Washington (A.P.) – 2007 was the year of the extensive probe into the treacherous underworld of human growth hormone (HGH) and anabolic steroids in Major League Baseball – a 21st century Salem witch hunt that went all the way to the U.S. Federal Court. Spearheaded by Maine Senator George Mitchell and his 409-page dossier known as The Mitchell Report, accusations were levied against 89 baseball players.
Vanishing from the limelight for the past decade, the now former Senator made an unforeseen return to the cameras Tuesday morning in Washington, whereupon he announced his new target: a Miami pastor named Danny Prada.
Prada, who pastors the effervescent Heartway Church of Davie, Florida, is known for a transcendence far beyond public oration or ministerial excellence. The legends circulating of his weight room exploits and freakish superhuman strength have long since reached mythical proportions.
In October of 2016, Prada saved the lives of a tour group, single-handedly slaughtering a horde of ferocious lions while on an African safari – doing so with nothing but the jawbone of a donkey. In July 2017, stunned onlookers at Aventura Mall witnessed him help three men who were attempting to push a Jeep Grand Cherokee by lifting the sports utility vehicle over his head and carrying it forty yards into a Macy’s parking lot.
“Aw man, Danny Prada. That dude is a workout monster!” Hector Sulgaro exclaimed at Equinox Gym. “When anyone else is there, it’s just the gym. It’s boring, you know. But the second Prada steps in, it ain’t the gym no more. It’s a performance. Everyone just stops whatever they’re doing, everyone’s whipping out their phones and it’s like, ‘What’s this crazy guy gonna do this time?’ Even the professional bodybuilders who come in here are blown away and take notes. We’ve seen as many as two hundred people gathered around when he hits the weights. It’s pretty wild, man.”
Two weeks ago, ESPN’s Sports Center aired footage of Prada holding court at the Miami Dolphins practice facility, leaving everyone in the room awestruck.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry said. “All the big boys were throwing down – Laremy Tunsil, Gavin Escobar, Akeem Spence, all the usual suspects. Tunsel lays down 315 pounds, he busts out 17 reps and starts hollering at Prada like he don’t belong in there with us.
“Prada is wearing this collared shirt, slacks and dress shoes. He was there to do a devotional for us. Dude smiles, walks over – with no warm-ups, and throws down 780 pounds and reps it fifty times. I mean, just lifting the house: 26! 27! 28! 29! Then he starts doing tricks and does this thing where he throws it in the air and catches it one-handed and reps it with a different hand each time. And keep in mind, all this was going down while he did a Bible class lesson with us and was asking us questions about Galatians and stuff. He was doing things in that weight room that weren’t humanly possible.”
But while everyone else gushes and captures his feats of strength on Instagram, George Mitchell has arrived at a different response, hypothesizing Prada may have an illicit advantage over other pastors, who more resemble the Pillsbury Dough Boy than a Greek statue.
“When you look at this guy running around doing all this stuff, do you really think this is the byproduct of normal human ingenuity?” Mitchell asked a throng of reporters as the cameras popped. “We’ve got to start going after some of these preachers. We’ve got to get to the bottom of this. When I think of a pastor, I think Reverend Camden from 7th Heaven. My mind never takes me to the Incredible Hulk or to that orange fellow from Fantastic Four.”
The Senator’s suspicions run even deeper than originally thought, extending far beyond Prada’s gargantuan biceps.
“His sermons are uncommonly good,” Mitchell added. “So good that I’m left wondering if any performance enhancing drugs he may be experimenting with are beginning to seep into his brainwaves and emblazon his word selection, his flow of speech. Something’s up here.”
The Senator may be onto something. Prada’s sermon “Life Sucks, Then You Die” garnered an unparalleled number of downloads, even by Pradain standards, logjamming Itunes and momentarily breaking the internet Sunday afternoon.
“Maaaaaan, this is crazy talk,” Heartway congregant Brendan Byrne told TMZ, Tuesday afternoon outside a Hialeah Denny’s. “My boy Danny is clean. You see how he always smilin’. He’s just full of the Holy Spirit. That’s how it’s goin’ down. This politician needs Jesus, brah.”
As for Prada, he unabashedly welcomes any steroid and HGH test to come his way, even inviting Mitchell to be his guest at a worship service at Heartway.
“Bring it on, baby!” he shouted, amid the clamoring spectators at Equinox Gym, while casually deadlifting a soda machine while swinging upside down from the chin up bar. “Truth fears no investigation. This is 100% Jesus, Holy Spirit joy and perseverance.”
He then followed it up by lifting a keg of beer up and down while stepping barefoot on a trail of broken glass shards.
It remains unknown if there will be a Prada steroid hearing at Capitol Hill. Pundits indicate any case being heard could commence as early as February 2019.
If found guilty, Prada could face a fine of $27.