Thursday, December 13, 2007

MITCHELL! Wakama wakama...

Anyone ever see that episode of MST3K? No? Just me? Crap. Never mind then.

I've been busy all day, but did manage to hear the press conference and I have some reactions:
  • I'm furious. I am a real baseball fan. I traveled hours to watch McGwire and Bonds. I feel like they cheated me. I knew McGwire used andro (which was legal both in the USA and in baseball), but would never have gone to see him if I thought he was dirty. Maybe I was naive, but I was barely 20. I had played high school and college baseball and never once heard of steriods in the game at those levels. I'm sick that I ever rooted for the Rocket.
  • The problem with steroid users is that they broke the law. They endangered their own health, put pressure on others to use (just so they could compete and keep their jobs), defrauded the fans, and set a horrible example for youth. I would LOVE for every user to be exposed, humiliated as a cheater and a fraud, and have to answer for their actions.
  • I can't figure out what 'evidence' people want. First person testimony from a distributor who has receipts and checks from players IS real evidence.
  • George Mitchell is unimpeachable character-wise. I'm not concerned with the 'apparent conflict of interest'. This is a dude who helped broker peace in Ireland. I doubt very seriously if he's going to sell his soul to cover for the owners.
  • Here's the thing about the argument that the owners are to blame for being slow to act: 1. it's true they were slow to act 2. So what? The impetus was on the players not use. IT WAS A FELONY. Purchasing illegal steroids was a crime. Just because someone is willing to pay you money and not ask how you do the job doesn't lower your responsibility. There is ALWAYS an easy way out in life. Lying, cheating, and stealing are easy and always options. Every individual has to make the right choice in life. And no, there's isn't just a right choice "for me and my life". When a player chose willingly to use illegal drugs, they said to society, "Screw you. Screw the kids who look up to me. Screw the greats who have gone before me. All I care about is my life and my ability to make money. I'm going to break the law."
  • If Big Mac, Bonds and Clemens make the HoF, so should Rose. Look, what Pete did was reprehensible. It was illegal, irresponsible and wrong. But 1. it didn't take place while he was playing and 2. it didn't change games. These cheaters conspired to alter SEASONS of baseball. They broke the law and changed batting titles, HR races, Cy Young awards, and championships. It makes me sick.
  • I'm glad the report is out there. I do blame the players and the MLBPA for perpetuating the system and resisting change. The onus is on them to show they want to clean up the game. I favor blood testing. Is it an invasion of privacy? I think that million dollar contracts played out before publicly funded stadiums is a fair trade for a loss of privacy. You have no right to test my blood for anything. But, if you want to pay me a million dollars (indirectly subsidized by tax money), you have every right to demand it of me.
  • I'm tired of talking heads suggesting that the fans don't care about this. Really? If you think people don't care, then don't talk about it. If they really don't care, why do you drone on and on. Shut up and move on. Otherwise, admit that it matters.

Demond Sanders: I'm glad the report was released. Am I supposed to feel sorry for these players? I laugh at the people, like ESPN's Buster Olney, who argue that you can't keep players out of the Hall of Fame unless you are willing to keep everyone from this era out. That is foolish to me. You can't catch everyone, but the investigation nailed some of them. Punish the ones you netted. Would the police say, "Oh darn we got some of the drug dealers, but we couldn't get all of them. I guess we have to let these guys go free because it wouldn't be fair."


Ian said...

This is all pretty insane, and it leads me to question the NFL as well. I've heard steroid abuse is far worse in football than baseball.

Will this lead to a Roger Goodell steroid task force?

DZ said...

Hell, no! In football, when a guy gets caught using 'roids, we send him to the Pro Bowl and put him on video games! Or talk about how classy someone is becuase they play for the Patriots. Baseball is the last place on earth where people still give a rip.

jc said...


I think the holier than thou mystique of your head coach rubbed off on you.

And I played college baseball too and there were MAD kids shooting Winny V and Deca. It was everywhere.

Ian said...

Yeah, how dare someone wish there was less cheating in professional football.

DZ said...

Gee, I didn't know that a refusal to use illegal drugs, and anger that people did it makes you 'holier than thou'. Am I the only person who thinks it's wrong to, you know, BREAK THE LAW? I find the shrug your shoulders and say, "oh well, nobody's perfect!" mentality bizzarre. So society should have no laws and no standards by which people should live? If you really believe that, then I feel sorry for you.

This is about more than cheating in baseball. It's about criminal behavior in baseball that endangered many lives. I think that's a serious thing.

But you all keep on defending Rodney Harrison. I will give him this, at least he didn't make excuses for what he did.

JC said...

Who defended Rodney? He caught...served his time.

And all I meant was....your post started off with "I'm furious".

Like you didn't know it was coming? Did you really believe any of these guys when they swore up and down they were clean??

Roger's name was circulating all last year. Petite shocked me.

I don't think this report accomplished anything. What was the point of making all those names public?

Picky said...

Actually, I have seen that MST (Mitchell) with Joe Don Baker. It's "wakachicka wakachicka", btw. Classic MST!

Deshawn Zombie said...

The point was to expose them for what they were. The point is that everyone knows who they are, what they did, and what a fraud they committed. Now, voters can choose to keep all of them out of the hall. It's one thing to whisper about a player. It's another to have testimony, reciepts, and signed checks. I'm angry at Andy Pettite because he built a reputation for being a decent guy, but has left a generation of his fans thinking what he did was ok. I've been angry about steroids for some time, but everytime I bring it up, some jack-hole says, "Well, there's no proof!". Now there's proof, so why can't I be angry about it.

