Call me nutty, but I could give a fuck about the Mitchell Report. What the F is it going to prove? How will they distinguish between the guys who "ordered Rx HGH" from Florida and the guys who shoved Cow strengthener up their urethras? And what will it matter how they are distinguished given that any name that appears in the report will forever be linked to "The Mitchell Report" and therefore inexorably linked to steroids. For purpose of history, you won't be able to distinguish your steroid juicing freaks like Jason Giambi from your HGH sampling idiots like Paul Byrd. Some might say that these guys deserve to be forever flushed down history's toilet. But what good does it do?
One thing that strikes me about this whole thing is the double standard we have with Football and Baseball. We KNOW guys in the NFL do roids and get caught ALL THE FUCKING TIME! Shawn Merriman and Luis Castillo have both been caught and apologized for using performance enhancers. Rodney Harrison got caught in the preseason and Mike Golic announced on the national airwaves that he tried steroids. Yet for some reason no one gives as much of a shit about any of this than they do about the rumor that some big name pitcher* may have used it. And even when the Mitchell Report comes out and fingers someone of note (double entendre intended), the evidence in the NFL cases will be MUCH stronger than the eyewitness reports or hearsay that gets into the Mitchell bullshit. So why is this going to be a bigger deal?
But here's the thing that really gets me, can you think of a player who might appear on that report who you'd be happy to find out had used drugs? I mean, there are some guys in the MLB who I truly loathe. And I mean I really REALLY hate some of these motherfuckers, and I wouldn't get ANY satisfaction out of seeing those guys on the list. What would it do for me? You've got to be a pretty sick fuck to get some satisfaction out of learning that someone's life is changed for the worse forever. From a fans perspective, I just don't get the draw (though, of course, I will be on the edge of my seat waiting for the release of the names at 2pm tomorrow).
And that brings me to the major issue I have with the whole thing: What is the point? Originally, the point of publicizing steroid users was to deter people from future use and educate kids on the problems associated with performance enhancers. Baseball's old "don't ask don't tell" policy was essentially a tacit affirmation that steroids "weren't really that bad." So something had to be done and I get that. But when the NFL and other sports put together their new testing policies, they didn't dig up old files on Juice freaks of the 80's who we all worshipped and cut them down because they now feel guilty that they turned the other cheek for so many years. It was good enough that progress was made. And that's how I feel about baseball. We've moved past the "steroid era" on dozens of occasions, whether it be the Congressional hearing, the Palmeiro thing, Canseco's book or the new testing policy for steroids and search for an HGH test. The result is what we were looking for, not a fine-toothed combing of what they fucked up in getting us here.
Because here's the thing, when this report comes out tomorrow, it will be incomplete in the same way Canseco's book was incomplete and today's testing policy is incomplete. It will be unsatisfying and will stir up controversy. Some people will be upset and we will talk about it. But if it doesn't get us anywhere closer to getting untestable performance enhancers out of baseball and doesn't gain us anything, then what the fuck is the point? I will tell you this, no matter who is on that list and how outrage Jay Mariotti and Skip Bayless are, those names and that outrage alone will not do shit to help us get any closer to eradicating performance enhancers from the game. And if that wasn't the point of this whole fucking thing, then I ask, once again, what the fuck was?
*As I said in an earlier post, I'm not going to throw out names in these posts unless they have been publicly linked. There's no reason for me to add to the thousands of links available when someone types in "Baseball Player and Steroids" into google.