Bush will take aim tonight from a different capital hill

The Baltimore Sun

News item: President Bush is scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch for tonight's regular-season debut of the new Washington Nationals ballpark.

My take: It was a tough choice for the president. The Orioles offered him the chance to throw a couple of innings in relief tomorrow, but he couldn't clear his schedule.

News item: The Nationals showed off their new ballpark last night, facing the Orioles in the final exhibition game of the spring for both teams.

My take: Nice place. Just jump on the parking shuttle from the satellite lots in Richmond.

News item: Jose Canseco's new book is out, and it's raising quite a stir. He points an accusatory finger at Alex Rodriguez and adds an interpersonal twist - that A-Rod once made no secret of his interest in Jose's wife.

My take: It's not exactly Miami Vice, but baseball's steroid soap opera gets better all the time.

News item: Tiger Woods lashed out last week at photographers who snap pictures during his backswing.

My take: Oh, please. I understand how important it is to achieve total concentration in golf (largely because I can't), but Tiger needs to go back and read The Princess and the Pea.

News item: Major League Baseball is negotiating with the players union to toughen the sport's anti-steroid policy for the third time in three years.

My take: I hear this time they might even outlaw vitamin B-12.

News item: Orioles president Andy MacPhail announced Thursday that Brian Roberts will probably not be traded anytime soon.

My take: That's too bad for Roberts - who could be forgiven for wanting the issue settled by Opening Day - but there will be more teams interested in him in June or July than there were in March.

News item: Daniel Cabrera entered the weekend leading the majors in walks this spring with 17 in 22 1/3 innings.

My take: That's a little scary, but if you take all those walks into consideration, his 3.22 spring ERA is quite an achievement.

News item: Pro-Tibetan and human rights demonstrators disrupted the start of the Olympic torch relay in Athens.

My take: Get used to it. The Beijing Games are already becoming a public relations disaster on several levels, enough so that some have called for the International Olympic Committee to move them to Sydney or Athens.

News item: Former Oriole Jeff Conine signed a one-day contract Friday so he could retire with the Florida Marlins, the team he helped lead to a pair of World Series titles.

My take: Godspeed, Mr. Marlin. Conine was great to have around the Orioles' clubhouse during his six seasons in Baltimore, even if he was a UCLA guy.

News item: MLB's average ticket price has risen 10.9 percent since last year, according to Team Marketing Report.

My take: Congratulations to MLB for its sensitivity to the current global economic downturn.

News item: Jessica Simpson's mother has told photographers that her daughter and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo are secretly married, but she was apparently joking.

My take: This is no laughing matter for anyone who wants to see the Cowboys ever win another game. I've heard Terrell Owens hasn't stopped crying since he got the news.

News item: The Cowboys have reportedly made a trade proposal for troubled Tennessee Titans cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones.

My take: No truth to the rumor that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has hired extra help to count out the dollar bills to Jones on payday.

News item: No. 10 seed Davidson hammered No. 3 Wisconsin on Friday night to bust millions of NCAA brackets.

My take: Stinking Badgers. Turns out you actually did need some stinking Badgers.

peter.schmuck@baltsun.com

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

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