April 25, 2012

80s Injection: Old Face Wields Young Bat

Felix Jose, 1989 Fleer

“Felix Jose” has always sounded to me like a fake name, a name I would make up under the pressure of trying to prove to government officials that I was indeed Spanish, and had every right to be searching a filing cabinet in the Dominican Republic Embassy during my underhanded attempt to prove they were the ones who set off the bomb that killed my CIA partner of 20 years.

Also, if this baseball card does not perfectly capture the 80s, then I neither collected nor grew up in those respective mediums.

What more about Felix Jose?
DID YOU KNOW? … One of two hits in brief stint with A’s was run-producing double.

The stats directly above that condescending question reveal as much. Nevertheless, I admit I did NOT know that one of Felix Jose’s two hits while with the A’s was a double. This information will come in handy when the government officials ask me about “my” baseball career while holding “my” baseball card.

The back of this card has no useful info re: Felix Jose. Thankfully, we have the Internet.

So back in 2009, ESPN did a feature on Jose titled, “Nothing but a number.” Subtitle: “Felix Jose is 44 years old, but his bat would beg to differ.” There is also a picture of Jose with the caption, “Felix Jose’s face may show his age. His bat doesn’t.” Through this information I can infer that it is typical of major leaguers to use bats that reflect their age. As a modern example, Eric Hosmer uses a young, strong bat with manicured pubic hair that used to listen to Spotify until something better came along that no other bats even know about yet. Paul Konerko, on the other hand, uses an old, warped bat with ear hair that has to leave after the seventh inning to get a colonoscopy.

"We played together on the same team in the Dominican Republic," Jose said of (Julio) Franco. "He told me the day that he stopped working would be the day he retired.

What does that mean? This is presented as some type of sage Julio Franco-based wisdom, but it is literally the definition of retirement. Julio always told me, the day I retire will be the day I file retirement paperwork for retirement, because I’ll be retiring.

Anyway, when I first started reading about this buff baseball player who is 44-years old and still playing baseball well, I had my doubts. But now that I’ve reached the 16th paragraph of this article, I have let my guard down and no longer suspect anything is amiss.

The legitimacy of Jose's ability did come into question when he tested positive for steroids in the Mexican League in 2007 and was suspended for 50 games.

Oh, I see. No biggie. This does little to invalidate the entire purpose of this article being written. Besides, I’m sure Felix Jose has a good reason.

Jose claims the failed test was due to an injection he received in Korea for his ailing Achilles and says he provided the Mexican League papers regarding his previous prescriptions.

“Oh, that failed test? Pfft. That was a just an (unspecified) injection I received in (foreign country). The Mexican League has the papers. Everything’s on the up-and-up.” – Felix Jose

Besides the fact that he appears as though he took steroids prior to posing for this very card, and his membership on the late 80s Oakland Steroids, and also that he tested positive for steroids, I am certain there’s been a mistake. Regardless, let us not hold that against him. May we all be 44-years old and OBPing .431 for the Schaumberg Flyers one day! Proverbially, of course, although that is specifically what I’d like to be doing at 44.

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