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?
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.
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.