MLB Steroids Scandal, Cont'd: Don't eff with George Mitchell. He knows that he can create sizzle – if not steak – in his investigation, simply by "naming names."
And so he generates publicity for his effort – if not cooperation from current players, who will ignore his requests for interviews and medical records – by dropping names like...
Sosa and Palmeiro.
That's all he's got? And it's not like he's actually proving they used steroids. He's merely asking for their medical records.
But he throws around their names, and – as with everything in this scandal – merely being mentioned is tantamount to guilt by common perception.
I'm not defending Sosa or Palmeiro or any other player. And I'm not sure yet how I fall on the question of whether these players should cooperate: If they're innocent, why not? But the mild libertarian instinct in me says they are under no concrete obligation.
(Here's what I really want to know: Let's run a poll, much like the controversial Bonds one from last week, asking how many baseball fans really give a damn about the ongoing steroids story anyway? I'm betting the answers will shock and shame the media. )
MLB clubhouse alcohol bans: I suppose it's sad that Hancock's death was the impetus for the new rules throughout MLB teams, but they were long overdue. The question/pressure now will be: If your team hasn't banned alcohol from the clubhouse yet, why not – and when will it happen?
Suns thump Spurs by 20:
And, remember, Game 2 was in I AM AN IDIOT. Man, did the Suns seem inspired. (FROM THE RESULT, BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY I DIDN'T WATCH THE GAME) Maybe it was Mike D'Antoni's decision to put beefy Kurt Thomas in the starting lineup, tweaking the fun-n-gun offense but putting more pressure on Tim Duncan. (ISN'T IT NICE TO SCOUR ALL OF THE MORNING-AFTER ANALYSIS TO SOUND MORE INTELLIGENT ABOUT A GAME I DIDN'T WATCH? YEESH. ISN'T IT NICE THAT I MADE THE SAME MISTAKE ON MONDAY TALKING ABOUT GAME 1? I WILL NOW GO BERATE MYSELF FOR THE REST OF THE AFTERNOON. YOU KNOW, THIS IS WHY I PUT MY EMAIL ADDRESS IN THE CORNER. ONLY TWO "YOU'RE WRONG!!!" EMAILS HELPING ME OUT? I'VE BEEN OFFLINE ALL MORNING BUT HAVE ACCESS TO EMAIL.)
Cavs go up 2-0 on Nets: Zzzz...UPDATE: I know it's late in the day already, but if you're not listening to JE and Tas doing their podcasts at The Basketball Jones, you're totally missing out. Best sports podcast out there.
Bonds: 745. (Wow, this is approaching much faster than anyone thought, isn't it? Whether or not you think he used PEDs, you have to admit that it's unlikely he's using them now. So stipulated, how do you explain this season's power surge? Oh, right: 'Roiding or not, he's the best power hitter of all time.)
UPDATE: How did I not write earlier about Curt Schilling ripping Barry Bonds on the radio? Seems like easy pickins.
Maddux vs. Smoltz tonight: A rare matchup between Hall of Fame pitchers. (No: Santana vs. Halladay doesn't count... yet.) How many lock Hall of Fame pitchers are in MLB right now? Maddux, Smoltz, Glavine, Clemens, Johnson, Schilling?, Hoffman? I know there are more.
How do I know that this is the Mets' year? They have already gone to the team-wide "Crew Cuts in Solidarity."
Stud: Josh Beckett. First to 7 wins. (Tigers, too: 8 straight Ws.)
Dud: Jorge Reyes. (See this LIO post.)
My favorite on-field promotion of the baseball season is coming up: The pink bats used on Mother's Day. (Remember Bill Hall last year?) Apparently, more than 200 players have signed up to use them. Rah Moms!
McNabb calls Eagles first-pick of QB Kolb "shocking," but tried to downplay it. Why didn't he say this: "The Eagles have to think about what's going to happen after I've retired in 10 years. But Kolb will have big shoes to fill after I've led the team to multiple Super Bowl titles. Heh." ("Heh" necessary.)
Steve Smith got paid: And deserves it.
Ronnie Brown is too fat? After drafting him for my fantasy team the last two seasons, I might be inclined to agree with the Dolphins if they want him to get into better shape. But they're just sucking me back in, tempting me to use a high first-round pick on him... again....
NBA All-Rookie: The first-team is a testament to Lottery "names": Roy, Bargnani, Foye, Gay, Aldridge... and Garbajosa, a Euroleague find (and, combined with Bargnani, Exhibit A why the Raptors' "European Invasion" strategy led them, in one year, from the first pick of the 2006 NBA Draft to a division title and the playoffs).
The second team is fascinating: Paul Millsap and Craig Smith were second-rounders viewed as stereotypical "tweeners"; here's a reminder: Scouting is an imperfect science. Oh, and Adam Morrison somehow made it onto the team, even though he was horrible. Nice to see the Bobcats' Rookie of the Year, Walter Hermann, made the second-team, too.
Baseball draft on TV: I'm late on this by two days, but I love this idea. If you don't like it, you don't have to watch it. But it made zero sense for baseball in the era of "Moneyball" and an increasing (if still small) profile of college baseball NOT to televise the draft. The only question: Who will emerge as this cottage industry's Mel Kiper?