Well I’m glad that’s over

by billfer on December 13, 2007 · 58 comments

in Uncategorized

After an obscene amount of coverage for an event that will change baseball forever, the long awaited Mitchell report was released today. In it we learned that it is hard to get dirt on people if you don’t have any legal authority to make them tell you stuff. And if the stuff is self-incriminating it is even harder to get people to talk. So can we move on now?

So what did we learn? That some former Tigers used anabolic steroids and HFH with mixed results. My fellow Tigers bloggers have already covered this in depth so I suggest you read their takes.

As for me, it’s hard to be truly surprised. If I were going to guess 3 former Tigers to be on the list, I doubt that Rondell White, Fernando Vina, or Nook Logan would have even been in my top 5. At the same time it makes perfect sense as well. A couple guys who can’t stay healthy and a guy that relies on speed and probably wants to add some punch. But the Tigers sampling does show how widespread and varied the use may be (probably is). We also learned that you shouldn’t buy such drugs with personal checks in the event a supplier has his home raided.

Mike Valenti from the Ticket 97.1 was complaining that the report was boring and that there weren’t enough names of significance. He complained that many of the players names were essentially nobodies. I’m not sure what Valenti was looking for in terms of entertainment value and shock and awe. But instead of dismissing the non-significant players he perhaps should have realized that the report may be indicative of steroid use in MLB

It’s what would appear to be a random sampling of baseball’s population. It’s guys like Roger Clemens — and Jason Christiansen. It’s Miguel Tejada — and Mike Lansing. It’s Jason Giambi — and Jeremy Giambi. If anything, in fact, the list appears to have a tilt toward marginal players rather than stars, something which might have been predicted based on both the circumstantial statistical evidence, and the underlying incentives behind steroid usage: it’s the guys who are trying to become millionaires — not those who are millionaires already –who have the most reason to cheat.

Nate Silver – Baseball Prospectus

In the end I don’t know much more than I did before. There did appear to be some assurances that the drug program is helping – not solving mind you – but helping curtail the use of steroids. The sport will never be clean, but the efforts to date look to be moving things in the right direction. The afternoon also affirmed most widely held beliefs about Bud Selig and his buffoonery. He schedules a press conference but can’t answer questions because he hasn’t read the report. Also Bud urges everyone to not dwell in the past when it comes to holding MLB accountable, but he’s prepared to hand out punishments for the players role. Nice Bud.

So the Mitchell Report is done. A couple years and tens of millions of dollar later we finally learn the information that local, state, and federal authorities discovered while conducting investigations. Whoopee.

 
 

{ 58 comments }

Kathy December 13, 2007 at 10:45 pm

I’ve never paid that much attention to Bud Selig before this year and his behavior at the Bonds game and this afternoon’s appearance confirms every word you say, Billfer. Did you notice how he kept opening and closing his mouth while reporters asked him questions?

greg December 13, 2007 at 10:47 pm

I can never listen to Selig for very long because it sounds like I’m listening to Charlie Brown’s parents.

Bob December 13, 2007 at 11:10 pm

Not enough names of significance? What is Mike Valenti thinking? There were over 30 former all-stars named, 8 MVPs, 5 Rookies of the Year, and one of the greatest pitchers of all time.

greg December 13, 2007 at 11:24 pm

I don’t know this Valenti guy, but if I had to guess, I’d say that of these ‘names of significance’ in this report, there were no real surprises, except for Pettitte. Most of the big names were ‘old news’ or had exhibited the signs.

I was more surprised by the names that WEREN’T in the report.

Mike R December 13, 2007 at 11:25 pm

This entire thing pissed me off. I had the afternoon off and watched the coverage all afternoon and was enraged.

-MLB is more then willing to have an investigation into the problem, and when the report points fingers back into the administration of baseball they don’t want to take the responsibility? How does that work? Nothing like driving the get away car but be appalled at being linked to the robbery.

