Sure, jail merits raise, Jamal

October 05, 2005|By PETER SCHMUCK

Peter Angelos should count his blessings ... at least Rafael Palmeiro didn't come back from his 10-day steroid suspension and start complaining about his contract.

Ravens running back Jamal Lewis, on the other hand, apparently is experiencing strong feelings of betrayal because the team has not stepped up with a contract extension, which leaves me wondering if I've suddenly been transported to some strange parallel universe.

Do lots of guys come out of prison and return to their old jobs expecting a big raise?

I know, I know. Jamal feels that he had a commitment from the team to renegotiate his contract after he returned from his four-month incarceration. He feels that he held up his end by taking the plea bargain that got him through the justice system in time to rejoin the Ravens for the 2005 season. Maybe I would feel the same way, but I think I'd keep my head down, because this kind of stuff just doesn't play on Main Street.

Lewis, even if he ends up being designated the team's franchise player, still stands to make millions over the next couple of years. He has every right to feel disappointed if he wants, but his best option is to lower that front shoulder and take his frustration out on the Detroit Lions. The rest will eventually take care of itself.

It's a tough world. Dodgers manager Jim Tracy had a winning record in each of his first four seasons with the club, but one losing season was enough to prompt the club to make a change - announcing Monday that the Dodgers and Tracy had "mutually" agreed to end his affiliation with the team.

That's rich. It's sort of like the time I was pulled over on I-895 and the officer and I mutually agreed I would get a $125 ticket.

Or the time my wife got mad at me and we mutually agreed that I would sleep in the back seat of my '92 Celica for a few weeks.

OK, I'll admit it's possible it's mutual, since there already are whispers that Tracy will be named Pirates manager.

Funny headline of the week from SportsPickle.com, the Maryland-based humor Web site:

"Red Sox, Yankee fans feverishly begin preparing excuses."

Speaking of excuses, some of the Yankees were upset at Texas manager Buck Showalter for pulling three impact players from his lineup early in Sunday's game against the Angels. The Angels rallied from a 4-1 deficit to win the game and clinch home-field advantage for their Division Series against the Yankees.

It's considered bad etiquette to make less than a total effort to win each game against teams still involved in the pennant and wild-card races, so you can make the case that Showalter was out of line. But the Yankees have no gripe, since they scratched Mike Mussina from Sunday's start against the Red Sox after they clinched the AL East title. That game also had playoff implications for both the Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians.

Is anyone even mildly surprised that heavyweight contender Hasim Rahman has $2 million worth of IRS problems and also has Don King trying to filch half of his purse for the coming title fight against Vitali Klitschko?

Rahman, who is reputed to be a pretty smart guy, was warned about getting into bed with King, who lured him into a contract with a gym bag full of cash and now is suing him for 50 percent of the take from the Nov. 12 title fight. Now, Hasim is starting to look like just one more helpless lamb being fleeced by Don King Productions.

Let me get this straight. Raiders receiver Randy Moss tells HBO he "might" still smoke marijuana and then his lawyer cries foul when the director of the NFL's substance-abuse program orders him to submit to a drug test.

Moss refused the test and lawyer David Cornwell is trying to make the case that a verbal admission is not sufficient to trigger readmission to the league's testing program, from which Moss graduated in 2003 after testing clean for two straight years.

Seems to me that a verbal admission should be more than sufficient since the point of a drug-testing policy is to protect the public integrity of the sport.

We know one thing: Moss is almost certain to test positive for stupidity.

Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle decided to be big about it. He did not attend a single Angels game during the regular season while the city was embroiled in a dispute with Angels owner Arte Moreno over the decision to change the name of the team from the Anaheim Angels to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, but he was scheduled to attend last night's opener vs. the Yankees.

Pringle was set to bring along seven children from the Anaheim Boys and Girls Club ... or was that the Los Angeles Boys and Girls Club of Anaheim? I forget.

peter.schmuck@baltsun.com

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