Jeff Pearlman wants to ban Mark McGwire from baseball

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UPDATE: I missed this, but apparently Pearlman wrote this up a couple of days ago.

Jeff Pearlman went on Brian Kenny’s radio show this morning and he took the retro-PED-discipline craze to new heights. He’s not just content to give Alex Rodriguez discipline mulitple-times greater than the sanctions currently in place call for, but he wants to go back and penalize Mark McGwire for taking PEDs 15 years ago when he broke Roger Maris’ home run record. The form of the discipline: fire him from his current job as Dodgers’ hitting coach and ban him from baseball.

Keep in mind, of course, that McGwire retired two years before there even was drug testing in baseball.

So why the ban? Because he “did some amazing damage … to the record book.”  He broke a “sacred, sacred” record. And he was kind of a jerk to the media.  Really. “He was not exactly the most gracious guy that summer … he was a pain to deal with.” That’s the argument.

Kenny didn’t go there, but I’m curious if he would ban all players ever associated with PEDs from the game or just the ones who broke records and weren’t nice to reporters. Whether this is about the ethics of cheating or merely the ethics of cheating in such a way as to make reporters feel foolish after the fact.

Give a listen:

Imagining Theo Epstein in politics

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“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”

Or: “When Theo Epstein won World Series championships with the two most championship-starved franchises in baseball history, he got bored, and decided to run for the Senate or something.”

That latter bit is the premise of a Politico piece speculating that the Cubs president could go into politics one day. The story features an interview with former Obama chief strategist David Axlerod, who thinks Theo has what it takes. Mostly what he has is fame, popularity, good looks and money. No idea what his positions on issue are, but that other stuff goes a long way in politics these days.

Bonus: given what we just elected last fall, a guy who once had a little temper tantrum and dressed up in a gorilla suit is just as viable a candidate as anyone.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.