Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Report IS Noise Pollution

You may have heard. The much-heralded Mitchell Report has been released with all of the hype and fury of the Iran NIE Report.

Except that the NIE actually told us something the public didn't know. Based largely on hearsay, the Mitchell Report tells us exactly what we knew.

If you went up to most baseball fans and said, "I think that Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Gary Sheffield, Miggy Tejada, Kevin Brown and Eric Gagne took steroids/drugs during their career," the response would be somewhere between, "Duh" and "Yeah, probably." And finding out that Steve Woodard, Nook Logan, Hal Morris and Paxton Crawford used performance enhancing drugs is not going to rock baseball to its core.

To paraphrase Denny Green, the steroid problem is who we thought it was. None of the game's exciting young stars (Grady Sizemore, Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, Ryan Howard, David Wright, Jose Reyes, Felix Hernandez, Miguel Cabrera, etc.) were implicated by the Mitchell Report. There is not one name on that report that will cause the casual fan's jaw to drop and go, "No way." Derek Jeter? Not in there. David Ortiz? Nope. Derrick Lee? No. Griffey, Ichiro, Schilling? Nope, nope, nope. So none of the game's current or future stars was unexpectantly tainted by this scandal. All of the big names were ones we had heard before.

The Mitchell Report either failed to get a good grasp on all of the players who used performance enhancing drugs -- rendering it virtually meaningless -- or it showed that the problem is one of the past (none of the big names implicated can be said to be in their prime). Either way, it rehashed what we already knew.

It Doesn't Really Matter -- B.A. Baracus Band