“At this precise moment, somewhere in the world, in China, in Mexico, or somewhere in the United States, someone is working to develop another drug that avoids detection, that accomplishes the purpose or at least is claimed to accomplish the purpose,” he said.
He was forceful when he discussed how he envisioned his report would have an audience beyond baseball and its fans. He worried about the example being set by the pros.
“Young kids don’t just look up to baseball players. They look up to all professional athletes,” he said. “That’s an alarming and dangerous thing in our society. That should cause concern among not just baseball fans, but all Americans.”
President Bush, a former Texas Rangers owner, was among the many baseball fans who commented on Mitchell’s findings.
“My hope is that this report is a part of putting the steroid era of baseball behind us,” he said. “Steroids have sullied the game.”
“The players and the owners must take the Mitchell Report seriously,” Bush said. “I’m confident they will.”
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig wouldn’t rule out discipline for active players cited by Mitchell, but that process likely will go into next year. It is unlikely players will be penalized for conduct before September 2002, when the drug agreement between the union and management went into force.
Several congressmen have called for new hearings, but the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee session at first set for Tuesday was pushed back until Jan. 15.
Cleveland pitcher Paul Byrd, among the players tied to HGH in media reports of the Albany investigation, is scheduled to meet with baseball officials Monday.
Mitchell said baseball should draw a lesson from the peace accord he brokered in Northern Ireland.
“You have to turn the page and look forward,” he said. “In some circumstances, you can benefit from turning away and looking to the future, and I think this is one of them. And I hope that out of this will come the perspective that this is a possible turning point for baseball, as the commissioner said, a call to action. And, hopefully, there will be a response.”
HBT: Carlos Ruiz was lifted from Sunday afternoon’s game against the Reds after straining his right hamstring while running the bases in the bottom of the second inning.
The Mitchell Report
‘Cart before the horse’
Dec. 15: Jim Bunning, Hall of fame pitcher and Kentucky Senator says MLB is too concerned with protecting the players and not the game.
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