13
Dec
07

Mitchell Report Running Diary

The Mitchell Report is being released today and I couldn’t help but do a running diary of a day that will definitely live in infamy. I’m starting by watching the ESPN special starting at 1pm along with any developments on the major sports websites. ESPN, Foxsports, CBS Sportsline and Sports Illustrated. When the report comes out I’ll read through it and give my impressions as well.

1:00 The big news is that a trainer for Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte says that both players used steroids. Everyone pretty much suspected Clemens so this isn’t shocking. But its definitely going to put all of the achievements later in his career into question. People forget that Clemens and Pettitte were named in the Grimsely affadavit with their names blacked out. It was later reported that it was their names that were blacked out.

1:08 John Kruk says that player’s often give clubhouse attendants big checks, so money going from player to attendant is nothing new. Kruk once gave an attendant a 14,000 check. That’s a lot of donuts Kruky.

1:10 Steve Phillips said he had a lot of suspicions as GM of the Mets that he had no recourse. He has said this before and I agree. This report is going to drop the hammer on guys though.

1:17 ESPN is trying to do this according to strong standards because they keep cautioning how perilous it is to point a finger at somebody. Good job on their part, this is a sticky issue.

1:26 Nothing too spicy happening with the special but SI.com has a huge scoop. At 12:45 Jon Heyman reported that Clemens, Pettitte, Miguel Tejada, Brian Roberts, Chuck Knoblauch, and David Justice used steroids! Say it ain’t so! On Tejada i’m not surprised. Look, when the Athletics signed him they had to feed him 3 square meals a day just to get him into normal shape. That’s the level to which his health was suffering. So what do you think he did when he had a chance to perform and pay them back for their help? He became the best player he could, and steroids helped get him there. Cheating? Yes. Shocking? No way. Knoblauch always did have power for a little guy. Way to go Chuck. Justice?! I don’t want to believe it. This guy is a Yankee postseason hero. But what are you going to do? Steroids pervaded the sport. No ones inclusion is surprising.

1:33 No updates on the major websites. Rarely do things stay under wraps in the 24 hour news environment that we live in but other than the Jon Heyman scoop there hasn’t been much else.

1:46 I’m pretty pumped about this report. But let me make it clear. Its interesting to see who is using steroids but the names are important for one reason. Mitchell needs to present a report with some teeth. Not for the gotcha factor but because the best way to fix this problem is for baseball to police itself. If the report lacks weight then it will be powerless to initiate change. I also want to know if my guesses were right. Come on Gagne!

1:51 They’re handing out the report at the press conference! I’d be rifling through this baby like Hef through his weekly viagra shipment.

2:00-2:04 Mitchell is on tv, cameras flashing. He has a smile on his face. He goes through motions with stuff no one cares about. He says that no one edited his report. There has been “widespread use of anabolic steroids” in professional baseball. The use of human growth hormone has increased because there is no test for it. Congratulations former Senator Mitchell you just outlined what we all know.

Some people have talked about Mitchell’s possible conflict of interest and I was upset because of his position with the Red Sox. But as I watched the run up to the release of the report I realized that he has so much riding on this report and his credibility is so high that he would not leave out a Red Sox player’s name. I feel better about this.

2:05: “Each of the 30 clubs has a player of players involved in taking illegal substances”. Take that Royals.You’re ineptitude existed with players taking ‘roids too. How sad.

2:06: Young people are putting themselves in danger says Mitchell. He’s taking a pretty high-minded approach. I’m ok with this I guess. If some high school kid is using steroids to get an edge thats a huge problem. He includes the quote of a man whose son died using steroids. The quote admonished professional players for setting a bad example.

2:07 Former player told Mitchell that one of the biggest complaints from players is “that a guy is using steroids, and he’s taking my spot” Definitely a good point. I always wondered why more players didn’t speak out and realized it was because of the union. I see tell all books coming out in waves from 2015 and on.

2:08 Talking about Kirk Radomski. This fella was feeling the squeeze from the feds and he sang like a canary.

2:09 All current players denied requests to help out. Shocking news there. Hey Roger I told Mitchell you used steroids, wanna do some long-toss outside?(Clemens eviscerates teammate)

2:10 Talking about what they got from Radomski. Checks sent to him.

