So I hear the Commish’s drug enforcement agency has cast its net upon Major League Baseball’s murky waters and deposited another giant fish into its live well.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays relief pitcher Juan Salas, whose career is celebrated in households throughout his family tree, was suspended Monday. Salas, a 28-year-old right-hander poised to rake in a plebeian $382,000 this season, will miss 50 games without pay after testing positive for performance enhancer.

Whew, am I glad they finally nailed that scofflaw! I know Salas’ 1-1 mark and 3.95 ERA as a set-up man scared Manny, Papi and even Dustin Pedroia half to death.

Not saying I believe there’s preferential enforcement of this policy, but when “American Idol” reject William Hung remains more famous than anyone MLB has nabbed, it begs the question.

Speaking of which, let’s take a gander at the complete list of major league defiled urine samples since the start of 2006: Yusaku Iriki. Jason Grimsley. Guillermo Mota. Juan Salas.

Common bonds, anyone? Other than pervasive mediocrity syndrome, I mean. You got it. All pitchers.

Funny how Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa are forced to take a bath in the public’s rank suspicion while the hurlers usually get off O.J. Simpson-free.

The next starting outfielder to get pinched will be the first since Bud Selig caved for fear of Congressional intervention and made the juice explicitly illegal. With the exception of Jose Canseco’s dubious word, the most damning evidence of steroid abuse indicts pitchers.

Hey, I would have tried something, too, to keep up with Michelin Men wielding Louisville Sluggers. Still, the fan and media duplicity is disgusting.

Nobody hints at the need for an asterisk next to Roger Clemens’ 348 victories, even though there was a flagrant up-tick in his performance from 1996 to ’97. Everything from Dan Duquette’s big mouth to Clemens’ alleged animalistic workout regimen gets the credit, without hesitation.

There’s never a debate about Nolan Ryan’s similarly insane after-40 run. This, despite the fact that Canseco says he and McGwire already were injecting one another in the butt in that era. We accept without blinking that Ryan threw a no-hitter at an age when most guys are starting to ingest a daily cocktail of meds to cure high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heartburn and erectile dysfunction.

Haven’t heard too many whispers about the similarly remarkable longevity of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Jamie Moyer, Randy Johnson and John Smoltz. Not a word about Joel Zumaya throwing the ball 103 mph, either. “Oh, he’s big.” So were Dick Radatz and Lee Smith. “It’s human evolution.” In 20 years?

I’m not implying guilt. There are dead-lock Hall of Famers in that group. I just don’t believe we should automatically give pitchers amnesty for the misdeeds of yesteryear.


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