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John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mitchell thoughts

After digesting the Mitchell Report and the reactions to it -- and that was a lot to digest -- I've got to think that only a fraction of the players who used steroids were named/caught.

Almost all the new names came from the two New York guys, Kirk Radomski and Brian McNamee. Most of the older allegations are from BALCO. So if you got your 'roids from elsewhere, you're probably not in the report. There are a lot of other ways to get HGH, steroids and the like. My guess is a lot of guys were relieved today.

By the way, the Reds had no idea Mike Stanton was going to be named.

The report is going have ramifications on Hall of Fame voting for years. This is the first year I get a vote. I don't even want to think about it yet. I'm bleary-eyed from reading the Mitchell Report.


at 7:35 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are the first guy I have heard make the most salient point. From
what I can gleam, most of the people named came from 2 sources. What about the other 30 clubhouse trainers? I think it is very unfair to those named. The owners only have to look at themselves, they are the ones to blame in this. And they are pointing the finger at the players What choice did the players have if the other people competing for their jobs were doing it?

Wasn't the Dowd report over 1000 pages??? What a joke the clowns
that run baseball are. I am leaning more and more toward the
radical idea that Bill James has
to totally democratize the game, more like it was in the early part of the 20th century.

at 8:34 PM Anonymous mikec said...

Do you think the Reds will be one of the teams to push the union and try to use this to void Stanton's contract?

at 9:09 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need to start a website, rosedidnotcheat.com and get him into the hall of fame where he belongs because all these others cheated the game and he did not!!!!

at 9:26 PM Anonymous Red at the Beach said...

Of course the report is not perfect nor complete, but that is no reason to ignore those implicated by the evidence at hand.

Ever got caught speeding and think about the guy who zoomed past you 10 minutes ago, why isn't he the one with the ticket? But the reality that you got caught speeding and have to pay the fine doesn't change.

The big farce of the Report is that it gets baseball "past" this. IMO, it only opens the door.
The league needs to have a modern day Kenesaw Mountain Landis to clean up as best as possible.

The Olympics strips its cheats of their medals -- ask Marion Jones and Ben Johnson. Baseball needs to do the same and only then this era will be past.

at 9:38 PM Blogger Aaron said...

The only good that could come of this is that maybe Mike Stanton will get suspended for the year and we won't have to watch that tub of lard throw batting practice to opposing hitters all summer.

at 9:58 PM Blogger cincikid said...

I really don't want the Mitchell Report to turn into a witch hunt. It has. If Bud is going to start handing out suspensions, he needs to probably discipline his own staff. He needs to start putting restrictions and a different code of ethics into a "no tolerance" campaign pointed in the direction of trainers, team physicians, ownership, and management. Throwing out 15 game suspensions and pointing the finger, to me, seems like a cowardly pond. If polled, I think most fans would hold Major League Baseball, Owners, Major League Players Assoc. all just as accountable as those who are guilty. Today was a sorry display of nonsense. Nothing more than hear say. I believe there is some truth in most lies and lies in most truths. The only way to fix the problems is the MLB Player Union and MLB to stop this self destruction of our sport is to impose Olympic Standards. Use some of the Billions in new drug testing research and development and to form a Internal Affairs Committee that is backed by Congress to cut threw the red tap of contracts and bargaining agreements. Today has been a disgrace on all levels. Fans for not speaking up. Players for not caring for the game, instead of greed. Players Union for not doing the right thing. Ownership for not policing its own people. Trainers for not training ethically. Physicians trying to be martyrs. MLB for sitting back in that fat chair and counting the doe and not protecting our past time. Pathetic, all of us.

at 10:10 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's something positive: Every Reds fan on opening day 2008 needs to stand up and CHEER as loud as their lungs and voices allow our hero Ken Griffey, Jr. I mean, a standing ovation that would garner national TV coverage to show our love and support for a guy that has done it the right way.

at 10:20 PM Anonymous patbut said...

