Friday, December 14, 2007

The Mitchel Report

Some might refer to Dec 13, 2007 as the saddest day in baseball. Yeah, it's sad when dominant athletes use performance enhancing drugs to extend their Hall of Fame careers. What exactly does the Mitchell report prove or tell us. All of us know we were witnessing the steroid era in baseball. We didn't need a 409 page report costing somewhere between $24-$60 million. About the only thing we got was Roger Clemens cheated and Barry Bonds has a new buddy on that lonely mountain. Both these were well on their way to the Hall of Fame. Both were the most dominate players at their positions. Both will have trouble ever getting into the Hall of Fame. For Bonds, it was always obvious.
He didn't want to be left behind and after watching McGwire and Sosa peek and have all the stardom, Bonds needed that edge. For Clemens, how else do you explain a 40 year old going through his work out regime. What both these players have in common is their big heads (literally). Both wanted to be the best, like most athletes, and both could accept the near end of their spectacular careers.
However, I think the Mitchell report is completely accurate. The Report basically names everyone involved in the Balco scandal, no big surprises there. And then Mitchell was fortunate enough to get, what Peter Gammons refers to as "Sewer Rats." Brian McNamee and Kirk Rodomski could go down as the Sacco and Vancetti of the baseball. I find it funny how the report names 22 Yankees and 17 Mets. McGwire and Sosa weren't even mentioned in the report? How many players were left off? What if Mitchell didn't corner McNamee and Rodomski? He'd have nothing but BalCo.
Clemens showing up on the report explains a lot about the whole bat throwing incident at Mike Piazza in the 2000 Subway Series. What about that Subway Series as a whole now? Doesn't seem so glamorous. At the same time, there were many other players on other teams doing the same thing.

So what to do with this era. It's a crying shame that this happened to be the era of baseball that most of us grew up with. Looking up to all these players as role models and superstars, collecting all there baseball cards and now we're made to believe these guys were all cheaters. I don't think this is the darkest day in baseball. It's a great day for the game. What this report does tell the players is, "Hey, we're watching you. We know what you're doing and your not gonna get away with this." OK, so most, if not all, of these players will not be punished, but the players have the hardest of all to tell their families, their kids they cheated. These players will have to face future consequences these illegal drugs will have on their bodies and health.
The hardest thing for us, the fans, how we'll look back to this ear and how we will explain this difficult time to our kids, the next generation of players and fans. Yeah, Barry Bonds was a dominating player and once the all time homerun king, but he cheated, he went to jail, his life was cut short.
I love how Jose Canseco is still trying to get all the publicity. Showing up to the New York Hotel for the press conference and then not being let in. Hilarious! Then, on Larry King trying to publish a new book and then saying he can't believe Alex Rodriquez was not mentioned in the report.
View the full Mitchell Report:
What about for the Houston Astros? Both Clemens and Andy Pettite called Houston home. And just on Wednesday, the Astros traded five players for Miguel Tejada. Funny how the Astros' home, Minute Maid Park, is also know as "The JuiceBox."

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