Howard Bryant, author of Juicing the Game, offers an in-depth preview of the Mitchell report, and the many ways in which it is compromised.
Scores of baseball employees who were interviewed by former Sen. George Mitchell’s investigators said that the inquiry has been critically hampered by investigative missteps, Mitchell’s close personal ties in the industry, and the longstanding fracture between baseball’s owners and players’ union. These baseball insiders offer an unprecedented and unfiltered view of the 20-month investigation.
Club executives are nervous that Mitchell will be unsparing in his assessment of their role in enabling the game’s steroid culture, while team trainers and strength coaches feel the Mitchell team explicitly pressured them to “guess” about steroid use by specific players. The aim, say trainers and strength coaches, was to produce a report heavy on high-profile names but low on solutions….
Cracks in the Mitchell investigation’s foundation — Mitchell’s inability to compel players to cooperate, for example — were unavoidable, insiders say. Others were not, including the investigators’ lack of familiarity with baseball’s locker room and insider culture, and Mitchell’s own apparent conflicts of interest.
White wash? Witch hunt? The article suggests we’re in store for a little of both.