Black Thursday!!! UPDATED

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For baseball. I, for one, welcome it. Baseball has needed to come clean on this for a long time. Though the “List” isn’t officially out yet, some names have already been leaked. We have all seen that leaks are often inaccurate, so I’m going to wait for the official report before I comment on the specific players named so far. Though I am not a fan of Bud Selig (understatement of the year) I do give him props for implementing this investigation. Since he was the commissioner who oversaw baseball during the steroid era, this debacle sits squarely on hit shoulders, and if the Mitchell report is as candid as it needs to be, Selig will be blasted for turning a blind eye to the obvious cheating. I mean, really, find some pictures of baseball players from the sixties and seventies, and compare them the the monstrous physiques of the 90’s players such as McGuire, Cansenco, and Bonds, and it’s not too hard to figure out that there may have been some juicing going on.

PS. No surprise – Rush was excusing the use of steroids in baseball on his show a few minutes ago. Because of the increase of offense on the field, ticket sales rose during the steroid era. So, in Rush’s view, because the consumer approved of the product on the field, it was OK to cheat. Nice. Win at all cost. If he is the voice of the modern conservative (and he is), is it any wonder the Republican party is in such a funk.

UPDATE: The report has just been released. I am reading the pdf and will reflect on it soon. One damning bit of info that jumps out at me, from page 15 (SR-7), is the lack of cooperation from the Players Association a.k.a. the players union and its head Donald Fehr. If I were a disgruntled fan, and wanted file a class-action lawsuit against baseball for fraud, his name would be at the top of the list of defendants.

UPDATE 2: I have often heard, usually from those who are Barry Bond defenders, that the steroid use didn’t matter before 2004 because steroid use was not illegal in baseball before then. The Mitchell report tackles this false rational head on. Since 1971, baseball has had a policy in place that prohibits players from taking any prescription medication not prescribed without a valid prescription, or any substance deemed illegal by the United States. Non-prescribed steroid use was thus illegal in baseball before the collective bargaining agreement of 2002. Mitchell mentions this several times in the report. Steroids can be a wonderful life extending drug. My dad, who last year passed away from emphysema, was taking the prescription steroid prednisone, which helped him live much longer than he would have without it. In football, you often hear of players getting a cortisone short to bring down swelling and inflammation, allowing the player to keep playing in the game. These are accepted and legitimate uses of steroids. Using them to increase strength, bulk, and performance, as Lyle Alzedo, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Barry Bonds, and Jose Canseco did (and Hulk Hogan still does, apparently), is not.

In case I didn’t make it clear, the players union is the real loser in this report. I’m only on page 100 of the report, but in every instance where it is shown that baseball tried to get a reign on rampant drug use incurred by the players, the Players Union and Donald Fehr proved to be a road block to meaningful reform.

Naming Names? Stay tuned!