In what has to be considered the most unlikely of developments, I’ve been asked to be a guest question asker at the Congressional hearings on steroids on the 16th. To say this is an unexpected honor is like saying Brady Anderson’s 50 home runs were unexpected. I’m shocked and honored.
However, I have decided that I do not want to abuse this special privilege that has been bestowed upon me. After all, I have no link to baseball other than my silly blog, I am not a lawyer, I have NO reason to be on Capitol Hill except sight seeing, and nobody in the US of A has the foggiest clue as to who I am.
So in the spirit of fairness, for those asking questions and those being questioned, I have decided to decline my invitation. It would seem unfair to have a person such as myself, having never been part of a Congressional committee, asking questions that might be deemed inappropriate, or demanding that everyone be sworn in.
In my place, I have chosen to submit a small section of the Mitchell report that I would like the commissioner of Major League Baseball, Mr. Bud “the Stud” Selig, to comment on. This section is taken from pages SR-14 through SR-15 and describe some of the earlier incidents regarding players and steroids that came to the commish’s attention.
The Mitchell report states as follows:
“With the benefit of hindsight, it is clear that baseball missed the early warning signs of a growing crisis. Then, beginning in the summer of 2000, a number of incidents involving steroids or drug paraphernalia came to the attention of club and Commissioner’s Office officials, and the Players Association. They included:
In June 2000, state police in Boston discovered steroids and hypodermic needles in the glove compartment of a vehicle belonging to a Boston Red Sox infielder;
Also in June 2000, a clubhouse attendant found a paper bag containing six vials of steroids and over two dozen syringes in the locker of a pitcher with the Florida Marlins;
In mid-September 2000, a clubhouse employee discovered a bottle of steroids and several hundred diet pills in a package that had been mailed to the ballpark for an Arizona Diamondbacks infielder;
In October 2001, officers with the Canadian Border Service discovered steroids, syringes, and other drugs in an unmarked bag that came from the entourage of a Cleveland Indians outfielder;
In September 2002, a bullpen catcher with the Montreal Expos was arrested for trying to send marijuana back to Florida with the Florida Marlins’ luggage. He later told Major League Baseball security officials that he had supplied drugs to nearly two dozen major league players, including eight players for whom he said he had procured steroids.”
Further inquiries were made in the Arizona and Montreal incidents, but in some of these cases, little investigation was conducted. Almost without exception, before this investigation began active major league players were not interviewed in investigations into their alleged use of performance enhancing substances.
Instead, players under suspicion frequently were subjected to “reasonable cause” testing for steroid use.“
I think, without a doubt, my favorite line from the report is “With the benefit of hindsight, it is clear that baseball missed the early warning signs of a growing crisis.” Is there any stronger evidence that Mitchell was trying not to throw Selig under the bus? “With the benefit of hindsight?” Is it Selig’s job to use hindsight to solve problems or use FORESIGHT to predict problems?
Three incidents involving steroids cropped up around the Major Leagues within a four month span. THREE. Involving three separate teams, Does it take hindsight to realize that there might be an issue worth looking at? Did it take a genius to see this many “accidental” discoveries of steroids among Major League players for someone to open their eyes and realize that there might be a greater issue?
Mitchell claims that this realization can only surmised with the benefit of hindsight. Let me ask you a question: how many instances of a leaky pipe in your house do you need to see before you realize there might be a problem? One? Two? Would you wait for three over a four month span before you declared a state of emergency?
So my lone question to you, Mr. Bud Selig, is what were you waiting for? Did these three incidents not signal a problem to you? If this were your personal business, would you run it this way?