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Clemens's Denial

Randy Hendricks, one of Roger Clemens's agents, just sent out a fierce statement, saying Clemens "vehemently denies allegations in the Mitchell report that he used performance-enhancing steroids."

Hendricks's release says that Clemens "is outraged that his name is included in the report basedon uncorroborated allegations of a troubled man threatened with federal criminal prosecution."

He says Brian McNamee "repeatedly denied thse current claims, including in June of this year when he was first contacted by federal investigators." The release states that McNamee "changed his story under the threat of federal criminal prosecution."

"I am at a total loss to understand how it is proper for federal prosecutorial authorities to use the threat of criminal prosecution to help in a private business investigation," said Clemens attorney Rusty Hardin.

By Barry Svrluga  |  December 13, 2007; 5:35 PM ET
 
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Comments

I'm an adult-film star.

Posted by: Rusty Hardin | December 13, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Well, Rusty, what are you injecting into-

Nevermind.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 13, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

eeeewwwww!

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 13, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Totally grossed myself out.

So how about that on-base percentage plus slugging stat, it's quite a doozy, isn't it?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 13, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

We will know how true or false the allegations in the report are based on how many of the named players sue for Mitchell, his law firm DLA Piper, and MLB for defamation. If they're genuinely innocent, they will do so. If they're genuinely guilty, they'll issue carefully worded (but legally irrelevant) denials like the one from Clemens, and then hide in a hole waiting for the whole thing to blow over. I'm guessing we see a lot more of plan B than plan a.

Posted by: 408 / 204 | December 13, 2007 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Hey dude, you're a sports/entertainment lawyer ! Since when did what's "proper" become a concern for you guys?

===============
"I am at a total loss to understand how it is proper for federal prosecutorial authorities to use the threat of criminal prosecution to help in a private business investigation," said Clemens attorney Rusty Hardin.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 13, 2007 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Reposted:

Lo Duca needs to go . . . he was as much a pusher as a user. After reading the report, I'm thinking that Dukes is actually a better risk to take.

Posted by: lowcountry | December 13, 2007 5:56 PM | Report abuse

and here we get to the thrust of the problem (sorry, couldn't help it). the accusations themselves often carry little weight because of a lack of corroboration or anything more than he said/she said evidence. i have little doubt that there are far more players doing PEDs than get listed in the report and that there will be players listed who are not guilty as charged. but since only the court of public opinion will be the arbiters, it's no skin off either mitchell's or selig's nose if they tarnish a few names unjustly.

and sadly, the report itself will accomplish little constructive.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 13, 2007 5:56 PM | Report abuse

408/208, i don't completely agree with that analysis.

the problem is if they *DO* sue them, and they get on the stand, not only will they be asked about their own PED use, they'll be asked about who else they knew that used them. and then they'll either have to rat out their teammates (present or former) or perjure themselves. i think there could easily be players who aren't guilty who just don't want to put themselves in that position.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 13, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

"sadly, the report itself will accomplish little constructive"

Unless of course it gets Congress to step in and revoke the anti-trust exemption.

Let's not forget in terms of public policy how our tax dollars played into this "business [sic] of shadows."

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 13, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse


"Lo Duca needs to go . . . he was as much a pusher as a user. After reading the report, I'm thinking that Dukes is actually a better risk to take."

Uh, no... death threats to a woman and her children are a teeensy bit worse than pushing PEDs to athletes who want the fame/big bucks (as opposed to pushing them to middle school kids, say).

Besides, apparently LoDuca has changed his ways, given that LA Dodgers report (from the Mitchell report) quoted in the previous thread. He's had a couple of years (and a couple of teams) since then, and a drop-off of stellar performances. So maybe the guy's already reformed -- more than you can say for Mr. Dukes.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 13, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

"Besides, apparently LoDuca has changed his ways, given that LA Dodgers report (from the Mitchell report) quoted in the previous thread. He's had a couple of years (and a couple of teams) since then, and a drop-off of stellar performances. So maybe the guy's already reformed -- more than you can say for Mr. Dukes."
______________________________

Read on. He purchased some more when he got to Florida (as anticpated by the Dodgers FO). And I'm not comparing the severity of sin - just the potential for redemption.


Posted by: lowcountry | December 13, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

I have been one of the earliest and most ardent supporters of the Lo Duca signing, but I'm finding it hard not to pass a swift and severe judgment on him. You read this stuff, and it makes you angry. On the other hand when I think about it, I'm also finding it hard to call for his immediate release given the circumstances. I am 100% sure that there are other players on the Nats active roster who have used steroids or HGH and were not listed in the report. It seems unfair to only single out Lo Duca. I am certain that the chances are at least 50/50 that if the Nats release Lo Duca, the player they sign to replace him will also be dirty. At this point, I think the only solution is to hold our nose, move on, and hope like heck that between increased enforcement and the players being embarrassed, the culture of the game will change.

Posted by: #4 | December 13, 2007 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Points well-taken #4. My visceral reaction came immediately upon reading the report. Let's just say that my enthusiasm of yesterday has waned a bit now.

Posted by: lowcountry | December 13, 2007 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Mitchell is on NPR right now. He says that he asked Clemens to discuss the issue and was refused. He says that most of the players refused to talk and were using that ploy as a way to prevent the investigation from moving forward. He asked NPR whether he could ignore the allegations and suppress them because the players refused to talk to him. He stated that he had a responsibility to move the issue forward. I applaud him.

