We get word today that Congress will invite George Mitchell and others to Washington next month for hearings on performance enhancing drugs. Fine and dandy but can we skip the dog and pony show and keep Bud Selig away from the festivities? His testimony in March of 2005 was and still is laughable. He vehemently denied baseball had a drug problem. He knew better. Everyone in baseball knew better. He's a figurehead commissioner incapable of independent thought. Of the four major sports leagues, only two have "real" commissioners---the NFL and the NBA. Selig, like the NHL's Gary Bettman, is empowered simply to carry out the wishes of the owners. Instead of more meaningless chat from Bud, Congress ought to go right to the ultimate authority--Jose Canseco. Whatever you think of Jose, he's been right on from day one in his evaluation of the drug problem in baseball.
The Mitchell Report's only real influence will be that it will likely make some guys think twice about cheating because of the public embarrassment trailing the guys named in the report. I don't think most fans care that much. And I think the proof will be in the attendance at Busch and other parks next summer. And we know the owners don't care. The Mitchell Report hasn't stopped teams from trading for or signing guys named in the investigation. My belief is this-- so many guys have been cheating you can't do a thing about the past. All baseball can do now is beef up it's testing and suspensions to TRY to level the playing field in the future. And, if an athlete wants to risk his long term health for short term gain, hell have to live with the consequences.
I don't blame Albert Pujols for being irate about the reports that his name was in the Mitchell Report. There's nothing more maddening than being accused of something you didn't do. I've always believed publicly ripping other members of the media or media outlets is bush-league and I won't start now. But, I will weigh in on the controversy by saying this--I'd much rather be second with the story and correct than first and wrong. That's a big reason why I'll never lead the league in breaking stories but I also won't be apologizing for damaging a man's reputation for the sake of winning a viewer or two. We're far from perfect here at KMOV but I'm glad we showed some restraint and integrity in this case.