Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Mitchell Report

The Mitchell report is out and it is big news. Big big big.

There are about a thousand tangents to this story. Here are three:

-I don't think anyone ought to believe that the list of players is comprehensive. Mitchell got just a couple of suppliers to talk. They were surely not the only enablers out there.

-The Players Union is justifiably roasted. The union tried to obstruct Mitchelll at every turn. They would have been *far* better off to just blow the doors open with information and get everything out in public at once. Since information is going to keep coming out over the months and (ugh) years, it's going to be far worse for them. Donald Fehr sees everything as a fight. Sometimes he was right, but in this case he was wrong. And he's going to reap what he sowed for a long time.

-Roger Clemens. Clemens Clemens Clemens. Along with every other named player, he refused Mitchell's offer to talk before the report came out. (Surely this was another canny ploy by the union. Oops.)

The evidence against him is damning. Tom Verducci correlated Clemens' steroid use with his 1998 numbers. Before steroids, he was 6-6 with a 3.27 ERA. After he was 14-0 with a 2.29 ERA. It's worth noting that the last four years before 1998 Clemens was 40-39. It looks like he was indeed on the downside of his career.

The question is what Clemens is going to do. He doesn't have a lot of good options.

I don't know whether he cares about the court of public opinion. He could become a recluse, a la Mark McGwire, and avoid the public entirely.

He could have his publicist issue some bland statement, and retire. Refuse to talk about the past. This is what I bet he'll do.

Or he could come clean. Admit what happened in every detail. It would be fascinating. It would also require honesty and humility. No chance.

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