The year has not been good to Palmeiro, Sosa

August 30, 2005|by TIM KOELBLE

Maybe the politicos on Capitol Hill knew something when they held the hearings on the alleged use of steroids in Major League Baseball.

Think of the individuals who were on the panel.

Rafael (I have never taken steroids) Palmeiro, who recently tested positive for steroids.

Sammy (should be gone) Sosa, who suddenly has lost his home run trot out of the batter's box.

Curt Schilling, former staff ace who can't get out of the ninth inning without a scare as a closer.

Mark (no comment) McGwire, who was as pencil-thin before he began blasting home runs as he now is in retirement.

Jose (tell it like it is) Canseco, still as bulky as ever and an admitted user during his playing days.

Seems rather peculiar that the performances of Palmeiro, Sosa and Schilling this season have dropped off dramatically, especially Palmeiro and Sosa, who each play half a season playing at homer-friendly Camden Yards.


Palmeiro, still maintaining that we'll hear his side of the story soon, when the "time is right," is on the downside of a career that is now tarnished with his recent positive test. He became the marquee name on the major league baseball hit list and I'm guessing this will cost him a spot in the Hall of Fame.

If Palmeiro ever does appear on the ballot and makes it in, wouldn't that make you wonder where that should leave Pete Rose? What are the injustices from using steroids and gambling? Did gambling enhance Rose's performance between the white lines?

Take a look at Sosa. Not only has his productivity ceased to exist in Baltimore, but hasn't his physical stature diminished? His arms and thighs are nowhere near as big as they were.

The days when Sosa and McGwire gave baseball fans everywhere a thrill nearly every game with their homer barrages are long gone. Have the thrills become tainted? In both cases, even without proof of substance abuse, you wonder if they'll be sure-fire Hall of Famers. Probably so, but how would you view them going down in history?

Can't wait for the real Barry Bonds saga!

Goodbye, farewell

On June 6, the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals held the Mid-Atlantic region captive by holding down first place in their respective divisions.

Time has failed the Orioles miserably and it's getting close to lowering the boom on the Nationals, still three games out of the Wild Card race.

Collectively, the Orioles are up to their shoulders in harbor waters and it's just a matter of time before the full submerge happens.

It's time for the Orioles to start thinking of what is going to happen in the off-season.

They can start by unloading another problem: Sidney Ponson. They should have left him in San Francisco. Now, they've still got $10 million worth of headaches left on his contract.

There is nothing positive Ponson can provide the Orioles. His off-the-field antics, the latest a charge of driving under the influence on Thursday, giving him three arrests, should have reached the limits with Oriole brass. It's time for Sidney to pack his bags.

And, don't be at all surprised if Palmeiro (if he doesn't retire) and Sosa are gone.

Aside from Miguel Tejada, is there any player on the Orioles right now that would be considered untouchable in a trade? Maybe Brian Roberts, but my guess is, come opening day in 2006, you'll need time to figure who is your favorite Oriole.

Tim Koelble is a staff writer for The Morning Herald. His column appears every other Tuesday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2311, or by e-mail at

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