2:12 ESPN has put up the entire Mitchell Report! 308 pages plus evidence at the end! Needless to say I have some reading to do. Here is the link:

http://assets.espn.go.com/media/pdf/071213/mitchell_report.pdf2:14 Wow everyone was so wrong to doubt Mitchell. This guy is so serious. The contents page to the report has things like “discovery of steroids in florida marlins player’s locker” and “shipment of steroids to arizona clubhouse”.

2:16 Mitchell is giving suggestions to baseball. Like how they should work together in the next collective bargaining agreement.

2:18 Mitchell urges that Selig not punish the guys in the report. This is an interesting move. It looks like he wants to show that he wanted to get to the bottom of this era but then move on. He wanted big names not because of a witch hunt mentality but so that he could use those names as a springboard to get things done.

2:21 More than half of the players named are no longer playing says Mitchell.

2:22 “There is much that I have not learned”

2:23 The Mitchell report names Jose Canseco. The foundations of everything I believe in have just been shaken. Why Jose? No one saw this coming.

2:24 Mitchell still doing his speaking thing. But I’m going through the Mitchell report. The first 50 pages or so involve the dangers of steroids and how he conducted his report On page 72 Jim Leyland said he would “swear on a stack of bibles that they don’t have steroid use in his clubhouse”. Tone down the rhetoric Jim.

2:26 An environment developed where steroid use was widespread

2:27 Baseball can not afford to try to name everyone who did steroids.

2:28 Derrick Turnbow is on page 83 of the report. But I knew this.

2:29 How about Tejada getting dealt right before the report came out? Talk of Brian Roberts also being named and I heard he was a possible trade target. Baltimore trying to get rid of those guys huh?

2:30 Richard McLaren talking for a couple of minutes now, a member of the investigative panel. He says that baseball should do everything Senator Mitchell advises.

2:32 From the report.

“In our interview of him, one former player told of annual players-only meetings
during which teammates reminded one another that any personal information they learned during
the season needed to be kept in “the family.” and “Through his lawyer,
another former player who admitted his own use of performance enhancing substances claimed
that his career as a major league coach would be harmed “perhaps fatally” if he were required to
identify other players who had admitted to him that they had used steroids.”

That sheds some light on why current players didn’t talk.

2:34 Some writer asked how Mitchell can ask fans to continue to root for these players who are known cheaters. Mitchell said that everyone makes mistakes.

2:36 Mitchell “it is not my intention to assign a numerical value” for how people should be culpable.

2:37 Mitchell has a stern tone. Someone asked if Clemens is a drug cheat then should he and others be kept out of the hall of fame.

2:38 Juan Gonzalez makes it into the Mitchell Report! Page 96 but I knew about this one too.

2:40 Bartolo Colon mentioned on page 98 because he also used Juan Gonzalez trainer who had the bag of roids. It doesn’t implicate Bartolo but I implicate Bartolo.

2:42 5 minutes ago foxsports.com updated that Eric Gagne and Paul LoDuca were named! I called Gagne earlier this week in a podcast. I’m riding high.

2:44 On page 99 a bullpen catcher for the expos had steroids. The 8 players he had were left out of the report except for 1 named later in the report. Mitchell shows he wasn’t trying to get everybody clearly because of legal ramifications. Perez said every pitcher in montreal’s bullpen was on some type of steroid.

2:46 Players won’t be screwed legally. Players have already been outed, 250 and nothing has happened to them.

2:47 CBS sportsline has the best headline of the year. “Getting Mitch Slapped”! How amazing is this headline. Who took over at CBS? A 17 year old?

2:49 Mitchell responds to allegations of conflict of interest. It’d be funny if the two red sox rings he received as an honorary director fell off his hand and made loud dings on the floor. I’m just saying.

2:50 Mitchell going into long-winded explanation that involves ireland, catholicism, and his american roots. “Judge me by my work, take a look at how the investigation was conducted you will not find bias or special treatment of the Red Sox.” Take that!

2:51 And Mitchell is done. Baseball got Mitch Slapped!

2:52 Now ESPN goes back to their special.

2:53 McNamee injected Clemens in Clemen’s apartment four times in the butt. Winstrol. Anadrol 50. Pettite was on the dl. Pettitte wanted to get human growth hormone to speed his recovery and help his team. I still love Pettitte that’s all I’m saying.

2:56 Ouch the report details that Gene Orza the players union guy told a player “you got a test coming in 2 weeks”. Hey players union, lets stop giving guys a heads up for tests.

2:57 Fernando Vina used steroids! He had HGH shipped to him by Radomski. Poor guy probably started using after Albert Belle destroyed him between 1st base and second base once.