Clemens is no different than Bonds. He is a pig. He was a total fraud pulling in, what 20 million a year lying through his teeth. He should be prosecutable for fraud, for misleading the sports public into thinking he was able to pitch into his forties on an exercise routine. What rubbish. I never believed it and am glad to see him stripped of the bs.

Posted by: Julia's Dad | December 13, 2007 6:41 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if ESPN has decided to pull those adds of the Rocket promoting that ESPN Week event at Disney World next February?

Also, keep an eye on Rep. Tom Davis' (R-VA) Web site in the next couple of days (http://tomdavis.house.gov/). Davis was the one who had that congressional hearing in 2005 with Raffy doing his finger-wagging-denial and Markie-Mark "not wanting to talk about the past."

He's not the chairman of the committee anymore, but it'll be interesting to see what he has to say, nonetheless.

Posted by: Juan-John | December 13, 2007 6:49 PM | Report abuse

All this talk about players. Where are the howls for the heads of Fehr and Selig? The Commissioner lost the authority to act for "the integrity of the game" a long time ago when he refused to act. He should be the first to go--right out the door. Fehr is going to try to stall as long as possible. Then it will be up to Congress to step in, threaten the Union with de-certification, and the whole mess with the loss of their Anti-Trust Exemption. That is what it is going to take to get those people to act. Where is Kennesaw Mountain Landis when you really need him?

Posted by: phoco | December 13, 2007 7:02 PM | Report abuse

The Nats official statement is "no comment":

"We have just received the Mitchell Report and have not yet had an opportunity to fully review it. It is clear though that, like all Major League clubs, the report includes names of players that have had or currently have an association with the Nats. We will let all comments on this matter come from the Commissioner's office, and we will have no further comment at this time."

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 13, 2007 7:38 PM | Report abuse

phoco, I agree. I'd hope to see team, league, and union officials being held accountable as well as the players.

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 13, 2007 7:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't know how to feel now, but here are a couple of thoughts: 1) Selig has indicated he might take punitive action against the worst offenders so it is possible Lo Duca will be suspended for 15 days. 2) He's still the best catcher that was available. 3) Clearly he knew he was on the report. Did he disclose this to the Nats? Did they ask? 3) I believe the names are a small fraction of the players who actually used, so it seems incorrect to me to lash out against Lo Duca or others while we know others are unexposed. 4) We've been told many times that steroids are not all about muscle mass so we should not be too suprised to see skinny little Nook Logan on the list. 5) Why is Bud Selig still commissioner?

Seriously, why is Bud Selig still commissioner? He needs to resign. He needs to step down in disgrace. He needs to admit that he had the opportunity to stop this, to show some courage, to recognize that it was wrong, and he passed. Boys will be boys. Pay no attention. He is the biggest jerk in this whole business because he was the leader. It was his job.

Posted by: NatBisquit | December 13, 2007 7:45 PM | Report abuse

NatBisquit:

I agree with you that Bud should go... but Bud is really no worse than anyone else in baseball. Whenever you come across someone in baseball that is asked to be accountable, they are usually unable or unwilling to do so. Whether it is Bonds, or Pete Rose, or Fehr or Selig... they just can't see how their actions are in some way disgraceful.

Posted by: Wigi | December 13, 2007 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Bud should've gone a long time ago. But now seems an opportune moment to rid the game of both him and Fehr. They were both complicit in their own ways. (an maybe we could get rid of the Designated Hitter while we are at it!)

Posted by: lowcountry | December 13, 2007 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Selig should never have become commissioner in the first place. Faye Vincent had integrity, and was shuttled out for being truly independent, as he was supposed to be. Bart Giamatti would never have let this get to this extent, and his death was a horrible loss for the game.

Selig is slime. But he is also the reason that the Montreal franchise was allowed to die. As much as he helped keep baseball out of Washington, he eventually allowed it back, so my venom for him at least comes with an antidote.

Watch the Marlins. Selig allowed Loria to kill the Expos, and is allowing Loria to kill the Marlins. Be grateful for the Lerners.

Posted by: Two more months | December 13, 2007 8:35 PM | Report abuse

I needed a bit of a pick-me-up, what with the Mitchell report, Nats signing thugs and cheaters, giving away my favorite player, etc., so I went to the Nats website and watched a bunch of 2007 highlights. I highly recommend it if you're feeling the same. Although lookout for the RFK nostalgia. It could catch one off guard. :)

Posted by: NatsNut | December 13, 2007 8:57 PM | Report abuse

The first time any player on the team you root for smacks a walk-off home run, you will forget about this report and its implications, stand, scream, and applaud. You know you will.

Now, when does Spring Training start?

Posted by: UnSane | December 13, 2007 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Besides the obvious references to a certain Baltimore Oriole and "performance enhancing" drugs (as we try and define performance enhancing and in what context), we need only go back to the reactions to the Dowd report, where even the esteemed Bill James called John Dowd a "doofus" (apparently the good folks at Akin, Gump disagree) and pooh poohed the whole thing.

