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A Yankees After-School Special: Steroids and You

Francisco Cervelli just wanted to be a ballplayer. But he fell in with the wrong crowd and lost it all.

Never trust a centaur, Frankie.
Never trust a centaur, Frankie.
Jim McIsaac

Spring Training, 2012. Bright-eyed and full of wonderment, young Yankees backstop Francisco Cervelli is trying his best to make an impression on the coaching staff. But he just can't seem to do enough to ensure his spot on the team.

Francisco Cervelli: I try and I try, but I just can't hit home runs like those other guys. Or run as fast or jump as high! Golly gee, at this rate I'm going to have to go back to work on Mom and Pop's rhubarb farm!

(ominous music plays as a sinister shadow approaches)

Alex Rodriguez: Seems like you're having some trouble out there kid. These pitchers look like they're way outta your league. (hiss)

Cervelli: I keep practicing, eating my vegetables and visiting Grandma, but none of it seems to be enough! I don't think I'm cut out to be a ballplayer.

Rodriguez: Looks like it. But what if I said there was a way you could be a big leaguer, and all it would take was some...special medicine? (hiss)

(A-Rod produces bottle of horse steroids, flashes Chesire grin)

I got this from my buddy Tony. He's goooood people. (hiss)

Cervelli: Gasp! THOSE ARE S-S-S-TEROIDS! Commissioner Selig says those are banned and immoral!

Rodriguez: What that old fart don't know won't hurt him. Come on, this stuff is wonderful. I weighed 110 pounds before the magic of steroids. It's the stuff that helps Bartolo Colon pitch great with the physique of two Sidney Ponsons! C'mon, don't be a chicken! (hiss)

(Rodriguez begins dancing around Cervelli, making clucking noises)

Cervelli: I'll show you I'm no chicken!. Okay, I'll do it! Give me those!

(Cervelli takes the bottle and starts downing the pills like Reese's Pieces)

Rodriguez: (rubbing palms together) Good, good. Another spider falls into my web of steroid abuse and general villainy. Soon all of baseball will be on steroids, and I will rule the world! Mwahaha! (hiss)

(Rodriguez slinks into the shadows)

Fast forward to August 2013 in a small, darkened apartment in Tampa, Florida

Cervelli: I can't believe I let that monster A-Rod talk me into debasing myself and besmirching the good name of baseball by taking steroids! Surely all of these seemingly unrelated injuries are karmic retribution for my misdeeds! (sobbing) What am I going to tell Mama and Papa, and Grandma?!

(Cervelli rips down his Alex Rodriguez poster while in a fit of tears, when the door bursts open)

Bud Selig: Francisco, I think you know why I'm here.

(Cervelli throws himself at the feet of the Commissioner)

Cervelli: Oh Mister Selig, I'm so sorry that I helped ruin baseball and poison the minds of America's youth! I'll take any suspension you see fit, just don't call my parents!

(Selig tussles Cervelli's hair)

Selig: Alright you little scamp, it's fifty games for you. Now run along and don't let me see you getting involved in performance-enhancing drugs again!

(Cervelli runs off to play)

Selig: So how long have you been watching us?

(Alex Rodriguez descends from the ceiling)

Rodriguez: Long enough to see that I picked my latest disciple poorly. But there will be others, Selig. And there's nothing you and your band of do-gooders can do to stop me. (hiss)

Selig: We'll see about that. You can't appeal forever. I'll make you serve your 211 game sentence if it's the last thing I do!

Rodriguez: Naive fool. My lawyers will drown you all in a sea of paperwork until all the money left on my contract is paid, and then my victory will be assured. Now if you don't mind, I have a game in Chicago to play! Mwahaha! (hiss)

(A-Rod ascends out the window. Selig shakes his fist futilely in anger just as David Ortiz enters the frame)

David Ortiz: So remember kids, don't be like A-Roid, be like Big Papi! Never lie and drink your milk and you can make the majors someday...the right way! And-

Selig: That's right David. We here at Maj-


Ortiz brandishes a Louisville Slugger and chases after Selig as the credits roll.