Mitchell Report Conclusion: When Are We Going To Hear “This Is a Sad Day For Baseball?”
Dude, are we busted?
The report is out.
Does anyone really care? If so, what impact will Mitchell’s report have on baseball? Clemens has been named. Will the media and baseball fans come after him with Bonds like veracity?
Anyone want to view a stream of report at work click here.
There’s a link below to the actual report. I ask the question again:
The findings of former Sen. George Mitchell’s report concerning use of performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball were released Thursday. Several high-profile, superstar-caliber players were among those named in the Mitchell Report, the product of a 21-month, multimillion dollar investigation that could shape decisions, prompt punitive actions against active players, and usher in the next era of the sport.
Free agent Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte of the New York Yankees, Miguel Tejada of the Houston Astros, Eric Gagne of the Milwaukee Brewers and Paul Lo Duca of the Washington Nationals were among the most prominent former and current All-Stars to be mentioned in the lengthy report, which spans 311 pages, plus multiple exhibits, including evidence of signed checks, handwritten notes and shipping receipts.
The players listed in the paragraph above are by no means the only players listed in the report, but in MLB.com’s first, quick review of the document, those names stood out for their notoriety. Our coverage will continue minute-by-minute through the course of the proceedings and for the foreseeable future thereafter, but the entire report is available for viewing [PDF] at MLB.com. It will be presented in a searchable, clickable version as soon as the 311 pages of content can be converted appropriately.
Several of the names mentioned in the Mitchell Report have been connected to performance-enhancing drug use in the past. In recent years, Barry Bonds, Kevin Brown, Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield, Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa and the late Ken Caminiti, among others, have all been linked to reports or have admitted their own steroid use.
Erroneous reports earlier circulated in broadcast media prior to Mitchell’s release featured a high percentage of inaccuracies.
A considerable number of names also appeared in the report in contextual stories detailing the actions of other players. Multiple players were invited to meet with Mitchell’s probe as he gathered facts but declined. Mitchell said that each player mentioned in the report was offered a fair opportunity to refute the allegations.
Mitchell released his findings at a 2 p.m. ET news conference held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York. Commissioner Bud Selig was expected to react to the report during a 4:30 p.m. ET news conference blocks away at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. MLB.com will carry both conferences live.
While the report detailed drug use in baseball by naming those accused, the report also contained 19 separate recommendations for the sport to move forward from this point, proceeding after a culture of steroids and performance enhancement grew exponentially in the late 1990s.
Mitchell said that evidence has been found that steroid use among MLB players has declined since the institution of a random testing arrangement in 2002, but that use of human growth hormone has risen, because a urine test for HGH is not readily available. Five to seven percent of Major Leaguers tested positive during an anonymous, random survey of testing during the 2003 season, a figure that Mitchell declared to be representative of a larger problem.
Mitchell’s report named both Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association in assigning blame, charging leadership — from the Commissioner to club owners and general managers — for allowing the issue to proliferate.
One of the keys to Mitchell’s investigation seems to have been the willingness earlier this year of Kirk Radomski, a bat boy, equipment manager and clubhouse attendant for the New York Mets from 1985-95, to provide Mitchell with players’ names as part of his plea bargain with the federal government in the case against the Bay Area Co-Operative Laboratory.
Radomski pleaded guilty to providing players with performance-enhancing drugs during that period, and an entire section of the Mitchell Report largely circled around Radomski’s testimony. Brian McNamee, a trainer who worked closely with Clemens, Pettitte and Chuck Knoblauch, provided extensive context as well.
McNamee told Mitchell that he provided Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone in the late 1990s, but said he had no knowledge of Clemens’ actions after 2001; McNamee also said that he injected Pettitte on two to four occasions with human growth hormone. A national investigation by an Albany, N.Y., district attorney unearthed the names of nine former or current players involved with procuring performance-enhancing drugs, either through southern U.S. clinics or pharmacies doing business via the Internet.
