And yet, here we are. A baseball post.
Yesterday, George Mitchell's report on use of performance enhancing drugs came out. Most of you have probably heard this by now. Some eighty-nine players are named, from Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte to Chuck Knoblauch and Nook Logan. There's been some controversy over how much evidence exists for each of these allegations and whether or not the report is exhaustive (it's emphatically not). It's what George Mitchell could find without being able to pressure most players into talking to him and relying, largely, on the evidence brought forth by former Mets clubhouse guy Kirk Radomski (who had cancelled checks from players who had him get them steroids and human growth hormone) and former Yankees trainer Brian McNamee (who claims to have injected Clemens and Pettitte.) I'm going to leave for right now the question of who the hell buys drugs illegally with a goddamn check. My reaction to the report's release was, of course, to check for Pirates on the list. The Post Gazette proudly proclaims that no current Pirates were on the list, though of course the list is not exhaustive (so there may indeed be current Pirates cheating) and, perhaps more importantly, if any current Pirates are on performance enhancing drugs, they're doing it wrong. Then again, the indominable Slaw-o tested positive, so it's possible to cheat and suck.
All of this to say that I'm not sure what to make of it. It's not exhaustive, as much as Bud Selig, the Players Association and MLB want to pretend it is and does not mark the "start of the post-steroid era." I'm not sure how to feel about the fact that there's no way to defend against the allegations except to sue for libel. What I am sure of, however, is that the Slate staff does a pretty good job of kicking it around for a while. Or, at least, they're coming at it from a position that's somewhat outside the typical sports-commentary/blogging perspective.
Give it a read, mostly because it occasionally contains gems like this:
(Josh) Levin: I guarantee that Batboy: The Rise and Fall of Kirk Radomski (or maybe The Unnatural) will be a major motion picture in the next two years. It's like Blow meets Almost Famous meets Major League.