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The Mitchell Report
Posted by Jason Thornbury at 12/13/2007 12:47:00 PM
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The Mitchell Report is kind of a dud. It seems to be basically what everyone already knew (with perhaps a few exceptions). And when naming names throws a Scarlett S on each player's chest for the rest of his life, well, the "investigation" should have been much more thorough to be fair -- obviously many more players used steroids than the ones named, and most of the naming is based on circumstantial evidence. And more managers, general managers, trainers and owners -- and commissioners -- should have been skewered.

That said, the importance of the report and why it matters, it seems to me, is it places the Steroids Era officially on the record. Prior to this, calling the last 20 years "the Steroids Era" was open for debate. That's no longer the case. The records put up in this era must now be looked at through that lens.

And Bud Selig should resign because it happened under his watch.


As a Dodgers fan, I was saddened to see the likes of Eric Gagne and Paul LoDuca featured quite prominently in the report. What struck me after reading the pages specific to those two guys is that after I was done, I wasn't surprised. Deep down I knew that it wasn't beer and chicken wings that gave Gagne his frame and there are lots of other LoDuca stories out there that left me less than surprised at his coming off as a drug pusher in the report.

A dud? Yes, but as you said, it is still an important moment in the game's history. Does this absolve other suspected abusers? Of course not.
Posted by vtadave at 12/13/2007 1:43:00 PM
It speaks to a lack of integrity in sports in America.

The US Track & Field Association used to hide positive tests. Now its clear that baseball hid this for 20 years.
Posted by flutiefan at 12/13/2007 2:25:00 PM
There are really only two things this report impacts:
1) Another layer of deterrence for athletes to not use PEDs. You'll get outed and disgraced.
2) Any player with HOF hopes named in the report certainly will feel a shock wave. May not matter, may keep them out. Time will tell.

Beyond that, I'm skeptical it will have any impact. MLB already tightened it's drug policy. The game will go on and thrive. It's survived worse. The active players will sign contracts and avoid suspensions. Not much else.

Posted by schoenke at 12/13/2007 6:30:00 PM
Bonds and Clemens will eventually make the HOF. On the other hand, borderline guys like Tejada and Pettite will now have absolutely no chance. It's hard enough to get 75% of the vote when you're clean, but there are going to be a lot of voters who will just flat-out refuse to vote for those guys.
Posted by kennruby at 12/13/2007 7:20:00 PM
What immediately popped into my mind was: is Clemens now still a first ballot HOFer? Bonds, I knew people were going to have trouble with. But a case could be made for Clemens (as it could for Bonds, I suppose, correspondingly) that he was one of the best pitchers of all time.
Posted by bscwik at 12/14/2007 6:23:00 AM
Here's my problem with all this...

Does anyone REALLY think that Mitchell caught everyone?

I mean, from what I've read and heard, a very significant portion of this report is based allegations coming from:
- The Mets' clubhouse attendant
- The ex-Blue Jay and Yankee strength coach
- and a couple of ex-players (Larry Bigbie) who spoke to Mitchell

Anyone else uncomfortable with that?

Furthermore... anyone else uncomfortable with the idea that a guy like Brian Roberts is now on this list only because a former teammate ratted him out? No corroboration. No evidence. Just the word of Larry Bigbie.

That wouldn't be enough to convict him in court. It shouldn't be enough evidence to even report the story in a reputable newspaper.
Posted by czegers at 12/14/2007 7:23:00 AM
I love the cover of today's NY Post:

It says it all.

Notice that Clemens' lawyer never mentioned anything about suing?

None of these guys will sue because they know they're guilty, as is Major League Baseball.

Posted by flutiefan at 12/14/2007 9:11:00 AM
I was suprised there weren't more names-possibly a current Diamondback (ex-Dodger) and a sideburned Baltimore Oriole. I can't help but think the problem in the NFL has got to be worse given the greater physical nature of the game.
Posted by kevinccp at 12/14/2007 9:40:00 AM
The more I think about it, the more underwhelmed I am about the report. Without Radomski, and the fruit of who he also gave up, what do they have? I understand that there was some pressure to get this report out, but I can't help but think that there should have been a whole lot more, if it were really as rampant as claimed (and I believe that it was that rampant). Mitchell's hands were tied on this without subpoena power, and without access to MLB's own testing results. Of course, the fact that he was willing to release names was outside the purview of the collective bargaining agreement, which is plenty of reason for the union not to cooperate.

Posted by Erickson at 12/14/2007 10:08:00 AM
Is MLB the biggest cash cow in the fantasy industry or is it football that generates the most revenue?

Nobody likes to bit the hand that feeds, do they?
Posted by flutiefan at 12/14/2007 10:21:00 AM
Football, by far.

But hey, go ahead and argue my motivations rather than my point.

Posted by Erickson at 12/14/2007 11:22:00 AM
I'm with Jeff. Beyond providing questionable details to long-whispered rumors (anyone surprised at Clemens hasn't been paying attention), the report doesn't offer much (for the reasons Jeff laid out). At some point, Mitchell should have realized the clusterf*ck he had on his hands and changed report's focus. Instead of grappling with who did what, he should have focused on *how* baseball become tainted with steroids -- the institutionalized 'roid system in Latin America, the role of clubs in ignoring and/or facilitating steroid use, MLBPA's reluctance to test, etc. etc. Once folks get beyond the headlines of Clemens, the real news of the report is the details of how baseball teams willingly ignored steroid use (read the Brian Sabean part). There should have been MUCH more of that. Further, a lifetime ban after the first failed test is the only way to largely rid baseball of steroids.
Posted by Jason Thornbury at 12/14/2007 1:37:00 PM
Charlie, I agree with you about the lack of evidence on Roberts, but Bigbie was under oath of sorts (he'd lose immunity if he lied). Though I don't know why he'd give up Roberts with no direct evidence.

And yea, that's ridiculous they got all this out of just Radomski. If only they had gotten some other clubhouse attendants...
Posted by bscwik at 12/14/2007 6:49:00 PM
Much ado about nothing... I mean who cares? We knew there were roids in baseball, and they named a couple new names, based on hearsay, and probably missed a lot of dirty players who no one ratted out. As long as players think they can get away with cheating, they'll cheat. The only way that baseball or any other sport could change that culture is with the type of leadership that could inspire the players at all levels to buy into the value of staying clean for its own sake - to see value in it and love the game of baseball and see themselves as part of the whole. But that's never going to happen because baseball's a business, and the players union reps and agents and owners are not looking out for the greater good of the sport, so there's a deep cynicism. And when you're cynical, then it's all about the dollars and the accolades, and players will cheat if they think they can get away with it.
Posted by cliss at 12/15/2007 3:31:00 AM
"Players will cheat if they think they can get away with it"

That reality certainly makes it harder to convince high school kids with athletic aspirations to avoid taking steroids.
Posted by flutiefan at 12/15/2007 7:21:00 AM
From a Canadian baseball writer:

The fans will return en masse next spring to cheer for their heroes, although those of us that truly love the game will now never pick up a record book that wasn't printed before 1990.

Posted by flutiefan at 12/17/2007 5:07:00 AM

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