-Donald Fehr could have, and should have, torn apart everything Bud Selig said or didn’t say. I don’t get why he didn’t.

-Listening to George Mitchell is the auditory equivalent to watching paint dry.

-The strongest evidence — Pettitte and Clemens allegations — come from someone who was given the ultimatum of giving up names or going to jail. Also, an ex employee. How credible is this source?

-Brian Roberts is in the report because he lived with David Segui and because of a passing comment made to Larry Bigbie a half a decade ago? That’s it?

-It’s an investigation into cleaning up the sport, yet none of the accused deserved punishments according to Mr. Mitchell?

-The Report suggests no punishment but Bud Selig feels the need to go case-by-case so he can circumvent the system?

-This entire thing took 20 months to tell us everything we already knew. What a terrible report, waste of time, waste of money. Just complete garbage. Only Major League Baseball can spend 20 months to try to make overpaid athletes look like frauds, liars, and cheaters, yet fail so miserably that it makes the frauds, liars, and cheaters come across as the sympathetic figure.

Absolute joke. Just a joke.

Stephen December 13, 2007 at 11:28 pm

‘An obscene amount of coverage for an event that will change baseball forever?’ I think that’s a double negative and I don’t agree.
There really had to be a day of reckoning–no matter how flawed– before the game could move on. Without accountability, or at least the attempt at accountability, how could we move on? Are you really saying in a multi-billion industry that is also America’s pastime it wasn’t worth spending half as much as the Tigers will be paying Brandon Inge over the next three years to get a better understanding of the steroid era?
In Watergate, Nixon never went to prison, but i’m pretty sure it was a good idea we investigated governmental corruption. That’s history, you never get all the bad guys but you have to send up a few flares saying ‘hey, you’d better make at least a nod at towing the straight and narrow ’cause there’s a chance you could get busted. That’s the only thing saving society from complete chaos. Sadly, few folks are guided by morality, they’re guided by the fact they could get caught.
You don’t think that some players–the smart ones, at least–are gonna think twice about shooting up HGH because of this report? Mitchell did the best he could with a crappy hand and I think baseball fans are far better for it.

greg December 13, 2007 at 11:45 pm

quote –

-Listening to George Mitchell is the auditory equivalent to watching paint dry.

LOL, good stuff.

The hunch I have this is more political than anything else. It doesn’t sound like they’re trying to ‘burn’ any players. It sounds like they’re doing it for image(demonstrating that they’re trying to ‘clean things up’), as well as set a precedent for solutions in the future….such as 3rd party involvement/control in testing, and perhaps other things that the Players Union wouldn’t agree to previously.

Just shooting from the hip. I could be wrong.

Dave December 14, 2007 at 12:30 am

Actually I think they spent twice what Brandon Inge will be making.

ron December 14, 2007 at 1:33 am

The report is only the tip of the iceberg. What they needed was more informers. Shame on them and shame on us for buying tickets to see these cartoon characters ruin a sport. You’d have to be blind not to notice the big butts, big thighs, big arms, big heads and big egos blossom in the last 15 years. We loved watching monstrous home runs and inflated pitchers running in from the bullpen to blaring music. It was Bruce Willis and Arnie in a baseball uniform. Roger Clemens on 60 Minutes espousing his workout routine with his wife and boys standing next to him. What a man. And then we have the very religious Pettitte who doesn’t have the cajones to admit to it. He must have missed the sermon on cheating which doesn’t only mean adultery. Hey, Pudge wasn’t on the list. Check out his before and after and back to his before physique. I guess he was a little more sneakier than the other fools. They should do an investigation of us fans to see what makes us tick. I have a feeling we wouldn’t like what they found out.

Rene December 14, 2007 at 3:14 am

I’m with Ron, I think most of us knew all along what was going on, we just chose to ignore it. the players were getting bigger and better but at an older age, how could you not notice. I will still watch and “root, root, root for the Tigers” but will be more skepticle when it comes to 40+ he men.

