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February 11, 2009

Revisiting Palmeiro

The news that Miguel Tejada will be in a Washington federal courtroom today to plead guilty to lying to congressional investigators has brought forth a number of blog comments wondering whether this adds credibility to Rafael Palmeiro's 2005 claims that he might have gotten a contaminated vial of B-12 from Tejada before he tested positive for Stanozolol.

The answer is a qualified yes, and it's not a new concept. The Jason Grimsley affidavit in 2006 was the first hint that Palmeiro might have some plausible deniability, but you also have to take into account the fact that Jose Canseco had earlier accused Palmeiro of using the same substance that was found in his steroid test, so who knows what to believe after all these years.

If you want to take an unpleasant walk down memory lane and look back at the column I wrote about that on June 16, 2006 in The Sun, keep reading.

BASEBALL DRUG SAGA APPEARS CERTAIN TO ONLY GET WORSE

BYLINE: PETER SCHMUCK
SECTION: SPORTS; Pg. 1E

On the day that Rafael Palmeiro was suspended for a positive steroid test, he took part in a conference call and insisted that there was no logical reason for him to have turned to anabolic steroids during the final stages of his apparent Hall of Fame career.

"There's no absolute reason for me to do anything at this stage of my career; there's nothing for me to gain and everything to lose," he said. "This is probably going to be my last year. I was not about to put everything on the line, my reputation and everything I've worked for so hard in my life, to do anything like this. It just makes no sense. I'm not a crazy person, I'm not stupid. It was an accident and I'm paying the price."

I didn't believe him then, but I don't know what to believe now.

The conventional wisdom at the time was that Palmeiro, perhaps frustrated by his slow start in early 2005, rolled the dice and hoped he would not be tested again after spring training. He argued that he had somehow ingested the steroid stanozolol inadvertently ... and told congressional investigators that he might have gotten it from a contaminated vial of injectable vitamin B-12 that was given to him by Miguel Tejada.

Now, in the wake of the Jason Grimsley revelations, the illogic of Palmeiro's positive steroid test actually takes on a strange new dimension.

If Grimsley was able to acquire human growth hormone (hGH) through the mail ... and hGH is not detectable under the testing regimen adopted by Major League Baseball ... then why would a high-profile, multimillionaire athlete with more than 500 career home runs and a first-class ticket to Cooperstown take a chance with the same detectable steroid that was linked to him in Jose Canseco's tell-all book a few months earlier?

It doesn't make sense, unless you believe that Grimsley was the Godfather of hGH or that Palmeiro was so isolated from baseball's other high-profile cheaters that he just didn't get the hGH memo.

The only thing we know for sure is that Palmeiro tested positive and he handled the news so clumsily that nobody even wanted to believe him after the Tejada B-12 revelations came out, but the latest turn in baseball's tawdry drug scandal has created an environment where just about anything is - and was - possible.

The names that were blacked out in the Grimsley affidavit eventually will come out, and some of them almost certainly will be Orioles and former Orioles. If the use of various restricted substances was common in the Orioles' clubhouse - and players were so indiscriminate in their use of anything from "leaded" coffee to the injectable vitamins that Tejada allegedly was bringing in from the Dominican Republic - then you have to concede that Palmeiro's "accidental ingestion" theory is not entirely out of the realm of possibility.

Of course, Raffy acted so guilty and his lawyers handled the public relations side of the case so poorly that it's hard to imagine he was truly a victim, but Grimsley has taken us through the looking glass ... and we won't be coming back anytime soon.

The scariest thing about this is what logic really tells us: Grimsley could not possibly be the centerpiece in the blossoming hGH scandal. He could not have been the only player ordering those $1,600 kits through the mail, though he might have been the only one stupid enough to have it delivered to his home.

For that reason, federal investigators may have gotten to him first and tried to use him to get some bigger fish, but they're eventually going to find billing records and other informants and this thing is going to blow right through the roof. The 1984 Pittsburgh cocaine scandal is going to seem, well, recreational in comparison.

Meanwhile, former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell will continue his plodding MLB-sponsored investigation by questioning everyone who doesn't know anything, because the real culprits don't have to talk without a subpoena and the feds are telling other key witnesses not to cooperate with him.

