Saturday, December 15, 2007

What Would Judge Mountain Landis Do with the Mitchell Report

Can someone call REM and have them add - Roger Clemens, Andy Petitte, Mitchell Report Drug Cheats - too the lyrics of "it's the end of the world"

I had a couple of pretty interesting conversations with Reynolds and Hegarty the other day while I was batting the six plus hours of traffic caused by that snow storm. The conversations obviously were regarding the Mitchell Report and what our feelings on it were.

First off I am really, really, really glad that the official list didn’t have Jason Varitek and/or El Guapo on in. I don’t know if I could have handled Rich Garces being a drug cheat, there is only so much I can take as a fan.

Speaking of the list, incase you haven’t seen it here it is courtesy of

"All the players listed in the section VIII. B.: "Information Regarding Purchases or Use of Performance Enhancing Substances by Players in Major League Baseball" (section 3 is "Radomski¹s Distribution of Performance Enhancing Substances to Major League Baseball Players")

Lenny Dykstra
David Segui
Larry Bigbie
Brian Roberts
Jack Cust
Tim Laker
Josias Manzanillo
Todd Hundley
Mark Carreon
Hal Morris
Matt Franco
Rondell White
Roger Clemens
Andy Pettitte
Chuck Knoblauch
Jason Grimsley
Gregg Zaun
David Justice
F.P. Santangelo
Glenallen Hill
Mo Vaughn
Denny Neagle
Ron Villone
Ryan Franklin
Chris Donnels
Todd Williams
Phil Hiatt
Todd Pratt
Kevin Young
Mike Lansing
Cody McKay
Kent Mercker
Adam Piatt
Miguel Tejada
Jason Christiansen
Mike Stanton
Stephen Randolph
Jerry Hairston
Paul Lo Duca
Adam Riggs
Bart Miadich
Fernando Vina
Kevin Brown
Eric Gagne
Mike Bell
Matt Herges
Gary Bennett, Jr.
Jim Parque
Brendan Donnelly
Chad Allen
Jeff Williams
Howie Clark
Nook Logan

Section IX. B."Alleged Internet Purchases of Performance Enhancing Substances By Players in Major League Baseball"

Rick Ankiel, Paul Byrd, Jay Gibbons, Troy Glaus, Jose Guillen, Jerry Hairston, Jr., Gary Matthews, Jr., and Scott Schoeneweis, and former players David Bell, Jose Canseco, Jason Grimsley, Darren Holmes, John Rocker, Ismael Valdez, Matt Williams, and Steve Woodard."


Marvin Benard
Barry Bonds
Bobby Estalella
Jason Giambi
Jeremy Giambi
Benito Santiago
Gary Sheffield
Randy Velarde"

I can’t say I’m surprised about Clemens but I am pretty stoked that 95% of the country is going to hate him now whether he actually did it or not. It’s been a great year in sports so far here in Boston and it just got better now that Clemens reputation has been pretty much destroyed.

The thing that Reynolds said that really got me thinking was, is this going to ruin baseball? At first glance, no I don’t think it will. Even in the long run I don’t think the game will end up like hockey because of it but it’s going to take a major hit. It’s probably going to be similar to the strike in 1994, I was took young to really be effected by that but I think there are a lot of people that are going to say ‘I’ve had enough with these prima Dona athletes and their bloated contracts and their cheating’.

Unfortunately for baseball, depending on how the report is handled there is a chance it could cause an issue between the players union and the league which could lead to a strike and that would probably be the beginning of the end for America’s Past-time.

Personally I don’t think the Mitchell Report was a good idea. It doesn’t make sense, all it really is, is officially licensed speculation. Why air out the leagues dirty laundry? I think it would have made more sense to say ‘we made mistakes, there was this era of rampant use but hindsight won’t change that so this is what we will do moving forward’. If you really want to stop use then you have to implement Olympic style testing where positive tests come with serious consequences, not slaps on the wrist.

It’s going to be interesting to see how the media, the MLB and the fans handle this thing. Personally I’m sick of hearing about speculation that I’d rather have it go away. The guys that were named in the report probably shouldn’t receive retroactive punishment but that doesn’t mean that people should ignore it. Mention in the Mitchell report should carry a bit of a scarlet letter, especially when it comes to Hall of Fame votes.

I’m not saying that these guys should be banned but voters should make some kind of stand like boycotting the first ballot for guys like Clemens, Pettite and even Bonds. When you think about it you can’t really ban them for using. They were dominant players in the steroid era and while it’s not the best way to look at it they did the same thing a lot of other players did.

Hopefully MLB will find a way to make sure that the steroid era is over, HGH is going to be a larger problem but we can still hope. The sad thing is that this will probably take a Judge Landis type figure to put and end to it. Like Landis did after 1919 to rid baseball of gambling I think we could use a figure like him to end the steroid issue in baseball almost 90-years later.

The positive thing is that baseball has persevered in the face of other issues the problem is that today there is a lot more litigation and it’s not as easy to squash issues today. Would Judge Landis have been able to get away with what he did to solve the gambling problems if it happened today? We are about to find out; only this time it’s steroids not gambling.

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