March 17, 2005 [LINK]

Showtime on Capitol Hill

The "steroid hearings" in Congress just got underway, and lest there be any doubt about their function as a platform for "grandstanding" politicians, it took over an hour for committee members to make their opening statements. (Live audio is available via C-SPAN Radio.) Hall of Fame pitcher Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) is one of the few members of Congress qualified to make judgments about this matter. (He just barely won reelection in November.) He set the proper tone in his introductory remarks, reminding everyone that the government should not meddle in sports unless there is a compelling public interest. I do not underestimate the gravity of this problem and am not making excuses for the dopehead sluggers or for Selig's past foot-dragging. I merely want to point out that the power of Congress to put public pressure on institutions can be abused. I think MLB and the Players' Assocation got the message, and I don't think much more browbeating in the public arena is necessary. If Davis's committee is out to wrench shamed confessions from Sammy, Rafael, and the rest, the only thing it will accomplish is leave a bad taste in our mouths, at the very moment when we should be celebrating baseball's long-overdue return to Washington.

David Pinto scolded Chairman Tom Davis for "bastardizing" Casey at the Bat in his opening remarks. Which makes me wonder, When will someone produce a satirical version of Terry Cashman's "Willie, Mickey, and The Duke (Talkin' Baseball)" -- something like "Barry, Sammy, and Big Mac"? smile