Off Base
Pitchers and Catchers and Mitchell Report

February 9, 2009, 3:44 p.m.

It happens every spring. The bad and the ugly.

We've discussed the topic to death here, over too long a period of time, and throughout the calendar year. It's the absolute last thing I want to think about now, in what with the opening of Spring Training, is normally a glorious time of year. But we can't just bury our heads in the sand now, can we?

So we'll spew some venom and move on quickly. And we'll make zero effort to conceal our fury.

Let me sum up my feelings about Alex Rodriguez this way: scum bag. Scum bag, scum bag, scum bag, scum bag, scum bag. Scum bag. A-Rod is a scum bag. Scott Boras too. Scott Boras is a scum bag, an unbelievable scum bag, maybe even a bigger scum bag than Alex Rodriguez.

Actually, since he knows exactly what he's doing and does it anyway, Boras is a bigger scum bag than Alex Rodriguez is a scum bag. Boras is an evil-genius-James-Bond-character-like scum bag.

How many images stained, how many drugs taken, and how many bridges burned must Boras' charges come to grips with when they sell their souls to the devil for the all mighty dollar? How many clients miserable in their current surrounding? It's almost incalculable. Why is the super-agent so disinterested in his players all around well-being? Almost unanswerable.

Boras is a scum bag. Boras and Rodriguez are both scum bags. Total and complete bleepers.

But fine, good for Rodriguez for being the one guilty player to spill his guts the first business day after being caught. No small thing. But it's not like he had a lot of choices. All A-Rod's really done here is check the way Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Mark McGwire handled their respective situations, and followed the path best suited for him.

So even in fessing up and apologizing, Rodriguez is being selfish. Drug-abusers are like that, almost universally. It's obvious that A-Rod's thinking, "well, no prominent player has gone this route, it might just work." And it just might, actually.

Rodriguez gets a chance to make good, to the extent it's even possible. He gets to attempt a 180, gets an attempt at being a normal guy, and gets to hold his breath in hopes of forgiveness. And maybe in ten years, they'll be a Hall pass with his name on it. That's his thinking. He said as much. And it was all thoroughly predictable.

I'm sorry, but the guy needs therapy. Years and years of therapy. He's just completely bleeped up. And a scum bag.

But the sky is not falling. It's not the end of the baseball world as we know it. The pace of positive signs to come may not be to our liking, and it's going to get worse before it gets better, but it is possible for good to come from this.

And wouldn't it be nice if a baseball club or two made a public proclamation to be performance-enhancing-player free? What if one team, say, the Dodgers, were to refuse to sign any player who's known to have cheated in the past, and release those implicated after signing. It's the opposite of what they've done recently, so Los Angeles has more than enough reason to set an example.

In consecutive years, finding their roster minus a player either suspended someplace else or mentioned in the Mitchell Report, the Dodgers went out and got one. Gary Bennett, Jr. in 2008, Guillermo Mota in 2009. This is the organization of Jackie Robinson, after all. A new spirit of pioneering is in order now.

Call it collusion if you like, but it's a worthy form of collusion if ever there was one. It'll be easier for the sport to get on with the actual playing of baseball if the clubs take a stand, no matter how much it hurts them in wins and losses, or costs them financially. The Dodgers should lead the way...

Talkback: Your comments are always encouraged…

Internet Baseball Writers Association of America. When I mentioned my intention to launch the IBWAA last week, feedback from readers lead me to believe they thought it was a joke. This is no joke, people. The group is a reality. All Internet baseball writers are welcome.

And in February only, we're giving away six-month memberships free. Starting March 1, 2009, it'll be $10 a year, and $15 for two years.

A Wolf in Dodgers Clothing. He's comfortable in them, so what the hell. Randy Wolf is a Dodger once again. It's an OK signing. Nothing more. He's likely to give L.A. a solid first or second half of a season, but probably not both. Braden Looper would've been a better selection, and as I've been saying for weeks, will be the sleeper signing of the winter…

Media Savvy: The term applies to Eric Kuhn, of CBS News, that's for sure. An interesting guy, whom Vin Scully would no doubt tab a "wunderkind," Kuhn is worth your time to get to know. Here's the impromptu interview of Joe Torre Kuhn passed our way, from "The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric..."

While a break from the usual barrage of Mesothelioma and Vonage commercials is certainly appreciated, the return of the Vermont Teddy Bear is not. I mean, is there a man on earth who's gotten anything other than a blow to the nads after showing up at Valentine's Day with one of those lame things?

I'm under strict instructions from the Main Squeeze to find a better gift. I believe her exact words were these: "I swear, if you ever want to see me naked again, there's to be no Vermont Teddy Bear in this household! You hear me?! NO VERMONT TEDDY BEAR!!!"

Statue for Sandy: The Koufax in bronze campaign continues. Please Vote “Yes on 32.” And tell a friend…

Remember, glove conquers all….







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