Mike December 14, 2007 at 6:51 am

This is only a sampling of the whole problem because most of the evidence apart from the existing BALCO case, is from two or three informats who only have knowledge of certain teams. It might be that other organisations don’t have snitches in them that Mitchell can pressurise. Plus other guys where much smarter in covering their tracks.

ron December 14, 2007 at 7:51 am

It’s a little boys game that shouldn’t be played by big men. They can’t handle the responsibility.

Scott December 14, 2007 at 8:19 am

Investigating MLB is like trying to investigate the mafia…the players’ union encouraged ALL it’s members not to co-operate with Mitchell…any player named on the list was contacted and given an opportunity to come forward and have a discussion with Mitchell’s team — and WHY did all the players like Clemens refuse to come forward…?? If you’re really innocent come forward with your lawyer and present your story and your evidence…These players were all guilty and Mitchell got corroborating evidence from different sources…It was far from a perfect investigation as Mitchell really needed subpoena power to fully uncover the serious drug problem in MLB…..Will the player’s union have the balls to agree to random drug testing by an outside organization (with appropriate safeguards)…?? MLB and the union better move quickly to start to restore the integrity to the sport of baseball or Congress may intervene — and it will be much better fro MLB to act decisively to police the sport on it’s own.

BobS. December 14, 2007 at 9:18 am

The flawed practice of “…giving up names or going to jail” is one of the lubricants for our criminal justice system.Most crimes are not solved like you see on CSI.If we’re going to allow people to be put behind bars based on the word of informants who cut deals with prosecutors,it can’t be that objectionable for Mitchell’s toothless investigation.Anyway,as far as I know,Mitchell has no immunity from the laws regarding libel or slander.Any aggrieved players on his list have the option to clear their name in court.Under oath,like Barry Bonds in front of the grand jury.
In the end,Mitchell was the wrong guy for the wrong investigation.His affiliation with the Red Sox organization caused his impartiality to be questioned from the start.Lack of subpoena power made stonewalling an effective tactic.
The mafia analogy is good one and,by essentially making ALL players complicit in a cover-up it also makes ALL players suspect as users.
We are left,however,with a couple of inescapable conclusions.#1,that use of performance enhancers was ubiquitous throughout the ranks,and #2,the greatest pitcher and the greatest batter of the last 20 years achieved at least part of their success through the use of said agents.
By the way,FireJoeMorgan does a funny number on the hypocritical Petite.

Rings December 14, 2007 at 9:30 am

As the report is being issued, and seemingly everyone is named, it becomes even more meaningless.

If everyone was on steriods/HGH/etc., then the playing field was level. There’s no way to go back and “*” or punish players or teams well after the fact.

Are you going to delete the home runs or batting averages of hitters? Delete the strikeouts or “three-saves-in-a-row” performances of pitchers? Are you going to make teams, who had named players, forfeit games/seasons/championships?
It gets ridiculous.
Only apologists, who run around saying ‘but they’ve never failed a test’ would claim to believe that the game isn’t and wasn’t entirely beholden to performance enhancers.

And so what?

The game’s never been healthier – more fans, more money, better television coverage, better revenues, more press…The players were making their money and the owners were cashing in on the gate receipts.

C’mon… This stuff is all a bunch to do about nothing and face-saving for the game and Bud Selig, who want to say that they’re “doing something about it.” Yeah, right…by having a politician – who’s currently on Boston’s payroll, by the way – run an investigation on hearsay and partial testimonies. It accomplishes nothing.

Until they put REAL regular and random testing in place for everyone (and the union quits stonewalling) – like the Olympics or other international sports – and ENFORCE them (even for the star players in the middle of a pennant race), then this whole thing is a charade and nothing more meaningful than your latest issue of the National Enquirer. While its fun to read the names, its still nonsense.

