Drug culture leaves ugly feeling
December, 14, 2007
When I awoke this morning, I felt as if I had spent a fortnight sleeping underneath the Gandy Bridge. George Mitchell did what he was paid to do, and because baseball's rampant drug culture is as well-sealed as underground weapon silos and stealth bombers at Davis-Monthan AFB, we were left to a sordid tale of associations, hearsay and the witness cooperation of sewer rats. You can blame the players association and you can blame Bud Selig, but the fact remains that the players who were truly clean did not exercise their power to avoid this, nor did their owners care to know as the business went from a $1.3B industry in 1995 to one that topped $6.2B in 2007. Not that most owners had enough time to really understand this, which is why it's fortunate that Mitchell did not go back to the period when George W. Bush owned the Texas Rangers -- which Jose Canseco and others have fingered as a performance-enhancing Wal-Mart -- because there is no way Bush had any idea what was alleged in Canseco's book. The problem is that the history of the 20-something years of steroids, HGH, etc. is written by Canseco and clubhouse gophers, fired trainers and gym rats. Many of us have a problem with Mitchell throwing out names based on little to no proof other than hearsay, but he was left with few alternatives. Baseball wanted him to look at the period. He did, as best he could, and emptied it like a box of trash, with little differentiation between Roger Clemens and Brian Roberts, whose name was revealed without evidence of any wrongdoing whatsoever. In this era of vigilante journalism, if it's a name, it's got guilt, and the fact that some "news" services ran with a phony report with 76 names Thursday morning puts "news" right there in the culture of the sewer rats.