August 24, 2005 [LINK]

Robinson: Erase Palmeiro's stats

Nationals' manager Frank Robinson reported said that Rafael Palmeiro's batting statistics should be erased from the record books because all his accomplishments are tainted by the high likelihood of steroid use. He knows Palmeiro from his days in the Orioles' front office ten years ago. "Where do you go back, stop and say, 'OK, when did he started using steroids?' To eliminate all that, and get the players' attention, you wipe the whole thing out." See I tend to agree, and see no reason whatsoever to be lenient to Palmeiro, but MLB will have to come up with some clear-cut guidelines for handling players' records when drug use is an issue. The problem with threatening such a draconian penalty for performance-enhancing drug abuse is that players will be discouraged from confessing to past minor infractions, such as those "nutritional supplements," so how are they supposed to determine with any degree of confidence which players cheated their way up the career record lists, and which players were clean? MLB's ability to set a fair policy on baseball records will depend on whether most of the abusers are hard core steroid "junkies" who would never confess anyway, as opposed to the occasional users. Robinson has 586 career homers, to Palmeiro's 569.

Nats beat Reds

It was just like old times -- which is to say June -- at RFK Stadium tonight. John Patterson held the Reds to one run until the ninth inning, and after a home run closed to the gap to two runs, Chad Cordero came in and struck out two batters to finish the game, earning his 40th save. Vinny Castilla's double in the seventh inning (an actual rally!) added two insurance runs, which proved to be the deciding margin. It was good to see the veteran slugger perform in the clutch, after a long dry spell at the plate. He and Brad Wilkerson were batting way over .300 in April and May, but both are now below .250. After getting only four hits in their 6-2 loss to the Reds on Tuesday night, this win was a much-needed jolt of encouragement. If they don't win tomorrow's game, however, it would seem they don't stand much of a chance against the Cardinals, who come to town Friday.

UPDATE: It is rumored that recent U.Va. grad Ryan Zimmerman, who was drafted by the Nationals earlier this year and is now playing with the Harrisburg, PA farm club, may get called up to play in the majors for D.C. after the rosters expand in September. He would probably return to the minors next spring to refine his skills, but it would still be a thrill for him and for Nationals fans from the Old Dominion.