Lets' see here: none of the listed players tested positive when the 'roids were illegal, right? This appears to have happened in only the biggest markets? Most of the report focused on '02-'05. How many of the listed players are currently active players? How can the commish do anything about it without positive UA test resuls? I really think that this only confirms what we already know - there is a problem with the testing in baseball.

I just think we need to just move on. It's out so now we know SOME of the names. Improve testing and move on.

at 10:27 PM Anonymous RedLegJohn said...



at 10:46 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know I am so tired of hearing about this report! Selig and Mitchell can both go jump off a bridge for all I care. This has done nothing but ruin baseball in my opinon. I still dont think steriods does that much for a player except makes them heal quicker. I can not wait until that piece of crap Selig retires.....

at 12:51 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I hope happens is Henry Waxman's Congressional committee convenes and asks, "where is the rest of the report? The part that says what the owners and executives knew?" As it is, Selig is being called before Congress sometime this week.

Selig definitely needs to be put on the hotseat now. He was so desperate for something to bring the fans back after the strike and what he gets is Sosa and McGwire----the storybook showdown. Selig should have realized something was up.

McGwire was on steroids from the beginning of his career. Evryone knows about his using andro. He had it openly visible in his locker the year he hit 70, right up until the sportswriters started making jokes about it, then it mysteriously disappeared. McGwire's career ended because of his constant back pain in 01. Back pain is an indicator of kidney problems. Kidney problems are a result of long-term steroid abuse.

Sosa was merely a competent player with the White Sox, hitting about 28 or so homers a year for the first 5 years of his career. Suddenly, he hits 66! We really don't need to use much imagination to figure out how that happened.

What makes Bonds so much more repugnant is that he was inspred more by racism than anything else. Bonds is well known to hate whites (he was quoted once of telling Ron Kittle "I don't sign things for white people" when Kittle wanted him to contribute some autographs for a charity thing). He was apparently jealous of all the press coverage white McGwire and Hispanic Sosa got and said he was going to start using steroids so he could get the same kind of coverage. I would like to know how Dusty Baker could not have noticed the increase in Bonds size over the course of 5 years. It could not have all been middle-age spread. Mind you, there likely wasn't any noticable change in personality----Bonds has always been surly.

It should also be noted a quote from the report from an unnamed player who said something about he started using steroids because some other player was using them and taking his job. This is the big reason Mitchell is urging no punnishments. Most players were just trying to stay employed. Hal Morris fits in this catagory especially. He had a great season with the Royals in 98, hitting over .300 again as an evryday player. But he didn't get his contract renewed and ends up back with the Reds, where Jack McKeon wasn't going to play him unless he had to. So Morris tried steroids to try to stay competitive.

This kind of situation also demonstrates further how the union has failed to serve the majority of its members. The more millions of dollars your A-Rods and Bondss get signed for, the more middle-of-the-road players get forced out of a job. This is also what lead several former players to cross the picket lines during the strike.

And finally, if there is no punishments and not even an asterix next to any of these phony homerun recordsl, than there should be absolutely no reason for the ban on Pete Rose to continue. Pete Rose played to win and, sadly, bet to win. He played the game clean and never did anything to influence a game in a negative way. He's no Hal Chase (first basemen for the Reds and Yankees in the 20s alternately famous for getting winning hits and then throwing the games on a bet {he was eventually banned from baseball by Judge Landis at the request of Christy Matthewson and Edd Roussh [enjoy the history lesson?]}). Pete Rose is practically a role model next to Bonds, McGwire, et al.

The one player I was sure would be on the report was Kevin Mitchell. I'm surprised he wasn't. But then maybe the investigators didn't look back that far

at 5:18 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a fact that steroids are not risk free and have several side effects. Therefore a player uses them to get a competitive edge, but at a health risk. This places the players who choose not to take the drugs at a competitive disadvantage. Taken to the extreme, if everyone used them would the competitive edge be gone?

I think baseball must take a tough stand on this no matter how imperfect the policing might be. It is morally wrong to indirectly force unwilling participants to use potentially harmful drugs.

at 7:05 AM Anonymous ADMS said...

