Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell released a 409 page report on Thursday December 13, 2007 that contained 86 different names linking people and players to the ever-growing baseball steroids scandal. This report is said to be the biggest scandal in baseball since the Black Sox scandal in 1919. The report contained some big names; Miguel Tejada, Andy Pettitte, Eric Gagne, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield, Troy Glaus, Gary Matthews Jr., Paul Byrd, Jose Guillen, Brian Roberts, Rick Ankiel, Paul Lo Duca and the biggest name Roger Clemens. Though Mitchell denies it, it seems as though Clemens was singled out, his name being mentioned 82 times, and made the symbol of the report. The report also contained Barry Bonds, who everyone knows by now has been accused of taking illegal performance enhancing drugs. Roger Clemens denied the charges and expressed his anger at be even mentioned through his attorney Rusty Hardin. Commisioner Bud Selig stated that he will take action, if called for. Many of the accusations will not result in penalties however, because the instances where the players were said to take the drugs were before required testing began in 2003. From 2002 to 2005 punishment has increased severely for testing positive to using performance enhancing drugs. In 2002 it was a 1 year ban for a fifth offense. Now it is a liftime ban for only a third offense.
Roger Clemons has won 7 Cy Young Awards, is eighth on the list for all time wins (354 wins), is an MVP and All-Star, and was, was, almost guaranteed a spot in the MLB Hall of Fame. These charges will greatly reduce the chance that Clemens will get into the Hall of Fame, and if proven true almost surely lower them to zero. It will probably very closely resemble how Mark Mcguire was kept out of the hall of fame this year. Its sad that Clemens’ (who has played in the league for 23 years and is 45 years old) legacy is now probably ruined because of something like this, along with all the other players on the list. Clemens’ personal trainer Brian McNamee said in the report that he first gave Clemens performance enhancing drugs in 1998.
Something that just doesn’t seem quite right to me, and others, is that Mitchell is a director for the Boston Red Sox, and none of their prime players appeared in the report. A total of 22 Yankes were mentioned in Mitchell’s report, and everyone knows the famous rivalry between the Red Sox and the Yankees. Perhaps it can explain why they have won so many world series, and why the Red Sox Went so long without one.
In Mitchell’s speech, he stated that 5%-7% of MLB used steroids or other substances. He also targets players as role models for children and teens. 3%-6% of high school teenagers use some kind of performance enhancing drug, which really is a shocking statistic. It means that even at 3%, hundreds of thousands of American teens are taking performance enhancing drugs. Let’s hope that this will bring some attention to this issue.