Waiting on slots was gamble that didn't pay off for state

The Baltimore Sun

News item: The Maryland Senate has given preliminary approval to a bill that would authorize the state to acquire the rights to the Preakness and Maryland's two major horse racing facilities by eminent domain or in a bankruptcy auction.

My take: This is the logical end to the tragic bungling of the slots issue by the legislature. Great, let's use taxpayer-backed bonds to buy the failing horse racing industry right after making Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park economically inviable under the poorly conceived slots plan that is five years and about $2 billion late to the budget-balancing party.

News item: Former Ravens quarterback Kyle Boller, who signed with the St. Louis Rams last weekend, told The Baltimore Sun in an interview published Friday that he had a great time as a Raven and still thinks Baltimore "is a great city."

My take: Boller was a class act all the way, which is more than you can say for the idiot fans who cheered when he got injured a few years ago. I hope he gets a chance to play in St. Louis and rekindles his career.

News item: The Ravens announced last week that they have re-signed cornerback Samari Rolle after releasing him earlier in the offseason.

My take: Everything seems to be coming up Ozzie again. Now there's less pressure on the team to use an early pick on a defensive back.

News item: The Orioles defeated front-line New York Yankees starters CC Sabathia and Chien-Ming Wang to take the opening regular-season series at Camden Yards.

My take: Obviously, great pitching is overrated.

News item: The Yankees announced that superstar Alex Rodriguez, who is recovering from hip surgery, will resume baseball activities at the team's minor league facility Monday.

My take: By "resume baseball actitivies," do they mean he will begin taking steroids again and generally acting like a sleazebag?

News item: The Arizona Diamondbacks and Chase Field have been awarded the 2011 All-Star Game and - if the roof is open - a Home Run Derby that might never end.

My take: If nothing else, baseball fans from all over the country can travel to Phoenix and find out why God created air conditioning.

News item: Singer Celine Dion reportedly is one of the potential bidders for an 80 percent stake in the Montreal Canadiens.

My take: This is not good news for hockey fans in Montreal. The nights she sings the Canadian national anthem, the game might not start until 10 p.m.

News item: Terrell Owens, who announced early on he would not be attending any of the Buffalo Bills' voluntary workouts, showed up for one this past week.

My take: Not sure that's such a great thing. The Bills are just going to find out a few months early that a little T.O. goes a long way.

News item: Lance Armstrong seems convinced French anti-doping officials will ban him from the coming Tour de France for allegedly violating drug-testing protocol by taking a shower before submitting to a random test.

My take: This is where it's customary to make a joke about French people and their supposed aversion to showering, but I'm not going to lower myself to that kind of negative cultural stereotyping.

News item: The NHL reportedly will hold its next Winter Classic - the third annual outdoor hockey game on New Year's Day - at Boston's Fenway Park.

My take: This is where it's customary to make a joke about Ted Williams' frozen head, but I'm really trying to take the high road here.

Listen to Peter Schmuck every weeknight at 6 on WBAL (1090 AM).

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