- The Washington Times - Monday, April 17, 2006

Commissioner, investigate thyself.

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig has appointed former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, currently a director of the Boston Red Sox, to lead an investigation of steroids in baseball.

Mitchell also is chairman of the Walt Disney Co., which owns ESPN, which is a national broadcast partner of Major League Baseball and produces a reality show about Barry Bonds, who, if you’re just tuning in, has 708 home runs, a really large cranium and prompted this whole investigation.

You don’t have to be Michael Moore to connect the dots.

BALCO founder Victor Conte might have less of a conflict of interest in this investigation than Mitchell.

Find that author/ratfink Jose Canseco. Let him lean on some perps in the interrogation room.

Selig’s “investigation” comes after two San Francisco Chronicle reporters did what Selig has been unable to do. Their book, “Game of Shadows,” claims that Bonds has a really big head and he and other baseball stars extensively used steroids.

Mitchell’s investigation could begin with the late 1980s when Canseco and Mark McGwire began bashing each other — most definitely with forearms and reportedly with needles.

He could start with the appointment of Selig as interim commissioner after Fay Vincent was forced out because the owners didn’t want a real commissioner who acted in the best interest of the game. They wanted an old crony. Mitchell may find that the Steroid Era coincides with Selig’s impotent reign.

Mitchell could watch tapes of McGwire and his enlarged neck, Paul Bunyan arms and surly attitude from 1998 when he hit 70 home runs, breaking Roger Maris’ 37-year-old record by nine homers.

If he watches those tapes, while wearing a Red Sox cap over his Mickey Mouse ears, he may see Selig clapping in the background.

Or Mitchell could do what any investigator would do: follow the money.

If he does, he would find that Major League Baseball did quite well during the Steroid Era. Fans enjoyed watching McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Ken Caminiti and Jason Giambi. In fact, no industrious fan has asked for his or her money back.

Baseball was having a good time, and someone was buying another round of steroids. Selig, at the very least, looked the other way.

Finally, Mitchell may zero in on Bonds. He may even sit down with him in an episode of “Bonds on Bonds” and find him to be unlikable, self-consumed and unworthy of holding any of baseball’s revered records.

In his friend Bud Selig, Mitchell would find worse: incompetence in a caretaker of the game who fell far short of that task.

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