Cheating always a big deal

TED WYMAN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:28 AM ET

The ever-sanctimonious Barry Bonds would have us believe that there are far more important things going on in the world than baseball players using steroids.

Right you are Barry.

In the grand scheme of things, the war in Iraq, nuclear tension, threats of terrorism and horrendous natural disasters far outweigh things like home run record chases, baseball playoff races and athletes who cheat to get ahead.

Maybe the media, the fans and U.S. Congress should quit needling poor Barry and start paying attention to things that really matter.

Then again, in bygone years, the beauty of sports came in the fact that they helped people take their minds off everything that was wrong with the world.

Nowadays that's harder to do because the athletes who make up pro sports so often sicken the general public with their gargantuan egos, off-putting personalities and clandestine performance-enhancing drug use.

What the world needs today are heroes, people who can be looked up to and counted on to provide a good example.

They don't need to be told by one of sports greatest villains that they should look the other way when it comes to cheaters just because there are worse things in the world.

FAT PUCKSTER: Here's the perfect way for the St. Louis Blues to punish Keith Tkachuk, the second-highest paid player in the NHL, for coming to training camp 25 pounds overweight. Eat his big, fat contract right in front of him ... Yes, he's a DH and yes, he has Manny Ramirez hitting behind him, but it says here David Ortiz is the MVP of the American League. If Big Papi finishes with 50 homers and 150 RBI or more, which he is on pace to do, he will be the first left-handed batter to do it, since a fella named Babe ... Then again, if the Red Sox lose the AL East to the Yankees it would be hard to imagine anyone other than A-Rod winning, especially since he adds Gold Glove defence to his list of attributes ... Not surprised that Montreal Alouettes coach Don Matthews made the asinine move of going for two to try to beat the B.C. Lions last week. He must have seen what making an ass of himself did for David Asper and the Blue Bombers (they won their next game didn't they?) and thought he'd give it a try ... OK, which is the worst division in pro sports? The NFL's NFC North or baseball's N.L. West? Discuss. At least in the N.L. West someone might finish at .500 ... The Bombers have no plans to sign Khari Jones, but they should. Why not give him a one-day contract at the beginning of next season so he can retire a Bomber.

PROBLEM SOLVING: We've got a plan for Harry Sinden and the Boston Bruins, who don't like all the penalty calls and subsequent power plays in the new NHL. Tell your players to keep their sticks to themselves, don't hold and only hit players who have the puck. Problem solved ... While vilified by fans and media, Rafael Palmeiro still seemed to have a lot of friends in baseball, until he decided to implicate a teammate in a weak explanation for his own positive steroid test. Now we know where Raffy the Rat's been the last month. Witness protection ... Teams in Boston and Chicago's South Side have shared nicknames for a long time and this year is no different. But as well as being known as the Sox, right now they should both be called the Heimlichs.

Got a quote, note or anecdote? Send it to thehitparade@wpgsun.com or call 632-2786.


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