Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Mitchell Report

The Mitchell Report was released today, and it provides a pretty good insight into steroid(HGH, etc.) use in Major League Baseball. I'm not going to go into it too much in this post because I'm still reading through it. If you want more expansive coverage, then head on over to Deadspin.

One thing I did want to address was the inclusion of Roger Clemens in the report. It appears that Clemens has utilized "steroids" quite frequently since at least 1998. How will this information affect his legacy?

Personally, I don't believe that it will affect it much.

This is based primarily on the fact that Clemens is a pitcher, and the belief that the public sees a pitcher using steroids differently than they see a hitter that uses steroids. And remember, that the court of public opinion is often the harshest of all.

I think that when the public hears about a pitcher using performance enhancers a majority of them justify it by tying the use to rehabilitation and not gaining a competitive advantage. I feel that many people hear about a pitcher like "The Rocket" using HGH, or injecting Winstrol, and they, in their own minds, see it as a way for him to keep his arm fresh. Not make it more powerful. They don't feel that Clemens is doing it to get a leg-up, but rather that he's trying to prolong his career.

On the other hand, when they hear about hitters like Giambi, Palmeiro, Sheffield or Bonds using a performance enhancer they instantly envision homeruns flying out of ballparks. They feel that the hitters are gaining a competitive advantage, and that they're tainting the game. They will vilify the hitters for the rest of their lives, while giving the pitchers a "free pass" of sorts. All because of their perception of how performancing enhancers relate to each position.

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