SportsProf

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Monday, June 19, 2006

Six Degrees of Separation, This Time From . . .

David Segui.

How wet is this particular well?

How many teammates received career-prolonging advice from this first baseman?

Investigations are funny things. Investigators turn over rocks, and they offer good deals to those whom their nets catch first in order to get them to name names. Fearing big trouble, even those who are known for closing ranks sing like canaries. Remember the New York City mob and its code of silence?

John Gotti died in prison.

No one's suggesting that anyone connected with baseball's scandal is otherwise analagous to the Gambino Family -- except, perhaps, when it comes to closing ranks. After all, the most successful union in the world is the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Its members have made an art form of closing ranks.

But art evolves, and there are new schools and challenges to the craft. That's how dynamic change is, and it strikes me that now that David Segui has 'fessed up, others will join.

And perhaps run faster than the average steroids-and-steak fed thirty-seven year-old designated hitter with a bad wheel trying to play out his last contract -- right into the waiting arms of the investigators.

Jason Grimsley was only the start, and with David Segui's comments we're not even close to intermission.

The World Cup has delivered fun theater so far, as have the NHL and NBA playoffs.

But the baseball steroids scandal, as it continues to unfold, will rival, if fall short of, the gripping attention paid to the O.J. Simpson case and Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings.

This is big stuff, and the storm is building.

Names will be named.

Fans will express public astonishment (again. . . and again and again).

Congressmen will sense headlines and ratings.

And no matter how hard the Players' Association's leadership tries to circle the wagons, they won't be able to do it fast enough.

Because it's easier to get out of the way of a 95 m.p.h. fastball than it is to duck a subpoena.

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