keyboard on a regular basis, ask anyone. When you work that hard at something, it's obviously going to pay off. So, yeah, I did start knocking more columns "out-of-the-park," so to speak. But it wasn't synthetic, it was all me baby.
Now that I think of it, I did get some vitamin supplements on a regular basis from this friend of mine. But it was all legit. He assured me that there wasn't anything illegal in them. I was just looking for something that would allow me to type to my utmost potential and these all-natural supplements really worked. In just a few short weeks I could tell how much quicker my fingers were and my forearms had really bulked up. The vitamins made me feel invincible; every column idea that my editor threw at me seemed to be right in my wheelhouse.
But I know the difference between vitamins and steroids. Steroids used to be a bigger problem. When I first began writing they were everywhere and it seemed everyone was doing them. Sure, I was offered some, but I turned them down—every time. I didn't need that kind of edge, that stuff was more for the guys covering Jose Canseco and Ken Caminiti; that wasn't my beat.
It was only a small percentage of writers that tested positive last year anyway, this thing has gotten way overblown. I'm sure there isn't a rampant problem, but if you want to look at anyone, you ought to look at California Dreamin.' I mean, think about it, CD hammers out three, maybe four columns a week. C'mon! You guys ever wonder how he keeps up that pace? I know I do. I mean it's impossible for somebody to write that much without some help, if you know what I mean.
I'm not trying to imply anything; you guys draw your own conclusions. All you gotta do is look at his misshapen hands; it's obvious they're bulkier. Besides he lives way out there on the west coast. He's in the same state as BALCO and Bonds, need I say more? Something should be done before they have to put an asterisk next to all of his columns.
I'll take a test if that's what it takes to prove my innocence. You'll have to get approval from the union first, because I have a responsibility to the other writers that outweighs my responsibility to the fans. But as soon as the union approves it, I will be the first one in line to prove my innocence, ‘cause these accusations are completely unfounded and hurtful.
More on ballpark names: I received several emails this week proposing additional nick-names for Citizens Bank Park. Most notable among the entries were variations on the Banking world, including The Bank, The Vault, and The Safety Deposit Box. I had to disqualify that last one for using Citizens Bank Park and the word safety in the same sentence. If you have more suggestions, send them on.
Columnist's Note: I welcome your feedback. Please send any comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.