March 31, 2006 [LINK]

Mitchell to probe dope use

Prompted by the book Game of Shadows on Barry Bonds, BALCO, and steroid use, Commissioner Selig named former Sen. George Mitchell to head MLB's investigation into the sordid mess. Selig emphasized that it will be an open-ended inquiry. Jason Giambi sounds appropriately contrite, while Gary Sheffield sounds resentful. See Like Pete Rose, pride has made it hard for Bonds to face up to his (almost certain) misdeeds. The broad scope is appropriate, so that Barry Bonds doesn't end up looking like a persecuted scapegoat, but that raises a real risk that fans will become deeply disillusioned by further revelations. There really needs to be a wide-open discussion among fans, players, and experts on how to handle playing statistics during the Steroid Era. Since some players are more likely to 'fess up than othes, we can never be sure who was really innocent, or who may have only cheated a little. We can't just erase the last 15 years, but how can we ever make proper historical comparisons. Ugh. Mitchell is widely respected for his years of service as Senate Majority Leader, but I still remember cringing in late 1990 at his lame excuse for not holding a Senate debate on the question of war against Iraq, on the grounds that it was a "hypothetical contingency." Truly gutless.

Ballpark for Marlins?

The Marlins have been snooping around for a city friendly enough to build them a new home, but San Antonio, Porland, Las Vegas, Norfolk all have serious drawbacks. Mike Zurawski has been keeping up with a discussion thread at Oregon Stadium Campaign Forum, where someone announced a new blog: Marlins Ballpark News. Folks in Miami are "keeping hope alive!" Much as I find the idea of summer baseball in Florida (or Arizona, for that matter) a bit much to swallow, I hope they can work out a deal and build a decent (meaning roofless and not extravagant) ballpark in Miami. (In case of hurricane, there is always Montreal as a backup site...) Mike also point out some more photos of the new Wrigley Field bleachers at,

I was perusing the Richmond Times Dispatch yesterday and noticed that the R-Braves are still pushing for a new stadium to replace The Diamond, exception the likely alternative sites are now at least as far from downtown (one mile) as their current home is. There will be a public hearing on the matter on April 6. I still think the whole idea of replacing a perfectly decent stadium that is only 20 years old is ridiculous.

Orioles lead Nats

In the first (exhibition) game of what will become a heated rivalry, the team from Baltimore scored four runs in the sixth inning, and now hold a 9-3 lead over the Nationals at RFK Stadium. Arghhh... The Nationals play their first regulation game against the Mets at Shea Stadium on Monday, while RFK is converted for use in a D.C. United soccer match. The Nats' home opener is on April 11, also against the Mets.