Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pathetic

I have spent a good hour or more reading George Mitchell's report on performance enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball. Despite being cynical about appointing a director of the Boston Red Sox as the lead investigator and being somewhat disappointed that he spent a large portion of his investigative time focussed on two trainers who worked primarily in New York, he has certainly provided a credible report.

Most disturbing to me is the revelation about Roger Clemens and Andy Pettite. I wouldn't be surprised if you told me many MLB players have used various steroids and hormones when coming back from injury, Clemens and Pettite included. It seems clear, however, Clemens used roids as a way of training, like the biggest cheat of them all, Barry Bonds. I no longer respect Roger. Period. No Hall of Fame for him, in my opinion, which is very hard to say. Pettite's situation is more difficult to interpret as it relates to injury recover, but man, it's still cheating and tremendously disappointing to hear.

There are a bunch of players mentioned in the report, Tejada and Bonds, of course, but another that really disappoints- Eric Gagne. So much for his "prolific" closing numbers for the 3-4 years he dominated. Now we know why. Very sad. I have a new respect for Mariano Rivera (if Mo used steroids, he needs to get his money back, he's still as skinny as a rail) and others who seem to have not cheated...but who knows these days. Everything's tainted.

I'm pretty ticked right now. Soccer is so much better than baseball.

18 comments:

Rick Calohan said...

As much as these players violated the trust of the public, the fact remains it was not illegal for them to use at the time they allegedly used HGH or steroids, therefore, no harm no foul no punishment no banishment. What is unfortunate in this situation is that these “All-Star” players were compelled to take a substance in order to please the fans that wanted to see batters hit home runs, and pitchers shut out opponents.

The reality of it all is that for roughly a decade or more, legitimate baseball records were broken, teams won championships that should not have, and baseball has become in the eyes of this baseball purist nothing more than professional wrestling.

The first step in recovery is to admit you have a problem. For those players who have taken either steroids or HGH or other control substances, let them now confess their sins, repent and if still active take a public vow to never do it again. From this report forth in order to regain the public trust, MLB should now make it official that from Spring Training 2008 and onward, if you are caught in the possession, use, or distribution of such controlled substances you are banned for life.

Baseball is America, and if it is to regain its standing again, the commissioner, the owners, and the players will have to show that they are serious in dealing with this problem, otherwise they will not only lose fans, but a part of Americana.

AJF said...

Rick wrote: "no harm no foul no punishment no banishment"

Sorry Rick, I vehemently disagree. There is great harm done in many ways- to the integrity of the game, to young players who think one must take such body-damaging drugs to compete, and to the players who sat on the bench because a juicer was taking his spot. There is great harm and it's a great foul.

Further, the steroids used were, in fact, illegally acquired. Read the report. These players participated in the promoting of illegal drug trafficking.

I will agree with your point about recovery: Clemens, Tejada, Bonds, Pettite, Gagne, and the long list noted in the report all need to call press conferences and ask the forgiveness of fans.

Still. No Hall of Fame for any of them.

AJF said...

Here's the list of players that appear in the report, obviously Mitchell has only uncovered some of the actual cheaters:

1. Roger Clemens

2. Jack Cust

3. Tim Laker

4. Josias Manzanillo

5. Todd Hundley

6. Brian Roberts

7. Miguel Tejada

8. Paul Lo Duca

9. Barry Bonds

10. Andy Pettitte

11. Gary Sheffield

12. Eric Gagne

13. Jason Giambi

14. Troy Glaus

16. Gary Matthews Jr.

17. Jose Guillen

18. Rick Ankiel

19. Kevin Brown

20. Benito Santiago

21. Chuck Knoblauch

22. David Justice

23. Mo Vaughn

24. Rondell White

25. Mark Carreon

26. Nook Logan

27. Jay Gibbons

28. Hal Morris

29. Matt Franco

30. Jason Grimsley

31. Gregg Zaun

32. Mike Bell

33. F.P. Santangelo

34. Glenallen Hill

35. Denny Neagle

36. Ron Villone

37. Ryan Franklin

38. Chris Donnels

39. Todd Williams

40. Phil Hiatt

41. Todd Pratt

42. Kevin Young

43. Mike Lansing

44. Cody McKay

45. Kent Mercker

46. Adam Piatt

47. Jason Christiansen

48. Mike Stanton

49. Stephen Randolph

50. Jerry Hairston Jr.

51. Adam Riggs

52. Bart Miadich

53. Fernando Vina

54. Matt Herges

55. Gary Bennett Jr.

56. Jim Parque

57. Brendan Donnelly

58. Chad Allen

59. Jeff Williams

60. Howie Clark

61. Daniel Naulty

62. Lenny Dykstra

63. David Segui

64. Larry Bigbie

Rick Calohan said...

Perhaps I should have clarified, that " "no harm no foul no punishment no banishment" is not my view, but will be the view of the Player’s Union and their team of Attorneys. The Mitchell Report is 410 pages it will be awhile to pinpoint when said 85 players committed such violations of ethics, sportsmanship, and the law. I agree a great disservice has been done to the integrity of the game, however to ban these players will have to be on a case-by-case basis.

AJF said...

Oh, I see what your saying Rick. I should have read more carefully, sorry. I'm a bit tweaked right now.

GUNNY said...

I'm pleased to see some pitchers' names on there. I've long held that roids were a pitcher's malady as well, but only the hitters get the scrutiny.

