News item: The Chinese government has backed away from a plan to restrict Internet access to foreign journalists covering the Beijing Games, but strict controls remain on Web access for Chinese nationals.
My take: Don't know what the big deal is. I've heard that Chinese journalists are allowed to write anything they want, as long as they don't leave their cells.
My take: Funny thing is, the Pirates think they got the best of the deal, acquiring two decent prospects from each team.
Bonus take: The Dodgers, meanwhile, think they got the best of the deal because they got one of the most dangerous hitters in the game.
Bonus bonus take: Best of all, the Red Sox think they got the long end of the deal because the Dodgers got one of the most dangerous hitters in the game.
News item: Brett Favre reportedly is considering a $20 million marketing offer from the Green Bay Packers to stay retired.
My take: Can't imagine it's about money at this point, unless Brett was heavily invested in General Motors.
News item: Michelle Wie failed to make the cut at the Reno-Tahoe Open, her eighth unsuccessful attempt to play more than two rounds in a PGA Tour event.
My take: On the brighter side, her penmanship in the scoring tent was darned near perfect.
News item: The Georgia Bulldogs have been voted the No. 1 team in the nation in the preseason USA Today Top 25 coaches poll, edging No. 2 Southern California by eight points.
My take: They must be factoring in the possibility that the Trojans will be disciplined by the NCAA for the Reggie Bush fiasco. I mean, no one could seriously believe Georgia is the better team, right?
News item: Houston Rockets center Yao Ming apologized for public comments he made questioning the effect new teammate Ron Artest might have on team chemistry.
My take: Just another reason Ming should conduct all his interviews in Chinese. I suggested the same thing to Erik Bedard last year, but it didn't help.
My take: Not that it will make any difference. If Teixeira really cares about being close to home, he'll be able to afford his own jumbo jet when agent Scott Boras gets through with the Angels and New York Yankees.
News item: Daniel Cabrera has appealed his six-game suspension for plunking Alex Rodriguez with a pitch Tuesday night.
My take: The ejection was a ridiculous overreaction by an inexperienced umpire. The suspension only compounded it. Does anyone seriously believe that Major League Baseball, upon further review, is going to admit that by significantly shortening the suspension?
Bonus take: I'm guessing disciplinary chief Bob Watson made it six games so he could reduce it to five on appeal, which doesn't change anything. Stay tuned.
News item: Ravens coach John Harbaugh gave the team an unscheduled 24-hour break yesterday when he canceled the afternoon practice and today's morning workout. He said it was to reward the players for their hard work through the first 12 days of training camp.
My take: It apparently had nothing to do with the fact that the team is on pace to have about six healthy starters for Thursday's preseason opener against the New England Patriots.
News item: ESPN.com has ranked Ohio State as the No. 1 team in a top 10 list of the most hated teams in college football.
My take: This never would have happened if they had taken my advice and changed their nickname to the Schmuck-Eyes.
Listen to Peter Schmuck on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon most Saturdays and Sundays.