Friday, December 14, 2007

I'm Not The Man They Think I Am At Home, Oh, No No, I'm a Rocket Man.


I'm not sure whether to be overwhelmed or underwhelmed by the Mitchell Report.

Here's what I think:

For one, let's get half of that 2000 World Series trophy back to Shea. While almost every Major League team was dishonorably represented in the report, perhaps no single ball club stood out more than the 2000 New York Yankees. The most compelling statistic relating to that series is that the four Yankee pitchers from the 2000 team that were indicated as users in the Mitchell Report combined in the Subway Series for 30.2 IP, 5 ER and an ERA of 1.46. The rest of the Yankee staff? 16.1 IP, 9 ER and an ERA of 4.95. Kudos to Anthony DeRosa at Hot Foot for that stat. (Who incidentally, I'm pretty sure, took the flickr photo I'm using for this entry. My appreciation) Beyond pitching, the '00 Yanks also featured 5 position players who popped up in the report, most notably the frequent #3 hitter David Justice, and 2B Chuck Knoblauch.

Game 1 really hurts the most: Andy Pettitte starts the game against Al Leiter, going 6.2 innings and allowing 3 er; After Benitez blows Leiter's win by giving up a sac-fly to Chuck Knoblauch (Leiter having gone 7 innings giving up 2 runs, both runs produced by David Justice), Mike Stanton delivers 2 shutout innings in the 11th and 12th for the Yankees, setting up Jose Viz's game-winning single off of Turk Wendell in the bottom of the 12th. Then Clemens dominates Game 2, after roid-raging all over Mikey P. Jeez.

As my friend Rob put it today, "I always knew Benny Agbayani was a champion".

At the end of the day, my protestations are really tongue in cheek. What's over is over, but it kinda hurts. Good ammo with a Yankee fan, I suppose.

Kind of ironic that the day before this thing comes out, I post an entry half devoted to eulogizing the great Paul LoDuca, who now looks like the most likely candidate for discipline in the wake of the investigation, not only using himself, but apparently sharing the love with anyone who was interested. Really puts a damper on my love of Paulie, and particularly that great game against Oakland last year that I wrote about, in which he blew his top with the ump. Quite possibly that great memory can also be attributed to roid rage. Ugh. I have to join Adam from Brooklyn Met Fan in conceding to Omar, and taking back all of my constant complaints about not re-signing Duca, though official word from the Mets is that the decision to let Duca walk had nothing to do with the Mitchell Report. Yeah, right. They can't come out and say it, but it's pretty clear they knew something about this, so I say nice job doing your homework, something the Milwaukee Brewers didn't do with regards to their new closer. I really enjoyed LoDuca's time here, but if I have any self-respect I have to admit that he is just as bad as any of them. I can't sit here and bash the Rocket (Who I once adored as a member of the Red Sox when I was a little kid) and with a straight face defend LoDuca.

Overall, the report didn't really shock me, or anyone else. It is certainly only the tip of the iceberg as far as the list goes, but I imagine that wasn't really the point. The point is to display the widespread use of PED's, and discuss what to do about it. Again, Mitchell doesn't say anything too revolutionary, but he does suggest that MLB use other methods than testing to regulate steroids, and that the testing be expanded and controlled by an independent party. I would agree with both ideas, and I hope Selig follows suit. The Players' Union would probably take issue with either policy, but there probably isn't much they could do about it. I can't imagine anything worse PR-wise for Donald Fehr and the MLBPA than a lockout caused by unwillingness to submit to drug-testing and investigation.

Then there's the whole Mitchell/Red Sox conspiracy theory, which is just ludicrous. We're talking about a man who served in the US Senate, and was a key figure in Cold War foreign policy and a mediator in Northern Ireland. Somehow I doubt he would put the integrity of his career on the line for the sake of protecting a baseball team that he used to have a limited stake in. He has dealt with much bigger issues in his life. This is coming, mind you, from someone (me) who doesn't happen to be on the same side of the political fence as Mitchell.

The other interesting elements of all this are the potential sources of fallout: How will the players named, or their lawyers, respond? How will ownership respond? I for one would love to see a Fernando Vina, who works for ESPN, fess up and use his role in the media to candidly address this stuff. Will David Justice still host the kids show on the Yes network? Ha. Also, will other names start to trickle in from elsewhere? The next congressional hearing, which has now been announced, could produce something like that.

Without getting too hard into schaudenfreude, it's nice to see that arrogant prick Clemens get his due. Oh my goodness gracious, of all the dramatic things...

No comments: