The Baltimore Sun’s Peter Schmuck is skeptical about the current long ball explosion, and he doesn’t even mention Albert Pujols, Travis Hafner or Bronson Arroyo.

Somebody named Chris Shelton has eight home runs in the first two weeks of the new season.

The Orioles and Angels hit eight home runs in Friday night’s game at Camden Yards.

Chicago White Sox designated hitter Jim Thome already has seven home runs in 38 at-bats after hitting just seven in 193 at-bats for the Phillies last year.

Really, I was just goofing around when I wrote just two days into the season that it seemed like this year’s baseball is wound tighter than Albert Belle, but I’m starting to believe my own press clippings.

Conspiracy Guy, my paranoid alter ego, always jumps to knee-jerk conclusions, and it struck me that this past offseason would have been a perfect time for Major League Baseball to sneak down and reset the sewing machines in Costa Rica so that the resurgent home run totals would create some deniability about the impact of steroids on the power numbers of the past decade.

I wasn’t the only one having juiced-ball fantasies. Hall of Famer Jim Palmer came to the same conclusion at about the same time, proving that – at the very least – great minds really do think alike.

Now, I’m starting to wonder if we were just way ahead of the curve, especially after commissioner Bud Selig didn’t even manage a strong denial when a reporter asked him about the early homer totals before Saturday night’s game between the Houston Astros and Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. The Associated Press reported that Selig said it was too early for “juiced-ball talk.”

I’m not sure what that proves, except that at this point, Bud will settle for just about anything other than juiced-player talk.