Wait, there’s a steroid problem in baseball?

In case you missed it, there’s a steroid problem in Major League Baseball, at least according to senator George Mitchell. His 320-something page report based on a the investigation he has been conducting over the last two years or so was released to day, and it claims there is a serious steroid problem in baseball. Seriously, how much money did this investigation take to do? How many computers could we have bought for schools with the money it took to confirm the most obvious fact since we found out Britney Spears is a tramp. It also goes on to say that baseball was slow to react to this problem. Again, DUH! Jose Canseco was doing this in the late 80s and even if he embelished, you would still think 10 years later baseball knew what was going on, and that was nearly 10 years ago.

Of course the hottest topic of conversation is the players specifically mentioned. They ranged from the guys we knew (Bonds, Giambi, Sheffield) to the guys we didn’t know [for sure] (Clemens, Pettite, Tejada) to the guys we don’t care about (Josias Manzanillo, Adam Piatt, Jim Parque). The list wasn’t nearly as long as I thought it would be but I am sure this is just the tip of the iceberg. There were plenty of All-Stars named but you would fully expect Clemens to take centerstage with all of this.

Clemens is easily the best pitcher of the last 20 years, and probably a lot more than that.  His 7 Cy Youngs are more than any other pitcher. He is 8th all-time in wins and with one more 10-win season he would be in the Top 5. He is 2nd all-time in strikeouts, and if you believe that it’s truly a hitters’ era, Clemens might be the best pitcher ever. But how surprised are we?

Clemens won 61 games after his age 40 season. That’s more than Bronson Arroyo has in his career and he is 30. You could make a serious argument that Clemens’ best two seasons were the two with Toronto (’97 and ’98) when he was 34 and 35  respectively. Guys who have been in the league 13 years typically don’t peak at age 34. Was it Skydome? There isn’t a huge sample size there before or after (surprisingly) but his numbers weren’t good there other than those two years. So how with this affect Clemens and his legacy? My prediction is that this will be the biggest story that comes from all of this.

For what it’s worth  Mark McGwire’s name did not appear.

Check out ESPN’s coverage of the Mitchell Report.

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