I've been busy all day, but did manage to hear the press conference and I have some reactions:
- I'm furious. I am a real baseball fan. I traveled hours to watch McGwire and Bonds. I feel like they cheated me. I knew McGwire used andro (which was legal both in the USA and in baseball), but would never have gone to see him if I thought he was dirty. Maybe I was naive, but I was barely 20. I had played high school and college baseball and never once heard of steriods in the game at those levels. I'm sick that I ever rooted for the Rocket.
- The problem with steroid users is that they broke the law. They endangered their own health, put pressure on others to use (just so they could compete and keep their jobs), defrauded the fans, and set a horrible example for youth. I would LOVE for every user to be exposed, humiliated as a cheater and a fraud, and have to answer for their actions.
- I can't figure out what 'evidence' people want. First person testimony from a distributor who has receipts and checks from players IS real evidence.
- George Mitchell is unimpeachable character-wise. I'm not concerned with the 'apparent conflict of interest'. This is a dude who helped broker peace in Ireland. I doubt very seriously if he's going to sell his soul to cover for the owners.
- Here's the thing about the argument that the owners are to blame for being slow to act: 1. it's true they were slow to act 2. So what? The impetus was on the players not use. IT WAS A FELONY. Purchasing illegal steroids was a crime. Just because someone is willing to pay you money and not ask how you do the job doesn't lower your responsibility. There is ALWAYS an easy way out in life. Lying, cheating, and stealing are easy and always options. Every individual has to make the right choice in life. And no, there's isn't just a right choice "for me and my life". When a player chose willingly to use illegal drugs, they said to society, "Screw you. Screw the kids who look up to me. Screw the greats who have gone before me. All I care about is my life and my ability to make money. I'm going to break the law."
- If Big Mac, Bonds and Clemens make the HoF, so should Rose. Look, what Pete did was reprehensible. It was illegal, irresponsible and wrong. But 1. it didn't take place while he was playing and 2. it didn't change games. These cheaters conspired to alter SEASONS of baseball. They broke the law and changed batting titles, HR races, Cy Young awards, and championships. It makes me sick.
- I'm glad the report is out there. I do blame the players and the MLBPA for perpetuating the system and resisting change. The onus is on them to show they want to clean up the game. I favor blood testing. Is it an invasion of privacy? I think that million dollar contracts played out before publicly funded stadiums is a fair trade for a loss of privacy. You have no right to test my blood for anything. But, if you want to pay me a million dollars (indirectly subsidized by tax money), you have every right to demand it of me.
- I'm tired of talking heads suggesting that the fans don't care about this. Really? If you think people don't care, then don't talk about it. If they really don't care, why do you drone on and on. Shut up and move on. Otherwise, admit that it matters.
Demond Sanders: I'm glad the report was released. Am I supposed to feel sorry for these players? I laugh at the people, like ESPN's Buster Olney, who argue that you can't keep players out of the Hall of Fame unless you are willing to keep everyone from this era out. That is foolish to me. You can't catch everyone, but the investigation nailed some of them. Punish the ones you netted. Would the police say, "Oh darn we got some of the drug dealers, but we couldn't get all of them. I guess we have to let these guys go free because it wouldn't be fair."