Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mitchell report little more than gossip

Former Sen. George Mitchell (D-Maine) released to the media today his report on the use of steroids in baseball. His report named 86 current and former players who allegedly used performance-enhancing substances over the past 15-20 years; 55 current, 13 MVPs, 8 Cy Young award winners (seven of which came from Roger Clemens).

The 409-page report relied on testimony of people such as former New York Mets clubhouse attendant named Kirk Radomski, who got pinched in April for money laundering and distribution of steroids. Radomski received checks written by New York Yankees personal trainer Brian McNamee, who claimed in Mitchell's report to have personally injected Clemens and fellow pitcher Andy Pettitte with performance-enhancers. Clemens, naturally, vehemently denies McNamee's assertion.

That Clemens will now have his name linked to Barry Bonds - whose name also appeared in the report, to no one's surprise - is to scar him with the accusation that he cheated. He may have, may not have, we simply don't know. But now he's forced to prove a negative; that he didn't do something.

Sports media are already asking the obligatory question of whether Clemens and/or Bonds should get into the Hall of Fame. That their names have been released as being part of baseball's Steroid Era, lacking any proof, could be baseball's version of McCarthyism.

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