Friday, December 14, 2007
Proud New Papa!!
So the doctor walks into the Grand Hyatt today just steps away from Grand Central and says:
"Congratulations Mr. Page!! You are the proud new papa of the "Cheaters Era of Major League Baseball."
I was fortunate enough today to sit 6 rows from former Senator George Mitchell as he gave his prepared statement outlining his findings in the Mitchell Report. Here was a man that brokered peace in Northern Ireland. He'll be hard pressed to ever find that sort of peace between the Major League Baseball Players Association and Commisioner Bud Selig.
A couple of things stood out to me today. Three press conferences were held. Senator Mitchell was at the Grand Hyatt at 2:00 PM EST. Commissioner Selig was at the Waldorf Astoria at 4:00 PM EST and MLBPA Chief Donald Fehr was in never-never land at 6:00 PM EST. On a day where the most important indictment of the games difficulties with regard to performance enhancing drugs was being delivered, you couldn't even get the three sides of the story to hold press conferences in the same hotel. Labor war is on the horizon for baseball.
Let there be no doubt. Cowboy Selig is going to do everything he can(even if its too late)to try and rid the sport of performance enhancing drugs, and be rest assured that Donald Fehr and the MLBPA is going to put up a fight. They're putting up a fight to protect players names and reputations, but even more so because Fehr is feeling jilted about the way this investigation was handled. Whether he is right or wrong, he's going to assert that much of this investigation was done in a way that was unfair to HIS players.
Something the commish said today during his press conference really got my blood boiling. It's something that best frames the "head in the sand" mentality that this guy posesses. Selig today(and I'm paraphrasing) when asked about the message thats being sent to fans and children of those fans when teams gave contracts to these players that have now been named in the Mitchell report(I.E. Andy Pettitte, Jose Guillen and Miguel Tejada) Selig responded "Well the owners didn't know these players would be named in the report." YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!! I spoke to former big league reliever Jeff Nelson today. He pitched with the Yankees and Mariners and the above mentioned players as well as with Roger Clemens. He said that while nobody saw guys shooting up with HGH or steroids, players knew it went on and it wasn't discussed. Names of players who have reportedly used this stuff has been discussed for the past several years. If we've been talking about it, do you expect me to believe that GM's and owners didn't know about it?? How dumb does Mr. Magoo(Selig) believe we are?? Check that.... He doesn't have his head in the sand. It's obviously buried up his ass.
Senator Mitchell spent 20 months and millions of dollars compiling the information for this report. He allowed journalists 16 minutes to ask him questions. I was one of the lucky few who asked him a question during a press conference that aired internationally on Thursday. During his statement, Senator Mitchell expressed his hope that Commissioner Selig would not punish those players named in the report, unless the player had done such damage to the integrity of the game that it could not go without punishment. I took that caveat to be an opening for the Commish to go after Barry Bonds and the records he broke over the past several years. I asked Mitchell that very question in a room full of my peers but he flatly denied having that motive.
A dark day for baseball has come to an end with some answers to our many questions. But new questions have arisen out of this day as well:
* In addition to Barry Bonds, baseball must now ponder how to handle the accomplishments of Roger Clemens
* How is baseball to punish those players named in the report for violations that took place 3 or 4 years ago?
* Will further investigations now take place or has the "naming names" portion of our program come to an end?
* Will my leather dress shoes from Zara ever dry out after all the sloshing through puddles that I did?
I guess we'll have to wait and see. One person that was happy today was President Bush. For one night on MSNBC's Countdown With Keith Olbermann, he wasn't the top story.