Let the Games Begin: The George Mitchell Report

Having just watched the backend of the press conference and ESPN talking heads take on the matter, the George Mitchell Report may or may not be a final version. An early release included many other names not included in the final report accoridng to WSCR, The Score (670AM) in Chicago. But here are the “complete names” in the report:

Information Learned During this Investigation Concerning BALCO and Major League Baseball (8 players/ 3 active in MLB in 2007)From the report: “I requested interviews of all the major league players who had been publicly implicated in the BALCO case.”

Marvin Benard, Barry Bonds, Bobby Estalella, Jason Giambi, Jeremy Giambi
Benito Santiago, Gary Sheffield, Randy Velarde

Information Regarding Purchases or Use of Performance Enhancing Substances by Players in Major League Baseball (53 players/ 18 active in MLB in 2007)From the report: “The following discussion is organized in roughly chronological order. Records do not exist to document every transaction described by witnesses. [Kirk] Radomski stated that, with one exception noted below, the payments he received from professional baseball players were for performance enhancing substances, as opposed to personal training or other services, and this assertion was confirmed by those players who agreed to speak with us about their dealings with him.”

Lenny Dykstra, David Segui, Larry Bigbie, Brian Roberts, Jack Cust,Tim Laker
Josias Manzanillo, Todd Hundley, Mark Carreon, Hal Morris, Matt Franco
Rondell White, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Chuck Knoblauch
Jason Grimsley, Gregg Zaun, David Justice, F.P. Santangelo
Glenallen Hill, Mo Vaughn, Denny Neagle, Ron Villone, Ryan Franklin
Chris Donnels, Todd Williams, Phil Hiatt, Kevin Young, Mike Lansing
Cody McKay, Kent Mercker, Adam Piatt, Miguel Tejada
Jason Christiansen, Mike Stanton, Stephen Randolph, Jerry Hairston, Jr.
Paul Lo Duca, Adam Riggs, Bart Miadich, Fernando Vina, Kevin Brown
Eric Gagné, Mike Bell, Matt Herges, Gary Bennett, Jr., Jim Parque
Brendan Donnelly, Chad Allen, Jeff Williams, Howie Clark
Exavier “Nook” Logan

Alleged Internet Purchases of Performance Enhancing Substances By Players in Major League Baseball (16 players, 8 active in MLB in 2007)From the report: “Since the initial news reports of the raid by New York and Florida law enforcement officials on Signature Pharmacy and several rejuvenation centers, the names of several current and former major league players have appeared in the media as alleged purchasers of performance enhancing substances through these operations. These include:

Rick Ankiel, Paul Byrd, Jay Gibbons, Troy Glaus, Jose Guillen
Jerry Hairston Jr., Gary Matthews, Jr., Scott Schoeneweis
David Bell, Jose Canseco, Jason Grimsley, Darren Holmes
John Rocker, Ismael Valdez, Matt Williams
Steve Woodard

Assuming this is it, I am not really impressed. Because from my cursory assessment (only cursory) the tying of Steroids to increases in Power (Slugging % rise, home runs hit) is invalidated since it does not include many, many more hitters of note. Steroids allowed many to stay in the game longer, recover from injuries quicker and stave of age-related performance woes, but DID not have the direct causation on the power outbursts.

To get to the real reason for this investigation, one has to go to the Collusion Era (1985-1987) where the players were shortchanged by owners on contracts and free agency. As a result, management parted ways with $280 million. This investigation is a guised retaliation for the players winning in a court battle. Because owners knew players were “juicing” since the early 1990’s. However, financial considerations and the battles between management and players (1994) left the owners to bide their time, allow the game to recover (1998-2000), and then, strike the zone of most vulnerability: a player’s character and integrity (2002-Present.)

Did the players listed do things unethically? Depends.

We let our own personal quirks about our appearance (which makes us appealing to the public–and could influence our career prospects) bother us, and attempt to modify them to fit our expected performace, and as a result, we improve ourselves and our prospects. Isn’t that a form of cheating???

But was the real reason for this report to improve the game, protect our kids from negative role models and enhance the public awareness on the effects of steroids? No.

It was about money and financial concerns. Once the cat was out of the bag, about steroids, and fans voted with their purse not to care, and actually showed up in droves, the game was made. The owners knew it would not wreck their bottom lines. Instead, it only wrecked the players.

Revenge is incredibly sweet….

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Comments

  • Cooper  On December 16, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    I was wondering what your take on this would be.

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