- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 12, 2006

Three years’ probation for not paying federal taxes for the better part of a decade? Where was Marion Barry’s lawyer when Pete Rose needed him?

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I mean, Ohio State men’s basketball just got three years’ probation — and was stripped of its 1999 Final Four appearance — for using an ineligible player.

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News Item: D.C. and Major League Baseball finally sign stadium lease agreement.

Comment: And as everyone knows, without a lease agreement, you can’t have a construction delay.

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My favorite moment in the World Baseball Classic thus far: The Dominican Republic’s Odalis Perez intentionally walking Italy’s Mike Piazza so he could pitch to Phil Rizzuto.

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Seriously, I would have given the Italians a heck of chance to win it all … if Joe DiMaggio and Tony Lazzeri were still alive.

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The pitching staff the Netherlands wishes it had:

• Dutch Leonard (1913-21, ‘24-25) — ERA of 0.96 for the Red Sox in 1914 is the lowest in modern history.

• Dutch Ruether (1917-27) — Won 20 for the Reds in 1919, including the opener of the World Series against the Black Sox.

• Dutch Henry (1921-24, ‘27-30) — Went 11-6 for Giants in 1927 with a National League-leading six victories in relief.

• Dutch Ulrich (1925-27) — Impressive 3.17 ERA, seventh best in the NL, for the last-place Phillies in 1927.

• The other Dutch Leonard (1933-36, ‘38-53) — The winningest Dutch in big league annals with 191 W’s, 118 of them for the Washington Senators.

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And let’s not forget Bert Blyleven, born in Zeist, Holland.

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Idle thought: In Australia, is “Barry Bonds” pronounced “Barry Bonzer”?

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Speaking of Bonds, he’s accused in “Game of Shadows,” the book by San Francisco Chronicle reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, of taking trenbolone, “a steroid created to improve the muscle quality of beef cattle.” So there’s another potential drawback to steroid use: the possibility of contracting mad cow disease.

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Another of Bonds’ performance enhancers, the book claims, was Clomid, “an anti-estrogen drug employed by steroid users when coming off a cycle.” Suddenly, it all makes sense. I’d heard a rumor recently — but thought it was just a joke — that the Giants’ TV rights were being sought by the Lifetime network.

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Barry will probably have trouble making the Hall of Fame now. If he gets in, though, they should put this on his plaque:

He put the a— in asterisk.

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But to return to the WBC, did you see media outlets around the world submitted 3,500 credential requests for the event?

And yet baseball is being dropped as an Olympic sport.

The only way it could be worse is if the home plate ump for the championship game was Marie-Reine Le Gougne.

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Elsewhere in baseball, the Gateway Grizzlies of the Frontier League have added a “doughnut burger” to their ballpark menu — a hamburger topped by sharp cheddar cheese and two strips of bacon, surrounded by two halves of a Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut. The concoction has yet to be approved by the FDA, but it’s gotten a ringing endorsement from Don Koharski.

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Just wondering: Do they sell doughnut burgers by the dozen?

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Something tells me John Daly’s mobile home will be swinging through Sauget, Ill., home of the Grizzlies, on his way to the PGA Championship at Medinah this summer. Watch for it on a future episode of “The Daly Planet.”

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Here’s hoping doughnut burgers don’t turn out to be John’s Kryptonite. (We’ll know for sure if he duck-hooks one off the first tee.)

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In other baseball news, one of the guys who attacked Kansas City Royals coach Tom Gamboa during a game has been thrown in a prison for a probation violation. He reportedly broke into a car and led police on a brief chase. Wouldn’t it be poetic justice if, during the course of the chase, he ran through a stop sign?

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The Redskins are close to trading Patrick Ramsey to the Jets, sources say. They’re just waiting to make sure Isiah Thomas doesn’t want to make an offer.

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The Patriots, meanwhile, reportedly might not re-sign Adam Vinatieri — which would leave them with who, Doug Flutie, the last surviving drop kicker?

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Am I the only one who thinks “The Flying Tomato” — as redheaded snowboarding god Shaun White had been dubbed — would be a great name for a chain of pizza parlors?

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I’m beginning to get the impression that if you checked the college applications of some of these GW men’s basketball players closely, at least one of them would say, “Graduated summa cum laude from ‘Knight School.’”

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Award of the Week: The University of New Hampshire offering to give its Charles Holmes Pette Medal to Olympic swimming legend Jenny Thompson, who promptly refused because the school had dropped men’s swimming.

Memo to the UNH Alumni Association, which bestows the honor: Uh, isn’t that kind of like offering the Order of Lenin to Ronald Reagan?

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And finally …

The U.S. Open will be the first Grand Slam event to use instant replay technology — the aptly named Hawk-Eye. I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if Hawk-Eye gave (Mary) Pierce a few line calls.

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