In Missouri, opium not as bad as steroids

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Let this be a lesson to you children: If you take steroids, you will never have a highway named after you.

In the wake of Mark McGwire’s admission that he took performance enhancing drugs, the Missouri Senate has decided that the stretch of I-70 in St. Louis – which runs near a stadium named after a beer company, by the way – should no longer be known as Mark McGwire Highway.

The bill, which would also name sections of other highways after noted (and presumably non-doping) Missourians, was passed by unanimous vote on Monday. It will now move to the House to waste yet more taxpayer dollars.

The hard part of this whole endeavor, of course, will be deciding whose names to put on all these highways.

Republican Sen. Kurt Schaefer of Columbia asked if those getting the honors were alive or dead. Schaefer says it might be wise to name roads only for the deceased, because they can’t do something worth changing the name over one day.

So there is a ray of hope for McGwire should he turn his life around in his remaining days on Earth. It’s also a practical plan, as dead people rarely go out of their way to ruin reputations, including their own.

The Senate proposes that the McGwire Highway should instead be named after Mark Twain, the legendary and beloved writer who was … ummm … also known to … err … frequent opium dens in San Francisco.

*Awkward silence*

Uh oh. Crap. Now what? Don’t tell anyone about that.

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Albert Pujols passes Mark McGwire with 584th career home run

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 11: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim runs out a double during the ninth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on August 11, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the Angels 14-3. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.

Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.

Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.

Zach Britton allowed an earned run for the first time since April 30

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 22:  Zach Britton #53 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches for his 38th save in the ninth inning during a baseball game against the the Washington Nationals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 22, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland.  The Oriole won 4-3.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
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Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.

The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.

Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.

Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.