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Friday, June 19, 2009
Keep results sealed


Sammy Sosa
Sammy Sosa is allegedly one of 104 major leaguers in 2003 to test positive for a soon-to-be-banned substance.

Another week, another long list of issues, which I'm sure you're dying for me to comment on.

Remember, if you vehemently disagree with the following views, take it up with "The General" and "Miss Kitty." For those of you outside the circle of friendship, take it up with Mr. and Mrs. Waddle -- my parents.

Surprise, surprise. Sammy Sosa is in the spotlight for allegedly being one of 104 major leaguers in 2003 to test positive for a soon-to-be-banned substance. While Sosa's miraculous physical transformation over the years certainly didn't pass the eye test, there was never any evidence that he violated Major League Baseball's drug policy.

If this allegation is proven true, Sosa can wait as patiently as he likes. However, in my humble opinion, he will never be enshrined in Cooperstown. I don't wish to waste your time pontificating on the filth of the steroid era, but I would like to step up to the soap box and discuss the seriousness of these continually leaked names.

While it might be what the media and fans want, revealing this list would violate a confidentiality agreement that was supposed to be honored by both sides. The court order sealing the results seems to validate my opinion. First of all, if this was supposed to be an anonymous survey to determine the severity of the steroid problem, why were any names attached to samples? Why didn't each sample just have a number on it that wouldn't ever link it to its supplier?

I'm not looking to protect the guilty, but rather to protect the integrity of the pact that was agreed to by both sides. If the results were revealed, a dangerous precedent would be set. As a player, how could you ever trust MLB or the union again?

On another front, does it strike you as odd that this story is "leaked" soon after Sosa talked about his inevitable entry into the Hall? Who is the anonymous source? I'll leave the conspiracy theories up to you.

On Thursday, the Detroit Tigers placed Dontrelle Willis on the 15-day DL with "anxiety disorder." Make snide jokes if you want, but this is a very real ailment. Ask hundreds of others who quietly deal with the same issue yet keep it to themselves. Just because these guys are highly skilled and highly paid professional athletes, don't assume they're immune to the enormous pressure that comes with doing their job in front of thousands of people. In many cases, these athletes expect significantly more from themselves than the fans who pay to see them. They are harder on themselves when they don't succeed. I'm not suggesting you pity them. Just don't be a meathead.

Cubs-Sox Part 1 is in the books, and despite a thrilling late-inning comeback by the Cubs on Thursday, this was a pretty ho-hum Crosstown Classic. With both teams underachieving and given the weekday setting, I found this to be less than thrilling overall. Sure, I'm a Reds fan, so maybe I don't get it, but tickets were selling for an average of $116 this year. They were $160 on average last year.

Cubs fans, don't get all worked up about Ozzie Guillen's comments on your ballpark. The conditions are awful. Ozzie is an entertainer as well as a World Series-caliber manager. While you're at it, stop blaming your manager and his confusing news-conference behavior for the dismal start to this season. For a brain cramp against the Twins, you want Lou to sit Milton Bradley for a game. Fine, I'm OK with that. You want to sit Soriano for a day or two, as he's mired in the worst slump of his career. I'm OK with that as well (although you would've missed his game-winning hit Thursday). But get a hold of yourselves: This is the team he's been given. He's made his share of mistakes, but he's got a better chance of an NL Central three-peat with Alfonso Soriano, Bradley and Geovany Soto in the lineup than without them. They will hit. Trust me, I am a baseball sage. Well, they'll at least hit better than they are right now.

And finally, I too have my Bears buzz on, and it's a good one. But I'm not ready to call Devin Hester a legit No. 1 receiver, nor am I ready to say the receiving corps is just fine as is. Obviously everyone is a touch giggly up at Halas Hall after a week of OTAs, but let's save a little enthusiasm for late July when they finally put the pads on. I'm just trying to add a dose of reality to the conversation.

The King has spoken.