The sad thing is that it's all going to end up being true. The big percentages blurted out by Canseco and Ken Caminiti. The seedy bathroom stall scenarios that once seemed incredible. The admonitions of steroid experts who warned of the coming hGH storm just as baseball was upgrading its anti-steroid program to the point where it had some real credibility. The whole miserable ball of performance-enhancing wax.

They blinded us with science, and we're going to wish we never opened our eyes.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 10:12 AM | | Comments (44)
Categories: Just baseball
        

Comments

Doubt I am the first to mention this but the names were revealed over a year ago and there weren't any Orioles on it. http://articles.latimes.com/2007/dec/21/sports/sp-baseball21
I think Palmeiro was set up by Major League Baseball. He was the one guy that was adamant in his denial and they needed a scapegoat and an example to say "Our testing works."

i think raffy was telling the truth. i din't read canseco's book but pete if you read it has everything that canseco wrote come true?


..............................................................................................
Pete's reply: Unfortunately, a lot of it.

I suppose thing thing I find most interesting about this whole scandal (and by scandal I mean the steriod issue in general), is the level of indignant outrage from the media at large.

By and large (albeit with some exceptions) the media have painted these ballplayers as cheating lowlifes, miserable scum who don't deserve to ever set foot on a diamond again, let alone be permitted into the "sacred" hall of fame.

While a certain degree of scorn is certainly merited, I don't think that these players are being given a fair shake. The media seems to forget that these are human people that made mistakes. The mistake happens to be one that allegedly helped them perform at a level above and beyond that of "normal" players thus earning more money for themselves and their families. Is it wrong? Yes. Is it cheating? Unquestionably. Is it illegal? Absolutely. Would anyone else have done the same thing? Possibly. I can't speak for myself because I haven't been there, but I know that if someone offered me the chance to go from Jeff Reboulet to Alex Rodriguez, I'd probably consider it.

Again, I'm not defending the players, just commenting on the amount of "I-can't-believe-he-would-do-such-a-thing!" that I've seen so far in regards to this issue (present company excluded of course).

It's a horrible issue, and something that baseball wishes would just go away, but lets not pretend that these men did anything that alot of people would consider doing under similar circumstances.

In my contributions to various baseball discussion sites, I made it abundantly clear at that time that believed Rafael Palmeiro and I still do.

I also thought and still think that Jose Canseco more than likely embelished some of his stories one, because one.... the information contained in his book is waaayyyy too plentiful for him to have absolutely accurately remembered; And two..... Jose loves to listen to stories as told by Jose.... so he no doubt caters to his own desire to make certain parts more interesting and colorful.

Rafael Palmeiro has never in any way fit the profile of the typical steroid user.
He's never been bulked up.
He's never gained any significant weight at all.
His career was amazingly free of injuries and missed time.
His face and neck never appeared to explode.

He was one of the greatest hitters of all time with one of the most classic, picturesque left-handed swings ever.

I think he was dumbfounded when he failed to pass that test.
And, searching for a possible answer, he suggested the B-12 he received from Tejada.

Oh.... fans chastised him to no end for doing that. Even Frank Robinson angrily suggested that he be stripped of his amazing records.

How could he implicate poor, innocent Miguel?

It should be noted that Palmeiro has never waivered from anything he said.

Well.... I hope like anything that Rafael is vindicated. I believe he deserves to be. And I believe he deserves a big public apology from Tejada.... or at least an acknowledgement that maybe there WAS a chance that vial of B-12 was tainted..... or maybe wasn't even B-12 at all.


...............................................................................................
Pete's reply: I don't know what to believe, but not all steroid guys bulk up. Look at A-Rod.

I also remember reading a Sun account of Palmeiro's return to the clubhouse after his suspension, where a "forgiving" Miguel Tejada threw his arm around him and encouraged the other Orioles to accept him back.

It struck me as a little strange then, as this was before there was any public knowledge of Tejada's involvement with the use of banned substances. It was also before Palmeiro alleged that he received the steroid unknowingly from a "B-12" injection given to him by Tejada.

No thoughts Pete on the Alomar story? Incredibly sad and disgusting if true.


...............................................................................................
Pete's reply: Incredibly sad indeed.

i still don't believe raffy.
raffy was a member of the 03 rangers squad. take a look at that roster, it's loaded w/ roid guys.
there's no doubt in my mind that raffy was using steriods just like everyone else.

