Hercules, All-Star slugging first baseman of the Rome Rubicons, has been caught with his pants down and his pectorals up. Fabled for his ability to club that old apple of the Hesperides, Herc — known as Herakles when he played in the Greek League — was considered a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame. That is, until ace Dutch sports photog Hendrick Goltzius caught him in this candid pose, steroidal muscles rippling in the breeze, and tattletale slugger Jose Canseco outed him in his 17th best-selling tell-all about the steroid scandal, Too Strong To Be True: How Herc REALLY Beat the Monster Cacus.
Hercules, denying he had ever used drugs of any kind, attributed his buffness to his faithful following of the Roger Clemens Workout Method. He blamed the scandal-mongering Roman press for his tribulations.
“Can’t you guys just shut up and enjoy the game?” he said at a hastily arranged press conference. “I’ve had it with this two-bit town. It’s getting so a guy can’t knock the ol’ apple over seven hills 70 or 80 times a season without somebody casting aspersions.”
He revealed that he was in advanced negotiations with American minor-league mogul Merritt Paulson to bat cleanup for Paulson’s Beaverton Beavers of the Dubious League. According to a source close to the negotiations, Portland mayor Sam Adams was offering to sweeten the deal with a 15-year historical-preservation tax abatement and free rent at Memorial Coliseum if the famed slugger would agree to spend a couple of hours a week chasing petition-gatherers away from Pioneer Courthouse Square.
“I’m gonna sign,” Hercules said. “Just as soon as I’m done with these damned twelve labors.”