Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thursday's Starting Five

1. George Mitchell. The former Senator from Maine and Disney executive who is currently under the employ of the Boston Red Sox will release his report on PEDs in baseball this afternoon. The sports world is aflutter with anticipation, nervousness and holier-than-thou-ism. Based on the obsession with the number of names included it seems likely that this is just more "gotcha" politics at work rather than any substantial referendum on what went wrong and how to fix it. Frankly, I don't care if we can confirm that Roger Clemens did steroids with Andy Pettite in a heart-shaped jacuzzi at the Mount Airy Lodge in the Poconos and I'm afraid that is all we're going to get today. Moreover, if the "evidence" is largely based on the information provided by one former clubhouse employee of the Mets then I will not think this "report" is worth too much. After all, if no one, absolutely no one, in the game cooperated and no expansive testing was done then what are we looking at? If the government wanted to write a report on the recreational drug problem amongst American youth and they based said report on the testimony of the guy who sold pot at my high school who was trying to stay out of jail for selling MadDog 20/20 to minors then I wouldn't be too impressed. I mean, they might know a lot about about a few friends of mine but not much about anything else. In other words, Radmonski's knowledge about Todd Hundley doesn't solve any problems or tell us anything that we can't gleand by thinking about 15 homers in 1995 followed by 41 in 1996.

2. Game film. I like how the Pats in some wondrous attempt to dupe a public that they have no respect for "outed" the Jets for having game film, for filming a game last season with permission in the same manner that every team does every week. The best part: that for the first twelve hours of this story the headline on every sports website and ticker read like the Jets had been caught cheating just the same as the Pats. Thankfully, by this morning it seemed like everyone saw this smokescreen for what it was and realized that the story was a nonstarter. Now, we can get back to wondering how many dozens of points the margin of victory will be.

3. The Big Baby. Pressed into starting duty last night for the Celtics, Glen Davis came through characteristically BIG. I see him as a darkhorse Rookie of the Year candidate (and I saw Durant in person last night).

4. Roger Clemens. Finally, maybe, just hopefully, we can put aside some of the hero worship at long last. After last year's grand theft payroll from the Yankees, the multiple faux-retirements and his (allegedly) being named in the Mitchell Report can we finally stop thinking this guy can walk on water? He is the pitching version of Barry Bonds. He is great at what he does and was before he hit the hot sauce. But he is also an endlessly egocentric ballplayer who cheated his way back to glory after slipping a bit in Boston.

5. Steve Nash. Busts his tooth and still helps the Suns beat the Jazz. Between the bloody nose during the playoffs and the chipped tooth last night this Canadian is really giving those hockey fans in the great white north something that they can get behind.

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