McGwire strikes out

PAUL FRIESEN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 10:43 AM ET

That was fascinating stuff, watching some of baseball's all-time heaviest hitters step up to the plate before U.S. politicians Thursday. One by one, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Jose Canseco, among others, took pitches from the House Government Reform Committee over the prevalence of steroids in the majors.

There were fastballs, curves, even a change-up or two -- but the only player to be plunked hard was McGwire, who'd been largely untouched by the drug scandal to this point.

Hiding behind his new catch phrase, "I'm not here to talk about the past," McGwire wouldn't deny he used 'roids.

He may as well have admitted he did.

And now at least one politician wants to take McGwire's name off a stretch of highway near St. Louis that was named after the slugger a few years back.

A more worthwhile debate is whether or not the records set by players proven to have cheated should either carry an asterisk, or be wiped from the books, altogether.

Former MLB player and manager Hal Lanier, boss of the Goldeyes, doubts it'll happen.

FAULT

"It's a tough question," Lanier said. "The only reason I don't think it will is because of the rules they did not have. And that's the fault of major league baseball, not creating those rules 20 years ago."

Lanier is probably right.

Besides, it's awfully tough to prove anybody took drugs, all these years later.

Looking back, years from now, we'll just have to refer to this period with a special designation.

Like the dead-ball era in the early 1900s, the 1990s may always be known as the steroid era.

And that's pathetic.

NOT ANOTHER ONE! OK, this is getting a little much.

Blue Bomber fans are having a hard enough time forgetting the 2001 Grey Cup, when a cocky, 14-4 Bomber squad was shocked by the 8-10 Calgary Stampeders.

Now, it'll be impossible to forget, with the addition of yet another member of that Stamps squad to the Winnipeg lineup.

Linebacker Willie Fells this week became the sixth Stamp from '01 to join the Blue -- Joe Fleming, Scott Regimbald, Kamau Peterson, Ricky Bell and William Fields are the others.

Toss more recent ex-Stamps like Wes Lysack, Wayne McGarity and Melvin Bradley into the mix, and you've got Calgary-east out here.

Don't want to alarm anybody, but the last time a new coach raided an old team to this extent, the team was the Lions and the coach's name was Jeff Reinebold.

FALLOUT CONTINUES: Alarm bells are still ringing throughout the CFL over the absurd comments made by CFL commissioner Tom Wright and B.C. owner David Braley more than a week ago.

Braley, you may recall, had the gall to suggest the salary cap was actually more of a minimum than a limit.

"It's shaken a lot of people," said one CFL insider, who asked not to be identified. "You've now basically got spending at the whim of about four teams. And that's affecting the cost structure of the entire league."

Perhaps the most frightening aspect of all this was how Wright, who's claimed to be in favour of a hard cap, agreed with Braley.

"Tom had a chance when Braley said that, to really pull him up short," our insider said. "And he didn't. For a guy who's been a bit embattled at the hands of Braley, what a great opportunity to have shown some leadership and to smack him down. And he didn't do it."

There's trouble brewing, with a capital T, and that stands for Tom.


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