No Joy in Mudville *

Ever since 1869 when the first professional team laced up the cleats, there has never been a day in the history of baseball like yesterday.Some of baseball’s all time greats who performed feats of strength and skill almost beyond belief are revealed as cheaters, liars, and druggies – Frankenstein monsters who took the easy way to glory by hepping themselves up with performance enhancing substances.

Yesterday, former Senator George Mitchell released his long awaited report on the use of performance enhancing drugs in baseball. And the game will suffer a huge black eye it will be many years recovering.

Seven MVPs and 31 All-Stars -- one for every position -- and that still wasn't the worst of it for the long-awaited Mitchell report.

That infamy belonged to Roger Clemens, the greatest pitcher of his era.

The steroids era.

Seven-time Cy Young Award winner, eighth on the all-time list with 354 victories, an MVP and All-Star himself long considered a lock for the Hall of Fame, Clemens now has another distinction: the biggest name linked by former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell to illegal use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.

In all, Thursday's 409-page report identified 86 names to differing degrees, but, while he vehemently denied it through his lawyer, Clemens was the symbol.
Today, I feel like the little kid who, standing at the bottom of the courthouse steps in Chicago after the infamous “Black Sox scandal” trial, tugged on Shoeless Joe Jackson’s coat and looked his hero right in the eye asking, pleading “Say it ain’t so, Joe.” No answer from Jackson that day. Nor do I suspect we’ll hear anything except the canned, PR flak written statements from some of the greatest ballplayers who ever lived.

They will apologize for their “mistake.” They will cry when they apologize to their families. They will beg forgiveness from the fans. They will apologize to their teammates for “letting them down.” They will thank the organization for sticking with them. They will promise to be better citizens. They will ask God for help.

It will be like Michael Vick – excuse the expression – on steroids.

The song "The Day the Music Died" comes to mind. Substitute "baseball" for "music" and you have an idea how many of us long time fans feel today.

*Much of this post was taken from my own article that can be read in its entirety here.


Ever since 1869 when the first professional team laced up the cleats, there has never been a day in the history of baseball like yesterday.Some of baseball’s all time greats who performed feats of strength and skill almost beyond belief are revealed as cheaters, liars, and druggies – Frankenstein monsters who took the easy way to glory by hepping themselves up with performance enhancing substances.

Yesterday, former Senator George Mitchell released his long awaited report on the use of performance enhancing drugs in baseball. And the game will suffer a huge black eye it will be many years recovering.

Seven MVPs and 31 All-Stars -- one for every position -- and that still wasn't the worst of it for the long-awaited Mitchell report.

That infamy belonged to Roger Clemens, the greatest pitcher of his era.

The steroids era.

Seven-time Cy Young Award winner, eighth on the all-time list with 354 victories, an MVP and All-Star himself long considered a lock for the Hall of Fame, Clemens now has another distinction: the biggest name linked by former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell to illegal use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.

In all, Thursday's 409-page report identified 86 names to differing degrees, but, while he vehemently denied it through his lawyer, Clemens was the symbol.
Today, I feel like the little kid who, standing at the bottom of the courthouse steps in Chicago after the infamous “Black Sox scandal” trial, tugged on Shoeless Joe Jackson’s coat and looked his hero right in the eye asking, pleading “Say it ain’t so, Joe.” No answer from Jackson that day. Nor do I suspect we’ll hear anything except the canned, PR flak written statements from some of the greatest ballplayers who ever lived.

They will apologize for their “mistake.” They will cry when they apologize to their families. They will beg forgiveness from the fans. They will apologize to their teammates for “letting them down.” They will thank the organization for sticking with them. They will promise to be better citizens. They will ask God for help.

It will be like Michael Vick – excuse the expression – on steroids.

The song "The Day the Music Died" comes to mind. Substitute "baseball" for "music" and you have an idea how many of us long time fans feel today.

*Much of this post was taken from my own article that can be read in its entirety here.