By Patrick Hruby
Page 2

News item: Last week, baseball commissioner Bud Selig announced the launching of an open-ended, independent inquiry into alleged steroid use in the game, led by former Senate majority leader George J. Mitchell…

A bit behind the curve? Not for Major League Baseball. Consider the following memo, exclusively obtained by Page 2's crack investigative unit (read: we made it up).

Head, meet sand…

MEMORANDUM

From: Commissioner's Office, Major League Baseball
To: George Mitchell
Re: Steroid Investigation

***CONFIDENTIAL AND PRIVATE***

Senator Mitchell,

Barry Bonds' alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs, as detailed in the book "Game of Shadows," comes as a great shock to Major League Baseball.

Yes, we were aware of Bonds' bulked-up physique, his soaring home run totals, his curious relationship with Greg Anderson, his involvement with BALCO, his evasive grand jury testimony, his surly disposition, and all of those before-and-after photos.

Still, who knew that any of the above indicated possible steroid use? Who knew that the great sport of baseball -- America's pastime, the game I love, the true field of dreams -- may have a steroid problem larger than a single player?

In all my years as commissioner, I've never felt so blindsided.

As such, I ask that you investigate not only steroids in baseball, but also the following matters, all of which recently have been brought to my attention:

• Jose Canseco -- did he use steroids, too?

• Enron -- a risk to default on stadium naming rights?

• Should MLB.com network engineers be concerned about this Y2K bug?

• Are Iraqi WMD claims exaggerated?

• People trading music without sharing mix tapes -- how is this possible?

• Michael Jackson -- not his actual nose?

• Jerry Jones -- not his actual face?

• A new invention called "ginger." I hear it's going to change the world. Any baseball applications?

• MTV doesn't show videos anymore? Since when?

• There's a second ESPN channel?

• Could anything put a damper on the love affair between Montreal and the Expos?

• Apparently, lots of folks are happy to pay four bucks for a cup of coffee. Who are these idiots? And what's so wrong with Sanka?

• Who killed Nicole Brown Simpson?

• Who killed Laura Palmer?

• Can we talk Michael Jordan into playing baseball?

• That wacky Mexican dance craze sweeping America … is it called the Macaroni? The Mac N' Cheese? The Macintosh?

• So, how bad is Arsenio gonna kick Leno's ass?

• Pros in the Olympics? Man, USA basketball is never gonna lose.

• What is this "rap" music I hear so much about, and how does it involve Snoopy? It's a jazz piano thing, right?

• Is Ben Johnson caught up in this steroids mess?

• Gorbachev -- a different kind of Soviet leader?

• Pete Rose swears he hasn't bet on baseball. Why all the rumors?

• I rented a car the other day. Next thing I know, the dashboard is talking, giving me perfect directions from the hotel to the conference center. What the hell?

• The McDLT -- how do they keep the hot side hot and the cool side cool?

• Nothing bad could possibly come from cutting down the rain forests. Right?

• This Oprah Winfrey seems like a swell gal. With hard work and a little luck, can she be the next Phil Donahue?

• Cocaine: America's hottest party drug is bad for you?

• Between you and me, Mickey Mantle may have a drinking problem.

• Big Tobacco lied?

• Watergate wasn't a two-bit break-in?

• This Nigerian banker wants me to transfer funds into his account so that I can claim a large inheritance. The e-mail sounds legit. What should I do?

• Some of that stuff in "Ball Four" is pretty disturbing. Look into it.

• Spread the word: no one is going to call a fine ballplayer like Jackie Robinson any names on my watch.

• America put a man on the moon? Really? Get out!

Sen. Mitchell, I implore you to find the truth. Spare no expense; leave no stone unturned. Baseball is behind you. Going forward, the commissioner's office simply cannot afford to be out of the loop.

Sincerely,
Bud Selig

Patrick Hruby is a columnist for Page 2. Sound off to Page 2 here.