Senator Mitchell and his 409 page Report--First Impressions

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One of the phenomenon that a seasoned reader of this blog will notice over and over is that this blog does not not a break news, nor is this blog the first place to read a story. That job is held for sites that are more concerned about being first rather than accurate. My responsibility, to you, our readers, is to be as accurate as possible. If, in the pursuit ...

of a story, I take a bit of time, my apologies.

I have a copy of the report and will be reading it in my many hours in the airport on Sunday, December 17. I should get through it in that time.

My first impressions, after listening to Senator Mitchell speak and his focus on cleaning up the sport and learning from the past is--this guy should be on the Supreme court. Steroids and baseball is a story that is two decades old, as drugs in sport is a story that is thousands of years old. Remember that the ancient Olympics were cancelled around 483 B.C.E due to cheating and the use of what we could now call nutricuticals, or herbs. They were used to give the athlete an edge.

Mitchell, so far, does not seem to want to hang up a bunch of baseball players. My suggestions to any of the 65 noted in his report--call a press conference, admit what you did, and say, I am going on with my life, period. That steroids were used, is a fact, that it will besmirch the game is a fact. That someone is going to take the blame game and loose a job over that, my guess is that name is Mr. Selig. But, you will not see Senator Mitchell calling for Selig's demise. Mitchell is dead one when he said that all who have been involved in the game share a part of the blame for such a mess. And that is true.

Some of the stories have been ludicrous. Baseball writers whining about how Baseball has been singled out. The only sports singled out are non-revenue sports such as track and field and bicycling. But both of those sports have taken their lumps and track and field has been taking it on the face for years now.

I do find it ironic that Marion Jones is the only person to get up, for whatever reason, apologize to fans, sport, the world for her wrong doings. No man has done that, and I doubt if one ever will.

In the end, Senator Mitchell was the right choice for the report on steroids and baseball. He had the stature to report well and he had the stature to do the research. Like the morality plays with Marion Jones and the soon to be morality play with Barry Bonds, the shame that will come out of those discoveries will, hopefully open a young athlete's or young coaches' eyes about cheating and sports.

People who cheat at an endeavor, in my mind, value that endeavor way, way too much. Perhaps the noble and honest approach is to put sport in the proper perspective--it is a fun activity, it is enjoyable to watch, to participate, and a great time to be with the guys, but cheating-drug use, just dirties the sport.

I am reminded of the first New York Games, in 1994, when Tracy Sundlin, in an effort to energize the crowd, had the nine year old's 4 x 100 meter relay, and the eleven's as well. The first race was a race to the finish, and the crowd was on its' feet, cajoling the little nine year versus the big nine year old team in! By the time the
One of the phenomenon that a seasoned reader of this blog will notice over and over is that this blog does not not a break news, nor is this blog the first place to read a story. That job is held for sites that are more concerned about being first rather than accurate. My responsibility, to you, our readers, is to be as accurate as possible. If, in the pursuit ...

11 year old's relay was going, the crowd was enthused and ready to cheer!

Competition is competition. There is fun in watching a bunch of neighborhood kids play a good game of softball as there is in a local high schooler running a 4:40 mile, holding off two other kids.

Why do we look at sports? Many answers, but something about sports gives us something to cheer about, cry about, laugh about, tell stories about at the local
pub and email when our team or fave athlete does well.

287 Americans have now broken the four minute mile. Each time I see a guy break four minutes, it is a miracle to me. I have seen several races with 8 to 13 men breaking four minutes and while I know that there is a big difference between the 3:50 of the winner and 3:59.58 of the 13th placer, I honor them all.

Senator Mitchell is trying to make a sport that has been sullied over the past two decades something to cheer about again. In doing that, Mitchell is trying to clean up all of professional sports, and that, is very, very good. Mitchell could share, with our friend, Brett Farve, the SI Sportsman of the year.

Heck, we will go one step further, Senator MItchell will get runblogrun.com's Saving the Sport from Itself first annual award. Why? MItchell investigated the problem well, and did it without a seeming agenda. His presence, his judgement is Solomon-like. Mitchell
is one of the good guys, in this world it is nice when the good guys get their point across before becoming one of the bad guys.

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