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Crybabies called out

What’s on the sports smorgasbord today, sportsfans?

I’ll take Professional Crybabies for $400, Alex.

It’s official. Barry Bonds has just replaced the &8220;oh, so loved&8221; Terrell Owens on my list of guys that need to just get over themselves.

Bonds, who forewent playing a majority of the 2005 baseball season because of a knee surgery that just, doggonit, wouldn’t heal.

It couldn’t have been because of mounting pressure from the league to clean-up the steroid abusers, could it?

No, Barry would never take steroids. He is the epitome of the team player. His goals are that the team succeeds.

If you believe that, I’ve got an Oceanside condo in Omaha I want to talk to you about. Bonds came back thinking that he could play 14 games and hit 15 home runs to dethrone Hank Aaron.

Didn’t happen.

Now the latest thing is that Bonds initially signed on to play with TEAM USA in the World Baseball Classic, which starts March 3, but has all of a sudden gotten injury-a-phobia.

The interesting thing about Bonds when it comes to baseball this season is which Barry are we going to see &045; the early 90s Barry who was rail thin and had warning-track power, or the late 90s Barry who at 39, needed to get a larger hat size because his head had expanded.

Folks, I’m being literal here, not figurative.

The guy went up a hat size.

Hey, isn’t extended bone thickness a side effect of taking Human Growth Hormone, or THG, the tailor-made steroid?

I like this topic, Alex. I’ll take Professional Crybabies for $500.

While we are on the topic of the World Baseball Classic, let’s have a look at who is actually playing in the tournament.

Of course, you have the usual suspects of TEAM USA and Team Canada, but you also have team Team Japan, Team Korea, Team Chinese Taipei, Team South Africa, Team China, Team Netherlands, Team Panama, Team Puerto Rico, Team Mexico, Team Dominican Republic, Team Venezuela, Team Australia, Team Italy and last, but certainly not least, Team Cuba.

Team Cuba, oh man, it’s going to be the Bay of Pigs all over again. Or at least that’s what the U.S. Treasury Department thought when they initially banned Cuba from competing in the event.

Freakin’ politicians trying to get involved with athletics. The only reason politicos should be involved in athletics is when they make Division IA football go to a playoff system, but hey, that’s another column for another week.

Ok: focus, Grif &045; Cuba in the WBC.

Some guy at a desk in the back of the US Treasury Department in the Office of Foreign Assets Control &045; probably not unlike Milton Waddams from Office Space who was complaining about his stapler being taken when the company went away from the Swingline brand &045; discovered that hey, Fidel Castro was still in power in Cuba.

Apparently, the spirit of competition only expands to a handful of Communist nations &045; China, Chinese Taipei, Korea, but not Cuba.

So, let me get this straight, because it is not our policy to deal with &8220;Communist nations that happen to be run by Fidel Castro&8221; the US Treasury’s OFAC is going to ban probably one of the greatest international baseball teams from competing in the World Baseball Classic?

Are they fundamentally spastic in their thinking?

No, the US Treasury and other agencies within the US Government are afraid that spies might accompany the players into the country.

I’m not making this up, sportsfans.

According to the Associated Press: The license was required by 45-year-old American sanctions against Cuba designed to prevent Fidel Castro’s government from receiving U.S. currency. At the State Department, spokesman Sean McCormack said the initial rejection was based on concerns Cuban spies might accompany the team.

“Working closely with World Baseball Classic Inc. and the State Department, we were able to reach a licensable agreement that upholds both the legal scope and the spirit of the sanctions,” Treasury spokeswoman Molly Millerwise said. “This agreement ensures that no funding will make its way into the hands of the Castro regime.”

What kind of Naked Gun, Playstation 2 Video Game, 007 mentality do these people have?

Finally, the government has come to its senses in allowing Cuba to play baseball against the Americans. Why did they decide to allow the Cubans into the tournament? Because our illustrious President said so.

“The president wanted to see it resolved in a positive way,” White House spokesman Scott McClellan said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. “Our concerns were centered on making sure that no money was going to the Castro regime and that the World Baseball Classic would not be misused by the regime for spying. We believe the concerns have been addressed.”

Good to see that our boy &8220;Dub-ya&8221; has such important things on his mind.

Changing gears, I’ll take Battle of the Bulge for $700, Alex.

Last week I reported that I had lost a grand total of 4 pounds. I’m sorry to say that I’ve gained one pound back. (Blasted foot-long sub).

I started a new workout regiment called &8220;Ab Boot Camp.&8221; It stands up to its title. I haven’t been able to laugh or stand up straight for a week, but I think I see progress.

It’s that simple.