Friday, December 14, 2007

More Mitchell Report Blowback

I don't think I need to take the time to find links to the Mitchell report and all the coverage it's receiving in the sports media. If you care about baseball at all, I'm sure you can find it. Anyhow, I glanced at the report and it wasn't all that exciting. Nothing like the Starr report back in the Clinton-Lewinsky days - now there was a report to get your blood pumping. Just a few comments on this snoozer and a few clarifications for my McBloggin' buddy.

1- First, let's just clarify what hearsay is for our non-legal audience. Hearsay is defined as an out of court statement used to prove the truth of the matter asserted - It is generally not admissible in court as evidence against someone, although there are exceptions to the rule. The idea is you can't use someones out of court statement- "I used steroids" to legally prove that they actually used steroids. Much of the Mitchell report is based on these sorts of statements.

2- Second, it appears the evidence against some of the named players is based solely on canceled checks. But legally speaking, the fact that a player wrote a check is not proof that he knew specifically what that check was going to be used for. Some players have claimed that these were checks they wrote for legal supplements.

3- All the legal mumbo jumbo is very important here in terms of action Bud Selig may wish to take. I don't see how- based on this report alone, any action whatsoever could be taken against the named players. There was no due process and no chance for the players to respond. More importantly, it would certainly be a violation of the collective bargaining agreement. To actually punish individuals, Selig would literally have to conduct hearings, and I can't imagine that would be the messy situation baseball would want to put itself into.

4- In terms of public opinion, McBlog! is right - If you were innocent why wouldn't you take the opportunity to defend yourself and speak to Senator Mitchell and clear your name in the court of public opinion?

5- I'll reiterate my point from before, that I don't think this report is going to hurt baseball nearly as much as the media would have you believe. Plenty of people are disappointed, but I doubt all but a few old school baseball fans are actually shocked. I mean seriously, did anyone really believe Bud Selig's feigned anger or his talk that, wow, now we really need to get serious about steroids? That sort of self-righteous indignation is what really irritates me on this issue. I can forgive players for their silence, but I have a hard time accepting this holier than thou attitude from ownership, the league offices, and the U.S. Senate. Hell, the only people who have been truthful on the issue is the fans, who've had no problem expressing a wide variety of points of view on the steroid issue. And the truth is, some don't care at all and most don't care enough to let it keep them from the game. We've always liked baseball in spite of Bud Selig, not because of him, and whatever he does or doesn't do now in regards to steroids isn't going to change that.


Post a Comment

<< Home