Phelps golden with the media, to

The Baltimore Sun

News item: : Editor & Publisher released a Pew Research Center study Friday showing that one-quarter of stories about the Olympics focused on Michael Phelps, who got seven times as much media coverage as the next-most-spotlighted athlete.

My take: : Seven times as much? That sounds low to me.

: News item: : Cuba defeated the United States, 10-2, Friday to knock the U.S. team into the bronze-medal game in what might be the final Olympic baseball tournament.

: My take: : One of the reasons they're dropping baseball is because Major League Baseball won't suspend the season and send the game's top players to the Olympics. Even though Team USA didn't take home gold this time, I like the tournament better with the American minor leaguers. At least that retains a small measure of the old amateur ideal.

: News item: : The International Olympic Committee continues to insist there is no evidence any of China's gymnasts are underage and believes the controversy will be "put to rest."

: My take: : So, who are you going to believe, the Chinese government or your eyes?

: News item: : Brandon Webb rang up his 19th victory of the season against the San Diego Padres on Thursday night.

: My take: : Can't remember ever voting for a pitcher for Most Valuable Player, but if I were voting for National League MVP right now, Webb would be the first name on my ballot. Of course, I won't be voting because The Baltimore Sun does not allow its employees to vote for postseason awards or the Hall of Fame.

: News item: : Willis McGahee, able only to watch practice while he rehabilitates his surgically repaired knee, complained to reporters the other day that he's having trouble picking up Cam Cameron's playbook.

: My take: : I'm pretty sure it would have helped if he had shown up for more of the minicamps, but he says he'll be ready to play in the opener Sept. 7.

: News item: : The Olympics will officially come to an end with today's closing ceremony at the "Bird's Nest."

: My take: : I heard that a digitally enhanced Chairman Mao was going to deliver the closing address, but the Chinese organizers had to get a replacement because his digitally enhanced teeth weren't straight enough.

: News item: : Major League Baseball and the World Umpires Association have agreed on an instant replay system to review disputed home runs.

: My take: : Now, if they can just make it retroactive to the 1996 American League Championship Series, we'll be set.

: News item: : The Tampa Bay Rays, sporting the best record in baseball, drew just 19,157 for Wednesday night's game against the Los Angeles Angels, the team that would have the best record in baseball after the game.

: My take: : It's hard for Rays fans to get excited. They've been in the thick of every AL East pennant race since ... never.

: News item: : Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt won his third Olympic gold medal in three tries and helped set a third world record in the 400-meter relay but hasn't made a lot friends along the way.

: My take: : IOC officials could have saved their lecture on sportsmanship. Bolt is just a product of his times, and I don't mean the kind you measure with a stopwatch.

: News item: : Minor league pitcher Jorge Sosa tested positive for a banned substance and has been suspended for 50 games.

: My take: : If you were expecting some other Sosa, shame on you. If you were wondering where this Sosa plays now, it's in the Seattle Mariners' organization. Great year they're having, don't you think?

: News item: : Orioles reliever George Sherrill would not blame his extended outing in the All-Star Game for the shoulder soreness that has forced him onto the disabled list.

: My take: : Actually, I wish he would, so MLB would have another reason to rethink the way it puts together the All-Star teams.

: News item: : The University of Virginia announced it will no longer allow spectators to bring signs to the school's athletic events.

: My take: : Ostensibly, the decision is intended to foster "good sportsmanship." I heard they did it because the football players were getting frustrated trying to read the big words.

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

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