Pete raised a point in his email, however, that has me thinking, and the point is this:
The press and the fans are sick of the steroids story and have moved along. I think it is very interesting that at Selig's media Q&A in NYC during the All Star break, there were ZERO questions asked about steroids. During the same All Star break at a fan Q&A there was only one steroids question and, at that, the subject was the arcana of the asterisk.Whether people should move on is a decent question, but not one I am totally equipped to answer at the moment because morals and ethics take a lot of words, so we'll leave it for another day.
But I think Pete is right that people have moved on. Bring up Bonds or McGwire or Clemens or someone specifically-implicated already, and you'll have a long conversation about PEDs. Talk about baseball in general, however, and PEDs don't come up much -- and certainly not as much as they did a couple of short years ago -- and that holds true whether it be in conversations in the press or at the corner bar.
This is interesting to me, because at the moment I'm in the process of writing a longer piece about the Mitchell Report and its impact one year later. One of the things that I've had in my head for a while was how big a P.R. blunder it probably was for Selig to have commissioned the thing in the first place, because by doing so it would merely postpone closure on the issue. Keep the hammer down on testing, wait it out, and soon the issue would disappear, at least from a P.R. perspective, I thought.
But for all of its real flaws, I'm wondering now if the Mitchell Report wasn't a stroke of genius. Because it's something of a bogus concept, closure is a funny thing to think about rationally. Rather than actual healing, perhaps closure merely requires grand gestures like maudlin ceremonies, silly reports, and public executions in order to be effective. Perhaps Selig even knew this at the time he commissioned the report.