From a speech last month by Joseph E. diGenova, U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, to the Federal Bar Association in Arlington:

I speak to you . . . as the chief prosecutor for the capital of the United States, someone who deals with this hell on earth of drugs every day in court, who sees the death and destruction it brings to neighborhoods, who sees the sacrifices made by law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges, who deals with it not just when there is a sensational trial in Pittsburgh, Pa.

But I also speak to you as a lover of baseball . . . .

As each of those players approached the witness stand and unburdened himself of his motherlode of information on drug use in baseball, one could scarcely help recalling the plaintive cry of that little boy in 1919 during the Black Sox Scandal, "Say it ain't so, Joe," pled to the baseball star Shoeless Joe Jackson as he crossed the boy's path.

These players on the witness stand weren't the Boys of Summer or "The Bums" of Brooklyn, the Gashouse Gang or any other famous group of players.

These were overpaid, overrated, pampered, overlionized spoiled brats who have corrupted a great game, our national pastime as we have come to call it. This is the sad payment from these adult punks to their fans.

And let's have no excuses from them. These are people making millions of dollars. They're smart enough to have lawyers negotiate player contracts for them, negotiate personal appearances for them, book fees, advertising contracts, product endorsements and the rest. These are not kids. These are adults, self-indulgent adults, who have committed crimes. . . .

These players should be thrown out of baseball. . . .