What stinks is that since Pete Rose has been the ultimate scapegoat for baseball and Selig seems to have no desire to touch the issue with a 10 foot pole, it looks like Pete is always going to be on the outside looking in.
If we were to take this Mitchell Repore/Stephen King novel at face value, EVERYTHING the people on this list did is far worse than anything Pete did. Pete didn't cheat the game. He might have cheated the IRS, but he did not put banned and illegal substances in his body for an edge. He never went from 20 homeruns to 60 homeruns like Sosa...and shouldn't someone like Palmerio and Anderson from Baltimore be used as "Exhibit A"?
If they want to clean up the game and save face, they should make sure (and quickly) that the proof presented in the report can stand up in a trial and start kicking these people out. Given the sheer number of people on the list, and more to follow, I just cannot imagine baseball looking the other way.

at 8:05 AM Blogger Shawn said...

Re: Hall of Fame. John, you may have already sent in your ballot, but I wanted to put a bug in your ear about two names: Bert Blyleven and Alan Trammell. Blyleven has more wins than anyone not in the Hall, and is high on the list of career strikeouts. Trammell was a long-career shortstop and MVP with one team....much like Barry Larkin, whom I am sure you plan to vote for in the future.

at 8:36 AM Anonymous mikec said...

Kevin Mitchell was always a big dude. The guys that you look for are the Bret Boones of the world that went from small to massively ripped.

at 10:01 AM Blogger Rob Dicken said...

Anonymous ADMS, don't tell that to the blogger Kaz! Apparently Pete Rose has tarnished the Reds baseball club and the city!

But nonetheless, what kills me is that Stanton is denying all of this, but his money order is IN the Mitchell Report! HAHA! Almost as bad as Roger Clemens denying it...

Clemens was pushed out of Boston because his velocity was going under and he was on a down fall. As soon as he goes to Toronto, he's back to throwing blazing heat of the upper 90's. And still at 43 years old, he's throwing upwards of 95 mph. Nolan Ryan didn't throw that hard at that age, and had damn near as many losses as wins. Clemens almost has 190 more wins than losses. Nolan Ryan, in my opinion, is the better pitcher because he played the game the right way.

at 10:20 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look at pictures of Mitchell when he first came up with the Mets. He looked merely chunky, plus he played shortstop. Then just a few years later, when he won MVP for the Giants in 89, he looks positively tank-like. While it's conceivable his off-season training regimen was to sit on his arse for weeks at a time eating doritos, I don't see that helping him hit 30-40 homers after barely reaching 25 the first few years of his career

at 12:57 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

To say that Pete Rose did not effect the game is a joke, as manager of the team he makes the decisicion of who plays and who doesn't. Hypothetically lets say the reds are playing a team and are hevey favorites so Pete doesn't bet the game is tied in the ninth instead of using his best reliver he uses a bum to save his best for tommorow when he is going to bet.

at 1:39 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Nolan Ryan was clean?!

Dude, he was cutting the ball for 10 years. His pitches did stuff that is physically impossible for a righthander to do.

Also, don't you remember the famous Reggie Jax episode in which he threw his bat and started screaming at the umpire to do something about it. Or the RobinVentura fight? ventura was yapping at Ryan about it and Ryan challenged him, then beat beat the crap out of him.


Point is, Ryan is a great guy and he had an awesome career. But suddenly, when he went to Houston, his stats took a gigantic leap, and it had nothing to do with drugs or suddenly finding himself.

Ryan, like Don Sutton, were masters at scuffing, slicing and doctoring a ball.

at 1:41 PM Blogger harryinfla said...

Sorry, Pete apologists, but saying Pete didn't cheat the game is just downright wrong. By betting on baseball, while managing a team, he cheated the game of its integrity. He cheated his loyal fans (me included) by continuing to deny any involvement in baseball betting, year after year, till finally suddenly admitting his guilt to sell a book.

The notion that Pete never bet against his own team relies on what? Only Pete's word. We've seen what that is worth. How surprising would it be if, 15 years from now, Pete comes out with another book and admits he DID bet against the Reds, (but of course, only when it was obvious they didn't have a chance in a particular game...)