Thank God AM got rid of Tejada when he did.

I think the whole steroids affiar has tainted baseball badly, and made a decade of statistics questionable. It has also cost honest players probably much money sicne they had to compete for owners money with steroid figures with ballooned figures. Seriously, would Jay Gibbons ever had received that contract without steroids, would we have traded for Sosa, would Alex Rodriguez put up suffiencient numbers to garnsih the contract he did. What's worse is guys like Aaron or Ruth/Maris lose their record to someone puffed up on drugs, and writers are confronted with having to sort out who is worthy of the HOF based on this crap. Personally, I almost think those years have to be excluded in Rodriguez case, and re-examine his stats in a post steroid era and extrapolate a career based on how he does after the steroid scandal. Will, he now put up HOF numbers? We'll see.

As to the Tejada mess, I also wonder about whether Raffy got a raw deal. My heart wants to say he did, but it does seem there was a signifcant change in his body after the steroid scandal. I don't know, and that's the shame.

Personally, I beleive after Dave Meggesey's book in the 70's about football players that it goes well beyond baseball, but baseball gets the press. Probably because of the great tradition of the game.

I am saddened by this as baseball has always been far and away my favortie game. It is just sad and reflective of our culture that the need for some to get an edge to make big money trumps the respect for the game and the great players that preceded them.

Raffy was guilty only of stupidity. The truth will come out eventually.

http://natsnewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/02/what-else-did-miguel-tejada-lie-about.html

Can someone explain why another steroid like cortisone is OK for injection, which definately enhances performance (makes you able to pitch or run when otherwise you couldn't) and other things aren't.

Steroids, hGH, and many other things in baseball do not give you abilty, they only, sometimes, help you to maximize it or recover from injuries (ne: cortisone) faster or when recovery might not be complete otherwise.

I think as our population ages and people begin taking these things for lifestyle and health reasons there will be a change in the way the public looks at these things.

It just goes to show you that if you don't have talent, you will not be better with steroids. With all the Orioles on steriods, they were still not good.
If Tejada admits to lying about Palmerio, why is Palmerio not being called in and charged. There seems to be a variation in how these players are being handled.

Of course, HGH doesn't work, so why would Palmeiro turn to it if he really needed something?

Good post Pete. In light of what has just happened with Tejada, I now believe that Rafael Palmeiro unknowingly took the steroid believing it was B-12. I also believe that Brady Anderson didn't take steroids either. What baseball needs is a commissioner like Roger Goodell.

Excellent entry Pete.

Any chance someone will ask A-Rod about Palmeiro? He of course won't give a good answer and might even refuse to give one, but somebody ought to ask just for the heck of it.

Peter:

Outstanding post! More like a feature article!

In a distant life I was the product manager for stanozolol when when the brand "Winstrol" was owned by Winthrop Laboratories. It is a powerful anabolic steroid usually given to children with stunted growth (oral form) and to animals to prevent stress (injectable form).

I still remember that one of the side effects of the drug is "increased penile length." Seriously! Perhaps a simpler check for usage is in order!

I have to say I support Raffy. He was my favorite Oriole in his first stint with the team and I was so glad to see him come back a second time. I have only purchased one authentic baseball jersey and it was his number 25. After the allegations came out I supported Raffy by wearing his jersey to the stadium in 2006 when I was living in Dundalk.

I still believe Raffy and support him. I hope this news adds to the support he should have and that when the time comes the BBWAA remember him and vote him into the Hall. He deserves to be there!

Raffy I support you!

Ed in Alaska

Firstly , I'm not quite sure how a vial of anything gets "tainted" . The steroid in question Winstrol ( Stanozolol ) in its injectable form is oil in an oil solution . B-12 injectables are in a water base . Before I go injecting myself , or have someone inject me I'd at least do alittle homework . Unless the lable was changed or missing I just don't know how it was tainted . Any tapering of the vial should be obvious .
Secondly it's pretty much a wives tale about B-12 shots helping atheletes . They're pretty much only used for those suffering from anemia . The improvements in vitality for those taking shots if anemic exceed any improvements those in normal health would see , no matter the dose . Not that I would know , just sayin'.

