…. You’re right. Joe Sheehan is so much more eloquent than I am, and when he takes the time to address the steroids scandal, he always seems to put his thoughts together in a way that I can only hope to emulate. His latest article is simple, straightforward, and a must-read for the serious and the casual fan:
…. The Mitchell Commission should be disbanded. It should be disbanded because all it’s doing is extending the shelf life of a story that does the game no good. MLB isn’t going to get anywhere by trying to figure out who was doing what five to 10 years ago; there’s nothing that can be done, and no credible way or sorting out the impact of PEDs on gameplay, wins and losses, or statistics. If the evidence in Game of Shadows isn’t enough for the Commissioner to come down on Barry Bonds—and no, it’s not—then no amount of paper-shuffling and stern questioning is going to produce actionable information.
The Commission isn’t helping baseball. It’s only keeping a dead story alive, while shifting focus from the evidence we have from three years of testing, from MLB’s toughest-in-sports PED policy, from the great storylines created by the players on the field. In four seasons of testing, going back to the survey year, the number of positives has dropped from the high 80s in survey testing down to a single-digit number. Of the players who have tested positive, we’ve seen a mix of pitchers and hitters—putting the lie to the idea that steroids were responsible for the raised offensive levels of the 1990s—and the entire list has a Q rating comfortably behind your average “Dancing With the Stars” cast.
Now, there’s a standard counterargument here: it’s not that no one is using PEDs, it’s that they’re using stuff that doesn’t show up in testing. If that’s your position, fine, but at that point aren’t we talking about a belief system? If it was so important a few years ago for players to give up their rights to privacy to prove their innocence—so important that Congress had to get involved—then how can you ignore the results of the prove-your-innocence program? If the testing results aren’t going to be seen as evidence of the state of PED use in baseball, then stop testing the players, because it’s a pointless exercise.
I could practically run the whole piece, because you need to read it all. Go, now.