Mitchell Report: Naming Names

Congress is going to hold hearings on the Mitchell Report.

Jim Parque denies the charges. So does Roger Clemens.

Lawyer Rusty Hardin told reporters Clemens had never tested positive for steroids and was being falsely accused by a former trainer who feared federal prosecution. "Roger Clemens adamantly, vehemently or whatever adjective can be used, denies he has ever used steroids or whatever the word is for improper substance," said Hardin, a prominent defense attorney in Houston, where Clemens lives.

"There has never been one shred of tangible evidence that he ever used these substances and yet he is being slandered today," he said.


One columnist calls the report "a hit and a miss."

I think it was wrong of Mitchell to name names. It's incredibly one-sided. And I don't trust testimony that is purchased with promises of leniency for one's own misdeeds. Take Kirk Radomski:

The former New York Mets clubhouse attendant pleaded guilty to illegal steroid distribution earlier this year, agreeing to participate with Mitchell as part of his plea bargain.

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  • Display: Sort:
    This report is just wrong (none / 0) (#1)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 13, 2007 at 08:58:29 PM EST
    Clemens needs to see how much of MLB he can acquire through the courts.

    Hear, hear.... (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 06:21:26 AM EST
    this is definitely wrong.  

    Mitchell should be ashamed of himself for so many reasons...mainly for accepting a paycheck from taxpayers for wasting time with this crap.

    That being said, I ain't buying Clemens denial.  Old pitcher all of a sudden finds the form of his prime, and has a tendency to rage on the field, like when he threw a bat at Mike Piazza.  Clean my arse.  

    I just wish one ballplayer had the guts to say "it's my body, my career, and my business...mind your own."


    More Congressional hearings? (none / 0) (#2)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Thu Dec 13, 2007 at 11:23:44 PM EST
    I guess everything else is taken care of.

    But if perchance they do hold hearings, how about bringing in the Commissioner and the owners and asking them if they noticed all the home runs being hit.

    If Dubya ever visited the Rangers' locker room when he owned the team do you think he saw the guys stick needles into each others' butts?

    Bush says... (none / 0) (#12)
    by desertswine on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 11:17:16 AM EST
    he was "unaware" of any drug use by players when he owned the Rangers, as he is "unaware" of most everything else.

    I was trying to figure out why Bush (none / 0) (#25)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 06:35:50 PM EST
    even felt the need to comment about the report.  Look, there's a spider on your shoulder!

    Anyone remember "Ball Four"? (none / 0) (#4)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 06:53:50 AM EST
      It was the first book by a professional athlete that really broke the "what happens in the clubhouse, stays..." code. It was published in 1970 and was basically Jim Bouton's memoir of the 1969 season. At that time the only performancre enhancing drugs known by players were amphetamines and he wrote about their use, and in an aside noted that it was widespread and widely known, but  you could get in trouble for smokng a joint. He also wrote that he and most athletes he knew would probably "take a pill" that would take five years off their life if it would help make them great players.  He wrote that before steroids and HGH, and before the big money.  


    I do remember "Ball Four" (none / 0) (#28)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 06:48:12 PM EST
    Bouton was entirely shunned after that book came out.

    A report (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jen M on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 08:35:02 AM EST
    is not a trial. Can any of the teams take action against players based on this?

    No. Players' union has a very tight (none / 0) (#26)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 06:37:07 PM EST
    contract with the MLB.  First dirty test:  nothing happerns.  Second dirty test:  suspended 25 games and not anonymous.

    Depends what you mean (none / 0) (#6)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 08:50:57 AM EST
    by actions.

      I don't know the CBA in great detail but I doubt the teams could successfully impose suspensions or void existing contracts, but in terms of contract negotiations, roster decisions, etc.,  it could well hurt a lot of these guys who are still playing.

      Given the league sanctions (relatively short suspensions) just recently imposed on a couple of players  who were expressly alleged to have violated the PE drug rules, I don't think draconian formal league sanctions are likely but one has to think those active who are not currently very productive "stars" will have their careers hurt.

    Not a chance. See players' union. (none / 0) (#24)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 06:28:56 PM EST
    Federal law enforcement involvement (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 09:41:02 AM EST
    in this is very troubling. Why do federal law enforcement officials even care about the Mitchell Report?

    One other thing - the Commissioner's memoranda prohibitng such use is NOT a part of the Rules of Baseball.

    Why did not MLB make it a part of the rules?

    the feds (none / 0) (#17)
    by scribe on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 12:34:46 PM EST
    will use the report as a way to get someone (managment) to do their searches and investigation for them.  Viz., when the clubs and players initially agreed to testing to see how widespread the steroid problem was, with the players' names to be held confidential and no correlation of the results, and the samples and identifying information to be destroyed, the feds swooped in and seized all the information the day before it was to be destroyed.  This, then, was the genesis information that set in motion both the congressional hearings (where McGwire, Sosa and others made fools of themselves) and the current Bonds trial.

    And the last iteration of congressional hearings set in motion the process that led to Mitchell's report yesterday, which will lead to further hearings.


    i think, and i'm just (none / 0) (#8)
    by cpinva on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 09:48:28 AM EST
    speculating here, the reason for federal involvement in this at all is because major league baseball, alone among all businesses, is fully exempt from the anti-trust statutes.

    Why do federal law enforcement officials even care about the Mitchell Report?

    as a result, congress has a unique interest in professional baseball, that it doesn't have in any other business activity.

    i believe it was the first commissioner, judge kennesaw mountain landis, who engineered this exemption.

