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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Some Thoughts on Baseball and Steroids:

The Mitchell Report is out today, and it calls out some pretty big names. Clemens. Pettitte. Bonds. McGwire. Tejada. All names that have been associated with performance-enhancing drugs in the past.

The report is 409 pages, see link here. Certainly, I don't have time to read it, nor do I plan to do so. Much of what is contained in the report apparently comes from two sources: Kirk Radomski and the Albany investigation into an Orlando pharmacy.

I will be interested to see if any players claim defamation and sue the league because of this report. After all, many of these players are Hall of Fame caliber, and could be prevented from entering the Hall after retirement. Some could be affected directly by being denied endorsement deals. I mean, would you want to solicit an endorsement from an accused drug user?

Aside from all that, here's how I believe this should pan out. Any player that knowingly used these drugs after the league banned them should be suspended indefinitely. No player is above the rules. However, a player that used them before any sort of ban was instituted should not be disciplined. It is hard to make the argument that a player broke the rules when the rule didn't exist. Besides, those players will be subject to public scrutiny, and will likely not play again in the public eye anyway. That is punishment enough, in my opinion.

This report should help Major League Baseball begin to move on and leave the steroid era behind. The sport has survived a great many harmful events in its past, and I believe it will survive this one also... with a caveat. MLB must admit the mistakes that were made, eliminate them, and advocate stiff penalties for future violators. If not, the integrity of the sport will always be questioned.

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.: posted by Dave 1:22 PM

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