Friday, December 14, 2007

Steroids and the Mitchell Report: MLB at fault

I'm not sure how many of you have had a chance to read the 409-page Mitchell Report. I'm as guilty as the rest of you in passing judgment based on news reports and talking head speculation.

I'm less interested in the names of the ball players that are included in the report. I think it stands to reason that these men are the epitome of the word competitive. It is in their blood, or genes, or souls. I don't have a hard time believing that they would take any step necessary to be the best at what they do. I'm not naive enough to forget that being the best means being paid like the best. But I still say that the competitive juices that flowed through their bodies before the chemical juices ever did, still drive them in their professional careers.

What I think the report shows is that rather than being a problem for a single individual or team, it shows that the steroid problem is a BASEBALL problem. It's one that the entire organization turned its head away from for the sake of its bank accounts and maybe even its very existence.

I didn't grow up a baseball fan. I thought the game was slow and boring. I preferred football to baseball any day. It wasn't until I had a room mate from Puerto Rico that I began to understand and appreciate baseball. For some reason, he grew up loving the Cincinnati Reds. Because they were in the same division as the Astros, I began following the Astros. That summer, I memorized pitching rotations and ERAs, BA's, K's, the works. I spent hours with newspaper print stained hands. Then the strike happened. I couldn't believe it. I felt like I had wasted all that time.

Just like the rest of America, I didn't come back to baseball until the homerun race between Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa. Baseball knew what it was doing in bringing the fans back. MLB should be as much to blame as anyone named in the report.

So what's the legal angle here?
Noted defense attorney, Rusty Hardin, is now representing Roger Clemens. According to Mr. Hardin, he is only representing him in regards to public relations. There are no criminal or civil claims directed at Clemens.

I think the real fight is going to come along Labor lines. The Commissioner, Bud Selig, has said he will discipline current players as necessary. The Players' Association's lawyers should be busy in 2008 defending its members from these actions. Will MLB break the union or will it pass on this fight for the benefit of the game.......and the owners' wallets?

1 comment:

seaside brother said...

Free the Rocket! Fly, Rocket, fly!!