How Baseball Can Strike Out The Recession
Four weeks into the 2008 Major League Baseball season, some of the sport's most legendary players are still standing on line at the unemployment office.
That line includes Barry Bonds, holder of baseball's all-time home run record. Sammy Sosa, a member of the 600-club. Kenny Lofton, a ten year veteran who is 15th overall on the career stolen bases list and holder of the record for most post-season steals. And most recently, Frank Thomas, one of the game's best hitters with more than 500 homeruns.
What is going on here?
One word, ladies and gentlemen. A decline in this country's real gross domestic product, or negative real economic growth, for two or more successive quarters of a year.
Actually, that's a lot of words. So let's just call it "Recession."
Like millions of Americans, Barry, Sammy, Kenny and Franky find themselves fighting each other for applications to the local Denny's franchise because America's economy is in a funk. Others might blame their unemployment on criminal investigations, old age and cranky demeanors, but I'm calling it like I see it. In an America drowning under the weight of debt and inflation, even our national pastime isn't immune.
Consider: The Yankees, long one of baseball's biggest "spendy" franchises, went the whole offseason adding only two players to their roster: Morgan Ensberg and LaTroy "Call Me Paul O'Neill" Hawkins, neither of whom cost an arm and a leg.
Consider: The Baltimore Orioles, who began the season first place in the AL East, in one of the country's best ballparks, can't fill their stadium.
Consider: A mere year ago, Jose Canseco's book exposing steroids in baseball, "Juiced" sold over 200,000 copies and hit the New York Times bestseller list for eight weeks. But this year, his book on exactly the same subject, containing no new revelations whatsoever, is languishing on the Barnes and Noble discount rack. Two books about the same exact thing, by the same exact author. But the one released during this particular financial quarter fails.
Coincidence? Or evidence of our country's desperate state of affairs?
Clearly, we need to turn this recession around. And fast. The baseball season only lasts until November, and if Barry, Sammy, Kenny and Franky don't have jobs by then, they'll be forced to give up one of their many luxury automobiles. Or worse... be forced to appear in ads for Viagra:
Yes, I Should Be An Ad Executive
Yet, not one of the Presidential candidates has mentioned the plight of these unemployed baseball heroes. If a guy who hits 762 homeruns can't get a job, what hope is there for the rest of us?
Fortunately, I have a solution. It worked for Barry in the past, and I believe it can work for our nation.
That's right. I said it. We need to juice this nation up with some tasty, preferably racehorse-strength hormones. A nationwide program to inject every man, woman and child with some super-charging serum.
Think about it. Why does the economy fail? Well, I'm not sure, I didn't pay attention in economics class. But I read somewhere it has to do with weak performance. A large company doesn't meet its quotas. A huge construction project doesn't get done on time. A shortage of consumer products creates inflation. Money spent doesn't bring back results. Weak, weak, weak.
With everyone on steroids though, imagine the possibilities. If Barry can hit 70 homeruns in his 40s, then Joe Schmo at the plant can churn out four times as many widgets on the assembly line. Bigger muscles for the masses mean increased spending on new clothes and high-calorie food. No one will care about the price of gas: we'll be able to push our cars to their destinations. Suddenly, with our superhuman workforce, we're producing more than enough products to both fill our needs and trade with the world market. Beat that, China.
And we can cut our spending in Iraq in half: One Super-Soldier can do twice the work a regular one can, meaning we can withdraw thousands of forces and keep winning (cough) the war.
Steroids kept Barry in baseball long past his expiration date. And it can get him back in again. Just as it can get us all back to the muscular heights we once enjoyed in those blissful, Soundgarden-filled days of the 1990's.
My slogan: "Stronger People, Stronger Economy."
Hillary, Obama, John: this plan may just make you a winner. I urge you to consider it.
And if it doesn't work, at least we'll all be ripped.