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Mitchell Report is (Fatally?) Flawed [UPDATED]

Previously, I said I wanted to see more than “according to Joe Blow..” evidence attached to the names that were listed in his report. I’ve waded through about two-thirds (see ESPN – Players listed in the Mitchell Commission report for a detailed breakdown), and except for the instances where the Mutts’ clubhouse guy was able to produce cancelled checks, that seems exactly what happened. McNamee and Radomski claimed a lot of things that, as I read it, are not backed up by anything other than their word… which, considering they were already on the hot seat, makes their “testimony” questionable, to say the least.

And then there is my “Red Sox problem”: According to the report,

Radomski recalled that Vaughn had an ankle injury and called him for advice. Radomski told Vaughn that human growth hormone would help his ankle heal faster. Radomski said that thereafter he sold human growth hormone to Vaughn. Radomski also provided Vaughn with a program for the use of the human growth hormone. Radomski said that he delivered the substances to Vaughn personally. Radomski produced three checks deposited into Radomski’s accounts and drawn on Vaughn’s checking account: two checks for $3,200 each, and one check for $2,200.

Why would Mo Vaughn call this guy for advice? Who told him “he’s the guy you should to talk to” about recovering from an injury? That only makes sense if Mo was tipped to the guy by someone (or multiple someones) that Mo believed he could trust… which would most likely be guys in his clubhouse. How else would Mo know where to go?

The fact that there are an inordinate number of Yankees and Mutts on this list is not a surprise; the “witnesses” that the majority of this report bases its finding on were associated with those two teams. As I also said, I consider those cancelled checks good enough to rise to “indictable evidence.” But a lot of the “evidence” is merely the word of these two guys trying to avoid being long-term jailbirds.

As regular readers know, I’m no huge fan of Roger Clemens. I can readily believe he was doing some kind of juicing, but I can’t believe the scenario McNamee presents as his introduction to jabbing needles into Roger Clemens’ ass:

Toward the end of the road trip which included the Marlins series, or shortly after the Blue Jays returned home to Toronto, Clemens approached [former Yankees trainer Brian] McNamee and, for the first time, brought up the subject of using steroids. Clemens said that he was not able to inject himself, and he asked for McNamee’s help.

First, like many of the reasons that players got listed, there’s that “on or about” and “two to four” vague-ish shit in the explanation. I don’t know about anyone else, but, a la John Kerry, I would have it “seared” in my mind, that day I stuck a hypo in a future Hall of Famer’s ass… unless, like Kerry, I was just making shit up.

Next, why the blazes would Clemens trust this guy to keep his mouth shut? He’s afraid of injecting himself? Fine, then go to your personal MD and “Doctor/Client privilege” has you covered. But some guy employed by the ballclub? Clemens is an ego-driven scumbag, but he never came off as a blithering idiot.

All that being said, this report leaves more questions than answers in its wake. If, in the course of his investigation, Mitchell found steroid use to be so inculcated in professional baseball–with a blind eye turned from the Commissioner’s office all the way down–he should have immediately brought in a federal DA, brandishing subpoena power, and had every single MLB team’s clubhouse guy and strength/conditioning coach hauled in to provide depostions.

More than one sports hack as invoked the Black Sox; “Say it Ain’t So, Joe!”

I believe Joe didn’t cheat.

And MLB owes Pete Rose an apology, because he didn’t do ANYTHING remotely close to this. His PLAYER records don’t even come close to needing an asterisk.

UPDATE: What Shill said:

Talking to Mitchell Not Worth It for Schilling – Bats – Baseball – New York Times Blog:

I worry that not every name in the report is not a user, but how do we know which ones outside of the players who had specific evidence and testimony did it?” Schilling asked. “I mean Brian Roberts’s name was included, and I think people everywhere assume that, since he’s on the ‘list’ of names ESPN presented, he’s one of the guilty ones? If you read the report, his name was included because Larry Bigbie told the Mitchell investigators that Brian mentioned to him that he’d tried it. Is that right? I don’t think it is.

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