With the end of November upon us, the much anticipated Mitchell Report on performance enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball will be released shortly. Sources with the Mitchell investigation have confirmed that the report will be released before the end of the year, and based upon the Holidays, you can all but bet that it will be released in the first three weeks in the month of December.
It has been said for some time that there will be names named in the report, and today the first owner all but confirmed that fact, while not actually seeing the report. As reported today by Ross Newman of the LA Times:
Angels owner Arte Moreno said Wednesday that he fully expects the soon-to-be-released Mitchell report on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball to include the names of players linked to those substances. Moreno is the first owner to say publicly that names will be included in the report.
"The names of players will come out that people will be mad about," Moreno said, referring to the likelihood that the names may upset fans, players, the players' union and others. "Some of my information is second-hand, but I know there's going to be names."
There is little denying that there will be anger over the names, but there is other news coming out through sources that may make others more angry still.
Based on reports, the Mitchell investigation will offer up a forward looking set of recommendations, and not address how the PED culture in baseball was allowed to permeate. In other words, baseball may be given a free pass for matters in the past and present, with only the named players as ones being held accountable.
If this is indeed the case, then many, this author included, will be ready to paint the entire report as a sham.
For a report that is supposedly wholly independent (or, as independent as a report can be when the man in charge is on the Red Sox board of directors), and not offer up a large portion into the “how we got here” aspect of PED use in MLB simply takes much of the credibility out of its publication. It shows that there is a willingness to ignore holding those that are caretakers of the game accountable -- that the Commissioner’s Office and the MLB Players Association are somehow innocent of PED use in baseball. For there to be the suggestion that these parties should somehow be allowed to skip past this report while the users of PEDs garner the attention, shows that there is little interest in bringing focus to those minding the store during the Steroid Era. To not suggest that those running baseball are not somehow culpable for players using PEDs is to say that the world is flat.
If this is indeed the case, how serious are we to take the report? And yet, at the same time, should we be at all surprised? In a case of the ironic, we may see a correlation between Mark McGwire saying, “I’m not here to talk about the past” and Mitchell’s report on performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball. Certainly, the word “hypocrisy” will come to mind, if this is indeed the case.
Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also an author for Baseball Prospectus, Basketball Prospectus and is an available writer for other media outlets.
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