Tired (Yet Hopeful)

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. 

63 comments… add one
  • ” a home run that nearly left Yankee Stadium over the right field bleachers, to be more specific.”
    Who hit it? (I’m sorry to start the thread off on a tangent, but I’m curious.)

    The Sheriff (Andrews) December 20, 2007, 6:02 pm
  • Ah, SF, what we all need is a raggedy Little League game to remind us why we love this game. Some kid at second looks surprised to find a ball in his glove and the kid who hit it running hell bent for leather to first. Another kid learning what a sac fly is and everyone in the dugout screaming their heads off. Too bad it’s the middle of winter. But Spring will be here soon…

    soxgirl December 20, 2007, 6:25 pm
  • thanks sf

    dc December 20, 2007, 6:30 pm
  • Unless they come up with stored blood tests (to mitigate against drugs not yet detectable) I see no hope of that imagined nirvana.
    Worse, we could have gotten to this point with a much better vetting of the contents of the report, and specifically without names. Putting aside the hand-wringing fatigue doesn’t change how poorly the history or the present was handled. Call me skeptical, but I don’t expect the future to be much better.
    Nah, this wasn’t the first scandal in baseball – drugs or otherwise. And it certainly won’t be the last.

    Mike YF December 20, 2007, 6:32 pm
  • SF December 20, 2007, 7:09 pm
  • I was at the game above. Craziest homer I have ever seen in person. Second craziest was a Kevin Mitchell dinger in Busch Stadium in ’93, I think, into the upper deck in left. This was before McGwire made it routine. Third most impressive was a Pete Incaviglia blast over the screen in Fenway back in the late 80s off of Wes Gardner, a total laser beam – I was sitting in the right field bleachers and it really appeared as if the ball was still going up when it cleared the Monster.

    SF December 20, 2007, 7:12 pm
  • My sentiments exactly, SF. The debate over the report has been mentally exhausting.

    Paul SF December 20, 2007, 9:01 pm
  • “I am tired of the Tim Marchman types and those who treat Roger Clemens like Idi Amin.”
    And I am sure the eighty-four men named in that report are “tired” of taking the fall for an entire generation of players. I don’t think Roger Clemens is a martyr. I do think there are a ton of players who should send Roger Clemens, and the other eighty-three players named, a thank you card. Thank them for taking the brunt of the blow that should have been felt by many, many more players. These eighty-four men will go down as the “Shoeless Joe Jackson’s” of our generation. Ask anyone who was around in 1919 (that could be slightly more difficult then it seems) if they think Joe Jackson, Eddie Cicotte, Oscar Felsch, Arnold Gandil, Claude Williams, Fred McMullin, George Weaver and Charles Risberg were the only players doing wrong. It was much deeper then and it’s much deeper now. Instead of eight men out, we now have eighty-four.

    John - YF December 20, 2007, 9:12 pm
  • See, I just don’t see it that way, John. There are different types of transgressions (or, alleged transgressions). I just don’t see all players in the same light, as “cheaters”. They are all different, their circumstances were all different, and there are varying allegations about each of the players which paint them in all different lights. It is far too simplistic to look at Mitchell’s report and lump every player named in the document into the same category, as if there is only one such category.
    The reductivism with which TMR has been treated is, to me, ill-informed.

    SF December 20, 2007, 9:15 pm
  • You are correct in theory SF, but do you think every fan thinks like you? I can answer that and the answer would be NO. To the fans who don’t blog, to the fans that haven’t read TMR, to the fans who don’t love the game like you and I everyone named in that report cheated. There is no halfway cheating, just a little cheating in the eyes of the public. On ESPN radio today a gentlemen called in to TMKS and said to him the 2000 WS is tainted. The four winning pitchers who pitched for the Yankees were all in TMR. And in his words “Half” the Yankees team was on “Steroids.” In a perfect world your sentiments are correct, but as most anyone will tell you this isn’t a perfect world.