The report is truly meaningless, aside from the gossip factor and to reinforce that the issue is widespread. The fact that this is, by and large, hearsay will be the main defense of all the players named (which Clemens’ agent has already used).

Again, none of this will matter unless MLB and the MLBPA implement and enforce REAL testing and REAL punishments.
The rest of this is just for show.

The other issue – to us as Tiger fans – is that Selig is saying that he “will react swiftly” to this report, presumably punishing some players. One has to wonder whether Sheffield may be suspended – along with others – for their past use. I would imagine, however, that the MLBPA would fight any suspensions based on this report (as well as any real testing), which would make it possible, but unlikely that he’d miss time, but still, it has to be a concern for many teams, Tigers included.

greg December 14, 2007 at 10:00 am

I personally feel like I’m in no position to judge any of these players.

For starters, while the press likes to oversimplify the use of HGH and performance enhancing substances. It’s an extremely complicated issue that is continually evolving. There are literally, hundreds of different substances, with countless more invented all the time. Each substance has to be judged on its own. Its inaccurate to lump them all together. They range from your simple supplements available at GNC located on the shelf right next to your vitamin B supplement, to the hard core stuff you inject with needles, and everything in between. I’ve also heard the testing procedures are far from accurate, and that legal supplements, in the right doses, can cause a positive test. On top of that there is the possibility of tainted supplements(there have already been documented cases of this where individuals have been exonerated when initially it was thought they were guilty).

Then there’s the issue of, just how wrong is it. For some, it really strikes a chord, and some people have strong feelings and emotions about it for some reason. A very large number of others aren’t bothered by it at all, or view it about as serious as…speeding, or some other violation. A number of parallels could be drawn here with what goes on in the insurance and accounting arenas and the way they might be forced to spin/convolute things to keep their jobs. I’ve known a couple people who used to be insurance adjusters who said they only way they could keep their jobs, was basically to defraud people of money(by intentionally giving inaccurate assessments of the value of claims) Or some of the practices of certain salesmen. Certainly there are honest salesmen out there. But there are millions who are the most successful simply because they’re great at the art of deception, basically lying to people able the products/services they sell, and finding suckers they can take advantage of.

Obviously it doesn’t make it right, but sometimes people face pressure of being ‘unethical’ if they want to stay in their current line of employment, or perhaps the line gets blurred along the way, and this is definitely the case for some of these performance enhancing supplements. Heck, there are new chemicals/supplements developed each and every month, and initially, they’re not banned, heck, they’re not even known except among hardcore workout people. Tons of them end up being perfectly legal, or the side effects aren’t known yet, or the early returns are that there are no side effects, not much different than a protein supplement, plus maybe ‘everybody’s doing it’ or so you think, and then, 5 years down the road, it becomes illegal, or maybe its not illegal, but controlled, or perhaps its not controlled and you can buy it at GNC, but its banned by MLB, but it wasn’t banned when you tried it.

This is only scratching the surface of the complexity of the issue, but this post is already rather verbose, so I’ll close for now.

Joey the K December 14, 2007 at 4:09 pm

The players should just eat Froot Loops, look how big Mickey Tettleton got off of them!

greg December 14, 2007 at 4:45 pm

Brandon Phillips just eats Lucky Charms before every game(no joke!) Hey, it works for him!

BobS. December 14, 2007 at 5:25 pm

You must have meant to write that you’re in no position to judge any of those players GUILTY,since you followed your declaration with three rather long paragraphs essentially absolving them of responsibility for their behavior.

greg December 14, 2007 at 6:21 pm

quote:

You must have meant to write that you’re in no position to judge any of those players GUILTY,since you followed your declaration with three rather long paragraphs essentially absolving them of responsibility for their behavior.

unquote

Incorrect. You misinterpret my statements. Sorry for the length.

