Chris Ruddick, MLB Editor
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
The dreaded Mitchell Report is finally going to be released to the public, and supposedly there are 60-80 names from the past and present that are going be in it. Am I the only one, though, that could care less?
For the same reason I rubberneck a huge car wreck, I guess I will be interested to see the names, but I guarantee there is not going to be a player on that list that is going to shock me.
It has been three years since I came to the realization that players were using steroids. I have moved on. I don't care about what happened in the past. Tell me what you are going to do in the future to fix it. That is what I want to hear. If you really want to do something, come up with a way to test for human growth hormone. Until then, leave me alone.
Did I need to see some sort of paper trail to prove to me that Mark McGwire or Barry Bonds or Juan Gonzalez did steroids? I hate to break it to you, but those are the types of guys that are going to be in this report. If you are looking for more really big names, I have a feeling you are going to be disappointed.
What was the point of this whole thing anyway? I think we can all agree that steroids were a big part of the game for a long period of time. I would think Major League Baseball would want to distance themselves from this era as much as possible, so why have an investigation to throw it in the fans' faces?
The George Mitchell Report tells us what we already know.
Let's not forget that this whole situation could have been avoided a long time ago if Bud Selig and MLBPA President Donald Fehr stepped up to the plate. Former commissioner Fay Vincent wanted something done about steroids in the early 90's, but everyone turned a blind eye and reaped the benefits of the long ball era. I hope this report shows that as much as anything else.
And despite what Selig may tell you, nothing about the policy is better. Sure there are now steroid testing procedures in place, but are you telling me the only players doing it were the types that have been caught? I find that extremely hard to believe.
Players these days have a team of chemists working for them. They will always be one step ahead of any test. In the 80's players took amphetamines for an edge, then it became steroids. If the steroid problem is indeed cleaned up, I am sure there is something else out there to which players will eventually turn.
Will there be names that shock me? Possibly, but I doubt it. Don't forget George Mitchell is working for MLB on this one. I have a feeling that if there are any current "stars" in the report, they are going to be players that are already on the downside of their career.
I am also going to be very interested to see how many members of the Boston Red Sox are in this report. Mitchell is a director on the board of the Red Sox. I am not questioning his integrity, but there is clearly a conflict of interest there. Not to mention that Paul Byrd's HGH usage was leaked on the day of the seventh game of the 2007 ALCS. Mitchell has, of course, denied that his report was the fuel behind the leak, but it seems a little fishy.
Either way, though, baseball is going to be just fine. There might be some people that will be down on the sport for awhile after this, but like I said before, this is nothing new. It has been three years since the BALCO Grand Jury testimony leaked. The public has had plenty of time to prepare itself for this day.
Major League Baseball brought in nearly $6 billion in revenues this season, and set attendance records all over the country. Unless there are some real bombshells involving players of previously unassailable personal reputations, don't expect any long term ramifications from this.
CUBS WIN FUKUDOME SWEEPSTAKES
The Chicago Cubs have signed highly touted Japanese outfielder Kosuke Fukudome to a four-year contract. Although financial terms were not released, it is believed to be worth $48 million, or $4 million less than the contract extension Hideki Matsui signed last winter.
Why the Cubs shelled out that kind of dough for him is beyond me. Fukudome has been compared to Ichiro Suzuki, but his numbers in Japan more resemble that of Tampa Bay infielder Akinori Iwamura.
I have a question. If Jennifer Lopez is J-Lo and Alex Rodriguez is A-Rod, what will Fukudome's nickname be?