You know Pete, the saddest part in all of this is that the players that did use and may still try to use are the one's that aren't coming forward until they get caught while the players that are getting wrapped up in all of it with the whole guilty by association cloud will most likely forever be linked to it rightly or not.

It just goes to show how many of these so-called faces of baseball have lost all integrity for the game and themselves by letting others take the blame and fall for the action of a collection of sorts of other guys.

To me, I find it hard to believe that any of these guys are sorry when they wait to come out and admit what they took or did only AFTER they got caught. Everyone knows that in baseball it's all about the numbers and the romanticizing about being the greatest someday in this sport, some players use hard work/strong work ethic and integrity to achieve that with the talents they have honed while others take the short-cuts and easy ways out.

Well it seems that there are two well ahead of the game, you and McPhail. I admit when I am wrong and I did not give Andy enough credit. He was one day ahead of schedule on the Tejada issue when he made the trade, and is building a team with more speed, and without the roids you will need speed. Go back to the Royals and Cardinals of the past where they used to run you to death, and beat you by nibbling away, instead of 8 guys that try to pound it over the fence.

The Steroid issue is getting deeper even in chess they are looking at banning athletes. The following speaks on that...
http://www.edmontonsun.com/Comment/2009/02/11/8346156-sun.html

Pete, whether we want to blieve it or not, they only one who appears to have been telling the truth all along has been Jose' Canseco. He even said that A-Rod was doing it but no one believed him. Raffy, although one of my fav Oriole players, appears to be just as guilty as them all. Jose's talents diminished and he had to come up with a plan to stay in the limelight, since he is an attention xxxxx (you know what). This worked out pretty well for him didn't it?

Thank you Pete, I have been waiting for this perspective for awhile. I would also like to hear from Palmeiro now. Palmeiro passed two drug tests prior to the failed one and then passed again after the failed one. I believed his story then and I believe it now. Unless of course his name is on that 2003 testing report.

If Palmeiro is truly innocent, he should be pushing for the list of players that tested positive to be released. He should know that he will not show up on that list. If Tejada shows up on the list, Palmeiro's credibility sky rockets. However, if he is on the list or doesn't even push for the list to be published, his credibility is gone. Someone needs to ask him directly, "Would you like to see the steroid test list published?"

Many topics have popped up about what to do. The answer is simple those 104 name that were mentioned in the Mitchel Report and are implicated beyond reasonable doubt should be banned from the Baseball Hall of Fame. No A-Rod, Tejada, McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, etc. Just make them ineligible for selection - period. No appeals, nothing, end of the matter.

b is for bozos who can't compete on the level

If this is true about Alamor, he cought it ONE way. Sharing a dirty needle shooting dope. This " I slept with a prostitute" don't get it. Remember, dirty needle. FACT!! I hope his " girl friend " is OK. If he dosen't have it, I'm sorry. Thanks.

I believe that the B-12 shots were just a camoflague for the cocktails that were in them.

Pete:

Lets see here. Palmiero is traded by the Cubs to Texas because of a perceived lack of power (and they had Mark Grace at first already). In Texas he managed to become a 20 HR hitter in a park where HRs mutiply like jack rabbits until one Canseco is traded to the Rangers. The next year Palmiero hits 37 out and remains a reliable power hitter ever after. With popeye forearms, etc. He's one of the long time cheats in my opinion. The list of users will continue to leak out name by name. Schilling may not be popular, but he's right. Release the names. All of them. The innocent will at least be identified which may have the fans reassess their opinions of quite a few "good but not great" players. The new categories would be "real" versus "chemically improved."

Pete, why do you seem to be hoping that this scandal would eventually die down?. I still think there is much much more to seep out and it is baseball's fault, the Union, Management and the Owners for letting it dribble out like a Chinese water torture.

A functional organization would have gotten all of the truth out long ago and then tried to move on. That is the best way to deal with any scandal. Not Baseball. They have chosen to dodge, weave deny and evade, and only admit when palyers are caught red handed.

O, there is much much more to come. Don't blame the Mitchell report either. It was an honest attempt to get to the bottom of it and bring closure, but the Union decided to stonewall and leave the findings as anecdotes and second hand stories.

No, there is much more to come and it can't be stopped, just like stories about and an ex spouse's cheating, even after you thought you knew it all.

