After reading this article on ESPN.com, my feelings towards the Mitchell report have gotten worse, if that’s at all possible. I’ll excerpt some quotes of note:
From a coach (all of the sources here are unnamed, for obvious reasons):
“They wanted us to speculate. And I wouldn’t do that. They wanted me to say who I thought was using steroids. And when I said, ‘I don’t know,’ they would say, ‘Well, you work most closely with these guys. You work on their bodies every day. You weren’t the least bit suspicious when you saw their bodies change?’
“This was the kind of stuff I was most afraid of, because they didn’t ask me about specific people with specific information that they had. They asked me to guess. I said my guess was no guess at all, because what would happen to me if I said a guy was using steroids who wasn’t? What if I guessed wrong? Then my name is out there, I get fired, and I’m easily replaceable.”
Why are they asking people to guess?
“They didn’t ask us those things because they didn’t have the level of sophistication about what we do,” said a National League strength coach. “They didn’t know the right questions to ask. At no point in my interview did anyone say to me, ‘What can we recommend to make sure this never happens again?'”
Uh, wasn’t the whole point of the investigation to figure out how to never let this happen again? Oh, my mistake. I forgot that it was a witch hunt to bring out the biggest names in baseball.
“I didn’t go in there with a lawyer because I didn’t have anything to hide,” the manager said. “They asked me if I’d ever seen anyone do steroids. I said no. They asked me how I thought the players’ bodies got so big, and I said the players were in the weight room day and night, so it made sense to me. Then he said to me, ‘Well, don’t you know that steroids combined with weightlifting can make you even bigger?’ He said it to me like I was dumb, so I said, ‘No, I didn’t know that.'”
Wow. I didn’t know that! Pass the bull testosterone, yo!
Oh, and don’t forget Mr. Mitchell’s status on the board of directors of the Red Sox. The following is an excerpt from an e-mail sent by John Clarke, a spokesman for DLA Piper, the law firm conducting the investigation.
“Senator Mitchell and the Red Sox have agreed that he would not provide advice to the Red Sox owners until this investigation is completed and he would not receive any compensation from the team. That is the current situation,” Clarke wrote in a Nov. 30 e-mail to ESPN.com. “It is the expectation of the Senator and the Red Sox that he will resume his previous role after the completion of the investigation.”
Oh, then never mind! It’s all cool. He didn’t advise or take money while the investigation was ongoing. That he did those things before the investigation, and plans to continue doing so after the investigation, means nothing, right?
At least one GM is speaking out against this:
“They expected everyone to believe what they say, but they didn’t do anything real to change anybody’s mind. It was just his word,” one general manager said of Mitchell and his investigators. “They think everybody is stupid. They really do.”
So instead of figuring out how to stop this, they’re trying to levy blame on anyone they can. Thanks, Mitchell and Company. I’ll rest easier knowing that you compiled a list of names that people guessed at.
Honestly, I think this report is going to do a lot more to hurt baseball than to help it.
On a related note, I betcha a fiver that A-Rod’s name is somewhere in the Mitchell report. And I betcha that there’s a token Red Sox reference, but nothing of substance. (And I’m not saying A-Rod because he’s a Yankee, but rather because he’s a big name, and including him would seem to fit Mitchell’s M.O.)