George Mitchell: “Government Could Become Involved In Steroids Probe”

The former Senate Majority Leader told baseball owners "I believe it will be in your best interests, and the best interests of baseball, if I can report that I have received full cooperation from your organizations, and from others, in conducting this investigation," according to an AP article.

Bud Selig says there have been varying levels of cooperation from the ownerships regarding large-scale document discovery and information disclosure. This has had an impact on the timeline of the production of the final report, according to Mitchell.

To say that I find it ridiculous that this is the best use of the time and money of the United States Government at its highest level would be an understatement. Mitchell cites that approximately 76% of the BWAA voters chose not to include McGwire as evidence of how important his investigation is to America. Perhaps. Important at the level of Congress? I’ll throw this (admittedly a potentially straw-man) argument into the ring. To what kind of drug tests do our elected representatives currently find themselves subject?

Maybe I don’t have a decent gauge on what middle-America finds important. Are Baseball’s best interests served by full and docile cooperation with Mitchell’s investigation? Probably. Is it appropriate that the U.S. government increase their role in Baseball’s house-cleaning? Give me a break. President George Bush Sr. appointed Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger fitness "Czar" in 1990. Then again, Arnold admitted that he used steroids, and doesn’t regret it. Is "coming-clean" what would get Baseball off the hook? What else is at work here that I am missing?

22 comments… add one
  • “approximately 76% of the BWAA voters..important to America”
    I actually find this claim incredulous, ridiculous, and borderline contemptuous.

    attackgerbil January 19, 2007, 3:33 pm
  • FWIW, the claim used to justify Congress’ meddling in baseball’s affairs is the antitrust exemption, since baseball essentially is a monopoly. Since Congress grants the exemption, it gives them purview over … well, whatever they want, I guess. At least, that’s how it seems they’ve interpreted it.
    As to whether this is the best use of congressional time — meh. Probably not. Congressional committees spend a lot of time discussing things of dubious interest to the majority of their members’ constituents. Is baseball more important than a ban on slaughtering sick horses, as the House Agriculture Committee has spent hours, if not days, debating? Who cares? They’re both gimmes to people with money and votes to trade. It’s just part of the game.

    Paul SF January 19, 2007, 3:45 pm
  • This is about as good a use of goverment money as fighter jet fly overs at sporting events, at a cool $50k per second.

    LocklandSF January 19, 2007, 3:51 pm
  • Paul: I find it remarkable that the exemption from the Sherman Act somehow has anything to do with this. The decision was challenged and defended twice successfully. There must be some book out there that discusses whether or not baseball would have been better off paying the fine ($240k, in 1922 dollars!).
    Lockland: agreed, but at least flying jets over *insert well-attended event* is an “gee, that’s cool..I wanna fly jets” advertisement for military recruiting. I can’t see what purpose this serves except as distraction, or “make work,” like when a representative passes a motion for a national day of recognition for the “Navel Scratchers of America League.”

    attackgerbil January 19, 2007, 4:20 pm
  • edit..when a representative proposes and gets passed..

    attackgerbil January 19, 2007, 4:25 pm
  • You watch your mouth mister, without Navel Scratching, the world would face a life threatening belly button lint shortage.

    President of NSAL January 19, 2007, 4:33 pm
  • President of the NSAL: good point. My clothes-dryer lint is distinctly un-patriotic. I put in red-white-blue clothes, but the lint comes out all subversion gray. What gives?

    attackgerbil January 19, 2007, 4:43 pm
  • Gray is the de facto color of communism. You think it’s red, but what color are all the buildings in Russia? Gray. What color is the snow that falls in Russia? Gray.
    You communistic communist.

    Paul SF January 19, 2007, 4:50 pm
  • Considering that the war in Iraq is expected to cost some $1.2 *trillion* dollars, I hardly think complaining about the cost of the Mitchell investigation is a particularly fruitful line of attack here. (And even if you’re in the 30% of Americans who still think the war was a splendid idea worth continuing, there are still far, far greater wastes of gummint money to get huffy about first, if that’s your real concern.)
    The question of whether this is worth focusing time and attention on is another matter. On the other hand, I don’t think Mitchell (no longer an elected official) was exactly at the nexus of 21st Century U.S. policy-making before he was appointed.
    I think the monopoly card is a strong one…. although I’m curious, is MLB a de facto monopoly, or are others actualyl prevented from starting a competing league?