    John - YF December 20, 2007, 9:29 pm
  • but do you think every fan thinks like you
    God I hope not.
    The big picture is that even without the Mitchell Report many games were, in fact, tainted. That ridiculous home run from Barry Bonds that I saw was tainted, though I still remember it with a great sense of wonder, supplemented as it might have been. But that taint doesn’t erase the memory or the accomplishment, even if it was an inflated one.
    I hope the game cleans itself up. I hope Fehr and Selig are serious about this sit-down, that this isn’t window dressing. If nothing changes then yes, the report will have been for naught. But I am not willing to be that cynical, not yet.

    SF December 20, 2007, 9:37 pm
  • // I hope we have quiet, and soon. //
    Yes, the best way to solve a problem is to hush everyone up about it.
    I bet Selig and Fehr would love that. Indeed, that’s why this report was commissioned in the first place — so that Bud could stop having to answer questions about PEDs and always give instead his pat response about “studying” and “implementing” the findings… then waiting ’til everyone forgets about it, or moves onto some other brouhaha.
    But pity poor SF! So tired! Perhaps you need some amphetamines to perk you back up:

    Hudson December 20, 2007, 9:49 pm
  • Hudson:
    You are being unnecessarily combative. My point isn’t that everyone should be silenced, but rather that there has been, at least to me, a disproportionate amount of pedantry regarding the Mitchell Report on both sides of the issue, and that it would be wise to at least let the situation play out more than seven whole days. I, for one, think it would be good to see what happens with MLB and the MLBPA over the course of the next year before jumping to conclusions about the utility of the report. You may have a good reason to be cynical about what might or might not come of it, but I am willing to wait, at least a little longer.
    You have taken my use of the term “quiet” far too literally. I specifically wrote “silenced by action“, not just “silenced”. Meaning that a major, mutually accepted change (accepted and negotiated by both Ownership and the MLBPA) in the policy regarding PEDS, implementation of state-of-the-art testing, etc., in the next year (three years ahead of the expiration of the CBA, no small fact) might quiet everyone who complained that this report was nothing but a “witch hunt” or a stunt, as you seem to imply in your own comment.

    SF December 20, 2007, 10:09 pm
  • thanks, SF

    The Sheriff (Andrews) December 20, 2007, 10:21 pm
  • sf, i wanted to thank you for some perspective on this whole sordid affair…so, i did…i do want to add some perspective of my own…reactions of all types to the events of the past week have been extreme in many cases, but that’s to be expected with an emotional issue that is so polarizing…i’m having some difficulty accepting the findings myself, and have i agree with you that this issue is so complex that we can’t make generalizations about the findings, or oversimplify individual circumstances…i think we all agree that the scope of the investigation and report is seriously compromised by the lack of authority mitchell had in demanding testimony from other key witnesses…i’m sure he had an equally hard time obtaining hard evidence, and while the credibility of the witnesses is rightfully called into question, you take what you can get…in seedy affairs such as this, it’s unlikely any solid citizens have anything to offer…none of this is his fault, nor does it undermine his credibility since he didn’t advertise the report as anything more than it is…but i think the strongest resistance is coming from folks, like me, that want to make sure the “record” includes proper perspective on those shortcomings…not to let the truly guilty off the hook, but to acknowledge that the full story has not been told…otherwise, the report deserves an asterisk [sorry, i couldn’t resist…a little levity ;) ]
    i also still believe it’s unfortunate that the report included names…i think that was a detail that was not needed to support the conclusion that mlb has a ped problem, has ineffectively dealt with it, and needs to get serious about it, in cooperation with the players assoc., of course…i’m also not happy with bpud’s blow-harding about handing out punishments…that won’t accomplish anything, except maybe to make him feel better…

    dc December 20, 2007, 11:29 pm
  • The longest homerun I have ever seen was hit by Alex Rodriguez, I think in 2006. It cleared the third green fence beyond left-center field. People say it ‘rolled’ there, but it didn’t. It must have been over 500 feet. Absolutely mind-boggling.

