Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mitchell Eve

MLB has the Mitchell Report and will presumably release it tomorrow, though I predict names will start leaking out before dinner tonight.

Most of the focus will be on the names, but I'm actually more interested in the narrative. Like it or not (I'm leaning not) this report is going to constitute THE history of steroids in baseball, at least until the relevant statutes of limitation are up and someone spends several years writing a book about it. How it is all set out in the report is going to shape the reporting and opining for the foreseeable future, so unless Derek Jeter is named or something, the names are of secondary importance to me.

I guess my point in saying this is to let folks know that my initial opinions on it all may be short and basic. I really want to spend some time with this sucker before saying anything of true substance.

In the meantime, this passage from an article about the Texas Rangers' gear-up for the release of the report struck me:

Jose Canseco leveled a handful of charges about former Rangers using steroids in his book Juiced and appeared before a Congressional committee in March 2005 to discuss his allegations. According to, Canseco said he wasn't contacted by the Mitchell investigators.

Really? I'm not saying that anyone base any conclusions upon talking to Canseco beyond "Jose has big arms," but he did write a fairly prophetic and damning book about steroids and obviously has some information. He's a public touchstone of the whole steroids mess, so why wouldn't Mitchell even talk to him, if for no other reason than debunking purposes?
The more I hear about this thing, the more dubious I become.

In other news, according to that article, Jim Sundberg is doing all of the talking for the Rangers, having been hired after the season as official team spokesman. Sundberg is a bright, well-respected guy, and aside from Nolan Ryan may be the most beloved Ranger in team history. I wonder how much of his hiring as the public face of the team was based on the Rangers' foreknowledge that the Mitchell Report is going to slam Texas -- former home of Canseco, Palmiero, and many other suspected juicers -- six ways from Sunday.


64cardinals said...

How about everydone just admits defeat on this subject. The players did it, the owners knew it.

Declare amnesty, everyone is forgiven, the record book stands (even though I'm not happy about it), and they start new from today with the policy now in place.

MLB and the players will be able to admit wrong doing, no major punishments, and the game starts with a clean slate next year.

Nah, it will never happen. I must be on drugs or something.

jnr98 said...

While I honestly believe Mitchell was operating on the complete "up and up", the PERCEPTION of conflicts of interest will undermine this report. He's a director of the RedSox. He's part of MLB. If you read Howard Bryant's article ( on ESPN, you'll come away shaking your head about the efficacy of this report.

Buster Olney mentioned today that there have been 65 or so names outted so far in some degree. That means only 10-15 more names, at max, will come out. If they only are middling utility infielders or fringe starters, then the credibility of this report is totally shot.

At the end of the day, so what. Not a question, just a big "so what".

Pete Toms said...

Sundberg, hadn't seen that name in years. If you're a Jays fan the mention of his name is depressing. 1985 playoffs vs KC.....

Canseco. Most dismissed him when he went public with his steroids story because he has the reputation - no doubt deserved - of being a buffoon. But just because he's a buffoon doesn't mean that he doesn't know a whole lot about steroids in MLB. Being a buffoon doesn't mean your dishonest either.

I think the most interesting development on this front recently was the PA filing a grievance on Guillen's behalf. Suspensions with no positive test, no conviction....The PA - other than advising the current players to tell Mitchell to shove it - have been pretty silent. If the arbitrator rules in favor of Guillen this will get really interesting.

jnr98 said...

Shyster, here's a link to my brief blog on this subject, as of tonite: ""