- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 15, 2009

Confessions of a Shopaholic.” Yeah, like anybody wants to see a movie about Hank Steinbrenner.

•••

If Adam Dunn keeps hitting 40 homers a year, the Nationals will look like geniuses for signing him.

If not, they’ll look like Dunn-derheads.

Either that, or it’ll be Dunn-kirk for the Lerner clan. Take your pick.

•••

OK, I’m Dunn dreaming up hypothetical headlines.

•••

Nats hypemeister Jim Bowden has compared Dunn to Reggie Jackson and Harmon Killebrew. Then again, you could also describe the former Reds slugger as “Dave Kingman with twice as many walks.”

•••

Surely you recall Kingman, the ol’ boom-or-bust infielder-outfielder with the Giants, Mets, Cubs and others. Here’s how he stacks up against the Nationals’ newest acquisition in various categories:

Home runs per 100 at bats: Dunn 7.2, Kingman 6.6.

Runs created per 100 at bats: Dunn 28.2, Kingman 25.

Strikeout frequency: Dunn 26.4 percent of plate appearances, Kingman 24.4.

Height: Dunn 6-foot-6, Kingman 6-foot-6.

•••

I remember watching an All-Star Game years ago with some buddies, and a hitter swung through three pitches. Missed each one by about the width of the bat.

“Who the heck was that?” a voice in the room asked. “The pitcher?”

“No,” I told him, “that was Kingman.”

•••

Jose Canseco is certainly feeling his oats now that Alex Rodriguez has been linked to steroids. “I think I have the ear of the nation now,” he says smugly.

Love him or loathe him, the guy’s right. In fact, the last athlete to have this firm a hold on an ear was probably Mike Tyson in his second bout with Evander Holyfield.

•••

Iron Mike, by the way, is reportedly circulating a book proposal he worked up in prison. Just think: Cervantes gets thrown in a dungeon and writes “Don Quixote.” Mike Tyson gets sent to the slammer and writes about Don King.

•••

Sarah Palin on why she named her daughter Bristol (as quoted by Esquire magazine): “Two meanings… I worked at the Bristol Inn, and Todd grew up in Bristol Bay. But also, Bristol, Connecticut, is the home of ESPN. And when I was in high school, my desire was to be a sportscaster. ESPN was just kicking off, just getting off the ground, and I thought that’s what I’m going to do in life, is be one of the first woman sportscasters. Until I learned that you’d have to move to Bristol, Connecticut. It was far away. So instead, I had a daughter and named her Bristol.”

•••

Golfer Jim Thorpe is charged with not paying $1.6 million in federal income taxes on his Champions Tour earnings in 2002, ‘03 and ‘04. If you were his attorney, how would you defend him?

1. “Your Honor, players on the Champions Tour forget things all the time. That’s why it used to be called the Senior Tour.”

2. “This is nothing more than the IRS equivalent of signing an incorrect scorecard.”

3. “Have mercy on my client. They took away his gold medals from the 1912 Olympics for 70 years… and now this. Hasn’t the man suffered enough?”

•••

So I’m reading about the Detroit Lions releasing six players, and I’m thinking: What about the other 47?

•••

I’ve got no problem with any NFL team signing Michael Vick when he’s loosed from the hoosegow. I just think he should be required to wear No. 9 instead of No. 7 - No. K-9, preferably.

•••

The FBI has begun looking into that curious case in Tucson, Ariz., the one in which the Super Bowl broadcast was interrupted by a 30-second clip from a pay-per-view porn channel.

Why am I convinced, when all is said and done, it will just get dismissed as a “wardrobe malfunction”?

•••

Brett Favre haters are convinced his records are mostly the product of longevity and that Peyton Manning will soon own all of them. To which I reply:

- Manning, who will be 33 at the start of next season, has 333 touchdown passes and 45,628 passing yards. Favre at the same age had 298 touchdown passes and 40,097 passing yards. At this point, the difference between them, basically, is that Peyton played as a rookie (28 TD passes, 3,739 yards) and Brett didn’t (0 TD passes, 0 yards).

- Manning’s 49 scoring tosses in 2004 have skewed the perception of him. Only three other times in his 11-year career has he thrown 30 or more TD passes (33 in 2000, 31 in ‘06 and 31 again in ‘07). Favre had done it SIX times by the age of 33, including five in a row (1994-98).

- Even at his current pace, Peyton doesn’t figure to break any of Brett’s marks until he’s 37 at the earliest. A lot can happen between now and then. Remember: He’s never been hurt.

•••

Wordsmith of the Week: When Mo Williams was initially passed over for the NBA All-Star Game, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert playfully called it “stupidiculous,” “idillogical,” and “preposterageous.”

After the Raptors’ Chris Bosh dropped out and Williams was added to the Eastern Conference squad, Gilbert said it was “fantacular, extraordulous and phenomerful.”

•••

Gilbert missed his calling. He should have been writing material for Yogi Berra.

•••

Or Tony Soprano. Had Williams gotten left off the All-Star team, Tony, no doubt, would have been “prostate with grief.”

•••

It might be time for Rajon Rondo to change his name to Ragin’ Rondo. The Celtics’ kid point guard - he celebrates his 23rd birthday next week - is turning into a serious baller, folks. Perhaps you noticed his 19-point, 14-assist, 15-rebound effort against the Mavericks the other night (narrowly missing the ultra-rare 15/15/15 triple double).

It’s his board work that’s truly preposterageous, as Dan Gilbert would say. Consider: In the month of February, Rajon is averaging 8.3 rebounds a game (seven games, 58 rebounds). Teammate Kevin Garnett, meanwhile, is averaging 8.8 (five games, 55 rebounds). That’s right, the 6-1 Rondo has been collecting almost as many caroms as the 6-11 KG.

On second thought, that’s beyond preposterageous. It’s fantacular.

•••

And finally…

Did you hear about The Aquatic Rosie Ruiz? An American named Jennifer Figge recently conned several news outlets into believing she swam across the Atlantic Ocean - 2,100 miles in 25 days (escorted by a boat, naturally).

Come on, AP (and all the rest), do the math. If a swimmer covered that great a distance in that short a period, she never would have gotten wet.

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