Hey guys, I haven’t talked with any of the BoxScore crew about this, but with the Mitchell Report being released in just over an hour, I felt like I needed a forum to input my feelings on what will most likely go down as the most controversial day in baseball history.
For those of you who don’t know, Former Senator and current Boston Red Sox director George Mitchell has been investigating MLB and the steroid and HGH use that has tarnished the last decade or so of great baseball. Mitchell has used information from multiple sources, including clubhouse attendants and shipping/delivery receipts to compile the McCarthy-esque report. I could go on and on about the report and its background, but I’d rather get to my thoughts, and spare everyone the bore of reading what they’ve read countless times already.
Buster Olney has stated that for those people listed in the Mitchell Report, their reputation could be severely hurt or damaged forever. For some athletes whose reputation is already tarnished (Barry Bonds), this report is almost meaningless, but for those athletes who have appeared to be incredible role models for years and years, the athletes whose batting stances, swaggers, etc. were mimicked by countless little leaguers, the report might go beyond hurting their reputation, but also damaging the innocence of young children.
Recent sources have identified Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte as names in the Mitchell Report. Lets forget about Roger Clemens because frankly, I don’t care for him and fully expected him to be on the list, but Andy Pettitte, a religious man who has served as a role model for young Yankee fans, this could be absolutely damaging to his reputation. Yes, he might have an easier time being forgiven because of his reputation off the field, but regardless, this will still tarnish his career.
During the playoffs this year, Paul Byrd announced that he had used HGH in order to help fight a disease he had struggled with. I highly doubt Mitchell’s report will include the exact reasons why people used HGH or steroids, but I believe that the public must take the accusations with a grain of salt. Just like Paul Byrd, there is a good chance that some of the players listed might have used HGH for reasons other than getting bigger and improving athletic performance. In a competitive league like MLB, it is important for players to stay on the field and out of the trainer’s room in order to make a paycheck. When a player suffers a setback caused by a bad injury, it can be assumed that the athlete and team doctors would do anything in their power to get the athlete back onto the field as fast as possible. HGH was not banned from baseball until 2005, making it safe to say that it was often prescribed to athletes before that time, and given its probable success, it can be assumed that team doctors might have continued to prescribe it after the ban (note that HGH cannot be tested for, making it difficult to trace). Yes, I realize that even those earning minimum salary in MLB are making a good amount of money, but making a few hundred-thousand dollars a year doesn’t look so good if you struggle to stay in the league for more than a few years. Many of these athletes might struggle to find success maintaining a job in the corporate world, as they have dedicated their lives to their trade, some forgoing college and others leaving lives behind in foreign countries. Think now of the pressure to make a large paycheck in MLB, and you might understand why these guys would want to do whatever they can to stay in the league.
Personally, I do not want to see any names on the Mitchell Report. Yes, I am a diehard Red Sox fan, but I would prefer not to see names on the Yankees just as much as I would prefer not to see names from my beloved Sox. Disregard steroids and baseball is in a great place right now. Young players are emerging as future Hall of Famers, records are being broken, and the Boston Red Sox have won two World Series titles in four years, after an 86 year drought (had to throw it in there). MLB needs to realize that it is not helping its reputation by releasing Mitchell’s report, regardless of what Bud Selig believes. Selig did a great job in getting a strong steroid policy in baseball (arguably the strongest in all of sports), but by releasing the Mitchell Report, it is as if he has no confidence in it. Stick to the testing, create even heftier suspensions if necessary, and let the problems weed themselves out. For all you fans out there, be true fans, and support those whose lives are about to be changed (most likely for the worse).
That is all I really have to say. Also, Brian and I WILL be back for shows after January 14th. As each of us move closer to graduation, our lives are getting more and more hectic, and we are finding less time to do shows. Fortunately, we have arranged our schedules for next semester so that we can put away some time to do a show every week or so. We will be back in mid-January with a basketball show. Until then, Happy Holidays.