Saturday, December 15, 2007

Here’s The Thing About the Steroid Report

I really like former Senator George Mitchell. I always have. And if anyone is going to head up an investigation of steroid use in baseball, I’m glad it’s George Mitchell. But do you love the headline in the New York Times this morning, or what? “Player Cooperated, and His Name Was Left Out of Report” The headline invites us, of course, to make nasty assumptions about the Mitchell report. Then we find out that the player “had persuasive evidence” and that’s why his story was believed. What's with the NYT and a headline like that? And why not believe him the guy? The snitch that named 90 players was believed. And that snitch was believed because we’ve all known steroid use has been going on for decades. Steroid use became illegal in 2002 but it was not banned until 2005. George Mitchell is a reasonable man. He is not taking a hard line. He doesn’t even believe prosecutions on the drug users should go forward. And he’s right about that. Everyone in baseball and in the world has known about steroid use in sports. And everyone has condoned it, from club managers down to trainers. So why prosecute the little guys? And yes, of course, there should be a “from now on” ruling about jail sentences for steroid providers and users. And yes, of course, anyone selling steroids or providing it to high schoolers and college kids should be jailed. And yes of course, there has to be a widespread education campaign to inform kids about why steroids must not be used. But I gotta say. One thing in the NYT story this morning gave me a hearty laugh: “Some members of Congress expressed dismay that they were misled by testimony two years ago by baseball officials over a 2004 testing program that had been secretly suspended...Three key members of Congress, in separate interviews Friday, said baseball officials should have revealed those problems during testimony in 2005 to House committees.” Congress was dismayed it had been misled? Oh hahahahahahahaha! Do you think it’s just vaguely possible that Congress didn’t want to know it had been misled? Do you think it’s just vaguely possible that the baseball mega-buck interests that kiss Congress’s ass made sure the 2004 testing program was suspended? The’t-want-to-hear-it Congress has struck again.

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