Monday, December 17, 2007

Major League Disappointment

Roger Clemens

Major League Baseball got away with one. The Mitchell Report on the widespread drug use in MLB by former Senator George Mitchell was more hype than the Spice Girls reunion. It was an even bigger letdown.

The biggest surprise is the small number of names, and big names in particular. The report was not intended to be exhaustive. And it is not. Mitchell lacked subpoena power, and ultimately, only had access to players who cooperated.

Outside of Roger Clemens and Andrew Pettitte, who cares about the other names? The others were guys who have already retired or have already been the target of speculation and rumor.

It seems most of the report is based primarily on the testimony of former New York Mets' clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski and Brian McNamee, the former New York Yankees strength and conditioning coach. All Mitchell did was collect some old articles, television stories and admitted use by retired players and put it in one report.

If the feds didn't bust Radomski and force him to cooperate with this "investigation," the whole report would be recycled information.

In Mitchell's defense, it seems like he got very little cooperation throughout the investigation. Shocker, huh? One thing came across very clear to those in denial, MLB is as much to blame as anyone in this. Major League Baseball did nothing to curb the steroid issue that was already a problem for football and track. I thought Mitchell would hammer Commissioner, Bud Selig, and MLBPA head, Donald Fehr, more than he did, but he got his point across, I guess.

Obviously, the guy with the big L on his forehead is Clemens. He was the one no-brainer Hall of Famer on the list that you didn't know about for sure. For Bonds-haters that wanted to keep Barry Bonds out of Cooperstown, you better feel the same way about Clemens.

Bonds has to have a big Kool-aid smile on his face. It is kind of vindication for him in a Barry Bonds sort of way. He was by far not the only one taking performance-enhancing drugs, nor was he the only record-breaker that was taking them either. He now has some company as the poster boy for this era.

Bottom line, baseball and Bud Selig got the outcome sought from the beginning – to show Congress that baseball is tough on steroid crime. But, baseball did not take as big a hit as everyone thought it would.

There were some names in there, but outside of Clemens, there were no real bombshells. Baseball will go on, and this will all be forgotten once the season starts again.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist

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