The Mitchell Report: The Cleanup Hitter
Now we know that Roger Clemens (Page 167) is a cheater. And so is his buddy Andy Pettitte (Page 175). And former American League MVP Miguel Tejada (Page 201). And former National League Cy Young winner Eric Gagne (Page 216). Even Halle Berry’s former husband, David Justice (Page 181), deceived us.
These players and many others were named Thursday in the Mitchell Report, which alleges their use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.
George Mitchell, former U.S. Senate Minority Leader, told the world during a press conference that, “for more than a decade there has been widespread anabolic steroid use.” Mitchell was hired by Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, and the report concluded a 20-month investigation.
Even though Mitchell wrote in the 409-page report that “former commissioner Fay Vincent told me that the problem of performance-enhancing substances may be the most serious challenge that baseball has faced since the 1919 Black Sox scandal,” the 74-year-old director of the Boston Red Sox also wrote against disciplining players named in the report.
“Except in those cases where [Selig] determines that the conduct is so serious that discipline is necessary to maintain the integrity of the game. I make this recommendation fully aware that there are valid arguments both for and against it,” Mitchell wrote.
Personally, I’d like to see none of the named players be allowed to play the game again. However, that’s not how our system works. They will play and earn their millions.
But they will be treated like pariahs, a la Mark McGwire, when judgment day comes. The end of a storied career should be a time of great reflection and a reward for the hard work and dedication they put toward their craft. However, for many, that day when they retreat away from the game will be the moment when they realize the damage they have done to America’s pastime.
It is my hope that when Roger Clemens is up for induction, for the greatest honor available to an athlete, immortality and enshrinement, his name will not be called. The Baseball Hall of Fame will not want him despite his statistics.
To my knowledge, the Hall of Fame is 100 percent clean. The players celebrated there now cast no suspicions of cheating and no doubts of their accomplishments. There are no asterisks.
Bonds and now Clemens hail from the Steroids Era, but that’s no excuse. Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey, Craig Biggio, Randy Johnson, Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and Tom Glavine to name a few, also come from the same period, and they will enter the Hall of Fame with no illegal prick marks on their bodies.
Keep the Baseball Hall of Fame clean.
I believe the next generation of players — Prince Fielder, David Wright, Fausto Carmona, Felix Hernandez, Jose Reyes, Scott Kazmir, Grady Sizemore, Cole Hamels, Matt Holliday, Curtis Granderson, Alex Rios, Ryan Zimmerman, Troy Tulowitzki, Miguel Cabrera, Ryan Braun, Justin Verlander, Bobby Jenks, Nick Markakis, Adrian Gonzalez, C.C. Sabathia, Scott Shields, Brandon Webb, Josh Beckett, Chris Young, B.J. Upton, Danny Haren, etc. — will make us forget all the cheaters.
OUT AT HOME: Want something fun and cheap to do with your kid(s)? Go to Stony Point Mall just before 7 p.m. any night and tell your kid(s) to stick out their tongue. Something magical will happen.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK: Would I ever do this? HELL, NO!