Damn the players, damn the union, damn Bud Selig and the Owners. They deserve this long slow, ugly march to the truth.

I believe that the only reason that postive PED tests for baseball players are down is that cheating has gotten better. What else can we believe? The game now has zero credibility.

Damn them all. The players have now put themselves in the position that they are all guilty until proven innocent.

I have always believed that something was amiss in the whole Palmeiro saga. His initial explanation made sense to me.

"Why would I do that in a year when I went in front of Congress and I testified and I told the truth?" Palmeiro said. "Why would I do this in a season when I was going to get to 3,000 hits? It makes no sense. I would not put my career on the line. I would not put my reputation on the line and everything that I've accomplished throughout my career. . . . I'm not a crazy person. I'm not stupid."

Sounds like it gives him LESS credibility...It was never a B12 shot to begin with.

Sports figures are taking a beating this week . Now I read where former O's Roberto Alomar is being sued by a woman for having unprotected sex with her while knowing he had AIDS .
Ain't the beer cold . And another slice of apple pie please .

Thanks for at least raising the question. Raffy handled the whole thing pretty badly. But even MLB said that his testimony was "compelling" and his own "why would I do this at this stage of my career?" explanation is not without merit. Besides, I would not convict the man based on anything from Mr. Canseco.

Pete,

Seems I remember one of your articles a good while back where you wrote that you actually "found" online where the B12 laced with steroids could be purchased in Central America.

This story the last couple days is just another indication that Palmero was probably telling the truth and Tejada was doing what Tejada seems to do best - lying.

I'd just like to thank Lance, Doug, and others for proving my point.

Why do people always say that A-Rod didn't bulk-up. Am I missing something? Sure he was tall and not lanky when he was with the Mariners and early on with the Rangers but take a look at his quads compared to his hips - absolutely disproportionate. Another key indicator is his neck size - see old pictures of him and current ones and you will notice a significant difference.

Sure, he still has to hit a moving round ball with a round bat but...... lazy fly balls become home runs, line drives caught by an outfielder on the run become gappers, ground balls snatched up by an infielder becomes a base hit. The only disadvantage I see are slow rollers leading to an infield hit become fast rollers that are ground outs.

That's why the arguement (many ball players try to make) that steroids don't make you a better hitter is a false arguement.

I think it is quite possible that Palmeiro was telling the truth about the tainted B-12 shot, and so was Canseco about Palmeiro's prior usage. Palmeiro probably used steroids while with Arod on the Rangers, but stopped in 2004 like many other players when MLB actually started testing for real. So, when he tested positive in 2006, it very well may have been from a tainted sample from Tejada.

In answer to the question posed by the artist formerly known as jack in hebron, a vial of anything can be tainted. If, for example, Tejada was injecting B-12 and stanozolol, one after the other, from multi-dose vials of the two products, chances are he was using the same syringe for both. If he gave Palmeiro a vial of B-12 that had already been entered by a stanozolol-tainted syringe, that's all it would take. I don't have an opinion one way or the other, but it's certainly plausible. I doubt that these guys were always careful about following best medical practices with respect to injection technique.

Pete,

At this juncture, who really cares! Our game has been ruined and the true criminals are Bud Selig, MLB owners and the Union! No one was or is looking out for the players, just wanting more offense to draw bigger crowds and more revenue. I believe if MLB REALLY wanted to do something, suspend the player for 1 year, and make them request readmission to the league. When they sign their request, make them concede they will NEVER be considered for the Baseball HOF and just put an end to it!

Pete-

The one sad aspect of this Palmiero incident was that Baltimore had a love affair with him until the wheels fell off the cart. ManCrush over.

Regarding certain players not bulking up while taking steroids:

If you look at two pictures of A-Rod, one on the Rangers, and one on the Yankees, you can see that his neck shrunk by about 50%.

Also, whoever said they didn't think Brady Anderson didn't take steroids...no disrespect, but c'mon...the guy went from hitting between 12-24 homers a year, and then suddenly hits 50? That doesn't happen.

.............................................................................................
Pete's reply: Then how do you explain him going right back to 12-24 home runs? They didn't start testing for another eight years. He asked the question himself when he was asked about steroids. I believe the answer was "Do you think I got tired of hitting 50 home runs?" That's a fair point too.

