Thursday, September 6, 2007

Mitchell Attempting to Scorch Earth, Failing Miserably

Seems that George Mitchell (D-Salem) requested to interview some 45 former and current ballplayers in the course of his steroids investigation. Given the fanfare that accompanied his interview with Giambi, and given that we've heard absolutely nothing about him meeting with anyone besides Giambi and Kirk Radomski, I think it's safe to assume that he's been utterly stonewalled. Oh, and this response he received from players' union counsel Michael Weiner kind of confirms that:

Weiner said that Mitchell did not take into consideration that players could face legal ramifications for whatever they tell Mitchell and that Selig “had not ruled out attempting to discipline players as a result of the information gathered.”

“You are retained by, and act as an agent of the commissioner,” the letter to Mitchell stated. “You are essentially suggesting you will act as an investigator, prosecutor and judge, with respect to allegations about which you have disclosed very little.”

I understand and agree with those sentiments. Given the royal caprice Selig exhibited in connection with the Giambi situation -- only after the fact of his cooperation did Bud decide that Giambi should suffer no disciplinary action -- players are totally justified to avoid Mitchell like the plague.

All that said, Mitchell is going to eventually release a report. That's his mandate. The report is going to be informed by an interview with Radomski, and it's going to have a lot of names in it. Mitchell will follow up those names in the report with the sentence "Mr. _____ refused to provide testimony to the commission to rebut these accusations."

I still don't think I'd want to cooperate with Mitchell given the vagueness of it all, but if I knew my name was going to be in the report, I don't know if I'd want it simply hanging out there like that either. Maybe I ask up-front for the Giambi deal.


64cardinals said...

People only hide something when they have something to hide.

If the players had nothing to hide, they would have spoken to Mitchell, wether he has actual power or not.

There is no high road on this subject. They either did, or they didn't.

Shyster said...

I don't agree with you, 64C. There are instances -- often involving union and management -- when principles matter. I think it's important to recognize that Mitchell's job is, in reality, to produce a report that allows Bud Selig to say "we investigated. It's over. There's nothing else we can do." It is, in short, a PR move.

Do the players have an obligation to cooperate with this PR initiative? I think not, especially when the penalities for cooperating or not are a total mystery, and given the Giambi example, will only be decided upon -- or not -- after testimony is given.

Even if I wasn't a user, I'd have trouble cooperating with this if I were a player. Maybe especialy if I was not a user.

Diesel said...

Even if I wasn't a user, I'd have trouble cooperating with this if I were a player. Maybe especialy if I was not a user.

That's the point right there: Cooperation with this witch-hunt means you'll automatically get the "did she sink or float?" treatment from the public and media (most importantly the media).

If there was a shred of honesty surrounding this process, Selig would have every G.M. in baseball from the last decade participate. But we all know there's not, so discussing this as anything legitimate is an insult unto oneself.