Thursday, December 13, 2007

Reaction to the Mitchell Report

The Mitchell Report (the result of a two year investigation by former senator George Mitchell into the use of steroids and performance enhancing drugs in major league baseball) worries me.  More than 60 players are named in the over 400-page document which I just finished browsing through.  I get the feeling that everyone is on the list.  It sure seems that way.

By now you've probably heard a good number of the names, so I won't go repeating them.  Instead, I want to share with you what truly worries me the most about all this.

With the release of this report, baseball has been dragged into the spotlight as a dirty, cheater-filled game.  All 30 MLB teams have had players involved with performance enhancing drugs (maybe because Jose Canseco hopped around from team to team).

If you want to read the document: here's a PDF file of the Mitchell Report.

One radio talk show host on KTCK 1310 here in Dallas pointed out how football as a sport must be sitting back laughing at baseball being pulled through the mud today.  While it's looking as if there are not going to be any real ramification, consequences, repercussions, whatever, as a result of the Mitchell Report, it leaves a permanent scar on the sport - forever.

What will be done with the records of the last 20 years?  What will happen with the players?  What about Hall of Fame chances?  What about the future legitimacy of the sport?

Football players are huge, jacked up behemoths that we all watch each Sunday and say, "oh, I guess they all got that big by lifting."  The truth is, if football players are using performance enhancing drugs, I don't want to know.  I don't want to know if any Dallas Cowboys of the 1990s Super Bowl glory days were using.  I don't want me childhood idols tainted.  I'd truly rather be blissfully unaware.  If possible, if football is dirty, clean it up and get back to the true game, but keep it quiet.

It's too late for baseball to "keep it quiet" in regards to this.  And it's a shame that so many prominent baseball stars now have their reputations tarnished.  It's not a shame for them.  To those athletes who have done this to themselves, they have truly let down every fan of the game.

I grew up as a Texas Rangers fan, but I don't really care too much for MLB.  But as a fan of the Rangers as a little kid, it sucks to hear that Rafael Palmiero, and Juan Gonzalez didn't do it the right way.

What disturbs me even more is just how much so many of these players denied their use of performance-enhancing drugs throughout the process.  Not just Rafael Palmiero and his "I have never taken steroids.  Period." finger-pointing performance in Congress.  Not just Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwuire.  But so many more.

Put it this way: remember the backlash when Jose Canseco released his book "Juiced" and everyone said that it was all lies and that he was simply just doing the book to make money.  Canseco was labeled a liar.  As it turns out, he is the one who probably came out the best in this entire thing!

I understand some players who came into the league during this era must have had a hard time coming to grips with the reality of how the game was played.  If you're a clean player who does it right, who doesn't use performance enhancing drugs, there's a guy on the juice who is taking your spot on a pro roster.  That sucks.  So what do you do?  You juice up and get bigger, stronger, faster, healthier and you take your spot back with a larger hat size.

As a fan of sports, the Mitchell Report brings to light a disturbing, gut-wrenching feeling.  These facts now coming to the forefront brings a feeling comparable to losing a family pet.  It hurts.

And it's going to hurt for a long time.

No comments:

Hit Counter

Everyone's visiting the NO JOSHIN' blog. Tell your friends to take a look!
Hit Counter