Roger and Mitchell

I promised more about the Mitchell Report. I’m sorry it took tonight’s highly-touted Roger Clemens interview on “60 Minutes” to inspire me (Boy, would I like to see the ratings numbers on that one … I’m not sure I’ve ever received so many emails and text messages on a single subject in such a short time. They were coming in the minute it was over … ).

I’d sure like to believe Roger. The problem is we don’t know who to believe or trust anymore …

I have a bleacher row of friends who disagree with me on this, but I'm a Clemens fan. I can't recall seeing him bull-headed or surly with the media the way Barry Bonds has been. Clemens has had a long, sustained career, without the types of injuries a lot of guys supposedly using steroids have had. He’s also been a great ambassador of the game and a class act -- excluding, perhaps, the whole Piazza-Bat-Gate thing. And yes, I’d still vote for him to go into the Hall of Fame.

Then again, I’m not that naive. I wish I could turn a blind eye, and love the stars the way I did when I was a kid, before I knew any better …

Clemens, like Bonds, has somehow defied the odds and performed far better than guys have his age when his performance should have been declining. The stuff about him in the Mitchell Report is pretty damning, and his reputation is damaged no matter what happens.

Clemens’ biggest mistake was not getting in front of camera and speaking for himself the minute the Mitchell Report was published. Instead he let an attorney speak for him, and the negative public opinions of Clemens swelled while other guys came out and said, 'Yep, I'm in the report, I did it' or 'It's completely inaccurate' ... and when Clemens did start speaking it was hard to take him seriously. I’ve been thinking it all along, and this morning’s “Outside The Lines” illustrated it with some classic clips: Think of all the times we’ve watched someone vehemently deny some allegations only to watch the truth unravel in the weeks or years that followed -- Richard Nixon not being a crook, Pete Rose not betting on baseball, Bill Clinton not having sex with that woman. OJ Simpson, Kobe Bryant, Marion Jones, Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds and on and on and on …

And though the buzz on the Mitchell Report has simmered, I’m thinking this whole steroids thing is far from over. This is the biggest scandal Major League Baseball has had to deal with since the 1919 Black Sox, and no one's accepting blame

I wish Bud Selig would start accepting some blame. Donald Fehr needs to get out of the way. And the players had better start cooperating for the good of the game -- if only more of them spoke up the way Curt Schilling has ...

Baseball continues to break my heart. And I can't stop loving it ...

And I'm sick of talking about the game's long nightmare, too ... which is part of the reason it took me so long to post about it.

In the moments after "the list" came out I divided the names into a few categories. Here's the way I see them ...

Not surprised (Seriously. Most of these guys are the epitome of overrated, overpaid, injury-prone and forgotten in the blink of an eye. That or it’s just repeating what we already knew.)
Kevin Brown
David Justice
Paul Lo Duca
Mo Vaughn
Rick Ankiel
Barry Bonds
Ken Caminiti
Jose Canseco
Jason Giambi
Jeremy Giambi
Jay Gibbons
Juan Gonzalez
Jason Grimsley
Jose Guillen
Jerry Hairston Jr.
Wally Joyner
Gary Matthews Jr.
Rafael Palmeiro
Benito Santiago
David Segui
Gary Sheffield

Not surprised but still a little heartbroken (I heard the whispers of steroid use and saw the injuries, but still loved what they could do on the diamond.)
Brendan Donnelly
Eric Gagne
Andy Pettitte
Scott Schoeneweis
Miguel Tejada
Derrick Turnbow

I'm in denial he's on the list (Whether it was their abilities or the way they carried themselves … I really liked what they did and had hoped they knew better.)
Roger Clemens
Chris Donnels
Todd Hundley
Lenny Dykstra
Troy Glaus
Matt Williams

Who cares? (I haven’t heard of most of these guys, and the ones that I do know never excited me.)
Chad Allen
Mike Bell
Gary Bennett
Larry Bigbie
Alex Cabrera
Mark Carreon
Jason Christiansen
Howie Clark
Jack Cust
Matt Franco
Matt Herges
Phil Hiatt
Glenallen Hill
Mike Judd
Chuck Knoblauch
Tim Laker
Mike Lansing
Nook Logan
Josias Manzanillo
Cody McKay
Kent Mercker
Bart Miadich
Hal Morris
Daniel Naulty
Denny Neagle
Jim Parque
Luis Perez
Adam Piatt
Todd Pratt
Stephen Randolph
Adam Riggs
Armando Rios
Brian Roberts
F.P. Santangelo
Mike Stanton
Ricky Stone
Ismael Valdez
Ron Villone
Fernando Vina
Rondell White
Jeff Williams
Todd Williams
Steve Woodard
Kevin Young
Gregg Zaun
Manny Alexander
David Bell
Marvin Benard
Ricky Bones
Paul Byrd
Paxton Crawford
Bobby Estalella
Ryan Franklin
Darren Holmes
Ryan Jorgensen
John Rocker
Randy Velarde

And here's some good reads I've collected about the Mitchell Report over the last several weeks ...
a Sifting through the aftermath
a Mitchell Report exposes clubhouse culture and dangers
a Mitchell says naming names was right decision
a Big blast from the past: Report ties Hill, but not current Cubs, to steroids usage
a Sammy Sosa escapes Mitchell Report
a Sosa in clear? Sorry, no way
a Schoeneweis, Parque named: Investigation cites 2 other former Sox, 5 minor leaguers
a Grimsley's sworn statement unsealed
a Facing the lies: List shouldn't be shocking, but betrayal is cold reality
a Say it's so – steroids saved baseball
a The fallout continues: Clemens among big losers; redemption for Duquette
a Clemens for the Hall? Mitchell Report raises doubt
a Ex-big leaguer recalls Clemens' trainer
a Worth the wait: Thanks to Radomski, Mitchell accomplished plenty
a Mitchell Report: The Evidence
a Scandal to alter old ad game: Named players likely to lose marketability
a Time is not right to decide on Steroid Era players
a Fixing baseball
a Ending drug use in baseball a difficult road
a Now What? The Mitchell Report has the potential to change baseball
a Selig support strong, with some owners intending to push for another extension

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