Tuesday, November 5, 2013

History 101: Talk about A-Rod's past invokes memories of the great MItchell Report of 2007

Gather 'round children for a quick history primer:

1. In the early 1990s, Bud Selig and his owner friends decided baseball needed a salary cap, like the NFL.  As billionaire capitalists, naturally, they wanted a sports league in which a central ruling structure dictates limits to what workers can be paid.

2. This resulted in a horrible players union strike, which shut down baseball for a half a season and canceled the World Series.

3. Over the next five years, fans returned in droves as players like Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds broke home run records, the most vaunted records in sports. They not only broke them, they obliterated them. They did this through steroid use, while the owners - making money from public interest - turned a blind eye.

4. In the 2000s, scandals about rampant steroid threatened baseball's popularity. In response, Bud Selig created a major investigative commission on drugs. To lead it, he selected former U.S. Senator George Mitchell, a standing member of the Boston Red Sox board of directors.

5. The Redsocks investigated baseball and found Yankees guilty of drug use. The report named Roger Clemens, Jason Giambi, Andy Pettitte, David Justice, Gary Sheffield and several other Yankee players. Despite allegations against David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez - both later found to be users - no Redsocks were named in the report. Nor were any members of the Milwaukee Brewers, Selig's team.

6. The Mitchell Report was leaked to the media hours before game seven of the 2007 ALCS between the Redsocks and the Indians.  The leak named Cleveland pitcher Paul Byrd, who had beaten Boston in game four. It cast a huge shadow over Byrd, who was prepared to pitch in the game, and the Indians. The Redsocks won 11-2 and went on to win the World Series.

1 comment:

JM said...

Oh, that Bud! With his little sister, Kathy...known affectionately as Kitten to their father Jim...and their older sister Betty (insert that rrrrrrowww noise Bob Hope used to make here).

Like their mom, Margaret, used to say, Buddy Knows Best.