the 'mitchell report'

December 14, 2007 ·



what is one to think when a 400+ page report is compiled naming and detailing some 80+ players allegedly taking performance enhancing drugs? oh wait a second, i seem to have been too fair in assessing an 'allegedly' in there. because george mitchell and the media certainly weren't so fair in what hit the front pages in the last couple days. mitchell for taking the testimony at face value and presenting it aas fact and the media for being so definitive in their accusations and shakedown of the players. particularly roger clemens. i've waited a couple days so i can include some appraisals and admissions in here as well.

i'm not saying this is all a complete load of shit. i do believe there is steroid use, and believe it was quite rampant. what i don't believe is in tarnishing a players name on hersey and saying a player took steroids without hard facts to back that claim up. the article that most closely mirrors my own thoughts on the matter belong to that of jayson stark over at espn.com. the emphasis of his article is to elaborate on the single most glaring omission in this whole debacle - that what was in the mitchell report is mostly devoid of actual fact and credibility.

i'm personally on the fence about whether this whole exercise needed to be conducted in the first place. i don't know if drudging up the past does any particular good. there's certainly a lot of information missing and even if it was to be unearthed, the players can't be punished retroactively anyway. especially for an offence that wasn't technically against the rules anyway. so all this serves is to destroy the names of a number of truly great players and the game as a whole. but i think it was an important illustration of just how pervasive performance enhancers were and the blind eye turned by all sides within baseball. a starting off point for which to change going forward. but we all knew that anyway.

please don't confuse what i'm saying here. i'm not defending steroid users in any way. i think taking steroids is wrong and those who do take them are cheaters. all i want is complete information, and that will never happen. many of these players are heroes to a lot of people and to call them out without hard evidence is unfair to them. i believe that's the definition of slander.

in this situation, there is a big gap in knowledge of what we hear in the media. a lot of people don't know the whole story, all we get is the sensational headlines. yes, steroids are bad, but for instance, human growth hormone is lumped in with them. it's assumed hgh is in the same camp because we don't hear about what these substances are. hgh is not a steroid, nor is it illegal. does anyone hear that? andy pettite came forward and admitted to use of hgh but not steroids. in his statement pettite asserted that he "wasn't looking for an edge, he was looking to heal." that's what hgh does, but to the greater populace, this point gets lost or is understood. they're all just cheaters.

i'm a big fan of baseball and i hope this report works to clean the sport up and bring integrity back to america's pastime. to me the names aren't tarnished because i don't know the whole truth or maybe even any of it. no one does but the players themselves. the game is tarnished and everyone involved at all levels of the game are to blame. the owners, the players, the trainers, the coaches, everyone. they all let this get to the point it is today and are paying the price. i hope the sport can recover and steps are taken to ensure the integrity of the sport is recovered and maintained going forward.

14 comments:

dustin dileo said...
December 19, 2007 at 3:50 PM  

if the players are 'slandered' let them sue. tell barry, roger and the like to sue and clear their name 'for the fans' (pure bullshit). funny, in one of the most litigious society (the us of a), i haven't heard a peep about one of these 'heroes' wanting to clear their names for the fans.

mlb and the players union are complicit in this steroid fiasco and i hope it all gets blown up.

night terror said...
December 19, 2007 at 3:51 PM  

suing won't clear their names. especially in the eyes of the fans. it will only legally poke the holes in the report that are already there. the point is you can't take back what's already out there and change people's minds on such an emotional issue. knowing you can't take it back but saying it anyway with a docoument that is like a bucket with a sieve for a bottom is damaging is not fair. it's he said she said bullshit (thanks limp bizkit) and that never gets resolved.

rather than investing the millions to unearth these possibly fraudulent claims and drag people's names and the game through the mud, why not put it against rigourous testing of everyone (ie. every single player, right now), setting up support for players and putting in place systems and 3rd party people to manage this part of the game. why put money against something negative as opposed to being pro-active to make changes to the state of the game? everyone is aware steroids are rampant. thanks mitchell for telling us something we already knew. be forward looking mlb, not marred in the past.

everyone is complicit, i stated that. work toward change not toward improving your hindsight.

dustin dileo said...
December 19, 2007 at 3:52 PM  

pt. 1 - disagree. if you are innocent, you will fight tooth and nail to clear your name. that, and only that, would show fans that you, as a player, didn't use steroids. but players won't. and you know why? because, like you mentioned, steroids were rampant, and everyone was using.
pt. 2 - thanks for the advice, but the player's union has been fighting 'tooth and nail' to protect its membership from testing. it also advised its membership to not speak to mitchell. hmm, they sure are interested in the integrity of the game, eh?

