We’re coming up on the 5-year anniversary of the Mitchell Report (Dec. 13, 2007).
The investigation most notably uncovered and published the names of 89 MLB players of either highly suspicious or confirmed uses of performance-enhancing drugs (steroids, HGH, amphetamines, etc.).
I was curious to know how many players listed in the Mitchell Report were still playing in the major leagues as of 2012.
Ankiel, 33, is the youngest of the five and could still play several more seasons. He was, however, cut by the Nationals on July 27 and failed to play another game last season. The remaining four are 35 and older with Giambi and Pettitte both in their 40s.
If Ankile fails to latch on with another club, it’s nearly a certainty 2013 will prove the final season for both Giambi and Pettitte–if either plays at all. But that doesn’t mean the Mitchell Report players vanish from the present game entirely.
The names of Bonds, Palmeiro and Clemens will resurface during Hall of Fame discussions. Mark McGwire is still around as the hitting coach for the Dodgers and Matt Williams (also listed) appears poised to become a big league manager.
To baseball’s credit, in the five seasons since the Mitchell Report the league has taken great strides to clean up the game with improved testing practices and harsher penalties. But, as Melky Cabrera proved this past summer, there’s still work to be done.
I’m not suggesting there’s a policy baseball can put forth to prevent all players from cheating. But I do believe more can be done to discourage players from using PEDs by implementing stauncher penalties.
Further preventative measures are the responsibility of the Players Union, the owners and Bud Selig. It’s up to all three parties to cooperate on hammering out the details of stricter penalties to ensure the integrity of the game will not be compromised any further by steroids offenders. This is the best way for baseball to stay ahead of the players seeking new and improved artificial advantages in the coming years.
An unyielding stance on PEDs users would mean five years from now we’ll be able to look at the game and know, without question, we’re well into the post ‘Steroids Era’ and past the ugly black eye of the Mitchell Report.