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Friday Morning Mets Mitchell Report Newsstand

I'm a little tired of talking about the anti-climactic Mitchell Report, so I'll let my SBN colleagues have the floor:

Gaslamp Ball:

What I realize after a starting into it a bit is that this is basically the bust of one drug dealer and his black book. A description of the BALCO case is included and some other names are named by Brian McNamee, but there's no telling if Kirk Radomski (aka Murdock) was even that big of a pusher. Is it so hard to believe that there were (and perhaps are) Radomski equivalents in other clubhouses? If there's even one equivalent in another clubhouse, then that could easily be another 77 players named. Do half of the clubhouses have a Kirk Radomski?

After all, it is stated that San Diego was in an ideal location to make quick jumps to Mexico. Couldn't we anticipate a contact in San Diego knowing exactly where to go to get the goods during a 3 game series? Wouldn't Los Angeles and Anaheim be similarly situated?

Pinstripe Alley:
This whole mess is on Bud Selig. He's the head of the snake, and it needs to be cut off, immediately.

Following the players' strike the game was in trouble, and like God breathing life into Adam, ol' Bud needed to do something similar with the great game of baseball. So he gathered his high-priced marketing team and pulled out the stops--focusing on making the current crop of stars "larger than life", "eye-catching in their exploits on the field." Guys like Sosa, Big Mac, Clemens, Ripken, Gwynn, Bonds and others suddenly appeared in marketing campaigns transforming into robots tearing out of their uniforms as they weilded flaming bats, or threw laser beam pitches.

Credit to Bud, it worked ... the game made a sparkling return when during that one special September Sosa and Big Mac held the nation captive. It came back when Ripken broke the Iron Horse's vaunted record. It came back when during the All-Star game we saw homage being paid to past greats on the field of dreams.

It was all a fraud--perpetuated by Bud Selig. Selig knew about the steroids. So did the owners, trainers, coaches and reporters. All looked the other way.

But it's on Bud Selig, the man who boldly declared that he would move swiftly in this case enroute to restoring baseball's integrity. Well, Bud, how about starting with you?

Athletics Nation:
The take away that I have from December 13, 2007 aren't the tainted names of Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and Miguel Tejada. It's the nagging idea that this report was crafted poorly with largely circumstantial evidence and that the worst choices these guys made weren't that they took steroids but the fact that they were unlucky enough to have purchased them from a guy who wound up under government scrutiny.

I guess I just don't really understand smearing a few players rather than not keeping it more general. Especially if the majority of what you learned came from mostly two sources. Don't get me wrong, I don't feel bad for those named in the report. If they cheated, they should be named, but my feeling is that naming so many prominent players just gives the impression that pretty much everyone was doing it but just didn't happen to use the same supplier.

Royals Review:
However, upon further reflection I can find no justification for the inclusion of the precious names. Even if you feel some bit of public shame is a good thing, I think that Mitchell seriously compromised his own claims of balance with the seriously unbalanced nature of the report. Moreover, why did the report have to be realized as such? Why not release a set of general findings and recommendations, and release a fuller version a week later?

Here is the thing about the Steroid Hysteria: since evidence and decency and the presumption of innocence have never mattered, there's no logical end to this. No number of names will ever be enough, because in every city there's another bad guy. Whether its Frank Thomas in Chicago or the Sweeney haters in KC or whatever else, it never ends. For the vocal minority that are obsessed with this, who somehow think that the whole era has been tainted -- but only helped hitters, somehow -- there can never be enough blood in the water.

Not until hearsay against them starts being treated publicly and seriously.

The next time someone broadsides the blogosphere as the site of unsubstantiated rumor-mongering tell them about George Mitchell and DLP.

Purple Row:
What the report does tell us is that there is ample evidence of a widespread culture of abuse with performance enhancing drugs among players in major league baseball, and that owners -including the commissioner's office, management, the player's union and us as fans have all been enablers if not more complicit in the acts. We're the wife in denial on Maury who can't see how ignoring the syringes in the garbage makes us partly culpable. Like her, we're also victims in this mess, but we need to wake up to the issue before we can get help. The report shows the flaws that still exist in MLB's current efforts to curtail usage.

The question, and it's a philosophical whopper, actually, is do we actually want to get help? The report indicates that there's still ample evidence that players are actively seeking ways around the steroid testing and drug policy. As this with Charles Yesalis points out, the real cure for this is by us fans refusing to buy the product that supplies the dope. While taking your kids to watch a self-destructive juiced up athlete perform his skills at a high level isn't quite the same as taking them to see lions feed on Christians or gladiators stab each other to death, it's not as far removed as my ethical self would like it to be. Yesalis also correctly states that it's stupid to assume that people will come to their senses and that fans will stop attending games. Baseball still draws me, it still draws you. So because I'm one of the millions validating drug use, should I feel better? I think like many, I'm going to continue to go to baseball games while naively trying to believe that a better system for ensuring the purity of the sport will come along.

Gimme back my bullets.
  • Jim Bouton thinks that a single positive test for performance-enhancing drugs should result in a player being banned for life. Ball Four is a tremendous book, but Bouton may want to rethink his stance in light of all of the greenies he choked down when he was a player.
  • Fire Joe Morgan is basking in the wretched glow of the Mitchell Report.

  • Jose Canseco is stunned that Alex Rodriguez's name didn't come up in the report.
  • Bobby Murcer, former player and Yankee broadcaster, sides with the players, particularly Messrs. Clemens and Pettitte.
  • ShysterBall fisks the Mitchell Report.