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The Mitchell Report

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On Thursday, December 13, 2007, former Senator George Mitchell released his report on the use of steroids use in baseball. Many highly regarded players were named and a few players, specifically Roger Clemens, might not be in the Hall of Fame because of the alleged drug use. Mitchell spent twenty months compiling evidence on the use of steroids and Human Growth Hormones, or HGH. A great deal of his findings came from former Mets clubhouse attendant Kirt Redomski, and former Blue Jay’s and Yankee’s strength coach, Brian McNamee. McNamee was also the personal trainer for Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte. Some people call the accuracy of this report into question, but others take it as full truth. Some players have admitted to their steroid use, while others have outright denied it.

When looking at the truth of the report, there are a few questions. First, George Mitchell has ownership rights in the Red Sox. A large number of players are on the competitors of the Red Sox while the Red sox themselves are barely mentioned. The second problem is the standard of proof. Various players who are mentioned have only the word of either Redomksi or McNamee to show their guilt with no corroborating evidence. The two are both under federal investigation for steroids related crimes. Another problem is several players didn’t have the chance to confront Mitchell or their accuser. Even though Mitchell gave those who wanted to come forward the opportunity to do so, he knew that most players would not come forward because of fear of incriminating themselves or others.

Of the eighty players named some have taken different approaches to dealing with the scandal. Andy Pettitte and others have admitted to taking steroids or HGH and have apologized to the public. Pettitte said that he took HGH but only twice. Players named in the report will continue to admit to their crimes but at a lesser amount than what they really took. On the other side, players like David Justice have totally denied the use of steroids and said that whoever gave them up is lying. Justice on a radio program stated he couldn’t take steroids because he is bad with needles and couldn’t handle it. He also said he had a conversation with McNamee about HGH but decided against it. Clemens has also outright denied his use. Clemens has filed a federal lawsuit against Brian McNamee for defamation. Clemens claims that McNamee is lying when he says he injected Clemens with performance enhancing drugs. Many feel Clemens won’t get into the Hall of Fame because of this report, and his legacy will be tarnished forever.

My opinion of the Mitchell report is that it is probably true. Looking at the numbers, many of these players had their best years at thirty-five and up. Steroids have been a problem in baseball for a long time and until a new scandal hits baseball fans will continue to talk about it. I do feel however, that the best players of the steroid era should be in the Hall of Fame. Since everyone seems to have done something, it is only fair that the best players should get in. Everyone claims that the historic records and numbers of these players should be either taken away or asterisked. I however disagree. the players who had great numbers should keep them because if players like Babe Ruth were alive and still playing today I would guarantee they would take steroids. These legends did other things which were against the rules to gain an advantage. People look the other way because these methods either didn’t hurt their body or was not appealing to child athletes. Players who have been found to take steroids should be in the Hall of Fame. We don’t know about all of the players who took steroids. If a player took them but was never caught is it fair that they get recognition but others who didn’t take do not.





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