As you may have heard, the Mitchell report was released today and it’s a mixed bag. The list of names is based on talking to a couple of people. There was no cooperation by 99% of baseball players, so what we have is an incomplete list, based on hearsay, with no positive tests. I feel as if the commotion is a lot of hullabaloo over nothing new. The players listed aren’t new for the most part; the recommendations were all recommendations that we’ve seen before. It’s also interesting the names that weren’t included; no Sammy Sosa or Mark McGwire.
One thing I do wonder is whether or not people will indite Roger Clemens the way Barry Bonds has been. It’s always been unfair that Bonds has been the poster child, but it probably will be unfair if Clemens is attacked in the same way. I think the only thing that would have been fair is if Selig had labeled the entire past 25 years an embarrassment that was allowed by everyone involved in the sport, and short of punishing everyone, you have to punish no one. Mitchell as much said the same by asking that the commissioner not punish anyone.
The bottom line is that regardless of this report and the few names listed, the problem was widespread in baseball. To believe otherwise is naive. Baseball has done a disservice to the sport and to the fans. The benefits of this era were reaped by baseball. After the 1994 strike, people turned away from baseball – Sosa and McGwire brought them back. Today baseball is as popular as it’s ever been today. Officials turned a blind eye and pocketed the dollars.
Baseball should just turn the corner and make sure nothing like this every happens again.