    Hudson January 19, 2007, 11:16 pm
  • My mortgage costs me 1100 dollars a month. I guess I should ignore when I get charged $20 for a bunch of celery.

    attackgerbil January 20, 2007, 2:16 am
  • Though Kruschev-era Soviet housing is notoriously shoddy and gray, Russian architecture in general is actually quite colorful and often very beautiful, especially in Moscow and St. Pete. (The color offsets the bleak climate.) The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit? He’s a Yankee!
    Mitchell’s panel is not a government panel; it was formed, i believe, under the direction of
    Selig and with the agreement of the PA, following the hearings. If it produces a useful, idependent report on the way forward, great. But it seems like its focus is on investigating the past, and if that’s not done in a careful way, it might easily be counterproductive. Baseball probably needs a Mandela-style general amnesty if its going to really be productive. In any case, the anti-trust legislation is a powerful weapon.

    YF January 20, 2007, 10:46 am
  • The MLB Brain Trust is about to make another stupid decision. According to the New York Times,

    Major League Baseball is close to announcing a deal that will place its Extra Innings package of out-of-market games exclusively on DirecTV…
    Extra Innings has been available to 75 million cable households and the two satellite services, DirecTV and the Dish Network. But the new agreement will take it off cable and Dish because DirecTV has agreed to pay $700 million over seven years, according to three executives briefed on the details of the contract but not authorized to speak about them publicly.

    “… but not authorized to speak about them publicly” — I guess that’s why they spoke about it publicly.

    john January 20, 2007, 12:26 pm
  • john, when is this supposed to occur? I will be so, so, soooo pissed if this goes down for the 2007 season.

    bloodyank78 January 20, 2007, 2:59 pm
  • …so much for competition…as if it wasn’t insult enough to make us pay to watch games anyway, now they’re going to make us chase after it…what, then in 5 years it’ll go to dishnet or cable?…who’s going to really be on the hook for the $700m…me and you…

    dc January 20, 2007, 6:21 pm
  • MLB, thinking about it’s devoted fans as usual. This is terrible news. Why go to a much smaller audience? The extra bucks is worth less visibility?
    This pisses me off, big time.

    SF January 20, 2007, 8:49 pm
  • Great. DirecTV, owned by Rupert Murdoch, who owns Fox, who blacks out Saturday games on MLB Extra Innings to drive watchers toward the Saturday Fox games. I am highly disappointed.

    attackgerbil January 20, 2007, 9:28 pm
  • This truly makes no sense. Do MLB and DirecTV think DISH Netowrk subscribers will simply switch over in droves. Maybe some people can, but I know I for one cannot afford the contract termination fee. I wouldn’t even if I could, just on principle now.

    Paul SF January 20, 2007, 10:13 pm
  • Well, this won’t affect me as I’ve subscribed to MLB extra innings on DirecTV for around 12 years now. And the 12 years before that I was able to get the Yanks (here in Iowa) on a 10 ft satellite dish that dominated my back yard.
    This much I know. If DirecTV lost the rights to show out of market games to Dish Network or someone else, I would do whatever it took to make sure I was still able to watch the Yankees as I can’t imagine summertime without them.

    Whatever January 20, 2007, 11:12 pm
  • …great, then it’s settled, we’re all going over to whatever’s house to watch yankee-sox games…iowa’s kind of far away [for me anyway]…do you mind if us out-of-towners crash at your place for night games?…

    dc January 21, 2007, 9:01 am
  • dc,
    not at all, got a big house with lots of room and a nice big screen for everyone’s viewing pleasure.
    Sox fans are welcome for Yanks-Sox games but heckling ARod is not allowed.

    Whatever January 21, 2007, 9:35 am
  • Road trip to Whatever’s! We’ll be right behind Hillary.

    YF January 21, 2007, 10:35 am
  • Hillary’s a Cubs fan.
    I’ll just give whatever my Slingbox. I wonder how many Slingboxes you can daisy chain.

    john January 21, 2007, 10:44 am

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