Quite Frankly: Mitchell Report adds another black cloud

Sometimes when you try to fix something that's broken, you end up breaking it a little more. In the wake of yesterday's revelations from the George Mitchell Report, we can now say Major League Baseball has a major problem.

clemens-tophat.bmpIn the Mitchell Report, Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte were amongst the names listed. Their names are now and will be forever linked to steroids thanks to their personal trainer Brian McNamee. Ok fine, I see where the connection here...their own personal trainer supplied them and injected them with steroids and HGH. That's the thought that immediately comes to mind. Sure, I understand that, but here's another thing that comes to mind.....where is your proof? This is where there is a big problem. Without having concrete evidence, how can the accusations made by McNamee be valid? In other cases mentioned in the Mitchell Report, there were detailed conversations, telephone records, shipping receipts and other forms of evidence to coincide with the allegations made. In the case of Clemens and Pettitte, where is all this? Where are the syringes, the bottles, the shipping labels, the receipts, the telephone records? Where is it? Clemens' attorney Rusty Hardin issued these statements on the accusations:

Via ESPN.com
"I have great respect for Senator Mitchell. I think an overall look at this problem in baseball was an excellent idea," Hardin said in a statement. "But I respectfully suggest it is very unfair to include Roger's name in this report. He is left with no meaningful way to combat what he strongly contends are totally false allegations. He has not been charged with anything, he will not be charged with anything and yet he is being tried in the court of public opinion with no recourse. That is totally wrong."

"There has never been one shred of tangible evidence that he ever used these substances and yet he is being slandered today,'' said Hardin, who called McNamee a "troubled man."

We live in a society of innocent-until-proven-guilty and that's the way you should look at this case.

Pettitte's agent Randy Hendricks issued this statement:
I have advised Andy that, as an active player, he should refrain from commenting until we have had an opportunity to speak with his union and other advisors.......At the appropriate time, he will have something to say."

Via Jayson Stark, ESPN.com:
"....one attorney -- a man who doesn't represent players, by the way -- said the entire case is "all based on one guy [McNamee], and there's no documentation."

True, there are checks written by McNamee to the human smoking gun, Kirk Radomski. But the report tells us, right there on Page 174, that Radomski admitted that McNamee never told him that Clemens (or Andy Pettitte) used steroids or HGH. It was merely implied, Radomski said."

But the other attorney we surveyed said that in an actual court, a judge would tell a jury that the testimony of a witness like McNamee, who had made a deal with the government, was "not sufficient for conviction. There must be independent corroboration."

This investigation was suppose to be for the good of the game, what it's done, is tarnish the game itself and it's legacies. The report could still have been made WITHOUT the names included. What does the inclusion of names really do for this report other than damage the integrity of the game?
"The main points in this report are good. But he really could have written this, and drawn the same conclusions, without the names. And I wish he would have."
--One baseball man

pettitte-troubled.bmp Now you have the greatest pitcher of this era (maybe of all time) Clemens and the greatest hitter of this era (maybe of all time) standing side by side as the faces of baseball's steroid era. Was it really worth going through all this? Spending all this money on an investigation that seems to put baseball in another big hole, which it now has to try and fix? The answer is yes, if it's done the right way. This report in my opinion isn't comprehensive. There's no mention of Mark McGwire or Sammy Sosa. How credible is this? Sosa and McGwire hit 60 homeruns in consecutive seasons in the late 90's when baseball was trying to bring fans back into the ballparks after the strike in '94. It would be ignorant to think they were not on the juice those years as they shattered homerun records. You think MLB didn't think they were on some type of substance? They had a blind eye to the situation because the homerun is what intrigues people and brings them back to the ballpark. That puts MLB in question. Nonetheless, the investigation done by Senator Mitchell went back into the early '90's and there was no mention of Sosa and McGwire, so how comprehensive was this report. Their names do not appear anywhere in the 400 plus page report. That has to get you thinking. Don't release a report and start putting names into the public eye unless you get ALL the names, not just some. There were over 700 people interviewed during the investigation. I'm sure, as well as most of the public, beleives they're many more names that should've been included that weren't listed.

The intention of the investigation was to clean the sport up, get rid of illegal drugs and to bring baseball to a competitive and level playing field, for both the fans and the players. What you did was place an even darker cloud above the black one hovering over the sport. In the end, I beleive the average baseball fan will still show up to the games and still watch the games. People just want to be entertained, who cares what these guys do off the field or behind the scenes. They are entitled to do whatever they please, just as you and I in our everyday lives. Stop trying to make the game of baseball perfect. Nothing in this world is perfect, certainly not this report. Good job Senator Mitchell, I'd say thank you but I don't have enough evidence to show my gratitude. But hey, maybe that's good enough.
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