"rather than investing the millions to unearth these possibly fraudulent claims and drag people's names and the game through the mud" are you kidding me? you say that everyone knows steroids are rampant in baseball, and yet you are angered that mitchell named people and put the allegations out in the open? these allegations should be front and centred, and the players should be ashamed at what they have done to the game of baseball.

night terror said...
December 19, 2007 at 3:52 PM  

you make some valid points. but i'll counterpoint.
#1 - maybe, maybe not. it's costly and might jeopardize the team or other players. all plausible reasons for not being litigious. players will come out and deny (and have) and that will likely do as much good as going to court - not much.
#2 - well it is a union and that's what those bullshit organizations do. look nothing's going to change with the same posturing. if change is going to happen, then everyone needs to be on board. so what if they don't talk to mitchell, he was just interested in scandalizing the past. the union then should be proactive to institute change going forward.
#3 - agreed on all accounts. just think there was a better way to address this than harp on the past.

dustin dileo said...
December 19, 2007 at 3:52 PM  

another player admits to steroid usage...roberts. hmm, we get pettite and now brian roberts...

here's what he said previously in regards to the mitchell report...

Brian Roberts to the Baltimore Sun:

"His accusations are ridiculous. We've had steroid testing, and I've taken all the tests. There is no point in getting into verbal wars. That's really all there is to say."

interesting indeed.

night terror said...
December 19, 2007 at 3:52 PM  

i guess it's mildly interesting. doesn't discount what i said though.

dustin dileo said...
December 19, 2007 at 3:53 PM  

it does discount everything you said. and i mean everything.

here's a brief snippet of info in regards to Barry and Roger (got it from a Toronto Sun article)

Between the ages of 30 and 34, often when an athlete is at his peak, Bonds hit 189 home runs (one every 13.2 at bats) and Clemens won 58 games and lost 50.

But between the ages of 35 and 39 -- a time when most athletes are in decline -- Bonds hit 247 home runs (one every 8.5 at bats) and Clemens posted a 81-33 won-loss record.

pretty good stats - must be their work ethic and genes...

night terror said...
December 19, 2007 at 3:53 PM  

interesting if not completely irrelevant and meaningless.

steve carlton (clemens' equal) had 90 wins and 57 losses from ages 30-35 but then had an amazing 93 and 51 between ages 35-39. i see a real decline there. let me go on. hank aaron (bonds' equal) had 168 homers between ages 30-34 while posting 203 between the ages of 35-39.

that really proved your points. are you saying that steve carlton and hank aaron were juiced becuase they showed better late career numbers? maybe you and the sun should find some valid stats to back yourselves up. get your head out of your ass.

dustin dileo said...
December 19, 2007 at 3:53 PM  

i mentioned players from an era where steroids were rampant. or do you not think that steroids were rampant? you didn't mention players who were ever suspected of steroid usage.

you are comparing carlton's record of 93 - 51 to clemens 81 - 33? i wouldn't use 'amazing' to describe a record of 93 - 51.

interesting stat about aaron - from 35 - 39, he hit 203 home runs (with 274 walks). bonds - from 35 - 39, hit 247 home runs (with 872 walks - and still 44 more home runs than aaron at the same age).

how many more home runs do you think bonds would have had if he had the same amount of walks as aaron? he would have blown him out of the water, balco lover.

what point are you trying to prove? you haven't proved anything. you mentioned players from a different era who were never, ever suspected of using steroids. did aaron go from 180lbs to 230lbs?

night terror said...
December 19, 2007 at 3:53 PM  

the point of the illustration you gave was to show how these two players were late bloomers then tied it back to steroids as the reason. i simply provided an example of other prolific late bloomers to discount your assertion. and did so successfully.

you seem to miss the point that we are argue the same side. i'm not a steroid lover. i'm a baseball lover and i want what's best for the game. in my opinion, the best for the game is not to drudge up the past, but to be forward looking and make positive changes going forward for the sport.

do i think bonds was juiced? of course i do, who doesn't. do i think the rocket was juiced, i don't know. i'm not defending the choice of using roids, just want it based on fact not hersey and speculation. that is not how things are done. ever heard of innocent until proven guilty? well these players are already guilty and haven't even had a fair trial. does that sound right?

