Mark it down. Dec. 13, 2007, will go down as a landmark day in the history of baseball, right up there with July 4th, 1939, Oct. 3, 1951, and April 8, 1974. It’s the day a roadmap to baseball’s Steroid Era was provided, and that’s important, because without studying the past, it’s impossible to change the future.
That said, don’t view the release of the Mitchell Report as some sort of panacea. It’s not. This is just step one in what will have to be a journey of at least 1,000 steps to make baseball clean again. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, the culture of juicing is as much a professional sports thing as it is a baseball thing, and changing the way a culture thinks could take a generation.
It is doable though. Whether it will or not, who knows? Can’t say I’m real confident. My guess is that Donald Fehr and the Players’ Association will come out guns-a-blazing as soon as they study the report fully. Roger Clemens’ denial will be the first of many. Other players not named will remain suspects.
You see, it’s hard to break the cycle. It will take acts of courage in certain areas, and face it, the baseball fraternity is not a courageous lot. Case in point: The Rocket
Look, I can understand Clemens’ anger, and indeed, there are some questions regarding his inclusion that must be answered. But what we’ve learned already is that where there’s been smoke regarding steroids, there’s usually fire. So if Clemens indeed used, he’d be doing his sport a favor by admitting it.
Unfortunately, his mind-set is like so many others. Deny, deny, deny, to the grave if necessary. Perhaps its fear, or maybe it’s because athletes have become so arrogant that they don’t think there’s any chance any hard-core proof will ever stick (and to clarify, the case against Clemens in the Mitchell Report is hardly iron-clad). Oh, and if I ever have to hear “I never tested positive,” again, I’ll vomit, and so should you. It’s insulting to the intelligence.
Anyway, time to sleep on it and let some of it sink in. Tomorrow, I’ll give you some of my winners and losers from the day.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts out there in cyber-land. You guys pay the salaries. You’re the ones whom these athletes think they can fool. Fill up the comment box, and let me know where you stand.