    AndrewYF December 21, 2007, 12:35 am
  • It’s not just the fans, but many members of the mainstream media too have lumped all the “named” together in one big episode of Cheaters. And it’s not restricted to individual writers either. Editorial staffs have treated them as criminals with the headlines and “news” reports we’ve seen. But there has been very little moderation in the coverage.
    Now we get headlines like this:
    Contrary to report, Clemens, Pettitte not named in Grimsley affidavit
    This story is far from over.

    Mike YF December 21, 2007, 6:16 am
  • The longest homerun I ever saw was in 1990, at the old Ballpark in Arlington. Dean Palmer hit a ball 490 feet over the left-center field, and stood at home plate watching it until it landed. The opposing pitcher–whose name escapes me–got pissed off and started walking towards him, and a small scuffle broke out.
    I remain positive about everything. I think this report will lead to stricter drug testing, involving blood samples as opposed to urine. I think that this report will cause many players to think twice before using PED’s, for fear of being named in the future–whether substantiated or not.
    I think that any step right now is a step in the right direction, and that this report at the very least will get Sehlig off his ass.

    Atheose December 21, 2007, 6:19 am
  • Mike, that’s referring to a completely unrelated article that was posted in the Los Angeles times.

    Atheose December 21, 2007, 6:25 am
  • Completely unrelated to what?

    Mike YF December 21, 2007, 7:28 am
  • See, the LA Times is actually one of the better papers in the country. Yet they got the story very wrong in the rush to break the “news”. Again, they don’t print that story in England, and for good reason – because of the implications to individuals.
    Meanwhile, Grimsley “named” Sosa and others, including Incaviglia, who weren’t in TMR. Why was that information left out? The report is incomplete! Shocking, I know.
    The other aspect that hasn’t been talked about here is how Mitchell says he met with a player, was convinced they bought but didn’t use, and then left his name out of the report. So basically Mitchell WAS acting as judge and jury, and he knew that the results would be used to execute. Sure, any of the named players could have talked, but instead of carefully vetting the evidence, he used their silence against them. Nah, why worry about the Fifth Amendment?
    Sorry, but the hand-wringing over this entire affair is very far from over. Just wait until a trainer realizes the statue of limitations has passed on their crimes and looks to cash in on what they know.
    The past was handled poorly. The present was handled poorly. The future will be handled poorly, esp with the used car salesman in-charge.

    Mike YF December 21, 2007, 7:40 am
  • P.s. Everyone that vilified Pettitte because he “lied” in response to the Grimsley “report”, please stand up. Then raise your hand if you also used the Grimsley “report” to further implicate Clemens.
    Meanwhile, is Sosa innocent or guilty? Cast your verdict today!

    Mike YF December 21, 2007, 7:46 am
  • P.p.s. The headline of the LA Times “story”?:
    “Clemens Is Named in Drug Affidavit.”
    From Today’s NY Times: “The newspaper had been challenged on the accuracy of its story by the United States attorney in 2006. It had said its report was based on two sources and that its reporter, Lance Pugmire, had seen the affidavit, and the newspaper stood by the report. In fact, the Los Angeles Times got four of the five people it named wrong.”
    Edward C. Voss, a United States magistrate judge, wrote in the unsealing order signed Thursday: “A review of the disclosed affidavit proves that the Times never saw the unredacted affidavit. Roger Clemens is not named in the affidavit and Grimsley makes no reference to Roger Clemens in any context. At best, the article is an example of irresponsible reporting. At worst, the ‘facts’ reported were simply manufactured.”

    Mike YF December 21, 2007, 7:52 am
  • gabe kapler signs a one year deal with the brewers. i feel bad saying it but, gabe’s name would not have suprised me had it appeared on mitchells list. so…..good for gabe, it’s been a good month.

    sf rod December 21, 2007, 7:53 am
  • To review:
    Baseball handles the past very wrong. The press handles the past very wrong.
    Baseball handles the present very wrong. The press handles the present very wrong.
    Why should we expect the future will be any better?
    Nah, pick up your popcorn and settle in for some good entertainment.

