What – you want more on the Mitchell Report?

December 13th, 2007 → 6:46 pm @ // 4 Comments

Lots and lots and lots and lots of actual and virtual ink will be spilled on the Mitchell Report, which is going to make life hell for a whole mess of people. I’ll resist added too much of my drivel and will instead limit myself to some few quick points on issues such as…

Roger Clemens. Why, you might ask, would a sure-fire Hall of Famer risk his reputation and legacy over these last five or so years by taking PEDs? People asked me that question again and again during the pre-season frenzies of last season and 2006. I have no way of knowing; for some reason, Clemens won’t talk to me. But I do have an idea: because he has never, in his entire life, had to deal with the consequences of his actions. He can act like a teenage mutant ninja freak and throw broken bats across the field and it’s chalked up to competitive fire. He can demand ludicrous contract clauses like Hummers and private transportation and he’s indulged. Why, after years and years of this, would he suddenly think that the rules applied to him? (Clemens is far from alone in this regard; this is something that crops up again and again in ballplayers, who are constantly reminded that the normal rules of society–stay faithful to your spouse, clean up after yourself, don’t eat McDonald’s for breakfast–don’t apply to them.

I Love (the fact that I’m not playing in) New York. Plenty of teams’ fans are going to be crowing/letting out a huge sigh of relief…so long as those fans aren’t rooting for the Mets and the Yankees. A quick scan of what is destined to become known as the list shows current and former New Yorkers including Kevin Brown, Paul Lo Duca, Mo Vaughn, Todd Pratt, Ron Villone, David Justice, Chuck Knoblauch, Clemens, Andy Pettitte, and Lenny Dykstra. Does that mean that other teams–like, say, the Sox–are (or were) any cleaner? Hell no. It just means no-one else had a clubhouse attended that got popped.

The non-inclusion of any of the Idiots: Earlier today, what turned out to be a fake list was leaked; that one included names like Nomar, Johnny Damon, and Trot Nixon, along with other usual suspects like Pudge, Pujols, and Milton Bradley. (Later in the day, well-circulated rumor had Varitek also on the list.) Back in 2005, a member of the Sox’s front office physically shuddered at the thought of what would happen in Boston if news ever broke about someone on the ’04 team roiding up. It looks like that won’t happen…for now, anyway. That brings us to…

Eric Gagne. Gagne, as everyone now knows, was on the list, which can’t be a surprise to anyone. (Also included in the report is news that the Sox inquired about Gagne’s supposed doping before acquiring him at the deadline.) It turns out that the biggest favor Gagne may have done Boston is sucking ass for the second half of the season–now, at least, no one can point to him as one of the reason’s for the team’s success.

That’s all for now. I’ve written plenty about steroids in the past, including last August, when I wondered why no one was wondering about Roger, and way back in October ’06, when I mocked the press’s surprise that Clemens had been fingered in he Grimsley affidavit. I also tagged Jason Giambi a gutless punk, ripped into the Players Union for defending the players’ right to destroy their livers, lamented the fact that Jose Canseco seemed to be the only honest guy around, and talked about how Bill James compared steroids to going through a divorce. (Sort of, anyway.)

More later, I’m sure.


Post Categories: 2004 Playoffs & Eric Gagne & Jason Giambi & Jason Grimsley & Jason Varitek & Johnny Damon & Nomar Garciaparra & Roger Clemens & Steroids & The Mitchell Report & Trot Nixon

4 Comments → “What – you want more on the Mitchell Report?”


  1. drew717

    6 years ago

    “Does that mean that other teams–like, say, the Sox–are (or were) any cleaner? Hell no. It just means no-one else had a clubhouse attended that got popped.”

