Drug talk goes into extra innings

The Baltimore Sun

News item: Former Sen. George J. Mitchell sent a letter to the Major League Baseball Players Association last month requesting that 45 more players cooperate with his steroid probe.

My take: Didn't he announce a couple of months ago that he was close to wrapping this thing up? Maybe I'm just a cynic, but the only thing we don't really know already is what happens when you multiply 45 more players by six lawyers by $350 per hour.

Related news item: St. Louis Cardinals pitcher-turned-outfielder Rick Ankiel, the feel-good story of the baseball season, has joined the list of high-profile athletes implicated in the Albany hGH probe.

My take: Scientists are buzzing over the discovery that human growth hormone actually makes a baseball avoid the strike zone.

Still another steroid-related item: According to a report on SI.com, Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Troy Glaus allegedly received mail-order deliveries of performance-enhancing drugs in 2003 and 2004.

My take: The bad news - this scandal apparently has no end. The good news - if it ever does end, you can relive it by ordering all six volumes of the Mitchell Report.

News item: The Orioles celebrated the 75th anniversary of the 1932 Baltimore Black Sox of the Negro leagues on Thursday night by honoring the team during pre-game ceremonies and wearing vintage uniforms.

My take: I guess they used the money they saved by not honoring the 1966 world championship team's 40th anniversary last year.

News item: Notre Dame will be a 17 1/2 -point underdog today when the Frightening Irish take on Penn State in Happy Valley.

My take: Give the points. Twice.

News item: Appalachian State puts its undefeated record on the line today against Lenoir-Rhyne.

My take: I couldn't find Appalachian State on a map a week ago, so I think I'll keep my small-college ridicule to myself this time.

News item: The most coveted baseball card in the world - a pristine 1909 Honus Wagner tobacco card - sold for $2.8 million earlier this year.

My take: This would seem outrageous if the Orioles had not paid $19 million for an actual baseball player named Danys Baez just a few months earlier.

News item: Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson made headlines this week when he claimed that soccer star David Beckham "was never a problem until he got married."

My take: I've had friends tell me the same thing. That's why I signed that giant contract to play in Baltimore back in 1990.

News item: Teammates say Terrell Owens is a changed man. He's more settled and trusting of his coaches and teammates.

My take: This is great news. He'll probably wait until at least October to turn the season into a living hell for new coach Wade Phillips. (Eagles fans say, "Amen!")

News item: The Pittsburgh Pirates fired general manager Dave Littlefield in the midst of his seventh straight losing season. He has been replaced on an interim basis by former Orioles coach Brian Graham.

My take: Littlefield gets no sympathy here. He had ample time to run screaming into the night long before this.

News item: Penn State coach Joe Paterno is making his team clean eight sections of Beaver Stadium after each home game this year as punishment after several players were involved in an off-campus fight in April.

My take: He's lucky he isn't in Baltimore, or he'd probably be facing a hunger strike about now.

News item: Two weeks after their historic 30-3 loss to the Texas Rangers, the Orioles suffered a 17-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

My take: It's pretty obvious the Orioles linebackers played way better against the Devil Rays.


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