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Friday, December 14, 2007

The Mitchell Report

So I spent 3 or so hours that I will never get back late last night reading the 400 plus page 'Mitchell Report' (written by former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell) that exposes what will most likely in the future be called the 'steroid era' of Major League Baseball.

In short, the report implicates seven MVPs, 31 All-Stars (one for every position), players from every team and a total of 85 players who were knowingly cheating by taking anabolic steroids or Human Growth Hormone. Worst of all maybe the 'greatest' pitcher of the era (and maybe all-time) and the biggest name, Roger Clemens was hit harder than most, as he was singled out in nearly nine pages and82 references by name.

Mitchel faults not just the implicated players but "Everyone involved in baseball over the past two decades -- commissioners, club officials, the players' association and players -- shares to some extent the responsibility for the Steroids Era. There was a collective failure to recognize the problem as it emerged and to deal with it early on."

This quote got me thinking of what actions NASCAR has taken to curb a growing problem. The first instance that came to mind that would be similar to the steroid/HGH issue would be the use of 'traction control'. Flashback to the early 2000s when rumors were floating around that teams maybe using this technology to gain an advantage.

What set NASCAR apart from Major League Baseball was them taken action very quickly and coming up with measures and rules to curb (or at the very least, make it harder for teams to use) traction control by making a mandatory placement rule for the ignition box.

Since this rule has been implemented, the rumors of teams using this technology has dramatically decreased to almost the point of never being mentioned at all. NASCAR was as pro-active as they could have been, unlike Major League Baseball who throw their hands up in the air, and ignored the problem. Now MLB must face the scrutiny from their fans, and for years will have their credibility questioned.

Say want you want about Hendricks Motorsports or any other team penalized by NASCAR for a rule infraction, it no where comes close to the stigma and damage done by this report. Baseball has dropped the ball.

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