It's been a strange and sad day. It started with me thinking of Adam Piatt for the first time...well, in a long, long time. And it ended with me kind of feeling numb to the whole parade of press conferences about our tarnished sport.
The take away that I have from December 13, 2007 aren't the tainted names of Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and Miguel Tejada. It's the nagging idea that this report was crafted poorly with largely circumstantial evidence and that the worst choices these guys made weren't that they took steroids but the fact that they were unlucky enough to have purchased them from a guy who wound up under government scrutiny.
I guess I just don't really understand smearing a few players rather than not keeping it more general. Especially if the majority of what you learned came from mostly two sources. Don't get me wrong, I don't feel bad for those named in the report. If they cheated, they should be named, but my feeling is that naming so many prominent players just gives the impression that pretty much everyone was doing it but just didn't happen to use the same supplier.
I'm also disheartened to hear Jack Cust's name mentioned in the report. He was most definitely one of my favorite stories of 2007 in a year of a lot of very depressing stories. I know that the evidence against Cust seemed shaky as much of Mitchell's evidence did. But then again, Mitchell wasn't trying to convict these guys in a court of law...he was convicting them in the court of public opinion.
Ultimately, nothing really surprised me today. It honestly wouldn't be much of a surprise to hear anyone's name tied to the PEDs anymore, which is a shame because I am a firm believer in innocent until proven guilty.
What really needs to happen next is that the sport needs to figure out a better way to police the new drug testing policies and take some of the Mitchell Report recommendations to heart. While I'm not really sure with the method of the report was solid, I do think that the recommendations/conclusions of the report are well thought out. Now it just depends on whether or not it turns into a big battle between the union and MLB.
The bottom line for me is that while the dog and pony show today made for dramatic theater, it means little unless true action comes out of it. Because baseball has been so lax on this for so long, they now need to be stronger and tougher than any league in the country.
I guess my biggest problem is that I'm an enabler because I still love the sport. It isn't like I can stop watching or paying attention. I just have to sit back and hope that baseball finally gets its house in order.
I'm glad this day is over. The problem is, it won't soon be forgotten.