News item: The Orioles were held to one run over a three-game span after scoring an uplifting 12-2 victory over the New York Yankees on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.
My take: Stop grousing about the soft offense. Everyone knew from the outset that Andy MacPhail put most of the offseason emphasis on upgrading organizational pitching depth. It wasn't a coincidence that seven of the 10 players he acquired in the Miguel Tejada and Erik Bedard trades throw the ball instead of hit it.
News item: The Seattle Mariners' Bedard gave up nine earned runs over 4 1/3 innings in Friday night's 13-2 loss to the Yankees. He is 3-3 with a 4.70 ERA.
My take: Meanwhile, three members of the Orioles' rotation have ERAs of 3.62 or better, closer George Sherrill ranks second in the major leagues in saves and Adam Jones is playing above initial expectations. I'm guessing the Bedard deal isn't terribly popular in Seattle right now.
News item: Cash-strapped Jose Canseco is advertising for an opponent to box him in a celebrity match in Atlantic City, N.J., according to Philly.com.
My take: If you're interested - and I mean you, Mark McGwire - you can e-mail him at email@example.com.
News item: Tiger Woods decided Friday to bypass the Memorial, which means he probably will make his first tournament appearance since knee surgery at the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego.
My take: Going cold into the Open would be a huge challenge, but isn't that what Tiger is all about?
News item: The Major League Baseball Players Association has ratified an enhanced drug-testing program that adopts some of the recommendations in the Mitchell Report, including an agreement not to discipline players implicated in baseball's steroid investigation.
My take: Finally, an outcome that doesn't perpetuate this public relations disaster. In a related development, Jay Gibbons can afford another house.
News item: Adam "Pacman" Jones has paid his $20,000 gambling debt to a Las Vegas casino after the district attorney requested an arrest warrant for the troubled NFL star.
My take: Just another reason for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to reinstate Jones. It might be the only way to keep him off the street.
News item: Rick Neuheisel's bonus-laden contract to coach at UCLA could be worth up to $1.75 million, according to the Los Angeles Times.
My take: Of course, he'll need to beat Southern California and win the Pacific-10 title regularly to max out the contract, which can mean only one thing: Rick's going to have to find a way to live on $1.25 million per year.
News item: Despite the Orioles' recent offensive slump, they still rank 13th in SI.com's MLB Power Rankings.
My take: If that sounds a little high, it really isn't. The only team that might have a gripe is the No. 14 Oakland Athletics, fellow overachievers who should be happy to be in the top 20.
News item: You've heard the cliche about a player being traded for a bag of balls. Well, minor leaguer John Odom was traded from the Calgary Vipers of the independent Golden Baseball League to the Laredo Broncos of the United League for a box of bats. To be precise, 10 new maple bats valued at $69 apiece.
My take: The way those maple bats are shattering these days, the Vipers might need to deal another player by the end of the weekend.
News item: Miami Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter told NFL Live that the New England Patriots cheated and should have to put an asterisk next to their Super Bowl championships.
My take: Don't know why this rated a headline. Did Joey just hear about Spygate?
News item: The day after Alex Rodriguez lost a home run to a bad umpiring call, the Yankees put up netting in front of the staircase in the right field stands to prevent similar injustices in the future.
My take: Gosh, don't you wish the government could fix things that fast?
News item: Danica Patrick is not the favorite to win today's Indianapolis 500, but it isn't out of the question.
My take: I think it would be great if she made herstory today. Like me, she's more than just a pretty face.
Listen to Peter Schmuck on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon most Saturdays and Sundays.