And this isn't going to be a campaign to reverse the outcome of the 2000 World Series. Because then people in Houston will want '86 back. And people in Phoenix will want '99 back. And somebody who struck out against Josias Manzanillo and watched him run off the mound jumping and cavorting like a school girl will want that back. Those are memories I refuse to believe are tainted.
And no, I'm not starting the "Ban Roger Clemens From The Hall" movement. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Performance enhancers are not a Barry Bonds problem, and they're not a Roger Clemens problem. They are a baseball problem. Asterisks and banishment from baseball's Hall of Fame shift the blame on to the individual players, and it minimizes baseball's role in the so-called "steroids-era". The sport should be culpable most of all.
But I wonder: At this hour...at this very moment...with all of the history that Piazza has had with Clemens, the beaning in July of 2000, and the infamous bat throwing incident in that season's World Series...I wonder just what Mike Piazza is thinking at this hour. I wonder if he's thinking that he might have gotten out of the way of that pitch if it was just a little bit slower...which it might have been if Clemens was clean. Or is Piazza thinking that Clemens might not have thrown that bat if he wasn't on whatever he was on?
Those are some thoughts I'd pay a penny for.
In terms of the Mets that were involved, considering that it was a Mets clubbie that provided a lot of the information, the wreckage really isn't too bad in terms of the star quality of the players tagged in the report. The biggest one was probably Lenny Dykstra. The Mitchell Report talks of Dykstra's involvement in the early nineties. But anybody who was around in 1988 and saw the instant 20 pounds of muscle he had put on that winter because he wanted to be a power hitter had to have been thinking something wasn't quite natural there.
Todd Hundley? Nobody was going to say it and smear his name without any provocation. But the circumstancial evidence was all over the place. Forget the fact that he hit 41 home runs in '96 after hitting 15 the season before. But all of a sudden, he plays 153 games? He was a pinch hitter in 10 of those games, but continued as a catcher in seven of those. So there were 150 games when he put on the catcher's gear in 1996. Who does this?
And about this theory that the Mets stonewalled Lo Duca because of advance knowledge of this report? I don't buy it. There was knowledge of Lo Duca's use for years. Just check the report. The Dodgers knew:
"Steroids aren't being used anymore on him. Big part of this. Might have some value to trade . . . Florida might have interest. Got off the steroids . . . Took away a lot of hard line drives. Can get comparable value back would consider trading. If you do trade him, will get back on the stuff and try to show you he can have a good year. That’s his makeup. Comes to play. Last year of contract, playing for 05."If the Dodgers knew, I'd bet money that other teams knew ... way back when. And if I were to bet money, I sure as hell wouldn't write a check! So no, I think this was common knowledge among the baseball community years ago, before the Mets even traded for him.
Mo Vaughn? With the injury problems he's had with his knee, we shouldn't be surprised either. I was surprised, because I myself thought the only thing he was injecting was jelly doughnuts, but that's just me.
But honestly, nobody should be surprised. Because as flimsy as you might want to say this Mitchell report is, he got the bottom line absolutely 100% right: Baseball and its union were slow on the upkeep on this. Everybody was. Athletes will always find a way to get a competitive edge, and always will. The governing bodies have to be the ones to restore order ... you can't trust 100% of a group that includes 750 major leaguers and many more minor leaguers to police themselves and be on the up and up. They're everybody's heroes, but they're athletes who not only want to win, but also represent a cross-section of life. Many different personality types will react to life's questions in many different ways. These decisions must be made for them by the high priests of America's pastime. In the past, those decisions were just to let performance enhancing happen, and look where we are.
(Metstradamus packs up his soapbox and walks away. And...scene.)