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The Mitchell Report: A Call to Action?

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Last week, former Senator George Mitchell revealed his long anticipated anti-steroid report. In it were the names of players past and present, superstarts and nobodies. In the 409-page report, 86 players were named as having used steroids. Included were 7 MVPs and 31 All-stars. The proverbial boat has been rocked leaving baseball fans in quite a predicament – is baseball credible anymore?

However, after the dust has settled somewhat, baseball critics around the country, myself included, are questioning whether or not this report will have any lasting effects. We have long since known that steroids are being used in baseball and have been for the past few decades. This report just confirmed that notion. But so what? Does this new report change anything? There have been instances in the past where players have been named as steroid users (The League of Shadows) and nothing has really been done about it. So, will Bud Selig really keep good on his promise and protect the integrity of the game? And if so, how? Will he continue to give out weak punishments as he has done thus far? Or will he develop a stronger anti-steroid policy like the Olympics (one and done)? All these are questions that Bud Selig is going to have to answer now that he has deemed Mitchell’s report a ‘call to action’.

But the fact of the matter is this. Bud Selig and the MLB have ignored the league’s steroid problem for far too long. It has gotten so out of hand that seemingly everyone, from the best players in the league to those who are looking to get a leg up on the competition so their coach will take notice of them, is using steroids. To start giving our serious punishments now would damage the league beyond repair. Imagine that the foremost economic minds in the country held a press conference to tell the American people that they made a mistake implementing capitalism as our economic foundation. It would set the country back years. The same thing would happen in baseball. If Selig were to punish the aforementioned MVPs and All-stars, the quality of baseball would suffer dramatically. If there are no A-rods or Miguel Tejadas to watch, who is going to be interested in baseball? By keeping his promise, Selig is putting the MLB’s credibility and appeal at risk, without which baseball may not survive.

In my opinion, the MLB should ban any player who has used steroids from ever playing baseball again. But, with so much invested in the league and so much riding on is decision, will Bud Selig really have the moral fortitude to actually live up to his promise? This is one baseball fan who hopes he does for the sake of the sport. However, only time will tell if Bud Selig is really the defender of baseball as he portrays himself.

Nishan Wilde is VP of Sales for Robbins Sports and Athletics, an online resource for Baseball Uniforms, Baseball Hats and Baseball Gloves.