    Mike YF December 21, 2007, 8:02 am
  • “gabe’s name would not have suprised me had it appeared on mitchells list.”
    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Gabe Kapler and Chad Curtis were the first ballplayers who called out other players about the steroid problem. They had themselves tested and challenged others to take tests as well. NOt saying this makes him innocent, but it would be a rather brazen move if he were guilty. Another thing is that there are some people who throught genetics and honest work-out routines who actually are able to look like Gabe Kapler. And there are some people, who even after taking steroid don’t have “steroid bodies”.
    Mike, I’ll raise my hand about being wrong about Pettitte’s connection to the Grimsley Affidavit.

    Nick-YF December 21, 2007, 9:08 am
  • Meanwhile, Mitt Romney has his John Kerry moment — trying to explain how he “saw” an event that never happened (his father marching with Martin Luther King) —
    “I’m an English literature major,” he said. “When we say, ‘I saw the Patriots win the World Series,’ it doesn’t necessarily mean you were there.”

    Hudson December 21, 2007, 9:30 am
  • Gabe? Are you serious? You do know that he also competed in Natural Bodybuilding contests as well, right? The guy dedicated a huge portion of his life to clean living, took voluntary drug tests, was outspoken against all substances, etc…

    LocklandSF December 21, 2007, 9:40 am
  • I’ve been away from the computer for a couple of days battling a bad stomach virus, so I’m just catching up on thsi thread.
    I remember that Bonds homer well. It was a Fox game of the week. It has tp be the longest homer I’ve ever seen. Well, that and Juan Encarnacion’s homer off Ramiro Mendoza.
    Anyway, reading that article SF posted I felt a wave of pride when I read this:
    “Even for the unflappable Bonds, facing Rivera’s cutter for the first time had to be infuriating.
    ”He’s nasty,” Bonds said later. ”That’s why he’s the best.””

    Nick-YF December 21, 2007, 10:08 am
  • Nick, we cant trust anything that Bonds says, he is a liar and cheater. This means that Rivera isnt the best?

    sam-YF December 21, 2007, 10:18 am
  • Incidentally, I didn’t know that about Kapler, Nick. That’s really great. Just looking at his body, I had wondered privately whether he was a user.
    Did Pettitte not deny using drugs, then admit using drugs? What relevance is it that the affidavit ultimately did not name him? He still disengenuously denied the use.
    Your tack here is unproductive, Mike. You’d receive more civil engagement if you did not string together posts filled with self-righteous antagonism toward everyone who might dare disagree with you.

    Paul SF December 21, 2007, 10:18 am
  • Sam, when you put it like that, I think this must mean that Yanks dynasty was a sham.

    Nick-YF December 21, 2007, 10:22 am
  • I have to say this is one of the most pathetic, sad, and naive posts ever to have appeared on this site, one in a string of posts exhibiting seriously bad judgment by my cobloggers.
    To be “tired” of the journalists and historians illuminating what this process means—the truth—that’s just awful. The entire frame of reference for this discussion, including remedies for moving ahead, is hopelessly skewed.

    YF December 21, 2007, 10:32 am
  • Good on you, Nick. I actually wasn’t thinking of anyone in particular.
    Paul – You’d do better to attack the argument rather than the person, especially since you, as an acknowledged member of the press, have been very outspoken not only on who is guilty as charged, but on the necessary “approach” of the American media.
    Pettitte disputed one report. Then owed up after another. I fail to see the controversy. Fact is, a “report” in a very reputable paper was very, very wrong on the same type of “facts” that are being reported right now.

    Mike YF December 21, 2007, 10:42 am
  • Is somebody going to post an entry about Clemens and him NOT being in the Grimsley affidavit?
    The federal judge that oversaw the whole thing really had harsh words for the LA Times, saying it was irresponsible journalism at best and totally fabricated at worst.