What we will see, as 408 pointed out a series of fuzzy "denials" from attorneys for stars like Clemens, Petite, etc.. The Nook Logans and others of his talent level will slink away and the 40 or 50 career minor leaguers, who didn't use steroids will spend the rest of their lives pissed because these marginal players used steroids to gain an advantage, get their few years in the bigs and stuff their mattresses. Frankly, I don't blame them.

And if someone asks me if I trust DLP Piper more than I trust Donald Fehr...well, the answer is simple.

Posted by: Catcher50 | December 13, 2007 9:13 PM | Report abuse

First off, I do not condone what the players did and how ownership turned their heads (and we all know they did)...
That being said, lets look at this realistically and lets all ask ourselves this question:

If you had a job where taking a drug would have possible POSITIVE financial ramifications (read: a more lucrative contract), would YOU do it?

Just take out the occupation "Athlete" and replace it with your job. Then take out the words "homeruns, strikeouts, stolen bases, etc" with words that would fit in your own vocation. Remember that your "performance" in your vocation would determine the same financial reward (5 year contract, 100 Million dollar contract) as what athletes are trying to get today. There is not ONE PERSON that would not take the drug, regardless of the potenitial consequences.
It's all about the almighty dollar folks.

Posted by: TimDz | December 13, 2007 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Well lets see. If someone offered me the chance to earn a lot of money in my job, but I had to run the risk of long term health problems and I had to choose to do the wrong thing. Hmmm. Do I have to admit to my children that I am a cheater? Run the risk of prosecution? Would I have to testify in front of Congress and point my finger and emphatically lie that "I did not use steroids"? Would I ever have to look my parents in the eye and tell them I made a mistake? Would I have to look my minor league teammate in the eye the day I got called up to the Majors while he stayed behind because he stayed clean. Gee, this isn't all that hard. You don't do it.

Posted by: NatBisquit | December 13, 2007 9:42 PM | Report abuse

WADR, Bisquit, that's easy to say when you know it won't happen. I'm not saying you would: I can't know that. But a lot would (or do) and you know it.

Posted by: CE | December 13, 2007 9:57 PM | Report abuse

TimDz -

Despite the tragic implications of the Mitchell report and the uncomfortable recognition that it only addresses a portion of the problem, I suspect that, in the end, we will find more (many more) than ONE PERSON who did not take the drug.

To me, that seems to be the central problem for baseball.

Posted by: lowcountry | December 13, 2007 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Really, Damned Yankees is underestimated.

Posted by: CEv | December 13, 2007 10:07 PM | Report abuse

i think it's just as ridiculous to presume "There is not ONE PERSON that would not take the drug, regardless of the potenitial consequences" as it was for the powers that be in baseball to ignore the problem 10+ years ago.

as much as some people wish that life was simple enough to be black and white, it just isn't.

as much as i'd find a level of satisfaction seeing the union decertified or baseball punished by losing their antitrust exemption, i'm still hardpressed to see how that would be "productive" in context. would that change the way the league deals with PEDs? or is it just the threat of losing those things that you expect to force those kinds of changes?

really, to me, this report does little constructive. it's still relatively weak as far as any legal action. it's really only touching a small portion of what we expect the problem is, which means there are still a lot of players who used PEDs and nobody knows, so there's no real certainty that we know all that much more about the full extent of the problem.

we know fehr and selig aren't going to step down, so it's not really going to fix anything there. maybe selig has been stupid enough to be the one who instigated the report that stained his long-term reputation even more.

i don't know. i don't feel like anything has been accomplished, other than outing a few more people so everyone can gnash teeth and yell and scream on talk radio and message boards some more about a few more specific names instead of the handful they had before.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 13, 2007 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Yes I know my post seems sanctimonious, and yes I know a lot of people would take the steroids in hopes of more money, but on a day when the focus is on who did take it, lets not forget that some percentage of players chose not to take it. Until proven otherwise, I think we have to assume somewhere between 50% and 80% of players chose not to take steroids. So while my rant might be overly dramatic, it is not unfair or inaccurate. I think we can assume all players had the opportuity to take them. I hope the majority chose not to.

Posted by: NatBisquit | December 13, 2007 10:30 PM | Report abuse

You know Sandy Grimes? Hit .371 at Louisville in 1967.

SANDY: I hit .376.

I'm sorry. He hit 376.

Posted by: Crash | December 13, 2007 10:33 PM | Report abuse

"You know what the difference between hitting .250 and .300 is? It's 25 hits. That means if you get one extra flare a week, a gork, a ground ball with eyes, a dying quail. Just one more dying quail a week... and you're in Yankee Stadium."

Otherwise, you're in a poolhall with some drunks talking about how you hit .371 in 1967 with Louisville. Hell yes I'd take them.

Posted by: Davis again | December 13, 2007 10:37 PM | Report abuse

I HIT .376!

Posted by: Sandy Grimes | December 13, 2007 10:38 PM | Report abuse

A few points.

One, Selig (whom I don't like) works for the owners who are the ones truly responsible for this mess. Sure, he could have resigned in protest if the owners wouldn't let him do something but barring that, what could he have done? Clearly the owners, who were making more money off this, didn't want him to stop it.

Two, let's be careful about what we conclude about the names in this report. This isn't a proceeding in a court of law. There's no opportunity for these people to respond (not before the "verdict" anyway) and no real proof is offered here beyond heresay. I'm no lawyer but I don't think that's a very strong case.

