As we enter the hot stove season, I can’t help but wonder what kind of toll the specter of George Mitchell’s steroid report is taking on general managers. There hasn’t been much talk in the press about this, so I wonder to what extent those in the game consider it a story. Leaks suggest “big names” will be implicated, but what kind of penalties, beyond public approbation, they’ll be subject to is unknown. Just yesterday, the SF Chronicle (it this the only paper still on this story?) reported that Jose Guillen of the Mariners, along with the retired Matt Williams and Ismael Valdez, acquired HGH. So what protections, if any, are teams looking for when they talk about signing or trading for a player, especially a marquee player? Are they worried about damaged good and inflated stats? How have contracts changed since Giambi? It’s a tough position for the GM; the presumption has to be that players are innocent, and it’s a competitive market, but execs have to enter agreements with eyes wide open. I wish the press were on this a bit more, rather than harping about the relative dignitude of certain contracts.
Mitchell’s Damocletian Sword
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