The fact is, while of course the steroid and HGH scandal tarnishes baseball and demeans its records, betting on a game in which you are a participant is intolerable.

at 1:42 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Kevin Mitchell? You're arguing about Kevin Mitchell?

That fat tub-of-goo could hit falling off the top bunk. He liked squaring up to the dinner plate even better than home plate.

Get real.

And show me someone whose body doesn't change from their early 20s up. If your criteria of finger-pointing is who got fat, I guess Santa Claus is on 'roids, too.

at 5:20 PM Anonymous Wanting to move on said...

The problem I see with taking stats and records away from these players is that you would almost have to ignore that 10-15 years of baseball actually happened.

We can't go back and tell that batter A was juicing therefore his stats are invalid, but batter B was not do his stats are valid, and pitcher A was juicing therefore his stats are invalid, but pitcher B was not juicing therefore his stats are valid. This would be a completely impossible task.

Plus you leave out one other aspect, how many non-juicers careers were ruined because they refused to cheat, which meant that as they hit the normal 15-25 home runs a year they were labeled as "lacking power". You can't go back and pad their stats to more correctly reflect that they were not juiced but playing next to juiced players and hitting against juiced pitchers.

To me what all baseball fans need to do is come to the understanding that it worked both ways, we had juiced batters hitting against juiced pitchers and juiced pitchers pitching against juiced batters. If the percentages were anywhere near the rumors, then in all reality during the "Steroid Era" most players were on a level playing field, so that HR hitter had to bat against pitchers just as juiced as he was.

The sooner we just accept it happened, that baseball turned a blind eye due to their being blinded by the money, and just move on, the sooner baseball will become fun again. The fans need to DEMAND that the players and owners fix the problem NOW and not allow it to happen again, but we can't go back and change history, and since it will be COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY IMPOSSIBLE to EVER identify who juiced and who didn't juice, we just need to make the future better. We can't change the past but we can change the future.

at 8:20 PM Blogger Rob Dicken said...

harryinfla, as a player, Pete EARNED his statistics and was a wonderful player. He didn't cheat to get his numbers. He didn't cheat to win MVP. He got it on pure talent, hustle, and hard work. That's why he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

Should he ever be a Manager again? Hell no. Why would anyone trust him anyway?

The point is, he deserves the nod to the Hall of Fame because he is one of the best players to ever play the game, despite him betting on baseball.

at 11:53 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Wanting to move on

you mentioned that if a player hits 15-25 homers, some would say they lack power. Isn't this exactly what evryone on this blog says anyways? Sean Casey averages 15-25 homers a year. Joey Votto is projected to be a 20+ homer a year guy. Plus they are consistent .300 hitters. But evryone on here says get rid of them, they're one dimentional players.

As for the Pete Rose basher who is, as they say, drinking the koolade provided by Giamati, Vincent and Dowd, you obviously don't know a thing about the world of bookmakers. If Rose ever bet AGAINST the Reds, evry bookmaker in the country would have known something was up. The odds simply would not have been profitable.
Secondly, the exact same factors that made Rose the hard-nosed player who LEGITIMATELY earned each one of his stats are also what led him to his gambling problems. He played and managed to win. Whether he bet on the game or not, Rose wanted to win that game. To alter it in any way would be anathema to his mindset.
Third, evryone likes to speculate about, did Rose use so-and-so in one situation or another just to win a bet? Did Rose put John Franco in those three games when he could have used Rob Murphy in at least one of them? If anyone can come up with proof that the result would have been any different, that given the exact same situation, Murphy would have been the better choice, lay it out. Until you do, all I'm hearing is someone singing underwater

at 7:38 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Plenty of physiques don't change substantially between their 20s and 40s. Look at Julio Franco, Carl Lewis, Rickey Henderson, et al. And getting "fat" has nothing to do with steroids or HGH, which promote LEAN body mass retention/gains. Give us a break and finish kindergarten (third try time's a charm?) before lecturing us on anything besides our ABCs, okay?

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