Three, let's also be careful about calling these guys "cheats". PEDs have big downsides and are a bad idea, but from what I've read about this, 90+% of these drugs are perfectly legal and there was no policy from MLB preventing it. So, unless we're talking illegal drugs (which in most cases we aren't) then what exactly is the big objection? "these guys did something legal and allowed by their sport which made them better but it's bad for you"? I'm not defending it but I think people get a little nuts of "steroids".

If these drugs were illegal and there was any kind of actual proof, then I can guarantee you some zealous elected prosecutor would find a way to bring an indictment and get their mug all over the papers/internet/TV. That road to public fame is how we got like a third of our current Congressman, former prosecutors.

The shame is that now all the attention is on these players who haven't been charged with a crime nor with violating any policy of MLB while the owners are free and clear. The owners are the ones who should have stepped in and said, "we can't afford for this to come out someday so let's all agree to test for it and give the players enough time to clean up so none of lose oure stars and we'll get this out of baseball". They were finally forced there so it's getting fixed but the owners are the real bad guys here to me, not the players.

And, unless you've ever turned down huge amounts of money on principle then be realy careful about condemning others for not doing it.

Sorry so long but had to get that off my chest.

I'm sure I'll get lambasted for this post and let me emphasize that I'm not sympathetic to PEDs but I just have to be annoying and point out a few facts that are easy to forget.

Posted by: Avar | December 13, 2007 11:06 PM | Report abuse

I vehemently too.

Posted by: N**k L*gan | December 13, 2007 11:10 PM | Report abuse

"The owners are the ones who should have stepped in and said, "we can't afford for this to come out someday so let's all agree to test for it and give the players enough time to clean up so none of lose oure stars and we'll get this out of baseball"."

that's really only half the story, tho. while i agree that the owners bear some responsibility (as do GMs and other front office people), the owners can't just enact testing whenever they want. there's a collective bargaining agreement and drug testing is strictly controlled by that agreement. i even heard fehr mention on XM today that after uberoth removed some portion of the testing program in the 70s or 80s, some of the teams tried to insert language into individual contracts regarding drug testing and an arbitrator ruled that, because of the CBA, those contract sections were void and unenforceable.

so... the upshot of that is that the owners couldn't enact stricter testing on their own, even if they wanted to. the players' union would have to agree.

now, i find the players' union complicit as well. and to be fair, the owners didn't *ask* for stricter testing until forced to (and the union didn't agree until being embarrassed into it by congress and their own members). but you can't just say "the owners didn't do it" and lay it on them because they don't have the power to just up and do it. the union has to agree to it.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 13, 2007 11:28 PM | Report abuse

"I'm sure I'll get lambasted for this post and let me emphasize that I'm not sympathetic to PEDs but I just have to be annoying and point out a few facts that are easy to forget."

Not to worry, Avar. Your points speak to the ambivalence that I think a lot of us fans feel now that (a carefully selected and worded subset of) the facts are before us.

Guilt and consequences may seem obvious to some, perhaps to many. The only thing that seems obvious to me is that baseball has put profits ahead of insight, or oversight, for most of the last two decades.

Whether baseball chooses to address its lack of oversight -- starting with the hiring of a real Commissioner -- will be a matter of much greater import to me than the penalties assessed to individuals.

Posted by: Hendo | December 13, 2007 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the lack of lambasting - so far.

Still trying to find out how many of these drugs alleged in the report are actually illegal.

Posted by: Avar | December 13, 2007 11:35 PM | Report abuse

I don't know how I feel about this. For me, the "OMG 'roids--bring forth the pitchforks" isn't really working thus far. In my opinion, I'm sure the juice does have an impact, but given how crappy some of the players actually play, whatever difference they made largely has to be negligible, with the most substantial differences being momentary spikes in performance. Look at Nook Logan--either he is somehow physically immune to the effects of HGH, or otherwise his 'roids are bad, or HGH just doesn't do crap for you. His inclusion undercuts the report in my view and it kind of reinforces my personal opinion that a great deal of personal skill and physical talent is required for the juice to make you that much better.

Posted by: Michael | December 13, 2007 11:44 PM | Report abuse

It'd be interesting if Japanese baseball leagues by and large don't have this problem, since American baseball has been embarrassed on the international stage with regularity over this period.

Posted by: CE | December 14, 2007 12:01 AM | Report abuse

It's a no brainer Clemens did roids, i mean the guy was 170 when drafted and skinny...now i have no clue what his weight is and now he a is tank (well has been since taken them), but i know poeple goin argue about lifting,eating, vitamins, keep body healty ,and aging, but come on he got big quick. Also everyone knows he def. took them at end of his career so he could even last the whole season, not like he really need them for skill just to last through a whole season.

Posted by: Hank | December 14, 2007 3:59 AM | Report abuse

Just heard on WFAN that in Toronto Clemens was 6-6 with and era above 5 when his trainer injected him and while cycling the roids he went 14-2 with a 2.20 era. Hall of famer or better living through chemistry?

Posted by: flynnie | December 14, 2007 5:03 AM | Report abuse

Remember the students who could just read something once and understand and be test-ready? If we could get that by ingesting something natural to the human body like HGH and the only evidence that it hurt us was Lyle Alzado's brain cancer, which he blamed on roids but with cancer, who knows? we would all take it. Even without being promised zillions of dollars. We would take it because having that kind of gift would be fun.

