Seven hours later, I’ve started to come to grips with today’s release of the Mitchell Report.
First off, I said earlier today on The Comcast Morning Show that I figured I’d be “underwhelmed” with the list — and that proved accurate. The list really wasn’t that much to get worked up about. I can name 15 guys I thought would be on the list who didn’t appear — Guerrero, Piazza, Garciaparra, Ortiz, Pujols … there’s five to start with and I’m sure there are more. What happened? Did those guys all pay cash to Radomski?
But the list is disconcerting in a number of ways. First, without fail, is the story of Roger Clemens. An entire 20+ year career is ruined. Should he be a Hall of Famer? Absolutely – but only if you put Bonds in. If you think Bonds is OUT, so is Roger. Bonds and Clemens are now forever linked. Juicers, both of them. For me, personally, I say keep all of their sorry asses OUT of Cooperstown. But I don’t run the thing, so my vote doesn’t count. Fact: The all-time HR leader and the winningest pitcher in my generation are scum-bag-cheaters. What a shame.
Overall, the list wasn’t that impressive. Tejada used steroids? Wow, really? Troy Glaus? Hmmm … would have never guessed that one. Mo Vaughn? Boring …
Locally, there’s no doubt the worst news of all was the inclusion of Brian Roberts’ name on the list. OK, let’s get down and dirty with this one for a second. Hang with me, ‘cuz it might get confusing. Here goes: Do I think Brian Roberts used steroids? Yes, I do. But … despite my convictions, I think it’s only fair to add this scenario into the mix and suggest that perhaps the following played out for BRob.
He was obviously close to Bigbie and Segui. There’s no denying that. The report even says Bigbie and Segui used steroids in the house when Roberts was there with them — and he did NOT use with them. OK, so let’s say for a couple of months, Segui and Bigbie are pressuring Roberts to experiment with steroids. That’s quite possible — after all, “peer pressure” doesn’t only occur when you’re 16. Roberts, the good, wholesome kid that he is, tells Segui and Bigbie “no thanks” time and time again. They pester … he says no. They put the heat on him, he says no. It creates strife in their friendship, particularly when testing starts and Bigbie and Segui are both using and they KNOW Roberts has knowledge of their use. They continue to pick away at Roberts, encouraging him to try steroids. B-Rob just keeps on saying “No.” Finally, Roberts has had enough of the badgering. Bigbie says, “Come on, dude, go on a cycle or two” and Roberts says, “I’ve tried it … I didn’t like it.” Bigbie says, “Oh, so you finally DID try it?” Roberts says, “Yeah, I wanted to see if I liked it, but I didn’t.” Bigbie says, “Fair enough, that means there’s more for me and David.”
The only issue with that scenario above — Roberts might not have actually tried steroids. Perhaps he just figured the best way to get Bigbie off his back would be to admit that he tried it and didn’t like it.
Could that have happened? Sure. That’s entirely possible.
It looks to me like Roberts is best served to just take the “Alford Plea”. ”I’m not admitting guilt but I’m acknowledging that the evidence against me would likely result in a guilty verdict.”
The “evidence” against Roberts — which is nothing more than Larry Bigbie saying BRob told him he had, in fact, used steroids — would NEVER, EVER hold up in a court of law in this country. But, in the court of our minds, Bigbie says Roberts admitted using steroids and for the most part, we now think B-Rob was juicing.
The case against Roberts is flimsy, at best. But, if I were betting you a chinese lunch, I’d say B-Rob was on the juice at some point in his career.
You know the old saying: ”Where there’s one snake, you can usually find two or three close by.”
Segui was a snake. So was Bigbie. Roberts hung around them. Get it?
Somewhere today, a bunch of guys like David Segui are laughing. Do you REALLY think Segui cares about today’s news? He made $50 million playing baseball? Juice or no juice, you can pay a nice mortgage with $50 million.
The active players will pay the most severe penalties, because they’ll face the ridicule, the smirks, and the signs and posters in stadiums across America in the summer of ’08.
Today didn’t bring closure to the situation. It’s only just begun.