dustin dileo said...
December 19, 2007 at 3:54 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
dustin dileo said...
December 19, 2007 at 3:55 PM  

you didn't discount my assertion, because aaron and carlton were never, ever suspected of steroid usage. do i believe that older players can still produce - yes, somewhat. the players stats you provided showed that they still produced . but you didn't take into account bonds walk totals (which if he wasn't walked as much would have yielded at the very least 60 to 70 hrs more than aaron through the same period). carlton's and clemens totals weren't close, seeing as how carlton ptiched in 32 more games.

we are arguing the same side, but my point is the mitchell report is good for the game. we both agree steroid usage is rampant in baseball - but players need to be held accountable for their past actions - if that means they apologize and we move on, so be it. but they should be named - should the mitchell report have had more sources? of course - but you have 1) a union hell bent on protecting its membership and 2) a highly successful league that is reactive instead of proactive, and 3) a league that needs to have an explosive report like this to actually make it change its policies.

how are these players already proven guilty? they still can profess their innocence? the can always fight any allegations charged against them (like petitte and roberts did, ha).

i don't care if it was right to name names. is it right to take steroids? don't all of a sudden start to talk of rules and fairness now.

it is a bit too late for that now.

night terror said...
December 19, 2007 at 3:55 PM  

i did discount it. you presented a case of two players with late career produciton. i provided two other cases of equal players and their late career production as a counter. your original assertation was void of all the extra stuff you added in later seeing that i had destroyed that paltry argument. the point was to take non-steroid users to contrast to show, as you put it, that it could be 'work ethic and genes'. suck it.

i'm not convinced that the mitchell report was good for the game. yes, we should know the past actions of players, but it wasn't something we didn't already suspect. and the result is something that we still can't prove. what's the point of exposing the past when you can't do anything about it? they can't retroactively suspend the players or fine them. they can't go to trial with that flimsy of evidence. so why do it i ask you?

it serves no better a purpose than putting it to something that is future looking rather than revisionist.

baseball would have been better off if they focused on making change. i'm sure people could have lived in blissful ignorance of who the actual offenders were just so long as that going forward, baseball cleaned up its act. if the fans knew that as of the 2008 season the game is clean, that would sate them. make that the reset year where policies are in place to keep it clean.

rather than spending the better part of the last year on this crap ass mitchell report, they could have been working to clean the sport up and keeping it that way. but no. we've wasted that time looking into the past with no recourse and only now start the cleaning up process. that's not an effective use of time in my opinion.

not when this has been a hot issue for so long. it just further delays a resolution the sport and it's fans so desperately need a lot sooner than it will be delivered. all it's done is tear the sport down more and make it harder to build back up.

dustin dileo said...
December 19, 2007 at 3:55 PM  

sorry, you haven't discounted anything - you offered up some players (from a different generation who were never suspected of steroid usage) and brought forth their stats (stats, that i might add, don't prove much in the comparison to bonds hr rate - taking into account the sheer number of walks he had or clemens win - lose record). get some players from the steroid era, and you may convince me. until then, sorry dicklips.

stop bringing in the law into the mitchell report - forget about innocent until proven guilty, or going to trial with that flimsy evidence. this isn't a trial. and if the players were so worried about character defamation, they can always go through the courts to clear their name.

baseball needed the names of players that betrayed the trust of the fans. we have been waiting 4, 5, 6 years for baseball to get its act together. and saying it 'would have been better off if they focused on making change' is ridiculous.

they couldn't make change before, for the greater good of the game - do you think they were going to sit in their nice office in their utopian society and magically right all wrongs? please, they needed a report of this magnitude to shake the establishment. i'm willing to believe that some players may be accused of things that they didn't do - but i'm also willing to believe that some players are flying under the steroid radar and even more are getting off scot - free with their 'apologies'.

this sport is already done - it has made a mockery of honest competition by allowing rampant steroid usage to flourish.

let's see:

year round testing of all players
random, surprise testing (that should be a no - brainer, put their are rumours that some players had advance knowledge of mlb tests)
3rd party testing - no affliation with mlb or its union
clear list of what is and what isn't acceptable (hgh wasn't made illegal until 2002, i believe)

and, lastly, higher suspensions for players who are caught

50 for first time users, 100 for second time users, life for third time users

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