BobS. December 14, 2007 at 6:50 pm

Well,I read you blame the press,inaccurate testing procedures,poor manufacturing and packaging in the supplement industry,innovation in the supplement industry,and,of course,that old favorite,society.Everything and everybody except the players,apparently the only part of this who you are in no position to judge.

greg December 14, 2007 at 7:03 pm

quote:

Everything and everybody except the players,apparently the only part of this who you are in no position to judge.

unquote.

Rubbish. I merely stated facts to say, its complicated.

If you want to play word games with the semantics of of the term ‘judge’, to the end of convoluting what I said…..not interested.

BobS. December 14, 2007 at 7:16 pm

Thank you for your insight into the “complexity of the issue”.Your grasp of the obvious is illuminating.
Rather than semantic word games,I’m using a fairly expansive definition of “judge” and you still come off reading like an apologist for players that were well enough aware of the questionable ethics (not to mention legality) of their activities that they took pains to hide them.

Jim December 14, 2007 at 8:35 pm

“I’m not sure what Valenti was looking for in terms of entertainment value and shock and awe. ”

I think he was more referring to the fact this was kind of hyped up and failed to live up to it.

IMO it was a waste of time for the most part.

Just remember kids, Ruth did it on hot dogs and beer.

Kathy December 14, 2007 at 9:22 pm

I loved what you wrote, greg. You can’t imagine what goes on in school systems to try and make everything look all right just to keep your job. Very well said.

Speaking of steroids, my son used to buy this gigantic container of powder at GNC which cost like 75.00 or something that he’d mix in a glass of orange juice or whatever to bulk up while he was lifting weights. For all I know, that may be an illegal substance.

David December 14, 2007 at 10:34 pm

Could it be whey protein? It is normally sold in powder form and if you spend a lot you can get it for real cheap in bulk.

Helps you maintain a positive nitrogen balance which is critical for muscle growth while bulking or cutting.

It is very tasty and found naturally in yogurt and milk and unlike other protein sources it is very fast absorbing by the body.

The OJ makes me think even more that it is protein because OJ has a crapload of sugar which really helps spike your insulin levels and rush the whey into your muscles after you work out.

Plus after burning up sugar in your muscles if you workout hard then it helps to replace it.

They sell the whey at kroger meijer anywhere it really is a much healthier alternative to any sweet you could buy.

Whoops went on too long – but to sum up I bet 99% it is whey and highly doubt it is an illegal substance.

Kathy December 14, 2007 at 11:41 pm

I think it was creatine. Is that illegal for MLB players?

Jim December 15, 2007 at 12:06 am

No. Creatine is a dissovable white powder that pretty much goes hand in hand with whey protein. For me it was three scoops of whey, milk and a small scoop of creatine after lifting weights…

Dave December 15, 2007 at 12:16 am

Jeez, Bob, did Greg run over your dog or something?

BobS. December 15, 2007 at 12:29 am

I could have forgiven him if she hadn’t been in my backyard at the time.

ron December 15, 2007 at 2:52 am

Can someone please tell me why a baseball player would ever use these substances? Aren’t you suppose to play the game with your God given talent? Oh, by the way, where are the little rats?

T Smith December 15, 2007 at 8:42 am

Why do (did) they use steroids?

Let’s provide an example. Let’s say you’re going to trade school along with a thousand other students (with whom you’re competing for a job, carreer, livlihood, etc.). Employers will hire you and pay you according to your performance on essays, tests, and grades — and moreover, on a bell curve, relative to your fellow students.

Now:

If the guy next to you is “getting ahead” and positioning himself, relative to you, e.g. advancing by using a cheat sheet, — and moreover, if ALL, or almost ALL the students and doing the same, where does that leave you? It leaves you on an unlevel playing field for being honest. Moreover, if “cheating” isn’t officially illegal at the trade school, what harm is there in it? Sure, it’s morally dubious, but there is no rule against it (circa 1990s). What to do? Watch the Tajada’s and Sosa’s of the world become stars are receive boat loads of $ and fat contracts while you sit back and “do the right thing?” at the risk of achieving a minor league glory for yourself and bagging groceries in your post athlete years?

