Friday, December 14, 2007

Blogging the Mitchell Report: Part 4 ... I'm DONE.

I'm done reading the Mitchell Report. I didn't finish it and I never will, and I'm not going to post the rest of the info here. Why? Because it's all a huge waste of time.

For one, exactly what I said would happen ended up happening. ESPN ran a full list of "named names" on their ticker, with no explanations, grouping in Brian Roberts with guys like Paul Lo Duca and David Segui, which is absolutely ridiculous. Roberts is only in there because Larry Bigbie said that Roberts told him he did it. Not quite the same as having scans of signed checks or sworn testimony to federal investigators. Meanwhile, it seems Segui and Lo Duca were the "hook up" everywhere they went.

But more than anything, at some point while reading the report I stopped feeling angry or even disappointed in the players whose names I was seeing. I just felt bad for them.

At first I couldn't really figure out why, but then it hit me. Out of THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of players who played during the "steroid era," all of 62 names were listed.

What portion of one percent of the players who are or were actually juicing do you suppose that represents?

I used to really hate the thought that guys I liked and rooted for might be on performance enhancers. But if the report did anything, it was make me realize once and for all that this is not just a few players. It's not a couple guys, or a couple teams, or a couple guys on each team. And it sure as hell is not just 62 players over the last 15 to 20 years.

The biggest thing I took away from the report is that, as much as the media plays up the outrage, it's not like these guys were running around in their little steroid cliques, shooting up in dark alleys so no one would see. It was out in the open. It was joked about in the clubhouse.

If I were named in the report, I'd be the first one demanding the best testing available. I'd be screaming for the implementation of daily piss tests for everyone in the league, because there's no way I'd let people go on assuming that I'm part of some tiny portion of the baseball playing world that is so unscrupulous as to take steroids. I'd be saying, "You've got 60 names? Great. Now let's get 1,000 so you can really start to see."

I'm done being outraged about specific players. I'm done listening to other people's outrage about Mr. ABC and Mr. XYZ and how "now there's proof!" Because the names in the Mitchell Report are meaningless.

The fans will relish this opportunity to shun the players that have been named.

You'll say, "Miguel Tejada's a dirty cheater! I KNEW Roger Clemens was a jerk! Brian Roberts and his squeaky clean image are DONE FOR," and then boo them and make signs and yell "CHEATER" every time they visit your team's ballpark.

But it's stupid.

Because the names listed are nothing more than a few fish hooked in an ocean of performance enhancing drug users, and you're blind if you think there aren't at least four or five on your favorite team. Even if none of the names made it into the Report or onto ESPN's ticker. That's the real lesson from the Mitchell Report.

No comments: