The Mitchell Report

Certainly haven’t read the Mitchell Report itself, but have now read enough articles and excerpts to be dangerous. Two things make me happy from what I’ve seen. First, the cocky-as-hell Roger Clemens will now stand with Barry Bonds as a high profile cheater of the first degree. (I thought it was pretty fishy that someone could pitch that well into their mid-40’s … now we know why!) Love that many of Rocket’s 7 Cy Young awards are tainted. This date with infamy couldn’t have happened to a nicer jerk, in my opinion. Secondly, I was delighted not to see Sammy Sosa’s name mentioned. Yet. Whether he was smarter than the others at hiding it, hasn’t been caught yet, or simply didn’t take the stuff, we don’t know. But Sammy is a Chicago icon still loved by many, and it would be nice if it turns out he didn’t take the juice. But we may never know.

Lastly, on one hand, it’s a very sad day for MLB … now that we know that much of what we’ve seen for at least the past decade was artificially enhanced and that baseball has a big problem. But it’s also a good day … since the first step in fixing a problem is admitting you have one. MLB’s big problem is now on stage for all to see … thanks to the Mitchell Report. Now it’s up to Selig to institute a disciplinary policy with real teeth!!!

Wally

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12 Responses

  1. Sosa didn’t use the juice? Palleeaassee. He just used a different supplier who hasn’t talked to Baseball yet. Sorry, but he is as guilty as the rest, he was just a likeable guy while doing it…

    We need to ask ourselves: if you were Roger Clemens in 1996 and knew that you would play 10 more years and make an ungodly amount of money in the “twilight” of your career if all you had to do was sell your soul to the devil of the needle, would you do it? I honestly struggle to answer…

    Muels

  2. I was surprised Sosa wasn’t on the report. I think it’s pretty telling the slowly but surely that everyone Canseco fingered is turning out to be guilty.

    Since Sosa was fingered by Canseco………I mean, Jose’s credibility will never be higher than it is right now.

    I just wrote about it on my blog. This is really bad. Especially for Yankee fans.

  3. What’s just as disappointing about yesterday’s developments is the uninformed rush to judgment by the majority of baseball fans on this subject. Wally and Sean’s reactions exemplify this. Let’s slow down a bit here, folks. Read the report, listen to what some of the experts say, those without an editorial bias. Start with Jayson Stark’s column on ESPN.com.

    To me, the fact that Brian Roberts was even mentioned in the report is reason enough to question George Mitchell’s judgment. He couldn’t spare Brian Roberts’ name when all he had on him was that Larry Bigbie say Roberts told him he used steroids once or twice. What kind of evidence is that? Well, in fact, it’s the type of evidence that pretty much the entire report is based on.

    Let me back up a second, though, because I haven’t read the entire report myself. The final sentence in the prior paragraph is just what I’ve heard, so I need to dive into this thing further.

    And, that’s exactly my point. I’m pretty sure anyone contributing to or commenting on this blog considers themselves a fairly informed fan of the game. So, let’s take a step back and soak this all in.

    I’m not meaning to defend Roger Clemens here. I may, at a later date, find myself defending him, or I may take the opposite viewpoint. But, let’s not immediately lump him in with Barry Bonds on the basis of what one guy, whose credibility can certainly be questioned, has said. We have a mountain of evidence against Barry Bonds, and it’s been growing for years. We may have had varying degrees of suspicion about Clemens, but yesterday is the first piece of evidence we’ve heard…and already his legend is tarnished.

    As far as this being especially bad for Yankees fans. That may be true, but I think it’s even worse for real baseball fans. SABR guys (and gals), people who revere everyone who is in the Hall of Fame, because they’re legends, and who want to celebrate greatness.

    Think of what a goosebump moment it should have been to watch Barry Bonds break the all-time home run record. Instead it was simply a relief that his chase was finally over with. That’s a damn shame. And if we’re not able to celebrate the accomplishments of the greatest pitcher of our time, that will be a heartbreaker as well.

