Thursday, December 13, 2007

It makes a man ... a better man, a great athlete ... a super athlete ...

Today Senator George Mitchell's report (read; pdf) regarding the (ab)use of steroids and human growth hormone (i.e., "performance enhancing drugs") came out. Many prolific players' names were mentioned as "evildoers" and it certainly puts many "Hall of Fame" careers in doubt.

[For point of reference, Mark McGwire never tested positive for anything, but due to a refusal to "talk about the past" his potential Hall of Fame status is doubtful at best. He was notably absent from this list. (See?! I told ya so!)

P.S. Read as Stephen Dubner asks, "Is Today Mark McGwire's Best Day in Years?"]

Here we have a credible report implicating the likes of MVPS and a 7-time Cy Young award winning pitcher (i.e., Roger Clemens).

Actually, I'm pleased to see some pitchers' names on there. I've long held that roids were a pitcher's malady as well, but only the hitters get the scrutiny.

I was most disappointed Chuck Knoblauch's name came up. He was a good Texas Aggie whom I watched play college ball back in the day.

Some of these guys were turned in some mediocre careers and so were probably never suspected. But if it makes a great athlete a super athlete, then it would make a mediocre athlete a good athlete and a poor athlete a mediocre athlete. The roids can only take you so far.

The report was pretty Yankee-intensive, wasn't it? Yet, no Jeter or A-Rod.

So ... how do the Hall of Fame writers go about determining who is dirty and who is not? What role does suspicion play versus more credible evidence, etc.?

How innocent are players until proven guilty? What does it take for a player to be "proven" guilty?

In case you've not read the report ...

Here's the list of players that appear in the report: (HT Reepicheep; Here is an annotated list, indicating page number where player is referenced and the context/accusation)
1. Roger Clemens
2. Jack Cust
3. Tim Laker
4. Josias Manzanillo
5. Todd Hundley
6. Brian Roberts
7. Miguel Tejada
8. Paul Lo Duca
9. Barry Bonds
10. Andy Pettitte
11. Gary Sheffield
12. Eric Gagne
13. Jason Giambi
14. Troy Glaus
16. Gary Matthews Jr.
17. Jose Guillen
18. Rick Ankiel
19. Kevin Brown
20. Benito Santiago
21. Chuck Knoblauch
22. David Justice
23. Mo Vaughn
24. Rondell White
25. Mark Carreon
26. Nook Logan
27. Jay Gibbons
28. Hal Morris
29. Matt Franco
30. Jason Grimsley
31. Gregg Zaun
32. Mike Bell
33. F.P. Santangelo
34. Glenallen Hill
35. Denny Neagle
36. Ron Villone
37. Ryan Franklin
38. Chris Donnels
39. Todd Williams
40. Phil Hiatt
41. Todd Pratt
42. Kevin Young
43. Mike Lansing
44. Cody McKay
45. Kent Mercker
46. Adam Piatt
47. Jason Christiansen
48. Mike Stanton
49. Stephen Randolph
50. Jerry Hairston Jr.
51. Adam Riggs
52. Bart Miadich
53. Fernando Vina
54. Matt Herges
55. Gary Bennett Jr.
56. Jim Parque
57. Brendan Donnelly
58. Chad Allen
59. Jeff Williams
60. Howie Clark
61. Daniel Naulty
62. Lenny Dykstra
63. David Segui
64. Larry Bigbie


At 13 December, 2007 23:04, Anonymous mark t said...

I wanted to be a baseball player when I was a kid.

At 13 December, 2007 23:50, Blogger Rev. said...

Of course Big Mac wasn't on the list. Why should he be?!? While he did use substances which were "performance enhancing," those substances were not banned by MLB at the time. Remember the year he and Sosa went on that streak and he was often interviewed at his locker with the slooge in view for all to see?!? He wasn't hiding anything.

Seems like the vast majority of names on the list are "no-names."

At 13 December, 2007 23:56, Blogger GUNNY said...

Rev, the plethora of no-names, me-thinks, is due to spares either trying to make the team or stay on the team once they get there.

At 14 December, 2007 00:06, Blogger AJF said...

Whoa, hold on. The list I posted is of those players who have eyewitness coroboration to their use (canceled checks, trainers testifying under oath, positive tests, or admission).

The report lists at least 22 other names that don't have the same people willing to come forward. Mr. McGwire figures very prominently in the report. READ IT. It's clear Mitchell sites McGwire's embarrassing Senate "testimony" as a large reason why such an investigation needed to take place.

I've basically read the whole report (great way to spend my day off, i realize). It's damning, but only a peak under the lid, so to speak. It's deficient in scope, no doubt. Basically it focuses on three supplier sources, two from the NY area (hence the heavy Yankee emphasis) and of course, BALCO. The cross section of players revealed shows how far reaching the problem actually is. The report is not exhaustive fellas.

If you think Big Mac was clean, I have some prime land in Florida I will sell you real cheap...

At 14 December, 2007 00:25, Blogger AJF said...

You might be interested to note these facts about the report:

Number of times McGwire is mentioned= 46.

Only Bonds and Conseco are mentioned more.

At 14 December, 2007 10:27, Blogger Timothy said...

It will be interesting to see how baseball weathers this storm. Baseball already has a credibility problem. I wonder if the game will be as big as it is in 10 years. It hasn't done well in marketing itself.


At 14 December, 2007 11:49, Blogger GUNNY said...

Baseball took quite a PR hit back in '94 with the strike.

'98 put it back on the map with the home run chase between Sosa and McGwire.

