Thursday, December 13, 2007

So What Changed Today?

The Mitchell report changes nothing.

Years ago someone surveyed Olympic athletes as to whether they would take a substance that guaranteed them a gold medal and had a fifty percent chance of killing them. Most said, "of course." Athletes at one level doing anything to win. "If you're not cheating, you're not trying," goes the refrain.

Under the legal stewardship of Donald Fehr and Gene Orza, with billions of dollars at stake, could you expect something different?

So the report 'confirms' many of the usual suspects and even some of the upper pantheon of baseball greatness, like Roger Clemens, come out tarnished. Do we have a positive drug test? No. But what is the motivation for clubhouse figures to lie, especially when they might have to go into court some day? They hate everyone, they're jealous of multimillionaire athletes raking in the dough?

Supposedly Scott Boras commented that the report means nothing because it wasn't collectively bargained. Evidently bank robbers and crack dealers need a much better lobby.

Did the Red Sox come out unscathed? Doubtful. Every team gets touched by scandals like these, and nobody can be surprised that Wheaties-Box heroes have clay feet or 'shoplifted the pootie'.

What's going to change? Nothing. Players will always try to cut corners to enhance their payschecks, and the stigma of being named in a report will melt with the advent of spring training. Bud Selig's 'legacy' of being in the pocket of the owners doesn't change, and maybe the biggest winner is Barry Bonds. The Giants leftfielder simply goes from pariah to bandleader. Bonds was a user, setting records, but competing against many other users, both at the plate and on the mound. The other winner? Jose CanSaySo Canseco, who gets vindicated with his argument that many of his contemporaries were also users.

And congrats to Theo Epstein on fatherhood. That's a development that changes you forever.


OldElvis said...

So, a bunch players did something that's not against the rules (for the most part) when they did it. I have problems when we see all over the news that they "cheated" when they didn't even have to bend a rule to do it.We have no problems when NASCAR guys do the exact same thing.
No one is suggesting the Lance Armstrong Sleeping in a Hyperbaric chamber to improve his lung function is cheating, because it's not in the rules.
Hall of Fame voters should keep this in mind when they are trying to determine who gets in. After all Pete rose did something much worse,and everyone want him in the HOF...

SeanMC said...

I think the guy who has the biggest beef is Brian Roberts. How can you throw his name on the report because some guy happened to mention that he might have heard Roberts say something about doing steroids in passing. Unreal.

Mo Vaughn being on the report was really the only jarring name. He was a God in Boston.