Hall plays make-up game

The Baltimore Sun

N ews item: The bronze statue commemorating the wonderful life of Negro leaguer Buck O'Neil was unveiled Friday at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.

My take: It's the make-up call of all make-up calls after O'Neil was left out of the last group of Negro leaguers to be inducted into the Hall two years ago, but he's finally in there. Belated congratulations to one of the finest gentlemen to play the game in any league.

Related news item: Oh, and while we're on the subject, Rich Gossage will be inducted into the Hall today.

My take: Probably won't be quite the same level of excitement as last year's ceremony, but I'm excited anytime a closer gets in. They were ignored by Hall of Fame voters for too long.

News item: Talk show host Rush Limbaugh told the St. Louis Business Journal he might be interested in heading up a group to purchase the St. Louis Rams.

My take: And you thought Brian Billick's offense was too conservative.

News item: ESPN reported Friday the New York Jets have received permission to talk to unretiring Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre. The Jets and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reportedly have expressed interest in acquiring him.

My take: He's probably a better fit with Jon Gruden in Tampa. Now get on with it.

News item: Basketball star LeBron James has guaranteed Team USA will win Olympic gold during the Beijing Games.

My take: There was a time when the U.S. team didn't have to guarantee anything. It was just understood. But the rest of the world has done a good job of playing catch-up.

News item: The New York Yankees discussed the possibility of signing Barry Bonds during an organizational meeting at their Tampa, Fla., spring training complex Thursday.

My take: Then they came out and completed a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates for outfielder Xavier Nady and well-regarded reliever Damaso Marte. More proof of a baseballwide conspiracy to keep Bonds in baseball exile.

News item: Ticketmaster of China has predicted that the Beijing Games will be the first sold-out Olympics.

My take: Well, with a population estimated at 17 million, it's not as if Beijing is a small-market town.

News item: Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs remains a no-show at training camp after the team failed to sign him to a long-term contract by the deadline for franchise players.

My take: That's no big deal if he arrives two weeks from now in any kind of shape, but that's no lock.

News item: Women's basketball legend Nancy Lieberman, 50, recently signed a seven-day contract to make a comeback with the Detroit Shock of the WNBA.

My take: This is the place where a lesser human would make some snide, sexist remark about the WNBA, but not me. I think it's cool when a fiftysomething personality makes a comeback. I'm planning to make one tonight at a nearby all-you-can-eat restaurant.

News item: Infamous Cubs fan Steve Bartman has turned down a $25,000 offer to return to the Chicago area and sign one photograph of the moment that made him a villain on the North Side.

My take: Smart move. It was a trap.

News item: The NBA has made trademark filings on six potential names for the relocated Oklahoma City franchise - Barons, Marshalls, Bison, Energy, Thunder and Wind.

My take: Just a suggestion to whoever came up with this list: Next time, go with the seventh thing that pops into your mind.

News item: Scientists from the U.S. and Italy claim they have developed a urine test to detect human growth hormone.

My take: I don't want to make a joke about Jay Gibbons, so I'll substitute a line from one of my favorite movies: "This new science amazes me. Tell me again how sheeps' bladders can be used to prevent earthquakes."

Bonus take: If you can identify the reference, drop me an e-mail at my address below and win my undying admiration.


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

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