Weighing in on BALCO scales of justice

The Baltimore Sun

News item: Troy Ellerman, the lawyer who leaked BALCO grand jury testimony to two Bay Area reporters, has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in jail.

My take: That would be 26 months more than Victor Conte, the admitted ringleader of one of the most notorious drug scandals in the history of professional sports. In some strange parallel legal universe, I'm sure this makes perfect sense.

News item: In a related development, New York Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi met with baseball steroids investigator George Mitchell and his staff Friday, but little was revealed publicly about the interview.

My take: No surprise there. Mitchell is holding back his best stuff to build up the suspense for his bombshell revelation that Giambi used performance-enhancing drugs.

News item: Outfielder Jon Knott was recalled by the Orioles from Triple-A Norfolk yesterday.

My take: Melvin Mora was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to ... oops.

News item: Texas Rangers star Mark Teixeira complained Wednesday about his club's commitment to winning, which fueled speculation that he'll be traded before the July 31 waiver deadline.

My take: The guy obviously is aching to come to Baltimore. The whole "hungry to win" thing is just a clever ruse.

News item: Controversial slugger Gary Sheffield criticized Yankees manager Joe Torre for allegedly treating black players differently than white players, but stopped short of branding Torre a racist.

My take: History repeats. Dave Winfield and Reggie Jackson made similar comments about the Yankees during the 1980s.

News item: Seattle Mariners star Ichiro Suzuki signed a five-year contract extension worth $90 million.

My take: For all of you international currency buffs, that's about 10.9 billion Japanese yen, plus the $17 exchange fee, of course.

News item: The New York Mets released veteran utility man Julio Franco, six weeks short of his 49th birthday.

My take: What a great story. He's going to be the first major league player to become eligible for the Hall of Fame and the Denny's Senior Slam the same year.

News item: International soccer star David Beckham reported to work with the Los Angeles Galaxy on Friday and is expected to make his debut Saturday. MLS officials are banking on Beckham to spark a new surge in American interest in soccer.

My take: That's the sport where they can't touch the ball with their hands, right?

News item: Mariners closer J.J. Putz entered yesterday's games with an 0.86 ERA and tied for the American League lead with 25 saves.

My take: It's pronounced Pootz. But when he blows three saves in a row, you can pronounce it any way you want.

News item: Super agent Scott Boras said Alex Rodriguez soon will become baseball's first $30 million-a-year player.

My take: What a relief. I thought it might be Teixeira.

News item: Radio and television commentator Dan Patrick announced that he's leaving ESPN but remains coy about his future.

My take: It will come down to the phrase "the price is right" one way or the other.

News item: The New York Knicks have been assessed $45 million in excess payroll tax for a 2006-07 season in which they went 33-49 and missed the playoffs for the third consecutive year.

My take: Well, at least it won't be very hard to pick this year's NBA All-Overpaid Team.

News item: Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has put in an application to make a bid for the Chicago Cubs.

My take: Can you imagine being an umpire at Wrigley Field with Lou Piniella in the dugout and Cuban in the first row of seats? Me neither.

News item: Tennis star Maria Sharapova looked great walking down the red carpet in a sexy leather outfit at the ESPY Awards last week.

My take: That was my take.

peter.schmuck@baltsun.com

Listen to Peter Schmuck on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon on Saturdays and Sundays.

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