The Seattle Mariners wouldn’t say it, but after glancing through the 359-page Mitchell Report they felt they’d dodged a franchise-staggering punch.
No where in the report were there names like Edgar Martinez, Randy Johnson, Jay Buhner – players around whom the team’s history revolves.
Instead, the report came up with 12 former Mariners, and acknowledged most might have taken performance-enhancing drugs while with other teams.
Those names: Jose Guillen, David Bell, Ismael Valdez, David Segui, Josias Manzanillo, Glenallen Hill, Ron Villone, Ryan Franklin, Todd Williams, Fernando Vina, Manny Alexander and Jim Parque.
Few played more than a cameo role with Seattle.
What Mitchell’s report did was leave many questions unanswered – naming 88 past-and-present major leaguers while admitted there were many others. Before the presses conferences had ended Thursday, many of those 88 players and their attorneys were crying foul.
And in some cases, the evidence cited in the report was less than overwhelming, certainly nothing that would stand up in court.
I wrote the day the Mitchell investigation was commissioned that, if it did it’s job, it’s first victim would be Commissioner Bud Selig. Steroids and baseball were being linked together as early as 1988 by the media – and Selig didn’t order an inquiry until 2006?
Names now are just more body blows to fans of the game, who have tired of the issue and just want the sport to move on. It won’t do that until Selig steps down, and a commissioner who can serve the game, not just the owners, follows him into office.
Selig wants to be remembered for introducing the wild card to baseball, for interleague play and increased revenues.
Part of his legacy, however, will be that he ruled blindly while the game and it’s integrity were buried under a wave of drugs.