    Exactly. To me, parts VII through IX read like a detailed indictment, which is interesting to be sure, but it seems as if something with this much pomp, circumstance and hype behind it should be more comprehensive. It seems disingenuous for the Mitchell Commission to assert that they engaged in a wide-ranging inquiry when the players they point out by name were either out in the open as a result of the BALCO scandal, or were dimed out a couple of trainers. All these points are probably to anyone with a brain but I fear that the average observer will see this list as the “Who Was Who in Steroids” for the past decade and a half.

    Reply

  2. wired1

    6 years ago

    Seth,

    THe point about the usual rules not applying to athletes is a good one. Otherwise, why would they write their own checks and leave a paper trail; there is nothing that many of them have ever faced that would cause them to believe they would have to take responsibility for their actions. Their lives are based on their ability to perform on the playing field, and athletes are allowed to break rules from high school, through college, and in the pros.

    Many are also not the brightest, most educated guys, and perhaps easily influenced by their trainers, who probably care very little about the long term health risks.

    Reply

  3. tinisoli

    6 years ago

    Clemens is A) really really dumb, and B) one of the great egomaniacs of our time. That combination can make it very easy for an accomplished athlete to justify cheating or even convince himself that he’s not doing anything wrong. And like everyone has pointed out, once you get a taste of success and you realize that your peers are cheating to get ahead, it’s pretty tempting to keep up with them by dabbling in ‘roids and HGH yourself. These guys are hyper-competitive, but I don’t think we should ever assume that they draw the line at clean, fair competition.

    An annoying meme floating around before and after the Report’s release was the “YANKEES GOT NAILED/SOX ARE UNSCATHED” b.s. Shaughnessy peddled it in the next day’s Globe, suggesting that Mitchell’s place on the Sox masthead must have had something to do with the Yankees getting “trashed” and the world champion Sox emerging untouched. Did anyone do the math? Number of 2007 Sox named in the report: 2. Number of ’07 Yankees: 3. It seems that Sox haters think that because the Yankees’ juicers were hugely important to their recent teams that Mitchell should have outed players of similar stature from the Sox, just to be “fair.” How bizarre.

    An interesting game to play is to think or look back on magazine articles from ’98-’04 about the intense workout regimens of various players. I remember one in particular in Men’s Journal about Bonds’ routine, including his balms and creams. And who can forget the Nomar cover of SI in ’01, or whenever that was? Likewise for Giambi when he was in Oakland (Esquire, I believe). And obviously Clemens has welcomed many a journalist to witness his workouts. Basically, just look back through the archives for the guys who were most eager to show the world that they were bulking up to do hard work in the gym, and you’ll probably find some of the biggest juicers around. They must’ve figured that it was a good way to deflect steroid rumors before they began. ‘See? I let the whole world see how hard I lift and how many sprints I run. If I were cheating, why would I do that?’

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  4. SoxCrazy

    6 years ago

    Seth,

    Great way of putting it: “Why, you might ask, would a sure-fire Hall of Famer risk his reputation and legacy over these last five or so years by taking PEDs?” I think that, for most people, that is the worst part of the whole steroid thing. Somebody who is already living the life that everybody dreams about–playing baseball professionally, getting paid millions, etc–decides they aren’t content and wants more.

    As for how the Sox got away mostly cleanly, I don’t really know what to think. There are a few guys (Ortiz, for example) who I just can’t imagine doing steroids or cheating in any way at all. There are those like Gagne, for example, who was described as lacking the proper dedicated mindset to keep himself physically fit and needed the assistance of the steroids. But Pedroia, as quoted in this article, says he has never heard any whispers about ‘roids in the minors or the majors and has never been approached about them. He says the generation made up by him, Jonathan Papelbon, Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester, Brandon Moss, etc will be the “clean generation” who learned from others’ mistakes. Let’s hope it’s so, hmm?

    On a rather different note, I’m in the middle of the book Feeding the Monster and I just wanted to say I’m loving it. The style and information are great, and I especially find it helpful as I began following the Sox just in ’03–there wasn’t a pre-Werner/Lucchino/Henry era for me!

    Reply

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