    Jay-YF December 21, 2007, 10:45 am
  • “Is somebody going to post an entry about Clemens and him NOT being in the Grimsley affidavit?”
    This is the problem with PED stories and accusations. The big news is someone getting fingered or named clearing one’s name (even if not fully) isnt nearly as newsworthy or exciting. Clemens has essentially been convicted in the court of public opinion based on 1 man’s testimony. It may be true or it may be partly true or it may be a lie. That matters very little to the many sermonizing people in the press who have written harsh words about him. This drives home how little naming names in this report accomplished. Its really a shame that all of these players are unable to receive some form of due process.

    sam-YF December 21, 2007, 11:00 am
  • Seriously, Sam. To be fair, the LA Times ran a front page correction today. Still, I want to know how the reporter went from having personally read the affidavit to not knowing the contents at all. Funny, the same reporter who wrote the original was entrusted to write the correction. That seems like a poor editorial choice.
    Worse, Mitchell cited the LA Times piece as the only corroborating evidence for McNamee naming Clemens and Pettitte. Unbelieveable.

    Mike YF December 21, 2007, 11:18 am
  • “…irresponsible journalism…”
    shocking that kind of thing can go on in an enlightened society that is so sensitive not to trample on a person’s rights…presumption of innocence, due process…oh wait, papers aren’t in the business of reporting facts, they’re in the entertainment business…and it’s all neatly protected by the 1st amendment…
    to those journalists out there, including those participating on this site, who are dedicated to fact finding and truth-telling, i say “thank you”…those of you who take the lazy way out and simply resort to shock and titillation to get our attention or sell your product i say “find another profession”…
    yf, you may have misunderstood the sentiment of sf’s post…or i did…i didn’t read it as a “i just hope it would go away” piece…to me he seems to be as tired of one side of the issue as the other, but then he goes on to make a recommendation to deal with the issue and start the healing process…this is long from over, because we haven’t heard the full breadth of responses from the “named” players, and i suspect many more surprises and counter-punches before the dust truly settles…some of my exhaustion with this whole thing comes from the building anticipation of something that i naively thought would be informative, comprehensive, solutions oriented, only to find that after 2 years, all we really got was pretty much what we already knew…that’s not exactly progress, regardless of whose fault that is…now we can spend the upcoming months [years] wondering just what the truth is and who we should be suspicious of…now that’s tiring

    dc December 21, 2007, 11:27 am
  • Defamation actually is not protected by the first amendment (though it is an interesting conflict between the rights of the press and that of privacy). It’s recent case law where (if my memory serves me) the Supreme Court ruled that public figures do not have the same expectation of privacy. But that’s only one case. It’s also why England’s defamation laws are so different and better protect the individual from spurious claims or at least where the facts are in doubt. The burden of proof there is in the media rather than the individual having to defend themselves.
    Here’s a very real scenario, even as I doubt it would ever come to that: Clemens (or another wrongly named) tries to file a lawsuit. It could get thrown out or it could get heard. Then whatever decision is made could get overturned on appeal and back and forth. Years later it could wind up in front of the Supreme Court as the law itself is open to be rewritten.
    I’m no lawyer, but there is certainly a claim to be made that irreparable harm has been inflicted on a wrongly named player based on nothing more than one person’s “word”. The weird quirk about American law is that wouldn’t fly for a private individual. Indeed, the whole distinction between private and public has changed rapidly since the original decision was passed down. Then the court ruled that public individuals had the opportunity to fight the claims in the same press that first furthered them. Problem is, that’s easier said than done.

    Mike YF December 21, 2007, 11:45 am
  • Mike, the problem with our libel laws and why it would be so tough for Clemens to win is that not only does have to prove that McNamee was lying, knew he was lying when he made the statements he did and just didn’t care (ie malice).
    While Clemens may not win, I think he needs to go after them anyway. Maybe you’re right. It could turn out be something that winds up getting the laws changed down the road (though many would argue that would be a bad thing).

