Call me crazy, but I think there are more important things in life than baseball.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m a baseball fanatic. I love everything about it, the nuances, subtleties and even the waiting. Apparently, the people in Washington, D.C. are even bigger fans. Picture the guy at the game who paints himself in home colors, gets sloshed and repeatedly questions the sexual orientation of the opposition’s best player in a section full of children and old people. The government is that guy: Super Fan.

I thought I loved baseball, but Uncle Sam showed me what love really is.

Love is focusing on the game to the point that you would send people to prison for 18 months for doing their job and telling the truth. Love is holding congressional hearings on steroid use in baseball (and all major American sports) at a time when we are embroiled in the most unpopular conflict since the Vietnam War. Love is prodding the Feds to get every last indictment they can.

It was a farce to see members of Congress atop their elevated moral perch belittle pro athletes on the dangers that steroids pose to kids.

The political posturing last year was disgusting and continues to this day. With the recent sentencing of San Francisco Chronicle reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams (authors of the book Game of Shadows, which brought the BALCO scandal to public light) to 18 months in prison, the government has set a dangerous precedent.

Distribute steroids, fine, couple months in jail. Start the biggest performance-enhancing drug ring in history, cool, four months. Do your job, tell the truth and not reveal your sources. Boo, year and a half in jail.

On top of that, let’s invest millions in an ongoing investigation to ensnare the real threat here, million-dollar athletes.

Am I interested in who did steroids? Absolutely. It makes Pardon the Interruption and SportsCenter a lot more intriguing, like a meathead soap opera. If I turn on CSPAN, I would like to see what our political leaders are doing about the War on Terror or education. Maybe Congress didn’t get the memo, but there is no reason Jose Canseco should ever be on CSPAN unless he’s running for office.

I say if we do the whole war on steroids thing, let’s go all out. Why stop at congressional hearings and federal investigations? Let’s start a new bureaucracy, the Department of Homeland Testosterone Security.

We could have color-coded testosterone security levels. Green – we’re clean. Yellow – some steroid use, but mostly supplements. Cream – anywhere from 10 to 75 percent chance of steroid use. Clear – juicing imminent, duct tape your windows.

Fainaru-Wada and Williams were lauded by President Bush for their efforts in uncovering the steroid scandal.

Despite such high praise, the freedom of the two reporters remains in limbo.

Again, let me get this straight, BALCO founder Victor Conte gets four months. Bonds’ trainer, Greg Anderson, gets three months’ house arrest for money laundering and an additional four months for his refusal to testify in the Bonds perjury case.

Now, the two gentleman who did their jobs as reporters get 18 months for refusing to reveal their sources to a grand jury. That makes sense. Instead of going after the person(s) employed by the government who actually committed a crime and leaked confidential information, let’s throw these guys in jail, because we are completely inept at doing our jobs.

As Williams said after their sentencing, “I do despair for our country if we go very far down this road, because no one will talk to reporters.”

Somewhere, Richard M. Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover are smiling.

Let’s keep baseball where it belongs, in the hearts and minds of fans, not for the political benefit of Washington’s movers and shakers.

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