Seven of them — Rick Ankiel of the Cardinals, Gary Matthews Jr. of the Angels, Jerry Hairston Jr. of the Rangers, Jay Gibbons of the Orioles, Paul Byrd of the Indians, Troy Glaus of the Blue Jays, Scott Schoeneweis of the Mets and Jose Guillen, who just signed as a free agent with the Royals, were interviewed by the Commissioner’s Office.
Names of nine former or current Major Leaguers had already surfaced from that previous investigation and Selig suspended two of those players — Guillen and Gibbons — for 15 days each for the start of the 2008 season. Several media reports detailed that both players had obtained human growth hormone in 2005, after baseball had banned the drug.
Those suspensions may provide a road map for how the Commissioner will deal with other players named in Mitchell’s report; the union has filed a grievance against Guillen’s suspension and it will be heard by an arbitrator early next year. Due to insufficient evidence, no disciplinary action was taken against Ankiel, Matthews Jr., Glaus and Schoeneweis. Results of the Byrd and Hairston reviews have not yet been made public.
Mitchell, a former federal prosecutor, is a director of the Boston Red Sox, and was chairman of The Walt Disney Co., the parent of ESPN, at the time Selig established the committee on March 30, 2006, charging it with leaving “no stone unturned” in its quest to determine what happened in baseball’s so-called steroid era.
The report was delivered with the backdrop of Bonds having just pleaded not guilty last week in a San Francisco federal court on four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice.
Bonds’ plea related to his own use of performance-enhancing drugs in testimony he gave four years ago before a grand jury investigating BALCO for money laundering and illegally selling performance-enhancing drugs without prescriptions.
Selig appointed Mitchell after he read the book “Game of Shadows,” which documented the BALCO investigation, and in which Bonds, Giambi and Sheffield were subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury under grants of immunity.
Giambi later became the only known Major League player to speak with Mitchell, meeting in July after being threatened with a possible suspension by Selig after implying past steroid use in a USA Today report earlier in the season, telling the newspaper that he had been wrong for doing “that stuff.” Giambi’s statements followed up a bizarre years-old scenario in which he had apologized but was unable to specifically say what he was apologizing for.
While Mitchell’s committee has never had subpoena power, he and his group of investigators have spent months and millions of dollars conducting interviews from the clubhouse to the front office as trainers, strength coaches, former players, general managers, managers and team presidents all spent time answering queries.
We will all see how the media scrutinizes this report. Already it’s being viewed with skepticism.
I don’t want to hear it. Don’t cry now because heroes are named. Clemens and Pettitte are the names everyone will remember. As Miranda states, why is David Justice’s picture plastered on CNN.com? Isn’t he a former player?
Clemens’ face should be on the front page of every publication in America with a huge headline. This is what T3 sent to me via email:
“Let’s see if that headline gets any play. Download the Mitchell Report. Page 169…Brian McNamee, former NYPD officer, admits to injecting Clemens with steroids supplied by the player. ESPN and AP have already tried to minimize this – check out their online report. This report is going to get swept under the rug. If there were no bloggers and no PDFs, it would be a wrap. Watch the talking heads now start talking about what Dwil wanted to talk about – steroids are fine; it’s a victimless crime – blah, blah, blah.
No, no, no. The next step is merciless vilification – all day, every day…then an alteration of all of Roger’s memorabilia…then a grand jury indictment to determine exactly when this cat started using AND to find out who his suppliers were so that the public can be saved from the scourge/menace of illicit drugs…then we summarily dismiss his worthiness for the Hall of Fame…
After all of that shit is done, then we talk about how steroids have never been proven to have adverse impacts on healthy males using them under medical supervision. Not a moment before that…I don’t want to hear about the unfairness of “Witch Hunts.” Witch Hunts are the American Way. It’s time for Rushes to Judgment and Premature Prosecutions. It’s time to “Round ‘Em Up” then “String ‘Em Up” – Texas Style. “
Most will say a lot of this is based on hearsay. There aren’t positive test results. Huh?
Isn’t that what TSF and SOMM have been saying for months?