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Mr. Cub is doing his best Papa Bear impersonation - advising one of the kids to tell the truth.

Ernie Banks tells the Trib's Fred Mitchell that he wants to see Sammy Sosa pull a Mark McGwire: fess up, come clean and move on:

"I would say just what Mark McGwire did," Banks said. "Come clean with it. Explain it to them. ... Just say: 'This is what happened.' It is hard to do, to admit this. Just admit it and live with it and understand it. I am sure a lot of people will forgive him."

Sammy has always denied using anything heavier than Flintstones vitamins, but with the Cardinals' slugging first baseman admitting to juicing during the two stars' historic homer battle in 1998, the pressure continues to mount on Sosa to say he cheated, too.

But when you have Banks on your back, it takes the movement to a whole new level. The Hall-of-Famer is easily one of the iconic faces of the organization. If Sammy has something to tell the world, having Banks in his corner to help him through the media maelstrom is about as good a guardian angel as you can get.

"I will just explain it to him and how the people are," Banks said. "I don't think he really understood that. People are for you; they want to see you do well. They are forgiving people. We haven't won in over 100 years, so this audience here is pretty special."

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How much is this worth on eBay?

Have you finished your holiday shopping yet? Got that perfect gift, fashionable yet sexy, for the significant other?

Well, if you're scrambling to fill the boxes under the tree, this could be your lucky day.

Rachel Uchitel, who spent loads of our precious time on Earth denying an affair with Tiger Woods, will now see some of her clothes hit the eBay auction block. And you thought this scandal had already hit rock bottom.

Here's the mysterious press release content, promising a future announcement on the sale brought to you by club owner JE Englebert about clothes acquired by some waitress and without much detail on the method of acquisition:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Outfit of Rachel Uchitel, the 1st alleged mistress Tiger Woods to be auctioned off !!

A New York City nightclub owner has the VIP Hostess outfit of Rachel Uchitel, the 1st alleged mistress of superstar golf player Tiger Woods. Club owner JE Englebert will announce a press conference soon showing off the garment and announcing his plan to auction it off on Ebay.com to donate the funds to a domestic abuse charity. "When Woods and his wife decided to go clubbing at 230am in the morning this turned into domestic abuse" "They apparently couldn't decide between using the wood (tree) or the iron (fire hydrant)" says Englebert. Englebert received the garments from one of his waitresses who want's to keep anonymous whom worked with Rachel at TAO Las Vegas where Rachel was a VIP hostesses. Reports state that Rachel Uchitel was offered hush money from the Woods camp to keep quiet about her affair in the amount, between $1 and $3 million dollars.

Oh, but it's all for charity? Well that makes it all better.

And how does one achieve the status of "1st mistress," anyway? Is it arbitrary? Alphabetical? Application-based? Tryouts?

You'll have to head here for the full interview videos.

Former NBA referee and gambling enthusiast Tim Donaghy is out of prison after 11 months for a mob-fueled gambling scheme that rocked the league. And, of course, he's made a beeline for TV, ostensibly to explain away why he did it and how it never affected the outcome of games.

Donaghy sat down with Bob Simon on "60 Minutes" in an attempt to clear the air, if not his name. And while admitting to being highly successful - Donaghy and the FBI say he won his bets as much as 80 percent of the time - he never threw a game, he says:

"Because the FBI did a thorough investigation, and even the NBA concluded that I did not fix games in the NBA," Donaghy said.

"He said, 'Knowing the information that I had, I didn't have to do anything on the court to pick a winner. I could pick a winner 80 percent of the time just knowing what I knew an hour before the game,'" Special Agent Philip Scala said. "And watching the tapes we could see that there was never something outlandish where you could see he called a foul or he omitted a foul because he wanted to see a certain team win. We never saw that."

The NBA's investigation came to the same surprising conclusion: "It seems plausible to us that Donaghy may not have manipulated games... We are unable to contradict the government's conclusion."

"I tried to put it out of my mind. And I think that that I was able to do that," Donaghy said.

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Rachel Uchitel

Whatever's going on in the Tiger Woods home following Friday's bizarre car wreck news and domestic squabbling rumors, Rachel Uchitel wants people to know it has nothing to do with her.

Uchitel, a party maven and New Yorkista first hit the tabloids in 2001, of all things, tearfully mourning her fiance, Andy O'Grady, but became a much bigger page presence this week in the National Enquirer, which reported Woods was stepping out with her.

