According to today’s story in The Sun, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings has contacted Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts about joining Powered by ME!, a Baltimore-based campaign designed to instruct kids about the dangers of illegal performance-enhancing drugs. Cummings is waiting for a response but expects Roberts to agree.
As if he has a choice.

This reminds me of the countless times I’ve been asked by a cashier at the local grocery store whether I want to donate a dollar to a worthy cause, usually something that benefits underprivileged children around the holidays. People are lined up behind me, hanging on my every word. Of course, the first one they hear is “Yes!” Sometimes I double up and say, “Of course!”

Who wants to look like an insensitive jerk? Who's going to say, "Sorry, that's my whiskey and cigarette money."

You have no choice. And neither does Roberts, who has little interest in becoming a spokesman for the fight against steroid use -- he'd rather just let the whole issue die and concentrate on baseball -- but now finds himself in that same cashier’s line, with everyone staring at him.

He has two choices: “Yes” and “Of course.”

Roberts might have to find a cause in Chicago. Though owner Peter Angelos nixed a deal that would have sent Roberts to Atlanta, he’d be more inclined to approve one that involves the Cubs. That doesn’t mean it’s certain – Angelos remains a big Roberts supporter – but his issues with the Braves’ proposal went beyond losing his second baseman and leadoff hitter. The Cubs appear willing to part with players more to his liking. We’re just not sure whether that’ll be enough for Angelos to say, “Yes” or “Of course.”

And it doesn’t matter how many people are watching.

The domestic-violence case against new Washington Nationals outfielder Elijah Dukes was dismissed in a Tampa court on Tuesday when the woman who filed the complaint failed to appear. Amanda Reese had asked for a year-long restraining order against Dukes.

Dukes’ estranged wife, DiShea Gilbert, has received two restraining orders against him. Perhaps Reese should have consulted with her first.

Meanwhile, the Orioles requested one against pitcher Victor Zambrano. They don’t want him within 200 yards of their clubhouse.

Nationals general manager Jim Bowden praised catcher Paul Lo Duca for being a leader after signing him to a one-year contract. Two days later, Lo Duca’s name appeared in the Mitchell Report, which detailed how he led at least four teammates to Kirk Radomski.

I don’t believe that’s the kind of leadership Bowden had in mind.

At least Dukes wasn’t mentioned in it.

The Pirates are searching for a catcher who will mentor Ronny Paulino, and perhaps take his starting job. They’re looking at free agents Johnny Estrada and Miguel Olivo, and are considering trading for Michael Barrett.

Would Ramon Hernandez be a little too pricey for them?

It appears that the Phillies are close to signing outfielder Geoff Jenkins, who would platoon in right field with former Oriole Jayson Werth.

The Phillies were only mildly impressed with Kris Benson, who recently threw for about 10 teams. It might be harder to find a job than he imagined.
Just ask Bartolo Colon.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun