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Hannity

Congress Plays Hardball

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," March 17, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

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SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: There were some surprisingly contentious moments today as current and former Major League Baseball players testified in front of the House Government Reforms committee. The topic, steroids.

If you listen to former slugger Jose Canseco, well, their use is rampant. If you listen to Mark McGwire, Curt Schilling or Rafael Palmeiro, Canseco was the only guy using.

And if you listen to the congressmen you wonder is this all about grandstanding.

Here are some of the highlights or maybe even low lights, depending on your point of view.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Sosa did you know that other players were using steroids.

SAMMY SOSA, BASEBALL PLAYER: To my knowledge I don't know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You didn't know?

Mr. Canseco?

JOSE CANSECO, FORMER PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL PLAYER: Absolutely, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A bottle of Andro was seen in your locker. How did you get to that point where that was what you were using to prepare yourself to play?

MARK MCGWIRE, FORMER PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL PLAYER: Well, sir, I'm not here to talk about the past. I'm here to talk about the positive and not the negative about this issue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you ever counseled that precursors or designer steroids might have the same impact?

MCGWIRE: I'm not here to talk about the past.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you taking the fifth?

MCGWIRE: I'm not here to discuss the past. I'm here to be positive about this subject.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm trying to be positive, too.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is an oversight committee. If the Enron people come in here and say, "Well, we don't want to talk about the past," do you think Congress is going to let them get away with that?

If President Nixon had said about Watergate when Congress is investigating Watergate, "We don't talk about the past," how in the world are we supposed to pass legislation?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HANNITY: Joining us now from spring training in Vera Beach, Florida, former Los Angeles Dodgers manager, one of the greats of all time, Tommy Lasorda.

Tommy, I want to clean up steroids in baseball. But the grandstanding, the sanctimony, the effort to embarrass these guys, trying to get them to pay for college — collegiate education on steroids was so over the top, and I hope you agree with me.

TOMMY LASORDA, FORMER L.A. DODGERS MANAGER: I don't want to answer any questions. I want to stand on the fifth.

HANNITY: All right, that's — that's the Tommy I know. Look, what did you think of what happened today?

LASORDA: Well, I'll tell you what. I found out, and I think a lot of people found out, the severity of taking steroids. I mean, I think this: what Congress is really and truly concerned with is that what they're saying, there are 500,000 youngsters who are taking steroids in this country. That is a sad, sad situation.

And what they're trying to do is bring guys like that in there. And every one of them told the kids, don't take steroids. Don't get involved in steroids. And that was a big accomplishment, as far as I was concerned.

HANNITY: Tommy — But Tommy, here's the problem I have. Listen, if they want get to the truth about steroids in baseball, I think they've got to clean it up. I think the records will never be the same until we get it cleaned up.

That's not what happened here today. These guys purposefully went — and by the way, they selectively brought in some players and not others. Where was Barry Bonds in this — this hearing today? Why was Mark McGwire constantly — repeatedly have to say, "I'm not talking about the past?"

These guys — this was not handled properly by these guys in Washington, although I agree that the problem has got to be cleaned up.

LASORDA: This is — that's what their lawyers told them to say, Sean, and that's the way they went there, with that understanding that that's what they were going to say. The lawyers cautioned them.

BOB BECKEL, GUEST CO-HOST: Tommy Lasorda, this is Bob Beckel. First of all, let me just put a little truth in lending out here. When I played football I was a user of steroids myself, although we're way past the statute of limitations.

Now, having said that, this is where I disagree with Sean. This thing got an enormous amount of publicity today. You talk about these 500,000 youngsters who are taking steroids, and the fact of the matter is some don't even play sports. They do it just because their heroes did.

If nothing else, a million more people tomorrow morning will know something more about steroids than they knew before this hearing took place today. So doesn't that make it worthwhile?

LASORDA: I think so. That's what I said. I said, at least I think they're concerned with those 500,000 youngsters that are taking it. But they weren't going to get any information out of those players, no doubt about it.

BECKEL: That's a — that's a good point. One of the congressmen said that these players are hiding behind the, quote, "skirts of their players - - of the player union." And I would also add — this is Beckel talking — I'd also add up the shorts of Bud Selig.

But here they've got this rule, apparently, if you get caught one time you've get 10 days suspension and a $10,000 fine. If you get caught the fourth time, then you spend a year out of the game.

In the Olympics movement you get caught the second time and you're banned for life. I mean, don't you think this is such a weak penalty that they've put forward?

LASORDA: Well, I agree with you. But yet, by the same token, the commissioner has got at least a change in the rule. Because we had the worst rule in all of sports as far as drugs are concerned. And the commissioner at least got them to do this, change it in the agreement that they were — they were able to test them. Before, they didn't want to be tested, because they said it was an invasion of their privacy.

HANNITY: Yes. You know what? But the way they did it is they wanted to embarrass these guys. Maybe we should start asking these congressmen if they've ever done drugs. Maybe did they ever drive drunk? Did they ever drink too much? And then the kids could get a good lesson in the papers tomorrow, too, Tommy.

LASORDA: Sean, let me tell you something. What — what he did by bringing out those names, if those guys never took the drugs, then they should have the opportunity to bring him to court and sue him for defamation of character.

HANNITY: I know.

LASORDA: This guy put those names out. He might be in trouble.

HANNITY: All right. The great Tommy Lasorda. Thank you, Tommy. Good to see you.

LASORDA: Sean...

HANNITY: Yes.

LASORDA: Tim Wallach (ph) said to say hello. He's so much a fan of years.

HANNITY: Thank you.

LASORDA: And I told him you'll see him when you come to the clubhouse.

HANNITY: I am looking forward to it more than you know, my friend. Thank you, Tommy Lasorda.

LASORDA: OK, Sean. Thank you.

HANNITY: That's a dream come true for me.

BECKEL: I bet.

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