well, the Mitchell Report is out…

and here it is. it’s a 406-page PDF file, so i’ve not sat down and read it yet, but i understand that it says this:

drug use is rampant in Major League Baseball.

no, really? i may faint from shock.

oh, wait, everybody with any sense at all has known this for years. baseball’s “efforts” to police itself have been a joke (just like my other favourite sport, professional cycling).

so the massive protestations of shock and disbelief from certain quarters of the fan community confuse me somewhat; are that many people that dumb? or is the unhealthy obsession with sport so far advanced in this country that people are willing to ignore illegal, immoral and unsafe actions of players just in the hope of having “their” team win a pennant?

the owners and coaches turning a blind eye is bad enough, but the fans’ destructive denial is even worse.

but what i find even more disturbing is the announcement by Congressional leaders that they intend to hold even more hearings on drug use in baseball. as much as i love the game, and hate what drug abusing players are doing to it, aren’t there more constructive things Congress could and should be doing? particularly since i’m sure Democratic members will find ways to attack President Bush as the former owner of the Texas Rangers and former employer of at least one of the players named in the report. while i’m no fan of the current President (and wish he’d never “won” his first Presidential election), i think that the sort of underhanded sniping this may aim his way can only inhibit his already poor job performance. constructive criticism is one thing (that we’ve been short of anyway), but this will be something else.

i do hope, however, that this may result in a house-cleaning of sorts. i’d love for baseball to once again be the sport i grew up believing it was.

got two quotes of the day today:

“Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona.” – George F. Will

“It never ceases to amaze me how many of baseball’s wounds are self-inflicted.” – Bill Veeck

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