    Law enforcement has discretion to (none / 0) (#27)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 06:39:42 PM EST
    investigate and refer for prosecution suspected violation of controlled substance criminal statutes, both state and federal; no exemption there for MLB players and their suppliers of controlled substances.  

    That would (none / 0) (#9)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 10:15:01 AM EST
     be a ground (or pretext that sounds better than "we love to grandstand and this is gonna gets lot of exposure") for Congress to hold hearings, etc., but I thinik law enforcement's interest derives from the illegal distribution of controlled substances, DEA registration, money laundering, RICO, etc. offenses that might apply to some who provided players with the stuff.

    How does the Mitchell Report (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 10:48:58 AM EST
    forward those interests?

    I am curious as I am wholly ignorant of criminal processes.


    I haven't read the report (none / 0) (#13)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 11:26:42 AM EST
     but the names themseleves give them people to ask some pointed questions.

    The feds had the names (none / 0) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 11:42:54 AM EST
    The witnesses spoke to the feds FIRST.

    The coerced cooperation with MITCHELL.

    The feds themselves go nothig out of that.


    not sure (none / 0) (#15)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 11:55:41 AM EST
      but I doubt that the Feds previously have spoken to all of the players named in the report.

    Information about who provided CS in what quantities, how much was paid, in what form, through what chnannels, what records exist, do the records contain truthful information,  etc., wouuld be helpful to a criminal investigation. As would information concerning whether the drugs were obtained with a prescription and if so whether the doctor who wrote it examined them, diagnosed a condition for which the CS are approved, whether those diagnoses were legitimate and the prescription otherwise for legitimate medical purposes, etc.  whether the players obtained CS from foreign nations and it so how and how were the CS brought into this country.


    I meant the witnesses (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 12:28:45 PM EST
    The players named mostly did not speak to Mitchell.

    I dunno. It does not add it up to me. Maybe that's due to my ignorance.


    Possible grand jury ahead. (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 06:49:52 PM EST
    Subpoena witnesses.  Possible criminal indictments following the taking of testimony under oath.

    Come on, Doc Ellis was on LSD... (none / 0) (#11)
    by Dadler on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 10:50:21 AM EST
    ...when he tossed a no-hitter in the 70's.  If the league wants to ban these substances and test for them and punish the proven guilty, then fine, but the millions of dollars and hours wasted by our government on this is absurd.  I think many would rationalize their involvement in this "investigation" by saying it's too set an example for the kids.  Uh, good for them.  Sure.

    I agree with kdog about Clemens, though.  But what's it matter at this point?  The era will forever be known as the days of roids, nothing will change it.  So accept it, understand it, become better because of it, and move on.

    There's an old baseball joke: what do you do to an elephant with three balls?  You walk him and pitch to the rhino.  These days however, the elephant would have only two balls, and they would be shriveled into niblets.  But you'd still walk him.  

    It doesn't matter.... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 03:50:25 PM EST
    Dadler, good post.  I read in today's paper Bud Selig asked Mitchell to investigate...so not only do taxpayers foot the bill for stadiums,  we cover investigative costs too....it's unreal.

    I'm confused... (none / 0) (#19)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 04:36:58 PM EST
    Where is this whole tax-payers paid for the investigation coming from?  It is my understanding that MLB commissioned this study and it was done by a private citizen (with no power to compel testimony, etc.) on baseball's dime.  

    Now, as far as the taxpayer being suckered into buying a new stadium for every filthy rich owner who whines that he will move the team to another city if he doesn't get what he wants--no arguement there!

    Where is it coming from? (none / 0) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 06:05:38 PM EST
    Actually where is the claim seems a better question.

    Where did anyone claim it was tax-payer paid?


    hypocrite (none / 0) (#20)
    by karelrocha on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 05:57:11 PM EST
    Clemens used steroids.  His trainer provided it to him.  For any of you to claim that the report is "one-sided" is ridiculous.  Mitchell gave Clemens an opportunity to respond and he failed to do so.  Why?  Because if he actually sat down with Mitchell he would have to specifically answer for each and every instance when McNamee claims to have injected Clemens.

    Instead, Clemens hides behind his attorney and cries that the report was one side.  It would not have been had Clemens been a man and cooperated with Mitchell.  If he is sooo innocent he would not have anything to hide.  Clemens is a joke.  Just like Bonds.  Both cheaters.

    tax payers? (none / 0) (#21)
    by karelrocha on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 05:58:47 PM EST
    Hawkeye.  You are so right with regard to who paid for the report.  There are actually uninformed idiots out there who believe that the Mitchell investigation was run by the government.  Nothing could be further from the truth.
    MLB paid 20 million for the investigation.  Private money.

    I'm not sure what you are referring to (none / 0) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 06:04:23 PM EST
    I do not see any claims that the government paid for the report.

    Could you elaborate?


    BTD (none / 0) (#30)
    by cpinva on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 02:30:24 AM EST
    from kdog:

    so not only do taxpayers foot the bill for stadiums,  we cover investigative costs too....it's unreal.

    underlines are mine.

    unless i read that completely wrong, he's asserting that taxpayer money funded the mitchell investigation/report.

    My bad.... (none / 0) (#31)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 17, 2007 at 08:01:19 AM EST
    I didn't know about the league ponying up the 20 mill.

    But Mitchell is a senator, collecting a check from taxpayers, to run an investigation for MLB.  He should resign and get a job with the league if that's what he wants to do with his time.


    WAS a Senator (none / 0) (#32)
    by Deconstructionist on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 12:47:48 PM EST
    He's a private citizen (and possibly future Justice) now.