But the socialite told the New York Post that she has no relationship with the golf great, though she understands where the wife rage comes from:

"Despite it being completely untrue, it still must have certainly caused some problems at home - if I was his wife, I probably would have killed him.

"This is nothing to do with me. We have never had an affair, and the claims we did are completely false. We have never had an affair, talked on the phone or sent any type of text, sexy or not.

"I am really upset about it because I am being portrayed as a homewrecker, when it simply isn't true."

And with the Woods turning cops away twice on Saturday as authorities sought to find some answers - and the promise of 911 audio tapes to be released Sunday - the intrigue continues to swirl.

As crazy coaching moments go, Gunnar Prokop tries to give his best Woody Hayes effort and ends up slightly less infamous, but no better than the disgraced THE Ohio State University coach.

When Hayes punched Clemson defender Charlie Bauman in the 1978 Gator Bowl after a game-sealing interception, he put himself on a one-way express train to loserville, being fired the next day never to coach again.

For his part, Prokop, coach of Austrian handball team Hypo Niederoesterreich, one-upped Hayes in that he hip-checked an opposing player in the women's Champions League game. But he doesn't rise to the level of incredulity since nobody outside the rabid Austrian women's handball fan base noticed.

Still, it's another coach gone after a crazy moment, though Prokop fell on his own sword without being pushed to make amends. Thankfully, he's already in the city Sigmund Freud made famous for psychoanalysis, so he'll be able to spend his newly acquired free time figuring out why he just had to hit a girl.

"I will go through this with a psychiatrist. ... I still can't understand why I've done this."

The match ended in a 27-27 draw. Handball's European governing body opened disciplinary proceedings against Prokop. A ruling is expected before his team's match against Krim Ljubljana on Sunday.

We will, of course, be waiting to see justice done here.

Ozzie Guillen was asked to share his thoughts on yesterday's David Ortiz steroid revelation. It was classic Ozzie before the series opener against the Yankees as he launched into a rant about the infamous 2003 list:

"Can somebody in baseball, please, we're all begging people, get that stupid list out and move on. This is ridiculous. This is embarrassing. This is a joke. Whoever is there is there; get them out and that's it. We're going to continue being alive, we're going to continue playing the game. But sitting here every freaking day, every manager, every player, responding to the same question, it's getting tired. It's old. Come on. If you're going to divorce me, divorce me right away. Don't say you're going to leave me. I'm serious. If you're going to talk every night, 'I'm going to divorce you,' no, get out of my house. Every week we've got to come up with this thing."

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Sammy Sosa in 2003.

As if there weren't going to be enough wars of words in the stands of Wrigley Field this week with the White Sox on the North Side, the ammo just got nuclear.

The New York Times is reporting that Sammy Sosa, holder of most of the Chicago Cubs power records from his homer-happy reign at Clark and Addison, was on the juice in 2003.

According to the paper:

Sammy Sosa, who joined with Mark McGwire in 1998 in a celebrated pursuit of baseball's single-season home run record, is among the players who tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug in 2003, according to lawyers with knowledge of the drug-testing results from that year.

The disclosure that Sosa tested positive makes him the latest baseball star of the last two decades to be linked to performance-enhancers, a group that now includes McGwire, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Rafael Palmeiro.

Sosa has long protested his innocence, when not outright denying accusations, as the focus of constant rumors of using illegal substances since his race with McGwire in '98, often joking that he only uses Flintstones vitamins and hard work.

CONGRESS STEROIDS.jpgSosa exceeded 60 homers three times, but if these accusations are true, the biggest bomb he ever launched may have come in 2005 when he testified on the use of banned substances in baseball before Congress. Sitting next to Rafael Palmeiro, McGwire and others at a hearing called by the House Government Reform Committee to examine the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball, Sosa testified that:

"everything" he had heard "about steroids and human growth hormones is that they are bad for you, even lethal" and that he "would never put anything dangerous like that" in his body. "To be clear, I have never taken illegal performance-enhancing drugs. I have never injected myself or had anyone inject me with anything."

Now Sosa, who retired last week and told ESNdeportes that he would "calmly await" his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in five years, will be cast into the same tainted pool of names that the Cooperstown crew are shunning. Yes, you, McGwire.

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