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…. Talk, talk

It’s out there, and everybody’s talking about it, so I’m gonna talk too. Before I do, I’m gonna link to some of what’s out there, and the first one is the best. Joe Sheehan, as usual, is the author, and I think it’s a premium article, so I can only give you a taste:

…. The commission’s failure to do anything of note on its own makes the tone of both the report and George Mitchell’s press conference yesterday shameful. Given a bully pulpit with which to change the conversation about performance-enhancing drugs in baseball, Mitchell instead elected to blame the MLBPA and its members for being obstructionist; put little to no blame on upper management of teams or the game itself; proffer unoriginal solutions that, while difficult to argue against, could have been generated by a Google search of Dick Pound quotes; and offered legitimacy to such tired refrains as the connection between PED use by MLB players and usage by young athletes and Don Hooton’s claims that steroids drove his son to his suicide.

…. there is no examination of how owners, presidents, general managers, and managers integrated their knowledge of PED use, such as it was, into their processes. The evidence we have from the market—that it simply doesn’t matter—is completely absent from the report.

Sheehan makes the rest of these guys look like pikers, really; but I’ll let you all decide for yourselves.

Some of the writers at the NY Daily News have their first responses to the report. Bill Madden says he won’t put Clemens in the Hall of Fame, and Michael O’Keefe, Teri Thompson and Corky Siemaszko are questioning the validity of Clemen’s Hall case, as well as the Yankees titles won since ’96. Filip Bondy says it’s bad for the Yanks, but doesn’t offer much in the way of his own two cents. John Harper says it’s sad that Pettitte is involved, since he was such a class act.

Lupica, of course, loves to see people on their knees. He’s practically dancing down 5th avenue in his piece on what a “Great Day for Baseball” yesterday was:

…. People will say this was a bad day for baseball, because now it isn’t just Barry Bonds’ name out there with drugs, it is Roger Clemens, too, and a sainted Yankee like Andy Pettitte, and a former MVP like Miguel Tejada, and even a tough-as-nails old Met named Lenny (Nails) Dykstra. But this was a great day for baseball, because even if Mitchell didn’t give us all of it Thursday, he gave us enough, because if you were a juicer in baseball in this era you had this day coming.

The NY Times, conspicuously, has but one editorial this morning, by Harvey Araton, entitled, “All-Juice Team Has Finally Found it’s Ace:”

…. Clemens was the lead actor in the Yankees-Mets drama pieced together like a jigsaw puzzle, considering it was Clemens who flung the jagged edge of a broken bat at Mike Piazza during the 2000 Subway Series.

It was an act so irresponsibly bizarre that I commented in a column, tongue in cheek, that Clemens’s behavior met a standard for what pharmacologists have referred to as ’roid rage. Here we are, seven years later, and I’ve come to realize I wasn’t kidding.

I guess the rest of the Times guys are going to make sure they think before they speak. ;-)

David Pinto did some quick and dirty research on Clemens and came up with something worth a read:

…. In reading the Clemens section of the Mitchell Report, McNamee gives a pretty clear time line as to when Roger started using steroids. It was after a series at Miami. Clemens pitched in that series on 6/8/1998. Here are his stats through that series: 6-6, 3.27 ERA, 9.2 K per 9, 4.3 BB per 9, 0.32 HR/9. From that date through the end of the season: 14-0, 2.29 ERA, 11.1 K per 9, 2.8 BB per 9, 0.48 HR per 9.

…. McNamee also talks about injecting Clemens in the second half of 2000 and late in 2001. Clemens through 6/30/2000: 4-6, 4.76 ERA, 9.0 K per 9, 4.1 BB per 9, 1.44 HR per 9. July through the end of the season: 9-2, 3.00 ERA, 7.8 K per 9, 3.4 BB per 9, 0.95 HR per 9. Let me note, however, that Clemens suffered an injury that knocked him out for the last two games of June, and his two starts before he left the game with an injury were poor.

That’s a noticeable change in performance right there. Thanks to David for putting in the time.

The writers at SI, never far from remembering how relevant the steroids scandal makes all of them; seem to be taking the report on it’s face as one of the most important documents in the history of sports. Jon Heyman and Phil Taylor don’t care how weak and uncorroborated the report is, Heyman says it was worth the time and money, while Taylor, arguing with himself, I guess, says it’s far from a failure. John Donovan says the nightmare’s not over. I guess it’s not, now that your heroes are included in the horror, and not just assholes like Bonds and Canseco.

USA Today’s John Saraceno seems to see through some of the bullshit:

…. After listening to the commissioner, I have no more faith in baseball’s ability to “rid our sport of the use of performance-enhancing substances,” as Selig said, than I ever have had. Quite simply, that is not even a realistically attainable goal, laudable as it sounds. The chemists always are ahead of the law. Perhaps Selig knows more than the rest of us. But I doubt it.

Perhaps Selig believes that if he repeats his mantra often enough, he will start believing it. Or we will.

Every time Selig uses the word “integrity,” I feel like taking a shower. Integrity, what integrity?

Dick Patrik talks to the boys over at the USADA, who think they’re right, oh, pretty much always:

…. “The only way to have a successful program that protects the rights of clean athletes and the integrity of sport is to have an independent program,” said USADA CEO Travis Tygart. “A sport can’t promote and police itself. This (baseball situation) appears to be the consequence of when a sport attempts to promote and police itself. It can’t be done.”

Yeah, that USADA, they sure know how to keep their sport clean. I guess all the gold medals the US has had to give back the last couple of years are all the evidence we need to see what a bang up job they’re doing.


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