The vaunted Mitchell Report is reportedly in the hands of Bud Selig and Co. and will be released to the public on Thursday.
There are those who think (maybe hope is the right word) that the report will shake baseball to its roots. I think the report will be a review of what we already know and will shed little light on the matter.
To me, baseball should be looking ahead and focusing on finding ways to stop drug use in the future. The millions spent on Mitchell’s staff and their travel would have been better spent on developing a reliable test for human growth hormone or paying for more random tests.
There are inherent problems with the report before it even comes out:
Conflict of interest: Mitchell was a paid director of the Red Sox, a job he will return to once the investigation is over. The Senator is by all accounts an honorable man. But MLB needed to find somebody else.
Kissing up to Congress: Selig was horrified when he was dragged before Congress in 2005. Hiring Mitchell, a respected former Senator, got the lawmakers off his back. It’s a dog-and-pony show of the highest order.
Where’s the proof: Reportedly at least 50 players will be named in the report. But unless Mitchell has documentation showing a failed drug test, where is the proof? It’s fairly easy to connect a player to purchasing drugs. But all the player has to say is that he didn’t take it. How can MLB suspend anybody without a positive test?
The star witness: We have heard much about Kirk Radomski and his testimony. Radomski is a former Mets clubhouse attendant who was arrested for selling steroids top his body-builder buddies and ratted out players he knew as part of his plea agreement. So a guy who was once in charge of picking up jocks and towels is the best they have?
I think on Thursday we’ll learn once again that Jason Giambi did steroids. So did Barry Bonds, Ken Caminiti, Jose Canseco and all the names we have heard before. Mitchell will criticize people in the game for looking the other way. Selig will praise the report and all the steps baseball has taken. If any players are suspended, it will be for 10 or 15 games.
Unless Mitchell has some startling news on a star player, this will all go away after a few days.
Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think many people care. Baseball has been dogged by this story for several years and the crowds and television ratings only get larger. Sure, drug use is wrong. But do you want to sit home and watch Jeopardy at 7 p.m. or Yanks-Tigers?
Baseball needs to clean up the game starting now. Telling us what happened last year or the year before that or the year before that accomplishes nothing.