| The only living person who suffered a week worse than Paris Hilton's happens to be, coincidentally, the very last person we want to see in a tawdry sex video: Bud Selig.
(By the way, after we---ahem---accidentally downloaded that Hilton tart's tape, our workplace productivity went to shit. We intend to seek compensation from the Hilton family. In fact, we've spent an incredible amount of time thinking about specific ways that Paris Hilton can compensate us. We're making a list. We're drawing diagrams. But back to Bud....)
Major League Baseball is mired in what must be the worst off-season any sport has endured since, um...well, since MLB in 1994. While you were fretting over the BCS standings, the national pastime was embarrassing itself nearly every day, and some days more than once. Here's a quick recap of the week that was in the farce that is Major League Baseball:
Monday---Angel Berroa edged Hideki Matsui for the A.L. Rookie of the Year award because two baseball writers left the 29-year-old Matsui (.287 AVG, 16 HR, 106 RBI) off their ballots. They believed him to be too old, too experienced, and possibly too Japanese to be considered a rookie. Never mind that all of his prior professional experience is in a league that considers Tuffy Rhodes a great hitter and Bobby Valentine a good manager.
Tuesday---During baseball's winter meetings in Arizona, Mets special assistant Bill Singer verbally assaulted Dodgers' assistant general manager Kim Ng with a series of racial slurs at a hotel bar. The Daily News reported that Singer blamed the incident on the combined effects of alcohol consumption and---get this---a low-carbohydrate diet. Uh...yeah, we totally understand. We feel like assaulting Asian women in public all the time. Then we eat some mashed potatoes and the urge goes away.
Thursday---MLB revealed that between 5 and 7 percent of ballplayers failed anonymous steroid tests in 2003, triggering additional tests beginning in 2004. The Office of Commissioner nonetheless declared that the results indicate baseball doesn't have much of a steroid problem. We're paraphrasing here, but an MLB spokesman said something like, "Heck, just 7 percent? That's only, like, a hundred guys. That's nothin'."
MLB also revealed that the punishment for a player's first positive test is, essentially, a stern talking-to (and no public disclosure of the player's name); after the second positive test, the offender will receive either a short suspension or $10,000 fine. And before a player is suspended for a full season, they'll need to test positive for steroids five times.
"Eek," exclaimed drug-addled millionaire sluggers everywhere.
Friday---The head of the World Anti-Doping Agency declared MLB's steroid policy to be "a complete and utter joke" and "an insult to the intelligence of the American public." Also, ESPN.com reported that the home of Barry Bonds' personal trainer, Greg Anderson, was raided by federal agents searching for illegal steroids. Ho-hum.
Saturday---Remember all that jazz about how Selig, as MLB Commissioner, is supposed to be removed from the day-to-day operations of the Brewers? Well, the AP reported that he's personally invested $13.2 million in the team over the past six years. But whatever. He's not really partial to any one team's interests, really. He's objective, he's fair.
All in all, a pretty good week for MLB.
Oh, and did we mention the murdered Cincinnati Reds outfielder? Or that Pete Rose is coming back? Or that the Yankees are rumored to be dealing for everyone? Yup, a magic off-season is really just beginning.
Big Foam Finger