I have hand-wringing fatigue.
I am tired of the moralizing. I am tired of people like Curt Schilling calling for stripped awards. And I am also tired of the "a pox on the Mitchell Report" crowd. I am tired of the Tim Marchman types and those who treat Roger Clemens like Idi Amin.
Donald Fehr and Bud Selig said yesterday they are going to sit down in the New Year and discuss what to do going forward. If anything productive comes of this we will have the Mitchell Report and all of this PR to thank, at least in part.
We fans who want the game to be as unimpeachable as possible should be pushing for what Mitchell asked for, not screaming into a howling wind about the contents of his report. We should be vocal in demanding state-of-the-art drug testing and punishments for those who violate the rules, even if we have no power over the league to implement these policies. This testing won’t stop people from cheating, but it will likely catch more of the cheaters. Such testing would restore, at least for me, a bit of lost faith in the levelness of the competition. Though I have not lost faith in the game (hardly) these last ten years — for me since Mark McGwire waffled about the Andro prominently displayed in his locker — have been tinged with skepticism, bolstered by moments of saturated suspicion, like bats thrown at runners and a home run that nearly left Yankee Stadium over the right field bleachers. Baseball is a game historically rooted in a somewhat glossy perception (or expectation) of integrity but with a reality of corruption. This perception of integrity has always been pre-eminent, not just for baseball but for sports in general. Baseball strongly reminds players on a daily, advertised basis about the scourge of gambling. Why shouldn’t they do the same for PEDs? Why shouldn’t The Game, and by "The Game" I mean both players and owners, take action to achieve this end goal of levelness and equanimity? If the last week helps reduce these abuses then all of those lamenting the integrity of Mitchell, those blinded by disappointment in the tarnishing of the national pastime, will be silenced by action.
I hope we have quiet, and soon.