MMW News Classic: MLB's impotency faker

MMW News Service has a proud tradition of uncovering the stories others are afraid to, and we're sharing our sterling history in a our new, irregularly appearing feature: MMW News Classic.


We take you back to Aug. 14, 2002 when MMW News blew the lid off of one of baseball's tawdriest scandals -- Rafael Palmeiro's faux impotency.


PALMEIRO NOT REALLY IMPOTENT

Arlington, Tx.—In what can only be considered another black eye for baseball, rumors were confirmed Tuesday that Texas Rangers slugger Rafael Palmeiro faked impotency to gain an endorsement deal from Viagra. The company, which had previously used former senator Bob Dole to pitch its erectile dysfunction-curing drug, began airing ads featuring Palmeiro in April.


“We figured we’d maxed out the old guy, war veteran market, so we wanted to get in front of a younger demo,” Brian Schlongue, Viagra marketing director, said, “We wanted to show people that strong, vital, good-looking men suffer E.D. too.”


Palmeiro’s wife, Lynne, unintentionally went public during a tirade at a Little League game.


“I’ve had so many people come up to me and say things like, ‘We’re so sorry to hear about Rafael’s softie,’ it drove me nuts,” Lynne Palmeiro said. “I’d had enough, then, I’m at Rafael Jr.s’ game the other day and this kid, couldn’t have been more than 12, comes up to me and says, ‘Don’t feel bad, baby, you still give me a tree trunk.’ I just lost it, and I grabbed the little bastard by the shirt and screamed, ‘Listen, he’s been making me come five times a night longer than you’ve been whittling that little twig of yours’.”


An embarrassed Lynne was escorted from the field by police, and told her husband of the incident after he returned home from that evening’s game.


“I was so embarrassed. Usually those boys are just staring at my ass, but this time they were looking at me like I was a psycho,” Lynne Palmeiro said.


Rafael, who is one-for-15 since the incident, said, in a statement, “I wish to apologize for the charade I’ve been involved in for the past few months. I must admit that I have never had a problem raising the Titanic, and I am deeply sorry for anyone I’ve hurt.”

Whispers about Palmeiro’s feigned condition could be heard throughout the Rangers’ clubhouse most of the season.


“Yeah, we all knew,” teammate Rusty Greer said. “We used to say, ‘I take batting practice, I take Viagra, I take your money, sucker!’”


Rangers’ newcomer Carl Everett said he began to suspect Palmeiro was faking his flaccidness during spring training.


“We’re in this grungy shower room at our lame-ass practice facility, and I’m

blowin’ off some steam about the umpires, and he turns to me and tells me to zip it. I was going to go off on him, but I took one step toward him, and his horn just about knocked me over,” Everett said.


Kenny Rogers, an off-field friend of Palmeiro’s, said the whole thing was a humorous attempt to keep pace with Alex Rodriguez’ enormous salary.


“Once we signed A-Rod for 252 big ones, I think the guys all wanted to make some bank too. So Raffy, who everyone knows is piped like a donkey, jokes about getting a Viagra endorsement. Well, that night I tell the guys I’m going to use the bullpen phone to call Viagra and pretend to be Raffy’s agent,” Rogers said. “I had no clue it would go this far.”


Jim Mansfield, a Viagra spokesman, showed his frustration during a press conference Tuesday.


“We’ve been used,” he said. “I’m sure these athletes with their fully-functional elephant cocks think this is all a big joke, but we’re not laughing. We’re jerking those ads off…I mean yanking…excuse me. We will be discontinuing those ads immediately.”

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