2:57 Frank Thomas spoke with investigators. The only active player besides Giambi. Frank Thomas has always spoke out against steroids. The Big Hurt is the Big Clean. Love this guy. What a beast. And he was clean.

2:59 Steve Phillips says that Mitchell wanted to show a perception of the era. I agree.

3:00 Six minutes ago SI.com added Gary Sheffield. The Sheff was clearly cookin’ up some ‘roids. In his kitchen. Yeah I’m proud of myself.

3:01 Clemens injected 4-6 times in the second half of season when the Yankees won the world series. I was always upset about 2001 when Luis Gonzalez blooped one over Jeter to win the world series for Arizona(Even though he wasn’t named he obviously used), but now I guess the Yanks had some steroids guys against the Mets. This is the kind of stuff that is sad.

3:05 Glenallen Hill used steroids! Score one for Tristan! My friend Tristan has always pointed a finger at Hill which I found funny because he was such a bit player I barely remembered him. Vindication.

3:06 Larry Bigbie used steroids which begs the question. How bad would he have been if he DIDN’T use steroids.

3:08 From SI.com. A bunch of other players that were named:

Other players include: Troy Glaus, Gary Matthews Jr., Rick Ankiel, Jay Gibbons, Mo Vaughn, Paul Lo Duca, Eric Gagne, Glenallen Hill, Gregg Zaun, Rondell White, Hal Morris, Todd Hundley, Larry Bigbie, Lenny Dykstra, David Segui, Matt Herges, Kevin Brown, Mike Lansing, Wally Joyner, Nook Logan, Jeremy Giambi, Benito Santiago, Denny Neagle, Ron Villone, Fernando Vina, Todd Pratt, Jack Cust, Matt Williams, John Rocker, Paul Byrd, F.P. Santangelo and Randy Velarde. Clearly this is a bad day for baseball and I really have serious opinions on some of these players. But its always humorous to read some names. Kevin Brown used steroids! Really? His surly nature and injury history never made me question it for one second! Mo Vaughn didn’t surprise me today because I read his name linked to an oral steroid yesterday but I always thought his strength came from how fat he was. Guess not. Jack Cust. Oh that’s surprising. A guy with no natural position who only has one tool:power. And lets not forget John Rocker. The craziest of them all. Were any of those immigrants on the 7 train on the way to Shea known cheaters John? John? Oh that’s right you’re out of baseball.

3:12 ESPN’s legal analyst says that he would deny everything if he was the lawyer representing one of the players named. Real surprising approach. Denials from a lawyer.

3:15 ESPN reports that 78 players were named.

3:20 Jeremy Schaap reports that Jose Canseco was turned away from the press conference. Hilarious.

3:21 Clemens and Pettitte having their houses staked out by media according to Richard Justice a writer for the Houston Chronicle. I feel bad for Andy. not so much for Roger.

3:24 This guy from the Houston Chronicle says that Pettitte might retire now. That’s definitely not true! Pettitte was named in Jason Grimsley’s affadavit and his name was blacked out. But this was already reported. Pettitte came back to the Yankees but knowing he was going to be named.

3:29 ESPN analysts suggest that the information besides that on Pettitte and Clemens is flimsy. I don’t agree. This report needed to mention names. Rob Parker Detroit News Columnist says its not fair because everyone else gets off scot free. Uh I’m one of the people who will make this distinction. A normal baseball fan. Everyone is culpable! The entire era is tainted! This guy is a fool. Every other piece of analysis has been very strong. Next time lets leave the random columnist in Detroit. Thanks ESPN. David Cornwell ESPN legal analyst says naming names was wrong. You definitely needed to name guys so everyone knew the depth of the problem.

3:36 Larry Bigbie sold out Brian Roberts. So much for teammate solidarity.

3:40 Selig will have a press conference at 4:30. I’ll wrap this baby up sometime after that.

3:47 T.J. Quinn says commish is going to be upset about how Mitchell repudiates his claim that no one knew about steroids. I think Selig is going to worried about other things. Like how he can put the integrity of his sport, currently in tatters, back together.

3:55 Bob Ley asks Buster Olney about what this will do to the era of good feeling that exists in baseball. Great question. Baseball had more than $6 billion in revenues this season. They have nearly tripled their revenue since the years of the strike. As a baseball fan I’m still going to watch and root for everyone, steroid user or not. All this report did was crystallize the feelings of baseball fans everywhere. The steroid era was a time of inflated performance, both on the hitting and pitching sides, and none of the records during the time stand much for anything. Any player who fought father time and continued to perform into his late 30’s and early 40’s is a very strong steroid candidate. The steroid era continues in different ways with human growth hormone now. None of us are kidding ourselves.

