Support for Goodell shows NFL's protection schemes

The Baltimore Sun

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-- --News item: The eight members who make up the NFL's competition committee have come out in full support of commissioner Roger Goodell and his handling of the Bill Belichick Spygate controversy.

My take: What exactly did you expect them to do, call Bud Selig and ask for George Mitchell's phone number? The NFL has never shared baseball's penchant for masochistic self-examination, and it isn't going to start now.

News item: Indiana men's basketball coach Kelvin Sampson has resigned in disgrace after being charged with serious recruiting violations, leaving the program in unprecedented chaos.

My take: I can think of only one guy who could make things right, and I bet Coach Knight is starting to get restless after three long weeks of retirement.

News item: The New York Daily News reported Friday that a photo has been uncovered that might contradict Roger Clemens' sworn testimony that he did not attend a 1998 party at the Miami home of Jose Canseco.

My take: I'm pretty sure Roger will claim the camera simply "misremembered" him being there.

News item: Closer Francisco Rodriguez lost his salary arbitration case against the Los Angeles Angels.

My take: Poor K-Rod had to settle for a one-year deal worth a measly $10 million, instead of the $12.5 million he was seeking. Once again, the management jackboot lands hard on the little guy.

News item: Gary Sheffield told reporters at the Detroit Tigers' Lakeland spring training facility that agent Scott Boras is "a bad person." The two have been embroiled in a commission dispute for several years.

My take: Boras graciously countered that he thinks Sheffield is "a good person" but that he still wants his 5 percent.

News item: Commissioners for Miami city and Miami-Dade County voted Thursday to approve a $515 million deal to build a retractable-roof stadium for the Florida Marlins on the site of the old Orange Bowl.

My take: In other ballpark-construction news, the Orioles still are waiting for the Federal Aviation Administration to approve plans for an expanded and renovated spring training facility in nearby Fort Lauderdale. If you're keeping score at home, the O's have spent 18 years searching for the perfect spring training deal.

News item: Manny Ramirez, who has wanted out of Boston for several years, announced Thursday that he wants to finish his career with the Red Sox.

My take: Talk about mixed signals. He also fired his agent and signed with Boras, who likes to have more than one bidder when he negotiates a big contract.

News item: Detroit Lions president Matt Millen conceded Friday that his 31-81 record with the team is "beyond awful."

My take: Millen is being much too hard on himself. If you consider just how awful the team has been under his watch, 31 wins over seven seasons isn't half bad.

News item: The Orioles' spring training roster includes 58 players, 31 of whom were not with the club at the end of last season.

My take: Orioles fans are going to find out this year that being able to actually recognize the players is overrated.

News item: Basketball superstar Shaquille O'Neal made his debut with the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday and showed little sign of the injury that had sidelined him in Miami.

My take: Miami Heat fans have a right to be suspicious after watching Shaq dive into photographer row for a loose ball against the Los Angeles Lakers. I'm guessing the last time he did that was at LSU.

News item: Melvin Mora told The Sun's Jeff Zrebiec that he's going to hit 40 home runs this year. "Write that down," he said.

My take: I don't know. Shea Stadium isn't exactly a bandbox.

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

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