Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A cheater polices the cheats

By John McMullen
The Phanatic Magazine

Only Major League Baseball could create a scandal out of a scandal investigation.

It was preposterous that commissioner Bud Selig asked former Senator George Mitchell to head baseball's steroid investigation.

As a lifelong fan of the Boston Red Sox and a director in the team's front office, Mitchell was a walking conflict of interest.

On October 13, ESPN baseball insider and 'Johns on Sports' regular Buster Olney reported that a number of team officials came away from a 30-team conference call with the understanding that the forthcoming Mitchell report would include many names.

Names which have so far not been disclosed publicly and names of well-known players.

The whispers started immediately. Mitchell's report would certainly include the names of well-known players but none would be from his beloved Red Sox.

Sure, if the Senator had any sense he might throw a fringe guy like a Gabe Kapler under the bus or an ex-Sox like Nomar Garciaparra.

But sacred cows like David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez and Jason Varitek could all sleep soundly knowing baseball's top cop had no interest in any of their personal habits, as long as they kept providing wins and the occasional autograph.

Then, the bomb dropped.

Before Game 7 on the American League Championship Series on Sunday, a story leaked that Cleveland Indians pitcher Paul Byrd acknowledged using HGH after the San Francisco Chronicle reported he spent nearly $25,000 on the drug and syringes from 2002-05.

Byrd also made it clear he was very disappointed by the timing of the Chronicle's report.

The cynical snickered and glared right at Mitchell.

Of course, the Indians ended up losing 12-2 to Mitchell's Red Sox, who advanced to the World Series for the second time in four years.

Immediately, Mitchell's New York office was contacted by numerous people accusing him of leaking information on Byrd to the media.

"Neither I nor any member of my investigative staff had anything whatsoever to do with the publication of the allegations about Mr. Byrd," Mitchell said in a statement. "We had no prior knowledge of those allegations, and we first learned of them, along with the rest of the public, through news accounts. Any information obtained in my investigation will not be made public until the report is released in the near future."

So let's get this straight.The man leading baseball's 18-month steroid investigation had no idea about a guy who spent $25K on the stuff and had it sent to team clubhouses?

That moves me to release a statement of my own...

"Neither I nor anyone in Cleveland believe Mitchell."

1 comment:

TICAP said...

The leak came from an alien on the grassy knoll. He was making a detour through town as his spaceship was being hauled from Area 51 to its new home at Fort Knox.

But he did not act alone.

I understand from sources at mlb.com that both the Abominable Snowman and Bigfoot supplied information to the San Francisco Chronicle.

It seems this conspiracy runs deeper than you can possibly imagine.

But I've already said too much.