Pointing out that San Diego’s Petco is essentially the House That Ken Caminiti Built, Newsday’s Ken Davidoff is more than a little skeptical about George Mitchell’s ongoing steroid intestigation.

The president of the Padres, Larry Lucchino, considerably strengthened his resume by overseeing such prosperity, so much so that Bud Selig helped steer Lucchino to a group purchasing the Red Sox in 2002.

So here we are in 2006, and I can’t help but wonder whether Lucchino (above) has been contacted by George Mitchell – who also serves as director of those same Red Sox – or his underlings in baseball’s supposedly wide-reaching steroids investigation.

“No comment on matters relating to the Mitchell investigation,” Lucchino e-mailed Newsday on Friday.

It appears that Mitchell’s lieutenants have started in the “trenches,” if you will, interviewing team doctors and trainers, and intend to work their way up the food chain.

Of course, it wouldn’t be difficult for Mitchell to find Lucchino. They can just sit next to each other at the Red Sox’s next quarterly meeting.

It’s not entirely fair to pick solely on Lucchino. It’s hoped that Mitchell reaches out to Yankees president Randy Levine, general manager Brian Cashman and manager Joe Torre regarding Jason Giambi, and reaches out to many, many other people, too.

But Lucchino’s case does symbolize beautifully the tangled web that Selig has weaved. What with so many people being a Friend of Bud, with so much steroid-generated revenue having traveled every which way, it’s nearly impossible to give the investigation the benefit of the doubt. Which is why Selig should have chosen someone he didn’t know, rather than his crony Mitchell, as the lead investigator.

Along with castigating Barry Bonds for his failure to take part in yesterday’s dogpile following SF’s wild comeback victory over the Dodgers, the Chicago Sun-Times’ Jay Marriotti can’t stand the thought of Sammy Sosa being forgotten.

If Bonds indeed was envious of the global attention Sosa and McGwire received in ’98, one of the potent points made by Barry’s mistress in Game of Shadows, shouldn’t Selig’s snoops be asking serious questions of a guy like, well, Sosa?

Or is the commissioner selectively pinpointing suspects, figuring that by cutting off the head of the steroids beast — Bonds — the entire scandal will go away? ”Anybody who thinks this is just a singular investigation is just wrong,” Selig said. ”It’s incorrect. I don’t know how much clearer I can be.”

Good. Because Sosa must be investigated, too, particularly with the new suspicion that he’s living a semi-reclusive life in Miami and the Dominican Republic, in part to avoid the heat. Sammy knows the old proverb: Out of sight, out of mind. We haven’t heard a peep from him since he stumbled through a lousy season in Baltimore last year. Unfortunately, his low profile seems by design. ”I just don’t want any spotlight on Sammy right now until all this [steroids] controversy has been cleared up,” said Adam Katz, his longtime agent.

It’s quite arrogant of Katz to believe he can control the spotlight and, in turn, shield Sosa from the storm. It’s also incredibly presumptuous that he thinks the steroids mess conveniently will ”clear up.”

Simply because of his prolific numbers, Sosa should be on Mitchell’s list. His shameful performance on Capitol Hill makes him a prime target, as well, considering he played dumb and pretended not to know English during the hearings. Remember, too, that Sosa was caught corking a bat late in his career, which is cheating. If Sammy would cheat by doctoring his bat, what else might he do to gain a competitive edge? Those are fair questions for Mitchell.