Posted by: flynnie | December 14, 2007 5:15 AM | Report abuse

I mean, our body stops producing HGH when it considers us past mating age and no longer in need of youth and strength. What if I don't agree with the evolutionary decision to let the decay begin? Who does? If we knew it to be effective, and could afford it,we would take it.

Posted by: flynnie | December 14, 2007 5:22 AM | Report abuse

Not a one of us is righteous. No, not one.

Posted by: flynnie | December 14, 2007 5:25 AM | Report abuse

Is there an obvious successor to Selig should he leave anytime soon?

Posted by: NatsNut | December 14, 2007 6:12 AM | Report abuse

Quote from the Mitchell report :

"According to McNamee, from the time that McNamee injected Clemens with Winstrol through the end of the 1998 season, Clemens' performance showed remarkable improvement," the report said. "During this period of improved performance, Clemens told McNamee that the steroids 'had a pretty good effect' on him."

From April 1st to June 24th of the 1998 season , Clemens went 8-6 with an ERA of 3.77 giving up 42 earned runs in 102.2 innings of work.

Then from June 30th to Sept. 26th of the 1998 season , Clemens went 12-0 with an ERA of 1.76 giving up 26 earned runs in 132.2 innings of work.

Clemens allegedly stopped using in 1999 and went 14-10 with a 4.60 ERA.

McNamee also told investigators that "during the middle of the 2000 season, Clemens made it clear that he was ready to use steroids again.

Clemens had a record of 4-6 with an ERA of 4.76 during the first half of the 2000 season.

The second half , Clemens went 9-2 with an ERA of 3.00

Coincidence ? I think not. Pretty damning stuff if you ask me.

Posted by: Clemens is a liar and here is the proof | December 14, 2007 6:26 AM | Report abuse

Just read about Mackowiak and Harris signings. All of a sudden there is a huge glut of position players.

Assuming Johnon, Lopez, Zimmerman, Guzman, Lo Duca, Pena, Millege, Kearns start (not a safe assumption I know but they'll all be on the 25 man so work w/ me) and 12 pitchers then, only five of the following can be on the active roster; Young Belliard, Boone, Flores, G Guzman, Mackowiak, Harris, Whitney, Langerhans and Dukes. That means HALF of those guys will be released or optioned.

I was most surprised that the two new guys were signed to significant major league contracts, non minor league deals so they are going to be on the roster?? Confusing. Do they have options? Can they be sent down? Help us Barry.


Posted by: Avar | December 14, 2007 6:39 AM | Report abuse

OK, have a theory. They non-tender Lopez, start Belliard at 2nd and plan on G Guzman and Whitney not making the roster so that leaves a bench of Young/Johnson, Boone, Flores, Mackowiak and Harris. Which leaves Langerhans and Dukes in the minors. Langerhans signed a deal that allows him to be sent down in exchange for good money if that happens and I'm almost positive Dukes has options.

Plausible? Positive?

Posted by: Avar | December 14, 2007 6:45 AM | Report abuse

Of course I am not shocked, not even disgusted, but perhaps amused by the sanctimonious denials. When a player cheats in baseball you can not take away the financial benefits that accrued due to the cheating. All you can take away is the "good name" that they built up in their career. The union can protect them legally, but in the end it can't whitewash this report. I blame the union for prolonging this blight on baseball. A weak commissioner, a public of enablers, and players who could care less for the integrity of the game all conspired to bring on this situation. We don't have to look far to see what other sports (track and field for one) have done to punish the offenders. Any lesser punishment would let the rot continue.
In the end it will be the stars of the game who benefitted the most from the drug use that will be the most damaged in terms of reputation. I find this fitting.

Posted by: Dale | December 14, 2007 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and while I am ranting on this subject....

Does anyone else think that a mere 15 day suspension (as in Guillen's case) is just a joke for punishment. It skewers the risk versus reward dilemna a player even if caught now abusing would have to consider. If a player feels that using the drugs will prolong his career for that year that he uses them then would it not seem appropriate to ban them for a year for each year of use? A second possible punishment would be a fine of that year's salary which would be "donated" to drug use research. The agent's commission would also be forfeit as well. The finanial loss to the player's agent would do more to clean up the game than anything else I can think of, since the agent would want their client to be tested beyond what the union would approve of.

Posted by: Dale | December 14, 2007 7:29 AM | Report abuse

"We will know how true or false the allegations in the report are based on how many of the named players sue for Mitchell, his law firm DLA Piper, and MLB for defamation."

I'm pretty sure that in orderto sue for that kind of stuff, the person being sued has to knowing release false information. Mitchell is releasing what McNamee told him, so he doesn't know if it's true.

Posted by: Mike | December 14, 2007 7:34 AM | Report abuse

"We will know how true or false the allegations in the report are based on how many of the named players sue for Mitchell, his law firm DLA Piper, and MLB for defamation."

I'm pretty sure that in orderto sue for that kind of stuff, the person being sued has to knowing release false information. Mitchell is releasing what McNamee told him, so he doesn't know if it's true.

Posted by: Mike | December 14, 2007 7:35 AM | Report abuse

7 time winner? Please. What gives?

Posted by: Cy Young | December 14, 2007 7:39 AM | Report abuse

"Not a one of us is righteous. No, not one.