I’m not condoning it, just providing a psychology of why everybody — and believe me — in the late 90s it was virtually everybody in the sport — was doing some kind of steriod or enhancement drug. As somebody else pointed out, it was the guys on the Mitchell report who were clumsy enough to get caught.

ron December 15, 2007 at 9:00 am

Geez, it’ll soon be 48 hours. Where are the denials, lawsuits or God forbid, apologies. Oh, they’re just like the regular Joe next door screwing fellow Americans out of a few dollars to make a living. Silly of me to expect anything more of these guys. Why can’t I get that picture of Mark bending over in a stall with his pants around his ankles and getting injected in the butt by Jose out oh my mind. Now that scene should go on the Hall of Fame plaque. I’m sure the Mick and Roger would have done the same thing in 61′ if the stuff was available. Could have injected each other in the stall to make things interesting. Oh, boys will be boys.

ron December 15, 2007 at 9:15 am

And Andy should have done the right thing. He went to church on Sundays with his family where they preach ethics once in a while. Poor Andy. What are his fellow parishoners going to think of him now? Except for those who work in the insurance industry, on Wall Street or the local GNC store. To them, he’ll just be one of the guys.

ron December 15, 2007 at 9:43 am

Another scene I can’t get out of my head is the night Clemens announced his return to the Yankees in front of 55,000 screaming fans this year. Actually made Susan, a Yankee announcer, cry on the air out of sheer excitement. It was a moment to behold. He actually looked like an inflatable doll standing in the owner’s box waving to the delirious fans with one hand while holding his freshly signed 18mil. or was it 28 mil.? dollar contract in the other hand. I’m sure every person who was a Yank fan that night saw visions of Roger holding up the World Series trophy. It’s been quite a drought for these N.Y. fans. Unfortunately, Roger couldn’t deliver. Even in this age of designer drugs, there are limits.

Dave December 15, 2007 at 9:47 am

You’re right, Bob, that was pretty harsh.

ron December 15, 2007 at 10:13 am

Wern’t we supposed to go to the ballpark to get away from the cheats and scoundrels we have to deal with on a daily basis? Maybe that fella holding up the sign “THE END IS NEAR” in Times Square is on to something.

BobS. December 15, 2007 at 10:16 am

Dave,I promise not to take your little brother’s lunch money again.

Kathy December 15, 2007 at 10:33 am

why do they take steroids? It’s all about the money, folks. There have always been drugs in sports and owners, managers, fans, and players turn a blind eye. It’s about hitting more homers, getting stronger, healing injuries so they can keep their job and so the fans will continue to flock to the ballpark.

David December 15, 2007 at 11:38 am

In my mind it is very simple

reward is greater than risk

but test and other substances while they might make you stronger alot quicker you still have to train hard,

plus to my knoweldege when you stop taking them every gain you have made goes away and then some because your body adapts and realizes it doesn’t need to produce as much of the stuff after awhile

ALSO big points
1) Test doesn’t help with a pitchers control
2) Test doesn’t help with making contact with a 95mph fastball a 90mph curveball, a 80 mph changeup

Plus all of the risks

Former player Ken Caminiti, the 1996 National League MVP, detailed the health consequences he suffered from steroid use, telling Sports Illustrated that “his testicles shrank and retracted; doctors found his body had virtually stopped producing its own testosterone and that his level of the hormone had fallen to 20% of normal.” Caminiti later died as a direct result of substance abuse.[4] (Wikipedia)

David December 15, 2007 at 12:24 pm

Here is a really nice bio on Dontrelle (albeit a few spelling errors)

If you have 5 minutes it is a good read on our newest Tiger

http://www.jockbio.com/Bios/Willis/Willis_bio.html

David December 15, 2007 at 12:29 pm

If you check out Verlanders bio on that page these 2 things I found to be interesting

# In Little League, some children would start crying in the on deck circle when they saw how fast Justin was.
# Justin was doing loss-toss before he knew what it was. By high school, he could throw a baseball the length of a football field.

