From the Cheap Seats
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

Feb. 27, 2004 -- Sitting here wishing I would have tried out for American Idol -- it's guaranteed I can sing and dance worse than William Hung -- when the following thoughts cross my mind.

Barry Bonds' "They can test me every day," statement about steroids would be a lot bolder if he didn't have the players union standing along side him. The MLB union -- which is only slightly less powerful than the five family mafia in New York -- will let one of its players be tested daily for steroids right after it stringently petitions for lower salaries.

We're also treading on Bill Clintonistic semantics here (what the definition of "is" is) when we have ball players dancing around the steroid issue by defining them as "performance enhancement supplements."

Isn't it ironic that when Rangers owner Tom Hicks signed Alex Rodriguez to a $252 million contract three years ago, the New Yawk media howled, cried and whined that Hicks was the devil himself and A-Rod was one of his pointy-tailed minions. Now that A-Rod has landed in the Northeast (contract? what contract?) Hicks is merely a clown and A-Rod a player who simply wants to win.

OK, the media is right about that clown part. In fact, when Hicks arrives at the ballpark, you expect to see him tumble out of a tiny Volkswagen wearing a red nose and floppy shoes, followed by John Hart with a seltzer bottle.

The Joey Galloway for Keyshawn Johnson trade makes so much sense it will probably fall through. Johnson gives Dallas a big, strong possession receiver it so desperately needs, while Galloway gives Tampa Bay a guy who can run fast and who will catch balls as long as he doesn't have to break stride, isn't closely guarded, and won't get hit. That's apparently exactly what Jon Gruden needs.

In 17 games last year, Galloway caught 34 passes. My calculator must be broken, because it keeps figuring that's just two receptions per game. For $4 million a year? Can't be right.

Speaking of underperformers, wouldn't it be nice if each professional team had the option of simply canceling one contract per year? No penalty, no salary cap problems, no complaints. For the Cowboys, it would most probably be Galloway, though Chad Hutchinson would be a thought. For the Mavericks, it would be the Invisible Man, Shawn Bradley. The Rangers? Chan Ho "Can't Keep the Ball in the" Park.

Parks' stints on the injured list the last two years were due to whiplash -- from his neck craning to watch the homeruns he had served up fly over the fence.

Here's an interesting query: Will Park's ERA be higher than Bradley's points per game average? In an indictment against both players, the answer will likely be "yes." Bradley is currently pouring in 3.1 points per game, while Park allowed 7.58 earned runs per nine innings last year.

If only we could reverse those numbers.

Bobby "Butch" Burney is the sports editor of the News-Telegram. His column appears periodically.

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