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Patriots' not-so-super filming and some other news of note

News item: The NFL and attorneys for former New England Patriots video assistant Matt Walsh have run into a snag in negotiations to cover Walsh's legal liability if he agrees to provide information about the team's alleged filming of a St. Louis Rams Super Bowl practice session in 2002.

My take: If the NFL stands firm on an offer that would still expose Walsh to a potentially expensive lawsuit under certain circumstances, it could be viewed by interested lawmakers as an attempt by the league to stall until the clock runs out on this smoldering controversy.

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Related news item: Lawyers filed a class-action lawsuit in New Orleans last week seeking $35 million in damages from the Patriots for the "fraudulent videotaping" of the Rams' practice before the 2002 Super Bowl. Plaintiffs claim the Patriots engaged in fraud, racketeering, breach of contract and a violation of Louisiana's unfair trade practices and consumer protection act.

My take: That's a stretch, but the case could open up the Patriots to a potentially embarrassing legal fishing expedition if team lawyers don't get it thrown out in a hurry.

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News item: Tampa Bay pitcher Scott Kazmir said Friday that "it's possible" the Rays could play in October this year.

My take: No disrespect to the improved Rays, but it's also possible that all the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue models post regularly on Orioles Hangout. Isn't very likely, though.

News item: The Orioles opened pitcher and catcher workouts Thursday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The first full-squad workout is Tuesday.

My take: I arrive tomorrow but have no plans to work out at any time during my four weeks in Florida. Might strain an oblique and have to go home early.

News item: Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, using a complicated new statistical model, determined that Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is one of the best shortstops in the majors and shortstop Derek Jeter is one of the worst.

My take: Let me get this straight. Our economy is headed into the tank, and this is what they are studying at the Wharton School of Business?

News item: Roger Clemens and former personal trainer Brian McNamee gave conflicting testimony for nearly five hours Wednesday before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

My take: The best part, however, was watching a bunch of career politicians act surprised that somebody might be lying, as if that's something you never see around Washington.

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News item: CBS Sports' preseason major league power rankings are in and - ta da - the Orioles are ranked No. 30.

My take: Got no problem with that. If the goal was to go back to Square One, no sense going halfway.

News item: Alberto Contador will not be permitted to defend his 2007 Tour de France title after his team was banned from this year's race for repeated doping problems.

My take: That's too bad, but it clears the way for a fresh new cyclist to win the yellow jersey and spend the next two years denying steroid allegations.

News item: Oscar De La Hoya is again being trained by Floyd Mayweather Sr. as he prepares to fight former junior lightweight champion Steve Forbes on May 3 and for his September rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

My take: Once again, Floyd Jr. and Floyd Sr. are feuding. Why don't they just fight each other? That's the way they'd handle it in WWE.

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News item: The Seattle Mariners signed Erik Bedard to a one-year, $7 million contract to avoid salary arbitration and are negotiating a long-term deal for the new ace of their starting rotation.

My take: That honeymoon will last until about the eighth time Bedard pulls himself out of a close game after the sixth inning.

News item: Terrell Owens scored 18 points and threw down a spectacular dunk to earn Most Valuable Player honors in the McDonald's NBA All-Star Celebrity Game.

My take: It was another impressive display of pure athleticism by T.O., who accepted the MVP trophy from Ronald McDonald and immediately accused him of being gay.

peter.schmuck@baltsun.com

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


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