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 ESPN.com, 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.