Thursday, December 13, 2007

Shining a light in the shadows

There are going to be many who will question the validity of the Mitchell Report due to his Red Sox links. Others will question the validity of the witnesses testifying to former Senator Mitchell.

There are a host of questions that can be asked in regards to the report. Regardless of the questions that can be asked, at the very least, it begs a closer look at each of the players named and their career statistics.

Like with any medication or drug, the impact of these "treatments" that the players underwent will vary greatly. Some people named might be innocent, some are likely as guilty as sin. And before I get some steroid apologist who likes to bring up the "well it wasn't against the rules in baseball," argument, one of the key points, made by George Mitchell as he presented the report is, "for more than a decade there has been widespread illegal use of anabolic steroids and other performance enhancing substances by Major League Baseball players in violation of federal law..."

Mitchell does not absolve MLB in this. He does say that the report identified "some of the players," who indulged.

"Each of the thirty clubs have had" a player or players involved in this drug culture, said Mitchell.

Among the players rumored to be on the list that have spent some time with the Red Sox are Roger Clemens (whom I think started use before leaving the Red Sox), Dante Bichette, Wil Cordero, Johnny Damon, Carl Everett, Rich Garces, Eric Gagne, Nomar Garciaparra, Jeremy Giambi, Trot Nixon, Jose Offerman, Julian Tavarez, and Jason Varitek. So much for him slanting the report away from the Sox.

I've speculated as much in regards to Garciaparra, and have to admit I have questions as to how Jorge Posada who not only hit .061 points higher than his career average this past season, but has had his only season hitting over .287 (.336) at the age of 35, might not be on this list.

As for Clemens...

Clemens reportedly was taking winstrol in 1998, and approached his trainer at the beginning of 1998 with questions about a bottle of steroids already in his possession. Personally, I believe he was first introduced to the steroid subculture as early as 1996, when he shared a Red Sox clubhouse with Jose Canseco, and pitched over 200 innings for the first time since 1992.

As for some of the other proof - evidently, according to Mitchell, they have shipping records, other eyewitness accounts, phone records, and other evidence. This is going to come down hard on a number of players.

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