Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Mitchell Report

I got trapped in a snow storm today and ended up with a five hour commute from work (it usually takes 50 minutes). I spent the whole trip listening to The Mitchell Report press conferences on XM. They were not among the most exciting five hours of my life and I didn't learn a lot about the steroid problem that I didn't already know or strongly suspect. I have only skimmed the report so far though so there might be more in there than I've heard. The complete report is provided by MLB.COM and can be found here.

Mitchell said that steroid and human growth hormone use has been widespread in the game for a long time and that everybody - players, the union, owners, team personnel - needs to share the blame. That much was good to hear as I'm always believed that MLB and the union were just as guilty as the players and were very slow to address the steroid problem until Congess forced them to move. Mitchell recommended that the Commissioner's office not punish players for their past actions except in cases where the offense was serious enough to threaten the integrity of the game. He stressed that they should be looking forward and focus on stopping steroid use in the future. In particular, he recommended stronger drug testing procedures.

The only current Tiger included in the report was Gary Sheffield which is not really news. Sheffield is already a controversial figure so I doubt that his inclusion in the report is going to have much affect on the the Tigers next season. Former Tigers mentioned include Rondell White, Fernando Vina, Nook Logan, Mark Carreon, Phil Hiatt, and Hal Morris


  1. PurpleEntityDecember 13, 2007

    Lee, been reading your blog for about 2+ yrs (followed you from ...keep up the good work your posts are intelligent and always first post is to ask whether you think shef will be suspended next yr or are they going after those who broke records and lied (Bonds etc.)? Just looking for a knowledgable guess.

  2. LakelandmikeDecember 14, 2007

    There is absolutely no room in any sport for enhancing drugs, period, But, in my view baseball is probably the most difficult sport to play extremely well... that is well enough to make millions of bucks at it. That is no excuse but it may explain some of it. Plus it appears that not many Latin players are on the list...could that have been incentive for Americans to take the drugs?
    Like I said, no excuses but it may explain part of this.
    By the way, I can't wait to see some fan reaction here in Lakeland as I usually catch a couple of Spring Training games...will the fans jeer some opponents who may be on the list?
    Lee- your 5 hr trek brings back memories of dealing with that when we lived in Detroit. Hang in there.

  3. I think it's going to be very hard for them to suspend any of these guys because most of the violations occurred before the union agreed to penalties for drugs in 2002. They might try to suspend some players but the union will make it very difficult for them. I don't think a lot will come out of this report other than negative publicity for the game. I think MLB just went through the investigation because it was forced on them by the government.

  4. Mike,

    I also hate to see illegal drug use of any kind. Still, it's understandable why players would be tempted to use performance enhancers in such a competitive environment with so much money on the line. I blame the owners, union and management as much as the players because they knew what was happening and did nothing to stop it for a long time. Instead, owners likely profited from the increased offense in the game. I think they need to take the heat along with the players.



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