In a scandal that would make even Mark McGwire blush, former A.A.U. baseball coach and the godfather of fundamentals Tom Emanski revealed in a recent interview with Larry King that he administered steroids and human growth hormone to his teenage players in order to gain a competitive advantage.
Emanski gained worldwide fame for his baseball fundamental videos (often referred to as the nine commandments) that stressed a “building block” approach to the sport. Apparently, those building blocks involved bathroom stall injections, steroid cycles and masking agents, not hitting the cut-off man and proper base running.
The cult hero (his commercials have aired over 100,000 times) agreed to an interview with King after a former player threatened to blackmail him, and with Emanski’s net worth rumored to eclipse $70 million dollars, the coach decided it was time to come clean rather than give up his lavish lifestyle. While Emanski didn’t get into specifics about what drugs he administered to players, he did open up about the reasoning behind his decision:
“If I wanted a team full of David Ecksteins I would have just taught the kids fundamentals, but hell, who wants to watch that little gnat play baseball? I juiced the kids up because it’s what the fans wanted–frozen ropes, tape measure home runs and pre-pubescent boys hitting 90 miles-an-hour on the radar gun–now that’s entertainment.”
When asked if he regretted negatively influencing the young boys’ lives, 90% of which are now dead or incarcerated, Emanski showed little remorse:
“Would I do it all over again? You bet your rotten old ass I would Larry. These kids came to play for me because they wanted to win, and the best way to do that was with [performance enhancing drugs] not fundamentals. It’s not like I was the only coach encouraging steroid use–just look at Tony LaRussa and Joe Torre. To make it in baseball today you’ve got to be willing to make sacrifices…the kids and their parents knew exactly what they were getting into.”
No former players (including an unnamed MLB star) were willing to speak to any media outlets about Emanski’s revelation, but one parent spoke on the condition of anonymity to Larry LaRue of the Tacoma News Tribune:
“We knew there was something funny about Coach Emanski, but we couldn’t quite put our finger on it. The soft toss, the exaggerated throwing motion, the kids throwing balls from the outfield into garbage cans at homeplate–let’s just say I was baffled. There aren’t even garbage cans on the field during a game! None of us had any idea that steroids were being used, but maybe the fact that my 13-year-old son was bench pressing 250 lbs. should have been a red flag; I just figured he had good genes. You can believe we [the parents] are going to take this to court and make Emanski pay through the nose.”
Fred McGriff, who endorsed the videos as a young slugger for the San Diego Padres, teared up and shook his head slowly from side to side when approached at a restaurant about the story by a reporter. He didn’t comment any further, but on his way out, McGriff was seen throwing the distinctive blue “Baseball World” hat into an overflowing trash can, symbolically stating that once and for all, Tom Emanski’s videos were no longer “Fred McGriff approved“.
He won’t be the only one shaking his head tonight…Tom Emanski failed baseball and forever tarnished America’s youth.
Is nothing in this world holy anymore?