Baseball is to blame, the players are to blame, the fans are to blame. Everyone is complicit in this story. The strike pushed fans away and only a juiced Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa could bring them back. Fans returned in droves to see the astronomical blasts by these two behemoths. Children wanted to be them & now that we learn that they have become a pox on the game, now that we learn that players earning 16 million a season do everything possible to help their teams win are we surprised?
Tragically, we are not. The evidence is staggering from people such as former trainer Brian McNamee who said he injected Roger Clemens with Winstrol about four times per week over a several-week period in 1998. The Yankees went on to hire McNamee, supposedly at Clemens' recommendation, and worked with much of the team. Clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski who seems to have provided steroids to anybody that would give him the time of day. It's a rough day to be a baseball fan.
It's hard to watch the game you love implode from the inside out. One can make the correlation to the Black Sox scandal from 1919 & then realize the damage this has on the game. This is not a problem that is going away. Players will continue to use substances like HGH or Wistrol or Deca-Durabolin as long as there are masking agents or baseball turns a blind eye. Baseball watched players grow to gigantic proportions. They watched Barry Bonds' head grow three sizes and only when they realized he was approaching one the most hallowed records did they do anything about it.
Too little, too late. Bud Selig can look in the mirror & see who's to blame. He has made famous or infamous names that no one should have ever known. Club House attendants that do nothing more than arrange the towels and get food for players are key witnesses in the most damaging report in baseball history. Kirk Radomski will go down in history with such names as: Arnold Rothstein, Ron Peters and Paul Janszen. This is truly a dark day in baseball history. Where have you gone Joe Dimaggio? Our nation turns it's lonely eyes to you. The myth that our heroes are pure anymore coincides with the myth that our politicians are honest. Baseball has never been a perfect sport. Babe Ruth ate and drank too much, Mickey Mantle was an alcoholic, Blacks weren't allowed until 1947, but cheating is the most reprehensible thing a player can do.
To compromise your values for the almighty dollar shows that baseball is no longer a game for the fans but a business for the owners and players. It is no longer the game we grew up loving and cheering for, but a cash cow for millionaires to become billionaires. The fan no longer has a voice, but is merely an afterthought to players that sue baseball as a tool to line their pockets with our hard earned money. It is, however, a game that I adore. A game that I grew playing in the street, at the park & everywhere else I could throw a ball. The Mitchell Report is merely the tip of the iceberg & in the coming months more allegations will come out. More players will admit, deny & pass on the culpability to others.
The game can not be blamed. The game is beautiful. It's the people that use the game for their selfish desires that bring it to it's knees at least once a decade. To quote Terrance Mann (James Earl Jones) from "Field of Dreams":
Ray, people will come Ray. They'll come for reasons they can't even fathom...It's only $20 per person. They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they'll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come, Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh... people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.
And people will come, they always will.
Here are some of the names in the Mitchell report:
Larry Bigbie (confessed)
Brian Roberts (based on an admission to Bigbie)
Jack Cust (based on an admission to Bigbie)
Rondell White (Kirk Radomski)
Roger Clemens (Brian McNamee)
Andy Pettitte (Brian McNamee)
Gregg Zaun (Kirk Radomski)
Ron Villone (Kirk Radomski)
Ryan Franklin (Kirk Radomski)
Miguel Tejada (performance-enhancers provided to Tejada by teammate Adam Piatt)
Mike Stanton (Kirk Radomski)
Jerry Hairston Jr. (Kirk Radomski)
Paul Lo Duca (Kirk Radomski)
Eric Gagne (Kirk Radomski)
Matt Herges (Kirk Radomski)
Gary Bennett (Kirk Radomski)
Brendan Donnelly (Kirk Radomski)
Nook Logan (Kirk Radomski)
Kevin Brown (Kirk Radomski)
Fernando Vina (Kirk Radomski)
Mo Vaughn (Kirk Radomski)
David Justice (Kirk Radomski)