Posted by: flynnie | December 14, 2007 05:25 AM "

oh... the irony in this kills me.

avar, don't presume that the FO is through dealing. just because we have a glut of position players on 12/13 doesn't mean we'll have a glut on 2/1.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 14, 2007 8:30 AM | Report abuse

The Red Sox let Roger go because he had lost the zing on his fast ball. He found it again, but not out of anger with the Sox as I had believed, but rather from a syringe. His reputation for having an IQ well below average has been forever cemented as reality.

Posted by: Bill | December 14, 2007 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Hendo could get my vote as a Selig successor.

Posted by: Section 311 | December 14, 2007 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Hear, hear, 311. I second the nomination.

Posted by: faNATic | December 14, 2007 8:53 AM | Report abuse

I vote for Hendo too. Maybe he could be the NJ Commisioner in the interim until we can drive Selig out.

Posted by: Avar | December 14, 2007 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Clemens has been famous for the intensity of his work outs for years. I was never surprised by his longevity because of the legends I had heard about those work outs. And I don't ever remember him rapidly increasing in size. Not at all obvious to me that he used. Jail house snitches are notoriously unreliable. Maybe he did use, but I'm certainly not convinced.

Posted by: Avar | December 14, 2007 9:07 AM | Report abuse

A worthy successor to Bud Selig would be Dave Winfield, whose "Dropping the Ball" both reflects his infectious love of the game and maps a cogent plan for healing a lot of what's wrong with it -- of which PEDs are only a part.

Absent a push from the Hill, it would seem that the chances of someone of Winfield's vision being appointed are nil.

Posted by: Hendo | December 14, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

From Barry's story this morning:

"But despite Hardin's objections to McNamee's testimony, he said in a subsequent e-mail that Clemens had no plans to pursue legal action because of the report."

Bingo.

Posted by: Juan-John | December 14, 2007 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Dale: I like your idea of hammering the agent, too. They're the ones who live off their clients' success. It may be their clients' personal choice to use PEDs, but it never hurts to have an extra bit of outside motivation not to.

Posted by: Juan-John | December 14, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Legal or illegal, they were all banned from baseball in 2002.

-----

Still trying to find out how many of these drugs alleged in the report are actually illegal.

Posted by: John in Mpls | December 14, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

That's just the thing, though. Steroids don't make you big. They allow you to get bigger more quickly by helping your body recover from workouts. HGH increases this effect.

Bonds got big from working out, too. The cream and the clear, along with HGH, allowed him to have more intense workouts more frequently (and subsequently injure his elbow when he put on too much mass too quickly).

-----

Clemens has been famous for the intensity
of his work outs for years. I was never surprised by his longevity because of the legends I had heard about those work outs. And I don't ever remember him rapidly increasing in size. Not at all obvious to me that he used. Jail house snitches are notoriously unreliable. Maybe he did use, but I'm certainly not convinced.

Posted by: John in Mpls | December 14, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Avar's warning against a rush to judgment is eminently reasonable. But let me respond with a few comments. First, this is George Mitchell (not Jose Canseco) making the allegations. I have a lot of reasons to trust his authority and the legitimacy of his findings. Second, all of the player mentioned - including Clemens - have known for some months at least that they were in the report. Mitchell offered them all an opportunity to repudiate the evidence, and I believe he would have included their statements in the report had they so responded. But they not and to now argue against the credibility of the source appears as hypocrisy. Last, because the players had already been notified by Mitchell of the charges against them, Fehr's comments that the union only received the report at 1pm yesterday seem to be either misleading (at best) or an out-an-out bald-face lie.

All that said, life goes on - and I'm pleased with the signings of Colome, Harris and Mackowiak. Here's to hoping that the damage revealed and the subsequent discussion will be cathartic.

Posted by: lowcountry | December 14, 2007 9:45 AM | Report abuse

There may be a run on the book now, but I have to recommend Game of Shadows. It's not the most eloquently-written book, but it's worth the read just for the insight into the steroid culture.

The garage chemistry, the gym rat transactions, the sheer hubris of the business - Victor Conte is quite a character - and the peer pressure is all compelling.

The difficulties surrounding PED testing is discussed as well, including a facinating part where The Clear is reverse engineered by chemists. Amazing.

Posted by: John in Mpls | December 14, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

"OK, have a theory. They non-tender Lopez, start Belliard at 2nd and plan on G Guzman and Whitney not making the roster so that leaves a bench of Young/Johnson, Boone, Flores, Mackowiak and Harris. Which leaves Langerhans and Dukes in the minors. Langerhans signed a deal that allows him to be sent down in exchange for good money if that happens and I'm almost positive Dukes has options."

First of all, the deadline for non-tendering Lopez has passed, and they didn't non-tender him. He will go to arbitration, get a contract whether he wins or loses in arbitration, and be on the 25-man roster on Opening Day - unless he's traded before then or gets hurt. Also, I would say that there's no way they are going to send Dukes to the minors, because if they did that there would be no way for them to keep an eye on him. He will be on the 25-man Opening Day roster (again, unless he's traded or hurt) as long as he doesn't screw up before then. If he gets in trouble, they will cut him loose entirely, not send him to the minors.

Those two things, and probably Boone being on the roster too, are givens. All of the other guys signed or Rule 5 drafted recently are competing for roster spots based on their performance in Spring Training. Some will make it, and those who don't will be dispositioned however their particular situations allow, either by optioning to the minors, DFA or whatever.