I saw McGwire take batting practice in 1998. He hit 10 of 13 swings out of the park. 7 landed in the upperdeck at Riverfront. It was one of the coolest things I had ever seen. It was also totally bogus. Now, my best memory of that trip is my friend almost clocking a deer on the way home. I took my best friend to Cards game for his bachelor party that year, and we saw Big Mac hit one off the facing of the upperdeck at Busch. We were stoked. Now we feel duped. Maybe we were naive, but that was how we felt and why I'm mad about the whole giant fraud. And I blame the players who cheated us.

Deshawn Zombie said...

Picky-thanks man! I'm glad you saw it. I have to admit, I didn't expect to get corrected on the spelling. Joe Don Baker rules!

JV said...

Mitchell is the man. The episode is great on DVD. Now I am going to have that song stuck in my head.. "My, my, my Mitchell."

The steroids issue stains the last two decades of the MLB. Sad days indeed.

Ian said...

I do give credit to Rodney Harrison for admitting his mistake and showing remorse. This Mitchell report fiasco is going to be made exponentially worse by the players, caught red-handed, pleading innocence and basically lying to our faces.

Anyway, not the song, but some hot merging action nonetheless:

Anonymous said...

Babe Ruth routinely broke federal law. Do we kick him out of the hall?

Every football record of the last 25 to 30 years has been tainted by steroids. Remember, even a QB who didn't use roids was protected by linemen who did. And pass pro is critical to a QB's performance.

The problem with moral indignation is that it assumes a bright line distinction between good and evil where none exists. There are hundreds of substances that enhance performance (just look at the Olympics where nose spray can get you banned). Are you offended by anyone using a substance banned by the Olympics, but not baseball?

If the distinction is illegality, you have opened up a whole different can of worms (see e.g. Ruth).

How do you feel about spitballs, corked bats, and using video cameras to spy on opponent signals in football?

How 'bout a player who purposely holds, but doesn't get caught in a football game or basketball game. Are you outraged by a hoops player who flops to draw a charge? Each of them is knowingly violating the rules in order to get a competitive edge.

Finally, remember that roids are not magic dust that produce a super athlete upon ingestion. The whole subject is a lot more gray than you seem to understand.

colts girl said...

What's MST?

I'm so glad that you guys addressed this report; my husband (the "everybody-thinks-everything-is-a-conspiracy" guy) isn't giving a lot of credit to the report because of the lack of positive tests, but frankly, I'm with you; the evidence put forward seems pretty damning to me, and it makes me feel a bit robbed of the excitement. Then again, it was exciting at the time, so I don't know.

It just sucks that these guys decided that their pocketbooks/records were more important than playing fair and being good role models. They play a sport as a profession and get paid handsomely for it, for crying out loud. How bad can it be to do it fairly? If someone would pay me to run (I'm not fast, so no one ever would), I'd be ecstatic, and I'd avoid doing anything that I thought might make them question my integrity. I'd train like a maniac, sure, because that would be MY JOB. But I wouldn't do anything illegal. And I'd appreciate the opportunity to do something I love so much as a job.

Deshawn Zombie said...

Ok, here's my response to the issue of breaking federal law: when breaking the law directly affects the outcome of games, then I have a problem with putting criminals in the Hall of Fame. The point of the hall is on field accomplishments. If those accomplishments aren't valid, then I have a problem with it. And I suppose you could say, but if a guy got 100 RBIs legally, but some of those were driving in a guy who used roids to get on base for him, then it taints everyone. I'm not willing to punish guys who did the best they could and might have benefited in some tangental manner from the wrongs of others.

As for spitballs, corked bats and other forms of cheating (such as what the Pats did), those wrongs occured within the context of the games and didn't exactly put lives in jepordy. I think that if it could be proven that some such form of cheating was responsible for the bulk of a player's stats, then he should be no condsidered for the Hall either.

Look, I get that Gaylord Perry, Ty Cobb, and other cheats and/or criminals and miscreants are in the Hall, but that's not a good arugment to elect one more. What steroid users did was far worse than these other offenders because they put lives at stake. In 20 years, as we see cancer rates rise among ex-players, we'll realize the damage they did.
And yes, there is a clear bright line. It's called the law. I never cared about Andro when McGwire was hitting. Why? It was legal in the USA and in his sport. These men BROKE THE LAW. Not the law of baseball, the law of the United States of America. This isn't the case of someone's inhaler making them a .300 hitter. This is criminal behavior intentionally perpetrated to defraud the owners and fans of Major League Baseball.

I really don't think this issue is nearly as sticky as people are making it out. It's not nearly as 'gray' as some would have us believe.

funtime42 said...

And yet there was no implication in the Report that Sammy Sosa did anything illegal. He has been crucified in the press the last few years, but was only mentioned with the players who did not not consent to be interviewed (which is a pretty long list).

I don't know how they can change/restore/delete any records from this era, either. It's going to be such a mess.

Marik_K said...

I think the sports media owes Rafael Palmeiro a huge apology for totally KILLING him for suggesting his positive test for 'roids was because of a shot he got of Miguel Tejada.

Though, let's not forget 'roids were never meant to be used for muscle building like the cheaters have been doing. They are a legitimate drug, used to save and enhance the life quality of people, drug down through the mud by greedy fuckers here to get money for themeselves.

"It doesn't help you hit the ball better!" How many times has the sports media squawked that over the years, and now they get up on their high horse? Ugh.

Some days, I hate being a sports fan.

Anonymous said...

So where is the outrage over the far more prevalent use of steroids in the NFL?

Marik said...

Honestly? I don't know. If I had to guess, it's because people hold baseball more near and dear to the vest than they do football.

Josh said...

Just wanted to say I heard you on the radio yesterday and they gave a shout to your site afterwards.

Deshawn Zombie said...

I heard that. Rake and Walk are good guys. I appriciated the plug.