Innocent? Save it for the judge

TED WYMAN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:29 AM ET

It's pretty tough to believe a thing that comes out of Rafael Palmeiro's mouth.

He said he never took steroids -- swore to it in front of U.S. congress even -- and tested positive for stanozolol in the same year.

He said he never knowingly took steroids, just like every other athlete who tested positive before him, an appeal to all those people who still believe it's possible to get pregnant from a toilet seat.

He said he was sitting on the Baltimore Orioles bench after returning from suspension, not because of a potential fan backlash, but because he couldn't get his rhythm back after missing a whole 10 games. That makes sense if you believe a player with 500 home runs and 3,000 hits needs a full spring training every time he comes back from a short stint on the DL.

Finally, he said he would love to set the record straight, but he can't because of legalities. A convenient excuse that we've heard many times before.

Right about now, Raffy could tell us Roger Clemens has a good fastball, Alex Rodriguez can hit for power and the outfield grass is green and we'd have to go for a second opinion.

PHIL THE TANK: So when we are longing for the old days and still want to kick Phil Mickelson around a bit, what will we call him? The best player never to win three majors? ... Mickelson is certainly popular but he seems to be playing up his schtick an awful lot. The scene with his wife and kids after winning the PGA Championship seemed just a bit contrived. Keep it real, Phil ... If I hear one more person refer to Todd Bertuzzi's punishment for breaking Steve Moore's neck as a 17-month suspension I'm going to lose my lunch. He missed 13 regular season games, seven playoff games and was locked out like everybody else for the rest of the time. He was really only suspended for one month, so cut the bull ... Next time Bertuzzi breaks someone's neck the NHL is going to get tough and suspend him for the whole summer ... Thanks Vancouver for giving us a bad name. The 11,000 fans at GM Place who gave Bertuzzi a standing ovation during the Olympic Camp gave the world the impression that most Canadians are happy to see him back. Not so, east of the Rockies ... You could understand Scott Arniel getting snubbed by the Manitoba Moose when Randy Carlyle wanted to come back to Winnipeg but it's a slap in the face when the Winnipegger with ties to both the Moose and the Jets gets passed over for Alain Vigneault ... It took about 30 seconds this week to figure out that Vigneault will be far easier for the media to deal with than Carlyle ever was ... Here's hoping things with Vigneault work out better than they did the last time the Moose hired a former Montreal Canadiens coach amid much fanfare. Jean Perron lasted only 50 games, led the team to only 16 wins, blasted the players publicly and sued the team after he was fired. Vigneault could be the second coming of Jeff Reinebold and still do better.

TOUGH LIFE: The NHL Players Association fight over the last year seems even more ridiculous now when players like Vincent Lecavalier, Jarome Iginla, Joe Thornton and Rick Nash are signing deals for $7 million a year. Boy that salary cap sure is killing the players. Not sure if Lecavalier can get by on that with the high cost of living in Florida ... 86% of the 311 fans who responded to a Sun poll suggested this week that the Bombers will make the CFL playoffs. A win over the worst team in the league has sure overloaded the Big Blue bandwagon. In a related item, 86% of those people are still nursing broken ankles from jumping off last week ... Saw a report this week that said it was Amnesty Day in the NBA. Good on the Association, getting all of its players to turn in their guns ... Former soccer star Diego Maradona has a new TV talk show in his native Argentina. Our guess is it's going to be a big, fat success ... The NHL striking a big broadcast deal with the Outdoor Life Network is great news. Now during the next lockout, they can show replays of the Heritage Classic 24/7 ... Based on previous ratings, we assume OLN is currently trying to convince Lance Armstrong to take up hockey ... Randy Moss admits to being an occasional toker. This is news that an NFL player is into drugs? Next they'll be putting out a special report to tell us Terrell Owens has a big ego ... As a person who often has the urge to turn the sound down during CFL broadcasts, will CBC games without sound this weekend be a bad thing? Just wondering.


Videos

Photos