Everybody wants to know who on their team was on The List. They're digging for some muck to spread on the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets or Dodgers. The Rocket has landed. Game over for Game Over. Maybe with the Sox they're looking more at who's not included given Senator Mitchell's ties. They're trying to untarnish a dynasty by making excuses. Some players in the report are already vehemently denying their involvement. The commissioner is saying action will be taken and looking suitably displeased. Congress is saying that they want more hearings, figuring that constantly calling these tightlips into Washington is the next best thing to waterboarding to get the information they are after. Bloggers and fans are finding fault with the methodology and fitting the report into preconceived biases too swiftly. The owners are whitewashing... The players are stonewalling... Larry Bigbie is a snitch... It all seems to be missing the mark.
What the report does tell us is that there is ample evidence of a widespread culture of abuse with performance enhancing drugs among players in major league baseball, and that owners -including the commissioner's office, management, the player's union and us as fans have all been enablers if not more complicit in the acts. We're the wife in denial on Maury who can't see how ignoring the syringes in the garbage makes us partly culpable. Like her, we're also victims in this mess, but we need to wake up to the issue before we can get help. The report shows the flaws that still exist in MLB's current efforts to curtail usage.
The question, and it's a philosophical whopper, actually, is do we actually want to get help? The report indicates that there's still ample evidence that players are actively seeking ways around the steroid testing and drug policy. As this interview with Charles Yesalis from the Wall Street Journal points out, the real cure for this is by us fans refusing to buy the product that supplies the dope. While taking your kids to watch a self-destructive juiced up athlete perform his skills at a high level isn't quite the same as taking them to see lions feed on Christians or gladiators stab each other to death, it's not as far removed as my ethical self would like it to be. Yesalis also correctly states that it's stupid to assume that people will come to their senses and that fans will stop attending games. Baseball still draws me, it still draws you. So because I'm one of the millions validating drug use, should I feel better? I think like many, I'm going to continue to go to baseball games while naively trying to believe that a better system for ensuring the purity of the sport will come along.
I'm also wishing to see a unicorn before I die, but that's something else entirely.
Alright, I had some major Internet issues this morning, and the Mitchell Report occupied my afternoon, but I do want to comment on what the Rockies did yesterday:
possibly Luis Vizcaino
This list is a lot less sexy. It's the players we signed yesterday and the guy we might be interested in. Honestly, all the signed guys are fine (given what we know of their contracts) to see if they can contribute something to the team next year. Obviously we've got a lot of history with Cory, and a little bit of a history with Redman, but not enough recently that I think there's any chance of the team getting needlessly attached to them should things go awry. I'd like it if the hook in that case is a little faster than it was for Mabry and Finley last season so we're not quite so under the gun late in September this time around.
Similarly, Wells might very well be washed up, but he's still got an arm and it doesn't hurt to find out if we can coax a little more out of it. If we do sign Vizcaino, it would functionally be a one for one swap with the Yankees for LaTroy Hawkins. Hawkins is 34, Vizcaino 32. Luis has a career 104 ERA+, Hawkins a career 101 ERA+. Vizcaino is coming off a down year by his recent standards and moving from the AL to the NL, Hawkins had a career renaissance in Colorado and is moving from the NL to the AL. I'm really liking the potential of this move. Let's make it happen, please.
Meanwhile, the Darren Clarke non-tender reminds me a lot of the similar release of Chin Hui Tsao last season. Tsao started 2007 with the Dodgers looking like a huge mistake for the Rockies, but finished it looking like a medium or even small sized one. I'm hoping if Clarke does move on, that it will at least be to a non-divisional rival this time around.