Some have theorized that baseball needed the good publicity so bad that they overlooked Sosa's indiscretions (corked bats & roids).

Baseball really doesn't need another such knock on its reputation, but it's getting one. And it may get worse before it gets better.

Contrary to what Tony keeps "hinting at," I'm thinking nobody's proved anything with Big Mac, but suspicion over his massive guns.

I hope I'm not just keeping my head in the sand, but suspicion would seem not enough to keep one out of the Hall of Fame.

But at this point, it may be hard for just about anyone from that era to get in.

P.S. Tony, do you have a picture of that land?

At 14 December, 2007 16:20, Blogger AJF said...

Overlooked Sosa's indiscretions? The corked bat didn't show up til 3 years after that race.

Man, you are being blinded by your loyalty to the Cards.

At 14 December, 2007 19:00, Blogger Two Dogs said...

I have read the report and could have put the same report together on a weekend. It is a screaming joke.

There is nothing in it that wasn't known by every single real baseball fan, except for the Steroid Chuck reference. And I laughed about it. The fact that Mitchell had to destroy his own report by mentioning Knoblauch is laughable. He disproved everything about performance enhancing qualities by that.

At 15 December, 2007 07:29, Blogger Rev. said...

See any pictures of Big Mac in the 80s and early 90s? He was a big boy back then. He didn't morph into gargantuan HR hitter (ahem, can you say "Barry Bonds"?). He was a gargantuan HR hitter.

How many lots are available? ;)

At 15 December, 2007 12:36, Blogger AJF said...

You pro-McGwire no matter what guys crack me up...Don't get me wrong, I'm that way about Calvin (Servetus who?)...but good night.

Yes, McGwire was always big, but check out the picture on my blog of his college days to his steroid days (which I think started in the early 90's, he was way ahead of most). Look on the right column part way down, you'll see a vast difference.

What is most telling, however, is how McGwire has shriveled up. Have you seen some of his recent pictures? The guy looks like he's lost 70 pounds of mass. I'll give it to him- he's disciplined. When he quit the roids, he was able to not turn in to a fat slob. No one can knock Mac's drive, discipline, and determination...what else would make you inject a couple needles in your a@@ every week?

At 15 December, 2007 16:36, Blogger GUNNY said...

Hey, I was pretty thin in college and then really put on the weight as time went on.

Nobody's accused me of steroid usage, though I was relieved my name was not in Mitchell's report.

Besides, I'm not here to talk about the past.

We've got some evildoers on our hands that need to be addressed!

By the way, I'm confused. Did Calvin own land in Florida?


At 15 December, 2007 20:10, Blogger Jade said...

Gunny wrote:
Hey, I was pretty thin in college and then really put on the weight as time went on.

Nobody's accused me of steroid usage, though I was relieved my name was not in Mitchell's report.

Gunny, don't tell me your body massed has doubled as much as Mac's has?! C'mon, look at just the size of his neck alone! He looks like a modern day Goliath to me.

Anyway I'm just glad that Jeter or Mo's (Rivera) name are not on that list. Jeter and Mo's body looks like normal proportions and yet excels. :o) Although, I'm more surprised that A-Rod is not on that list. I was hoping that the Yanks would find a reason not to pay this outrageous paycheck!

But don't you find it telling that Mitchell's report (who has past ties to the Boston RedSox) centers around two (of the three) personal trainers here in New York?! McName's shenanigans were trace back as far as when he was working for the Blue Jays before Clemens brought him back into NY. Here's also an interesting take from Stark.

One blogger notes this on the NY Times:
"Whole lotta ex-Yankees on that list. Interesting how there are no significant ex-Red Sox, except for Mo Vaughn. Hmmmm.
— Posted by St Cheryl”

Could it be because George Mitchell is on the BOD of the Red Sox?
Just sayin’.

Another writes:

Why do they get to make millions off of our ticket purchases while we work back breaking jobs for peanuts??

This is an insult to all fans.. baseball is just the beginning, I’m sure.

— Posted by Paul C

He's got a point!

But if you think about it, I'm sure there's more droid in football than baseball. I mean, I don't think it's just genetics that people get that BIG. Don't you think?! :o)
And by the way Timothy, baseball really hasn't suffered any marketing problems ... well at least here in NY. The Yankees are [b]always[/b] getting sold out! Even the games in the middle of the day, in the middle of the week!

At 16 December, 2007 15:37, Blogger Blackhaw said...

What i find funny is that some baseball people and sports news people are suprised to hear about the steroid usage in baseball. Before Mcquire and Sosa baseball was losing fans every year. Strikes and the slowness of the game made many young people not watch. It seemed to be a game from the past. A game that went well when we would sit on the porch. When life moved very slowly. There was very few to no one who came super close to Maris' or Aaron's records.

Then all of a sudden everyone was hitting HRs. It seemed easy to have 20 HR in a season and many had 30+. I remember some spoke about the ball being juiced and the ball parks being smaller. But did anyone really think that was it?

Then there was not just 1 but 2 guys who broke Maris' record. (i think there were more who were reasonably close). And then came Bonds who destroyed everyone elses stats and now has both records.

Now how many years did this really happen in? the majority of it occurred in maybe 5 years. Then we just waited as it took some years for bonds to finally break Aaron's record.

I just do not see how any of this is a suprise to anyone. It is obivious that Baseball looked the other way while times were good.

Oh well there are no heroes anymore.

At 17 December, 2007 10:55, Blogger Jade said...

Couric interviews A-Rod. So you think he's telling the truth about the droids?! :o) Yeah, still looking for the smoking gun....


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