While the Mitchell Report on steroids may not actually be a product, its debut this week overshadowed just about anything else that was in the news. In fact it wasn't just news here. The report made news in England, Australia, and Canada.
But it was here in the US that the report not only managed to dominate the news and blogs but it changed a lot of people's perceptions of the game, the players, and the validity of some of the recent records that have been broken. And maybe the most significant thing it managed to do was give Barry Bonds a partner in crime as the face of baseball's steroid era. That partner is Roger Clemens, the only other person that was mentioned throughout the 409-page report nearly as many times as Bonds was. So now this generation's, and arguably history's, greatest hitter and pitcher and their accomplishments are tainted. And that's a problem for baseball.
Clemens, once a sure thing to get into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot, is now having the legitimacy of his records called into question by writers who think he no longer belongs in Cooperstown. In all 86 players were named.
The report will give fodder to the bloggers and talk show hosts until the start of the season on April 1. Commissioner Bud Selig has been called many things, most of which haven't been very flattering, but I think brave can now be added to that list. Despite the fact that he had to know there would be negative repercussions to this investigation he did the right thing and went forward with it. And in doing so he gave all of us baseball lovers a gift—more stuff to talk about and assurance that baseball would still be the lead story on the back page of the paper regardless of the fact that there isn't even a game scheduled.