    So, let’s not throw all these guys under the bus immediately. Let’s develop our own informed opinions. That’s just how I feel.

  4. I personally will not waste a second of my time reading the report. How many of those stories are fabricated because guys were threatened with jail time if they didn’t come up with something? How many trainers and suppliers left out names because of personal bias? The bottom line to all this is that it gives us a reason to hate a pompous, pretentious jackass like Barry Bonds. It gives writers a reason to keep McGwire out of the Hall because he showed up to court with nothing to talk about. What an idiot. It also validates the ruthless lies of a guy like Roger Clemens, an athlete whose work out regiment I once watched in a documentary thinking, “Man, love or hate him, the guy is working his tail off to be the best.” There is nothing that can be done to rectify the past of baseball. The sweet justice for the fans isn’t taking all the records and achievements away. No, it’s about being able to completely ignore those records even though they are there, in print. There you go Barry – all those years hitting homeruns, but when people say “the HR King,” we’ll all know Henry Hank Aaron is the topic. I know that kills Barry more than anything.

  5. A few clarifications and comments, based on the reactions above.

    1) I agree that the public certainly doesn’t know the entire story and the Mitchell Report may indeed be factually incorrect and suffer from credibility issues. And it certainly may cover only a small subset of the entirety of the substance abuse that has transpired over the past decade. Got that … I’m with ya.

    2) Personally, I have never liked Roger Clemens because I think he is a jerk and a money grabbing whore. Talented? Absolutely. As good as his career performance suggests? Maybe not. It certainly does not break my heart that he’s been fingered. If he’s really “innocent”, then we’ll see if he mounts a strong defense.

    3) Being a Chicagoan, I’ve followed Sosa’s career very closely and have been a big fan. His positive attitude and performance were good for the game. I can only hope he wasn’t involved with the ‘roids, etc, but definitely realize his involvement simply hasn’t been uncovered yet. See #1 above.

    4) All of this really sucks. MLB needs to shore up their substance detection and really institute SEVERE penalties for offenders … first time offenders, too. Maybe a 5 year ban from the game will be enough to deter anyone from starting this … and stop those still doing it. As a fan, that’s what I want!! If Shoeless Joe and a few other BlackSox can be banned for life because they merely spoke to gamblers, then surely MLB can severely damage, if not end, the careers for those testing positive for ‘roids and other banned substances.

    Wally

  6. Tough to really accept ‘The Report’ as anything truly significant. Hearsay and compromised situations? Athletic trainers and clubhouse attendants? Anybody looking for fifteen minutes of fame? Can anyone say McCarthy or witch hunt? Arthur Miller warned us of such behavior.

    That being said – we didn’t need this report. All we needed were our eyes and powers of discernment. 1-50 hr season in the 70’s and how many in the 90’s and 00’s. Every time I think back to that Summer of Love with McGwire and Sosa, I want to reenact that scene from Liar Liar where Jim Carrey beats the crap out of himself in the courthouse bathroom. How could I fall for that?

    Speaking of that summer – Wally, I know Sosa was a lovable character. What with the Cubs’ uni and the bunny hop. Makes you wanna sing Elvis: “Oh baby let me be your luvin’ teddy bear. Put a chain around my neck and lead me everywhere.” You get the idea. But it is borderline delusional to NOT think Sammy dabbled with vitamin S. His metamorphosis is like that of Brady Anderson and BB.

    Sad to see Pettite on the list. He is one of those Yankees I have respected through the years. In his defense it appears that he took steroids for medicinal purposes rather than to elevate his status to something worthy of Mt. Olympus.

    The better half makes a poignant remark – Giambi looks pretty good right now. At least he didn’t clam up at the congressional hearings like Sammy. Whether he did it out of respect for the game, to clear his conscience, or simply because someone like Joe Torre told him needed to, Giambi did the right thing.

    On another note – many thanks to all who have visited the Clipboard this week. We have have averaged over 100 hits per day.

