Senator George Mitchell released his findings this afternoon after 20 months of investigation of the use of steroids in Major League Baseball. The list came out today and there were about 80 players named. The list consisted of all-stars in this era and also former players. Of all the players listed, one of the most surprising was seven-time CY Young Award winner Roger Clemens. After the report was presented, Clemens attorney immediately denied any use of steroids by his client. A trainer admitted to injecting Clemens with steroids while Clemens was playing for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1998 and the New York Yankees in 2000. Now, the question is with Clemens, is will this tarnish his remarkable, hall shoo-in career. We'll get to that later. Among the other names listed: Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield, Lenny Dykstra, Andy Pettitte, Chuck Knobloch, Mo Vaughn, Miguel Tejada, Paul LoDuca, Kevin Brown, Eric Gagne, David Bell, Troy Glaus, and Matt Williams were some of the notables. You have to remember that some of these players are suspected of steroid use. They do have very strong evidence pointing their way and some have even admitted to their steroid use. Baseball is finally coming clean about the steroid era. It is trying to clean up the mess it started by not acting sooner when they had the suspicions. They are making steady progress, however, in cleaning up the mess. (But who knows who is using that undetectable 'the clear' stuff.) The only current Major Leaguer to talk to Mitchell was Giambi who admitted to taking steroids. Tejada just got traded to the Astros yesterday and today he is a steroid-user. (Merry Christmas Houston, Tejada is now coming with a public relations killing disease called steroid allegations). Their are some surprises about who is not on the list. Notably Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire.
With the coming of these reports raises some questions like: Should commissioner Bud Selig punish the current players on this list based on the reports? Mitchell urged Selig not to punish these players unless it damages the integrity of Major League Baseball. Although Selig sounded as if he will punish these players and he said he will do it "swiftly".
Another question is what should the league do when some of these players get on the Hall of Fame ballot. Their are some players whose numbers predict them to be sure-fire hall of famers like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. Some have said that you put and asterisk or an acknowledgement that that player had been suspected of using steroids next to their name. Some have said that they shouldn't even be considered for the Hall of Fame. Now with Bonds, I will have to wait until the results of his trial come out. With Clemens, it is too early to tell if he should deserve a plaque in the hall (hey, he's only been in the steroid talk for a matter of hours). Only time will tell if this problem ever gets out of baseball.
The MLB is finally second-guessing itself for its handling of the steroid era. They waited too long when they knew what was happening. They said,"Well, let it go. The fans are happy and if they find out, ticket sales will go way down." Well, it seems that they were wrong two times. First, they waited even though they suspected something was happening when Sosa and McGuire were knocking them out of there a little too easy. They were also wrong when they said revenue would go down once fans found out about the dirty things that were going down in their sport. The total revenue has been higher every year, breaking the old revenue record the next.
This is a overall sad day for Major League Baseball and its fans because they are realizing their faults and we are seeing the truth about our idols. But this will help the MLB in due time because steroid use will continue to decrease until it is almost not even a topic. Of course that will take many years and players will start to find other ways to cheat. It is in human nature to try to get a competitive edge by any means possible even if it means destroying yourself. Their will always be players trying to cheat and their will always be commissioners stopping them. It used to be spit balls and now it's steroids. This is the beginning of the end of the steroid era.