Posted by: Section 419 | December 14, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

This is a great point. The players union took a "no snitching" approach, and players clammed up.

I can see how being labelled a snitch would hurt the career of a guy like Paul Lo Duca. But Clemens? He doesn't even show up at the park when he's not pitching! The man's already an island, and he has a Hall of Fame reputation to defend. You'd think he could have been a little more cooperative.

-----

Second, all of the player mentioned - including Clemens - have known for some months at least that they were in the report. Mitchell offered them all an opportunity to repudiate the evidence, and I believe he would have included their statements in the report had they so responded.

Posted by: John in Mpls | December 14, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

thx 419 forgot about the non-tender passing. They could still trade him. If Dukes is on the roster then someone else has to go down.

My bigger point is that several people will have to be traded or send down or released because there are too may guys w/ major league contracts right now.

Posted by: Avar | December 14, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

interesting note in an SI article:

===

The report took issue with assertions that steroids were not banned before the 2002 collective bargaining agreement.

They had been covered, it said, since management's 1971 drug policy prohibited using any prescription medication without a valid prescription, and were expressly included in Vincent's 1991 drug policy.

"Steroids have been listed as a prohibited substance under the Major League Baseball drug policy since then," the report said, although no player was disciplined for them until the 2002 labor agreement provided for testing.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 14, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

God bless George Mitchell. The Lerners have an obligation to make a public statement to us and tell us how they plan to combat this systemic cheating among the players - at least those on the Washington Nationals.

Posted by: 6th and D | December 14, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Oh, one more thing. Here is my official "HOWL" for the heads for Fehr and Selig. For MLB to continue to enjoy a federal anti-trust exemption, I call for a congressionally appointed commissioner.

Posted by: 6th and D | December 14, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

So why not George Mitchell for Commissioner?

Posted by: cevans | December 14, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Not all, Flynnie, but many -- more than enough to make your point. [RF], most of us *pay* to take performance-detracting drugs now. And that reminds me, are players who do that cheating? Did Mickey Mantle cheat his teammates and the fans by being a drunk (not to mention his family)? He seemed to think so, at the end.

*********
Remember the students who could just read something once and understand and be test-ready? If we could get that by ingesting something natural to the human body like HGH and the only evidence that it hurt us was Lyle Alzado's brain cancer, which he blamed on roids but with cancer, who knows? we would all take it. Even without being promised zillions of dollars. We would take it because having that kind of gift would be fun.
Posted by: flynnie | December 14, 2007 05:15 AM

Posted by: CE | December 14, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

"For MLB to continue to enjoy a federal anti-trust exemption, I call for a congressionally appointed commissioner."

An attractive thought, although God knows whether we'd end up with a healer or a hack.

In any event, MLB would regain a welcome degree of credibility if it were headed by a Commissioner who did not feel it seemly to blow off the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, as Selig did yesterday.

Posted by: Hendo | December 14, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

And your mention of Lyle Alzado reminds me of his guest spot on Coach, probably my favorite episode. He was already diagnosed, and he played a former HS player who made it big in the NFL, and was now dying of brain cancer from taking steroids, coming back to visit, and thank, his old HS coach. "Don't feel sorry for ME -- I had a GREAT ride. It was worth it."
But the coach felt terrible guilt for taking personal advantage of his player's illicit success; the kid was on steroids in HS, on his team.
Coach's wife tells him not to be so hard on himself. "It's not like you knew at the time."
But he just stares at her. He knew at the time.

Posted by: Cevans, seriously | December 14, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

"The House Oversight and Government Reform committee...scheduled another hearing for Tuesday and asked Selig and Fehr to testify. Selig, however, said he has a scheduling conflict and that the date is being reconsidered."

A SCHEDULING CONFLICT? What appointment or lunch date do you have Bud, that trumps a Congressional committee hearing? You still don't get it do you?

"Randy Hendricks said in a statement last night that Pettitte would remain silent on the matter until consulting with the players' union and other advisors."

"The wait-and-see approach seemed to be prevalent throughout the game yesterday. A top official from one club said: "We're not supposed to talk about it. No one wants to react yet because people are so worried we'll say the wrong thing."

And as you see, nothing's changed with the players or team management either. It's all hush-hush, it wasn't me, don't get anyone in trouble, don't rat anyone out, don't say the wrong thing.

Would someone, ANYONE, in baseball, PLEASE just get some freakin' B*LLS and come out with it already? Here's a hint:
"We screwed up. All of us. And from now on, none of us will tolerate drugs in baseball. Period."

Posted by: NatsNut | December 14, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I saw the best players of my generation filthy rich hysterical raging, searching through the clubhouse medicine cabinet at dawn looking for an angry fix...
******************
Here is my official "HOWL" for the heads for Fehr and Selig.
Posted by: 6th and D | December 14, 2007 10:19 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | December 14, 2007 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Indeed, 231, a central point.
OTOH, it's not as if this whole thing shatters my faith in the intelligence and integrity of baseball owners.

*******
interesting note in an SI article:
===
The report took issue with assertions that steroids were not banned before the 2002 collective bargaining agreement.