    Casey

  7. Yea, to go with whatyou said casey about McCarthy and the witch hunt. I was watching ESPN tonight and they were talking about how Gary Sheffield claimed that all this has become was a witch hunt. I believe that there are many individuals on the list who took the steroids for health reasons. This past season Clemens was for his elbow.

    It was also stated about how credible some of the “Confessions were”. A guess some of the players were faced with fess up or jail.

  8. Chas,

    I agree that Brian Robberts should not have been included in the report based only on a second hand conversation, but I do think there was a valid reason why he was included.

    He was asked to respond to Mitchell, he refused to comment on how own behalf. Had he met with Mitchell and told him the allegation was rediculous, I honestly believe his name would not have been in the report.

    Had the MLBPA cooperated, I’m not sure half the people in the report would have been named. Naming names, to me, was a punishment to the union for not cooperating.

    -Sean
    http://bostonsportsrants.blogspot.com/

  9. I agree with you, Sean, but it wasn’t Mitchell’s jobs to “stick it to” players who didn’t cooperate. It was his job to report on the facts, and I hardly think what he had on Roberts was strong enough to consider factual. His report said he did not include every allegation because some of the information was considered to be not relevant. Jesus, how weak and irrelevant was the information he left out if he chose to include what he did on Roberts?

    And the story about the unnamed player was that they asked him about a check he had made out to Radomski, who besides being a dealer, was the Mets clubhouse attendant. The player’s answer was that the check could have been for a number of things, all believable things that a player might pay a clubhouse guy for. That’s evidence worthy of bringing someone in to question about?

    I think Casey said something about McCarthyism, which sounds a little over-dramatic, but it’s exactly what ESPN legal analyst Roger Cossack said this morning. The more I think and hear about this, the more surreal it becomes. Did they really produce a 400+ page report of mostly unsubstantiated hearsay as the result of 21 months of investigation?

  10. As I am reading articles, listening to radio talk show, listen to experts on ESPN and even read people’s thoughts here. I agree – let’s not rush to judge the Mitchell Report. Last night I was thinking that maybe the report was too much, maybe Mitchell was wrong in naming names. Then I see one of the players in the report was qouted on ESPN saying, “Yeah I did it. I am glad I don’t have to lie with this secret anymore. I did it, it was stupid and I regret it..” He was one of the players named by one of the trainers. Suddenly there’s corroborating evidence to Mitchell’s report. So I think we need to see this thing work itself out and what corroborating evidence emerges.

    Remember Jason Grimsley also named Roger Clemens. That is two sources. I agree with Chas, or Dan, or Tom.. whatever his name is.. it will ultimately be a shame that the HR King and the greatest pitcher of our time might possibly be shamed …

    The fact is that each and every one of these players had the opportunity to come and defend the accusation before the report was released. They all declined. Now they are all defending themselves in the paper. And what involvement did the MLBPA have in this. There was at least part in the report that Gene Orza was calling up and warning players that they were going to be tested. So was the union suspecting of players? If so, then the union was working to cover up…

    I also agree with others in that owners and the players dropped the ball on this .. Something should have been done well before this. And for Selig talks like he was one that thought up the investigation. Same goes for Fehr. Both should resign…

    Bottom line.. Where there is smoke, there is fire… as this thing plays out, more names and more evidence. More to follow.

  11. I also add that Brian Roberts was screwed by having his name in the report. Without a doubt. He said, this guy said, she said, – it doesn’t add up to much evidence.. But again, he was given a chance to tell his side, possibly keep his name out of the report.

    That being said, what is up with MLB giving players advance warning of when they would be tested? Are you kidding me? No wonder why none of these guys failed tests. If they are investing in steriods, I am sure they are investing in masking agents. It is almost like baseball gave them a chance to clean up before their test to prove that the sport was clean…. Hmmm I might be on to something there. Also Greg Anderson was able to predict when Bonds would be tested.. So if he coud predict then they would have had time to get Bonds ready for the test.

    This just in. Pettite admits to using HGH… It will be interesting to see how King Hank-IL reacts to all of this..

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