Jim December 15, 2007 at 12:47 pm

If someone told you that you’d die at 60 instead of 70 but you’d make an extra 10 million over your career and play infront of adoring fans, you wouldnt do it?

I would.

greg December 15, 2007 at 12:49 pm

Why would anybody take them?

A number of these substances, were seen as little more than vitamins, and were widely considered harmless/safe by countless experts in the field at the time. GNC sold a number of legal substances, over the counter, next to your vitamin B12 and protein supplements. A lot of these substances occur naturally in the body, and also naturally in some foods. Over time, new research/data became available on these substances and they were banned by MLB.

To ‘homogenize’ all these radically different cases is grossly inaccurate. Most are unaware of this, but others, simply are uncomfortable when their over simplified view of things gets challenged by truth/reality.

ron December 15, 2007 at 12:56 pm

Speaking of children, make sure you explain to the little baseball fans about steroids and when you bought tickets to a game, you were unwittingly? supporting and encouraging this habit and you will no longer spend your hard earned money on frauds. In fact, the next time they want to see a game, tell them to go outside and play ball. You might have a budding Justin running around the living room and not even know it.

ron December 15, 2007 at 1:08 pm

Jim, don’t forget the shrunken testicals. My wife would have killed me way before 60 no matter how big our bank account was.

Jim December 15, 2007 at 8:56 pm

Interesting question:

What’s the difference between cortisone and HGH when prescribed legally? Whys one against the rules and one not.

Mike R December 16, 2007 at 2:37 am

Why do (did) they use steroids?

Let’s provide an example. Let’s say you’re going to trade school along with a thousand other students (with whom you’re competing for a job, carreer, livlihood, etc.). Employers will hire you and pay you according to your performance on essays, tests, and grades — and moreover, on a bell curve, relative to your fellow students.

Now:

If the guy next to you is “getting ahead” and positioning himself, relative to you, e.g. advancing by using a cheat sheet, — and moreover, if ALL, or almost ALL the students and doing the same, where does that leave you? It leaves you on an unlevel playing field for being honest. Moreover, if “cheating” isn’t officially illegal at the trade school, what harm is there in it? Sure, it’s morally dubious, but there is no rule against it (circa 1990s). What to do? Watch the Tajada’s and Sosa’s of the world become stars are receive boat loads of $ and fat contracts while you sit back and “do the right thing?” at the risk of achieving a minor league glory for yourself and bagging groceries in your post athlete years?

I’m not condoning it, just providing a psychology of why everybody — and believe me — in the late 90s it was virtually everybody in the sport — was doing some kind of steriod or enhancement drug. As somebody else pointed out, it was the guys on the Mitchell report who were clumsy enough to get caught.

Didn’t MLB have a rule against steroids on the books since 1991?

BobS. December 16, 2007 at 10:04 am

Cortisone is a corticosteroid,a class of drugs which have fairly widespread conventional applications in medicine as anti-inflammatory agents in conditions ranging from asthma to orthopedic problems to immunosuppression in transplant patients.
Growth hormone has more specific applications and can be legally prescribed for hypopituitarism,which has various causes.Generally speaking,an endocrinologist should be consulted regarding it’s use.Because of the medical-legal-ethical issues presently attached to it’s use,most physicians would probably be reluctant to casually prescribe it to professional athletes as a training supplement or even to help recover from an injury.
I guess the answer to your question is that cortisone is used to treat an existing diagnosed medical problem,the same way some athletes are treated with insulin for their diabetes or chemotherapy for their cancer.Growth hormone is not used based on medical diagnosis,but usually for the sake of it’s user to enhance an otherwise healthy body in order to gain a competitive edge.Like all medical treatment,there are potentially hazardous side effects that some users are obviously prepared to risk.The biggest problem I have with performance enhancing agents like growth hormone is that their use by some players force the Hobbesian choice on other players who otherwise wouldn’t use them to either risk the potential lifelong medical complications associated with their use or lose their competitive edge and the financial reward that goes with it.