It utterly fascinates me how blindly you Baltimorons refuse to accept that Baltimore, Texas and Oakland were at the center of the steroid problem issue.

Why revisit Rafael Palmeiro?

He is a fraud and like A-Rod he always choked in the clutch. ALWAYS.

While everyone is watching Miguel Tejada apologize for committing perjury, the Nationals are busy signing Adam Dunn to a 2 year $20million deal.

Dont talk to me about re-building and what a "quiet but successful" offseason the Orioles are having.

Adam Dunn, steroids not withstanding, is a guaranteed commodity. 40HRs, 100 RBIs and 165Ks with over 100BBs and .400OBP who would also make great trade bait as the Orioles settle into last place once the Dog Days of August hit and Dunn's service are sought after by real contenders.
It has been a while since the Orioles has someone--at least wearing an Orioles uniform---who was able to put some proper bombs onto Eutaw Street. The guy doesnt turn 30 until after the season is over. This would have been a great signing.

Statistically, Dunn compares nicely to former Oriole great, Boog Powell, yet all anyone seems to care about is steroids and other people's problems that wont help the O's be a better baseball team in 2009.


..............................................................................................
Pete's reply: What do you mean, we blindly don't accept that Baltimore was one of the steroid hubs? Of course we do. The Jason Grimsley thing was tied to Baltimore. The Larry Bigbie/Michael Bogdan thing was tied to Baltimore. David Segui was, admittedly, a big player in all this. But don't leave out the guy in the New York Mets clubhouse. I think New York is a pivotal location as well as Texas, the Bay Area and Baltimore...And, while we're on the subject, I don't remember Boog Powell striking out 195 times in a season. Boog struck out more than 100 times just once in his career. Dunn averages 169 strikeouts per year. Dunn is a better power hitter, however.

It is completely unrealistic and naive to believe that those who tested positive in 2003 represent the true and full extent of steroid use in baseball.

As any track fan knows, Olympic athletes have been using masking agents for years that allow them to come up looking clean on a drug test. While it doesn't work every time and some get caught, it works for the overwhelming majority of them.

People close to Olympic track and field, and the Tour de France bike race for that matter, have little doubt that virtually every athlete is on one kind of juice or another.

Why should we think anything else about baseball players? Are they dumber than track athletes, so stupid that they never thought of trying to cover their tracks? Are they poorer and can't afford the quality medical advice and masking agents that a track athlete buys?

Why on earth would we believe that?

@Pete

Perhaps you accept that Baltimore was at the at the center--and you can always just assume New York is guilty in some capacity due to the "pressure" of playing in the big apple--but I am directing this at your readers who refuse to accept that Raffy was a juicer!

And yes, Dunn strikes out a ton more than Boog, but there are parallels to be drawn.

Roids and missed opportunities are definitely separate forums but wanted to call out that while the eyes are focused on one issue, the baseball business of acquiring talent is still getting done and the Orioles are not participating.

11 straight losing seasons!!!! Poised for a 12th, a disengaged owner who is guaranteed a kings ransom by MLB regardless of how the team performs, less than 2,000,000 in paid attendance (we all know it was significantly less than that at the gate)--you tell me, Pete, where is the silver lining?

For the Orioles it is always darkest just before it turns pitch black.

...............................................................................................
Pete's reply: It's a fair question. I probably would have applauded the team if it had signed Dunn, but I can see where he doesn't fit into a rebuilding program that projects beyond 2010.

Brady Anderson to this day attributes his year to use of "creatine". Laughable.

I think that Raffy got a bum rap. He was a class act his whole career, and never looked or acted the part of a steroid user. His statistics showed a gradual increase in power in his early years and were very steady throughout his prime and beyond.. He has always denied any misdoings and I believe him ,and also believe he was a victim of the press, ML baseball, and probably Tejeda. He was as clean and believable as Ripken throughout his career, a family man, and without scandal. The kind of guy that some would like to soil the reputation of. He was a favorite of mine, still is, and I think it's a travesty if he doesn't get exonerated and go on to Cooperstown.
Of all the accused steroid users , he is the most believable.
Pete, you infer that he handled his denial badly. Did it ever occur to you and others that,if you are confronted with an accusation and you are innocent, that your denial may sound a bit clumsy? After all, innocent people have not had the time to rehearse and concoct a story to give to the press.

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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