    Jay-YF December 21, 2007, 12:07 pm
  • Yeah, it would be really tough, Jay, for Clemens to get the case heard, let alone win. But it only takes one judge somewhere in the chain to recognize that the problems in the system as it is structured now.
    As for the laws, it would come down to celebrities fighting the press. Hard to know who I would root for in that case. But, in this day and age, it’s hard to say who’s a celebrity. Since YF has published a well-received book, has he relinquished his rights as an individual? If not, at what point does he lose those rights – when he appears on the Daily Show or in Wikipedia? Or when he starts dating Paris Hilton?
    The media can always report a true story. But they should be liable if they report false facts as if they are true. Another legal roadblock or two wouldn’t seriously hurt them (see the Times of London or the BBC). That’s my opinion, anyways.

    MIke YF December 21, 2007, 12:18 pm
  • Odd that so many people attacking the LA Times and the press in general are themselves not correctly reporting what happened.
    The Times did not claim to read the affidavit. According to their story today, the paper quoted a source with direct access to the affidavit. Obviously, the source lied. Thus the difficulty of anonymous sourcing — particularly when papers like the LAT, NYT and WaPo continually ignore their own policies that reject using anonymous stories except in the most extreme cases.
    If the source lied — this seems pretty clear — the LAT should name him/her. The unspoken agreement between reporter and source is that protection only extends so far as the information is accurate. The LAT I would argue has no obligation to protect the identity of someone who lied to them.
    DC, I will again assume you’re joking about newspapers and entertainment, as there is no other explanation for such a ridiculous statement as the one you made.
    Trust me when I say the vast majority of newspaper journalists care deeply about the truth. To tar the industry based on one false article is akin to tarring 80-some-odd players because they were named in an investigator’s report. It seems the outrage here is pretty selective — and, at the same time, not selective enough.

    Paul SF December 21, 2007, 12:25 pm
  • You have horribly misread this post, YF.

    SF December 21, 2007, 12:34 pm
  • From today’s NY Times:
    “The newspaper had been challenged on the accuracy of its story by the United States attorney in 2006. It had said its report was based on two sources and that its reporter, Lance Pugmire, had _seen_ the affidavit, and the newspaper stood by the report. In fact, the Los Angeles Times got four of the five people it named wrong.”
    And again, they had the same reporter write the correction that wrote the original with no good explanation of what went so wrong. Terrible job by the LA Times then and now.
    P.s. Funny that some are saying reporters do such a solid job, but then want to rely on single sources to proclaim guilt or innocence.

    Mike YF December 21, 2007, 12:45 pm
  • I’m not sure I understand the polarization between YF and SF on this issue.
    I understand SF to say he is tired of the loud blather and wants to see if anything useful will come about when those with the power to make the changes needed (Selig and Fehr) finally do sit together next month to discuss what they will do abot this going forward.
    I don’t think there is anything in that which means he wants the whole thing swept under the rug.
    What am I missing (other than hair)?

    IronHorse (yf) December 21, 2007, 2:01 pm
  • That’s it, IH. You (and dc) got it.

    SF December 21, 2007, 2:07 pm
  • Paul, I agree that it’s unfair to tarnish the entire industry for the one article. That being said, the industry has changed over the last 20 years and the bottom line has become the most important things to the owners.
    Profits drive a lot of decisions. As a result, over the last 20 years, but more so over the last 10, we have seen a shift that has taken place where the M.O. has gone from “Get it right” to “Get it first.” With so many different media outlets, many of the are jockeying for a place in line and want to be able to be the first place to report that BREAKING NEWS. As such, reporters are relying on dubious sources, not getting confirmation on sources, etc. The goal is to just get the story out.
    And unfortunately, the truth is never as exciting as the first story that comes out. I’m sure many of us have seen the movie ‘The Paper.’ There’s that scene where the cop is saying that they were pressured to make an arrest knowing the tabloids would splash all over the front page that the perps had been caught and people would continue going to the city to spend money. Of course, when the truth comes out, he said it would be buried on inner pages. This isn’t much different. Yeah, there was a front page correction, but look at the overall coverage. It’s tepid at best. However, when the Grimsley story first broke, it was plastered all over the place.
    The media has a responsibility to its viewers, readers and listeners to search for the truth as they are able to influence and even create public opinion with what they report. And just like clean players should be calling out the cheaters, the response of other members of the media should be to call out the LA Times for reporting such garbage based on suspect information.

