- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 10, 2008

Is it just me, or has Roger Clemens spent more time lobbying Capitol Hill recently than Jack Abramoff ever did?

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And now, reports say, Brian McNamee, Clemens’ former lidocaine provider, is telling investigators he injected Rocket’s wife with HGH before a Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition photo session five years ago.

Well, that explains her 1.17 WHIP and 4-to-1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio in ‘03.

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As Roger, the AT&T; pitchman, is learning, there are worse things in life than a dropped call — such as a dropped trainer.

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Memo to McNamee: Just remember what happened when the 50-Foot Woman got angry.

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The Yankees gave the media a glimpse last week of their $1.3 billion new stadium, scheduled to open in 2009. “We tried to reflect a five-star hotel and put a ball field in the middle,” chief operating officer Lonn Trost said.

Guess that means Derek Jeter will be fielding a lot more room-service grounders.

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There’s no truth to the rumor, by the way, that the Yanks are trying to bring Don Zimmer back as a concierge.

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Among the amenities at the spare-no-expense ballpark are 51 luxury suites, two outdoor suites, eight party suites, a members-only restaurant, a martini bar and a holding cell for Don Mattingly’s estranged wife.

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Number of the Week: $24,528.30. (What the stadium will cost per seat — of which there are 53,000.)

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Speaking of the Yankees, did you see Topps is coming out with a joke baseball card that shows former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani whooping it up with the Red Sox after their World Series win? (It’s merely some funny business perpetrated by the card maker’s art department.)

Roughly one in every 70 packs will include the Rudy/Red Sox card. One in every 700 packs, meanwhile, will feature another joke card, I’m told. In this one, Giuliani is honoring the Sox in a Rose Garden ceremony.

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So I’m watching the Tournament Formerly Known As The Bing Crosby Pro-Am on the Golf Channel, and I’m thinking: Maybe that’s what the NFL should do to spruce up the Pro Bowl — let celebrities play. Who, after all, wouldn’t tune in to see Shawn Merriman blindside Kenny G?

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Or Tony Romo throw deep to Don Cheadle, for that matter?

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Patriots fans are taking the Super Bowl loss hard. One of them e-mails: “Check out pages 38 and 39 in this week’s SI. Richard Seymour is clearly being held by Giants center Shaun O’Hara on the play where Eli Manning escapes a sack and throws a miracle completion to David Tyree. Now we know why Seymour could only get one hand on Manning; O’Hara was grabbing his other arm.”

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The man does have a point.

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Newsday was conducting a poll the other day to come up with a name for the Manning-to-Tyree pass. The front-runner: The Hail Mara.

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I miss Antonio Pierce, the Redskin-turned-Giant middle linebacker. He always gives you a straight answer, and every now and then he comes out with a gem like this:

“If you’re not on the injury list, you’re probably not playing the game the way it’s supposed to be played.”

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For a while there, I thought Dan Snyder was going to take longer to make up his mind than Terrelle Pryor.

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Seriously, before he decided on Jim Zorn last night, was there anybody Dan hadn’t interviewed for the Redskins coaching job — that is, other than Joe Paterno?

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Give Snyder credit, though. He promised to explore all of his options from A to Z.

Zorn, it seems, was Z.

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And Z, as we all know, comes after Why?

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Can’t make sense of this Shaquille O’Neal-to-Phoenix trade. I mean, it’s not like the early-bird specials in Arizona are any better than the ones in Florida.

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Shaq is so slow getting downcourt now that Suns fans will probably nickname him O’Neal Walk.

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Obviously, there are a lot of questions about Shaq. For instance: Can he keep his free-throw percentage (.482) from dipping below Steve Nash’s 3-point percentage (.471)?

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Congrats to Bethesda’s Burning Tree Country Club, whose 19th hole has been ranked by Golf Digest as one of the 50 best in America — the only clubhouse canteen in the area to make the list. “Classic dark-wood bar,” the description reads, “with brass foot-rail; cartoons of Washington elite are stationed on the only wall without windows — ‘like Sardi’s, only better caricatures.’ ”

I have just two problems with the list:

1. It was compiled by one of the magazine’s staffers instead of “By John Daly.”

2. There’s no mention anywhere in the top 50 of “free peanuts” or “free pretzels.”

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Oakmont, site of last year’s U.S. Open, is, however, praised for its “baskets of popcorn on the patio.”

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Something I didn’t realize until I was researching the previous item: There are three other courses in the U.S. named Burning Tree — in Greenwich, Conn.; Macomb, Mich.; and Decatur, Ala. (where it’s spelled as one word). Our Burning Tree, of course, is the one favored by presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Ford and Bush the Elder, not to mention Jack “Boom Boom” Valenti.

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Montreal Canadien Bryan Smolinski on that wonderful hockey tradition, the facewash (as quoted by the New York Times): “It’s gross. Your hands get sweaty, and your gloves are disgusting. If there’s an annoying player you want to get back at, you just stick your glove in there with that stench and let him smell it a little bit.”

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And finally…

It was a sad week in Lubbock after Texas Tech basketball coach Bobby Knight resigned in midseason. The flags were at half-mast, and the folding chairs at Wal-Mart were half off.


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