4:00 Hey you know who wasn’t named? Albert Pujols. I thought he would be. I also thought Eric Chavez would be. But no one reading this report thinks this list is an exhaustive one. Everyone is a suspect until proven guilty. Except Frank Thomas.

4:02 ESPN just relayed this story Adam Piatt who was named in the report said that he had a locker next to Tejada and was once asked “do you have steroids?”. He later supplied Tejada with two different types. Is this how it went down? You just walked up to any teammate. “Hey got steroids?” And then he got you some? What a culture that existed in baseball.

4:09 On ESPN Kruk says he had a problem with alcohol but he didn’t blame beer makers. He blames himself for over-indulging. Don’t be so hard on yourself Kruk.

4:11 Gammons is upset about the inclusions of Brian Roberts. This is what the report says.

According to Bigbie, however, in 2004 Roberts admitted to him that he had
injected himself once or twice with steroids in 2003. Until this admission, Bigbie had never
suspected Roberts of using steroids. How is this messed up? Roberts is a little guy and had like 10 home runs and 15 steals one April. He’s shady and this confirms it.

4:22 From page 144 of the Mitchell Report “Radomski also stated that he felt that the side effects of human growth hormone were less severe than those of anabolic steroids.” That’s interesting and explains why HGH use is rising even though everyone knows about the dangers of steroids. “If you can’t test for it and its not so bad for me and it can make my family and future generations rich then I’m strongly considering it,” is the mindset now. I can’t be on a high horse and say that its crazy.

4:26 ESPN.com posted the complete list of players named. Here is the link:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3153646

4:30-4:35 Commissioner Bud Selig getting into position to speak. Selig thanks Mitchell for his “exhaustive investigation” and that he will embrace the 20 recommedations that Mitchell suggested. He has already eliminated the 24 hour notice for drug tests. He will incorporate all recommendations that he can on his own. Others need to be collectively bargained. I’m sure Don Fehr is quaking in his boots.

4:40 Selig will not comment on asterisks. He is reserving judgments. “In the name of candor” Selig admits he hasn’t read the whole report. Hey Bud…..READ THE REPORT. Its the most important document in the history of baseball and may decide if you continue to be commissioner or not. Wow Bud, way to drop the ball. Ball dropper.

4:47 Selig still talking but let me put in this hilarious snippet from the Mitchell Report:

During the 1998 season (around the time of the injections), Clemens showed
McNamee a white bottle of Anadrol-50.386 Clemens told McNamee he was not using it but
wanted to know more about it. McNamee told Clemens not to use it. McNamee said he took the

bottle and gave it to Canseco.387 McNamee does not know where Clemens obtained the
Anadrol-50.

So Clemens’ trainer decides “You know thats too dangerous for you Roger. Don’t use it. But I know someone who can use it. Jose Canseco.” He’s probably had the deadliest cocktail of steroids in his body in history. Horse steroid? Hit me.

4:50 Poor Bud looks so haggard and old. This thing is taking a toll on him. As an aside, page 181 states that a David Justice named lots of players and said that he did not use steroids, before he was implicated. Wow! David Justice. Truly a union guy.

4:53 Selig still muttering. Nothing really interesting. The report has me captivated at this point A scout’s take on Gagne in an email sent to Theo Epstein reads as follows:

Some digging on Gagne and steroids IS the issue. Has had a
checkered medical past throughout career including minor leagues.
Lacks the poise and commitment to stay healthy, maintain body
and re invent self. What made him a tenacious closer was the max
effort plus stuff . . . Mentality without the plus weapons and
without steroid help probably creates a large risk in bounce back
durability and ability to throw average while allowing the changeup
to play as it once did . . . Personally, durability (or lack of) will
follow Gagne . . .

That’s crazy. But completely believable. He was a borderline fifth starter and then all of a sudden the best closer in baseball, numbers-wise.

5:00 Selig is done and so am I. Definitely learned a lot from the report. The biggest takeaway in my mind is that the report needed to mention a litany of names from all different talent and success levels. Hall of famers to minor leaguers, pitchers and hitters, past and present for a strong cross-section on steroids history to exist. Now the ball is in baseball and the players union’s court.

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