“It’s really a sad day in this country when somehow … Michael Vick would have been better off raping a woman if you look at the outcry of what happened. Had he done that, he probably would have been suspended for four games and he’d be back on the field. But because this has become a political issue, all of a sudden the commissioner has lost his stomach for it.”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Paul Zeise, Sunday on KDKA-TV’s “Sports Showdown.”

I regret the poor choice of analogies I used to characterize a professional athlete’s legal situation.

– Zeise on Monday.

Of course, in his own inadvertent, callous way, Zeise may have still said something true about sports culture.

On a semi-related note, the Philllies have shored up their bullpen with Julio Mateo (above), who apparently has Brett Myers-like stuff.

Michael Radano reports that Mateo, who had 12 saves and a 0.79 ERA for AAA Tacoma, will join – at least for now – the Phillies AA team in Reading rather than the AAA affiliate in Ottawa. Why? The outstanding charge against him means he cannot enter Canada.

Look, I’m all for innocent-until-proven-guilty as well as counseling and rehabilitation, but actions speak louder than press releases.