Bob Lutz

Lutz on the loose: About time, Mark

It's not my fault baseball players from the steroids era were ignorant.

If they didn't recognize the long-term effects using steroids might have on their bodies and their health, they should have at least understood the ticket-buying public would potentially look down on their juice-induced statistics.

A Hall of Fame baseball career, in my opinion, should be one that is free from steroids. How can we ever know how much using them increased the productivity of players?

Mark McGwire did the right thing today by announcing to the world, through a statement and some interviews, that he had used steroids during a career that produced 563 homers, including a record-breaking 70 in 1998 for the Cardinals.

Congratulations, Mark, for finally setting the record straight and validating our suspicions.

McGwire is trying to get back into the public's good graces after withholding the truth from Congress during hearings a few years back and because he was recently hired as the Cardinals' hitting coach. The only way he gets a pass back into baseball is by coming clean about his transgressions.

This doesn't mean, though, that McGwire should have his ticket punched to Cooperstown. In fact, I am dead set against any player who used or probably used steroids getting into the baseball's Hall of Fame.

It's not about being innocent until proven guilty, either. This isn't a court of law. I don't need Barry Bonds to admit he used steroids to know he used steroids. I already know he used steroids.

I don't believe McGwire's motive is to earn HOF votes. I think he's talking now so he doesn't have to talk at every National League stop this season.

A statement or an interview probably isn't enough. I look for McGwire to hold a news conference in St. Louis soon because it's important we see him speak these words and not just read them.

But putting the words on paper is a good first step and one that will help those of us who love baseball start to forgive the players who cheated the game. Forgiveness doesn't mean a pass to Cooperstown.

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I don't like Pete Carroll's move to the Seattle Seahawks. I don't think it's going to work any better for Carroll this time in the NFL than it did during his first two stops with the Jets and Patriots.

College coaches — even the great ones — almost always struggle in the NFL. Who knows why? It could be because most often college coaches are hired to lead bad teams and not given the time to create a turnaround. Or it could just be that some coaches are better suited to be in college, where Carroll had amazing success at Southern California.

I'm sure he believes it's time for another challenge. He might also think the NCAA is preparing to swoop into Los Angeles and hand down punishment related to all the Reggie Bush allegations of wrong doing. Whatever it is, Carroll is jumping to a team that has struggled for two seasons in a row, doesn't have a general manager and is led by an aging quarterback, Matt Hasselback.

Good luck, Pete.

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Gilbert Arenas.

Are you serious?

Guns, Gil, are a serious issue. As popular as they are in some segments of society, there are still people who don't think they should be brought into an NBA arena and laid out in an NBA locker room, even if you are just playing around.

Congratulations to Commissioner David Stern for suspending Arenas indefinitely without pay. I don't think it would bother anyone if you just kicked Arenas out of the league for good. Well, it might bother Arenas, although I'm not sure he's plugged in enough to know what's going on.

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I'm not going to be one of those guys who panics at the first sign of adversity. Kansas will be fine as a basketball team. I still think the Jayhawks have as good a shot as anyone at winning another national championship.

But lately, I'm not impressed. After playing their most solid all-around game during an easy road win at Temple in early January, KU has been sub-par against Cornell and during Sunday's road loss against a Tennessee team that had only six scholarship players available and was using three walk-ons in key roles.

Seriously? Three walk-ons?

It doesn't look to me like the Jayhawks have learned how to play together. Freshman Xavier Henry has added a lot to the talent of the team, but not to the chemistry.

It's not his fault. It's up to veteran players like Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich to figure out how to mix Henry into the solution.

There's one statistic that really bothers me about the Jayhawks. It's that 6-foot-11 center Cole Aldrich is averaging seven shots.

I realize KU has had numerous blowout wins and that Aldrich's minutes have been affected by that.

But during the loss to Tennessee, Aldrich took five shots. He had 18 rebounds, including eight offensive rebounds, yet he took only five shots.

Something is seriously wrong there. I don't know if Aldrich's teammates are forgetting about him in the offense or if he's forgetting what an offensive force he can be.

Last season, while averaging just under 10 shots, Aldrich averaged 14.9 points. This season, he's averaging 10.9. That's a significant drop-off for a preseason All-American. Significant and worrisome to Bill Self, I would guess.

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Northern Iowa has road wins against Creighton, Southern Illinois and Illinois State. And we're not even two weeks into January yet.

The Panthers are threatening to run away and hide from the rest of the Missouri Valley Conference. They held Illinois State to 44 points at Redbird Arena last week.

I doubted Northern Iowa when it was picked to win the conference this season. I'm not a doubter now.

If Wichita State can win its two road games this week against Indiana State (Wednesday) and Creighton (Saturday), it sets up a huge conference game against Northern Iowa next Tuesday at Koch Arena. I don't think I'll miss that one.

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Frank Martin is doing a great job as Kansas State's basketball coach. But he has an engine that runs hot and will always require a little more attention than the average coach.

Martin, fortunately, was apologetic after Saturday's loss at Missouri for putting his hands on Wildcat Chris Merriewether late in the game.

What with the sudden dismissals of football coaches Mark Mangino, Mike Leach and Jim Leavitt for similar acts, Martin has to be careful.

Winning only cures so much. It doesn't cure making that kind of physical contact with a player, no matter how you're wired.

Martin sounded legitimately contrite in addressing his actions. His intensity is admirable, as long as it's controlled.

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Kurt Warner is an easy Hall of Famer. No doubt. Someday, Aaron Rodgers will be, too. What a game they played Sunday. It was if there were no other players on the field.

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Keeping you up to date, I recently watched "District 9." Very strange movie. Not one of my favorites. Truthfully, all I care about is finishing season one of "Dexter."

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It's amazing how few complaints we're hearing concerning the Intrust Bank Arena. The Eagle's Opinion Line just hasn't been the same. Congratulations to Chris Presson and his crew for getting through the first big concert, Brad Paisley, on Saturday night. The first of many to come.

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