Baseball blame: players only

Bill's Rants

December 05, 2007|By BILL ORDINE

Baseball's Mitchell report might be released in a few weeks, just in time for the holidays. The immediate impact is that it's possible teams will make personnel decisions, trades and signings unaware that a player on their roster will be subject to discipline.

My concern is something else. We keep hearing the report will include names of current and former players who were involved with performance-enhancing substances. But we never hear that front office executives or owners might be implicated (or even managers or coaches, for that matter). And that stinks because it's impossible to believe guys in suits and ties don't stand responsible for some of this - if not for sins of commission, then for sins of omission. As they say in the court papers, "did know or should have known."

At the moment, little is known about what the Mitchell report will say. But I'm pretty sure what it won't say. It will not say that at the highest levels of baseball, there was an overriding responsibility to keep the game clean, and it was an abrogation of that responsibility that created an environment in which players were tempted - in fact, implicitly encouraged - to cheat for an unfair advantage. The players might have gotten some financial reward in all this, but at a cost to their bodies. The owners got fattened attendance and bigger television ratings, and the bank interest on that bonanza is a gift that keeps on giving. Happy holidays.

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