    Jay-YF December 21, 2007, 2:12 pm
  • To be fair, I had the same reaction as YF because the post implies a contrast. Rather than simply being about whether something “useful will come about when those with the power to make the changes needed”, it also suggests that instead of ripping the Mitchell Report to shreds, we should *instead* be calling for changes.
    Obviously the two aren’t mutually exclusive.
    Specifically at the front of the third paragraph, there’s this:
    “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.”
    Because of that leading sentence the rest of the paragraph is mostly lost. Take it out and the rest of the post reads much differently.

    Mike YF December 21, 2007, 2:15 pm
  • I agree completely with your comment, Jay, particularly re: profits and ownership.
    But I would caution against conflating ownership with news staffs, where getting the story first has always been a dominant goal, and conflating tabloids and cable news with traditional broadsheet newspapers, where the goals are much different.
    The drive for profits in the news industry is a sacrilege — a bastardization of what should really drive it. And it does lead to bad journalism and bad decisions. I’m not sure what happened at the LAT, and I wish the paper had been more forthright in explaining how they got such an important story so badly wrong, but I doubt the drive for corporate dollars was directly responsible.

    Paul SF December 21, 2007, 2:31 pm
  • Let me clarify.
    The “howling wind” that I write about is the key here, not the screaming. The “howling wind” is all the noise that disallows the screams from being heard. The Mitchell Report, flawed as it is, has created a great din about itself, on both sides of the issue. The point is that this noise is deafening to me, and fatiguing. The significantly polarized opinions about the intentions of the report, its utility, its veracity have become something of a black hole into which all future possibilities for a positive outcome have been sucked. My own thought is that there may still yet be an “ends justifying the means” result, and though this is typically a rationale that I detest, in this case I see almost no other way to make something good come of what has happened other than to hope for this kind of situation to play out.
    Those who think that this post is only vilifying those who have written smartly and eloquently about the Mitchell Report are mistaken – I made it very clear that the noise on both sides of the argument have become stultifying to me. On the other hand, this post is explicitly posited as representing my own personal feelings at this moment, a week hence, and also represents my sincere (and yeah, optimistic and conceivably naive) hope that some good will come out of the mess that is the Mitchell Report. That would justify, to some degree, all the garbage, true or untrue, that has been thrown out into public view.
    I do not believe that YF’s response was justified in those terms, in that tone.

    SF December 21, 2007, 2:37 pm
  • Let me rephrase, for the record. To my mind, this report/debate is one step away from HUAC territory. A small step. So all the questions of who was named and who wasn’t named, the repercussions, and the idea that “good” can come of it is, at its core, absurd. For the last week or so, I think all of us here (and me included) have been engaged in the wrong debate. So, that’s my say, and apologies to SF and my cobloggers for not saying it in a less mean-spirited fashion, which is always uncalled for.

    YF December 21, 2007, 2:41 pm
  • To my mind, this report/debate is one step away from HUAC territory.
    This is an interesting point, one I hadn’t thought of. But I don’t think it’s one step away at all, and that is because the industry itself, the sport of baseball, cannot afford such a scenario to happen.

    SF December 21, 2007, 2:48 pm
  • It starts sounding like we’re arguing semantics, but I think my comprehension of what you were saying was impaired more by the “not” of that sentence. Then quickly following that up with a reference to “screaming” and linking it to “howling wind” just cemented that a contrast was being made, in my mind at least, and specifically that you can either “push for what Mitchell asked for” or “scream into the wind”.
    On a second and third read, and with your comments, I can see how that’s not what you intended. But I know I was initially very put off by what I was reading, especially given the past week’s arguments exactly about complaints regarding the report itself. It seemed like you were trying to say something else while poking and jabbing dissenters.

    Mike YF December 21, 2007, 2:48 pm
  • To my mind, this report/debate is one step away from HUAC territory.
    I think there are some parallels there, what with the naming of people who may or may not be guilty. But considering that “step” is the difference between a private business (though with some sanction by Congress, granted) and a governmental entity, I would say it is a pretty large leap to go from TMC to HUAC.

