A Barry strange omission

STEVE SIMMONS -- Toronto Sim

, Last Updated: 9:04 AM ET

So now it is all but unanimous: Even the U.S. Congress has no stomach for Barry Bonds. How else to explain the absence of Bonds from the list of those subpoenaed to appear before the American government committee investigating the use of steroids in baseball.

It's like holding a Dubin Inquiry and somehow leaving Ben Johnson off the list of witnesses.

Congress sent subpoenas to Jason Giambi and Mark McGwire and all the usual suspects. All except Bonds, who was implicated last year in the much-publicized Balco investigation.

And so far, no one has bothered to explain why the home-run legend wasn't invited to this distasteful dance?

The only plausible reason, if there is one, could be that Congress doesn't want to deal with the antagonistic Bonds, whose charm and vitriol is infectious.

THIS AND THAT

The next peep I want to hear from either Gary Bettman or Bob Goodenow is the announcement that the NHL lockout has been settled. Until then, please go away ... Here's something the Levitt Report didn't determine: NHL players have been paid an average of less than 20 cents on the dollar to play elsewhere this year. The NHL should be thrilled that the players themselves have established their own new market and discovered there isn't much of one ... So far, Owen Nolan is about the only player to benefit from the lockout with an additional year added to his Maple Leafs contract. Word around is that Nolan has celebrated by going on the Brett Hull diet ... When the New York Jets signed backup quarterback Jay Fiedler on Friday there was barely a mention of former Edmonton star Ricky Ray. That can't speak well for Ray's future in the NFL ... The older they get, the more they look alike: Marcel Dionne and ex-CFL god, Mike McCarthy.

HEAR AND THERE

The Jays lead the big leagues in just one category: Most TV crews. It'll be hard enough for main TV voice Jamie Campbell to establish himself having not done baseball before, but to pair him with four different analysts, at least two of whom have next to no experience, isn't serving the viewer or Campbell in any way ... There goes another one: That engagement ring on Jennifer Hedger's finger means the TSN announcer is no longer a free agent. The lucky guy in this broadcasting merger: Sportsnet's Sean McCormick ... Jerry Glanville's coaching career has hit rock bottom, which is why, according to the Denver Post, he has applied for the head football job at Northern State, in Aberdeen, South Dakota ... In need of tickets for big-time events: Go to www.miketicetickets.com.

SCENE AND HEARD

No longer Winnipeg's least favourite airline: Jetsgo ... Good news. Rafer Alston hasn't threatened to quit for more than two weeks. That must be the kind of progress Rob Babcock keeps talking about ... Definition of pathetic: Giving up 34 first-quarter points to the Atlanta Hawks, who didn't have Lou Hudson or Dominique Wilkins in their lineup ... The NBA should consider playing with mirrored floors so that way Steve Francis can watch himself play ... In between sentences, Gabe Gross hit another spring training home run ... The latest flaw in the wild story of Rick Ankiel is this: To be sent to the minors, he has to clear waivers. And on waivers, certainly somebody is going to take a flyer and try to straighten out his pitching delivery ... Strange that former Calgary mates Doug Flutie and Jeff Garcia were both looking for jobs this past week. Garcia signed with the Detroit Lions yesterday. Don't be surprised if Flutie ends up doing TV work.

AND ANOTHER THING

The great Dick Allen would love today's National League now that Montreal is gone. All fields are real grass. Said Allen in his playing days; "If a horse can't eat it, I don't want to play on it." ... Bill Lee always has been in favour of drug testing for major-league players. "All through the '60s, I tested everything," The Spaceman said.... This is how desolate the heavyweight division has become: Hasim Rahim, winner of five of eight fights since the revenge knockout by Lennox Lewis in 2001, will fight for the heavyweight championship next month against Vitali Klitschko ... The worse college basketball gets -- and boy is it scrappy now -- the more fun and unpredictable the NCAA tournament becomes ... Wonder if anyone remembers that steroid whistle blower Jose Canseco freaked in 1988 when Washington Post columnist Thomas Boswell wrote that Canseco was on steroids. Then he threatened a lawsuit. Now he's banking on royalties ... Is it just me, or have the same women been playing on Canada's national hockey team for the past eight years? With all the hockey being played nationally, why hasn't there been more national team turnover? ... And hey, whatever became of Denis Dupere?


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