The Mitchell “Report”

What kind of baseball blogger would I be if I didn’t chime in with my 2 cents about the Mitchell Report?  I feel funny even calling it a "report" as it seems like a summation of what we already knew, and that’s that MLB has/had a steroid problem.  I’m glad it took 2 years and cost a lot of money to tell us that. What did the "report" really accomplish other than dragging some names through the mud? 

After reading through the "report," I’m not shocked to see that most of the players named had connection to the Yankees.  The whole "report" was based on the coerced testimony of two New York based individuals.  It makes total sense that it focused on players with NY ties.  I find it hard to believe that they couldn’t find anyone in any other major league city that had some kind of knowledge on the subject.  The "report" wasn’t comprehensive. It didn’t include anything about players who’ve tested positive for steroids.  Didn’t 7% of MLBers test positive a few years back?  Where were those names?  I still fail to realize what was accomplished by including names?  If anyone knows, let me know.

The biggest names were without a doubt Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens.  One arguably the best pitcher of all-time.  The other a Yankee fan favorite.  Both with a reputation forever tarnished because of the "testimony" of a guy who on several occasions denied that he ever gave Clemens or Pettitte performance-enhancing drugs.  A guy who only changed his story once threatened with federal criminal prosecution.  Much like ex-Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski, a guy with a lot to lose by staying quiet and a lot to gain by signing like a canary.  Clemens has already denied the allegations.  And originally, I totally sided with Clemens and Pettitte, and the David Justice opened his mouth.

I’m not sure if anyone watched  "Yankees Hot Stove" on YES tonight.  They had David Justice, a player also named in the "report," on to offer up his story.  He denied ever meeting Radomski, saying he wouldn’t know him if he walked up to him today and said hey.  He did however tell an interesting story about his interactions with Brian McNamee.  He said right after he joined the Yankees he was approached by McNamee, who offered up some HGH to help rehab an injury.  Justice said he didn’t know what HGH was and wasn’t sure.  Per Justice, McNamee said he’d leave it in his locker and Justice could use it if he wanted to.  Justice then went on to say that when he saw it in his locker and saw that he needed to use a needle, he said, "No way.  Anyone that knows me knows that I don’t do needles."  Basically, Justice is admitting that HGH was in the Yankees clubhouse and McNamee was the one that had the access to it.  I don’t think Justice has any reason to make this up.  Clemens brought in McNamee.  McNamee had HGH.  McNamee alleges he gave HGH to Clemens.  Pettitte is Roger’s hetero-lifemate.  And now Jay (that’s me) isn’t so sure anymore.  I want to believe these guys, but I don’t know what to think.  Justice’s revelation that he saw HGH in the Yankees clubhouse has me wondering.  And I’m not naive.  I totally knew steroids and HGH were present in the clubhouse before Justice’s admission that it was in his locker.  It’s a safe bet that it was, and probably still is, in every team’s clubhouse.  It’s just hearing a player admit to it.  That changes everything.

In the end though I’m still not sure what to believe.  I don’t put much stock in the "he said she said" BS that the "report" is full of.  Show me a conclusive positive test.  That’s what I want to see.  But for now my head is spinning.  I don’t want to be a hypocrite and speak ill of Barry Bond and give anyone named in the report a pass.  I do think Bonds is totally different than Clemens.  There’s more hard evidence against Bonds than anyone named in the "report."  As I mentioned that whole report is "hearsay" and in my opinion, is based on a lot of circumstantial evidence.  A copy of a personal check to me isn’t proof when MLBers give clubhouse attendants personal checks all the time.  Quite often I hear for a lot of money.  I also can’t put much stock in the "coerced testimony" of Radomski and McNamee.  They’ve got a lot to gain by running their yaps.   

All in all the "report" is lacking and I think Senator Mitchell knows it.  Poorly done.  It accomplished absolutely nothing other than wasting a lot of time and a lot of money.  I think the same would have been accomplished had the names been left out.  I don’t think anyone should have been mentioned without hard proof.  Let the lawsuits begin.  If the guy is truly innocent, he has to sue.  it’s really the only course of action they can take.  Do nothing and to me, you’re admitting your guilt.  You don’t let your reputation and career go down the tubes on a lie. 

It’s your move Rocket.



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