Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Mitchell Report

I just have to get this out before the Mitchell report is released later today, naming the names of players involved in nefarious drug use during baseball's steroid era. I don't care who's named and I don't care whose on the list. Truth be told, as a libertarian I don't care all that much about the steroid issue. I think it's an opportunity for moralists and self righteous types to here themselves talk and reminisce about the good old days, when baseball players only abused alcohol, were indentured to the teams they played for, and conspired to throw World Series games. If you sense a wee bit of sarcasm it's only because I don't think this is going to be devastating for baseball in the way the media is making it out to do be. The strike was far, far worse- At least we know this time that pitchers and catchers will be reporting in February.

Do I want to just gloss over and ignore the whole steroid issue? Well, yes and no. The thing is, whether I think it's a dumb law or not, steroids are illegal. And as such, players who used them were breaking the law- now, that part really doesn't bother me so much. The only thing that does grind my gears is the fact that the players who basically did the right thing by staying within the law may have been at a disadvantage. I don't have a problem with Barry Bonds's home run record, but it doesn't seem quite right that a contemporary of his like Ken Griffey Jr. may have lost out on a chance to be more competitive with Bonds because he chose to stay within the law. I just don't like good guys faced with the choice of having to break the law to keep up with someone like Bonds.

In that vein, in a twisted kind of way, I say the more names on this report the better. Steroids as something Jose Canseco did secretly in the bathroom means you really have to question individual numbers. Steroids as a prevalent issue that players maintained a sort of code of silence about? If that were the case, then the innocent players I felt so bad about in the last paragraph are sort of culpable themselves. But the individual names? I could care less. It's not going to stop me from drafting them in my fantasy baseball draft next spring.


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