Kurt December 16, 2007 at 1:42 pm

Right from the mitchell report:

There is a widespread misconception that the use of steroids and other performance enhancing substances, such as human growth hormone, was not prohibited in Major League Baseball before the inclusion of the joint drug program in the 2002 Basic Agreement. In fact, as early as 1991 baseball’s drug policy expressly prohibited the use of “all illegal drugs and controlled substances, including steroids or prescription drugs for which the individual … does not have a prescription.”

ron December 16, 2007 at 8:07 pm

How much financial reward do some of these guys need to risk their health. They’re addicted to the fame and money and we’re addicted to them. Who are the fools here?

ron December 17, 2007 at 9:30 am

We’re waiting to hear from you ,Roger. It’s Monday morning and your agent or lawyer should have a nicely worded statement like Andy’s how you did it for the team. And Nook, where are you?

ron December 17, 2007 at 11:19 am

Where are the lawyers on this site? Any advice for some of these players?

Greg December 17, 2007 at 12:18 pm

I’m an attorney (although I don’t handle these types of cases). A lot of people talk about suing for libel. I think even Roger Clemens threatened it. MLB indemnified Mitchell, so Mitchell does not face any personal liability.

Libel is a tough burden. Clemens, or any player, has the burden of proving that the report was untrue. The burden is just to prove it by a “preponderance of the evidence,” it isn’t like the criminal law standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt.” The problem is that the report doesn’t explicitly say “Clemens used steroids.” It says “so and so said that Clemens used steroids, and here’s a copy of a check he wrote.” Unless the informant didn’t actually say those things, it’s hard to accuse the report of being inaccurate. And it has to be explicitly wrong — I don’t think innuendo counts.

I would advise the players that they don’t have any legal recourse, although I’m sure there are plenty of money and attention-hungry attorneys who will take on such a case. It complicates things that all of the players were given a chance to talk to Mitchell, but declined.

Dave December 17, 2007 at 4:00 pm

The players would also have to prove that any false information was cited for the purpose of doing them some kind of harm.

Greg December 17, 2007 at 6:09 pm

Dave, I don’t think that’s right. Slander and libel are intentional torts. But the “intent” element merely requires that the speaker/writer intended to say what he did.

Intent to do harm would certainly be relevant to punitive damages (and might be a crime?).

ron December 19, 2007 at 1:23 am

I find it interesting that there are only 56 comments concerning the biggest scandal in baseball since 1919. A statement by Brandon Inge concerning anything would garner twice as many responses. Are people so inured to this cheating in baseball and boorish behavior by athletes in all sports that they just don’t care?

David December 19, 2007 at 2:48 am

If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’…
-Anon

Personally if I were interested in cheating in baseball(which I’m not sure if using the test even bothers me) and who did it I’d much rather read a book like Juiced by Canseco – who had the inside track and is credited as bringing the stuff into the game by many.

The truth(who knows if this report is even telling the truth or used pressure to create false acusations) the WHOLE TRUTH (which the report seems to be lacking) and nothing but the truth (again who knows).

Inge on the otherhand is a longtime Tiger an exceptional third-baseman (I really don’t care what anyone says), a good media personality and frankly not a SMART hitter.

If he were a good hitter then there really would be not much to hang your hat on if you were an Inge hater.

The reason Inge posts (IMO) garner many responses is because most people tend to see one glaring side and ignore the other.

With Crag/Casey gone Inge could be seen as the free-swinging weak spot – which many fans (this site being no exception) – a rally-killer and they thing they must crusade against the Inge lovers inorder to make the lineup more ridiculous than it already was and is.

Where are the posts for/against Pudge??? He didn’t exactly do too well last year.

Go Tigs!

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