March 12, 2005 [LINK]

Congress investigates steroids

Congressman Tom Davis, known as an avid fan who lobbied for baseball's return to Washington, ruffled some feathers in MLB this week by announcing that Jason Giambi, Sammy Sosa, and other suspected steroid users would be subpoenaed to testify before the House Government Reform Committee, which he chairs. Somehow Barry Bonds did not make the "cut." See the Washington Post. Congressman Davis has a superb reputation for his knowledge, ability, and ethics, but this action raises some questions. For one thing, the timing of this seems unfortunate, just as the regular season is about to begin. Baseball is already taking strong steps to address the problem, and while it is too early to say whether the new testing measures will be effective or not, they should at least be given a chance. Commissioner Selig has had a lot of headaches lately, and though he has often been slow to act in the past, he seems to have gotten the message about the seriousness of the problem. As in other scandals investigated by Congress, these public hearings may complicate any criminal trials that may come about. Interestingly, Mike Schmidt declined to blame steroids for the fact that four steroid-suspected sluggers have passed him on the all-time home run list over the last four years. He says the increased number of homers is due to smaller ballparks, harder bats, and harder balls.

Estadio Dennis Martinez

For the first time, I've added a page for a stadium in Latin America, complete with a diagram and photos: Estadio Dennis Martinez, formerly known as "Estadio Nacional," located a mile west of downtown Managua, Nicaragua. Because I was not allowed to take photos inside, however, the diagram is subject to greater error than I usually tolerate.