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Steve Murray
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Wednesday - August 22, 2007
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Man, talk about a turnaround. Step away from your desk for a couple of weeks of R&R, and the whole world becomes Dante’s space heater.

One moment you’re cruising along I-75 on a Harley Street Glide with the only thing missing being a Bob Seger soundtrack and the next thing you know the absurd is taking over. Barry Bonds tops Aaron and then goes on to do something completely in character; Tim Donaghy comes clean and then some; Mike Vick gets ratted out, and baseball’s steroid investigation putters along while an athlete you don’t know is suddenly worried about looking bad.

Who could have predicted such upheaval? Well, almost anyone.

* Though Bonds handled himself with considerable tact after claiming sport’s greatest record, he just couldn’t help being himself. Tired of the self-supposed attacks against his stellar reputation, Bonds hires legal counsel to search the newspapers, TV, chat rooms and bathrooms to ensure no one takes unfair shots at the alleged steroid user, tax evader and unfaithful husband.

Speculation has it that he may go after Curt Schilling, who accused Bonds of the aforementioned stuff before backpedaling following a league-wide dressing down for daring to voice the same opinion expressed nationwide for several years. Here’s a thought: If Barry is so worried about what is being said, maybe he should stop trying to play the victim, take responsibility for his actions and actually carry himself in a manner that deserves respect.

* If anyone, anywhere expressed any hint of surprise that Michael Vick’s co-defendants rolled over on him faster than a tsunami, they should have their reality cards turned in. We’re not talking about members of the local civic club who wear funny hats, name themselves after animals that don’t live in their area and raise money for children’s hospitals. This is a group of individuals who apparently had no qualms about murdering animals for their own amusement and financial gain. The surprise is not that they sang for investigators, but that they waited more than a second to do so.

* Baseball commissioner Bud Selig says that Jason Giambi will not face punishment for evidently admitting to steroid use to investigative puppet Sam Mitchell because the Yankee co-operated and because he does so much charitable work.

I know what you’re thinking. What does one have to do with the other? This is Selig 101. Do nothing, make erratic decisions then claim effectiveness.

First, Selig threatens Giambi if he doesn’t talk to Mitchell thereby guaranteeing no one will ever speak on the subject for fear of retaliation. He then follows it up with a lame excuse for non-action. Perfect Selig.

* Now that former NBA official Donaghy has admitted to the feds his involvement in a betting scheme with a couple lowlife Tony Soprano wannabes, commish David Stern can stop looking like a deer caught in the halogens and begin running things again. Not so fast. Since the story first broke, Stern, who is always in control and doesn’t hide the fact that this is his league, has stumbled and stammered trying to explain how this sort of thing could have happened. Now that Donaghy has reportedly told investigators that he is willing to name perhaps 20 other officials and discuss their involvment in gambling, one has to wonder how Stern is going repair the league’s credibility and handle what could become one of the greatest scandals in sports history. It won’t be easy. Fans, owners and players have been convinced for years that the referees were, at least, incompetant. What’s going to be the reaction when the next slow-mo replay shows a blown call in a big game? Who’s not going to wonder if yet another fix is in?

* If you don’t know who Kia Vaughn is, join the rest of the country. Vaughn was a center for the Rutgers womens basketball team that played for the NCAAtitle and that was the target of the infamous Don Imus remark that in effect called the team a group of tough prostitutes. After months of being hailed for their class and intelligence while making all the necessary daytime talk show publicity stops, Vaughn now says that she was humiliated and that Imus’ comments damaged her reputation and character. Imus has said a lot of stupid things in his career and profited greatly from them, but this lawsuit reeks of nothing but opportunism and greed. The right to sue for slander or defamation of character is to provide compensation for an individual who was the target of a blatant and unwarranted attack that is intentionally started with the expressed purpose of injuring that person. Don Imus may be guilty of a lot of things, but intentionally ruining the reputation of someone who was so recently praised for her character is not one of them.

Makes one yearn for the setting sun lighting up the oncoming hills along M-72 and the three deer carefully crossing the shallow Rifle River.

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