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Flannel mouth swells up

Feb 19, 2008 6:44 AM

I really wasn’t going to get into this steroid debacle that took place last week on Capitol Hill, but those familiar with me know I can’t keep my mouth shut.

In fact, when I was in school they called me "old flannel mouth Richard." If anyone wanted something out, they would just tell me in secret and then the entire school would know. I actually have gotten better over the years. Now, I’m able to keep a secret for at least a few days before it really gets to me.

Anyway I was going to do a follow up on Sunday’s NBA not so All-Star Game in New Orleans. Here it is.

Now back to the Hill. With all the problems we have going on in the country right now concerning the economy, housing market, social security, the war and poverty you would think Congress would have more important things to do than waste our tax dollars on something baseball should be handling.

After the baseball steroid affair is the NFL and investigating the Patriots. Millions more of our tax dollars will go down the drain. I really don’t care if the Pats taped anything. All I care about is if they did, I was on the right side that day.

How do you really deal with the steroid issue in baseball? Those as old as me may remember Tinkers to Evers to Chance. Now, will it be McNamee to Clemens to Pettitte? What do you do now? How do you deal with it?

We all know it was rampant for years. Was it legal? Illegal? Was it something that baseball knew and just looked the other way to avoid facing the problem? What do you do with Bonds, Clemens, Pettitte, Knoblauch and the whole list of players named in various reports and books?

What do you do with Bud Selig? Surely he knew! If he didn’t, he is even a worse commissioner than people already believe.

You can’t tell me managers and assistant coaches didn’t know? You think McNamee was the only trainer? C’mon, if you believe that you also believe in the Easter Bunny and Santa.

I say let’s get a plan and move forward. Here’s what you do:

”¡ Make a blanket pardon offer. Players, coaches, managers, owners, et al. Admit what you did or knew with no repercussions for coming clean by a certain date.

”¡ If you refuse to make an admission, we will assist the legal system in your pursuit. We will encourage and assist in your prosecution.

”¡ Hall Of Fame voting should be left to the writers to decide who gets in, but all will know these records were achieved with performance- enhancing drugs.

”¡ Adopt an independent drug policy and testing implemented outside the control of MLB and the all- powerful Players Association. As long as either party is involved, the reliability of their testing policy and procedure will be questioned.

The bottom line is maybe the most shocking thing of all — Jose Canseco was right!

What a ride with Billy!

This past Saturday a living legend in the race book industry here retired. Billy O’Gorman was right out of a Damon Runyon story and the last of his breed.

Billy was one of those guys that knew he had to make a bet every day. He could be walking around lucky and not even know it. Billy retired last Saturday at the ripe old age of 70, but didn’t look a day over 55. He could put down the Irish brew with the 20 year olds.

Billy started out at the old Churchill Downs race book on the south Strip back when and finished his illustrious career at the very popular locals book Palace Station. Mr "O" will be missed not only by Palace Station and his employees, but by the regular players who loved him and his character.

Even though he will be gone from Palace, I am sure you can run him down in a Race and Sports book somewhere in Vegas when he gets back from his favorite spot, Ireland.