    Paul SF December 21, 2007, 3:08 pm
  • Wait, but if there’s even any similarities between HUAC and TMR, should we exactly be having discussions about the validity of TMR? I mean, if you questioned HUAC, you were brought in. Here, we can rightly address exactly what’s wrong with the report and the resulting media frenzy.
    I actually wonder if HUAC would even be possible in today’s blogging environment. Sure, in the run up to the current war, many were branded as traitors and abandoned by their employers, but they weren’t hauled before a House panel and asked to account for their “misbehavior”.

    Mike YF December 21, 2007, 3:22 pm
  • Sorry, that first sentence should read:
    Wait, but if there’s even any similarities between HUAC and TMR, shouldn’t we exactly be having discussions about the validity of TMR?

    Mike YF December 21, 2007, 3:24 pm
  • Ive been reading this ‘Blogosphere’ for the last few month’s now and i want to throw in my 2 peneth worth
    Before I start I would like to say I am from England and a Sox fan.
    This may seem a little hard line for most of you, but coming from a culture that truly hates the use of Ped’s, I would like to see any player who is caught using them be banned for 2 years and if they caught again banned for life.
    All their stats up to the time they were caught to wiped from the record.
    I know there are Briton’s that have been caught using Ped’s in the past, I know personally when these people have failed drugs tests, you do not want to believe it, especially being British were we have a belief in fair play, but if both samples both test positive, no matter how much you do not want to believe it, they deserve to banned and all the consequences that come with it.
    From what I have read Barry Bonds has never denied using or having ‘Clear’ from Balco used on him, I believe he has stated that his personal trainer used it on him without telling him that it was Ped.
    In any other sport outside the USA that would have still earned Barry a 2 year ban, ignorance of what you are using or taking is not a legitimate defence, you as an individual athlete are fully responsible.
    I would like to ask a question to you all, how did American sports get itself in the position/mess it is in with steroids, Ped’s and HGH.
    Were Virtually all other sports world wide apart from cycling do not have these issues or problems.
    As from what i have read the NFL and other American sports are not much better than MLB in their enforcement of a drugs policy.
    Just a small crumb of comfort for you all, cycling a sport I also like is in a worse position then MLB at the moment.

    Anonymous December 21, 2007, 3:48 pm
  • Sorry that was me from England, who made the above post

    Polf December 21, 2007, 3:50 pm
  • Were Virtually all other sports world wide apart from cycling do not have these issues or problems.
    Don’t know about soccer, but the Olympics are rife with these problems, with offenders from teams in many nations, including in Europe.

    Paul SF December 21, 2007, 4:17 pm
  • I can admit Track and Field has its problem’s, most other sports are relatively clean, with USA, UK and Greece with the most high profile failures recently in Track and Field.
    Soccers problem it looks in the next few years appears to be with match fixing mainly with teams from eastern Europe. With match fixing being rife across parts of Asia.

    Polf December 21, 2007, 4:47 pm
  • “I would like to ask a question to you all, how did American sports get itself in the position/mess it is in with steroids, Ped’s and HGH.”
    I think that’s an excellent question. And the answer is complicated. Just off the top of my head:
    Owner greed + Powerful player’s unions + Player greed + Sport ambivalence + Fan ambivalence = The Current American PED culture.
    Basically we’ve dropped the ball for two decades, since PED use in the Olympics became a problem. But until blood testing becomes the standard rather than the exception, I’m not hopeful we will have turned a corner.

    Mike YF December 22, 2007, 8:32 am
  • if the lessons of baseball have taught us anything its that its very hard to tell the level of PED use on the field for any sport. Soccer or any other sport could have a problem that they are just not aware of yet. I hope for their sake they do not.

    sam-YF December 22, 2007, 9:17 pm
  • Last year, I became completely fatigued with the off season some time around January and had to bail from writing about baseball for two months until P&C reported. This year, I don’t think I will make it to January.

    attackgerbil December 23, 2007, 1:50 am

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