I'm disappointed Knoblauch's name came up. He was a good Texas Aggie whom I watched play college ball.

The report was pretty Yankee-intensive, wasn't it?

I'd also say that we tend to assume it's the superstars that are/were roiding it up, but I've theorized that the lower-level guys are perhaps more tempted to make the team or stay on the team when called up, especially when hurt and wanting to fight/play through it.

Interesting ... no Mark McGwire.

AJF said...

Gunny,

Mark McGwire is all over the report. Next to Bonds, he may be the most referred to player. Thanks in large part to McGwire's stellar testimony before the senate (what an embarrassment), the investigation was called for. The players I listed are the ones directly implicated by direct trainer testimony, failed drug test, or canceled check. You can't honestly think McGwire wasn't in on this? Yeah right, he only used Andro. Come on.

It was Yankee heavy for sure. No excuses from me. Clearly McNamee (who came from Toronto) brought his poison with him. Keep in mind, however, only McNamee and Rodomski (NY Mets) and BALCO were focused upon. I found this a great deficiency in the report (which I have now finished reading, almost in it's entirety). Still, over 80 players are implicated, crossing all sorts of team lines.

The report wasn't exhaustive, by any means. It just peaked under the lid a bit revealing how soiled this past decade and a half has been.

I've never been a George Mitchell fan. I think it's supremely lame that he didn't mention any active Red Sox players. Are you telling me Garciaparra wasn't juiced while with Boston? Good grief. They could have found a more unbiased investigator than one of the BoSox directors, but I'm not making any excuses for violators who were Yankees or anyone else.

It would be very foolish to think names not mentioned were clean. Further, the accused players should have a chance to answer the charges. I just hope we hear more than "I'm not hear to talk about the past" over and over as we did one fateful day before the Senate.

GUNNY said...

Hater in the house!

;-)

Yeah, I do feel you about the objectivity of those investigating.

AJF said...

Gunster,

I'm not a hater, I'm just being honest. If I can admit Clemens and Pettite- despite no positive drug tests for them either- only the testimony of one trainer guy who nobody likes (McNamee)- you have to face the facts about McGwire.

Listen, I was in St. Louis during the prime of the Big Mac era. I actually went to many games in my three years and would claim the Cardinals as my favorite NL team, I still would. I actually cried (albeit, in secret..though my wife caught me and still mocks me) when McGwire hit #62.

I've only turned against Big Mac for his total lack of honesty. If he'd be honest, I'd forgive him and not come off as a hater...don't get me wrong, Maris is still the champ and Mac needs an asteric like Bonds, but I wouldn't be as bitter.

I'm a lover, not a hater.

Rick Calohan said...

I heard that Clemens has stated that the allegations from the Mitchell Report pertaining to him are false. I wonder if he and those players who may be innocent will sue Mitchell for defamation of character after all to my knowledge none of the players were formally charged, arrested, or convicted, and since there is due process in America will they all have their day in court.

AJF said...

Rick, here's the thing on Clemens- the report is very explicit and detailed about his alleged use (to the point of stating how he would get injected and by whom). What is very precarious, however, is the source for this info- it all comes from McNamee. No other person has corroborated McNamee's testimony- NO ONE. Further, to my knowledge, no cancelled checks buying roids can be shown from Clemens, like many of the other implicated players.

You are right, Clemens deserves to mount a defense- keep in mind, however, he was shown this evidence and declined to respond at that time (I know this is a legal play, but still...).

Finally, as I've stated, it's too bad Mitchel, a BoSox official, had to be the lead investigator. It seems like he had it out for Clemens- as does the entire BoSox organization. This shades it a bit.

McNamee is the key to this- was he telling the truth? He's clearly a lawbreaker...so why is his word credible regarding Clemens and Pettite?

Kampfgruppe-H said...

Professional sports is all about the $. I've been disappointed for years now. Whatever happened to the Golden Age. When men just went out there and gutted it out, pushed themselves to the limit through their God-given, natural abilities. I'm just not impressed anymore.

Tony's turning his attention to soccer, and I'm going back to Olympic Judo and my all time favorite, full-contact sport...backgammon.

GUNNY said...

But, guys ...

How about them Cowboys?!

It's not too late to get on the bandwagon.

;-)

AJF said...

Has the NFL season started yet? I didn't know.

Andrew said...

Tony,
I found your blog. I agree soccer is much better, but I'm still a cubs fan. At least we don't hear of murders, etc. coming out of MLB like the NFL.

Anyway, I shall return.

You can find my blog at: http://asubmergingchurch.lifewithchrist.org/

~Andrew Barnes

AJF said...

Good point Andrew. If you die in MLB it's because you wreck your heart on roids, amphetimines, and HGH....In the NBA or the NFL it's more likely by gunshot wound from "friends" or former cohorts.

GUNNY said...

andrew,

As a Cubs fan, do you think Zambrano is roiding it up?

That surely has to be roid rage that sends him into his tizzies, even duking it out with his own catcher in the clubhouse.

Andrew said...

Gunny,

No I don't think he is on roids.

I just think he is young and hasn't learned to control his emotions yet. It will come in time. He is getting better (if you remember his first year --> one thing went wrong and he was done).

What are you thinking anyway, no Cubs players would 'ever' use performance enhancing drugs.