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Last night on WUSA’s 11 o’clock news, Brett Haber ended his sports report by showing portions of a cutesy commercial designed to prevent anabolic steroid use.

The animated clip began with several sports balls sort of hanging out together in a locker room. One by one, the balls deflate, as a narrator goes over the alleged harmful side-effects of steroid abuse (“damage kidneys, destroy the liver – even cause heart attacks and strokes”).

The money shot comes with the biggest orb in the bunch, the basketball, shriveling into a small pea just as the narrator says , “Not to mention something else they can do to a guy’s body.”


Turns out the clip is called “Shrinking,” and was a public service announcement produced in early 2006 by the Partnership for a Drug Free America, a governmental body, with support from Major League Baseball.

The same message, of course, is implied — with much greater impact, I must say — by Dead Balls Era. That’s the slogan I and I alone feel is the best name for the homerific and drug-addled period that baseball is now allegedly crawling out from.

My three-plus-years crusade to get Dead Balls Era accepted by the cultural mainstream, or anybody else, has been a failure.

I just Googled “Dead Balls Era”: Five hits.

That’s less than “Dead Balls Era” got five months ago, when I last wrote about how few Google hits “Dead Balls Era was getting..

I’m not givin’ up.