Monday, December 17, 2007

On The Mitchell Report

Regarding The Mitchell Report on steroid abuse in Major League Baseball, a few observations:

1. Mr. Mitchell strongly recommends that the findings in the report should not be the basis of punitive action against the players. MLB Commissioner Bud "Lite" Selig seems to believe that punishment should be forthcoming. The Oracle will agree with the Commissioner and declare unequivocally that Mr. Selig should resign immediately, as his failures are the most contemptible and most worthy of immediate action. As the report makes clear, MLB knew, or should have known, that this activity was going on and willingly closed its eyes to it. This failure of leadership is inexcusable, and Mr. Selig should either resign or be fired.

2. The decision to name names in the report, often on the basis of flimsy evidence, was odd and surely a mistake. Jayson Stark may overstate his point in some cases, but his overall argument is sound: how can you single out a relatively small number of players and destroy their reputations on the basis of scanty amounts of evidence?

3. Is there any doubt that Roger Clemons will NOT be elected to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot? Consider this: a fairly significant number of voters have said that they will not choose Barry Bonds, the game's all time home run king, due to his alleged (and somewhat obvious) steroid use. Mr. Bonds and Mr. Clemons may come up for consideration for the first time in the same year. Even if an argument can be made (and no one really knows at this point what the relative circumstances were) that Mr. Clemons abuse was less pronounced, it would be a PR disaster for baseball to put Mr. Clemons in ahead of Mr. Bonds. Charges of racism would be off the charts. It will not happen.

4. Players union chief Donald Fehr has proven once again that he cares nothing for either the future of the game or even the health of the players he represents. His refusal to cooperate with the investigation and his dragging kicking and screaming approach to remedial actions with regard to steroids put this on full display. Mr. Fehr gives union thuggery a bad name.

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