They had been covered, it said, since management's 1971 drug policy prohibited using any prescription medication without a valid prescription, and were expressly included in Vincent's 1991 drug policy.
"Steroids have been listed as a prohibited substance under the Major League Baseball drug policy since then," the report said, although no player was disciplined for them until the 2002 labor agreement provided for testing.
Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 14, 2007 10:11 AM

Posted by: ce | December 14, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I'll put the roster pinch another way. They have 17 position players of whom you could argue "have to be" on the active roster.

C - Lo Duca, Flores
IF - Johnon, Lopez, C Guzman, Zimmerman
OF - Pena, Milledge, Kearns
Bench - Young, Belliard, Makowiack, Whitney, Harris, Boone, G Guzman and Dukes.

Only 13 fo these will be on the 25 man when they start the season. So, four guys from that list have to be gone.

My guess is Lopez traded, Johnson not ready, Whitney returned, Dukes in AAA.

They didn't sign Boone, Makowiac, Harris, or Beliard to $1m+ each (except Harris) to be in AAA so that's the bench. And Young will start when Johnson isn't ready.

OR - there are more trades.

Have to get back to work now.

Posted by: Avar | December 14, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

count on the "or" portion of your post coming true, avar.

i suspect the roster you see now is not what they intend to hit spring training with and that the FO has plans to make a number of moves between now and then. whether they actually come to fruition or not, who knows. but i seriously doubt this is where they intend the roster to be in late february. jimbo still has some ideas up his sleeve. this looks incomplete.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 14, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

and new post.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 14, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Avar, I am on the same page as you at this point, wondering how we're going to cram that many non-pitchers into that little roster space. My perspective on the potential roster moves is a little different, however. Above all, I'm excited to see what else is in store this off-season, because its apparent that more must happen.

However, as someone mentioned earlier, I think that there's absolutely no way that Dukes gets sent down. He's been brought in to get acclimated to big league life under the close supervision of Dmitri, Manny, and the crew, and sending him down would definitely not serve that purpose.

My guess is that Whitney and G. Guzman get sent down, but that we value them enough to trade their original teams minimal prospects to retain them in our minor league system, like we did with Levale Speigner this year.

I'd hazard a guess that we didn't sign Aaron Boone, Rob Mackowiak, or Willie Harries to go to the minors (they're all too old anyway). That means another trade is likely, if not necessary, in order to get a return on the players currently on the roster, instead of giving them away for free.

Realistically, my feeling is that in a world where Nick Johnson had healed more quickly and proven that he still has something in the tank, even in a limited role of September of this year, he would have been the most likely candidate for a trade. Barring someone else wanting to take a chance on him though, which is pretty unlikely at this juncture, I still think Lopez is fairly likely to get moved. Because we need to get less major league players in return, I'm willing to bet that Jim moves him for more minor league prospects, or packages him with at least one other major leaguer to get a single one in return.

Posted by: faNATic | December 14, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Hey, I think we should book players in the report.

But, 506!

1) That's only a few of the many, many culprits, most everyone is guilty

2) MLB and the clubs cultivated an atmosphere that rewarded it and are just as culpable

3) In some cases, the juicing wasn't even illegal

4) Cheating has always been part of baseball and if they don't cheat this way, they'll cheat another

Ah, but my friends, if fans punish everyone in the report then it will impact profits related to those players, which is the only language that any of these guys truly understand.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 14, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

That's because some of us are so good at what we do, we need to level the playing field...

-----

[RF], most of us *pay* to take performance-detracting drugs now.

Posted by: John in Mpls | December 14, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Re. the list of names that was posted here the other day, before the report came out, it seemed to have many inaccuracies. I don't know where it originated, but I think that it had been posted to a number of blogs. On a larger scale than this whole steroids mess, I feel that the instant info access aspect of the Information Age has lowered journalistic standards to some extent -- because of a rush to publish something and scoop other sources. One thing that I really appreciate about this blog is that it seems to be very careful about differentiating facts from rumors and about getting verification from reliable sources before posting something. So thanks for that, Barry.

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 14, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if Nick Johnson has taken steroids. He gets injured a lot. He was in New York from 2001-2003. Interesting pattern.

Posted by: toshiro | December 14, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

i, for one, appreciated the allen ginsberg reference.

Posted by: blueson | December 14, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

It may have been an homage to a previous Ginsberg reference earlier in this blog's history (or not).

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 14, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Or it could have been just another pomo reference triggered by 6th/D's post...

Posted by: Ruth Bader G | December 14, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

clemens would have to have big balls to admit to steroid use.at least with hgh a few years ago pettitte can claim that it wasn't banned and he was rehabbing an injury and used poor judgement and only used it a few times wich is what is being reported.being that steroids is much more illegal and powerfull and clemens is such a huge star and preached working out and told people to stay off them it will be almost impossible for him to admit it.if he did admit it he won't make the hall and he knows that.pettitte will be easily be forgiven because he quickly admitted it and said it was poor judgement and he only used it a few times to rehab an injury.canseco should shut his mouth.no player should mention another player ever and he goes around giving names and said arod should of been on the list,he should be punched in the mouth.i am glad that security threw him out of the press conference.he was trying to get attention when he wasn't invited

Posted by: bru | December 15, 2007 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Which if he did use it, he wouldn't have, as I understand it. :-)

---

clemens would have to have big balls to admit to steroid use.

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 16, 2007 8:11 AM | Report abuse

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