Ed Ryan entered the baseball blogosphere baggage in hand – emotional baggage. As a retired Marine, he endured the psychological effects from service in Operation: Desert Storm. After returning home to New Jersey he started a career in law enforcement and more stress: September 11.

“For about a year we were going to funerals back to back to back, that was numbing,” said Ryan. “I was fried. I needed an outlet a healthy one not drinking, drugs or women.”

He needed a distraction.

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Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire

This whole thing about McGwire simply permits sportswriters to imagine themselves to be Woodward and Bernstein, people who see themselves as guardians of a sacred portal, the last best hope for truth and justice and its all hogwash and baloney. – John Thorn, baseball historian

On November 26, 1961 the rules committee for Major League Baseball voted 8 to 1 against legalizing the spitball. Four months later, Gaylord Perry the most-celebrated of all spitball pitchers made his major league debut.

Irony? Coincidence? Foreshadowing?

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